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Thursday, November 6, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Cost & Effect: Cheaper Remedies Should Rule for Diabetes Nerve Pain

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 06:33 AM PST

Millions of people with diabetes take medicine to ease shooting, burning nerve pain, and new research suggests that many medicines can offer relief. But since some of those medicines cost nearly 10 times as much as others, cost should be a crucial factor in deciding which medicine to choose for diabetic neuropathy, say experts.

No link found between movie, video game violence and societal violence: Increased violent video game consumption correlates with declines in youth violence

Posted: 05 Nov 2014 05:48 AM PST

Since the 1920s, scholars and politicians have blamed violence in movies and other media as a contributing factor to rising violence in society. Recently the responses to mass shootings in Aurora, CO and at Sandy Hook Elementary followed this theme as media consumption came into the equation. But can consumption of violent media really be a factor in real-world violence? A recent study found that there were no associations between media violence consumption in society and societal violence.

Scientists uncover potential drug to tackle 'undruggable' fault in third of cancers

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 04:46 PM PST

Scientists have found a possible way to halt one of the most common faults in many types of cancer, according to new research. They have uncovered a new strategy and new potential drug to target an important signalling protein in cells called Ras, which is faulty in a third of cancers.

Gene 'switches' could predict when breast cancers will spread to the brain

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 04:46 PM PST

Scientists have found a pattern of genetic 'switches' – chemical marks that turn genes on or off - that are linked to breast cancer's spread to the brain, according to new research. 

High-speed 'label-free' imaging could reveal dangerous plaques

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 03:37 PM PST

Researchers are close to commercializing a new type of medical imaging technology that could diagnose cardiovascular disease by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser.

Novel nanofiber-based technology could help prevent HIV/AIDS transmission

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 03:37 PM PST

Scientists have developed a novel topical microbicide loaded with hyaluronic acid nanofibers that could potentially prevent transmission of HIV through the vaginal mucosa.

This just in: Political correctness pumps up productivity on the job

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 03:36 PM PST

Political correctness, loathed by some as censorship awash in leftist philosophy, actually boosts the creativity of mixed-sex work teams. These results highlight a paradoxical consequence: A term that has been used to undermine expectations to censor offensive language as a threat to free speech actually provides a foundation upon which diverse work groups can freely exchange creative ideas.

Immune booster combined with checkpoint blocker improves survival in metastatic melanoma

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:30 PM PST

Patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab, an immune checkpoint blocker, survived 50 percent longer if they simultaneously received an immune stimulant.

Google Glass may partially obstruct peripheral vision, study finds

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:30 PM PST

Testing of study participants who wore head-mounted display systems -- Google Glass -- found that the glasses created a partial peripheral vision obstruction, according to a study.

Combination treatment for metastatic melanoma results in longer overall survival

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:30 PM PST

Among patients with metastatic melanoma, treatment with a combination of the drugs sargramostim plus ipilimumab, compared with ipilimumab alone, resulted in longer overall survival and lower toxicity, but no difference in progression-free survival, according to a study.

Nonobstructive CAD associated with increased risk of heart attack, death

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:30 PM PST

In a study that included nearly 38,000 patients, those diagnosed with nonobstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) had a significantly increased risk of heart attack or death one year after diagnosis, according to a study.

Oxytocin levels in blood, cerebrospinal fluid are linked, study finds

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:30 PM PST

For years, scientists have debated how best to assess brain levels of oxytocin, a hormone implicated in social behaviors. Now, researchers have found the first direct evidence in children that blood oxytocin measurements are tightly linked to levels of oxytocin in cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the brain.

Medicare may need to expand options for behavioral weight loss counseling in primary care settings, according to research review

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 01:29 PM PST

An important addition to the "eat less, move more" strategy for weight loss lies in behavioral counseling to achieve these goals. But research on how primary care practitioners can best provide behavioral weight loss counseling to obese patients in their practices — as encouraged by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — remains slim, according to a systematic review of this topic.

The inside story: How the brain and skull stay together

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 12:37 PM PST

Researchers have discovered a network of tissue communication that ensures that the brain and spinal cord are matched with the skull and spinal column, during embryonic development. Their discovery may have important implications for the understanding and treatment of congenital defects like Spina Bifida and Chiari malformations.

How cells defend themselves against antibiotics, cytostatic agents

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 12:37 PM PST

ABC Transporters are proteins that are embedded in the cell membrane and facilitate the transport across cellular barriers not only of an almost unlimited variety of toxic substances, but also of substances that are essential for life. They also play a role in the development of antibiotic resistance. A research group has now succeeded in elucidating the detailed structure of this transporter.

