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Saturday, November 22, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Rejecting unsuitable suitors is easier said than done

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 11:12 AM PST

Rejecting unsuitable romantic partners is easy in hypothetical situations, but not so when considering a face-to-face proposition, a new study shows. "When actually faced with a potential date, we don't like to reject a person and make them feel bad, which is not necessarily something that people anticipate when they imagine making these choices," says the study's lead researcher.

Self-regulation intervention boosts school readiness of at-risk children, study shows

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 11:12 AM PST

An intervention that uses music and games to help preschoolers learn self-regulation skills is helping prepare at-risk children for kindergarten, a new study shows. Self-regulation skills -- the skills that help children pay attention, follow directions, stay on task and persist through difficulty -- are critical to a child's success in kindergarten and beyond, said a co-author of the new study.

Anti-HIV medicines can cause damage to fetal hearts, research shows

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 11:12 AM PST

New research raises concern about potential long-term harmful impact of 'antiretroviral therapy' on in-utero infants whose mothers are HIV-positive, but who are not infected with HIV themselves. The study shows that while the HIV medications have been successful in helping to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to infant, they are associated with persistently impaired development of heart muscle and reduced heart performance in non-HIV-infected children whose mothers received the medicines years earlier.

In landmark study of cell therapy for heart attack, more cells make a difference

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 11:12 AM PST

Physicians from 60 sites treated 161 heart attack patients with their own bone marrow cells, selected for their healing potential and then reinjected into the heart, in an effort to improve the heart's recovery. Their conclusion? Patients who receive more cells get significant benefits.

Digoxin associated with higher risk of death, hospitalization, study shows

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 11:12 AM PST

Digoxin, a drug commonly used to treat heart conditions, was associated with a 71 percent higher risk of death and a 63 percent higher risk of hospitalization among adults with diagnosed atrial fibrillation and no evidence of heart failure, according to a study.

A green transformation for pharmaceuticals

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

A more sustainable approach to a bond-forming reaction extensively used in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries has now been developed. The team used the solvent-free, catalytic reaction to produce high yields of a wide range of amides, including the antidepressant moclobemide and other drug-like molecules.

Fluorescent nanoprobe could become a universal, noninvasive method to identify and monitor tumors

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

Researchers have developed a hybrid metal-polymer nanoparticle that lights up in the acidic environment surrounding tumor cells. Nonspecific probes that can identify any kind of tumor are extremely useful for monitoring the location and spread of cancer and the effects of treatment, as well as aiding initial diagnosis.

Marker polyps do not cause cancer, experts say

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 08:18 AM PST

Although serrated polyps usually are associated with colorectal cancer, it turns out that such polyps are themselves not dangerous, according to a study.

Nail stem cells prove more versatile than press ons

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:29 AM PST

There are plenty of body parts that don't grow back when you lose them. Nails are an exception, and a new study reveals some of the reasons why. A team of researchers has identified a new population of nail stem cells, which have the ability to either self-renew or undergo specialization or differentiation into multiple tissues.

Trouble with your boss? Own it

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:28 AM PST

Don't get along with your boss? Your job performance may actually improve if the two of you can come to grips with the poor relationship. "Seeing eye-to-eye about the employee-supervisor relationship is equally, if not more important than the actual quality of the relationship," said the lead investigator on the study.

Update on new treatments for liver diseases

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:28 AM PST

Cirrhosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are two serious liver conditions with limited pharmacological treatments. The December issues of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Gastroenterology highlights important updates into treatments for these two debilitating diseases.

Type 2 diabetes: Added benefit of canagliflozin plus metformin is not proven

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:28 AM PST

As in the first dossier assessment of canagliflozin, the drug manufacturer provided no suitable data for the fixed combination with metformin either. Therefore, no added benefit of canagliflozin plus metformin has been demonstrated for type 2 diabetes care.

Impact of power prosthetic failures on amputees studied

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

Powered lower limb prosthetics hold promise for improving the mobility of amputees, but errors in the technology may also cause some users to stumble or fall. New research examines what happens when these technologies fail, with the goal of developing more robust powered prostheses.

New model of follow up for breast cancer patients

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

Public health researchers from Australia have evaluated international breast cancer guidelines, finding that there is potential to improve surveillance of breast cancer survivors from both a patient and health system perspective.

Life's extremists may be an untapped source of antibacterial drugs

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

Life's extremists, a family of microbes called Archaea, may be an untapped source of new antibacterial drugs. That conclusion arises from the discovery of the first antibacterial gene in this ancient lineage.

