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Monday, January 26, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

'July Effect' doesn’t apply to length of surgery

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 04:01 PM PST

The "July Effect" -- when newly trained physicians begin their residency at teaching hospitals, potentially increasing the risk of medical errors -- doesn't appear to lengthen surgeries during that month, according to an American study.

Lead negatively impacts cognitive functions of boys more than girls

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 11:09 AM PST

The female hormones estrogen and estradiol may help ward off the effects of lead exposure for young girls, explaining why boys, are shown to suffer more often from the cognitive disabilities linked to lead.

Acute heart failure patients bounce back to ERs for complex reasons

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 10:51 AM PST

A tool designed to assess what interferes with acute heart failure patients' ability to care for themselves after hospital discharge holds promise for improving patient outcomes and reducing re-admissions to the hospital. The patient survey shed light on the non-medical issues that limit patients' ability to care for themselves.

Improving antibiotics to treat staph infections

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 10:51 AM PST

New information about how antibiotics like azithromycin stop staph infections has been uncovered, including why staph sometimes becomes resistant to drugs. Staphylococcus aureus (familiar to many as the common and sometimes difficult to treat staph infection) is a strain of bacteria that frequently has become resistant to antibiotics, a development that has been challenging for doctors and dangerous for patients with severe infections.

Early English exposure prepares Spanish-speaking children for academic success

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 09:17 AM PST

Family members, teachers and peers can play different roles in shaping Spanish-speaking children's school readiness and English skills that are vital to children's academic success, research confirms.

More light shed on on biomass breakdown

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 09:17 AM PST

A recently discovered family of enzymes can degrade resistant forms of starch, researchers report. Starch is a polysaccharide that is highly prevalent in both food and plants. Determining the way it is broken down by an LPMO now offers potential for utilising this starch in new ways, potentially including the production of biofuels.

Efficient methylating enzyme identified for cancer development

Posted: 23 Jan 2015 07:25 AM PST

A recent study may help begin to explain how cancer develops though the abnormal turning on and off of genes. Researchers have discovered that the increase of methyl tags in cancer cells is due to highly efficient DNA methyl transferase 1 (DNMT1) enzymes found in these cells.

Mammalian heart regenerative capacity depends on severity of injury

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 04:38 PM PST

Neonatal mouse hearts have varying regenerative capacities depending upon the severity of injury, researchers have demonstrated. Approaches to extend this regenerative capacity in a mammalian model, from the neonatal period to the juvenile or adult period, could help identify new treatment options for humans.

Newer foam rollers benefit muscles, not hair

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 04:38 PM PST

"Think of your muscles as shoelaces," advises an exercise physiologist. "If you have a knot in your muscle, stretching pulls it tighter." The answer to eliminating the knots and restoring optimal flexibility is foam rollers, this expert says.

High blood calcium levels linked with increased risk of premature death in dialysis patients

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 04:38 PM PST

Both low and high blood calcium levels, as well as high phosphorus levels, have been found to be linked with an increased risk of dying prematurely in dialysis patients, regardless of the type of dialysis, experts say. The findings address a pending Medicare quality measure related to dialysis patients' blood calcium levels.

Rediscovering a culture of health in Canada's First Nations communities

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 02:00 PM PST

Diabetes is a prevalent and growing health concern among many of Alberta's First Nations communities. As health specialists look to address the problem, a researcher believes part of the solution could come from First Nations traditions, noting that First Nations communities with a greater connection to their culture are experiencing far lower rates of diabetes.

Genome-wide search reveals new genes involved in long-term memory

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 01:59 PM PST

Genes involved in long-term memory in the worm have been discovered as part of research aimed at finding ways to retain cognitive abilities during aging. The study identified more than 750 genes involved in long-term memory, including many that had not been found previously and that could serve as targets for future research, said the study's senior author.

Pro-marijuana 'tweets' are sky-high on Twitter

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 01:59 PM PST

Analyzing every marijuana-related Twitter message sent during a one-month period in early 2014, researchers have found that the 'Twitterverse' is a pot-friendly place. In that time, more than 7 million tweets referenced marijuana, with 15 times as many pro-pot tweets sent as anti-pot tweets.

Anti-inflammatory protein may trigger plaque in Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 12:48 PM PST

Inflammation has long been studied in Alzheimer's, but in a counter-intuitive finding reported by researchers has uncovered the mechanism by which anti-inflammatory processes may trigger the disease.