Genetic damage caused by asthma shows up in circulating blood stream, too

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 12:35 PM PST

Asthma may be more harmful than was previously thought, according to UCLA researchers who found that genetic damage is present in circulating, or peripheral, blood. Doctors previously thought that the genetic damage it caused was limited to the lungs.

Where'd you get that great idea?

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 11:19 AM PST

Is it better to 'think outside the box,' or to build on something more closely related to the problem one is trying to solve? Researchers have collected surprising evidence that nearer is better.

Preventing postpartum hemorrhage

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 11:19 AM PST

Sublingual misoprostol is inferior to intramuscular oxytocin for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) in women undergoing uncomplicated birth at a regional hospital in Uganda, according to new trial results. The randomized non-inferiority trial showed that PPH incidence in the misoprostol arm exceeded that in the oxytocin arm by 11.2 percent.

U.S. adult consumption of added sugars increased by more than 30% over three decades

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 11:17 AM PST

While recent studies indicate that added sugar consumption has begun to decline, no research has examined whether these changes have persisted, or are consistent across critical subpopulations. Researchers examined five nationally representative surveys about food intake in the U.S. from 1977 to 2010, and found that added sugar consumption by American adults has increased by about 30% in the last three decades.

Surgery for sleep apnea improves asthma control

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 11:17 AM PST

Children who had their tonsils and adenoids removed for obstructive sleep apnea also had dramatic reductions in acute asthma exacerbations, acute status asthmaticus, asthma-related hospitalizations and ER visits, results from the first large study of the connections between OSA surgery and asthma show.

Genetic markers for alcoholism recovery discovered

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 10:11 AM PST

Researchers have identified genetic markers that may help in identifying individuals who could benefit from the alcoholism treatment drug acamprosate. The findings show that patients carrying these genetic variants have longer periods of abstinence during the first three months of acamprosate treatment.

Secondhand smoke can cause weight gain

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:13 AM PST

New research is challenging the decades-old belief that smoking cigarettes helps keep you slim. A study finds that exposure to cigarette smoke can actually cause weight gain. But here's the kicker: Secondhand smoke is the biggest culprit.

Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease may share deep roots

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:13 AM PST

A new study of genetic and health information from more than 15,000 women uncovered several potential ways that type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease may be related at the level of genes, proteins, and fundamental physiology.

To succeed in academia these days, grad students need 'street smarts'

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

In an era of reduced funding, it's not enough for a young researcher to be a good scientist. He or she also needs "street smarts" to, for example, find an influential mentor, dress professionally, network during scientific meetings and be able to describe a research project in the time it takes to ride an elevator, authors of a new article state.

Bicycle-friendly city infrastructure in U.S. significantly increases cycling to work by residents, which can improve health of locals

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

The number of people commuting by bike has increased by 60% over the past decade, but until now, the increase has not been closely tied to a supportive city infrastructure. Researchers evaluated how the development of the Minneapolis Greenway affected the commute of residents over a ten-year period. The research found that bike-friendly infrastructure changes were tied to increases in "active commuting" by bike-riding residents, which can promote healthy weight and reduce cardiac risk.

Thinking about the long-term impact of your food choices may help control food cravings

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

A new study adds evidence to the current thinking that individuals with obesity can successfully reduce cravings using distract tasks. For this study, researchers tested the effects of three, 30-second distraction techniques to reduce cravings for the study participant's favorite foods. They found that the effect of tapping one's own forehead and ear with their index finger, tapping one's toe on the floor, or a control task of staring at a blank wall, all worked significantly to reduce the cravings; however, forehead tapping worked best out of all techniques.

Granger Causality test can make epilepsy surgery more effective

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 09:11 AM PST

A new statistical test that looks at the patterns of high-frequency network activity flow from brain signals can help doctors pinpoint the exact location of seizures occurring in the brain and make surgery more effective, according to researchers.

Brain anatomy differences between autistic, typically developing individuals are indistinguishable

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:17 AM PST

'Our findings offer definitive answers regarding several scientific controversies about brain anatomy, which have occupied autism research for the past 10 to 15 years,' says one expert. 'Previous hypotheses suggesting that autism is associated with larger intra-cranial gray matter, white matter and amygdala volumes, or smaller cerebellar, corpus callosum and hippocampus volumes were mostly refuted by this new study.'

Preclinical oncology coursework could help with practitioner shortage

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:17 AM PST

With the world facing a shortage of oncologists, researchers have determined that preclinical study of oncology may increase the number of students entering the field and may make them more empathetic and concerned about ethical issues of treatment.

