- South Pacific island’s earliest inhabitants relied primarily on foraging, not horticulture
Early Lapita inhabitants of Vanuatu, a South Pacific Island, ate fish, marine turtles, and wild or domestic animals, rather than relying on horticulture during early colonization, according to a study published March 5, 2014, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Rebecca Kinaston from University of Otago in New Zealand and colleagues.
- Human activity influences beach bacterial diversity
Human activity influences ocean beach bacterial communities, and bacterial diversity may indicate greater ecological health and resiliency to sewage contamination, according to results published March 5, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Elizabeth Halliday from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and colleagues.Beaches all contain bacteria, but some bacteria are usually from sewage and may contaminate the water, posing a public health risk.
- Genetic cause found for premature ovarian failure
The results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine and Human and Molecular Genetics journals, demonstrate for the first time that mutation in STAG3 gene is the major cause of human fertility disorders as it provokes a loss of function of the protein it encodes.STAG3 encodes a meiosis-specific subunit of the cohesin ring, the biological process through which, from a diploid somatic cell, a haploid cell or gamete is produced.
- Ultra sensitive detection of radio waves with lasers
Radio waves are used for many measurements and applications, for example, in communication with mobile phones, MRI scans, scientific experiments and cosmic observations. But ‘noise’ in the detector of the measuring instrument limits how sensitive and precise the measurements can be. Now researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have developed a new method where they can avoid noise by means of laser light and can therefore achieve extreme precision of measurements. The results are published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature.
- Biomarkers of cell death in Alzheimer’s reverse course after symptom onset
Three promising biomarkers being studied to detect Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages appear to undergo a surprising shift as patients develop symptoms of dementia, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.Scientists use the biomarkers to assess brain changes linked to the disease in research volunteers.
- Ludwig researchers show that infecting just 1 tumor with a virus could boost the systemic effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy
A Ludwig Cancer Research study suggests that the clinical efficacy of checkpoint blockade, a powerful new strategy to harness the immune response to treat cancers, might be dramatically improved if combined with oncolytic virotherapy, an investigational intervention that employs viruses to destroy tumors.
- New software automates and improves phylogenomics from next-generation sequencing data
To reconstruct phylogenetic trees from next-generation sequencing data using traditional methods requires a time-consuming combination of bioinformatic procedures including genome assembly, gene prediction, orthology identification and multiple alignment. As a consequence, more recently, scientists have relied on a simpler method where short sequence reads from each species are aligned directly to the genome sequence of a single reference sequence.The authors, Bertels, et. al.
- How does meeting on Facebook affect meeting face to face?
Studies have shown that individuals who are socially anxious prefer to communicate with others online rather than face to face. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, give them the opportunity to do just that. But how does this initial virtual interaction impact face-to-face interaction later on? A new study investigates.Researchers from Benedictine University at Mesa, AZ, and the Providence College in Rhode Island published their findings in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
- Testis size matters for genome evolution
In many primates, females mate with multiple partners, causing an often-intense competition amongst males to pass along their DNA to be king of the genome as well as the jungle.In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, author Alex Wong used a published sequence dataset from 55 species of primates to test for a correlation between molecular evolutionary rates across a genome (substitution rates) and testes weights, used in the study as a proxy for increased sperm production and competition.
- Similarity breeds proximity in memory, NYU researchers find
Researchers at New York University have identified the nature of brain activity that allows us to bridge time in our memories. Their findings, which appear in the latest issue of the journal Neuron, offer new insights into the temporal nature of how we store our recollections and may offer a pathway for addressing memory-related afflictions.
- Kidney failure: nanofiber mesh ‘a cheap, wearable alternative to dialysis’
The main role of the kidney is to filter waste products from the blood before converting them into urine. But this process ceases for individuals who have kidney failure, causing waste to build up in their blood. Now, researchers have created a nanofiber mesh that they say could be a wearable and cheaper alternative to kidney dialysis.This is according to a study published in the journal Biomaterials Science.Kidney dialysis is the most common treatment for patients with kidney failure.
