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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Unlike people, monkeys aren't fooled by expensive brands

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 03:33 PM PST

In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans -- they don't assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new study.

Green light from FDA for CT lung-imaging software

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 01:13 PM PST

New technology may soon help lung disease patients around the world breathe a little easier, by helping their doctors make a clearer diagnosis and more individualized treatment plan.

Re-focusing investors' attention away from losses can reduce negative emotional response

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:48 AM PST

Destracting investors helped lessen emotional responses to investment losses, researchers report at the conclusion of a recent study. "In terms of making investment choices, a higher level of distraction didn't matter," one author said. "However, while participants' choices weren't affected, their physiological, or emotional responses to investment losses decreased when they were more distracted. This shows how physiological loss aversion, or the tendency to react to financial losses more than comparable gains, may be reduced by not focusing on the losses."

Novel technique for gene insertion by genome editing

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:48 AM PST

Using a novel gene knock-in technique, effective insertion of an exogenous gene was demonstrated in human cells and in animal models, including silkworms and frogs. This strategy universally enables gene knock-in not only in cultured cells, but also in various organisms. This technique will enhance the usefulness of genome editing techniques in a variety of cells and organisms, especially in those in which gene knock-in is hindered by low homologous recombination efficiency.

Brain representations of social thoughts accurately predict autism diagnosis

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:48 AM PST

Researchers have created brain-reading techniques to use neural representations of social thoughts to predict autism diagnoses with 97 percent accuracy. This establishes the first biologically based diagnostic tool that measures a person's thoughts to detect the disorder that affects many children and adults worldwide.

Lung cancer risk model refines decisions to screen

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:48 AM PST

A new method for determining lung cancer risk could more efficiently identify individuals for annual screening and catch more cancers early, according to a new study. The study evaluates a lung cancer risk prediction model and identifies a risk threshold for selecting individuals for annual lung cancer screening.

How to stop the spread of HIV in Africa

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:47 AM PST

To stop the spread of HIV in Africa, researchers, using a complex mathematical model, have developed a strategy that focuses on targeting "hot zones," areas where the risk of HIV infection is much higher than the national average.

People putting their lives at risk by dismissing cancer symptoms

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 11:06 AM PST

People could be putting their lives at risk by dismissing potential warning signs of cancer as less serious symptoms, according to new research. More than half (53 per cent) of 1,700 people who completed a health questionnaire said they had experienced at least one red-flag cancer 'alarm' symptom during the previous three months. But only two per cent of them thought that cancer was a possible cause.

Why does physical activity during childhood matter?

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 10:55 AM PST

Most scientific research on the topic of physical inactivity has focused on the consequences of physical inactivity for physical health, with significant attention to obesity and medical conditions such as diabetes. A new article provides compelling new data on the consequences of physical inactivity for neural function, cognitive task performance, and academic achievement.

Wake Up and Breathe program benefits ICU patients

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 10:24 AM PST

Waking intensive care unit patients and having them breathe on their own decreased both sedation levels and coma prevalence. The Wake Up and Breathe program also showed a trend toward reduced delirium in a critically ill population.

Parents play vital role in molding future scientists, research shows

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:39 AM PST

Parents and family make all the difference in creating the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians, according to new research. The research team surveyed 149 participants in the Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program from classes from 2007 to 2013. This competitive internship attracts top high school and undergraduate students who work on real-world research.

Nanotubes may restore sight to blind retinas

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

Retinal degeneration is one of the most worrisome dangers in the aging process. Now researchers have made an important technological breakthrough towards a prosthetic retina that could help alleviate conditions that result from problems with this vital part of the eye.

See it, touch it, feel it: Researchers use ultrasound to make invisible 3-D haptic shape that can be seen and felt

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

Technology has changed rapidly over the last few years with touch feedback, known as haptics, being used in entertainment, rehabilitation and even surgical training. New research, using ultrasound, has developed an invisible 3-D haptic shape that can be seen and felt.

E-signatures less trusted than handwritten signatures

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

Now you don't even have live in Estonia to open a business there. A new program lets people purchase e-signatures that enable them to open bank accounts and run a domestic business without being physically present. But according to new research, people may not have the same trust in such businesses as they would others. The work finds that people are much more likely to discount the validity of an e-signature than a hand-signed document.

Vitamin supplement successfully prevents noise-induced hearing loss

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:38 AM PST

A way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss has been found in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

Another case against the midnight snack: Researchers tinker with a time-restricted diet in mice and find that it's remarkably forgiving

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:37 AM PST

These days, with the abundance of artificial light, TV, tablets and smartphones, adults and children alike are burning the midnight oil. What they are not burning is calories: with later bedtimes comes the tendency to eat. A new study cautions against an extended period of snacking, suggesting instead that confining caloric consumption to an 8- to 12-hour period-as people did just a century ago-might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.

