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June 22, 2006, 9:57 PM CT

Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain

Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain
The familiar "no pain, no gain" phrase commonly associated with exercise may be a thing of the past if results from a study on cherry juice published recently in the online version of the British Journal of Sports Medicine prove true in future research.

Historically, many approaches to prevent exercise-induced muscle pain and damage have been examined, but few have been effective. Declan Connolly, associate professor of education and director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Vermont and his colleagues at New York's Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma and Cornell University, evaluated the efficacy of a fresh, highly-concentrated, specially- processed tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage in a randomized, placebo-controlled study in 14 male college students.

"The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice have been examined before, but the focus of this research was on a new area - muscle damage repair," said Connolly. "Only two species of mammals suffer this type of muscle damage - horses and humans".

The study participants were asked to either drink a bottle of the cherry juice blend twice a day for three days before exercise and for four days afterwards, or to drink a placebo juice containing no cherries. The 12-ounce bottle of juice contained the liquid equivalent of 50 to 60 tart cherries blended with commercially available apple juice.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 9:32 PM CT

Music Enhances Intelligence

Music Enhances Intelligence
A recent volume of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences takes a closer look at how music evolved and how we respond to it. Contributors to the volume think that animals such as birds, dolphins and whales make sounds analogous to music out of a desire to imitate each other. This ability to learn and imitate sounds is a trait necessary to acquire language and researchers feel that a number of of the sounds animals make may be precursors to human music.

Another study in the volume looks at whether music training can make individuals smarter. Researchers found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to nonmusicians. They feel these differences are probably not genetic, but instead due to use and practice.

Listening to classical music, especially Mozart, has recently been thought to enhance performance on cognitive tests. Contributors to this volume take a closer look at this assertion and their findings indicate that listening to any music that is personally enjoyable has positive effects on cognition. In addition, the use of music to enhance memory is explored and research suggests that musical recitation enhances the coding of information by activating neural networks in a more united and thus more optimal fashion.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:55 PM CT

Genetics Facts For Alzheimer's Disease

Genetics Facts For Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers do still not fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the more they learn about AD, the more they become aware of the important function genes* play in the development of this devastating disease.

*Click the terms in bold italics for definitions in Key Terms at the end of this fact sheet.

Genes

All living things are made up of basic units called cells, which are so tiny that you can only see them through the lens of a strong microscope. Most of the billions of cells in the human body have one nucleus that acts as a control center, housing our 23 pairs of chromosomes. A chromosome is a thread-like structure found in the cell's nucleus, which can carry hundreds, sometimes thousands, of genes. In humans, one of each pair of 23 chromosomes is inherited from each parent. The genetic material on these chromosomes is collectively referred to as the human genome. Researchers now think that there are about 30,000 genes in the human genome. Genes direct almost every aspect of the construction, operation, and repair of all living things. For example, genes contain information that determines eye and hair color and other traits inherited from our parents. In addition, genes ensure that we have two hands and can use them to do things, like play the piano.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:47 PM CT

Risk Of Being Fired Near Retirement

Risk Of Being Fired Near Retirement
Involuntary job loss near retirement more than doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke, scientists at Yale School of Medicine report in a major national study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The results are based on 10-year observations of 4,301 individuals between age 51 and 61 out of which 582 had lost their jobs during that period. The study is the extension of an earlier study, in which the same sample was tracked for six years. The earlier research indicated heightened risk of stroke, but not a definitive link between job loss and heart attacks.

"With longer follow-up and heart attack and stroke events, we were able to better assess the association between employment separation and the medical outcomes," said William T. Gallo, the lead author of the study and associate research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine.

The scientists used 10 years of data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Survey in their research. Starting with a sample of employed individuals, they identified 582 workers who were either laid off or left jobless because of a business closing. The study compared their risk of heart attack and stroke to a group that included 3,719 workers who remained employed. In considering the effect of job loss, the scientists also took into account other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and depressive symptoms.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:36 PM CT

Statins Linked to Lower Risk of Cataracts

Statins Linked to Lower Risk of Cataracts
A five-year study of people who took cholesterol-lowering statin drugs found they had a 40 percent lower incidence of the most common kind of cataract.

And the incidence of nuclear cataracts, in which the lens of the eye grows cloudy as a person ages, was 60 percent lower in statin users who never smoked and didn't have diabetes, the scientists said.

The best explanation is that the benefit is linked to statins' antioxidant activity, said Kristine Lee, a statistician at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, who was involved with the study.

"Part of the reason we looked at statins is that oxidative stress is correlation to cataract development," Lee said.

No relationship was found between statin use and two less common forms of the eye condition, cortical and posterior subcapsular cataracts.

The findings are reported in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Wisconsin scientists examined data from the Beaver Dam Eye Study, which followed 1,299 persons who were first examined between 1998 and 2000. In the five-year follow-up period 12.2 percent of the statin users developed nuclear cataracts, compared to 17.2 percent of people who weren't taking the drugs.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 8:33 PM CT

Why Hubby Snores Up A Storm

Why Hubby Snores Up A Storm
The neural pathways between two areas of the brain that control the tongue -- and their interactions with each other -- may hold the key as to why men suffer sleep apnea much more than women.

A University of Wisconsin research team has theorized that either the caudal raphe or the hypoglossal nucleus -- or both together -- play roles in sleep apnea. The scientists have turned their attention to these two areas of the brain because of the roles they play in controlling the tongue. Diminished tongue control is a major cause of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition which strikes men much more frequently than pre-menopausal women, said lead researcher Jessica R. Barker.

Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans, produces loud snoring and may interfere with the sleep of other family members. It leaves sufferers drowsy during the day and places them at greater risk of getting into an automobile accident and of developing serious illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Estrogen, serotonin play roles.

Prior research from Behan's lab has found evidence that estrogen plays a role in respiratory control and may provide protection against hypoxia. Other research shows that post-menopausal women on hormone replacement treatment suffer less from sleep apnea than post-menopausal women not on hormones, further strengthening the theory that estrogen plays a protective role.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 6:01 PM CT

Are You A Wolf Or A Sheep?

Are You A Wolf Or A Sheep?
Are all people stressed out by a defeat or does it hurt some more than others? It may depend on whether you're a power-hungry wolf or a sheep, as per University of Michigan psychology researchers.

As per a research findings published in a recent issue of the science journal Hormones and Behavior, U-M's Michelle Wirth and co-authors, Katy Welsh and Oliver Schultheiss, looked at what happens to stress hormone levels when people are defeated in a laboratory contest.

Students competed against each other in pairs on several rounds of a speed-based contest task. Half of participants received feedback that made them believe they lost the contest decisively while the other half received feedback implying they won.

Wirth measured participants' levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in the body in response to stress and has been implicated in depression and memory loss, in participants' saliva samples before and after the contest.

The U-M scientists also measured participants' non-conscious dominance drive, called the implicit power motive, at the beginning of the study.

Wirth and her colleagues found that cortisol did not go up in all losers. Only participants with a strong implicit power motive were really impacted by the defeat, as reflected in increasing stress hormone levels.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 22, 2006, 7:03 AM CT

Understanding Breast-cancer Migration

Understanding Breast-cancer Migration
Understanding mechanisms behind the spread of cancer to distant organs (metastasis) is a very important topic in cancer research. In a never stopping attempt to defeat breast cancer researchers have moved a step closer to understanding how breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, thanks to research published this week. Recently scientists from the University of Manchester have discovered a protein potentially involved in the spread or "metastatic progression" of tumors.

These scientists say that their findings could lead to new approaches to treating breast cancer as blocking the protein's actions has the potential to stop malignant cells migrating. "What we have identified is a new role for a protein called LPP," explained Professor Andrew Sharrocks, who headed the research team.

"Until now, this protein was only thought to function at the cell periphery but we have shown that it works in conjunction with another protein - PEA3 - in the cell nucleus."

"PEA3 has already been implicated in the spread of breast cancer but we have found that the LPP molecule is essential for the correct function of PEA3."

"If we can target the LPP protein and stop it from working in malignant cells, we have a possible new route to treatment."

This research report that was reported in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, may have significant implications for other cancer systems.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 21, 2006, 11:51 PM CT

How Tumor Cells Form

How Tumor Cells Form Chromosomes (blue) are shown being pulled apart by microtubules (red). The two yellow spots are the organizing centers required for assembling microtubules. MIT researchers recently pinpointed two proteins that are key to normal cell division.
Image courtesy / Viji Draviam
MIT cancer scientists have discovered a process that may explain how some tumor cells form, a discovery that could one day lead to new therapies that prevent defective cells from growing and spreading.

The work was reported June 8 in the advance online issue of The EMBO Journal, a publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Tumor cells that grow aggressively often have an irregular number of chromosomes, the structures in cells that carry genetic information. The normal number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46, or 23 pairs. Aggressive tumor cells often have fewer or more than 23 pairs of chromosomes, a condition called aneuploidy.

To date it has not been clear how tumor cells become aneuploid.

"Checkpoint proteins" within cells work to prevent cells from dividing with an abnormal number of chromosomes, but researchers have been puzzled by evidence that aneuploidy can result even when these proteins appear to be normal.

What MIT scientists have discovered is a reason these checkpoint proteins may be unable to sense the defective cells, which tend to have very subtle errors in them. (These subtle errors are thought to bethe cause of aneuploidy and the rapid growth of tumors.).

Before cells divide, individual chromosomes in each pair of chromosomes must attach to a set of tiny structures called microtubules. If they attach correctly, the checkpoint proteins give them the go-ahead to divide. If they don't, the checkpoint proteins are supposed to stop them from dividing.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 21, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

Microchannels Aid Drug Discovery

Microchannels Aid Drug Discovery
tiny fluid-filled channel on a microchip that allows single cells to be treated and analyzed could lead to advances in drug and gene screening and early disease diagnosis.

The tool breaks down cell membranes to allow drug and gene delivery and permits examination of intracellular materials by establishing an electrical current across a microscale channel, said Chang Lu, a Purdue University biological engineer. The Purdue system is different from current techniques that use electricity for drug delivery and cell analysis. The new technique handles one cell at a time and uses a common DC power supply rather than a costly pulse generator.

"Normally when you do testing, you need a lot of cells, and the properties that you record are the average of that cell population," Lu said. "If you carry out the test based on single cells, you have access to a more detailed picture of the cell population and can pinpoint abnormalities more quickly and exactly".

The size of the channel, while small enough to accommodate only one cell at its narrowest diameter, varies in width so that the electric field intensity differs depending on the cell's location in the device, Lu said. The flow rate controls how much time the cell spends in the high electrical field, where a process called electroporation occurs. Controlling the length of time in the high electrical field without turning the voltage on and off helps maintain the cell's viability.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         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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