NIH Research Matters
March 2009 Archive
March 30, 2009
Access to stores that sell healthy foods may be a crucial factor in fighting obesity, according to a new study.
Two international research teams, working independently, have linked variations in 10 gene regions with potentially harmful modifications in the heart's electrical rhythm. The discoveries may lead to new approaches for treating and preventing irregular heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death.
Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord improves mobility in rodents that have the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, according to a new study. The technique, if effective in people, could provide a less invasive alternative to deep brain stimulation, which involves surgically implanting tiny electrodes into brain regions that control movement.
March 23, 2009
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can spot prostate cancer early. Surprisingly, annual tests might not lead to fewer prostate cancer deaths, according to a new report.
According to a new study, about 1 in 100 black men and women could develop heart failure before age 50—a strikingly higher rate than for white people. But heart failure is often preceded years earlier by risk factors that can be prevented or treated, like high blood pressure and obesity. These findings highlight the importance of targeting these risk factors in young black people.
Researchers have developed a novel method for detecting functionalregions of the human genome: examining its three-dimensional(3D) structure. The new approach will help researchers use genomicinformation to improve human health.
March 16, 2009
A new study has linked higher vitamin C intake with a lower risk of gout. Vitamin C supplements, the results imply, may help to prevent gout.
Researchers have devised a way to stymie fungi's ability to become resistant to antifungal drugs. The advance paves the way for future therapies to treat fungal infections, a leading cause of death for people with weakened immune systems.
Scientists have discovered how the mosquito immune system detects and kills the deadly malaria parasite. The discovery could help researchers develop innovative methods to block transmission of the disease from mosquitoes to humans.
March 9, 2009
A new study has found that vitamin D may play a role in helping the immune system ward off respiratory diseases like the common cold.
A new study has identified a potential treatment for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, the most deadly form of the disease. The treatment involves a combination of 2 drugs that have already been approved for fighting bacterial infections
The prion protein, notorious for causing fatal neurodegenerative disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow disease, may also be an accomplice in Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. In this case, it's not the infectious misfolded prion protein causing the problem but the cellular form, whose function is relatively unknown.
March 2, 2009
Genetic tests can help doctors fine-tune the dosing of the widely prescribed blood-thinner warfarin for individual patients, according to a new study. The research may ultimately help patients avoid the life-threatening dangers of too-high or too-low doses of the drug.
Heart-healthy diets that reduce calorie intake—regardless of differing proportions of fat, protein or carbohydrate—can help overweight and obese adults achieve and maintain weight loss, according to a new study.
Two separate scientific teams have discovered antibodies that attach to a vulnerable region in a broad range of influenza A viruses, including the H5N1 avian virus, the 1918 pandemic influenza virus and seasonal H1N1 flu viruses. The finding could potentially help scientists develop tools to prevent or treat the flu during an outbreak or pandemic.
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About NIH Research Matters
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
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.