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Saturday, November 8, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Denying problems when we don't like the political solutions: Why conservatives, liberals disagree so vehemently

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:23 AM PST

There may be a scientific answer for why conservatives and liberals disagree so vehemently over the existence of issues like climate change and specific types of crime. A new study finds that people will evaluate scientific evidence based on whether they view its policy implications as politically desirable. If they don't, then they tend to deny the problem even exists.

Research resolves contradiction over protein's role at telomeres

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

A puzzling discrepancy has surrounded one component of the protective complex that forms at telomeres, at the end of chromosomes. Studies of its role in mice versus humans had turned up contradictory results. Now researchers have figured out what's really going on.

SCNT derived cells, IPS cells are similar, study finds

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

A team of scientists compared induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells created using somatic cell nuclear transfer. They found that the cells derived from these two methods resulted in cells with highly similar gene expression and DNA methylation patterns. Both methods also resulted in stem cells with similar amounts of DNA mutations, showing that the process of turning an adult cell into a stem cell introduces mutations independent of the specific method used.

Scientists create Parkinson's disease in a dish

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

A team of scientists created a human stem cell disease model of Parkinson's disease in a dish. Studying a pair of identical twins, one affected and one unaffected with Parkinson's disease, another unrelated Parkinson's patient, and four healthy control subjects, the scientists were able to observe key features of the disease in the laboratory, specifically differences in the patients' neurons' ability to produce dopamine, the molecule that is deficient in Parkinson's disease.

Human stem cell-derived neuron transplants reduce seizures in mice

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

Scientists have new evidence that stem cell transplantation could be a worthwhile strategy to help epileptics who do not respond to anti-seizure drugs. Most epileptic patients can be treated with anti-seizure drugs, which contain molecules that can inhibit electrical symptoms, similar to the normal function of interneurons. But about one-third do not benefit from existing medication.

Body weight heavily influenced by gut microbes: Genes shape body weight by affecting gut microbes

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

Our genetic makeup influences whether we are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, according to a new study. Scientists identified a specific, little known bacterial family that is highly heritable and more common in individuals with low body weight. This microbe also protected against weight gain when transplanted into mice. The results could pave the way for personalized probiotic therapies that are optimized to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases based on an individual's genetic make-up.

Human blood stem cells genetically 'edited'

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

Researchers, for the first time, have used a relatively new gene-editing technique to create what could prove to be an effective technique for blocking HIV from invading and destroying patients' immune systems.

A cause of age-related inflammation found

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:22 AM PST

As animals age, their immune systems gradually deteriorate, a process called immunosenescence. It is associated with systemic inflammation and chronic inflammatory disorders, as well as with many cancers. The causes underlying this age-associated inflammation, and how it leads to diseases, are poorly understood. New work sheds light on one protein's involvement in suppressing immune responses in aging fruit flies.

New knowledge about human brain's plasticity

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

The brain's plasticity and its adaptability to new situations do not function the way researchers previously thought, according to a new study. Earlier theories are based on laboratory animals, but now researchers have studied the human brain, and reached some new conclusions.

Images of a nearly invisible mouse

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

A method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy has been developed to take extremely detailed images of the interior of individual organs and even entire organisms. The work opens new possibilities for understanding the way life works -- the ultimate dream of systems biology -- by allowing scientists to make tissues and whole organisms transparent and then image them at extremely precise, single-cell resolution.

Ghost illusion created in the lab

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

Patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric conditions have often reported 'feeling a presence' watching over them. Now, researchers have succeeded in recreating these ghostly illusions in the lab.

First-in-class nasal spray demonstrates promise for migraine pain relief

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

Researchers are developing a novel prochlorperazine nasal spray formulation as a potential new treatment for migraines. Of the 100 million people that experience headaches in the United States, 37 million of them suffer from migraines.

Transplant of stem-cell-derived dopamine neurons shows promise for Parkinson's disease

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

Parkinson's disease is an incurable movement disorder that affects millions of people around the world, but current treatment options can cause severe side effects and lose effectiveness over time. In a new study, researchers showed that transplantation of neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells, hESCs, can restore motor function in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, paving the way for the use of cell replacement therapy in human clinical trials.

