Τετάρτη, 18 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


'Trophy wife' stereotype is largely a myth, new study shows

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 01:43 PM PDT

The trophy wife stereotype is largely a myth fueled by selective observation that reinforces sexist stereotypes and trivializes women's careers, researchers conclude. Research also indicates that, contrary to the trophy wife stereotype, social class barriers in the marriage market are relatively impermeable. Beautiful women are unlikely to leverage their looks to secure upward mobility by marriage.

Former athletes finish first in race for top jobs

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 01:42 PM PDT

Whether you were a quarterback or point guard, past participation in competitive team sports marks you as a winner in the competition for better jobs, according to a new study. People who played a varsity high school sport are expected to be more self-confident, have more self-respect, and demonstrate more leadership than people who were part of other extracurricular activities.

Barriers to obtaining gene expression profiling test heightened perceived value

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 11:48 AM PDT

Barriers to obtaining gene expression profiling tests heightened their perceived importance among patients with early breast cancer who were deciding whether to have chemotherapy, a new study says. Gene expression profiling tests, such as Oncotype Dx, analyze the patterns of 21 different genes within cancer cells to help predict how likely it is that a women's cancer will recur within 10 years after initial treatment and how beneficial chemotherapy will be to her.

Psychology researchers explore how engineers create: It's not so much 'eureka' moments as it's the sweat of one's brow

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 11:48 AM PDT

Simply put, engineers make things. But is finding that 'new' invention a massive mental leap from point A to point B, or are there scores of unnoticed intermediate steps in between?

Sleep education program spurs preschoolers to snooze 30 minutes longer at night

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 11:42 AM PDT

Early interventions among Head Start preschool families improve sleep behaviors for kids, parents, according to new study.

Do 'walkable' neighborhoods reduce obesity, diabetes? Yes, research suggests

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 10:08 AM PDT

People who live in neighborhoods that are conducive to walking experienced a substantially lower rate of obesity, overweight and diabetes than those who lived in more auto-dependent neighborhoods, according to a pair of studies. Specifically, the studies found that people living in neighborhoods with greater walkability saw on average a 13 percent lower development of diabetes incidence over 10 years than those that were less walkable.

Hyperthyroidism patients more likely to take extended sick leave than healthy peers

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 10:07 AM PDT

People who have hyperthyroidism are more likely to take sick leave for extended periods than their healthy colleagues, particularly in the first year after diagnosis, according to a new study. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive. The thyroid, which is located in the front of the neck, secretes hormones that regulate how the body uses energy, consumes oxygen and produces heat.

Distracted minds still see blurred lines

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

Even as we're processing a million things at once, we are still sensitive to certain kinds of changes in our visual environment -- even while performing a difficult task. "Our study proves that, much like other simple visual features such as color and size, blur in an image doesn't seem to require mental effort to detect," one researcher says.

Growing use of complex therapies for heart rhythm abnormalities

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 09:19 AM PDT

The White Book contains data on the use of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices including pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, and lead extractions procedures in Europe. Its newest version has been recently launched.

Gut bacteria predict survival after stem cell transplant, study shows

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

The diversity of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract of patients receiving stem cell transplants may be an important predictor of their post-transplant survival, researchers report. Researchers found a strong connection between post-transplant gut microbiota diversity and outcomes, observing overall survival rates of 36 percent, 60 percent, and 67 percent among the low, intermediate, and high diversity groups, respectively.

Surfing the Web in class? Bad idea

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:22 AM PDT

Even the smartest college students suffer academically when they use the Internet in class for non-academic purposes, finds new research. All students, regardless of intellectual ability, had lower exam scores the more they used the Internet for non-academic purposes such as reading the news, sending emails and posting Facebook updates, researcher report.

Conditions linked to deadly bird flu revealed: High risk areas identified

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:20 AM PDT

A dangerous strain of avian influenza, H7N9, that's causing severe illness and deaths in China may be inhabiting a small fraction of its potential range and appears at risk of spreading to other suitable areas of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a new study.

Gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes mapped

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:18 AM PDT

Entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever. With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carrier of malaria, and chart ways to prevent diseases.

