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Saturday, October 11, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Pneumococcal vaccine reduces antibiotic-resistant infections in children by 62 percent

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

The pneumococcal vaccine recommended for young children not only prevents illness and death, but also has dramatically reduced severe antibiotic-resistant infections, suggests American nationwide research. Pneumococcal infection -- which can cause everything from ear infections to pneumonia and meningitis -- is the most common vaccine-preventable bacterial cause of death.

Insisting only on randomised controlled trials for Ebola treatments unethical, impractical, say leading health experts

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

Leading health experts urge the deployment of alternative trial designs to fast-track the evaluation of new Ebola treatments. Senior health professionals and medical ethicists, from Africa, Europe, and USA, argue that although randomized controlled trials (RCTs) provide robust evidence in most circumstances, the lack of effective treatment options for Ebola, high mortality with the current standard of care, and the paucity of effective health care systems in the affected regions means that alternative trial designs need to be considered.

Antiretroviral therapy benefits HIV-infected stimulant users

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

341 HIV-infected men who reported using stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine derived life-saving benefits from being on antiretroviral therapy that were comparable to those of HIV-infected men who do not use stimulants, a study concludes.

Demand high for engineers in midwest

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 10:43 AM PDT

Engineering students preparing to take their sheepskin and depart into the world of change orders and service requests are finding no shortage of companies wanting to take their resumes.

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 08:17 AM PDT

Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the conventional wisdom that the mineral deposits interfere with microbial colonization of the sand particles.

Similar but different: New discovery for degenerative diseases

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

Researchers have established how two diseases that present in similar ways are in fact quite different. Progressive Supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's Disease have overlapping symptoms but remain difficult to distinguish.

Tumor registry data find acadiana colon cancer rates among America's highest

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

Colorectal cancer incidence rates in the Louisiana Acadian parishes are among the highest in the United States, a special study has found. This study appears to be the first to identify a high rate of cancer in a large, regional, US founder population, raising the possibility of a genetic predisposition. Alternatively, an unidentified, robust environmental risk factor may be present.

Two oncogenes linked to agressiveness and incidence of leukemia in mice

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

Fighting oncogenes Cdk4 and Cdk6 with inhibitors that target both molecules is more effective than inhibiting them individually. These findings could have relevance in the further development of this group of drugs, which are already being tested successfully in breast cancer clinical trials.

Fingolimod in new therapeutic indication: Added benefit not proven, study finds

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:10 AM PDT

There are no data for patients with highly active RRMS who had received other pretreatment than interferon beta, or these data show no relevant differences.

New meningitis vaccine only cost-effective at low price

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

The ideal cost per dose for a new meningitis vaccine ranges from £3 up to a possible £22 only if several vaccine favorable factors all coincide, according to research which has analyzed how to maximize the reduction in cases while making a new vaccination program cost-effective.

Longer-term outcomes of program to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

The initial benefits of an outpatient antimicrobial stewardship intervention designed to reduce the rate of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions were lost after discontinuation of audit and feedback to clinicians, according to a study.

Real-life social networking prompts people to get tested for HIV

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:09 AM PDT

Old-school face-to-face social networking is a more effective way to identify people with HIV than the traditional referral method, suggests research. The study shows that social networking strategies -- enlisting people in high-risk groups to recruit their peers to get tested – is more efficient and targeted than traditional testing and referral programs, resulting in 2-and-a-half times more positive test results.

All the cell's a stage: One protein directs epigenetic players

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 07:08 AM PDT

One gene-regulating protein called Bre1 must be maintained in the proper amount for other epigenetic players to do their jobs properly, researchers have found. It's a key coordinator in the sort of cellular scenes that can turn a healthy cell into a cancer cell.

Bowel cancer risk reduced by adopting multiple healthy behaviors

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:41 AM PDT

Adoption of a combination of five key healthy behaviors is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing bowel cancer. Researchers quantified the impact of combined multiple healthy lifestyle behaviors on the risk of developing bowel cancer, and found that this impact is stronger in men than in women.

