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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

First contracting human muscle grown in laboratory

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 12:40 PM PST

Researchers have grown human skeletal muscle in the laboratory that, for the first time, contracts and responds just like native tissue to external stimuli such as electrical pulses, biochemical signals and pharmaceuticals. The development should soon allow researchers to test new drugs and study diseases in functioning human muscle outside of the human body.

Study shows expression just as important as words in presidential debates

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 12:39 PM PST

New research through visual analysis and social media gives a good indication that voters pick up on nonverbal communications as much as a candidate's rhetoric.

Feeling cold is contagious, scientists find

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 11:52 AM PST

Just looking at somebody shivering is enough to make us feel cold, new research has found. Volunteers who watched videos of people putting their hands in cold water found their own body temperature drop significantly, investigators report.

Bilingualism changes children's beliefs

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 10:19 AM PST

Most young children are essentialists: They believe that human and animal characteristics are innate. That kind of reasoning can lead them to think that traits like native language and clothing preference are intrinsic rather than acquired. But a new study suggests that certain bilingual kids are more likely to understand that it's what one learns, rather than what one is born with, that makes up a person's psychological attributes.

100 million Americans live with chronic pain, but treatment research is insufficient

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:12 AM PST

An estimated 100 million Americans live with chronic pain. A new report has found a need for evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches to pain treatment that incorporate patients' perspectives and desired outcomes while also avoiding potential harms.

Women who are told that men desire larger-body women are happier with their weight

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:12 AM PST

Telling women that men desire larger women who aren't model-thin made women feel better about their own weight in a series of new studies. Results of the three Independent studies suggest a woman's body image is strongly linked to her perception of what she thinks men prefer, said a social psychologist and lead researcher on the study. On average, heterosexual women believe that heterosexual men desire ultra-thin women.

Nothing to squirm about: Space station worms help battle muscle, bone loss

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:11 AM PST

Two investigations on the space station help researchers seek clues to physiological problems found in astronauts by studying C. elegans -- a millimeter-long roundworm that is widely used as a model organism. This simple, tiny roundworm could lead to a cure for symptoms affecting millions of the aging and infirm population of Earth, and the astronauts orbiting it, potentially offering a solution to a major problem in an extremely small package, scientists say.

New target identified for potential brain cancer therapies

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:10 AM PST

A new protein-protein interaction that could serve as a target for future therapies for the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), has been identified by researchers. GBM is a devastating disease that originates from glia or their precursors within the central nervous system, and the prognosis for GBM patients is unfortunately poor, but this discovery offers new therapeutic potential.

World's oldest butchering tools gave evolutionary edge to human communication: Oldowan technology behind genesis of language and teaching

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:10 AM PST

Two and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart a dead gazelle, zebra or other game animal. Over the next 700,000 years, this butchering technology spread throughout the continent and, it turns out, came to be a major evolutionary force.

Glut2 protein's role identified in zebrafish brain development

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:09 AM PST

The key role that GLUT2 protein plays in embryonic brain development in zebrafish has now been reported by researchers. A new article proves that this molecule depletion alters the development of brain basic structures involved in glucose sensing.

Rate of investment in medical research has declined in U.S., increased globally

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:09 AM PST

From 2004 to 2012, the rate of investment in medical research in the U.S. declined, while there has been an increase in research investment globally, particularly in Asia, according to a study.

Community-wide CVD prevention programs linked with improved health outcomes

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 09:09 AM PST

In a rural Maine county, sustained, community-wide programs targeting cardiovascular risk factors and behavior changes were associated with reductions in hospitalization and death rates over a 40 year period (1970-2010) compared with the rest of the state, with substantial improvements seen for hypertension and cholesterol control and smoking cessation, according to a study.

Can racial injustice be settled out of court?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:16 AM PST

With many calling for policy reform to improve race problems in the US criminal justice system, new research suggests that the issue is less political and more behavioral. Researchers recommend increased documentation, institutional diversity, and bias training in a new paper.

Software created to help find a cure for a 'great neglected disease'

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:16 AM PST

For decades, scientists around the world have worked to develop a treatment for schistosomiasis, a debilitating water-born parasite. To aid this research, scientists have developed software that helps assess the impact of a drug on the parasite. The researchers recently completed the Quantal Dose Response Calculator, software that analyzes images showing the effects of potential drugs on parasites and quantifies their effectiveness.