Tablet computers good medium for educational materials

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 12:48 PM PST

It's increasingly important for educators to understand how mobile technology such as touch-screen tablets can enhance learning instead of being classroom distractions, says a professor of business administration, and co-author of new research in business and e-learning.

Pictured together for the first time: A chemokine and its receptor

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 12:48 PM PST

The first crystal structure of the cellular receptor CXCR4 bound to an immune signaling protein called a chemokine has been reported by researchers. The structure answers longstanding questions about a molecular interaction that plays an important role in human development, immune responses, cancer metastasis and HIV infections.

How malaria-spreading mosquitoes can tell you're home

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:54 AM PST

Females of the malaria-spreading mosquito tend to obtain their blood meals within human dwellings. But is human odor enough as a reliable cue for the mosquitoes in finding humans to bite? Not quite, reports a team of entomologists. The researchers' experiments with female Anopheles gambiae show that the mosquitoes respond very weakly to human skin odor alone. Minute changes in concentrations of exhaled carbon dioxide are also required.

Effect of BPA and estradiol on sperm development seen by researchers

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:54 AM PST

A direct link between the plastics component bisphenol A, or BPA, and disrupted sperm production has been discovered by researchers. They say the chemical disrupts the delicate DNA interactions needed to create sperm. This work may have unearthed the physiological mechanism that could account for decreased sperm counts seen in several human studies.

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:18 AM PST

Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new research. The greater the economic distance between boys and their neighbors, the worse the effects. In mixed-income neighborhoods, poor boys showed more antisocial behavior, such as lying, cheating, swearing and fighting. The findings reflect a dozen years of research on mixed-income neighborhoods in the UK.

Breast cancer prevention drug benefit varies among at-risk women, study finds

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 11:16 AM PST

The findings of study may help women and their doctors make decisions about who may get the most benefit out of a breast cancer prevention drug.

Prescription painkillers, widely used by childbearing age women, double birth defects risk

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:32 AM PST

Many women are unaware that prescription opioid-based medications such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine, used to treat severe pain, may increase the risk for serious birth defects of the baby's brain, spine, and heart, as well as preterm birth when taken during pregnancy. Use of these medications also can cause babies to suffer withdrawal symptoms when born, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, a growing problem in US birthing hospitals.

New links between obesity, cardiovascular disease found

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:32 AM PST

Novel methods have been applied in a recent study to detect binding of fatty acids to CD36 and their effect on internalization of oxidized LDL.

Family voices, stories speed coma recovery

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:32 AM PST

'Can he hear me?' Family members are desperate to know when a loved one with a traumatic brain injury is in a coma. A new study shows the recorded voices of loved ones telling the patient familiar stories stored in his long-term memory help awaken the unconscious brain and speed recovery from the coma.

Secrets of a clump-dissolving protein uncovered

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Workhorse molecules called heat-shock proteins contribute to refolding proteins that were once misfolded and clumped, causing such disorders as Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are developing ways to 'reprogram' one such protein -- a yeast protein called Hsp104 -- to improve its therapeutic properties.

Using viruses to find the cellular Achilles heel

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

Back-to-back studies have exposed new battle tactics employed by two deadly viruses: hepatitis C and the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Protein interaction maps -- interactomes -- of where the viruses come into contact with the host during the course of infection uncovered a common set of cellular proteins that are attacked by various infections and may serve as viable new targets for anti-viral treatments.

Estrogen-producing neurons influence aggression in both sexes

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

A miniscule cluster of estrogen-producing nerve cells in the mouse brain exerts highly specific effects on aggressive behavior in both males and females, according to new research.

Promising drug candidate protects against radiation exposure from nuclear fallout

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

A drug candidate called DBIBB that increases the survival of mice suffering from radiation syndrome, even when treatment started three days after radiation exposure, has been identified by scientists. The findings suggest that DBIBB shows promise for becoming the first drug capable of treating acute radiation syndrome caused by the high levels of radiation released by nuclear explosions.

Immune system promotes digestive health by fostering community of 'good' bacteria

Posted: 22 Jan 2015 10:31 AM PST

1.4 million Americans suffer from uncomfortable abdominal cramping and diarrhea that come with inflammatory bowel disease. The condition is associated with an imbalance among the thousands of species of 'good' bacteria that inhabit the gut. A new study demonstrates that a component of the immune system, MyD88, coordinates a host immune response that promotes a healthy colony of good bacteria, and digestive health.

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