Body

Studies have shown that gastrointestinal (GI) tract function is often influenced by specific stimulants or reactors, which sometimes cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation. Two studies presented today at Digestive Disease Week® 2007 (DDW®) take a closer look at GI stimulation, including one examining the role of serotonin and reactions to certain types of foods and another looking at the potential therapeutic value of nerve stimulation for constipation.

Patterns of human behavior and movement in crowded cities – the tipping point at which agitated crowds become anti-social mobs, the configuration of civic areas as defensible spaces that also promote free speech, the design of retail space that fosters active walking – are at the core of an immersive 3-D computational model under development by an Arizona State University geographer.

"Crowds are vital to the lifeblood of our cities, yet, crowd behavior is veiled to traditional academic inquiry," says Paul M. Torrens, an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences.

Good news for harried housewives everywhere. Sometimes a house can be too clean. It turns out that kids may need exposure to common bacteria to develop proper immunities.

Endotoxin, a toxic substance made by certain types of bacteria, may reduce the risk of developing the allergic skin condition eczema or wheezing in children if they are exposed to it up to age 3, suggests a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

Women who eat apples and fish during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their children developing asthma or allergic disease, suggests a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

The nighttime breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea increases a person’s risk of having a heart attack or dying by 30% over a period of four to five years, according to a new study.

The more severe the sleep apnea at the beginning of the study, the greater the risk of developing heart disease or dying, according to “Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Associated with an Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death” (Session B12; Abstract # 1090)presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine have found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea are at increased risk for developing of type II diabetes, independent of other risk factors.

The study looked at 593 patients at the VA Connecticut Health Care System referred for evaluation of sleep-disordered breathing. Each patient spent a night in a sleep laboratory to undergo a sleep study, called polysomnography.

A nanocomposite particle can be constructed so that it has a mix of properties that would not otherwise happen in nature. By combining an organic matrix with metallic clusters that can absorb light, it is possible to incorporate such particles into cells and then destroy those targeted cells with a laser. In a presentation at the NSTI Nanotech 2007 Conference, researchers describe work regarding the creation and characterization of a dendrimer nanocomposite (DNC) matrix containing silver clusters that can be used to target and destroy melanoma cancer cells.

The use of targeted nanoparticles offers promising techniques for cancer treatment. Researchers in the laboratory of Mark E. Davis at the California Institute of Technology have been using small interfering RNA (siRNA), sometimes known as silencing RNA, to "silence" specific genes that are implicated in certain malignancies.

Northwestern University researchers have discovered that a recently identified genetic marker for prostate cancer is linked to a highly aggressive form of the disease.

These findings ultimately will aid the development of a simple blood test to predict who is susceptible to this aggressive cancer, Northwestern researchers said. Knowing which patients carry this genetic marker also will guide doctors in how they treat the cancer.

People with obstructive sleep apnea have a markedly increased risk of severe motor vehicle crashes involving personal injury, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.