Stalking risk increases among college students

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:15 AM PST

College students are at higher risk for stalking than the general public, but are less likely to report the crime to police, experts have determined. Stalking, defined as a repeated course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear, is a crime in all 50 states. This crime most commonly occurs between current or former intimate partners, with the highest rates of offenses between 18 to 24 years old.

Fast sorting of CD4+ T cells from whole blood using glass microbubbles

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:14 AM PST

A new report has demonstrated a new cell sorting technology for isolating CD4 positive T cells which may be used for HIV disease monitoring in resource-limited areas such as the developing countries in Africa.

Cold plasma treatment cuts norovirus germs

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:14 AM PST

Treating surfaces with cold atmospheric pressure plasma may reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus, a contagious virus leading to stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, according to a new study.

What's that I smell? New 'poppers' are not what you think

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:11 AM PST

While it is widely known that "huffing" -  inhaling organic solvents or propellants to achieve a "high" - is extremely dangerous, new products being sold as "poppers" and distributed throughout the US,  primarily to men who have sex with men (MSM), actually contain harmful solvents and propellants and pose the same health risks as huffing.

Not always cool to stay cool in negotiations, study finds

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:11 AM PST

Repressing anger about important matters makes negotiators lose focus, a new study concludes. Suppressing anger about important points could, in fact, cause them to lose the focus of discussions, says the lead of the research.

Photonic crystal nanolaser biosensor simplifies DNA detection

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:11 AM PST

A simple method to sense DNA, as well as potential biomarker proteins of cancer or other diseases such as Alzheimer's, may soon be within reach -- thanks to new work.

Can your cellphone help you lose weight?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:11 AM PST

Cellphone support can help people lose significantly more weight, according to a recent study. Using one of the many mobile apps with daily text messages or videos incites the user to think about dieting and eating well, researchers said.

High vitamin D levels increase survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:11 AM PST

Clinical trial patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had high levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream prior to treatment with chemotherapy and targeted drugs, survived longer, on average, than patients with lower levels of the vitamin, researchers report.

Breast cancer: Anthropometric and metabolic dowels integrate metabolic details and contribute to an increasingly complex puzzle

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:10 AM PST

Once more, the multifactorial and heterogeneous nature of breast cancer fascinates researchers. In a new study, researchers have focused on a specific breast cancer subtype known as luminal B breast cancer, as well as its relationship with BMI, insulin and estrogen receptor (ER) expression.

Jewish Americans who attend synagogue enjoy better health, study finds

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:10 AM PST

For Jewish Americans, going to synagogue makes a difference for health, according to a study of five large Jewish urban communities.

Teams better than individuals at intelligence analysis, research finds

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 08:10 AM PST

When it comes to predicting important world events, teams do a better job than individuals, and laypeople can be trained to be effective forecasters even without access to classified records, according to new research.

Blocking hormone could eliminate stress-induced infertility

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:06 AM PST

Stress is known to interfere with reproduction, but a new study shows that the effects of chronic stress on fertility persist long after the stress is gone. This is because a hormone that suppresses fertility, GnIH, remains high even after stress hormone levels return to normal. In rats, they successfully blocked the hormone gene and restored normal reproductive behavior, suggesting therapeutic potential for stressed humans and animals in captive breeding programs.

Cocaine antidote closer than ever

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:05 AM PST

New insight has been gained into the mechanism behind a protein dopamine transporter that could help in the development of future medical treatment against cocaine addiction.

The recess swap: Getting kids to eat their veggies at school

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:05 AM PST

Many schools have reported that fruits and vegetables are feeding trash cans rather than students. A new study shows that one simple no-cost change, holding recess before lunchtime, can increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 54 percent.

Can inhaled oxygen cause cancer?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:05 AM PST

The ancient physician/alchemist, Paracelsus, said: 'The dose makes the poison.' According to a new study, even oxygen may fall prey to the above adage. While essential to human life, aspects of oxygen metabolism may promote cancer. Capitalizing on the inverse relationship of oxygen concentration with elevation, researchers found lower rates of lung cancer at higher elevations, a trend that did not extend to non-respiratory cancers, suggesting that carcinogen exposure occurs via inhalation.

Development of psychosis: Gray matter loss and the inflamed brain

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:04 AM PST

The thickness of cortical brain tissue progressively reduces as individuals develop psychosis, according to researchers of a large, multi-site study of young adults at clinical high risk. Onset of psychosis typically occurs during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, a period of time when the brain is also maturing, they note.

GMOs with health benefits have a large market potential

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:04 AM PST

Genetically modified crops with an increased vitamin and/or mineral content have large potential to improve public health, but their availability for consumers is still hampered, as a result of the negative public opinion. Research has demonstrated that these crops have a promising market potential.

