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Thursday, December 25, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Putting bedbugs to bed forever

Posted: 24 Dec 2014 07:31 AM PST

A team of scientists has found a way to conquer the global bedbug epidemic. By lending their own arms for thousands of bed bug bites, they have finally found the solution -- a set of chemical attractants, or pheromones, that lure the bedbugs into traps, and keep them there.

High-fat diet, obesity during pregnancy harms stem cells in developing fetus

Posted: 24 Dec 2014 07:31 AM PST

Physician-scientists reveal a high-fat diet and obesity during pregnancy compromise the blood-forming, or hematopoietic, stem cell system in the fetal liver responsible for creating and sustaining lifelong blood and immune system function.

Scrapie could breach the species barrier

Posted: 24 Dec 2014 07:30 AM PST

The pathogens responsible for scrapie in small ruminants (prions) have the potential to convert the human prion protein from a healthy state to a pathological state, researchers have discovered for the first time. In mice models reproducing the human species barrier, this prion induces a disease similar to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. These primary results stress the necessity to reassess the transmission of this disease to humans.   

To remove the gallbladder or not: That is the question

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

Gallbladder removal is one of the most common operations performed in older adults. Yet, research suggests that many patients who would benefit most from the surgery don't get it.

Children's high risk clinic reduces serious illness by 55 percent

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

High-risk children with chronic illness who received comprehensive care at a special clinic staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, had a dramatic reduction in serious illnesses, documents a new study. These benefits are the greatest identified to date for medical homes for patients in any age group.

Identifying brain variations to predict patient response to surgery for OCD

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

Identifying brain variations may help physicians predict which patients will respond to a neurosurgical procedure to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder that does not respond to medication or cognitive-behavioral therapies, according to a report.

Trends in indoor tanning among U.S. high school students

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

While indoor tanning has decreased among high school students, about 20 percent of females engaged in indoor tanning at least once during 2013 and about 10 percent of girls frequently engaged in the practice by using an indoor tanning device 10 or more times during the year, according to a research.

The heat is on: Causes of hospitalization due to heat waves identified

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

In the largest and most comprehensive study of heat-related illness to date, researchers have identified a handful of potentially serious disorders that put older Americans at significantly increased risk of winding up in the hospital during periods of extreme heat.

Popular diabetes drug may be safe for patients with kidney disease

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 04:17 PM PST

The most popular treatment for type 2 diabetes, metformin, may be safer for patients with mild to moderate kidney disease than guidelines suggest, according to a new, systematic review of the literature. For 20 years, metformin has been used in the U.S. to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Most experts consider it the best first agent to treat blood sugar increases in this disease. Despite its strong safety profile, the FDA has long recommended that metformin not be prescribed to patients with mild to moderate kidney disease due to the risk of lactic acidosis, a potentially serious condition. But those decades-old guidelines have recently been called into question.

Many patients with gout in England do not receive recommended treatment

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:12 PM PST

Among patients in England with gout, only a minority of those with indications to receive urate-lowering therapy were treated according to guideline recommendations, according to a study. Current guidelines recommend urate (a metabolite derived from uric acid)-lowering treatment for patients with more severe gout or accompanying conditions.

Maternal supplementation with multiple micronutrients compared with iron-folic acid

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:12 PM PST

In Bangladesh, daily maternal supplementation of multiple micronutrients compared to iron-folic acid before and after childbirth did not reduce all-cause infant mortality to age 6 months, but did result in significant reductions in preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study.

Effect of longer, deeper cooling for newborns with neurological condition

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:12 PM PST

Among full-term newborns with moderate or severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (damage to cells in the central nervous system from inadequate oxygen), receiving deeper or longer duration cooling did not reduce risk of neonatal intensive care unit death, compared to usual care, according to a study.

