Τετάρτη, 4 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Increased mucins pinned to worsening cystic fibrosis symptoms

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 05:44 PM PDT

The first quantitative evidence that mucins – the protein framework of mucus – are significantly increased in cystic fibrosis patients, and play a major role in failing lung function, has been presented by researchers. The research shows that a three-fold increase of mucins dramatically increases the water-draining power of the mucus layer. This hinders mucus clearance in the CF lung, resulting in infection, inflammation, and ultimately lung failure.

First survey of ACOs reveals surprising level of physician leadership

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:27 PM PDT

In spite of early concerns that hospitals' economic strengths would lead them to dominate the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a new study reveals the central role of physician leadership in the first wave of ACOs. ACOs are groups of providers that are held responsible for the care of defined populations of patients.The key notion is that the providers within the ACO receive financial rewards for both improving the quality of care and reducing the growth of costs. Over 600 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are now operating in the U.S.

Nearly one in eight American children are maltreated before age 18

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

By the time they reach age 18, about 12 percent of American children experience a confirmed case of maltreatment in the form of neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, according to a new study. "Maltreatment is on the scale of other major public health concerns that affect child health and well-being," one researcher said. "Because child maltreatment is also a risk factor for poor mental and physical health outcomes throughout life, the results of this study provide valuable epidemiologic information."

Study examines political contributions made by physicians

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

The percentage of physicians making campaign contributions in federal elections increased to 9.4 percent in 2012 from 2.6 percent in 1991, and during that time physician contributors shifted away from Republicans toward Democrats, especially in specialties dominated by women or those that are traditionally lower paying such as pediatrics, according to a new study.

Simple change to Medicare Part D would yield $5 billion in savings

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

The federal government could save over $5 billion in the first year by changing the way it assigns Part D plans for Medicare beneficiaries eligible for low-income subsidies, according to experts. Medicare Part D provides assistance to beneficiaries below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2013, an estimated 10 million beneficiaries received subsidies, and 75 percent of the total Part D federal spending of $60 billion is for low-income enrollees.

Hispanics cut medication adherence gap after Medicare Part D launch

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

After the 2006 launch of Medicare's prescription drug benefit, Hispanics reduced the gap for taking prescribed heart medicines by more than 15 percentage points. Hispanics, African-Americans and white Medicare participants all improved medication adherence after Part D, with whites continuing to have the highest adherence rate. African-Americans in Medicare appear to have fallen further behind in medication adherence.

Young women fare worse than young men after heart attack

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:26 PM PDT

Women age 55 and younger may fare worse than their male counterparts after having a heart attack. Women's poorer health outcomes may be due to a range of socio-demographic, clinical and biological causes, such as undetected chest pain, problems with access to care and increase in work/life responsibilities impacting their health.

Seniors who exercise regularly experience less physical decline as they age

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 01:00 PM PDT

Older adults in retirement communities who reported more exercise experienced less physical decline than their peers who reported less exercise, although many adults -- even those who exercised -- did not complete muscle-strengthening exercises, which are another defense against physical decline.

Like some happiness with that? Fast food cues hurt ability to savor experience

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Want to be able to smell the roses? You might consider buying into a neighborhood where there are more sit-down restaurants than fast-food outlets, suggests a new article. The article looks at how exposure to fast food can push us to be more impatient and that this can undermine our ability to smell the proverbial roses.

Which look bigger, packages of complicated shape or packages of simple shape?

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:59 PM PDT

Which look bigger, packages of complicated shape or packages of simple shape? Some prior research shows that complex packages appear larger than simple packages of equal volume, while other research has shown the opposite -- that simple packages look bigger than the more complex. Researchers believe they have resolved this dilemma.

Hurricanes with female names more deadly than male-named storms

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:58 PM PDT

In the coming Atlantic hurricane season, watch out for hurricanes with benign-sounding names like Dolly, Fay or Hanna. According to a new article, hurricanes with feminine names are likely to cause significantly more deaths than hurricanes with masculine names, apparently because storms with feminine names are perceived as less threatening.

