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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Health News: Pancreatitis often caused by gallstones ♦ Rapid molecular assay may help diagnose sepsis ♦ Men have better sense of direction than women

Pancreatitis often caused by gallstones Idiopathic pancreatitis is often caused by small gallstones that are difficult to observe prior to surgery, shows a study. Small gallstones were found in surgery from two out of three idiopathic pancreatitis patients. The study also showed that acute pancreatitis was more common in statin users than non-users.
Men have better sense of direction than women Researchers studied women and men using fMRI during wayfinding tasks in a recently learned virtual environment. Men consistently performed better than women. When women were given a drop of testosterone under their tongue, however, their ability to orient themselves along the four cardinal directions improved.
A new approach to predict evolution of influenza viruses can enhance vaccine efficacy New results suggest that genomic information from circulating influenza viruses can help in producing more efficient seasonal vaccines. The researchers were able to develop a simple approach for reliable real-time tracking and prediction of viral evolution based on whole-genome sequences of influenza viruses.
Rapid molecular assay may help diagnose sepsis Measuring the levels of RNA biomarkers in blood may help quickly differentiate sepsis from infection-negative systemic inflammation, according to new research. Scientists describe the discovery and validation of a molecular classifier consisting of 4 RNA transcripts (SeptiCyte Lab), which in several selected patient cohorts was able to diagnose sepsis more accurately than procalcitonin or clinical parameters, and more quickly than blood culture.

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