'Vital signs' of teaching captured by quick, reliable in-class evaluation

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 08:18 AM PDT

A 20-minute classroom assessment that is less subjective than traditional in-class evaluations by principals can reliably measure classroom instruction and predict student standardized test scores, a team of researchers reported. The assessment also provides immediate and meaningful feedback making it an important new tool for understanding and improving instructional quality.

Breast cancer diagnosis, mammography improved by considering patient risk

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:29 AM PDT

A new approach to examining mammograms that takes into account a woman's health risk profile would reduce the number of cancer instances missed and also cut the number of false positives, according to a paper. Providing radiologists with the patient's risk profile information for breast cancer at the most advantageous time when examining the mammogram , together with statistical weighting based on profile risk, reduces false negatives by 3.7%, thus alerting women whose cancer would have gone undiagnosed at an early stage, when treatment is most effective, research shows.

Boost for dopamine packaging protects brain in Parkinson's model

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:29 AM PDT

An increase in the protein that helps store dopamine, a critical brain chemical, led to enhanced dopamine neurotransmission and protection from a Parkinson's disease-related neurotoxin in mice in a recent study. Dopamine and related neurotransmitters are stored in small storage packages called vesicles by the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2). When released from these packages dopamine can help regulate movement, pleasure, and emotional response.

Promising T cell therapy to protect from infections after transplant

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:29 AM PDT

When patients have to undergo a bone marrow transplant, the procedure weakens their immune system. Viruses that are usually kept in check in a healthy immune system may then cause potentially fatal infections. Scientists have now developed a method that could offer patients conservative protection against such infections after a transplant. The method has already been used to treat several patients successfully.

Family violence leaves genetic imprint on children

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Children in homes affected by violence, suicide, or the incarceration of a family member have significantly shorter telomeres -— a cellular marker of aging -- than those in stable households. The study suggests that the home environment is an important intervention target to reduce the biological impacts of adversity in the lives of young children.

Early elementary school start times tougher on economically advantaged children

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Middle- and upper-class elementary school students demonstrated worse academic performance when they were required to start classes early, compared to peers whose school day started later, according to new research.

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 07:24 AM PDT

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old.

Soft-drink tax worth its weight in lost kilos

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A tax on sweetened soft drinks could be an effective weapon in the war against obesity, generating weight losses of up to 3.64 kilograms as individuals reduce their consumption. "Taxes on unhealthy foods are attractive because they not only generate tax revenue that can be used for public health care, they also promise health benefits for individuals," researchers say.

Gene 'switch' reverses cancer in common childhood leukemia

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A type of leukaemia can be successfully 'reversed' by coaxing the cancer cells back into normal development, researchers have demonstrated. The discovery was made using a model of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common cancer affecting children. Researchers showed that switching off a gene called Pax5 could cause cancer in a model of B-ALL, while restoring its function could 'cure' the disease.

Nanoshell shields foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells from immune system

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A nanoshell to protect foreign enzymes used to starve cancer cells as part of chemotherapy has been developed by nanoengineers. Enzymes are naturally smart machines that are responsible for many complex functions and chemical reactions in biology. However, despite their huge potential, their use in medicine has been limited by the immune system, which is designed to attack foreign intruders.

Does the moon affect our sleep? Research says no

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

No correlation between moon phases and human sleep has been found by researchers studying the topic. For centuries, people have believed that the moon cycle influences human health, behavior and physiology. Folklore mainly links the full moon with sleeplessness. "We could not observe a statistical relevant correlation between human sleep and the lunar phases," remarked researchers after a large study completed.

Could 'fragile Y hypothesis' explain chromosome loss?

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:40 AM PDT

A new study suggests a 'fragile Y hypothesis' to explain why some species lose their Y chromosome and others, such as humans, keep it. They believe the size of an area where X and Y genetic information mingle or recombine can serve as a strong clue that a species is at risk of losing the Y chromosome during sperm production.

Minimizing belief in free will may lessen support for criminal punishment

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Exposure to information that diminishes free will, including brain-based accounts of behavior, seems to decrease people's support for retributive punishment, according to research. People who learned about neuroscientific research, either by reading a magazine article or through undergraduate coursework, proposed less severe punishment for a hypothetical criminal than did their peers. The findings suggest that they did so because they saw the criminal as less blameworthy.

