Google+ Badge

Monday, November 30, 2015

Health Research:Data scientists create world's first therapeutic venom database ♦ How can I tell if they're lying? ♦ Overcome fear of the dentist

Data scientists create world's first therapeutic venom database What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans
How can I tell if they're lying? Sarcasm, white lies and teasing can be difficult to identify for those with certain disorders. For those who suffer from diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, or neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism spectrum disorder, identifying white lies may be even harder. But new video inventory may help, say researchers.
Cognitive behavior therapy can help overcome fear of the dentist Cognitive behavioral therapy could help many people with a dental phobia overcome their fear of visiting the dentist and enable them to receive dental treatment without the need to be sedated,
Immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes deemed safe in first US trial Patients experienced no serious adverse reactions after receiving infusions of as many as 2.6 billion cells that had been specially selected to protect the body's ability to produce insulin, report scientists and physicians at the end of a trial focused on a new type 1 diabetes immunotherapy approach.

Health News:Postoperative Clostridium difficile infection in the Veterans Health Administration ♦ Low exposure to asbestos-like mineral from Montana vermiculite may up lung disease risk

Tainted oil, tainted system: Gov’t needs to act In the second decade of this millennium, Taiwan faces a menacing parallel to the late 19th and early 20th century United States, when corporations openly bought influential officials for exclusive rights, helping them cement their awesome market powers beyond oversight and scrutiny, beyond government by the people and for the people. Udo Keppler's illustration of Standard Oil
Low exposure to asbestos-like mineral from Montana vermiculite may up lung disease risk Workers exposed to low levels of an asbestos-like mineral from Montana more than two decades ago are at an increased risk for lung disease today, according to research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).
Sesame gains traction in push for food labeling requirements For the estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people in the United States who are allergic to sesame, the recently introduced Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 comes as good news. Included in the act’s provisions, which primarily seek to give consumers easy-to-understand labels on food so they can make healthy choices, is Section 8, which would require

Postoperative Clostridium difficile infection in the Veterans Health Administration The overall postoperative rate of Clostridium difficile infection, a bacterium that can cause severe diarrhea and life-threatening intestinal conditions, was 0.4 percent per year among more than 468,386 surgical procedures at the Veterans Health Administration

DNA repair factor linked to breast cancer may also play a role in Alzheimer’s disease

NIH-funded research suggests deficient DNA repair may lead to dementia.
Breaking down BRCA1Scientists reduced levels of BRCA1 in mouse brains and in neurons in a dish to investigate the role of the protein in dementia. Image courtesy of Lennart Mucke, University of California, San Francisco.
Mutant forms of breast cancer factor 1 (BRCA1) are associated with breast and ovarian cancers but according to new findings, in the brain the normal BRCA1 gene product may also be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The results, published in Nature Communications, suggest that low levels of BRCA1 protein in the brain may contribute to dementia. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“It’s extremely interesting that one molecule can be critically involved in two apparently opposing conditions: cancer, in which too many cells are born and neurodegenerative disease, in which too many brain cells die off,” said senior author Lennart Mucke, M.D., director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco, and the Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, and professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Mucke and his colleagues suspected that defects in DNA repair mechanisms could contribute to cognitive decline in AD and focused their studies on BRCA1. BRCA1 plays a key role in repairing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), our genetic code. DNA is a double helix structure that is made of two strands and resembles a twisted ladder. Occasionally, one or both of the strands will develop breaks, which are fixed by DNA repair proteins including BRCA1. This process is critical for cell survival because if DNA is not repaired properly, the cell may die.
When Dr. Mucke’s group examined brains of patients who died with Alzheimer’s, they discovered low levels of BRCA1. In addition, the researchers found reductions of BRCA1 in the brains of mouse models of Alzheimer’s. In fact, experimental reduction of BRCA1 levels in brains of healthy mice made their brain cells shrink and become dysfunctional.
Dr. Mucke’s team also investigated the effects of BRCA1 on cognition.  After researchers reduced BRCA1 levels in the brains of healthy mice, the animals developed problems with learning and memory. Mouse models of Alzheimer’s showed even greater declines in learning and memory following reductions of BRCA1. In addition, lowering BRCA1 caused increased DNA damage in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice.
One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is accumulation of a protein fragment known as beta-amyloid, which is toxic to brain cells and can lead to neuronal death. Dr. Mucke’s team found that adding amyloid beta to neurons in a dish lowered levels of BRCA1.
According to Dr. Mucke and his colleagues, the findings suggest that accumulation of beta-amyloid lowers levels of BRCA1, which increases DNA damage in brain cells and may contribute to dementia.
“An emerging theme in neurodegeneration research is that normal DNA repair protects against damage that causes neurons to die in dementia and related disorders. This study supports and strengthens that theme by showing that beta-amyloid decreases the levels of the DNA repair gene BRCA1, and at the same time inhibits the ability to form new memories,” said Roderick Corriveau, Ph.D., program director at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which provided funding for the study.
“The functions of BRCA1 in the brain remain to be fully elucidated,” said Dr. Mucke, “but our findings suggest that it may play an important role in supporting critical brain functions in both health and disease.”
Further research is necessary to determine whether BRCA1 may be a potential therapeutic target for treating dementia, and whether BRCA1 mutations that lead to cancer also affect brain function.

