Monday, November 1, 2010


In what's being claimed as a key breakthrough which could save fertility of thousands of women, scientists have developed a simple blood test that can detect ectopic pregnancy within a day.

Ectopic pregnancies occur when the foetus implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. The baby can never be saved, but if the condition is not diagnosed in time it can also be fatal for the mother.

Now, an international team has developed the test which checks for four characteristics or "markers" in the blood which are symptomatic of an ectopic pregnancy.
According to the scientists, the test would enable the life-threatening condition to be diagnosed within a day, instead of the several weeks it takes for tests to come back, allowing doctors to intervene earlier to save the reproductive organs which are often severely damaged by the condition.
Doctors currently use blood screening and ultrasound to detect abnormalities, but these methods are not accurate in the early stages following conception. However, the blood test could be accurate just three weeks into pregnancy, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
It would enable women to have immediate surgery to remove the foetus, reducing the chances of the fallopian tube being damaged, say the scientists, led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the US.
Team leader Dr Mary Rausch said thousands of women could benefit and lives could be saved. "Potentially this could be a test that somebody in early pregnancy could use to diagnose ectopic pregnancy.
"If they are definitely diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, then they could be immediately treated. Most of the time these days people get to hospital pretty quickly and have emergency surgery, but it is a threat."
In their research, the scientists took blood samples from 100 women who had already had an ectopic pregnancy and compared them with samples from 100 healthy women. They found they were correctly able to diagnose 42 per cent of ectopic pregnancies.


Patient: Doctor, what I need is something to stir me up;

 something to put me in a fighting mood. Did you put something like that in this prescription?

Doctor: No need for that. You will find that in your bill.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

High Triglycerides can be reduced by exercise rather than medication - A MAYO CLINIC study !!

A Mayo clinic doctor says exercise can reduce the high trigylerides by half . He explains it with an animated video .

Click here to view the video .

this information can be found in mayo clinic website !

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BEER BOTTLE in Large intestine !! - An article from New England Journal of Medicine

A 35-year-old man presented to the emergency department with profuse rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and an altered mental status. On physical examination, he was found to be intoxicated, with a blood pressure of 70/40 mm Hg, a pulse of 110 beats per minute, and an oxygen saturation of 90%. Abdominal examination revealed a mass and the presence of peritoneal signs. There was no evidence of trauma. A foreign body was found on rectal examination but was not visible. Once the patient was hemodynamically stable, plain-film radiography of the abdomen was performed, and an intact bottle was seen in the rectosigmoid colon. Laparotomy revealed a glass bottle of beer lodged in the sigmoid colon, with multiple associated lacerations in the rectosigmoid colon. The bottle was extracted, and Hartmann's colostomy was performed. The patient was treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and analgesics and underwent colorectal reanastomosis, after which the recovery was uneventful.

Article was published by :-
Roberto Flores-Suarez, M.D.
Jorge Reyes-del Valle, M.D., Ph.D.
Instituto de Salud del Estado de Mexico, Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico

.Information was taken from http://www.nejm,org/

Friday, October 29, 2010


While stem cells have been making news around the world for their potential, and are even being tried on patients, Dr N K Venkataramana, neurosurgeon, BGS Global Hospital in Bangalore, has successfully used the therapy on patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, cerebellar degeneration and cerebral palsy.

"I used adult mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow. They were transplanted into the brain through keyhole surgery. These stem cells multiply and thereby regenerate the damaged areas of the brain. This leads to reactivation of brain cells, resulting in recovery from the disease," Dr Venkataramana explains.
It is for the first time that stem cells have been used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease in India, and has been published in a peer reviewed journal for the first time ever.


David: My wife beats me, doctor.

Doctor: Oh dear. How often?

David: Every time we play Scrabble!!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bacteria turned into 'silver bullets' that fight viral infections !!!

Scientists have turned bacteria, found in yogurt , into 'silver bullets' which they claim could destroy viruses and provide a cure for flu and common cold.

A team at the University of Ghent in Belgium has, in fact, discovered that it can attach tiny studs of silver onto the surface of otherwise harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses. The scientists have tested the silverimpregnated bacteria against norovirus — known to cause 90% of the gastroenteritis cases around the world — and found that they leave the virus unable to cause infections.

They now believe that the same technique could help to combat other viruses, including influenza and those causing the common cold.
Prof Willy Verstraete, who led the team, said that the bacteria could be incorporated into a nasal spray, water filters and hand washes to prevent viruses from being spread. He was quoted by 'The Daily Telegraph ' as saying, "We are using silver nanoparticles, which are extremely small but give a large amount of surface area as they can clump around the virus, increasing the inhibiting effect.

"There are concerns about using such small particles of silver in the human body and what harm it might cause to human health, so we have attached the silver nanoparticles to the surface of a bacterium . It means the silver particles remain small, but they are not free to roam around the body." The bacteria used, Lactobacillus fermentum, is normally considered to be a "friendly" bacteria that is often found in yogurts and probiotic drinks that can help to aid digestion.

The scientists found that when grown in a solution of silver ions, the bacteria extrete tiny particles of silver, 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, which stud the outside of the cells. Although the bacteria eventually die as a result of the silver, they remain intact and the dead cells carrying the silver particles can then be added to solutions to create nasal sprays or handwashes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Born in High River, Alberta, in 1949, Jane Cameron had an exemplary life. She travelled the globe, met dignitaries and stars, filled her room with medals and trophies commemorating her feats, and earned the esteem of countless individuals who praise her art and her grace.
When she was diagnosed with Down syndrome at four months old, Jane's parents were told their daughter was "retarded" and that they should: "Put her in an institution and forget about her." They were shocked and, despite knowing little to nothing about Down syndrome they decided that what their child needed was as much love, care and education as they could possibly give her.

