Σάββατο, 17 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


Methadone programs can be key in educating, treating Hepatitis C patients

Posted: 16 May 2014 05:33 PM PDT

People who inject drugs and are enrolled in a drug treatment program are receptive to education about, and treatment for, hepatitis C virus, according to a study. That finding will be welcome news to health care providers. The paper notes that injection drug use is a primary mode of infection, making for an HCV infection prevalence as high as 80 percent among people who inject drugs.

Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors

Posted: 16 May 2014 05:33 PM PDT

A potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumor cells using cancer-killing viruses has been discovered by researchers. The investigators report that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiform, the most common brain tumor in human adults and also the most difficult to treat.

Ground breaking hip and stem cell surgery completed using 3D printed implant

Posted: 16 May 2014 05:33 PM PDT

Doctors and scientists have completed their first hip surgery with a 3D printed implant and bone stem cell graft. The 3D printed hip, made from titanium, was designed using the patient's CT scan and CAD CAM (computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing) technology, meaning it was designed to the patient's exact specifications and measurements. The implant will provide a new socket for the ball of the femur bone to enter. Behind the implant and between the pelvis, doctors have inserted a graft containing bone stem cells.

Wide variation in lung cancer rates globally, study finds

Posted: 16 May 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Lung cancer rates are dropping in young women in many regions of the globe, the only recent comprehensive analysis of lung cancer rates for women around the world finds. The study points to the success of tobacco control efforts around the world. Lung cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide. An estimated 491,200 women died of lung cancer in 2012, more than half (57%) of whom resided in economically developing countries.

Molecules involved in rheumatoid arthritis angiogenesis identified

Posted: 16 May 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Two protein molecules that fit together as lock and key seem to promote the abnormal formation of blood vessels in joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers who found that the substances are present at higher levels in the joints of patients affected by the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the body's own defenses attack the tissues lining the joints, causing painful swelling and bone erosion that can ultimately lead to joint deformities.

War and Peace (of Mind): Mindfulness training for military could help them deal with stress

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Mindfulness training -- a combination of meditation and body awareness exercises -- can help U.S. Marine Corps personnel prepare for and recover from stressful combat situations. The study suggests that incorporating meditative practices into pre-deployment training might be a way to help the U.S. military reduce rising rates of stress-related health conditions, including PTSD, depression and anxiety, within its ranks.

Mothers' sleep, late in pregnancy, affects offspring's weight gain as adults

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Poor-quality sleep during the third trimester of pregnancy can increase the odds of weight gain and metabolic abnormalities in offspring once they reach adulthood. The effects, caused by epigenetic modifications, impose lasting consequences on the next generation. The researchers linked the excess weight and changes in metabolism to epigenetic modifications that reduce expression of the gene for adiponectin -- a hormone that helps regulate several metabolic processes, including glucose regulation. Lower levels of adiponectin correlate with increased body fat and reduced activity.

Domesticated animals provide vital link to emergence of new diseases

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:23 AM PDT

Pets and other domesticated animals could provide new clues into the emergence of infections that can spread between animals and humans. The study showed that the number of parasites and pathogens shared by humans and animals is related to how long animals have been domesticated. The findings suggest that although wild animals may be important for the transmission of new diseases to humans, humanity's oldest companions -- livestock and pets such as cattle and dogs -- provide the vital link in the emergence of new diseases.

Living conditions in Iraq must improve if investment in health system is to yield results

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:22 AM PDT

Despite enormous investment in Iraq's health system in the 10 years since the US-led invasion, the health condition of Iraqis has deteriorated and will fail to improve unless more is done to improve living conditions. The authors found that housing conditions in Iraq are in a dire state for the majority of the population, with half a million people living in squatter settlements. While the government is building 25,000 housing units a year, the current need is for three million. The infrastructure for water and sanitation is too old and is a source of illness for many people, even in oil-rich Basra where the water supply is not suitable for human consumption.

One in 10 16-year-olds have considered self-harm, study shows

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:22 AM PDT

One in ten 16-year-olds surveyed in a new study has considered self-harm or taking an overdose. "Although mental health campaigns have for some time attempted to de-stigmatise mental ill-health, by far the most likely reason why young people self-harm remains self-punishment. This suggests that young people with mental health problems keep blaming themselves for these, rather than appreciating external stressors such as pressures arising from school work or financial difficulties," researchers said.

