Health News

Human embryos frozen for 18 years yield viable stem cells for research

Human embryos frozen for 18 years yield viable stem cells for researchWashington, August 14 : Even after being frozen for 18 years, human embryos can be thawed, grown in the laboratory, and successfully induced to produce human embryonic stem (ES) cells, which represent a valuable resource for drug screening and medical research.

Kamthorn Pruksananonda and coauthors from Chulalongkorn University and Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, demonstrated that ES cells derived from frozen embryos have a similar ability to differentiate into multiple cell types-a characteristic known as pluripotency-as do ES cells derived from fresh embryos.


Alcohol consumption may lower risk of ALS

Alcohol consumption may lower risk of ALS Washington, August 14 : The risk of rare but devastating neurological disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is increased among smokers, a population-based case-control study has revealed.

However, surprisingly, the risk of ALS was found to be markedly lower among consumers of alcohol than among abstainers.

Forum reviewers thought that this was a well-done and important paper, as it is a population-based analysis, with almost 500 cases of ALS, a very large number of cases for this rare disease.


How anti-aging cosmetics work

How anti-aging cosmetics work Washington, August 14 : Researchers have discovered a mechanism that may explain how alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) -- the key ingredient in cosmetic chemical peels and wrinkle-reducing creams -- work to enhance skin appearance.

An understanding of the underlying process may lead to better cosmetic formulations as well as have medical applications.


New oncogene behind development of cancer identified

New oncogene behind development of cancer identified Washington, August 14 : Researchers have developed a novel method to identify genes that, when over expressed, make normal cells behave like cancer cells.

A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, led by Dr. Mark W. Jackson, has identified a new oncogene, which is a gene that contributes to the development of cancer, named FAM83B.

"We made our discovery in a model of breast cancer," said Mark W. Jackson, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Popular diabetes drugs `up risk of bladder cancer`

Washington, August 14 : A popular class of diabetes drugs increases patients' risk of bladder cancer, a new study led by Indian-origin researcher has revealed.

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients taking thiazolidinedione (TZDs) drugs - which account for up to 20 percent of the drugs prescribed to diabetics in the United States -- are two to three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who took a sulfonylurea drug, another common class of medications for diabetes.


Consuming cocoa may boost brain function in elderly

Consuming cocoa may boost brain function in elderly Washington, August 14 : Eating cocoa flavanols daily may help improve mild cognitive impairment, a new study has revealed.

Each year, more than six percent of people aged 70 years or older develop mild cognitive impairment, a condition involving memory loss that can progress to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Flavanols can be found in tea, grapes, red wine, apples and cocoa products and have been associated with a decreased risk of dementia.


Fruity science halves fat in chocolate without taking away its ‘chocolatey’

Fruity science halves fat in chocolate without taking away its ‘chocolatey’ Washington, August 14 : We all love chocolate but many of us try to avoid it in the fear of gaining weight.

Now, scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of fat content in chocolate with fruit juice.

University of Warwick chemists have taken out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.

They infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using what is known as a Pickering emulsion.


Butter flavoring in microwave popcorn harmful for food industry workers

Butter flavoring in microwave popcorn harmful for food industry workers Washington, August 14 : An ingredient used to impart the flavour and aroma of butter in microwave popcorn may cause lung disease in food industry workers.

Manufacturers started using the ingredient 2,3-pentanedione (PD) when another butter flavoring, diacetyl, was found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans, a life-threatening and nonreversible lung disease in workers who inhaled the substance.

The new research indicated that acute PD exposure has respiratory toxicity, which is comparable to diacetyl in laboratory animals.


Egg yolks almost as bad as smoking for heart

Egg yolks almost as bad as smoking for heart Washington, August 14 : Eating egg yolks accelerates atherosclerosis, also called coronary artery disease, in a manner similar to smoking cigarettes, say researchers.

Dr. David Spence of Western University, Canada, and his team surveyed more than 1200 patients and found that regular consumption of egg yolks is about two-thirds as bad as smoking when it comes to increased build-up of carotid plaque, a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

Atherosclerosis is a disorder of the arteries where plaques, aggravated by cholesterol, form on the inner arterial wall. Plaque rupture is the usual cause of most heart attacks and many strokes.


Antibacterial hand soaps and mouthwashes may impair muscle function

Antibacterial hand soaps and mouthwashes may impair muscle function Washington, August 14 : An antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps and other personal-care products may impair muscle function, scientists claim.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Colorado found that the chemical, Triclosan, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish and reduces muscular strength in mice.


Older women with early-stage breast cancer may benefit from radiation after lumpectomy

 Older women with early-stage breast cancer may benefit from radiation after lumpectomy Washington, August 13 : For the majority of older women with early-stage breast cancer, radiation therapy following breast conserving surgery may help prevent the need for a later mastectomy, say researchers.

The findings from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are contrary to current national treatment guidelines, which recommend that older women with early stage, estrogen-positive disease should be treated with lumpectomy followed by estrogen blocker therapy alone -- and forgo radiation therapy post-surgery.


38 new genetic regions linked to glucose and insulin levels in blood

38 new genetic regions linked to glucose and insulin levels in blood Washington, August 13 : Researchers have identified 38 new genetic regions that are associated with glucose and insulin levels in the blood, using a technology that is 100 times more powerful than previous techniques used to follow-up on genome-wide association results.

This brings the total number of genetic regions associated with glucose and insulin levels to 53, over half of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.

The powerful technology, Metabochip, was designed as a cost-effective way to find and map genomic regions for a range of cardiovascular and metabolic characteristics on a large scale.


Loud snoring in kids tied to behaviour problems

Loud snoring in kids tied to behaviour problems Washington, August 13 : Persistent and loud snoring in young children may lead to behaviour problems, including hyperactivity, depression and inattention, according to a new study.

So, Dean Beebe, PhD, director of the neuropsychology program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study, encourage parents to talk to their child's doctor about loud snoring, especially if it happens a lot and persists over time.

"The strongest predictors of persistent snoring were lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breastfeeding," said Dr. Beebe.


Sticky tape - the new in-thing for injured Olympians

Sticky tape - the new in-thing for injured OlympiansWashington, August 11 : The neon tape, called Kinesio, swathing sprinters and swimmers alike at this year's Olympics is taking London by storm.

"It's all over the Olympics," ABC News quoted Dr. Jennifer Solomon of New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery as saying.

"Athletes love it," she said.

Developed by a Japanese chiropractor, Kinesio claims to cut pain and boost performance, and judging by its prominence at this year's Games, athletes think it works.

"If you ask them, they say it does," Solomon, team physician for the U. S. Tennis Association, said.


Long-forgotten technique of detecting TB revived

Long-forgotten technique of detecting TB revived Washington, August 11 : Researchers have breathed new life into a forgotten technique and so succeeded in detecting resistant tuberculosis in circumstances where so far this was hardly feasible.

Tuberculosis bacilli that have become resistant against our major antibiotics are a serious threat to world health.

If we do not take efficient and fast action, `multiresistant tuberculosis' may become a worldwide epidemic, wiping out all medical achievements of the last decades.

Checking smears under the microscope still is the recommended technique for TB screening, but it cannot differentiate between living and dead bacilli.


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