Body

With funding provided by the Wisconsin Partnership Fund for Health and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, Jennifer Eddy of UW Health's Eau Claire Family Medicine Clinic is currently conducting the first randomized, double-blind controlled trial of honey for diabetic ulcers. Eddy first successfully used honey therapy a few years ago with a patient who was facing amputation after all medical options had been exhausted.

Adults with recurrent sore throats may benefit from having a tonsillectomy in the short term, but the overall longer term benefit is still unclear, and any benefits have to be balanced against the side effects of the operation, according to this week's BMJ.

A small study of adults from Finland, published on bmj.com last month, showed that tonsillectomy significantly reduced the likelihood of further infection after 90 days, compared with watchful waiting.

The identification of a cluster of essential genes on mouse chromosome 11 as well as similar clusters on the chromosomes of other organisms – including humans – buttresses the argument that there may be rules as to how genes are structured or laid out on chromosomes, said the Baylor College of Medicine senior author of a report that appears online today in the Public Library of Science Genetics, an open-access publication.

Regular as clockwork, the flu arrives every year. And, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population on average will come down with it. About 36,000 people will die.

But among health experts, a bigger concern than the seasonal flu is an outright flu pandemic, such as a human strain of avian flu. And officials say it is not a question of if such a health crisis will come but when. Are we prepared? In a word, say three UCLA researchers, no.

Cellular survival relies crucially on the ability to receive and communicate signals from and to the outside world. A major part of this regulation and communication is performed by proteins within the membrane of a cell. How these proteins work is an important topic in biology, and one which these scientists have excellently clarified by computational techniques.

Imagine taking a vitamin for longevity! Not yet, but a Dartmouth discovery that a cousin of niacin prolongs lifespan in yeast brings the tantalizing possibility a step closer.

The research, reported in the May 4 issue of Cell, shows how a new vitamin extends lifespan in yeast cells, much like calorie restriction does in animals. It could pave the way for developing supplements to benefit humans.

Yet some exercise is still better than none.

The old adage "use it or lose it" is truer than ever. People who maintain a vigorously active lifestyle as they age gain less weight than people who exercise at more moderate levels, according to a first-of-its-kind study that tracked a large group of runners who kept the same exercise regimen as they grew older.

The study also found that maintaining exercise with age is particularly effective in preventing extreme weight gain, which is associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other diseases.

An oral vaccine can prevent mice from developing Prion disease. Prion diseases, which include scrapie, mad cow disease, and chronic wasting disease, are fatal and there is no treatment or cure.

The disease spreads when an animal eats the body parts of other animals contaminated with prions. The disease causes dementia and abnormal limb movements.

Children of women who took the epilepsy drug valproate during pregnancy appear to be at a greater risk for lower IQ, according to research presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 – May 5, 2007.

The study looked at IQ results for 187 two-year-old children of mothers who took the epilepsy drugs carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, or valproate during pregnancy.

Plants scavenge nearly every photon of available light energy to produce food. Yet after many years of careful research into its exact mechanisms, some key questions remain about this fundamental biological process that supports all life on earth.The structure of the L and M subunits of the photosynthetic reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides (based on PDB entry 1PCR). The protein is represented in purple, the cofactors are represented in red, blue, black and yellow. Credit: Professor Neal Woodbury, Biodesign Institute at ASU

IBM today announced the first-ever application of a breakthrough self-assembling nanotechnology to conventional chip manufacturing, borrowing a process from nature to build the next generation computer chips.

The natural pattern-creating process that forms seashells, snowflakes, and enamel on teeth has been harnessed by IBM to form trillions of holes to create insulating vacuums around the miles of nano-scale wires packed next to each other inside each computer chip.

Each holiday season, another woman who loves the rock band No Doubt will receive a plaid skirt that only the band's singer, Gwen Stefani, could pull off. Another athletic guy will receive an oversize sports jersey – even though off the field he prefers Brooks Brothers. Why are we so terrible at predicting the tastes of the ones we love? A new study explains why familiarity with another person actually makes predicting their tastes more difficult.

When a cell divides, normally the result is two identical daughter cells. In some cases however, cell division leads to two cells with different properties. This is called asymmetric cell division and plays an important role in embryonic development and the self-renewal of stem cells. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have now worked out the mechanism underlying asymmetric cell division in nematode worms.

Scientists from Cardiff University have revealed new clinical data showing that Cod Liver Oil really is effective in slowing the destruction of joint cartilage in patients with osteoarthritis.

The groundbreaking clinical study was led by Professor Bruce Caterson and Professor John Harwood of the School of Biosciences, and Professor Colin Dent, Orthopaedic Consultant, University of Wales College of Medicine.

For the first time, the clinical study provides unique human evidence (in vivo) of the effectiveness of Cod Liver Oil in the management of osteoarthritis.

Scientists at Cardiff University (Wales, UK) have confirmed what thousands of people with arthritis have believed for years. Cod Liver Oil really is effective in treating joint pain and can slow, even reverse, the destruction of joint cartilage.

Cartilage is the ‘gristle’ that cushions bones and prevents them from grinding against each other. Loss of cartilage leads to osteoarthritis, the painful and disabling condition experienced by 1.5 million people in the UK and the major reason for joint replacement surgery.