Down syndrome (also called Trisomy 21) is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately 1 of 800 live births.

Down syndrome is named after Doctor Langdon Down, who in 1866 first described the syndrome as a disorder.

It is the leading cause of cognitive impairment. Down syndrome is associated with mild to moderate learning disabilities, developmental delays, characteristic facial features, and low muscle tone in early infancy. Many individuals with Down syndrome also have heart defects, leukemia, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, gastro-intestinal problems, and other health issues. The symptoms of Down syndrome range from mild to severe.

When Jane was thirteen her school in Montreal implemented a policy that "these children" needed no academic training apart from such things as street signs and signs for Danger, Men and Women. Unwilling to accept that Jane deserved anything less in life than any other child, the Cameron's enroled her into the internationally renowned Doctor Franklin Perkins School in Lancaster, Massachusetts.

After ten years at the Perkins school Jane joined the sheltered workshop, "Le Fil d'Ariane" back in Montreal. This workshop or Atelier was quite unique; it is more of an art school than a workshop. Jane quickly demonstrated that she was much more than a stitcher who could follow patterns. Jane soon became the alelier's chief designer. Many of her designs were turned into huge tapestries that were commissioned by such organizations as the office of the Prime Minister, Mirabel Airport and Reader's Digest Canada.

Although her artistic talent was not discovered until Jane was about twenty, her tapestries now hang across the world. Jane's embroidered tapestries are glowing statements of her imagination and her love and affection for all living things. A life that could have been a tragedy became one of joy for Jane's parents and hope for other parents of children with Down syndrome.

Jane was also an accomplished swimmer with many medals for her success including the two silver ones she won in international competition at the Special Olympics in Brockport, New York. She was featured in the film on the Special Olympics: "It's in Everyone of Us", and has appeared on television in Montreal and Calgary.

Perhaps Jane's greatest accolade is the book written about her and her art by Dr. M. Klager, a professor of art at Heidleberg University.

Jane is an example of the unknown potential hidden in many Down Syndrome children which only needs the opportunity to be discovered and developed.

Read more at www.janecameron .com

Monday, October 4, 2010


US researchers of Harvard Medical School have found a new, "remarkably efficient" way to generate human stem cells that could provide an alternative to using embryonic stem cells in treating disease, a study published on Thursday said. 

The researchers did not go the usual route of permanently altering the genome to obtain protein factors that reprogram adult cells into human-induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs.

Instead, they developed synthetic modified messenger RNA molecules — which they called modified RNAs — that encoded the proteins, but did not integrate into the cell's DNA.
They found, to their surprise, that repeated administration of the modified RNAs "resulted in robust expression of the reprogramming proteins in mature skin cells that were then converted to iPSCs with startling efficiency," the study says.

"We weren't really expecting the modified RNAs to work so effectively, but the reprogramming efficiencies we observed with our approach were very high," Rossi said.

Currently, clinical application of iPSCs is hampered by, among others, inefficient means of generating pluripotent stem cells.

 RNA-induced iPSCs with an RNA associated with muscle cell development caused cells to differentiate into muscle cells. Differentiation was simple, efficient and "without the immediate risk of inducing genetic mutations," the study says.

"Our technology represents a safe, efficient strategy for somatic cell reprogramming and directing cell fate that has wide ranging applicability for research, disease modeling and regenerative medicine," said Rossi. "We believe that our approach has the potential to become a major and perhaps even central enabling technology for cell-based therapies," he said.

Shakey went to a psychiatrist. “Doc,” he said, “I’ve got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there’s somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under. “you gotta help me, I’m going crazy!”

“Just put yourself in my hands for two years,” said the shrink. “Come to me three times a week, and I’ll cure your fears.”

“How much do you charge?”

“A hundred dollars per visit.”

“I’ll sleep on it,” said Shakey.

Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. “Why didn’t you ever come to see me again?” asked the psychiatrist.

“For a hundred buck’s a visit? A bartender cured me for ten dollars.”

“Is that so! How?”

“He told me to cut the legs off the bed!”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Phenytoin in the treatment of bipolar mood disorder- new study!!!

Phenytoin is a well known antiepileptic agent widely used throughout the world. Recent clinical studies in patients with bipolar disorder have suggested that, as for other anticonvulsant drugs commonly used in the treatment of bipolar patients including valproate and carbamazepine, phenytoin may have mood-stabilizing effects in addition to its well-known anticonvulsant properties.

In a study published in the March 2010 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Veronica Mariotti and colleagues utilized DNA microarrays to investigate the molecular underpinnings of the potential mood-stabilizing action of phenytoin by looking at its effect on gene expression in the rat brain.

As compared with untreated animals, rats treated for a month with phenytoin had 508 differentially expressed genes in the hippocampus and 62 in the frontal cortex, including genes involved in GABAergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, neuroprotection and other genes thought to be crucial for mood regulation. Furthermore, some of these same genes have been shown to be modulated by classical mood-stabilizer agents, like lithium and valproate.

Thus, the findings of this study indicate that chronic phenytoin administration modulates the expression of genes involved in mood regulation and genes that are targets of established mood stabilizers. Dr Mariotti noted that "The results of this study provide preliminary insights into possible molecular mechanisms of action of phenytoin as a potential mood stabilizer and, more in general, the pathophysiology of bipolar disorders."

