Body

More frequent hemodialysis sessions might improve the health of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), but under reasonable assumptions of expected benefit, the overall costs are likely to increase, according to a study appearing in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings indicate that strategies are needed to reduce the costs of delivering hemodialysis if patients receive hemodialysis more than three times a week.

PITTSBURGH, July 9 – A key enzyme may explain how hepatitis C infection causes fatty liver – a buildup of excess fat in the liver, which can lead to life-threatening diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, report University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and School of Medicine researchers.

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered a type of gene regulation never before observed in mammals--a "ribozyme" that controls the activity of an important family of genes in several different species.

HOUSTON -- July 9, 2008 -- Using remarkably sensitive new instruments, seismologists have detected minute geological changes that preceded small earthquakes along California's famed San Andreas Fault by as much as 10 hours. If follow-up tests show that the preseismic signal is pervasive, researchers say the method could form the basis of a robust early warning system for impending quakes.

The research appears this week in the journal Nature.

MADISON -- By giving fly cells the flu, scientists have identified scores of host genes the pathogen requires for successful infection, revealing a raft of potential new pressure points to thwart the virus.

Writing in this week's issue of the journal Nature, a team of researchers led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Paul Ahlquist of the University of Wisconsin-Madison describe experiments testing the ability of a modified flu virus to infect cells whose genes were systematically disabled to see which were co-opted by the virus.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time identified a key component to unravelling the mystery of room temperature superconductivity, according to a paper published in today's edition of the scientific journal Nature.

Scientists funded by the Wellcome Trust have identified a key mechanism that enables malaria-infected red blood cells to stick to the walls of blood vessels and avoid being destroyed by the body's immune system. The research, published today in the journal Cell, highlights an important potential new target for anti-malarial drugs.

Barcelona, Spain: For the first time in the world scientists have succeeded in developing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) from a single cell, or blastomere, of a 4-cell stage embryo, the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today (Wednesday 9 July). Dr. Hilde Van de Velde, from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium, said that their research meant that it might be possible in the future to produce hESC lines at an earlier stage without destroying the embryo.

Obese men should consider losing weight if they want to have children, a scientist told the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday 9 July). Dr. A Ghiyath Shayeb, from the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK, said that his research had shown that men with a higher body mass index (BMI) had lower volumes of seminal fluid and a higher proportion of abnormal sperm.

Barcelona, Spain: Diabetes in men has a direct effect on fertility, a scientist told the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday 9 July). Dr. Con Mallidis from Queen's University, Belfast, UK, said that, despite the prevailing view that it had little effect on male reproductive function, the Belfast group had shown that diabetes caused DNA damage in sperm.