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Comprehensive study of genetic risks for inflammatory bowel disease in African-Americans

2015-08-25
Fast Facts: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been historically underdiagnosed in African-Americans and is increasing in frequency. Several gene variants for IBD in whites are key risk factors in African-Americans. Also important are unique African ancestral variants that cause protection against IBD. In African-Americans, as in whites and Asians, the dominant region for ulcerative colitis genetic risk in is the human leukocyte antigen region, a major determinant of immune regulation. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, along ...

Developing a new tool to detect a frequently missed sex chromosome disorder in boys

Developing a new tool to detect a frequently missed sex chromosome disorder in boys
2015-08-25
NEW YORK, NY (August 25, 2015)-- Klinefelter syndrome is the most common disorder of the male sex chromosomes, yet is rarely diagnosed in children. A new assessment tool is being developed by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) to help pediatricians detect the physical traits of the syndrome. The tool could pave the way for early interventions that prevent and treat a range of physical, psychological, social, and cognitive impairments. The study was published in The Journal of Pediatrics. According to lead author Sharron Close, PhD, boys with Klinefelter ...

Batting practice in the genome

2015-08-25
In the biochemical game of genetics, it was thought that the proteins controlling gene regulation in animals were either spectators or players. But in research appearing in the current issue of eLife, Michigan State University researchers found that spectator proteins are actually practicing up for the big game. They discovered that the proteins are biochemically interacting with thousands of regions of the genome to change the structure of chromosomal material, although only few of them actually are able to change gene expression. "The previous thinking was that these ...

NASA finds vegetation essential for limiting city warming effects

NASA finds vegetation essential for limiting city warming effects
2015-08-25
Cities are well known hot spots - literally. The urban heat island effect has long been observed to raise the temperature of big cities by 1 to 3°C (1.8 to 5.4°F), a rise that is due to the presence of asphalt, concrete, buildings, and other so-called impervious surfaces disrupting the natural cooling effect provided by vegetation. According to a new NASA study that makes the first assessment of urbanization impacts for the entire continental United States, the presence of vegetation is an essential factor in limiting urban heating. Impervious surfaces' biggest ...

The greater a country's gender equality in employment, the higher its homicide rate

2015-08-25
The greater a country's gender equality when it comes to employment, the higher the overall homicide rate, according to a Baylor University study of 146 countries. "The finding does not mean that gender equality in employment increases homicide rates, but there is a correspondence," said sociologist Katie Corcoran, Ph.D. "What remains uncertain is the 'why' behind this relationship, although prior research suggests it may be due to threatening male status. "The research findings are significant because they show that gender inequality does not only affect women," she ...

Genetic study finds association between reduced vitamin D and multiple sclerosis risk

2015-08-25
Genetic findings support observational evidence that lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a new research article by Brent Richards, from McGill University, Canada, and colleagues published this week in PLOS Medicine. Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis and it usually presents between the ages of 20 and 40 years. While some observational evidence suggests there may be a link between lower vitamin ...

One dose or 2? Cholera vaccination strategies

2015-08-25
A new modeling study appearing this week in PLOS Medicine supports consideration of vaccination campaigns using a single dose of cholera vaccine versus campaigns using the recommended two doses given two weeks apart.. Justin Lessler and colleagues, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, Baltimore, Epicentre, Paris and Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva focus their modelling analyses on comparing the number of lives that could be saved by adopting a single vaccine dose, which could be more rapidly administered to more people than the internationally licensed ...

Less may be more in slowing cholera epidemics

2015-08-25
An oral cholera vaccine that is in short supply could treat more people and save more lives in crisis situations, if one dose were dispensed instead of the recommended two, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. More than 1.5 billion people around the world are at risk for cholera, a severe diarrheal illness caused by bacteria linked to poor water and sanitation. It is a major killer worldwide, causing an estimated two to three million cases and 100,000 deaths each year, primarily in developing nations. A relatively new vaccine -- internationally ...

