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EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
How text messaging could help tackle high blood pressure in at-risk patients
(Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan) A new trial plans to identify patients at urban hospitals who are at risk of hypertension and use text messages to help them reduce their blood pressure and obtain follow-up care.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
NIST study suggests frailty makes elderly more likely to die in home fires
(National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) A new study by NIST shows scientifically for the first time that an individual's ability to respond quickly to a residential fire determines who dies and who gets injured. Home fire deaths, the NIST researchers state, are more likely among those they define as frail populations--persons who are not in robust health and primarily age 65 and older--while nonfatal injuries occur more often in adults ages 20 to 49.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Self-powered paper-based 'SPEDs' may lead to new medical-diagnostic tools
(Purdue University) A new medical-diagnostic device made out of paper detects biomarkers and identifies diseases by performing electrochemical analyses -- powered only by the user's touch -- and reads out the color-coded test results, making it easy for non-experts to understand.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Study finds that gravity, 'mechanical loading' are key to cartilage development
(University of Missouri-Columbia) Mechanical loading is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
UMass Amherst researcher receives $1.8 million to create Center for Autonomous Chemistry
(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) University of Massachusetts Amherst chemist Sankaran 'Thai' Thayumanavan has received a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a multi-university Center for Autonomous Chemistry, where he and colleagues, including chemist Vince Rotello, will seek to design artificial self-activating systems, or 'automatic control as nature does it,' in Thayumanavan's words.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
When given the chance to pay less, patients choose cheaper prescription drugs
(University of California - Berkeley) As prescription drug spending continues to rise in the United States, along with prices for new and well-established drugs, insurers, employers and patients are searching for ways to cut costs. A new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that a policy called reference pricing is effective at encouraging patients to spend significantly less on prescription drugs by choosing cheaper drugs over name brand options.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Out-of-pocket health costs can cause financial problems for survivors of childhood cancer
(Massachusetts General Hospital) Adult survivors of childhood cancer face an increased likelihood of financial difficulties related to out-of-pocket costs for their health care, compared with adults not affected by childhood cancer.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
An AADR perspective on the 'Advancing dental education: Gies in the 21st century' project
(International & American Associations for Dental Research) In 1926, William Gies published the seminal report 'Dental Education in the United States and Canada,' however dental education is now challenged by a new set of issues. A national project was created to address these complex modern issues and develop a broad strategic plan for the future of dental education. This project is divided into three phases. AADR's response to the completion of Phase One is published in the September issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Technique speeds chemical screening to prioritize toxicity testing
(North Carolina State University) Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a high-throughput technique that can determine if a chemical has the potential to activate key genes in seconds rather than the typical 24 hours or more. The technique can be used to prioritize chemicals for in-depth testing to determine their toxicity.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Getting hold of quantum dot biosensors
(The Optical Society) Harnessing the nano-tractor-beam like abilities of optical tweezers, researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, developed an all-silicon nanoantenna to trap individual quantum dots suspended in a microfluidic chamber.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Study links fish stress hormones to whether they take the bait
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Take a fish out of water and its stress hormones will go up. Adrenaline and noradrenaline, the 'fight or flight' hormones, peak first, followed more gradually by cortisol. A new study finds that largemouth bass whose cortisol levels rise most after a brief bout of stress are inherently harder to catch by angling.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Kessler Foundation awarded major Wallerstein Foundation grant for stroke research
(Kessler Foundation) Kessler Foundation was awarded a $250,000 grant by the Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement. The three-year grant will advance the Foundation's stroke rehabilitation research in the diagnosis and treatment of spatial neglect, a hidden disability that complicates recovery after right brain stroke.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Opioid crisis in Staten Island affects all races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds
(Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health) Contrary to media reports, the opioid epidemic on New York's Staten Island is not confined to affluent young white residents, and affects all neighborhoods, races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The study conducted by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) was issued by the District Attorney's Office for Staten Island.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Artificial intelligence predicts dementia before onset of symptoms
(McGill University) Imagine if doctors could determine, many years in advance, who is likely to develop dementia. Such prognostic capabilities would give patients and their families time to plan and manage treatment and care. Thanks to artificial intelligence research conducted at McGill University, this kind of predictive power could soon be available to clinicians everywhere.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Oropouche virus could emerge and cause a public health problem
(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) Brazil runs a serious risk of being afflicted by Oropouche, another virus that is widely distributed throughout South and Central America and the Caribbean. An arbovirus transmitted by a mosquito (like Zika and yellow fever), Oropouche causes acute fever and may lead to meningitis and meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and meninges).

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Study identifies miR-122 target sites in liver cancer, links 3 genes to patient survival
(Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center) A new study shows that a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, such as during liver-cancer development, the activity of certain cancer-promoting genes goes up. The findings could one day help doctors better predict survival in liver cancer patients and help determine whether the molecule -- called microRNA-122 -- should be developed as an anticancer drug.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Where do heart cells come from?
(Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) Researchers from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford University and other institutions were surprised to discover that the four genes in the Id family play a crucial role in heart development, telling undifferentiated stem cells to form heart tubes and eventually muscle.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Wealth disparity and family income impact the brain development of female youth
(Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care) Female teenagers living in neighbourhoods with wide salary gaps and a low-income household show changes to their brain maturation that could indicate a higher risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, suggests a recently published study by Canadian researchers.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Study documents continued decline in use of hormone therapy by Canadian women
(The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)) Ever since menopause was first discussed publicly, the debate over the use of hormone therapy (HT) has monopolized headlines. Recognized as the most effective option for managing hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, the use of HT has continued to decline, largely as a result of the data released from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002. New study results published in Menopause, documents the decline, along with the factors affecting a Canadian woman's likelihood of using HT.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Why do young adults post harmful personal content on social media?
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News) A new study looked at self-presentation of potentially damaging content on social media and examined whether this risky behavior is more likely associated with impulsivity and spontaneity or deliberate self-monitoring.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Yoga and meditation improve mind-body health and stress resilience
(Frontiers) A new research article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience investigates the effects of yoga and meditation on people by looking at physiological and immunological markers of stress and inflammation. By studying the participants of an intensive three-month yoga and meditation retreat, the researchers found that the practices positively impacted physiological and immunological markers of stress and inflammation, and in addition improved subjective wellbeing.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Scientists develop infection model for tickborne flaviviruses
(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) NIH scientists have filled a research gap by developing a laboratory model to study ticks that transmit flaviviruses, such as Powassan virus. Powassan virus was implicated in the death of a New York man earlier this year. The unusual model involves culturing organs taken from Ixodes scapularis ticks and then infecting those organ cultures with flaviviruses, according to researchers at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, part of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Opioid misuse can be tracked using Twitter
(Springer) Social media can be a useful tool to find out how widespread the misuse of prescribed opioid drugs is, or to track the dynamics of opioid misuse in a given locality over time. This is according to a study in Springer Nature's Journal of Medical Toxicology. Lead author Michael Chary and his team analyzed more than 3.6 million tweets and found that the information about opioid misuse was significantly correlated with federal surveys.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
Thoracic kyphosis in those over 50 may not be a predictor of physical decline
(Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research) A recently published study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has found that using CT scans to evaluate early signs of hyperkyphosis (extreme forward curvature of the upper spine) in people over age 50 does not help to identify those at risk of subsequent physical function decline.

08/22/2017 12:00 AM
The brains of newborns distinguish between caresses
(University of Gothenburg) The ability to distinguish between different kinds of caresses on the skin already exists at a very early age. This is evident from a study by the Sahlgrenska Academy, in which the blood supply in brains of infants 6 to 10 weeks old was investigated.

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