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Archives Of Health News Blog From Medicineworld.Org

April 9, 2006, 8:05 PM CT

Who knows their children best, teachers or parents?

Who knows their children best, teachers or parents?
Scientists have generally believed that teachers are better than parents at evaluating the behavior of school children, because teachers have a bigger group of children for comparison. A University of Virginia study, however, shows that parents are better at assessing their child's emotional states, while teachers are better at rating bad behaviors. The results emphasize the importance of teachers and parents working together in the child's best interest.

Associate professor Timothy Konold, coordinator of research, statistics and evaluation at U.Va.'s Curry School of Education, will report his findings on April 8 at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) meeting in San Francisco.

"Our results indicate that both parents and teachers are important considerations when assessing a child's overall behavioral disposition," Konold said.

"The results have important implications for the manner in which we collect information on child behavior problems that are used to inform instruction and counseling decisions," he said.

Konold based his research on ratings given by mothers, fathers and teachers of a representative sample of 562 first-graders in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. U.Va. is one of 10 sites of this national, 15-year research project, led by Robert Pianta, an authority on early childhood education, who is also a Curry School education professor.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 9, 2006, 7:48 PM CT

Targeting Fat With Laser

Targeting Fat With Laser Rox Anderson, right, and Free-Electron Laser Scientist Steve Benson, left, discuss laser beam parameters while conducting the experiment on pig fat. Image courtesy: Greg Adams, Jefferson Lab
Fat may have finally met its match: laser light. Scientists at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) have shown, for the first time, that a laser can preferentially heat lipid-rich tissues, or fat, in the body without harming the overlying skin. Laser therapies based on the new research could treat a variety of health conditions, including severe acne, atherosclerotic plaque, and unwanted cellulite. The result will be presented at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) 26th Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.

In the first part of the study, the scientists used human fat obtained from surgically discarded normal tissue. Based on a fat absorption spectrum, tissue was exposed to a range of wavelengths of infrared laser light (800-2600 nanometers) using the Free-Electron Laser facility at Jefferson Lab. The scientists measured how selected wavelengths heated the fat and compared the result to a similar experiment conducted with pure water. At most infrared wavelengths, water is more efficiently heated by infrared light; however, the scientists found three wavelengths â€" 915, 1210 and 1720 nm â€" where fat was more efficiently heated than water.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 7, 2006, 6:58 AM CT

Pain Medications Prevent Cancer

Pain Medications Prevent Cancer
Results results from a new, five-year study is showing that regular use this popular group of prescription pain relievers may reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 71 percent. In addition, these drugs may also benefit in the prevention of prostate, colon and lung cancers.

These study findings were reported in the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. The researchers have found significant chemopreventive effects against breast cancer with the regular use of Cox-2 inhibitors and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The study was conducted by Dr. Randall Harris, professor and director of the Center for Molecular Epidemiology and Environmental Health in The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Randall Harris and colleagues conducted a large case-control study of Cox-2 inhibitors and studied their impact upon the four leading types of cancer in the United States: breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. COX-2 inhibitors are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs that specifically block the COX-2 enzyme pathway that is often activated in inflammation, cancer, heart disease and other disorders.

Harris and his colleagues studied the use of celecoxib (Celebrex), rofecoxib (Vioxx), regular aspirin, low-dose aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen among 323 women with breast cancer from 1999-2004.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 7, 2006, 6:20 AM CT

Vitamin D To Prevent Breast Cancer

Vitamin D To Prevent Breast Cancer Image: Food rich in vitamin-D
Even though some doctors may argue that exposure to sunlight may increase the risk of skin cancer, now there is evidence from research to say that exposure to sun may decrease your risk of developing breast cancer.

Two new studies have shown that women who get lots of vitamin D are less likely to develop breast cancer. These new studies add stronger evidence to the already existing medical information that, plenty of vitamin-D may prevent breast cancer.

Read more.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 6, 2006, 11:18 PM CT

Moderate Drinking Causes Better Cognition In Women

Moderate Drinking Causes Better Cognition In Women
A drink or two a day may be associated with better cognitive function in women, according to a report from an ongoing study of New York City residents. The report was published in the rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Women who had up to two drinks a day scored about 20 percent higher on the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) than women who didn't drink at all or who consumed less than one drink a week," said Clinton Wright, M.D., M.S., lead author of the study and assistant professor of neurology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York. "The difference remained after adjusting for risk factors such as income, marital status, race or ethnicity and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cardiac disease".

The researchers said they were surprised by the lack of association between carotid plaque and alcohol consumption. Other research had suggested that alcohol consumption might slow the progression of plaque, the fatty material that builds up in arteries and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

"This study suggests that the relationship between alcohol and cognition was not mediated by large vessel atherosclerosis," Wright said. "Future studies with brain imaging are planned to examine the importance of small vessel disease in this relationship".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

April 6, 2006, 11:09 PM CT

Nanopore To Revolutionize Genome Sequencing

Nanopore To Revolutionize Genome Sequencing
DNA and Nanopore from Above Credit: Johan Lagerqvist
A team led by physicists at the University of California, San Diego has shown the feasibility of a fast, inexpensive technique to sequence DNA as it passes through tiny pores. The advance brings personalized, genome-based medicine closer to reality.

The paper, reported in the recent issue of the journal Nano Letters, describes a method to sequence a human genome in a matter of hours at a potentially low cost, by measuring the electrical perturbations generated by a single strand of DNA as it passes through a pore more than a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Because sequencing a person's genome would take several months and millions of dollars with current DNA sequencing technology, the scientists say that the new method has the potential to usher in a revolution in medicine.

"Current DNA sequencing methods are too slow and expensive for it to be realistic to sequence people's genomes to tailor medical therapys for each individual," said Massimiliano Di Ventra, an associate professor of physics at UCSD who directed the project. "The practical implementation of our approach could make the dream of personalizing medicine as per a person's unique genetic makeup a reality".

The physicists used mathematical calculations and computer modeling of the motions and electrical fluctuations of DNA molecules to determine how to distinguish each of the four different bases (A, G, C, T) that constitute a strand of DNA. They based their calculations on a pore about a nanometer in diameter made from silicon nitride-a material that is easy to work with and usually used in nanostructures-surrounded by two pairs of tiny gold electrodes. The electrodes would record the electrical current perpendicular to the DNA strand as the DNA passed through the pore. Because each DNA base is structurally and chemically different, each base creates its own distinct electronic signature.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source

April 6, 2006, 11:04 PM CT

All About Healing Honey

All About Healing Honey

Substantial evidence demonstrates that honey, one of the oldest healing remedies known to medicine, produces effective results when used as a wound dressing. A review article in the most recent issue of SAGE Publications' International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds summarizes the data.

Researchers performed 22 trials involving 2,062 patients treated with honey, as well as an additional 16 trials that were performed on experimental animals. Honey was found to be beneficial as a wound dressing in the following ways:.
  • Honey's antibacterial quality not only rapidly clears existing infection, it protects wounds from additional infection
  • Honey debrides wounds and removes malodor
  • Honey's anti-inflammatory activity reduces edema and minimizes scarring
  • Honey stimulates growth of granulation and epithelial tissues to speed healing
  • The review article was written by Dr. P.C. Molan of New Zealand's University Waikato. He noted that, eventhough the a number of randomized controlled clinical trials strongly support the use the honey in wound care; the trials may not have been double-blind. Of course, double blind testing would be difficult to achieve because honey is a very recognizable substance.

Molan concludes, "the barrier to using honey that has existed for a number of clinicians who have been constrained to using only licensed products has been removed now that honey is available in the form of various sterile products licensed for use in wound care. Clinicians should check the evidence that exists to support the use of honey."........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source

April 6, 2006, 10:41 PM CT

Is the Brain Wired for Faces?

Is the Brain Wired for Faces?
Although the human brain is skilled at facial recognition and discrimination, new research from Georgetown University Medical Center suggests that the brain may not have developed a specific ability for "understanding faces" but instead uses the same kind of pattern recognition techniques to distinguish between people as it uses to search for differences between other groups of objects, such as plants, animals and cars.

The study, published in the April 6 edition of the journal Neuron, adds new evidence to the debate over how the brain understands and interprets faces, an area of neuroscience that has been somewhat controversial. Because the process of facial perception is complicated and involves different and widespread areas of the brain, there is much that remains unknown about how humans perform this task.

"We found that faces aren't special in the way many scientists once thought," says Maximilian Riesenhuber, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience and senior author of the study. "Rather, they are particular group of objects which the brain has learned to distinguish very well, much as it would for any other similar objects that are critical to human survival and communication".

Riesenhuber hopes that integrative research of this kind will help scientists better understand the neural bases of object recognition deficits in mental disorders, such as autism, dyslexia or schizophrenia. People with autism, for example, experience difficulty with recognizing faces, which might be caused by a defect on the neural level. Breakthroughs in this kind of research could someday lead to targeted therapies for the millions of people who suffer from these disorders.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Effects Of Weight Loss In Adolescents

Effects Of Weight Loss In Adolescents
A team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is studying how fatty liver disease affects sugar and fat metabolism in overweight adolescents and how losing weight affects the condition. In the last 30 years, the number of overweight children has doubled in the United States, and overweight children are at increased risk for the problem.

In fatty liver disease, fat accumulates in liver cells. A patient is diagnosed with fatty liver when there is more than 5 percent fat in the liver. In children and adolescents, fatty liver is most common in those who are overweight, but it also can occur in young people with diabetes or, less commonly, with other conditions.

Those with fatty liver disease may have an enlarged liver or elevations in liver enzyme tests. Most do not have obvious symptoms, but some may complain of fatigue, malaise or vague abdominal pain that can bring them to the attention of a physician. If fatty liver goes untreated and risk factors are not controlled, a small percentage of young people may progress to liver scarring or even liver failure.

Fatty liver disease is thought to affect about 20 percent of the population in the developed world, but like type 2 diabetes, it has been uncommon in young people until recently.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

April 5, 2006, 11:45 PM CT

Protein May Help Prevent Diabetes

Protein May Help Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes scientists hoping to enlist the help of a protein targeted by cancer therapies have gained an important new insight into how the protein, known as mTOR, works in the pancreas.

Ironically, diabetes scientists are hoping to promote the capability of mTOR that oncologists want to shut down: its ability to cause cells to reproduce by dividing into copies of themselves. That capacity can be deadly in tumors, but Michael McDaniel, Ph.D., professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, wants to use mTOR's ability to make cells divide to maintain enough insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas to prevent diabetes.

"We're working to increase beta cell mass and survival by appropriately activating mTOR," McDaniel says. "This could be useful both for persons at risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to sustain transplants in patients who already have diabetes."

McDaniel and colleagues published their results in a recent issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry. They uncovered new details of how mTOR activation affects beta cell reproduction and found evidence that mTOR's effects can both aid and adversely affect beta cells.

In earlier studies of rat islets, the structures in the pancreas that contain beta cells and secrete insulin, McDaniel's group showed that glucose and other nutrients activate mTOR in the beta cells. They linked high glucose levels to increases in a beta cell's production of DNA - a critical first step in the preparation for cell division.........

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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