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Quality of US diet improves, gap widens for quality between rich and poor

Quality of US diet improves, gap widens for quality between rich and poor

The quality of the U.S. diet showed some modest improvement in the last decade in large measure because of a reduction in the consumption of unhealthy trans fats, but the gap in overall diet quality widened between the rich and the poor Continue reading

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital. Published online today in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes , a brain scan study in adult men and women suggests that it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods. “We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said senior and co-corresponding author Susan B Continue reading

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a cell, and therefore could offer a new approach to disease treatment. In the Journal of Cell Biology , two researchers are issuing a call to investigators from various backgrounds, from biophysics to cell biology, to focus their attention on the role of these formations — for which they coin a new unifying term “assemblages.” “I want to know what these assemblages are doing in Ewing sarcoma, the disease I concentrate on — and I would think all other researchers who study human biology would want to know their functions in both health and disease,” says Jeffrey Toretsky, MD, professor in the department of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Continue reading

Invisible blood in urine may indicate bladder cancer

Invisible blood in urine may indicate bladder cancer

New research which finds that invisible blood in urine may be an early warning sign of bladder cancer is likely to shape guidelines for clinicians. Scientists at the University of Exeter Medical School found that one in 60 people over the age of 60 who had invisible blood in their urine (identified by their GP testing their urine) transpired to have bladder cancer. Continue reading

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester. Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to identify the unique ‘smell’ of C-diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition. What is more, the Leicester team say it could be possible to identify different strains of the disease simply from their smell — a chemical fingerprint — helping medics to target the particular condition. Continue reading

Carcinogenic role of protein in liver decoded

Carcinogenic role of protein in liver decoded

The human protein EGFR controls cell growth. It has mutated in case of many cancer cells or exists in excessive numbers Continue reading

Energy drinks cause heart problems, study suggests

Energy drinks cause heart problems, study suggests

Energy drinks can cause heart problems according to research presented at ESC Congress 2014 today by Professor Milou-Daniel Drici from France. Professor Drici said: “So-called ‘energy drinks’ are popular in dance clubs and during physical exercise, with people sometimes consuming a number of drinks one after the other Continue reading

Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain

Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain

After a systematic review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for acute and chronic postsurgical pain, researchers have concluded that more trials are needed to determine whether these drugs should be prescribed for postsurgical pain on a regular basis. Dr. Ian Gilron, a professor and director of clinical pain research in the Department of Anesthesiology, and his team of seven researchers reviewed 15 trials to determine whether the use of antidepressants for pain relief post-surgery would work more effectively than painkillers such as opioids, local anesthetics, or acetaminophen. Continue reading

Preventing cancer from forming ‘tentacles’ stops dangerous spread

Preventing cancer from forming ‘tentacles’ stops dangerous spread

A new study from the research group of Dr. John Lewis at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON) has confirmed that “invadopodia” play a key role in the spread of cancer. The study, published in Cell Reports , shows preventing these tentacle-like structures from forming can stop the spread of cancer entirely Continue reading

Options for weight loss your primary care doctor might not know about

Options for weight loss your primary care doctor might not know about

Despite US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for screening and treating obesity, there are many barriers, several of which may be ameliorated through technological approaches according to a new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center published online August 21, 2014 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM). David Levine, MD, MA, a third year resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and colleagues found that compared to usual care, technology-assisted interventions specifically in the primary care setting help patients achieve weight loss. Continue reading