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May 31, 2007, 11:43 PM CT

vitamin B6. B12 and folate, may decrease pancreatic cancer risk

vitamin B6. B12 and folate, may decrease pancreatic cancer risk
Scientists exploring the notion that certain nutrients might protect against pancreas cancer observed that lean individuals who got most of these nutrients from food were protected against developing cancer. The study also suggests this protective effect does not hold true if the nutrients come from vitamin supplements.

As per a research findings reported in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers combined data from four large studies and observed that people who were at or below normal body weight decreased their risk for developing pancreas cancer if they took in high levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate from food. The study determined that their risk was 81 percent, 73 percent, and 59 percent lower, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate respectively, compared with participants who did not eat as much of these nutrients or who weighed more. As per the researchers, that was the only statistically significant finding from the study, which is the largest yet to look at these nutrients and pancreas cancer risk.

All we can say is that a person who has reason to be concerned about their risk of developing this cancer, which is relatively rare but quite deadly, should maintain a normal weight and eat their fruit and vegetables, said the studys lead investigator, Eva Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


May 31, 2007, 11:42 PM CT

Cigarette smoke alters DNA in sperm

Cigarette smoke alters DNA in sperm
The science has long been clear that smoking causes cancer, but new research shows that children could inherit genetic damage from a father who smokes.

Canadian scientists have demonstrated in mice that smoking can cause changes in the DNA sequence of sperm cells, alterations that could potentially be inherited by offspring. The results of their study are reported in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Here we are looking at male germline mutations, which are mutations in the DNA of sperm. If inherited, these mutations persist as irreversible changes in the genetic composition of off-spring. said Carole Yauk, Ph.D., lead author of the study and research scientist in the Mutagenesis Section of Health Canadas Environmental and Occupational Toxicology Division. We have known that mothers who smoke can harm their fetuses, and here we show evidence that fathers can potentially damage offspring long before they may even meet their future mate.

Males, whether they are mouse or man, generate a constant supply of new sperm from self-renewing spermatogonial stem cells. Yauk, along with colleagues at Health Canada and.

McMaster University, studied the spermatogonial stem cells of mature mice that had been exposed to cigarette smoke for either six or 12 weeks to look for alterations in a specific stretch of repeated portions of DNA, called Ms6-hm, which does not contain any known genes. The smoking mice were exposed to two cigarettes per day, the equivalent based on blood levels of tobacco by-products of an average human smoker, as per research previously published by one of the study's co-authors.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 31, 2007, 11:40 PM CT

Drinking Sugar-Sweetened Beverages between Meals

Drinking Sugar-Sweetened Beverages between Meals
Research to date has been inconclusive on whether drinking sugar-sweetened beverages between meals increases childrens risk of becoming overweight. Scientists at the University of Ottawa Institute of Population Health say sugar-sweetened drinks can have a negative effect on pre-school children.

The scientists studied the frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption between meals of more than 1,900 children living in Quebec, Canada.

The scientists found nearly 7 percent of children who didnt drink sugar-sweetened beverages between meals between the ages of 2 to 4 were overweight at 4 years old in comparison to 15.4 percent of children who did drink them four to six times or more per week.

Parents should be encouraged to limit the quantity of beverages high in energy and sugar because of their propensity to increase weight, the scientists conclude.

American Dietetic Association Issues Updated Position Statement on Food and Nutrition Professionals Can Implement Practices to Conserve Natural Resources and Support Ecological Sustainability:

ADA is committed to research, policy and programs designed to conserve natural resources and promote ecological sustainability. ADA encourages its members to understand the global implications of their actions, as per an updated ADA position statement published this month:........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 30, 2007, 0:12 AM CT

Yin, Yang And Alzheimer's disease

Yin, Yang And Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are challenging current thinking on the causes and prevention of Alzheimers disease, offering a new hypothesis that could be the key to preventing this form of dementia. The scientists have observed that a specific imbalance between two peptides may be the cause of the fatal neurological disease that affects more than five million people in the United States.

