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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Taking antibiotics during pregnancy increases risk for child becoming obese

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 11:18 AM PST

A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that children who were exposed to antibiotics in the second or third trimester of pregnancy had a higher risk of childhood obesity at age 7. The research also showed that for mothers who delivered their babies by a cesarean section, whether elective or non-elective, there was a higher risk for obesity in their offspring.

Entitlement boosts creativity

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 11:16 AM PST

Generally considered a negative trait, entitlement, in small doses, can actually have the positive effect of boosting creativity.

Two sensors in one: Nanoparticles that enable both MRI and fluorescent imaging could monitor cancer, other diseases

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:56 AM PST

Chemists have developed new nanoparticles that can simultaneously perform magnetic resonance imaging and fluorescent imaging in animals. Such particles could help scientists to track specific molecules produced in the body, monitor a tumor's environment, or determine whether drugs have successfully reached their targets.

Car crash survival rates increase with being younger, male and driving a big vehicle

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:55 AM PST

Vehicle inequities have a significant impact on survivability in head-on collisions, a study by a doctoral student in epidemiology shows. Motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of unintentional life lost around the world, with about 30,000 deaths occurring annually in the U.S. due to motor-vehicle crashes.

Facebook games may actually do some good in your life

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:55 AM PST

Beyond being a fun distraction, social network games can offer family members a meaningful way to interact and meet social obligations, a new study concludes. Researchers found that some online games offer families a common topic of conversation and enhance the quality of time spent together, despite the fact that most don't necessarily involve any direct communication. The games can also bring together family members who may be only distantly connected, with respondents citing experiences such as connecting with long-lost cousins or bolstering relationships with aging aunts.

Musicians show advantages in long-term memory

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:55 AM PST

Psychologists have demonstrated a link between musical training and long-term memory advantages.

Shift in gut bacteria observed in fiber supplement study may offer good news for weight loss

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:55 AM PST

Most Americans don't get the daily recommended amount of fiber in their diet, though research has shown that dietary fiber can cause a shift in the gut toward beneficial bacteria, reducing the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases. A new study shows that two specific functional fibers may also have the potential to assist in weight loss when made part of a long-term, daily diet.

Global surge in ADHD diagnosis has more to do with marketing than medicine, expert suggests

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:54 AM PST

A new article attributes ADHD's global growth to five trends: expanded, overseas lobbying efforts by drug companies; the growth of biological psychiatry; the adaptation of the American-based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual standards, which are broader and have a lower threshold for diagnosing ADHD; promotion of pharmaceutical treatments by ADHD advocacy groups that work closely with drug companies; and the easy availability of ADHD information and self-diagnosis via the Internet.

New treatment for marfan syndrome shows promise

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:54 AM PST

An investigational treatment for Marfan syndrome is as effective as the standard therapy at slowing enlargement of the aorta, the large artery of the heart that delivers blood to the body, new research shows. The findings indicate a second treatment option for Marfan patients, who are at high risk of sudden death from tears in the aorta.

Mother's soothing presence makes pain go away, changes gene activity in infant brain

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 09:54 AM PST

A mother's 'TLC' not only can help soothe pain in infants, but it may also impact early brain development by altering gene activity in a part of the brain involved in emotions, according to a new study.

Spice up your memory: Just one gram of turmeric a day could boost memory

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Adding just one gram of turmeric to breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and at risk of cognitive impairment.

Biologists explore link between memory deficit and misfiring circadian clock in Siberian hamsters

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

By disrupting Siberian hamsters' circadian rhythms, scientists have identified a part of the brain that, when misfiring, inhibits memory. The work could lead to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases in humans.

DNA methylation: The role it plays in aging cells

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 08:00 AM PST

Although every person's DNA remains the same throughout their lives, scientists know that it functions differently at different ages. As people age, drastic changes occur in their DNA methylation patterns, which are thought to act as a "second code" on top of the DNA that can lock genes in the on or off position. However, what the consequences of these changes are remains a mystery.

Soy spells fewer hot flashes for certain women

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:59 AM PST

Does soy in the diet help with hot flashes? It does, but only for women whose bodies can produce the soy metabolite equol, reports a new study.

Training can lead to synesthetic experiences: Does learning the 'color of' specific letters boost IQ?

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:55 AM PST

A new study has shown for the first time how people can be trained to 'see' letters of the alphabet as colors in a way that simulates how those with synesthesia experience their world.

