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July 17, 2006, 7:47 PM CT

Watching TV Could Help Your Parenting

Watching TV Could Help Your Parenting
Phase two of The Great Parenting Experiment, which aims to find out whether watching "positive parenting" TV shows can really help address problems like child aggression and tantrums, is being launched by clinical psychologist Rachel Calam of The University of Manchester this week.

The ITV1 series Driving Mum and Dad Mad returns on Monday (17 July), and will follow a new set of families as they try out the "Triple P" parenting programme. This was devised by Professor Matt Sanders from The University of Queensland in Australia, and aims to improve children's behaviour by rebuilding positive relationships, tackling discipline and setting rules and limits.

Teams from both universities are collaborating on The Great Parenting Experiment which will run alongside the series, wherein parents of 3 - 9 year old children will be asked to watch the shows and try out its advice for themselves. Funded by the Respect Task Force, the study will test whether, by adopting the ideas suggested, mums and dads can improve their children's behaviour and reduce their own stress levels.

Dr Calam, of the School of Psychological Sciences, explained: "One group of families will simply be asked to watch the programmes and put into practice what they see, whilst another will be given additional support. Everyone will receive a free self-help workbook at some point during the study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

July 17, 2006, 5:13 AM CT

Children who live with smokers

Children who live with smokers
Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoking, both because they are small and still growing and because they're often a "captive audience" for tobacco smoke. Now, scientists identify another problem: a greater risk for respiratory complications during outpatient surgical procedures.

Dwight Jones, MD, of Children's Hospital Boston and Neil Bhattacharyya, MD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital followed 405 children, 168 of whom came from households with smokers. The children were having day surgical procedures at Children's, ranging from drainage of middle-ear fluid to circumcision to hernia repair. All had general anesthesia and received oxygen through a face mask.

Children who lived with smokers had a higher occurence rate of respiratory problems that may occur during surgery than those from nonsmoking households: excessive mucus secretion (38 percent vs. 8 percent), breath-holding (15 percent vs. 6 percent), constriction of the larynx or bronchial tubes that potentially could impair breathing (29 percent vs. 5 percent), and actual airway obstruction (29 percent vs. 11 percent). Respiratory problems were similarly increased in the recovery room, but to a lesser extent.

"It was in the wakeup period in the operating room that they did the worst," says Jones, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children's. "We had a harder time waking up children coming out from anesthesia because of choking, gagging and secretions".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

July 17, 2006, 4:47 AM CT

New Strategy Identifies Cancer Targets

New Strategy Identifies Cancer Targets
In a step toward personalized medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Brian J. Druker and his colleagues have developed a new technique to identify previously unknown genetic mutations that can trigger malignant growth. By analyzing the proteins - instead of the genes - inside acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, the scientists have dramatically reduced the time it takes to zero in on molecular abnormalities that might be vulnerable to specific drug therapys.

"This approach gives us a way to figure out what's driving the growth of a cancer in an individual patient and ultimately match that patient with the right drug," said Druker, who is based at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Druker's team collaborated on the research, which was reported in the July 17, 2006, issue of the journal Cancer Cell, with researchers in the lab of D. Gary Gilliland, an HHMI investigator at Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as scientists at the Portland VA Medical Center, Cell Signaling Technology, the University of Chicago, and Yale University.

Traditionally, cancer-gene hunters have scanned the genome looking for mutations that trigger out-of-control cell growth. Druker tried this approach, but found it wanting. "We were doing some high-throughput DNA sequencing, and we weren't really finding much," he said.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

July 17, 2006, 4:43 AM CT

Combined treatment for lung cancer

Combined treatment  for lung cancer
Combining thermal ablation with radiation treatment extends average life expectancy and decreases recurrences of tumors in patients who have early stages of inoperable lung cancer, as per scientists at Rhode Island Hospital.

