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August 24, 2006, 6:44 PM CT

A Shortcut To Weight Loss

A Shortcut To Weight Loss
You may be spending very few hours for sleep, you try to relax sleep well and avoid weight gain, that's the message scientists have for you according to the findings from a recently published study. This interesting study has observed that women who tend to sleep less, 5 hours or less, weigh more in comparison to those women who sleep 7 hours. Scientists presented this study in the American Thoracic Society International conference during the later part of May 2006.

The study was interesting because it showed that women who sleep 5 hours or less per day had 32% higher chance of having significant weight gain in comparison to women who sleep for 7 hours per day. The criteria for significant weight gain mentioned above was a gain in weight of 33 pounds or more. The results of this study also indicated that women who sleep 5 hours or less have fifteen percent increased risk of becoming obese during the 16 year study period, in comparison to women who sleep more. The group in between, who had only 6 hours of sleep per day, had twelve percent higher chance of developing major weight gain and 6% higher risk of developing obesity when in comparison to women who regularly get 7 hours of sleep.

These conclusions are from a large study, which had 68,183 middle-aged women, who were part of the Nurses health study. Women who took part in the study were mandatory to state their sleeping habits and were asked to report their weights every couple of years of the span 16 years covered by the study. Even at the beginning of the study women who slept 5 hours or less per day weighed on an average 5.4 pounds more on the scale compared to women who had 7 hours of sleep. The principle investigator of this study, Sanjay Patel MD, who an Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland, Ohio, claims that this is the biggest study of its kind. Dr. Patel says that, this is the first study to show that lack of sleep is linked to increased risk of weight gain over time.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

August 24, 2006, 6:39 PM CT

Did You Ever Have A Binge-eating Spell?

Did You Ever Have A Binge-eating Spell? Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania
No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. As a number of as 50 percent of all people having binge eating disease diagnosis have the diagnosis of clinical depression or have been diagnosed with depression in the past. Whether depression is the cause of binge eating disorder or if binge eating disease leads to depression is not clearly understood.

It is also unclear whether dieting and binge eating disorder are in fact associated. Some persons may binge eat after stopping a course of dieting. Dieting as used here means skipping regular meals, not taking adequate food every day, or avoiding certain types of food. These are dangerous ways to implement any alterations to your body appearance weight and outlook.

Studies suggest that persons with binge eating might have some intrinsic trouble dealing with some of their inner emotions. A number of persons who are binge eaters consider themselves they are being angry without reason, moody, bored with themselves, worried, or stressed. They think that these abnormal mood disorders might lead them to initiate a binge eating spell.

Certain behavioral characteristics and emotional problems are more usually seen among persons who have binge eating disorder. These behavioral problems might include abusing alcohol, acting quickly without thinking about consequences (impulsive type behavior), not feeling in control of themselves, not feeling as a part of the society, and not noticing and talking about their own feelings.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

August 24, 2006, 5:16 AM CT

Microcapsules Open in Tumour Cells

Microcapsules Open in Tumour Cells Microcapsules in a cell, (a) before, and (b) after being illuminated with a laser
Treating cancerous tumours is difficult. Doctors have to destroy the tumour, but healthy tissue needs to be preserved. Chemotherapy tends to kill diseased cells, at the same time causing great damage to the body in general. So researchers are looking for ways to destroy only the rampant tumour cells. One way to achieve this is to transport substances inside of microcapsules into the tumour cells and release them there. Scientists led by Andre Skirtach and Gleb Sukhorukov at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Gera number of, along with Wolfgang Parak at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, have now used a laser as a means of opening microcapsules inserted into a tumour cell. The capsules subsequently release their contents, a fluorescent test substance, into the cell. The researchers used a light microscope to monitor how the luminous materials distribute themselves within the cell.

