Medical Headlines

Birth control 'does not result in more promiscuous women'

Critics of free birth control programs have previously suggested that giving women free contraception will encourage them to engage in more risky sexual behavior. But a new study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that this is not the case.The researchers, from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Protein synthesis studied in stem cells for the first time

A new breakthrough in stem cell research has occurred, thanks to scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. The researchers claim that protein synthesis - an essential biological process - can be studied in adult stem cells. This is something that scientists have been previously unable to accomplish.

Serious diarrheal infection in kids linked to antibiotics

A new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that most cases of the severe - and potentially fatal - diarrhea illness in children caused by Clostridium difficile infection picked up outside of the hospital occur among those who have recently taken prescribed antibiotics.

New blood test predicts Alzheimer's, dementia

Researchers have developed a new blood test that can predict with 90% accuracy whether a healthy person will develop Alzheimer's or cognitive decline within 3 years. They report how they identified and validated the 10 biomarkers that form the basis of the test in a study published in Nature Medicine.Study leader Howard J.

Where does 'hidden fat' come from?

It is now common knowledge that having too much fat is bad for you, but less well known is the serious threat posed by the "hidden fat" that surrounds our vital organs. New research published in the journal Nature Cell Biology claims to have discovered where this hidden, or "visceral fat," comes from.Visceral fat and subcutaneous fat are the two main types of fat in the body.

Targeted drug 'prolongs survival for cervical cancer patients'

The American Cancer Society estimate that there will be 12,360 new cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed this year, with 4,020 deaths from the disease. Now, a phase II trial has found that a targeted antitumor drug could prolong the survival of women with cervical cancer.The research team, led by Dr.

Novel smartphone case measures key vital signs

It is no surprise that more than 91.4 million Americans use a smartphone. The devices are so much more than a phone - they are a world of knowledge right in the palms of our hands. And now, they can even monitor our health. Technology company Azoi has launched a smartphone case that can measure key vital signs.The health tracker is called Wello.

How does meeting on Facebook affect meeting face to face?

Studies have shown that individuals who are socially anxious prefer to communicate with others online rather than face to face. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, give them the opportunity to do just that. But how does this initial virtual interaction impact face-to-face interaction later on? A new study investigates.

Just one drink may impair driving ability in older people

The extent to which alcohol impairs the driving abilities of different age groups has been put to the test using a computer simulation. The researchers behind the investigation, from the University of Florida, publish their findings in the Psychopharmacology journal.The team tested two age groups, people aged 25 to 35 and people aged 55 to 70.

Kidney failure: nanofiber mesh 'a cheap, wearable alternative to dialysis'

The main role of the kidney is to filter waste products from the blood before converting them into urine. But this process ceases for individuals who have kidney failure, causing waste to build up in their blood. Now, researchers have created a nanofiber mesh that they say could be a wearable and cheaper alternative to kidney dialysis.

Childhood nightmare frequency linked to psychotic experience risk

Frequent nightmares in childhood could indicate an increased risk of psychosis, according to research from the University of Warwick in the UK. The study authors have published their findings in the journal Sleep.It is very common for young children to have nightmares.

Alzheimer's biomarkers decrease as symptoms emerge

There is evidence that the brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease begin many years before clinical symptoms like memory loss and mental decline emerge. With this in mind, biomarkers of these changes could be valuable ways to identify individuals at the "preclinical" stage, which is early enough for brain-preserving treatment to be effective.

High vitamin D levels may increase breast cancer survival

Past studies have claimed that vitamin D may reduce the risk of heart disease, bone fractures and even depression. Now, new research suggests that breast cancer patients with high levels of the vitamin in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease than patients with low levels.The researchers, led by Prof. Cedric F.

Could global warming push malaria to higher elevations?

Each year, more than 300 million individuals are infected with malaria, a life-threatening blood disease caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by mosquitos. Whether malaria cases could be affected by warming climates has been a topic of debate, but now, researchers present the first evidence that the disease climbs to higher elevations during warmer years.

Sight-saving eye drops could replace injections

Drug treatments for diseases that cause blindness could be delivered by eye drops instead of uncomfortable and costly eye injections, say UK researchers. The team reports how it tested this innovation on animals in the nanotechnology journal Small.

Diagnosing Parkinson's earlier with ultra-high field MRI looks promising

Diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is not easy or straightforward: it can often be hard to distinguish from other diseases. Currently, clinicians have to rely on medical history and neurological examination, as there are no reliable radiologic techniques to aid in diagnosis.

New drug could reverse age-related cognitive decline

As we age, many of us may struggle to remember simple things, such as directions or what film we watched last night. But researchers from the University of Florida say they have discovered a drug that has the potential to reverse mild cognitive decline among older adults.This is according to a study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.The research team, including Prof.

Contact lenses recommended for babies after cataract surgery

It is standard for adults and children who undergo cataract surgery to be implanted with an artificial lens in their eye. But a clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute suggests that the ideal treatment for infants should be surgery followed by the use of contact lenses for several years, and then an eventual lens implant.A cataract is a cloud on the lens of the eye.

WHO proposes to halve advised daily sugar intake

The World Health Organization has issued draft guidelines calling for a reduction of daily sugar intake to 5% of total daily calories in order to tackle public health problems, such as obesity and tooth decay.In recent years, there has been increasing concern regarding the consumption of "free" sugars.