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May 21, 2007, 12:33 AM CT

Cancer Cells Can Be Targeted And Destroyed Using Lasers

Cancer Cells Can Be Targeted And Destroyed Using Lasers
A nanocomposite particle can be constructed so that it has a mix of properties that would not otherwise happen in nature. By combining an organic matrix with metallic clusters that can absorb light, it is possible to incorporate such particles into cells and then destroy those targeted cells with a laser. In a presentation at the NSTI Nanotech 2007 Conference, scientists describe work conducted at the NanoBiotechnology Center, Department of Radiation Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, regarding the creation and characterization of a dendrimer nanocomposite (DNC) matrix containing silver clusters that can be used to target and destroy melanoma cancer cells.

Composite NanoDevices (CNDs), are an emerging class of hybrid nanoparticulate materials. CNDs are made from dendrimer-based polymers, for example from poly(amidoamine) [(PAMAMs)].

To visualize the device, Dr. Lajos P. Balogh says simply think of nanoscale, dense, but soft "tumbleweed," where clusters of inorganic materials (such as silver) can be trapped inside. The CND "tumbleweed" device can be made in discrete sizes, carry different electric charges and can encapsulate different materials inside. This design offers scientists a wider choice of size, surface functionality and payload than traditional small in vivo devices where the agent is conjugated directly to the surface.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 12:29 AM CT

Caspase-14 protects skin against UVB and dehydration

Caspase-14 protects skin against UVB and dehydration
Ultraviolet rays can be harmful to our skin and pave the way to the onset of skin cancers. VIB researchers connected to Ghent University have demonstrated that the caspase-14 protein - whose function has been unknown up to now - not only plays a role in maintaining the balance of moisture in the skin but also offers protection against UVB rays. Future strategies that increase the production of caspase-14 will open new possibilities for fortifying the skin as a barrier against all kinds of stress.

Sunbathing and the pernicious consequences for our skin

Sunlight is needed for the development of our bodies and minds. Still, we should not expose ourselves to it too often. The UV index provides an indication of the true intensity of the suns rays and the risks that go along with them.

UV rays cause functional alterations in the most important components of our skin: the keratinocytes. In addition to causing normal sunburn and suppressing our immune responses, UVB damages the DNA in our cells, which can lead to cancer. In the last 15 years, the number of new cases of melanoma (the most dangerous skin cancer in Belgium) has practically doubled to 1500 cases per year.

Caspase-14

Caspases are proteins that are involved in inflammation reactions and in programmed cell death or apoptosis. Apoptosis is important in all stages of life. During embryonal development, for example, apoptosis ensures that undesirable or outmoded tissues disappear. In the mid-1990s, Peter Vandenabeele and his colleagues were able to isolate 9 caspase family members in mice. The properties and substrates of a number of caspases are already known. However, caspase-14 is a maverick in that it is found very specifically in the skin and is activated during the last stage of skin cell maturation. Due to the action of caspase-14, the outer epidermis of our skin contains dead cells that are released as flakes of skin.........

Posted by: George      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 12:16 AM CT

Eating apples and fish during pregnancy

Eating apples and fish during pregnancy
Women who eat apples and fish during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their children developing asthma or allergic disease, suggests a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

The SEATON study, conducted at the University of Aberdeen, UK, observed that the children of mothers who ate the most apples were less likely to ever have wheezed or have doctor-confirmed asthma at the age of 5 years, in comparison to children of mothers who had the lowest apple consumption. Children of mothers who ate fish once or more a week were less likely to have had eczema than children of mothers who never ate fish.

The study did not find any protective effect against asthma or allergic diseases from a number of other foods, including vegetables, fruit juice, citrus or kiwi fruit, whole grain products, fat from dairy products or margarine or other low-fat spreads.

The scientists studied 1212 children born to women who had filled out food questionnaires during their pregnancy. When the children were 5 years old, the mothers filled out a questionnaire about the childrens respiratory symptoms and allergies, as well as a questionnaire about their childs food consumption.

