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October 9, 2006, 10:09 PM CT

Teens And Cigarette Ads

Teens And Cigarette Ads
Today alone, more than 4,400 U.S. teenagers will start smoking, as per statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. A number of of these adolescents will be lured to cigarettes by advertisements and movies that feature sophisticated models and actors, suggesting that smoking is a glamorous, grown-up activity. However, teens who are savvier about the motives and methods of advertisers may be less inclined to take to cigarettes, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study indicates.

Teens with above-average smoking media literacy (SML) are nearly half as likely to smoke as their less media-literate peers, as per the lead study in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. The results not only suggest that SML training could be an effective intervention to decrease teen smoking, but they also provide some of the first quantitative evidence linking SML to smoking.

"A number of factors that influence a teen's decision to smoke like peer influence, parental smoking and risk-seeking tendency are difficult to change," said the study's lead author, Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M., assistant professor in the School of Medicine's division of general internal medicine. "However, media literacy, which can be taught, may be a valuable tool in efforts to discourage teens from smoking".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

Target For Leukemia Treatment

Target For Leukemia Treatment
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center today announced the publication of pioneering research identifying the crucial role and novel mechanism of action of the protein RhoH GTPase in the development and activation of cells critical to the immune system. The findings, along with other studies, suggest that RhoH GTPase may provide a target for therapeutic intervention in some types of leukemia. The paper is due to appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Nature Immunology and was recently posted in the advance online publication section of the journal's website, http://www.nature.com/ni/index.html.

The paper describes detailed genetic and biochemical studies undertaken by scientists in the Division of Experimental Hematology and the Division of Immunobiology. The researchers succeeded in identifying a crucial role for RhoH GTPase in the development of thymocytes and activation of T-lymphocytes, both key processes in immune cell development. In addition, the scientists uncovered a novel mechanism for regulating RhoH activity, which may have broad implications in improving researchers' understanding of the mechanism of action of the Rho GTPase protein family and provide a potential target for leukemia drug development.

"We continue to make important progress in deciphering the molecular processes involved in the development and maintenance of the immune and blood system and how disruption of key proteins may contribute to leukemia," said David A Williams, M.D., Director of Experimental Hematology, Cincinnati Children's. "Through a collaboration with Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are now focused on translating these findings into developing new ways to target the protein as a novel approach to treating hematological malignancy."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 9:27 PM CT

Celiac Disease And Cognitive Decline

Celiac Disease And Cognitive Decline Image courtesy of celiacdisease.net
Mayo Clinic scientists have uncovered a new link between celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by consumption of gluten, and dementia or other forms of cognitive decline. The investigators' case series analysis -- an examination of medical histories of a group of patients with a common problem -- of 13 patients would be reported in the recent issue of Archives of Neurology.

"There has been very little known about this correlation between celiac disease and cognitive decline until now," says Keith Josephs, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and study investigator. "This is the largest case series to date of patients demonstrating cognitive decline within two years of the onset of celiac disease symptom onset or worsening."

Says Joseph Murray, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and study investigator, "There has been a fair amount written before about celiac disease and neurological issues like peripheral neuropathy (nerve problems causing numbness or pain) or balance problems, but this degree of brain problem -- the cognitive decline we've found here -- has not been recognized before. I was not expecting there would be so a number of celiac disease patients with cognitive decline."

The next step in the research will be to investigate the measure and nature of the correlation between the two conditions.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 9:13 PM CT

Progress In HIV Research

Progress In HIV Research
How a harmless virus called GB Virus type C (GBV-C) protects against HIV infection is now better understood. Scientists at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Iowa City Health Care System and the University of Iowa have identified a protein segment that strongly inhibits HIV from growing in cell models.

The team observed that an 85-amino acid segment within a GBV-C viral protein called NS5A greatly slows down HIV from replicating in cells grown in labs. The study results will appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The finding builds on earlier VA and UI work showing that people with HIV who also are infected GBV-C live longer than those infected only with HIV, said Jinhua Xiang, M.D., a VA research health scientific specialist, UI researcher and the current study's principal author.

GBV-C and its role in HIV infection have been studied for nearly a decade by Xiang, along with another study author Jack Stapleton, M.D., staff doctor and researcher at the VA Iowa City Health Care System and professor of internal medicine at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

"Identifying a specific protein made by GBV-C that inhibits HIV growth in cell culture strengthens the argument that GBV-C is responsible for the prolonged survival observed in several studies of HIV-positive people," Xiang said. "Understanding how the protein works may allow us to develop target-specific therapies that can mimic these effects and inhibit HIV.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 9:08 PM CT

Laser Surgery Safer Than Contacts

Laser Surgery Safer Than Contacts
Traditional assumptions have held that contact lenses are safer than laser surgery to correct vision problems. Now, an Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute physician, comparing data from several recent studies, has observed that belief may not be true.

William Mathers, M.D., professor of ophthalmology in the OHSU School of Medicine, evaluated several large, peer-evaluated studies and found a greater chance of suffering vision loss from contact lenses than from laser vision correction surgery, also known as "refractive" surgery. His findings appear in a letter in today's issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

"Several times a year, I have patients who lose eyes from complications because they've been wearing contacts and they've gotten an infection. By this I mean their eyes have to be physically removed from their bodies," said Mathers, an eye surgeon with a strong background in contact lens issues and former president of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists. "It's not that contacts aren't good. They're better than they've ever been. But one cannot assume contacts are safer".

