NIH Research Matters
October 2006 Archive
October 27, 2006
Researchers have created a new smart anti-microbial treatment that can be chemically programmed in the laboratory to seek out and kill a specific cavity-causing species of bacteria, leaving the good bacteria untouched
Researchers have identified a human protein that the varicella-zoster virus, which causes both chickenpox and shingles, uses to spread from cell to cell within the body. Interfering with this interaction inhibits the spread of virus among cells in the test tube. The discovery suggests a new way for designing therapies for shingles.
Researchers have identified a gene that affects both a person's sensitivity to short-term (acute) pain and their risk of developing chronic pain after a kind of back surgery.
October 20, 2006
Scientists have identified a misfolded, or incorrectly formed, protein common to two devastating neurological diseases: frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigís disease). Certain forms of FTD, ALS and possibly other neurological diseases may involve this misfolded protein.
Deaths from postpartum hemorrhage, excessive bleeding by the mother after giving birth, are rare in developed countries like the U.S., where the majority of births occur in hospitals and emergency care is available. But the condition can be life-threatening in countries where most births occur at home and emergency care may not be available. Researchers have now found that the drug misoprostol provides a safe, convenient and inexpensive way to prevent this major killer of women in developing countries.
More than half of those who have Alzheimerís disease get symptoms such as delusions, aggression, agitation and hallucinations.
OCTOBER 13, 2006
An experimental treatment for ragweed allergies requires fewer injections than standard immunotherapy and leads to a marked reduction in symptoms that lasts for at least a year after therapy has stopped.
Chemists have been creating millions of small molecules in the hope that they might affect the body and make good medications. A major challenge for modern medicine is to understand how all these potential drugs interact with our genes to affect disease. Now, a team of researchers has created a systematic approach to uncovering the complex functional connections among diseases, genes and drugs.
The first comprehensive analysis of an animalís reaction to the 1918 influenza virus provides new insights into this killer flu. Researchers have found that the virus triggers a hyperactive immune response that may be the key to its lethal effects. The findings also suggest that all eight of the virusís genes play a role in making the virus so deadly.
OCTOBER 6, 2006
A large clinical study testing the Edmonton Protocol, an approach to islet transplantation, shows that the procedure benefits some patients with severe complications of type 1 diabetes.
Many families rely on child care, but how it affects a childís development has been controversial. A new compendium of findings reveals that a childís family life has more influence through age four and a half than the childís experience in child care.
When combined with an immune-boosting substance called an adjuvant, low doses of an experimental vaccine against a strain of avian influenza provoked a strong immune system response in humans. The result brings researchers one step closer to creating vaccines that can protect people from emerging avian flu viruses.
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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.