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November 1, 2007, 10:08 PM CT

Radio waves fire up nanotubes embedded in tumors

Radio waves fire up nanotubes embedded in tumors
Cancer cells treated with carbon nanotubes can be destroyed by non-invasive radio waves that heat up the nanotubes while sparing untreated tissue, a research team led by researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University has shown in preclinical experiments.

In a paper posted online ahead of December publication in the journal Cancer, scientists show that the technique completely destroyed liver cancer tumors in rabbits. There were no side effects noted. However, some healthy liver tissue within 2-5 millimeters of the tumors sustained heat damage due to nanotube leakage from the tumor.

"These are promising, even exciting, preclinical results in this liver cancer model," says senior author Steven Curley, M.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Surgical Oncology. "Our next step is to look at ways to more precisely target the nanotubes so they attach to, and are taken up by, cancer cells while avoiding normal tissue".

Targeting the nanotubes solely to cancer cells is the major challenge in advancing the treatment, Curley says. Research is under way to bind the nanotubes to antibodies, peptides or other agents that in turn target molecules expressed on cancer cells. To complicate matters, most such molecules also are expressed in normal tissue.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 1, 2007, 9:58 PM CT

Breastfeeding study dispels sagging myth

Breastfeeding study dispels sagging myth
Nursing mothers needn't worry. A new study shows that breastfeeding does not increase breast sagging. University of Kentucky plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Rinker and colleagues conducted the study with patients at UK HealthCare Cosmetic Surgery Associates. The study observed that breastfeeding does not adversely affect breast shape.

"A lot of times, if a woman comes in for a breast lift or a breast augmentation, she'll say 'I want to fix what breastfeeding did to my breasts'," Rinker said. As a result, Rinker decided to find out if breast sagging was a direct result of breastfeeding.

Rinker and colleagues interviewed 132 women who had come to UK for a breast lift or augmentation between 1998 and 2006. The women were, on average, 39 years old; 93 percent had had at least one pregnancy, and most of the mothers58 percent-- had breastfed at least one child. Additionally, the research team reviewed the patients' medical history, body mass index, pre-pregnancy bra cup size, and smoking status.

The results showed no difference in the degree of breast ptosis (TOE-sis) the medical term for sagging of the breast--for those women who breastfed and those who didn't. However, scientists observed that several other factors did affect breast sagging, including age, the number of pregnancies, and whether the patient smoked.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


November 1, 2007, 8:37 PM CT

Red Wine, Fruits And Vegetables May Stop Cancer

Red Wine, Fruits And Vegetables May Stop Cancer
The next cancer drug might come straight from the grocery store, as per new research reported in the November 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal. In the study, French researchers describe how high and low doses of polyphenols have different effects. Most notably, they observed that very high doses of antioxidant polyphenols shut down and prevent malignant tumors by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth. Polyphenols are usually found in red wine, fruits, vegetables, and green tea.

At relatively low doses, the French scientists observed that the same polyphenols play a beneficial role for those with diseased hearts and circulatory systems by facilitating blood vessel growth. The amount of polyphenols necessary for this effect was found to be the equivalent of only one glass of red wine per day or simply sticking to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables containing polyphenols. This diet is known as the "Mediterranean Diet."

This study also adds to a growing body of research showing dose-dependent relationships for a number of types of usually used compounds. For instance, research reported in the October 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal shows that aspirin, through different mechanisms, also has a dose-dependent relationship for heart disease and cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 1, 2007, 7:52 PM CT

Are We Programmed to Laugh When Tickled?

Are We Programmed to Laugh When Tickled?
Do we learn to laugh when tickled or is it an innate response? That is the question psychologist Professor Clarence Leuba set himself to examine using his own children, no less, as experimental subjects.

In 1933 he decided that he would not laugh in the presence of his first child while tickling him (Leuba, 1941). Everyday life in the Leuba household, therefore, was devoid of tickling except for one special experimental period. During this period he would cover his own face with a mask while tickling his son so his facial expression was hidden.

