Τετάρτη, 21 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


Vitamin E in canola, other oils hurts lungs

Posted: 20 May 2014 07:04 PM PDT

A large new study advances our understanding of vitamin E and ties increasing consumption of supposedly healthy, vitamin E-rich oils -- canola, soybean and corn -- to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma. The good news: vitamin E in olive and sunflower oils improves lungs. The study shows drastically different health effects of vitamin E depending on its form: gamma-tocopherol in soybean, canola and corn oil and alpha-tocopherol in olive and sunflower oils.

Adults who lose weight at any age could enjoy improved cardiovascular health

Posted: 20 May 2014 03:48 PM PDT

Weight loss at any age in adulthood is worthwhile because it could yield long-term heart and vascular benefits, suggests new research. For the first time, the findings indicate that adults who drop a BMI category -- from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal -- at any time during adult life, even if they regain weight, can reduce these cardiovascular manifestations.

Compound reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice

Posted: 20 May 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Research in an animal model supports the potential therapeutic value of an antisense compound to treat Alzheimer's disease. The molecule also reduced inflammation in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The article is the second mouse study that supports the potential therapeutic value of an antisense compound in treating Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Intake of dietary prenatal folate and other methyl donors in first trimester of pregnancy affects asthma risk in children at age 7

Posted: 20 May 2014 03:46 PM PDT

Maternal intake of dietary methyl donors during the first trimester of pregnancy modulates the risk of developing childhood asthma at age 7, according to a new study. Methyl donors are nutrients involved in a biochemical process called methylation, in which chemicals are linked to proteins, DNA, or other molecules in the body.

Public interest in climate change unshaken by scandal, but unstirred by science

Posted: 20 May 2014 01:30 PM PDT

Researchers found that negative media reports seem to have only a passing effect on public opinion, but that positive stories don't appear to possess much staying power, either. This dynamic suggests that climate scientists should reexamine how to effectively and more regularly engage the public.

Sleep Apnea Tied to Hearing Loss in Large Study

Posted: 20 May 2014 12:29 PM PDT

Both high and low frequency hearing impairment have been linked with sleep apnea in a new study of nearly 14,000 individuals. "In our population-based study of 13,967 subjects from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, we found that sleep apnea was independently associated with hearing impairment at both high and low frequencies after adjustment for other possible causes of hearing loss," said the lead author.

Research explains action of drug that may slow aging, related disease

Posted: 20 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

A proven approach to slow the aging process is dietary restriction, but new research helps explain the action of a drug that appears to mimic that process -- rapamycin. The advance moves science closer to a compound that might slow aging and reduce age-related disease. The lead researcher said that this study "could provide a way not only to increase lifespan but to address some age-related diseases and improve general health."

Promising new target for gum disease treatment identified

Posted: 20 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Researchers have been searching for ways to prevent, half and reverse periodontitis. In a new report, they describe a promising new target: a component of the immune system called complement. The results, the lead researcher said, "provide proof-of-concept that complement-targeted therapies can interfere with disease-promoting mechanisms."

Broader definition of successful aging explored by researchers

Posted: 20 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

A broader definition of successful aging could positively influence research, clinical practice and health policy in the United States and China, researchers suggest in a new article. "Successful aging is important for the rapidly growing population of older adults and their families and caregivers," an author notes. "It also is significant for society as a whole, which will bear the burden of unprecedented demands on health and social services. This is one reason we are developing interventions to increase positive aging."

Added value of local food hubs

Posted: 20 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

As the largest purchaser of wholesale produce in Santa Barbara County, UC Santa Barbara's residential dining services provided the perfect avenue for a pilot project incorporating local pesticide-free or certified organic produce into an institutional setting. Residential dining services at UCSB provide about 10,000 meals a day -- 2.5 million meals a year -- so the task could have been daunting. Instead, the organizers started small, adding five or six local and organic items to the salad bar. Scaling up slowly turned out to be key to the project's success.