The vehicle that the scientists used was a polymer capsule only a few micrometres in diameter. The walls of the capsules were built from many layers of charged polymers, alternating positive and negative. In the laboratory, at least, this is an established way of producing transport containers for medicines, cosmetics, or nutrients, which can also pass through cell membranes. Andre Skirtach and colleagues equipped the capsules with a kind of "open sesame". But it didn't require any magic - just nanoparticles made of gold or silver atoms. The researchers mixed together charged metal nanoparticles along with the polymers composing the walls of the vesicle. The tumour cells absorbed the microcapsules and then the researchers aimed an infrared laser at them. Metal nanoparticles are especially good at absorbing the laser light and transmitting the heat further into their surroundings, heating up the walls. They became so hot that the bonds broke between the polymers and the shell and the capsules eventually opened.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 24, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

PSA predicts treatment success

PSA predicts treatment success
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A test used to detect prostate cancer can also help doctors know when therapy is working. A man's prostate specific antigen, or PSA, level after seven months of hormone treatment for advanced prostate cancer predicted how long he would survive, as per a new multicenter study conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group and led by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study reviewed 1,345 men with prostate cancer that had spread to distant parts of the body. The men were treated with seven months of androgen deprivation treatment, a therapy designed to block the effects of hormones on the cancer. PSA levels were monitored throughout the therapy. The scientists observed that men whose PSA dropped below 4.0 ng/ml had a quarter the risk of dying in comparison to those whose PSA was more than 4.0.

Results of the study appear in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"Our analysis showed that a low or undetectable PSA after seven months of androgen deprivation treatment is a powerful predictor of risk of death in patients with new metastatic prostate cancer. This could allow oncologists to identify patients who are unlikely to do well with this therapy long before they develop clinical signs of therapy resistance," says lead study author Maha Hussain, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source

August 24, 2006, 4:43 AM CT

Is Canada too clean?

Is Canada too clean?
Canada has among the highest incidences of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease cases per capita in the world, a new study shows.

About one in 350 Canadians suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, otherwise known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), the study shows. The study was published recently in the American Journal of Gasteroenterology.

IBD is a wearing away of the lining of the intestinal tract until it becomes red and raw and begins to bleeds, like a skinned knee. The difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease is where they occur: ulcerative colitis occurs only in the large intestine, and Crohn's disease, which is more common, occurs in both the large and small intestines.

"The key issue about IBD is that if affects people in the prime of their lives--it's commonly first diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 25--and it can be very debilitating," said Dr. Richard Fedorak, director of the University of Alberta Division of Gasteroenterology and a co-author of the study.

Fedorak and colleagues are studying IBD incidence rates in Canada to gain insight into the causes of the disease and determine why, as other studies have shown, it occurs more often in northern regions of the world.

"We know that people need a certain genetic mutation to be vulnerable to the disease," said Fedorak. "However, we believe there is an environmental element to it, as well, because not all people with the genetic mutation develop the disease".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 8:57 PM CT

How We Detect Sour Taste

How We Detect Sour Taste
A team headed by biologists from the University of California, San Diego has discovered the cells and the protein that enable us to detect sour, one of the five basic tastes. The scientists, who included scientists from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, suggest that this protein is also the long-sought sensor of acidity in the cerebrospinal fluid.

The study, featured on the cover of the August 24 issue of the journal Nature, reports that each of the five basic tastes is detected by distinct taste receptors-proteins that detect taste molecules-in distinct cells. The team previously discovered the sweet, bitter and umami (savory) receptors and showed that they are found in separate cells, but some scientists have argued that sour and salty tastes, which depend on the detection of ions, would not be wired in the same way.

"Our results show that each of the five basic taste qualities is exquisitely segregated into different taste cells" explained Charles Zuker, a professor of biology at UCSD and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, who headed the study. "Taken together, our work has also shown that all taste qualities are found in all areas of the tongue, in contrast with the popular view that different tastes map to different areas of the tongue."........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 6:46 PM CT

Space Age To Surgery Equipment

Space Age To Surgery Equipment Dr. Blake Hannaford's lab is developing robotic arms for remote telesurgery at the University of Washington.
Credit: Courtesy Photo from University of Washington
Though robots were once the stuff of Star Wars and The Jetsons, commercially available systems have made robotic surgeries common in hospitals. Located just feet away from the surgeon, the systems are minimally invasive and offer surgeons better dexterity.

Department of Defense-funded scientists want to take that capability to the next level so surgeries can commence on battlefields with the surgeon's work being done by a robot that's miles away and connected by communication links.

"There is a large community that is envisioning a robot that is deployable in an armored vehicle, much closer to combat, where an expert surgeon can remotely work on the patient very quickly after an injury is sustained," said Dr. Blake Hannaford, a professor of electrical engineering and adjunct professor in bioengineering and mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. "The kind of focus, as I understand it, is stopping arterial bleeding that's not amenable to a tourniquet..... and stabilizing that so that a Soldier can be transported for regular care".