Elevated cholesterol, triglycerides may increase risk for prostate cancer recurrence

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:41 AM PDT

Higher levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, two types of fat, in the blood of men who underwent surgery for prostate cancer, were associated with increased risk for disease recurrence, according to a study.

Unexpected bonus: blocking STAT3 could help cancer patients in two ways

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:40 AM PDT

The STAT transcription factors are involved in the development of many forms of cancer. STAT3 is frequently activated in tumor cells, so drugs targeting STAT3 could be used in cancer therapy. However, STAT3 is also important in the development of the immune system. Researchers now show that blocking STAT3 in cells of the immune system actually leads to increased anti-tumor immunity. Anti-STAT3 therapy may thus be highly promising.

Fast, simple diagnostic test specific to 2014 Ebola outbreak

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:40 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a fast and simple diagnostic test solution specific to the 2014 Ebola outbreak. With the current epidemic of Ebola virus in West Africa, scientists are racing to provide an easy-to-use, affordable solution for screening suspect Ebola patients.

Mechanism that repairs brain after stroke discovered

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

A previously unknown mechanism through which the brain produces new nerve cells after a stroke has been discovered by researchers. A stroke is caused by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain, which leads to an interruption of blood flow and therefore a shortage of oxygen. Many nerve cells die, resulting in motor, sensory and cognitive problems. The researchers have shown that following an induced stroke in mice, support cells, so-called astrocytes, start to form nerve cells in the injured part of the brain.

An enzyme and synaptic plasticity: Novel role for the Pin1 molecule

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

Synapses are "dynamic" things: they can regulate their action in neural processes related to learning, for example, but also as a consequence of diseases. A research team has demonstrated the role of a small enzyme (Pin1) in synaptic plasticity.

Two-generation gender equality study shows career benefits for men

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

Couples in a research experiment launched in the 1970s shared the responsibility for home, family and work equally. Now, 30 years later, a follow-up study shows that the couples' strive for equality was beneficial not only for the family life but also for the fathers' careers. Despite this their sons, now themselves parents, have not chosen the same path.

New technique enables increasingly accurate PET scan to detect cancer, heart conditions

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:38 AM PDT

A novel technique that reduces image degradation caused by respiratory motion during a PET scan was developed through a recent study. PET scanning is routinely used to detect cancer and heart conditions. The new technique is based on bioimpedance measurement and it allows for image reconstruction at a specific phase of the patient's breathing pattern. This, in turn, makes it possible to reduce image degradation caused by motion.

Scientists create mimic of 'good' cholesterol to fight heart disease, stroke

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:37 AM PDT

A synthetic molecule that mimics "good" cholesterol has been developed and has shown that it can reduce plaque buildup in the arteries of animal models. The molecule, taken orally, improved cholesterol in just two weeks.

Inner workings of powerful biochemical switch revealed

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:37 AM PDT

Using X-rays and neutron beams, a new study has revealed the inner workings of a master switch that regulates basic cellular functions, but that also, when mutated, contributes to cancer, cardiovascular disease and other deadly disorders.

In-home visits reduce drug use, depression in pregnant teens

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:37 AM PDT

Intensive parenting and health education provided in homes of pregnant American Indian teens reduced the mothers' illegal drug use, depression and behavior problems, and set their young children on track to meet behavioral and emotional milestones they may have otherwise missed.

Hormone loss could be involved in colon cancer

Posted: 10 Oct 2014 05:37 AM PDT

Like diabetes, colon cancer may be caused in part by the loss of one hormone, suggesting hormone replacement therapy could stall cancer formation. New evidence suggests that human colon cells may become cancerous when they lose the ability to produce a hormone that helps the cells maintain normal biology. If verified by further studies, it suggests that treating patients at high risk for colon cancer by replacing the hormone guanylin could prevent the development of cancer.

