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Friday, January 2, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Findings point to potential approach to treat virus causing illness, possible paralysis

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 01:36 PM PST

New research findings point toward a class of compounds that could be effective in combating infections caused by enterovirus D68, which has stricken children with serious respiratory infections and might be associated with polio-like symptoms in the United States and elsewhere.

Killing for DNA: A predatory device in the cholera bacterium

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 01:36 PM PST

Scientists have uncovered the unconventional way that the cholera bacterium stabs and kills other bacteria to steal their DNA, making it potentially more virulent. Cholera is caused when the bacterium Vibrio cholerae infects the small intestine. The disease is characterized by acute watery diarrhea resulting in severe dehydration.

'Bad luck' of random mutations plays predominant role in cancer, study shows

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 11:23 AM PST

A statistical model has been created that measures the proportion of cancer incidence, across many tissue types, caused mainly by random mutations that occur when stem cells divide. By this measure, two-thirds of adult cancer incidence across tissues can be explained primarily by "bad luck," when these random mutations occur in genes that can drive cancer growth, while the remaining third are due to environmental factors and inherited genes.

Fat isn't all bad: Skin adipocytes help protect against infections

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 11:23 AM PST

When it comes to skin infections, a healthy and robust immune response may depend greatly upon what lies beneath. In a new paper, researchers report the surprising discovery that fat cells below the skin help protect us from bacteria.

Defying textbook science, study finds new role for proteins

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 11:23 AM PST

Results from a new study defy textbook science, showing for the first time that the building blocks of a protein, called amino acids, can be assembled without blueprints – DNA and an intermediate template called messenger RNA (mRNA). A team of researchers has observed a case in which another protein specifies which amino acids are added.

Researchers target the cell's 'biological clock' in promising new therapy to kill cancer cells

Posted: 01 Jan 2015 11:22 AM PST

Cell biologists have targeted telomeres with a small molecule called 6-thiodG that takes advantage of the cell's 'biological clock' to kill cancer cells and shrink tumor growth.

Women with atypical hyperplasia are at higher risk of breast cancer

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 04:01 PM PST

Women with atypical hyperplasia of the breast have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than previously thought, a study has found. Atypical hyperplasia of the breast is a precancerous condition found in about one-tenth of the over 1 million breast biopsies with benign findings performed annually in the United States.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Plus Chemotherapy Improves Survival Among Stage 4 Lung Cancer Patients

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 12:40 PM PST

A clinical trial that combined stereotactic body radiation therapy with a specific chemotherapy regimen more than doubled survival rates for certain stage 4 lung cancer patients, scientists report.

Can exercise help people with Parkinson's disease?

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 12:39 PM PST

Exercise may help people with Parkinson's disease improve their balance, ability to move around and quality of life, even if it does not reduce their risk of falling, according to a new study.

Little change seen in fast food portion size, product formulation between 1996 and 2013

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 11:04 AM PST

Two new reports show that fast food portion sizes and product formulation, including sodium content and fat, stayed relatively the same between 1996 and 2013. The exception was a consistent decline in trans fat of fries between 2000 and 2009. Nevertheless, calorie and sodium contents remain high suggesting emphasis needs to be shifted from portion size to additional factors such as total calories, number of items ordered, and menu choices.

Patient stem cells used to make dementia-in-a-dish; help identify new treatment strategy

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 11:04 AM PST

A new strategy for treating an inherited form of dementia has been identified after researchers attempted to turn stem cells derived from patients into the neurons most affected by the disease. In patient-derived stem cells carrying a mutation predisposing them to frontotemporal dementia, the scientists found a targetable defect that prevents normal neurodevelopment. These stem cells partially return to normal when the defect is corrected.

3-D culture system for pancreatic cancer has potential to change therapeutic approaches

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 11:04 AM PST

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, with only 6 percent of patients surviving five years after diagnosis. Researchers now announce the development of a new model system to grow both normal and cancerous pancreatic cells in the laboratory. Their work promises to change the way pancreatic cancer research is done, allowing scientists to interrogate the pathways driving this devastating disease while searching for new drug targets.

More than 1.5 million cancer deaths averted during 2 decades of dropping mortality

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 06:56 AM PST

The American Cancer Society's annual cancer statistics report finds that a 22 percent drop in cancer mortality over two decades led to the avoidance of more than 1.5 million cancer deaths that would have occurred if peak rates had persisted.

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