OHSU research shows patients can reduce frequency of Botox® Cosmetic treatments over time, saving money while still reducing dynamic wrinkles that come with age.

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New evidence gleaned by analyzing calcium embedded in Chinese limestone suggests that volcanoes, which spewed massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for a million years, caused the biggest mass extinction on Earth.

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New research shows that Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) continues to dramatically reduce rates of mortality from HIV infection in high-income countries, such that non-AIDS-related deaths exceed AIDS deaths after approximately four years of taking ART. 

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Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed the first “dimmer switch” for a superconducting circuit linking a quantum bit (qubit) and a quantum bus—promising technologies for storing and transporting information in future quantum computers. The NIST switch is a new type of control device that can “tune” interactions between these components and potentially could speed up the development of a practical quantum computer.

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    Long-term anabolic steroid use may weaken the heart more than previously thought. Steroid-related heart impairment is severe enough to potentially increase the risk of heart failure. The left ventricle, the heart muscle primarily responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, was significantly weaker among steroid users.

DALLAS— Long-term anabolic steroid use may weaken the heart more than previously thought and may increase the risk of heart failure, according to research reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids mimic the naturally occurring testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that promotes male sexual characteristics.

“Anabolic steroids, in addition to being illegal, have important health consequences,” said Aaron L. Baggish, M. D., lead author of the study and instructor in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “I think for the first time we’re starting to realize that the heart is one of the organs that is negatively impacted by long-term steroid use.”

In the small study, investigators found that the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, was significantly weaker during contraction (systolic function) in participants who had taken steroids compared to a group of similar non-steroid users.

A healthy left ventricle pumps out 55 percent to 70 percent of the blood that fills the heart (a measurement known as ejection fraction). Eighty-three percent of steroid users in the 12-person study had a low pumping capacity (ejection fraction less than 55 percent) that previous studies have linked to increased risk of heart failure and sudden cardiac death. In contrast, only one of the non-steroid users had a low ejection fraction.

Steroid users also exhibited impaired diastolic function, which is when the left ventricle relaxes and fills with blood. The researchers showed that ventricle relaxation among steroid users, as demonstrated by the left ventricle’s ratio of early-to-late blood filling, was reduced by almost half (0.93 compared with 1.80 among non-users). The left ventricle’s structure was similar in both steroid-users and non-users.

Baggish and his co-investigators used a technique known as Doppler echocardiography to examine the left ventricle’s function and structure. The test uses high-frequency sound waves, or ultrasound, to create moving pictures of the heart and its blood flow.

The steroid-using group included 12 male weight lifters, average age 40, who reported taking about 675 milligrams of steroids per week for nine years. The control group was seven age-matched, male weight lifters who reported no steroid exposure. Both groups had similar durations of past and current weight lifting and other physical activity, as well as similar cardiac risk factors other than steroid use. Although the users and non-users had comparable body-mass indices and body-surface areas, the steroid users had more muscle mass than the non-users.

Despite the small sample size, the statistically significant differences in heart function suggest a strong link between steroid use and heart impairment, said investigators who are conducting further studies to confirm their findings.

In previous studies, the precise effects of steroid use on heart dysfunction have been unclear. Part of the problem with conducting studies of steroid-related heart injury is that illegal anabolic steroid use is relatively recent. In the United States, these drugs first became widespread among athletes in the 1980s; so many steroid users from that era are now reaching the age when heart problems often surface.

“What we hope is that people start recognizing steroid use as a potential cause of heart disease and a cause of otherwise unexplained heart dysfunction in young people,” Baggish said.

Co-authors are: Rory B. Weiner, M. D.; Gen Kanayama, M. D., Ph. D.; James I. Hudson, M. D.; Sc. D.; Michael H. Picard, M. D.; Adolph M. Hutter, Jr., M. D.; and Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M. D.
(Author disclosures are on the manuscript.)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse partially funded the study.

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A researcher at North Carolina State University has developed a computer chip that can store an unprecedented amount of data – enough to hold an entire library’s worth of information on a single chip. The new chip stems from a breakthrough in the use of nanodots, or nanoscale magnets, and represents a significant advance in computer-memory technology.

