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Pregnant mothers influence fetal growth through genetics rather than maternal height

2015-08-18
Transmitted genes, rather than growth limitations caused by actual differences in maternal height, are the key means by which a mother's height influences her baby's birth weight and length, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The report from Ge Zhang and Louis Muglia of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative and colleagues does, however, suggest that maternal height can directly mediate duration of gestation. Compared to tall mothers, short mothers tend to deliver ...

Shorter women have shorter pregnancies

2015-08-18
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 18, 2015 - Shorter mothers have shorter pregnancies, smaller babies, and higher risk for a preterm birth. New research has found that a mother's height directly influences her risk for preterm birth. Investigators at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center Ohio Collaborative looked at 3,485 Nordic women and their babies, and found that maternal height, which is determined by genetic factors, helped shape the fetal environment, influencing the length of pregnancy and frequency of prematurity. In contrast, birth length and birth weight ...

Hot chilli may unlock a new treatment for obesity

2015-08-18
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered a high-fat diet may impair important receptors located in the stomach that signal fullness. Published today* in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the University's Centre for Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Diseases (based at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) investigated the association between hot chilli pepper receptors (TRPV1) in the stomach and the feeling of fullness, in laboratory studies. "The stomach stretches when it is full, which activates nerves in the stomach to tell the ...

The Tree of Life may be a bush

2015-08-18
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a 'tree of life', where every branch constitutes a species. Now, researchers at Uppsala University have found that evolution is more complex than this model would have it, and that the tree is actually more akin to a bush. Less than a year ago, a consortium of some hundred researchers reported that the relationship between all major bird clades had been mapped out by analysing the complete genome of around 50 bird species. This included ...

Complete resection of high-grade brain cancer yields better survival in children -- especially girls

2015-08-18
August 18, 2015 - For children with aggressive brain cancers called high-grade gliomas (HGG), the chances of survival are improved when surgery is successful in eliminating all visible cancer, reports a study in the September issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. In addition to showing better survival with gross total resection (GTR) for children with HGG, the results suggest that this survival benefit is greater in girls compared to boys with HGG. The study provides "compelling evidence ...

Women choose contraception based on relationships not just pregnancy desires

2015-08-18
Women's contraceptive choices are more often driven by current relationships and sexual activity than by long-term pregnancy intentions, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Cynthia H. Chuang, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences and Carol S. Weisman, Distinguished Professor of Public Health Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology and colleagues surveyed nearly 1,000 women in Pennsylvania, all with private health insurance covering prescription contraception, on their contraception use -- including prescription and over-the-counter ...

Cell phones help track of flu on campus

2015-08-18
DURHAM, N.C. -- New methods for analyzing personal health and lifestyle data captured through wearable devices or smartphone apps can help identify college students at risk of catching the flu, say researchers at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. With help from a mobile app that monitors who students interact with and when, epidemiologist Allison Aiello of UNC and statistician Katherine Heller of Duke have developed a model that enables them to predict the spread of influenza from one person to the next over time. Unlike most infection ...

Engineers identify how to keep surfaces dry underwater

2015-08-18
Imagine staying dry underwater for months. Now Northwestern University engineers have examined a wide variety of surfaces that can do just that -- and, better yet, they know why. The research team is the first to identify the ideal "roughness" needed in the texture of a surface to keep it dry for a long period of time when submerged in water. The valleys in the surface roughness typically need to be less than one micron in width, the researchers found. That's really small -- less than one millionth of a meter -- but these nanoscopic valleys have macroscopic impact. Understanding ...

UC Davis team finds early inflammatory response paralyzes T cells

2015-08-18
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- In a discovery that is likely to rewrite immunology text books, researchers at UC Davis have found that early exposure to inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 2, can "paralyze" CD4 T cells, immune components that help orchestrate the body's response to pathogens and other invaders. This mechanism may act as a firewall, shutting down the immune response before it gets out of hand. However, from a clinical standpoint, this discovery could lead to more effective cancer immunotherapies, better drugs for autoimmune conditions and new ways to ...