'Encouraging' period of stable disease suggested in direct injection vaccine treatment of pancreatic cancer

Posted: 20 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The 'first in human' series of vaccine injections given directly into a pancreatic cancer tumor is not only well tolerated, but also suggests an "encouraging" period of stable disease, a study shows. Vaccine therapies are designed to strengthen the body's immune defenses. In a previous study, investigators showed that using a vaccine treatment for bladder and breast cancer tumors in laboratory models resulted in a reversal of the traditional immune blockade, as well as the development of tumor specific immunity throughout the body.

Chronic insufficient sleep increases obesity, overall body fat in children

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:43 AM PDT

One of the most comprehensive studies of the potential link between reduced sleep and childhood obesity finds compelling evidence that children who consistently received less than the recommended hours of sleep during infancy and early childhood had increases in both obesity and in adiposity or overall body fat at age 7.

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Clinicians treating patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) currently have no drugs specifically targeted to the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a virus first detected in humans in 2012. To address the urgent need for therapies, screened a set of 290 compounds already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or far advanced in clinical development for other indications to determine if any might also show potential for working against MERS-CoV.

Boosting Immune process with IFN-γ helps clear lethal bacteria in cystic fibrosis

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Boosting a key immune process called autophagy with interferon gamma -- IFN-³ -- could help clear a lethal bacterial infection in cystic fibrosis, a new study suggests. The work offers new information about immune function in patients with the disease. Cystic fibrosis is caused by a malfunction in the CFTR gene, which is responsible for transporting chloride and water across cell membranes. In people with the disease, cells that line the passageways of the lungs, pancreas and other organs produce unusually thick and sticky mucus that clogs the airways -- creating an ideal environment for pathogens.

Full serving of protein at each meal needed for maximum muscle health

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Most Americans eat a diet that consists of little to no protein for breakfast, a bit of protein at lunch and an overabundance of protein at dinner. As long as they get their recommended dietary allowance of about 60 grams, it's all good, right? Not according to new research from a team of scientists led by a muscle metabolism expert.

Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Patients whose doctors and nurses received high blood pressure education in a competitive online game reached their blood pressure goals sooner. The game of emailed questions used 'spaced education,' which sends new information in regular intervals and reinforces the lessons over time. Researchers found that patients of clinicians playing the game lowered their blood pressure to their target level in 142 days compared to 148 days for those who read an online posting.

Physical activity can protect overweight women from risk for heart disease

Posted: 20 May 2014 10:28 AM PDT

For otherwise healthy middle-aged women who are overweight or obese, physical activity may be their best option for avoiding heart disease, according to a study that followed nearly 900 women for seven years. "Being overweight or obese increases a person's risk for developing conditions such as hypertension, elevated triglyceride levels and elevated fasting glucose levels—all of them risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.," said the study's lead author.

School-based interventions could benefit children from military families

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Nearly two million children in the United States have experienced a parent's military deployment. Previous research has shown that these children may be at increased risk for emotional, behavioral and relationship difficulties, yet little is known about how best to address military children's specialized needs. Now, a researcher says school-based interventions could benefit children whose parents have deployed.

Cognitive test can differentiate between Alzheimer's and normal aging

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT

A new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer's disease or the normal aging process has been developed by researchers. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease will increase from 5 million in 2014 to as many as 16 million by 2050. Memory impairments and other early symptoms of Alzheimer's are often difficult to differentiate from the effects of normal aging, making it hard for doctors to recommend treatment for those affected until the disease has progressed substantially.

Pregnant women respond to music with stronger physiological changes in blood pressure

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Pregnant women, compared to their non-pregnant counterparts, rate music as more intensely pleasant and unpleasant, associated with greater changes in blood pressure, a study has demonstrated. Music appears to have an especially strong influence on pregnant women, a fact that may relate to a prenatal conditioning of the fetus to music.

Engineers build world's smallest, fastest nanomotor: Can fit inside a single cell

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Engineers have built the fastest, smallest and longest-running nanomotor to date. The nanomotor is capable of drug delivery on a nanoscale. One day, nanomotors could lead to the development of tiny devices that seek out and treat cancer cells.

Stem cells as future source for eco-friendly meat

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:34 AM PDT

The scientific progress that has made it possible to dream of a future in which faulty organs could be regrown from stem cells also holds potential as an ethical and greener source for meat. So say scientists who suggest that every town or village could one day have its very own small-scale, cultured meat factory.