Monday, September 27, 2010

World Rabies Day - September 28 th

According to WHO ( World Health Organization ):-

World Rabies Day highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals. Sponsors - the Alliance for Rabies Control and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - report that 55 000 people die every year from rabies, an average of one death every 10 minutes.
  • About 95% of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa.
  • Most human deaths follow a bite from an infected dog. Between 30% to 60% of the victims of dog bites are children under the age of 15.
  • Wound cleansing and immunizations, done as soon as possible after suspect contact with an animal and following WHO recommendations, can prevent the onset of rabies in virtually 100% of exposures.
  • Once the signs and symptoms of rabies start to appear, there is no treatment and the disease is almost always fatal.
  • Globally, the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through animal vaccinations.
There are safe and effective vaccines available for people who have been bitten by an animal that might have the disease, but usage in developing countries is low due to the high cost.

Play More Video Games , Get your Brain handle more Hand-Eye tasks !!!!!

New research from Canada suggests that extensive video-game experience prepares the brain for complex hand-eye coordination tasks beyond those tackled in game-playing; so next time you find yourself concerned that perhaps your teenager is wasting time playing video games, consider this: is the experience readying them for a future career as a laparoscopic surgeon?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FLU (including H1N1) Vaccination decreases Heart attack risk by 19% - Universit of Lincoln,UK Study

People who have the seasonal flu vaccine (flu shot) have a 19% lower risk of having a first heart attack, say researchers from the University of Lincoln, England, in a study that appears in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). It appears that the earlier the vaccine is taken in the autumn the better the benefits are, the authors wrote.

It has been suggested there may be an association between respiratory infections and heart attacks - both increase in incidence significantly in the winter months when flu and pneumonia are prevalent.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Drink 2 glasses of Fat free milk for a free weight loss of 10 pounds, in 6 months

Now there's a new reason to grab a glass of milk when you're on diet, suggests a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In a 2-year weight loss study, milk drinkers had an advantage over those who skipped the milk. Israeli researchers found that adults who drank the most milk (nearly 2 glasses per day) and had the highest vitamin D levels at 6 months, lost more weight after 2 years than those who had little or no milk or milk products -- nearly 12 pounds weight loss, on average.

Researchers also found that each additional 6-ounce serving of milk or milk products (about 3/4 of a glass of milk) was associated with 10 pounds successful weight loss above the average, at 6 months.

Children with H1N1 more chance for FITS

A recent study by researchers at the University of Utah determined that the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) caused a higher rate of neurological complications in children than the seasonal flu. The most common complications observed were seizures (fits) and encephalopathy. Full details of the study, the most extensive evaluation of neurological complications following H1N1 flu in children, are published in the September issue of Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association.

Monday, September 13, 2010


When a physician remarked on a new patient's extraordinarily ruddy complexion, he said, "High blood pressure, Doc. It comes from my family."

"Your mother's side or your father's?" I asked.
"Neither," he replied. "It's from my wife's family."

"Oh, come now," I said. "How could your wife's family give you high blood pressure?"

He sighed. "You oughta meet 'em sometime, Doc!"


These days talking on a cell phone is pretty common. Take a look around and you will most likely find at least five people with their cell phone practically glued to their ear. But can constantly talking on your cell phone have its disadvantages? Researchers are now saying that some people may be suffering from cell phone elbow.

Cell phone elbow, also called cubital tunnel syndrome, can be diagnosed by numbness, tingling and pain in the forearm and hand. This is most likely caused by compression on the ulnar nerve, which means that talking on a cell phone repeatedly puts pressure on this nerve.

Tension on the ulnar nerve occurs when a person bends their elbows for too long, such as when holding a cell phone up to their ear.

“Repetitive, sustained stretching of the nerve is like stepping on a garden hose,” said Dr. Peter J. Evans, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Hand and Upper Extremity Center. “With the hose, you're blocking the flow of water. With the elbow, you're blocking the blood flow to the nerve, which causes it to misfire and short circuit.”
The first symptoms people notice are a tingling or aching in the forearm or hand, which is a pain often described as similar to hitting the “funny bone”. As symptoms get worse, they can progress to loss of muscle strength and coordination, which can make writing a difficult task. If left untreated, the ring finger and pinky can become clawed.

Small changes can be made to help fix some of the symptoms, such as using a Bluetooth earpiece or a hands-free headset while talking on the phone.
The doctors best advice to avoid this type of injury? Switch hands before the symptoms get worse.

This study was included in the May issue of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

Rosalind franklin !!!

Rosalind Franklin always liked facts. She was logical and precise, and impatient with things that were otherwise. She decided to become a scientist when she was 15. She passed the examination for admission to Cambridge University in 1938, and it sparked a family crisis. Although her family was well-to-do and had a tradition of public service and philanthropy, her father disapproved of university education for women. He refused to pay. An aunt stepped in and said Franklin should go to school, and she would pay for it. Franklin's mother also took her side until her father finally gave in.

War broke out in Europe in 1939 and Franklin stayed at Cambridge. She graduated in 1941 and started work on her doctorate. Her work focused on a wartime problem: the nature of coal and charcoal and how to use them most efficiently. She published five papers on the subject before she was 26 years old. Her work is still quoted today, and helped launch the field of high-strength carbon fibers. At 26, Franklin had her PhD and the war was just over. She began working in x-ray diffraction -- using x-rays to create images of crystalized solids. She pioneered the use of this method in analyzing complex, unorganized matter such as large biological molecules, and not just single crystals.