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation studied for stroke rehab

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 07:25 AM PST

Researchers are trying to help patients who have suffered a stroke to improve arm movement by stimulating the brain using a device called a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS). The idea is that when one side of the brain is damaged by a stroke, the healthy side tends to generate much more activity to compensate, but that may actually prevent the injured side from recovering, explains the principal investigator.

Cohesin: Cherry-shaped molecule safeguards cell-division

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:59 AM PST

A cohesin molecule ensures the proper distribution of DNA during cell division. Scientists can now demonstrate the concept of its carabiner-like function by visualizing for the first time the open form of the complex.

Possibilities for personalized vaccines

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:59 AM PST

Medical researchers are considering the possibilities for personalized vaccines in all types of cancer. The first vaccine will be prepared from a warehouse of 72 targets previously identified by the researchers as relevant for treatment in glioblastoma.

Brain injuries in mice treated using bone marrow stem cells, antioxidants

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:29 AM PST

For the first time, researchers have transplanted bone marrow stem cells into damaged brain tissue while applying lipoic acid (a potent antioxidant), with the aim of improving neuroregeneration in the tissue. This new way of repairing brain damage, which combines cellular treatment with drug therapy, has shown positive results, especially in forming blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis) in damaged areas of the brains of adult laboratory mice.

Novel robotic walker helps patients regain natural gait and increases productivity of physiotherapists

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:29 AM PST

Survivors of stroke or other neurological conditions such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and Parkinson's disease often struggle with mobility. To regain their motor functions, these patients are required to undergo physical therapy sessions. A team of researchers has invented a novel robotic walker that helps patients carry out therapy sessions to regain their leg movements and natural gait. The system also increases productivity of physiotherapists and improves the quality of rehabilitation sessions.

Mental disorders due to permanent stress?

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:29 AM PST

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. Medical researchers are studying the effects of permanent stress on the immune system.

Teasing out glitches in immune system's self-recognition

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:27 AM PST

In order to distinguish self from other, the immune system processes proteins from inside and outside the body in different ways. A new study revises understanding of how the process works and sheds light on autoimmune disease.

Novel regulatory mechanism for cell division found

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 05:27 AM PST

A protein kinase or enzyme known as PKM2 has proven to control cell division, potentially providing a molecular basis for tumor diagnosis and treatment, researchers report. Understanding how cytokinesis goes awry is important since abnormal cell division impacts tumor cell growth and spread, they add.

Key protein decrypted: Scientists develop 3D model of regulator protein bax

Posted: 21 Nov 2014 12:32 AM PST

A new 3D model of the protein Bax, a key regulator of cell death, has been developed and released by researchers. When active, Bax forms pores in the membranes of mitochondria, causing the release of proteins from the intermembrane space into the cytoplasm. This in turn triggers a series of operations ending in cell death, which are often impaired in cancer cells. Using Double Electron-Electron Resonance spectroscopy, the research group has now shown that active Bax is present on the membrane in the form of dimeric assemblies whose clamp-like structures have a central role in the pore formation process.

Worldwide action needed to address hidden crisis of violence against women and girls

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 05:46 PM PST

Current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls are inadequate, according to a new Series published in The Lancet. Estimates suggest that globally, 1 in 3 women has experienced either physical or sexual violence from their partner, and that 7 percent of women will experience sexual assault by a non-partner at some point in their lives.

Tapeworm found living inside a patient's brain: Worm removed and sequenced

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 05:45 PM PST

A genome of a rare species of tapeworm found living inside a patient's brain has been sequenced for the first time. The study provides insights into potential drug targets within the genome for future treatments.

How mutant gene can cause deafness

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 05:45 PM PST

Scientists have discovered how one gene is essential to hearing, uncovering a cause of deafness and suggesting new avenues for therapies. "This raises hopes that we could, in principle, use gene-therapy approaches to restore function in hair cells and thus develop new treatment options for hearing loss," said the senior author of the new study.

First inhibitor for enzyme linked to cancers created

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

Recent studies showing acid ceramidase (AC) to be upregulated in melanoma, lung and prostate cancers have made the enzyme a desired target for novel synthetic inhibitor compounds. Now scientists describe the very first class of AC inhibitors that may aid in the efficacy of chemotherapies.

New survey of employers about health insurance market

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

A new nationally representative survey of employers -- the largest purchasers of health care in the United States -- shows that most are unfamiliar with objective metrics of health plan quality information. The survey also found that employers are looking to the Affordable Care Act as they make significant decisions on the benefits they offer, with the costs of health plans as a key consideration.

