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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Ads effective even in the midst of multitasking, studies find

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 02:06 PM PST

Those video ads playing in the corner of your computer screen, in the midst of multitasking, may have more impact than you realize. They may be as effective as ads you're really watching, says one expert. It depends on how you perceive and process media content -- whether your processing 'style' is to focus more on one thing or to take it all in. It also may depend on your mood.

Hospitals helping violence victims could save millions

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

In the first systematic look at the economic outcomes of hospital-based violence intervention, researchers demonstrate that, in addition to transforming victims' lives, these programs may indeed save a significant amount of money compared to non-intervention, in various sectors including health care and criminal justice, up to about $4 million to serve 90 clients in a 5-year period.

Beating the clock: researchers develop new treatment for rabies

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

Successfully treating rabies can be a race against the clock. Those who suffer a bite from a rabid animal have a brief window of time to seek medical help before the virus takes root in the central nervous system, at which point the disease is almost invariably fatal. Now, researchers have successfully tested a treatment on mice that cures the disease even after the virus has spread to the brain.

Antiangiogenesis drugs could make major improvement in tuberculosis treatment

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

Use of the same antiangiogenesis drugs that have improved treatment of some cancers could also help surmount persistent difficulties in treating tuberculosis, improving the effectiveness of drug therapy and reducing the emergence of resistant bacterial strains.

How a cancer-causing virus blocks human immune response

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

Scientists have revealed how a type of cancer-causing virus outwits the human body's immune response. The discovery might help explain why some cancer therapies that incorporate interferon fail to treat certain cancers and might lead to more effective treatments.

3D enzyme model provides new tool for anti-inflammatory drug development

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:46 PM PST

To better understand PLA2 enzymes and help drive therapeutic drug development, researchers developed 3-D computer models that show exactly how two PLA2 enzymes extract their substrates from cellular membranes.

Chronic insomniacs may face increased risk of hypertension

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:17 PM PST

Insomniacs who take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep face a greater risk of hypertension, according to new research. This study is the first to test whether insomnia with physiological hyperarousal, defined as a longer time to fall asleep, is linked to hypertension.

New breast cancer risk prediction model more accurate than current model

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:17 PM PST

A new breast cancer risk prediction model combining histologic features of biopsied breast tissue from women with benign breast disease and individual patient demographic information more accurately classified breast cancer risk than the current screening standard.

High cholesterol in 30s, 40s, increases later risk of heart disease

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 01:17 PM PST

Most young adults might assume they have years before needing to worry about their cholesterol. But new findings suggest that even slightly high cholesterol levels in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 35 and 55 can have long-term impacts on their heart health, with every decade of high cholesterol increasing their chances of heart disease by 39 percent.

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 12:05 PM PST

Nature has many examples of self-assembly, and bioengineers are interested in copying these systems to create useful new materials or devices. Amyloid proteins, for example, can self-assemble into the tangled plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease -- but can also form very useful materials, such as spider silk, or biofilms around living cells. Researchers have now come up with methods to manipulate natural proteins so that they self-assemble into amyloid fibrils.

Phase 1 clinical trial of CUDC-101 'throws kitchen sink' at head and neck cancer

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 10:52 AM PST

At 18 months median follow up of a phase 1 clinical trial, one patient's cancer had worsened, two had died, and nine remained free of disease. Testing of blood and tumor samples showed that CUDC-101 had indeed inhibited the action of EGFR, HDAC and Her2.

Students master math through movement using Kinect for Windows

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 10:52 AM PST

Significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements by elementary school students are seen in those who performed body-based tasks while interacting with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program.

Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:50 AM PST

Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas. Now, using international data, researchers have determined that girls outperform boys in educational achievement in 70 percent of the countries they studied -- regardless of the level of gender, political, economic or social equality.

Collagen: Powerful workout with water

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:50 AM PST

Collagen fibers not only passively support bone, tendons and ligaments, but also actively contract, researchers report. Removing water from collagen fibres has dramatic effects on molecular and nanoscopic feature, the researchers have found.

Good bedtime habits equal better sleep for kids

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:49 AM PST

Children obtain better and more age-appropriate sleep in the presence of household rules and regular sleep-wake routines, according to sleep researchers.

