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Statins may keep old lungs young - even in smokers

Smoker
Washington, Oct 13 : Boston researchers found that statins might help in reducing the decline of lung functions in the elderly - even in those who smoke.

The study, led by Dr. Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of environmental epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, suggests that statins, which help in lowering cholesterol and fighting dementia, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which could be the reason for achieving the reducing effect.

“We hypothesized that statins would have a protective effect on decline in lung function,” Schwartz said.

Nuclei of human stem cells are soft and flexible, not hard

Washington, October 12 : Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that the nuclei of human stem cells are soft and flexible, and not hard by nature.

This soft and flexible character of stem cell nuclei enables them to migrate through the body, and to adopt different shapes, say the researchers.

In a study, the researchers pulled cell nuclei into microscopic glass tubes under controlled pressures, and visualized the shear of the DNA and associated proteins by fluorescence microscopy.

They found that nuclei in human embryonic stem cells were the most deformable, followed by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that generate a wide range of blood and tissue cells.

Breast cancer therapies may be a threat to the heart

Breast Cancer
Washington, Oct 12 : Breast cancer therapies may give women with the disease a new lease on life, but a new study is warning that it may also put them at an increased risk of heart and vascular disease.

Researchers who carried out the study said that most treatments increase the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Most breast cancer therapies today – including new treatments still under development – increase long-term risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Lee W. Jones, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Genetic, not environmental factors, may be behind severe heart defect

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Washington, Oct 11 : American researchers have found that Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a severe cardiovascular malformation that is difficult to treat and is often fatal, is caused primarily by genetic factors.

The researchers found that the malformation has high heritability, suggesting that families with a child with HLHS carry a significant recurrence risk.

Ultra-low-dose aspirin may reduce bleeding in portal hypertension patients

Washington, Oct 10 : A new research in rats has shown that ultra-low-dose aspirin can decrease bleeding severity in patients with portal hypertension.

The study led by Professor C. Doutremepuich, has shown a normalizing effect of platelet-endothelial cell alterations and bleeding time.

Further, this effect is mediated by Cyclooxygenase 2 inhibition.

Ultra-low-dose aspirin has a prothrombotic effect that is the opposite of that observed with usual doses for the prevention of stroke or heart attack. The antithrombotic properties of low-dose aspirin are achieved by the inhibition of COX 1 in platelets.

Moderate exercise ‘not sufficient’

Moderate Exercise
Washington, Oct 10 : Moderate activities like brisk walking for just ten minutes or cycling at 10 kms/ ph, are not enough for a fit and healthy life, a new study has revealed.

The study conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter and Brunel University found that an alarming percentage of Brits think that moderate exercise is good.

They also said that the trend is worrying when most studies have proved that the greatest health benefits are derived from regular participation in vigorous activities, such as jogging and competitive sports.

Injectable protein may attack source of Alzheimer’s disease

Injection
Washington, Oct 9 : Researchers have identified a special protein, which when injected in mice that have an animal version of Alzheimer’s disease can help reverse learning problems.

According to researchers at the Saint Louis University, the protein, which is a part of the immunoglobulin M (IgM) class, is an antibody that grabs onto the amyloid beta protein in the brain and prevents it from changing into a toxic substance, which is believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Surgery may be the best option for prostate cancer patients

Washington, Oct 9 : Surgery may be the best option for those suffering from prostate cancer, for a study has found that men who undergo surgery are less likely to die of the disease within ten years compared to their counterparts who choose other treatment options.

Prostate cancer treatments are still being debated because they have not yet been compared in a randomized trial, in which men would be randomly assigned to one treatment or another, according to researchers.

“Therefore, treatment choice is strongly influenced by patient and physician personal preferences and experiences,” the authors write.

Smoking not linked to progression of multiple sclerosis

Quit Smoking
Washington, Oct 9 : Researchers in the Netherlands have found that smoking has no effect on the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The new finding is opposite to earlier studies, which suggested that smoking is linked to the progression of MS due to the high number of smokers with MS.

Therefore, researchers surveyed 364 people at both the initial and secondary stages of MS, 263 of whom were smokers.