New compound to treat depression identified

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

A compound, hydroxynorketamine (HNK), has been identified by researchers that may treat symptoms of depression just as effectively and rapidly as ketamine, without the unwanted side effects associated with the psychoactive drug, according to a study. Interestingly, use of HNK may also serve as a future therapeutic approach for treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, the authors note.

Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Fecal microbiota transplantation -- the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile -- works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient's gut, according to a new study.

MRI technique may help prevent ADHD misdiagnosis

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:38 AM PDT

Brain iron levels offer a potential biomarker in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and may help physicians and parents make better informed treatment decisions, according to new research. ADHD is a common disorder in children and adolescents that can continue into adulthood. Symptoms include hyperactivity and difficulty staying focused, paying attention and controlling behavior, and affects 3 to 7 percent of school-age children.

Systemic lupus erythematosus: Quest for safer treatment

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:37 AM PDT

The treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus has traditionally been based on glucocorticoids administered orally. Nevertheless, these drugs were known to cause serious side effects. In order to determine whether a safety threshold exists in corticoid dose, researchers have conducted a study that has produced enlightening results. On the basis of these results and previous studies, the treatment currently being recommended for patients in the hospital limits the administering of glucocorticoids and favours the use of anti-malarial drugs as background treatment.

Higher prison sentences unlikely to deter ‘death by driving’ offenses, academic says

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:37 AM PDT

An English academic suggests new government laws could fail as a deterrent against crimes committed while driving. In the wake of the Government's recent announcement of a comprehensive review of driving offenses and penalties, an academic has argued that higher prison sentences could fail to act as a deterrent against 'death by driving' offenses -- and that it is the punishment for underlying offenses that should instead be revised.

Eye's optical quality deteriorates after alcohol consumption

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Ethanol in the tear-film is one of the causes: it covers the surface of the eye, disturbs the outer layer and favours evaporation of the aqueous content of the tear, deteriorating the optical quality of the image we see. The deterioration in vision is significantly greater in subjects with breath alcohol content over 0.25mg/liter, the legal limit for driving recommended by the World Health Organization.

Social inequality intensifies among low-scoring pupils

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

In Spain, one of the countries with the highest rates of school dropout in the EU, class differences adversely affect students with lower achievement levels. A study concludes that the probability that a student with poor marks continues with their studies after the age of 16 is 56% if they come from a privileged background, compared to 20% if the main breadwinner is an unskilled worker.

Three parents and a baby: Scientists advise caution with regard to artificial insemination method

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:29 AM PDT

The approval of a new treatment method by which three parents will be able to beget a child is being discussed since a few years in Great Britain and will possibly become a reality in two years. The method is supposed to help in eliminating the mother's genetic defects already in the test tube. The defect lies in so-called mitochondria, the "power houses" of cells. To get rid of defective mitochondria the nucleus of one egg cell has to be transferred to another egg cell bearing intact mitochondria. Scientists now show for the first time that even a few defective mitochondria dragged along in the transfer could cause diseases.

E-cigs heavily marketed on Twitter, study finds

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:20 AM PDT

One third of commercial tweets offer coupons or discounts to purchase electronic-cigarette (e-cigs) products, a study has found. While advertising for conventional cigarettes has long been prohibited, e-cigarettes are advertised routinely in traditional media (print, television and radio) and social media. The researchers collected tweets and metadata related to e-cigarettes during a two month period in 2012. Using novel statistical methodology and carefully chosen keywords, they captured more than 70,000 tweets related to e-cigs.

Combining Treatments Boosts Some Smokers' Ability to Quit

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Combining two smoking cessation therapies is more effective than using just one for male and highly nicotine-dependent smokers who weren't initially helped by the nicotine patch, according to researchers. The findings also support using an adaptive treatment model to determine which smokers are likely to succeed in quitting with nicotine replacement alone before trying additional therapies.

