Canada

Coal, wood burning kills more people than malaria

Coal, wood burning kills more people than malariaToronto, Feb 17 - Burning coal, wood or charcoal for cooking kills two million people worldwide, each year - more than malaria - thanks to severe respiratory diseases this causes through indoor pollution, warns an expert.


Nerve cell memory holds key erasing pain

Nerve cell memory holds key erasing painToronto, Feb 14 : Researchers have found the key to how memories of pain are stored in the brain, especially in nerve cells (neurons), and how they can be erased to ease pain.

The central nervous system is known to "remember" painful experiences, that they leave a memory trace of pain.

And when there is new sensory input, the pain memory trace in the brain magnifies the feeling so that even a gentle touch can be excruciating.


Massaging promotes pain relief, muscle recovery

Massaging promotes pain relief, muscle recoveryToronto, Feb 6 - Most athletes would swear by the pain-relieving, muscle recovery-promoting benefits of massaging, which has now been validated by scientific evidence.

On the cellular level, massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria (cellular powerhouse) in skeletal muscle, says a new study.


Thinning of bones linked to heart failure

Thinning of bones linked to heart failureToronto, Feb 3 : Heart failure could also be linked to thinning of bones (osteoporosis), an offshoot of old age.

"Our study demonstrates for the first time that heart failure and thinning of bones go hand in hand," said Sumit Majumdar, University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who led the study.


Attentiveness in KG key to work-oriented skills

Attentiveness in KG key to work-oriented skillsToronto, Jan 30 - Attentiveness in kindergarten (KG) is the key to developing "work-oriented" skills in school children later as adults.


New surgical procedure lowers blood pressure

New surgical procedure lowers blood pressureToronto, Jan 18 - A minimally invasive surgical procedure called renal denervation can significantly lower blood pressure (BP) in patients who are unable to control it with drugs.

The nearly painless procedure has been tried out for the first time by doctors at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) in Canada. It involves de-activating nerves located on the outside of the artery that feeds blood to the kidney, thereby lowering BP.


Defective cellular battery triggers brain disease

Defective cellular battery triggers brain diseaseToronto, Jan 18 - A defective mitochondria, which acts as a cellular battery, could be the trigger for a devastating neurodegenerative disease, showing up in toddlers just as they begin to walk, reveals a study.

The research throws new light on the disease and reveals an important common link with other brain diseases, potentially opening the way to new therapeutic approaches for those who suffer from them.


New therapy could help beat Hepatitis C virus

New therapy could help beat Hepatitis C virusToronto, Jan 17 - Scientists have found a way to block the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and possibly benefit 170 million people worldwide.

The breakthrough opens the way for new therapies to treat HCV which targets the liver and is among the leading causes of liver cancer and liver transplant globally.


Radical technique repairs damaged eardrum in minutes

Radical technique repairs damaged eardrum in minutesToronto, Jan 17 - A radical technique that requires only about 20 minutes in an outpatient clinic may replace long and costly eardrum surgery in children.

The quick procedure, requiring only local anaesthesia, will be much easier on patients and parents and also substantially reduce long waiting lists, stretching to 18 months.


Treatment restores productivity among depressed employees

Treatment restores productivity among depressed employeesToronto, Jan 12 - Depressed employees become more productive after undergoing treatment than those who don't receive treatment, suggests a study.

The study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) examined data from a large-scale community survey of employed and recently employed people in Alberta.


Putting it down on paper can help lose to weight

Putting it down on paper can help lose to weightToronto, Jan 6 - Writing your most important values on a piece of paper can literally knock you into shape as it might make you feel better and obliterate the need to eat to do the same.

"We have this need to feel self-integrity," says Christine Logel of Renison University College, University of Waterloo.


Scientists isolate gene common to unrelated cancers

Scientists isolate gene common to unrelated cancersToronto, Jan 2 - Scientists investigating rare ovarian, uterine and testicular tumours have stumbled upon on a mutated gene that is surprisingly common to all of them.

David Huntsman, genetic pathologist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Cancer Agency and Gregg Morin, from its Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, led a team which found mutations in rare, seemingly unrelated cancers, all tied to the same gene, DICER.


