Referral Banners

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Pair bonding reinforced in the brain: Zebra finches use their specialized song system for simple communication

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 11:57 AM PDT

In addition to their song, songbirds also have an extensive repertoire of calls. While the species-specific song must be learned as a young bird, most calls are, as in the case of all other birds, innate. Researchers have now discovered that in zebra finches the song control system in the brain is also active during simple communication calls. This relationship between unlearned calls and an area of the brain responsible for learned vocalizations is important for understanding the evolution of song learning in songbirds.

Fewer women than men receive hemodialysis treatment

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Fewer women than men are treated with dialysis for end-stage kidney disease, according to a new comprehensive analysis of sex-specific differences in treatment.

Governments should take active lead to create healthy food environments to prevent cardiovascular disease

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Canadian health organizations are calling upon governments to take a leadership role in creating healthy food environments. They say that implementing strategies that facilitate access to affordable healthy foods and beverages in places where Canadians work, live, and play could play a key role in preventing diet-related disease and health risk such as obesity and hypertension, and ultimately improve cardiovascular health.

Improving breast cancer chemo by testing patient's tumors in a dish

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:59 AM PDT

A technique that monitors the response of 3D chunks of a patient's tumor has been developed to determine how effective different anti-cancer drugs will be before starting chemotherapy. In a new article, the engineers describe applying the technique to the three major forms of breast cancer. They report that the test can detect significant drops in the metabolic activity levels of all three types of tumors within 72 hours when exposed to an effective drug whereas tumors that were resistant to a drug show no change.

European consensus on methodological recommendations for clinical studies in rare cancers

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

One out of every five new cancer patients is diagnosed with a rare cancer, yet the clinical evidence needed to effectively treat these rare cancer patients is scarce. Rare cancers require alternative ways to conceive study designs and to analyze data.

Breathe easier: Get your vitamin D

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

Asthma, which inflames and narrows the airways, has become more common in recent years. While there is no known cure, asthma can be managed with medication and by avoiding allergens and other triggers. A new study points to a convenient, free way to manage acute asthmatic episodes -- catching some rays outside.

Genetic variants influence a person's response to statins found

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:26 AM PDT

A large analysis of over 40,000 individuals on statin treatment has identified two new genetic variants which influence how 'bad' cholesterol levels respond to statin therapy. Statins are widely prescribed to patients and have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels by up to 55%, making them a highly effective method of reducing risk of heart disease. However, despite this success, patient response can vary widely.

Baby boomers and scoliosis: Osteoporosis a risk factor

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:24 AM PDT

For many adults, the word scoliosis conjures up childhood memories of lining up in gym class for an examination by the school nurse. But scoliosis isn't just a pediatric condition. Curvature of the spine can develop in adults too, and the osteoporosis that can accompany menopause is a risk factor. An orthopedic surgeon explains how scoliosis develops, prevention and treatment options and a trend he is seeing in Baby Boomer women.

Mushroom extract, AHCC, helpful in treating HPV

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:24 AM PDT

A Japanese mushroom extract appears to be effective for the eradication of human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a pilot clinical trial. Ten HPV-positive women were treated orally with the extract, AHCC (active hexose correlated compound) once daily for up to six months. Five achieved a negative HPV test result -- three with confirmed eradication after stopping AHCC -- with the remaining two responders continuing on the study.

Compensation and punishment: 'Justice' depends on whether or not we're a victim

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 09:24 AM PDT

We're more likely to punish wrongdoing as a third party to a non-violent offense than when we're victimized by it, according to a new study. The findings may offer insights into how juries differ from plaintiffs in seeking to restore justice.

Ciliopathies: New insights into development

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 08:48 AM PDT

Cilia are anchored by the basal bodies to the plasma membrane and like many other organelles must be localized to a specific position in a cell. Diseases of the sensory or motile cilia play a key role in lung diseases or diabetes. Scientists have now discovered the protein Flattop. It regulates the asymmetric positioning of cilia. Malfunctions in this process lead to different clinical phenotypes, the experts say.