How experimental regenerative medicine therapies can regrow damaged heart muscle

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:20 AM PDT

Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease isn't a medical pipe dream – it's a reality today, although patients need to better understand the complex science behind these experimental treatments, according to a Chief of Cardiology. Most people today "get our information from sound bites," and the issues surrounding stem cells are too complex to be fully explained in a single catchy phrase, he said, adding, "We have far too much controversy about stem cells and far too much hype."

Surgical patients more likely to follow medication instructions when provided simple instruction sheet

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:17 AM PDT

Patients who receive a simple, multicolor, standardized medication instruction sheet before surgery are more likely to comply with their physician's instructions and experience a significantly shorter post-op stay in recovery. These findings are important because surgical patients often fail to follow their doctor's medication instructions for preexisting conditions such as diabetes and hypertension on the day they are having surgery – a costly mistake that can lead to surgery cancellation, complications and longer hospital stays.

Liver dangers from herbal supplements, OTC and RX drugs, new guidelines warn

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:17 AM PDT

New clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) have now been released. DILI is a rare adverse drug reaction, challenging to diagnose, and can lead to jaundice, liver failure and even death. The frequency of DILI incidence is increasing, as the use of herbal and dietary supplements has drastically increased over the last 10 years.

Genetic pathway can slow spread of ovarian cancer

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:17 AM PDT

Research into the origins of ovarian cancer has led to the discovery of a genetic pathway that could slow the spread of the cancer. The discovery is in part due to research into the genetics of humans' most distant mammalian relative, the platypus.

Mechanism could help old muscle grow

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:17 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a muscle-building mechanism that could be important in addressing sarcopenia, the significant loss of muscle mass and function that can occur as we age. Scientists are exploring different approaches to preserving and building muscle mass in older adults.

Low dose of targeted drug might improve cancer-killing virus therapy

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:45 PM PDT

Giving low doses of the targeted agent bortezomib with a cancer-killing virus might improve the effectiveness of the virus as a treatment for cancer with little added toxicity. The findings support the testing of this combination therapy in a clinical trial.

Many bodies prompt stem cells to change

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:45 PM PDT

How does a stem cell decide what path to take? In a way, it's up to the wisdom of the crowd. The DNA in a pluripotent stem cell is bombarded with waves of proteins whose ebb and flow nudge the cell toward becoming blood, bone, skin or organs. A new theory shows the cell's journey is neither a simple step-by-step process nor all random.

When patients wish for a miracle, tool helps medical staff say 'amen'

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:45 PM PDT

Cancer clinicians and a chaplain have developed a new tool to help doctors, nurses and other health-care providers talk to dying patients and families who are, literally, praying for a miracle. The AMEN protocol offers a way to negotiate these challenging conversations to affirm or acknowledge a patient's hope, share the patient's wish with others, continue to educate the patient and family about medical issues, and assure them that their health care team will remain with them throughout the duration of their care, "no matter what."

Gender-specific research improves accuracy of heart disease diagnosis in women

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:43 PM PDT

Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with dysfunctions of the smaller coronary arteries and the lining of the coronary arteries, known as non-obstructive coronary heart disease. Women previously diagnosed as having 'false positive' stress tests may have non-obstructive coronary disease, placing them at risk for heart attack. Clinicians can now be armed with the tools and knowledge necessary to more accurately detect, determine risk and treatment strategies for heart disease in women.

Sedentary behavior increases risk of certain cancers

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:43 PM PDT

Physical inactivity has been linked with diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, but it can also increase the risk of certain cancers, according to a study. When the highest levels of sedentary behavior were compared to the lowest, the researchers found a statistically significantly higher risk for three types of cancer -- colon, endometrial, and lung.

Poorly understood postural syndrome blights lives of young, well educated women

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:42 PM PDT

Postural tachycardia syndrome, or PoTS for short, is a debilitating syndrome that predominantly affects young well educated women, and blights their lives because it is so poorly understood and inconsistently treated, reveals a small study. PoTS is a by-product of orthostatic intolerance -- a disorder of the autonomic nervous system in which the circulatory and nervous system responses needed to compensate for the stress put on the body on standing upright, don't work properly.

Moly 99 reactor could lead to U.S. supply of isotope to track disease

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:40 PM PDT

An Albuquerque startup company has licensed a Sandia National Laboratories technology that offers a way to make molybdenum-99, a key radioactive isotope needed for diagnostic imaging in nuclear medicine, in the United States.

