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Cancer patient receives 3-D printed ribs

Cancer patient receives 3-D printed ribs
2015-09-11
After being diagnosed with a chest wall sarcoma, a 54-year-old Spanish man's surgical team made the decision to remove his sternum and a portion of his rib cage and replace it with an implant. The implant was designed and manufactured by medical device company, Anatomics, who utilised the CSIRO's 3D printing facility, Lab 22 in Melbourne, Australia. The surgical team, Dr José Aranda, Dr Marcelo Jimene and Dr Gonzalo Varela from Salamanca University Hospital, knew the surgery would be difficult due to the complicated geometries involved in the chest cavity. The ...

Wavelets improve medical imaging

2015-09-11
An approach to converting the data from MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines, mammograms and other medical equipment gives doctors a much clearer picture of your insides and a chance to detect disease and other problems earlier, according to research published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology. The technique known as the wavelet transform was first reported in 1910, but it was during the early 1990s that its applications in medicine and biomedical research first emerged and it is now reaching maturity as a technique to supplement ...

Sedentary lifestyle and overweight weaken arterial health already in childhood

2015-09-11
Arterial wall stiffness and reduced arterial dilation are the first signs of cardiovascular diseases that can be measured. The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study (PANIC) carried out in the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland shows that low levels of physical activity, weaker physical fitness and higher body fat content are linked to arterial stiffness already in 6-8 year-old children. The study sample included 160 children, and the findings were published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Physically active ...

Case Western Reserve scientists discover a genetic mechanism for cancer progression

2015-09-11
Genetics researchers from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine have identified a novel long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), dubbed DACOR1, that has the potential to stymie the growth of tumor cells in the second-most deadly form of cancer in the U.S. -- colorectal cancer. The researchers found that this lncRNA is present in cells of healthy colons, but becomes suppressed in those carrying the disease. More importantly, this lncRNA interacts with a key enzyme known as DNMT1 that has important functions in all healthy cells of the body. Thus, the authors applied a name to ...

UNC smart cells teach neurons damaged by Parkinson's to heal themselves

2015-09-11
As a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a healing protein to the brain while also teaching neurons to begin making the protein for themselves. The researchers, led by Elena Batrakova, an associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy's Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, genetically modified white blood cells called macrophages to produce glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF, and deliver it to the brain. Glial ...

Researchers identify 3 new fossil whale species of New Zealand

2015-09-11
University of Otago palaeontology researchers are continuing to rewrite the history of New Zealand's ancient whales by describing two further genera and three species of fossil baleen whales. They have named these newly described filter-feeding baleen whale species Waharoa ruwhenua, Tokarahia kauaeroa and re-identified Tokarahia lophocephalus, a poorly known species discovered in the 1950s. All are eomysticetids--a whale family occupying an important position in the evolutionary tree of cetaceans--and Tokarahia appears to be a transitional fossil between primitive ...

Fewer women getting minimally invasive hysterectomies since FDA guidelines

2015-09-11
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against using a minimally invasive method to treat fibroid tumors called power morcellation, there was a nearly quarter increase in hospital readmissions and 27 percent increase in major postoperative complications after hysterectomies in Michigan, a new University of Michigan study says. After the first FDA safety communication in April 2014, the percent of women receiving minimally invasive hysterectomies in a large Michigan database also went down by an absolute 1.7 percent decrease. The ...

Pressure to be cool and look good is detrimental to many children

2015-09-11
The pressure to be cool, look good and own the 'right stuff' is detrimental to many children and teenagers, according to new research by University of Sussex psychologists. The study shows that, while many young people buy into consumer culture believing it will make them feel better about themselves and help them to make friends, often the reverse happens. The result is a negative downward spiral, say the researchers, whereby those with low well-being turn to consumerist values, which impacts further still upon their state of mind. In a UK study of 1,000 children ...

Short lunch periods in schools linked with less healthy eating

2015-09-11
Boston, MA -- Students with less than 20 minutes to eat school lunches consume significantly less of their entrées, milk, and vegetables than those who aren't as rushed, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study will appear online Friday, September 11, 2015 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Many children, especially those from low-income families, rely on school meals for up to half their daily energy intake so it is essential that we give students a sufficient amount of time to eat their lunches," ...