Marijuana shows potential in treating autoimmune disease

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:09 PM PDT

Researchers have discovered a novel pathway through which marijuana's main active constituent, THC, can suppress the body's immune functions. The recent findings show that THC can change critical molecules of epigenome called histones, leading to suppression of inflammation.

Anti-diabetic drug slows ageing and lengthens lifespan, animal study suggests

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Researchers have provided new evidence that metformin, the world's most widely used anti-diabetic drug, slows aging and increases lifespan. Scientists teased out the mechanism behind metformin's age-slowing effects: the drug causes an increase in the number of toxic oxygen molecules released in the cell and this, surprisingly, increases cell robustness and longevity in the long term.

Humans' tiny cellular machines: Spliceosomes in detail

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Like exploring the inner workings of a clock, researchers are digging into the inner workings of the tiny cellular machines called spliceosomes, which help make all of the proteins our bodies need to function. They have now captured images of this machine, revealing details never seen before.

Gene therapy combined with IMRT reduces rate of positive prostate biopsy after treatment for intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Combining oncolytic adenovirus-mediated cytotoxic gene therapy (OAMCGT) with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) reduces the risk of having a positive prostate biopsy two years after treatment in intermediate-risk prostate cancer without affecting patients' quality of life, research has determined.

Is the food industry really concerned with obesity? If people eat less, profits will decline

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 12:07 PM PDT

Efforts to combat obesity can be a threat to businesses that produce and sell food: If people eat less, profits will decline. But the food industry can't appear to be nonresponsive to what some have called a public health crisis, and it employs several tactics to maintain legitimacy and position itself as "part of the solution" while also protecting profits, shows a new study. Food companies frame obesity as an issue of the choices people are making rather than the choices they are being offered.

One in four children with leukemia not taking maintenance medication, study shows

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT

An estimated 25 percent of children in remission from acute lymphocytic leukemia are missing too many doses of an essential maintenance medication that minimizes their risk of relapse, according to a study. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells, is the most common form of childhood cancer. While more than 95 percent of children with ALL enter remission within a month of receiving initial cancer therapy, one in five will relapse. In order to remain cancer-free, children in remission must take a form of oral chemotherapy every day for two years.

Worry, behavior among teens at higher risk for breast cancer: Focus of new study

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

Teenage girls with a familial or genetic risk for breast cancer worry more about getting the disease, even when their mother has no history, compared to girls their age with no known high risks, according to new data. Early analyses suggest that such worry may increase risk behavior, such as smoking and potentially alcohol use, but does not appear to influence positive behavior, such as exercise.

Sperm-inspired robots controlled by magnetic fields may be useful for drug delivery, IVF, cell sorting and other applications

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 11:16 AM PDT

A team of researchers has developed sperm-inspired microrobots, which consist of a head coated in a thick cobalt-nickel layer and an uncoated tail. When the robot is subjected to an oscillating field of less than five millitesla, it experiences a magnetic torque on its head, which causes its flagellum to oscillate and propel it forward. The researchers are then able to steer the robot by directing the magnetic field lines towards a reference point.

No harm in yoga: But not much help for asthma sufferers, study finds

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

A recent report examined 14 studies to determine the effectiveness of yoga in the treatment of asthma and found there isn't enough evidence to support yoga as a routine intervention to alleviate symptoms. "Many people practice yoga for its health benefits, including asthma sufferers," said the lead author of the study. "We reviewed the available data to see if it made a difference and found only weak evidence that it does. Yoga can't be considered a routine intervention for patients with asthma at this time."

Long-term results encouraging for combination immunotherapy for advanced melanoma

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:22 AM PDT

The first long-term follow-up results from a phase 1b immunotherapy trial combining drugs for advanced melanoma patients has shown encouraging results -- long-lasting with high survival rates -- researchers report. The trial evaluated the safety and activity of the combination regimen of nivolumab (anti-PD-1), an investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, and ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4; Yervoy), given either concurrently or sequentially, to patients with advanced melanoma whose disease progressed after prior treatment.