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AUSTIN, Texas — The use of gluten-free and/or casein-free (GFCF) diets in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is not supported by current research, says a team of scientists with The University of Texas at Austin's Meadows Center Autism Spectrum Disorders Institute.

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Researchers in Freiburg and Berlin Unravel Secret of Innate Immune Response.

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Failure of PAK1 to interact with zebrafish protein FXR1 suggests a likely cause of fragile X syndrome.

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Scientists have discovered that changes in the amount of ice floating in the polar oceans are causing sea levels to rise.

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New research by David Badre, assistant professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown University, and colleagues at the University of California–Berkeley suggests that the frontal cortex may have a larger role in decision-making in unfamiliar situations. Their paper appears in the current edition of Neuron.

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ARLINGTON - Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have found the first solid evidence of horizontal DNA transfer, the movement of genetic material among non-mating species, between parasitic invertebrates and some of their vertebrate hosts. The findings are published in the April 28 issue of the journal Nature, one of the world's foremost scientific journals.

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The use of vitamin B to stop kidney damage in people with diabetes needs a closer look, and those with kidney damage now taking high vitamin B doses, should stop. That is the advice from a leading researcher at The University of Western Ontario who found surprising results in a study looking at the effects of vitamin B therapy on diabetic nephropathy. The study is published in the April 28 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 

Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease or damage that is a complication of diabetes. 21 million Americans and more than three million Canadians have diabetes, and over 40% of people with diabetes will develop nephropathy.

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Tampa, FL (April 29, 2010) -- Combination antibiotics effectively treat Chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis – a major step toward management, and possibly cure, of this disease, a federal multicenter clinical trial led by the University of South Florida College of Medicine found.

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Cholesterol crystals lead to life-threatening inflammation in blood vessel walls.

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Anesthesiologist identifies two changes to standard of care to protect developing brains.
Washington, DC

– Doctors at Children’s National Medical Center have found that carbon monoxide levels in the blood of young children increase during routine general anesthesia. Anesthesiologists have found for the first time that, under certain circumstances, infants and children may be exposed to carbon monoxide during routine anesthesia resulting in a rise in the carbon monoxide levels in the child’s blood.

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A new study from the University of Rochester finds that there is no single advanced area of the human brain that gives it language capabilities above and beyond those of any other animal species.

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BERKELEY — A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the University of California, Berkeley, is publishing this week the first genome sequence of an amphibian, the African clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis, filling in a major gap among the vertebrates sequenced to date.

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In a study of alcoholics who entered treatment for drinking, those who stayed sober for at least one year had the same levels of key biochemical indicators of brain health as non-alcoholic controls at the time they entered treatment. In contrast, the study showed, those who relapsed during that year had significantly lower levels of those indicators.

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Surgery or Careful Monitoring of Infants Depends on Disease Characteristics.

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New Haven, Conn. — The molecular caps at the ends of chromosomes that protect humans against cancer and premature cellular aging show a surprising inability to protect themselves against ultraviolet radiation, a new Yale School of Medicine study has found.

Telomeres—the repeat sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes that act like plastic tips at the end of a shoelace—are much more likely to be damaged by UV radiation than are other common cellular structures, researchers report in the study published online April 29 in the journal PLoS Genetics.

“This damage is not repaired. It is as if the cell has decided to defer maintenance to the telomeres,” said Douglas Brash, professor of therapeutic radiology, genetics and dermatology, a researcher for the Yale Cancer Center, and senior author of the study.

As cells divide over a lifetime, telomeres tend to wear down, and the resulting instability of chromosomes can lead to problems such as increased risk of cancer. As telomeres shorten, cells begin to age, deteriorate and eventually die.

Given their importance, scientists expected telomeres to possess robust defense mechanisms. Brash and Yale postdoctoral researcher Patrick Rochette, now assistant professor at Laval University, Quebec, tested the hypothesis by bombarding human cells with ultraviolet radiation. They found 10 times more DNA damage in telomeres than to the p53 gene, to a gene encoding a subunit of the cell’s ribosome or to mitochondrial DNA. And the damage to the telomeres was not repaired.