The risks linked to laser surgery versus contact lenses can not be compared directly, partly because complications from contact lenses accumulate over years of use, and complications from surgery occur soon after the surgery.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 8:47 PM CT

Genome ID Method To Curb Cancer

Genome ID Method To Curb Cancer
A mathematical discovery has extended the reach of a novel genome mapping method to humans, potentially giving cancer biology a faster and more cost-effective tool than traditional DNA sequencing.

A student-led group from the laboratory of Michael Waterman, USC University Professor in molecular and computational biology, has developed an algorithm to handle the massive amounts of data created by a restriction mapping technology known as "optical mapping." Restriction maps provide coordinates on chromosomes analogous to mile markers on freeways.

Lead author Anton Valouev, a recent graduate of Waterman's lab and now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, said the algorithm makes it possible to optically map the human genome.

"It carries tremendous benefits for medical applications, specifically for finding genomic abnormalities," he said.

The algorithm appears in this week's PNAS Early Edition.

Optical mapping was developed at New York University in the late 1990s by David Schwartz, now a professor of chemistry and genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Schwartz and a collaborator at Wisconsin, Shiguo Zhou, co-authored the PNAS paper.

The power of optical mapping lies in its ability to reveal the size and large-scale structure of a genome. The method uses fluorescence microscopy to image individual DNA molecules that have been divided into orderly fragments by so-called restriction enzymes.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 8:36 PM CT

About Antibiotic Resistance In Hospitals

About Antibiotic Resistance In Hospitals
In one of the first national studies on guidelines that control antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in hospitals, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and the Richard Roudebush Veterans.

Administration Medical Center report that hospitals that follow national guidelines on controlling antibiotic use have lower rates of antibiotic resistance.

According to a research findings published in the recent issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the researchers studied four major types of antibiotic resistance at almost 450 hospitals, looking at what each hospital did to control antibiotic use and how this affected the rate of antibiotic resistance.

"We saw in this study, as in other work we have done, that antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly. This increase is seen in all types of hospitals across the country - large and small, teaching and non-teaching, VA and non-VA," said Bradley N. Doebbeling, M.D., M.Sc., who led the study. He directs the IU Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research at the Regenstrief Institute and the IU School of Medicine. He also directs the VA Center for Implementing Evidence-Based Practice.

The study looked at measures to prevent development of antibiotic resistance as well as ways to stop its spread. The researchers reported that if hospitals implemented specific measures to control the use of antibiotics they were more likely to have succeeded in controlling antibiotic resistance.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 8:29 PM CT

New Way To Treat Colon Cancer?

New Way To Treat Colon Cancer?
Scientists at University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute have discovered a new target for possible future colon cancer therapys a molecule that is implicated in 85 percent of colon cancer cases.

These findings were published online Oct. 6, 2006, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

By knocking out that is, genetically disabling a molecule called C-Terminal Binding Protein (CTBP) scientists were able to rescue zebrafish from the effects of a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene.

In humans, mutations in this gene long have been known to initiate a series of events that cause colon polyps, which eventually become malignant. APC mutations play a role in 85 percent of colon cancers. The new findings mean CTBP also is involved in that proportion of colon cancers.

In zebrafish, APC mutations keep the intestine from developing properly. "In essence, knocking out CTPB promotes normal development of the intestine in zebrafish carrying an APC mutation," says David A. Jones, a University of Utah associate professor of oncological sciences and leader of the study.

In normal cells of both humans and zebrafish, the APC gene controls the amount of CTBP present by marking it for destruction. In tumor cells with mutated APC, CTPB is not destroyed; instead it accumulates in the cell.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


October 9, 2006, 8:24 PM CT

Mechanism Of Cancer-drug Resistance

Mechanism Of Cancer-drug Resistance Dr. Michael Roth, professor of biochemistry, and assistant Iryna Zubovych
Using the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a mechanism by which cancer cells become resistant to a specific class of drugs.

They observed that a mutation in a single protein in the worm renders a potential new cancer drug ineffective. The drug is a derivative of a compound called hemiasterlin. Because hemiasterlin compounds are being tested as a way to fight multi-drug resistance, this newly discovered resistance effect is problematic, the scientists said.

"A major problem for cancer treatment is that if cancer cells can survive long enough, they have a chance to undergo mutations that make them resistant to anticancer drugs," said Dr. Michael Roth, professor of biochemistry and senior author of a paper published this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

One way that cancer cells resist multiple drugs is through the action of the multi-drug resistance protein, which pumps most drugs out of the cell before they can have any effect.

However, hemiasterlin bypasses this pump altogether and kills cancer cells by preventing them from dividing.

Derivatives of hemiasterlin are being tested as anti-cancer therapies, with one already in clinical study. The drug works by interfering with tubulin, which forms the structure that separates chromosomes as cells divide.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 7:18 PM CT

Exercise For Older Adults

Exercise For Older Adults
For a number of elderly adults, a visit to the doctor is not complete without the bestowal of at least one prescription. What if, in addition to prescribing medications as necessary, physicians also prescribed exercise? Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a researcher in the Lipid Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University, and Heather Mernitz, PhD, now of the Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, propose using the familiar concept of a prescription to help physicians incorporate exercise recommendations into their routine practice. In the journal American Family Physician, McDermott and Mernitz provide clinicians with explicit guidelines for giving their older patients effective "exercise prescriptions."

Their motto for determining an exercise prescription is 'FITT-PRO':.
  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Type
  • Time
  • Progression


As per FITT-PRO principles, an exercise prescription must explicitly instruct the patient regarding what type of exercise to do, how often, how hard, and for how long. The exercises must also progress over time as the patient becomes more physically fit. McDermott and Mernitz caution that, as with medicine prescriptions, these exercise parameters must be personalized to suit each patient's health status and goals.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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