MRI-guided laser procedure provides alternative to epilepsy surgery

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

For patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) that can't be controlled by medications, a minimally invasive laser procedure performed under MRI guidance provides a safe and effective alternative to surgery, suggests a study. The researchers report their experience with MRI-guided SLAH in 13 adult patients with epilepsy mapped to a part of the brain called the mesial temporal lobe. The patients, median age 24 years, had "intractable" seizures despite treatment with antiepileptic drugs.

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Surgery patients are much less likely to get a blood clot in the lower extremities or lungs if they receive preventive treatment based on their individual clotting risk, in addition to walking soon after the operation. Researchers reported that they lowered the frequency of deep venous thromboses -- blood clots in a deep vein, usually in a lower extremity -- by 84 percent two years after the prevention efforts began, compared with the results two years before the program. The occurrence of pulmonary emboli, or blood clots that travel to the lungs, fell by 55 percent in the same period.

CPAP rapidly improves blood pressure, arterial tone in adults with sleep apnea

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 08:58 AM PDT

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy rapidly improves blood pressure and arterial tone in adults with obstructive sleep apnea, research confirms. Results show that there was a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressures among sleep apnea patients who were compliant with CPAP therapy for three months. Successful treatment of sleep apnea also was associated with decreased vascular tone and arterial stiffness.

Harnessing power of immune system for therapies against cancer

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Innovative immunotherapies treatments for advanced or high-risk melanoma and cervical cancer -- used alone or in combination -- fight cancer by activating and amplifying the body's immune response to the disease. New studies find high activity with investigative drugs for advanced melanoma, and show for the first time that ipilimumab, a treatment already approved for advanced melanoma, can substantially decrease the risk of melanoma recurrence in certain patients with earlier-stage disease.

Prenatal maternal stress predicts asthma and autism traits in 6 1/2-year-old children

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:48 AM PDT

A new study finds a link between prenatal maternal stress and the development of symptoms of asthma and autism in children. Scientists have been studying women who were pregnant during the January 1998 Quebec ice storm since June of that year and observing effects of their stress on their children's development (Project Ice Storm). The team examined the degree to which the mothers' objective degree of hardship from the storm and their subjective degree of distress explained differences among the women's children in asthma-like symptoms and in autism-like traits.

Even at infancy, humans can visually identify objects that stand out

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Even by three months of age, babies are visually able to locate objects that stand out from a group, a study has found. "For example, an infant can pick a red umbrella in a sea of grey ones," says the leader of the research. "This indicates that babies at a very young age are able to selectively extract information from the environment, just like adults."

'Healthy' component of red wine, resveratrol, causes pancreatic abnormalities in fetuses

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Here's more evidence that pregnant women should be careful about what they eat and drink: A new research report shows that when taken during pregnancy, resveratrol supplements led to developmental abnormalities in the fetal pancreas. This study has direct relevance to human health--Resveratrol is widely used for its recognized health benefits, and is readily available over the counter.

Why inflammation leads to a leaky blood-brain barrier: MicroRNA-155

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:47 AM PDT

Until now, scientists have not known exactly how inflammation weakens the blood-brain barrier, allowing toxins and other molecules access to the brain. A new research report solves this mystery by showing that a molecule, called 'microRNA-155,' is responsible for cleaving epithelial cells to create microscopic gaps that let material through.

Common, hard-to-treat cancers: Potential new targeted therapies

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Positive results from four clinical trials of investigational targeted drugs for advanced ovarian, lung, and thyroid cancers, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia were highlighted recently by researchers. Findings from the mid- and late-stage trials suggest new ways to slow disease progression and improve survival for patients who experience relapses or resistance to available treatments.