She spent three years in France, enjoying the work atmosphere, the freedoms of peacetime, the French food and culture. But in 1950, she realized that if she wanted to make a scientific career in England, she had to go back. She was invited to King's College in London to join a team of scientists studying living cells. The leader of the team assigned her to work on DNA with a graduate student. Franklin's assumption was that it was her own project. The laboratory's second-in-command, Maurice Wilkins, was on vacation at the time, and when he returned, their relationship was muddled. He assumed she was to assist his work; she assumed she'd be the only one working on DNA. They had powerful personality differences as well: Franklin direct, quick, decisive, and Wilkins shy, speculative, and passive. This would play a role in the coming years as the race unfolded to find the structure of DNA.

Franklin made marked advances in x-ray diffraction techniques with DNA. She adjusted her equipment to produce an extremely fine beam of x-rays. She extracted finer DNA fibers than ever before and arranged them in parallel bundles. And she studied the fibers' reactions to humid conditions. All of these allowed her to discover crucial keys to DNA's structure. Wilkins shared her data, without her knowledge, with James Watson and Francis Crick, at Cambridge University, and they pulled ahead in the race, ultimately publishing the proposed structure of DNA in March, 1953.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10 th - World Suicide Prevention day - SOME FACTS ABOUT SUICIDE

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, aimed at promoting a global commitment and action to prevent suicides. According to WHO (World Health Organization), nearly 3,000 people commit suicide each day worldwide - out of every 20 people who attempt to end their lives, one dies.

Several organizations have got together to promote the provision of adequate treatment and follow-up care for people who tried to commit suicide, including the International Association for Suicide Prevention and WHO. All parties also call for responsible reporting of suicides in the media.

Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death. WHO urges governments and health authorities to develop policy frameworks for nationwide suicide prevention strategies.

According to the WHO:
  • Nearly one million people commit suicide each year.
  • Suicide global mortality rate stands at 16 per 100,000 per year
  • One person commits suicide somewhere on earth every 40 seconds

Friday, September 3, 2010

A NEW RAPID DETECTION TEST FOR TUBERCULOSIS , which detects tuberculosis and drug resistant tuberculosis IN LESS THAN 2 HOURS !!

Rapid Molecular Detection of Tuberculosis and Rifampin Resistance

Catharina C. Boehme, M.D., Pamela Nabeta, M.D., Doris Hillemann, Ph.D., Mark P. Nicol, Ph.D., Shubhada Shenai, Ph.D., Fiorella Krapp, M.D., Jenny Allen, B.Tech., Rasim Tahirli, M.D., Robert Blakemore, B.S., Roxana Rustomjee, M.D., Ph.D., Ana Milovic, M.S., Martin Jones, Ph.D., Sean M. O'Brien, Ph.D., David H. Persing, M.D., Ph.D., Sabine Ruesch-Gerdes, M.D., Eduardo Gotuzzo, M.D., Camilla Rodrigues, M.D., David Alland, M.D., and Mark D. Perkins, M.D.
September 1, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMoa0907847)


Global control of tuberculosis is hampered by slow, insensitive diagnostic methods, particularly for the detection of drug-resistant forms and in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Early detection is essential to reduce the death rate and interrupt transmission, but the complexity and infrastructure needs of sensitive methods limit their accessibility and effect.

We assessed the performance of Xpert MTB/RIF, an automated molecular test for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and resistance to rifampin (RIF), with fully integrated sample processing in 1730 patients with suspected drug-sensitive or multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. Eligible patients in Peru, Azerbaijan, South Africa, and India provided three sputum specimens each. Two specimens were processed with N-acetyl-L-cysteine and sodium hydroxide before microscopy, solid and liquid culture, and the MTB/RIF test, and one specimen was used for direct testing with microscopy and the MTB/RIF test.

Images - Subclavian Steal syndrome (NEJM )

Click on the link below to view the image
Subclavian Steal syndrome
fromNew England Journal of Medicine
Subclavian steal syndrome (SSS), also called subclavian steal phenomenon or subclavian steal steno-occlusive disease, is a constellation of signs and symptoms that arise from retrograde (reversed) flow of blood in the vertebral artery or the internal thoracic artery, due to a proximal stenosis (narrowing) and/or occlusion of the subclavian artery.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A study by Pennsylvania State University researchers -- Short Sleep and Insomnia Increases the risk of death in MEN four fold !!!

Short Sleep And Chronic Insomnia Linked To Four-Fold Risk Of Early Death In Men

Featured Article
Main Category: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
Also Included In: Men's health; Psychology / Psychiatry; Men's health
Article Date: 02 Sep 2010 - 9:00 PDT

US researchers found that short sleep and insomnia was linked to a four times higher risk of early death in men; they urged public health policy makers to emphasize earlier diagnosis and treament of chronic insomnia.

You can read how researchers from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, came to these findings in a paper they wrote that was published on 1 September in the journal SLEEP.

The study is thought to be the first to show that chronic insomnia, coupled with short sleep as measured objectively in a lab (as opposed to self-reported in questionnaires), is linked to higher mortality in men.

Previous studies using objective measures of sleep duration have shown a link between this particular subset of insomnia and poorer health, but have not investigated association with mortality, said the authors in their background information.

Basic Instinct actor fighting against Throat Cancer !

Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards, first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009.

Michael Douglas told a US television audience on recently that he has been diagnosed with and is receiving treatment for stage four throat cancer.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Scientists have identified the first-ever genetic risk factor associated with common types of migraine, a finding they claim may soon pave the way for novel therapies to prevent the debilitating pain attacks.