Scientists discover a new blood platelet formation mechanism

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:47 AM PST

A new cellular mechanism, called the endocycle, encourages the formation of platelets, the cells needed to coagulate blood. In mouse models, endocycles can help to control thrombocytopenia, a disease caused by a deficit in platelet production that causes heavy haemorrhaging. The new process could act as an alternative source of platelets when the normal mechanisms fail.

Higher dementia risk linked to more use of common drugs

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:47 AM PST

A large study links a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, to taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects at higher doses or for a longer time. Many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

Possible therapeutic target for common, but mysterious brain blood vessel disorder

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:46 AM PST

Tens of millions of people worldwide have abnormal, leak-prone sproutings of blood vessels in the brain called cerebral cavernous malformations. These abnormal growths can lead to seizures, strokes, and hemorrhages, yet their precise molecular cause has never been determined. Now, cardiovascular scientists have studied this pathway in heart development to discover an important set of molecular signals, triggered by CCM-linked gene defects, that potentially could be targeted to treat the disorder.

Largest-ever autism genome study finds most siblings have different autism-risk genes

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:46 AM PST

The largest-ever autism genome study reveals that the disorder's genetic underpinnings are more complex than previously thought: Most siblings who have autism have different autism-linked genes. The study's data is part of the historic first upload of approximately 1,000 autism genomes to the Autism Speaks MSSNG portal in Google Cloud Platform. The data will be openly available for global research in order to speed understanding of autism and the development of individualized treatments.

New strategy to combat 'undruggable' cancer molecule

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:46 AM PST

Three of the four most fatal cancers are caused by a protein known as Ras; either because it mutates or simply because it ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ras has proven an elusive target for scientist trying to cure the deadly diseases. Now a group of researchers has discovered an unknown way for RAS to find its proper place in the cell. Their discovery may lead to completely novel approaches to curing cancer.

New Canadian guideline to help prevent, manage adult obesity

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:45 AM PST

A new Canadian guideline to help prevent and manage obesity in adult patients recommends body mass index measurement for both prevention and management and structured behavioral changes to help those who are overweight or obese to lose weight. The guideline is aimed at physicians and health care providers.

Nocturnal leg cramps more common in summer

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:45 AM PST

Painful nocturnal leg cramps are about twice as common during summer than in winter, found a new study. Because quinine is commonly prescribed to treat leg cramps, researchers looked at the number of new quinine prescriptions for adults over 50 years of age in British Columbia, Canada, from Dec. 1, 2001 to Oct. 31, 2007. They found that prescriptions for quinine peaked in British Columbia in July as did Google searches for leg cramps.

Got bees? Got vitamin A? Got malaria? Loss of pollinators increases risk of malnutrition, disease

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:44 AM PST

More than half the people in some developing countries could become newly at risk for malnutrition if crop-pollinating animals -- like bees -- continue to decline, experts say. Despite popular reports that pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no scientific studies have actually tested this claim -- until now.

Lung cancer: Study finds potential new drug target

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:44 AM PST

Targeting a key enzyme and its associated metabolic programming may lead to novel drug development to treat lung cancer, researchers report. Cancer cells undergo metabolic alterations to meet the increased energy demands that support their excess growth and survival. The Krebs cycle in the mitochondria of cells is used to supply both energy and building materials for cell growth. Two mitochondrial enzymes -- pyruvate carboxylase (PC) and glutaminase replenish carbon to the Krebs cycle.

Metabolic mystery solved, lending insight into Lafora disease

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:44 AM PST

The metabolic function of the essential enzyme laforin has been identified by researchers, which opens new pathways to treating the deadly Lafora's disease. Lafora disease occurs as a result of the laforin gene being mutated. Mutations in the gene encoding the laforin protein result in the accumulation aberrant glycogen-like accumulations called Lafora bodies that resemble plant starch more than human glycogen.

Dental experts show why wound healing is impaired in diabetics

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:24 AM PST

A critical molecule has been identified by a team of dental scientists that helps explain why diabetics suffer from impaired healing. Their results pinpoint a target for therapies that could help boost healing.

Is head CT overused in emergency departments?

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:24 AM PST

Most patients presenting to the emergency department with syncope or dizziness may not benefit from head CT unless they are older, have a focal neurologic deficit, or have a history of recent head trauma.

Brain study sheds light on how children with autism process social play

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:24 AM PST

Brain scans confirm significant differences in play behavior, brain activation patterns and stress levels in children with autism spectrum disorder as compared with typically developing children, new research demonstrates.