Reducing residents' work hours may have unintended consequences

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Medical residents in Canada may work longer hours per shift and per week than their counterparts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand but there is conflicting evidence whether shorter shifts improve patient safety, a new study has found. In fact, reducing medical resident duty hours may have unforeseen consequences and changes must be made carefully to ensure both patient safety and resident well-being, says the lead author.

Better bedbug trap: Made from household items for about $1

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:30 AM PDT

The contraption seems so simple, yet so clever, like something The Professor might have concocted on "Gilligan's Island." Researchers have devised a bedbug trap that can be built with household items. All you need are two disposable plastic containers, masking tape and glue, said an urban entomology professor. The traps catch and collect the bugs when they try to travel between people and the places where bedbugs hide, he said.

New potential antibody treatment for asthma discovered

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:29 AM PDT

Giving a mild allergic asthma patient an antibody, which blocks a specific protein in the lungs, markedly improved asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and cough after the allergic asthmatics had inhaled an environmental allergen, a study has found. Individuals with allergic asthma are typically treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators. While antibodies are typically reserved for severe asthma, this research can lead to antibody treatment for those who have mild allergic asthma. This study can lead to quality of life improvements for those with allergic asthma that have issues with inhalers or steroid-based medications.

Cigarette smoking, male sex: Risk factors for ocular sarcoidosis

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:29 AM PDT

Cigarette smoking and male sex are significant risk factors for developing ocular sarcoidosis, according to a new study. Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammation produces tiny lumps of cells (called granulomas) in organs throughout the body, most often in the lungs, but also in the eyes, lymph nodes, or skin. Ocular sarcoidosis, which can lead to blindness, affects 25-50% of sarcoidosis patients.

Elevated blood eosinophil levels are risk factor for asthma exacerbations

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:29 AM PDT

In adults with persistent asthma, elevated blood eosinophil levels may be able to predict which individuals are at increased risk for exacerbations, according to a new study. "Eosinophils are known to be involved in the pathophysiology of asthma, and determining their relationship with asthma exacerbations may allow us to determine in advance which of these patients needs targeted interventions," said the lead author. "In our study, elevated blood eosinophil levels were found to be a risk factor for subsequent exacerbations in adult asthma patients."

Websites: Reading privacy policy lowers trust

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:01 AM PDT

Website privacy policies are almost obligatory for many online services, but for anyone who reads these often unwieldy documents, trust in the provider is more commonly reduced than gained, according to researchers.

Pine bark substance could be potent melanoma drug

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

A substance that comes from pine bark is a potential source for a new treatment of melanoma, according to researchers. Current melanoma drugs targeting single proteins can initially be effective, but resistance develops relatively quickly and the disease recurs. In those instances, resistance usually develops when the cancer cell's circuitry bypasses the protein that the drug acts on, or when the cell uses other pathways to avoid the point on which the drug acts.

Better than polygraphs: Brain scanning for evidence

Posted: 20 May 2014 08:57 AM PDT

If conventional lie detector machines, polygraphs, have been endlessly debunked and shown not to provide admissible nor even valid evidence, then the 21st Century tool of choice for reading the minds of witnesses and putative criminals may well be the brain scanner. More specifically, the kind of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that can seemingly probe our inner selves and reveal the flow of blood in the different regions of the brain that light up when we lie.

More than two-thirds of healthy Americans are infected with human papilloma viruses

Posted: 20 May 2014 08:55 AM PDT

69 percent of healthy American adults are infected with one or more of 109 strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). This is the conclusion of a study that is believed to be the largest and most detailed genetic analysis of its kind. Researchers say that while most of the viral strains so far appear to be harmless and can remain dormant for years, their overwhelming presence suggests a delicate balancing act for HPV infection in the body, in which many viral strains keep each other in check, preventing other strains from spreading out of control.

National survey on long-term care: Expectations and reality

Posted: 20 May 2014 07:04 AM PDT

The results of a major survey on long-term care in the United States have been released. The study provides much-needed data on how Americans are, or are not, planning for long-term care as policy makers grapple with how to plan for and finance high-quality long-term care in the United States. The survey revealed that Americans 40 or older are counting on their families to provide assistance for them as they age, and that a majority support a variety of policy options for financing long-term care.

