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Robot May Accelerate Trials for Stroke Medications

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

The development of drugs to treat acute stroke or aid in stroke recovery is an endeavor that only rarely pays off in the form of approval. Drug companies spend years testing safety and dosage in the clinic, only to find in Phase 3 clinical efficacy trials have little to no benefit. A robot developed at MIT may help speed up drug development, letting companies know earlier in the process whether a drug will work in stroke patients.

Nanoparticles Treat Muscular Dystrophy in Mice

February 12, 2014 11:45 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have demonstrated a new approach to treating muscular dystrophy. Mice with a form of this muscle-weakening disease showed improved strength and heart function when treated with nanoparticles loaded with rapamycin, an immunosuppressive drug recently found to improve recycling of cellular waste.

New NIST Method Evaluates Response to Oxidation in Live Cells

February 12, 2014 11:07 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the NIST developed a new method for accurately measuring a key process governing a wide variety of cellular functions that may become the basis for a "health checkup" for living cells. The technique measures changes in a living cell's internal redox (reduction-oxidation) potential, a chemistry concept that expresses the favorability of reactions in which molecules or atoms either gain or lose electrons. 

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Exercise Targets Cellular Powerhouses to Improve Heart Function

February 12, 2014 10:36 am | News | Comments

Whether lifting weights in a gym or just walking around the block, exercise has many benefits, such as helping people lose weight and build stronger muscles. Some studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Researchers now report that moderate, long-term physical activity appears to improve cardiovascular health in mice by targeting the heart cells’ powerhouses—the mitochondria.

FDA Wants More Info on Female Libido Pill

February 11, 2014 8:07 am | by Matthew Perrone - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

The drugmaker working to develop a pill to boost sexual desire in women says regulators are demanding more studies on the experimental drug. Sprout Pharmaceuticals said that the Food and Drug Administration wants to see more data on how the company's drug, flibanserin, interacts with other medications and how it affects driving ability. Nearly 10 percent of women studied in company trials reported sleepiness while taking the daily pill.

Genetic Discovery to Keep Crops Disease-free

February 10, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia’s agricultural industry. According to John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver, Director of the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens at Curtin, farmers can lose more than 0.35 tonnes per hectare in wheat yields to Yellow Spot, even after applying fungicide.

Computer Models Help Decode Cells that Sense Light Without Seeing

February 10, 2014 12:01 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found that the melanopsin pigment in the eye is potentially more sensitive to light than its more famous counterpart, rhodopsin, the pigment that allows for night vision. Recent studies revealed the existence of a small number of intrinsically photosensitive nervous cells that regulate non-visual light responses.

Pharma Data Play Larger Role in Olympic Drug Tests

February 7, 2014 7:07 pm | by Matthew Perrone - AP Health Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Some of the world's biggest drugmakers are playing a larger role in anti-doping efforts at this year's Winter Olympics: They're providing information on drugs that once would have been considered proprietary trade secrets. GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, and Roche are among the drugmakers that have begun sharing "confidential research and data" with anti-doping officials about experimental drugs they are developing.

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A Microchip for Metastasis

February 7, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

In an attempt to learn how and why certain cancers spread to specific organs, researchers have developed a three-dimensional microfluidic platform that mimics the spread of breast cancer cells into a bonelike environment.         

WADA to Resume HGH Testing, 'Outraged' by New Drug

February 7, 2014 11:19 am | by Graham Dunbar, Associated Press | News | Comments

Testing for HGH, including samples from Sochi Olympic athletes, should resume after being stalled by an appeal case ruling last year, WADA director-general David Howman said. WADA also said it was "totally outrageous" that a Russian scientist reportedly offered to sell a potent and undetectable new muscle-building drug to undercover journalists. The substance, known as full size MGF, has only been trialed on animals.

Nutritional Supplement Improves Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

February 6, 2014 4:13 pm | News | Comments

Declines in the underlying brain skills needed to think, remember, and learn are normal in aging. Therapies to improve the cognitive health of older adults are critically important for lessening declines in mental performance as people age.

RNA Sequencing of 750-year-old Barley Virus Sheds New Light on the Crusades

February 6, 2014 3:51 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have for the first time sequenced an ancient RNA genomeof a barley virus once believed to be only 150 years old— pushing its origin back at least 2,000 years and revealing how intense farming at the time of the Crusades contributed to its spread.

