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Archive for  February 2010

Sunday 28, Feb 2010

Performance enhancing drug users more likely to use other drugs and alcohol

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Performance enhancing drug users more likely to use other drugs and alcoholDuring a study of 234 male athletes at one university, it was found that college athletes using performance enhancing drugs, ranging from steroids to stimulants to weight-loss supplements, are at an increased risk of using heavy drinking and using drugs like marijuana and cocaine in the future.

Study co-author Dr. Robert J. Pandina, director of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, said that most of the athletes are not only toying with recreational drugs and alcohol but also facing severe consequences as well.

The finding was disclosed in a new research in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs and the athletes in this study came from a large, NCAA Division I university where performance pressure is quite high.

Sunday 28, Feb 2010

Hormone holds potential of keeping joint injuries from causing long-term Osteoarthritis

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Hormone holds potential of keeping joint injuries from causing long-term OsteoarthritisAn existing drug for osteoporosis, Teriparitide, has been found as the first drug to prevent loss of cartilage from osteoarthritis after an incident of joint injury. This drug is also capable of regenerating a portion of cartilage lost because of osteoarthritis.

These findings were reported at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Denver.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by Randy Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., professor within the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Rochester Medical Center in collaboration with Erik Sampson, Todd O’Brien, Di Chen, Susan Bukata, J. Edward Puzas, Regis O’Keefe and Michael Zuscik within the Department of Orthopaedics and by Hani Awad in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Saturday 27, Feb 2010

Protein modifier SUMO helps in differentiating between males and females

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Protein modifier SUMO helps in differentiating between males and femalesWalter Wahli and colleagues at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, have been able to identify a new mechanism that underlies the differential expression of proteins in male and female mice.

The difference is in relation to expression of liver proteins controlling a large number of whole-body processes such as energy generation and steroid hormone production.

The research appeared in the Sept. 1, 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Saturday 27, Feb 2010

Pathologist issues warning for herbal medicines

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Pathologist issues warning for herbal medicinesA worldwide warning of the possible lethal complications of herbal medicines when taken in large quantities, injected, or combined with prescription drugs has been issued by a forensic pathologist from the University of Adelaide.

This finding was made by Professor Roger Byard, the pathologist, and published in the US-based Journal of Forensic Sciences outlining the highly toxic nature of many herbal substances that are considered as safe by many.

It was remarked by Professor Byard that the safe-considered substances can result in serious illnesses, exacerbate pre-existing health problems or even death when taken in excess or injected rather than ingested.

Friday 26, Feb 2010

Next-gen lenses offer greater detail

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Next-gen lenses offer greater detailA new generation of lens could greatly enhance the capabilities of radar or telecommunication system for providing a wide field of view and greater detail.

This lens was created by engineers at the Duke University and has the appearance of a miniature set of tan Venetian blinds.

From Sciencedaily.com:

“We’ve come up with what is in essence GRIN on steroids,” said Smith, whose team used similar metamaterials to create one of the first “cloaking” devices in 2006. “This first in a new class of lenses offers tantalizing possibilities and opens a whole new application for metamaterials.

“While these experiments were conducted in two dimensions, the design should provide a good initial step in developing a three-dimensional lens,” Smith said. “The properties of the metamaterials we used should also make it possible to use infrared and optical frequencies.”

The researchers say a single metamaterial lens could replace traditional optical systems requiring vast arrays of lenses and provide clearer images. They could also be used in large-scale systems such as radar arrays to better direct beams, a task not possible for traditional lenses, which would need to be too large to be practical.

This research was supported by the Army Research Office’s Multiple University Research Initiative (MURI).

Friday 26, Feb 2010

New Anti-Asthmatic and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs without side effects

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new-anti-asthmatic-and-anti-inflammatory-drugs-without-side-effectsCorticosteroids have been hailed as powerful drugs for treating inflammatory conditions such as asthma. Although the anti-inflammatory drugs offer instant relief to the patients, they bring severe side effects.

But the hope of drugs without adverse side effects has been realized by a team spearheaded by Dr. Henry J. Lee who has led antedrug research in anti-inflammatory, anti-AIDS and anti-cancer drugs for nearly 30 years.

These drugs, known as antedrugs, have been developed in a lab at Florida A&M’s College of Pharmacy.

This study entitled as Anti-Inflammatory Activities of New Steroidal Antedrugs Isoxazoline Derivatives was conducted by Drs. Henry J. Lee, Younes J. Errahali, LeeShawn D. Thomas, Brenda G. Arnold and Glory B. Brown, all of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tallahassee, Florida.

Friday 26, Feb 2010

Frailty in older women possible of being treated with appetite-stimulating hormone

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Frailty in older women possible of being treated with appetite-stimulating hormoneGhrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, can be used as an effective option for offering relief to older women suffering from clinical frailty. This finding was revealed by a study presented by Penn Medicine researchers at ENDO, The Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting.

Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome that is characterized by unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, weakness, and low levels of anabolic hormones prompting increase in risk of falls, hospitalizations, disability, and even death.

Anne Cappola, MD, ScM, Assistant Professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said that efforts to identify ways for preventing or treating common geriatric conditions has become highly important today due to the associated severe health consequences.

Friday 26, Feb 2010

Lung function decline possible of being halted by Vitamin D

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Lung function decline possible of being halted by Vitamin DVitamin D can prove its efficacy when it comes to slowing down the progressive decline in the ability to breathe occurring in asthmatic patients due to human airway smooth muscle (HASM) proliferation, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

It was found by the involved group that calcitriol, a form of vitamin D synthesized within the body, has the ability to reduce growth-factor-induced HASM proliferation in cells in asthmatic as well as non-asthmatic people.

The researchers are now planning for a randomized control trial of calcitriol in patients with severe asthma with expectations of trial data in a year’s time as part of the University of Pennsylvania‘s Airway Biology Initiative.

Thursday 25, Feb 2010

Asthma management for preschoolers

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Asthma management for preschoolersAsthma is one of most common chronic diseases and a major reason for admissions to hospitals in young children yet 26-45 percent of children face inadequate asthma control, as per a review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The review was produced as an initiative of the Canadian Thoracic Society and incorporated the latest scientific information obtained from randomized controlled trials since the Canadian Pediatric Asthma Consensus Guidelines were published in 2003.

It was stated by the authors that more research is required for evaluating the effectiveness of treatment options in young children.

Thursday 25, Feb 2010

Trial of latest osteoporosis drug about to start

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Trial of latest osteoporosis drug about to startA human trial of a new osteoporosis drug is about to be initiated by Endocrinologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC. The trial is expected to offer significant relief to osteoporosis patients suffering from weakened bones.

Principal investigator Mara J. Horwitz, M.D., an assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Pitt School of Medicine, and a practicing metabolic bone specialist at UPMC, said that 105 participants will be randomly assigned to receive either teriparitide, FDA-approved drug, or an experimental agent known as parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP).

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pittsburgh Clinical Translational Sciences Award.

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