Τετάρτη, 2 Ιουλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


Nearly 80 percent of US deaths in first three decades of life are due to unintentional injury or violence

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 04:32 PM PDT

A new report on unintentional injury and violence in the United States has found that prevention strategies across society show a great deal of promise in preventing unintended deaths and injuries. In 2010 alone, the top three causes of death for those aged between one and 30 were unintentional injury, suicide, and homicide. Almost four fifths of deaths among people in this age group were due to injuries, with only one fifth due to chronic diseases and only 1% due to infectious diseases.

Seeing your true colors: Standards for hyperspectral imaging

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 03:38 PM PDT

After a successful non-human trial, researchers have started gathering data on how human skin looks under various wavelengths of light in order to develop badly needed standards for a diagnostic technique called hyperspectral imaging that gives doctors a noninvasive, painless way to discriminate between healthy and diseased tissue and reveal how well damaged tissue is healing over a wide area.

Free mobile app for thyroid calculator on Apple iPhone and iPad

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 03:37 PM PDT

The thyroid calculator for rapid calculation of: Calcitonin and Carcinoembryonic Antigen Doubling Time; Thyroid Nodule Volume change; Thyroid Cancer Staging. Calculation results are not preserved within the app, thus maintaining patient privacy and security.

Fear, not data, motivates sunscreen users, research shows

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 03:37 PM PDT

We're often told that worrying can be harmful to one's health. But researchers say that when it comes to preventing skin cancer, a little fear is good for you. "This study is important because most of what we do in public health communications focuses on spreading knowledge and information. By not addressing emotions, we're potentially missing a rich influence on behavior when interventions don't address feelings," says the lead researcher.

Adults stop anti-rejection drugs after stem-cell transplant reverses sickle cell disease

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 02:01 PM PDT

Half of patients in a trial have safely stopped immunosuppressant medication following a modified blood stem-cell transplant for severe sickle cell disease, according to a new study. The transplant done in the study reversed sickle cell disease in nearly all the patients.

Poor physical, financial health driven by same factors

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 01:52 PM PDT

Poor physical health and financial health are driven by the same underlying psychological factors, finds a new study. Researchers found that the decision to contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan predicted whether or not an individual will act to correct poor physical health indicators revealed during an employer-sponsored health examination.

Study examines neurological outcomes for TBI treatments

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 01:52 PM PDT

In patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), neither the administration of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) or maintaining a higher hemoglobin concentration through blood transfusion resulted in improved neurological outcome at 6 months, according to a study. Transfusing at higher hemoglobin concentrations was associated with a higher risk of adverse events.

Drug everolimus does not improve overall survival in patients with advanced liver cancer

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 01:52 PM PDT

Despite strong preclinical data, the drug everolimus failed to improve overall survival in patients with advanced liver cancer, compared to placebo, according to a study. Patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; a type of liver cancer) have a median overall survival of less than l year, largely because of the absence of effective therapies.

Engaging parents, community to map student success in South King County

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Students participating in an initiative to boost student achievement were most successful when schools and communities found creative and culturally responsive ways of engaging parents. The object of the project is to go beyond traditional involvement such as parent-teacher conferences and associations and school open houses to offer parents more relevant ways to help their children succeed.

Blind lead the way in brave new world of tactile technology

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Imagine feeling a slimy jellyfish, a prickly cactus or map directions on your iPad Mini retina display, because that's where tactile technology is headed. But you'll need more than just an index finger to feel your way around. New research has found that people are better and faster at navigating tactile technology when using both hands and several fingers. Moreover, blind people outmaneuvered their sighted counterparts.

New compound blocks 'gatekeeper' enzyme to kill malaria

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Researchers are homing in on a new target for malaria treatment, after developing a compound that blocks the action of a key 'gatekeeper' enzyme essential for malaria parasite survival. The compound, called WEHI-916, is the first step toward a new class of antimalarial drugs that could cure and prevent malaria infections caused by all species of the parasite, including those resistant to existing drugs.

Cellular gates for sodium, calcium controlled by common element of ancient origin

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:55 AM PDT

Researchers have spotted a strong family trait in two distant relatives: The channels that permit entry of sodium and calcium ions into cells share similar means for regulating ion intake. The new evidence is likely to aid development of drugs for channel-linked diseases ranging from epilepsy to heart ailments to muscle weakness.