“There may be many reasons for this, but it looks like the medicine might be worse than the disease,” Brash said.

An overly robust response to fix damage at the tips of the chromosome might trigger even bigger problems for the cell – such as causing breaks within double strands of DNA, Brash speculated.

The strategy, however, is not without risk. Over many years, the accumulating damage may make the telomeres harder to copy when the cell divides, eventually leading to cell aging and death.

The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health funded the work.

Contact: Bill Hathaway, Tel: 203-432-1322

Source: Yale University

Scientists have discovered two “body clock” genes that reveal how seasonal changes in hormones are controlled and could ultimately help find treatments for seasonal affective disorder.

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Research could lead to remote stimulation of cells to treat cancer or diabetes.

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The tunable fluorescent nanoparticles known as quantum dots make ideal tools for distinguishing and identifying rare cancer cells in tissue biopsies, Emory and Georgia Tech scientists have demonstrated.

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BOSTON (July 6, 2010) — The mechanism by which a herpes virus invades cells has remained a mystery to scientists seeking to thwart this family of viruses. New research funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online in advance of print in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reveals the unusual structure of the protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells. This detailed map of a key piece of the herpes virus “cell-entry machinery” gives scientists a new target for antiviral drugs.

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PASADENA, Calif.—When does a cell decide its particular identity? According to biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in the case of T cells—immune system cells that help destroy invading pathogens—the answer is when the cells begin expressing a particular gene called Bcl11b.

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Finding could lead to new diagnostic tests or asthma treatments.

A gene that encodes a protein responsible for determining whether certain immune cells live or die shows subtle differences in some people with asthma, a team led by Johns Hopkins researchers reports in the June European Journal of Human Genetics.

The protein, known as Siglec-8, has been studied for more than a decade by a team led by Bruce S. Bochner, M. D., director of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Siglec-8, whose name is an acronym for sialic acid-binding, immunoglobulin-like lectin number 8, is present on the surfaces of a few types of immune cells, including eosinophils, basophils and mast cells. These different cell types have diverse but cooperative roles in normal immune function and allergic diseases. When functioning correctly, they play a valuable role in keeping the body healthy and infection-free. However, in conditions such as allergic reactions and asthma attacks, the cells unleash an overwhelming response that can harm the body more than it helps.

The researchers found in previous studies that when they bound antibodies or specially engineered sugar-coated polymers to the Siglec-8 protein on eosinophils, the cells promptly died, an effect that might be useful in stemming an allergy or asthma attack. Indeed, the Bochner lab is interested in pursuing the possibility of developing new therapies based on treatments that activate Siglec-8.

Natural sugar-based molecules in the body fulfill a similar role in keeping eosinophils in check in healthy people, explains Bochner. However, he and his colleagues hypothesized, if Siglec-8 were compromised — perhaps through a mutation in the gene that produces this protein — people who carried such a mutation might be more susceptible to getting asthma or other immunological diseases because they might end up with extra eosinophils.
To test this idea, Bochner and his colleagues used data from Genomic Research on Asthma in the African Diaspora (GRAAD), a group of National Institutes of Health-funded studies of asthma in pediatric and adult African-American populations and one study of healthy African-Americans. The team examined DNA taken from 464 asthma patients and 471 healthy individuals who participated in these studies. They looked for single-letter differences in the genetic code, mutations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”), that might be associated with a higher risk of asthma. Their results turned up a single SNP, called rs36498, which was associated with a significantly higher susceptibility to asthma.

To confirm these results, the researchers performed a similar investigation on two racially different populations: 822 individuals among 356 nuclear families, each with at least one child with asthma, recruited from the Conde District of Bahia, Brazil, and 468 volunteers with asthma and 457 without asthma recruited from a pulmonary clinic at Hokkaido University Hospital in Hokkaido, Japan.

