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Research Team Discovers Disease-Causing Bacteria in Dental Plaque Preserved for 1,000 Years

February 24, 2014 12:56 pm | News | Comments

When a University of Oklahoma researcher and an international team of experts analyzed the dental calculus or plaque from teeth preserved for 1,000 years, the results revealed human health and dietary information never seen before. The team discovered disease-causing bacteria in a German Medieval population, which is the same or very similar to inflammatory disease-causing bacteria in humans today.

Researchers Devise a Fast and Effective Mechanism to Combat Ovarian Cancer

February 24, 2014 12:37 pm | News | Comments

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. A researcher has proposed a new strategy to tackle an aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer using a new nanoscale drug-delivery system designed to target specific cancer cells.

Scientists Discover 11 New Genes Affecting Blood Pressure

February 21, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

New research from Queen Mary University of London has discovered 11 new DNA sequence variants in genes influencing high blood pressure and heart disease. Identifying the new genes contributes to our growing understanding of the biology of blood pressure and, researchers believe, will eventually influence the development of new treatments.

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Dismantling Pancreas Cancer’s Armor

February 21, 2014 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Pancreas cancer is notoriously impervious to treatment and resists both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It has also been thought to provide few targets for immune cells, allowing tumors to grow unchecked. But new research shows that pancreas cancer “veils” itself from the immune system by recruiting specialized immune suppressor cells.

Could PTSD Involve Immune Cell Response to Stress?

February 21, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Chronic stress that produces inflammation and anxiety in mice appears to prime their immune systems for a prolonged fight, causing the animals to have an excessive reaction to a single acute stressor weeks later, new research suggests. After the mice recovered from the effects of chronic stress, a single stressful event 24 days later quickly returned them to a chronically stressed state in biological and behavioral terms.

Thyroid Cancer Cases Soar; Is It Overdiagnosed?

February 20, 2014 4:08 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A dramatic rise in thyroid cancer has resulted from overdiagnosis and treatment of tumors too small to ever cause harm, according to a study that found cases nearly tripled since 1975. The study is the latest to question whether all cancers need aggressive treatment.

Gene Sequencing Project Discovers Common Driver of a Childhood Brain Tumor

February 20, 2014 1:28 pm | News | Comments

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified the most common genetic alteration ever reported in the brain tumor ependymoma and evidence that the alteration drives tumor development. The results provide a foundation for new research to improve diagnosis and treatment of ependymoma, the third most common brain tumor in children.

Iron Deficiency May Increase Stroke Risk Through Sticky Blood

February 20, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Scientists discovered that iron deficiency may increase stroke risk by making the blood more sticky. The findings could ultimately help with stroke prevention. The team found that iron deficiency increases the stickiness of platelets, which initiate blood clotting when they stick together. Although a link between iron deficiency and sticky platelets was first discovered almost 40 years ago, its role has been overlooked until now.

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Cell Behavior in Low Oxygen Conditions Mapped

February 20, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

Research at the University of Liverpool has explained how cells behave when placed in a low oxygen environment, a development that could have implications for cancer patients and other serious illnesses. The research opens up the possibility of controlling the signals that keep cells alive, preventing the damages caused by ischemia—a restriction of blood supply to tissues. It could also work to help destroy cancer cells.

Jazz Study Shows Link Between Music and Language

February 19, 2014 5:08 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Jazz musicians are famous for their musical conversations — one improvises a few bars and another plays an answer. Now research shows some of the brain's language regions enable that musical back-and-forth much like a spoken conversation. It gives new meaning to the idea of music as a universal language.

Researchers Develop Sticky Nanoparticles to Fight Heart Disease

February 19, 2014 2:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Clemson University researchers have developed nanoparticles that can deliver drugs targeting damaged arteries, a non-invasive method to fight heart disease. One of the standard ways to treat clogged and damaged arteries currently is to implant vascular stents, which hold the vessels open and release such drugs as paclitaxel. The researchers hope their advanced nanoparticles could be used alongside stents or in lieu of them.

Scientists Develop Gene Test to Accurately Classify Brain Tumors

February 19, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Scientists at The Wistar Institute have developed a mathematical method for classifying forms of glioblastoma, an aggressive and deadly type of brain cancer, through variations in the way these tumor cells “read” genes. Their system was capable of predicting the subclasses of glioblastoma tumors with 92 percent accuracy. With further testing, this could enable physicians to predict which forms of therapy would most benefit their patients.

