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October 27, 2010, 7:03 AM CT

How to deliver breech babies?

How to deliver breech babies?
Most babies are delivered head-first, but in about 4% of all deliveries babies are "born breech" - with their buttocks or feet first. Doctors commonly exercise caution and use caesarean sections (C-sections) as the delivery method of choice for such births, believing it safer for the baby. After a large-scale international study in 2000, C-sections became the near-universal choice for such births.

But now scientists at Tel Aviv University are saying that, under certain circumstances, traditional vaginal delivery for breech babies is not only safe for baby, but even safer for mommy.

Recent studies by a group of researchers including Prof. Marek Glezerman of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Rabin Medical Center make this case. Published in major obstetric journals world-wide and presented recently at the Canadian Congress on Breech Delivery, Prof. Glezerman's research indicates that breech babies are no more at risk during vaginal delivery than C-section, and there is reduced morbidity and mortality for the mothers. Based on his findings, Prof. Glezerman is campaigning worldwide for a return to skilled vaginal delivery of breech babies.

The safer way for moms

Caesarean section, explains Prof. Glezerman, is not just another method of delivery. A major surgical procedure, a C-section is not only riskier for a woman and decreases chances she will be able to breastfeed, it also increases maternal risks in future pregnancies. A large number of C-sections are performed because a woman had a breech presentation in the past, he explains - once a woman has delivered by C-section, it becomes more dangerous and occasionally impossible to deliver vaginally, since the uterine walls and muscles are at increased risk for rupture.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


October 27, 2010, 6:57 AM CT

Smoked Salmon Safe to Eat

Smoked Salmon Safe to Eat
Food technologist Andy Hwang and technician Stacy Raleigh study the effect of smoking temperature on survival of Listeria monocytogenes on smoked salmon.

Photo by Peggy Greb.
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are helping ensure that the smoked salmon that's always a hit at festive gatherings also is always safe to eat, including among their achievements the development of a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that food processors and others can use to select the optimal combination of temperature and concentrations of salt and smoke compounds to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of the product.

The studies are led by food technologist Andy (Cheng-An) Hwang with the USDA Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of ensuring food safety.

A gourmet favorite, smoked salmon is typically sold in vacuum packages that have a refrigerator shelf life of about three to eight weeks, as per Hwang. Since pathogenic microbes such as Listeria monocytogenes can live at refrigerator temperatures, it is important to get rid of these microorganisms before those packages leave the processing plant.

In ongoing research begun in 2006, Hwang is investigating ways that processors can protect the pleasing flavor and texture of smoked salmon while reducing or eliminating microbial contamination.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 8:07 AM CT

Listeria clever at finding its way into bloodstream

Listeria clever at finding its way into bloodstream
Arun Bhunia determined that listeria bacteria can pass between intestinal cells and triggers a mechanism that increases listeria's ability to enter the cells. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

Pathogenic listeria tricks intestinal cells into helping it pass through those cells to make people ill, and, if that doesn't work, the bacteria simply goes around the cells, as per a Purdue University study.

Arun Bhunia, a professor of food science, and Kristin Burkholder, a former Purdue graduate student who is now a postdoctoral researcher in microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School, observed that listeria, even in low doses, somehow triggers intestinal cells to express a new protein, heat shock protein 60, that acts as a receptor for listeria. This may allow the bacteria to enter the cells in the intestinal wall and exit into a person's bloodstream. Bhunia and Burkholder's findings were reported in the early online version of the journal Infection and Immunity.

"It's possible that host cells generate more of these proteins in order to protect themselves during a stressful event such as infection," Burkholder said. "Our data suggest that listeria appears to benefit from this by actually using those proteins as receptors to enhance infection."

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne bacteria that can cause fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea, as well as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions if it spreads to the nervous system. As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it sickens about 2,500 and kills 500 people each year in the United States and primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, elderly adults and those with weakened immune systems.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 8:02 AM CT

Children with frequent ear infections

Children with frequent ear infections
Ear infections are one of the most common health problems for children, with most kids experiencing at least one by their third birthday. Annual costs in the United States alone are in the billions of dollars.