Hormone replacement therapy tied to breast cancer

Hormone replacement therapy tied to breast cancerToronto, Dec 30 - Post-menopausal women should think twice before going in for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because it is tied to breast cancer globally, reveals a study.

The study by McMaster University researchers, that found consistent evidence that use of HRT is linked to breast cancer globally, comes at a time when more women are asking for this medication to control hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.


Drugs checkmating cancer may combat resistant bugs

Drugs checkmating cancer may combat resistant bugsToronto, Dec 23 - Drugs that checkmate cancer could also combat pathogens that have become highly resistant to antibiotics - a problem spreading globally.

"Our study found that certain proteins, called kinases, that confer antibiotic resistance are structurally related to proteins important in cancer," says Gerry Wright, professor of biochemistry at McMaster University.


Liquor gives a kick, but may also kick in unsafe sex

Liquor gives a kick, but may also kick in unsafe sexToronto, Dec 12 - Alcohol consumption, which gives a high, has long been associated with unsafe sex. Now, a new study directly relates it to HIV infection.

In spite of substantial efforts to prevent unsafe sex, HIV incidence in most high-income countries remains unchanged over the past decade or has increased in some instances.


Video game lends cutting edge to genetic research

Video game lends cutting edge to genetic researchToronto, Dec 7 - A video game known as Phylo has lent a cutting edge to genetic research, especially understanding the role DNA plays in Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer, reveals a study.

The web-based video game has been developed by Jerome Waldispuhl of the McGill School of Computer Science along with collaborator Mathieu Blanchette.


Infants can figure out whether you're sincere or not

Infants can figure out whether you're sincere or notToronto, Dec 7 : Infants are quite capable of figuring out whether you are sincere or not -- they will be wary if they have been tricked previously, reveals a study.


Scientists pinpoint brain area that manages movement

Scientists pinpoint brain area that manages movementToronto, Dec 6 - Researchers have pinpointed the brain area that controls our ability to correct our movement after we have been hit or bumped.

The fact that humans rapidly correct for any disturbance in motion shows the brain understands the physics of the limb.

"To say this process is complex is an understatement," said Stephen Scott, neuroscience professor and motor behaviour specialist at the Queen's University.


Stress, depression double heart attack risk

Stress, depression double heart attack riskToronto, Dec 5 - Those who suffer from depression or stress are twice as likely to have a heart attack than those with an even outlook.

A study led by Concordia University has found that the depressed also recover more slowly after exercise than those who are non-depressed.

These findings point to the importance of testing for cardiovascular disease among people suffering from major depression, the journal Psychophysiology reports.


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.


TV viewing more risky for heart than using computers

TV viewing more risky for heart than using computersToronto, Nov 17 : High levels of TV viewing by kids can elevate their chances of developing heart disease later in life, but significantly high use of computer does not.

Different kinds of sedentary behaviour produce different consequences for young people's health, according to the findings from Queen's University, Canada.


Hybrid grapefruits made safe for people on meds

Hybrid grapefruits made safe for people on medsCanada, Nov 12 : Many people are often barred from eating common grapefruit as it can negatively interact with their prescription drugs, but there may now be some hope for those with a longing for the tangy citrus.

Scientists at the University of Florida have bred a new type of grapefruit that they expect will enable people on meds to enjoy the fruit without any drug interaction.


Killer stress? Study on insects could help research

Killer stress? Study on insects could help researchToronto, Oct 28 - A fish predator's mere presence can trigger enough stress to kill a dragonfly. Scientists suggest that the finding could be used as a model for studies on the lethal effects of stress on all organisms.


Breast reconstruction helps women regain sexual wellness

Breast reconstruction helps women regain sexual wellnessToronto, Oct 24 - Reconstruction of breasts after their whole or partial removal during mastectomy may help women improve their psychosocial and sexual well-being.

Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely, especially to prevent breast tumours from spreading.


Children can sense natural objects beyond ownership

Children can sense natural objects beyond ownershipToronto, Oct 7 : Even three-year-olds can sense that while man-made objects are owned, natural products like pine cones and sea shells are beyond ownership, new research has found.

"This provides the first evidence about how children judge the ownership of things based on whether those things are artificial or natural," said psychologist Karen Neary of Ontario's University of Waterloo.


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