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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Sesame Street goes to jail: Physicians should follow

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

More than two million people are incarcerated in the United States, the world's highest incarceration rate. Researchers report that while many people need to be in prison for the safety of society, a majority are incarcerated due to behaviors linked to treatable diseases such as mental illness and addiction.

Randomized trial examines community-acquired pneumonia treatments

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

In a randomized clinical trial of antibiotic treatments for community-acquired pneumonia, researchers did not find that monotherapy with ²-lactam alone was worse than a combination therapy with a macrolide in patients hospitalized with moderately severe pneumonia.

Prenatal BPA exposure associated with diminished lung function in children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A, a common chemical used in some plastics, appears to be inconsistently associated with diminished lung function and the development of persistent wheeze in children.

Effective treatments available for HIV patients not eligible for efavirenz regimens

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

HIV drug regimens that do not include efavirenz are effective as first-line antiretroviral therapy, a new American clinical trial found. The finding is important for patients who are not eligible for treatment with efavirenz, including women considering becoming pregnant and patients with a history of severe psychiatric disorders.

If you want an antibiotic, see your doctor later in the day

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:43 PM PDT

Doctors appeared to 'wear down' during their morning and afternoon clinic sessions, and antibiotic prescribing rates increased the later the day got. "This corresponds to about 5 percent more patients receiving antibiotics at the end of a clinic session compared to the beginning," explained a reseracher. "Remedies for this problem might include different schedules, shorter sessions, more breaks or maybe even snacks."

Vesicles influence function of nerve cells

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:42 PM PDT

Tiny vesicles containing protective substances that they transmit to nerve cells apparently play an important role in the functioning of neurons. As cell biologists have discovered, nerve cells can enlist the aid of mini-vesicles of neighboring glial cells to defend themselves against stress and other potentially detrimental factors. These vesicles, called exosomes, appear to stimulate the neurons on various levels: they influence electrical stimulus conduction, biochemical signal transfer, and gene regulation. Exosomes are thus multifunctional signal emitters that can have a significant effect in the brain.

One in three people with cancer has anxiety or other mental health challenges

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:41 PM PDT

Nearly a third of more than 2,100 patients with cancer interviewed at inpatient and outpatient care centers experienced a clinically meaningful level of mental or emotional distress that meets the strict diagnostic criteria for mental disorders including anxiety, depressive and adjustment disorders during the prior four weeks. The prevalence of these issues varied by cancer type.

Cancer medicine: New, improved, expensive and exploited?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 02:41 PM PDT

Two studies published by health economists examine spending on oral anti-cancer drugs as well as a federal program designed to help the poor, which researchers say instead helps hospitals boost profits.

Sex difference in distance running has disappeared for participation but not for competitiveness

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

When it comes to distance running participation, even among contemporary U.S. distance runners, men are still much more likely than women to have a competitive orientation, according to researchers.

New vaccines targeting adults, teens are best chance to eliminate TB by 2050

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

Targets to eliminate tuberculosis by 2050 are more likely to be met if new vaccines are developed for adults and adolescents instead of for infants, according to new research.

Why is educational achievement heritable?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 12:21 PM PDT

The high heritability of exam grades reflects many genetically influenced traits such as personality, behavior problems, and self-efficacy and not just intelligence. The study looked at 13,306 twins at age 16 . The twins were assessed on a range of cognitive and non-cognitive measures, and the researchers had access to their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) scores.

'Broad consensus' that violent media increase child aggression

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 11:20 AM PDT

Majorities of media researchers, parents and pediatricians agree that exposure to violent media can increase aggression in children, according to a new national study.

High-sugar diet no problem for genetic mutants

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A genetic pathway for circumventing the weight gain that accompanies a high-sugar diet has been discovered by scientists. Building on previous work with C. elegans, researchers found that certain genetic mutants -- those with a hyperactive SKN-1 gene -- could be fed incredibly high-sugar diets without gaining any weight, while regular C. elegans ballooned on the same diet.

Natural gene selection can produce orange corn rich in provitamin A for Africa, U.S.