When these infections are left untreated, complications can include hearing loss, speech problems and more severe infections that can spread to bone and brain, causing meningitis. But not all kids have the same access to medical specialists and medicines.

A newly released study by scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Harvard Medical School has observed that racial and ethnic disparities among children with frequent ear infections can significantly influence access to health care resources.

The findings, reported in the November 2010 issue of the journal OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery, show that compared with white children, African American and Hispanic children are at increased odds of not being able to afford prescription medications, not having medical insurance and not being able to see a specialist.

The study also shows that African American and Hispanic children are more likely than white children to visit the emergency room for an ear infection.

"Our goal was to provide an accurate demographic picture of the U.S. so that we could identify disparities to target for intervention," said co-author of study Dr. Nina Shapiro, director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and an associate professor of surgery at the Geffen School of Medicine. "Clearly, we observed that children of certain ethnicities who suffer from frequent ear infections are more likely to face greater barriers to care. This information provides an opportunity for improvements in our current health care reform."........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 8:00 AM CT

Cardiac wakeup call for Canadian kids

Cardiac wakeup call for Canadian kids
Poor sleep patterns and lack of proper sleep could be threatening thousands of Canadian adolescents with premature heart disease and stroke, warns Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Brian McCrindle, a pediatric heart specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

"Sleep disorders in kids are on the increase. They are marching hand in hand with other increasing cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, a poor diet, and high levels of unhealthy cholesterol," Dr. McCrindle today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

"Teens who experience more disordered sleep − in terms of duration, quality, and pattern − have a higher body mass index and a correspondingly higher risk of overweight and obesity," says Dr. McCrindle. "This, in turn, can lead to higher levels of cholesterol, another risk factor".

Over 1,600 students in grade 9 (ages 14 to 16) participated in the Healthy Schools screening program run by Heart Niagara. Overall, 22 per cent of students rated their sleep as fairly or very bad. Fourteen per cent of students reported difficulty staying awake during the day one to two times a week. Five per cent reported problems staying awake during the day more than three times a week.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 26, 2010, 7:58 AM CT

Helping combat obesity epidemic

Helping combat obesity epidemic
In an insightful Commentary in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Chair of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and Professor and Associate Dean, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, highlights the key features and noteworthy findings of the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report. While a number of of the recommendations from prior reports are reinforced, new evidence-based findings will help registered dietitians and other health care providers prioritize effective approaches towards facilitating better eating habits among Americans.

Dietary Goals for Americans (DGA) were first set in 1977 at a time when the average total fat intake was 42% of total energy intake, saturated fatty acids (SFA) intake was about 14%, and cardiovascular disease mortality was at an all-time high. Population-wide improvement in these parameters has occurred. By 2010, average American intake of total fat and SFA has decreased significantly to 33.6% and 11.4%, respectively still higher than recommended, but certainly improved.

Meanwhile, the obesity epidemic in the US continues. "The literal 'elephant in the room' is the persistent and pervasive obesity epidemic that continues to perpetuate and perplex health care providers in all specialty areas, as well as consumers," commented Professor Van Horn. This report indicates that the US population consumes inadequate nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and overconsumes calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods that include solid fats, added sugars, salt, and refined grains. The result is a population that is overfed and undernourished.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 22, 2010, 8:04 AM CT

Patient navigations improve mammography rates

Patient navigations improve mammography rates
A new research study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) shows that patient navigation services significantly improve biennial mammography screening rates among inner city women. The results, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, indicate the importance of patient navigation in reducing health disparities in vulnerable patient populations.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, with 40,170 deaths in the United States in 2009. Lower mammography screening rates among minority and low income women contributes to the increased morbidity and mortality from breast cancer. As per the American Cancer Society, an estimated 5,320 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed and an estimated 780 women will die from breast cancer in Massachusetts during 2010.