Multiple Vitamin recalled because of fear of vitamin D toxicity

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting healthcare professionals and patients of a voluntary recall of compounded multivitamin capsules containing high amounts of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), distributed nationwide by Glades Drugs in Pahokee, Florida. FDA has received reports of several adverse events potentially associated with these compounded capsules made by Glades Drugs.
Consumption of this product may result in vitamin D toxicity, which may be severe and may lead to life-threatening outcomes if left untreated. Patients suffering adverse effects from high Vitamin D levels (Cholecalciferol) may not initially show symptoms. Therefore, patients who have received these compounded capsules should stop taking this medication and immediately seek medical attention.
Symptoms of short-term vitamin D toxicity are due to high calcium levels (also known as hypercalcemia) and include confusion, increased urination, increased thirst, loss of appetite, vomiting, and muscle weakness. Acute hypercalcemia may intensify tendencies for heart arrhythmias and seizures and may increase the effects of certain heart drugs. Long-term toxicity may cause kidney failure, increase in calcium deposits in the blood and soft tissue, bone demineralization and pain. Patients with conditions such as liver disease or chronic kidney failure may be at increased risk for developing vitamin D toxicity.
Health care providers should quarantine and return any products subject to this recall to the company at: Glades Drugs, 109 S. Lake Ave., Pahokee, FL 33476. Glades Drugs sent recall letters to patients, attempted to contact them by phone, and called prescribing physicians.
FDA encourages health care professionals and patients to report adverse reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mama Lina’s Inc. Recalls Beef and Chicken Empanada Products

Mama Lina’s Inc is recalling approximately 1,754 pounds of beef and chicken empanada products that were produced without the benefit of federal inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The beef, chicken, sweet wine beef and chipotle chicken empanada items were produced on August 31, 2015 and September 29, 2015. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]
  • 330- lb. (approximately) cases and bags containing pieces of “CHIPOTLE CHICKEN EMPANADA.”
  • 322.13-lb. (approximately) cases, trays and bags containing pieces of “BEEF EMPANADA.”
  • 1095-lb. (approximately) cases, trays and bags containing pieces of “CHICKEN EMPANADA.”
  • 7.13-lb. (approximately) bag containing pieces of “SWEET WINE BEEF EMPANADA.”
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 2012” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to a retail location San Diego, CA.
The problem was discovered during routine FSIS inspection. The beef empanadas and chicken empanadas were found in the establishment’s freezer and did not have the marks of FSIS inspection. The products had a “deli” sticker and labels indicating that the products are manufactured by another entity, which leases part of the facility from Mama Lina’s.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers or Media with questions about the recall can contact Alma Villarruel, Mama Lina’s Inc., Office Manager, at (858) 535-0620.

Beech-Nut recalls baby food

Beech-Nut Nutrition, an Amsterdam, N.Y. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,920 pounds of baby food products that may be contaminated with small pieces of glass, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The baby food product was produced on December 12, 2014. The following product is subject to recall: [View Labels]
  • 4-oz. glass jars containing “Stage 2 Beech-Nut CLASSICS sweet potato & chicken”
The product subject to recall bears the establishment number “P-68A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The affected product expires in “DEC 2016” and includes product numbers “12395750815” through “12395750821”. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.                        
The problem was discovered after the firm received a complaint from a consumer who found a small piece of glass in the product.
The company has received a report of an oral injury associated with consumption of these products. FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  
Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Beech-Nut Consumer Hotline at (866) 674-4446. Media with questions about the recall can contact Jodi Breuer, Director of Marketing, at (518) 839-0183.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Health Research: Oxytocin increases social altruism ♦ How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing ♦ Major fall in diabetes-related amputations since the 1990s