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:35 AM PDT

A set of genes that can be used to naturally boost the provitamin A content of corn kernels has been identified by researchers, a finding that could help combat vitamin A deficiency in developing countries and macular degeneration in the elderly.

Direct fluid flow influences neuron growth, scientists demonstrate

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

A new report describes using flow from a microtube to turn axonal growth cones that connect neurons. The publication adds insight to the long accepted idea that chemical cues are primarily responsible for axonal pathfinding during human development and nervous system regeneration. Such knowledge could be essential for advances in spinal cord injuries, where fluid flow can guide regenerating axons, in addition to affecting the bio-chemicals in the injured site.

How rabies 'hijacks' neurons to attack brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

For the first time, scientists have discovered the exact mechanism the killer rabies virus uses to efficiently enter the central nervous system, where it erupts in a toxic explosion of symptoms. An improved understanding of how this mechanism works could lead to new treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as well.

Are leaders born or made? New study shows how leadership develops

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Hardly a day passes without pundits crying for leadership in the NFL commissioner and team owners, among high-ranking government officials, and in other public figures. If experts didn't have evidence that this valuable trait can be taught, they might join the collective swoon that's engulfing much of the country.

Children understand familiar voices better than those of strangers

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Familiar voices can improve spoken language processing among school-age children, according to a study. However, the advantage of hearing a familiar voice only helps children to process and understand words they already know well, not new words that aren't in their vocabularies.

Many adults support equal access to healthcare for undocumented immigrant children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Many U.S. adults who work on behalf of children think undocumented immigrant children should have access to healthcare equal to that of U.S.-born children, a new survey finds.

The skin cancer selfie: Gigapixel camera helps diagnose early

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:41 AM PDT

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer type in the US, and it's also the deadliest form of skin cancer. If caught early enough though, it is almost always curable. The gigapixel camera is essentially 34 microcameras in one and has a high enough resolution to zoom in to a tiny freckle making routine screenings available to a larger number of people at a fraction of the cost.

New theorem determines age distribution of populations from fruit flies to humans

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:41 AM PDT

The initial motivation of a new study was to estimate the age structure of a fruit fly population, the result a fundamental theorem that can help determine the age distribution of essentially any group. This emerging theorem on stationary populations shows that you can determine the age distribution of a population by looking at how long they still have to live.

Novel roadmap through bacterial genomes leads the way to new drug discovery

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:40 AM PDT

Researchers have innovated and demonstrated the value of an algorithm to analyze microbial genomic data and speed discovery of new therapeutic drugs.

Workplace diversity can help bottom line, study shows

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:40 AM PDT

An economist scrutinizes firm data suggesting diverse offices function more effectively. At the same time, individual employees may prefer less diverse settings. The study, analyzing a large white-collar U.S. firm, examined how much "social capital" offices build up in the form of things like cooperation, trust, and enjoyment of the workplace.

Simple lifestyle interventions during pregnancy can prevent children from becoming obese

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:39 AM PDT

In a study that followed more than 2,200 obese women during pregnancy, scientists found that some simple interventions can help prevent high birth weights in newborns. This is important because previous studies have shown that infants with a high birth weight have a greater risk of becoming obese as children or adults.

Less than half of Canadians exercise to relieve stress

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:38 AM PDT

People were more likely to cope with stress by problem-solving, looking on the bright side, trying to relax, talking to others, blaming oneself, ignoring stress or praying, rather than being active, a new study has found.

Mother's behavior has strong effect on cocaine-exposed children

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 08:38 AM PDT

It is not only prenatal drug exposure, but also conditions related to drug use that can influence negative behavior in children, according to a new study. Maternal harshness, such as threats of physical discipline, can be influenced by drug use. Animal studies have shown that prenatal cocaine use can affect parenting by lowering the bonding hormones mothers usually experience after birth, resulting in less emotional engagement with the child.,

Controlling Ebola in communities is critical factor in containing outbreaks

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Reducing community transmission and changing behavior in communities is key to containing Ebola outbreaks, according to new research into the first known outbreak of the virus in 1976.

