Τρίτη, 3 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, researchers find

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:09 PM PDT

Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite. Leptin, a naturally occurring hormone, is known for its hunger-blocking effect on the hypothalamus, a region in the brain. Food intake is influenced by signals that travel from the body to the brain. Leptin is one of the molecules that signal the brain to modulate food intake.

Subtle change in DNA, protein levels determines blond or brunette tresses, study finds

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:09 PM PDT

A molecule critical to stem cell function plays a major role in determining human hair color, according to a new study. The study describes for the first time the molecular basis for one of our most noticeable traits. It also outlines how tiny DNA changes can reverberate through our genome in ways that may affect evolution, migration and even human history.

'Quadrapeutics' works in preclinical study of hard-to-treat tumors: Animal tests show technology effective against aggressive cancer

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:08 PM PDT

The first preclinical tests for a novel anti-cancer technology called 'quadrapeutics' that converts current clinical treatments to instantaneously detect and kill only cancer cells have been successful. Quadrapeutics combines clinically available drugs, colloidal gold, pulsed lasers and radiation in a novel and safe micro-treatment that improved standard therapy by 17-fold against aggressive, drug-resistant tumors.

New genetic cause of male reproductive birth defects identified

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:08 PM PDT

A previously unrecognized genetic cause for two types of birth defects found in newborn boys has described in a report. Cryptorchidism is characterized by the failure of descent of one or both testes into the scrotum during fetal development. In the adult man, the testes produce sperm and the male hormone, testosterone. Hypospadias is the abnormal placement of the opening of the urethra on the penis. Both birth defects are usually surgically repaired during infancy.

Smokers with gene defect have one in four chance of developing lung cancer

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:08 PM PDT

Around a quarter of smokers who carry a defect in the BRCA2 gene will develop lung cancer at some point in their lifetime, a large-scale, international study reveals. Scientists announce a previously unknown link between lung cancer and a particular BRCA2 defect, occurring in around 2 per cent of the population.

Drug combination extends survival by more than a year in metastatic prostate cancer

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Men with newly diagnosed metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer lived more than a year longer when they received a chemotherapy drug as initial treatment instead of waiting to for the disease to become resistant to hormone-blockers, report scientists. The dramatic results in a multi-center phase III trial should change the way physicians have routinely treated such patients since the 1950s, they said.

Hormone that controls supply of iron in red blood cell production discovered by researchers

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:06 PM PDT

A new hormone called erythroferrone, which regulates the iron supply needed for red blood-cell production, has been discovered by researchers. Iron is an essential functional component of hemoglobin. Using a mouse model, researchers found that erythroferrone is made by red blood-cell progenitors in the bone marrow in order to match iron supply with the demands of red blood-cell production. Erythroferrone is greatly increased when red blood-cell production is stimulated, such as after bleeding or in response to anemia.

Paired enzyme action in yeast reveals backup system for DNA repair

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:06 PM PDT

The combined action of two enzymes, Srs2 and Exo1, prevents and repairs common genetic mutations in growing yeast cells, according to a new study. Because such mechanisms are generally conserved throughout evolution, at least in part, researchers say the findings suggest that a similar DNA repair kit may exist in humans and could serve as a target for controlling some cancers and treating a rare, enzyme-linked genetic disorder called Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome.

Newly identified brain cancer mutation will aid drug development

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:06 PM PDT

New genetic insights into a rare and deadly form of childhood and young adult brain cancer called brainstem glioma has been identified by an international team of researchers. The researchers identified a genetic mutation in the tumor cells that plays a role in both the growth and the death of a cell. Additionally, the mutation to the newly identified gene may also contribute to the tumor's resistance to radiation.

How to erase a memory –- and restore it: Researchers reactivate memories in rats

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 12:06 PM PDT

Researchers have erased and reactivated memories in rats, profoundly altering the animals' reaction to past events. The study is the first to show the ability to selectively remove a memory and predictably reactivate it by stimulating nerves in the brain at frequencies that are known to weaken and strengthen the connections between nerve cells, called synapses.

