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New tool to evaluate next-generation tobacco and nicotine products

2015-04-27
A new smoking-specific survey has been developed that is much better than a currently available general health questionnaire at discriminating between different types of 'otherwise healthy' smokers. This test could be useful in determining the potential health impact of next generation tobacco and nicotine products on smokers who switch. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a measure of the day-to-day functioning and well-being of a person that is used to assess the effect of illness or injury over time. HRQoL measurements are important to public policy, because ...

Health insurance coverage among cancer patients varies greatly by demographics and cancer type

2015-04-27
A new analysis has found that, among patients with cancer, rates of health insurance coverage vary by patient demographics and by cancer type. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that the expansion of coverage through the Affordable Care Act may disproportionally benefit certain patient populations. In the United States, an estimated 48 million individuals live without health insurance. To examine how insurance coverage differs among cancer patients according to various individual factors such ...

New Zealand stoats provide an ark for genetic diversity

2015-04-27
British stoats suffered a dramatic loss in genetic diversity in the 20th Century but extinct British genes were preserved in the stoat population of New Zealand, a new study has found. The research reveals that stoats, which were introduced to New Zealand, have greater genetic diversity there, than in their native Britain. The results are unusual because introducing a species to a new area is usually associated with a loss in its genetic diversity. The study, which was carried out by researchers at the Universities of Exeter, Auckland, Griffith and Canberra and at Landcare ...

Ambiguous situations make it easier to justify ethical transgressions

2015-04-27
To maintain the idea that we are moral people, we tend to lie or cheat only to the extent that we can justify our transgressions. New research suggests that situational ambiguity is one such avenue for justification that helps us preserve our sparkling self-image. Findings from two related experiments show that people are apt to cheat on a task in favor of their self-interest but only when the situation is ambiguous enough to provide moral cover. The research, conducted by psychological scientists Andrea Pittarello, Margarita Leib, Tom Gordon-Hecker, and Shaul Shalvi, ...

Common back problems may be caused by evolution of human locomotion

2015-04-27
A common spinal disease could be the result of some people's vertebrae, the bones that make up the spine, sharing similarities in shape to a non-human primate. The research, published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, suggests that the relatively quick evolution of the ability to walk on two legs may have had a substantial impact on modern human health. Humans are more commonly afflicted with spinal disease than non-human primates, and one widely discussed explanation for this is the stress placed on the spine by bipedal locomotion. This research backs ...

Could smell hold the key to ending pesticide use?

2015-04-27
UK scientists may have uncovered a natural way of avoiding the use of pesticides and help save plants from attack by recreating a natural insect repellent. Scientists from Cardiff University and Rothamsted Research have, for the first time, created tiny molecules which mirror a natural occurring smell known to repel insects. The scientists were able to make similar smelling insect repellent molecules, by providing the enzyme, ((S)-germacrene D synthase), which creates the smell, with alternative substrate molecules. The effectiveness of the smell or perfume to ...

Persistent swollen neck glands could indicate cancer

2015-04-27
Referring patients with unexplained swollen neck glands for specialist investigations could help to avoid some of the thousands of deaths each year from lymphoma, a type of cancer. New research led by the University of Exeter Medical School, published today in the British Journal of General Practice, has concluded that persistent enlarged lymph glands, found in the neck, should be referred for further investigation when detected in clinic. Each year in the UK, more than 14,500 people in are diagnosed with a form of lymphoma, and nearly 5,000 die from the disease, with ...

Upside down and inside out

Upside down and inside out
2015-04-27
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have captured the first three-dimensional images of a live embryo turning itself inside out. The images, of embryos of a green alga called Volvox, make an ideal test case to understand how a remarkably similar process works in early animal development. Using fluorescence microscopy to observe the Volvox embryos, the researchers were able to test a mathematical model of morphogenesis - the origin and development of an organism's structure and form - and understand how the shape of cells drives the process of inversion, when ...