Few hospital websites educate pregnant women on Tdap vaccination, whooping cough prevention

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:16 AM PST

Pregnant women are unlikely to find information for protecting newborns from whooping cough on hospital websites. "Newborns are too young to be vaccinated themselves, and many parents don't realize the importance of Tdap vaccination during pregnancy in protecting their babies from a preventable and potentially deadly disease," says the study's lead author.

Asthma patients reduce symptoms, improve lung function with shallow breaths, more carbon dioxide

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:16 AM PST

Asthmatics naturally take deep breaths to relieve symptoms. But new research has found that asthma patients using biofeedback to resist the urge to gulp air or take deep breaths, managed to reduce symptoms and improve lung function. Shallow breathing increased carbon dioxide, said investigators. The findings are the first published results of a large clinical trial.

Future family, career goals evident in teenage years

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:15 AM PST

Career and family, often seen as competing parts of life, can actually complement each other, and when young people's goals for the future encompass family and career, the outcome is more likely to be success in both arenas, according to researchers.

Autism spectrum disorder: Ten tips guidance article

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:15 AM PST

A Clinical Perspectives article proposes a tool to empower stakeholders, guide caregivers, and provide a rationale for advocates, when considering the systems of support offered to people with an autism spectrum disorder.

Climate, emerging diseases: Dangerous connections found

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

Climate change may affect human health directly or indirectly. In addition to increased threats of storms, flooding, droughts, and heat waves, other health risks are being identified. In particular, new diseases are appearing, caused by infectious agents until now unknown, or that are changing, especially under the effect of changes in the climate. These are so-called "emerging" or "re-emerging" infectious diseases, such as leishmaniasis, West Nile fever, etc. According to the WHO, these diseases are causing one third of deaths around the world, and developing countries are on the front line.

Vaccine-resistant polio strain discovered

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

The global initiative to eradicate poliomyelitis through routine vaccination has helped reduce the number of cases by more than 99% in 30 years. However, major epidemics are still occurring today. Researchers have identified the virus responsible for deadly and recent outbreaks, and have sequenced its genetic material. The genetic sequence shows two mutations, unknown until now, of the proteins that form the "shell" (capsid) of the virus. On the face of it, this evolution complicates the task for the antibodies produced by the immune system of the vaccinated patient as they can no longer recognize the viral strain.

Improving taste of alcohol-free beer with aromas from regular beer

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

Consumers often complain that alcohol-free beer is tasteless, but some of the aromas it is lacking can be carried across from regular beer. Researchers have developed the technique and a panel of tasters has confirmed its effectiveness. The alcohol in beer acts as a solvent for a variety of aromatic compounds; therefore, when it is eliminated, as in non-alcoholic beers, the final product loses aromas and some of its taste. It is difficult to recover these compounds, but researchers have done just this using a pervaporation process.

Hot flashes going unrecognized, leaving women vulnerable

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:14 AM PST

Hot flashes are one of the most distressing conditions faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, but they are not being adequately addressed by healthcare professionals and some women consider giving up their post cancer medication to try and stop them, a new study has shown More than 70 per cent of women who have had breast cancer experience menopausal problems, and hot flashes in particular, which are among the most prevalent and potentially distressing problems following breast cancer treatment.

Helping Pacific islanders eat more 'greens'

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:12 AM PST

Research is helping indigenous Pacific Island and Torres Strait Islander people eat more "greens" to improve their diet and help combat disease. "People in these regions have too high consumption of high-energy, low-nutrient foods such as a polished rice, white flour and sugar," says one researcher. "This has led to high rates of metabolic diseases -- obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. We wanted to help them make easy nutritional changes to their diet that would have a significant impact in the short-term."

Elderly face no added risk from cosmetic surgery, study finds

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:12 AM PST

Senior citizens are at no higher risk for complications from cosmetic surgery than younger patients, according to a recent study by plastic surgeons. The doctors analyzed data from more than 129,000 patients during a five-year period and found no significant difference in the rate of complications for individuals older or younger than 65.

Radiation a risk factor for brain tumors in young people, study finds

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

In people under age 30, radiation is a risk factor for a type of brain tumor called a meningioma, a study has found. Researchers analyzed records of 35 patients who were diagnosed with meningiomas before age 30. Five had been exposed to ionizing radiation earlier in their lives. They include two patients who received radiation for leukemia at ages 5 and 6; one who received radiation at age 3 for a brain tumor known as a medulloblastoma; and one who received radiation for an earlier skull base tumor that appeared to be a meningioma. The fifth patient had been exposed at age 9 to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in Ukraine.