Global report card: Are children better off than they were 25 years ago?

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

A comprehensive analysis of children's rights in 190 countries around the world has now been released. Today, the Convention on the Rights of the Child remains the only formal global effort to improve children's rights and the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. Only three U.N. member nations have not ratified the treaty: Somalia, South Sudan and the United States.

When vaccines are imperfect: What math can tell us about their effects on disease propagation

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

The control of certain childhood diseases is difficult, despite high vaccination coverage in many countries. One of the possible reasons for this is 'imperfect vaccines,' that is, vaccines that fail either due to 'leakiness,' lack of effectiveness on certain individuals in a population, or shorter duration of potency. In a new article, authors use a mathematical model to determine the consequences of vaccine failure and resulting disease dynamics.

Pain, magnet displacement in MRI in patients with cochlear implants

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

Pain, discomfort and magnet displacement were documented in a small medical records review study of patients with cochlear implants who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to a new report.

Employees of small, locally owned businesses have more company loyalty, study finds

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 03:34 PM PST

Employees at small, locally owned businesses have the highest level of loyalty to their employers — and for rural workers, size and ownership of the company figure even more into their commitment than job satisfaction, a new study finds.

Longer work hours for moms mean less sleep, higher BMIs for preschoolers

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 12:39 PM PST

A link between moms' employment and overweight/obesity in preschoolers has been found by researchers. The study investigated links between mothers' employment status and their children's weight over time, exploring the impact of potential mediators, such as children's sleep and dietary habits, the amount of time they spent watching TV and family mealtime routines.

Evolutionary principles used to model cancer mutations, discover potential therapeutic targets

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 12:38 PM PST

Researchers are taking a unique approach to understanding and investigating cancer by utilizing evolutionary principles and computational modeling to examine the role of specific genetic mutations in the Darwinian struggle among tumor and normal cells during cancer growth.

Firms pressure sales people to invest in costly internal negotiations

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:18 AM PST

In many firms sales people spend as much time negotiating internally for lower prices as they do interacting with customers. A new study finds that firms should allow their sales people to 'waste' energy on internal negotiations. In fact, it says, firms should make the process wasteful on purpose.

Tropical rickettsial illnesses associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:17 AM PST

A recent study from the Thai-Myanmar border highlights the severe and previously under-reported adverse impact of readily treatable tropical rickettsial illnesses, notably scrub typhus and murine typhus, on pregnancy outcomes, finding that more than one third of affected pregnancies resulted either in stillbirth or premature and/or low birth weight babies.

Epidemic spreading and neurodegenerative progression

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:16 AM PST

Researchers have used a model inspired by patterns of epidemic disease spreading to map how misfolded proteins propagate within the brain.

An Ebola virus protein can cause massive inflammation and leaky blood vessels

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:16 AM PST

Ebola GP protein covers the virus' surface and is shed from infected cells during infection. Shed GP can trigger massive dysregulation of the immune response and affect the permeability of blood vessels.

Staying ahead of the game: Pre-empting flu evolution may make for better vaccines

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:16 AM PST

An international team of researchers has shown that it may be possible to improve the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine by 'pre-empting' the evolution of the influenza virus.

Human trial of experimental Ebola vaccine

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:15 AM PST

A new clinical trial will evaluate different dosage levels of a promising experimental Ebola vaccine. The Baltimore study is the second Ebola vaccine trial being led by the University of Maryland School of Medicine CVD, the first currently taking place in Mali, West Africa. The Mali trial is being performed by CVD-Mali in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Mali.

New liver gives mother of three a life without pain

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:14 AM PST

A patient's medical problem was diagnosed as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), a disease in which the bile ducts are damaged, causing bile to build up in the liver. Liver-transplant lists are ordered according to the severity of the liver disease based on a "MELD" score, which factors in creatinine levels, bilirubin levels, and INR (a measurement of how quickly blood clots). The higher the MELD number, the sicker a patient is and the higher they are placed on the waiting list.

Jogging keeps you young: Seniors who run regularly can walk as efficiently as 20-somethings

Posted: 20 Nov 2014 11:14 AM PST

A new study is shedding light on an unexpected benefit of jogging in older adults. The study looked at adults over the age of 65 -- some of whom walk for exercise and some who run for exercise. The researchers found that those who run at least 30 minutes, three times a week were less likely to experience age-related physical decline in walking efficiency than those who simply walked.

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