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Thursday, January 8, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

An avocado a day may help keep bad cholesterol at bay

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:48 PM PST

Individuals on a moderate-fat diet who ate an avocado every day had lower bad cholesterol than those on a similar diet without an avocado a day or on a lower-fat diet, researchers report.

Burnt-out workers more likely to make irrational decisions

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:46 PM PST

Employees who are suffering from burnout are more likely to make spontaneous and irrational decisions. Analysis showed that participants who showed signs of burnout displayed more spontaneous and irrational decision-making. They were also more likely to avoid making decisions.

University or University of Life? Neither provides workers with necessary people skills

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:46 PM PST

Whilst university degrees and work experience offer value in terms of employees' work performance, neither prepare individuals for the softer people skills necessary in the workplace. In a study of 2,500 individuals, neither a degree nor experience were related to an employees' performance in softer skills, such as building relationships with others or giving support. Speaking of this link, the authors suggest that such people skills may be innate or developed earlier in childhood.

Does 'dyslexia' disable teachers?

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:46 PM PST

Different labels for difficulties with reading have been found to be associated with varying beliefs in how effective teachers believe they can be. Researchers asked a sample of primary school teachers to complete two questionnaires about children who were having difficulty with learning to read. One questionnaire sought to discover how much the teachers believed they could do to help the children. The other questionnaire sought to discover the extent to which the teachers believed that the children's difficulties were 'essential'- that is, how far they marked out the difficulties as having a distinct biological basis.

Staying in touch during out-of-office hours damages workers' wellbeing

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:45 PM PST

Employees using various technological devices to stay "switched on" for work outside of office hours may face detrimental effects to their wellbeing and private life.

Good quality me-time vital for home and work wellbeing

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:45 PM PST

High quality me-time not only improves your psychological wellbeing it can also make you a more engaged employee.

Misfit or Miss Goody Two Shoes? Adolescent misperceptions abound

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 01:23 PM PST

It's true: teens are misunderstood. But apparently, teens themselves have dramatic misperceptions about what their peers are doing when it comes to sex, drugs and studying, possibly prompting them to conform to social norms that don't exist.

Type 2 diabetes risk varies with magnesium intake, genes and ethnicity

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 01:23 PM PST

A new study investigated the complex interactions between magnesium intake, genes and ethnicity in determining risk for type 2 diabetes in two populations of women. The specific associations yielded by the analysis illustrate how health guidance could become considerably more personalized.

Music cuts across cultures

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 01:22 PM PST

Whether you are a Pygmy in the Congolese rainforest or a hipster in downtown Montreal, certain aspects of music will touch you in exactly the same ways. Researchers found that although the groups felt quite differently about whether specific pieces of music made them feel good or bad, their subjective and physiological responses to how exciting or calming they found the music to be appeared to be universal.

Study finds partisanship most fierce among highly educated Americans

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:11 PM PST

A new study has found partisanship is at its highest levels among the most-educated Americans, who gravitate toward facts that agree with their own political leanings.

Muslims and Latinos much more prominent in TV crime news than in real-life crime

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:11 PM PST

A new study found that Muslims and Latinos were significantly overrepresented, and African-Americans largely missing, in crime stories aired over five years on prominent network and cable breaking news programs.

Research on jealousy: Impact of sexual vs. emotional infidelity

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:11 PM PST

In the largest study to date on infidelity, researchers have learned that men and women are different when it comes to feeling jealous. In a poll of nearly 64,000 Americans this study provides the first large-scale examination of gender and sexual orientation differences in response to potential sexual versus emotional infidelity in US adults.

New discoveries in key pathway for neurological diseases

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:07 PM PST

A new intermediate step and unexpected enzymatic activity in a metabolic pathway in the body, which could lead to new drug design for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, has been discovered by researchers. This pathway produces several neurotransmitter regulators and is responsible for metabolizing nearly 99 percent of the tryptophan in the body. Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for mood.

'Seeing' hydrogen atoms to unveil enzyme catalysis that may play key role in cancer drug development

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 12:07 PM PST

Scientists have used a new instrument to map an enzyme that could play an important role in anti-cancer drug development.

