Πέμπτη, 1 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Research could improve pharmaceuticals testing

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:28 PM PDT

An effort to develop a new technique for measuring moisture in pharmaceuticals is underway, which could be 100 times more sensitive than a popular current method. "The analysis for water in many consumer products, including drugs, is one of the most required tests done in the world," said the lead investigator. "Current methods have many shortcomings, including poor sensitivity and reproducibility; they cannot be used for all products and they can be time consuming. I believe our new 'ionic liquid' method offers improvements in all these areas."

Novel regulator of key gene expression in cancer identified

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:27 PM PDT

A key genetic switch linked to the development, progression and outcome of cancer has been discovered by scientists, a finding that may lead to new targets for cancer therapies. The switch, a string of nucleotides dubbed a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), does not code for proteins like regular RNA. Instead, the scientists found, this particular lncRNA acts as an on/off switch for a key gene whose excessive activity is tied to inflammation and cancer, COX-2.

Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:27 PM PDT

Bleomycin's ability to cut through double-stranded DNA in cancerous cells, like a pair of scissors, has been described in a new article. Such DNA cleavage often leads to cell death in particular types of cancer cells. Bleomycin is part of a family of structurally related antibiotics produced by the bacterium, Streptomyces verticillus. Three potent versions of the drug, labeled A2 , A5 and B2 are the primary forms in clinical use against cancer.

Dispatcher-assisted CPR increases survival among children

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:26 PM PDT

Children who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital are more likely to survive with good brain function if emergency dispatchers give bystanders CPR instruction. CPR with chest compressions and breaths led to more favorable neurological outcomes in kids. Many causes may be responsible for a child's heartbeat and breathing to stop: choking, drowning, electrical shock, excessive bleeding, head trauma or serious injury, lung disease, poisoning and suffocation. Children under age 1 are at high risk of cardiac arrest from respiratory problems. Older children are at higher risk due to cardiac causes. In children under 10, risk may be due to respiratory failure or to trauma or external causes, researchers said.

Stem cells from teeth can make brain-like cells

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 04:25 PM PDT

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells, suggesting they could one day be used in the brain as a therapy for stroke.

Identifying factors responsible for altered drug dosing for pregnant women

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 01:13 PM PDT

Pregnancy affects how drugs are metabolized, which makes it difficult for physicians to prescribe appropriate dosing. Medical researchers have revealed new details about one particular enzyme that's responsible for the metabolism of one-fifth of drugs on the market.

Fast-acting antidepressant appears within reach

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 01:13 PM PDT

In mice, a drug produces evidence of a mood lift within 24 hours and then continues working for sustained depression relief. A fast-acting antidepressant would be a welcome development for patients who must wait weeks for current drugs to take effect.

Brain, cognitive reserve protect long-term against cognitive decline, MS researchers find

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 12:17 PM PDT

MS researchers have found brain reserve and cognitive reserve confer long-term protective effect against cognitive decline. In this study, memory, cognitive efficiency, vocabulary (a measure of intellectual enrichment/cognitive reserve), brain volume (a measure of brain reserve), and disease progression on MRI, were evaluated in 40 patients with MS at baseline and at 4.5-year followup. After controlling for disease progression, scientists looked at the impact of brain volume and intellectual enrichment on cognitive decline.

MRI-guided biopsy for brain cancer improves diagnosis

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Neurosurgeons have, for the first time, combined real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with novel non-invasive cellular mapping techniques to develop a new biopsy approach that increases the accuracy of diagnosis for patients with brain cancer. As many as one third of brain tumor biopsies performed in the traditional manner can result in misdiagnosis.

Engineers grow functional human cartilage in lab

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 11:28 AM PDT

Engineers have successfully grown -- for the first time -- fully functional human cartilage in vitro from human stem cells derived from bone marrow tissue. Their study demonstrates new ways to better mimic the enormous complexity of tissue development, regeneration, and disease.

In pitching injuries, the elbow is connected to the hip

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 11:28 AM PDT

A pitcher's elbow injury could be linked to movement in the hips, research finds. When the pitcher performs a pitch, much of the stress is focused on a single ligament: the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow joint. About 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch can be placed upon that ligament, researchers say. Coaches and athletic trainers could easily help athletes by improving the flexibility in their hips.

Fattening gene discovered by researchers

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:31 AM PDT

The long-term consumption of too much high-energy and high-fat food leads to overweight. Behind this trivial statement lies the extremely complex regulation of lipid metabolism. Now, a gene that controls fat metabolism has been discovered by researchers who hope that their study will provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches.

Stem cell therapy regenerates heart muscle damaged from heart attacks in primates

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells successfully restored damaged heart muscles in monkeys, researchers report. Stem-cell derived heart muscle cells infiltrated into damaged heart tissue, assembled muscle fibers and began to beat in synchrony with macaque heart cells. Scientists are working to reduce the risk of heart rhythm problems and to see if pumping action improves.

