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NIH Research Matters

February 2007 Archive

February 26, 2007

Molecular model of DNA

Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues

The largest search for autism genes to date has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11. The new study is the first to emerge from the Autism Genome Project Consortium, a public-private collaboration involving more than 120 scientists and 50 institutions in l9 countries.

An unhappy man with the flu.

Two Thousand Influenza Virus Genomes and Counting...

The entire genetic blueprints of more than 2,000 human and avian influenza viruses taken from samples around the world have now been completed. The sequences will help scientists understand how influenza viruses evolve and spread, and will aid in the development of new flu vaccines, therapies and diagnostics.

B-12 antibody in contact with a critical target on HIV gp120

Antibody Gets a Grip on HIVís Potential Weak Spot

The entire genetic blueprints of more than 2,000 human and avian influenza viruses taken from samples around the world have now been completed. The sequences will help scientists understand how influenza viruses evolve and spread, and will aid in the development of new flu vaccines, therapies and diagnostics.

February 19, 2007

A highly magnified photograph of porous bone matrix.

Second Gene Discovered for Form of Brittle Bone Disease

Hot on the heels of the discovery of a gene involved in a previously unexplained form of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), researchers have found another genetic defect involved in the bone-weakening disorder.

Two HTLV-1 particles, center, just after their release from an infected T cell

How T-Cell Leukemia Viruses Evade the Bodyís Defenses

Our bodies defend us in many different ways. In addition to our immune systems, our very cells have defense mechanisms to restrict infection by viruses. One mechanism is to make proteins that attach to virus particles and prevent the viruses from infecting other cells. Now, scientists from NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI) have discovered how one type of cancer-causing virus evades this defense strategy. The finding may eventually lead to new strategies for preventing some types of cancer.

A young woman smiling

Established Drug Bests Newcomer in Treating Female Infertility

Researchers report that a common cause of female infertility is better treated with an established ovulation-inducing drug than with an increasingly popular alternative. The new study is the largest, most comprehensive effort to date comparing the two drugs' abilities to promote pregnancy in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder often marked by infertility

February 12, 2007

Two young boys

Lavender and Tea Tree Oils May Cause Breast Growth in Boys

A new study suggests that repeated topical use of products containing lavender oil and/or tea tree oil may cause prepubertal gynecomastia, a rare condition that results in enlarged breast tissue in boys prior to puberty.

An extremely irritated young boy

Understanding Extreme Irritability in Children

Results of a new study may help improve the diagnosis and treatment of two debilitating childhood mental disorders—pediatric bipolar disorder and a syndrome called severe mood dysregulation (SMD).

A congested and polluted city highway

Air Pollution Tied to Cardiovascular Risks in Women

While previous research has identified a link between air pollution and heart disease, the new findings offer the first large-scale look at long-term exposure to air pollution in specific communities, rather than averaging data across an entire city. The new study is also unique in that it included only women who had no previously diagnosed cardiovascular conditions at the start, and then monitored their health and exposure to pollutants over time.

February 5, 2007

A young boy using an inhaler.

Inhaled Steroids Best Treatment for Children With Asthma

Several medications are available to help control children's asthma, but there haven't been clinical trials directly comparing them. A new study tested the effectiveness and safety of three different asthma medicines. It found that inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective initial daily therapy for children with mild to moderate persistent asthma

A young woman relaxing on a bench.

Brain Damage May Make Smokers "Forget" to Smoke

Some smokers with damage to a part of the brain called the insula may have their addiction to nicotine practically eliminated, according to a new study. If the findings of this small study are confirmed, the discovery could open the door to new strategies for helping people to quit smoking.

Image of brain on computer screen in foreground, with patient in background lying on an MRI machine.

MRI Tops CT in Early Stroke Diagnosis

Patients who arrive at the emergency room with the symptoms of a possible stroke—like sudden numbness, confusion and severe headaches—need a quick and accurate diagnosis to get the right treatment. A new study suggests that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gives a more accurate early assessment of stroke than the more commonly used computed tomography (CT) imaging technique. MRI was especially effective in identifying patients with acute ischemic stroke, who can benefit from swift treatment with clot-busting interventions.

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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.

ISSN 2375-9593

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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