Widely used sanitation programs do not necessarily improve health

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:04 PM PDT

The sanitation intervention delivered under the terms of the Government of India's Total Sanitation Campaign -— the world's largest sanitation initiative -— provided almost 25,000 individuals in rural India with access to a latrine. However, it did not reduce exposure to fecal pathogens or decrease the occurrence of diarrhea, parasitic worm infections, or child malnutrition.

Radio frequency technology being developed to localize breast tumors

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 PM PDT

Breast cancer may inspire more public discussion, advocacy and charitable giving than almost any other disease besides HIV and AIDS. But people rarely talk about the specific experiences to which cancer patients are subjected. Especially the localization wire. For a group of engineers and clinicians, that presented an opportunity to develop a solution that is technologically elegant, precise and patient-centric.

The New 'Double Disadvantage:' where you're born doesn't matter as much as whether you're married and a woman

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 PM PDT

In the United States, your nationality has some effect on your likelihood to be employed - -but being married matters more. For women, it matters a lot more, one study shows.

The dwindling stock of antibiotics, and what to do about it

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 06:03 PM PDT

Pharmaceutical companies have largely abandoned the business of discovering and developing antibiotics, and our stock of these "miracle drugs" is beginning to shrink. Researchers are working to create new models for drug discovery that could replace the failed private enterprise model.

Manipulating memory with light: Scientists erase specific memories in mice

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:38 PM PDT

Neuroscientists have used light to erase a specific memory in mice, showing how the hippocampus and cortex work together to retrieve memories.

New technique yields fast results in drug, biomedical testing

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:37 PM PDT

A new technique makes it possible to quickly detect the presence of drugs or to monitor certain medical conditions using only a single drop of blood or urine, representing a potential tool for clinicians and law enforcement.

Ebola research shows rapid control interventions key factor in preventing spread

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:37 PM PDT

New Ebola research demonstrates that quick and forceful implementation of control interventions are necessary to control outbreaks and avoid far worse scenarios. Researchers analyzed up-to-date epidemiological data of Ebola cases in Nigeria as of Oct. 1, 2014, in order to estimate the case fatality rate, proportion of health care workers infected, transmission progression and impact of control interventions on the size of the epidemic.

Newly discovered brain cells explain a prosocial effect of oxytocin

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:34 PM PDT

Oxytocin, the body's natural love potion, helps couples fall in love, makes mothers bond with their babies, and encourages teams to work together. Now new research reveals a mechanism by which this prosocial hormone has its effect on interactions between the sexes, at least in certain situations. The key, it turns out, is a newly discovered class of brain cells.

'Sepsis sniffer' generates faster sepsis care, suggests reduced mortality

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:33 PM PDT

An automated early warning and response system for sepsis has resulted in a marked increase in sepsis identification and care, transfer to the ICU, and an indication of fewer deaths due to sepsis, scientists report.

Ebola vaccine trails beginning in Mali

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Medical researchers have begun a clinical trial in health care workers and other front-line workers to evaluate a promising experimental Ebola vaccine.

Quantifying physical changes in red blood cells as they mature in the bloodstream

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:40 PM PDT

During their approximately 100-day lifespan in the bloodstream, red blood cells lose membrane surface area, volume, and hemoglobin content. A new study finds that of these three changes, only the observed surface-area loss can be explained by RBCs shedding small hemoglobin-containing vesicles budding off their cells' membrane.

Lung cancer can stay hidden for over 20 years

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:40 PM PDT

Scientists have discovered that lung cancers can lie dormant for over 20 years before suddenly turning into an aggressive form of the disease.

Entire female reproductive tract susceptible to HIV infection in macaque model

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:40 PM PDT

Most women are infected with HIV through vaginal intercourse, and without effective vaccines or microbicides, women who cannot negotiate condom use by their partners remain vulnerable. How exactly the virus establishes infection in the female reproductive tract remains poorly understood. A new study reports surprising results from a study of HIV transmission in the FRT of rhesus macaques.

