21st Oct 2015, 12:21 PM #2191
Re: Health Bulletin
Humans may one day regrow their own teeth
Humans may be able to regrow their own teeth in the same way as a cichlid fish in Malawi lake, according to a new research.
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, studied the chemicals that change cells into teeth and taste buds in embryonic fish and they hope their research would help turn on the tooth regrowing mechanism in humans, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.
"We've uncovered developmental plasticity between teeth and taste buds. We are trying to understand the pathways that mediate the fate of cells toward either dental or sensory development," professor Todd Streelman of Georgia Institute of Technology was quoted as saying.
"The potential applications to humans makes this interesting to everybody who has dealt with dental issues at one time or another in their lives," he added.
The cichlid fish can maintain their teeth throughout their adult lives.
Scientists found that the teeth and taste buds grow from the same surface tissues in embryonic fish.
Unlike humans fish have no tongues so their taste buds are mixed in with their teeth.
The cichlids have adapted their teeth and taste buds to thrive in their unique living conditions. While one species eats plankton and needs only a few teeth because it swallows it whole, another lives on algae which has to be scraped from rocky lake formations -- needing many more teeth and more taste buds to distinguish food.
By studying the genetic differences in the fish -- and mice -- the scientists believe it is possible the same tissue in humans could also be able to regenerate new teeth.
They boosted the growth of taste buds at the expense of teeth by bathing embryonic fish in chemicals that influence the developmental pathways.
"There appear to be developmental switches that will shift the fate of the common epithelial cells to either dental or sensory structures," Streelman said.
"Ultimately this suggests the epithelium in a human's mouth might be more plastic than we had previously thought."
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
22nd Oct 2015, 03:19 PM #2192
Re: Health Bulletin
US cancer body suggests fewer mammograms
One of the most respected and influential groups in the continuing breast-cancer screening debate said on Tuesday that women should begin mammograms later and have them less frequently than it had long advocated.
The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years.
The organisation also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts.Previously , the society recommended mammograms and clinical breast exams every year, starting at 40. The changes reflect increasing evidence that mammography is imperfect, that it is less useful in younger women, and that it has serious drawbacks, like false-positive results that lead to additional testing, including biopsies.
But the organisation's shift seems unlikely to settle the issue. Some other influential groups recommend earlier and more frequent screening than the cancer society now does, and some recommend less, leaving women and their doctors to sort through the conflicting messages and to figure out what makes the most sense for their circumstances.
However, the American Cancer Society carefully tempered its language to leave plenty of room for women's preferences. Though it no longer recommends mammograms for women ages 40 to 44, it said that those women should still "have the opportunity" to have the test if they choose to, and that women 55 and older should be able to keep having mammograms once a year.
22nd Oct 2015, 03:23 PM #2193
Re: Health Bulletin
Protein that boosts learning and memory identified
Researchers, including those of Indian-origin, have found that increasing a crucial cholesterol-binding membrane protein in nerve cells within the brain can improve learning and memory in aged mice.
"This is a novel strategy for treating neuro degenerative diseases, and it underscores the importance of brain cholesterol," said Chitra Mandyam, associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute and co-first author of the study with Jan M Schilling of University of California San Diego and the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.
The study focuses on a specific membrane protein called caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and expands scientists' understanding of neuroplasticity, the ability of neural pathways to grow in response to new stimuli.
23rd Oct 2015, 01:12 PM #2194
Re: Health Bulletin
Major aspirin anti-cancer trial launches in UK
The world's largest ever clinical trial into whether taking a daily dose of aspirin can stop five common cancers from recurring was launched in Britain on Thursday.
The Add-Aspirin phase III trial will recruit 11,000 patients who have recently had — or are having — treatment for bowel, breast, oesophagus, prostate or stomach cancer.
The study's aim is to establish whether taking aspirin every day for five years can stop or delay cancers that have been caught and treated at an early stage from coming back.
The trial will take place at more than 100 centres across the UK and will run for up to 12 years, according to Cancer Research UK, which is funding the study along with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The study will compare a group taking a 300mg daily dose of aspirin, a group taking 100mg every day and a group taking placebo or dummy drugs.
Up to 9,000 patients will be recruited in the UK while another 2,000 will take part in India where the trial is expected to open in 2016, a Cancer Research UK spokeswoman told AFP.
The charity estimates 5.5 million people are diagnosed with the five cancers being measured in the trial every year worldwide.
Participants will self-administer tablets over the five-year period and will be actively followed up for another five years, according to the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London (UCL), which will oversee the trial in the UK.
Aspirin is already proven to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some people, and research has suggested that it could also prevent some types of cancer.
