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Little historical evidence to support cutting global health aid during recessions

2011-02-28
Boston, MA – The World Bank and World Health Organization have voiced fears that policymakers will break their commitments to support desperately needed global health services in low- and middle-income countries because of the ongoing global economic downturn. Yet, according to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, there is surprisingly little historical evidence to justify reversing these commitments. "In order to achieve a sustainable economic recovery, governments must first take care of people's most basic health needs," said David Stuckler, assistant ...

Quick, easy test identifies aggressive type of lung cancer in never-smokers

2011-02-28
An inexpensive and rapid testing method can effectively identify a sub-group of never-smoking lung cancer patients whose tumors express a molecule associated with increased risk of disease progression or recurrence, US researchers have found. Dr Ping Yang from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, and colleagues, reported the findings at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO), 24-26 February 2011, Lugano, Switzerland. Approximately 8% - 12% of patients with lung adenocarcinoma who have never smoked cigarettes carry tumors that express a protein ...

Oncogene AEG-1 strongly predicts response to erlotinib treatment in EGFR-mutant lung cancer

2011-02-28
Spanish researchers have identified a gene whose expression level strongly predicts how well certain lung cancer patients will respond to treatment with the drug erlotinib. Dr Rafael Rosell and colleagues reported their findings at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO), 24-26 February 2011 in Lugano, Switzerland. The researchers studied 55 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, whose tumors had mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. All were being treated with the drug erlotinib, which acts on the EGFR molecule. "Currently ...

Bone drug zoledronic acid may help prevent spread of early lung cancer

2011-02-28
A drug that is currently used to help treat bone metastases in patients with lung cancer could also be useful at an earlier stage of treatment, to prevent the cancer from spreading in the first place, Italian researchers have found. Dr Michela Quirino and colleagues from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome have reported important new evidence that zoledronic acid may be able to prevent lung cancer metastases from recruiting the new blood vessels they need to survive. This process of recruiting new blood vessels is called angiogenesis. "Our investigation ...

Brain imaging provides window into consciousness

2011-02-28
NEW YORK (Feb. 25, 2011) -- Using a sophisticated imaging test to probe for higher-level cognitive functioning in severely brain-injured patients provides a window into consciousness -- but the view it presents is one that is blurred in fascinating ways, say researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Feb. 25 online edition of the journal Brain. In a novel study of six patients ranging in their function from minimally conscious state to the locked-in syndrome (normal cognitive function with severe motor impairment), the researchers looked at how the brains of ...

Adverse drug events costly to health care system: Vancouver Coastal Health-UBC research

2011-02-28
Patients who suffer an adverse medical event arising from the use or misuse of medications are more costly to the health care system than other emergency department (ED) patients, say physicians and research scientists at Vancouver General Hospital and UBC. Their research, the first to examine the health outcomes and cost of patient care for patients presenting to the ED with adverse drug events, is published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The research team, led by Dr. Corinne Hohl, emergency physician at Vancouver General Hospital and research scientist with ...

Scientists find increase in microearthquakes after Chilean quake

2011-02-28
By studying seismographs from the earthquake that hit Chile last February, earth scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found a statistically significant increase of microearthquakes in central California in the first few hours after the main shock. The observation provides an additional support that seismic waves from distant earthquakes could also trigger seismic events on the other side of the earth. The results may be found online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It has been well known that microearthquakes can be triggered instantaneously ...

New study shows marine 'networks' can protect fish stocks

New study shows marine networks can protect fish stocks
2011-02-28
MIAMI -- University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science faculty were part of an international scientific team to show that strong links between the corals reefs of the South China Sea, West Pacific and Coral Triangle hold the key to preserving fish and marine resources in the Asia-Pacific region. Rosenstiel School researchers Drs. Claire Paris and Robert Cowen and colleagues from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and University of California - Los Angeles, have established that the richest marine region ...