Even the tickling was experimentally controlled. First he would tickle lightly, then more vigorously. First under the armpit, then the ribs, followed by chin, neck, knees and feet.

Courtesy to Original source

Mrs Leuba slips up.

Reportedly all went well until late April 1933 when his wife suddenly forgot all the protocols. After her son''s bath she accidentally administered a short bout of bouncing up and down on her knee with laughter while using the words: "Bouncy, bouncy"!

Was the experiment ruined? Leuba wasn''t sure. But after seven months, with only one bout of laughter associated with tickling the results were in. His son happily laughed away when tickled. It appeared that laughing when tickled is an innate response.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 8:46 PM CT

Ears ringing?

Ears ringing?
Brain researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered how cells in the developing ear make their own noise, long before the ear is able to detect sound around them. The finding, reported in this weeks Nature, helps to explain how the developing auditory system generates brain activity in the absence of sound. It also may explain why people sometimes experience tinnitus and hear sounds that seem to come from nowhere.

The research team made their discovery while studying the properties of non-nerve cells in the ears of young rats. These so-called support cells were believed to be silent bystanders not directly involved in nerve communication. However, to the scientists surprise, these cells showed robust electrical activity, similar to nerve cells. Further, this activity occurred spontaneously, without sound or any external stimulus.

Its long been thought that nerve cells that connect auditory organs to the brain need to experience sound or other nerve activity to find their way to the part of the brain responsible for processing sound, says the studys lead author, Dwight Bergles, Ph.D., an associate professor of neuroscience at Hopkins. So when we saw that these supporting cells could generate their own electrical activity, we suspected they might somehow be involved in triggering the activity mandatory for proper nerve wiring.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 8:22 PM CT

Opium and marijuana research go underground

Opium and marijuana research go underground
The worlds leading expert on the opium poppy has joined forces with scientists working on another infamous drug-producing plant cannabis in hopes of finding new uses for the much-maligned sources of heroin and marijuana.

Peter Facchini, professor of Biological Sciences and Canada Research Chair in Plant Biotechnology, has received a $650,000 NSERC Strategic Project Grant to create new varieties of opium poppy and cannabis that can be used for medicinal and industrial purposes, but will have no value as illicit drugs. And his work is taking him where few Canadians have gone before: Deep underground into the countrys ultra high-security medicinal marijuana growth facility.

Its certainly unusual for a plant biochemist to work in a copper mine hundreds of metres underground, Facchini said. This is a really great project that involves two of the worlds most important medicinal plants and is clearly unique in the plant biology field.

Facchini and a new team of U of C postdoctoral scientists have teamed up with Saskatoon-based Prairie Plant Systems Inc., the National Research Council Plant Biotechnology Institute, the Alberta Research Council and the University of Saskatchewan to create and study mutant varieties of opium poppy and cannabis in an unused portion of a copper and zinc mine near Flin Flon, Manitoba. Prairie Plant Systems produces medicinal marijuana under contract with Health Canada in this state-of-the-art facility.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 8:10 PM CT

Avastin Improves Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Avastin Improves Ovarian Cancer Treatment
A new study appearing in International Journal of Gynecological Cancer states that Bevacizumab, a biologic anti-cancer agent that prevents tumor growth by interfering with the formation of new blood vessels, may have the potential to improve the efficacy of standard combination chemotherapy in ovary cancer.

Ovary cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, accounting for nearly 14,000 deaths annually in the United States. Despite the use of chemotherapy therapy, nearly 70 percent of all ovary cancer patients will eventually succumb to their disease. Consequently, studies have continued to investigate the activity of novel medications in combination with standard treatment to improve overall and disease-free survival in ovary cancer patients.