An international team looked at the genetic data of over 50,000 people and found that patients with a particular DNA variant on Chromosome 8 between two genes -- PGCP and MTDH /AEG-1 -- have a greater risk for developing migraine.

The scientists also discovered a potential explanation for this link -- the associated DNA variant regulates levels of glutamatem a chemical, known as a neurotransmitter, which transports messages between nerve cells in the brain.

The results suggest that an accumulation of glutamate in nerve cell junctions (synapses) in the brain may play a key role in the initiation of migraine attacks, according to the 'Health and Medicine' journal.

Dr Aarno Palotie of Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which spearheaded the study, said: "This is the first time we have been able to peer into the genomes of many thousands of people and find genetic clues to understand common migraine.

"Studies of this kind are possible only through largescale international collaboration -- bringing together the wealth of data with the right expertise and resources -- so that we could pick out this genetic variant. This discovery opens new doors to understand common diseases."

The team compared the genomes of more than 3000 people from Finland, Germany and The Netherlands with migraine with the genomes of more than 10,000 non-migraineurs, recruited from pre-existing studies, to spot differences that might account for one group's increased susceptibility to migraine.

The statistical analysis revealed that a DNA variation found between the PGCP and MTDH/AEG-1 genes on chromosome 8 appears to be associated with increased susceptibility to common migraine.

The variant appears to alter the activity of MTDH/AEG-1 in cells, which regulates the activity of the EAAT2 gene: the EAAT2 protein is responsible for clearing glutamate from brain synapses in the brain, say the scientists.

"Although we knew that the EAAT2 gene has a crucial role to play in neurological processes in human and potentially in the development of migraine, until now, no genetic link has been identified to suggest that glutamate accumulation in brain could play a role in common migraine.

"This research opens the door for new studies to look in depth at the biology of the disease and how this alteration in particular may exert its effect," said co-author Christian Kubisch of Ulm University.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Astronaut's muscle waste in space!!!!!

A study — the first cellular analysis of the effects of long duration space flight on human muscle — took calf biopsies of nine astronauts and cosmonauts before and immediately following 180 days on the International Space Station (ISS).

The findings show substantial loss of fibre mass, force and power in this muscle group. Unfortunately starting the journey in better physical condition did not help. Ironically, one of the study's findings was that crew members who began with the biggest muscles also showed the greatest decline.

Astronaut muscles waste away on long space flights reducing their capacity for physical work by more than 40 per cent, according to the research published online in the Journal of Physiology.

This is the equivalent of a 30- to 50-year-old crew member's muscles deteriorating to that of an 80-year-old. The destructive effects of extended weightlessness to skeletal muscle — despite in-flight exercise — pose a significant safety risk for future manned missions to Mars and elsewhere in the Universe.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


A concerned husband went to a doctor to talk about his wife. "Doctor, I think my wife is deaf because she never hears me the first time and always asks me to repeat things."

"Well," the doctor replied, "go home and tonight stand about 15 feet from her and say something to her. If she doesn't reply move about 5 feet closer and say it again. Keep doing this so that we'll get an idea about the severity of her deafness."

Sure enough, the husband goes home and does exactly as instructed. He starts off about 15 feet from his wife in the kitchen as she is chopping some vegetables and says, "Honey, what's for dinner?" He hears no response. He moves about 5 feet closer and asks again. No reply. He moves 5 feet closer. Still no reply. He gets fed up and moves right behind her, about an inch away, and asks again, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

She replies, "For the fourth time, vegetable stew!"


Yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety.

The researchers set out to contrast the brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels of yoga subjects with those of participants who spent time walking. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

The researchers followed two randomized groups of healthy individuals over a 12-week long period. One group practiced yoga three times a week for one hour, while the remaining subjects walked for the same period of time. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging, the participants' brains were scanned before the study began. At week 12, the researchers compared the GABA levels of both groups before and after their final 60-minute session.

Each subject was also asked to assess his or her psychological state at several points throughout the study, and those who practiced yoga reported a more significant decrease in anxiety and greater improvements in mood than those who walked. "Over time, positive changes in these reports were associated with climbing GABA levels," said lead author Chris Streeter, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM.

According to Streeter, this promising research warrants further study of the relationship between yoga and mood, and suggests that the practice of yoga be considered as a potential therapy for certain mental disorders.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nanoscale DNA Sequencing

In experiments with potentially broad health care implications, a research team led by a University of Washington physicist has devised a method that works at a very small scale to sequence DNA quickly and relatively inexpensively.

The technique creates a DNA reader that combines biology and nanotechnology using a nanopore taken from Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A. The nanopore has an opening 1 billionth of a meter in size, just large enough to measure a single strand of DNA as it passes through.

The scientists placed the pore in a membrane surrounded by potassium-chloride solution. A small voltage was applied to create an ion current flowing through the nanopore, and the current's electrical signature changed depending on the nucleotides traveling through the nanopore. Each of the nucleotides that are the essence of DNA -- cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine -- produced a distinctive signature.

The team had to solve two major problems. One was to create a short and narrow opening just large enough to allow a single strand of DNA to pass through the nanopore and for only a single DNA molecule to be in the opening at any time. Michael Niederweis at the University of Alabama at Birmingham modified the M. smegmatis bacterium to produce a suitable pore.

