Δευτέρα, 21 Απριλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Counterfeit contraceptives found in South America

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 04:02 PM PDT

A survey of emergency contraceptive pills in Peru found that 28 percent of the batches studied were either of substandard quality or falsified. Many pills released the active ingredient too slowly. Others had the wrong active ingredient. One batch had no active ingredient at all.

Treating depression in Parkinson's Disease patients: New research

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:14 PM PDT

Interesting new information has been found from a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's disease. The study, which assessed cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed patients with PD, found that the dopamine replacement therapy commonly used to treat motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease was associated with a decline in cognitive performance among depressed Parkinson patients.

Researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:14 PM PDT

Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to researchers. A new study finds that a long-accepted theory used to estimate extinction rates, predict ecological risk and make conservation policy recommendations is overly pessimistic. The researchers point to an alternative framework that promises a more effective way of accounting for human-altered landscapes and assessing ecological risks.

MRI, on a molecular scale: System could one day peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:14 PM PDT

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that can produce nano-scale images, and may one day allow researchers to peer into the atomic structure of individual molecules, has been developed by researchers. For decades, scientists have used techniques like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to gain invaluable insight into the atomic structure of molecules, but such efforts have long been hampered by the fact that they demand large quantities of a specific molecule and often in ordered and crystalized form to be effective -- making it all but impossible to peer into the structure of most molecules.

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:14 PM PDT

A new article reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over their lives. In particular, listening to gospel music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and an increase in sense of control.

Finding turns neuroanatomy on its head: Researchers present new view of myelin

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:14 PM PDT

Neuroscientists have made a discovery that turns 160 years of neuroanatomy on its head. Myelin, the electrical insulating material long known to be essential for the fast transmission of impulses along the axons of nerve cells, is not as ubiquitous as thought, according to a new work. "The fact that it is the most evolved neurons, the ones that have expanded dramatically in humans, suggests that what we're seeing might be the "future." As neuronal diversity increases and the brain needs to process more and more complex information, neurons change the way they use myelin to "achieve" more," says the main researcher.

Proteins conspire to make breast cancer cells resistant to drug treatment

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 01:13 PM PDT

The interaction between two proteins called BCAR1 and BCAR3 is responsible for resistance to antiestrogen drugs, paving the way for improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. "Drug resistance is one of the most serious obstacles to breast cancer eradication," said the senior study author. "Our findings suggest that strategies to disrupt the BCAR1-BCAR3 complex and associated signaling networks could potentially overcome this obstacle and ultimately lead to more-effective breast cancer therapies."

Future heat waves pose risk for population of Greater London

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:49 AM PDT

The effects of future heat waves on people living in Greater London in 2050 has been modeled in a study, which concludes that the risk of heat-related deaths could be significantly reduced if buildings were adapted properly for climate change. The model, which takes into account future changes to urban land use and human-made heat emissions, estimates an additional 800 heat-related deaths per year by 2050.

Tissue scarring in scleroderma: New clues

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:12 AM PDT

A discovery by scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma. The concept for new therapeutic options centers on findings identifying the role that a specific protein plays in promoting fibrosis. Fibrosis, or scarring, is a hallmark of the disease, and progressive tightening of the skin and lungs can lead to serious organ damage and, in some cases, death.

Better way to deal with bad memories suggested

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:11 AM PDT

A simple and effective emotion-regulation strategy that has neurologically and behaviorally been proven to lessen the emotional impact of personal negative memories, researchers have shown. "Sometimes we dwell on how sad, embarrassed, or hurt we felt during an event, and that makes us feel worse and worse. But we found that instead of thinking about your emotions during a negative memory, looking away from the worst emotions and thinking about the context, like a friend who was there, what the weather was like, or anything else non-emotional that was part of the memory, will rather effortlessly take your mind away from the unwanted emotions associated with that memory," the researchers suggest.

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:11 AM PDT

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. Researchers have demonstrated that the principle of adhesion by aqueous solutions of nanoparticles can be used in vivo to repair soft-tissue organs and tissues. This adhesion method is exceptional because of its potential spectrum of clinical applications. It is simple, easy to use and the nanoparticles employed can be metabolized by the organism. It can easily be integrated into ongoing research on healing and tissue regeneration and contribute to the development of regenerative medicine.

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 05:33 AM PDT

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study. The link between persistent inflammation and cancer was even stronger for men with so-called high-grade prostate cancer -- those with a Gleason score between 7 and 10 -- indicating the presence of the most aggressive and rapidly growing prostate cancers.

Boomers' dark secret: Booze; What their caregivers don’t know or don't ask could end up hurting aging patients

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 05:33 AM PDT

By 2015, all baby boomers will be 50 or older. In an editorial, one expert writes that, unlike members of previous generations, many of these individuals have been using alcohol (and other drugs) for their entire adult lives. There are consequences. "Alcohol is a dirty drug, and it causes all kinds of long-term problems," the author says. Alcohol contributes to increased risk for more than 65 diseases and conditions, including pancreatic, breast, and ear, nose, and throat cancers, liver disease, injuries, and cognitive impairment.

Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:25 PM PDT

More needs to be done to investigate the risks to human health that extracting shale gas poses, suggests one expert, who says that risk reduction technologies should be deployed, but that reviewing the public health implications of shale gas development "requires more than merely gesturing to technological improvements. Best practices should not be mistaken for actual practices." The author asserts that scientific data should drive decisions on health and safety, instead of gestures to understudied assertions of best practice deployment.

Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international, UK medical graduates

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 06:25 PM PDT

The pass mark for a two-part test that international medical graduates must pass to work as a doctor in the UK should be raised to reduce differences in performance between international and UK medical graduates, suggest researchers. But they warn that this could create "severe workforce planning challenges" for the NHS, which has traditionally relied on international medical graduates, especially in the less popular specialties such as psychiatry.

