Health Update

Bugs can convert drugs into deadly toxins

Bugs can convert drugs into deadly toxinsSydney, Dec 5 - Bugs can convert traces of drugs, present in sewage, into deadly toxins, especially during the water treatment process. The process mimics a similar transformation in the human gut, where drugs believed to be safe can be converted into toxic forms during metabolism.


Sauce tempts kids into eating more greens

Sauce tempts kids into eating more greensWashington, Dec 2 - You always knew that dressing up greens was the way to get finicky kids to eat healthy. Now a study quantifies just how much it helps. A study has found that offering 2.5 ounces of ranch dressing as a dip sauce increases broccoli consumption by 80 percent among children.

Ranch dressing is a mix of buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, mayonnaise, minced green onion, garlic powder, and other seasonings.


Proteins protect bones during weight loss dieting

Proteins protect bones during weight loss dietingToronto, Dec 1 - Eating protein-rich foods, especially dairy products, protect bones when overweight or obese young women try to shed weight through dieting, suggests a new study.

The study found bone health improvements were particularly evident due to the high density of bone-supporting nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and dairy-based protein.


IVF increases chances of pre-eclampsia by 40 percent

IVF increases chances of pre-eclampsia by 40 percentLondon, Oct 20 : A new research has claimed that IVF increases the chances of a potentially fatal pregnancy condition by almost 41 percent.

According to experts from US universities and research centres including the National Institutes of Health, data from six studies has found that the risk of pre-eclampsia was much higher in IVF pregnancies than among those conceived naturally, the Daily Express reported.


3 new faulty genes behind deadly skin cancer identified

3 new faulty genes behind deadly skin cancer identified London, Oct 10 : Scientists have uncovered three new genetic faults, which increase the risk of developing deadly skin cancer by 30 per cent.

It has long been known that people with fair skin, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair, a high number of moles, who burn easily and who have a family history of the disease are all at a significantly higher risk of contracting melanoma.


Myth: Video games sharpen brain

Myth: Video games sharpen brainWashington, Sep 16 : That playing video games makes the brain smarter and improves concentration might be a myth fostered by a host of studies.

"Despite the hype, in reality, there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all," said Walter Boot, assistant professor in psychology at Florida State University who led the study.


Why effect of cancer radiation therapy differs from person to person

 Why effect of cancer radiation therapy differs from person to personLondon, Sept 6 : A new study has revealed that the effect of radiation therapy to treat cancer differs from one individual to another.

Vivian Cheung from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia along with his colleagues exposed the cells of 99 healthy individuals to a session of radiation, which starts a cellular response akin to that taking place during cancer therapy.


Novel drug target for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder found

Novel drug target for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder foundWashington, Sept 6 : A team of researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has identified a promising therapeutic target in the brain that could lead to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Alexander Neumeister, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and colleagues collaborated with the Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center to evaluate 96 patients.


Moderate drinkers quarter less prone to Alzheimer''s, cognitive impairment

Moderate drinkers quarter less prone to Alzheimer''s, cognitive impairmentWashington, August 17: Moderate social drinking - a maximum of two drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women - significantly reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, according to a new study.


Factor X in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimer's

AlzheimerWashington, June 30 : An unidentified component of coffee interacts with the beverage's caffeine which seemingly offers protection against Alzheimer's.

A new mouse study by University of South Florida has found that this interaction boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to counteract Alzheimer's disease process.


Gene linked to emphysema also implicated in lung cancer

 Gene linked to emphysema also implicated in lung cancer Washington, June 10: Smoking was the only known risk factor previously associated with both emphysema and lung cancer, but now a new study has uncovered the genetic link between both the diseases.


Scientists demonstrate new strategy for treating diabetes

 Scientists demonstrate new strategy for treating diabetes Washington, June 10: Scientists have developed a promising new strategy for treating human type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

In a mouse study, scientists at Mayo Clinic Florida showed that a different approach could also be effective for treating diabetes — namely, blocking the breakdown of insulin, after it is secreted from the pancreas.


Researchers envisage 20 new vaccines to fight likes of malaria in next decade

 Researchers envisage 20 new vaccines to fight likes of malaria in next decade London, June 10: Researchers have suggested in the Lancet that there is high possibility of developing 20 new or improved vaccines in the next decade.

