Πέμπτη, 12 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Leukemia drug found to stimulate immunity against many cancer types

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

A class of drug currently being used to treat leukemia has the unexpected side-effect of boosting immune responses against many different cancers, reports a new study. The drugs, called p110´ inhibitors, have shown such remarkable efficacy against certain leukemias in recent clinical trials that patients on the placebo were switched to the real drug. Until now, however, they have not been tested in other types of cancer.

Peer pressure is weaker for kids to quit smoking

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Adolescents tend to be more powerful in influencing their friends to start smoking than in helping them to quit, according to sociologists. "What we found is that social influence matters, it leads nonsmoking friends into smoking and nonsmoking friends can turn smoking friends into nonsmokers," said one investigator. "However, the impact is asymmetrical: the tendency for adolescents to follow their friends into smoking is stronger."

Common heart drug's link to diabetes uncovered by researchers

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Statins activated a very specific immune response, which stopped insulin from doing its job properly, researchers have found. They connected the dots and found that combining statins with another drug on top of it, Glyburide, suppressed this side effect. Approximately 13 million people, or half of those over the age of 40, could be prescribed a statin drug in their lifetime.

Risk factors for hospital readmissions identified

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Hospital readmission, an important measure of quality care, costs the United States an estimated $17 billion each year. And according to researchers, about half of those readmissions could be avoided. The goal of this single-center study was to identify at the time of discharge the factors that are strongly associated with readmission in patients with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. The study compared 79 stroke patients who were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days to 86 controls over an 18 month period.

White bread helps boost some of the gut's 'good' microbes

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

White-bread lovers take heart. Scientists are now reporting that this much-maligned food seems to encourage the growth of some of our most helpful inhabitants -- beneficial gut bacteria. In addition to this surprising find, a new study also revealed that when looking at effects of food on our 'microbiomes,' considering the whole diet, not just individual ingredients, is critical.

Gauging local illicit drug use in real time could help police fight abuse

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.

Toward 24-7 glucose monitoring to help manage diabetes

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

Nearly half a million people with diabetes end up in emergency rooms around the US every year due to the seizures and other consequences of dropping or spiking blood-sugar levels associated with the disease. To help prevent serious complications, scientists have now developed a new glucose-sensing protein that could one day be part of an implantable, 24-7 monitoring device.

Obesity gene linked to hormonal changes that favor energy surplus

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Elderly humans carrying a common variant of the fat mass and obesity gene FTO also have a shifted endocrine balance, research shows. Low blood concentrations of the satiety hormone leptin and high blood concentrations of the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin makes carriers of the FTO gene put on weight. "We found that elderly carrying an obesity-susceptible variant of the FTO gene had plasma ghrelin levels that were approximately 9 percent higher than in non-carriers," says one researcher.

It's the last bite that keeps you coming back for more

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Your memory for that last bite of a steak or chocolate cake may be more influential than memory for the first bite in determining when you want to eat it again, according to research. The fact that memory for the last few bites seems to drive our decisions about when to eat a food again may be particularly relevant in places like the United States, where portion sizes tend to be larger and are likely to result in lower end enjoyment:

Human language's deep origins appear to have come directly from birds, primates

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Human language builds on birdsong and speech forms of other primates, researchers hypothesize in new research. From birds, the researchers say, we derived the melodic part of our language, and from other primates, the pragmatic, content-carrying parts of speech. Sometime within the last 100,000 years, those capacities fused into roughly the form of human language that we know today.

HPV testing: Benefit in primary screening

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

Current study results confirm the final report from 2012: Precursors of cancer can be detected earlier with HPV testing. Experts give no recommendation for a specific screening strategy, however.

Having authoritarian parents increases risk of drug use in adolescents, European study finds

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:22 AM PDT

A scientific study in six European countries has analyzed the role that parents play in the risk of their children consuming alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Both an irresponsible permissive attitude and demand are associated with higher drug use than those upbringings which encourage a good relationship with children.

Eye evolution: From dark light to detailed eyesight

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

The visual system of marine annelids has been studied to gain insights into the evolution of eyes. The researchers have concluded that the first simple eyes in evolution could probably merely discriminate a bright from a dark field. Such eyes might nonetheless represent the starting point for the evolution of more complex visual systems, as for example the human eyes.

Common Hypertension Treatment May Reduce PTSD Symptoms

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

There are currently only two FDA-approved medications for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the United States. Both of these medications are serotonin uptake inhibitors. Despite the availability of these medications, many people diagnosed with PTSD remain symptomatic, highlighting the need for new medications for PTSD treatment. However, investigators have observed that individuals diagnosed with PTSD, and who happened to also be treated with ARBs or ACE inhibitors, exhibited fewer PTSD-like symptoms.

