Body

University of Adelaide scientists are part of an international research team that has uncovered the first example of a bacterium causing disease in humans by targeting a molecule that is incorporated into our bodies from our diet. The discovery has been published in the prestigious international journal Nature.

Microbiologists Dr Adrienne Paton and Professor James Paton, and their collaborators, have shown that a potent bacterial toxin, Subtilase cytotoxin, specifically targets human cells that express a sugar called Neu5Gc on their surface.

Results from a late-breaking clinical trial, presented at the 2008 Canadian Cardiology Congress (CCC) in Toronto, show for the first time that combining the pure heart rate reduction medication ivabradine to current treatments of patients with stable angina improves their exercise capacity.

Several recent studies have suggested that common gene variations may be responsible for much of the elevated risk of kidney disease in African Americans. New research on the MYH9 gene—and its implications for the screening and possible prevention of kidney disease in the African American population—will be summarized in a press briefing to be held at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Philadelphia, PA.

More than 35 million people in Bangladesh, around a quarter of its population, face acute poverty and hunger. Dowry payments of more than 200 times the daily wage and costly medical expenses are major causes of this chronic poverty says research from the University of Bath.

CLEVELAND-- Cost and security concerns about bringing health care record keeping into the 21st century through electronic health records (EHR)have led to a call for an effective regulatory and oversight system from a pair of Case Western Reserve University professors.

It is not surprising that people are more willing to participate in a task if it does not require too much effort. What is interesting, however, is the way we determine just how easy a task will be and therefore, how motivated we are to complete it. New research from University of Michigan psychologists Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz investigates how thinking about a task (i.e., how complex or simple it will be) affects our attitude toward the task itself.

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL October 30, 2008 -- Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel have demonstrated that treating diabetic animals with alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) following an islet transplantation procedure eliminates the inflammation that causes islet transplants to fail. (PNAS Article #08-07627: "Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Monotherapy Induces Immune Tolerance during Islet Allograft Transplantation in Mice") (http://www.pnas.org/content/105/42/16236)

New research from the University of Bristol brings stem cell therapies for heart disease one step closer. The findings reveal that our bodies' ability to respond to an internal 'mayday' signal may hold the key to success for long-awaited regenerative medicine.

PHILADELPHIA – Women who experience severe gestational hypertension may give birth to boys at lower risk for testicular cancer, although the exact reasons why are still unclear, according to a paper published in the November 1, 2008, issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Andreas Pettersson, M.D., a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said the protective effect of gestational hypertension may be due to the hormones that are released when a placenta malfunctions.

Washington, D.C. – Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have discovered a novel way in which breast cancer cells become resistant to tamoxifen, the world's largest-selling breast cancer prevention and treatment drug. They say the findings could provide a way to identify tamoxifen users who are no longer benefiting from the drug, allowing doctors to try another therapy option sooner.

SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah scientists successfully created a sensitive prototype device that could test for dozens or even hundreds of diseases simultaneously by acting like a credit card-swipe machine to scan a card loaded with microscopic blood, saliva or urine samples.

The prototype works on the same principle – giant magnetoresistance or GMR – that is used to read data on computer hard drives or listen to tunes on portable digital music players.

Olive stones can be turned into bioethanol, a renewable fuel that can be produced from plant matter and used as an alternative to petrol or diesel. This gives the olive processing industry an opportunity to make valuable use of 4 million tonnes of waste in olive stones it generates every year and sets a precedent for the recycling of waste products as fuels.

Potentially hazardous levels of metal ions are present in many commercially available wines. An analysis of reported levels of metals in wines from sixteen different countries, published in the open access Chemistry Central Journal, found that only those from Argentina, Brazil and Italy did not pose a potential health risk owing to metals.

Boston, MA -- The quality of hospitals across the U.S. is inconsistent. To address this issue, the federal government and private organizations have begun to publicly report data, such as how well hospitals treat certain conditions. But until now, there has been no data on how patients themselves feel about the care they received.