Major study sends clear safety message to prevent brain injury in children

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 11:07 AM PST

An exhaustive analysis of data from more than 40,000 cases of brain trauma in children provides convincing evidence that protecting children in advance from head injuries is the key to reducing their severity.

Doctor warns against 'keepsake' ultrasounds

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 11:07 AM PST

Expectant parents should avoid the use of ultrasounds for nonmedical reasons, according to maternal-fetal medicine experts. "Ultrasound is a valuable tool when done for medical purposes by trained professionals," said one physician. "But this technology should not be used for entertainment purposes to see an image of a baby or to identify gender."

TV use, unhealthy eating linked

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:39 AM PST

People who watch excessive amounts of TV tend to eat more unhealthy foods and might not understand the foundations of a healthy diet, a study suggests.

Broad immune response may be needed to destroy latent HIV

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:39 AM PST

A major barrier to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS is the presence of latent HIV in the cells of chronically infected individuals. But researchers may have now pinpointed a strategy for eliminating the residual virus.

Prognostic test developed for E2F4 in breast cancer

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:14 AM PST

By looking at the expression levels of downstream genes of the regulators in breast cancer, researchers have identified a gene signature in E2F4 that is predictive of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. The findings define a new opportunity for personalizing medicine for women whose Oncotype DX assay results classify them as of 'intermediate-risk for recurrence.'

Beer, bread yeast-eating bacteria aid human health

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:14 AM PST

Bacteria that have evolved to eat their way through yeast in the human gut could inform the development of new treatments for people suffering from bowel diseases, experts report.

Couples' conflicts: Withdrawal or expecting your romantic partner to mind-read hurts relationships, but in different ways

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:13 AM PST

When you have a conflict with your significant other, do you withdraw like a turtle into its shell? Or do you expect your partner to be a mind reader about what ticks you off? Both of those can be harmful, but in different ways and for different reasons, according to a new study.

Nutrient sensor in key growth-regulating metabolic pathway identified

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 10:13 AM PST

For the first time, scientists have identified a protein that appears to be a nutrient sensor for the key growth-regulating mTORC1 metabolic pathway.

Caregiver, families with mentally ill members all need help, CWRU researchers find

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:39 AM PST

Listening to older sisters of mentally ill siblings discuss their mothers' difficult caregiving experiences made a researcher wonder if something important about families was missed in a prior study that focused on women caregivers of mentally ill family members.

Tracking subtle brain mutations, systematically

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:31 AM PST

DNA sequences were once thought to be identical from cell to cell, but it's increasingly understood that mutations can arise during brain development that affect only certain groups of brain cells. A new technique allows these subtle mutation patterns to be traced and mapped spatially for the first time.

Ohio's diversion program helps juvenile offenders with behavioral health issues

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:31 AM PST

An evaluation of Ohio's Behavioral Health/Juvenile Justice initiative in 11 counties found the program benefits most young offenders diverted from detention centers to community-based agencies to treat mental health issues, drug problems or both.

A potential long-lasting treatment for sensitive teeth

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:31 AM PST

Rather than soothe and comfort, a hot cup of tea or cocoa can cause people with sensitive teeth a jolt of pain. But scientists are now developing a new biomaterial that can potentially rebuild worn enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity for an extended period. They have tested the material on dogs.

Expressing anger linked with better health in some cultures

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:29 AM PST

In the US and many Western countries, people are urged to manage feelings of anger or suffer its ill effects -- but new research with participants from the US and Japan suggests that anger may actually be linked with better, not worse, health in certain cultures.

Review article estimates annual US cost of psoriasis in 2013

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:29 AM PST

The annual US cost of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, was estimated to be between $112 billion and $135 billion in 2013, according to a review article.

PTSD doubles diabetes risk in women

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:29 AM PST

Women with post-traumatic stress disorder are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who don't have PTSD, according to new research. The longitudinal cohort study provides the strongest evidence to date of a causal relationship between PTSD and type 2 diabetes.

Brain imaging may help predict future behavior

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:29 AM PST

Noninvasive brain scans have led to basic science discoveries about the human brain, but they've had only limited impacts on people's day-to-day lives. A review article highlights a number of recent studies showing that brain imaging can help predict an individual's future learning, criminality, health-related behaviors, and response to drug or behavioral treatments. The technology may offer opportunities to personalize educational and clinical practices.

