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High-calorie Feeding May Slow Progression of ALS

February 28, 2014 10:21 am | by Mass General | News | Comments

Increasing the number of calories consumed by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be a relatively simple way of extending their survival.  A phase 2 clinical trial led by Massachusetts General Hospital physicians found that ALS patients receiving a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate tube-feeding formula lived longer with fewer adverse events than participants who received a standard formula designed maintain their weight.

Breaking News: Do Obesity, Birth Control Pills Up MS Risk?

February 27, 2014 4:00 pm | News | Comments

In two new studies, the so-called “obesity hormone” leptin and hormones used for birth control are being examined for their potential role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).                   

Experimental Treatment Eradicates Acute Leukemia in Mice

February 27, 2014 1:49 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.

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Don’t Throw Out Old, Sprouting Garlic—It Has Heart-healthy Antioxidants

February 27, 2014 1:42 pm | News | Comments

“Sprouted” garlic—old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves — is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts.

Can a Simple Handshake Predict Cancer Survival Rates?

February 27, 2014 1:35 pm | News | Comments

New acquaintances are often judged by their handshake. Research has now recognized the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients. In a recent study, Concordia professor Robert Kilgour and his colleagues at the McGill Nutrition and Performance Laboratory confirmed a link between handgrip strength and survival rates.

DNA Blood Tests Show Prenatal Screening Promise

February 26, 2014 5:17 pm | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A DNA test of a pregnant woman's blood is more accurate than current methods of screening for Down syndrome and other common disorders, new research finds. If other studies bear this out, it could transform prenatal care.        

Different Eggs in Adolescent Girls and Adult Women

February 26, 2014 2:29 pm | News | Comments

Are the eggs produced by adolescent girls the same as the ones produced by adult women? A recent study published in Human Molecular Genetics by Professor Kui Liu from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows compelling evidence that there are two completely distinct types of eggs in the mammalian ovary—“the first wave” and “the adult wave”.

Breast-feeding Benefits Appear to be Overstated, According to Study of Siblings

February 26, 2014 1:58 pm | News | Comments

A new study comparing siblings who were fed differently during infancy suggests that breast-feeding might be no more beneficial than bottle-feeding for 10 of 11 long-term health and well-being outcomes in children age 4 to 14. The outlier was asthma, which was associated more with breast-feeding than with bottle-feeding.

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Use of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children

February 25, 2014 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Acetaminophen provides many people with relief from headaches and sore muscles. When used appropriately, it is considered mostly harmless. Over recent decades, the drug has become the medication most commonly used by pregnant women for fevers and pain.  Now, a long-term study by UCLA, in collaboration with the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has raised concerns about the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.

Multi-Parametric Electrophysiological Imaging of the Mammalian Heart in vivo

February 24, 2014 2:41 pm | by James Joubert, application scientist, Photometrics | Photometrics | Articles | Comments

Cardiac arrhythmia is one of the most common diseases encountered in clinical cardiology. High-speed electrophysiological imaging using fluorescent probes has yielded tremendous insights into the basic mechanisms of arrhythmias and the effects of anti-arrhythmic drugs. However, optical mapping, as it is known to the cardiac research community, has remained relegated to the isolated (i.e. explanted) heart.

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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Surprising Culprit Found in Cell Recycling Defect

February 21, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

To remain healthy, the body’s cells must properly manage their waste recycling centers. Problems with these compartments, known as lysosomes, lead to a number of debilitating and sometimes lethal conditions. Researchers have identified an unusual cause of the lysosomal storage disorder called mucolipidosis III, at least in a subset of patients. 

Study in Fruitflies Strengthens Connection Among Protein Misfolding, Sleep Loss, and Age

February 21, 2014 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, have been studying the molecular mechanisms underpinning sleep. Now they report that the pathways of aging and sleep intersect at the circuitry of a cellular stress response pathway, and that by tinkering with those connections, it may be possible to alter sleep patterns in the aged for the better—at least in fruit flies.

An Essential Step Toward Printing Living Tissues

February 20, 2014 11:55 am | Videos | Comments

A new bioprinting method creates intricately patterned 3D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. The work represents a major step toward a longstanding goal of tissue engineers: creating human tissue constructs realistic enough to test drug safety and effectiveness.

Technique Could Lead to New Treatments for Pain

February 19, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

The mice in Scott Delp's lab, unlike their human counterparts, can get pain relief from the glow of a yellow light. Right now these mice are helping scientists to study pain—how and why it occurs and why some people feel it so intensely without any obvious injury. But Delp, a professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering, hopes one day the work he does with these mice could also help people who are in chronic, debilitating pain.

Binge Drinking Impairs Bone Healing

February 19, 2014 1:54 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

Binge drinking impairs the healing of broken bones. It can do this weeks after a binge. And it can leave in its wake permanently inferior bone, according to recent studies. One reason: alcohol slows down mesenchymal (bone, fat, and cartilage) stem cells (MSCs), in the bloodstream, trying to home to fracture sites. And when MSCs finally reach fracture sites, alcohol keeps them from properly replacing lost cells.

Artificial Leaf Jumps Developmental Hurdle

February 19, 2014 1:41 pm | News | Comments

ASU scientists, along with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory, have reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is one of the goals of BISfuel—the Energy Frontier Research Center.

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.       

New Eye Layer has Possible Link to Glaucoma

February 18, 2014 1:13 pm | News | Comments

A new layer in the human cornea—discovered by researchers at The University of Nottingham last year—plays a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye, research has shown. The findings could shed new light on glaucoma, a devastating disease caused by defective drainage of fluid from the eye and the world’s second leading cause of blindness.

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.

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.

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.

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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