Link between breast implants, cancer under investigation

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Cases of possible association between breast implants and a form of lymphoma that may develop tumors at a later stage is currently under investigation. The researchers conclude that breast implants can cause a new subtype of the rare yet malignant lymphoma known as ALCL.

Cell migration: How it works, how new discovery may inform cancer research

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

During cancer metastasis, immune response or the development of organisms, cells are moving in a controlled manner through the body. Researchers have now discovered novel mechanisms of cell migration by observing cells moving on lines of connective tissue. Their results could lead to new approaches in combating cancer metastasis and inflammation.

Redefining hypothesis on holes in the brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

Researchers have studied access conditions at brain cell level. A new study explodes existing paradigm that huge channels uncritically perforate cell membranes.

Tumors might grow faster at night

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:46 AM PDT

A hormone that keeps us alert also suppresses the spread of cancer, researchers have discovered. The study suggests, therefore, that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body, and that administering certain treatments in time with the body's day-night cycle could boost their efficiency.

Type 2 diabetes clues revealed from study of identical twins

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:44 AM PDT

By studying identical twins, researchers have identified mechanisms that could be behind the development of type 2 diabetes. This may explain cases where one identical twin develops type 2 diabetes while the other remains healthy.

Gaming vs. reading: Do they benefit teenagers with cognition or school performance?

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 06:44 AM PDT

Children have an increasing attraction towards electronic media in their play. With video games, phones and the internet in abundance, a new article examines if such leisure activity is impacting children's cognition or academic performance or whether it would be more beneficial to read.

Trying to share our 'epic' moments may leave us feeling left out

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

We might love to reminisce and tell others about our extraordinary experiences -- that time we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, got to taste a rare wine, or ran into a celebrity on the street -- but new research suggests that sharing these extraordinary experiences may come at a social cost.

Teen hormones and cellphones: Sexting leads to increased sexual behavior, study shows

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Researchers say that sexting may be the new 'normal' part of adolescent sexual development and is not strictly limited to at-risk teens. The findings are from the first study on the relationship between teenage sexting, or sending sexually explicit images to another electronically, and future sexual activity.

Innovative stroke patient management system cuts hospital bed usage by more than 25 percent

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

An innovative patient management system at a hospital's acute stroke unit has reduced the number of stroke patient bed days by more than 25 percent, according to a study of the system.

Stroke outcomes can be worse when they occur in hospital

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

At the first sign of a stroke, time is of the essence. For every minute of delay in treatment, people typically lose almost two million brain cells. Yet a new study reveals that those delays -- in getting the right tests and the right drugs -- can be longer when people experience a stroke in a hospital. "Intuitively, you would imagine that having a stroke in the hospital is the best place possible, and that is just not the case," says one expert.

New way to extract bone-making cells from fat tissue

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

By sorting human fat tissue cells by their expression of a certain gene, scientists were able to retrieve a high yield of cells that showed an especially strong propensity to make bone tissue. With more refinement, the method could improve the ability of surgeons to speed bone healing, they say.

Vicious cycle in osteoarthritis: Sleep disturbance, pain, depression, disability

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Sleep disturbances are linked to pain and depression, but not disability, among patients with osteoarthritis. Study results found that poor sleep increases depression and disability, but does not worsen pain over time.

A glimpse into the 3-D brain: How memories form

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:51 AM PDT

People who wish to know how memory works are forced to take a glimpse into the brain. They can now do so without bloodshed: Researchers have developed a new method for creating 3-D models of memory-relevant brain structures.

Doctors prescribe more painkillers to women, study confirms

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

Regardless of the pain type, age and social class, women are more likely to be prescribed analgaesia than men. This is confirmed by a study in Spain focused on inequality in prescribing analgesics according to gender, confirming that gender bias may be one pathway by which inequalities in analgesic treatment adversely affects the health of women.

Understanding the components of memory

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:49 AM PDT

Neurobiologists elucidate the spatial and temporal dynamics of specific glutamate receptors in the brain through recent study. The results illustrate that the receptors are far more diverse than previously anticipated and pave the way for research into their functions in the various regions of the brain.