The second problem, Gundlach said, was that the nucleotides flowed through the nanopore at a rate of one every millionth of a second, far too fast to sort out the signal from each DNA molecule. To compensate, the researchers attached a section of double-stranded DNA between each nucleotide they wanted to measure. The second strand would briefly catch on the edge of the nanopore, halting the flow of DNA long enough for the single nucleotide to be held within the nanopore DNA reader. After a few milliseconds, the double-stranded section would separate and the DNA flow continued until another double strand was encountered, allowing the next nucleotide to be read.The delay, though measured in thousandths of a second, is long enough to read the electrical signals from the target nucleotides

That could open the door for more effective individualized medicine, for example providing blueprints of genetic predispositions for specific conditions and diseases such as cancer, diabetes or addiction.

"The hope is that in 10 years people will have all their DNA sequenced, and this will lead to personalized, predictive medicine," said Jens Gundlach, a UW physics professor and lead author of a paper describing the new technique published the week of Aug. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Benefits of alzhiemer's disease !!!!

5. You never have to watch reruns on television.

4. You are always meeting new people.

3. You don't have to remember the whines and complaints of your spouse.

2. You can hide your own Easter eggs.

1. Mysteries are always interesting.


It's often said that men are from Mars while women are from Venus. But now, a new book says that they're from the same planet — the difference between them is actually down to the way they are brought up.

According to the book, 'Delusions of Gender', penned by Cordelia Fine, a Melbourne University psychologist, it's nurture, and not nature, which explains why men and women are so different. In fact, nurture has the largest effect on skills, attributes and personalities of men and women, the book says.

So boys aren't born with better map-reading and parking skills; girls do not come into the world with better multitasking and communicating skills, the Daily Mail reported.

According to the book, there are no major neurological differences. There may be slight variations in the brains of women and men but the wiring is soft, not hard.

Lise Eliot, of Chicago Medical School, agrees. "Children don't inherit intellectual differences. They learn them. They're a result of what we expect a boy or a girl to be. Yes, boys and girls, men and women, are different. But most of those differences are far smaller than Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus stereotypes suggest," she said.

Robert Plomin of Institute of Psychiatry, London, added: "Every skill, attribute and personality trait is moulded by experience. People ignore huge similarity between boys and girls and instead exaggerate wildly tiny difference between them."

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ever wondered why some crude jokes make us laugh? Well, scientists say it's because people find such jests funny when the moral violation seemed benign to them.
Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder found that people tend to laugh at disgusting comedy even including someone's death or immoral behaviour when they perceive them as unreal and not hurting anyone or anything.
They said several past theories attempting to explain humour have failed as they don't explain broader humour across domains. For instance, theories underlying general humour would suggest we think things that are incongruous and release tension are funny.
Now the researchers, led by A Peter McGraw, who co-authored the study with Caleb Warren, have come up with three criteria they find could explain why things are funny.
They figured the anecdote or scenario had to be incongruous (violate some moral or social norms), benign, and also reconcilable. In other words, there has to be some way to be disgusted by a moral violation and also consider it simultaneously benign.
To test their hypothesis, the researchers presented various situations to volunteers they rewarded with candy bars, LiveScience reported.
In one experiment supporting the idea that violation makes fun fodder, the volunteers read one of two versions of a scenario: one describing the company Jimmy Dean using a rabbi as spokesman for a new line of pork products; or one where Jimmy Dean hired a farmer as spokesman.

Participants were more likely to laugh when reading the situation with a moral violation -- having a rabbi promote pork -- and to think it was "wrong" compared with the control version of the scenario.
In other experiments, the volunteers read different scenarios of bestiality that were judged as wrong and disgusting by most of the participants. However, they were amused by the harmless versions of the scenarios.
McGraw thinks the humour rules could explain everything from puns and jokes to slapstick and other forms of comedy.
"We laugh when Moe hits Larry, because we know that Larry's not really being hurt," McGraw said, referring to humorous slapstick. "It's a violation of social norms. You don't hit people, especially a friend. But it's okay because it's not real."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The hottest new weight-loss method chills to kill the flab, instead of melting it with heat based lasers.

Tests have shown that just one treatment is capable of destroying up to 25 percent of fat cells in the area.

This innovative machine, called Zeltiq, uses a cooling method called cryolipolysis to target, chill and break down fat cells, reports the Daily Mail.

Developed by researchers at the Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Zeltiq has proved a massive hit since being introduced a year ago.
The cryolipolysis process gradually extracts body heat from the subcutaneous levels of fat (the layer that lies just under the skin). The temperature of the fat cells goes right down to zero degrees celsius — literally freezing them. Extremely low temperatures kill the fat cells without affecting either the skin or muscles. The dead cells are then removed naturally by the body through the liver.


Nurse: Doctor, there is a man in the waiting room with a glass eye named Brown.

Doctor: What does he call his other eye?

Monday, August 9, 2010


Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, US researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same. Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found.

They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types. "These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation," Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

"They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth."

Americans take in large amounts of fructose, mainly in high fructose corn syrup, a mix of fructose and glucose that is used in soft drinks, bread and a range of other foods.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


A broken heart could soon be coaxed into mending itself, says an Indian-origin scientist who led an international team which claims to have discovered a way of converting ordinary tissue into beating muscle cells.

The revolutionary treatment could be possible after scientists discovered a technique for turning ordinary connective tissue into muscle cells inside the heart. What it means is that in as little as five years, researchers could be able to coax the heart into regenerating itself, repairing the damage caused by cardiac arrests and Old age.
Two studies published on Thursday show new ways to fix damaged hearts, one by turning structural heart cells into beating cells and another by restoring a primordial ability to regenerate lost tissue.