Adaptive mutation mechanism may explain some forms of antibiotic resistance

2015-08-25
Evolutionary theory says mutations are blind and occur randomly. But in the phenomenon of adaptive mutation, cells can peek under the blindfold, increasing their mutation rate in response to stress. Scientists at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University have observed that an apparent "back channel" for genetic information called retromutagenesis can encourage adaptive mutation to take place in bacteria. The results are scheduled for publication in PLOS Genetics on Tuesday, August 25. "This mechanism may explain how bacteria develop resistance to some types of antibiotics ...

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Atsani bow out

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Atsani bow out
2015-08-25
Tropical Cyclone Atsani appeared to look more like a frontal system in infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite.Early on August 26, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued their final bulletin on the system as it was transitioning into an extra-tropical cyclone, The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that also flies aboard Aqua captured infrared data on the storm on August 25 at 14:47 UTC (10:47 a.m. EDT). Cloud top temperatures in thunderstorms northeast of the center were colder than -63F/-52C, indicating high, strong thunderstorms with the potential ...

Study in bats and rodents offers insights on how viruses spread across species

2015-08-25
Bats are natural reservoirs of several important emerging viruses, and because cross-species transmission appears to be quite common among bats, it's important to study bats in a community context rather than concentrating on individual species. Researchers have now used such an approach to identify characteristics of cross-species virus transmission in bats and rodents, another important viral host. The investigators uncovered evidence to suggest that viruses pass more easily between bat species than between rodent species, and they found that characteristics unique ...

Optimal breastfeeding practices may help save infants' lives

2015-08-25
In a new review of all relevant medical research on breastfeeding practices, infants 0 to 5 months of age who were predominantly, partially, or not breastfed had 1.5-, 4.8-, and 14.4-times higher risks of dying, respectively, compared with exclusively breastfed infants. Also, children aged 6 to 23 months who were not breastfed had about a 2-times higher risk of dying than children who were continued on breastfeeding. "The findings underscore the importance of optimal breastfeeding practices during infancy and early childhood," said Dr. M. Jeeva Sankar, lead author of ...

Adverse effects of common prostate enlargement and hair growth drugs: A review

2015-08-25
(Boston)--Twenty-five percent of men currently taking Finasteride or Dutasteride, popularly known as Proscar and Avodart, for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement (BPH), appear not to benefit from taking these medications. Those prescribed Propecia or Avodart for male pattern hair loss (known as alopecia) are also at risk for adverse events elicited by these drugs. These findings are part of an international, collaborative review currently online in the journal Endocrine Reviews and Metabolic Disorders. Led by Abdulmaged Traish, PhD, professor of biochemistry ...

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in 3 decades

2015-08-25
In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers one of the world's rarest animals, a remote encounter that may become even more infrequent if illegal fishing practices continue. The creature in question is Allonautilus scrobiculatus, a species of nautilus that Ward and a colleague had previously discovered off of Ndrova Island in Papua New Guinea. Nautiluses are small, distant cousins of squid and ...

Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone

Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone
2015-08-25
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Barley, a widely grown cereal grain commonly used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages, possesses a large and highly repetitive genome that is difficult to fully sequence. Now a team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside has reached a new milestone in its work, begun in 2000, on sequencing the barley genome. The researchers have sequenced large portions of the genome that together contain nearly two-thirds of all barley genes. The new information, published in The Plant Journal, will not only expand geneticists' knowledge ...

Allina Health study shows how palliative care can improve life for heart failure patients

2015-08-25
A recent randomized trial conducted by researchers at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, part of Allina Health, found that inpatient palliative care (PC) visits were associated with improved quality of life and symptom burden for patients with heart failure (HF). Because of these results, Abbott Northwestern conducted a new study, "A Description of Inpatient Palliative Care Actions for Patients with Acute Heart Failure," published June 30 by the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The study aimed to identify and describe what actions PC providers took to ...

Opioid receptor gene variations associated with neonatal abstinence syndrome severity

2015-08-25
BOSTON - A new study led by researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC) indicates that variations in opioid receptor genes are associated with more severe neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in newborn babies. The findings, published online in Drug & Alcohol Dependence, could help lead to the development of individualized treatment plans tailored to each infants' risk of requiring medication to curb their NAS symptoms, which could help improve these patients' outcomes and reduce how long some stay in the hospital. NAS is present in newborn babies who have been exposed ...