How society makes it worse for people who self-harm

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:25 AM PST

Social attitudes are reinforcing the negative beliefs towards people who self harm, according to research. The first ever study of the life stories of people who self-harm and who were also diagnosed with a personality disorder revealed that several spoke of being refused pain relief while being sutured by hospital staff. Others had met staff who thought they were immune to pain because they self-harmed.

Sticking to lifestyle guidelines may reduce risk for certain cancers and for overall mortality

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:24 AM PST

Following cancer prevention guidelines from the American Cancer Society may modestly reduce your overall risk of developing cancer and have a greater impact on reducing your overall risk of dying early, a study of nearly a half-million Americans has found. Having a healthy body weight and staying active appeared to have the most positive impact.

Although flu viruses are a moving target, this season's vaccine still offers protection

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:23 AM PST

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that flu activity is "high" or "widespread" in 43 states and call it an epidemic this season. Most of the cases are caused by the H3N2 strain.

Physical recovery in critically ill patients can predict remission of anxiety, PTSD symptoms

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:23 AM PST

Better physical functioning — basic and complex activities considered essential for maintaining independence — is associated with remission of general anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, a two-year longitudinal study involving 13 intensive care units in four U.S. hospitals has found.

Genetics in depression: What's known, what's next

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:23 AM PST

Even with modern genomewide analysis techniques, it has proven difficult to identify genetic factors affecting risk for depression, according to a new review article. "Given the established heritability of depression, there is every reason to expect that with larger studies we will be able to identify genetic loci," said one author. "Identifying ways to generate these larger samples is one of the many challenges before us."

Brain scientists figure out how a protein crucial to learning and memory works

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 09:23 AM PST

Researchers have found out how a protein crucial to learning works: by removing a biochemical "clamp" that prevents connections between nerve cells in the brain from growing stronger. The finding moves neuroscientists a step closer to figuring out how learning and memory work, and how problems with them can arise.

New approach may lead to inhalable vaccines for influenza, pneumonia

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:14 AM PST

A novel approach to creating inhalable vaccines using nanoparticles has been uncovered by researchers, showing promise for targeting lung-specific diseases, such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Microfluidics to accelerate cell membrane research

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:14 AM PST

Life processes depend fundamentally on phenomena occurring on the membranes separating cells from their environment. Until now poorly understood, the mechanisms responsible for transport through the cell membrane will be able to be studied faster and more cheaply - thanks to a microfluidic system recently developed. The system enables the serial formation of cell membranes and measurement of the processes taking place on them.

Genome wide expression changes in vascular tissue identified due to infection/diet

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:14 AM PST

Although it has been shown that a diet high in fat and exposure to certain bacteria can cause atherosclerosis, researchers have for the first time identified distinct gene pathways that are altered by these different stimuli. These findings suggest that future therapies for this disease may need to be individualized.

Too much gas, too little food appear major factors in injury, disease-related memory loss

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:11 AM PST

Inflammation plays a role in learning and memory loss that can result from brain injury or disease, and researchers now have evidence that neurons may be suffering from too much gas and too little food.

Potential new tool to monitor radiotherapy side effects

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:10 AM PST

A patient-centred approach to assessing the side effects of radiotherapy has been proposed by researchers. Their study results have shown that it may be able to improve the detection and management of treatment-related toxicity.

The best offense against bacteria is a good defense

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:09 AM PST

A small protein active in the human immune response can disable bacterial toxins by exploiting a property that makes the toxins effective -- but also turns out to be a weakness. The small proteins are called defensins. Scientists have known defensins can neutralize bacterial toxins for about a decade, but until now didn't know how.

Mandatory meat labels economically not worth the fight

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 07:09 AM PST

A little label is causing a big stir among the U.S., Canada and Mexico, but research finds the majority of consumers don't even know it exists. In October 2014, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico, finding that the mandated country-of-origin labels in the U.S. are not trade compliant and hurt business in nearby countries. The U.S. is appealing the decision.

