Body

Probiotic supplements have been used around the world for at least half a century, but almost half (49 percent) of Americans indicate that they have never heard of them, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive® for Florastor®, the world’s top-selling probiotic, now being launched widely in the United States.

Derived from a Greek term meaning, "for life," probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "live micro-organisms, which, when administered in proper amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."

Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, severely impair the lives of more than four million people worldwide. The development of effective therapies against these diseases requires an understanding of their underlying molecular mechanisms. Researchers from the Universities of Cologne and Mainz in Germany, the Mouse Biology Unit of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Italy and their collaborators, have now deciphered a molecular signal that triggers chronic intestinal inflammation.

Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have more than two-and-a-half times the risk of dying from the disease as compared to men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The findings by senior author Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., and colleagues appear online and will be published in the March 15 print edition of the journal Cancer.

The problem of efficiently delivering drugs, especially those that are hydrophobic or water-repellant, to tumors or other disease sites has long challenged scientists to develop innovative delivery systems that keep these drugs intact until reaching their targets.

Now scientists in the University at Buffalo’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have developed an innovative solution in which the delivery system is the drug itself.

Does God or some other type of transcendent entity answer prayer?

The answer, according to a new Arizona State University study published in the March journal Research on Social Work Practice, is “yes.” David R. Hodge, an assistant professor of social work in the College of Human Services at Arizona State University, conducted a comprehensive analysis of 17 major studies on the effects of intercessory prayer – or prayer that is offered for the benefit of another person – among people with psychological or medical problems. He found a positive effect.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are harnessing two new, non-invasive techniques to look more closely inside the working lungs - leading to early detection of diseases, like emphysema, before it becomes evident in other modes of imaging.

With hundreds of nanotechnology-enabled products already on the market and many more in the commercial pipeline, a new report by a former senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official urges policymakers to give greater attention to the challenges of crafting an oversight system that can effectively address health and safety issues particular to nanoscale materials and devices.

Whip spiders, considered by many to be creepy-crawly, are giving new meaning to the term touchy-feely.

Work completed by a visiting research professor at Rowan University, physics professors and a student from the institution shows that light is made of particles and waves, a finding that refutes a common belief held for about 80 years.

After injury, even adult muscles can heal very well because they have a reserve supply of muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, which they can utilize for repair. Until now, it was unclear how this supply of satellite and muscle progenitor cells, out of which both muscle cells as well as satellite cells develop, keeps itself “fresh”. Developmental biologists Professor Carmen Birchmeier, Dr.