Male infertility linked to mortality, study shows

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:22 AM PDT

Men who are infertile because of defects in their semen appear to be at increased risk of dying sooner than men with normal semen, according to a study. Men with two or more abnormalities in their semen were more than twice as likely to die over a roughly eight-year period as men who had normal semen, the study found.

Interrupted breathing during sleep affects brain neurons necessary to regulate heart rate

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:21 AM PDT

Sufferers of a common sleep-breathing disorder have diminished activity among neurons responsible for keeping heart rate low, reveals a new study. The research discovered that in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), neurons in the brainstem that control heart rate experience a blunting of their activity. The reduction of neuronal activity likely contributes to the increased heart rate, blood pressure and risk of adverse cardiovascular events that occur in patients with OSA.

Traditional cheeses: gustatory richness, health quality assured by their microbiota

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:21 AM PDT

The benefits of traditional, raw-milk cheeses have been reviewed by researchers who have shown that traditional cheeses have unrivalled advantages in terms of both their diversity and their gustatory richness, but also regarding their protection against pathogenic agents. These benefits are linked to the specific microbiota found in these cheeses; they result from the use of raw milk, combined with the specific techniques used to manufacture traditional cheeses.

No such thing as a 'universal' intelligence test: Cultural differences determine results country by country

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Scientists have studied 54 individuals -- half Spanish and half Moroccan -- to determine how IQ tests work. New research suggests that a universal test of intelligence quotient does not exist. Results in this type of test are determined to a strong degree by cultural differences.

New treatment targeting versatile protein may protect brain cells in Parkinson's disease

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:20 AM PDT

In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine-producing nerve cells that control our movements waste away. Current treatments for PD therefore aim at restoring dopamine contents in the brain. In a new study, researchers are attacking the problem from a different angle, through early activation of a protein that improves the brain's capacity to cope with a host of harmful processes.

Hope for paraplegic patients: Implantable microelectrode stimulates spinal cord with electric impulses

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:20 AM PDT

People with severe injuries to their spinal cord currently have little or no prospect of recovery and remain confined to their wheelchairs. Now, all that could change with a new treatment that stimulates the spinal cord using electric impulses. The hope is that the technique will help paraplegic patients learn to walk again.

How key cancer-fighting protein is held in check

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Analysis reveals how the protein p53, which triggers cancer cells to commit suicide, attaches to its regulatory molecule. These findings could lead to drugs to unleash p53 to battle a range of cancers. In guarding the cell against genetic damage, the p53 machinery functions both in the nucleus of the cell and in the cell's gel-like cytosol. When this machinery detects irreparable damage to the cell, p53 is unleashed to trigger apoptosis. In about half of all cancers, this machinery is rendered inoperable by mutation of p53, enabling cancer cells to proliferate despite their genetic malfunctions.

Magnets and kids: A dangerous duo

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Magnet ingestions by children have received increasing attention over the past 10 years. With the growing availability of new and stronger neodymium-iron-boron magnets being sold as "toys," there has been an increase of cases of ingestion, resulting in serious injury and, in some cases, death. In a new study, researchers studied the trends of magnetic ingestions at a large children's hospital.

Water pipe smoking causes significant exposure to nicotine, cancer-causing agents

Posted: 16 May 2014 06:19 AM PDT

Young adults who smoked water pipes in hookah bars had elevated levels of nicotine, cotinine, tobacco-related cancer-causing agents, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in their urine, and this may increase their risk for cancer and other chronic diseases, according to a study. After a single evening of water pipe smoking in a hookah bar, young men and women had in their urine a 73-fold increase in nicotine; fourfold increase in cotinine; twofold increase in NNAL, a breakdown product of a tobacco-specific nitrosamine, NNK, which can cause lung and pancreatic cancers; and 14 to 91 percent increase in the breakdown products of VOC such as benzene and acrolein that are known to cause cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Diabetics: Two large meals better than 6 small meals with same calories for controlling weight, blood sugar

Posted: 15 May 2014 03:44 PM PDT

Two large meals (breakfast and lunch), rather than six small meals with the same total calories, are better for controlling weight and blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, research shows. "Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the energy and macronutrient content but also the frequency and timing of food. Further larger scale, long-term studies are essential before offering recommendations in terms of meal frequency," the researchers conclude.

Marijuana use involved in more fatal accidents since commercialization of medical marijuana

Posted: 15 May 2014 02:35 PM PDT

The proportion of marijuana-positive drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in Colorado has increased dramatically since the commercialization of medical marijuana in the middle of 2009, according to a study. The study raises important concerns about the increase in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive since the commercialization of medical marijuana in Colorado, particularly in comparison to the 34 non-medical marijuana states.