"We have observed that two peptides, AB42 and AB40, must be in balance for normal function," said Chunyu Wang, lead researcher and assistant professor of biology at Rensselaer. "They are like the Yin and Yang in Taiji, an ancient Chinese philosophy. When the peptides are produced in the correct proportions, the brain is healthy; but when that delicate balance is changed, pathological changes will occur in the brain and the persons memories become hazy, leading to eventual dementia."

Wang expects that this imbalance could be the main factor in the progression of Alzheimers disease. If correct, the addition of AB40 may stop the diseases development. Wang notes that further research is needed, but his preliminary results challenge the current mode of thinking about how these peptides contribute to the progression of the disease.

The research would be reported in the June edition of the Journal of Molecular Biology.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 30, 2007, 0:03 AM CT

'Nurse cells' make life and death decisions

'Nurse cells' make life and death decisions
Thymocytes are taken up by thymic "nurse" cells.
Credit: Jerry Guyden, CUNY
"Nurse cells" play an important role in deciding which developing infection-fighting cells, called T cells, live and which die, as per research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and published in the recent issue of the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.

The infection-fighting cells, known as thymocytes or T cells, live in the thymus, an organ in the upper portion of the chest. Loss of the thymus results in severe immunodeficiency and increased susceptibility to infection. The function of T cells produced by the thymus is to recognize harmful invaders. Once invaders have been identified, T cells then attempt to eliminate disease-infected cells.

"In early studies, it was suggested that thymic nurse cells only removed non-functional thymocytes," said Eve Barak, program director in NSF's Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology. "This research shows that nurse cells are performing a much bigger role in the thymus than we thought".

Thymic nurse cells were given their name because of their close relationship with thymocytes. These nurse cells have been reported to take up as a number of as 50 destined-to-die thymocytes into their own cell bodies.

Thymic nurse cells were discovered in 1980. Their existence was debated because a number of researchers found it difficult to think that a cell could internalize another cell, said Jerry Guyden, a biologist at the City College of New York and lead researcher.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 29, 2007, 11:56 PM CT

A living memory chip

A living memory chip
A new experiment has shown that it's possible to store multiple rudimentary memories in an artificial culture of live neurons. The ability to record information in a manmade network of neurons is a step toward a cyborg-like integration of living material into memory chips. The advance also may help neurologists to understand how our brains learn and store information.

Itay Baruchi and Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel-Aviv University used an array of electrodes to monitor the firing patterns in a network of linked neurons. As prior studies have shown, simply linking the neurons together leads them to spontaneously fire in coordinated patterns. In the study published this month in the journal Physical Review E the scientists observed that they could deliberately create additional firing patterns that coexist with the spontaneous patterns. They claim that these new firing patterns essentially represent simple memories stored in the neuron network.

To create a new memory in the neurons, the scientists introduced minute amounts of a chemical stimulant into the culture at a selected location. The stimulant induced a second firing pattern, starting at that location. The new firing pattern in the culture along coexisted with the original pattern. Twenty-four hours later, they injected another round of stimulants at a new location, and a third firing pattern emerged. The three memory patterns persisted, without interfering with each other, for over forty hours.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 29, 2007, 11:54 PM CT

Potential for a broadly-protective HIV vaccine

Potential for a broadly-protective HIV vaccine
New research conducted at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) suggests that it may be possible to develop a vaccine that protects against the myriad strains of the HIV virus. HIV is extremely variable, so an effective vaccine may need to stimulate the body to produce cross-reactive antibodies that will neutralize multiple viral strains. These results demonstrate that induction of truly broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies may be an achievable goal. This groundbreaking study titled: Extensively Cross-Reactive Anti-HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibodies Induced by gp140 Immunization appears this week in the Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences http://www.pnas.org/papbyrecent.shtml.

