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UMD-led study identifies the off switch for biofilm formation

UMD-led study identifies the off switch for biofilm formation
2015-08-24
Bacteria are best known as free-living single cells, but in reality their lives are much more complex. To survive in harsh environments, many species of bacteria will band together and form a biofilm--a collection of cells held together by a tough web of fibers that offers protection from all manner of threats, including antibiotics. A familiar biofilm is the dental plaque that forms on teeth between brushings, but biofilms can form almost anywhere given the right conditions. Biofilms are a huge problem in the health care industry. When disease-causing bacteria establish ...

Personal clothing may spread respiratory infections within the NICU

2015-08-24
Atlanta, GA - August 24, 2015 - Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the leading cause of childhood respiratory hospitalizations among premature babies, can be detected from the clothes worn by caregivers/visitors who are visiting infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to research being presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia. "The aim of this study was to identify potential sources of transmission of RSV in the NICU to better inform infection control strategies," said Dr. Nusrat ...

Is MERS another SARS: The facts behind Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

2015-08-24
Atlanta, GA - August 24, 2015 - Experts show that while Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), a viral respiratory illness, is infecting less people, it has a higher mortality rate and affects a specific target population when compared to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). This research is being presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia. "The research conducted in this study focuses on understanding what population of individuals are most likely to become infected by MERS-CoV, compared to the population ...

Entomologists sniff out new stink bug to help soybean farmers control damage

Entomologists sniff out new stink bug to help soybean farmers control damage
2015-08-24
BEAUMONT -- Entomologists in Texas got a whiff of a new stink bug doing economic damage to soybeans in Texas and are developing ways to help farmers combat it, according to a report in the journal Environmental Entomology. Various types of stink bugs have long been a problem on soybean crops, but when sweeps of fields in southeast Texas netted 65 percent redbanded stink bugs, entomologists realized this particular bug had become the predominant pest problem, according to Dr. Mo Way, an entomologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Beaumont. The ...

Humans carry more antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals they work with

2015-08-24
Philadelphia, PA, August 24, 2015 - Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a concern for the health and well-being of both humans and farm animals. One of the most common and costly diseases faced by the dairy industry is bovine mastitis, a potentially fatal bacterial inflammation of the mammary gland (IMI). Widespread use of antibiotics to treat the disease is often blamed for generating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, researchers investigating staphylococcal populations responsible for causing mastitis in dairy cows in South Africa found that humans carried more antibiotic-resistant ...

Promising class of new cancer drugs might cause memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs might cause memory loss in mice
2015-08-24
Cancer researchers are constantly in search of more-effective and less-toxic approaches to stopping the disease, and have recently launched clinical trials testing a new class of drugs called BET inhibitors. These therapies act on a group of proteins that help regulate the expression of many genes, some of which play a role in cancer. New findings from The Rockefeller University suggest that the original version of BET inhibitors causes molecular changes in mouse neurons, and can lead to memory loss in mice that receive it. Published in Nature Neuroscience on August ...

Compound found in red wine causes conflicting changes in dogs' immune systems

Compound found in red wine causes conflicting changes in dogs immune systems
2015-08-24
Resveratrol, a compound found commonly in grape skins and red wine, has been shown to have several potentially beneficial effects on health, including cardiovascular health, stroke prevention and cancer treatments. However, scientists do not yet fully understand how the chemical works and whether or not it can be used for treatment of diseases in humans and animals. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that resveratrol does affect the immune systems of dogs in different ways when introduced to dogs' blood. Sandra Axiak-Bechtel, an assistant professor ...

Penn/Baylor Med study describes underlying cause of diabetes in dogs

2015-08-24
In a new effort, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Baylor College of Medicine have used advanced imaging technology to fill in details about the underlying cause of canine diabetes, which until now has been little understood. For the first time, they've precisely quantified the dramatic loss of insulin-producing beta cells in dogs with the disease and compared it to the loss observed in people with type I diabetes. "The architecture of the canine pancreas has never been studied in the detail that we have done in this paper," said Rebecka Hess, professor ...