Identifying the biological clock that governs female fertility

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 08:48 AM PDT

The biological clock that governs female fertility has been identified by researchers. The discovery represents a major contribution to research aimed at finding medical approaches to treating infertility in women.

How do we punish norm violators?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

An international team of researchers has conducted pioneering research on the question of how people punish strangers for norm violating behavior. In their article on direct and indirect punishment, they were able to show that both forms of punishment play an important role in the field. If possible, however, people prefer to punish indirectly by refusing to help instead of directly confronting the norm violator. The researchers were also able to show that women are more often punished directly, men more often indirectly.

Blood test may help diagnose pancreatic cancer

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 08:47 AM PDT

Cancer researchers have found that a simple blood test might help diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly forms of the disease. They report that they have found that several microRNAs -- small RNA molecules -- circulate at high levels in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients, which may be detectable through a simple blood test.

Co-opting bacterial immune system to turn off specific genes

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:48 AM PDT

A technique that co-opts an immune system already present in bacteria and archaea to turn off specific genes or sets of genes -- creating a powerful tool for future research on genetics and related fields -- has been developed by researchers. "This should not only expedite scientific discovery, but help us better engineer microbial organisms to further biotechnology and medicine," says a senior author of a paper on the work. "For example, this could help us develop bacterial strains that are more efficient at converting plant biomass into liquid fuels."

Don't bet on stinginess to keep stress low

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:16 AM PDT

Is generosity less stressful than being stingy? New research examined the physiological reactions of participants in a financial bargaining game and found that not only those receiving relatively low offers experienced stress but also those that make low offers, when compared to people who made more generous offers.

Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat linked with lower risk of heart disease

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:16 AM PDT

People who swap 5 percent of the calories they consume from saturated fat sources such as red meat and butter with foods containing linoleic acid -- the main polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds -- lowered their risk of coronary heart disease events by 9 percent and their risk of death from CHD by 13 percent, according to a new study.

When faced with higher prices, swimming is the activity most likely to take a dive

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Swimming is the individual activity that most people would drop if they faced higher prices, a study concludes. But a similar increase in the cost of a workout or brisk walk would hardly dent enthusiasm.

Tomosynthesis improves cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:12 AM PDT

As of October 2014, 19 states have enacted laws requiring women to be directly informed if they have dense breasts and would benefit from supplemental screening. However, the recommended type of supplemental screening for women with dense breasts remains unclear. With 15 additional states considering similar laws and federal legislation introduced, physician scientists investigated the potential impact of supplemental screening for women with dense breast tissue.

Most Internet sources on prostate cancer disagree with expert panel's recommendation

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:27 AM PDT

Only 17 percent of top-ranked consumer health websites advise against screening for prostate cancer, a recommendation made more than two years ago by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to a study.

Women play dangerous waiting game with heart symptoms

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

When heart symptoms strike, men and women go through similar stages of pain but women are more likely to delay seeking care and can put their health at risk, researchers say. Angina is the pain that occurs when your heart doesn't get as much blood and oxygen as it needs because of a blockage of one or more of the heart's arteries. This pain is often described as a pressure, tightness or burning feeling.

Robotically assisted bypass surgery reduces complications after surgery, cuts recovery

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

Robotically assisted coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is a rapidly evolving technology that shortens hospital stays and reduces the need for blood products, while decreasing recovery times, making the procedure safer and less risky, experts say.

Social host laws tied to less underage drinking

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:26 AM PDT

Teenagers who live in communities with strict 'social host' laws are less likely to spend their weekends drinking at parties, according to a study. Many U.S. states and local communities have passed social host laws, which hold adults responsible when underage drinkers imbibe on their property. The details of the laws vary, however, and research has been mixed as to whether they actually keep kids from drinking.

Self-reported sleep disturbances linked to higher risk for Alzheimer's disease in men

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Elderly men with self-reported sleep disturbances run a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than men without self-reported sleep disturbances, studies show. The researchers followed more than 1,000 men, who were initially 50 year old, between the years 1970 and 2010. The results of the study show that self-reported sleep disturbances were linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease during the 40-year follow-up period, particularly if they occurred late in life.

