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Saturday, January 3, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Not all obese people develop metabolic problems linked to excess weight

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 02:27 PM PST

Obesity does not always go hand in hand with metabolic changes in the body that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to new research. In addition, obese people who didn't have these metabolic problems when the study began did not develop them even after they gained more weight.

New version of common antibiotic could eliminate risk of hearing loss

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 02:27 PM PST

A commonly used antibiotic can be modified to eliminate the risk that it will cause hearing loss, a study in mice has demonstrated. The newly patented antibiotic, N1MS, cured urinary tract infection in mice just as well as sisomcicin, but did not cause deafness, study results show. The study presents a promising new approach to generating a new class of novel, nontoxic antibiotics, researchers say.

Why reform of China's one-child policy has had little effect in boosting fertility levels

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 12:01 PM PST

The 2013 reforms aimed at relaxing China's 'one-child policy' are likely to have little effect on the country's long-term demographic trends and the problem of China's shrinking workforce, a new study shows. It explores why China has only partially lifted its family planning restrictions, suggesting that local governments rely on the income from fines imposed on couples who violate the one-child policy, known as 'social maintenance fees'. It also argues that it is hard to dislodge the old system because of 'policy inertia' due to the vast family planning bureaucracy involved in implementing the one-child policy.

HIV vaccines should avoid viral target cells, primate model study suggests

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 08:33 AM PST

Vaccines designed to protect against HIV have backfired in clinical trials. Non-human primate model studies suggest an explanation: vaccination may increase the number of immune cells that serve as viral targets. In a nonhuman primate model of HIV transmission, higher levels of viral target cells in gateway mucosal tissues were associated with an increased risk of infection.

Predicting superbugs' countermoves to new drugs

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 08:33 AM PST

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs. To accomplish that, researchers used software they developed to predict a constantly-evolving infectious bacterium's counter-moves to one of these new drugs ahead of time, before the drug is even tested on patients.

More efficient, sensitive estrogen detection developed

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 07:02 AM PST

A new method for detecting trace amounts of estrogen has been developed by scientists, an advance that will help health researchers. The hormone estrogen plays an important role in the human body and has been linked to everything from tumor growth to neuron loss during Alzheimer's disease. But detecting very small amounts of it in blood and other biological fluids can be difficult for health researchers, especially in the limited amounts available in laboratory experiments.

Innate behaviour determines how we steer our car

Posted: 02 Jan 2015 04:16 AM PST

A 70 year old mystery in traffic research has been solved: an until now inexplicable jerkiness when we steer a vehicle. The discovery may lead to safety systems in cars that can correct dangerous steering movements before they occur. "With the driver model I have developed, it is possible to predict what drivers are going to do with the steering wheel before they do it. It is possible to predict how far the driver is going to turn the wheel, right when the person starts a wheel-turning movement. It's like looking into the future," says a researcher.

Mind over matter: Can you think your way to strength?

Posted: 31 Dec 2014 12:40 PM PST

Regular mental imagery exercises help preserve arm strength during 4 weeks of immobilization, researchers have found. Strength is controlled by a number of factors -- the most studied by far is skeletal muscle. However, the nervous system is also an important, though not fully understood, determinant of strength and weakness. In this study, researchers set out to test how the brain's cortex plays into strength development.

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