Listening to music is biological

2011-02-28
Music is listened in all known cultures. Similarities between human and animal song have been detected: both contain a message, an intention that reflects innate emotional state that is interpreted correctly even among different species. In fact, several behavioral features in listening to music are closely related to attachment: lullabies are song to infants to increase their attachment to a parent, and singing or playing music together is based on teamwork and may add group cohesion. In the study of University of Helsinki and Sibelius-Academy, Helsinki, the biological ...

Happy children make happy adults

2011-02-28
Being a 'happy' teenager is linked to increased well-being in adulthood, new research finds. Much is known about the associations between a troubled childhood and mental health problems, but little research has examined the affect of a positive childhood. For the first time, researchers from the University of Cambridge and the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing have analysed the link between a positive adolescence and well-being in midlife. Using information from 2776 individuals who participated in the 1946 British birth cohort study, the scientists tested ...

Heparin a key role player in allergy and inflammatory reactions

2011-02-28
Heparin plays a key role in allergic and inflammatory reactions driven by mast cells, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows in an international collaboration involving colleagues from Germany and Switzerland. The study is published in the recent issue of Immunity, and sheds some new light on the biological function of heparin. Heparin has a long history at Karolinska Institutet, since here the substance was originally purified and its chemical structure was characterized back in 1935 by Professor Erik Jorpes. Knowing about the therapeutic implications ...

Researchers have found how brain cells control their movement to form the cerebral cortex

2011-02-28
A study led by Academy Research Fellow Eleanor Coffey identifies new players that put the brakes on. They show in mice that lack the star player "JNK1", that newborn neurons spend less time in the multipolar stage, which is when the cells prepare for subsequent expedition, possibly choosing the route to be taken. Having hurried through this stage, they move off at high speed to reach their final destinations in the cortex days earlier and less precisely than in a normal mouse. The results of their study are published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience. Incorrect ...

Guidelines and reality

2011-02-28
Whether doctors have knowledge of guidelines or not appears to be unsuitable as an indicator of how guidelines are being put into practice in the clinical routine. Taking the case of treatment by primary care physicians of three target diseases – hypertension, heart failure, and chronic coronary heart disease – in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 108(5) 61-9) Ute Karbach and her coauthors investigate the relationship for physicians between knowing the guidelines and acting in compliance with them. Data on 437 physicians' ...

Planning and visualization lead to better food habits

2011-02-28
If you want to improve the way you eat, the best way to do so is to both make an action plan and visualize yourself carrying it out, according to McGill researchers. "Telling people to just change the way they eat doesn't work; we've known that for a while," says Bärbel Knäuper of McGill's Department of Psychology."But research has shown that if people make a concrete plan about what they are going to do, they are better at acting on their intentions. What we've done that's new is to add visualization techniques to the action plan." In a study recently published in ...

TCD scientists discover that self-eating cells safeguard against cancer

2011-02-28
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made an important discovery concerning how fledgling cancer cells self-destruct, which has the potential of impacting on future cancer therapies. The Trinity research group, led by Smurfit Professor of Medical Genetics, Professor Seamus Martin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has just published their findings in the internationally renowned journal, Molecular Cell. Professor Martin's team has discovered how a process called 'autophagy' – which literally means 'self-eating' – plays an important role in safeguarding against ...

Direct electronic readout of 'artificial atoms'

Direct electronic readout of artificial atoms
2011-02-28
Through his participation, the research team from Bochum, Duisburg-Essen, and Hamburg now has succeeded in an energy-state occupancy readout of those artificial atoms – using common interfaces to classic computers. This is a big step towards the application of such systems. They report about their findings in Nature Communications. One million instead of individual atoms In principle, the spin of electrons in individual atoms can be read-out, but the minuteness of the signals and the difficulty of localising individual atoms limit this technology to highly specialised ...

HIV makes protein that may help virus's resurgence

2011-02-28
New research enhances the current knowledge of how human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), which causes AIDS, controls the cell cycle of cells that it infects. The new findings may shed light on how the virus reactivates after entering a dormant state, called latency. "As we better understand the biological events that revive HIV from latency, we hope to devise ways to eventually intervene in this process with better treatments for people with HIV infection," said study leader Terri H. Finkel, M.D., Ph.D., chief of Rheumatology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Finkel ...

