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Friday, January 23, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Treatment restores sociability in autism mouse model

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 12:48 PM PST

Researchers have treated mice that mimic human autism with a neuropeptide called oxytocin, and have found that it restores normal social behavior. In addition, the findings suggest that giving oxytocin as early as possible in the animal's life leads to more lasting effects in adults and adolescents.

Many of the smallest babies in California not referred for follow-up care, study finds

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:54 AM PST

The tiniest babies need special follow-up care when they go home from the hospital after birth. But, of the thousands of very-low-birth-weight babies born in California during 2010 and 2011, 20 percent were not referred to the state's high-risk infant follow-up program, according to a new study.

First major analysis of Human Protein Atlas is published

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:54 AM PST

The first major analysis based on the Human Protein Atlas has been published, including a detailed picture of the proteins that are linked to cancer, the number of proteins present in the bloodstream, and the targets for all approved drugs on the market.

Infants can learn to communicate from videos, study shows

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:32 AM PST

Children under two years old can learn certain communication skills from a video, such as how to use signs in sign language, and perform similarly in tests when compared to babies taught by their parents, according to a new paper. The study is the first to isolate the effects of purportedly educational commercial videos on infant learning.

Reducing Myc gene activity extends healthy lifespan in mice

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Mice with one rather than the normal two copies of the gene Myc (also found in humans) lived 15 percent longer and had considerably healthier lives than normal mice, according to a new Brown University-led study in Cell.

Strong association between menopausal symptoms, bone health

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:28 AM PST

Women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have lower bone mineral density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers with no menopausal symptoms, a new study finds.

Parents' reliance on welfare leads to more welfare use by their children, study finds

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:28 AM PST

Family welfare cultures have been explored through a new study in the context of Norway's Disability Insurance System. From 14,722 parent-child observations, researchers have found strong empirical evidence that reliance on welfare in one generation is likely to cause greater welfare use in the next generation.

New research could give alternatives for children's eye exams

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

It's very difficult to understand the retinal structure of children because they are known to be uncooperative during eye examinations designed for adults. New explores a new non-invasive technology that's kind of like a handheld CT scanner for the eye.

Blame it on your brain: Salt and hypertension

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

Excessive salt intake "reprograms" the brain, interfering with a natural safety mechanism that normally prevents the body's arterial blood pressure from rising, researchers have discovered.

Trust your gut: E. coli may hold one of the keys to treating Parkinson's

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

E. coli usually brings to mind food poisoning and beach closures, but researchers recently discovered a protein in E. coli that inhibits the accumulation of potentially toxic amyloids—a hallmark of diseases such as Parkinson's, scientists say.

Viruses may play unexpected role in inflammatory bowel diseases

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

Inflammatory bowel diseases are associated with a decrease in the diversity of bacteria in the gut, but a new study has linked the same illnesses to an increase in the diversity of viruses.

Enzymes believed to promote cancer actually suppress tumors

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

Upending decades-old dogma, a team of scientists say enzymes long categorized as promoting cancer are, in fact, tumor suppressors and that current clinical efforts to develop inhibitor-based drugs should instead focus on restoring the enzymes' activities.

Research probes molecular basis of rare genetic disorder

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:27 AM PST

The mutation and its functional effects that cause the genetic disorder Singleton-Merten Syndrome (SMS) has been described for the first time, by an international research team. SMS is now recognized as an autoimmune disorder.

Head and neck cancers in young adults are more likely to be a result of inherited factors

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 08:45 AM PST

A new study pools data from 25 case-control studies and conducts separate analyses to show that head and neck cancers in young adults are more likely to be as a result of inherited factors, rather than lifestyle factors such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

Patient older age not an issue in revision cochlear implantation

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 08:45 AM PST

Older age of a patient does not appear to be an issue when revision cochlear implantation is warranted because of device failure, according to a report.

American liberals and conservatives think as if from different cultures

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 08:44 AM PST

American conservatives think more like Asians, and liberals are the extreme Westerners in thought styles, new research suggests. The so-called "culture war," the lead author said, is an accurate if dramatic way to state that there are clear cultural differences in the thought processes of liberals and conservatives.