In a retrospective study looking at patients over seven years, the median survival rate at three years increased from 20 months after radiation alone to 42 months when thermal ablation was followed by radiation for therapy of non-small-cell lung cancer. The results are reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

"This study shows us that even patients who are not eligible for surgery can still get very good results," says senior author Damian Dupuy, MD, director of ultrasound at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of diagnostic imaging at Brown Medical School, both in Providence, RI. "By combining thermal ablation and radiation, you have a better chance of survival than with either therapy alone".

With radiation alone, overall survival rates were as follows:
  • one year - 57 percent
  • two years - 36 percent
  • three years - 21 percent

With thermal ablation and radiation, they were significantly higher:
  • one year - 87 percent
  • ........

    Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source

    July 14, 2006, 5:14 AM CT

    High-tech Medical Devices

    High-tech Medical Devices
    The International Modern Hospital Show 2006 is being held from July 12 to 14 in Tokyo (Tokyo Big Sight), where nearly 400 companies have gathered to showcase the latest in healthcare-related technology. The theme of the show is "Reliable Health, Medical Treatment, and Care - Aiming for High Quality Service," a theme whose success evidently depends on high technology. Below are photos (via Impress Watch) and explanations of a few of the devices appearing at the show. Despite appearances, these fellows are here to help.

    The first photo shows a patient simulator developed by IMI Corporation and Paramount Bed Co., Ltd., a system consisting of a monitor connected to a sensor-laden mannequin whose physiology changes realistically as per the therapy it receives. Great for training future medical professionals. Great for your haunted house, too.........

    Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source

    July 13, 2006, 9:59 PM CT

    Don't Let Job Get In The Way Of Your Relationship

    Don't Let Job Get In The Way Of Your Relationship
    Do we feel accepted by our partners no matter how good or bad our professional life is going? Do we see our spouses as loving us for better or worse? These questions are explored in a recent study included in the recent issue of SAGE's Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an official publication of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, published by SAGE Publications.

    The article, "For better or worse? Self-esteem and the contingencies of acceptance in marriage" presented research led by Sandra Murray of the University at Buffalo. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, was culled from the daily diaries of over 150 married couples. It concluded that people with low self-esteem incorrectly perceived their partner's acceptance and love to be contingent on their professional accomplishments.

    To help to unravel the mysteries of relationships as they naturally occur in real life, husbands and wives reported on their professional successes and failures while also reporting on the degree to which they felt accepted and loved by their partner. Self-esteem was found to be a key indicator of how people perceived their partner's approval and support. Men and women with low self-esteem felt that their partner's love was contingent on their daily professional successes--they felt more loved on days when they were more successful. Low self-esteem women also felt less accepted and loved by their partners on days when they failed at work or school. In contrast, men and women with high self-esteem perceived their partner's love as unconditional. In fact, high self-esteem women even tended to feel more loved on days when they reported failing at work.........

    Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink

    July 13, 2006, 8:37 PM CT

    Dna To Direct Nanowire Assembly

    Dna To Direct Nanowire Assembly Engineers in the lab of Jimmy Xu used DNA to grow zinc oxide nanowires like this one on the tips of carbon nanotubes
    A research team led by Brown University engineers has harnessed the coding power of DNA to create zinc oxide nanowires on top of carbon nanotube tips. The feat, detailed in the journal Nanotechnology, marks the first time that DNA has been used to direct the assembly and growth of complex nanowires.

    The tiny new structures can create and detect light and, with mechanical pressure, generate electricity. The wires' optical and electrical properties would allow for a range of applications, from medical diagnostics and security sensors to fiber optical networks and computer circuits.

    "The use of DNA to assemble nanomaterials is one of the first steps toward using biological molecules as a manufacturing tool," said Adam Lazareck, a graduate student in Brown's Division of Engineering. "If you want to make something, turn to Mother Nature. From skin to sea shells, remarkable structures are engineered using DNA".

    Lazareck, who works in the laboratory Jimmy Xu, professor of engineering and physics, led the research. The work is an example of "bottom up" nanoengineering. Instead of molding or etching materials into smaller components, such as computer circuits, engineers are experimenting with ways to get biological molecules to do their own assembly work. Under the right chemical conditions, molecular design and machinery - such as light-sensing proteins or viral motors - can be used to create miniscule devices and materials.........

    Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source

    July 12, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

    Allergy Battle Could Be Won In Five Years

    Allergy Battle Could Be Won In Five Years
    Researchers, working with colleagues at St George's, University of London, are developing drugs designed to stop allergens from entering the body, so rendering them harmless.

    Professor David Garrod said the research - recently shortlisted for the Northwest Regional Development Agency's Bionow Project of the Year - takes a completely new approach to the therapy and prevention of allergies.

    "The technology is based on our earlier discovery of how allergens, the substances that cause allergy, enter the body through the surface layer of cells that protect the skin and the tubes of the lungs," he said.

    "Allergens from pollen or house dust mites are inhaled and then dissolve the binding material between the cells that form these protective linings; they can then enter the body by passing between the cells to cause an allergic response.

    "The drugs we are developing -- called Allergen Delivery Inhibitors (ADIs) - are designed to disable these allergens so they can no longer eat through the protective cell layer and block the allergic reaction before it occurs.

    "The effect will be like avoiding allergens altogether. Removing carpets and rigorous cleaning of homes are established ways to avoid allergens, but they are only partially effective because their effects do not 'travel' with allergy sufferers.........

    Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

    July 12, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

    Sleep Deprivation Doubles Risks Of Obesity

    Sleep Deprivation Doubles Risks Of Obesity Professor Cappuccio
    You might be too busy to find time to sleep, but lack of sleep could lead to overweight and obesity. New research from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick has found that sleep deprivation is linked to an almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese for both children and adults.

    Findings from a study by Professor Francesco Cappuccio were presented to the International AC21 Research Festival hosted this month by the University of Warwick.

    Scientists reviewed current evidence in over 28,000 children and 15,000 adults. For both groups Professor Cappuccio found that shorter sleep duration is linked to almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese.

    The research also suggests that those who sleep less have a greater increase in body mass index and waist circumference over time and a greater chance of becoming obese over time.

    Professor Cappuccio says: "The 'epidemic' of obesity is paralleled by a 'silent epidemic' of reduced sleep duration with short sleep duration associated with increased risk of obesity both in adults and in children.These trends are detectable in adults as well as in children as young as 5 years".

    Professor Cappuccio points out that short sleep duration may lead to obesity through an increase of appetite via hormonal changes caused by the sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep produces Ghrelin which, among other effects, stimulates appetite and creates less leptin which, among other effects, suppresses appetite. However he says more research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which short sleep is associated with chronic conditions of affluent societies, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.........

    Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

    July 12, 2006, 11:24 PM CT

    High Humidity Is A Risk Factor For Heart Attack

    High Humidity Is A Risk Factor For Heart Attack
    High humidity, even in a relatively mild climate, boosts the risk of a heart attack among the elderly, reveals research published ahead of print in Heart.

    The scientists analysed all reported deaths in Athens for the whole of 2001 and looked at daily weather reports from the National Meteorological Society on temperature, pressure levels, and humidity for the same year.

    The total number of heart attack deaths during the year numbered 3126, of which 1953 were in men.

    There were sharp seasonal variations in the timing of the deaths, with the overall proportion of deaths a third higher in winter than in summer.

    Deaths among those aged 70 and above accounted almost entirely for this variation.

    In this age group deaths from heart attack were 3.5 times higher in June and seven times higher in December than rates in other age groups.

    The lowest recorded temperature on three days in December reached 1 degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit), with an average of 6 degrees Celsius, and the highest, on two days in August reached 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit), with an average of 34 degrees Celsius.

    The average daily temperature for the preceding week was the most significant factor influencing the daily death rate.........

    Posted by: Daniel      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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