Geroscience: Research strategy supports GSIG's efforts to integrate aging into chronic disease research

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:18 AM PST

Scientists who have been successful in delaying mammalian aging with genetic, dietary and pharmacological approaches have developed a research strategy to expand Geroscience research directed at extending human healthspan. The strategy comes at a critical time, given the dramatic increase in the elderly population and a growing recognition that aging is the greatest risk factor for a majority of the chronic diseases that drive later-life disability and death.

Failed Alzheimer's test may suggest direction research should follow

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:17 AM PST

Disappointing results in clinical Alzheimer's studies discourage doctors and scientists from continuing their research into c-secretases and a possible treatment against Alzheimer's disease. An expert argues in a new article that these studies are not pointless, but merely indicate what the next steps should be for the Alzheimer's research.

Is violent injury a chronic disease? Study suggests so, and may aid efforts to stop the cycle

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:15 AM PST

Teens and young adults who get seriously injured in an assault are nearly twice as likely as their peers to end up back in the emergency room for a violent injury within the next two years, a new study finds. The researchers call this repeating pattern of violent injury a reoccurring disease.

Human body cannot be trained to maintain a higher metabolism, study suggests

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:15 AM PST

Researchers explored whether high- or low- protein diets might lead to less weight gain when consuming excess calories due to the ability of the body to burn extra energy with a high-protein diet. They found that study participants all gained similar amounts of weight regardless of diet composition; however, there was a vast difference in how the body stored the excess calories. Those who consumed normal- and high- protein diets stored 45% of the excess calories as lean tissue, or muscle mass, while those on the low-protein diet stored 95% of the excess calories as fat.

First peek at how neurons multitask

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:15 AM PST

Researchers have shown how a single neuron can perform multiple functions in a model organism, illuminating for the first time this fundamental biological mechanism and shedding light on the human brain.

Direct generation of neural stem cells could enable transplantation therapy

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:15 AM PST

Induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) hold promise for therapeutic transplantation, but their potential in this capacity has been limited by failed efforts to maintain such cells in their multi-potent NSC state. Now, scientists have created iNSCs that remain in the multi-potent state—without ongoing expression of reprogramming factors. This allows the iNSCs to self-renew repeatedly to generate cells in quantities sufficient for therapy.

Before there will be blood: Surprising role of protein in embryonic development

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 10:15 AM PST

Researchers describe the surprising and crucial involvement of a pro-inflammatory signaling protein in the creation of hematopoietic stem cells (HScs) during embryonic development, a finding that could help scientists to finally reproduce HSCs for therapeutic use.

From single cells to multicellular life: Researchers capture the emergence of multicellular life in real-time experiments

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

All multicellular creatures are descended from single-celled organisms. The leap from unicellularity to multicellularity is possible only if the originally independent cells collaborate. So-called cheating cells that exploit the cooperation of others are considered a major obstacle. Now, researchers capture the emergence of multicellular life in real-time experiments.

Arm pain in young baseball players common, preventable

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

Arm pain is common among supposedly healthy young baseball players and nearly half have been encouraged to keep playing despite arm pain, the most in-depth survey of its kind has found. The findings suggest that more detailed and individualized screening is needed to prevent overuse injury in young ballplayers.

All kidding aside: Medical clowns calm children during uncomfortable allergy test

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

Because the 'scratch test' for allergies involves needles that prick multiple points along the skin's surface, it's a particularly high-stress examination for children -- and their understandably anxious parents. Now a new study has confirmed that 'medical clowns' not only significantly decrease the level of anxiety expressed by children undergoing these tests, but they also assuage the pain the children experience.

New model to study epidemics developed

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

For decades, scientists have been perfecting models of how contagions spread, but newly published research takes the first steps toward a model that includes the interaction between individual human behavior and the behavior of the epidemic itself. The highly complex model accounts for the speed of modern communication and travel, both of which change contagion probability. The team hopes the model will more accurately guide travel restrictions and who should be vaccinated and isolated.