Permanent radiotherapy implants reduce risk of prostate cancer recurrence after 5 years

2015-04-27
Barcelona, Spain: Results from a randomised controlled trial to compare the use of permanent radioactive implants (brachytherapy) with dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer show that the men who received brachytherapy were twice as likely to be cancer-free five years later. Presenting these results at the 3rd ESTRO Forum in Barcelona, Spain, today (Monday) Professor James Morris, from the Department of Radiation Oncology, Vancouver Cancer Centre, British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA), Vancouver, Canada, will say that the ASCENDE-RT1 ...

Proton radiotherapy delivers more accurate cancer treatment, with less collateral damage

2015-04-27
Barcelona, Spain: Radiotherapy using protons can deliver more accurate treatment to a tumour while reducing the dose to surrounding tissue. However, in mobile organs such as the lung, precise targeting of the dose is difficult. Now researchers have succeeded in making a model of breathing movement that allows for the precise measurement of narrow beams to a dummy tumour by simulating the motion and physical properties of the chest anatomy in a model, the 3rd ESTRO Forum in Barcelona, Spain, will hear today (Monday). Dr Rosalind Perrin, from the Centre for Proton Therapy ...

The Lancet: Two-thirds of the world's population have no access to safe and affordable surgery

2015-04-27
Millions of people are dying from common, easily treatable conditions like appendicitis, fractures, or obstructed labour because they do not have access to, or can't afford, proper surgical care, according to a major new Commission, published in The Lancet. The Commission reveals that five billion people worldwide do not have access to safe and affordable surgery and anaesthesia when they need it, and access is worst in low-income and lower-middle income countries, where as many as nine out of ten people cannot access basic surgical care. Just under a third of all deaths ...

Inaccurate reporting jeopardizing clinical trials

2015-04-27
The team led by Dr Sheena Cruickshank of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Professor Andy Brass from the School of Computer Science analysed 58 papers on research into inflammatory bowel disease published between 2000 and 2014. They found a wide variety in how methods were reported and that vital information about experiments were missing, meaning they couldn't be accurately reproduced in animal or human models. In several instances the gender of the animal used wasn't recorded which can have a bearing on the result as female mice have a stronger immune response to males. ...

Just an hour of TV a day linked to unhealthy weight in kindergartners

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - New research shows that it doesn't take much for kids to be considered couch potatoes. Kindergartners and first-graders who watched as little as one hour of television a day were more likely to be overweight or obese compared to children who watched TV for less than 60 minutes each day, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. Efforts to fight the childhood obesity epidemic have focused on getting kids to be more active. Previous studies have shown that children who watch ...

We are family: Adult support reduces youths' risk of violence exposure

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Adults can have a bigger influence on youths growing up in poor, violent neighborhoods than they may realize, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. Researchers found that males living in Philadelphia who identified supportive relationships with parents and other adult family members were significantly less likely to report that they were involved in violence or had witnessed violence. "This is good news. In neighborhoods with high levels of community violence and few ...

Researchers harness the power of mobile devices to teach kids about safety

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Since it's nearly impossible to keep mobile devices out of the hands of children, they might as well learn something worthwhile using these devices. That was the idea behind the development of a game app to teach youngsters about bicycle and dog bite safety. Researchers will present the results of a study looking at the effectiveness of the app on Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. "Despite recommendations for children to have limited screen time, the reality is young children are using mobile devices, ...

Electronic cigarettes gaining in popularity among teens

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Teens no longer smoke just cigarettes. They have branched out to using alternative tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, hookahs and little cigars. In fact, e-cigarette use is rising rapidly among both cigarette smokers and nonsmokers, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. "Electronic cigarettes are of great concern. They are highly addictive nicotine delivery devices, and the vapor can and does cause harm to lungs," said principal investigator Jonathan D. Klein, ...

Program puts a dent in summer hunger

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - When schools close their doors for the summer, many low-income children who rely on subsidized breakfasts and lunches don't know when they will get their next meal. An innovative program to fill this gap could serve as a model for communities looking to help feed struggling families when school is out. Results of a study evaluating the impact of the summer feeding program will be presented on Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. In early 2012, Lisa Chamberlain, MD, MPH, FAAP, a pediatrician at a community ...