Health boost for fitness centers

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:01 AM PST

Researchers highlight how sub-optimal risk management in the health and fitness industry could put users at increased risk of injury and adverse health outcomes rather than providing them with the tools to build a healthy lifestyle.

Fighting air pollution in China with social media

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:00 AM PST

The serious air pollution problem in China has attracted the attention of online activists who want the government to take action, but their advocacy has had only limited success, a new study has revealed.

Maternal insulin resistance changes pancreas development, increases risk of metabolic disorders in offspring

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 09:00 AM PST

Changes to a mother's metabolism can lead to increased risk of insulin resistance, obesity and other problems in offspring. "Since insulin resistance alters the metabolic status in the affected individuals, its presence in women during pregnancy has the potential to be detrimental to growth and metabolism in the offspring. Thus, insulin resistance directly impacts pregnant women and also their offspring," researchers note.

Vitamin D deficiency, depression linked in international study

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 08:11 AM PST

Vitamin D deficiency is not just harmful to physical health -- it also might impact mental health, according to a team of researchers that has found a link between seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and a lack of sunlight.

New study strengthens evidence of connection between statin use and cataracts; any risks should be weighed against benefits

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 08:06 AM PST

Few classes of drugs have had such a transformative effect on the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as have statins, prescribed to reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, some clinicians have ongoing concerns regarding the potential for lens opacities (cataracts) as a result of statin use. In an article, researchers report increased risk for cataracts in patients treated with statins. An accompanying editorial discusses the history of statins and positions this new study in the context of conflicting results from previous analyses of purported adverse effects due to statin use.

New drug could help reduce dietary phosphorus absorption, pilot study suggests

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 08:06 AM PST

The potential of a small-molecule inhibitor of NHE3 to help reduce phosphorus absorption in patients with kidney disease has been demonstrated by two separate studies. Patients with reduced kidney function are unable to maintain normal levels of phosphorus, which can lead to hyperphosphatemia.

Tailor-made pharmaceuticals as basis for novel antidepressants

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 07:35 AM PST

SAFit-ligands provide the foundation for a mechanistically novel treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders. FKBP51 and FKBP52 are proteins which regulate multiple cellular activities. Most importantly in the context of psychiatric diseases, they interact in an antagonistic manner with receptors for stress hormones in the brain. FKBP51 inhibits while FKBP52 enhances the activity of the glucocorticoid receptor, thus playing a major role in the regulation of stress responses.

Inflammatory discovery sheds new light on skin disease

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 07:35 AM PST

Inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis may result from abnormal activation of cell death pathways previously believed to suppress inflammation, a surprise finding that could help to develop new ways of treating these diseases.

Identifying the cellular origin of fibrosis

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:38 AM PST

Researchers have identified what they believe to be the cells responsible for fibrosis, the buildup of scar tissue. Fibrotic diseases, such as chronic kidney disease and failure, lung disease, heart failure and cirrhosis of the liver, are estimated to be responsible for up to 45 percent of deaths in the developed world.

Celiac disease does not increase clinical consultations for fertility problems

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:38 AM PST

Women with celiac disease present with fertility problems no more often than women in the general population, according to a new study.

Slow down? It’s OK for academics who can

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:37 AM PST

Can academics truly slow down as the 'Slow' movement espouses or are some people excluded because of their class or gender? As some academics look to the 'Slow' movement to combat the accelerated pace of Higher Education, an expert argues that its principles may only serve to create divisions on the grounds of class and gender.

Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:37 AM PST

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial 'nanodrills' assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells' outer membranes. The research supports the development of new drugs that target this mechanism, which is implicated in serious diseases.

Stressed-out cancers may provide drug target

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:36 AM PST

Cancer cells may be particularly susceptible to metabolic stress – opening the way for new targeted therapy that won't harm normal cells, researchers report. The researchers showed that chromosomal instability -- which is a hallmark of rapidly dividing cancer cells -- makes them stressed and vulnerable to mild metabolic disruption. Metabolism is the normal process by which the body turns food into energy.

Ideals may play role in knowledge formation, professor's research says

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 06:36 AM PST

Research by a professor of philosophy indicates that having an ideal can play a role in acquiring new information that makes our beliefs valuable.

Vitamin D reduces lung disease flare-ups by over 40 percent

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:25 AM PST

Vitamin D supplements can reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lung disease flare-ups by over 40 percent in patients with a vitamin D deficiency, according to new research. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Why don't children belong to the clean plate club?

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:25 AM PST

New research aggregated six different studies of 326 elementary school-aged children. It showed that, if their parents are not around, the average child only eats about 60 percent of what they serve themselves. More than a third goes right in the trash.

Sons' intelligence linked to fathers' criminal history

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:25 AM PST

Sons whose fathers have criminal records tend to have lower cognitive abilities than sons whose fathers have no criminal history, data from over 1 million Swedish men show. The research, conducted by scientists in Sweden and Finland, indicates that the link is not directly caused by fathers' behavior but is instead explained by genetic factors that are shared by father and son.