Dopamine a safe anti-angiogenic drug in cancer treatment, study shows

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 06:13 AM PST

Dopamine -- an inexpensive drug currently used to treat heart, vascular and kidney disorders -- can be safely used in cancer treatment to curb the growth of blood vessels in tumors, a new study shows.

Was Beethoven's music literally heartfelt? Could a cardiac arrhythmia have influenced famous works by the musical great?

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 06:13 AM PST

Could it be that when Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of the greatest masterpieces of all time that he was quite literally following his heart?

After weight loss surgery, people could experience discrimination when interviewing for jobs

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 06:12 AM PST

People say that they would be more likely to hire someone who has lost weight through exercise and dieting than through surgery. This is just one of the stigmas faced by obese people who undergo weight-reducing bariatric surgery, report researchers. Over 100,000 bariatric surgeries are performed annually in the US, and in many cases ensure substantial and sustained long-term weight loss for obese people.

Selective functionalization synthesizes chemotherapeutic natural products

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 06:12 AM PST

Scientists have synthesized marine alkaloids with anti-cancer and therapeutic properties through a sequential C-H functionalization strategy.

Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:21 AM PST

Our sense of belonging to the male or female gender is an inherent component of the human identity perception. As a general rule, gender identity and physical sex coincide. If this is not the case, one refers to trans-identity or transsexuality. In a current study, brain researchers were able to demonstrate that the very personal gender identity of every human being is reflected and verifiable in the cross-links between brain regions.

How do Palestinians cope in the midst of the conflict?

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:17 AM PST

Living in the midst of the conflict in the Middle East entails plenty of suffering, but it also challenges people to look for coping mechanisms. For many Palestinians, voluntary work and family are sources of meaningfulness in life. Furthermore, humor, nature and maintaining everyday routines are also important factors supporting coping, according to new research.

Smile to remember a smile: Facial expression used to help recall emotion

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:17 AM PST

We use facial expression to help recall an emotion, researchers say. A new study shows that in order to recall an emotion (positive or negative) we "re-enact" the motor sequence of the facial expression corresponding to that emotion. In other words: when remembering a smile, we smile.

Having a hard time focusing? Research identifies complex of neurons crucial to controlling attention

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:17 AM PST

Our ability to pay attention to certain things while ignoring distractions determines how good we are at a given task, whether it is driving a car or doing brain surgery. Researchers for the first time convincingly identified a network of neurons in a particular area of the brain, the lateral prefrontal cortex, that interact with one another to promptly filter visual information while at the same time ignoring distractions. It's a discovery with potentially far reaching implications for people who suffer from diseases such as autism, ADHD and schizophrenia

Hormonal similarity makes happy couples, at least in birds

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Some people say that we become more like our partner as time goes on. Surprisingly, the same seems to be true in the animal world -- studies on compatibility between mates show that individual animals are more successful when they behave in a similar fashion to their mate. New research shows that mating pairs of the bird species known as great tits become more similar in their hormones over time.

Chronic Wound Care: The health warning some smokers aren't hearing from their doctors

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

While many smokers may make quitting part of their New Year's resolution – a new study may give some yet another reason to stop – the negative impact cigarette smoke has on chronic wounds. Despite the fact that chronic wounds cost billions to treat annually, healthcare providers often don't discuss smoking with their chronic wound patients. New research explores the connection between non-healing wounds and smoking – and the missed opportunities to help patients understand how their habit is hurting their ability to heal.

Do infants judge others' language proficiency? It depends on their own, research shows

Posted: 07 Jan 2015 05:12 AM PST

Monolingual infants expect others to understand only one language, an assumption not held by bilingual infants, a study by researchers has found. "Our results not only offer insight into infants' perception of linguistic abilities, but, more importantly, may help us better understand whom they see as good communication partners," explains one of the study's co-authors.

Alcohol sales linked with alcohol deaths across Great Britain regions

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 05:30 PM PST

For the first time alcohol sales data, which act as a proxy for alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related deaths for regions in Great Britain have been analyzed. The results show that of 11 regions analyzed, the South West, Central Scotland, North East, North West and Yorkshire had higher levels of alcohol sales per adult than the Great Britain average. There were lower sales in London, Central England and the East of England.

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