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Sunday, November 2, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Fun and games make for better learners

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 12:00 PM PDT

Four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a 'FUNterval,' for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom.

Decoding the emergence of metastatic cancer stem cells

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 10:35 AM PDT

In the first study of its kind, researchers have mapped how information flows through the genetic circuits that cause cancer cells to become metastatic. The research reveals a common pattern in the decision-making that allows cancer cells to both migrate and form new tumors.

Preventing cardiovascular disease in old aortas

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Researchers look for the root cause of age-related aortic stiffness — an early sign cardiovascular disease — and uncover a potential therapeutic target for reducing or preventing its development. The underlying cause of aortic stiffening is unclear. While much of the previous research pointed to the extracellular matrix (ECM) -- a group of molecules secreted by the cells that support cell attachment and communication -- as the culprit, a few studies suggest that vascular smooth muscle may play a role.

A matter of life and death: Cell death proteins key to fighting disease

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:13 AM PDT

key steps involved in programmed cell death have been uncovered by researchers, offering new targets for the treatment of diseases including lupus, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.

Improved mouse model will accelerate research on potential Ebola vaccines, treatments

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:12 AM PDT

The first genetic strain of mice that can be infected with Ebola and display symptoms similar to those that humans experience has been developed by researchers. This work will significantly improve basic research on Ebola treatments and vaccines, which are desperately needed to curb the worldwide public health and economic toll of the disease.

Advance directives can benefit patients, families, health care system

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Nearly one out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, according to a report, which goes on to show that Americans strongly support holding doctors accountable when they fail to honor patients' end-of-life health care wishes.

Insomnia increases risk of motor vehicle deaths, other fatal injuries

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:12 AM PDT

Insomnia is a major contributor to deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional fatal injuries, a new study shows. The results underscore the importance of the 'Sleep Well, Be Well' campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project.

Efficient genetic editing developed

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:08 AM PDT

A team of researchers has developed a system that uses commercially-available molecules called cationic lipids -- long, greasy molecules that carry a positive charge -- to efficiently deliver genome-editing proteins into cells, and have even demonstrated that the technology can be used to perform genome editing in living animals.

Viewing cancer on the move: New device yields close-up look at metastasis

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:04 AM PDT

Rngineers have invented a lab device to give cancer researchers an unprecedented microscopic look at metastasis, the complex way that tumor cells spread through the body, causing more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths.

Proton therapy shown to be less costly than some alternative radiotherapy techniques for early stage breast cancer

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 09:04 AM PDT

In terms of duration of treatment and cost, patients with early stage breast cancer may benefit from accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) with proton therapy versus whole breast irradiation (WBI), according to new research.

Computer game could help visually impaired children live independently

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:20 AM PDT

A new computer game is being test that researchers hope could hold the key to helping visually-impaired children lead independent lives. Developed by a team of neuroscientists and video game designers, the Eyelander game features exploding volcanoes, a travelling avatar and animated landscapes. The idea is to improve the functional vision of children who have sight issues due to a brain injury rather than damage to the eye itself.

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency across the board in neuromuscular disease

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:19 AM PDT

More credence has been added to a growing awareness of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in neuromuscular disease by newly presented research. Vitamin D supplementation has been suggested to improve function in frail elderly patients at risk for falls, as well as individuals with myasthenia gravis and Parkinson's. The impact of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on function in other neurologic conditions has yet to be explored.

Digital Therapist: Computer program analyzes speech, mental health

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 05:19 AM PDT

A program that analyzes your speech and uses it to gain information about your mental health could soon be feasible, thanks in part to new research showing that certain vocal features change as patients' feelings of depression worsen.

Researchers probe link between newborn health, vitamin A

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

The impact vitamin A has on newborns is virtually unknown, but nutrition researchers have published two papers that may provide a framework for future investigations of the vitamin and neonatal health.

Link seen in brain between seizures, migraines

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

Seizures and migraines have always been considered separate physiological events in the brain, but now a team of engineers and neuroscientists looking at the brain from a physics viewpoint discovered a link between these and related phenomena.