Although they have identified AIDS and malaria vaccines as the most important areas for the research, they also felt that neglected tropical diseases, such as leprosy, should also be investigated.


Nutrient in broccoli, cauliflower kills cancer cells

 Nutrient in broccoli, cauliflower kills cancer cells Washington, June 10: Scientists have found that a nutrient present in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected.


New ‘gene-activating’ technique converts skin cells directly into brain cells

 New ‘gene-activating’ technique converts skin cells directly into brain cells Washington, June 10: Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new technique that converts mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage.

With the direct conversion technique, the Swedish research group has for the first time succeeded in creating specific types of nerve cells from human skin.


Japan''s green tea contaminated with radiation above permitted level

 Japan''s green tea contaminated with radiation above permitted level Tokyo, June 10: Japanese green tea, which is widely known across the world for its purity and health-enhancing properties, has reportedly been contaminated with radiation following the accident in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused by the March 11 earthquake-cum-tsunami.


Coming soon- pill that will make cat allergies history

 Coming soon- pill that will make cat allergies history London, June 10: Scientists from the Nottingham University are on the way to making a drug that may put an end to all the miseries caused by feline allergies, ranging from a fit of sneezes to a dangerous asthma attack.


Killer heels and ill-fitting shoes could end up giving you arthritis

 Killer heels and ill-fitting shoes could end up giving you arthritis London, June 10: A new study has found that donning killer heels and ill-fitting footwear could end up giving you arthritis.

According to experts, a staggering 60 per cent of arthritis affects the feet and is often caused by wearing badly fitting shoes such as stilettos.


Stress may aggravate Alzheimer's risk

Stress may aggravate Alzheimer's riskLondon, May 27 : Don't stress yourself too much, else an increased release of stress hormones could trigger Alzheimer's disease, to go by new research based on mice. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany, have discovered that increased release of stress hormones in rats leads to production of excess tau protein in the brain and ultimately, memory loss.


‘Situational specificity of tolerance’ not caffeine behind Four Loko’s intoxicating effect

 ‘Situational specificity of tolerance’ not caffeine behind Four Loko’s intoxicating effectWashington, May 24 : A new study has dismissed previous claims that caffeine in the fruity alcoholic beverage, Four Loko, is responsible for the spike in alcohol-related hospitalizations.

"Four Loko didn't have the extraordinary intoxicating effect because of caffeine, but rather because of the phenomenon of situational specificity of tolerance", said Shepard Siegel of McMaster University.


Brain scans may help early detection of Alzheimer''s

 Brain scans may help early detection of Alzheimer''sWashington, Apr 12: A new research suggests that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could help detect Alzheimer''s disease (AD) at an early stage, before irreversible damage has occurred.

With no known treatment to alter its course, AD exacts an enormous toll on society. The Alzheimer''s Association estimates that 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease today.


Potential therapeutic target for Parkinson''s, Alzheimer''s identified

Potential therapeutic target for Parkinson''s, Alzheimer''s identifiedWashington, Mar 12: Scientists have identified a potential therapeutic target to slow changes that lead to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson''s and Alzheimer''s diseases.

Cell biologists pondering the death of neurons - brain cells - said that by eliminating one ingredient from the cellular machinery, they prolonged the life of neurons stressed by a pesticide chemical.


Cuban medicine for diabetic ulcers gains popularity

Cuban medicine for diabetic ulcers gains popularity  Santiago de Cuba, March 1 : A Cuban medication for diabetic feet ulcers is fast becoming popular in a number of countries and has been used to treat more than 22,000 patients worldwide, according to a senior official.


Brain chemical boosts memory, could treat Alzheimer's

Brain chemical boosts memory, could treat Alzheimer'sLondon, Jan 27 - Scientists have identified a key chemical that boosts memory, potentially opening the way to newer treatments for Alzheimer's.

In a series of experiments, Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers in the US showed that IGF-II plays a key role in memory.

The chemical is found in relatively high levels in the hippocampus, the brain's memory hub. However, levels decline with age, the journal Nature reports.


Stem cell transplant cheap in India, but very few centres

Stem cell transplant cheap in India, but very few centresNew Delhi, Jan 1 - Stem cell transplant in India costs a fraction of what it does abroad but the country has very few centres where the procedure can be done and not enough dedicated medical staff, says an expert.


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