Epigenome of cardiac muscle cell mapped

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Pharmacologists have succeeded in mapping the epigenome of cardiac muscle cells. They hope the findings will lead to new insights into the development of congenital heart defects and chronic heart failure. The epigenome is the totality of epigenetic mechanisms that decide which genes are active in a cell and which are not. Changes in internal or environmental conditions, such as nutrition, stress, or drugs, can leave behind epigenetic patterns. Such mechanisms play an important role in the development of cancer, but their significance for heart disease is as yet largely unknown.

Tea, citrus products could lower ovarian cancer risk, new research finds

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Tea and citrus fruits and juices are associated with a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to new research. The research reveals that women who consume foods containing flavonols and flavanones (both subclasses of dietary flavonoids) significantly decrease their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women.

Lack of A level maths leading to fewer female economists in England

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:25 AM PDT

A study has found there are far fewer women studying economics than men, with women accounting for just 27 per cent of economics students, despite them making up 57 per cent of the undergraduate population in UK universities. The findings suggest less than half as many girls (1.2 per cent) as boys (3..8 percent) apply to study economics at university, while only 10 per cent of females enroll at university with an A level in maths, compared to 19 per cent of males.

Anti-social behavior a consequence, rather than cause of homelessness

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:24 AM PDT

Anti-social behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse are often the consequence, rather than the cause of homelessness, according to a series of studies that suggest that contrary to common belief, unexpected life events could lead to anyone becoming homeless.

Does having children make us any happier?

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:24 AM PDT

The birth of a first and a second child briefly increases the level of their parents' happiness, but a third does not, according to new research. Those who have children at an older age or who are more educated have a particularly positive response to a first birth. Older parents, between the ages of 35 -- 49, have the strongest happiness gains around the time of birth and stay at a higher level of happiness after becoming parents, the research indicates.

Preventative action prior to brain surgery: Ultra-high-field MRI reveals language centers in brain in much more detail

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:23 AM PDT

It is now possible, for the first time, to demonstrate that the areas of the brain that are important for understanding language can be pinpointed much more accurately using ultra-high-field MRI (7 Tesla) than with conventional clinical MRI scanners. This research helps to protect these areas more effectively during brain surgery and avoid accidentally damaging it.

Meditation makes you more creative, study suggests

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:23 AM PDT

Certain meditation techniques can promote creative thinking, even if you have never meditated before. The study is a clear indication that you don't need to be an experienced meditator to profit more from meditation. The findings support the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas.

New clinical trial data: Multiple sclerosis drug candidate also shows promise for ulcerative colitis

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:21 AM PDT

Positive new clinical data have been released on a drug candidate for ulcerative colitis. In the study, 199 patients with active, moderate to severe disease, the drug candidate RPC1063 has potential to significantly improve the treatment paradigm for ulcerative colitis patients. The latest results show that, after eight weeks of treatment with a 1 mg dose of RPC1063, 16.4 percent of patents were in clinical remission, as compared to 6.2 percent of patients on placebo.

Radiation exposure linked to aggressive thyroid cancers, researchers confirm for the first time

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:21 AM PDT

Exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer, according to a careful study of nearly 12,000 people in Belarus who were exposed when they were children or adolescents to fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

Prostate cancer risk reduced by sleeping with many women, but increased with many men, study finds

Posted: 28 Oct 2014 05:21 AM PDT

Compared to men who have had only one partner during their lifetime, having sex with more than 20 women is associated with a 28% lower risk of one day being diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, having more than 20 male partners in one's lifetime is associated with a twofold higher risk of getting prostate cancer compared to those who have never slept with a man.

One-third of foster kids returned to their family are abused again

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:28 PM PDT

One in three children who have been reunified with their families after being placed in foster care will be maltreated again, according to a study in Quebec. The study, the first of its kind in the world, was undertaken in the wake of a new law to improve the family stability of youth receiving child protection services.