Unlocking the secrets of pulmonary hypertension

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:38 PM PDT

A protein that plays a critical role in metabolism, the process by which the cell generates energy from foods, is important for the development of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly disease. Pulmonary hypertension is caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels in the lung, due to excessive growth of cells in the blood vessel wall. The cells grow in number until they obstruct the vessels, causing the heart to struggle pushing blood through the lungs to the point where the heart fails and the patient dies.

Independent safety investigation needed in NHS, experts say

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper. Safety-critical industries such as aviation, shipping and the railways all face the risk of major failures causing tragic loss of life. Each of these industries is served by an independent and permanently staffed organization that is explicitly charged with investigating serious safety risks and major failures. A similar agency is needed for the NHS, say the authors.

Doubt cast over air pollution link between childhood leukemia, power lines

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

Researchers from the UK have called into question a theory suggesting that a previously reported risk of leukemia among children born close to overhead power lines could be caused by an alteration to surrounding air pollution.

Scientists trigger self-destruct switch in lung cancer cells

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

Scientists have found a drug combination that can trigger the self-destruct process in lung cancer cells - paving the way for new treatments, according to research. "There's an urgent need to save more lives from lung cancer and we hope these findings will one day lead to effective new treatments to help lung cancer patients and potentially those with other cancer types too," authors noted.

Researchers treat canine cancer, likely to advance human health

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:37 PM PDT

A research team is working to better understand cancer in dogs, and the work also could advance knowledge of human cancer. Their investigation began with only a tiny blood platelet, but quickly they discovered opportunities for growth and expanding the breadth of the research. "As veterinarians, we are focused on treating cancer in dogs and we get the bonus of also helping advance treatment of human cancers," one researcher observed.

Removal of heart medications by dialysis may increase kidney failure patients' risk of dying prematurely

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:36 PM PDT

Among kidney failure patients on dialysis, beta blockers that are easily removed from the circulation through dialysis were linked with a higher risk of premature death than beta blockers that are not easily removed through dialysis, researchers report.

Mediterranean diet may help protect kidney health

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 06:36 PM PDT

Every one-point increase in a Mediterranean diet score was associated with a 17% decreased likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease, a study concludes. Dietary patterns that closely resembled the Mediterranean diet were linked with a 50% reduced risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 42% reduced risk of experiencing rapid kidney function decline, the researchers add.

People change their moral values to benefit themselves over others

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 01:30 PM PDT

People are quick to change their moral values depending on which rule means more cash for them instead of others, a study shows. The researchers conclude that the "Pursuit of self-interest is tempered by the constraints of coordination. People seek not only to benefit themselves but also to persuade other people that they are morally right in doing so."

Novel tinnitus therapy helps patients cope with phantom noise

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 01:30 PM PDT

Patients with tinnitus hear phantom noise and are sometimes so bothered by the perceived ringing in their ears, they have difficulty concentrating. A new therapy does not lessen perception of the noise but appears to help patients cope better with it in their daily lives, according to new research.

For stroke patients, hospital bed position is delicate balancing act

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 12:06 PM PDT

During the first 24 hours after a stroke, attention to detail -- such as hospital bed positioning -- is critical to patient outcomes. Most strokes are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the brain. Sitting upright can harm the patient because it decreases blood flow and oxygen to the brain just when the brain needs more blood.

One hormone, Two roles: Sugars differentiate seasonality, metabolism

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:33 AM PDT

The mechanism on how a single hormone manages to trigger two different functions, i.e. seasonal sensing and metabolism, without any cross activity has been identified by researchers.

Rewiring metabolism slows colorectal cancer growth

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Cancers select against a protein complex called the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC), and re-introduction of MPC in colon cancer cells impairs several properties of cancer, including growth. This research implicates changes in a key step in metabolism – the way cellular fuel is utilized – as an important driver of colon cancer that is also likely to be important in many other cancer settings.

Acromegaly: Tumor removal recommended as first-line treatment

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:29 AM PDT

A new Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly, a rare condition caused by excess growth hormone in the blood, has been issued.

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