Proton therapy has advantages over IMRT for advanced head, neck cancers

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:29 AM PDT

A new study by radiation oncologists comparing the world's literature on outcomes of proton beam therapy in the treatment of a variety of advanced head and neck cancers of the skull base compared to intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has found that proton beam therapy significantly improved disease free survival and tumor control when compared to IMRT.

Addiction starts with an overcorrection in brain, study shows

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:29 AM PDT

A trio of new studies show how the brain overcorrects to drugs and alcohol in a way that suppresses dopamine long-term, leading to withdrawal symptoms. "Addiction is a brain disease that could be treated like any other disease," one researcher said. "I wouldn't be as motivated to do this research, or as passionate about the work, if I didn't think a cure was possible."

Smartphone app may revolutionize mental health treatment

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:28 AM PDT

A new technology is poised to transform the way in which patients with mental illnesses are monitored and treated by clinicians. Their new smartphone-based system detects changes in patients' behavioral patterns, and then transmits them to professionals in real time. It has the potential to greatly improve the response time and efficacy of clinical psychiatrists.

Treasure trove of genes key to kidney cancer revealed by research

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:28 AM PDT

A genomic analysis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, from 72 patients has uncovered 31 genes that are key to development, growth and spread of the cancer, say researchers. This study is the most extensive analysis to date of gene expression's role in ccRCC tumor growth and metastasis. The ccRCC subtype accounts for 80 percent of all kidney cancer cases.

Chinese herbal extract may help kill off pancreatic cancer cells

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:26 AM PDT

The herbal extract triptolide has been used on human pancreatic cancer cells and tissue in culture by researchers. Administration of the herb decreased GRP78 protein in the cells, thereby reducing cancer cell survival and facilitating cell death. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer—the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the U.S.—can be devastating. Due in part to aggressive cell replication and tumor growth, pancreatic cancer progresses quickly and has a low five-year survival rate (less than 5 percent).

Bringing the bling to antibacterials: New way to combat bacterial biofilm formation with titanium encrusted with gold nanoparticles

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:01 AM PDT

Bacteria love to colonize surfaces inside your body, but they have a hard time getting past your skin. Surgeries to implant medical devices give such bacteria the opportunity needed to gain entry into the body cavity, allowing the implants themselves to act then as an ideal growing surface for biofilms. Researchers are looking to combat these dangerous sub-dermal infections by upgrading your new hip or kneecap in a fashion appreciated since ancient times – adding gold.

Insect diet helped early humans build bigger brains: Quest for elusive bugs spurred primate tool use, problem-solving skills

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:01 AM PDT

Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests new research.

Reducing deer populations may reduce risk of Lyme disease

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 08:15 AM PDT

Reduced deer populations can lead to a reduction in Lyme disease cases, researchers in Connecticut have found that after a 13-year study was conducted. White-tailed deer serve as the primary host for the adult blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) -- the vector for Lyme disease. The study found that the number of resident-reported cases of Lyme disease per 100 households was strongly correlated to deer density in the community.

New analysis of 'swine flu' pandemic conflicts with accepted views on how diseases spread

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:15 AM PDT

New analysis of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the US shows that the pandemic wave was surprisingly slow, and that its spread was likely accelerated by school-age children.

Unsuspected aspect of immune regulation revealed: Role of 'B cells'

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Until now, the immune cells known as 'B cells' have been thought to specialize only in the production of antibodies. A discovery by immunologists shows they also have a role to play in regulating another important aspect of the immune system. This finding may benefit research into autoimmunity and transplantation.

European solution for effective cancer drug development presented

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Experts describes how collaborative molecular screening platforms can help researchers understand the biology of a cancer and support the design and conduct of subsequent confirmatory trials. Collaborative molecular screening platforms offer a high quality integrated infrastructure for efficient screening of patients with cancer for specific molecular alterations. These identified alterations will define target populations for early trials with novel targeted agents.

Drink walkers do it because their friends think it's OK

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Friends may be the key to stopping their mates drink walking, a risky behaviour that kills on average two Australians every week, a new study has found.

Enlightening cancer cells with optogenetics

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:13 AM PDT

The first application of optogenetics to cancer research has been conducted on engineered cell surface receptors activated by light, researchers report. Small algal protein domains serve as synthetic light sensors in human cells.

Orgasms and alcohol influence pillow talk

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Orgasms aren't just good for your sexual relationship; they may also promote good communication. Results of a new study reveal that in the aftermath of having experienced an orgasm, people are more likely to share important information with their partners. And, that communication is likely to be positive.