New treatments haven't lowered anesthesia risks for children with pulmonary hypertension

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 08:44 AM PST

Despite effective new treatments for their disease, children with pulmonary hypertension (PHT) are still a high-risk group for serious complications and death related to anesthesia and surgery, reports a study.

Profitable phishing schemes slyly tinker with our heads, then rip us off

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 08:43 AM PST

Researchers have found evidence that the incredible spread of email phishing scams may be due to phishers' increased use of "information-rich" emails that alter recipients' cognitive processes in a way that facilitates their victimization.

Concern over skin whitener marketing

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 07:36 AM PST

A marketing expert has raised concerns over the ethics of the marketing of skin-whitening products, widely available in Australia. The demand for the product is growing, she notes, with more than 60 percent of Indian women reportedly using one of the more than 240 brands of skin lightener available in that country.

Transoral fundoplication is an effective treatment for patients with GERD

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 07:36 AM PST

Transoral fundoplication is an effective treatment for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, especially for patients with persistent regurgitation despite proton pump inhibitor therapy, according to a new study published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

How charter school foes are failing

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 07:32 AM PST

As charter schools continue to expand, new research indicates liberal opponents are failing to make effective arguments aimed at curbing the education reform movement.

New animal models faithfully reproduce human tumors

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 07:32 AM PST

New animal models that reproduce faithfully the evolution and malignancy of different human tumors have been developed by researchers. This facilitates parallel tumor progression in patients suffering from the disease in an animal laboratory mice in this case; and predict possible relapses and anticipate what will be most effective treatments.

Noisy data facilitates researcher's investigation of breast cancer gene expression

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 07:26 AM PST

Researchers report on the use of denoising autoencoders (DAs) to effectively extract key biological principles from gene expression data and summarize them into constructed features with convenient properties.

Why protein mutations lead to familial form of Parkinson's disease

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 06:22 AM PST

For the first time, researchers have shown why protein mutations lead to the familial form of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is characterized by impairment or deterioration of neurons in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. In the familial form of the disorder, a set of mutations in ?syn had been identified but what was unknown was the molecular mechanism by which these mutations caused disease.

Is cheating on the field worse than cheating on a spouse? Some fans think so

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 06:22 AM PST

Why did fans and sponsors such as Nike drop Lance Armstrong but stay loyal to Tiger Woods? Probably because Armstrong's doping scandal took place on the field, unlike Wood's off-the-field extramarital affairs, according to new studies.

Major discovery on spinal injury reveals unknown immune response

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 06:22 AM PST

In a discovery that could dramatically affect the treatment of brain and spinal cord injuries, researchers have identified a previously unknown, beneficial immune response that occurs after injury to the central nervous system.

Growing bone in space: Study to test therapy for bone loss on the International Space Station

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 06:22 AM PST

Stem cell researchers are to send rodents into space to test new therapy for prevention of bone loss. The research has enormous translational potential for astronauts in space flight and patients on Earth with osteoporosis or other bone loss problems from disease, illness or trauma.

Study detailing axonal death pathway may provide drug targets for neurodegenerative diseases

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 06:22 AM PST

Axons connect neurons with each other to form the neural networks that underpin the vital functions of perception, motility, cognition, and memory. In many neurodegenerative disorders, from traumatic injury or toxic damage to diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, axonal degeneration represents an essential pathological feature.

Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives is associated with an increased risk of a rare brain tumor, study finds

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:48 AM PST

Taking a hormonal contraceptive for at least five years is associated with a possible increase in a young woman's risk of developing a rare tumor, glioma of the brain, according to a new study of women aged 15-49 years.

Major study links gene to drug resistance in testicular cancer

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:48 AM PST

A major research study has uncovered several new genetic mutations that could drive testicular cancer -- and also identified a gene which may contribute to tumors becoming resistant to current treatments.

