Medical Headlines

Smokers' taste buds 'do not allow them to taste bitterness of coffee'

Though conventional pairing has cigarettes and coffee going together, researchers have found that the toxic chemicals in tobacco may hamper taste bud regeneration, resulting in smokers not being able to adequately taste the bitterness of their regular cup of joe.

Men 'size-up' male competition by watching dance moves

Why do women love the movie Dirty Dancing? Chances are, it is down to Patrick Swayze's dance moves, which to this day, never fail to impress. According to research led by Northumbria University in the UK, a man's dance moves provide clues about his physical qualities. But it is not only women who pick up on these clues; so do men.

'Autism rates soar 30% in 2 years,' CDC say

The number of US children with autism spectrum disorder has soared approximately 30% in the past 2 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In the surveillance summary report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers estimate that 1 in 68 children (14.

'Mini heart' may help people with blood flow problems

A researcher at George Washington University in Washington, DC, has made a startling innovation that could improve treatment for people who have impaired blood flow.Narine Sarvazyan, PhD, has created a tiny heart that can be implanted to encourage blood flow in veins that lack working valves.

Heart benefits linked to marathon training, researchers say

It may seem obvious at first: training for a marathon improves risk factors related to cardiovascular disease. But recent years have seen middle-aged male runners dying from cardiac arrest while running a marathon, suggesting older men are at higher risk while running the 26.2-mile race.

MRI tracking of genes to offer insights into memory and learning

Doctors normally use MRI to look inside the body to examine organs and tissue, for instance to find tumors and other abnormalities. Now, biological engineers in the US want to adapt the scanning technology to work on a much smaller scale.

Expert warns of lung disease 'time bomb' in UK

The UK is sitting on a lung disease 'time bomb' says a leading respiratory expert. Referring to the dramatic rise in cases of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Luca Richeldi, professor and consultant in respiratory medicine at Southampton General Hospital in the UK, says there is an urgent need to develop a quick and easy way to diagnose the rare lung disease.

Smoking bans linked with decline in preterm births, asthma

During the last couple of decades, public smoking bans in the US and Europe have come into effect. Now, the first systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the effect of this smoke-free legislation on child health shows these bans have been followed by decreasing rates of preterm births and children attending the hospital for asthma.

Scientists observe how rotavirus infection can accelerate type 1 diabetes

A new study in the journal PLOS Pathogens examines how rotavirus infection contributes to autoimmune (type 1) diabetes.The researchers, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, observed the mechanisms by which rotavirus speeds up onset of type 1 diabetes in mice.To do this, they induced "bystander activation" in non-obese diabetic mice.

Controlling blood pressure after stroke 'halves risk of recurrence'

Around 750,000 Americans have a stroke every year. Of these, 5-14% will have a second stroke within 12 months. But new research suggests that if blood pressure is consistently controlled after an initial stroke, the risk of a second one could be reduced by more than 50%.The research team, led by Dr.

Autism begins in the womb, according to a new study

A new study claims to show for the first time that autism begins in the womb, while another examines possible environmental influences on autism development.The origins of autism have been passionately debated by many scientists and commentators. What is known about autism is that it is a physical condition, which is linked to abnormal biology and brain chemistry.

Alzheimer's puzzle piece found using giant X-ray facilities

Protein fragments that comprise Alzheimer's lesions have been implicated as a hallmark of the disease, but until now, why they accumulate or cause brain cells to die has not been understood. Now, researchers have used giant X-ray centers - called synchrotrons - to investigate and have found that biological material may contribute to the build-up of toxic iron in the brain.

Prosthetic limbs: should they be more advanced by now?

"The psychological challenges for amputees is daunting. More can be done, but in my mind, the key to success resides in enabling the amputee to seamlessly engage in activities of daily living," says David Hankin.

Being overweight may benefit older people

A new study from Australia finds that people aged 65 and over with a body mass index in the overweight range live longer and suggests perhaps the World Health Organization guidelines on BMI may not be suitable for older people.The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25, and a BMI of 30 or over as obese.

MRI helps diagnose prostate cancer more accurately

In a world first, an Australian clinical trial has shown that biopsy guided by MRI can significantly improve the diagnosis of life-threatening prostate cancer and reduce the over-diagnosis of non-life-threatening cases, thus avoiding the side effects of unnecessary treatment.

Researchers produce first comprehensive atlas of human genes

To better understand why and how disease works in the human body, scientists are increasingly turning to genetics for answers. Now, a large international team has made the first detailed map of how genes work within the cells and tissues of the human body.They have published their research in a series of papers, two of which appear in the journal Nature.

Newborn screening: should whole genome sequencing be introduced?

Whole genome sequencing is becoming more popular in medical research. With its falling cost and increasing reliability, some scientists hail the process as being the future of genetic research. But should whole genome sequencing be used as a part of newborn screening programs? This is a question that researchers from McGill University in Canada say should be addressed.

Economic growth does not guarantee reduction in undernutrition, study finds

Widely held beliefs concerning the relationship of economic growth and the reduction of undernutrition in children have been challenged in a large study of child growth patterns in developing countries, published in The Lancet Global Health.Malnutrition causes the death of 2.6 million children worldwide each year. This amounts to 1 in 3 of all child deaths.

More effort needed to fight hospital infections, say CDC

At any given time, approximately 1 in 25 patients in the US has at least one infection acquired during their hospital stay, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who have released two new reports highlighting the need to improve patient safety by eliminating this threat to patients.

Evidence supports it, so why are parents still reluctant to vaccinate their children?

Nearly 16 years after his controversial study was first published, the work of the discredited British doctor Andrew Wakefield - the researcher who linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine with autism - is back in the news. Since 2010, Wakefield has been barred from practicing medicine in the UK. He now lives and works in the US where he retains a cult following.