Heavier newborns show academic edge in school

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:25 AM PST

Birth weight makes a difference to a child's future academic performance, according to new research that found heavier newborns do better in elementary and middle school than infants with lower birth weights. The study raises an intriguing question: Does a fetus benefit from a longer stay in the mother's womb?

Patients take control of their medical exam records

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:24 AM PST

Patients value direct, independent access to their medical exams, according to a new study. Fragmentation of health information among physicians, healthcare institutions or practices, and inefficient exchange of test results can decrease quality of care and contribute to high medical costs. Improving communications and giving patients more control over their care are critical goals of health IT initiatives.

Risk-based screening misses breast cancers in women in their forties

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:24 AM PST

A study of breast cancers detected with screening mammography found that strong family history and dense breast tissue were commonly absent in women between the ages of 40 and 49 diagnosed with breast cancer.

3-D mammography improves cancer detection in dense breasts

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:24 AM PST

A major new study has found that digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3-D mammography, has the potential to significantly increase the cancer detection rate in mammography screening of women with dense breasts.

Even mild coronary artery disease puts diabetic patients at risk

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:24 AM PST

According to a new long-term study, diabetic patients with even mild coronary artery disease face the same relative risk for a heart attack or other major adverse heart events as diabetics with serious single-vessel obstructive disease.

Wheelchair users demand a more fashionable future

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:23 AM PST

Too many accessories for wheelchair users still scream disability. Now a team of design students has teamed up with campaigning website Blue Badge Style to produce stylish accessories. The best chosen by public vote will go forward to prototype stage.

Researchers control adhesion of E. coli bacteria

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:23 AM PST

Scientists have created a synthetic surface on which the adhesion of E. coli bacteria can be controlled. The layer, which is only approximately four nanometers thick, imitates the saccharide coating (glycocalyx) of cells onto which the bacteria adhere such as during an infection. This docking process can be switched on and off using light. This means that the scientists have now made an important step towards understanding the relationship between sugar (carbohydrates) and bacterial infections.

The Biology of Anxious Temperament May Lie With a Problem in an Anxiety 'Off Switch'

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:21 AM PST

Persistent anxiety is one of the most common and distressing symptoms compromising mental health. Most of the research on the neurobiology of anxiety has focused on the generation of increased anxiety, i.e., the processes that "turn on" anxiety. But what if the problem lay with the "off switch" instead? In other words, the dysfunction could exist in the ability to diminish anxiety once it has begun. A new report suggests that deficits in one of the brain's off switches for anxiety, neuropeptide Y receptors, are decreased in association with anxious temperament.

Prognostic role found for miR-21 expression in triple-negative breast cancer

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:21 AM PST

"Triple-negative" breast cancer (TNBC) occurs in patients whose cells do not express receptors for estrogen, progesterone, and/or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ER-/PR-/HER2-). Because of the absence of these predictive biomarkers, treatment assignment can be difficult. Now, researchers report that high levels of the microRNA miR-21 in the tumor microenvironment, but not in the tumor epithelia (cancer cells), are associated with worse clinical outcomes for patients with TNBC, thus identifying a possible TNBC prognostic biomarker, according to a study.

Protein kinase R and dsRNAs, new regulators of mammalian cell division

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:21 AM PST

Scientists have revealed that the dsRNAs and Protein Kinase R (PKR) regulate division of mammalian cells. This finding will provide important clues to understanding the process of tumor formation and the mechanism for suppressing cancer since the abnormal cell division marks the early events of cancer development.

New cause of child brain tumor condition identified

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:21 AM PST

Doctors and scientists have identified changes in a gene, which can increase the risk of developing brain tumors in children with a rare inherited condition called Gorlin syndrome. Most people with Gorlin syndrome have a change in a gene called PTCH1, but the new research has revealed that changes in a gene called SUFU also cause Gorlin syndrome and it is children with a change in SUFU that are 20 times more likely to develop a brain tumor.

Antacids linked to better survival in head and neck cancer

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:19 AM PST

Patients with head and neck cancer who used antacid medicines to control acid reflux had better overall survival, according to a new study. Reflux can be a common side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. The researchers looked at 596 patients who were treated for head and neck cancer. More than two-thirds of the patients took one or both types of antacid medication after their diagnosis.

For severe allergic reaction, epinephrine first and fast

Posted: 02 Dec 2014 05:19 AM PST

The fast administration of epinephrine is essential to the treatment of a severe allergic reaction, according to new guidelines. Unfortunately, not all medical personnel know how important epinephrine is in bringing an allergic reaction under control, experts say.

Human eye can see 'invisible' infrared light

Posted: 01 Dec 2014 01:11 PM PST

Science textbooks say we can't see infrared light. Like X-rays and radio waves, infrared light waves are longer than the light waves in the visual spectrum. But an international team of researchers has found that under certain conditions, the retina can sense infrared light after all.

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