Medical Headlines

New gene-scanning approach finds link to heart attack risk 'hiding in plain sight'

As scanning genomes for disease-related gene variations becomes more commonplace, scientists are pinpointing gene variations that change the way proteins function. Using this approach, a new study found a previously unknown gene variation that appears to make blood lipid levels healthier in humans and reduce risk of heart attacks.

Better sleep linked with higher omega-3 levels in new study

Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly derived from fish oils, including tuna and salmon, and they have been linked to numerous health benefits. But now, a new study suggests that having higher levels of omega-3 DHA is associated with better sleep.The researchers, from the University of Oxford in the UK, have published results of their study in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Over 75% of people with the flu do not have symptoms

During flu season, sufferers may marvel at those individuals who just never seem to get sick. But a new study suggests they may actually be ill without knowing it, as three quarters of people with seasonal and pandemic flu do not exhibit symptoms.The researchers, led by Dr.

Parents 'increase infant's obesity risk through feeding and activity practices'

In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Now, new research suggests parents may need to shoulder some of the blame. A study found that many parents adopt infant feeding and activity practices that may increase a child's risk of obesity later in life.The research team, led by Dr. Eliana M.

Happiness is viral, thanks to social media

New research from the University of California in San Diego, and published in the journal PLOS One, suggests that happy status updates encourage happy updates from other users.Previous studies have shown that emotion spreads among people in direct, person-to-person contact. This "emotional contagion" has been documented among friends, acquaintances, and even among strangers.

Intelligent people 'more likely to trust others'

Do you often put your trust in others? If so, you are likely to be of high intelligence. New research from the University of Oxford in the UK suggests that intelligent individuals are more likely to trust other people, compared with those who are less brainy.

The 5-second rule is not an urban myth, say researchers

You are just about to eat the last chocolate that you have been saving all day, but as it reaches your mouth, you drop it on the floor. Do you throw it away? Or do you pick it up, give it a quick wipe and eat it? Many of us would refer to the "5-second rule" to justify eating it. Now, new research suggests this urban myth may actually hold scientific fact.

New study suggests contagious yawning is not linked to empathy

Along with the whereabouts of Bigfoot and the answer to whether we are alone in the universe, the mechanism behind contagious yawning remains one of life's great mysteries. Though previous studies have suggested a link to empathy, new research suggests this is not the case, rendering it still largely unexplained.

HIV vaccine hope found in immune system of a unique patient

The Journal of Clinical Investigation has published a new study of a unique patient with an immune system that produces the types of neutralizing antibodies that are considered essential to an effective HIV vaccine response.The patient has a rare combination of HIV and systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, a disease where the immune system attacks the body's own cells and tissue.

Each 15-minute delay steals 1 month of healthy life for stroke sufferers

When it comes to getting treatment for stroke, every minute counts. This is the conclusion of a study published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, which shows that for every minute treatment is accelerated, the patient gains another 1.8 days of healthy life.Stroke is the number four cause of death in the US.

Exposure to environmental toxins linked to autism incidence rates

Researchers from the University of Chicago have found that rates of autism and intellectually disability in the US correlate with incidence of genital malformation in newborn males at county level - an indicator of fetus exposure to harmful environmental factors, such as pesticides.The research team, including Prof.

Brain links weakened by nicotine withdrawal may explain smokers' relapse

A new brain imaging study published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that the high rate of relapse among smokers trying to quit may be due to an inability - brought on by nicotine withdrawal - to switch from the "default mode" brain network, to the "executive control" brain network.

Could living or working near fast food shops make you obese?

It may seem like an obvious association: exposure to fast food restaurants and likelihood of obesity. But researchers whose study revealed these findings say the link shows evidence of a "dose-response relationship" and could have implications in the wake of the increasingly worrisome public health issue that is obesity.Publishing their work on bmj.

Mindfulness-based meditation 'benefits teen cancer patients'

Past research has hailed meditation for its effects against pain, anxiety and depression. Now, new research from the University of Montreal in Canada suggests that mindfulness-based meditation may improve mood and sleep quality for teenage cancer patients.The findings were presented at the American Psychosomatic Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Oral thrush a common complication of HIV 'because of fungi'

A new study investigates the role of bacteria and fungi in the human mouth. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, published their findings in the journal PLOS Pathogens.Experts know that organisms that live in our mouths are capable of contributing to both health and disease.

Even hours after sex, new vaginal gel could protect women against HIV

A research team, led by investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a new vaginal gel that they say could protect women from HIV, even if it is applied hours after sex.This is according to a study recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Potential new drug targets for aggressive form of lung cancer

Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive, highly lethal form of the disease that is linked with tobacco use. Researchers have now found mutations and other genetic interruptions occurring in the cancer's development that could translate to potential new drug targets for this disease.

Biomarkers could tell doctors when concussed athletes are safe to compete

Swedish researchers have found, through examining studies in sporting injuries, that a protein in the central nervous system could provide a tool for diagnosing concussions. They published their results in JAMA Neurology.Concussion, sometimes referred to as mild traumatic brain injury, is reported to be a growing problem in contact sports, such as ice hockey, football and boxing.

Gut bacteria essential for immune cell development

A new study finds that gut bacteria play an important role in the development of white blood cells that help the body's immune system fight infection.The human body is home to thousands of species of microbes - collectively known as the microbiome - that we are increasingly coming to realize are essential to health.

Motorbike crash victim's face repaired with 3D printing

Stephen Power, a 29-year-old father from Cardiff in the UK, was left with extensive facial injuries after a motorbike crash. Now thanks to pioneering use of 3D printing, surgeons were able to repair his face in a boundary-pushing reconstructive procedure that took months to plan and 8 hours to complete.The crash, which occurred in September 2012, broke both Mr.

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