Majority of homeless adults with mental illness have high rates of cognitive deficits

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:24 AM PST

Nearly three-quarters of homeless adults with mental illness in Canada show evidence of cognitive deficits, such as difficulties with problem solving, learning and memory, new research has found. The study-believed to be the largest of its kind -assessed neurocognitive functioning indicators such as mental processing speed, verbal learning and memory in 1,500 homeless adults in five Canadian cities.

Cochlear implant users can hear, feel the beat in music

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:24 AM PST

People who use cochlear implants for profound hearing loss do respond to certain aspects of music, contrary to common beliefs and limited scientific research, says a research team. The scientists say exposure to the beat in music, such as drums, can improve the emotional and social quality-of-life of cochlear implant users and may even help improve their understanding and use of spoken language.

Would you tell your manager you had a mental health problem?

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:23 AM PST

Although nearly four in 10 workers wouldn't tell their manager if they had a mental health problem, half said that if they knew about a coworker's illness, they would desire to help, a new survey shows. The survey reveals that workers have both negative and supportive attitudes about mental health in the workplace.

How tropical parasite hijacks cells

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:22 AM PST

Scientists have pinned down how a dangerous tropical parasite which is transmitted by ticks manages to turn healthy cells into cancer-like invasive cells, according to research. Microscopic Theileria parasites infect the blood of mammals, particularly cattle, causing serious illness.

In infants, pain from vaccinations shows up in brain activity

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:21 AM PST

Infants show distinct, consistent patterns of brain activity in response to painful vaccinations, new research shows.

New mechanism to aid cells under stress identified

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:21 AM PST

New details in a cellular mechanism that serves as a defense against stress have been identified by a team of biologists. The findings potentially offer insights into tumor progression and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's -- the cell's inability to respond to stress is a major cause of these diseases.

Brain circuit that regulates thirst identified

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 08:20 AM PST

Scientists have identified a circuit in the brains of mice that regulates thirst. When a subset of cells in the circuit is switched on, mice immediately begin drinking water, even if they are fully hydrated. A second set of cells suppresses the urge to drink.

Frogs prove ideal models for studying developmental timing

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Thyroid hormone receptor alpha plays an important role in hind limb development in frogs, scientists have found. With new gene mutation technology, researchers were able to successfully mutate the gene in the tadpole models, discovering the value of tadpoles as ideal models for studying the role of hormones in development because of the timely metamorphosis from tadpole to juvenile frog, and because that transition is completely dependent on hormones.

Chemists find a way to unboil egg whites: Ability to quickly restore molecular proteins could slash biotechnology costs

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites -- an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to new findings.

Mindfulness-based program in schools making a positive impact, study shows

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

A social and emotional learning program started by Academy Award winning actress Goldie Hawn to help school children improve their learning abilities, be more caring, and less stressed is now backed by new scientific evidence.

Towards a scientific process freed from systemic bias

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:59 AM PST

Research on how science works -- the science of science -- can benefit from studying the digital traces generated during the research process, such as peer-reviewed publications. This type of research is crucial for the future of science and that of scientists, according to experts.

Mother's stress hormone levels may affect fetal growth and long term health of child

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:57 AM PST

Increased levels of stress hormones can lead pregnant mice to overeat, but affect growth of the fetus and, potentially, the long term health of the offspring, according to a new study.

How cancer turns good cells to the dark side

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:57 AM PST

Biophysicists reveal how cancer uses notch-signaling pathways to promote metastasis. Their computer models provide a fresh theoretical framework for scientists who study ways to target cancer progression.

Hemin improves adipocyte morphology, function by enhancing proteins of regeneration

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:57 AM PST

Obesity has escalated in every segment of the population including children, adolescences and adults. In obesity, impaired lipid and glucose metabolism are implicated in the conundrum of cardiometabolic complication. Heme-oxygenase is a cytoprotective enzyme that has been recently shown to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in diabetic, hypertensive and obese animals. Thus substances capable of enhancing heme-oxygenase may be explored as novel remedies against cardiometabolic complications arising from excessive adiposity.

Poor psychosocial work environments may contribute to heart problems

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:54 AM PST

A psychosocially poor work environment means that employees experience highly demanding requirements but have little ability to control their work or not feel sufficiently appreciated for the contributions they make. Research shows that these kinds of environments at work may negatively contribute to a person's heart health.