Dr. Fiona Reddington, Cancer Research UK's head of population research, said the trial was "potentially game-changing" for patients.
"Aspirin's possible effects on cancer are fascinating and we hope this trial will give us a clear answer on whether or not the drug helps stop some cancers coming back," Reddington said.
"This trial is especially exciting as cancers that recur are often harder to treat so finding a cheap and effective way to prevent this is potentially game-changing for patients."
Professor Ruth Langley, chief investigator at the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, said the trial had the potential to change the future treatment of common cancers.
"There's been some interesting research suggesting that aspirin could delay or stop early-stage cancers coming back, but there's been no randomised trial to give clear proof," Professor Langley said.
"This trial aims to answer this question once and for all. If we find that aspirin does stop these cancers returning, it could change future treatment - providing a cheap and simple way to help stop cancer coming back and helping more people survive."
23rd Oct 2015, 01:14 PM #2195
Re: Health Bulletin
'Frequent use of antibiotics may make kids fatter'
Children who regularly use antibiotics gain weight faster than those who have never taken the drugs, according to new research that suggests childhood antibiotics may have a asting effect on body weight well into adulthood. The study , published in the International Journal of Obesity , examined the electronic medical records of 1,63,820 children ages 3 to 18, counting antibiotic prescriptions, body weight and height.
The records, which covered pediatric exams from 2001 through 2012, showed that one in five -over 30,000 children -had been prescribed antibiotics seven or more times.
By the time those children reached age 15, they weighed, on average, about 3 pounds more than children who had received no antibiotics. While earlier studies have suggested a link between antibiotics and childhood weight gain, they typically have relied on a mother's memories of her child's an tibiotic use. The new research is significant because it's based on documented use of antibiotics in a child's medical record.
"Not only did antibiotics contribute to weight gain at all ages, but the contribution of antibiotics to weight gain gets stronger as you get older," said Dr Brian S Schwartz, the first author and a professor in the department of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Scientists have known for years that antibiotic use promotes weight gain in livestock, which is why large food producers include low doses of antibiotics in the diets of their animals.
24th Oct 2015, 12:47 PM #2196
Re: Health Bulletin
World’s first malaria vaccine delayed
The wide scale roll out of world's first malaria vaccine may face some delay with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommending further pilot studies to better understand the efficacy of the vaccine.
WHO experts have said though the vaccine is promising but, given its limited efficacy, should be used on a pilot basis before any wide-scale use. The recommendations were made by WHO'S Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) after its meeting this week with the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC) to consider the evidence on the efficacy and safety of the malaria vaccine.
"This was a historic meeting with two of WHO's major advisory committees working together to consider current evidence about this vaccine," said Professor Fred Binka, acting chair of MPAC. "The committees agreed that pilot implementations should be the next step with this vaccine."
Professor Jon S. Abramson, chair of SAGE said there are concerns about how the malaria vaccine may best be delivered.
The vaccine, known as RTS,S, is the first vaccine for malaria. It requires four doses for a child to be fully protected. The first three doses are given one month apart followed by an 18-month pause before the fourth dose. Without the fourth dose, children had no overall reduction in severe malaria. While there is uncertainty on whether countries can effectively administer the four doses needed for the vaccine to be effective, the groups recommended the vaccine requires additional contacts with the health care system.
"The question about how the malaria vaccine may best be delivered still need to be answered," said Professor Abramson. "After detailed assessment of all the evidence we recommended that this question is best addressed by having 3-5 large pilot implementation projects."
Sources in the health care industry said the WHO recommendation is likely to delay a possible broad roll-out of the shot by three and five years.
Experts said it could be challenging to get children back for multiple repeat shots.
Though malaria deaths worldwide have fallen by 60% from 8.39 lakh in 2000 to 4.38 lakh in 2015, India continues to witness a significant rise in mortality associated with the disease. India recorded an estimated 535 malaria deaths in 2014, as compared to 440 in 2013. Malaria cases also rose from 8,81,730 to 10,70,513 between 2013 and 2014.
24th Oct 2015, 12:50 PM #2197
Re: Health Bulletin
Briton who can 'smell' Parkinson's sparks study
The widow of a man who suffered with Parkinson's has triggered new research this week into the condition after she discovered she could "smell" the disease.
Joy Milne, 65, told researchers that she had noticed a change in the dour of her late husband, Les, years before he developed symptoms of Parkinson's. He passed away from the disease, a nervous system disorder whose symptoms include shaking and slowness of movement, earlier this year at the age of 65. "I've always had a keen sense of smell and I detected very early on that there was a very subtle change in how Les smelled," Milne, from Perth, Scotland, said. "It's hard to describe but it was a heavy , slightly musky aroma. I had no idea that this was unusual and hadn't been recognised before."
