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May 20, 2008, 9:50 PM CT

Biomedical Imaging in Palm of Hands

Biomedical Imaging in Palm of Hands
The new mosaic narrowband filter functions at four or more wavelengths from visual to infrared with 20nm bandwidth in a single exposure. The wallet-size mulitspectral imaging system could offer significant cost savings, increased reliability and instantan
Scientists at Georgia Tech have developed a narrowband filter mosaic that will expand the uses and functionality of multispectral imaging-a technology that enables subsurface characterization. The new, single-exposure imaging tool could significantly improve point-of-care medical and forensic imaging by empowering front line clinicians with no specialized training to detect and assess, in real-time, the severity of bruises and erythema, regardless of patient skin pigmentation or available lighting.

In addition to this application, the filter could potentially offer a reliabile, low-cost method to instantaneously classify military targets, sort produce, inspect product quality in manufacturing, detect contamination in foods, perform remote sensing in mining, monitor atmospheric composition in environmental engineering and diagnose early stage cancer and tumors.

The technology was developed in Georgia Tech's Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) as part of a project to design a portable erythema and bruise-detection technology that will enhance early prevention and diagnosis of pressure ulcers, a secondary complication for people with impaired mobility and sensation.

Currently, clinical assessment of bruises is subjective and unreliable, particularly when on persons with darkly pigmented skin. Improved imaging can lead to earlier intervention which is vital in cases of suspected physical abuse. Similarly, early detection of erythema can trigger preventive care that can stop progression into pressure ulcers.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 20, 2008, 9:47 PM CT

Research tool can detect autism at 9 months of age

Research tool can detect autism at 9 months of age
The ability to detect autism in children as young as nine months of age is on the horizon, as per scientists at McMaster University.

The Early Autism Study, led by Mel Rutherford, associate professor of psychology in the Faculty of Science, has been using eye tracker technology that measures eye direction while the babies look at faces, eyes, and bouncing balls on a computer screen.

Rutherford presented her peer-evaluated research at the 7th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research in London. (www.autism-insar.org).

Whats important about this study is that now we can distinguish between a group of siblings with autism from a group with no autism at nine months and 12 months, says Rutherford. I can do this in 10 minutes, and it is objective, meaning that the only measure is eye direction; its not influenced by a clinicians report or by intuition. Nobodys been able to distinguish between these groups at so early an age.

Currently, the earliest diagnostic test for autism is reliable around the age of two, and most children in Ontario are diagnosed around age three or four. The earlier the diagnosis the better the overall prognosis, says Rutherford.

There is an urgent need for a quick, reliable and objective screening tool to aid in diagnosing autism much earlier than is presently possible, she says. Developing a tool for the early detection of autism would have profound effects on people with autism, their parents, family members, and future generations of those at risk of developing autism.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 20, 2008, 9:44 PM CT

Protein key to neuro-regeneration

Protein key to neuro-regeneration
Scientists at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England, University College London, the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan and Cancer Research UK, have for the first time identified a protein that is key to the regeneration of damage in the peripheral nervous system and which could with further research lead to understanding diseases of our peripheral nervous systems and provide clues to methods of repairing damage in the central nervous system, as per a paper published this week in the Journal of Cell Biology.

The team looked at a protein called c-Jun, a transcription factor that regulates the expression of other genes. They observed that the c-Jun protein plays a vital role in the regulating the plasticity of Schwann cells which is vital for the way in which the peripheral nervous system regenerates and repairs itself after injury.

Schwann cells produce the sheaths that surround and insulate neurons. When there is damage to the peripheral nervous system Schwann cells unwrap themselves from the degenerating axon. During this process of repair, Schwann cells then provide the correct environment for the neurons to re-grow and complete the process of repair.

