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May 10, 2007, 5:42 AM CT

Egyptians, not Greeks were true fathers of medicine

Egyptians, not Greeks were true fathers of medicine
Researchers examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks.

The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1,500BC 1,000 years before Hippocrates was born.

"Classical scholars have always considered the ancient Greeks, especially Hippocrates, as being the fathers of medicine but our findings suggest that the ancient Egyptians were practising a credible form of pharmacy and medicine much earlier," said Dr Jackie Campbell.

"When we compared the ancient remedies against modern pharmaceutical protocols and standards, we found the prescriptions in the ancient documents not only compared with pharmaceutical preparations of today but that a number of of the remedies had therapeutic merit".

The medical documents, which were first discovered in the mid-19th century, showed that ancient Egyptian physicians treated wounds with honey, resins and metals known to be antimicrobial.

The team also discovered prescriptions for laxatives of castor oil and colocynth and bulk laxatives of figs and bran. Other references show that colic was treated with hyoscyamus, which is still used today, and that cumin and coriander were used as intestinal carminatives.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 10, 2007, 5:39 AM CT

Faster and better emergency response

Faster and better emergency response
When emergency teams are well informed and governments can coordinate their efforts, lives and property can be saved. The Health Early Warning System, a project supported by ESA, is intended to bring this benefit to Europe.

Extreme natural phenomena like tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes have featured prominently in the news. So, too, has the rapid spread of new diseases such as SARS and avian flu. By identifying and mapping occurrences of these problems sooner, agencies can relieve suffering more quickly and contain a situation more efficiently. That is why ESA is supporting the Health Early Warning System (HEWS), which will improve the performance of emergency service end-users.

HEWS offers these users a wider, real-time perspective of events and how to manage them. It integrates knowledge of a particular threat or disease and brings it to remote areas, even if they are in an extreme state of disorder. It helps with logistical support and reduces the need to carry large amounts of heavy equipment to trouble spots.

A pan-European solution.

HEWS works by setting up a communication network via satellite to survey and monitor risk indicators. It allows communication between teams in the field and with command centres. Data from a number of locations can be collected, stored and processed. It can then be quickly analysed and distributed to the users who need it the most. HEWS is an open platform, built using a modular approach, so the widest variety of users can implement it.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:34 PM CT

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Positive Effect On Muscle Mass

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Positive Effect On Muscle Mass
A research team led by Carole Thivierge, from Universit Lavals Institute of Nutraceutics and Functional Foods, shows that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have a positive effect on the metabolism of muscle proteins. This finding, published in a recent edition of the Journal of Physiology, could have significant implications in the fields of animal farming as well as human health.

In mammals, the ability to use nutrients from food and convert them into muscle proteins decreases with age. Though the exact cause of this phenomenon is still unclear, insulin resistance of aging muscle cells has been suggested as a possible answer.

Since omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve glucose metabolism in people and animals showing insulin resistance, the scientists decided to test whether omega-3s could also influence protein metabolism.

To do so, they added supplements containing either omega-3s from fish oil or a mixture of cottonseed and olive oils without omega-3s to the regular diet of steers. After five weeks, animals with the marine omega-3 diet showed increased sensitivity to insulin which, in turn, improved protein metabolism: twice the amount of amino acids was used by their bodies to synthesize proteins, particularly in muscles. So it appears that omega-3 fatty acids added to the steers diet replaced other fatty acids in muscle cells and improved their functioning.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:31 PM CT

FDG-PET Predicts Response to Chemotherapy

FDG-PET Predicts Response to Chemotherapy
An earlier indication of whether chemotherapy benefits non-small cell patients with lung cancer-provided by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging-can guide doctors in offering them better care, as per scientists in the May Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

"Our study demonstrates that patients who respond to chemotherapy can be identified early in the course of their therapy, and these patients will generally exhibit prolonged overall survival," explained Claude Nahmias, professor of radiology and medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. "Eventhough we studied a relatively small number of patients-and our results should be interpreted with caution-it is clear that a repeat PET study with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) at the end of the first cycle of chemotherapy would allow the identification of those patients for whom the treatment was futile," he said. "The ability to provide an early indication of therapeutic response has the potential to improve patient care by identifying those patients who do not benefit from their current therapy," explained Nahmias. "Patients would benefit from either having chemotherapy and its associated toxic side effects stopped or going on to a different, and hopefully more adequate, therapeutic approach," added the co-author of "Time Course of Early Response to Chemotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients With 18F-FDG PET/CT".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:26 PM CT

Coarse particulate matter in asthma sufferers

Coarse particulate matter in asthma sufferers
Breathing air containing coarse particulate matter such as road or construction dust may cause heart problems for asthma sufferers and other vulnerable populations, as per a new study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

The scientists observed that in people with asthma, a small increase in coarse particulate matter in outdoor air raised bad cholesterol and increased the count of inflammation-linked white blood cells, among other changes.

"This research was all done with study participants just being outside and breathing outdoor air," said Dr. Karin Yeatts, research assistant professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health, a member of the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology, and the study's principal investigator. "Our results indicate that susceptible people really need to pay attention to air pollution warnings and stay inside when the air pollution is bad. This is especially the case for people with asthma".

