Σάββατο, 21 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Biology of infection: A bacterial ballistic system

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:05 AM PDT

Many pathogenic bacteria use special secretion systems to deliver toxic proteins into host cells. Researchers have determined the structure of a crucial part of one of these systems -- which are possible targets for novel antibiotics.

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

The first of its kind research is out showing who is having early elective deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an 'early elective delivery,' is associated with health problems for mothers and babies.

Menthol cigarettes linked to increased smoking among teens

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:04 AM PDT

Teens who use menthol cigarettes smoke more cigarettes per day than their peers who smoke non-menthols, says a new study. The findings mark the first time that menthol cigarettes have been directly linked to elevated nicotine addiction among youth. "The appeal of menthol cigarettes among youth stems from the perception that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes. The minty taste helps mask the noxious properties, but the reality is that they are just as dangerous as any unflavoured cigarette," said the lead author of the paper.

Equations reveal rebellious rhythms at the heart of nature

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Physicists are using equations to reveal the hidden complexities of the human body. From the beating of our hearts to the proper functioning of our brains, many systems in nature depend on collections of 'oscillators'; perfectly-coordinated, rhythmic systems working together in flux, like the cardiac muscle cells in the heart.

Triggers, treatment of immediate-type allergic reactions

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Sudden allergic reactions can be fatal. The most common triggers of such reactions, also known as anaphylaxis, are wasp and bee venoms, legumes (pulses), animal proteins, and analgesics (painkillers). The incidence of anaphylaxis is age-dependent. Now, researchers describe the causes and treatment methods for anaphylaxis.

Mitochondrial Mutation Linked to Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM PDT

Although significant progress has been made over the last 25 years to identify genetic abnormalities associated with congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), many patients remain genetically undiagnosed. A report now identifies a gene defect in mitochondria, specifically the citrate carrier SLC25A1, that may underlie deficits in neuromuscular transmission seen in two siblings.

Single tick bite can pack double pathogen punch

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time. "We found that ticks are almost twice as likely to be infected with two pathogens -- the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and the protozoan that causes babesiosis -- than we would have expected," said a professor of biology involved in a recent study.

Pig whipworm genome may aid to treat autoimmune diseases

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:32 AM PDT

The whole-genome sequence of Trichuris suis, a parasitic worm in pig, has been presented by an international team composed of 11 institutions from six countries. Understanding the genetics mechanisms underlying the pig parasite may aid to modify the human immune response that could result in better treatments for autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

Screening tool may under-report malnutrition risk in hospitalized frail older people

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

A number of frail, older hospital patients in the UK who are either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition may currently go unreported, according to the findings of a new clinical study. The research, which aimed to investigate and compare the ability to predict malnutrition in a group of frail, older hospital patients using current nutritional risk screening tools, concluded that the gold standard for assessing malnutrition risk in this group may not be the best tool.

Anxiety-like behavior in invertebrates opens research avenues

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

For the first time, researchers have produced and observed anxiety-like behavior in crayfish, which disappears when a dose of anxiolytic is injected. This work shows that the neuronal mechanisms related to anxiety have been preserved throughout evolution. This analysis of ancestral behavior in a simple animal model opens up new avenues for studying the neuronal bases for this emotion. Anxiety can be defined as a behavioral response to stress, consisting in lasting apprehension of future events.

Finding thoughts in speech: How human brain processes thoughts during natural communication

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

For the first time, neuroscientists were able to find out how different thoughts are reflected in neuronal activity during natural conversations. They studied the link between speech, thoughts and brain responses.

Rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis: Review completed

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:31 AM PDT

An independent review into the effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests in diagnosing patients with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has been completed. VL is caused by a parasite and results in fever, a large spleen and other health problems. Without treatment it can be fatal, and proper treatment can result in cure, so diagnosis is extremely important. Parasitological techniques are invasive, require sophisticated laboratories, consume time, or lack accuracy. Recently, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that are easy to perform and safe have become available.

For cancer patients, new tool predicts financial pain

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

Cancer care has a new side effect. Along with the distress of a cancer diagnosis and the discomforts of treatment, patients now have to deal with "financial toxicity," the expense and anxiety confronting those who face large, unpredictable costs, often compounded by decreased ability to work. The cost of health care in the United States is rising faster than the gross domestic product. The cost of cancer care is rising faster than the cost of health care, and the cost of new cancer drugs is rising faster than the cost of overall cancer care.

Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

The physical presence of romantic partners in intergroup friendships -- friendships with different racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, or sexual orientations -- positively influences interactions with people who are perceived to be different from themselves.

No evidence of long-term PTSD risk in patients with awareness during surgery

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

Patients with confirmed episodes of awareness during anesthesia and surgery don't seem to be at increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other problems with psychosocial well-being at long-term follow-up, reports a study. Intraoperative awareness with recall is an uncommon but documented complication in patients undergoing general anesthesia. Because intraoperative awareness is rare, it is difficult to study the possible psychological after-effects.

Stroke hospitalizations up among middle-aged blacks in South Carolina

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 02:26 PM PDT

Stroke hospitalizations in South Carolina are increasing among middle-aged blacks. The disparity in South Carolina alone, was associated with $450 million in hospitalization charges over 10 years. The issue is not limited to the south as similar data has also been noted elsewhere.

Shorter time to first cigarette of the day is associated with risk of lung cancer

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 02:26 PM PDT

Standard markers of nicotine dependency include cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking, and cumulative exposure (pack years), but another marker of addiction, time to first cigarette of the day, may also be associated with the risk of getting lung cancer in both heavy and light smokers, according to a study.

Better imager for identifying tumors

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT

A new technique that could improve surgeons' ability to identify cancerous tumors and remove them in real-time in the operating room has been developed by researchers. The new imaging system combines two techniques -- near-IR fluorescent imaging and visible light reflectance imaging -- to get a much better picture of the tissue.

New monkey model for AIDS offers promise for medical research

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 12:39 PM PDT

HIV-1, the virus responsible for most cases of AIDS, is a very selective virus and does not readily infect species other than its usual hosts — humans and chimpanzees — making the search for effective treatments and vaccines for AIDS that much more difficult. In new scientific work, researchers have coaxed a slightly modified form of the HIV-1 virus to not only infect pigtailed macaques, a species of monkey, but to cause full blown AIDS in the primates, a first.

New tool to confront lung cancer focuses on misregulation of two genes

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:46 AM PDT

Misregulation of two genes, sox2 and lkb1, drives squamous cell lung cancer in mice, researchers report. The discovery uncovers new treatment strategies, and provides a clinically relevant mouse model in which to test them. Only 15% of patients with squamous cell lung cancer -- the second most common lung cancer -- survive five years past diagnosis. Little is understood about how the deadly disease arises, preventing development of targeted therapies that could serve as a second line of defense once standard chemotherapy regimens fail.

Kids with strong bonds to parents make better friends, can adapt in difficult relationships

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:21 AM PDT

What social skills does a three-year-old bring to interactions with a new peer partner? If he has strong bonds to his parents, the child is likely to be a positive, responsive playmate, and he'll be able to adapt to a difficult peer by asserting his needs, according to a new study. "Securely attached children are more responsive to suggestions or requests made by a new peer partner. A child who has experienced a secure attachment relationship with caregivers is likely to come into a new peer relationship with positive expectations," said one expert.

Limb regeneration: Do salamanders hold the key?

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:52 AM PDT

The secret of how salamanders successfully regrow body parts is being unravelled by researchers in a bid to apply it to humans. For the first time, researchers have found that the 'ERK pathway' must be constantly active for salamander cells to be reprogrammed, and hence able to contribute to the regeneration of different body parts.

New research can improve heart health by focusing on gene variant

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 03:46 PM PDT

A particular gene variant lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis by 41 percent, making the variant an obvious target for future drugs for cardiovascular disease treatment, researchers have demonstrated for the first time. The results are based on data from nearly 76,000 subjects. The research is highly relevant as at least one pharmaceutical company has a drug in the pipeline which inhibits precisely apolipoprotein C3.

Racial disparities in sentinel lymph node biopsy in women with breast cancer

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 01:51 PM PDT

The use of sentinel lymph node biopsy to stage early breast cancer increased in both black and white women from 2002 to 2007, but the rates remained lower in black than white patients, a disparity that contributed to disparities in the risk for lymphedema (arm swelling common after breast cancer treatment because of damage to the lymphatic system).

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