New clue in celiac disease puzzle: Cause of oat toxicity explained

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:55 AM PST

Researchers have identified why some people with celiac disease show an immune response after eating oats. The researchers have identified the key components in oats that trigger an immune response in some people with celiac disease. The findings may lead to better tests for oat toxicity, and have implications for new treatments being developed for celiac disease.

Finding new ways to make drugs

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Chemists have developed a revolutionary new way to manufacture natural chemicals by clipping smaller molecules together like Lego. They have used the new method to assemble a scarce anti-inflammatory drug with potential to treat cancer and malaria, pseudopterosin.

Establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells from Werner syndrome fibroblasts

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from Werner Syndrome fibroblasts have been established, scientists report. The therapeutic methods for this disease are very limited. It is expected that patient-derived iPS cells can be used for the development of innovative therapies. Additionally, the mutated gene in patient-derived iPS cells can be corrected by genome editing. This advantage will be help in the development of new gene and cell therapies for Werner syndrome.

Some flu viruses potentially more dangerous than others

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Certain subtypes of avian influenza viruses have the potential to cause more severe disease in humans than other avian influenza subtypes and should be monitored carefully to prevent spread of disease, according to a study.

Pregnant women with congenital heart disease may have low complication risks during delivery

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Pregnant women with congenital heart disease had very low risks of irregular heart beat or other heart-related complications during labor and delivery, a study has shown. However, pregnant women with congenital heart disease were more likely to undergo cesarean section and remain in the hospital longer.

Trans fat consumption linked to diminished memory in working-aged adults

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Trans fat consumption is adversely linked to memory sharpness in young to middle-aged men. Men under 45 years old who ate higher amounts of trans fats, which are found in processed foods, had significantly reduced ability to recall words. Further studies need to determine whether these effects extend to women under 45 years old.

Early detectable vascular disease linked to erectile dysfunction

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Men who have multiple detectable subclinical vascular abnormalities are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction. The presence of coronary artery calcification may predict the future onset of erectile dysfunction.

Moms' pre-pregnancy weight impacts risk of dying decades later

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

People whose mothers were overweight before pregnancy may be at an elevated risk to die from cardiovascular disease. An overweight mother also contributes to her offspring's obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Cocaine users experience abnormal blood flow, risk heart disease

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:54 AM PST

Cocaine users have subtle abnormalities in blood flow through the heart's smallest blood vessels. The abnormalities can occur while the heart appears normal on imaging test, putting cocaine users at risk for heart disease or death.

Being poor is not the same everywhere

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:48 AM PST

Young people growing up in impoverished neighborhoods who perceive their poor communities in a positive light report better health and well-being than those with worse perceptions of where they live, new research suggests.

U.S. nurse leaders issue blueprint for 21st century nursing ethics

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:48 AM PST

An unprecedented report looks at the ethical issues facing the nursing profession, as the American Nursing Association prepares to release a revised Code of Ethics in 2015.

Testosterone replacement therapy does not increase cardiovascular risks in men with low testosterone levels

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 07:48 AM PST

An important new study of men who have undergone testosterone replacement therapy has found that taking supplemental testosterone does not increase their risk of experiencing a major adverse cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Cheap malaria drug could treat colorectal cancer effectively too, say experts

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 06:16 AM PST

A common malaria drug could have a significant impact on colorectal cancer providing a cheap adjunct to current expensive chemotherapy, medical experts say. Colorectal cancer (CRC) makes up about 10 percent of the annual 746,000 global cancer cases in men and 614,000 cases in women.

Laboratory breakthrough offers promise for spinal cord injury patients to breathe on their own again

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 06:13 AM PST

A procedure that restores function to muscles that control breathing – even when they have been paralyzed for more than a year -- has been developed by researchers. The breakthrough offers hope that patients with severe spinal cord injuries will be able to breathe again on their own.

Heart muscle inflammation, swelling peak twice after heart attack

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 06:13 AM PST

Results of a new study challenge the current consensus in cardiology that peak myocardial edema, or heart muscle swelling, only occurs just after a myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

Cardiac stem cell therapy may heal heart damage caused by Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 06:13 AM PST

Injections of cardiac stem cells might help reverse heart damage caused by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, potentially resulting in a longer life expectancy for patients with the chronic muscle-wasting disease, researchers report.

