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NIH Research Matters

June 2006 Archive

June 30, 2006

One type of fungus (a Penicillium) under the microscope.

Fungal Spores Affect Kids' Risk for Allergies

All fungi are not created equal — at least, not when it comes to allergies. A new study shows that while some fungi may spark allergic reactions, as scientists have long thought, other types may actually help prevent them.

Microscopic structures called stereocilia sit atop a hair cell.

A Protein That Helps Turn Sound into Sense

Scientists say they may have uncovered a key player in how the body turns sound into sense — that is, how the vibrations called sound waves that pulsate through the air are turned into the words, music and clamor that our brains sense.

June 23, 2006

photo of cigarettes

Panel Says Effective Strategies to Stop Smoking are Underused

Of the 44.5 million adult smokers in the United States, 70% want to quit and 40% make a serious quit attempt each year, but fewer than 5% succeed in any given year. An NIH state-of-the-science panel convened at a conference last week to assess the available scientific evidence on tobacco use prevention, cessation and control found that effective methods to stop smoking are already available and could double or triple quit rates. However, not enough smokers request or are being offered these interventions.

Photo of a rat

Progress in Paralyzed Rats Using Embryonic Stem Cells

Researchers have partially restored function in paralyzed animals by enticing transplants of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (nerve cells) in the spinal cord to connect with muscles. If future studies go well, similar techniques may one day be used to treat human disorders such as spinal cord injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

photo of a grapefruit

Culprit in Grapefruit Juice Drug Interaction Identified

Over 15 years ago, researchers uncovered a dangerous interaction between grapefruit juice and certain medications when they gave volunteers grapefruit juice to mask the taste of a medication. Now, scientists have identified the ingredients responsible, which may enable manufacturers to create a grapefruit juice that doesn’t have the same effect.

June 16, 2006

a microscopic image of cervical cancer

First Vaccine to Prevent Cervical Cancer

An estimated 10,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year and nearly 4,000 will die from it. Worldwide, it strikes nearly half a million women each year, claiming a quarter of a million lives. Nearly two decades ago, researchers at NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other institutions began searching for the underlying causes of cervical cancer.

a photo of tamoxifen and raloxifene

Osteoporosis Drug Raloxifene as Effective as Tamoxifen for Invasive Breast Cancer

Results of a new study show that the drug raloxifene, currently used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, works as well as tamoxifen at reducing breast cancer rates in postmenopausal women at increased risk of the disease. Both drugs reduced the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by about half.

June 9, 2006

Burkitt’s lymphoma under the microscope

Gene Expression Profiling Distinguishes Lymphomas

Burkitt's lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells may look similar under a microscope, but each cancer requires different treatments. A multinational team of researchers, including several from NIH's National Cancer Institute, now report that gene expression profiling, a molecular technique that analyzes many genes at once, can distinguish these immune cell tumors more accurately than current diagnostic methods.

photo of an overweight youth

Joint and Muscle Problems for Overweight Youth

Children and adolescents who are overweight are more likely than their normal weight counterparts to suffer bone fractures and have joint and muscle pains, according to a new study from NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

aids ribbon

AIDS Treatments Save Millions of Years of Life

HIV therapy has provided 3 million years of extended life to Americans with AIDS since 1989, researchers funded by NIH reported. The researchers used a computer model to simulate HIV disease progression both with and without treatment.

June 02, 2006

photo of a brain scan

Fear Circuit Flares as Bipolar Youth Misread Faces

Compared to healthy children, those with bipolar disorder (BD) see greater hostility in neutral faces and feel more fear when viewing them. They also have more activity in emotion-regulating areas of the brain when they focus on emotional aspects of neutral faces, researchers at NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health have discovered.

photo of a woman with chest pain

Better Detection of Pulmonary Embolism

Early detection of pulmonary embolism is crucial. Pulmonary embolism leads to death in nearly a third of untreated cases, but therapies can lower the death rate to between 3 and 8%.

photo of a man smiling

One-Third of Adults with Diabetes Still Don't Know They Have It

In a new analysis of national survey data, researchers find that the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in U.S. adults has risen from about 5.1% in the years 1988-1994 to 6.5% in 1999-2002. The percentage with undiagnosed diabetes, however, didn't change significantly. About 2.8% of U.S. adults — about a third of those with diabetes — still don't know they have it.

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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.

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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