About one in 500 people suffers from Parkinson's, a degenerative illness that is difficult to diagnose and for which there is no cure. Milne made the connection between the smell and the disease after picking up the same scent from other sufferers. That prompted research charity Parkinson's UK to this week launch a project to find whether the disease and odour are linked.
26th Oct 2015, 12:21 PM #2198
Re: Health Bulletin
Scientifically validated Rs 5 anti-diabetes herbal drug launched by CSIR
A scientifically validated anti-diabetes herbal drug, named 'BGR-34', was launched by a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab in Lucknow on Sunday. A combination of natural extracts from plants, the drug is based on Ayurveda and has no side effects. The drug is for management of type-II diabetes mellitus.
The drug has been jointly developed by two CSIR laboratories, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (CIMAP). It was launched on the 62nd annual day of the NBRI for commercial manufacturing and marketing by M/s Aimil Pharamaceuticals Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.
"The drug has extracts from four plants mentioned in Ayurveda and that makes it safe," said Dr AKS Rawat, senior principal scientist, NBRI. It has been tested on animals and scientific study has found it safe and effective, with clinical trials showing 67% success.
The drug boosts immune system, works as antioxidant and checks free radicals. Though there are other anti-diabetes herbal drugs in the market, 'BGR-34' has been validated scientifically.
The drug will help maintain normal blood glucose levels, reduce chances of complications due to persistent high blood glucose levels and impart a good quality life to patients with high blood sugar levels.
The formulation was launched earlier by the Vice-President Hamid Ansari in February last year at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, but on Sunday, the product was launched commercially.
"We will manufacture it now and it will be available in market shortly, may be in the next 15 days," said V S Kapoor, marketing head of Aimil Pharmaceuticals for UP and Delhi. It will be available in the form of tablets and may cost Rs 500 for 100 tablets.
26th Oct 2015, 12:49 PM #2199
Re: Health Bulletin
'Human chimera': Man fails paternity test because genes in his saliva are different to those in sperm
A man from Washington has reportedly been informed that the father of his son is effectively his unborn brother.
The 34-year-old man is the first ever reported case of a paternity test being fooled by a human chimera, someone with extra genes absorbed from a twin lost in early pregnancy.
Approximately one in eight single childbirths are thought to start as multiple pregnancies and occasionally cells from the miscarried siblings are sometimes absorbed in the womb by a surviving twin.
According to Buzzfeed, the Washington couple took a paternity test after their son's blood type didn't match that of either parent. After having a child with the help of fertility clinic procedures, they feared that sperm donors may have potentially been mixed up.
After the initial failed fertility test, they took a genetic ancestry test which suggested that the man was actually his son's uncle.
The father's sperm was found to have 10 per cent of a genetic match to the infant. The genes in his sperm were different to that in his saliva and it has been concluded that the father of the boy is effectively the man's own unborn twin.
There have been chimera cases in the past. Karen Keegan from Boston found that her blood cells had one set of genes and her ovaries held distinctly different ones. Those ovaries had produced the eggs that led to two of Keegan's sons holding genes different from her own.
The true genetic mother was a twin sister that she never knew and who was never born.
Searches for chimeras are incredibly complicated as the genes only feature in detectable amounts in very few organs. As more people turn to fertility clinics to help them have children, chimerism may become more common, as fertility treatments are more likely to lead to multiple births.
26th Oct 2015, 12:50 PM #2200
Re: Health Bulletin
Cheese as addictive as drugs
Ever felt unable to stop yourself having another slice of stilton or just one more bite of that brie? Scientists have now discovered the reason why it is so hard to stop eating cheese - it's actually addictive.
A recent study by the University of Michigan investigated which items serve as the drugs of the food world. The scientists discovered pizza topped the "addictive" list - because of its cheesy, fatty topping. "Fat seemed to be equally predictive of problematic eating for everyone, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of 'food addiction,'" said Erica Schulte, one of the study's authors.
Scientists discovered that a chemical called casein, found in dairy products, was to blame for the foodstuff's addictive properties. According to Dr Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, casein "breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates called casomorphins."
Multiple studies have shown that casomorphins interact with opioid receptors, which are involved in controlling pain, reward and addiction in the brain. The same parts of the brain are stimulated while under the influence of addictive drugs like crack cocaine and heroin." (Casomorphins) really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element," registered dietitian Cameron Wells said.
There is only a tiny amount of casein in milk, but producing a pound of cheese requires about 10 pounds of milk so it becomes very concentrated.
So when you next find yourself polishing off a whole block of cheddar at least you know your addiction is real.