Body

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

Fibrosis, or scarring, is a hallmark of the disease, and progressive tightening of the skin and lungs can lead to serious organ damage and, in some cases, death.

The concept for new therapeutic options centers on findings made by Swati Bhattacharyya, PhD, research assistant professor in Medicine-Rheumatology, who identified the role that a specific protein plays in promoting fibrosis.

Chronic inflammation may be linked to aggressive prostate cancer

PHILADELPHIA — The presence of chronic inflammation in benign prostate tissue was associated with high-grade, or aggressive, prostate cancer, and this association was found even in those with low prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

The link between persistent inflammation and cancer was even stronger for men with so-called high-grade prostate cancer — those with a Gleason score between 7 and 10 — indicating the presence of the most aggressive and rapidly growing prostate cancers.

Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

The pass mark for a two-part test that international medical graduates must pass to work as a doctor in the UK should be raised to reduce differences in performance between international and UK medical graduates, suggest researchers on bmj.com today.

But they warn that this could create "severe workforce planning challenges" for the NHS, which has traditionally relied on international medical graduates, especially in the less popular specialties such as psychiatry.

Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

More needs to be done to investigate the risks to human health that extracting shale gas poses, suggests a personal view published on bmj.com today.

Dr. Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director for Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, and his colleagues say that operations to produce natural gas from formations such as shale sometimes occur "close to human populations", but efforts to understand the potential impacts have fallen short, focusing on regulations rather than on health outcomes.

Progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to R-loop formation

Researchers at UC Davis have identified a new feature of the genetic mutation responsible for the progressive neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) — the formation of "R-loops," which they believe may be associated with the disorder's neurological symptoms, such as tremors, lack of balance, features of Parkinsonism, and cognitive decline.

Prenatal risk factors may put children at risk of developing kidney disease

Washington, DC (April 17, 2014) — Certain prenatal risk factors are associated with the development of chronic kidney disease in children, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Future studies should investigate whether modifying these factors could help protect children's kidney health.

New gene variant found increases the risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat

Proteomics discovers link between muscle damage and cerebral malaria

Malaria-related complications remain a major cause of death for children in many parts of the world. Why some children develop these complications while others don't is still not understood.

How the immune system prevents repeated malaria fever episodes in highly exposed children

Children in Mali (and many other regions where malaria is common) are infected with malaria parasites more than 100 times a year, but they get sick with malaria fever only a few times. To understand how the immune system manages to prevent malaria fever in most cases, Peter Crompton, from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues in the US and in Mali, analyzed immune cells from healthy children before the malaria season and from the same children after their first bout of malaria fever during the ensuing malaria season.