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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Does a competent leader make a good friend?

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 01:01 PM PST

New research shows that when we elect leaders and politicians we tend to prefer dominant-looking, masculine men, but when we are looking to make new friends we seek the opposite.

Significant link between cannabis use and onset of mania symptoms

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 01:01 PM PST

Researchers have found evidence to suggest a significant relationship between cannabis use and the onset and exacerbation of mania symptoms.

Mesothelioma in southern Nevada likely result of asbestos in environment

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 12:59 PM PST

Malignant mesothelioma has been found at higher than expected levels in women and in individuals younger than 55 years old in the southern Nevada counties of Clark and Nye, likewise in the same region carcinogenic mineral fibers including actinolite asbestos, erionite, winchite, magnesioriebeckite and richterite were discovered. These data suggest that these elevated numbers of malignant mesothelioma cases are linked to environmental exposure of carcinogenic mineral fibers.

New cellular pathway defect found in cystinosis

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 12:52 PM PST

Scientists have identified a new cellular pathway affected in cystinosis, a rare genetic disorder that can result in eye and kidney damage. The findings could eventually lead to new drug treatments for reducing or preventing the onset of renal failure in patients.

Listeria pathogen is prevalent, persistent in retail delis

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:20 AM PST

New research shows that standard cleaning procedures in retail delis may not eradicate Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can cause a potentially fatal disease in people with vulnerable immune systems.

Engineers put the 'squeeze' on human stem cells

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:20 AM PST

After using optical tweezers to squeeze a tiny bead attached to the outside of a human stem cell, researchers now know how mechanical forces can trigger a key signaling pathway in the cells.The squeeze helps to release calcium ions stored inside the cells and opens up channels in the cell membrane that allow the ions to flow into the cells, according to a new study.

Epigenetic breakthrough: A first of its kind tool to study the histone code

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:20 AM PST

Scientists have created a new research tool, based on the fruit fly, to help crack the histone code. This research tool can be used to better understand the function of histone proteins, which play critical roles in the regulation of gene expression in animals and plants.

Too much of a good thing: Extra genes make bacteria lethal

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:18 AM PST

We, as most animals, host many different beneficial bacteria. Being beneficial to the host often pays off for the bacteria, as success of the host determines the survival and spread of the microbe. But if bacteria grow too much they may become deadly. Scientists have found that a single genomic change can turn beneficial bacteria into pathogenic bacteria, by boosting bacterial density inside the host.

Low childhood vitamin D linked to adult atherosclerosis

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:17 AM PST

Low levels of 25-OH vitamin D in childhood were associated with subclinical atherosclerosis over 25 years later in adulthood, according to a new study.

Napping reverses health effects of poor sleep

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 11:17 AM PST

A short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study.

Plain packaging reduces 'cigarette-seeking' response by almost ten percent

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:32 AM PST

Plain tobacco packaging may reduce the likelihood of smokers seeking to obtain cigarettes by almost 10 percent compared to branded packs, according to new research.

Smoking thins vital part of brain

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:31 AM PST

A major study shows new evidence that long-term smoking could cause thinning of the brain's cortex. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain in which critical cognitive functions such as memory, language and perception take place. Interestingly, the findings also suggest that stopping smoking helps to restore at least part of the cortex's thickness.

When a broken heart becomes a real medical condition

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:05 AM PST

Broken heart syndrome occurs during highly stressful or emotional times, such as a romantic breakup, death of a spouse, serious medical diagnosis or significant financial problems. Symptoms can easily be mistaken for a heart attack.

Electronics you can wrap around your finger

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

A new multiferroric film keeps its electric and magnetic properties even when highly curved, paving the way for potential uses in wearable devices.

Smartphone apps just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

Although wearable devices have received significant attention for their ability to track an individual's physical activity, most smartphone applications are just as accurate, according to new research. The study tested 10 of the top-selling smartphone apps and devices in the United States by having 14 participants walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, each twice (for a total of 56 trials), and then recording their step counts.

Size of biomarker associated with improved survival following transplantation

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

Among patients with severe aplastic anemia who received stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor, longer leukocyte (white blood cells) telomere length (a structure at the end of a chromosome) was associated with increased overall survival at 5 years, according to a new study.

Creatine does not slow rate of Parkinson disease progression

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

Treatment with creatine monohydrate for at least 5 years for patients with early and treated Parkinson disease failed to slow clinical progression of the disease, compared with placebo, according to a new study.

