Πέμπτη, 3 Ιουλίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Long jumpers do better with a spring in their step

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 05:38 PM PDT

Long jumpers and triple jumpers spend hours training to perfect their take-off. But what influences their performance? Scientists have discovered that taking off from a compliant surface -- such as a springboard -- compared with a firm, unyielding surface, reduces the energy cost of jumping over long distances.

Blood donations could help reduce the risk of heart disease in shift workers

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 05:38 PM PDT

Researchers have found that jetlag has severe effects on red blood cells, possibly explaining the high incidence of heart disease seen in shift workers. However, these effects can be counterbalanced by fresh, young red blood cells -- making blood donations a potential therapy for shift workers.

Insulin pumps result in better blood sugar control than multiple daily injections in people with type 2 diabetes

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 05:37 PM PDT

Type 2 diabetes is usually controlled by diet and medication, but most people with advanced disease also end up needing insulin therapy to achieve control of their blood sugar. However, roughly a third of these patients struggle to achieve the right level of blood sugar control with insulin injections many times a day. The growing obesity epidemic is adding to the problem by leading to greater insulin resistance.

Polyphenols could yield small benefit for people with PAD

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 02:00 PM PDT

Polyphenols -- compounds found in cocoa and other foods -- may help people with peripheral artery disease walk a little longer and farther before pain sets in. More research is needed to see whether long-term use of these compounds in dark chocolate can improve circulation and aid patients.

Noninvasive advanced image analysis could lead to better patient care

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 12:39 PM PDT

Lung cancer patients could receive more precise treatment, and their progress could be better tracked, using a new high-tech method of non-invasive medical imaging analysis, according to a study. Genetic changes increasingly are recognized as driving cancer development. But obtaining evidence of these changes usually requires a biopsy, which can be problematic for sensitive regions of the body such as the lungs.

Major gaps in hepatitis C care identified as new drugs, screening efforts emerge

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 12:13 PM PDT

Significant gaps in hepatitis C care identified in a new meta-analysis will prove useful as the U.S. health care system continues to see an influx of patients with the disease because of improved screening efforts and new, promising drugs. In the largest study of its kind, the team examined data culled from 10 studies between 2003 and 2013 and found that less than 10 percent of people infected with hepatitis C in the United States -- 330,000 of nearly 3.5 million people -- were cured (achieved viral suppression) with antiviral hepatitis C treatment.

Researchers regrow corneas, first known tissue grown from an adult human stem cell

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:17 AM PDT

Researchers have identified a way to enhance regrowth of human corneal tissue to restore vision, using a molecule known as ABCB5 that acts as a marker for hard-to-find limbal stem cells. The research is also one of the first known examples of constructing a tissue from an adult-derived human stem cell.

Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:17 AM PDT

Several thousand years ago, the common ancestors of Han Chinese and Tibetans moved onto the Tibetan plateau, a low-oxygen environment that probably proved fatal to many because of early heart disease and high infant mortality. But a specific variant of a gene for hemoglobin regulation, picked up from earlier interbreeding with a mysterious human-like species, Denisovans, gradually spread through the Tibetan population, allowing them to live longer and healthier and avoid cardiovascular problems.

Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Neuroscientists leading the largest longitudinal adolescent brain imaging study to date have learned that a number of factors -- genetics, brain function and about 40 different variables -- can help scientists predict which teens will become binge drinkers.

New reprogramming method makes better stem cells

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 10:16 AM PDT

Researchers have shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. The findings provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells and could ultimately lead to improved stem cell therapies.

Stem cell type resists chemotherapy drug

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Adipose-derived stem cells, which can generate bone tissue, appear resistant to the toxicity of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate, which degrades bone in patients such as kids suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, researchers have found. The newly published findings are preliminary but more tests are planned.

Antibiotic therapy reduces mortality by 68 percent in hemodialysis patients

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:25 AM PDT

An antibiotic therapy known to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infections in hemodialysis patients has been shown for the first time to reduce mortality, according to a study. Bloodstream infections are a leading cause of hospitalization and death in hemodialysis patients.

Causes of serious pain syndrome closer to discovery

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:25 AM PDT

A major step forward has been made in understanding the causes of a disorder which causes chronic pain in sufferers. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a serious condition affecting a limb after an -- often small -- accident or operation. It can cause severe pain lasting many years, as well as limb swelling, hair and nail growth changes, and muscle atrophy, but until now there has been no clear evidence of the cause.

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:24 AM PDT

A new study of adult twins suggests that the level of socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood is associated with the sleep duration of residents. "The more socioeconomically deprived the neighborhood, the more erratic the sleep duration, both shorter and longer than the healthy seven to nine hours per night that we recommend," researchers said.

Fruit fly research may reveal what happens in female brains during courtship, mating

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:24 AM PDT

What are the complex processes in the brain involved with choosing a mate, and are these processes different in females versus males? It's difficult to study such questions in people, but researchers are finding clues in fruit flies that might be relevant to humans and other animals.

