Body

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A great deal of scientific evidence shows that cholesterol-reducing medications known as statins can help prevent coronary artery disease. Although the safety of these medications has been well documented, as many as 40 percent of patients who receive a prescription for statins take the drug for less than one year. Doctors believe that several factors -- including cost, adverse effects, poor understanding of statin benefits and patients' reluctance to take prescription medications long term -- may explain why some patients stop taking these medicines.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have made a major step forward in their work to develop a biologically engineered organism that can effectively deliver an antigen in the body. The researchers report that they have been able to use live salmonella bacterium as the containment/delivery method for an antigen.

Nashville, Tenn. – July 8, 2008 – A new article indicates that an increased intake in minerals such as potassium, and possibly magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. A high intake of these minerals in the diet may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. These findings are published in a supplement appearing with the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

While many plant species move to a new location or go extinct as a result of climate change, grasslands clinging to a steep, rocky dale-side in Northern England seem to defy the odds and adapt to long-term changes in temperature and rainfall, according to a new study by scientists from Syracuse University and the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) published online in the July 7 issue of the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A protein found in immune cells may be a reliable marker for schizophrenia risk, report researchers in a new proteomics study appearing in the July issue of Molecular and Cellular proteomics.

Schizophrenia is a severe and complex psychiatric illness that affects about 1% of the population. Diagnosis currently relies on subjective clinical interviews and the assessment of ambiguous symptoms, which frequently leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment. As such, biomarkers that would indicate schizophrenia risk or onset would be extremely useful.

Trans-fatty acids have been the topic of a lot of negative health news, but in the July Journal of Lipid research, a dietary study in rats suggests that trans-fats do not increase the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, which may ease at least one area of concern.

Epidemiological studies indicate that chronic consumption of trans-fats may alter muscle insulin sensitivity, as their unusual molecular shapes can reduce muscle's ability to burn energy; in turn, reduced fat oxidation may promote insulin resistance.

Inhibiting a growth factor that keeps muscles from getting too big may optimize recovery of injured soldiers, researchers say.

They are studying two myostatin inhibitors in mice with limb injuries, first to see which works best and then to identify the best delivery mechanism, says Dr. Mark Hamrick, bone biologist in the Medical College of Georgia Schools of Graduate Studies and Medicine.

Caption: Inhibiting a growth factor that keeps muscles from getting too big may optimize recovery of injured soldiers, researchers say.

New Rochelle, NY, July 8, 2008—Biotech and pharmaceutical firms are developing a host of new technologies designed to streamline the complicated drug discovery process, reports Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN). Most successful approaches rely on a combination of high-throughput screening methods, miniaturization techniques, and advanced data-analysis tools, according to an article in the July issue (http://www.genengnews.com/articles/chitem.aspx?aid=2527) of GEN.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (July 8, 2008) – Scientists announced today the discovery of reef structures they believe doubles the size of the Southern Atlantic Ocean's largest and richest reef system, the Abrolhos Bank, off the southern coast of Brazil's Bahia state. The newly discovered area is also far more abundant in marine life than the previously known Abrolhos reef system, one of the world's most unique and important reefs.

 Colorful beetle may indicate useful plant chemicals. Colorful beetle may indicate useful plant chemicals. (Photo Credit: Don Windsor, STRI)