African dams linked to over 1 million malaria cases annually

2015-09-11
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (11 September 2015)--Over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa will contract malaria this year because they live near a large dam, according to a new study which, for the first time, has correlated the location of large dams with the incidence of malaria and quantified impacts across the region. The study finds that construction of an expected 78 major new dams in sub-Saharan Africa over the next few years will lead to an additional 56,000 malaria cases annually. The research, published in this month's Malaria Journal, has major implications ...

Pressure to be available 24/7 on social media causes teen anxiety and depression

2015-09-11
The need to be constantly available and respond 24/7 on social media accounts can cause depression, anxiety and reduce sleep quality for teenagers says a study being presented today, Friday 11 September 2015, at a British Psychological Society conference in Manchester. The researchers, Dr Heather Cleland Woods and Holly Scott of the University of Glasgow, provided questionnaires for 467 teenagers regarding their overall and night-time specific social media use. A further set of tests measured sleep quality, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and emotional investment in ...

Replicating liver cells for fast drug testing

2015-09-11
Scientists have developed a new technique that produces a user friendly, low cost, tissue-engineered pseudo-organ. The chip-based model produces a faithful mimic of the in vivo liver inside a scalable fluid-handling device, demonstrating proof of principle for toxicology tests and opening up potential use in drug testing and personalised medicine. The results are published today, Friday 11th September, in the journal Biofabrication. The work was done by researchers based at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University ...

Using magnetic permeability to store information

2015-09-11
Scientists have made promising steps in developing a new magnetic memory technology, which is far less susceptible to corruption by magnetic fields or thermal exposure than conventional memory. The findings, which report the use of magnetic permeability - how easily a magnetic field will magnetize a material - are published today, Friday 11th September, in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. These findings open up a new approach to a variety of applications from high-density radiation hard memory suitable for space travel to more secure ID cards. In conventional ...

Eating a lot of fish may help curb depression risk -- at least in Europe

2015-09-11
Eating a lot of fish may help curb the risk of depression--at least in Europe--suggests a pooled analysis of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The association between a fishy diet and mental health appears to be equally significant among men and women, the first analysis of its kind indicates. Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide, and is projected to become the second leading cause of ill health by 2020. Several previous studies have looked at the possible role of dietary factors in ...

12+ hour hospital nursing shifts linked to increased risk of burnout and job dissatisfaction

2015-09-11
Working 12+ hour shifts is linked to a heightened risk of burnout, job dissatisfaction, and intention to leave among hospital nurses in 12 European countries, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open. The findings run counter to the perceived value among both nurses and employers of working longer shifts, which are increasingly common practice in England, Ireland, and Poland, say the researchers. Job satisfaction and burnout are global concerns in the nursing workforce, because of the potential impact they have not only on the quality and safety of patient ...

Avoidable risk factors take an increasing toll on health worldwide

2015-09-11
A wide range of avoidable risk factors to health - ranging from air pollution to poor diets to unsafe water - account for a growing number of deaths and a significant amount of disease burden, according to a new analysis of 79 risks in 188 countries. High blood pressure was the number-one individual risk factor associated with global deaths in 2013, contributing to 10.4 million deaths around the world that year. High blood pressure's impact on mortality grew by 49.1% between 1990 - when it was also the number-one global risk - and 2013. While this risk heavily impacts ...

Struggles with sleep may affect heart disease risk

2015-09-10
DALLAS, Sept. 10, 2015 -- Are you getting enough quality sleep? Are you sleeping longer than you should? Poor sleep habits may put you at higher risk for early signs of heart disease when compared to those who get adequate, good quality sleep, according to a study published in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. "Inadequate sleep is a common problem and a likely source of poor health, including visible signs of disease, such as heart attack," said Chan-Won Kim, M.D., study co-lead author and clinical associate professor ...