Future air quality could put plants, people at risk

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:33 AM PST

Future ozone levels could be high enough to cause serious damage to plants and crops, even if emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced, says new research. And without sufficient reductions in emissions, ozone levels could also pose a risk to human health.

Woman's genes give clue for unique liver cancer treatment

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:32 AM PST

A 47-year-old American woman with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the first person with her condition to receive a uniquely personalized treatment based on her genetic profile.

New research adds spice to curcumin's health-promoting benefits

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:32 AM PST

The health benefits of over-the-counter curcumin supplements might not get past your gut, but new research shows that a modified formulation of the spice releases its anti-inflammatory goodness throughout the body.

Twin study: Psychologist researches proactivity in workplace

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:32 AM PST

Both environmental and genetic factors influence employee proactivity, according to a recent twin study. The study also found that environmental factors are more likely determine how much money proactive employees earn, while genetics more likely determine a proactive employee's job satisfaction.

New step in molecular pathway found responsible for neural tube defects, a birth defect that is increased in diabetic pregnancies

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 08:32 AM PST

A molecular pathway responsible for neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies has been discovered by scientists. For 20 years, scientists have known of a gene involved in neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), but until now it was not known exactly what causes this gene to malfunction during diabetic pregnancies.

Diagnostic exhalations could inform treatments

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:42 AM PST

By analyzing carbon dioxide in the breath, an algorithm could help determine how to treat patients. The algorithm determines whether a patient is suffering from emphysema or heart failure based on readings from a capnograph -- a machine that measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in a patient's exhalations.

To eat fish or not to eat fish: Pregnant, breastfeeding women ask the question

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

To eat fish or not to eat fish? That is the question for pregnant and breastfeeding women. An expert clarifies this complicated issue in a new article.

Engineers propose new approach to single-ventricle heart surgery for infants

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:40 AM PST

Engineers are proposing a new surgical intervention for children born with a single ventricle in their heart -- instead of the usual two. The new approach would potentially reduce the number of surgeries the patients have to undergo in the first six months of life from two to just one. If successful, it would also create a more stable circuit for blood to flow.

Sorting bloodborne cancer cells to better predict spread of disease

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:39 AM PST

For most cancer patients, primary tumors are often not the most deadly. Instead, it is the metastatic tumors -- tumors that spread from their original location to other parts of the body -- that are the cause of most cancer deaths. Now researchers have developed a method to predict this spread.

Lifestyle education crucial to help young Americans control their blood pressure

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:39 AM PST

Far too many "teachable moments" are lost in a doctor's office during which young adults with hypertension could have learned how to reduce their blood pressure, experts say. In fact, only one in every two hypertensive young Americans do in fact receive such advice and guidance from a healthcare provider within a year from being diagnosed, a study shows.

Hepatitis A hospitalization rate declines in U.S.

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:39 AM PST

The rate of hospitalization due to hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection has significantly declined in the U.S. from 2002 to 2011, new research shows. Findings show that older patients and those with chronic liver disease are most likely to be hospitalized for HAV. Vaccination of adults with chronic liver disease may prevent infection with hepatitis A and the need for hospitalization.

Omega-3 reduces smoking, study suggests

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:19 AM PST

Taking omega-3 supplements reduces craving for nicotine and even reduces the number of cigarettes that people smoke a day, a new study suggests. "The substances and medications used currently to help people reduce and quit smoking are not very effective and cause adverse effects that are not easy to cope with. The findings of this study indicated that omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly," said the study's lead investigator.

Why cliques thrive in some schools more than in others

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:19 AM PST

Students in some schools form more cliquish, hierarchical, and segregated social structures than in others. What accounts for the variation? It turns out that the organizational setting of a school itself, its "network ecology," has a big impact. Schools that offer students more choice -- more elective courses, more ways to complete requirements, a bigger range of potential friends, more freedom to select seats in a classroom -- are more likely to be rank ordered, cliquish, and segregated by race, age, gender, and social status.