Swedish model for PSA testing has little effect on mortality

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:54 AM PST

The spontaneous PSA testing that has been applied in Sweden in recent decades has only had a marginal effect on mortality. An organized screening focused on those who have the most to gain would, however, reduce the risk of dying from prostate cancer by over 40 percent, researchers suggest.

Stress during pregnancy related to infant gut microbiota

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:54 AM PST

Women who experience stress during pregnancy are likely to have babies with a poor mix of intestinal microbiota and with a higher incidence of intestinal problems and allergic reactions. This could be related to psychological and physical problems as the child develops.

Faster annotation system for prokaryotic genomes unveiled

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:53 AM PST

A new version of a genome annotation system capable of analyzing more than 2,000 prokaryotic genomes per day has been revealed by scientists, helping researchers accelerate prokaryotic genomics-based studies worldwide (the average was 20 a day).

Majority of primary care physicians find that medical imaging improves patient care

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 06:53 AM PST

Large majorities of primary care physicians believe that advanced medical imaging, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), provides considerable value to patient care.

Many women with breast cancer have poor knowledge about their condition

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:44 AM PST

A new analysis has found that many women with breast cancer lack knowledge about their illness, with minority patients less likely than white patients to know and report accurate information about their tumors' characteristics. The findings highlight the need to educate patients about their health conditions, which could lead to more informed treatment decisions.

Medical radiation may be reduced to one-sixth with new mathematical discovery

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:40 AM PST

One of this century's most significant mathematical discoveries may reduce the number of measuring points to one-sixth of the present level. This means reduced exposure to radiation and faster medical imaging diagnostics.

How your friends might help you avoid flu

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:39 AM PST

A study of social networks has yielded clues about how best to improve vaccination rates for influenza. Influenza is a global health problem, affecting 3 to 5 million people a year and causing fatalities among the very old, the very young, and those with existing medical conditions.

For university students, walking beats sitting

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:39 AM PST

Walking classrooms are better for not only for students' physical health, but classroom engagement, a study shows. What began in a response to a physical activity challenge for the computer science facultyat one university has become a study in how education and fitness can be combined to improve both physical well-being, and classroom discussions.

Digital storytelling promotes HIV/AIDS education in Africa

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Children from poor backgrounds and with no previous technological experience are able to use digital storytelling to share their secrets and fears online, shows a recent doctoral thesis. The author has been involved in various projects in southern Africa focusing on the development of technologies that make it possible for children and youth to share their experiences of HIV and AIDS. Digital storytelling incorporates various types of media, including text, images, animations and sound.

Testosterone helps bind antidepressants in brain

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Female sex hormones have a strong effect on the psyche. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies and by phenomena such as the "baby blues", a bout of low mood following childbirth, or recurrent mood swings that occur prior to menstruation. However the male sex hormone testosterone also affects our mood and emotions, as well as our libido - and in a positive way.

Nanodiamonds: Promising use for delivering cancer drug to kill chemoresistant cancer stem cells more effectively

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Delivery of Epirubicin by nanodiamonds resulted in a normally lethal dosage of Epirubicin becoming a safe and effective dosage for treatment of liver cancer, researchers report after the conclusion of their study.

Daily drinking increases risk of alcoholic cirrhosis

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Although alcohol is the most important risk factor of alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, less is known about the significance of different patterns of drinking. Currently scientists believe that cirrhosis is a function of the volume of alcohol consumed irrespective of patterns of drinking. Investigators have now established that alcohol drinking pattern has a significant influence on the risk of cirrhosis and that daily drinking increases that risk compared with drinking less frequently.

Scientists identify new disease treatment path

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

A previously unknown phenomenon -- that diseased muscle cells literally eat themselves to death -- has been discovered by researchers. The researchers say this previously unrecognised mechanism could have far reaching effects for the understanding and treatment of diseases including cancers and inflammatory diseases, as well as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Reducing work-family conflicts in the workplace helps people to sleep better

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:38 AM PST

Workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not participate in the intervention, a study shows.

Morphine following common childhood surgery may be life threatening

Posted: 26 Jan 2015 05:36 AM PST

A significant risk for potentially-fatal breathing disruption has been identified when morphine is administered at home after surgery to treat pain in children who undergo tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy.

'Fifth taste,' umami, could be beneficial for health

Posted: 25 Jan 2015 06:31 PM PST

The umami taste could have an important and beneficial role in health, according to research. 'Kokumi' substances, which modify flavor, could improve the taste of low-fat foods, the scientists say.

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