Study finds black bears in Yosemite forage primarily on plants and nuts

2015-08-24
Black bears in Yosemite National Park that don't seek out human foods subsist primarily on plants and nuts, according to a study conducted by biologists at UC San Diego who also found that ants and other sources of animal protein, such as mule deer, make up only a small fraction of the bears' annual diet. Their study, published in this week's early online edition of the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, might surprise bear ecologists and conservationists who had long assumed that black bears in the Sierra Nevada rely on lots of protein from ants and other insects ...

Similar outcomes for mothers and babies at low risk delivered by FPs and obstetricians

2015-08-24
For pregnant women who are at low risk of complications giving birth, the risk of newborn death and maternal complications is similar for obstetric deliveries by family physicians and obstetricians, according to a large study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). "It is common to assume that more specialized or higher-volume medical care will result in improved outcomes," writes Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler with the Primary Healthcare Research Unit, Discipline of Family Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland. "The obstetric ...

Reducing pain during vaccination: New guideline to help manage pain in children and adults

2015-08-24
A new Canadian guideline aims to ensure that pain during vaccination is minimized in both children and adults. The guideline, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), is targeted at all health care providers who administer vaccines. "Pain from vaccinations is common and can make people hesitate about getting future vaccines even as adults," states Dr. Anna Taddio, Senior Associate Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Ontario, and Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. "This can put people at risk of contracting ...

Women in mostly male workplaces exhibit psychological stress response

2015-08-24
Today's workforce is highly sex-segregated -- for example, most elementary school teachers are women, while most chemistry professors are men. Indiana University Bloomington researchers Bianca Manago, a doctoral student in sociology, and Cate Taylor, an assistant professor of sociology and gender studies, examine one important consequence of this occupational sex segregation: the stress exposure of women working in highly male-dominated occupations. "We find that such women are more likely to experience exposure to high levels of interpersonal, workplace stressors," Manago ...

Voter ID law effects hard to pinpoint

2015-08-24
Indiana's strict voter identification law may have prevented some elderly citizens from voting in the last two presidential elections, but there's little evidence it kept large numbers of voters from the polls, according to research by Indiana University Bloomington doctoral student Adam Nicholson. Nicholson compared turnout figures in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 elections in Indiana and in Nebraska and Pennsylvania, two states without voter ID laws. Unlike most previous research on voter identification laws, the study examined data at the county level, not the state ...

Influenza vaccines provide moderate protection throughout the entire flu season

2015-08-24
Atlanta, GA - August 24, 2015 - Individuals who received the flu vaccine were protected for up to 6 months post-vaccination, the duration of most flu seasons, according to a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Each flu season, researchers work to find out how effective the flu vaccine was in order to measure its value as a health intervention. Factors such as age and health of an individual, as well the level of similarity between the flu virus and the flu vaccine can play a role in how well an influenza vaccine works. "Few ...

Climate impacts on marine biodiversity

Climate impacts on marine biodiversity
2015-08-24
New research into the impact of climate change has found that warming oceans will cause profound changes in the global distribution of marine biodiversity. In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change an international research team modelled the impacts of a changing climate on the distribution of almost 13 thousand marine species, more than twelve times as many species as previously studied. The study found that a rapidly warming climate would cause many species to expand into new regions, which would impact on native species, while others with restricted ...

New research sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

2015-08-24
The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published by scientists from the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience today (24 August 2015). The researchers also found that the constant advance and retreat of ice during this period was caused by the Earth wobbling on its axis. These ice ages are explained by a theory of Snowball Earth, which says that they represent the most ...

Mayo Clinic researchers find new code that makes reprogramming of cancer cells possible

2015-08-24
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Cancer researchers dream of the day they can force tumor cells to morph back to the normal cells they once were. Now, researchers on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus have discovered a way to potentially reprogram cancer cells back to normalcy. The finding, published in Nature Cell Biology, represents "an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer," says the study's senior investigator, Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. That code was unraveled ...

