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Friday, November 14, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

The science behind total recall: New player in brain function and memory

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 12:29 PM PST

Is it possible to change the amount of information the brain can store? Maybe, according to a new international study. The research has identified a molecule that puts a brake on brain processing and when removed, brain function and memory recall is improved.

Common cholesterol-fighting drug may prevent hysterectomies in women with uterine fibroids

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:00 AM PST

The cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin inhibits the growth of human uterine fibroid tumors, researchers have discovered for the first time. Statins, such as simvastatin, are commonly prescribed to lower high cholesterol levels. Beyond these well-known cholesterol-lowering abilities, statins also combat certain tumors. Statins have previously been shown to have anti-tumor effects on breast, ovarian, prostate, colon, leukemia and lung cancers. The effect of statins on uterine fibroids was unknown.

Bio-inspired bleeding control: Synthesized platelet-like nanoparticles created

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 11:00 AM PST

Stanching the free flow of blood from an injury remains a holy grail of clinical medicine. Controlling blood flow is a primary concern and first line of defense for patients and medical staff in many situations, from traumatic injury to illness to surgery. If control is not established within the first few minutes of a hemorrhage, further treatment and healing are impossible. Taking a cue from the human body's own coagulation processes, researchers have synthesized platelet-like nanoparticles that can do more than clot blood.

People show 'blind insight' into decision making performance

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:34 AM PST

People can gauge the accuracy of their decisions, even if their decision making performance itself is no better than chance, according to a new study. In the study, people who showed chance-level decision making still reported greater confidence about decisions that turned out to be accurate and less confidence about decisions that turned out to be inaccurate.

Researchers silence leading cancer-causing gene

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:33 AM PST

A new approach to block the KRAS oncogene, one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer, has been developed by researchers. The approach offers another route to attack KRAS, which has proven to be an elusive and frustrating target for drug developers.

Disgust leads people to lie and cheat; Cleanliness promotes ethical behavior

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:33 AM PST

While feelings of disgust can increase behaviors like lying and cheating, cleanliness can help people return to ethical behavior, according to a recent study. The study highlights the powerful impact emotions have on individual decision-making.

Technology to advance stem cell therapeutics patented

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:32 AM PST

A highly robust, efficient nanoparticle-based platform that can regulate gene expression and eventually stem cell differentiation has been developed by researchers. NanoScript is the first nanomaterial TF protein that can interact with endogenous DNA.

How Campylobacter exploits chicken 'juice' highlights need for hygiene

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:32 AM PST

Campylobacter's persistence in food processing sites and the kitchen is boosted by 'chicken juice.' Organic matter exuding from chicken carcasses appears to provide these bacteria with the perfect environment to persist in the food chain. This emphasizes the importance of cleaning surfaces in food preparation, and may lead to more effective ways of cleaning that can reduce the incidence of Campylobacter.

Liver, brain communicate in order to regulate appetite

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:27 AM PST

The liver stores excess glucose, sugar, in the form of glycogen — chains of glucose — which is later released to cover body energy requirements. Diabetic patients do not accumulate glucose well in the liver and this is one of the reasons why they suffer from hyperglycemia. A new study demonstrates that high hepatic glucose stores in mice prevents weigh gain. The researchers observed that in spite of having free access to an appetizing diet, the animals' appetite was reduced. This is the first time that a link has been observed between the liver and appetite.

It’s not always the DNA: mRNA play vital role, often overlooked

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 09:22 AM PST

Scientists have mostly ignored mRNA, the molecule that ferries information from DNA to the cellular machines that make proteins, because these DNA transcripts are ephemeral and soon destroyed. But mRNA can be just as important, DNA scientists say. They found that oxidized messenger RNA jams the cellular machines that make protein. The failure to clear the jams and chew up bad messengers is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

How do breast cancer cells transform normal cells into tumoral ones?

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:03 AM PST

A new study describes how exosomes secreted by tumor cells contain protein and microRNA molecules capable of transform neighboring cells into tumoral cells promoting tumor growth. "This finding," one researcher said, "opens the door to developing new biomarkers and new therapeutic strategies exploiting these characteristics of exosomes in breast tumors, and other tumors such as ovarian and endometrial cancer among others."