Hannaford and his team have created a surgical robot that works on a patient's abdomen. It has two arms, and a motorized carriage on the operating table lets the arms move anywhere on the table.

"It's very position-able to any part of the body," he said, adding that this may possibly allow the robot be used on arms and legs.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 5:18 AM CT

Serious Eye Infection With Certain Contact Lens Solutions

Serious Eye Infection With Certain Contact Lens Solutions
Scientists have additional information concerning the recent outbreak of the corneal infection Fusarium keratitis, which was linked to use of a specific contact lens solution, as per a research studyin the August 23/30 issue of JAMA. After preliminary findings from this investigation were released in May, the product was withdrawn from the market worldwide.

Among the estimated 34 million contact lens wearers in the United States, microbial keratitis (corneal infection) is a rare but serious complication that may lead to permanent vision loss or the need for corneal transplantation. The annual occurence rate of microbial keratitis is estimated to be 4 to 21 per 10,000 soft contact lens wearers depending on overnight wear, as per background information in the article. Fusarium is a filamentous fungus usually found in soil and plants and is the major cause of fungal keratitis in certain tropical or subtropical regions. Beginning in March 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received multiple reports of Fusarium keratitis among contact lens wearers in the US.

Douglas C. Chang, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and his colleagues conducted a study to determine the specific activities, contact lens hygiene practices, or products linked to this outbreak. Data for cases that occurred after June 1, 2005, were obtained by patient and ophthalmologist interviews for case patients and neighborhood-matched controls by trained personnel.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 5:11 AM CT

Targeting Protein S14 In Breast Cancer Treatment

Targeting Protein S14 In Breast Cancer Treatment Dartmouth researchers Wendy Wells and William Kinlaw are looking into a protein called S14. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
William Kinlaw, an associate professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, has been working on a protein called S14 since 1990. Over the past few months, however, the news about S14 has picked up. Through a series of recently published academic studies, Kinlaw and colleagues are ready to pronounce S14 a potential drug target in treating breast cancer.

"Over the past three years, we've learned about S14 and its role in communicating information about the nutrient and energy supply to genes mandatory for fat metabolism in breast cancer cells," says Kinlaw, who is also affiliated with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "With this knowledge has also come the understanding that most breast cancers have found a mechanism to turn on the S14 gene".

He explains that these tumors are 'addicted' to S14, because it is mandatory for the activation of a group of genes that allow the cancer cells to make fat. Kinlaw and his team have observed that breast cancer cells die if S14 is removed, and their analysis of human breast tumors indicates that S14 is critical for metastasis.

"This makes sense, as fat is a crucial fuel for breast cancers," he says. "We believe this is particularly so during a tumor cell's attempt to journey from the breast to other parts of the body, because the normal breast tissue supplies machinery that allows tumor cells to acquire fat from the bloodstream. Our data support the hypothesis that once the cells leave this metabolically friendly breast environment, the ability to manufacture their own fat becomes a make-or-break issue".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

August 23, 2006, 5:00 AM CT

Why soldiers were not expressing war traumas?

Why soldiers were not expressing war traumas?
After the Second World War, Finnish psychiatry experts felt that soldiers had readapted to civilian society very well. The reason was not that Finnish soldiers were exceptionally strong, but that war psychiatry experts put the blame for long-term psychological problems on the soldiers themselves. Thus explains researcher Ville Kivimäki, who is involved in the research project "The War That Follows Peace" funded by the Academy of Finland.

Soldiers very rarely sought compensation for psychological war injuries. As per Kivimäki, this does not indicate the non-existence of the problem: "Refusing to talk about traumatic war experiences is correlation to a deep-seated culture of shame and very limited resources for veterans to express their traumas. War psychiatry had a profound impact on the creation of this culture. Even though the restrictive and stigmatising aspects of war psychiatry might seem repulsive, it did establish a certain type of reality, defined possibilities for the existence of soldiers and veterans, and created tension between traumatic war experiences and the culturally acceptable forms of expressing them".

As per Kivimäki, war psychiatry experts were not just quacks, but primarily emphasised that soldiers presenting with psychological problems be quickly brought back from the front lines for therapy. Disabled patients were not forcibly returned to the front lines, at least as per official directives. They were given assignments in which they could best serve their country.........

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. Archives of health news blog

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