NIH Research Matters
June 2006 Archive
June 30, 2006
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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%.
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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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.