- Darwin: It’s not all sexual (selection)
Since the days of Darwin, scientists have considered bird song to be an exclusively male trait, resulting from sexual selection. Now a team of researchers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the University of Melbourne in Australia, Leiden University in the Netherlands and The Australian National University says that’s not the whole story.The team used information from several sources, including the Handbook of the Birds of the World.
- Childhood nightmare frequency linked to psychotic experience risk
Frequent nightmares in childhood could indicate an increased risk of psychosis, according to research from the University of Warwick in the UK. The study authors have published their findings in the journal Sleep.It is very common for young children to have nightmares. Having bad dreams is a normal part of growing up, and the frequency of nightmares usually decreases as the child grows older.Nightmares happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – one of the five stages that most people experience over the course of a night’s sleep.
- Adolescent relationship violence has mental health implications for victims, perpetrators
Described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as «physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse,» intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue affecting millions of people in the United States. New research from sociologists at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) shows that adolescents and young adults who perpetrate or fall victim to IPV are more likely to experience an increase in symptoms of depression.
- Researchers identify key enzyme found in disease-causing bacteria responsible for heart valve disease
A disease-causing bacterium found in the mouth needs manganese, a trace mineral, in order to cause a serious heart infection, according to a preclinical study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth UniversityPhilips Institute for Oral Health Research in the School of Dentistry.The findings, which may solve a longstanding mystery of why some bacteria need manganese to cause disease, provide possible new targets for antibiotics.
- With flip of wrist, interventional radiologists treat uterine fibroids
Interventional radiologists have devised a new way to access a woman’s fibroids – by flipping her wrist and treating via an arm not groin artery – to nonsurgically shrink noncancerous growths in the muscular wall of the uterus. Researchers found this to be less painful and traumatic for women, allowing them to immediately sit up and move after uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) – with no overnight stay, according to a March article in the Society of Interventional Radiology’s flagship publication, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
- Changes in hospital orders increase pertussis immunization rates
Changing the hospital orders for women who have just delivered a child led to a 69% increase in the new mothers’ pertussis vaccination rate, providing protection for themselves and their newborns against the disease, commonly known as whooping cough, according to a study in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
- Prehospital alerts let stroke patients skip the emergency room
Prehospital stroke alerts by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel can shorten the time to effective treatment with «clot-busting» drugs for patients with stroke, according to a report in the March issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.Dr. Mandy J. Binning and colleagues at the Capital Institute for Neurosciences (CIN) at Capital Health, Trenton and Pennington, N.J.
- Multidisciplinary teams helped marathon bombing survivors rebuild their lives
Due to rigorous disaster preparedness and the heroic actions of first responders and emergency and trauma personnel, not a single one of the nearly 200 people hospitalized after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings died, despite many grave injuries. And, thanks to the orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists who have helped those affected, survivors are now well on the road to recovery.
- Study aims to define risk factors for falls in post-menopausal women
A new study appearing in the March issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) showed that women with distal radius (wrist) fractures had decreased strength compared to similar patients without fractures. This could explain why these women were more likely to fall and might sustain future fractures.The investigators used a variety of balance and strength tests combined with patient-provided information about walking habits to evaluate the physical performance and risk of falls for post-menopausal women with and without previous wrist fractures.
- Severe Diarrheal Illness in Children Linked to Antibiotics Prescribed in Doctor’s Offices
- Could global warming push malaria to higher elevations?
Each year, more than 300 million individuals are infected with malaria, a life-threatening blood disease caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by mosquitos. Whether malaria cases could be affected by warming climates has been a topic of debate, but now, researchers present the first evidence that the disease climbs to higher elevations during warmer years.The study, published in the journal Science, suggests future warming climate trends may prompt an increase in malaria cases, particularly in highly populated areas of Africa and South America that are at higher elevations.
- Alzheimer’s biomarkers decrease as symptoms emerge
There is evidence that the brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease begin many years before clinical symptoms like memory loss and mental decline emerge. With this in mind, biomarkers of these changes could be valuable ways to identify individuals at the «preclinical» stage, which is early enough for brain-preserving treatment to be effective.