The study was conducted over a nine-month period and involved 3,895 Boston Medical Center (BMC) general internal medicine primary care practice female patients between the ages of 51-70. Patient navigation services consisted of phone calls and reminder letters to identify the barriers to care and aid in directly scheduling mammograms. At the end of the nine-months, mammography adherence rates increased to 87 percent in those that received patient navigation with no change from the baseline adherence rates of the non navigated group (76 percent). Patient navigation also increased adherence rates across all languages, races, insurance and education groups.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 22, 2010, 7:58 AM CT

Parent-only treatment for obese children

Parent-only treatment for obese children
A study led by a researcher at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine indicates that parent-only therapys for childhood obesity work equally as well as plans that include parents and child, while at the same time more cost effective and potentially easier for families.

The results were published recently in the advanced online edition of the journal Obesity

Kerri N. Boutelle, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at UC San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, and his colleagues set out to assess whether parent-only groups are an equally viable method for weight loss.

"Our results showed that the parent-only group was not inferior in terms of child weight loss, parent weight loss and child physical activity," said Boutelle. "While further research is needed, our work suggests that parent-only groups are a viable method for providing childhood obesity therapy".

Recent data suggests at 31 percent of children in the United States are overweight or obese, or between four and five million children. Current therapy programs generally require participation by both parents and children in a plan that combines nutrition education and exercise with behavior treatment techniques.

"Parents are the most significant people in a child's environment, serving as the first and most important teachers," said Boutelle "Since they play a significant role in any weight-loss program for children, we wondered if the same results could be achieved by working with just the parents, without the child coming to the clinic".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 22, 2010, 7:45 AM CT

Influenza's structure for future drug targeting

Influenza's structure for future drug targeting
Professor Timothy A. Cross is a researcher at Florida State University.

Credit: FSU

Beating the flu has always been tough, but it has gotten even more difficult in recent years. Two of the four antiviral drugs used to treat a nasty case of the influenza A virus no longer work.

Fortunately, researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University and scientists at Brigham Young University in Utah are close to understanding why these drugs have become less effective and how new drugs might take their place. Their findings appear this week in the journal Science.

"Resistance to drugs is a fundamental problem that develops from their misuse, overuse and underuse," said Timothy A. Cross, the Earl Frieden Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State and director of the Magnet Lab's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Program, as well as one of the Science article's senior authors. Compounding the problem is that "the development of new drugs to take their place is a decade-long process with infrequent success".

The two drugs no longer recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control amantadine (brand names Symadine and Symmetrel) and rimantadine (Flumadine) have been used to fight the flu since 1969. For decades, they worked by preventing an essential protein function during viral infection of healthy cells. The protein, called the M2 channel, plays a key role in the virus' ability to reproduce. But the M2 channel mutated just enough to allow the virus to resist both drugs.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 22, 2010, 7:31 AM CT

Boosting broccolis cancer-fighting power

Boosting broccolis cancer-fighting power
University of Illinois study has demonstrated for the first time that sulforaphane, the powerful cancer-fighting agent in broccoli, can be released from its parent compound by bacteria in the lower gut and absorbed into the body.

"This discovery raises the possibility that we will be able to enhance the activity of these bacteria in the colon, increasing broccoli's cancer-preventive power," said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of human nutrition.

"It's also comforting because a number of people overcook their broccoli, unwittingly destroying the plant enzyme that gives us sulforaphane. Now we know the microbiota in our digestive tract can salvage some of this important cancer-preventive agent even if that happens," she said.

Eventhough researchers had long theorized that the intestinal microbiota could perform this trick, no one knew it for certain.

Now Jeffery and U of I colleagues Michael Miller and Ren-Hau Lai have proved it by injecting glucoraphanin, the parent compound for sulforaphane, into the ligated lower gut of rats and demonstrating that sulforaphane is present in blood from the mesenteric vein, which flows from the gut to the liver.

"The presence of sulforaphane in measurable amounts shows that it's being converted in the lower intestine and is available for absorption in the body," Jeffery said.........

Posted by: Janet      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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