The current findings of the survey revealed there is no correlation between cigarette smoking and the progression of MS.

Limiting refined carbohydrates intake may help slow AMD

Washington, October 8 : The progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be slowed by eating fewer refined carbohydrates, suggest researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

“Dietary changes may be the most practical and cost-effective prevention method to combat progression of AMD,” says Dr. Allen Taylor, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the USDA HNRCA.

“It is surprising there is so little attention focused on the relationship between AMD and carbohydrates,” he added.

Statistics from the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group show that AMD results in partial or total blindness in seven to 15 per cent of the elderly.

Genomic profiling of lung tumor might help in effective treatment

Washington, Sept 30: A new study has revealed that by determining the genetic profile of a particular lung tumor doctors may be able to decide which chemotherapy treatment to try first.

The study led by researchers from the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) found distinct differences in the susceptibility different tumors have to the widely used chemotherapy drugs.

Working during adolescence linked to increased risk of smoking

Washington, September 30 : Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that working during adolescence raised the risk of a child’s taking to smoking at an earlier age.

The researchers focused their study on 14 to 18-year-old adolescents, and found that the subjects who worked more than 10 hours per week also started smoking at an earlier age than their peers.

New discovery may hold hope for inflammatory eye disease treatment

Washington, Sept 30 : Researchers have discovered that uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease may be treated with a compound that blocks the action of aldose reductase, an enzyme essential to the production of inflammatory signaling molecules.

Uveitis, the inflammation of the uvea, a layer of tissue that lies just below the outer surface of the eyeball and includes the iris, is a condition that can be caused by both autoimmune and infectious diseases.

Laura Bush reads, not to her husband though!

Washington, Sept.29 : U.S.First Lady Laura Bush has problems sleeping if she hasn't read a few pages first.

But her husband, the President, apparently has no such issues. Having made a gaffe by recently referring to children as 'childrens", the President's staff is taking great pains to plant stories in the press of how he reads while exercycling.

Hillary Clinton works on her body language

Washington, Sept.29 : Hillary Clinton is trying....and trying hard to improve her body language. She makes eye contact, tilts her head, smiles a lot more and God help...even laughs.

A definite attempt to soften her image. The wooden look is gone.

The Washington Post reports that though her movements are deliberate, she conveys warmth now. It didnt matter what the questions were at the Democratic Debate on Wednesday, she kept cutting in and anwering it her way.

Tether mishap 'slingshots' capsule into space

Washington, Sept.28 : A small space capsule has been lost in Earth orbit after a space tether experiment went awry on Tuesday.

Pregnancy does not harm chances of survival from cancer: Study

Washington, Sept 28 : A new research has revealed that pregnancy does not harm chances of survival from cancer.

The study by Norwegian scientists has found that for almost all types of cancer, the survival of women who are diagnosed during pregnancy or who became pregnant after being treated for the disease is no different from that of other female cancer patients.

Allergy is a major factor in asthma: Study

Washington, Sept 28: According to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found further evidence to support the theory that allergy is a major factor in asthma.

The study was conducted by researchers led by Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D., a senior investigator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Peter Gergen, M.D., M.P.H, of NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation.

Scientists use hair follicles to sequence woolly mammoth DNA

Washington, Sept 28 : Pennsylvania State University researchers have sequenced the DNA of 10 woolly mammoths that died 50,000 years ago, using a technique that could revolutionize genetic testing of extinct creatures.

In their study, ‘Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing of Mitochondria from Ancient Hair Shafts’, the scientists describe how the hair shafts of extinct animals can provide an ideal source of ancient DNA.

NASA study indicates presence of oxygen on Earth 2.5 bln years ago

Washington, Sept 28 : A new NASA funded research has pushed back the timeline for presence of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere by 50-100 million years before the Great Oxidation Event.

The event happened between 2.3 and 2.4 billion years ago, when many scientists think atmospheric oxygen increased significantly from the existing very low levels.

As part of their study, the scientists analysed a kilometre-long drill core from Western Australia, representing the time just before the major rise of atmospheric oxygen.




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