- High vitamin D levels may increase breast cancer survival
Past studies have claimed that vitamin D may reduce the risk of heart disease, bone fractures and even depression. Now, new research suggests that breast cancer patients with high levels of the vitamin in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease than patients with low levels.The researchers, led by Prof. Cedric F. Garland of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, recently published their findings in the journal Anticancer Research.
- Sleep Myths
Source: HealthDay –
Related MedlinePlus Page: Sleep Disorders
- Contacts Better Than Permanent Lenses for Babies After Cataract Surgery
Source: National Eye Institute –
Related MedlinePlus Page: Cataract
- Public Health England launches toolkit to manage hospital infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Experts at Public Health England (PHE) have launched a toolkit for hospitals to detect, manage and control antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections caused by carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). The use of many different types of antibiotics in hospitals creates evolutionary pressures that encourage the development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This process is a natural consequence of the use of antibiotics and cannot be stopped, only managed. Enterobacteriaceae are a group of bacteria carried in the gut of all humans and animals, which is perfectly normal.
- Plant extract offers hope for infant motor neurone therapy
A chemical found in plants could reduce the symptoms of the rare muscle disease, spinal muscular atrophy, which leaves children with little or no control of movement in their lower limbs. Scientists at Keele University have contributed to an international study led by the University of Edinburgh showing that a plant pigment called quercetin – found in some fruits, vegetables, herbs and grains – could help to prevent the damage to nerves associated with this childhood form of motor neuron disease.
- Sudden cardiac death: genetic disease ARVC more common than hitherto assumed
Scientists have thrown light on the genetic mutation that causes a particularly severe genetic disease (ARVC5) on the Canadian island Newfoundland in 2008. At first, they assumed that it was a genetic anomaly limited to this Canadian province. In 2010, Milting’s team – and at the same time a team of researchers from Copenhagen – proved that the «Newfoundland mutation» did also occur in Europe. Today, the scientists know about affected families in Germany, Denmark, the USA and Canada. They all share common ancestors, as was demonstrated through genetic analysis.
- Sight-saving eye drops could replace injections
Drug treatments for diseases that cause blindness could be delivered by eye drops instead of uncomfortable and costly eye injections, say UK researchers. The team reports how it tested this innovation on animals in the nanotechnology journal Small.The breakthrough could make a huge difference to the millions of people worldwide who, like author Stephen King and actress Dame Judi Dench, suffer from blindness-causing diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects 20% of people over the age of 75.
- Drug protects mice against malaria brain damage and raises levels of a neuroprotective factor in humans
Cerebral malaria is a serious complication of infection with the malaria parasite, affecting approximately one in a thousand children in areas where malaria is common. Many of the patients die, and among those who survive, about a third have lasting cognitive and neurological disabilities, including epilepsy and learning disorders. A study published in PLOS Pathogens shows that a known drug can prevent brain damage in a cerebral malaria mouse model and eliminate subsequent neurological deficits.
- Hearing impairment associated with depression in adults, especially women
Hearing impairment (HI) is associated with depression among American adults of all ages, especially women and individuals younger than 70 years. Depression and HI are associated with personal, societal and economic burdens. However, the relationship between depression and HI has not been reported in a national sample of U.S. adults.The authors used data on adults 18 years or older (n=18,318) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
- Obese kids: inadequate sleep may increase heart disease risk
Telling adolescents to get enough sleep can sometimes be a tall order, but a new study in The Journal of Pediatrics reminds us just how important a good night’s sleep can be. It suggests obese youths who do not get adequate sleep may increase their risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.The researchers, from the University of Michigan Health System and Baylor University, say the combination of inadequate sleep and obesity has been linked to raised risks of cardiovascular diseases in adults and younger children.
- Are e-cigarettes encouraging conventional cigarette smoking in adolescents?