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 10:30 AM PDT

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it's time to think again. The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence.

Light activity every day keeps disability at bay

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

Pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum doesn't take a lot of effort, but enough of this sort of light physical activity every day can help people with or at risk of knee arthritis avoid developing disabilities as they age, according to a new study. It is known that the more time people spend in moderate or vigorous activities, the less likely they are to develop disability, but this is the first study to show that spending more time in light activities can help prevent disability, too.

Faster dental treatment with new photoactive molecule

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 09:11 AM PDT

Photoactive materials are used in modern dentistry, which harden when they are exposed to light. Usually, only thin layers of up to 2 mm can be hardened, due to the limited penetration depth of light. A new dental filling material allows for thicker layers and faster dental procedures. Simply put, improved photoreactivity is good news for everyone who wants to spend as little time as possible in the dental chair.

Water-based 'engine' propels tumor cells through tight spaces in body

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 09:10 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered how cancer cells spread through extremely narrow three-dimensional spaces in the body, identifying a propulsion system based on water and charged particles. The finding uncovers a novel method the deadly cells use to migrate through a cancer patient's body. The discovery may lead to new treatments that help keep the disease in check. The work also points to the growing importance of studying how cells behave in three dimensions, not just atop flat two-dimensional lab dishes.

Whey beneficially affects diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese adults

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 08:22 AM PDT

New evidence shores up findings that whey protein, which is found in milk and cheese, could have health benefits for people who are obese and do not yet have diabetes. The study examined how different protein sources affect metabolism.

Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 08:22 AM PDT

A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease -- or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation. "Eventually, we might even be able to deliver cells to damaged hearts to repair heart disease," one researchers says.

Coached extracurricular activities may help prevent pre-adolescent smoking, drinking

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 08:21 AM PDT

While parents may think tweens (aged 10-14) need less adult supervision when they are not in school, researchers found that certain coached extracurricular activities can help prevent tween smoking and drinking. The study found that team sport participation with a coach was the only extracurricular activity associated with lower risk of trying smoking compared to none or minimal participation. Participating in other clubs was the only extracurricular activity associated with lower risk of trying drinking compared to none or minimal participation.

'Charismatic' organisms still dominating genomics research

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Decades after the genomics revolution, half of known eukaryote lineages still remain unstudied at the genomic level -- with the field displaying a research bias against 'less popular', but potentially genetically rich, single-cell organisms. This lack of microbial representation leaves a world of untapped genetic potential undiscovered, according to an exhaustive survey of on-going genomics projects.

Diabetes: Possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose found

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:19 AM PDT

A possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity has been identified by researchers. In a nutrient-rich environment typical of the developed world today, carbohydrate-rich diets and positive feedback to glucagon signaling increases gluconeogenesis leading to chronic hyperglycemia, obesity, and insulin resistance.

Watch out: Children more prone to looking but not seeing

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:19 AM PDT

Children looking at a loose thread on a jumper or an advert on the side of a bus might be 'blind' to oncoming traffic and other dangers when walking down the street. Researchers conclude that children under 14 are more likely than adults to be 'blinded' to their surroundings when focusing on simple things. It explains a somewhat frustrating experience familiar to many parents and carers: young children fail to notice their carer trying to get their attention because they have little capacity to spot things outside their area of focus.

Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:16 AM PDT

When it comes to being perceived as effective leaders, women are rated as highly as men, and sometimes higher - a finding that speaks to society's changing gender roles and the need for a different management style in today's globalized workplace, according to a meta-analysis. While men tend to rate themselves as significantly more effective than women rate themselves, when ratings by others were examined, women came out ahead on perceptions of effectiveness, according to the study.

CT in operating room allows more precise removal of small lung cancers

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 06:14 AM PDT

A new technique that brings CT imaging into the operating room will allow surgeons to precisely demarcate and remove small sub-centimeter lung nodules, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible, according to a researcher. Lung cancer remains the deadliest cancer and a recent study indicated that screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans in smokers, who have certain risk factors, may decrease the number of deaths. Lung cancer screening with CT can detect many small lung lesions that can potentially be cancerous and should be removed surgically.

Want a young child to 'help' or 'be a helper'? Choice of words matters

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:31 AM PDT

A new study has found that parent word choice matters when encouraging preschool-age children to help others. Children were significantly more likely to help an experimenter when he or she referred to help using nouns ('some children choose to be helpers') than when he or she referred to help using verbs ('some children choose to help'). The study looked at about 150 3- to 6- year-olds from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder releases dopamine in brain

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:29 AM PDT

Some have characterized dopamine as the elixir of pleasure because so many rewarding stimuli - food, drugs, sex, exercise - trigger its release in the brain. However, more than a decade of research indicates that when drug use becomes compulsive, the related dopamine release becomes deficient in the striatum, a brain region that is involved in reward and behavioral control. New research suggests that dopamine release is increased in obsessive-compulsive disorder and may be normalized by the therapeutic application of deep brain stimulation.