Bamiyan Buddhas once glowed in red, white and blue

Bamiyan Buddhas once glowed in red, white and blue
2011-02-28
This release is available in Spanish, French and German. The world watched in horror as Taliban fanatics ten years ago blew up the two gigantic Buddha statues that had since the 6th century looked out over the Bamiyan Valley in what is now Afghanistan. Located on the Silk Road, until the 10th century the 55 and 38 meter tall works of art formed the centerpiece of one of the world's largest Buddhist monastic complexes. Thousands of monks tended countless shrines in the niches and caves that pierced a kilometer-long cliff face. Since the suppression of the Taliban ...

New study finds molecular mechanisms that control Rb2/p130 gene expression in lung cancer

2011-02-28
Despite innumerable studies on lung cancer, many aspects of the disease have yet to be understood, including the role played by the retinoblastoma-related protein Rb2/p130 in the evolution of the disease. In a new study, researchers from the Sbarro Health Research Organization Center for Biotechnology Research (SHRO), a cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes research center located in the College of Science and Technology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and at the University of Siena in Siena, Italy examined mechanisms that control Rb2/p130 gene expression in ...

Hashimoto's thyroiditis can affect quality of life

Hashimotos thyroiditis can affect quality of life
2011-02-28
New Rochelle, NY, February 25, 2011—Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), an inflammatory disorder of the thyroid, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, but a study has suggested that even when thyroid function is normal, HT may increase symptoms and decrease quality of life, as described in an article in Thyroid, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). Thyroid is the Official Journal of the American Thyroid Association (ATA). The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/thy Hashimoto's thyroiditis most commonly affects ...

Staring contests are automatic: People lock eyes to establish dominance

2011-02-28
Imagine that you're in a bar and you accidentally knock over your neighbor's beer. He turns around and stares at you, looking for confrontation. Do you buy him a new drink, or do you try to outstare him to make him back off? New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that the dominance behavior exhibited by staring someone down can be reflexive. Our primate relatives certainly get into dominance battles; they mostly resolve the dominance hierarchy not through fighting, but through staring contests. ...

Scientists find a new way insulin-producing cells die

2011-02-28
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, U.S.A. (Feb. 25, 2011) — The death of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas is a core defect in diabetes. Scientists in Italy and Texas now have discovered a new way that these cells die — by toxic imbalance of a molecule secreted by other pancreatic cells. "Our study shows that neighboring cells called alpha cells can behave like adversaries for beta cells. This was an unexpected finding," said Franco Folli, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine/diabetes at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is co-lead author on the ...

Arctic environment during an ancient bout of natural global warming

Arctic environment during an ancient bout of natural global warming
2011-02-28
Scientists are unravelling the environmental changes that took place around the Arctic during an exceptional episode of ancient global warming. Newly published results from a high-resolution study of sediments collected on Spitsbergen represent a significant contribution to this endeavour. The study was led by Dr Ian Harding and Prof John Marshall of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES), based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Around 56 million years ago there was a period of global warming called the Paleocene–Eocene ...

Candid cameras give a chance to see wildlife as a scientist does

Candid cameras give a chance to see wildlife as a scientist does
2011-02-28
Researching animals in the wild can be challenging, especially if it involves a rare or elusive species like the giant panda or the clouded leopard. To remedy this, scientists rely heavily on camera traps—automated cameras with motion sensors. Left to photograph what passes in front of them, the cameras record the diversity and very often the behavior of animals around the world. The Smithsonian has brought together more than 202,000 wildlife photos from seven projects conducted by Smithsonian researchers and their colleagues into one searchable website, siwild.si.edu. ...

Study examines recurrent wound botulism in injection drug users

2011-02-28
Botulism is a rare disease and recurrent botulism even more rare. However, in California, recurrent wound botulism among injection drug users has been on the rise and makes up three-quarters of reported cases in the United States. A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and currently available online (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/02/07/cid.cir005.full) examines this problem. From 1993 through 2006, 17 injection drug users were identified within the surveillance system of the California Department of Public Health for having recurrent ...
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