Gut bacteria may impact body weight, fat and good cholesterol levels

2015-09-10
DALLAS, Sept. 10, 2015 - For better cardiovascular health, check your gut. Bacteria living in your gut may impact your weight, fat and good cholesterol levels, factors necessary to help maintain a healthy heart, according to new research in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal. "Our study provides new evidence that microbes in the gut are strongly linked to the blood level of HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides and may be added as a new risk factor for abnormal blood lipids, in addition to age, gender, BMI and genetics," said Jingyuan Fu, Ph.D., ...

Watch out: If you've got a smart watch, hackers could get your data

Watch out: If youve got a smart watch, hackers could get your data
2015-09-10
They're the latest rage in jewelry and gadgetry, but like all computer devices, smart watches are vulnerable to hackers, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Using a homegrown app on a Samsung Gear Live smart watch, the researchers were able to guess what a user was typing through data "leaks" produced by the motion sensors on smart watches. The project, called Motion Leaks through Smartwatch Sensors, or MoLe, has privacy implications, as an app that is camouflaged as a pedometer, for example, could gather data from emails, search queries ...

Visual details released of recently discovered methane seep

2015-09-10
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have released details of a deep-sea site roughly 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Del Mar (just north of San Diego, Calif.) where methane is seeping out of the seafloor, the first such finding in the region. Scripps graduate students on a 2012 UC Ship Funds Program expedition aboard Scripps's research vessel Melville off San Diego County discovered the "Del Mar Seep" during the San Diego Coastal Expedition. Such methane seeps are fascinating environments because of their extraordinary chemical features, ...

Stanford scientists produce cancer drug from rare plant in lab

2015-09-10
Many of the drugs we take today to treat pain, fight cancer or thwart disease were originally identified in plants, some of which are endangered or hard to grow. In many cases, those plants are still the primary source of the drug. Now Elizabeth Sattely, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, and her graduate student Warren Lau have isolated the machinery for making a widely used cancer-fighting drug from an endangered plant. They then put that machinery into a common, easily grown laboratory plant, which was able to produce the chemical. The technique ...

UEA research shows revived oceanic CO2 uptake

UEA research shows revived oceanic CO2 uptake
2015-09-10
The Southern Ocean has begun to absorb more atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) according to new research from an international team, including the University of East Anglia. A decade ago scientists announced that the amount of CO2 being absorbed by the Southern Ocean had not increased since the late 1980s. And it was feared that this 'carbon sink' might have begun to saturate. But new research to be published tomorrow (Friday) in the journal Science reveals that rather than stalling, the amount of CO2 being absorbed is on the rise again. It is thought that changes ...

Rare plant reveals its recipe for potent chemotherapeutic agent

2015-09-10
This news release is available in Japanese. Inconveniently, the only current method to synthesize the chemotherapy agent etoposide is by using extracts from a plant, but researchers have successfully manipulated Nicotiana benthamiana (tobacco) to create a more immediate and potent precursor. Etoposide is a topoisomerase inhibitor used to treat a variety of malignancies, including lung cancer and leukemia. There is currently no way to produce etoposide without one of its precursors, podophyllotoxin, which is found in the slow-growing Himalayan Mayapple plant. Four ...

How can we address the gap between climate science and policy?

2015-09-10
This news release is available in Japanese. In this Policy Forum, Jonas Meckling et al. discuss the need to close the gap between climate science and policy, arguing that targeted policies and economic incentives are the answer, rather than broad carbon taxes. As policymakers convene at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December, pinpointing the best policies is critical for a more sustainable future. In theory carbon pricing poses as an efficient solution, but this has yet to be seen in practice. As the authors point out, carbon regulation imposes costs ...

Which patients will respond to melanoma immunotherapy?

2015-09-10
This news release is available in Japanese. Patients with metastatic melanoma who have benefited from a new type of cancer immunotherapy don't appear to share the same tumor-produced antigens, according to a new report by Eliezer Van Allen and colleagues. If the molecular targets for the immunotherapy differ from patient to patient, as this study suggests, it may be difficult to predict which patients will respond to the treatment. The drug, called ipilimumab, is part of a relatively new class of cancer treatments called immune checkpoint inhibitors. The inhibitors ...
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