New strategies to improve quality of life for cancer patients, caregivers

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

New strategies for easing the short- and long-term effects of cancer therapy and improving the quality of life of patients with cancer, as well as their caregivers have been released by researchers. "We've made incredible strides in cancer treatment, and more cancer survivors are alive today than ever before. But oncology isn't just about helping people live longer -- we need to ensure that patients have the best quality of life possible at every stage of their cancer journey," said one expert.

Marijuana use associated with impaired sleep quality

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Marijuana use is associated with impaired sleep quality, research suggests. Results show that any history of cannabis use was associated with an increased likelihood of reporting difficulty falling asleep, struggling to maintain sleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep, and feeling daytime sleepiness. The strongest association was found in adults who started marijuana use before age 15; they were about twice as likely to have severe problems falling asleep, experiencing non-restorative sleep and feeling overly sleepy during the day.

Poor sleep equal to binge drinking, marijuana use in predicting academic problems

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

College students who are poor sleepers are much more likely to earn worse grades and withdraw from a course than healthy sleeping peers, new research shows. Results show that sleep timing and maintenance problems in college students are a strong predictor of academic problems. The study also found that sleep problems have about the same impact on grade point average (GPA) as binge drinking and marijuana use.

Half of pregnant women who have hypertension and snore unknowingly have a sleep disorder

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

A substantial proportion of hypertensive pregnant women have obstructive sleep apnea, and many may not be aware. We know that habitual snoring is linked with poor pregnancy outcomes for both mother and child, including increased risk of C-sections and smaller babies," says the lead author. "Our findings show that a substantial proportion of hypertensive pregnant women have obstructive sleep apnea and that habitual snoring may be one of the most telling signs to identify this risk early in order to improve health outcomes."

Neuron tells stem cells to grow new neurons: First piece of new brain-repair circuit identified

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the finding opens the tantalizing possibility that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.

Suicides far more likely to occur after midnight, study finds

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m. than during the daytime or evening, evidence shows. Accounting for more than 38,000 deaths each year, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In comparison, about 16,000 deaths occur each year due to homicide.

Same face, many first impressions

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:17 AM PDT

Slight variations in how an individual face is viewed can lead people to develop significantly different first impressions of that individual, according to research. "Our findings suggest that impressions from still photos of individuals could be deeply misleading," says one psychological scientist. "This research has important ramifications for how we think about these impressions and how we test whether they are accurate."

Common cholesterol drug greatly alters inflammatory response to common cold

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:17 AM PDT

Cold season may be just behind us, but a new discovery may shed light on how this common condition triggers asthma attacks. In a new report, researchers show that in individuals with asthma, statins significantly reduce the in vitro inflammatory response of human monocytes to rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold.

Early steps toward personalized fitness: Interval training may benefit men more than women

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:17 AM PDT

When it comes to reaping benefits of sprint interval training, it appears that men have won the battle of the sexes, if just barely. According to new research, men create more new proteins as a result of this exercise than women do. The good news, however, is that men and women experienced similar increases in aerobic capacity.

Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:16 AM PDT

A seven-year study of women who take antipsychotic medication while pregnant, proves it can affect babies. The observational study reveals that while most women gave birth to healthy babies, the use of mood stabilizers or higher doses of antipsychotics during pregnancy increased the need for special care after birth with 43 per cent of babies placed in a Special Care Nursery or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, almost three times the national rate in Australia.

Language: New analysis contradicts earlier findings

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:15 AM PDT

New research presents evidence that the methods employed by the authors of articles published in international science journals are not supported by a more rigorous linguistic analysis. The new analysis comes in response to a number of papers published in high-profile science publications that have argued that statistical analyses of symbol combinations can provide insights into the origins of written language.