Baby Hearts Need Rhythm to Develop Correctly

February 19, 2014 1:08 pm | Videos | Comments

A team reports that they have taken an important step toward the goal of  growing replacement heart valves from a patient’s own cells by determining that the mechanical forces generated by the rhythmic expansion and contraction of cardiac muscle cells play an active role in the initial stage of heart valve formation.

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Breaking News: Could Metabolism Play a Role in Epilepsy?

February 19, 2014 9:29 am | News | Comments

Researchers exploring a possible link between metabolic defects and seizures have determined that diet could influence susceptibility to seizures, and they have identified a common diabetes drug that could be a useful treatment.       

Single Chip Device to Provide Real-Time 3-D Images from Inside the Heart and Blood Vessels

February 18, 2014 1:37 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have developed the technology for a catheter-based device that would provide forward-looking, real-time, three-dimensional imaging from inside the heart, coronary arteries and peripheral blood vessels. With its volumetric imaging, the new device could better guide surgeons working in the heart, and potentially allow more of patients’ clogged arteries to be cleared without major surgery.

Epigenetic Regulation Required to Ensure Correct Number of Chromosomes

February 18, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

Abnormal number of chromosomes is often associated with cancer development. In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have shown that a subtle epigenetic change plays an important role in the correct segregation of chromosomes.

New Blood Cells Fight Brain Inflammation

February 18, 2014 12:13 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at BRIC, the University of Copenhagen, have identified a new type of regulatory blood cells that can combat such hyperactive T-cells in blood from patients with multiple sclerosis. By stimulating the regulatory blood cells, the researchers significantly decreased the level of brain inflammation and disease in a biological model.

Test Could Predict Which Teen Boys Get Depression

February 17, 2014 4:07 pm | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A saliva test for teenage boys with mild symptoms of depression could help identify those who will later develop major depression, a new study says. Researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in teenage boys and found that ones with high levels coupled with mild depression symptoms were up to 14 times more likely to suffer clinical depression later in life than those with low or normal cortisol levels.

Two New Weapons in the Battle Against Bacteria

February 14, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have discovered two hitherto unknown mechanisms of action that can be used to permanently disarm an important bacterial protease.

Researchers Find Brain’s ‘Sweet Spot’ for Love in Neurological Patient

February 14, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

A region deep inside the brain controls how quickly people make decisions about love, according to new research at the University of Chicago. The finding, made in an examination of a 48-year-old man who suffered a stroke, provides the first causal clinical evidence that an area of the brain called the anterior insula “plays an instrumental role in love,” said UChicago neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo, lead author of the study.

Grape Seed Promise in Fight Against Bowel Cancer

February 14, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that grape seed can aid the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing colon cancer cells as well as reducing the chemotherapy's side effects. The researchers say that combining grape seed extracts with chemotherapy has potential as a new approach for bowel cancer treatment - to both reduce intestinal damage commonly caused by cancer chemotherapy and to enhance its effect.

Geographic Variation of Human Gut Microbes Tied to Obesity

February 14, 2014 12:58 pm | News | Comments

People living in cold, northern latitudes have bacteria in their guts that may predispose them to obesity, according to a new study. The researchers’ analysis of the gut microbes of more than a thousand people from around the world showed that those living in northern latitudes had more gut bacteria that have been linked to obesity than did people living farther south.

California Officials Warn of Measles Exposure

February 14, 2014 9:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

San Francisco Bay Area officials say a University of California, Berkeley, student infected with measles could have exposed thousands of others by attending classes and riding public transit. Public health officials said they confirmed that the student in his 20s was not vaccinated, and was likely infected with measles during a recent trip abroad.

More Talking to Babies Helps Their Brains

February 14, 2014 5:07 am | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Using videos that claim to teach toddlers, or flash cards for tots, may not be the best idea. Simply talking to babies is key to building crucial language and vocabulary skills — but sooner is better, and long sentences are good. So says research that aims to explain, and help solve, the troubling "word gap."

Blood Clot Risk Lasts for 12 Weeks After Pregnancy

February 13, 2014 12:07 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth — twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds. Strokes are still fairly rare right after pregnancy but devastating when they do occur and fatal about 10 percent of the time.

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