The children were also given lung function and allergy tests.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 12:14 AM CT

'Healthy' children with smoking parents aren't really so healthy

'Healthy' children with smoking parents aren't really so healthy
Children of smokers who dont show any signs of respiratory problems may still be experiencing damaging changes in their airways that could lead to lung disease during the later part of life, as per a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

"Everyone knows that children of smokers have more respiratory problemsmore puffing, wheezing, cases of pneumoniabut until now we havent known if lung function is impaired in children of smokers who dont have any respiratory complaints or diagnosed lung problems," says researcher Bert Arets, M.D., Ph.D., of University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.

The study included 244 children ages 4 to 12 without any history of lung or airway disease. They were divided into four groups as per the smoking pattern of their parents: never smokers, smoking after birth but not during pregnancy, during pregnancy but not after birth, and both before and after birth.

The scientists observed that children of smoking parents had significantly reduced lung function similar to that seen in smokers. Smoking after birth appeared to be more harmful than smoking during pregnancy alone. The scientists have now expanded their study to include 2,000 healthy children of smokers.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 12:03 AM CT

Hotter is better for removing allergens in laundry

Hotter is better for removing allergens in laundry
A new study finds that the heat setting you choose when doing laundry makes all the difference when it comes to killing dust mites. The scientists observed that washing laundry in hot water--140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) or higher--kills all house dust mites, compared with just 6.5% of dust mites in laundry washed at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), or warm water. The study is being presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

Hotter water temperatures are also more effective in removing dog dander and pollen, says lead researcher Jung-Won Park, M.D., Ph.D., of Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea.

There is an alternative to washing in hot water thats also effective, Dr. Park found: washing at a lower temperature (between 86-104 F, or 30-40 C), then rinsing the laundry twice with cold water for three minutes each.

In the study, scientists compared allergen levels on cotton sheets after they were washed in various temperature settings. They observed that since more pollen was left on the sheets when they were washed in cooler temperatures (86 F, or 30C), rinsing the sheets was particularly important when using this temperature setting.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 11:46 AM CT

House dust may protect against allergic disease

House dust may protect against allergic disease
Endotoxin, a toxic substance made by certain types of bacteria, may reduce the risk of developing the allergic skin condition eczema or wheezing in children if they are exposed to it up to age 3, suggests a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

Endotoxin is a part of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, a type of bacteria that often causes disease. Endotoxin is released when the bacteria dies or is damaged. The new study observed that the lower the amount of endotoxin in young childrens homes, the more likely they were to have wheezing or eczema by age 3. The higher the amount of endotoxin in their homes, the less likely they were to develop either condition by age 3.

Were trying to find why children exposed to endoxotin have lower levels of disease early in life, says researcher Melisa Celaya, M.A., of the Arizona Respiratory Center in Tucson.

Celaya observed that certain environmental factors increased the levels of endotoxin in a home: having a home older than 30 years, substandard home conditions, carpeting, a musty smell and interior wall leaks were all linked to higher levels of endotoxin.

Blood samples were taken from 484 children enrolled in the Infant Immune Study at different ages, up to 5 years of age. We will be looking at the relationship between endotoxin levels in the home and chemicals (called cytokines) that are produced by certain immune system cells, to see why children exposed to lower levels are in the process of developing more allergic symptoms later on, she says. This study is unusual in that we are following children over a long period, and are looking at both environmental factors and immunological factors, so we can correlate the two.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 11:41 AM CT

Sleep Apnea Patients And Risk Of Car Crashes

Sleep Apnea Patients And Risk Of Car Crashes
People with obstructive sleep apnea have a markedly increased risk of severe motor vehicle crashes involving personal injury, as per a research studypresented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

The study of 800 people with sleep apnea and 800 without the nighttime breathing disorder observed that patients with sleep apnea were twice as likely as people without sleep apnea to have a car crash, and three to five times as likely to have a serious crash involving personal injury. Overall, the sleep apnea group had a total of 250 crashes over three years, compared with 123 crashes in the group without sleep apnea.