How an emerging anti-resistance antibiotic targets the bacterial membrane

How an emerging anti-resistance antibiotic targets the bacterial membrane
2015-08-18
Scientists are planning for a future in which superbugs gain the upper hand against our current arsenal of antibiotics. One emerging class of drug candidates, called AMLPs (antimicrobial lipopeptides), shows promise, and an August 18 study in the Biophysical Journal explains why: they selectively kill bacterial cells, while sparing mammalian host cells, by clumping together into microscopic balls that stick to the bacterial membrane--a complex structure that will be slower to mutate and thus resist drugs. "The pressing need for novel antibiotics against resistant strains ...

Cascadia initiative to monitor Northwest Pacific seismic risks

Cascadia initiative to monitor Northwest Pacific seismic risks
2015-08-18
SAN FRANCISCO--Early data coming in from a massive, four-year deployment of seismometers onshore and offshore in the Pacific Northwest are giving scientists a clearer picture of the Cascadia subduction zone, a region with a past and potential future of devastating "megathrust" earthquakes. The preliminary results from the Cascadia Initiative include a report of previously undetected, small earthquakes offshore, and seismic imaging that reveals new offshore structures at the subduction zone. The reports, published as a focus section in the September-October 2015 issue ...

To what extent are condoms responsible for erection difficulties?

2015-08-18
Research indicates that the use of condoms may cause some men to experience erection difficulties. However, in a study of 479 heterosexual men who used condoms and were 18 to 24 years old, those who reported condom-associated erection problems were also more likely to experience more generalized erection difficulties. Investigators also found that more than one-third of participants had never been taught how to use a condom correctly. Clinicians should assess whether men using condoms experience condom-associated erection problems and where appropriate, make referrals ...

Liver problems will likely increase in adults

2015-08-18
Liver diseases affect hundreds of millions of people and cause significant illness and death. A new study indicates that liver scarring (or fibrosis), which can ultimately lead to liver failure, is fairly common. It was present in 5.6% of adults in the Rotterdam Study, a population-based study among individuals in a suburb of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who were ?45 years old. It was especially prevalent in individuals with diabetes or steatosis, the latter of which occurs when fat cells infiltrate the liver. "In the context of an aging population and an increasing prevalence ...

Oral contraceptives may impact aspects of arthritis in women

2015-08-18
New research indicates that use of oral contraceptives may provide benefits for women with inflammatory arthritis. Among 273 women with early inflammatory arthritis, women who had used oral contraceptives in the past and those who were currently using them reported fewer problems related to how well they can function, their mood, and how active their disease is. The findings are published in Arthritis Care & Research. INFORMATION: ...

Long-term brain changes persist years after drug abuse and recovery

2015-08-18
It's known that brain changes are present in drug addicts even when they have been abstinent for a short period of time. Now new research shows that alterations persist in long-term abstinent heroin-depended individuals as well. Through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, investigators analyzed the brains of 30 heroin-addicted individuals after a long period of abstinence (more than 3 years) and compared the results with those of 30 healthy controls. The team found that in the former heroin users, there was significant dysfunctional activity in the nucleus ...

NASA's Terra satellite sees birth of Atlantic Tropical Depression 4

NASAs Terra satellite sees birth of Atlantic Tropical Depression 4
2015-08-18
The fourth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season formed today, August 18, 2015 as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead. On Aug. 18 at 8:45 a.m. EDT the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of newborn Tropical Depression 4 in the central Atlantic Ocean. The image showed thunderstorms banding around the center of circulation in all quadrants except the northwest. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) also uses measurements from the Advanced Scatterometer or ASCAT instrument ...

Suomi NPP satellite sees Typhoon Goni's strongest sides

Suomi NPP satellite sees Typhoon Gonis strongest sides
2015-08-18
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Typhoon Goni and gathered infrared data that helped identify the strongest part of the storm as the south and eastern quadrants. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi satellite captured an infrared image of Goni on August 18 at 4:18 UTC (12:18 a.m. EDT) that showed the strongest thunderstorms with the coldest cloud top temperatures (near -63F/-53C) were in the eastern and southern quadrants. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted that animated enhanced infrared satellite ...