Deepak Srivastava of the Gladstone Institute at California University and his colleagues say their technique works in a similar way to stem cells but instead of the new cells being grown outside the body and then injected back in, their method simply makes the cells switch at the point where they are needed.

The main problem is that when beating muscles cells — known as cardiomyocytes — die during a heart attack there’s no way to reactivate them and the surrounding connective tissue — known as fibroblasts — cannot take over their role.
But, Srivastava has developed a way of reprogramming fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes. The system involves slowly administering three substances — using an artificial tube called a stent — into the blood that trigger the conversion. One day after the three factors were introduced into mouse hearts, fibroblasts turned into cardiomyocyte-like cells within the beating heart. Up to 20% made the switch.

For the second study, a team at California’s Stanford University looked to amphibians called newts. “Newts regenerate tissues very effectively,” said Helen Blau of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.

Other studies suggest that mammals have had to give up regeneration because the same process can also lead to cancer. A so-called tumor suppressor gene called retinoblastoma, or Rb, helps control this process in mammals.

Working also with mice, they found a second gene called ARF is also involved. When they blocked both Rb and ARF in mouse heart muscle cells, they started to grow and divide.

The key will be to control this process, so the cells do not overproliferate and form tumors, the experts report in the journal Cell Stem Cell. They also want to see if this works for other organs.



A paramedic in Britain saved the life of a baby girl born 14 weeks ahead of schedule by building a makeshift incubator out of a plastic bag.

Sophie Thomlinson weighed just about 600 grams when she was born in the back of an ambulance as her mother Emily, 29, was being driven to hospital during a blizzard earlier this year.

The premature baby was in need of an incubator but the equipment is too large to be installed in most ambulances, reports the Telegraph.

But paramedic Rob Dalziel, 37, was able to keep her moist by wrapping her in a yellow plastic bag usually used for disposing of hazardous medical supplies.

He then used towels to cocoon the child and keep her body temperature at a safe level and forced air into her lungs to ensure she kept breathing as the ambulance continued on to Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
She spent two weeks in the hospital's intensive treatment unit's 'Hot Room' before being transferred to the High Dependency Unit at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Four months later Sophie has been allowed home with her mother and father Peter Hazzard, 27, in Wheatley, Oxon.

Emily said, "I was in a lot of pain and quite stressed not knowing what was going to happen. Giving birth 14 weeks premature is not ideal, especially on the side of the road."
"I was really worried and I did not know if Sophie would still be alive when we reached the hospital," she added.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


In what’s claimed to be probably the first scalpel-free surgery, Australian scientists have used a “gamma knife” - a non-invasive neurosurgical tool - to treat a brain cancer patient.
An international team has carried out the treatment at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney, using the Gamma Knife for treating brain cancer and a range of other brain-related disorders.

Despite its name, it is not a cutting implement and there is no blood or incision involved in treatment. Instead, some 200 radiation beams from cobalt-60 sources converge with high accuracy on the target inside the brain.

Each individual beam has low intensity and therefore does not affect the tissue through which it passes on its way to the target. The beams converge in an isocentre where the cumulative radiation intensity becomes extremely high.

Neurosurgeon John Fuller, who treated the first patient in Australia with the device, said gamma knife treatment is very different to traditional neurosurgery. “Although our first patient had tumours in multiple parts of his brain, we only needed to do one operation lasting an hour or so, no scalpel was used, the patient was awake throughout the entire procedure and only received a local anaesthetic, and he went home last night having been treated in an out-patient setting,” he said.

Fuller said the low impact nature of the treatment on the patient has a range of the flow-on benefits for their families, the medical treatment team and the wider healthcare system.

“Patients who receive Gamma Knife treatment have fewer complications than traditional neurosurgery patients undergoing a craniotomy reducing the need for hospitalisation and intensive care. Now with the Gamma Knife we can offer treatment and along with that hope that the patient’s life may not only be extended, but also that their remaining time will involve a much better quality of life,” he added.


Dr. Willem Kolff is considered the father of dialysis. This young Dutch physician constructed the first dialyzer (artificial kidney) in 1943.
The road to Kolff’s creation of an artificial kidney began in the late 1930s when he was working in a small ward at the University of Groningen Hospital in the Netherlands. There, Kolff watched helplessly as a young man died slowly of kidney failure. Kolff decided to find a way to make a machine that would do the work of the kidneys. The young doctor searched the university library for information on removing toxins from blood and stumbled across an article about hemodialysis with animals published in 1913 by John Abel, a renowned pharmacologist at Johns Hopkins University. Abel’s writing inspired Kolff, and he became committed to the development of an artificial kidney.
At about the same time that Kolff began his research, World War II erupted. Once the Nazis overtook the Netherlands, Kolff was sent to work in a remote Dutch hospital.

Despite challenging conditions, the young physician pressed on. Although materials were scarce, Kolff possessed the resourceful spirit of the true inventor and improvised, using sausage skins, orange juice cans, a washing machine and other common items to make a device that could clear the blood of toxins. Amazingly, he carried on his experiment under Nazi scrutiny, risking his own life by forging documents so that he could continue his work. Kolff was able to get his wife and colleagues to help, even though it meant they too were putting themselves in danger.

In 1943, Kolff’s invention, although crude, was completed. During the course of the next two years, he treated 16 patients with acute kidney failure but had little success. All that changed in 1945, when a 67-year-old woman in uremic coma regained consciousness after 11 hours of hemodialysis with Kolff’s dialyzer. Her first words? “I’m going to divorce my husband!” Thanks to Kolff, she did in fact follow through on her plan and lived seven more years before dying of another ailment.