83% of teenagers fall victim to some kind of violence during their lives: Spanish study

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:45 AM PST

Childhood is one of the stages of life with the greatest risk of suffering violence, despite the greater social awareness and more specialized training of professionals. A study looking into over a thousand Spanish teenagers concludes that 83% of them claim to have fallen victim to at least one form of violence over the course of their lives.

Gold 'nano-drills' help with DNA analysis

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:45 AM PST

Spherical gold particles are able to 'drill' a nano-diameter tunnel in ceramic material when heated. This is an easy and attractive way to equip chips with nanopores for DNA analysis, for example, nanotechnologists report.

Fine motor skills for robotic hands

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:45 AM PST

Tying shoelaces, stirring coffee, writing letters, playing the piano. From the usual daily routine to demanding activities: Our hands are used more frequently than any other body part. Through our highly developed fine motor skills, we are able to perform grasping movements with variable precision and power distribution. This ability is a fundamental characteristic of the hand of primates. Until now, it was unclear how hand movements are planned in the brain. Neuroscientists can now predict grip movements of the hand by measuring brain cell activity.

Key factor discovered in formation of metastases in melanoma

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:45 AM PST

Melanoma, the most aggressive of all skin cancer strains, is often fatal for patients due to the pronounced formation of metastases. Until now, a melanoma's rampant growth was mainly attributed to genetic causes, such as mutations in certain genes. However, researchers now reveal that so-called epigenetic factors play a role in the formation of metastases in malignant skin cancer. This opens up new possibilities for future cancer treatments.

Not So Obvious: Consumers Don't Just Assume Bundled Products Are a Better Value

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Product bundling is a common marketing strategy. According to a new stud, retailers need to draw attention to the value of a package deal since consumers prefer products that are packaged individually.

Marketing a new product? Getting consumers to visualize using it could backfire

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Companies often provide detailed information that encourages consumers to visualize using a new product. But does this make consumers more likely to buy it? According to a new study, it depends on whether consumers picture themselves using a new product in the past or in the future.

Does black-and-white advertising help consumers make better decisions?

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Black-and-white advertising gets consumers to focus on basic product features while color advertising can influence consumers to pay more for products with unnecessary extras, a new study suggests.

When the price just feels right: Do rounded numbers appeal to our emotions?

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Consumers usually look for the lowest price when shopping for a product. But can prices sometimes just feel right? According to a new study, consumers are drawn to prices with rounded numbers when a purchase is motivated by feelings.

Trying to project an image of success? It could make you dwell on your failures

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Life is full of experiences that challenge how we see ourselves and we often compensate by buying products that reinforce our ideal self-image. A new study shows that this type of retail therapy could backfire and lead us to think more about our failures.

Antibiotic Use by Travelers May Add to Global Spread of Superbugs

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:43 AM PST

Taking antibiotics for diarrhea may put travelers visiting developing parts of the world at higher risk for contracting superbugs and spreading these daunting drug-resistant bacteria to their home countries, according to a new study. The study authors call for greater caution in using antibiotics for travelers' diarrhea, except in severe cases, as part of broader efforts to fight the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance and the spread of highly resistant bacteria worldwide.

Scientists find gene vital to central nervous system development

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:35 AM PST

A gene that helps regulate how well nerves of the central nervous system are insulated has been identified by researchers. Healthy insulation is vital for the speedy propagation of nerve cell signals. The finding, in zebrafish and mice, may have implications for human diseases like multiple sclerosis, in which this insulation is lost.

New regulations proposed for off-label uses of drugs, devices

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:35 AM PST

Researchers have proposed a system for off-label drug prescriptions combining reporting, testing and enforcement regulations, and allowing interim periods of off-label use. This would give patients more treatment options while providing regulators with evidence of the drugs' safety and efficacy.

Sleep tight and stay bright? Invest now, researcher says

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 05:35 AM PST

Sound sleep in young and middle-aged people helps memory and learning, but as they hit their seventh, eighth and ninth decades — and generally don't sleep as much or as well — sleep is not linked so much to memory, a researcher says.

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