الخميس، 20 أغسطس 2015

ScienceDaily: Health & Medicine News

ScienceDaily: Health & Medicine News

Obesity breakthrough: Metabolic master switch prompts fat cells to store or burn fat

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 06:11 PM PDT

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially fatal disorders such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Scientists have now revealed the mechanism underlying the genomic region most strongly associated with obesity. The findings uncover a genetic circuit that controls whether our bodies burn or store fat. Manipulating that genetic circuit may offer a new approach for obesity treatments.

Imaging software could speed up breast cancer diagnosis

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 06:11 PM PDT

New software could speed up breast cancer diagnosis with 90 percent accuracy without the need for a specialist, according to research. This could improve breast cancer management, particularly in developing countries where pathologists are not routinely available.

Researchers identify potential sleep-related treatment targets for fibromyalgia

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 02:24 PM PDT

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain from no clear source. Patients with fibromyalgia frequently have sleep problems: Their deep sleep brain wave patterns are often disrupted by brain waves that correspond to wakefulness. A new study uses a novel approach to identify potential drug targets for treating fibromyalgia.

Contrary to previous studies, diabetes affects diaphragm, smooth muscle cells differently

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 02:09 PM PDT

Previous studies have shown that diabetes adversely affects breathing and respiratory function. However, in the past, researchers have not differentiated diaphragm muscle cells and the muscle cells of limb skeletal muscle in their studies. Now, researchers have found that diaphragm muscle cells and other skeletal muscle cells behave differently -- a finding that could influence future research on respiratory ailments associated with diabetes.

Clamshell-shaped protein puts the 'jump' in 'jumping genes'

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 02:09 PM PDT

Scientists report they have deciphered the structure and unusual shape of a bacterial protein that prepares segments of DNA for the insertion of so-called jumping genes. The clamshell shape, they say, has never before been seen in a protein but connects nicely with its function: that of bending a segment of DNA into a 180-degree U-turn.

Exercise to prevent, manage diabetes is more effective for college graduates

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 02:09 PM PDT

Key prescriptions to prevent and manage diabetes -- physical activity and a healthy diet -- don't appear to be working as well for Americans who didn't graduate college, according to a new study.

Updated screening policies could detect more abdominal aortic aneurysms

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 02:08 PM PDT

Updating national screening policies could help detect more aortic aneurysms in older men and prevent deaths from this potentially life-threatening condition. Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm in male smokers at age 65 and then all men at age 75 could save more lives with less resources than the current United Kingdom, United States and Europe screening programs.

Synthetic DNA vaccine against MERS induces immunity in animal study

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:36 AM PDT

A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species. The experimental, preventive vaccine, given six weeks before exposure to the MERS virus, was found to fully protect rhesus macaques from disease.

Vomiting device offers direct evidence that vomit aerosolizes norovirus-like particles

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:36 AM PDT

Using a vomiting device of their creation, researchers are reporting the first direct evidence that vomiting can aerosolize virus particles similar to human norovirus. Future directions for the work include assessing how long virus particles can remain airborne, and how far they may be able to travel in the air.

When personal identity really matters

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:11 AM PDT

When self-identification matters most – in connecting bone marrow donors to patients – the format of the questions may determine how well the answers actually correspond to their genes, scientists report.

Study reveals new insights into how asthma 'pathways' could be blocked

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:11 AM PDT

New insights have been gained into how asthma may be caused, by identifying three distinct groups of asthma patients characterized by the activity of different genes in an individual's airways.

How clean is your spinach?

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 11:10 AM PDT

Ever wonder what that the words triple-washed or pre-washed on a bag of baby spinach mean? Not much according to engineers. They discovered that small peaks and valleys in baby spinach leaves could be a key reason why there have been numerous bacterial outbreaks involving leafy green vegetables.

Seizures in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery underappreciated, dangerous

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 10:49 AM PDT

With mounting concerns about postoperative seizures, doctors placed 161 neonates who had undergone cardiac surgery on continuous EEG monitoring. They found that 8% of the neonates experienced EEG seizures and 85% of these were unrecognized clinically. Many of the seizures were severe, and the seizure group faced a higher risk of death, according to the investigators' report.