Stem cell progeny tell their parents when to turn on

Posted: 30 May 2014 01:07 PM PDT

Stem cells switch off and on, sometimes dividing to produce progeny cells and sometimes resting. But scientists don't fully understand what causes the cells to toggle between active and quiet states. New research focused on stem cells in the hair follicle to determine what switches them on. The researchers found cells produced by the stem cells, progeny known at Transit-Amplifying Cells or TACs, emit a signal that tells quiet hair follicle stem cells to become active.

Quality, not quantity, counts most in exercise, diet

Posted: 30 May 2014 12:41 PM PDT

The clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), endurance exercise, and moderate amounts of protein consumed regularly throughout the day have been demonstrated and reported by exercise scientists. If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, they say.

Increasing sensitivity of HPV detection in cancer with new test

Posted: 30 May 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Results from a pilot study demonstrating the utility of a new cancer panel to detect previously undetected viral and cancer mutations have been released by researchers. The panel identified human papilloma virus (HPV) sequences undetected by conventional laboratory tests as well as new unreported HPV mutations. It is estimated that each year there are approximately 30,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers in the US.

Coaxing iPS cells to become more specialized prior to transplantation cuts rejection risk

Posted: 30 May 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Coaxing iPS cells in the laboratory to become more-specialized progeny cells (a cellular process called differentiation) before transplantation into mice allows them to be tolerated by the body's immune system, research has found. "This study shows that undifferentiated iPS cells are rejected by the immune system upon transplantation in the same recipient, but that fully differentiating these cells allows for acceptance and tolerance by the immune system without the need for immunosuppression," said a researcher.

Vaccination opt out is a cop out that literally is making people sick, says infectious disease leader

Posted: 30 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Measles have reached a 20-year high in the United States and the cause lies squarely with those who deliberately refuse to be vaccinated. Eighty-five percent of the unvaccinated U.S. residents who contracted measles cited religious, philosophical or personal reasons for not getting immunized. "Religious, philosophical or personal reasons are not medical reasons for not getting vaccinated," says one infectious disease expert.

Stopping statins may benefit terminally ill patients

Posted: 30 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

People in the late stages of cancer and other terminal illnesses are not only unharmed by discontinuing statins for cholesterol management, they may benefit, according to a study. The finding addresses a thorny question in treating people with life-limiting illnesses: When, if ever, is it appropriate to discontinue medications prescribed for other conditions that will likely not lead to their death?

Women with metastatic breast cancer can safely receive bisphosphonates less frequently, without compromising care

Posted: 30 May 2014 11:24 AM PDT

Women with metastatic breast cancer to the bone may be able to receive bisphosphonates, the bone-targeting class of drugs like zoledronic acid, less often after the first year of monthly administration. With that practice change, women may also reduce their risk of serious side effects, according to a study.

Genetic profile predicts which bladder cancer patients will benefit from early chemotherapy

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

Three genetic changes can predict whether a patient will benefit from chemotherapy before surgery to remove bladder cancer, according to new findings. These results suggest that doctors may one day sequence patients' tumors for the presence of these three mutations, to determine who will likely benefit most from chemotherapy before surgery, said one investigator.

Hepatitis C reactivation doesn't worsen survival for HIV+ patients diagnosed with lymphoma

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Hepatitis C reactivation doesn't worsen survival for HIV+ patients diagnosed with lymphoma, research shows. More than a quarter of HIV+ patients are also infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which may complicate treatment and care decisions after a cancer diagnosis. The specifics of those complications haven't been well-researched before this study.

Urbanization, future heat-related mortality linked

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Phoenix stands at a parched crossroads. Global scale climate change is forecast to bring hotter summers and more extreme heat to the Valley, but regional urbanization also will impact temperatures experienced by residents. So how should Phoenix grow knowing that such growth could cause temperatures to increase in the future and bring added health risks? Should the city deploy mitigating technologies to help fight summer's heat? Would adopting a low-growth strategy reduce the adverse health consequences of hot weather?

Compounds in saliva, common body proteins may fend off DNA-damaging chemicals in tea, coffee and liquid smoke

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:31 AM PDT

A compound in saliva, along with common proteins in blood and muscle, may protect human cells from powerful toxins in tea, coffee and liquid smoke flavoring, according to results of a new study. The findings suggest that the presence of these defenses could help explain why PLPs are not crippling cells and causing illness as would be expected from their toxic punch and widespread use, the researchers say.

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