By identifying this transcription factor, the research team believes that there is scope to produce eventual cures for damage and diseases of the peripheral nervous system, such as the inherited condition Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre disease.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 20, 2008, 9:39 PM CT

SYMBICORT in children with persistent asthma

SYMBICORT in children with persistent asthma
A new 12-week study2examined safety and efficacy measures of the maintenance combination asthma treatment, SYMBICORT (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dehydrate) Inhalation Aerosol,2 in treating mild to moderate persistent asthma in children ages 6 to 15 years old2 who were previously treated with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS).2 Of note, the study included efficacy assessments of nighttime symptoms, nighttime rescue medicine use and rescue medication-free days in patients taking SYMBICORT in comparison to those taking formoterol dry powder inhaler (DPI) or budesonide pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI). Results were presented today at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society held in Toronto, Canada, May 16-21, 2008.

Children with asthma, who are not adequately controlled by ICS treatment, may have their sleep affected by asthma symptoms,6 said Kathy Lampl, MD, Director, Clinical Research, AstraZeneca. Combination treatment with inhaled ICS and LABA is one of the recommended regimens for children who have moderate to severe persistent asthma or are not controlled with ICS treatment alone, as per the NIH Guidelines. 7.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) anticipates filing a supplemental new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration for the pediatric indication of SYMBICORT in the first half of 2008.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 8:33 PM CT

The 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common

The 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common
The 21 for 21 ritual, where 21st birthday revelers attempt to down 21 alcoholic drinks, is highly prevalent among college students, as per new research. In the largest study of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri determined that a number of college students drink to excess on their 21st birthdays and potentially jeopardize their health.

The study will appear in the recent issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association. The data were collected from a larger study where students at one university were followed for four years and asked questions about their drinking behaviors.

For this portion of the online survey, 2,518 current and former college students from one university responded to several questions. The participants had already turned 21 and were asked whether they had drunk alcohol to celebrate turning 21, and, if so, how much they had drunk and for how long. The scientists observed that excessive drinking on this particular birthday was common, with more than four out of five participants reporting they had consumed some alcohol on their birthday. Of those participants, 34 percent of men and 24 percent of women reported consuming 21 drinks or more. The maximum for women was about 30 drinks, while the maximum for men was about 50 drinks.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 8:26 PM CT

With Age Comes a Sense of Peace and Calm

With Age Comes a Sense of Peace and Calm
Aging brings a sense of peace and calm, as per a new study from the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Starting at about age 60, participants reported more feelings of ease and contentment than their younger counterparts.

Catherine Ross and John Mirowsky, professors of sociology, have published the findings in "Age and the Balance of Emotions" in the May 19 issue of Social Science and Medicine. The research was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging.

The findings reveal aging is linked to more positive than negative emotions, and more passive than active emotions, Ross said.

Prior research on emotions linked to aging focused on negative emotions, such as depression. However, a second dimension underlying emotions is an active versus passive dimension, which is less studied, but may be important in explaining how emotions shift as people age, as per the researchers.

"The passive/positive combination reveals that contentment, calm and ease are some of the most common emotions people feel as they age," Ross said. "Emotions that are both active and negative, such as anxiety and anger, are particularly unlikely among the elderly".

The study examined 1,450 responses to the 1996 U.S. General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, which included English-speaking people aged 18 and older. The gender distribution of the sample was 56 percent female and 44 percent male, and the racial distribution was 81 percent white, 14 percent African American and 5 percent other races.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 8:17 PM CT

Stroke Victims Experiencing Seizures More Likely to Die

Stroke Victims Experiencing Seizures More Likely to Die
Seizures may be a sign of significant brain injury, and may occur in patients that experience any type of stroke. A new study finds that stroke patients with ensuing seizures are more likely to die in the 30 days following stroke than patients without seizures. The findings show a mortality rate of over 30 percent at thirty days after stroke.

The study, would be reported in the recent issue of Epilepsia, finds that the overall occurence rate of seizures within 24 hours of an acute stroke is 3.1 percent. Patients with intracranial hemorrhages (bleeding within the brain), have an even higher occurence rate of seizures - 8.4 percent - in the first 24 hours after stroke.

