Health News

Gene that increases pancreatic cancer risk identified

Gene that increases pancreatic cancer risk identifiedWashington, Dec 30 : A gene that increases the risk of pancreatic cancer has been identified, experts say.

Mutations in the ATM gene may increase the hereditary risk for pancreatic cancer, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University have found. The findings were published in the latest edition of the journal Cancer Discovery Thursday.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most morbid cancers, with less than five percent of those diagnosed with the disease surviving to five years.

Approximately 10 percent of patients come from families with multiple cases of pancreatic cancer.


Skin microbes affect humans’ attractiveness to mosquitoes

Skin microbes affect humans’ attractiveness to mosquitoesWashington, Dec 29 : Microbes on a person's skin determine how attractive an individual is to mosquitoes, a new study has found.

Without bacteria, human sweat is odourless to the human nose, so the microbial communities on the skin play a key role in producing each individual''s specific body odour.

The researchers, led by Niels Verhulst of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, conducted their experiments with the Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto mosquito, which plays an important role in malaria transmission.


High MP3 volume puts teens at risk for early hearing loss

High MP3 volume puts teens at risk for early hearing lossWashington, Dec 29 : One in four teens is in danger of early hearing loss as a direct result of using MP3 players at high volume, researchers say.

Today''s ubiquitous MP3 players permit users to listen to crystal-clear tunes at high volume for hours on end - a marked improvement on the days of the Walkman.

But according to Tel Aviv University research, these advances have also turned personal listening devices into a serious health hazard, with teenagers as the most at-risk group.


Lingonberries can protect blood vessels of BP and diabetic patients

Lingonberries can protect blood vessels of BP and diabetic patientsWashington, Dec 29 : Ligonberry has a much higher antioxidant level in certain capacities than blueberries or raspberries, and it can help protect blood vessels of people who have hypertension or have diabetic damage from too much blood sugar, a Finland researcher has claimed.

"It doesn't lower the blood pressure, but it stops the damage," Fox News quoted Dr. Peter Bongiorno of Innersource Health as saying.

A native of Sweden, ligonberries are found on low, evergreen shrubs throughout the forests of Scandinavia.

These tart, red berries are much smaller and juicier than their distant cousin, the cranberry.


Avastin delays ovarian cancer progression

Avastin delays ovarian cancer progressionWashington, Dec 29 : A targeted drug therapy called bevacizumab (Avastin), when used in combination with existing treatments like chemotherapy delays progression of advanced ovarian cancer, a new study has suggested.

Targeted drugs, which block or disrupt particular molecules involved in the growth of tumours, have been shown to be effective treatments against many types of cancer.

Patients with newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer now typically undergo surgery and chemotherapy, but a new phase 3 clinical trial conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) suggests an additional avenue of treatment.


Chavez says US could have developed technology to give Latin America leaders cancer

Chavez says US could have developed technology to give Latin America leaders cancerWashington, Dec 29 : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has hinted that the United States may be behind a "very strange" bout of cancer affecting him and various South American leaders.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Chavez questioned in a nationally televised speech to the military, whether the US has developed a secret technology to give cancer to Latin America leaders.


Diet rich in vitamins and fish oils helps keep elderly brains healthy

Diet rich in vitamins and fish oils helps keep elderly brains healthyWashington, Dec 29 : Elderly people with higher levels of several vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids in their blood have better performance on mental acuity tests and less of the brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

On the other hand “junk food” diets produces just the opposite result.

The research conducted by scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore., and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University found positive effects of high levels of vitamins B, C, D, E and the healthy oils most commonly found in fish.


Silent strokes or dead brain cells behind memory loss in elders

Silent strokes or dead brain cells behind memory loss in elders Washington, Dec 29 : A new study has suggested that ‘silent strokes,’ or small spots of dead brain cells, found in about one out of four older adults may have lead to memory loss in the elderly.

“The new aspect of this study of memory loss in the elderly is that it examines silent strokes and hippocampal shrinkage simultaneously,” said study author Adam M. Brickman, PhD, of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

A group of 658 people ages 65 and older and free of dementia were given MRI brain scans in the study.


Age no bar to quick decision making

Age no bar to quick decision makingWashington, Dec 28 - Age is no bar to quick decision making. Older people can be trained to respond faster in decision-making tasks even though ageing brains seem to slow down, reveals a study.

"Many people think that it is just natural for older people's brains to slow down as they age, but we're finding that isn't always true," said Roger Ratcliff, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and study co-author.

"At least in some situations, 70-year-olds may have response times similar to those of 25-year olds," he said, the journal Child Development reported.


Coated drugs can contain harmful plasticizing chemicals

Coated drugs can contain harmful plasticizing chemicalsWashington, Dec 27 : A new study has found that the coatings of many common drugs and supplements contain harmful chemicals called phthalates, which are often found in plastics.

These chemicals have been linked to a variety of hormonal and reproductive problems in both rats and people.

Scientists can't yet say how levels of phthalates in pills might translate into health risks. But the scientists behind the work said, pregnant women and children might want to be cautious especially those who take regular doses of medicine for chronic conditions.


Kids who hate their mums likely to become obese

Kids who hate their mums likely to become obese Washington, Dec 26 : The quality of the emotional relationship between a mother and her child could affect the potential for that kid to be obese during adolescence, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from Ohio State University analysed data from 977 participants in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a project of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The sample in this national study included diverse families living in nine U. S. states whose children were born in 1991.


Sense of touch could be attributed to skin’s hair follicles

Sense of touch could be attributed to skin’s hair follicles Washington, Dec 23 : In a new study, scientists have provided the first picture of how specialised neurons feel light touches, like a brush of movement or a vibration, are organized in hairy skin.

Looking at these neurons in the hairy skin of mice, the researchers observed remarkably orderly patterns, suggesting that each type of hair follicle works like a distinct sensory organ, each tuned to register different types of touches.

Each hair follicle sends out one wire-like projection that joins with others in the spinal cord, where the information they carry can be integrated into impulses sent to the brain.


HIV treatment discovery named ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ 2011

 HIV treatment discovery named ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ 2011 Washington, Dec 23 : The finding that HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) can actually prevent transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her uninfected partner has been named “Breakthrough of the Year” for 2011 by a journal.

The clinical trial, known as HPTN 052, demonstrated that early initiation of ARV therapy in people infected with HIV reduces transmission of the virus to their partners by 96 percent.


Fish oil may help cure leukemia

Fish oil may help cure leukemiaWashington, Dec 23 : A compound found in fish oil, which apparently kills leukaemia stem cells, may lead to the cure of the disease, a new study including Indian origin researcher has revealed.

The compound, delta-12-protaglandin J3, or D12-PGJ3 targeted and killed the stem cells of chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, in mice, according to Sandeep Prabhu, associate professor of immunology and molecular toxicology in the Department of Veterinary and Medical Sciences.

He said that the compound is produced from EPA, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, an Omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and in fish oil.


Very early childhood experiences can be recalled years later

Very early childhood experiences can be recalled years laterWashington, Dec 23 : Events experienced by children when they were as young as two-year-old, can be recalled years later, a new study has revealed.

Most adults cannot recall events that took place before they were 3 or 4 years old-a phenomenon called childhood amnesia.

While some people can remember what happened at an earlier age, the veracity of their memories is often questioned.

To determine at what age our earliest memories occur, the researchers at the University of Otago (in New Zealand) looked at about 50 children and their parents.


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