Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

SUGAR MOLECULE LINKS RED MEAT CONSUMPTION AND ELEVATED CANCER RISK IN MICE

Image
While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans.
In a study published in the Dec. 29 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists found that feeding Neu5Gc to mice engineered to be deficient in the sugar (like humans) significantly promoted spontaneous cancers. The study did not involve exposure to carcinogens or artificially inducing cancers, further implicating Neu5Gc as a key link between red meat consumption and cancer. "Until now, all of our evidence linking Neu5Gc to cancer was circumstantial or indirectly predicted from somewhat artificial experimental setups," said principal investigator Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and …

EFFECTS OF CONSUMING UNNECESSARY ANTIBIOTICS REVEALED

Image
Contrary to popular perception, researchers have found that consuming an unnecessary amount of antibiotics could lead to antibiotic resistance, a major public health concern. There are other risks associated with taking unnecessary antibiotics, such as secondary infections and allergic reactions, the researchers said. “Patients figure that taking antibiotics cannot hurt, and just might make them improve,” said David Broniatowski, assistant professor at the George Washington University in the US. “More than half of the patients we surveyed already knew that antibiotics do not work against viruses, but they still agreed with taking antibiotics just in case,” Broniatowski added. For the study, the researchers surveyed 113 patients in an urban hospital to test their understanding of antibiotics. They discovered a widespread misconception: Patients may want antibiotics, even if they are aware that drugs will not improve their viral infection. These patients believe that taking the medication wil…

ACTIVATING HAIR GROWTH BY MODIFYING IMMUNE CELLS

Image
How to restore hair loss is a task not undertaken exclusively by beauty practitioners. The discovery, now published by a group from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), reveals a novel angle to spur hair follicle growth. This also adds new knowledge to a broader problem: how to regenerate tissues in an adult organism, especially the skin.
The group has discovered an unexpected connection--a link between the body's defense system and skin regeneration. According to the authors of the study published today in PLOS Biology, cells from the immune system called macrophages-- those in charge of devouring invading pathogens, for example--are also responsible for activating skin stem cells and induce hair growth. The regenerative ability of stem cells allows skin replenishment during a lifetime. But different factors can reduce their regenerative properties or promote their uncontrolled growth. When things go wrong, this can lead to aging and disease, including skin carcinoma…

LOWER CHOLESTEROL NATURALLY - 12 FOODS THAT LOWER CHOLESTEROL

Image
If you're already eating plenty of the following cholesterol lowering foods   keep up the good work! But if your idea of eating well is to opt for the "buttered popcorn" instead of the "extra-buttered popcorn," consider adding these healthy eats to your diet today:  1. Oats If you're looking to lower your cholesterol, the key may be simply changing your morning meal. Switching up your breakfast to contain two servings of oats can lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) by 5.3% in only 6 weeks. The key to this cholesterol buster is beta-glucan, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes. . 
2. Red wine Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when i…

SCIENTISTS REVEAL HOW LUNG CANCER SPREADS

Image
Scientists have revealed the mystery behind spreading of lung cancer. The researchers at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute discovered that the ties which lash cells together - controlled by a protein called TIAM1 - were chopped up when cell maintenance work goes wrong. Healthy cells routinely scrap old cell parts so they could be broken down and used again. But this process spiraled out of control in lung cancer cells, which scraped too many TIAM1 ties. Targeting this recycling process could stop lung cancer from spreading by keeping the cells stuck firmly together. Lead researcher, Dr Angeliki Malliri, at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester, said that the research showed for the first time how lung cancer cells severed ties with their neighbours and start to spread around the body, by hijacking the cells' recycling process and sending it into overdrive. Targeting this flaw could help stop lung cancer from spreading.

NEW NON-INVASIVE METHOD CAN DETECT ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE EARLY

Image
No  methods currently exist for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, which affects one out of nine people over the age of 65. Now, an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern University scientists and engineers has developed a noninvasive MRI approach that can detect the disease in a living animal. And it can do so at the earliest stages of the disease, well before typical Alzheimer's symptoms appear. Led by neuroscientist William L. Klein and materials scientist Vinayak P. Dravid, the research team developed an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) probe that pairs a magnetic nanostructure (MNS) with an antibody that seeks out the amyloid beta brain toxins responsible for onset of the disease. The accumulated toxins, because of the associated magnetic nanostructures, show up as dark areas in MRI scans of the brain. This ability to detect the molecular toxins may one day enable scientists to both spot trouble early and better design drugs or therapies to combat and monitor the d…

PLAYING MUSIC IMPROVE KIDS' BRAINS

Image
Children who play the violin or study piano could be learning more than just Mozart. A University of Vermont College of Medicine child psychiatry team has found that musical training might also help kids focus their attention, control their emotions and diminish their anxiety. Their research is published in theJournal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. James Hudziak, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, and colleagues including Matthew Albaugh, Ph.D., and graduate student research assistant Eileen Crehan, call their study "the largest investigation of the association between playing a musical instrument and brain development." The research continues Hudziak's work with the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development. Using its database, the team analyzed the brain scans of 232 children ages 6 to 18. As children age, the cortex -- the …