Why colon cancer metastasis always follows the same invasive pattern

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:14 AM PDT

The genes that favor staggered colon cancer metastasis have been discovered by researchers. Of the colon cancer patients that develop metastases, 40% present metastasis first to the liver and later to the lung, always in this clinical order of appearance. The study reveals that the metastatic lesion in the liver is necessary for later metastasis to lung to occur, the former thus becoming a platform from which the cells prepare the subsequent lung metastatic niche to be colonized.

Clinical phenotype similarity in megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy patients explained by zebrafish model study

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy (MLC) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder affecting the myelin. Despite research, finer details of the disorder remain quite unknown. To date, there is not any treatment for patients. This rare disease is caused by mutations in MLC1 and GlialCAM and produces megalencephaly, spasticity and ataxia in humans. A new study describes a phenotype of this human disease through the study of genetically-modified zebrafish models.

Cystic fibrosis, diabetes link explained

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Many people with cystic fibrosis develop diabetes. The reasons for this have been largely unknown, but now researchers have identified a molecular mechanism that contributes to the raised diabetes risk. Cystic fibrosis is the result of a genetic mutation in an ion channel that normally regulates salt transport in cells, primarily in the lungs and pancreas.

Do your stomach bacteria protect you from obesity?

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:12 AM PDT

The germ Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most stomach ulcers. It is estimated that 50% of the global population may be infected with H. pylori; however, only 20% of infected people experience symptoms. New evidence suggests that patients treated for the infection developed significant weight gain compared to subjects with untreated H. pylori colonization.

Hypnosis extends restorative slow-wave sleep, research shows

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Sleeping well is a crucial factor contributing to our physical and mental restoration. Slow-Wave sleep (SWS) in particular has a positive impact for instance on memory and the functioning of the immune system. During periods of SWS, growth hormones are secreted, cell repair is promoted and the defense system is stimulated. If you feel sick or have had a hard working day, you often simply want to get some good, deep sleep, a wish that you may not be able to influence through your own will.  

Speaking two languages benefits the aging brain

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:12 AM PDT

New research reveals that bilingualism has a positive effect on cognition later in life. Findings show that individuals who speak two or more languages, even those who acquired the second language in adulthood, may slow down cognitive decline from aging. Bilingualism is thought to improve cognition and delay dementia in older adults. While prior research has investigated the impact of learning more than one language, ruling out "reverse causality" has proven difficult. The crucial question is whether people improve their cognitive functions through learning new languages or whether those with better baseline cognitive functions are more likely to become bilingual.

E-cigarette TV ads targeting youth increased 256% in past two years

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:01 AM PDT

In the absence of the kind of federal regulations that apply to tobacco cigarettes, television advertising for e-cigarettes has increased two-fold for youth and three-fold for young adults in the U.S. in the past two years, according to a study. Researchers found that youth exposure to electronic cigarette advertisements increased by 256 percent from 2011 to 2013 and young adult exposure to e-cigarette ads jumped 321 percent in the same time period.

Prevention of C. diff infections in hospitals achieved with collaborative intervention

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 07:01 AM PDT

In the past decade, the incidence and severity of hospital acquired Clostridium difficile (CDI) infections has increased dramatically in the United States. Research, however, demonstrates that a collaborative multi-hospital model using standardized clinical infection and environmental cleaning programs can be effective in controlling the spread of this pathogen.

Joint implants without an expiry date

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

Artificial joints have a limited lifespan. After a few years, many hip and knee joints have to be replaced. Much more complex are intervertebral disc implants, which cannot easily be replaced after their "expiry date" and which up to now have had to be reinforced in most cases. This restricts the patient's freedom of movement considerably. Researchers have now succeeded in coating mobile intervertebral disc implants so that they show no wear and will now last for a lifetime.

Choosing one drug over another to treat blindness could save medicare billions

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

If all eye doctors prescribed the less expensive of two drugs to treat two common eye diseases of older adults, taxpayer-funded Medicare plans could save $18 billion over a 10-year period, say researchers. The reason for the dramatic savings: bevacizumab costs $55 per treatment and ranibizumab runs $2,023 for each dose -- nearly 40 times more expensive. Yet, the drugs have similar efficacy in treating these conditions, and both have fairly comparable side effect and safety profiles when used to treat eye disease, the researchers say.

