Medical Headlines

New obesity treatment possible with novel protein discovery

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of US adults are now obese. But new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience details how a protein in the brain regulates food intake and body weight - opening new doors for the treatment of obesity.

New imaging method 'could speed up cancer diagnosis'

Scientists have found a way to make sense of the large amounts of data yielded by a new tissue imaging technique that could improve the power of cancer diagnosis - which currently takes weeks because samples must be interpreted by the histologist's eye in the pathology lab.

Pregnancy exposure to BPA in plastic 'raises prostate cancer risk'

A study in mice has found prostate cancer is more likely to develop when exposure to BPA levels matches that typical for pregnant women, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) investigating concerns over the chemical used in water bottles.

Bacteria 'could be a cause of preterm births'

New research from the US has found a link between preterm births where the water sac around the baby breaks prematurely, and bacteria near where the walls of the sac arethinner.The researchers, including Amy P. Murtha, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine, report their work in a recent online issue of PLOS ONE.Prof.

New blood test 'could accurately predict heart attack risk'

According to The Heart Foundation, more than 920,000 Americans will suffer a heart attack this year, and many of these will occur without warning. But researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in California say they have created a blood test which may be able to predict whether patients are at high risk of heart attack.The research team, led by Prof.

Inherited gene copies 'randomly activated,' study suggests

It is common knowledge that with many illnesses, such as cancer, risk of development is partly determined by family history of the disease. But new research suggests that "random chance" decides if a certain gene copy that is inherited from our mother or father is actually used.

Waterproof glue seals holes in beating hearts

Next time you catch a slug meandering its way across your prize lettuces, think about this: that slimy trail could be the key to life-saving technology for healing damaged tissue, such as in beating hearts.

Avocado with lunch may help with weight management

With more than 35% of the US population classed as obese, it seems there is a need for new weight loss strategies. Now, new research suggests that one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satisfy hunger in overweight individuals, reducing their need to snack after a meal. This is according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal.The research team, led by Dr.

Blood pressure reductions 'affected by wealth levels'

Reduction of high blood pressure is achieved more effectively for wealthier Americans than for those with a poorer socio-economic status, a study from England finds, where the management of hypertension was found to be more equitable.There was little difference between the countries in overall effectiveness of the management of high blood pressure, or hypertension.

White women more prone to breast cancer because of lifestyle

In England, black and South Asian women have lower rates of breast cancer than white women. Now, a new study from Oxford University suggests the reason lies with differences in lifestyle and reproductive patterns.The team, from Oxford's Cancer Epidemiology Unit, lists alcohol consumption, breastfeeding and number of children as some of the factors.

FDA approves new drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes

The US Food and Drug and Administration has announced the approval of a drug called Farxiga (dapaglifozin) to help treat adults with type 2 diabetes. The tablets, in combination with diet and exercise, are said to improve control of blood sugar levels.According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 25.8 million people in the US have diabetes.

Muscle strength in children linked to vitamin D levels in pregnancy

A UK study of pregnant women that followed their babies into early childhood finds kids were likely to have stronger muscles if their mothers had higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy.The study, from the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (MRC LEU) at the University of Southampton, is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Protein destroys migrating cancer cells on contact

In a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US team of biomedical engineers demonstrates a way to stop migrating cancer cells dead in their tracks as they travel through the bloodstream to set up new tumors.Metastasis is where cancer cells from a first tumor detach and spread to other parts of the body.

'Wellbeing improved' if children with autism recruit imaginary helpers

Researchers believe they have developed a psychological technique that improves the mental wellbeing of children with autism - through an activity that invents tiny characters the kids can then imagine are in their heads helping them out with their thoughts.

At least 38 million Americans drink too much, says CDC

At least 38 million adults in the US drink too much, and most are not alcoholics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a push to increase use of alcohol screening and counseling by doctors, nurses and other health professionals.Only 1 in 6 Americans talk to their health professional about their drinking habits, says the federal agency.

Head and neck cancer: mutation 'triggers cancer-causing gene'

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania say they have discovered a mechanism which causes cancer activity to increase in head and neck cancer. The discovery may lead to new treatments for the disease.Senior author of the study, Dr.

Diet and exercise: cancer benefits in huge study of women's health

In a large study of women's health, postmenopausal women who followed a healthy lifestyle were at a third lower risk of death, including a 20% smaller chance of dying from cancer, than women who did not follow guidance on diet, weight, physical activity, and alcohol intake.

US cancer deaths down 20% in 20 years

The death rate from cancer in the US has fallen steadily over the past 20 years, according to the American Cancer Society's latest annual figures, which were published online this week in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.The report shows that the cancer death rate for American men and women combined fell 20% from a peak of 215.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 171.

Smoking controls since 1964 'have saved 8 million Americans'

Measures over the past 50 years to reduce smoking in the US have saved an estimated 8 million premature deaths, increasing the average spans of those lives by almost 20 years, an analysis in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association has found.

New biopsy test could pick out aggressive form of skin cancer

Testing the genetic profile of immune cells next to a melanoma could lead to more accurate diagnosis to spot whether a skin cancer is aggressive enough to spread, researchers from Italy have found.Development of the research finding could enable doctors to focus cancer treatment on skin cancer patients who need it - while sparing the harm of intervening when patients do not need it.