Willem Kolff, died on February 11 aged 97. He was one of the great creative geniuses of 20th century medicine.

Monday, August 2, 2010


"Honey has been used for centuries as a popular ‘home remedy’ for wounds and ulcers. Recent research has shown that it has antibacterial properties, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Honey has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years - the Ancient Greeks used it, and so have many other peoples through the ages. Even up to the second world war, honey was being used for its antibacterial properties in treating wounds. But with the advent of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs in the twentieth century, honey's medicinal qualities have taken a back seat. But that might be about to change - thanks to one New Zealand based researcher.
Peter Molan, Ph.D., likes to tell the story of the 20-year-old wound. Infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, an abscess oozed in an English woman's armpit long after it had been drained. Nothing seemed to help, and the pain prevented her from working. Then in August of 1999, she read about the remarkable wound-healing properties of honey. She convinced doctors to apply some to the dressing to her arm, and a month later the wound healed. Now she's back at work.
Treatment with honey is called apitherapy,which includes replenishing energy, enhancing physical stamina and improving immune systems. Honey also is considered to have a calming effect on the mind and promotes sleep. Honey also helps indigestion and has sometimes been used to treat cardiovascular disease and respiratory complaints. A thin coat of honey can be applied on the skin to disinfect and heal minor skin wounds and chapped lips.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported Friday.

These tiny tablets which carry concentrated doses of calcium were also associated with higher incidences of stroke and death, but they were not statistically significant.

The researchers advised people consuming calcium supplements to seek advice from their doctors, take more calcium-rich foods and try other interventions like exercise, not smoking and keeping a healthy weight to prevent osteoporosis.

"People regard calcium supplements as natural but they are really not natural at all," Ian Reid, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said in a telephone interview.

Reid and colleagues in Britain and the United States conducted a meta-analysis encompassing 11 studies that tracked nearly 12,000 elderly people over four years.

Half of them were given calcium supplements and the other half placebo or dummy pills with no therapeutic content. The results were published in the British Medical Journal.

"What we found was a 30 percent increase in heart attacks in the people who were randomized to take calcium," Reid said.

"If you have 1,000 people taking calcium for five years, we will expect to find 14 more heart attacks, 10 more strokes and 13 more deaths in the people given calcium than they would have had if they hadn't been treated with calcium," Reid said.

"That is 37 more adverse events and we expect 26 fractures being prevented. So calcium is associated with more bad things happening than with bad things prevented."

While experts are not certain about the biological mechanism by which calcium supplements may damage the body, studies in the past have linked high levels of blood calcium to more heart attacks and damage to blood vessels, Reid said.
"When you take calcium supplements, your blood calcium level goes up over the following four to six hours and goes up to the top end of the normal range," he said.
"That doesn't happen when you have calcium to eat in your diet because the calcium from food is very slowly absorbed and so the blood calcium level hardly changes at all."
Higher blood calcium may lead to the formation of plaques in blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, Reid explained.

"People have always focused on fat levels in the blood as driving that process (plaque formation) but there is increasing evidence now that calcium levels in the blood might drive that as well," he added.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Im not sure of the facts of this article but it sure makes a very interesting read!!!!!

Doctors insist tiny Nmachi is not an albino and neither of the parents has any mixed-race family history.

Dad Ben Ihegboro, 44, a railway customer services adviser, said: "We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages - not saying anything.

"The first thing I said was 'What the flip?'."

Nmachi, whose name means Beauty of God in the Nigerian homeland of parents Angela and Ben, was born at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, Kent.

Doctors there told them she is not an albino.

"She doesn't look like an albino child anyway - not like the ones I've seen back in Nigeria or in books," Ben told The Sun. "She just looks like a healthy white baby."

Ben added: "Of course, she's mine. My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn't been, the baby still wouldn't look like that.

"We don't know of any white ancestry. We wondered if it was a genetic twist. But even then, what's with the long curly blonde hair?"
Professor Bryan Sykes, head of Human Genetics at Oxford University, said: "In mixed race humans, the lighter variant of skin tone may come out in a child - and this can sometimes be startlingly different to the skin of the parents.

"This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations. But in Nigeria there is little mixing."

He said that both parents would have needed some form of white ancestry for a pale version of their genes to be passed on.

"The hair is extremely unusual," Prof Sykes said. "Even many blonde children don't have blonde hair like this at birth."

Some form of unknown mutation was the most likely explanation, he added.
The couple, of Woolwich, south London, have two other children, four-year-old Chisom and sister Dumebi, two.
Mum Angela, 35, told the paper: "Nmachi's colour doesn't matter. She's a miracle baby. But still, what on earth happened here?"
Skin colour is believed to be determined by up to seven different genes working together.

If a woman is of mixed race, her eggs will usually contain a mixture of genes coding for both black and white skin. Similarly, a man of mixed race will have a variety of different genes in his sperm.

When these eggs and sperm come together, they will create a baby of mixed race.

But, very occasionally, the egg or sperm might contain genes coding for one skin colour. If both the egg and sperm contain all white genes, the baby will be white. And if both contain just the versions necessary for black skin, the baby will be black.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Two old men were arguing the merits of their doctors. The first one said, "I don't trust your fancy doctor. He treated old Jake Waxman for a kidney ailment for nearly a year, and then Jake died of a liver ailment."

"So what makes you think your doctor is any better?" asked his friend.
"Because when my doctor treats you for a kidney ailment, you can be sure you'll die of a kidney ailment."