Canadians with cystic fibrosis living 20 years longer than they did 2 decades ago

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:03 AM PST

Canadians with cystic fibrosis are living almost 20 years longer than they did two decades ago, according to a new research paper. In addition, the median age at which Canadians with cystic fibrosis die has risen to 32 years in 2012 from 21.7 years in 1990. The death rate declined from 1.4 deaths per year in 1990 to 0.99 deaths per year in 2012, authors report.

Software to automatically outline bones in x-rays

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Research into disorders such as arthritis will be helped by new software that automatically outlines bones – saving thousands of hours of manual work. "The idea of this software is to take the routine tasks out of human hands, so scientists can focus on drawing conclusions and developing treatments," developers said.

Legally prescribed opioid use may increase mortality in chronic pain patients

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Associations between opioid-related overdoses and increased prescription of opioids for chronic noncancer pain are well known. But some suggest that overdose occurs predominately in individuals who obtain opioids from nonmedical sources. In a new study, researchers found an increased risk of death associated with chronic pain without opioid treatment, as well as an even higher risk among those prescribed opioids for long-term use and a somewhat lower risk associated with short-term use.

Oxytocin helps to better overcome fear

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Frightening experiences do not quickly fade from memory. A team of researchers has now been able to demonstrate in a study that the bonding hormone oxytocin inhibits the fear center in the brain and allows fear stimuli to subside more easily. This basic research could also usher in a new era in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Tiny Needles Offer Potential New Treatment for Two Major Eye Diseases

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:55 AM PST

Needles almost too small to be seen with the unaided eye could be the basis for new treatment options for two of the world's leading eye diseases: glaucoma and corneal neovascularization.

Premature infants are exposed to unsafe levels of chemical in medical products used to save their lives

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Hospitalized premature infants are exposed to unsafe levels of a chemical found in numerous medical products used to treat them, raising questions about whether critically ill newborns may be adversely affected by equipment designed to help save their lives.

Novel cancer vaccine approach for brain tumors

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Researchers unravel the mechanisms behind a novel cancer vaccine for brain tumors, paving the way for further development. Their new work drilled down to the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the vaccine, paving the way for further development and refinement of this new experimental treatment.

Sharpening state spending on seniors

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

As our society ages, a new study suggests the health system should be focusing on comorbidity and specific types of disabilities that are associated with higher health care costs for seniors, especially cognitive disabilities.

Many dialysis patients unprepared for emergencies, disasters

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Patients on dialysis are very vulnerable during emergencies or disasters, but many are unprepared for such situations. Dialysis patients are highly dependent on technologies to sustain their lives, with ongoing needs for transportation, electricity, and water for the dialysis apparatus. Interruption of these needs by a natural disaster can be devastating.

Cold-induced pain linked to the garlic, mustard receptor

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 05:51 AM PST

Some people experience cold not only as feeling cold, but actually as a painful sensation. This applies even to fairly mild temperatures -- anything below 20°C. A group of researchers has now identified the mechanism in the body that creates this connection between cold and pain. It turns out that it is the same receptor that reacts to the pungent substances in mustard and garlic.

Use of private social media affects work performance

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 05:51 AM PST

The use of online social media for personal purposes during working hours can have a negative effect on work performance and the well-being of organizations, research indicates. Every day, more than one billion people worldwide use social media. This habit has also invaded the workplace, as some research reports that four out of five employees use social media for private purpose during working hours, authors note.

Genotype found in 30 percent of als patients speeds up disease progression

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 05:51 AM PST

Mice bred to carry a gene variant found in a third of ALS patients have a faster disease progression and die sooner than mice with the standard genetic model of the disease, according to researchers. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons in the brainstem, spinal cord and the motor cortex. The disease, which affects 12,000 Americans, leads to loss of muscle control. People with ALS typically die of respiratory failure when the muscles that control breathing fail.