E-cigarette use for quitting smoking associated with improved success rates

Posted: 20 May 2014 07:04 AM PDT

People attempting to quit smoking without professional help are approximately 60 percent more likely to report succeeding if they use e-cigarettes than if they use willpower alone or over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum, finds a large survey of smokers. The study surveyed 5,863 smokers between 2009 and 2014 who had attempted to quit smoking without the aid of prescription medication or professional support. 20% of people trying to quit with the aid of e-cigarettes reported having stopped smoking conventional cigarettes at the time of the survey.

Harmful bacteria can linger on airplane seat-back pockets, armrests for days

Posted: 20 May 2014 07:04 AM PDT

Disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, according to research. In order for disease-causing bacteria to be transmitted from a cabin surface to a person, it must survive the environmental conditions in the airplane. In this study, MRSA lasted longest (168 hours) on material from the seat-back pocket while E. coli O157:H7 survived longest (96 hours) on the material from the armrest.

Altruism, egoism: Brain exercises cognitive analysis

Posted: 20 May 2014 06:52 AM PDT

Sociality, cooperation and "prosocial" behaviors are the foundation of human society (and of the extraordinary development of our brain) and yet, taken individually, people often show huge variation in terms of altruism/egoism, both among individuals and in the same individual at different moments in time. What causes these differences in behavior? An answer may be found by observing the activity of the brain. The brain circuits that are activated suggest that each of the two behavior types corresponds to a cognitive analysis that emphasizes different aspects of the same situation.

Testing paleo diet hypothesis in test tubes: Surprising relationships between diet and hormones that suppress eating

Posted: 20 May 2014 06:35 AM PDT

By comparing how gut microbes from human vegetarians and grass-grazing baboons digest different diets, researchers have shown that ancestral human diets, so called 'paleo' diets, did not necessarily result in better appetite suppression. The study reveals surprising relationships between diet and the release of hormones that suppress eating.

Alpha waves organize to-do list for brain

Posted: 20 May 2014 06:35 AM PDT

Alpha waves appear to be even more active and important than neuroscientists already thought. A new theory has been postulated on how the alpha wave controls attention to visual signals. Brain cells 'spark' all the time. From this electronic activity brain waves emerge: oscillations at different band widths. And like a radio station uses different frequencies to carry specific information far away from the emitting source, so does the brain. And just like radio listeners, brain areas tune into the wave length relevant for their functioning.

Little exercise, heavy use of electronic media constitute a significant health risk for children

Posted: 20 May 2014 06:34 AM PDT

Low levels of physical activity combined with heavy use of electronic media and sedentary behavior are linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases already in 6-8 year-old children, a study concludes. The study showed that low levels of physical activity - and unstructured physical activity in particular - are linked to increased risk factors serious health problems. Heavy use of electronic media, and especially watching too much TV and videos, was linked to higher levels of risk factors in children.

Effect of increased blood flow during, after major surgery

Posted: 19 May 2014 03:45 PM PDT

The use of a cardiac-output guided intervention to improve hemodynamics (blood flow and blood pressure) during and after surgery did not reduce complications and the risk of death after 30 days, compared with usual care. However, when the current results were included in an updated meta-analysis, the intervention was associated with a clinically important reduction in complication rates, according to a study that included high-risk patients undergoing major gastrointestinal surgery.

Higher health insurance cost-sharing impacts asthma care for low-income kids

Posted: 19 May 2014 02:09 PM PDT

Parents in low-income families were less likely to delay asthma care for their children or avoid taking their children to see a doctor if they had lower vs. higher levels of health insurance cost-sharing. "The Affordable Care Act will do a great deal to reduce the numbers of the uninsured in the United States. However, having insurance is just the first step toward improved access. Health care is still expensive, and obtaining it is still difficult for many in the United States," one expert concludes.

More activity: Less risk of gestational diabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes

Posted: 19 May 2014 02:09 PM PDT

Increased physical activity among women who had gestational diabetes mellitus can lower the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus. The authors examined the role of physical activity, television watching and other sedentary activity, along with changes in these behaviors, in the progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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