Genome-wide annotation of primary miRNAs reveals novel mechanisms

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 10:48 AM PDT

MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs that play critical roles in regulating gene expression in normal physiology and disease. Despite having tightly controlled expression levels, little is known about how miRNAs themselves are regulated because their genes are poorly defined. In a recent study, researchers devised a strategy for genome-wide annotation of primary miRNA transcripts, providing extensive new annotations in human and mouse, and shedding light on mechanisms of regulation of microRNA gene expression.

Divide and rule: A tumor's strategy

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 10:29 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered how aggressive cells can invade healthy tissue during the earliest stage of tumor development. This opens up new ways of attacking cancer at its root, they say.

New insights in pathological mechanism that causes dysfunctional synapses

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:08 AM PDT

Genetic analysis of human patients has shown that mutations in genes involved in synaptic communication can drive neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer's disease. Through a global analysis of the synaptic machinery, researchers have revealed for the first time a new pathway that governs the proper sorting of many essential synaptic proteins in neurons. Disruption of this sorting pathway in neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases severely hampers the efficient communication between neurons.

Hypertensive patients benefit from acupuncture treatments, study finds

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:07 AM PDT

Patients with hypertension treated with acupuncture experienced drops in their blood pressure that lasted up to a month and a half, researchers have found. This work is the first to scientifically confirm that this ancient Chinese practice is beneficial in treating mild to moderate hypertension, and it indicates that regular use could help people control their blood pressure and lessen their risk of stroke and heart disease.

Supercomputers listen to the heart

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:07 AM PDT

New supercomputer models have come closer than ever to capturing the behavior of normal human heart valves and their replacements, according to recent studies. The studies focused on how heart valve tissue responds to realistic blood flow. The new models can help doctors make more durable repair and replacement of heart valves.

Teen smokers struggle with body-related shame, guilt

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:07 AM PDT

Are teen smokers who pick up the habit doing so because they have a negative self-image? Does the typical teenaged smoker try to balance out this unhealthy habit with more exercise? And if so, then why would an adolescent smoke, yet still participate in recommended levels of physical activity? A recent study sought to answer these questions.

Will the pronoun I become obsolete? A biological perspective

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:06 AM PDT

Plants and animals, including humans, are not autonomous individuals but are holobionts: biomolecular networks that consist of visible hosts plus millions of invisible microbes, recent microbiological research has shown.

Social media is transforming emergency communications

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 09:05 AM PDT

Emergency organizations have only started using social media mainly as a response to the presence of the public in them. in the case of an emergency (a terror attack, hurricane or an earthquake), communication infrastructure may be overloaded and collapse as numerous people attempt to access information. The public can be exposed to large quantities of information without being aware of its validity or risk of misinformation. For these reasons, emergency communications are having to react.

Prevalence of chronic or severe pain in American adults

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 08:11 AM PDT

Nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain, according to a new study. The findings also showed that half of individuals with the most severe pain still rated their overall health as good or better, and there were associations between pain severity and race, ethnicity, language preference, gender, and age. Women, older individuals, and non-Hispanics were more likely to report any pain, but Asians less likely.

New research backs belief that tomatoes can be a gout trigger

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:36 AM PDT

People who maintain that eating tomatoes can cause their gout to flare up are likely to welcome new research that has, for the first time, found a biological basis for this belief.

Data mining DNA for polycystic ovary syndrome genes

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:36 AM PDT

A new genome-wide association study of polycystic ovary syndrome -- the first of its kind to focus on women of European ancestry -- has provided important new insights into the underlying biology of the disorder.

Algorithm interprets breathing difficulties to aid in medical care

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:36 AM PDT

Researchers have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what's happening in the lungs. The work is part of a larger, ongoing project to develop wearable smart medical sensors for monitoring, collecting and interpreting personal health data.

Safinamide in Parkinson's disease: No hint of added benefit

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 07:36 AM PDT

Regarding Safinamide in Parkinson's disease, reviewers state that since since relevant study data were not considered, analyses in the dossier were incomplete regarding serious side effects in the comparator therapy, long-term data and other aspects.