Alcohol use disorders linked to decreased 'work trajectory'

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Workers with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are more likely to have a flat or declining "work trajectory," reports a study. Based on factors such as drinking more than intended or unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking, AUDs were initially present in about 15 percent of men and 7.5 percent of women. Lower work trajectory was linked to a higher rate of AUDs—both initially and during follow-up.

Inhibition of protein opens door to treatment of pancreatic cancer

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:15 AM PDT

A new protein, galectin-1, has been identified as a possible therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer. For the first time, researchers have demonstrated the effects of the inhibition of this protein in mice suffering this type of cancer and the results showed an increase in survival of 20%. The work further suggests that it could be a therapeutic target with no adverse effects.

The less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age, new study suggests

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

Researchers have found evidence that the less older adults sleep, the faster their brains age. These findings, relevant in the context of a rapidly ageing society, pave the way for future work on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline, including dementia.

Updated guidelines covering fusion procedures for degenerative disease of the lumbar spine

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

Updated guidelines for the performance of fusion procedures for degenerative disease of the lumbar spine have been published for use. This update, based on a review of recent literature, replaces the first set of guidelines published in 2005.

Foodborne bacteria can cause disease in some breeds of chickens after all

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

Contrary to popular belief, the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni is not a harmless commensal in chickens but can cause disease in some breeds of poultry according to research. Campylobacter jejuni is the most frequent cause of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis in the world and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate it affects approximately 1.3 million people per year in the United States. Chicken is the most common source of infections.

Freeze-storage egg banking for egg donation treatment

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

The rapid freezing technique of vitrification is set to revolutionize egg donation as a fertility treatment by enabling freeze-storage egg-banking. The cryopreservation of eggs was one of IVF's continuing challenges until the widespread introduction of vitrification; the older slow freezing methods induced the formation of ice crystals, which could cause damage to several structures of the egg.

Future reproductive lifespan may be lessened in oral contraceptive users: Lower measures of ovarian reserve

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

A project in Denmark whose aim is to assess the reliability of preconceptional lifestyle and biological factors as predictors of fertility has found a pronounced effect of the contraceptive pill on markers used to assess 'ovarian reserve,' a predictor of future reproductive lifespan.

Pregnancies following egg donation associated with more than 3-fold higher risk of hypertension

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

With an ever-aging female patient population, egg donation is an increasingly common treatment in infertility. Annual reports on fertility treatments in Europe show a rise in egg donation cycles from 15,028 in 2007 to 24,517 in 2010. This proportion is still some way behind the USA, where egg donation now accounts for around 12 percent of all treatments.

Most women are aware of oocyte freezing for social reasons

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

While the majority of younger women are aware of egg freezing as a technique of fertility preservation and consider it an acceptable means of reproductive planning, only one in five would consider it appropriate for them.

Cancer mutations identified as targets of effective melanoma immunotherapy

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 06:14 AM PDT

A new approach demonstrated that the recognition of unique cancer mutations appeared to be responsible for complete cancer regressions in two metastatic melanoma patients treated with a type of immunotherapy called adoptive T-cell therapy. This new approach may help develop more effective cancer immunotherapies, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Biology of addiction risk looks like addiction

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Research suggests that people at increased risk for developing addiction share many of the same neurobiological signatures of people who have already developed addiction. This similarity is to be expected, as individuals with family members who have struggled with addiction are over-represented in the population of addicted people.

Cancer risk: Aspirin and smoking affect aging of genes

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

The risk of developing cancer increases with age. Outside factors can affect that risk, like smoking, which increases cancer risk, and regular aspirin use, which has been shown to decrease it. Now researchers have demonstrated the change in risk connected to colorectal cancer with regard to aspirin use. Numerous studies have confirmed the protective effect of the drug against different types of cancer, including reducing the risk to develop colorectal cancer by an average of 40%. However, it is unknown how exactly the drug influences the cancer risk.

3-D printed wrist splints for arthritis sufferers

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

A computer software concept has been developed that will enable clinicians with no experience in Computer Aided Design (CAD) to design and make custom-made 3D printed wrist splints for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. The 3D printed splints are not only more comfortable and attractive but potentially cheaper than the current ones that are 'ugly, bulky, and can make a patients arm sweat'.

Traffic noise is dangerous for your health: Solutions exist for dense cities

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental problem in the EU, according to WHO. After air pollution, noise is affecting health the most. But legislation regarding noise pollution is insufficient. A new report shows how negative health effects of noise can be reduced. Several means are easiest to apply in dense cities.