Kids' oral language skills can predict future writing difficulties

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:46 AM PDT

Children's future writing difficulties can be identified before they even learn how to begin writing, according to a new study. The research data also contradicts the popular belief that bilingualism at an early age can be detrimental to oral and written language learning.

Preschoolers with low empathy at risk for continued problems

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:46 AM PDT

A toddler who doesn't feel guilty after misbehaving or who is less affectionate or less responsive to affection from others might not raise a red flag to parents, but these behaviors may result in later behavior problems in 1st grade, researchers say.

2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain

Posted: 06 Oct 2014 05:24 AM PDT

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The discoveries have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries -- how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

'Programmable' antibiotic harnesses an enzyme to attack drug-resistant microbes

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

Conventional antibiotics are indiscriminate about what they kill, a trait that can lead to complications for patients and can contribute to the growing problems of antibiotic resistance. But a a 'programmable' antibiotic would selectively target only the bad bugs, particularly those harboring antibiotic resistance genes, and leave beneficial microbes alone.

Barcoding tool for stem cells developed

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

A seven-year-project to develop a barcoding and tracking system for tissue stem cells has revealed previously unrecognized features of normal blood production: new data suggests, surprisingly, that the billions of blood cells that we produce each day are made not by blood stem cells, but rather their less pluripotent descendants, called progenitor cells.

Number of genes linked to height revealed by study

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:49 AM PDT

The largest genome-wide association study to date, involving more than 300 institutions and more than 250,000 subjects, roughly doubles the number of known gene regions influencing height to more than 400. The study provides a better glimpse at the biology of height and offers a model for investigating traits and diseases caused by many common gene changes acting together.

Breakthrough allows researchers to watch molecules

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

A new crystallographic technique is set to transform scientists' ability to observe how molecules work. Although fast time-resolved crystallography (Laue crystallography) has previously been possible, it has required advanced instrumentation that is only available at three sites worldwide. Only a handful of proteins have been studied using the traditional technique The new method will allow researchers across the world to carry out dynamic crystallography and is likely to provide a major boost in areas of research that rely on understanding how molecules work.

First pictures of BRCA2 protein show how it works to repair DNA

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Scientists have taken pictures of the BRCA2 protein for the first time, showing how it works to repair damaged DNA. The findings showed that each pair of BRCA2 proteins binds two sets of RAD51 that run in opposite directions. This allows it to work on strands of broken DNA that point in either direction. They also show that BRCA2's job is to help RAD51 form short filaments at multiple sites along the DNA, presumably to increase the efficiency of establishing longer filaments required to search for matching strands.

Attacking type 2 diabetes from a new direction with encouraging results

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Promising evidence that a modified form of the drug niclosamide – now used to eliminate intestinal parasites – may hold the key to battling type 2 diabetes at its source, scientists report.

Discovery of a novel heart, gut disease

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

A newly discovered disease, which has been named "Chronic Atrial Intestinal Dysrhythmia syndrome" (CAID), is a serious condition caused by a rare genetic mutation. This finding demonstrates that heart and guts rhythmic contractions are closely linked by a single gene in the human body.

'Unsung' cells double benefits of a new osteoporosis drug

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

Experiments in mice with a bone disorder similar to that in women after menopause show that a scientifically overlooked group of cells are likely crucial to the process of bone loss caused by the disorder. This discovery not only raises the research profile of the cells, called preosteoclasts, but also explains the success and activity of an experimental osteoporosis drug with promising results in phase III clinical trials.

Pain receptor on T-cells discovered

Posted: 05 Oct 2014 10:36 AM PDT

T-cells -- a type of white blood cell that learns to recognize and attack microbial pathogens -- are activated by a pain receptor, scientists have discovered. The study shows that the receptor helps regulate intestinal inflammation in mice and that its activity can be manipulated, offering a potential new target for treating certain autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn's disease and possibly multiple sclerosis.

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