The study, reported in the May 2007 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, was a collaboration by scientists from the School of Public Health, the School of Medicine's Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:23 PM CT

DNA repair monitored at double-strand break

DNA repair monitored at double-strand break
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital had a molecules eye view of the human cells DNA repair kit as it assembled on a double-strand break to link together the broken ends. Double-strand breaks are ruptures that cut completely across the twisted, ladder-like structure of DNA, breaking it into two pieces.

Using a technique developed specifically for this project, the St. Jude scientists could determine when repair proteins arrived at or around the DNA break and evaluate its repaireven when particular proteins shifted away from the break to make room for others. A report on this work appears in the May 7 online issue of "Nature Cell Biology." .

The findings are important because disruption of the precise movement of these repair proteins can cause mutations, cell death or cancer, and the ability to track the process so closely will give scientists critical insights into what can go wrong with DNA repair. This could lead to novel ways to make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment by blocking their ability to repair double-stranded breaks caused by chemotherapy or radiation. It could also suggest new strategies for enhancing repair of double-stranded DNA caused by radiation, natural oxidants in food or the body and other toxins that can cause disease and aging.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:21 PM CT

Study confirms health benefits of whole grains

Study confirms health benefits of whole grains
A diet high in whole grain foods is linked to a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, as per an analysis conducted by scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"Consuming an average of 2.5 servings of whole grains each day is linked to a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease in comparison to consuming only 0.2 servings," said Philip Mellen, M.D., lead author and an assistant professor of internal medicine. "These findings suggest that we should redouble our efforts to encourage patients to include more of these foods in their diets".

These results were published on line in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases and will appear in a future print issue.

The findings are based on an analysis of seven studies involving more than 285,000 people. By combining the data from these seven studies, scientists were able to detect effects that may not have shown up in each individual study. The studies were conducted between 1966 and April 2006.

Mellen said the findings are consistent with earlier research, but that despite abundant evidence about the health benefits of whole grains, intake remains low. A nutrition survey conducted between 1999 and 2000 observed that only 8 percent of U.S. adults consumed three or more servings of whole grain per day and that 42 percent of adults ate no whole grains on a given day.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 9, 2007, 11:19 PM CT

Majority of herb users don't follow evidence

Majority of herb users don't follow evidence
Sales of herbal dietary supplements have skyrocketed by 100 percent in the United States during the last 10 years, but most people dont consider evidence-based indications before using them, as per a University of Iowa study published in this months Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Two-thirds of people who use herbs dont do so in accordance with scientific guidelines, as per the article. Meanwhile, sales of herbal supplements reached $18.8 billion in 2003, up 100 percent from $8.8 billion in 1994. Those sales are subject to minimal federal regulations.

Physicians are concerned, says Aditya Bardia, M.D., lead author of the study and a resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic, because herbal supplements can have adverse side effects and interact negatively with therapeutic drugs. Physicians should ask patients about herb use during every clinical visit and hospital admission to better inform patients about potential benefits and harm, agree the studys authors.

Physicians, pharmacists and other health professionals should proactively educate consumers and advocate for public health policies that would disseminate evidence-based information regarding the appropriate use of herbs, Dr. Bardia says.

To generate their findings, physicians culled information from a 2002 National Health Interview Survey taken among U.S. adults. The final study population, 609 adults, took a single herb and said they were taking it to treat a specific health condition.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 7, 2007, 11:11 PM CT

Gene mutation and cognition

Gene mutation and cognition
The human and chimpanzee genomes vary by just 1.2 percent, yet there is a considerable difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species. A new study showed that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and that it originated less than 5 million years ago. The study, which also demonstrated the molecular mechanism that creates this novel protein, will be published online in Human Mutation, the official journal of the Human Genome Variation Society. The journal is available online via Wiley InterScience.

Led by Dr. Bing Su of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Kunming, China, scientists analyzed the DNA of humans and several species of apes and monkeys. Their prior work had shown that type II neuropsin, a longer form of the protein, is not expressed in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of lesser apes and Old World monkeys. In the current study, they tested the expression of type II in the PFC of two great ape species, chimpanzees and orangutans, and observed that it was not present. Since these two species diverged most recently from human ancestors (about 5 and 14 million years ago respectively), this finding demonstrates that type II is a human-specific form that originated relatively recently, less than 5 million years ago.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 7, 2007, 11:01 PM CT

Nation's Most And Least Sun-smart Cities

Nation's Most And Least Sun-smart Cities
Most Americans are familiar with the popular city rankings of the fattest cities, the fittest cities, the most livable cities and the most expensive cities. Now, in the first-of-its-kind survey, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has identified the cities that take sun protection seriously and those that fail to make the grade despite repeated health warnings.

The "RAYS: Your Grade" survey polled adults in 32 U.S. metropolitan regions spanning 29 states on their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward tanning and sun protection. Cities were then ranked based on the percentage of people who scored As and Bs.

"Based on our initial review of what people are currently doing, know and believe about sun protection, 35 percent of the national public score above average, with grades of A or B," said dermatologist Diane R. Baker, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy. "From here, our goal is to move the needle so that we have 45 percent or even 50 percent starting to score in the A or B range".

Of the 32 cities and states ranked on their percentage of A and B grades, Washington, DC, was ranked No. 1, with 47 percent of its residents receiving As and Bs, followed closely by New York City which earned the No. 2 ranking. Dr. Baker also found that Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles each noted for year-round sunny weather rounded out the top five rankings.........

Posted by: George      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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