UCI, NASA researchers find link between Amazon fire risk, devastating hurricanes

2015-08-18
Irvine, Calif., Aug. 18, 2015 - Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and NASA have uncovered a remarkably strong link between high wildfire risk in the Amazon basin and the devastating hurricanes that ravage North Atlantic shorelines. The climate scientists' findings appear in the journal Geophysical Research Letters near the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's calamitous August 2005 landfall at New Orleans. "Hurricane Katrina is indeed part of this story," said James Randerson, Chancellor's Professor of Earth system science at UCI and senior author ...

Five reasons why sugar is added to food

2015-08-18
CHICAGO--From a food science and technology perspective, sugar (sucrose) plays several roles when it comes to the functional properties in food. In the September issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), authors from the University of Minnesota write about the functional properties of sugar and why they are often added to foods. 1. Taste: Sweetness improves the palatability of many foods. Adding sugar to foods with high nutrient quality may increase the chance they are consumed. In addition, ...

Edible coatings may increase quality and shelf life of strawberries

2015-08-18
Strawberries are one of the most economically important fruits worldwide but are easily susceptible to bruising and are highly perishable. A new study in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) found that edible active coatings (EACs) based on pectin, pullulan and chitosan may improve quality and shelf life of strawberries. Edible coatings protect perishable food products from deterioration and act as a protective cover (Atress, 2010). Pectin is present in the cell walls of many fruits and vegetables; chitosan ...

Biophysics: Formation of swarms in nanosystems

2015-08-18
One of the striking features of self-organization in biomolecular systems is the capacity of assemblies of filamentous particles for synchronous motion. Physicists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich now provide new insights into how such movements are coordinated. Living matter, which consists largely of diverse polymeric structures assembled from various types of subunits, often exhibits striking behaviors, such as a capacity for self-organization and active motion. On an organismic scale, this type of collective motion is exemplified by the synchronous ...

Fossil study: Dogs evolved with climate change

Fossil study: Dogs evolved with climate change
2015-08-18
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Old dogs can teach humans new things about evolution. In Nature Communications a new study of North American dog fossils as old as 40 million years suggests that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change. "It's reinforcing the idea that predators may be as directly sensitive to climate and habitat as herbivores," said Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Brown University, who worked with lead author Borja Figueirido, a former Brown Fulbright postdoctoral ...

Stanford scientists say e-cigarettes could have health impacts in developing world

2015-08-18
Most of the debate around e-cigarettes has focused on the developed world, but the devices are becoming more widely available in some low- and middle-income countries, where there is even greater potential for impact on public health, say two Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. "People don't think e-cigarettes will reach the developing world. But they are already being produced in developing countries, and they are cheap. People know they are available," said Andrew Chang, MD, a resident in internal medicine who focuses on global health. Chang and Michele ...

Teens who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to begin smoking

2015-08-18
Among high school students in Los Angeles, those who had ever used electronic cigarettes were more likely to report initiation of smokable ("combustible") tobacco (such as cigarettes, cigars, and hookah) use over the next year compared with nonusers, according to a study in the August 18 issue of JAMA. Combustible tobacco, which has well-known health consequences, has long been the most common nicotine-delivering product used. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which are devices that deliver inhaled aerosol usually containing nicotine, are becoming increasingly popular, ...

Drug helps patients with diabetes lose weight

2015-08-18
Among overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes, daily injection of the diabetes drug liraglutide with a modified insulin pen device, in addition to diet and exercise, resulted in greater weight loss over 56 weeks compared with placebo, according to a study in the August 18 issue of JAMA. Obesity is a chronic disease and a significant global health challenge. Weight loss is recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes. Moderate weight loss (5 percent-10 percent) can improve glycemic control and other cardiometabolic risk factors and disorders. Weight loss is ...
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