Cerebrovascular diseases, including strokes, have long been recognized as a risk factor for the development of epilepsy, especially in elderly populations. However, the occurence rate of seizures within 24 hours of stroke has not been studied extensively.

The authors also aimed to establish any racial differences in the occurence rate of these post-stroke seizures. They observed that, despite the fact that blacks are known to have higher prevalence rates of both seizures and strokes (particularly in younger age groups), there were no racial differences in seizure incidence or mortality rates in the studied population.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 6:44 PM CT

Old antibiotic may find new life as a stroke treatment

Old antibiotic may find new life as a stroke treatment
Drs. David Hess and Susan Fagan
An old intravenous antibiotic may have new life as a stroke therapy, scientists say.

Minocycline appears to reduce stroke damage in multiple ways inhibiting white blood cells and enzymes that, at least acutely, can destroy brain tissue and blood vessels, respectively, says Dr. David Hess, chair of the Department of Neurology in the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. The broad-spectrum antibiotic also seems to reduce cell suicide in the minutes and hours following a stroke, enabling more cells to recover.

He and other scientists leading a clinical trial that will study the drug in 60 stroke patients in Georgia, Kentucky and Oregon say they believe the antibiotic will be a safe, effective adjunct treatment for tPA, the only FDA-approved drug treatment for strokes.

Its a safe drug that is easy to give and tolerate, that gets into the brain well, and may reduce bleeding, the primary side effect of tPA, says Dr. Hess, principal investigator on the $1.8 million National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-funded clinical trial. We think it will make strokes smaller and patient outcomes better.

Their animal studies have shown the drug, given within six hours of a stroke, then every 12 hours for up to three days - the peak time of inflammation - reduces stroke damage by up to 40 percent.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 6:41 PM CT

Cause of lupus

Cause of lupus
Scientists at Wake Forest University have uncovered evidence that the abnormal editing of gene messages in a type of white blood cell may be behind the development of lupus. Researchers hope the finding will lead to earlier diagnosis, a way to monitor patients response to treatment and possibly a new way to treat the disease.

The findings, reported online in the journal Immunology, involve an enzyme that edits and modifies the messages of genes before the protein-making process. It is protein molecules that carry out the instructions of our genes and determine how an organism looks, how well its body metabolizes food or fights infection, and even how it behaves.

Dama Laxminarayana, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author, said that in systemic lupus erythematosus, the normal editing process goes awry, causing a shift in the balance of proteins that results in impaired functions in T cells, a type of white blood cell involved in the regulation of immune functions.

Impaired T cell function is a hallmark of lupus, a complex chronic autoimmune disorder that can range from a non-malignant skin disorder to severe, life-threatening multisystem disease. It primarily affects women in the child-bearing years and is more common in blacks.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 6:36 PM CT

Tracking influenza's every movement

Tracking influenza's every movement
Its the case of the missing flu virus. When the flu isnt making people sick, it seems to just vanish. Yet, every year, everywhere on Earth, it reappears in the appropriate season and starts its attack. So where does it go when it disappears? Does it hibernate, lying dormant in a few people and preparing for its next onslaught? Does it bounce around from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern hemisphere and back, following the seasons?.

Neither, it turns out. The viruss breeding grounds are in Asia, a crew of virus-hunters has found, and it then teems out to take over the world anew each year. New varieties almost always evolve in Asia and then hitch a ride with travelers, spreading to Europe, Australia and North America and finally to South America, where they die away.

The work may make the flu vaccine even better than it already is. Because the flu virus is constantly evolving, researchers meet at the World Health Organization twice a year to decide whether to update the vaccine. Their job is made harder because they have to decide on a formulation a year in advance of when the flu will actually hit, to allow time for the vaccine to be manufactured and administered. So they have to predict which of the strains of flu virus are going to be causing the most disease a year down the line.........

Posted by: Mark      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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