Complex interactions may matter most for longevity

Posted: 15 May 2014 02:35 PM PDT

Complex interactions among diet, mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA appear to influence lifespan at least as much as single factors alone, a new study of the biology of aging shows. The findings may help scientists better understand the underlying mechanisms of aging and explain why studies of single factors sometimes produce contradictory results.

'Physician partners' free doctors to focus on patients, not paperwork

Posted: 15 May 2014 02:33 PM PDT

Primary care doctors spend so much time on clerical duties that their time with patients is limited. A new study suggests that "physician partners" who would work on those time consuming administrative tasks can free up physicians' time so that they can focus more on their patients. "Patients want their doctors to spend time with them and give them the attention that makes them feel more confident in their medical care — they don't want to just sit there while their doctor is on the computer," said the study's primary investigator

Tumor cells in blood may indicate poor prognosis in early breast cancer

Posted: 15 May 2014 01:38 PM PDT

Tumor cells in bone marrow of early breast cancer patients predict a higher risk of relapse as well as poorer survival, but bone marrow biopsy is an invasive and painful procedure. Now, it may be possible to identify tumor cells in a routine blood sample and use them as prognostic markers, according to a study. The authors conclude that "Our data offer support for the clinical potential of CTCs to assess the individual risk of patients at the time of primary diagnosis and may be used for treatment tailoring in the absence of other strong quantitative markers."

Hitting a moving target: AIDS vaccine could work against changeable site on HIV

Posted: 15 May 2014 12:39 PM PDT

A vaccine or other therapy directed at a single site on a surface protein of HIV could in principle neutralize nearly all strains of the virus—thanks to the diversity of targets the site presents to the human immune system. HIV infection is nearly always fatal, if untreated, because the virus is extremely effective at evading the human immune response. Its main strategy is to cover its most exposed parts, the flower-like envelope protein (Env) structures that grab and penetrate host cells, with rapidly mutating decoy proteins and antibody-resistant sugar molecules called glycans.

Favored by God in warfare? How WWI sowed seeds for future international conflicts

Posted: 15 May 2014 12:38 PM PDT

World War I — the "war to end all wars" — in fact sowed seeds for future international conflicts in a way that has been largely overlooked: through religion, says a historian and author. Widespread belief in the supernatural was a driving force during the war and helped mold all three of the major religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- paving the way for modern views of religion and violence, he said.

Protein sharpens salmonella needle for attack

Posted: 15 May 2014 10:21 AM PDT

A tiny nanoscale syringe is Salmonella's weapon. Using this, the pathogen injects its molecular agents into the host cells and manipulates them to its own advantage. A team of scientists demonstrates that a much investigated protein, which plays a role in Salmonella metabolism, is required to activate these needles and makes the replication and spread of Salmonella throughout the whole body possible.

Watching stressful movies triggers changes to your heartbeat

Posted: 15 May 2014 07:38 AM PDT

Watching films with stressful scenes can trigger changes to the heart's beating pattern, reports a new study. "This is the first time that the effects have been directly measured and although the results varied from person to person we consistently saw changes in the cardiac muscle. If someone already has a weakened heart, or if they experience a much more extreme stress, the effect could be much more destabilizing and dangerous," researchers stated.

Most NHL players peak by age 29: Study

Posted: 15 May 2014 06:56 AM PDT

A new study identifies when the clock runs out on an NHL player's peak performance, giving team executives insight into how best to build a roster. The study found that the performance of forwards peaks between the ages of 27 and 28. Defensemen are best between 28 and 29, and the performance of goaltenders varies little by age.

Sense of obligation leads to trusting strangers

Posted: 15 May 2014 06:51 AM PDT

Trusting a stranger may have more to do with feeling morally obligated to show respect for someone else's character than actually believing the person is trustworthy, according to new research. Theories that people are inclined to trust others because they feel it's the social norm or they expect to gain something don't fully explain the abundance of trust among strangers, researchers say. "Our findings reveal that people trust others because they feel it's their duty or moral responsibility," Dunning said.

Visual clue to new Parkinson's Disease therapies

Posted: 15 May 2014 06:08 AM PDT

A potential route to new therapies for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD) has been developed by clinical scientists. They created a more sensitive test which detected neurological changes before degeneration of the nervous system became apparent. "This new research may prove to be groundbreaking in the understanding and treatment of Parkinson's disease. Science does not currently have answers for what happens in the brain before and during the disease, but these discoveries may bring us closer to this understanding," an expert commented.

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