'Lost in translation' issues in Chinese medicine addressed by researchers

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:22 AM PDT

Millions of people in the West today utilize traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, herbs and massage therapies. Yet only a handful of Chinese medical texts have so far been translated into English. Given the complexity of the language and concepts, there is a need for accurate, high-quality translations. Researchers have published a document designed to help evaluate and digest Chinese medical texts with greater sensitivity and comprehension.

Upending a cancer dogma: Cyclin D, long believed to promote cancer, actually activates tumor suppressor

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 09:22 AM PDT

A protein essential to regulating cell cycle progression – the process of cell division and replication – activates a key tumor suppressor, rather than inactivating it as previously thought, researchers report. The findings fundamentally change the understanding of G1 cell cycle regulation and the molecular origins of many associated cancers.

Process that affects fat distribution, metabolic syndrome found by researchers

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Building upon their earlier research on the biology of fat metabolism, scientists discovered that microRNAs -- small RNA molecules that play important roles in regulation in many types of tissue -- play a major role in the distribution and determination of fat cells and whole body metabolism.

Becoming an expert takes more than practice

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Deliberate practice may not have nearly as much influence in building expertise as we thought, according to research. The new study indicates that the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play a huge role in accounting for individual differences in skill or performance.

Overcoming light scattering: New optical system sees deeper inside tissue

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Optical imaging could become even more valuable if researchers could find a way for light to penetrate all the way through the body's tissues. Currently, passing through a fraction of an inch of skin is enough to scatter the light and scramble the image. Now researchers have developed a single-pixel optical system based on compressive sensing that can overcome the fundamental limitations imposed by this scattering.

Squid sucker ring teeth material could aid reconstructive surgery, serve as eco-packaging

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:10 AM PDT

Squid tentacles are loaded with hundreds of suction cups, or suckers, and each sucker has a ring of razor-sharp 'teeth' that help these mighty predators latch onto and take down prey. Researchers report that the proteins in these teeth could form the basis for a new generation of strong, but malleable, materials that could someday be used for reconstructive surgery, eco-friendly packaging and many other applications.

Concern at lack of teenage patients in cancer trials reported by researchers

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:09 AM PDT

Age limits on clinical trials need to be more flexible to allow more teenage cancer patients the chance to access new treatments, according to a report. "By encouraging doctors to take into account the full age range of patients affected by individual types of cancer, we've shown that it's possible to design trials that include teenage cancer patients and, importantly, that better match the underlying biology of the disease and the people affected," one researcher said.

Behavioral therapy added to pediatric antidepressant treatment reduces likelihood of relapse

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 08:07 AM PDT

Cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to medication improves the long-term success of treatment for children and adolescents suffering from depression, a new study indicates. Results show that depression relapse rates were substantially lower in a group of youth who received both forms of treatment versus medication alone.

3-D printer to aid the visually impaired students in their educational endeavors

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:26 AM PDT

New technology has been developed to make tactile objects with ease thanks to the convergence technology of 3-D printing and 3-D thermal reflow treatment, which can be denoted as the revolution in manufacturing technology. Using the technology, not only braille books, but also braille picture books and teaching materials can be made with greater flexibility in color, height and size. It is also harmless to human body since it does not require UV coating or harmful chemical treatment.

Socioeconomic status associated with peripheral artery disease risk

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Previous research has established a link between lower socioeconomic status and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In a new study, researchers have found that there are also higher rates of peripheral artery disease in individuals with low income and lower attained education levels in the United States.

Fine-scale climate model projections predict malaria at local levels

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Fine-scale climate model projections suggest the possibility that population centers in cool, highland regions of East Africa could be more vulnerable to malaria than previously thought, while population centers in hot, lowland areas could be less vulnerable, according to a team of researchers. The team applied a statistical technique to conventional, coarse-scale climate models to better predict malaria dynamics at local levels.

New approach for tuberculosis drugs

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

In the past 50 years, only one new tuberculosis drug has come on to the market, yet many more active substances are urgently needed. Current treatments increasingly fail due to multidrug-resistant pathogens. Researchers have now applied to patent a novel approach for developing new tuberculosis drugs.

Testosterone therapy does not increase heart attack risk, study shows

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Testosterone prescriptions for older men in the United States have increased more than three-fold over the past decade. Recent studies linking testosterone use with increased risk of heart attack and stroke have caused widespread concern among patients and their families. A new US-based study of more than 25,000 older men shows that testosterone therapy does not increase men's risk for heart attack.

Four in 10 pancreatic cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 07:23 AM PDT

Almost 40 per cent of pancreatic cancers -- one of the deadliest forms of cancer -- could be avoided through maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking according to research, in a call to arms against the disease. While more research is needed to find better ways of diagnosing and treating the disease, there is evidence to suggest that some pancreatic cancers are linked to being overweight and to smoking -- and almost four in 10 could be prevented by lifestyle changes to address this.