Diversity outbred mice better predict potential human responses to chemical exposures

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:17 AM PST

A genetically diverse mouse model is able to predict the range of response to chemical exposures that might be observed in human populations, researchers have found. Like humans, each Diversity Outbred mouse is genetically unique, and the extent of genetic variability among these mice is similar to the genetic variation seen among humans.

Vegan diet best for weight loss even with carbohydrate consumption, study finds

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 07:17 AM PST

People shed more weight on an entirely plant based diet, even if carbohydrates are also included, a study has concluded. Other benefits of eating a vegan diet include decreased levels of saturated and unsaturated fat, lower BMIs, and improved macro nutrients.

New airport security screening method more than 20 times as successful at detecting deception

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:30 AM PST

Airport security agents using a new conversation-based screening method caught mock airline passengers with deceptive cover stories more than 20 times as often as agents who used the traditional method of examining body language for suspicious signs, according to new research.

Cilia: Cellular extensions with a large effect

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:29 AM PST

Tiny extensions on cells, cilia, play an important role in insulin release, according to a new study. The researchers report that the cilia of beta cells in the pancreas are covered with insulin receptors and that changed ciliary function can be associated with the development of type 2 diabetes.

Oranges highly allergenic for one toddler, study reports

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:29 AM PST

A two and-a-half year-old girl in Pennsylvania has suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction to eating an orange -- the first time such a case has been reported in a toddler. "She ate an orange, and within a few minutes had developed severe anaphylaxis," said allergist and study author. "Her lips and tongue swelled, she broke out in hives and couldn't breathe well. Her parents immediately got her to an emergency room, and she was flown by helicopter to a pediatric intensive care unit."

Less nitrite in meat products reduces levels of nitrosamines

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:27 AM PST

The less nitrite added to processed meat, the lower the levels of potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines formed in the products. The formation of nitrosamines can be reduced even further by adding e.g. erythorbic acid, scientists report.

Tiger mosquito found in Andalusia thanks to a collaborative citizens' project

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

Thanks to a mobile phone app, the tiger mosquito has been discovered for the first time to be present in Andalusia. The insect transmits diseases like chikungunya and dengue fever. This was made possible by public participation via the "" app and subsequent verification by entomologists collaborating in the project.

Mediterranean diets have lasting health benefits

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:26 AM PST

The health benefits of switching to a Mediterranean style diet and upping the amount of time spent exercising for a period of just eight weeks can still be seen a year after stopping the regime, a new study has shown.

Bats identified as hosts of Bartonella mayotimonensis

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:24 AM PST

Modern sequencing techniques have shown that bats can carry a bacterial species previously been shown to cause deadly human infections in USA. There are more than 1,100 species of bats on Earth. The numbers of bats are estimated to outnumber every other group of mammals. "Bats are also highly mobile and long-lived, so they are ideal as pathogen reservoirs. A plethora of pathogenic viruses such as Ebola are known to colonize bats," the study's lead author says.

Groundbreaking clinical trial to test blood pressure drug that reverses diabetes in animal models

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:20 AM PST

New research has shown that the common blood pressure drug verapamil completely reverses diabetes in animal models. Now, thanks to a three-year, $2.1 million grant, researchers will begin conducting a potentially groundbreaking clinical trial in 2015 to see if it can do the same in humans.

Diabetes remission rates after sleeve gastrectomy highest among those with less severe disease

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:20 AM PST

The less severe type 2 diabetes is before sleeve gastrectomy, the greater the likelihood patients will be disease free afterwards, according to new research.

Risks of diabetes surgery no higher than commonly performed surgeries

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:20 AM PST

Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery in patients with type 2 diabetes, once considered a high-risk procedure, carries a complication and mortality rate comparable to some of the safest and most commonly performed surgeries in America, including gallbladder surgery, appendectomy, and total knee replacement, according to new research.

Allergy sufferers are allergic to treatment more often than you'd think

Posted: 06 Nov 2014 05:20 AM PST

An allergic response to a medication for allergies can often go undiagnosed. Research sheds light on adverse responses to topical skin preparations; helps identify patients who are hypersensitive to antihistamines, and identifies allergic responses to various drugs used in the treatment of asthma.

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