New Yorker cartoons reveal attitudes toward parenting

2015-08-25
Jaclyn Tabor and Jessica Calarco tap a novel data source to track changing attitudes toward parenting during the 20th and early 21st centuries: cartoons in the New Yorker magazine. "We find that portrayals of children and child-rearing are both more varied and more fluctuating than existing research would suggest," said Tabor, an Indiana University Bloomington doctoral student in sociology. "Contemporary cartoons celebrate children but also recognize the significant challenges children create for parents. Cartoons from the 1920s and 1930s -- when rates of childlessness ...

School lunch study: Visual proof kids are tossing mandated fruits and veggies in trash

School lunch study: Visual proof kids are tossing mandated fruits and veggies in trash
2015-08-25
Less than a month before Congress votes on whether to reauthorize a controversial program mandating healthier school lunches, a new study confirms the suspicions of school officials - many students are putting the fruits and vegetables they're now required to take straight into the trash, consuming fewer than they did before the law took effect. The new study, published online in Public Health Reports on Aug. 25, is the first to use digital imaging to capture students' lunch trays before and after they exited the lunch line. It is also one of the first to compare fruit ...

The catch of the day: Fishing for research data at the Museum of Science

The catch of the day: Fishing for research data at the Museum of Science
2015-08-25
People of all ages recently lined up to do some fishing at the Museum of Science in Boston. And oddly, the fish they hoped to hook were not good ones. Museum goers were invited to play "Fish Police!!" is a video game that challenged players to rid a river of its bad fish, while sparing its good ones. The catch? All the fish looked exactly alike, and could be told apart only by the way a fish puffed in size: a bad fish puffed just a little faster. After all, it was nervous that it would be caught. The game's premise may sound a little fishy, but it has helped a team ...

Mental visual imaging training improves multiple sclerosis patients' well-being

2015-08-25
Amsterdam, NL, August 25, 2015 - Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS), the most common form of the disease, often have deficits in two neuropsychological functions, autobiographical memory (AM) and episodic future thinking (EFT), which impact quality of life. In a new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers report that training RR-MS patients in mental visual imagery (MVI) can improve AM/EFT functioning. AM facilitates the ability to remember personal detailed events within a specific location and timeframe. EFT enables ...

Predicting who will murder his wife or his family

2015-08-25
Murderers who kill intimate partners and family members have a similar profile One-third of all women murdered in U.S. are killed by male partners Wives and family members wrongly think 'my husband or son would never hurt me' CHICAGO --- Murderers who kill intimate partners and family members have a significantly different psychological and forensic profile from murderers who kill people they don't know, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study that examined the demographics, psychiatric history and neuropsychology of these individuals. The new knowledge about ...

Promising target for new drugs found in pancreatic cancer cells

Promising target for new drugs found in pancreatic cancer cells
2015-08-25
HOUSTON, August 25, 2015 - Pancreatic cancer is extremely deadly and often has a poor prognosis. Ranked as the fourth deadliest cancer in the U.S. and poised to move up within the next few years, pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect in its early stages. Seldom diagnosed early and typically spreading rapidly, the disease has no effective treatment once it advances. University of Houston researchers are on a mission to develop drugs that will allow physicians to prolong patient survival and, possibly, even eradicate this deadliest of cancers. "Our research ...

Effect of physical activity, nutrient supplementation interventions on cognition

2015-08-25
Two studies in the August 25 issue of JAMA examine the effect of physical activity and nutrient supplementation on cognitive function. In one study, Kaycee M. Sink, M.D., M.A.S., of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues evaluated whether a 24-month physical activity program would result in better cognitive function, lower risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, or both, compared with a health education program. Epidemiological evidence suggests that physical activity is associated with lower rates of cognitive decline. ...

Misconduct-related separation from the military linked with risk of being homeless

2015-08-25
Among U.S. veterans who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, being separated from the military for misconduct was associated with an increased risk of homelessness, according to a study in the August 25 issue of JAMA. Adi V. Gundlapalli, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., of the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, and colleagues analyzed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data from U.S. active-duty military service members who were separated (end date of last deployment) from the military between October 2001 and December 2011, deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq, and ...
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