Nurses hold key to providing quality care to older LGBT adults

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:27 AM PDT

Even though LGBT populations are often grouped together, each is a distinct group with specific health care needs, authors of a new study say. This is especially true with older LGBT persons and involves issues ranging from housing and long-term care placement to home-health and the selection of health promotion practices. More than 2 million older adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and they have specific physical and mental health needs of which nurses need to be aware.

Greater surgeon experience increases likelihood of mitral valve repair vs replacement

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 05:27 AM PDT

Even today, significant variations – among surgeons and hospitals - still exist in the performance of mitral valve repair vs replacement for moderate to severe mitral regurgitation, shows a large-scale study. Significant associations were observed between the propensity for MV repair and both institutional and surgeon annual volume, although increasing surgeon volume appears to be the much stronger predictor.

Babies recognize real-life objects from pictures as early as nine months, psychologists discover

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:57 PM PDT

Babies begin to learn about the connection between pictures and real objects by the time they are nine-months-old, according to a new study. The research found that babies can learn about a toy from a photograph of it well before their first birthday.

Increased prevalence of GI symptoms among children with autism, study confirms

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:49 PM PDT

Children with autism spectrum disorder are more than four times more likely to experience general gastrointestinal (GI) complaints compared with peers, are more than three times as prone to experience constipation and diarrhea than peers, and complain twice as much about abdominal pain compared to peers.

Simple tests of physical capability in midlife linked with survival

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:48 PM PDT

Low levels of physical capability (in particular weak grip strength, slow chair rise speed and poor standing balance performance) in midlife can indicate poorer chances of survival over the next 13 years, while greater time spent in light intensity physical activity each day is linked to a reduced risk of developing disability in adults with or at risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, suggest two papers.

Stem cells aid heart regeneration in salamanders

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Imagine filling a hole in your heart by regrowing the tissue. While that possibility is still being explored in people, it is a reality in salamanders. A recent discovery that newt hearts can regenerate may pave the way to new therapies in people who need to have damaged tissue replaced with healthy tissue. Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States.

You took the words right out of my brain: New research shows brain's predictive nature when listening to others

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Our brain activity is more similar to that of speakers we are listening to when we can predict what they are going to say, a team of neuroscientists has found. The study provides fresh evidence on the brain's role in communication.

Anti-smoking TV ads should use anger, study suggests

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:38 AM PDT

Anti-smoking television advertisements that appeal to viewers' emotions are more persuasive when they use anger rather than sadness, a study suggests. Previous studies have shown emotional expression is a crucial part of persuasion, and that audience members' perceptions of emotions affect their attitudes and behaviors. Previous research also has shown anti-smoking TV ads that convey negative emotions such as anger and sadness are more effective than non-emotional approaches.

Saving lives following acetaminophen overdose: New approach could help

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:35 AM PDT

Mice have been cured of acute liver failure after an overdose of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, and one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, by boosting the liver's ability to heal itself, researchers report. "Acetaminophen is a great drug when taken in appropriate doses; however, it's also known to quickly cause life-threatening liver injury when a person takes too much," said the study's lead investigator.

Breast cancer, brain tumors not caused by viruses, study finds

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:35 AM PDT

Breast cancer and brain tumors are not caused by viruses, according to a genetic analysis of more than 4,000 tumors that mapped the linkages between viruses and 19 different types of cancer. As such, this study calls into question some drug trial regimes. "In cancer research and treatment, there has been a lot of focus on associations that have not been proven, some of which have actually have been shown to be wrong," said one researcher. "Researchers are starting to realize that we need truly unbiased methods to uncover meaningful associations."

WHO tool underestimates need for osteoporosis treatment, study says

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:34 AM PDT

The World Health Organization's tool for assessing bone fracture risk underestimates the true dangers for people who are younger than 65 or have been treated for a single broken bone, according to a new study. The tool is designed to help physicians identify osteoporosis cases that cannot be readily diagnosed through bone mineral density testing. More than half of fragility fractures occur in people who do not meet the bone mineral density standards to be diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Cancer patients who have higher levels of vitamin D when they are diagnosed tend to have better survival rates and remain in remission longer than patients who are vitamin D-deficient, according to a new study. The body naturally produces vitamin D after exposure to sunlight and absorbs it from certain foods. In addition to helping the body absorb the calcium and phosphorus needed for healthy bones, vitamin D affects a variety of biological processes by binding to a protein called a vitamin D receptor. This receptor is present in nearly every cell in the body.

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