Service members diagnosed with chronic insomnia may face increased risk of type II diabetes, high blood pressure

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

Service members diagnosed with chronic insomnia had a two times higher risk of developing hypertension and type II diabetes than military personnel who had not been diagnosed with the condition, according to a newly released health surveillance report of a study of the associations between these diseases.

Hydrogel: Patent issued for substance with medical benefits

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 08:11 AM PST

A U.S. patent has been awarded to a novel jelly-like substance called a hydrogel. This substance may be used for biomedical applications, ranging from cell culture and drug delivery to repairing and replacing tissue, organs and cartilage.

Drug proves safe, efficacious to treat children in Africa with malaria

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Results of a multi-centre clinical trial in Africa, launched in 2008, to test the efficacy and tolerability of Artesunate-Mefloquine fixed-dose combination in children under 5 years of age with uncomplicated falciparum malaria showed that ASMQ FDC is as safe and efficacious as Artemether-Lumefantrine FDC -- Africa's most widely adopted treatment.

Ebola, Marburg viruses edit genetic material during infection

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Filoviruses like Ebola 'edit' genetic material as they invade their hosts, according to a study. The findings reported could lead to a better understanding of these viruses, paving the way for new treatments down the road.

Undiagnosed, undertreated Chagas disease emerging as U.S. public health threat

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Across a broad swath of the southern United States, residents face a tangible but mostly unrecognized risk of contracting Chagas disease -- a stealthy parasitic infection that can lead to severe heart disease and death -- according to new research.

Forensic DNA test conclusively links snake bite marks on people to species

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 06:11 AM PST

Starting with a simple DNA swab taken from fang marks on people bitten by snakes, an international research team correctly identified the species of the biting snake 100 percent of the time in a first-of-its-kind clinical study.

Study finds intractable conflicts stem from misunderstanding of motivation

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:39 AM PST

We sometimes wonder why Israelis and Palestinians are so entrenched in their inability to reach a solution to the crisis in the Mideast, or why Republican and Democrats engaging in verbal vitriol never seem to agree on anything. New research suggests a concept known as motive attribution asymmetry -- one group's belief that their rivals are motivated by emotions opposite to their own -- may be the defining cause of these intractable conflicts.

Shaping up: Researchers reconstruct early stages of embryo development

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

Researchers have managed to reconstruct the early stage of mammalian development using embryonic stem cells, showing that a critical mass of cells -- not too few, but not too many -- is needed for the cells to being self-organizing into the correct structure for an embryo to form.

Less reward, more aversion when learning tricky tasks

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

We can easily learn by seeking reward or avoiding punishment. But either way, we'd rather have any task be easy. A new study finds a direct behavioral and physiological linkage between those inclinations: When even subtle conflict made an experimental task harder, it affected the perception of reward and punishment, skewing how subjects learned the task.

Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn. A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success.

Can (and should) happiness be a policy goal?

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

How does an individual's happiness level reflect societal conditions? A new article finds that similar to how GDP measures the effectiveness of economic policies, happiness can and should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of social policies.

Association between coronary artery plaque, liver disease found

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

Researchers using coronary computed tomography angiography have found a close association between high-risk coronary artery plaque and a common liver disease. The study found that a single CT exam can detect both conditions.

Report card on complementary therapies for breast cancer

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:38 AM PST

Over 80 percent of breast cancer patients in the United States use complementary therapies following a breast cancer diagnosis, but there has been little science-based guidance to inform clinicians and patients about their safety and effectiveness. In newly published guidelines, researchers analyzed which integrative treatments appear to be most effective and safe for patients. They evaluated more than 80 different therapies.

'Stockholm Syndrome' could have ancient roots: Traditional stories highlight how ancient women survived

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

Through the ages, women have suffered greatly because of wars. Consequently, to protect themselves and their offspring, our female ancestors may have evolved survival strategies specific to problems posed by warfare.

Six faces of killers on social networking sites revealed

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

A team of leading criminologists have published the first-ever study on how convicted killers have used the social networking site Facebook in relation to their crimes.

A medical lab for the home

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated a mobile wireless system that monitors the health of elderly people in their own homes, using miniature sensors. Besides non-invasive sensors this platform integrates technology to take a blood sample and to determine specific markers in the patient's blood. At its core is the home unit, a compact device located in the patient's home. It incorporates the necessary software as well as sensors and the analytical equipment.

Half of elderly people are more than happy to consume new foods

Posted: 04 Nov 2014 05:37 AM PST

Elderly people are regarded as traditional consumers, but a study reveals that there are more and more elderly people who are happy to accept new foods. However, these consumers insist that the new proposals should be similar to or evoke traditional products and flavors and, at the same time, be health-enhancing, have the right nutrient profile for their age, and be flavorsome.

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