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Novel Approach Finds New Gene Linked to Heart Attack Risk

March 17, 2014 11:56 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered a previously unrecognized gene variation that makes humans have healthier blood lipid levels and reduced risk of heart attacks- a finding that opens the door to new testing or treatment of high cholesterol and other lipid disorders.

Major ‘Third-hand Smoke’ Compound Causes DNA Damage

March 17, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting that one compound from “third-hand smoke,” which forms when second-hand smoke reacts with indoor air, damages DNA and sticks to it in a way that could potentially cause cancer.              

Study to Test 'Chocolate' Pills for Heart Health

March 17, 2014 2:16 am | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It won't be nearly as much fun as eating candy bars, but a big study is being launched to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.                 

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Older Adults: Build Muscle and You'll Live Longer

March 14, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

New UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition—and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI—is a better predictor of all-cause mortality.

NIH Opens Research Hospital to Outside Scientists

March 13, 2014 2:44 pm | News | Comments

Ten projects that will enable non-government researchers to conduct clinical research at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md. were announced. Through these three-year, renewable awards of up to $500,000 per year, scientists from institutions across the United States will collaborate with government scientists in a highly specialized hospital setting.

Researchers Find Reason Why Many Vein Grafts Fail

March 13, 2014 2:40 pm | News | Comments

NIH researchers have identified a biological pathway that contributes to the high rate of vein graft failure following bypass surgery. Using mouse models of bypass surgery, they showed that excess signaling via the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-Beta) family causes the inner walls of the vein become too thick, slowing down or sometimes even blocking the blood flow that the graft was intended to restore.

Battling Infection with Microbes

March 13, 2014 2:23 pm | News | Comments

In a recent study, researchers found that beneficial gut bacteria were necessary for the development of innate immune cells—specialized types of white blood cells that serve as the body's first line of defense against invading pathogens.

Nicotine Withdrawal Weakens Brain Connections Tied to Self-Control Over Cigarette Cravings

March 13, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

A new brain imaging study shows how smokers suffering from nicotine withdrawal may have more trouble shifting from a key brain network—known as default mode, when people are in a so-called “introspective” or “self-referential” state— and into a control network, the so-called executive control network, that could help exert more conscious, self-control over cravings and to focus on quitting for good.

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Heart Scans Only Useful in Prescribing Statins Under Certain Conditions

March 13, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

As long as inexpensive statins, which lower cholesterol, are readily available and patients don’t mind taking them, it doesn’t make sense to do a heart scan to measure how much plaque has built up in a patient’s coronary arteries before prescribing the pills, according to a new study.

Scientists Confirm Link Between Missing DNA and Birth Defects

March 12, 2014 1:44 pm | News | Comments

In 2010, scientists reported that a woman and her daughter showed a puzzling array of disabilities, including epilepsy and cleft palate. The research team noted that the mother and daughter were missing a large chunk of DNA on their X chromosome. Researchers were unable to definitively show that the problems were tied to that genetic deletion. Now a team has confirmed that those patients’ ailments resulted from the genetic anomaly.

Scientists ‘Herd’ Cells in New Approach to Tissue Engineering

March 12, 2014 1:24 pm | Videos | Comments

Sometimes it only takes a quick jolt of electricity to get a swarm of cells moving in the right direction. Researchers found that an electrical current can be used to orchestrate the flow of a group of cells, an achievement that could establish the basis for more controlled forms of tissue engineering and for potential applications such as “smart bandages” that use electrical stimulation to help heal wounds.

Bacterium and Fungus Team Up to Cause Virulent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

March 12, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus. The resulting tooth decay can be so severe that treatment frequently requires surgery.

New Organ Transplant Strategy Aims to Better Prevent Rejection

March 11, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

Organ-transplant recipients often reject donated organs, but a new, two-pronged strategy to specifically weaken immune responses that target transplanted tissue has shown promise in controlled experiments on mice. The hope is that using this novel treatment strategy at the time of transplantation surgery could spare patients from lifelong immunosuppressive treatments and their side effects.