One in six adolescents in the ER has experienced dating violence

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Of adolescents visiting the emergency department for any reason, one in five girls and one in eight boys reported dating violence in the past year. According to a study, dating violence among adolescents was also strongly associated with alcohol, illicit drug use and depression.

A 'magic moment' for unwed parents: Best time in child's life for unwed parents to marry

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:36 AM PDT

If unwed parents are going to get married, the best window of opportunity for that union seems to be before the child turns 3, says a new study. But these marriages are fragile, ending in divorce 38 percent of the time between biological parents and 54 percent of the time with a step-father.

Hazardous drinking in UK athletes linked with alcohol industry sponsorship

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:29 AM PDT

A link between alcohol sponsorship and hazardous drinking in UK athletes has been shown by researchers. The study is the first to examine alcohol sponsorship of athletes in the UK, and comes at a time when there are calls in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa for greater restriction or bans of alcohol sponsorship and advertising in sport.

Aspirations and sex: Coming of age in the eye of the HIV storm

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:24 AM PDT

How do you shape your hopes, ambitions and expectations when growing up in an environment devastated by HIV/AIDS? One researcher found that young people between 16 and 25 in rural Kenya take a pragmatic approach to sexual risks because sexuality plays an important role in their quest for a better future. Anthropologists have an important role to play in prevention projects that take expectations of youngsters better into account.

Lack of accessible tourism costing EU economy billions in lost potential revenue

Posted: 02 Jul 2014 06:24 AM PDT

New research has found that the European tourism sector is missing out on up to 142 billion Euros every year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with special access needs.

Weekend emergency surgeries deadlier for children

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 03:37 PM PDT

Children who undergo simple emergency surgeries, such as hernia repairs or appendix removals, on weekends are more likely to suffer complications and even die than children getting the same kind of treatment during the week, according to results of a study. The research team says that although the number of deaths was small, the marked difference in death and risk of other complications points to a worrisome "weekend effect" observed across hospitals nationwide that calls for an in-depth examination of possible after-hours safety lapses and clinical glitches.

Medicare-backed breast cancer screenings skyrocket, but do patients benefit?

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 02:01 PM PDT

Breast cancer screening costs for Medicare patients in the United States skyrocketed between 2001 and 2009, but the increase did not lead to earlier detection of new breast cancer cases, according to a study. While the number of screening mammograms performed among Medicare patients remained stable during the same time period, the study focused on the adoption of newer imaging technologies in the Medicare population, such as digital mammography.

Whole-exome sequencing helpful to identify gene mutations linked to nervous system diseases

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 01:52 PM PDT

Use of exome sequencing improved the ability to identify the underlying gene mutations in patients with biochemically defined defects affecting multiple mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes (enzymes that are involved in basic energy production), according to a study. Defects of the mitochondrial respiratory chain have emerged as the most common cause of childhood and adult neurometabolic disease, with an estimated prevalence of l in 5,000 live births.

Mental health wins when teens play school sports

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:55 AM PDT

Adolescents who play team sports in grades 8 through 12 have less stress and better mental health as young adults, finds new research. "There is surprisingly little known about school sport, so we can only speculate as to the unique effects, but we suspect it might be due to school sport providing adolescents with opportunities to bond with other students, feel connected to their school, interact with their peers and coaches, thus, really providing a social and active environment," one investigator explained.

Catheter ablation a first-line treatment for atrial flutter

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:55 AM PDT

Use of catheter ablation is not only beneficial for treating atrial flutter but also can significantly reduce hospital visits – both inpatient and emergency – and lower the risk for atrial fibrillation, according to research. Atrial flutter (AFL) is a common abnormal heart rhythm similar to atrial fibrillation (AF).

For cancer patients, sugar-coated cells are deadly

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:55 AM PDT

Every living cell's surface has a protein-embedded membrane that's covered in polysaccharide chains – a literal sugar coating. A new study found this coating is especially thick and pronounced on cancer cells – leading to a more lethal cancer. "Changes to the sugar composition on the cell surface could alter physically how receptors are organized," one researcher said. "That's really the big thing: coupling the regulation of the sugar coating to these biochemical signaling molecules."

Efforts to cut unnecessary blood testing bring major decreases in health care spending

Posted: 01 Jul 2014 11:01 AM PDT

Two relatively simple tactics have been used to significantly reduce the number of unnecessary blood tests to assess symptoms of heart attack and chest pain and to achieve a large decrease in patient charges, researchers report. The team provided information and education to physicians about proven testing guidelines and made changes to the computerized provider order entry system at a medical center. The guidelines call for more limited use of blood tests for so-called cardiac biomarkers. These efforts saved the institution millions.

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