To be effective, an HIV vaccine must induce the body to produce cross-reactive antibodies that can neutralize multiple strains. USU Professors CAPT Gerald Quinnan, Jr., M.D., USPHS, and Christopher Broder, Ph.D., and their colleagues at USU attempted to elicit these broad-range antibodies in an animal model by immunizing with a particular HIV-1 surface protein, designated R2 gp140, and an immune response-boosting component. The scientists tested antibodies generated by the immunizations to determine their effectiveness in neutralizing the infectivity of a variety of HIV-1 strains. Antibodies produced as a result of immunization neutralized all 48 strains of HIV-1 tested. The results are encouraging for vaccine development, because they showed that it is possible to elicit a broad-spectrum antibody response.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 29, 2007, 11:52 PM CT

Dentists need more training in oral cancer detection

Dentists need more training in oral cancer detection
More than 92 percent of Illinois dentists provide oral cancer examinations for their patients, but a number of are not performing the procedures thoroughly or at optimum intervals, as per a new University of Illinois at Chicago study.

With an incomplete understanding of the nature of pre-cancerous lesions and of proper examination techniques, some dentists in Illinois "are not doing all they should be doing to detect oral cancers in their patients," said Charles LeHew of the UIC Cancer Center's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities and the Institute for Health Research and Policy.

More than 500 dentists in 19 Illinois counties responded to the 38-item questionnaire that was used to gauge the extent of their knowledge of oral cancer prevention and early detection. A greater than 60 percent response rate indicated that Illinois dentists "take seriously their important role in addressing the state's oral cancer burden," said LeHew, who was the lead researcher of the study.

As per LeHew, the majority of dentists correctly identified squamous cell carcinoma, the most common form of oral cancer, as well as the most common sites for oral cancer and the most-common types of early lesions. A number of, however, were not able to answer those questions correctly.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 25, 2007, 7:31 PM CT

Alcohol use during pregnancy

Alcohol use during pregnancy
Preterm delivery, and especially "extreme prematurity" defined as less than 32 weeks of gestation are major contributors to perinatal sickness and death worldwide. A new study has observed that maternal alcohol use during pregnancy can contribute to a substantial increase in risk for extreme preterm delivery.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

"Preterm birth has increased in part because of assisted reproductive technology and indicated medical intervention, however, we believed that we could also detect the impact of alcohol," said Robert J. Sokol, distinguished professor of obstetrics and gynecology and Director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development at Wayne State University. "In most prior studies, pregnancy dating was much less certain; but we used ultrasound dating. Its like listening to FM radio, rather than AM radio that has a lot of static; it is easier to hear whats being said with less noise in the background."

Sokol and colleagues collected data on exposure to alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes, as well as corresponding outcomes, from 3,130 pregnant women and their infants. As noted above, the scientists also used ultrasound to provide specific pregnancy dating. Of the newborns, 66 were extremely preterm, 462 were mildly preterm, and 2,602 were term deliveries.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 25, 2007, 7:28 PM CT

Both alcohol and neighborhood characteristics

Both alcohol and neighborhood characteristics
While heavy drinking has consistently been associated with an increased risk of intimate partner violence (IPV), a new study has observed that both drinking patterns and neighborhood characteristics can contribute in different ways to mutual IPV among married/cohabiting adults in the general population.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

The link between heavy drinking and increased risk of IPV is fairly well established, as per Carol B. Cunradi, senior research scientist at Prevention Research Center and sole author of the study. However, she noted, IPV scientists are increasingly examining the role of other factors that may exacerbate this link.

"Social disorganization theory, along with other macro-sociological theories, incorporate the larger environmental context of people's interactions within their neighborhood context into explanations of the conditions under which problem behaviors such as IPV may grow and thrive," explained Cunradi. "IPV, like child abuse, typically is a private event that occurs in the home; social disorganization theory suggests that it is essential to consider the neighborhood conditions in which the home is located".

"Eventhough a number of scientists and authors have speculated that neighborhood and community have an influence on behaviors such as IPV," added William Fals-Stewart, professor in the school of medicine at the University of Rochester, "this study is among the very first to examine IPV within the societal context of where it occurs. The way the authors described the neighborhoods in terms of social disorder and how these characteristics might, indeed, influence how drinking affects partner violence was novel and, to the best of my knowledge, the issue has not been looked at this way before."........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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