Embryos receive parent-specific layers of information, study shows

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:40 PM PDT

The information that interprets the genetic code in a new embryo differs depending on whether it comes from the father or mother, researchers have found. This parent specific information is contained within modified histone proteins, also called 'epigenetic marks,' which influence the development plan of new embryos. The research opens up new avenues of study for scientists exploring the process of how genetic information is passed from parents to offspring.

New investigational cardiac pacemaker as small as a vitamin

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:38 PM PDT

Cardiologists have implanted an investigational cardiac pacemaker the size of a multivitamin. The first implantable pacemakers, developed in the late-1950s, were nearer the size of a transistor radio.

Unusual skin cancer linked to chronic allergy from metal orthopedic implant

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:38 PM PDT

In rare cases, patients with allergies to metals develop persistent skin rashes after metal devices are implanted near the skin. New research suggests these patients may be at increased risk of an unusual and aggressive form of skin cancer.

Does my child need a flu shot or not?

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 12:38 PM PDT

It's a common question parents ask themselves this time of year: Does my child really need a flu shot? Though the flu may seem harmless, the truth is on average 20,000 children age 5 and younger are hospitalized due to flu symptoms each year.

Tumor segmentation software receives 510k clearance from FDA

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 11:15 AM PDT

New imaging software that facilitates 3-D lung tumor segmentation has been incorporated into the Smart Segmentation® module of Varian's Eclipse™ treatment planning system and has received FDA 510k clearance.

Mouse version of an autism spectrum disorder improves when diet includes a synthetic oil

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 11:14 AM PDT

When young mice with the rodent equivalent of a rare autism spectrum disorder, called Rett syndrome, were fed a diet supplemented with the synthetic oil triheptanoin, they lived longer than mice on regular diets. Importantly, their physical and behavioral symptoms were also less severe after being on the diet.

Hunger games: How the brain 'browns' fat to aid weight loss

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:55 AM PDT

A molecular process in the brain known to control eating that transforms white fat into brown fat has been uncovered by researchers. This process impacts how much energy we burn and how much weight we can lose, they report.

Oxytocin: How 'love hormone' regulates sexual behavior

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Oxytocin has been called the 'love hormone' because it plays an important role in social behaviors, such as maternal care and pair bonding. In a new study researchers uncover oxytocin-responsive brain cells that are necessary for female social interest in male mice during estrus -- the sexually receptive phase of their cycle. These neurons, found in the prefrontal cortex, may play a role in other oxytocin-related social behaviors such as intimacy, love, or mother-child bonding.

Multiple neurodevelopmental disorders have a common molecular cause

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:55 AM PDT

Neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome and autism-spectrum disorder can have profound, lifelong effects on learning and memory, but relatively little is known about the molecular pathways affected by these diseases. A study shows that neurodevelopmental disorders caused by distinct genetic mutations produce similar molecular effects in cells, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all therapeutic approach could be effective for conditions ranging from seizures to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Gene that drives aggressive brain cancer found by new computational approach

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:49 AM PDT

Using an innovative algorithm that analyzes gene regulatory and signaling networks, researchers have found that loss of a gene called KLHL9 is the driving force behind the most aggressive form of glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer.

'Good' fat that fights diabetes discovered by scientists

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 09:49 AM PDT

A new class of lipids in humans that is linked to reduced inflammation and improved blood sugar levels in diabetes has been uncovered by researchers. Lipids, like cholesterol, are typically associated with poor health. But in recent years, researchers have discovered that not all lipids are bad for you, such as the much touted omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oils.

All that glitters is... slimy? Gold nanoparticles measure stickiness of mucus in airways

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Researchers have developed a way to use gold nanoparticles and light to measure the stickiness of mucus in the airways. Their research could help doctors better monitor and treat lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Hospitalized children benefit from antibiotic stewardship programs

Posted: 09 Oct 2014 08:27 AM PDT

Hospitalized children go home sooner and are less likely to be readmitted when the hospital has an antibiotic stewardship program that's dedicated to controlling antibiotic prescriptions and treatment, according to a study. The study is the first to show the benefits of such programs on children's health.

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