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Thursday, November 27, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe, prompts immune response

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 02:14 PM PST

An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Why do so many seniors with memory loss and dementia never get tested?

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 02:13 PM PST

Despite clear signs that their memory and thinking abilities have gone downhill, more than half of seniors with these symptoms haven't seen a doctor about them, a new study finds.

Treatment breakthrough for advanced bladder cancer

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:38 AM PST

A major breakthrough in developing a new therapy for advanced bladder cancer -- for which there have been no major treatment advances in the past 30 years -- has been made by scientists. The study examined an antibody (MPDL3280A) which blocks a protein (PD-L1) thought to help cancer cells evade immune detection.

Potential predictive biomarker for response to PD-L1 checkpoint blocker found

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:38 AM PST

Scientists analyzed tissue samples from patients who had -- and had not -- responded to a promising new immunotherapy drug. The study could help identify patients most likely to respond to the new drug, which blocks PD-L1.

'Off switch' for pain discovered: Activating the adenosine A3 receptor subtype is key to powerful pain relief

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:26 AM PST

A way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain has been discovered by researchers, suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.

Majority of women report sexual dysfunction after childbirth

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:26 AM PST

Many women notice that their sexual health changes after childbirth, according to researchers. Researchers have a study underway to determine the extent to which pelvic pain may be related to this change.

Vaccines may make war on cancer personal

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:26 AM PST

In the near future, physicians may treat some cancer patients with personalized vaccines that spur their immune systems to attack malignant tumors. New research has brought the approach one step closer to reality.

Why patients respond to a life-saving melanoma drug

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 10:26 AM PST

Researchers have pioneered a new methodology to predict why some patients battling advanced melanoma respond well or not at all to the new breakthrough drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

Copper on the brain at rest

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:44 AM PST

Proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest, new research shows. The brain consumes 20-percent of the oxygen taken in through respiration. This high demand for oxygen and oxidative metabolism has resulted in the brain harboring the body's highest levels of copper, as well as iron and zinc. Over the past few years, researchers have developed a series of fluorescent probes for molecular imaging of copper in the brain.

Saving ovaries does not help prevent prolapse for women after menopause

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Removing ovaries at hysterectomy does not increase a woman's risk of pelvic organ prolapse after menopause. In fact, removing ovaries lowers the risk of prolapse. This surprising finding from a Women's Health Initiative study has just been published.

More public health interventions required to tackle grim reaper of 'lifestyle' diseases

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

More public health interventions, along the lines of the smoking ban, are needed to tackle the devastating toll of 'lifestyle' diseases, including heart disease and cancer, according to academics.

An enzyme that fixes broken DNA sometimes destroys it instead, researchers find

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Enzymes inside cells that normally repair damaged DNA sometimes wreck it instead, researchers have found. The insight could lead to a better understanding of the causes of some types of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.

Dogs hear our words and how we say them

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.

Elderly brains learn, but maybe too much

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Learning requires both mental flexibility, or 'plasticity,' and stability. A new study finds that in learning a visual task, older people exhibited a surprising degree of plasticity, but had trouble filtering out irrelevant information, suggesting that their learning was not as stable.

Cognitive test battery developed to assess impact of long duration spaceflights on astronauts' brain function

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:39 AM PST

A cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, has been developed for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on November 28.

Enzyme may be key to cancer progression in many tumors

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:39 AM PST

A deeper understanding of how KRAS turns off tumor suppressor genes and identifies a key enzyme in the process has been gained by researchers. The findings suggest that this enzyme, known as TET1, may be an important target for cancer diagnostics and treatment.

Research on rare cancer exposes possible route to new treatments

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 09:39 AM PST

The unusual role of lactate in the alveolar soft part sarcoma has been uncovered by researchers who also confirm that a fusion gene is the cancer-causing agent in the disease.

Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 08:12 AM PST

An international team of researchers has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before. To this end the scientists used a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging technology.

New guide to genetic jungle of muscles can help health research

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 08:12 AM PST

A comprehensive overview of how tens of thousands of genes interact in relation to the behavior of muscles has been developed by scientists. At the same time, they have developed a guide to the enormous amounts of data and thus paved the way for new knowledge about diseases associated with lack of activity.

How a common antacid could lead to cheaper anti-cancer drugs

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

A cheap answer to anti-cancer medication may be in your medicine cabinet. Cimetidine treats indigestion by blocking histamine receptors in the gut, which decreases the production of gastric acid. It also appears to block histamine receptors in cancer cells, as well as supporting the immune system's defenses against cancer.

Study examines communication, end-of-life decisions

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

A recent study examines how the quality of communication among family members and care givers impacts end-of-life decisions. The author says that family communication holds a great deal of potential for improving end-of-life health care.

Minimally invasive disc surgery is a pain in the neck

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 08:10 AM PST

In comparison with open surgery, while minimally invasive surgery for cervical or lumbar discectomy may speed up recovery and reduce post-operative pain, it does not improve long-term function or reduce long-term extremity pain.

Study unlocks basis of key immune protein's two-faced role

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:42 AM PST

A long sought-after partner for a key immune protein, called TIM-3, that helps explain its two-faced role in the immune system has been discovered by researchers. The interest in TIM-3 as a drug target stems largely from its inhibitory role, particularly in cancer. Scientists explain that if there were a way to block TIM-3 pharmacologically, it could unleash the immune system, freeing it to attack tumors.

Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:42 AM PST

Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study.

Isolation of important centres in brain results in age-related memory deficits

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:41 AM PST

Poor memory among the elderly can be explained by regions in the hippocampus complex, an important part of the brain, becoming more co-active during rest, thereby interacting less efficiently with other parts of the brain when we try to memorize information, researchers report.

Pleasure at another's misfortune is evident in children as young as two

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:40 AM PST

Even very young children will show signs of schadenfreude when an inequitable situation is rectified. Until now, researchers believed that children didn't develop such a sophisticated emotion until the age of seven, but a new study found evidence of schadenfreude in children as young as two.

How various brain areas interact in decisions

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:53 AM PST

Our decisions can be pictured in the brain, and now scientists have been able to show in a recent study which areas are most active in decision making. Often the so-called prefrontal cortex not only apparently shows increased activity during decisions that require self-control, but in general during decision making. The results could be of use in promoting decision skills in difficult decisions.

Inpatient psychotherapy is effective in Germany

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:53 AM PST

The effectiveness of inpatient psychotherapy – which is widely available in Germany – has been the focus of long-term study, particularly with regard to the reduction of the psychiatric symptoms and impairments in the interpersonal sphere.

Sportswomen still second best to sportsmen, in the press

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:53 AM PST

Despite a sequence of stellar performances by Britain's female athletes and team game players, coverage of women's sport in the Press still occupies a fraction of the space given to men, according to an expert who has analyzed thousands of articles in newspapers that she describes as a "football-saturated boyzone". 

Glassy protein solution may cause eyesight deterioration

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:53 AM PST

Long-sightedness caused by age could be due to proteins in the lens of the eye that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid, glassy state, researchers have found. Around the age of 40-50, many people find their sight deteriorates and they need to use reading glasses. This age-related long-sightedness is thought to be due to a reduction in the elasticity of the lens in the eye. A new research study appears to have put its finger on the details of what happens in the eye when long-sightedness develops.

New test to measure HDL cholesterol can predict cardiovascular risk

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

Changes to the "good cholesterol" HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) can be associated with cardiovascular diseases, researchers report. By developing a new laboratory test, scientists have demonstrated for the first time that the presence of certain proteins in the HDL can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

New measuring system to objectively ascertain level of fatigue in physicians through eye movement

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

It is possible to establish in an objective way the level of fatigue in physicians after long shifts through their eye movement, according to an international team of scientists that has demonstrated this for the first time.

Efficacy of new drug against stem cells that provoke onset, growth of cancer, metastasis

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

An team of researchers has demonstrated the efficacy of a new drug against cancerogenic stem cells, which cause the onset and development of cancer, of relapse after chemotherapy and metastasis. This drug, called Bozepinib, has proved to be effective in tests with mice, they report.

Why do people with autism see faces differently?

Posted: 26 Nov 2014 04:51 AM PST

The way people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) gather information – not the judgement process itself – might explain why they gain different perceptions from peoples' faces, according to a new study. "The evaluation of an individual's face is a rapid process that influences our future relationship with the individual," said the lead author of the study. "By studying these judgments, we wanted to better understand how people with ASD use facial features as cues. Do they need more cues to be able to make the same judgment?"

Sweet-smelling breath to help diabetes diagnosis in children

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 05:58 PM PST

The potential to quickly diagnose children with type 1 diabetes before the onset of serious illness could be achieved using a simple, non-invasive breath test, according to new research.

Reported link between early life exposure to paracetamol and asthma 'overstated'

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 05:58 PM PST

The reported link between early life exposure to the common painkiller paracetamol and a heightened risk of childhood asthma has been 'overstated,' suggests a review of the current evidence.

Web-savvy older adults who regularly indulge in culture may better retain 'health literacy'

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 05:58 PM PST

Older people who are active Internet users and who regularly indulge in a spot of culture may be better able to retain their health literacy, and therefore maintain good health, suggests research.

Diagnosing deafness early will help teenagers' reading development

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 05:57 PM PST

Deaf teenagers have better reading skills if they were identified as deaf by the time they were nine months old, research has shown. The research team has been studying the development of a group of children who were identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) at a very early age. Follow up assessments when the children were aged eight showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not screened.

Therapy found effective in older, African-American lung cancer patients

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 05:38 PM PST

A Food and Drug Administration-approved therapy could be effective in treating both older and African-American patients with advanced lung cancer who may not be candidates for chemotherapy, a clinical trial concludes.

New insights into breast cancer spread could yield better tests and treatments

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 03:03 PM PST

A study combining patients' tumor cells with a laboratory model of blood vessel lining provides the most compelling evidence so far that a specific trio of cells is required for the spread of breast cancer. The findings could lead to better tests for predicting whether a woman's breast cancer will spread, researchers say.

FDA influence on design of pivotal drug studies examined

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 01:14 PM PST

An examination of the potential interaction between pharmaceutical companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss future studies finds that one-quarter of recent new drug approvals occurred without any meeting, and when such meetings occurred, pharmaceutical companies did not comply with one-quarter of the recommendations made by the FDA regarding study design or primary outcome, according to a study.

Full-day preschool linked with increased school readiness compared with part-day

Posted: 25 Nov 2014 01:14 PM PST

Children who attended a full-day preschool program had higher scores on measures of school readiness skills (language, math, socio-emotional development, and physical health), increased attendance, and reduced chronic absences compared to children who attended part-day preschool, according to a study.

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