Stress Literally Tears You Apart
Chronic stress can lead to behavioral problems. A team from EPFL’s Brain Mind Institute has discovered an important synaptic mechanism: the activation of a cleaving enzyme, leading to these problems.
Why is it that when people are too stressed they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? Researchers from the Brain Mind Institute (BMI) at EPFL have just highlighted a fundamental synaptic mechanism that explains the relationship between chronic stress and the loss of social skills and cognitive impairment. When triggered by stress, an enzyme attacks a synaptic regulatory molecule in the brain.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/stress-literally-tears-you-apart
Today in Lab History: September 19, 1915- Elizabeth Stern Shankman
Elizabeth Stern Shankman was a Canadian-born American, born Sept. 19, 1915, who was one of the first pathologists to work on the progression of a cell from normality to cancerous. Her breakthrough studies of cervical cancers changed the disease from fatal to one of the most easily diagnosed and treatable. Her studies showed that a normal cell advanced through 250 distinct stages before becoming cancerous and thus is the most easily diagnosed of all cancers.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-elizabeth-stern-shankman
Nationwide Shutdown Aims to Slow Ebola
Shoppers in Sierra Leone rushed to stock up on food Thursday ahead of a three-day nationwide shutdown, during which the country’s 6 million people will be confined to their homes while volunteers search house-to-house for Ebola victims in hiding and hand out soap in a desperate bid to slow the accelerating outbreak.
The disease sweeping West Africa has also touched Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal and is believed to have sickened more than 5,300 people, the World Health Organization reported. In a sign the crisis is picking up steam, more than 700 of those cases were recorded in the last week for which data is available.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/nationwide-shutdown-aims-slow-ebola
High Protein Diet May Be Good for Blood Pressure
Eating too much meat often makes the headlines, whether the risk of doing so is equated to smoking or cited as the cause of rising diabetes rates. All the buzz has many of us pondering the same question: Am I eating too much meat?
Though some of these articles have already been labeled as sensational journalism, a new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension has shown that people who eat more protein — whether from plant or animal sources — tend to have a lower risk of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/high-protein-diet-may-be-good-blood-pressure
Wild Berry Extract May Boost Cancer Drug
A wild berry native to North America may strengthen the effectiveness of a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, reveals research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.
The study by researchers at King’s College Hospital and the Univ. of Southampton suggests that adding nutraceuticals to chemotherapy cycles may improve the effectiveness of conventional drugs, particularly in hard to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/wild-berry-extract-may-boost-cancer-drug
CDC: Healthy Adults Need Flu Shots
Think the flu’s only a big threat to kids and seniors? Influenza hospitalized a surprisingly high number of young and middle-aged adults last winter — and this time around, the government wants more of them vaccinated.
Fewer than half of Americans get a flu vaccine every year. Vaccination rates are highest for children under five years of age at 70 percent — and for seniors — 65 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/cdc-healthy-adults-need-flu-shots
Megacity ‘Street Canyons’ May Up Pollution Risks
People living in Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers may be away from the hustle and bustle of its notorious traffic-snarled streets but the effects of traffic emissions should not be ignored, says a ground-breaking research project led by King’s College London.
Researchers are investigating how much of the toxic exhaust fumes at street level are, in fact, still reaching residents living inside high-rise buildings hundreds of feet above. Findings from the two and a half year pilot research project could prove vital for the increasing number of people now living in crowded and severely polluted megacities as buildings continue to be constructed skywards.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/megacity-street-canyons-may-pollution-risks
Activity Linked to White-matter Integrity in Older Brains
Like everything else in the body, the white-matter fibers that allow communication between brain regions also decline with age. In a new study, researchers found a strong association between the structural integrity of these white-matter tracts and an older person’s level of daily activity – not just the degree to which he or she engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise, but also whether the person was sedentary the rest of the time.
The study, reported in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked physical activity in 88 healthy but “low-fit” participants aged 60 to 78. The participants agreed to wear accelerometers during most of their waking hours over the course of a week, and also submitted to brain imaging.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/activity-linked-white-matter-integrity-older-brains
Artificial Sweeteners May Increase Diabetes Risk
Using artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, suggests a preliminary study done mostly in mice.
The authors said they are not recommending any changes in how people use artificial sweeteners based on their study, which included some human experiments. The researchers and outside experts said more study is needed, while industry groups called the research limited and said other evidence shows sweeteners are safe and useful for weight control.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/artificial-sweeteners-may-increase-diabetes-risk
Airborne Transmission May Be Possible for Ebola
The idea of the Ebola virus becoming airborne is not far-fetched and its ability to enter cells that line the trachea and lungs has been shown under controlled laboratory conditions, a Purdue Univ. virus expert says.
David Sanders, an associate professor of biological sciences who has studied the Zaire strain of Ebola virus that is responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa, says the possibility of the virus becoming airborne should not be discounted.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/airborne-transmission-may-be-possible-ebola
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Up to 80 percent of sexually active women are infected at some point in their lives and infection with specific “high risk” strains of HPV has an established link to cervical cancer. Current screening by cervical cytology (smear test) is invasive and time-consuming. Several studies have suggested that detecting HPV in urine may be a feasible alternative to cervical sampling, but the accuracy of such a test is still uncertain.
So, a team of researchers based in London and Spain analyzed the results of 14 studies involving 1,443 sexually active women to determine the accuracy of testing for HPV on urine samples compared with cervical samples obtained by a doctor. The quality of the studies was generally high.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/urine-screening-could-be-non-invasive-hpv-test
Sharks Inspire Hospital Surfaces to Cut Infections
Transmission of bacterial infections, including MRSA and MSSA could be curbed by coating hospital surfaces with microscopic bumps that mimic the scaly surface of shark skin, according to research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.
The study modeled how well different materials prevented the spread of human disease bacteria through touching, sneezes or spillages. The micro-pattern, named Sharklet, is an arrangement of ridges formulated to resemble shark skin. The study showed that Sharklet harbored 94 percent less MRSA bacteria than a smooth surface, and fared better than copper, a leading antimicrobial material. The bacteria were less able to attach to Sharklet’s imperceptibly textured surface, suggesting it could reduce the spread of superbugs in hospital settings.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/sharks-inspire-hospital-surfaces-cut-infections
Report Finds Child Mortality Rates Falling
New data from the UN show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49 percent between 1990 and 2013. The average annual reduction has accelerated – in some countries it has even tripled – but overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under-five mortality by 2015.
New estimates in Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2014 show that in 2013, 6.3 million children under five died from mostly preventable causes, around 200,000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17,000 child deaths each day.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/report-finds-child-mortality-rates-falling
Radiosurgery Tech Provides Better Treatment, Less Discomfort
A new stereotactic radiosurgery system provides the same or a higher level of accuracy in targeting cancer tumors – but offers greater comfort to patients and the ability to treat multiple tumors at once – when compared to other radiation therapy stereotactic systems, according to researchers at the Henry Ford Health System.
The study shows the Edge Radiosurgery Suite is able to target cancer tumors within one millimeter, providing sub-millimeter accuracy with extreme precision.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/radiosurgery-tech-provides-better-treatment-less-discomfort
U.S. Waistlines Continue to Grow
The prevalence of abdominal obesity and average waist circumference increased among U.S. adults from 1999 to 2012, according to a study in the Sept. 17 issue of JAMA.
Waist circumference is a simple measure of total and intra-abdominal body fat. Although the prevalence of abdominal obesity has increased in the U.S. through 2008, its trend in recent years has not been known, according to background information in the article.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/us-waistlines-continue-grow