The amazing adaptability of brain's vision center

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:42 AM PDT

By early childhood, the sight regions of a blind person's brain respond to sound, especially spoken language, a neuroscientist has found. Working with individuals who are blind offers cognitive researchers an opportunity to discover how nature and nurture, or a person's genes and their experience, sculpt brain function, the researcher says.

Tool boosts accuracy in assessing breast cancer risk

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:42 AM PDT

A national risk model that gauges a woman's chance of developing breast cancer has been refined to give a more accurate assessment. In 2014, more than 232,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer. Approximately 40,000 women die of the disease each year.

Reducing resistance to chemotherapy in colorectal cancer by inhibition of PHD1

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:41 AM PDT

Blocking the PHD1 oxygen sensor hinders the activation of p53, a transcription factor that aids colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in repairing themselves and thus resisting chemotherapy, scientists have demonstrated. Chemotherapy resistance remains a major clinical issue in the treatment of CRC. These findings indicate that PHD1 inhibition may have valuable therapeutic potential.

Having friends: Happiness spreads but depression doesn't

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:36 AM PDT

Having friends who suffer from depression doesn't affect the mental health of others, according to research led by the University of Warwick.

Toilet waste provides knowledge about diseases' global transmission routes

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:36 AM PDT

Analysis and genome sequencing of disease-causing microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance bacteria in toilet waste from international aircraft could be a first step towards global surveillance of infectious diseases and identification of how they are transmitted between countries.

Following maternal transmission, group B strep mutates to sicken infants

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:34 AM PDT

Group B streptococcus, a mostly benign inhabitant of healthy adults, is one of the world's leading causes of neonatal sepsis and meningitis. A team of investigators has now shown that such cases might occur when the microbe mutates within the infant following transmission from the mother.

Is nature mostly a tinkerer or an inventor?

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

By closely examining the genomes of 48 species, biologists have revealed the timing and mechanisms underlying the expansion and diversification of the KLF/SP gene family, which is known to regulate the maintenance of stem cells.

Brain-in-a-dish as mature as five-week-old fetus brain

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Scientists have developed a nearly complete human brain in a dish that equals the brain maturity of a five-week-old fetus. The brain organoid, engineered from adult human skin cells, is the most complete human brain model yet developed.

Researchers testing drug for cancer, bone marrow disorders

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

An international phase I, randomized clinical trial is underway that tests the drug guadecitabine (SGI-110) in Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). MDS are a group of bone marrow disorders in which the bone marrow doesn't produce enough healthy blood cells. AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Light/moderate drinking linked to increased risk of some cancers in women, male smokers

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:33 AM PDT

Even light and moderate drinking (up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men) is associated with an increased risk of certain alcohol related cancers in women and male smokers, suggests a large study.

Warning to Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts,construction workers as dangerous dust emissions

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:31 AM PDT

New research warns of the dangers to construction workers and DIY enthusiasts of breathing in the harmful particles which are released during building refurbishment works.

New compounds could reduce alcoholics' impulse to drink

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Alcoholism inflicts a heavy physical, emotional and financial toll on individuals and society. Now new discoveries and promising animal studies are offering a glimmer of hope that a new class of drugs could treat the disease without many of the unwanted side effects caused by current therapies.

Change in process of disinfecting spinach, salad greens could reduce illness outbreaks

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 05:31 AM PDT

Cross contamination in commercial processing facilities that prepare spinach and other leafy greens for the market can make people sick. But researchers are reporting a new, easy-to-implement method that could eliminate or reduce such incidences.

Cell phones help keep track of flu on campus

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 11:24 AM PDT

Personal health and lifestyle data captured through smartphone apps can help identify college students at risk of catching the flu. With help from a mobile app that monitors who students interact with and when, researchers have developed a model that enables them to predict the spread of influenza infections. Unlike most models, their approach gives a personalized daily forecast for each patient.

Five reasons why sugar is added to food

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 10:18 AM PDT

From a food science and technology perspective, sugar (sucrose) plays several roles when it comes to the functional properties in food. Experts explain the functional properties of sugars and why they are often added to foods.

Berkeley soda tax fizzles out

Posted: 18 Aug 2015 09:20 AM PDT

The soda tax passed last fall by voters in Berkeley, California – the first such city ordinance in the country – has fizzled at raising retail prices for high-calorie sugary drinks by less than half the amount expected, according to a new study.