Agave nectar, placebo both perceived better than doing nothing for cough in kids

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:28 PM PDT

Pasteurized agave nectar and placebo were both perceived to be better by parents for treating nighttime cough and the resulting sleep difficulty in infants and toddlers than doing nothing at all, according to a study.

Viral switches share a shape, research finds

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:27 PM PDT

A hinge in the RNA genome of the virus that causes hepatitis C works like a switch that can be flipped to prevent it from replicating in infected cells. Scientists have discovered that this shape is shared by several other viruses -- among them one that kills cancer cells.

Lesion-healing mechanism in psoriasis discovered

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:27 PM PDT

The underlying genetic factors that help repair skin lesions caused by psoriasis has been discovered by researchers, which could engender new methods of controlling the lingering condition. "Our research suggests that targeting this mechanism of healing may lead to pharmaceutical products that limit the itchy, painful lesions all psoriasis sufferers must endure," the lead researcher said.

Prompt isolation of symptomatic patients is key to eliminating Ebola, study suggests

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:51 AM PDT

Currently, West Africa is in the midst of the largest and deadliest Ebola epidemic ever recorded. Researchers have developed a random transmission model to determine how disease progression and case fatality affect transmission and how patient isolation could achieve disease elimination. They found that the risk for transmitting Ebola depends on the magnitude of viral load in an infected individual and the number of people with which the infected individual interacts.

Suicide resilience, vulnerability among African-American adults focus of new research

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:50 AM PDT

Religious beliefs and practices may reduce thoughts of suicide among African-American adults in stressful life events induced by racial discrimination, according to a new research study.

When hearing aid users listen to music, less is more

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:50 AM PDT

The type of sound processing that modern hearings aids provide to make speech more understandable for wearers may also make music enjoyment more difficult, according to a new study. The findings suggest that less sophisticated hearing aids might actually be more compatible with listening to music, especially recorded music that has itself been processed to change the way it sounds.

Persuading doctors to quickly adopt new treatments

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:50 AM PDT

Doctors are more likely to try a new therapy when they are persuaded to do so by an influential colleague, reports a new study whose findings on adopting innovations have relevance for business and education. The authors used the finding to simulate a technology intervention that acts like an influential colleague -- opinionated but not bossy -- that they will design for the real world. The goal is to speed physicians' adoption of new treatments, which can take up to 17 years.

PET scans reveal how psychodynamic therapy for depression may change brain function

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:48 AM PDT

A study has identified for the first time changes in the metabolic activity of a key brain region in patients successfully treated for depression with psychodynamic psychotherapy, suggesting a mechanism of action behind an important and widely practiced form of therapy. They also found evidence that pretreatment metabolism in a different brain structure might predict which patients are likely to respond to psychodynamic therapy.

Cost of informal caregiving for U.S. elderly is $522 billion annually, study finds

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:48 AM PDT

An improved estimate of the costs of informal caregiving provided to elderly people across the United States has been provided by researchers. Analyzing new survey information, researchers find the price tag for informal caregiving by friends and relatives comes to $522 billion a year.

'Sticky' ends start synthetic collagen growth

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:48 AM PDT

Researchers detail how synthetic collagen helices self-assemble into fibers and gels. The discovery could lead to better synthetic materials for medical applications, they say. Collagen is the most common protein in mammals, a major component of bone and the fibrous tissues that support cells and hold organs together. Discovering its secrets may lead to better synthetic collagen for tissue engineering and cosmetic and reconstructive medicine.

Imaging the genome: Cataloguing fundamental processes of life

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:47 AM PDT

A new study has allowed researchers to peer into unexplored regions of the genome and understand for the first time the role played by more than 250 genes key to cell growth and development.

New prostate cancer screening guideline recommends not using PSA test

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 11:47 AM PDT

A new Canadian guideline recommends that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test should not be used to screen for prostate cancer based on evidence that shows an increased risk of harm and uncertain benefits.

No comments: