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October 8, 2006, 7:10 PM CT

Genes Diet And Heart Disease

Genes Diet And Heart Disease
Scientists from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and his colleagues have found another link among genes, heart disease and diet. The study, published in Circulation, examined apolipoprotein A5 (APOA5), a gene that codes for a protein, which in turn plays a role in the metabolism of fats in the blood. The results show that people who carry a particular variant of APOA5 may have elevated risk factors that are linked to heart disease, but only if they also consumed high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in their diets.

Corresponding author Chao-Qiang Lai, PhD, a USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist at the USDA HNRCA, and his colleagues analyzed lipid levels and dietary assessment questionnaires of more than 2,000 participants in the Framingham Heart Study and quantified their intake of different types of fats.

Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and, as per a report from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, most Americans consume about 10 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. Omega-3s are found in nuts, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, and vegetable oils like canola and flaxseed, while omega-6s are found in grains, meats, vegetable oils like corn and soy, and also processed foods made with these oils. Both omega-3s and omega-6s, known as essential fatty acids, must be consumed in the diet because they are not made by the body.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 6:26 PM CT

Maggot Therapy Without The Maggots

Maggot Therapy Without The Maggots
Researchers in the United Kingdom have developed a new wound dressing that could bring the benefits of maggot treatment to patients without putting live Greenbottle fly (blowfly) larvae into non-healing wounds. The joint research project of Stephen Britland from Bradford University and David Pritchard of Nottingham University included colleagues from the Bradford-based biotechnology company AGT Sciences Ltd. It describes development and preliminary testing in laboratory cell cultures of the new hydrogel dressing in a report scheduled for publication in the Oct. 6 issue of the ACS bimonthly journal Biotechnology Progress.

The scientists note resurgence in medical use of larval biotherapy -- intentionally introducing blowfly maggots into non-healing wounds to clean away dead tissue. Medical use of the technique led to observations suggesting that maggots' excretions and secretions (ESs) also may encourage regeneration of tissue and wound healing. Realizing that the ESs would have to be delivered in a controlled fashion, Britland's group developed the hydrogel dressing, which slowly releases maggot ESs.

"The present prototype hydrogel wound dressing could potentially be deployed as a device to deliver insect-derived active products to skin wounds in vivo to encourage tissue regeneration."........

Posted by: George      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 6:17 PM CT

Breast Reconstruction Not Very Safe For Obese

Breast Reconstruction Not Very Safe For Obese
Significantly obese women may wish to consider delaying breast reconstruction following mastectomy until they achieve a healthier body weight. As per findings presented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2006 conference in San Francisco, women who are significantly obese are at higher risk for complications and have a lower satisfaction rate than do normal and overweight patients.

"Just because someone is overweight doesn't mean they should not be entitled to undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy," said Elisabeth Beahm, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon, author of the study, and associate professor at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Feeling 'whole' can be an integral part of recovery from cancer, yet significant concerns have been raised about the wisdom of doing breast reconstruction in very obese patients due to a high complication rate.

The current retrospective study observed that patients with a BMI greater than 35 demonstrated significantly increased complication rates for all types of breast reconstruction, from implants to flaps. The complication rate approached 100 percent for morbidly obese patients with a BMI over 40.

"We investigated whether plastic surgeons can safely perform breast reconstruction for these patients or if we would be depriving them reconstruction simply because of empiric concerns for their weight," said Dr. Beahm. "We observed that significantly obese patients, those having a BMI of 35 or higher, had a higher risk for complications. Our experience suggests that in a number of cases it may be more prudent to delay breast reconstruction until the patient has lost weight".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 6:01 PM CT

Some Breast Cancer Patients Unhappy With Lumpectomy

Some Breast Cancer Patients Unhappy With Lumpectomy
Women with breast cancer often undergo a lumpectomy and radiation to save their breasts and avoid the need for additional reconstructive surgery. However, approximately one-third of all patients are unhappy with how their breasts look after undergoing breast conservation treatment and a number of would consider reconstruction, as per a research studypresented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2006 conference in San Francisco.

"I have patients walking into my office saying lumpectomy was supposed to save their breast but what's left doesn't look like a breast to them," said Howard Wang, ASPS Member Surgeon and co-author of the study. "Conservation is thought to bean acceptable way of saving a woman's breast. But a number of of these women are coming to plastic surgeons for help, saying it isn't so".

In the study, 28 percent of the patients with breast cancer stated they were dissatisfied with the cosmetic result of their lumpectomy. Of those patients, 46 percent stated their physical appearance was worse or much worse after the surgery and were considering reconstruction. Only nine percent of patients who were satisfied with the outcome, however, would consider reconstruction if it were offered.

Approximately 26 percent of patients were unhappy with their physical appearance after the lumpectomy but had an improved sense of body image. Plastic surgeons believe this disparity occurred because a number of patients felt relieved to be free of the cancer, leading them to feel better about their bodies even though they were not happy with how their breasts looked.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 5:56 PM CT

Devoting More Research To Webicillin

Devoting More Research To Webicillin
Could a dose of webicillin beat that stubborn infection? Could a cobweb bandage help soldiers and accident victims with bleeding wounds? Is a wrapping of spider silk the key to preventing the body from rejecting implants?

A review of research on spider silk concludes that researchers have largely overlooked such possible medical applications of this extraordinary natural material, which is stronger than steel. In a report in the current (Sept. 13) issue of the ACS monthly journal Chemical Reviews, Randolph V. Lewis, of the University of Wyoming, describes other scientific research on spider silk during the last 15 years.

"Very few studies of biological testing of spider silk have been done in a rigorous manner," Lewis states. "There is a large body of folklore concerning the antibiotic, wound-healing, and clot-inducing activity of spider silk. However, much of that lore has not been seriously tested." The lore dates to the first century A.D. when spider webs were prized as wound dressings. They even found a place in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream: "I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master cobweb," the character "Bottom" said. "If I cut my finger, I shall make bold of you".

The scanty scientific evidence is tantalizing, Lewis notes. He cites, for instance, animal studies concluding that spider silks do not induce an immune response -- which causes rejection of implants.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 5:47 PM CT

Marijuana's Ingredient May Slow Down Alzheimer's Disease

Marijuana's Ingredient May Slow Down Alzheimer's Disease
Researchers are reporting discovery in laboratory experiments of a previously unknown molecular mechanism in which the active ingredient in marijuana may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Scripps Research Institute's Kim D. Janda and his colleagues used laboratory experiments to show that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) preserves brain levels of the key neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Existing medications for AD, including donepezil and tacrine, also relieve AD symptoms by inhibiting the enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine. THC does so by inhibiting an alternative site on acetylchlolinesterase and at lower concentrations, Janda's group reports in an article in the current (Oct. 2) issue of the ACS bimonthly journal, Molecular Pharmaceutics. Their experiments show that THC also prevents formation of the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of AD and its damage to the brain.

"Our results provide a mechanism whereby the THC molecule can directly impact Alzheimer's disease pathology," they state. They also note that THC may provide a "drug lead" -- a model for developing new and more effective medications with more targeted effects on AD.

The scientists explain that such compounds "may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease, augmenting acetylcholine levels by preventing neurotransmitter degradation and reeducating amyloid beta aggregation, thereby simultaneously treating both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 5:28 PM CT

Antidepressants After Plastic Surgery

Antidepressants After Plastic Surgery
It has been proven that plastic surgery can improve self-esteem, but can it also act as a natural mood enhancer? A significant number of patients stopped taking antidepressant medicine after undergoing plastic surgery, as per a research studypresented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2006 conference in San Francisco.

"Plastic surgery patients are taking a proactive approach in making themselves happier by improving something that has truly bothered them," said Bruce Freedman, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study author. "While we are not saying that cosmetic plastic surgery alone is responsible for the drop in patients needing antidepressants, it surely is an important factor".

In the study, 362 patients had cosmetic plastic surgery 17 percent or 61 patients were taking antidepressants. Six months after surgery, however, that number decreased 31 percent, down to 42 patients. In addition, 98 percent of patients said cosmetic plastic surgery had markedly improved their self-esteem.

All of the patients, who were primarily middle-aged women, had an invasive cosmetic plastic surgery procedure such as breast augmentation, tummy tuck or facelift. The authors did not identify any other major life changes that may have affected patients' use of antidepressants.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 5:22 PM CT

Breast Asymmetry Surgery

Many women carry a private sorrow. They suffer from uneven breasts; with each breast differing is size from the other. This condition is also known as breast asymmetry and is a relatively common condition. The embarrassment about the uneven breasts could affect their daily lives, sexuality and confidence. Researchers say that for those women with significant asymmetry, breast surgery can considerably elevate quality of life and self-esteem. These discussions were part of as study that was presented recently at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2006 conference in San Francisco.

"All women have some degree of breast asymmetry, but for those with a noticeable difference, the embarrassment often keeps them from seeking help," said Walter Erhardt, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and Public Education Committee chair. "Even if breasts differ by less than a half-cup size it can be very noticeable. The condition is talked about so infrequently that a number of are unaware there are surgeries that can correct the problem".

Breast asymmetry occurs when a woman's breasts differ in size or shape. For example, a woman's left breast may be a B-cup and the right, a D-cup. Conversely, a woman may have one breast that significantly droops, and the other does not, making the woman's breasts appear unbalanced.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


October 8, 2006, 5:10 PM CT

More Than Meets The Eye

More Than Meets The Eye
Ever watch a jittery video made with a hand-held camera that made you almost ill? With our eyes constantly darting back and forth and our body hardly ever holding still, that is exactly what our brain is faced with. Yet despite the shaky video stream, we commonly perceive our environment according tofectly stable.

Not only does the brain find a way to compensate for our constantly flickering gaze, but scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have observed that it actually turns the tables and relies on eye movements to recognize partially hidden or moving objects. Their findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of Nature Neuroscience.

"You might expect that if you move your eyes, your perception of objects might get degraded," explains senior author Richard Krauzlis, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute. "The striking thing is that moving your eyes can actually help resolve ambiguous visual inputs."

Our eyes move all the time, whether to follow a moving object or to scan our surroundings. On average, our eyes move several times a second in fact, in a lifetime, our eyes move more often than our heart beats. "Nevertheless, you don't have the sense that the world has just swept across or rotated around you. You sense that the world is stable," says Krauzlis.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


October 6, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Emotionally Ambivalent Workers Are More Creative

Emotionally Ambivalent Workers Are More Creative
People who experience emotional ambivalence -- simultaneously feeling positive and negative emotions -- are more creative than those who feel just happy or sad, or lack emotion at all, as per a new study.

That's because people who feel mixed emotions interpret the experience as a signal that they are in an unusual environment and thus respond to it by drawing upon their creative thinking abilities, said Christina Ting Fong, an assistant professor at the University of Washington Business School. This increased sensitivity for recognizing unusual associations, which happy or sad workers probably couldn't detect, is what leads to creativity in the workplace, she added.

"Due to the complexity of a number of organizations, workplace experiences often elicit mixed emotions from employees, and it's often assumed that mixed emotions are bad for workers and companies," said Fong, whose study appears in the recent issue of the Academy of Management Journal. "Rather than assuming ambivalence will lead to negative results for the organization, managers should recognize that emotional ambivalence can have positive consequences that can be leveraged for organizational success."

For her research, Fong conducted two studies. In the first, she asked 102 college students to write about certain emotional experiences in their lives with the goal of invoking in them feelings of happiness, sadness, neutrality or ambivalence. She then had them complete a usually used measure of creativity called the Remote Associates Test that explored their ability to recognize common themes among seemingly unrelated words. The results demonstrated that while there were no differences among happy, sad and neutral individuals, people who were feeling emotionally ambivalent performed significantly better on this creativity task.........

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.

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