Bevacizumab has been studied clinically and was recently approved as a therapy for metastatic colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Currently, Bevacizumab is also being studied as a therapy to improve patient survival rates for breast and kidney cancers. Since Bevacizumab has a unique mechanism of action and a favorable safety profile, the medicine is not linked to unreasonable levels of toxicity. However, prior studies have reported that gastro-intestinal perforations and high blood pressure may be a consequence of therapy involving Bevacizumab. "The results from our research suggest that the combination of Bevacizumab and standard treatment for the therapy of ovary cancer may be promising, especially with regard to safety and efficacy," says Dr. Bram Goldstein, co-author of the study.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 7:54 PM CT

Can your perspective influence your motivation?

Can your perspective influence your motivation?
Students, athletes and performing artists are often advised to imagine themselves performing successfully. That strategy is believed to motivate them for future exams, games, and shows. But is that motivation influenced by what perspective they take when imagining their performance? Research published by SAGE in the recent issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explores that question.

The three studies explored in the article looked at two ways to visualize future performances first person (watching oneself through ones own eyes) and third person (watching oneself from the perspective of another person). The authors, Noelia A. Vasquez, at York University (Canada) and Roger Buehler, at Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada), observed that the third person perspective resulted in greater motivation to succeed at the task, particularly when people imagined themselves performing well. The increased third person perspective appears to assign greater meaning to the task.

Mental imagery is usually used as a preparation strategy in a wide range of performance domains (school, sports, performing arts, public speaking, licensure exams as well less institutionalized future performances, such as bringing up a difficult issue with a boss, or resisting temptations such as food or cigarettes), commented the authors. These studies suggest that if someone needs a motivational boost to prepare, they may be well advised to envision themselves from the perspective of their audience.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 31, 2007, 7:52 PM CT

complementary therapies after heart surgery

complementary therapies after heart surgery
A new Mayo Clinic study shows that massage treatment decreases pain levels for patients after heart surgery. During a five-month period in 2005, 58 patients undergoing surgery participated in a pilot study to examine the effect of massage on pain after surgery. Of the 30 who received massage, the mean pain scores were less than 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the most painful.

Before the massage treatment, these patients rated their pain at an average of 3 on a 10-point scale. In the control group of 28, pain levels remained the same over the same period, as per findings reported in the current edition of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

As a result of the pilot study, Mayo now has a full-time massage therapist available for patients after heart surgery, and a larger, randomized study is under way.

Mayo Clinic's cardiovascular surgery group began looking at complementary therapies in 2004. "In surveys, we started to hear from patients that tension, stress, pain and anxiety hampered their recovery," says Susanne Cutshall, a registered nurse in Mayo Clinics cardiovascular surgery group and lead author of the study.

A team of nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pharmacists and hospital administrators listened to patients' concerns, searched the literature and visited other hospitals. The result was the Healing Enhancement Program for cardiac surgery patients. It offers massage, music and guided imagery. The program combines evidence-based conventional care and evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), Cutshall says.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 30, 2007, 10:23 PM CT

Treadmill training helps Down syndrome babies walk

Treadmill training helps Down syndrome babies walk
Starting Down syndrome infants on treadmill training for just minutes a day can help them walk up to four or five months earlier than with only traditional physical treatment, a new study from the University of Michigan says.

The study also suggests that infants who do high intensity treadmill training may walk even sooner.

Getting infants walking is critical because so a number of other skills arise from locomotion: social skills, motor skills, advancement of perception and spatial cognition, says professor Dale Ulrich of the University of Michigan Division of Kinesiology and principal investigator on the treadmill training project.

"The key is if we can get them to walk earlier and better then they can explore their environment earlier and when you start to explore, you learn about the world around you," Ulrich said. "Walking is a critical factor in development in every other domain".

Infants with typical development learn to walk independently at about 12 months of age. Babies with Down syndrome typically learn to take independent steps at 24-28 months.

In the study, 30 infants were randomly assigned lower intensity, generalized treadmill training, or high intensity, individualized treadmill training, implemented in the homes by their parents. The training was used as a supplement to physical treatment.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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