People prefer fair, but does the brain?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:04 AM PST

Whether for oneself or for others, fairness is preferred by people, but the brain network changes depending on who is actually benefiting. "In previous studies," explains the lead investigator, "we found the same tendency to reject unfair offers regardless of whether the decision involved the subjects themselves or a third party. Brain imaging, however, suggested that the brain was working differently in the two situations."

Chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease, influences prognosis and the severity of heart attacks

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:04 AM PST

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease which provokes gradual teeth loss, is closely related to the severity of acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack.

Biochemically modified constituent of yew demonstrates early effectiveness in bile duct cancer

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:03 AM PST

Bile duct cancers are amongst the most aggressive tumor-related diseases and, so far, the medical treatment options available have been limited. Clinical oncologists have now demonstrated that the substance nab-paclitaxel, a biochemically modified ingredient that occurs in the bark of the Pacific yew tree, could be highly effective against bile duct cancers.

Napping helps infants' memory development

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:03 AM PST

After studying over 200 young children, researchers have concluded that daytime naps of 30 minutes or more help infants to retain and remember new behaviors, adding that bedtime stories are invaluable for a child's development. Interestingly, the babies showed that they learn best when they are sleepy: "Until now people have presumed that the best time for infants to learn is when they are wide-awake, rather than when they are starting to feel tired, but our results show that activities occurring just before infants have a nap can be particularly valuable and well-remembered," researchers noted.

Can your smartphone help you exercise?

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:03 AM PST

Fitness applications (apps) use behavior change techniques (BCTs) to help users modify their physical activities, but which apps and which techniques are most effective? In a new study, researchers evaluated 100 top-ranked physical activity apps and analyzed which BCTs are being used in these apps. They determined that at present BCTs have been only narrowly implemented in physical activity apps.

Good life satisfaction has beneficial effects on bone health

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:03 AM PST

Women aged 60-70 who are satisfied with their lives have a higher bone density and they suffer from osteoporosis less frequently than their unsatisfied peers, according to a recent study. Osteoporosis is a common disease, which easily leads to bone fracture, and hip fractures in particular can have serious consequences. Bone density gets lower as people age; however, for women, the menopause constitutes a significant risk factor.

Children of melanoma survivors need better protection from sun's harmful rays

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 06:01 AM PST

Children of melanoma survivors are not adhering optimally to sun protection recommendations, researchers have discovered in a groundbreaking new study. This is concerning as sunburns are a major risk factor for melanoma, and children of survivors are at increased risk for developing the disease as adults.

FDA approved drug extends survival for patients with rare cancer

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 04:13 PM PST

Sunitinib, an agent approved for use in several cancers, provides unprecedented antitumor activity in thymic carcinoma, a rare but aggressive tumor of the thymus gland, according to a phase II clinical trial.

Positive factors in youth linked to better heart health later in life

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 03:11 PM PST

Children with favorable psychosocial experiences may have better cardiovascular health in adulthood, according to new research. Favorable socioeconomic status and self-regulatory behavior, meaning good aggression and impulse control, in youth were the strongest predictors of ideal cardiovascular health in adulthood.

Factors influencing mental illness in early adolescence

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 03:09 PM PST

Mental illness – particularly depression – is a rising problem with Malaysia's youth. Two recent studies published in the shed light on the relationship between poor family dynamics and the development of mental illness.

$375 billion wasted on billing and health insurance-related paperwork annually: Study

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 10:55 AM PST

Medical billing paperwork and insurance-related red tape cost the US economy approximately $471 billion in 2012, 80 percent of which is waste due to the inefficiency of the nation's complex, multi-payer way of financing care, researchers say. The researchers note that a simplified, single-payer system of financing health care similar to Canada's or the US Medicare program could result in savings of approximately $375 billion annually, or more than $1 trillion over three years.

Mortality risks after carotid artery stenting in Medicare beneficiaries

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 10:54 AM PST

Medicare beneficiaries who underwent carotid artery stenting had a 32 percent mortality rate during an average two-year follow-up, suggesting the benefits of CAS may be limited for some patients, according to a study on the topic.

Shorter combination treatment as effective as monotherapy for TB prevention in kids

Posted: 12 Jan 2015 10:54 AM PST

To prevent tuberculosis in children with latent tuberculosis infection (which is not active but can become active), combination treatment with the medications rifapentine and isoniazid was as effective as longer treatment with only isoniazid, according to a study.

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