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NIH Research Matters

July 2007 Archive

JULY 30, 2007

Illustration of several DNA strands.

Gene Variants May Help Control HIV Infection

Scientists have uncovered genetic clues to explain why some people infected with HIV-1 have lower levels of virus in their blood and ultimately progress to AIDS more slowly.

Photo of a gecko on a mussel.

New "Glue" Marries Sticky Properties of Geckos and Mussels

Inspired by two creatures that have real sticking power, researchers have created a new type of adhesive that holds tight both in and out of water and can be repeatedly removed and re-attached, almost like a sticky note. With further improvements, the adhesive may one day lead to more durable and longer-lasting bandages, drug-delivery patches and surgical materials.

Photo of an older woman reading from her laptop.

Low Health Literacy Linked to Cardiovascular Death Rate

Elderly people with low levels of health literacy have higher mortality rates—and, in particular, higher levels of cardiovascular deaths—according to a new study.

JULY 23, 2007

Picture of a man listening to two phones at the same time.

Ability to Listen to Two Things at Once Is Largely Inherited

Your ability to listen to a phone message in one ear while a friend is talking into your other ear and follow what both are saying is heavily influenced by your genes, according to a new study.

Photo of 2 big bellies facing each other.

Blood Protein Warns of Hidden Belly Fat and Disease Risk

People with excess deep-belly fat are known to be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Now scientists have found that this type of fat, compared to other types, produces higher levels of a protein that can be detected in the blood. The protein may serve as a simple indicator for deep visceral fat and disease risk.

Stylized 3D picture of bacteria.

Compounds Block Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

The success of antibiotics is among modern medicine's great achievements. But microbes have been evolving resistance. Many diseases, including tuberculosis, gonorrhea and childhood ear infections, are now becoming more difficult to treat. Researchers have discovered 2 medications already approved for other uses that can block the transfer of drug resistance genes between bacteria and even kill bacteria that harbor resistance genes. This novel type of antibiotic could potentially be used against multidrug resistant bacteria.

JULY 16, 2007

Picture of a little girl standing by the ocean.

Learning to Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorders

For children with autism, the sooner the disorder is identified and treated the better the outcome for the child. Now researchers report that it's possible to detect autism in some children as young as 14 months of age, the earliest the disorder has ever been diagnosed. In other children, the scientists didn't see definite signs of autism until later—by about 2 years old.

A branched stalk of Irish moss, a type of seaweed

Lubricant Blocks HPV Infection in Mice

Researchers have moved one step closer to developing a topical microbicide that can prevent infection b2011/07112011weigy human papillomaviruses (HPVs), the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S..

Side view of blue, stylized human brain on black background.

Advance in Brain Imaging

Brain imaging is becoming an increasingly important tool in many research areas, including sleep, addiction and other behaviors, and in diseases such as autism, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Its expanding use is driving the development of new, more flexible tools. Researchers have now developed a high-performance, portable system that offers unique advantages over current brain imaging systems.

JULY 9, 2007

Picture of a mouse standing on a block of Swiss cheese.

Stress, Obesity Link Found

Some people quickly gain weight when they're stressed. A new study has uncovered a molecular connection between stress and weight gain. The discovery may lead to ways of helping people who are chronically stressed control their weight.

Black and white image of 4 circular viruses with coronas, or halos around them.

Human Antibodies Block Human and Animal SARS Viruses

An international team of investigators has identified the first human antibodies that can neutralize different strains of the virus responsible for outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The discovery could lead to new diagnostic tests and treatments for SARS.

Picture of a mug of beer sitting on a bar.

Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes

A major challenge in alcoholism research has been to understand why some alcoholics improve with particular medications and psychotherapies while others don't. A new analysis of people with alcohol dependence by researchers at NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(NIAAA) revealed 5 distinct subtypes of the disease. Understanding these subtypes will help researchers develop more effective prevention and treatment strategies for alcohol abuse.

JULY 2, 2007

Depessed older gentleman.

Antidepressant Use Linked to Bone Loss

Older men and women who take the most widely used type of antidepressant medication may be at increased risk for bone loss, according to the results of 2 large studies.

Section of pink brain tissue is riddled with white holes.

A Basic Recipe for Prions

Prions have been among the most controversial of infectious disease agents. These misshapen proteins have no DNA or RNA, so many researchers have been skeptical of the idea that they alone can be responsible for disease. Now, infectious prions have successfully been created in the laboratory for the first time, providing insight into how these deadly proteins form.

A chimpanzee

Ancient Virus Sheds Light on AIDS

Genomics and archaeology may seem unrelated, but knowing the genomes of several different animals gives researchers the chance to explore many historical questions. A study of an ancient virus has now revealed how evolutionary events may have left our species more vulnerable to the virus that causes AIDS.

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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 December 3, 2012

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