The researchers found that the same SNP, rs36498, was found in significantly more Brazilian individuals with a history of wheezing in the last 12 months or had a lifetime history of asthma than those without these characteristics. A different SNP, rs10409962, was found in higher numbers in the Japanese asthmatic volunteers compared to the healthy ones.

To see if either of these SNPs might be involved in other conditions that affect eosinophils, the researchers examined 166 Caucasians who each had a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the walls of the esophagus, and 132 healthy Caucasian volunteers. Neither SNP appeared prominently in these populations. The results suggest that these SNPs affect asthma susceptibility, but not susceptibility to eosinophilic esophagitis.

“Our results suggest these mutations in the Siglec-8 gene may play a role in asthma. It’s reasonable to assume that efforts to target Siglec-8 might be able to influence this disease and others associated with eosinophils,” says Bochner. “If we’re able to understand these mutations better, we might be able to use them to develop a diagnostic test or new treatment.”

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Many of the Milky Way’s ancient stars are remnants of other smaller galaxies torn apart by violent galactic collisions around five billion years ago, according to researchers at Durham University.

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According to new Simon Fraser University research, there’s a speed limit on the information super-highways that route important messages through the nervous systems of animals. And while it may make larger mammals slower than their more petite animal kingdom cousins, it may also make them smarter.

Biomedical physiology and kinesiology professor Max Donelan and graduate student Heather More led the study, to be published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society on June 30.

Their discovery—that the maximum speed at which nerves can conduct information in land mammals is constant regardless of the animal’s size—helps explain why large animals such as elephants are slow and lumbering, while tiny creatures such as shrews and mice are quick and agile.

“The size of an animal’s nerve is dependent on the number and diameter of cells—or axons—it contains,” says Donelan. “The speed at which each axon can conduct signals depends on its diameter, with larger-diameter axons able to transmit information faster.

“Also, if a nerve has more axons, the animal has a higher density of sensory receptors with which to respond to its environment more precisely. But since nerves cannot be infinitely large there is a compromise necessary between the number and size of axons in a nerve.”

Explains More: “Larger animals experience much longer delays in sensing stimuli and initiating movement. As body size increases, animals must trade off the ability to conduct information quickly with the ability to precisely sense and respond to the environment.

“Think of a fly landing on an elephant’s rump: it would take the elephant 100 times longer to sense and swat at the insect than it would for a tiny shrew. In order to have the same nerve speed and precision as the shrew, the elephant would need to have a sciatic nerve with the impossibly large diameter of 30 metres.”

Since large animals cannot speed up their nerve impulses, they must slow down their movements to compensate for the delayed transfer of information. (This is further evidence, notes Donelan, that dinosaurs could not have been both large and nimble.)

But he says larger animals may rely on smarts as much as speed: “We think they need to think ahead and predict any changes that will occur so they have time to adapt their movements accordingly. That’s what we want to study next.

“It could be that the nervous systems of large animals have evolved to become excellent predictive machines. A brain that is good at predicting movement may also become good at predicting other aspects of life such as social interactions.

“So understanding that prediction is required to overcome nerve speed limits is another brick in the foundation of a general theory of brain function and evolution.”

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funded the research.

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Monheim, Germany, July 6, 2010 – The findings of a landmark Canine Vector Borne Disease (CVBD) prevention field study, published in Veterinary Parasitology today, showed the remarkable repelling efficacy of Advantix® in protecting dogs from ticks and sand flies and thereby reducing the risk of transmission from the potentially deadly diseases they spread.

This highly comprehensive study, conducted over two years by the team of Prof. Domenico Otranto of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Universita degli Studi di Bari) Italy, with diagnostic support from the team of Dr. Edward Breitschwerdt at the North Carolina State University, USA, found that dogs treated regularly with Advantix® spot-on had a greater than 90% reduction in CVBD cases, including a 100% reduction in new cases of potentially deadly leishmaniosis and a 94.6% decrease in ehrlichiosis.