Better methods to detect E. coli developed

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:40 PM PDT

Diagnosticians are helping the cattle industry save millions of dollars each year by developing earlier and accurate detection of E. coli. "Developing a method to detect E. coli before it can potentially contaminate the food supply benefits the beef industry by preventing costly recalls but also benefits the consumer by ensuring the safety of the beef supply," a researcher said.

Controlling ragweed pollen in Detroit: A no-mow solution for Motown?

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

When it comes to controlling hay fever-triggering ragweed plants on Detroit vacant lots, occasional mowing is worse than no mowing at all, and promoting reforestation might be the best solution. The researchers found that ragweed was significantly more likely to be present in vacant lots mowed once a year or once every two years -- a common practice in Detroit, which has one of the highest proportions of vacant lots in the United States -- than in lots mowed monthly or not at all.

Redesigning the well-child checkup

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

A new design for preventive health care for children from birth through age 3 from low-income communities has been developed by researchers. Well-child visits are the foundation of pediatric primary care in the U.S. Accounting for more than one-third of all outpatient visits for infants and toddlers, the appointments are intended to give doctors the opportunity to identify health, social, developmental and behavioral issues that could have a long-term impact on children's lives.

Getting rid of old mitochondria: Some neurons turn to neighbors to help take out the trash

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

It's broadly assumed that cells degrade and recycle their own old or damaged organelles, but researchers have now discovered that some neurons transfer unwanted mitochondria -- the tiny power plants inside cells -- to supporting glial cells called astrocytes for disposal.

Gardens help cancer survivors cope, heal and grow

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

Gardening helped cancer survivors eat better, get more exercise and improve physical function, a study concludes. Harvest for Health is a study that paired cancer survivors and master gardeners. The idea was to see if gardening would help survivors eat a more nutritious diet and improve physical activity.

In military personnel, no difference between blast- and nonblast-related concussions

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

Explosions are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A new study shows that military personnel with mild brain trauma related to such blasts had outcomes similar to those with mild brain injury from other causes, according to researchers.

Lower isn't necessarily better for people with high blood pressure

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:39 PM PDT

For decades, common medical wisdom has been "the lower the better" in treating the approximately one in three people who have high blood pressure. But does that approach result in reduced risk for dangerous heart events? Researchers found that lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 does not appear to provide additional benefit for patients. Systolic pressure is the top number in a standard blood pressure reading.

Helping children learn language, develop cognitive skills

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Examining factors such as how much children gesture at an early age may make it possible to identify and intervene with very young children at risk for delays in speech and cognitive development, according to a new study. The corresponding paper offers evidence-based suggestions, which grew out of the study, for developing diagnostic tools and interventions to enhance language and cognitive development.

Despite recent problems, support for the Massachusetts Health insurance law remains high

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Eight years into the Massachusetts' universal health insurance legislation enacted in 2006, 63% of Massachusetts residents support the law and 18% oppose it, while 7% are not sure, and 12% have not heard or read about the law, a poll shows. The percentage of residents supporting the law remains unchanged since a 2011 poll. Support for the law varies by party affiliation.

E-cigarette online market on fire, survey finds

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 05:37 PM PDT

The first comprehensive survey of e-cigarettes for sale online has been completed, and the results, researchers believe, underscore the complexity in regulating the rapidly growing market for the electronic nicotine delivery devices. The survey found found that 10 new e-cigarette brands entered the Internet marketplace every month, on average, from 2012 to 2014, and that there are currently 466 e-cigarette brands online, offering more than 7,700 flavors, including candy flavors such as gummy bear and marshmallow, that may appeal to children.

The games genes play: Algorithm helps explain sex in evolution

Posted: 16 Jun 2014 12:15 PM PDT

Computer theorists have identified an algorithm to describe the strategy used by genes during sexual recombination. In doing so, they address the dueling evolutionary forces of survival of the fittest and of diversity. "The key to this work is the making of a connection between three theoretical fields: algorithms, game theory and evolutionary theory," said one researcher. "This new bridge is an uncommon advance that opens up possibilities for cross-fertilization between the fields in the future."

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