NIH Research Matters
October 2010 Archive
October 25, 2010
Nearly 40% of the energy consumed by 2- to 18-year-olds comes in the form of "empty" calories—those from solid fats and added sugars—a new study has found. Half of those empty calories come from the solid fats and added sugars in just 6 sources: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza and whole milk.
Researchers have discovered a key step in how the dengue virus infects a cell. The finding will allow researchers to study the process in the laboratory and provide a valuable tool for testing new drugs to prevent or treat infection.
By studying how kidney stone crystals grow at the nanoscale level, scientists were able to identify molecules that were similar enough to attach to the crystal but different enough to prevent further growth. The new strategy might prove an effective way to block kidney stone formation.
October 18, 2010
A program designed to help people with type 2 diabetes lose and keep off extra weight led to improved diabetes control and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The finding suggests that lifestyle changes can have long-term benefits for overweight and obese people with diabetes.
A study of mouse and human lung fluid revealed a fatty molecule that may play an unexpected role in the breathing difficulties of pneumonia. The finding could open the door to entirely new approaches for treating this sometimes-deadly condition.
Scientists determined the 3-dimensional structure of a molecule involved in HIV infection and many forms of cancer. The accomplishment sheds light on how the molecule functions. It could also point to ways of locking out HIV and stalling cancer's spread.
October 4, 2010
A new form of immunotherapy significantly improved the survival rates of children with neuroblastoma, a deadly nervous system cancer. The result highlights the potential of this treatment approach for patients with rare cancers.
Scientists have discovered a subset of Salmonella bacteria that are fast-replicating, quick-moving and apparently armed with a needle-like complex that can penetrate cells in the human gut. The findings may help explain how Salmonella, a common cause of food poisoning, can spread so efficiently.
In a genome-wide scan, researchers found over 200 DNA regions with epigenetic modifications that vary between people. About half appear stable over time and form a personalized epigenetic “signature.” Four regions varied with body mass index, a finding that may pave the way toward new insights into how extra pounds affect your health.
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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.