Major fall in diabetes-related amputations since the 1990s A significant reduction in diabetes-related amputations since the mid-1990s has been identified by a new study. Researchers credit this decline to improvements in diabetes care over this period.
How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make 'sounds' on their own, essentially 'practicing' their ability to process sounds in the world around them.
Opsins, proteins better known as visual sensors, play a role in the heat-seeking movement of sperm Sperm use multiple navigation systems, such as heat-seeking and chemical, new research shows. Opsins – proteins involved in the visual system – contribute to the heat-seeking movement, helping sperm sense warmth, investigators report.
Oxytocin increases social altruism Nowadays, much emphasis is placed on sustainability. The degree to which people are willing to donate their own money for this depends on their level of oxytocin. Scientists have discovered that the willingness to donate increases with the quantity of this bonding hormone. However, oxytocin only has an effect with regard to social sustainability projects. The hormone does not increase the ability to participate in the case of purely environmentally oriented projects

Health News:3,000 Hepatitis A vaccines at a cost of $100,000 due to ill NY Mcdonald's worker ♦ Discovered: A cluster of 60 proteins that help cells move and feel

Discovered: A cluster of 60 proteins that help cells move and feel University of Manchester scientists have discovered a cluster of 60 proteins that allow the body's cells to react to their environment and communicate with each other.
3,000 Hepatitis A vaccines at a cost of $100,000 due to ill NY Mcdonald's worker David Shaw of the Finger Lakes Times reported today that the Seneca County Public Health recognized for its response to a recent hepatitis A scare after a McDonald’s worker in Waterloo was diagnosed with the illness. The department set up clinics at Mynderse Academy and the county office building, vaccinating thousands of diners
Scientists create genetically modified malaria-blocking mosquitoes Using a groundbreaking gene editing technique, scientists have created a strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes into a mosquito population through its progeny, ultimately eliminating the insects' ability to transmit the disease to humans. This new model represents a notable advance in the effort to establish an antimalarial mosquito population, which with further development could help eradicate a disease that sickens millions worldwide each year.

How the introduction of farming changed the human genome Genomic analysis of ancient human remains identifies specific genes that changed during and after the transition in Europe from hunting and gathering to farming about 8,500 years ago. Many of the genes are associated with height, immunity, lactose digestion, light skin pigmentation, blue eye color and celiac disease risk

Brain Research: How cocaine changes the brain ♦ White matter damage caused by 'skunk-like' cannabis,♦ Even the elderly can recover from a severe traumatic brain injury

'Connector hubs' are the champions of brain coordination Swinging a bat at a 90-mph fastball requires keen visual, cognitive and motor skills. But how do diverse brain networks coordinate well enough to hit the ball? The human brain's aptitude and versatility can be credited in large part to 'connector hubs,' which filter and route information.
How cocaine changes the brain The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study. Through experiments conducted in rats exposed to cocaine, the researchers mapped out the network of circuits that cause wild firing of neurons that produce dopamine. The findings also help explain how cocaine use eventually leads to desensitization
White matter damage caused by 'skunk-like' cannabis,Smoking high potency 'skunk-like' cannabis can damage a crucial part of the brain responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres.

Even the elderly can recover from a severe traumatic brain injury Even patients over the age of 75 may recover from severe traumatic brain injury.This is the first study to describe the results of surgically treated elderly patients with acute subdural hematomas.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Health News:Functional human liver cells grown in the lab ♦ Cataract surgery lessens patients' dizziness ♦ Scientists 'see' detailed makeup of deadly toxin for the first time

Functional human liver cells grown in the lab A new technique for growing human hepatocytes in the laboratory has now been described by a team of researchers. This groundbreaking development could help advance a variety of liver-related research and applications, from studying drug toxicity to creating bio-artificial liver support for patients awaiting transplantations.
Immune-disorder treatment in mice holds potential for multiple sclerosis patients A simple, rapid way to treat an immune-related disorder in mice has been identified by researchers, an approach that could eventually help multiple sclerosis patients after further research.
Cataract surgery lessens patients' dizziness Older people with visual impairment can report feeling dizzy and falling. A new study found that after routine cataract surgery, the improved vision led to patients experiencing significantly less dizziness, although they did not experience fewer falls.
Scientists 'see' detailed makeup of deadly toxin for the first time An exciting advance provides hope for developing novel potential method of treating pneumococcal diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. A team of researchers uses a technique called X-ray crystallography to see the individual atoms of the toxin. World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that more than 1.6 million people every year die from pneumococcal infections, including more than 800,000 children under 5 years old.

