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Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to U. S. obesity epidemic, particularly among children

Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to U. S. obesity epidemic, particularly among children

In response to the ongoing policy discussions on the role of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on weight and health, The Obesity Society (TOS) concludes that SSBs contribute to the United States’ obesity epidemic, particularly among children. Based on an in-depth analysis of the current research, TOS’s position statement unveiled today provides several recommendations for improving health, including that children minimize their consumption of SSBs. “There’s no arguing with the fact that the high rates of obesity in the U.S Continue reading

Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea

In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on 16 April, researchers from Inserm (Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon) and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible for this epidemic. Performed in less than a month, sequencing of the complete genome and subsequent phylogenetic analysis show that the virus present in Guinea forms a clade (variant) that is distinct from strains previously identified in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Gabon. Continue reading

Why alcoholism saps muscle strength

Why alcoholism saps muscle strength

Muscle weakness is a common symptom of both long-time alcoholics and patients with mitochondrial disease. Continue reading

More effective kidney stone treatment, from macroscopic to nanoscale

More effective kidney stone treatment, from macroscopic to nanoscale

Researchers in France have hit on a novel method to help kidney stone sufferers ensure they receive the correct and most effective treatment possible. Kidney stones represent a major medical problem in the western and developing world. If left untreated, apart from being particularly painful, they can lead to renal failure and other complications. Continue reading

Synapses: stability in transformation

Synapses: stability in transformation

Synapses are the points of contact at which information is transmitted between neurons. Without them, we would not be able to form thoughts or remember things. Continue reading

Intelligent prosthetic liners could ease pain for lower limb amputees

Intelligent prosthetic liners could ease pain for lower limb amputees

A new device could help to relieve the pain and discomfort experienced by thousands of amputees as a result of poorly fitting replacement lower limbs. Researchers are developing a prototype of the world’s first prosthetic ‘intelligent’ liner with integrated pressure sensors, which could be available to NHS patients in as little as three years. The sensors for the device, invented by Dr Liudi Jiang and an interdisciplinary team at the University of Southampton, measure the pressure and pulling forces at the interface between a patient’s stump and socket of their prosthesis. Continue reading

Everest trek shows how some people get type II diabetes

Everest trek shows how some people get type II diabetes

Scientists have gained new insights into the molecular process of how some people get type II diabetes, which could lead to new ways of preventing people from getting the condition. The research, led by the University of Southampton and UCL, which took place on Mount Everest, assessed the mechanisms by which low oxygen levels in the body — known as hypoxia — are associated with the development of insulin resistance. Continue reading

Virus-fighting genes linked to mutations in cancer: Genetic evidence supports role of gene family in cancer development

Virus-fighting genes linked to mutations in cancer: Genetic evidence supports role of gene family in cancer development

All cancer-causing processes leave a distinct mutational imprint or signature on the genomes of patients. Continue reading

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small financial incentives, totalling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet . Researchers in the UK found that people undergoing treatment for heroin addiction who received a maximum total of £30 supermarket vouchers in equal or graduated installments in return for full compliance with a regimen of three HBV vaccine injections were at least 12 times as likely to complete the course within 28 days compared to those not receiving a financial incentive (45% for equal payment installments and 49% for graduated payment installments vs 9% for no payment incentive). The study was led by Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London, UK, working in close collaboration with senior colleagues at Imperial College London and University College London (UCL), in the UK Continue reading

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users

Small financial incentives, totalling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet . Researchers in the UK found that people undergoing treatment for heroin addiction who received a maximum total of £30 supermarket vouchers in equal or graduated installments in return for full compliance with a regimen of three HBV vaccine injections were at least 12 times as likely to complete the course within 28 days compared to those not receiving a financial incentive (45% for equal payment installments and 49% for graduated payment installments vs 9% for no payment incentive). The study was led by Professor John Strang from the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London, UK, working in close collaboration with senior colleagues at Imperial College London and University College London (UCL), in the UK Continue reading