Moms with rheumatoid arthritis more likely to give birth prematurely

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

Babies of women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or pre-clinical RA -- the period prior to symptoms -- are 1.5 times more likely to be born prematurely in Denmark. Findings indicate that body measurements of the baby at birth were only slightly lower in children exposed to maternal or preclinical RA compared to those with no exposure to the disease.

Facial motion a clue to difficulties in social interaction among autistic adults

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:50 AM PST

People on the autistic spectrum may struggle to recognize social cues, unfamiliar people or even someone's gender because of an inability to interpret changing facial expressions, new research has found.

Architecture of a lipid transport protein revealed

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:50 AM PST

The complex architecture of a protein that controls the transport of lipids between the two layers of a cell membrane has been described for the first time. With this structure, biochemists have now gained insight into processes that trigger blood coagulation.

Scoring scheme predicts ability of cancer cells to spread to other parts of body

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:50 AM PST

A new novel system opens up the possibility to explore new treatments that suppress the spread of cancer in patients, researchers report. This process was shown to play a role in a large number of cancer-related events, including cancer invasion, metastasis, and chemo-resistance. To date, there are no existing tools to systematically quantify the EMT status of tumors.

Did men evolve navigation skill to find mates? Spatial ability, roaming distance linked to number of lovers

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:48 AM PST

A new study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates.

Investigational medication used to resolve life-threatening seizures in children

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:33 PM PST

In its first clinical application in pediatric patients, an investigational medication has been found to effectively treat children with life-threatening and difficult-to-control epileptic seizures without side effects, according to a research report.

Challenges of delivering critical care in resource-poor countries addressed by experts

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:33 PM PST

Critical care is defined by life-threatening conditions, which require close evaluation, monitoring, and treatment by appropriately trained health professionals. Cardiovascular care bears these same requirements. In fact, cardiovascular disease will soon surpass even HIV as the leading cause of mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers discuss the challenges of delivering critical care in resource-limited countries in a new article.

Genetic tweak gave yellow fever mosquitoes a nose for human odor

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:33 PM PST

One of the world's deadliest mosquitoes sustains its taste for human blood thanks in part to a genetic tweak that makes it more sensitive to human odor, according to new research.

Predicting U.S. Army suicides after hospital discharge

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:32 PM PST

Some Army suicides can be predicted with enough accuracy to justify implementing preventive interventions in patients at high risk, experts say. The study looked at 53,769 regular Army soldiers during the 12-month period following their discharge from a psychiatric facility during 2004 to 2009. Hundreds of potential predictors of post-hospital suicide were abstracted from the extensive Army and Department of Defense administrative files that contain data on all soldiers.

Behavioral changes seen after sleep learning: Rotten egg smell blended with cigarette smell helps smokers' quit

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:26 PM PST

The scientist who discovered that we can learn in our sleep via conditioning with odor, has now shown that smokers used fewer cigarettes after a night of olfactory training. By exposing sleeping smokers to the smell of cigarettes paired with rotten eggs or fish, the team saw a significant reduction in the amount smoked.

Patients sought for U.S. nationwide study of drug that may slow Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:26 PM PST

Researchers are seeking patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease to take part in a study of an investigational agent which may have the potential to protect nerve cells in the brain.

Picture emerges of how kids get head injuries

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 05:26 PM PST

A study in which more than 43,000 children were evaluated for head trauma offers an unprecedented picture of how children most frequently suffer head injuries, report physicians. The findings also indicate how often such incidents result in significant brain injuries, computerized tomography (CT) scans to assess head injuries, and neurosurgery to treat them.

Vitamin B may not reduce risk of memory loss after all

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 01:10 PM PST

Taking vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements may not reduce the risk of memory and thinking problems after all, according to a new study. The study is one of the largest to date to test long-term use of supplements and thinking and memory skills.

Is it possible to be addicted to entrepreneurship?

Posted: 12 Nov 2014 11:47 AM PST

Researchers have examined why some entrepreneurs keep starting new businesses. Researchers looked at the underlying psychological processes that may motivate some entrepreneurs to repeatedly engage in new businesses, despite the possible risks to personal relationships and health.

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