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Scientists re-define what’s healthy in newest analysis for human microbiome project

Scientists re-define what’s healthy in newest analysis for human microbiome project

As scientists catalog the trillions of bacteria found in every nook and cranny of the human body, a new look by the University of Michigan shows wide variation in the types of bacteria found in healthy people. Continue reading

New standards proposed for gauging muscle decline in older adults

New standards proposed for gauging muscle decline in older adults

Sarcopenia — the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength — may put up to 50 percent of seniors at greater risk for disability, yet there is no consensus within the medical community for how this condition should be measured. However, a new collection of articles appearing in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (volume 69, number 5) lays out an empirically derived set of criteria for diagnosing sarcopenia. These recommendations are a result of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Biomarkers Consortium Sarcopenia Project, which includes scientists and grantees from the National Institutes of Health, along with other partners in government, academia, and the private sector. Continue reading

New standards proposed for gauging muscle decline in older adults

New standards proposed for gauging muscle decline in older adults

Sarcopenia — the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength — may put up to 50 percent of seniors at greater risk for disability, yet there is no consensus within the medical community for how this condition should be measured. However, a new collection of articles appearing in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (volume 69, number 5) lays out an empirically derived set of criteria for diagnosing sarcopenia Continue reading

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has uncovered a new aspect of autism, revealing that proteins involved in autism interact with many more partners than previously known. These interactions had not been detected earlier because they involve alternatively spliced forms of autism genes found in the brain. In their study, published in the April 11, 2014 online issue of Nature Communications , the scientists isolated hundreds of new variants of autism genes from the human brain, and then screened their protein products against thousands of other proteins to identify interacting partners. Continue reading

Mortality risks of being overweight or obese are underestimated

Mortality risks of being overweight or obese are underestimated

New research by Andrew Stokes, a doctoral student in demography and sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that many obesity studies substantially underestimate the mortality risks associated with excess weight in the United States. His study, “Using Maximum Weight to Redefine Body Mass Index Categories in Studies of The Mortality Risks of Obesity,” was published in the March issue of the open-access journal Population Health Metrics . “The scholarly community is divided over a large meta-analysis that found that overweight is the optimal BMI category and that there are no increased risks associated with obese class 1,” Stokes said. Continue reading

Mortality risks of being overweight or obese are underestimated

Mortality risks of being overweight or obese are underestimated

New research by Andrew Stokes, a doctoral student in demography and sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that many obesity studies substantially underestimate the mortality risks associated with excess weight in the United States. His study, “Using Maximum Weight to Redefine Body Mass Index Categories in Studies of The Mortality Risks of Obesity,” was published in the March issue of the open-access journal Population Health Metrics Continue reading

Dog walking attitudes: Stoop to scoop the poop?

Dog walking attitudes: Stoop to scoop the poop?

There are 8 million dogs in the UK, which adds up to a lot of daily walks and potential for a lot of dog faeces to be left behind. Most dog walkers are happy and even proud to bag and bin their dog’s waste, some might leave waste if they are off the beaten track or in more rural locations, while a small proportion of dog walkers are totally disengaged from the idea that picking up their dog waste is the “right thing to do.” A new study in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, discusses the environmental, health and safety issues. Continue reading

Overuse of blood transfusions increases infection risk

Overuse of blood transfusions increases infection risk

Blood transfusions are one of the most common procedures patients receive in the hospital but the more red blood cells they receive, the greater their risk of infection, says a new study led by the University of Michigan Heath System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Researchers analyzed 21 randomized controlled trials for the study that appears in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA ). Continue reading

Too many diet drinks may spell heart trouble for older women

Too many diet drinks may spell heart trouble for older women

It appears healthy postmenopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day may be more likely to have a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problems, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session. In fact, compared to women who never or only rarely consume diet drinks, those who consumed two or more a day were 30 percent more likely to suffer a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease Continue reading

Girls protected from autism, study suggests

Girls protected from autism, study suggests

It takes more mutations to trigger autism in women than in men, which may explain why men are four times more likely to have the disorder, according to a study published 26 February in the A merican Journal of Human Genetics . The study found that women with autism or developmental delay tend to have more large disruptions in their genomes than do men with the disorder. Inherited mutations are also more likely to be passed down from unaffected mothers than from fathers. Continue reading