Analyzing data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics debates whether e-cigarettes could be encouraging the use of conventional cigarettes in adolescents.Recently, Medical News Today ran a feature examining the boom in popularity of e-cigarettes, which some experts believe will become more widely used than conventional cigarettes by the next decade.In that feature, we also debated the conflicting data on e-cigarettes from scientific studies and looked at how these – currently unregulated – products might be controlled in the future.
- WHO proposes to halve advised daily sugar intake
The World Health Organization has issued draft guidelines calling for a reduction of daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.In recent years, there has been increasing concern regarding the consumption of «free» sugars. These are defined as sugars that are added to foods by manufacturers – such as glucose, fructose and sucrose – and sugars that are naturally present in fruit juices, fruit concentrates, syrups and honey.
- Alzheimer’s Deaths Under-reported?
- Gene therapy used to block HIV without drugs
In a small trial, researchers have successfully used gene therapy to boost the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to resist infection. They removed the patients’ white blood cells to edit a gene in them, then infused them back into the patients. Some of the patients who showed reduced viral loads were off HIV drugs completely.In fact, one of the patients showed no detectable trace of HIV at all after therapy.
- Mother’s diet linked to premature birth
Pregnant women who eat a «prudent» diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and who drink water have a significantly reduced risk of preterm delivery, suggests a study published on bmj.com.A «traditional» dietary pattern of boiled potatoes, fish and cooked vegetables was also linked to a significantly lower risk.Although these findings cannot establish causality, they support dietary advice to pregnant women to eat a balanced diet including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and fish and to drink water.
- New molecules doom proteins with kiss of death
Like mobsters following strict orders, newly engineered molecules called «ubiquibodies» can mark specific proteins inside a cell for destruction – a molecular kiss of death that is paving the way for new drug therapies and powerful research tools.Led by professor Matthew DeLisa, chemical engineers at Cornell University have developed a new type of antibody, called a «ubiquibody,» which is an antibody fragment they have inserted into the natural process known as the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (UPP).
- Determination might be a very human expression
Humans might be using facial expressions of determination as a call for help from others, according to new research.When children and chimpanzees were both given a task that was impossible to solve, children’s faces expressed determination or frustration the more they tried to solve the task, but chimpanzees did not.
- 3-D Changes in DNA May Lead to a Genetic Form of Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Too much protein in middle age ‘as bad as smoking’
Two new studies conclude that low protein intake may hold the key to a long and healthy life, at least until old age. They also emphasize the need to examine not only calories when deciding what constitutes a healthy diet, but also where those calories come from – such as whether protein is animal or plant-based.Another key finding is the suggestion that while a high-protein diet may in the short term help people lose weight and body fat, in the long term it may harm health and reduce lifespan.Both studies are published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
- Community-based care helpful for schizophrenia in low-income countries
A combination of community- and facility-based treatment for schizophrenia is modestly more effective than facility-based care alone, according to new research published in The Lancet.The study reports the results of the first randomized trial to test community-based care for people with schizophrenia in a low-income country – in this case, India.In low- and middle-income countries, there is an absence of the clinical and social services for schizophrenia patients that – in high-income countries – are coordinated by specialist community-based multidisciplinary teams.
- Colorectal cancer: the risk factors, symptoms and importance of screening
According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is around 1 in 20. But according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 20 million adults in the US who have never had the recommended screening for the disease, putting them at higher risk of dying from a preventable condition.Are you aware of the symptoms associated with colorectal cancer? Do you know what you can do to reduce your risk of developing the disease? Are you aware of the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines?
- High Plasticizer Levels In Males Linked to Delayed Pregnancy for Female Partners
- Research benefits surgeons making decisions on how to help their patients breathe easier
A more accurate and successful, yet complex approach used in designing an airplane is now taking off in the health care industry. The end result is helping patients with pulmonary disorders breathe easier, as well as their surgeons in considering novel treatment approaches.