New pain relief targets discovered by researchers

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

New pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain have been discovered by researchers while researching how pain occurs in nerves in the periphery of the body. "We have been investigating and identifying mechanisms underlying pain generation and our findings could help chemotherapy patients who suffer pain related side effects," one author noted.

First genetic link discovered to difficult-to-diagnose breast cancer sub-type

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

The discovery of the genetic variant, in conjunction with other markers, could help in the development of future genetic screening tools to assess women's risk of developing invasive lobular cancer, and also gives researchers important new clues about the genetic causes of the disease and a related precursor to cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ.

Progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to R-loop formation

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:16 PM PDT

A new feature of the genetic mutation responsible for the progressive neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome -- the formation of 'R-loops,' has been discovered. Researchers believe it may be associated with the disorder's neurological symptoms, such as tremors, lack of balance, features of Parkinsonism, and cognitive decline.

Sporting latest tech toy can make you seem more like a leader

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:11 PM PDT

If you want to be perceived as a leader, new research suggests investing in the latest technological gadgets is the way to go. "Familiarity with and usage of new high-tech products appears to be a common manifestation of innovative behavior," write the authors. "Those who are tech-savvy are also perceived as authoritative on other subjects and as leaders."

Prenatal risk factors may put children at risk of developing kidney disease

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 04:11 PM PDT

Certain prenatal risk factors are associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in children, according to a study. Future studies should investigate whether modifying these factors could help protect children's kidney health. Risks for certain types of kidney disease may arise before birth, and researchers suspect that the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be programmed prenatally. These may include birth weight, maternal diabetes, and maternal overweight/obesity.

Influenza, bacterial superinfections reviewed in journal

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:41 PM PDT

An expert has analyzed the epidemiology and microbiology of co-infections during the 1918, 1957 and 1968 pandemics, as well as more recent 2009 novel H1N1 pandemic, and published a review on this analysis. Specifically, the co-pathogenesis reviewed is characterized by complex interactions between co-infecting pathogens and the host, leading to the disruption of physical barriers, dysregulation of immune responses and delays in a return to homeostasis.

Weight gain in children occurs after tonsil removal, not linked to obesity

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Weight gain in children after they have their tonsils removed (adenotonsillectomy) occurs primarily in children who are smaller and younger at the time of the surgery, and weight gain was not linked with increased rates of obesity. "Despite the finding that many children gain weight and have higher BMIs after tonsillectomy, in our study, the proportion of children who were obese before surgery remained statistically unchanged after surgery. On the basis of this work, adenotonsillectomy does not correlate with increased rates of childhood obesity," researchers conclude.

Our relationship with God changes when faced with potential romantic rejection

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Easter is a time when many people in the world think about their relationships with God. New research explores a little-understood role of God in people's lives: helping them cope with the threat of romantic rejection. In this way, God stands in for other relationships in our lives when times are tough.

The ilk of human kindness: Older women with gumption score high on compassion

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:40 PM PDT

Older women, plucky individuals and those who have suffered a recent major loss are more likely to be compassionate toward strangers than other older adults, new research finds. Because compassionate behaviors are associated with better health and well-being as we age, the research findings offer insights into ways to improve the outcomes of individuals whose deficits in compassion put them at risk for becoming lonely and isolated later in life.

Mutant enzyme RECQ4 connected to cancer's 'Warburg effect'

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 01:40 PM PDT

A cancer-prone mutation of the gene RECQ4 causes its corresponding enzyme, RECQ4, to accumulate in the mitochondria. This can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, possibly explaining cancer's "Warburg effect" of preferring lactic acid fermentation over aerobic respiration to generate energy. While this study provides important clues to solving the Warburg effect puzzle, the senior author said further studies are needed on RECQ4 and p32 to better explain cancer's biological processes.

New perspective on sepsis published

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 12:12 PM PDT

It's time to take a fresh look at the medical community's approach to treating sepsis, which kills millions worldwide every year, including more than 200,000 Americans, one expert says. Sepsis occurs when molecules released into the bloodstream to fight an injury or infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. Persistent and constant inflammation often results in organ dysfunction or damage, leading to death -- 28 to 50 percent of people who suffer from sepsis die from the condition.

Patients with rare lung disease face agonizing treatment dilemma

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 11:18 AM PDT

The drug sirolimus can slow the lung disease LAM, while also causing potentially fatal complications after lung transplants. But research suggests a drug similar to sirolimus may be safe for LAM patients waiting for transplants. LAM occurs almost exclusively in women. An abnormal growth of muscle cells invades the lungs, eventually causing airways to become obstructed. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, chronic cough and pneumothoraces (lung collapses). Many patients will need to go on oxygen, and some will require lung transplants.

Anti-seizure drug may reduce alcohol consumption, study shows

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 10:35 AM PDT

The anti-seizure drug ezogabine, reduced alcohol consumption in an experimental model, researchers report. The findings may lead to more effective treatments for alcoholism. Excessive consumption of alcohol is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the U.S. and has significant negative economic impact by limiting the productivity of workers and necessitating huge health care expenditures.

Trisomy 21: How an extra little chromosome throws entire genome off balance

Posted: 17 Apr 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A new study sheds light on how the extra chromosome 21 upsets the equilibrium of the entire genome, causing a wide variety of pathologies. Occurring in about one per eight hundred births, Down syndrome -- or trisomy 21 -- is the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability. It results from a chromosomal abnormality where cells of affected individuals contain a third copy of chromosome 21 (1% of the human genome).

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