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NIH Research Matters

April 14, 2014

Blood transfusion bags

Blood Transfusions Linked to Infection Risk in Hospitals

Hospitalized patients who had fewer blood transfusions had lower risks of infection, a study showed. More conservative transfusion strategies might reduce infection rates.

Young man receiving training with spinal stimulation.

Paralyzed Men Regain Movement With Spinal Stimulation

An experimental spinal stimulation therapy helped 4 young men who were paralyzed below the chest because of spinal cord injuries to regain control of some movement.

Crescent-shaped clusters of pink Merkel cells at the ends of blue nerve fibers.

Discriminating Touch

Two research teams revealed how cells in skin feel fine detail and texture. The findings could lead to new approaches to restore the sense of touch lost to aging and certain diseases.

April 7, 2014

Caregivers clapping with baby.

Adult Health Improved by Early Childhood Programs

An early childhood program—already shown to bring higher academic achievement and career benefits—can also help prevent disease later in life, according to new findings.

A brain sitting on, and wrapped with, a road map.

An Atlas of the Developing Human Brain

The first comprehensive 3-D atlas of gene expression in the developing human brain will help advance the study of disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Bathroom scale

New Insights Into Bariatric Surgery for Obesity

A bariatric surgical procedure reduces obesity and improves glucose tolerance in mice by increasing bile acids and altering gut microbes. The finding hints at new non-surgical approaches to obesity.

March 31, 2014

A baseball pitcher throwing.

Physical Activity Brings Lasting Bone Benefits

A study of pro baseball players showed that some benefits of building bone during youth can last a lifetime. Continued physical activity can also help maintain bone strength.

A narrowing blood vessel.

Why Many Vein Grafts Fail

Researchers identified a biological pathway that contributes to vein graft failure following bypass surgery. The finding points to potential drugs that might help to reduce such failures.

Young girl smelling a purple allium (alliaceae) flower.

Humans Can Identify More Than 1 Trillion Smells

People are able to distinguish more than 1 trillion scents, according to new research. The findings show that our sense of smell is far more discriminating than previously thought.

March 17, 2014

Contact lens and green dye in a young child’s eye.

Options After Infant Cataract Surgery

For most infants, the use of contact lenses for several years after cataract surgery may be a better approach than immediately implanting an artificial lens, a new study found.

Senior couple enjoying a meal at home.

Protein Consumption Linked to Longevity

A high-protein diet during middle age was associated with higher mortality in a new study. In adults over 65, however, a high-protein diet was linked to lower mortality.

Scientist taking a blood sample tube from a rack.

Study Points to Possible Blood Test For Memory Decline, Alzheimer’s

A new study identified a set of 10 compounds in the blood that might be used to identify older adults at risk for developing memory deficits or Alzheimer’s disease.

March 10, 2014

Nurse helping hospital patient.

Nurse Staffing, Education Affect Patient Safety

Patient deaths in hospitals could be reduced by easing nurses’ workloads and emphasizing education in hiring, a new study suggests.

The adrenal glands.

Enzyme Linked to Severe Form of Cushing’s Syndrome

Scientists identified genetic alterations that contribute to a severe form of Cushing’s syndrome. The finding suggests new approaches to treating this rare but serious disorder.

Acupuncture needles.

Electroacupuncture Reduces Sepsis in Mice

Researchers found that electroacupuncture in mice reduced the inflammation responsible for sepsis. The mechanisms at play hint at new approaches to treat inflammatory disorders.

March 3, 2014

Holding hands of an adult and child.

Rare Syndrome in Children Explained

Advanced genomic techniques helped reveal the cause of a rare syndrome marked by recurring strokes and inflammation beginning early in childhood.

Structure of the hepatitis C virus E2 core domain.

Hepatitis C Virus Structure

Researchers determined the structure of a protein that allows the hepatitis C virus to gain entry into cells. The finding may aid in the development of a vaccine.

Stem cells on polymer scaffold.

Engineering Cartilage

Scientists developed a 3-D scaffold that guides the development of stem cells into cartilage-producing cells. The approach could lead to orthopedic implants to replace cartilage and other tissues.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

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This page last reviewed on April 14, 2014

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