- Early Reading Skills
Source: HealthDay –
Related MedlinePlus Page: Infant and Newborn Development
- eyeforpharma Conference and Exhibition, March 18-20th, Barcelona
eyeforpharma have announced that only a limited number of conference passes now remain for the Barcelona 2014 Conference & Exhibition (March 18-20th, CCIB, Barcelona, Spain). With over 1000 attendees set to attend Barcelona 2014 is the world’s largest and most influential focused forum to unite commercial pharma executives. Conference Director, Lucy Fisher stated, ’2014 is set to be a record breaking event. We already have more pharma delegates, speakers and exhibitors than ever before’.
- Researchers use Lumosity to identify early cognitive impairment in cirrhosis patients
A new study from the University of Washington has found that performance on Lumosity games can distinguish between patients with cirrhosis of the liver, pre-cirrhotic patients, and healthy controls. The study used Lumosity games as psychometric tests to detect subtle cognitive impairments in patients with cirrhosis. The study is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
- New approach to breast reconstruction surgery reduces opioid painkiller use, hospital stays
A new approach to breast reconstruction surgery aimed at helping patients’ bodies get back to normal more quickly cut their postoperative opioid painkiller use in half and meant a day less in the hospital on average, a Mayo Clinic study found. The method includes new pain control techniques, preventive anti-nausea treatment and getting women eating and walking soon after free flap breast reconstruction surgery. It has proved so effective, it is now being used across plastic surgery at Mayo Clinic.
- Opening or expanding a casino associated with lower rate of overweight children in that community
The opening or expansion of a casino in a community is associated with increased family income, decreased poverty rates and a decreased risk of childhood overweight or obesity, according to a study in JAMA. Obesity disproportionately affects children with low economic resources at the family and community levels. Few studies have evaluated whether this association is a direct effect of economic resources.
- Anti-coagulant treatment for atrial fibrillation does not worsen outcomes for patients with kidney disease
Although some research has suggested that the use of the anticoagulant warfarin for atrial fibrillation among patients with chronic kidney disease would increase the risk of death or stroke, a study that included more than 24,000 patients found a lower l-year risk of the combined outcomes of death, heart attack or stroke without a higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in JAMA. Juan Jesus Carrero, Ph.D.
- Study examines gap in federal oversight of clinical trials
An analysis of nearly 24,000 active human research clinical trials found that between 5 percent and 16 percent fall into a regulatory gap and are not covered by two major federal regulations, according to a study in JAMA. These trials studied interventions other than drugs or devices (e.g., behavioral, surgical). The primary federal human subjects protections (HSP) policies in the United States, including requirements for institutional review board review and informed consent, are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) HSP regulations and the Common Rule.
- Rising suicide rates in the Army are analyzed in a new initiative
Three new studies published simultaneously in JAMA Psychiatry investigate mental health issues within the Army. The studies look at mental disorders among non-deployed soldiers, suicidal behavior among soldiers and predictors of suicide among soldiers.The new studies were conducted by members of the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) initiative. Army STARRS was launched in 2009 to address the Army’s concern over the rising suicide rate among soldiers.
- Female doctors do more housekeeping and parenting than male doctors
Researchers who studied a group of motivated physician-academics have uncovered gender differences in the amount of time spent on parenting and household tasks, suggesting a reason for why female academic physicians overall do not have the same career success as their male counterparts.The researchers, led by Dr. Reshma Jagsi of the University of Michigan Health System, have published their results in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
- Yoga ‘improves quality of life’ for breast cancer patients
Radiation therapy is one of the main treatments for cancer, and one of the most common side effects of the treatment is fatigue. But new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests that for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, yoga may combat this side effect by regulating stress hormones, improving quality of life beyond treatment.The research team, led by Prof. Lorenzo Cohen, recently published the study findings in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.Yoga is an ancient exercise that originated in India around 5,000 years ago.
- Prevalence of Allergies the Same, Regardless of Where You live
Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences –
Related MedlinePlus Page: Hay Fever
- Bars and Sexual Boundaries
- Suicide in the Military: Army-NIH Funded Study Points to Risk and Protective Factors
- Physicians Are a Leading Source of Prescription Opioids for the Highest-Risk Users
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Related MedlinePlus Page: Prescription Drug Abuse