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Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal

Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal

Bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you’re diseased, according to research using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Scientists say these surprising findings might lead to better ways to prevent or even reverse the gum disease periodontitis, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease. Marvin Whiteley, professor of molecular biosciences and director of the Center for Infectious Disease at The University of Texas at Austin, led the study published in April 2014 in the journal mBio . Continue reading

Sleep deficiency and sleep medication use in astronauts

Sleep deficiency and sleep medication use in astronauts

In an extensive study of sleep monitoring and sleeping pill use in astronauts, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Colorado found that astronauts suffer considerable sleep deficiency in the weeks leading up to and during space flight. Continue reading

Powerful new system for classifying tumors revealed

Powerful new system for classifying tumors revealed

Cancers are classified primarily on the basis of where in the body the disease originates, as in lung cancer or breast cancer. According to a new study, however, one in ten cancer patients would be classified differently using a new classification system based on molecular subtypes instead of the current tissue-of-origin system. Continue reading

Studying muscle function to treat heart failure

Studying muscle function to treat heart failure

Muscle physiologist Edward Debold at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences recently received a three-year, $198,000 grant from the American Heart Association to support studies to uncover the molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle fatigue. The work will advance basic understanding of muscle function and should lead to new drug therapies for individuals with fatigue that greatly limits physical function and quality of life, including the 5.7 million Americans living with chronic heart failure Continue reading

Causes of death shifting in people with HIV

Causes of death shifting in people with HIV

HIV-positive adults in high income countries face a substantially reduced risk of death from AIDS-related causes, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease compared with a decade ago, according to a large international study published in The Lancet. The study which involved nearly 50,000 HIV-positive adults receiving care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) at more than 200 clinics across Europe, USA, and Australia found that overall death rates have almost halved since 1999, while deaths due to AIDS-related causes and cardiovascular disease have declined by around 65% and liver-related deaths by more than 50%. Although deaths from most causes declined over the study period, there was no reduction in death rates from non-AIDS cancers which remained stable over time (1.6 deaths per 1000 years 1999-2000 to 2.1 in 2009-2011) Continue reading

Four Lessons for Effective, Efficient Research in Health Care Settings

Four Lessons for Effective, Efficient Research in Health Care Settings

Thousands of studies take place every year in healthcare settings. A report published recently in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine describes how to do many of these studies more rapidly. By taking into account the real-world constraints of the systems in which providers deliver care and patients receive it, researchers can help speed results, cut costs, and increase chances that recommendations from their findings will be implemented. Continue reading

Equations reveal rebellious rhythms at the heart of nature

Equations reveal rebellious rhythms at the heart of nature

Physicists are using equations to reveal the hidden complexities of the human body. Continue reading

Could ‘fragile Y hypothesis’ explain chromosome loss?

Could ‘fragile Y hypothesis’ explain chromosome loss?

A UT Arlington research team says their study of genetic information from more than 4,000 beetle species has yielded a new theory about why some species lose their Y chromosome and others, such as humans, hang on to it. They call it the “fragile Y hypothesis.” The biologists’ idea is that the fate of the Y chromosome is heavily influenced by how meiosis, or the production of sperm, works in an organism Continue reading

Involving a genetic health care professional may improve quality, reduce unnecessary testing

Involving a genetic health care professional may improve quality, reduce unnecessary testing

A new Moffitt Cancer Center study published Thursday in Genetics in Medicine shows that counseling from a genetic health care provider before genetic testing educates patients and may help reduce unnecessary procedures. Up to 10 percent of cancers are inherited, meaning a person was born with an abnormal gene that increases their risk for cancer Continue reading

Why are older women more vulnerable to breast cancer? New clues

Why are older women more vulnerable to breast cancer? New clues

Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors. Their work sheds light on how aging alters cellular and molecular functions, and how these changes contribute to the prevalence of breast cancer in older women Continue reading