JNK protein's key role in tissue regeneration

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

The major role that JNK protein plays in tissue regeneration in adult organisms has been identified by researchers. The study used planarians -— a type of worm able to regenerate any part of its body -— to address the question. To date, it has been known that JNK was involved in the control of cell proliferation and death, but little was known about the role it plays in tissue and organ regeneration.

Research on inflammasomes opens new therapeutic avenues for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Patients with varying severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may have the same painful symptoms, but does this mean that the cause of their illness is the same and that they should all receive the same treatment? Scientists have demonstrated with their research into inflammasomes that RA should be considered as a syndrome rather than a single disease.

Deployment-related respiratory symptoms in returning veterans

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:50 AM PDT

In a new study of the causes underlying respiratory symptoms in military personnel returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, a large percentage of veterans had non-specific symptoms that did not lead to a specific clinical diagnosis.

Improved screening assay for buprenorphine in umbilical cord

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 05:50 AM PDT

Researchers have improved umbilical cord screening assay for buprenorphine by reducing the positive result cutoff from 1.0 ng/g down to 0.5 ng/g. The improved umbilical cord buprenorphine assay gives the best possible detection of buprenorphine exposure, making it possible to identify more newborns exposed to buprenorphine in utero.

Research team pursues techniques to improve elusive stem cell therapy

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:46 PM PDT

Transplanting mesenchymal stem cells along with blood vessel-forming cells naturally found in circulation improves transplantation results, researchers report. The research has immediate translational implications, as current mesenchymal clinical trials don't follow a co-transplantation procedure.

Alzheimer's linked to brain hyperactivity

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:45 PM PDT

The precise molecular mechanism that may trigger elevated neuronal activity in Alzheimer's patients has been pinpointed by researchers. This mechanism subsequently damages memory and learning functions. With the understanding of this, the potential for restoring memory and protecting the brain is greatly increased.

Adults can undo heart disease risk by changing lifestyle

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:45 PM PDT

The heart is more forgiving than you may think -- especially to adults who try to take charge of their health, a new study has found. When adults in their 30s and 40s decide to drop unhealthy habits that are harmful to their heart and embrace healthy lifestyle changes, they can control and potentially even reverse the natural progression of coronary artery disease, scientists found.

Shock wave from explosives causes significant eye damage

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:45 PM PDT

The unseen effects that can occur as a result of a blast injury have been studied by researchers who have concluded that the shock wave alone created by an IED, even in the absence of shrapnel or other particles, can cause significant damage to the eyes that could lead to partial or total blindness.

Chronic pain, opioid use by US soldiers examined in new study

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:42 PM PDT

In a survey of US soldiers returned from deployment, 44 percent reported chronic pain and 15.1 percent reported recent use of opioid pain relievers. "While chronic pain and opioid use have been a long-standing concern of the military leadership, this study is among the first to quantify the impact of recent wars on the prevalence of pain and narcotic use among soldiers," researchers noted.

'Molecular movies' will enable extraordinary gains in bioimaging, health research

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:41 PM PDT

An imaging technology more powerful than anything that has existed before, and is fast enough to observe life processes as they actually happen at the molecular level, has been created by scientists. This technology will allow creation of improved biosensors to study everything from nerve impulses to cancer metastasis as it occurs.

Childhood malnutrition linked to higher blood pressure in adults

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:41 PM PDT

Malnutrition during childhood is associated with higher diastolic blood pressure, higher resistance to blood flow, and poor heart function during adulthood, research shows. Additionally, inadequate nutrition before birth and up to age 5 may harm the heart's development, they note.

People with HIV with early-stage cancers are up to four times more likely to go untreated for cancer

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:39 PM PDT

People with HIV who are diagnosed with cancer are two to four times more likely to go untreated for their cancer compared to uninfected cancer patients, according to a new, large retrospective study. Life expectancy for HIV-infected people is now similar to uninfected people, but survival for HIV patients who develop cancer is not. While many studies have attempted to understand why HIV-infected cancer patients have worse outcomes, the new study examined differences in cancer treatment as one potential explanation.

Important new information on genetic risk of sudden cardiac death

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 11:14 AM PDT

New information about genes that may increase the risk of serious cardiac arrhythmias has been uncovered by two international research studies. The surprise findings point to calcium as also involved in resetting the heart after each beat. This represents a new avenue to pursue in the causes of arrhythmias, researchers say.

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