Diversity in graduate medical education; women majority in 7 specialties in 2012

2015-08-24
Women accounted for the majority of graduate medical education (GME) trainees in seven specialties in 2012 but in no specialties were the percentages of black or Hispanic trainees comparable with the representation of these groups in the U.S. population, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Diversifying the physician workforce in the United States is an ongoing goal. Curtiland Deville, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and coauthors used publicly reported data to assess the representation of women and historically underrepresented ...

Primary prevention use of statins increases among the oldest old

2015-08-24
The use of statins for primary prevention in patients without vascular disease older than 79 increased between 1999 and 2012, although there is little randomized evidence to guide the use of these cholesterol-lowering medications in this patient population, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Michael E. Johansen, M.D., M.S., of Ohio State University, Columbus, and Lee A. Green, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Alberta, Canada, investigated the use of statins among this population by vascular disease because the very elderly have ...

Stopping antihypertensive therapy in older patients did not improve functioning

2015-08-24
Discontinuing antihypertensive therapy for patients 75 or older with mild cognitive deficits did not improve short-term cognitive, psychological or general daily functioning, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Midlife high blood pressure is a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease. However, the effect of late-life blood pressure on cognition is less clear. Some studies have suggested that late in life, it is lower, rather than higher blood pressure, that increases the risk for cognitive decline. Justine E. F. Moonen, M.D., of Leiden ...

Association between transient newborn hypoglycemia, 4th grade achievement

2015-08-24
A study matching newborn glucose concentration screening results with fourth-grade achievement test scores suggests that early transient newborn hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) was associated with lower test scores at age 10, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics. At birth, the continuous utero-placental-umbilical infusion of glucose ends and reaches the lowest values during the first couple of hours. The newborn brain principally uses glucose for energy and prolonged hypoglycemia has been associated with poor long-term neurodevelopment and neurocognition. ...

A little light interaction leaves quantum physicists beaming

A little light interaction leaves quantum physicists beaming
2015-08-24
TORONTO, ON - A team of physicists at the University of Toronto (U of T) have taken a step toward making the essential building block of quantum computers out of pure light. Their advance, described in a paper published this week in Nature Physics, has to do with a specific part of computer circuitry known as a "logic gate." Logic gates perform operations on input data to create new outputs. In classical computers, logic gates take the form of diodes or transistors. But quantum computer components are made from individual atoms and subatomic particles. Information processing ...

Scientists show how exposure to brief trauma and sudden sounds form lasting memories

2015-08-24
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found how even brief exposure to sudden sounds or mild trauma can form permanent, long-term brain connections, or memories, in a specific region of the brain. Moreover, the research team, working with rats, says it was able to chemically stimulate those biological pathways in the locus coeruleus -- the area of the brain best known for releasing the "fight or flight" hormone noradrenaline -- to heighten and improve the animals' hearing. The NYU team says their new study, summarized in the cover article in the journal Nature ...

Record high pressure squeezes secrets out of osmium

Record high pressure squeezes secrets out of osmium
2015-08-24
This news release is available in German. An international team of scientists led by the University of Bayreuth and with participation of DESY has created the highest static pressure ever achieved in a lab: Using a special high pressure device, the researchers investigated the behaviour of the metal osmium at pressures of up to 770 Gigapascals (GPa) - more than twice the pressure in the inner core of the Earth, and about 130 Gigapascals higher than the previous world record set by members of the same team. Surprisingly, osmium does not change its crystal structure ...

Giving pharmacists the power to combat opioid overdoses

2015-08-24
BOSTON -- In response to the growing opioid crisis, several states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have granted pharmacists the authority to provide naloxone rescue kits without a prescription to at-risk patients. This model of pharmacy-based naloxone (PBN) education and distribution is one of the public health strategies currently being evaluated at hundreds of pharmacies in both states to determine the impact on opioid overdose death rates. Led by researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC), Rhode Island Hospital, and the University of Rhode Island College ...
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