Infection prevention implanted directly into bones

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Hospital germs can be fatal, since they are resistant to antibiotics. As a result, alternative methods of defense against bacteria are in demand. A research team has been able to develop bone implants that keep the germs at bay. At first glance, the fine-grained implant looks like flour. Only under the microscope can one see what is inside: The individual grains of the granules consist of apatite crystals.

Mechanism explains complex brain wiring

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

How neurons are created and integrate with each other is one of biology's greatest riddles. Now, a researcher unravels a part of the mystery by describing a mechanism that explains novel aspects of how the wiring of highly branched neurons in the brain works. These new insights into how complex neural networks are formed are very important for understanding and treating neurological diseases.

Infant nutrition, development of type 1 diabetes: Is it possible to prevent the illness by splitting the proteins of cow's milk?

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Splitting the cow's milk proteins in a formula doesn't prevent the start-up of the disease process of type 1 diabetes in predisposed children, shows a large international study. However, these results do not exclude the possibility that the early dietary modification may affect the latter phase in the disease process and so prevent the actual illness.

Best practices in managing patients with COPD, second edition, released

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:30 AM PDT

The release of the Best Practices in Managing Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Compendium has been announced. The Compendium includes case studies from medical groups, independent practice associations, academic practices, and integrated delivery systems that have incorporated the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) into their chronic care models.

Taking stroke care to the next level: Comprehensive stroke care program

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:30 AM PDT

When car crash victims suffer serious injuries, trauma centers offer the advanced care they need. That same concept has come to stroke care, and one hospital has now earned the nation's highest designation for such care -- held by only 70 other hospitals in the country.

Telehealth improves forensic examinations for sexual abuse

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:55 PM PDT

Telehealth consultations for clinicians at rural hospitals improve their ability to provide forensic examinations for sexual abuse, researchers demonstrate. In addition to improving quality, they ease the burden on families, who no longer need to travel many hours for expert care, and clinicians, who have access to trained mentors when conducting these delicate exams.

Violent crimes could be prevented if felony charges were reduced less often, study finds

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:55 PM PDT

A study comparing violent misdemeanor convictions with their original criminal charges has found that subsequent violent crimes could be prevented if criminal charges were reduced less often during plea bargaining. The study re-analyzed data on 787 individuals under age 35 who had violent misdemeanor convictions and purchased handguns in California in 1989 or 1990. The goal was to assess the impact of reduced criminal charges on gun purchases and subsequent crime.

Dangerous, underpaid work for the undocumented

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:55 PM PDT

Illegal immigrants don't hold the most dangerous jobs in America. That kind of work pays a decent wage for the risk to life and limb, and undocumented workers are barred from those jobs. Yet there is plenty of hazard, risk and occupational injury for the uncounted millions of illegal immigrants doing the 'merely dangerous' work no one else wants -- without a pay premium from employers who take advantage of that labor pool, a study reveals.

Refugees and internally displaced persons should have equitable access to HIV treatment

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:54 PM PDT

In a new article, researchers argue that available evidence suggests that refugees and internally displaced persons in stable settings can sustain high levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy and viral suppression and should have the same level of access to HIV treatment and support as host nationals.

Moles linked to risk for breast cancer

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:54 PM PDT

Cutaneous nevi, commonly known as moles, may be a novel predictor of breast cancer, according to two new studies. Women with a greater number of nevi are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Herpes infected humans before they were human

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:49 PM PDT

Researchers have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans -- Homo erectus -- approximately 1.6 million years ago.

Real or fake? Research shows brain uses multiple clues for facial recognition

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 12:27 PM PDT

Faces fascinate. We look for familiar or friendly ones in a crowd. And video game developers and movie animators strive to create faces that look real rather than fake. Determining how our brains decide what makes a face "human" and not artificial is a question researchers have been studying. New research shows that it takes more than eyes to make a face look human.

Antidepressant plus addiction medication are elements of new weight-loss drug

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

A new prescription weight-loss medication that combines a popular antidepressant with a medication for addiction will be reviewed by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for potential approval. The new prescription medication is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs, bupropion, an antidepressant and naltrexone, which reduces the desire for drugs and alcohol. Both have been found to increase weight-loss in independent research trials and the partnering of the two in one capsule is believed to create a synergistic effect.

Obstetric malpractice claims dip when hospitals stress patient safety

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 08:28 AM PDT

A hospital saw a 50 percent drop in malpractice liability claims and payments when it made patient safety initiatives a priority by training doctors and nurses to improve teamwork and communication, hiring a patient safety nurse, and standardizing practices, according to a study. "We found a 50% reduction in liability claims, and also found that the payments made for these liability claims decreased 95%, from over $50 million to under $3 million," said the first author.

How to check for bedbugs

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 07:02 AM PDT

The United States is experiencing an alarming increase in the number of bedbug populations. In addition to being found in private residences, such as apartments and single-family homes, bedbugs are increasingly affecting restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and schools and day care centers. To help find bedbugs before they find you (and your belongings), dermatologists share their tips for checking near places where you sleep.

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