Iron supplementation improves hemoglobin recovery time following blood donation

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

Among blood donors with normal hemoglobin levels, low-dose oral iron supplementation, compared with no supplementation, reduced the time to recovery of the postdonation decrease in hemoglobin concentration in donors with low or higher levels of a marker of overall iron storage (ferritin), according to a new study.

Blood pressure-lowering treatment for type 2 diabetes linked to longer survival

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 10:01 AM PST

Blood pressure-lowering treatment among patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart disease events and improved mortality.

Drug targeting Ebola virus protein VP24 shows promise in monkeys

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 07:34 AM PST

An experimental medication that targets a protein in Ebola virus called VP24 protected 75 percent of a group of monkeys that were studied from Ebola virus infection, according to new research.

Taking too much folic acid while pregnant may put daughters at risk of diabetes and obesity

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 05:36 AM PST

Mothers that take excessive amounts of folic acid during pregnancy may predispose their daughters to diabetes and obesity later in life, according to a new study. With high dose supplements being widely available, the study calls for a need to establish a safe upper limit of folic acid intake for pregnant women. 

Understanding how to teach 'intelligence'

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 05:36 AM PST

More than ever, we need problem-solving skills to be able to adapt to our fast changing economies and societies. Researchers believe it is possible to teach these skills which are widely known as "intelligence".

Damage from obesity passed to offspring, but impact of obesity on fertility can be reversed, mouse study finds

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 05:35 AM PST

In a breakthrough discovery, researchers have revealed how damage from obesity in mice is passed from a mother to her children, and also how that damage can be reversed.

Tobacco-smoking moms and dads increase diabetes risk for children in utero

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:09 AM PST

Children exposed to tobacco smoke from their parents while in the womb are predisposed to developing diabetes as adults.

Smoking impairs treatment response in inflammatory back arthritis

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:09 AM PST

Smoking impairs the response to biological drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis affecting the lower back, known as axial spondyloarthritis, or AxSpA, for short, new research reveals.

Historic US and UK dietary advice on fats 'should not have been introduced'

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:09 AM PST

National dietary advice on fat consumption issued to millions of US and UK citizens in 1977 and 1983, to cut coronary heart disease incidence, lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up, and 'should not have been introduced,' concludes new research.

Growing number of donor hearts rejected, need for transplants rises

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:09 AM PST

Surgeons and transplant centers nationwide increasingly have rejected hearts donated for transplantation despite a growing need for them, according to a new study.

Women with a pregnancy history of spontaneous preterm delivery found at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:08 AM PST

A history of spontaneous preterm delivery appears to double a woman's risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, according to new results. The strength of the association was described by the investigators as "robust", and, as an independent risk factor for CVD, "almost equally strong" as raised blood pressure, elevated lipid levels, overweight, smoking and diabetes mellitus (with similar hazard ratios between 2.0 and 2.5).

Novel bio-inspired robotic sock promotes blood circulation and prevents blood clots in legs

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:08 AM PST

Innovative robotic sock, which mimics tentacle movements of corals, can benefit bedridden or immobile patients.

Exposure to mercury, seafood associated with risk factor for autoimmune disease

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 02:04 AM PST

One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing age may be associated with exposure to mercury such as through seafood, a new study says. Mercury -- even at low levels generally considered safe -- was associated with autoimmunity. Autoimmune disorders, which cause the body's immune system to attack healthy cells by mistake, affects nearly 50 million Americans and predominately women.

Could there be a gleevec for brain cancer?

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:09 PM PST

The drug Gleevec (imatinib mesylate) is well known not only for its effectiveness against chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but also for the story behinds its development. A similar drug might be able to tame some brain cancers, new research has shown.

Cancer's ability to 'hijack' regulatory mechanism increases metastasis

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 02:09 PM PST

When skyscrapers go up, contractors rely on an infrastructure of steel beams and braces. Some cancers grow the same way, using a biological matrix from which the tumor can thrive and spread.

Many would rather buy generic clothes than stand out with designer brands

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:15 PM PST

A new study has found that people who are more sensitive to how others perceive them are actually more likely to avoid clothing with large logos, even if the clothing is from a prestigious brand.

Valentine's Day gift-giving strategy for the hopeless romantic

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:15 PM PST

New research suggests you buy a gift your sweetie wants, not one that proves how thoughtful you are.

Bringing texture to your flat touchscreen with virtual bumps

Posted: 09 Feb 2015 01:14 PM PST

What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? Researchers now report a discovery that provides insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers. When people draw their fingers over a flat surface with two 'virtual bumps,' the researchers found that, under certain circumstances, the subjects feel only one bump when there really are two. And the researchers can explain why the brain comes to this conclusion.

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