What finding out a child's sex before birth says about a mother

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

An expectant mother who chooses to find out her child's sex before birth may be giving subtle clues about her views on proper gender roles, new research suggests. A new study found that women who choose not to learn their child's sex may be more open to new experiences, and combine egalitarian views about the roles of men and women in society with conscientiousness.

Medical errors often result from language barriers

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

Despite widespread public and professional attention devoted to medical errors and ways to prevent them, few efforts have focused on addressing a leading cause of errors -- communication problems involving patients with limited proficiency in English. A new study assessed high-risk clinical situations where medical errors are most likely to occur among limited English proficiency patients and when consequences could be severe.

Tale of two prognoses in pediatric brain tumor, pilocytic astrocytoma

Posted: 02 Jun 2014 06:51 AM PDT

Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is a primarily pediatric brain tumor caused mainly by mutations in the BRAF gene. In fact, there are two specific mechanisms for activation of BRAF implicated in PA formation: by fusion of the gene with nearby gene KIAA1549 (K:B fusion) or by point mutations of the BRAF gene itself. Researchers used a newly designed test for K:B fusion to show that point mutations lead to a more dangerous form of the disease than does K:B fusion.

Improving bystander resuscitation following cardiac arrest outside hospital could save 100,000 lives across Europe each year

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:20 PM PDT

Improving the skills of members of the public, including school children, in resuscitation following cardiac arrest could save up to 100,000 lives in Europe per year, researchers say. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by lay people increases survival by 2-3 times, however, today it is delivered in only 1 in 5 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests across Europe on average.

Children exposed to secondhand tobacco or cooking smoke have very high rates of pain, complications after tonsillectomy

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:20 PM PDT

Children exposed to indoor coal-burning stoves and/or second-hand tobacco smoke are much more likely to suffer postoperative complications and excessive pain after tonsillectomies, research shows. Almost half of the world's population uses solid fuel including biomass (wood, crop residues, and animal dung) or coal for heating and cooking. Many stoves generate and release pollutants into household air including carbon monoxide.

Parental presence improves quality of child anesthesia, research shows

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:20 PM PDT

Having parents present during the induction of their child's anaesthesia improves the quality of that anesthesia, research shows. The effect of parental presence at anaesthesia induction on children anxiety and children anaesthesia compliance has been previously investigated but the few studies to date have produced contradictory results; and nobody has investigated issues around parental experience and total perceived quality.

Ovarian cancer subtypes may predict response to bevacizumab

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:19 PM PDT

Molecular sequencing could identify ovarian cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin), a study has found. The U.S. spends about $3 billion a year on bevacizumab for cancer treatment. "Unfortunately, two-thirds of those patients don't respond to the drug, which means we are just giving them toxicity with no benefit. This expression data will help us choose which patients should receive this drug," a researcher notes.

Revolutionizing diets, improving health with discovery of new genes involved in food preferences

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:19 PM PDT

New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences can lead to personalized nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding diseases such as cancer, depression, and hypertension. The ability to devise diets based on individual genetic profiles can lead to significantly better results – for example, a weight loss 33% greater than with a control group who had a similar calorie count but a non-personalized diet plan, researchers say.

Uncovering deletions, duplications in the exome can help pinpoint cause of unexplained genetic diseases

Posted: 01 Jun 2014 05:19 PM PDT

Analysis of genetic variation in the exome, the DNA sequence of genes that are translated into protein, can aid in uncovering the cause of conditions for which no genetic cause could previously be found, and that this can directly impact clinical management, researchers say. Copy number variants, major genomic deletions or duplications, can contribute to a number of diseases including blindness, deafness, a congenital form of muscular dystrophy, a neonatal-onset metabolic disorder, and an inherited disorder of the immune system, they say.

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