Cardiovascular Research: New technology promises fast, accurate stroke diagnosis ♦ Overweight, obesity early in life increase risk of cardiac death

Ultrasound examinations can identify patients at risk of stroke Ultrasound, a non-invasive technique commonly used to study the presence of atherosclerosis disease in blood vessels, can be used to identify patients at increased risk of future stroke who could benefit from surgery. Since surgical treatment to prevent stroke is only considered beneficial to some, ultrasound can prove useful in preventing unnecessary surgical intervention.
Heart disease patients who sit a lot have worse health even if they exercise Patients with heart disease who sit a lot have worse health even if they exercise, reveals research. Patients in the study wore an activity monitor during their waking hours for nine days. The monitors allowed the researchers to measure how long patients spent being sedentary, or doing light, moderate or vigorous levels of physical activity. The researchers also assessed various markers of health including body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness.
New technology promises fast, accurate stroke diagnosis A new approach to identifying biomarkers in blood has proven successful in helping diagnose stroke, and the technology could be expanded to diagnose such conditions as concussion, some forms of dementia, and some types of cancer and heart disease.
Overweight, obesity early in life increase risk of cardiac death Overweight and obesity throughout adulthood, and especially elevated weight in early adulthood, were associated with increased risk of sudden cardiac death in a 32-year study of more than 72,000 women.

Canada: Isle Of Kintyre cheeses recalled due to listeria

The food recall warning issued on November 21, 2015 has been updated to include additional product information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) food safety investigation.
Glen Echo Fine Foods is recalling Inverloch cheeses imported from Scotland from the marketplace due to possibleListeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume and distributors, retailers and food service establishments should not sell or use the recalled products described below.
The recalled products may have been sold in smaller packages, cut and wrapped by some retailers. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected products are advised to contact their retailer.

Recalled products

Brand Name
Common Name
Size
Code(s) on Product
UPC
Isle of Kintyre
Laird's Mustard Mature Cheddar & Whole Grain Mustard
1 kg
All codes
5 060020 410338
Isle of Kintyre
Laird's Mustard Mature Cheddar & Whole Grain Mustard
200g
All codes
5 060020 410123
Isle of Kintyre
Applesmoke Mature Cheddar
900g
All codes
5 060020 410260
Isle of Kintyre
Applesmoke Mature Cheddar
250g
All codes
5 060020 410253
Isle of Kintyre
Drumloch
2.7kg
All codes
5 060020 410062
Isle of Kintyre
Drumloch
450g
All codes
5 060020 410048
Isle of Kintyre
Drumloch
200g
All codes
5 060020 410161
Isle of Kintyre
Old Smoky – Oak Smoked Flavoured Mature Cheddar
200g
All codes
5 060020 410079
Isle of Kintyre
Island Herbs – Mature Cheddar & Herbs
1 kg
All codes
5 060020 410321
Isle of Kintyre
Island Herbs – Mature Cheddar & Herbs
200g
All codes
5 060020 410109
Isle of Kintyre
Lazy ploughman Mature Cheddar & Pickle
200g
All codes
5 060020 410154
Isle of Kintyre
Poacher’s Choice - Mature Cheddar & Garlic
1 kg
All codes
5 060020 410314
Isle of Kintyre
Poacher’s Choice - Mature Cheddar & Garlic
200g
All codes
5 060020 410093
Isle of Kintyre
Highland Chief – Mature Cheddar & Single Malt Whisky
1 kg
All codes
5 060020 410307
Isle of Kintyre
Highland Chief – Mature Cheddar & Single Malt Whisky
200g
All codes
5 060020 410086
Isle of Kintyre
Captain’s Claret - Mature Cheddar & Claret
1 kg
All codes
5 060020 410345
Isle of Kintyre
Captain’s Claret - Mature Cheddar & Claret
200g
All codes
5 060020 410154
or
5 060020 410116
Isle of Kintyre
Ben Gunn –Mature Cheddar & Chives
200g
All codes
5 060020 410130
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese – Flavoured with Highland Liqueur
200g
All codes
5 060020 410208
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese – Flavoured with Pear Schnapps
200g
All codes
5 060020 410222
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese – Flavoured with Orange Liqueur
200g
All codes
5 060020 410215
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese – Flavoured with Garlic
200g
All codes
5 060020 410185
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese – Flavoured with Chives
200g
All codes
5 060020 410192
Inverloch CheeseCo
Gigha Cheese Plain
200g
All codes
5 060020 410178

What you should do

Check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.