While a number of prior studies have shown that sleep apnea patients are at increased risk of car crashes, this study is the first to look at the severity of those crashes. We were surprised not only about how a number of of the sleep apnea patients crashes involved personal injury, but that some patients had fairly mild sleep apnea and were still having serious crashes, says Alan Mulgrew, M.D., of the UBC Sleep Disorders Program in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Patients self-reported feeling of sleepiness was not found to be linked with an increased risk of car crashes, suggesting that patients are unaware of their driving hazard, Dr. Mulgrew says. Even patients with fairly mild sleep apnea were at increased risk of car crashes. Based on these findings, I now consider driving risk when deciding on therapy for patients with mild sleep apnea, he says.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 11:38 AM CT

Vitamin Supplements Don't Protect Against Lung Cancer

Vitamin Supplements Don't Protect Against Lung Cancer
A study of more than 75,000 adults observed that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer. The findings are being reported at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21.

The study, which also did not find any increased lung cancer risk from the supplements, is one of the most detailed, prospective findings based on observation to look at the effect of vitamin supplements instead of vitamins from foods on lung cancer risk.

People are spending billions of dollars on supplements, and there is a general sense in the population that they prevent cancer, said researcher Chris Slatore, M.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. We need to find out if theyre helpful or even harmful.

The 77,738 men and women in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study, ages 50-76, filled out an extensive questionnaire on vitamin intake over the prior 10 years, including how much of each supplement they took. The scientists then checked to see how a number of of the people in the study had lung cancer, using a government cancer registry. They found 393 cases of lung cancer. Adjusting for such risk factors as smoking, age, sex, cancer history, other lung disease and history of lung cancer, they found no statistically significant relationships between different types of supplements and lung cancer.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 10:52 AM CT

Impact Of Lifestyle On GI Health

Impact Of Lifestyle On GI Health
As per new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 (DDW), lifestyle factors like choosing your diet regimen or ordering an appetizer for dinner may have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal (GI) system, affecting your risk for certain diseases, weight and general GI-related activity. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and scientists in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"A number of factors come into play when managing a healthy lifestyle. While some factors may be difficult for patients to change, other simple adjustments, such as adopting a vegetarian diet early in life or ordering the appropriate soup while eating out, may result in decreased risk for obesity and colon cancer," said Alan Buchman, M.D., MSPH, AGAF, Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University School of Medicine. "The studies presented today further demonstrate how scientists are beginning to understand the links between digestive diseases and lifestyle most notably, diet".



Life Long Vegetarian Diet Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Cancer (Abstract #155)


The average person's lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) is about seven percent and the role of diet in preventing this type of cancer remains under debate. Most of all, prior studies enrolled middle-aged subjects, raising the possibility that CRC development may start before common interventions. Scientists from Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Mumbai, India, set out to determine whether a vegetarian diet is linked to reduced risk of CRC if started very early in life.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 10:48 AM CT

Persistent Smokers May Have Higher Risk Of Depression

Persistent Smokers May Have Higher Risk Of Depression
Based on a Finnish study, persistent smokers may have higher risk to become depressed compared to never smokers. Also those smokers who quit have an elevated risk of depressive symptoms in short run. However, in long run this risk declines to the level of never smokers. In other words, both completely smoke-free life style and successful smoking cessation in long run seem to protect from depressive symptoms.

It is known that depression is linked to cigarette smoking, but the nature of this association is discussed under various hypotheses. First, as per the so called self-medicine hypothesis, those who suffer from depressive symptoms smoke cigarettes in order to alleviate their symptoms. As per the second assumption, chronic persistent smoking may have a role in the etiology of depression. The third hypothesis suggests that there is a reciprocal mechanism between smoking and depression. The fourth hypothesis says that there are shared underlying genetic factors explaining this co-morbidity.

This study conducted in the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki explored, which of those assumptions would be supported by the data, when smoking behavior and changes in it is considered as a predictor of depressive symptoms. The scientists had access to the data collected within the Finnish Adult Twin Cohort Project. There were about four thousand male and five thousand female twins, whose health and health behavior were followed-up through 15 years.........

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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