The study also found that Advantix® provided 97.9% protection against tick infestation, compared to untreated dogs, where 100% were infested at the peak of the season. The level of protection offered by Advantix® was all the more notable because of the particularly large numbers of ticks and sand flies and high prevalence of associated diseases like leishmaniosis or babesiosis in the area of the study.

According to Prof. Otranto, “Our study shows the importance of protecting dogs with an effective treatment that repels as well as kills parasites like ticks and sand flies. Despite the high challenge faced by the dogs in our study, nearly all our treated dogs remained free from ticks throughout most of the study, and more than 90% remained free from CVBDs for the whole study time.”

“Because we included naive sentinel beagles in the study, we were also able to model what would happen to dogs travelling to areas where CVBDs are present. We found that by the end of the study, only the Advantix®-treated beagles remained protected from infection, while 80% of the untreated beagles were infected with a CVBD. This demonstrates the very real need to protect dogs that are travelling to endemic areas”, continued Prof. Otranto.

The study showed some interesting results with dogs that were positive with CVBDs when they entered the study. Of these, half of those treated with Advantix® were negative for CVBDs at the end of treatment, compared with only 13% of untreated dogs. This suggests the potential for natural clearance of CVBDs if a repellent treatment is used to prevent new transmissions.

This study was extremely comprehensive, studying both indigenous and introduced naive puppies, monitoring for several CVBDs and working with Dr. Breitschwerdt’s team in the USA to use highly sensitive molecular testing techniques to ensure optimal diagnostic accuracy. According to Dr. Breitschwerdt, “This is the most comprehensive study, to my knowledge, ever conducted testing the efficacy of a repellent ectoparasiticide to prevent the transmission of a spectrum of CVBDs in young dogs.”

“Thanks to this study we can see just how effective a treatment that repels as well as kills can be. With the increasing risk of CVBDs, I’d urge all pet owners to speak to their vets about finding the right tick-prevention strategy for their dog especially when travelling into endemic areas,” said leading parasitology expert, Dr. Luis Cardoso of the University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal.

Sarah Weston, Global Veterinary Services of Bayer Animal Health said “It is important to realise that with globalisation, climate change and the increase in pet travel, many more pets now need to be protected from these diseases that can be potentially fatal for both pets and humans. This study demonstrates that using Advantix® is an effective way to protect pets from bites of ticks and sand flies, reducing the risk of CVBD transmission.

Bayer Animal Health has been researching in the field of parastitology over the last 100 years. The company is committed to advancing the scientific understanding of parasitology by supporting the annual CVBD World Forum and an online guide that is educating pet owners around the world on the dangers posed by parasites www. youtube. com/user/parasitesundercover1.

For more information on canine vector-borne diseases and the CVBD World Forum, please visit www. CVBD. org.

About the study
The study was conducted over two parasite seasons, and ran from March 2008 to October 2009. It looked at two types of dog, puppies indigenous to the area and naive sentinel beagle puppies.

A total of 111 indigenous dogs were enrolled alongside 20 naive sentinel beagles. The dogs were randomly assigned in equal numbers to either a treated group receiving Advantix® at 3-weekly intervals for the course of the study or a control group receiving no treatment.

Please see the video ‘Prof Otranto – Study design’ for more information from Prof. Otranto on the study design.

The backgrounder also includes additional information on the study.

About Bayer HealthCare
Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Bayer Schering Pharma, Consumer Care and Medical Care divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Find more information at www. bayerhealthcare. com.

With a turnover of EUR977 million (2009) Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division manufactures and markets more than 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for livestock and companion animals.
Find more information at www. animalhealth. bayerhealthcare. com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www. bayer. com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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High levels of several vitamin E components in the blood are associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in advanced age, suggesting that vitamin E may help prevent cognitive deterioration in elderly people. This is the conclusion reached in a Swedish study published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Now possible to film development of fruit fly and of zebrafish’s eyes and brain.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – A new study shows that having depression may nearly double your risk of developing dementia later in life. The research will be published in the July 6, 2010, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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CINCINNATI—Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have found that a certain blood test can successfully identify lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) in some patients, eliminating the need for surgical lung biopsy to make a diagnosis.

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Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting in Geneva.

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