NIH Research Matters
April 2009 Archive
April 27, 2009
Doctors currently have no specific drugs to treat dengue fever, a painful and sometimes fatal illness spread by mosquitoes. In a finding that could lead to the development of anti-dengue therapies, scientists identified several cellular components in both mosquitoes and humans that the dengue virus uses to multiply after infection.
An extra surgery to reshape a damaged region of the heart does not further benefit heart failure patients undergoing bypass surgery, according to a large clinical trial.
Avian H9N2 influenza hasn't garnered the attention of H5N1, but it, too, might have the potential to cause a pandemic flu. A new study shows that H9N2 can fairly easily gain the ability to transmit in respiratory droplets, like that from a sneeze. Insights from the study will have profound implications for pandemic flu preparation.
April 20, 2009
Scientists have thought that adults lack a type of fat called brown fat. New research shows that not only do adults have it, but it may play an important role in weight control.
An experimental drug for treating advanced prostate cancer has shown preliminary success. The drug shrank tumors in the lab and reduced signs of the disease in drug-resistant cancer patients.
Newer, second-generation antipsychotic medications may cause weight gain and other metabolic changes in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. The results build on previous work questioning the use of these drugs in Alzheimer's patients.
April 13, 2009
Regular exercise is safe for heart failure patients, improves their quality of life and may slightly lower their risk of death or hospitalization, according to a new study.
Rhinoviruses are a major cause of the common cold and may contribute to about half of asthma flare-ups. Researchers have now completed sequencing the genomes of all the known rhinovirus types, setting the stage for the development of medications and vaccines to combat the viruses.
Researchers have discovered that the human heart continues to generate new cells throughout its life span. The finding may lead to the creation of new treatments to boost regeneration in people with heart problems, such as heart attack victims.
April 6, 2009
One of the hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is an unusual pattern of eye contact during social interactions, particularly a tendency to look toward people's mouths rather than their eyes. A new finding may explain why.
Adult circumcision can significantly reduce the risk of becoming infected with the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts, according to a large study of heterosexual men. The findings build on earlier research showing that male circumcision can greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection.
Researchers have developed a technique in which the genes used to reprogram human cells and give them the versatility of embryonic stem cells can be cleanly removed afterward. The advance takes researchers another major step toward creating cells that could potentially be used for human therapies.
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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.