Parents sound off on mobile device use by children

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Smartphones and tablets have become part of everyday life, but parents still worry that mobile devices may not be the best thing for their children, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. The scientific literature has not kept pace with how technology is affecting family life. To help fill this gap, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 35 parents/guardians to learn about their views regarding mobile device use by themselves and their children, including benefits, ...

Some children lose autism diagnosis but still struggle

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - About one in 14 toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) no longer met the diagnostic criteria in elementary school, but most continued to have emotional/behavior symptoms and required special education supports, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. Previous studies have shown that ASD symptoms resolve in some children over time. It is not clear, however, if these children continue to have cognitive, behavioral or learning deficits. Researchers, led by ...

Serving healthy foods with a smile may entice students to eat better

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Labeling healthy foods with smiley faces and offering small prizes for buying nutritious items may be a low-cost way to get students to make healthy choices in the school lunch line, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego. Making poor food choices in school cafeterias is a risk factor for childhood obesity. Therefore, efforts have focused on improving the quality of school lunches and enticing children to eat them. One such effort was a two-phase intervention to improve ...

Despite warnings, health food stores recommend OTC dietary supplements to minors

2015-04-26
NEW HYDE PARK, NY - Fifteen year olds are not only able to buy over-the-counter dietary supplements from a sampling of health food stores across the country, the staff at those stores actually went so far as to recommend certain products, despite labels reading "for adult use only." The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using body-shaping supplements -- supplements are unregulated by the US Food & Drug Administration -- for males and females under age 18. Despite the adults-only labeling, it is legal for minors to buy these products in 49 states. Results ...

7 great achievements in child health research celebrated at Pediatric Academic Societies

2015-04-26
SAN DIEGO - Pediatric research discoveries over the past 40 years haveled to prevention and treatment strategies that have saved millions of lives worldwide. Seven of the greatest research achievements will be presented on Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting at the San Diego Convention Center. "Today, we often take these research discoveries for granted," said presenter Tina Cheng, MD, MPH, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Research. "Because of research and science in these seven areas, American ...

Use of direct-antiviral agents helps overcome hepatitis C recurrence in liver transplant patients

2015-04-25
April 25, 2015, Vienna, Austria: New data presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015, supports the use of sofosbuvir (SOF)- and daclatasvir (DCV)-based regimens in patients with recurrence of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) following liver transplantation (LT). The results are based on data from patients with HCV being treated with second-generation DAAs in the large French prospective ANRS CO23 CUPILT study. Among them, 296 patients were treated with a combination of SOF+DCV, with or without ribavirin. SOF- and DCV-based regimens offered high rates of ...

Sofosbuvir + peginterferon/ribavirin demonstrates virologic response rates in G3 hep C patients

2015-04-25
April 25, 2015, Vienna, Austria: Results presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015 demonstrate that hepatitis C (HCV)-infected genotype-3 (GT-3) patients, with and without cirrhosis, receiving 24 weeks of sofosbuvir (SOF) in combination with ribavirin (RBV) and peginterferon (PEG) achieved the highest sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks (SVR12), observed in a Phase 3 study, to date. Among GT-3 patients, SVR12 rates were highest in those receiving SOF+PEG/RBV for 12 weeks (93%) as compared to SOF+RBV for 24 (84%, p = 0.008) or 16 weeks ...

Alcohol use disorders - stronger predictor of mortality than chronic hepatitis C virus infection

2015-04-25
April 25, 2015, Vienna, Austria: Results presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015, show that alcohol use disorders (AUD) have a serious, negative prognostic outcome with higher mortality risks in the general population and patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in particular. The study found that chronic HCV infection has a limited impact on mortality, unless the patient also has other severe comorbidities, such as HIV infection, cancer or chronic kidney disease. In contrast, those with AUDs are at significant risk of death with a higher ...
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