Body

With the growing number of smoking bans in restaurants and bars driving smokers outside, researchers in Athens, Georgia, are hoping to find out whether secondhand smoke from smokers clustered outside these establishments is posing a health hazard of its own.

They presented findings from a study in which they measured the increase of pollutants from secondhand smoke.

Scientists have identified yet another risk from a high-salt diet. High concentrations of salt in the stomach appear to induce gene activity in the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori, making it more virulent and increasing the likelihood of an infected person developing a severe gastric disease.

Scientists have refuted a longstanding theory of how HIV slowly depletes the body’s capacity to fight infection, in new research published today.

The researchers were looking at T helper cells, a class of white blood cells which recognise infection and co-ordinate the body’s immune defences. They are attacked by HIV, and their numbers gradually decline in HIV positive patients. It has long been a major puzzle why this process of depletion is so slow, often taking 10 years or more.

Wild relatives of plants such as the potato and the peanut are at risk of extinction, threatening a valuable source of genes that are necessary to boost the ability of cultivated crops to resist pests and tolerate drought, according to a new study released today by scientists of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The culprit is climate change, the researchers said.

Applying topical retinol to the skin appears to improve the wrinkles associated with natural aging and may help to promote the production of skin-building compounds, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology.

The wrinkles and brown spots associated with aging appear first and most prominently on skin exposed to the sun, according to background information in the article.

Extremely drug resistant TB, or XDR-TB, is a serious problem in India, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21.

The study, the first in India to look at the prevalence of XDR-TB, found this type of TB accounts for 8% of multi-drug-resistant cases, compared with about 4% in the United States.

The use of peginterferon alone, or in combination with ribavirin, points to a cure for hepatitis C, the leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for liver transplant, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher said today.

New research into urologic conditions – such as erectile dysfunction – indicate that these disorders could be associated with or precursors to more serious conditions, and suggest a need for practitioners to view these diseases in the greater context of total health as opposed to isolated disorders.

Here are some new studies showing links between ED and other diseases:

ENDOTHELIAL DYSFUNCTION AND OXIDATIVE STRESS ASSOCIATED WITH THE METABOLIC SYNDROME CAN BE REVERSED BY A CHRONIC TREATMENT WITH SILDENAFIL

Researchers at Harvard University and Princeton University have made a crucial step toward building biological computers, tiny implantable devices that can monitor the activities and characteristics of human cells.

Peering into the body and visualizing its molecular secrets, once the stuff of science fiction, is one step closer to reality.

The research team is reporting that by looking at images from radiology scans - such as the CT scans a cancer patient routinely gets - radiologists can discern most of the genetic activity of a tumor. Such information could lead to diagnosing and treating patients individually, based on the unique characteristics of their disease.