THAT SMARTPHONE IS GIVING YOUR THUMBS SUPERPOWERS

Image
When people spend time interacting with their smartphones via touchscreen, it actually changes the way their thumbs and brains work together, according to a report in the Cell Press journalCurrent Biology on December 23. More touchscreen use in the recent past translates directly into greater brain activity when the thumbs and other fingertips are touched, the study shows. "I was really surprised by the scale of the changes introduced by the use of smartphones," says Arko Ghosh of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich in Switzerland. "I was also struck by how much of the inter-individual variations in the fingertip-associated brain signals could be simply explained by evaluating the smartphone logs." It all started when Ghosh and his colleagues realized that our newfound obsession with smartphones could be a grand opportunity to explore the everyday plasticity of the human brain. Not only are people suddenly using their fingertips, and especially their thumbs, in a…

YOGA MAY HELP REDUCE HEART DISEASE RISK FACTORS

Image
A new study has revealed yoga may help in managing and improving cardiovascular disease risk factors. The investigators found that yoga may provide the same benefits in reducing risk factors as traditional physical activities such as biking or brisk walking and the finding is significant, as individuals who cannot or prefer not to perform traditional aerobic exercise might still achieve similar benefits in cardiovascular risk reduction, Fox News. The new analysis found that risk factors improved for those who did yoga, compared to those who did not exercise- body weight fell by 2.32 kg, total cholesterol by 18.48 mg/dl and heart rate by .27 beats per minute. The study’s findings support the acceptability of yoga for patients with lower physical tolerance, such as the elderly, those with a pre-existing cardiac condition or those with musculoskeletal or joint pain.

3 BLOOD GROUPS AT A HIGHER RISK OF DIABETES

Image
A new study has demonstrated that people with blood groups A, B and AB are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than people with blood group O. The study of more than 80,000 women has uncovered different risks of developing type 2 diabetes associated with different blood groups, with the biggest difference a 35 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes found in those with group B, Rhesus factor positive (R+) blood compared with the universal donor group O, Rhesus factor negative (R-). Dr Guy Fagherazzi and his colleagues took data from 82,104 women from the large prospective E3N cohort in France followed between 1990 and 2008. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship of ABO blood type (A, B, AB and O), Rhesus factor (positive or negative) and a combination of the two (ABOxRhesus) with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The results showed that, compared with women with group O blood, women with group A were 10 percent more likely to develop T2D, and those with group B 21 percent mo…

NEW TECHNOLOGY MAKINGS TISSUES , SOMEDAY MAY ORGANS

Image
A new instrument could someday build replacement human organs the way electronics are assembled today: with precise picking and placing of parts. In this case, the parts are not resistors and capacitors, but 3-D microtissues containing thousands to millions of living cells that need a constant stream of fluid to bring them nutrients and to remove waste. The new device is called 'BioP3' for pick, place, and perfuse. A team of researchers led by Jeffrey Morgan, a Brown University bioengineer, and Dr. Andrew Blakely, a surgery fellow at Rhode Island Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School, introduces BioP3 in a new paper in the journal Tissue Engineering Part C. Because it allows assembly of larger structures from small living microtissue components, Morgan said, future versions of BioP3 may finally make possible the manufacture of whole organs such as livers, pancreases, or kidneys. "For us it's exciting because it's a new approach to building tissues, potentiall…

LIGHT EMITTING E- READ BEFORE BEDTIME CAN ADVERSELY IMPACT SLEEP

Image
Use of a light-emitting electronic device (LE-eBook) in the hours before bedtime can adversely impact overall health, alertness, and the circadian clock which synchronizes the daily rhythm of sleep to external environmental time cues, according to researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) who compared the biological effects of reading an LE-eBook compared to a printed book. These findings of the study are published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 22, 2014. "We found the body's natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the short-wavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from these electronic devices," said Anne-Marie Chang, PhD, corresponding author, and associate neuroscientist in BWH's Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders. "Participants reading an LE-eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock and redu…

EXPECTANT FATHERS EXPERIENCE PRENATAL HORMONE CHANGES

Image
Impending fatherhood can lower two hormones -- testosterone and estradiol -- for men, even before their babies are born, a new University of Michigan study found. Other studies indicate that men's hormones change once they become fathers, and there is some evidence that this is a function of a decline after the child's birth. The new U-M study is the first to show that the decline may begin even earlier, during the transition to fatherhood, said Robin Edelstein, the study's lead author. "We don't yet know exactly why men's hormones are changing," said Edelstein, U-M associate professor of psychology. "These changes could be a function of psychological changes that men experience as they prepare to become fathers, changes in their romantic relationships, or even physical changes that men experience along with their pregnant partners. "Nevertheless, fathers' hormonal changes could have important implications for paternal behavior once their babie…

EARLY EXPOSURE TO ANTIDEPRESSANTS AFFECT ADULT ANXIETY

Image
About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants. However little is known about how early exposure to these medications might affect their offspring as they mature into adults. The answer to that question is vital, as 5 percent of all babies born in the U.S. -- more than 200,000 a year -- are exposed to antidepressants during gestation via transmission from their mothers. Now, a UCLA team has studied early developmental exposure to two different antidepressants, Prozac and Lexapro, in a mouse model that mimics human third trimester medication exposure. They found that, although these serotonin-selective reuptake inhibiting antidepressants (SSRIs) were thought to work the same way, they did not produce the same long-term changes in anxiety behavior in the adult mice. The mice exposed to Lexapro had permanent changes in serotonin neurotransmission and were less anxious as adults tha…