Researchers map paths to cancer drug resistance

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

Key events that prompt certain cancer cells to develop resistance to otherwise lethal therapies have been identified by researchers. By mapping the specific steps that cells of melanoma, breast cancer and a blood cancer called myelofibrosis use to become resistant to drugs, the researchers now have much better targets for blocking those pathways and keeping current therapies effective.

Alternate drug therapy lowers antibodies, researchers find

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

A novel pre-operative drug therapy reduces antibodies in kidney patients with greater success than with traditional methods, with the potential to increase the patients' candidacy for kidney transplantation and decrease the likelihood of organ rejection. These are the findings of a three-year clinical trial.

Research opens opportunities to develop targeted drug therapy for cardiac arrhythmia

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

Biomedical engineers have discovered that for one important channel in the heart, the membrane voltage not only causes the channel to open, but also determines the properties of the electrical signals.

New standards of care from the American Diabetes Association

Posted: 23 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

The American Diabetes Association is recommending a less stringent diastolic blood pressure target for people with diabetes and that all people with diabetes take either moderate or high doses of statins, in keeping with recent changes to guidelines for cardiovascular risk management enacted by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.

Role of gene mutations involved in more than 75 percent of glioblastomas, melanomas

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 02:04 PM PST

For the first time, mutations that destabilize a DNA structure that turns a gene off have been discovered by researchers. The mutations occur at four sites in the hTERT promoter in more than 75 percent of glioblastomas and melanomas.

This Endoscope Zaps Tumors

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 02:03 PM PST

To examine internal organs, doctors often use a tube with light and a tiny camera attached to it. The device, called an endoscope, helps detect cancer and other illnesses. It may soon serve another purpose: zapping tumors. The biomedical advancement, which is under development, could make chemotherapy more efficient, reduce its side effects and improve how doctors treat some of the most deadly forms of cancer.

Guilty co-workers make ethical partners?

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:55 PM PST

Some people hate to disappoint -- and you should definitely get them on your team. It turns out individuals who are highly prone to feel guilty for disappointing their co-workers are among the most ethical and hard-working partners. However, new research suggests that these highly guilt-prone people may be the most reticent to enter into partnerships.

Graying, but still golden

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:55 PM PST

Getting old doesn't spell doom when it comes to making important financial decisions, a team of researchers reports. Using credit scores and cognitive ability tests, the researchers found evidence that "crystallized intelligence," which is gained through experience and accumulated knowledge, is more important that "fluid intelligence," the ability to think logically and process new information. Past research has clearly shown that fluid intelligence decreases with old age, a phenomenon known as "cognitive decline."

Physical violence linked to stress hormone in women

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:55 PM PST

A new study links physical violence against women by male partners to a disruption of a key steroid hormone that opens the door potentially to a variety of negative health effects.

Blocking notch pathway leads to new route to hair cell regeneration to restore hearing

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:54 PM PST

Blocking the Notch pathway, known to control the elaborate hair cell distribution in the inner ear, plays an essential role that determines cochlear progenitor cell proliferation capacity, researchers report. The finding could lead to hearing restoration.

Devising a way to count proteins as they group

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:54 PM PST

A new study reports on an innovative theoretical methodology to solve 'the counting problem,' which is key to understanding how proteins group and perform their vital functions within the human body.

Using no-evidence-of-disease-activity standard for patients with multiple sclerosis

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:54 PM PST

Maintaining 'no-evidence-of-disease-activity' was difficult over time for many patients with multiple sclerosis but the measure may help gauge a patient's long-term prognosis, according to a study.

Startling benefit of cardiology meetings: Outcomes better when cardiologists away?

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:50 PM PST

High-risk patients with certain acute heart conditions are more likely to survive than other similar patients if they are admitted to the hospital during national cardiology meetings, when many cardiologists are away from their regular practices.

Skin patch could help heal, prevent diabetic ulcers, study finds

Posted: 22 Dec 2014 01:50 PM PST

Researchers knew that a drug administered to remove iron from the blood could also overcome diabetic interference with blood vessel formation, but finding the right way to deliver it for this use was the challenge.

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