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Breaking News: New Gene for Bipolar Discovered

March 11, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

An international group of researchers discovered two new gene regions which are connected with bipolar disorder. They were also able to confirm three additional suspect genes.                     

Study: 2 Percent of Americans Have New Hips, Knees

March 11, 2014 1:17 am | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

It's not just grandma with a new hip and your uncle with a new knee. More than 2 of every 100 Americans now have an artificial joint, doctors are reporting. Among those over 50, it's even more common: Five percent have replaced a knee and more than 2 percent, a hip.

Nasal Filter Looks Promising for Allergy Sufferers

March 10, 2014 11:41 am | News | Comments

A small filter the size of a contact lens could possibly make life easier for some of the estimated 500 million people worldwide who suffer from itching, sneezing, and a runny nose as soon as the pollen season starts. A clinical study from Aarhus University concludes that a newly developed Danish mini-filter—Rhinix—appears to be significantly more effective against the discomfort of seasonal hay fever than a filterless placebo.

Severe Diarrheal Illness in Children Linked to Antibiotics Prescribed in Doctor’s Offices

March 7, 2014 1:48 pm | News | Comments

The majority of pediatric Clostridium difficile infections, which are bacterial infections that cause severe diarrhea and are potentially life-threatening, occur among children in the general community who recently took antibiotics prescribed in doctor’s offices for other conditions, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Energy Drinks Linked to Teen Health Risks

March 7, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

The uplifting effects of energy drinks are well advertised, but a new report finds consumption among teenagers may be linked with poor mental health and substance use. Researchers are calling for limits on teen’s access to the drinks and reduction in the amount of the caffeine in each can.

New Shrinking Gel Steers Tooth Tissue Formation

March 6, 2014 3:01 pm | Videos | Comments

A bit of pressure from a new shrinking, sponge-like gel is all it takes to turn transplanted unspecialized cells into cells that lay down minerals and begin to form teeth. The bioinspired gel material could one day help repair or replace damaged organs, such as teeth and bone, and possibly other organs as well.

Higher Levels of Omega-3 in Diet Associated with Better Sleep

March 6, 2014 2:36 pm | News | Comments

A randomized placebo-controlled study by the University of Oxford suggests that higher levels of omega-3 DHA, the group of long-chain fatty acids found in algae and seafood, are associated with better sleep. The researchers explored whether 16 weeks of daily 600mg supplements of algal sources would improve the sleep of 362 children.

Hop Leaves—Discarded in Beer Brewing—Could Fight Dental Diseases

March 5, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

Beer drinkers know that hops are what gives the drink its bitterness and aroma. Recently, scientists reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease.

Female Fertility: What’s Testosterone Got To Do With It?

March 5, 2014 12:33 pm | News | Comments

Several fertility clinics across the country are beginning to administer testosterone, either through a patch or a gel on the skin, to increase the number of eggs produced by certain women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women are also purchasing the over-the-counter supplement DHEA, which is converted by the body into testosterone, to boost their chances of pregnancy with IVF.

Liver Metabolism Study Could Help Patients Awaiting Transplants

March 4, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

In a new study that could help doctors extend the lives of patients awaiting liver transplants, a Rice University-led team of researchers examined the metabolic breakdown that takes place in liver cells during late-stage cirrhosis and found clues that suggest new treatments to delay liver failure.

Prevalence of Allergies the Same, Regardless of Where You Live

March 4, 2014 12:05 pm | News | Comments

In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists from the National Institutes of Health report that allergy prevalence is the same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years and younger.

Researchers Create Coating Material to Prevent Blood Clots Associated with Implanted Devices

March 3, 2014 11:40 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers developed a material that could help prevent blood clots associated with catheters, heart valves, vascular grafts and other implanted biomedical devices. Blood clots at or near implanted devices are thought to occur when the flow of nitric oxide, a naturally occurring clot-preventing agent generated in the blood vessels, is cut off. When this occurs, the devices can fail.

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