Major brain pathway rediscovered after century-old confusion, controversy

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 06:13 AM PST

A scientist looking at MRI scans of human brains noticed a large fiber pathway that seemed to be part of the network that processes visual information. He just couldn't couldn't find it in any of the modern textbooks. In a new article, a research team describes the history and controversy of the elusive brain pathway, explains how modern MRI techniques rediscovered it, and gives analytical tools researchers can use to identify the brain structure -- now known as the vertical occipital fasciculus.

Acculturative stress found to be root cause of high depression rates in Latino youth

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:29 AM PST

Acculturative stress may explain, in part, why Indiana's Latino youth face an alarming disparity in depression and suicide rates when compared to their white counterparts, researchers say.

Premature infants benefit from early sodium supplementation according to new research

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:29 AM PST

Early sodium supplementation for very premature infants can enhance weight gain according to a recent study. This study found significant differences between the infants who received sodium supplementation and those who received the placebo.

Twenty-five year hunt uncovers heart defect responsible for cardiovascular diseases

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:29 AM PST

The landmark discovery of a tiny defect in a vital heart protein has for the first time enabled heart specialists to accurately pinpoint a therapeutic target for future efforts in developing a drug-based cure for cardiovascular diseases.

US radiology departments prepare for Ebola

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:29 AM PST

Radiologists have issued a special report on radiology preparedness for handling cases of Ebola virus. Healthcare administrators are placing a major emphasis on Ebola preparedness training at medical facilities throughout the U.S. Failure to have proper procedures in place to diagnose and treat patients with Ebola virus was cited as a major reason for infection of medical personnel in Dallas.

Ferroptosis, a novel form of non-apoptotic cell death, holds great therapeutic potential

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:26 AM PST

Ferroptosis is a recently recognized form of regulated necrosis. Up until now, this form of cell death has only been thought to be a possible therapeutic approach to treat tumor cells. Yet, ferroptosis also occurs in non-transformed tissues as demonstrated by this study, thus implicating this cell death pathway in the development of a wide range of pathological conditions. More specifically, the deletion of the ferroptosis-regulating enzyme Gpx4 in a pre-clinical model results in high ferroptosis rates in kidney tubular epithelial cells causing acute renal failure.

Mechanisms behind 'Mexican waves' in brain revealed by scientists

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:26 AM PST

Scientists have revealed the mechanisms that enable certain brain cells to persuade others to create 'Mexican waves' linked with cognitive function. Inhibitory neurons can vibrate and they are equipped with mechanisms that enable them to persuade networks of other neurons into imitating their vibrations -- setting off 'Mexican waves' in the brain. The scientists believe these collective, oscillating vibrations play a key role in cognitive function. Their research sheds light on how inhibitory neurons use different communication processes to excitatory neurons, which share information via an internal pulsing mechanism.

Unexpected cross-species contamination in genome sequencing projects

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:26 AM PST

As genome sequencing has gotten faster and cheaper, the pace of whole-genome sequencing has accelerated, dramatically increasing the number of genomes deposited in public archives. Although these genomes are a valuable resource, problems can arise when researchers misapply computational methods to assemble them, or accidentally introduce unnoticed contaminations during sequencing.

Viruses impaired if their targets have diverse genes

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:25 AM PST

When a viral infection spread through five genetically identical mice in a row, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent or severe. But when the infection spread one-by-one through five genetically diverse mice, the virus had trouble adapting and became less virulent. A new study suggests that increased genetic diversity should be promoted in livestock and in captive-bred endangered species so as to limit their risk of getting deadly infections.

New school meal requirements: More harm than good?

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:25 AM PST

New federal regulations requiring school meals to contain more whole grains, less saturated fat and more fruits and vegetables, while perhaps improving some aspects of the food being served at schools across the United States, may also be perpetuating eating habits linked to obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, an analysis has found.

Alcohol taxes can improve health, lead to more jobs

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:25 AM PST

Alcohol tax increases reduce the harms resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, and may lead to a small net increase in the number of jobs, according to new research.

Formal protocol for ultra-early treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:25 AM PST

A formal protocol for delivering emergency treatment to patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) from ruptured aneurysms within the first few hours after bleeding occurs. Offered day and night, the protocol reduces the incidence of repeated hemorrhage during the hospital stay and improves clinical outcomes in patients with aneurysmal SAH.

Verbal abuse in the workplace: Are men or women most at risk?

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 04:25 AM PST

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature. Verbal abuse is the most common form of workplace violence. It can lead to many consequences, particularly at the psychological and organizational levels.

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