Monkeys That Eat Omega-3 Rich Diet Show More Developed Brain Networks

February 6, 2014 12:23 pm | News | Comments

Monkeys that ate a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids had brains with highly connected and well organized neural networks—in some ways akin to the neural networks in healthy humans—while monkeys that ate a diet deficient in the fatty acids had much more limited brain networking.

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New Evidence Shows Increase in Obesity May be Slowing, But Not by Much

February 6, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama referred to an August 2013 CDC study that showed a decline in the obesity rate among low-income preschool children. While the CDC report’s data is encouraging, a new study published by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An shows the notion that the American obesity epidemic has begun to reverse may be premature.

Stopping Liver Failure from Painkiller Overdose

February 5, 2014 8:46 am | News | Comments

University of Adelaide researchers have identified a key step for the future prevention of liver failure resulting from taking too much of the everyday painkiller paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen). The study pinpoints a target for new treatments to prevent the potentially lethal consequences of paracetamol overdose.

CVS Caremark Plans to Stop Tobacco Products Sales

February 5, 2014 8:07 am | by Michael Felberbaum - AP Business Writers - Associated Press | News | Comments

CVS Caremark is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide as it focuses more on providing health care. The nation's second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1, a move that will cost about $2 billion in annual revenue.

Testing Nanomedicine With Blood Cells On A Microchip

February 5, 2014 7:42 am | News | Comments

Designing nanomedicine to combat diseases is a hot area of scientific research, primarily for treating cancer, but very little is known in the context of atherosclerotic disease. Scientists have engineered a microchip coated with blood vessel cells to learn more about the conditions under which nanoparticles accumulate in the plaque-filled arteries of patients with atherosclerosis.

New Technique Makes "Biogasoline" from Plant Waste

February 4, 2014 12:59 pm | News | Comments

Gasoline-like fuels can be made from cellulosic materials such as farm and forestry waste using a new process invented by chemists at the University of California, Davis. The process could open up new markets for plant-based fuels, beyond existing diesel substitutes.

Scientists Call for Screening Mammography Every Two Years for Most Women

February 4, 2014 11:57 am | News | Comments

Adoption of new guidelines recommending screening mammography every two years for women ages 50 to 74 would result in breast cancer screening that is equally effective, while saving the United States $4.3 billion a year in health care costs, according to a study led by UC San Francisco.

Biologic Agents Provide Relief for Children Newly Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease

February 4, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

Children newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease may benefit from early treatment with the biologic drugs known as anti-TNF-α agents. Researchers compared the effectiveness of early (within three months after diagnosis) treatment with anti-TNF-α inhibitors, compared with early treatment with immunomodulatory drugs, in attaining clinical remission and facilitating growth in children with Crohn's disease.

Sugar Tied to Fatal Heart Woes; Soda's a Culprit

February 3, 2014 6:07 pm | by Lindsey Tanner - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Could too much sugar be deadly? The biggest study of its kind suggests the answer is yes, at least when it comes to fatal heart problems. It doesn't take all that much extra sugar, hidden in many processed foods, to substantially raise the risk, the researchers found, and most Americans eat more than the safest amount.

Study Suggests Women 35 and Older are at Decreased Risk of Having Anatomically Abnormal Child

February 3, 2014 11:28 am | News | Comments

In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in New Orleans, researchers will report that women ages 35 and older are at a decreased risk of having a child with a major congenital malformation, after excluding chromosomal abnormalities.

New Treatment Could Reduce Kids' Peanut Allergies

January 29, 2014 7:07 pm | by Maria Cheng - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

An experimental therapy that fed children with peanut allergies small amounts of peanut flour has helped more than 80 percent of them safely eat a handful of the previously worrisome nuts. Although experts say the results of the carefully monitored study are encouraging, they warn it isn't something that parents should try at home.

Study: Kids' Obesity Risk Starts Before School Age

January 29, 2014 5:07 pm | by By Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Those efforts to fight obesity in schools? Think younger. A new study finds that much of a child's "weight fate" is set by age 5, and that nearly half of kids who became obese by the eighth grade were already overweight when they started kindergarten.

A Faster Way to Flag Bacteria-tainted Food and Prevent Illness

January 29, 2014 12:02 pm | News | Comments

The regular appearance of food poisoning in the news, including a recent event that led to the recall of more than 33,000 pounds of chicken, drives home the need for better bacterial detection long before meats and produce make it to the dinner table. On the horizon is a new approach for pathogen screening that is far faster than current commercial methods.

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