Body

Scientists at UCSF have discovered an abnormality in a patient's immune system that may lead to safer therapies for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and colitis, as well as potential new ways to treat transplant rejection.

Mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has not fallen since 1994, according to a comprehensive review of major studies that assessed ARDS deaths. This disappointing finding contradicts the common wisdom that ARDS mortality has been in steady decline.

The study was published in the first issue for February of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Sleep Apnea Linked to Insulin Resistance, Independent of Obesity

In a study that addressed the issue of insulin sensitivity with respect to sleep disordered breathing (SDB), Naresh Punjabi, M.D., Ph.D. sought to examine the relationship between SDB and insulin resistance using the best tools at his disposal to do so.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new strategy developed in the Neonatal and Infant Feeding Disorders Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital is helping premature infants and other newborns with severe swallowing difficulties learn to feed on their own. According to a study appearing in the February issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, physicians at Nationwide Children's were able to help 15 out of 20 infants with severe feeding difficulties and airway concerns learn to feed by mouth. Successful feeders were sent home without the need for feeding tubes.

New York, NY—As unemployment rates reach the highest levels in 16 years, a new analysis from The Commonwealth Fund finds that few laid-off workers—only 9 percent—took up coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) in 2006.

Scientists have shown that HIV faces a genetic "bottleneck" when the virus is transmitted heterosexually from one person to another, by way of the genital mucosa. The results, published January 23 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, explain why prior infection by other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) makes individuals more susceptible to HIV infection.

A Canadian/U.S. research team has reported a novel approach to stimulating recovery from chronic stress disorders. Details of the therapeutic model, which exploits the natural dynamics of the body's "fight or flight" system, are published January 23 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology. In contrast to conventional time-invariant therapy, the researchers propose a well-directed therapeutic push delivered according to an optimal treatment schedule.

The first study documenting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in swine and swine workers in the United States has been published by University of Iowa researchers.

The investigators found a strain of MRSA, known as ST398, in a swine production system in the Midwest, according to the paper published online Jan. 23 by the science journal PLoS One.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered how a whole class of commonly used chemotherapy drugs can block cancer growth. Their findings, reported online this week at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, suggest that a subgroup of cancer patients might particularly benefit from these drugs.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 22, 2009 -- Bioengineers at Harvard University have shown that small plastic disks impregnated with tumor-specific antigens and implanted under the skin can reprogram the mammalian immune system to attack tumors.

The research -- which ridded 90 percent of mice of an aggressive form of melanoma that would usually kill the rodents within 25 days -- represents the most effective demonstration to date of a cancer vaccine.

Harvard's David J. Mooney and colleagues describe the research in the current issue of the journal Nature Materials.

CHAPEL HILL – The proposed federal expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program should help improve disabled children's access to services, but more needs to be done at the state level to meet their needs, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When an infection attacks, the body's immune system sounds the alert, kills the invading germs and remembers the pathogen to protect against contracting the same type of infection again. Exactly how immunological memory develops is a mystery just beginning to be unveiled by Emma Teixeiro, PhD, in an article published in the Jan. 23 issue of the journal Science.

Jan. 23, 2009 -- In recent years, genetic studies have uncovered hundreds of DNA variations linked to common diseases, such as cancer or diabetes, raising the prospect that scientists can gauge disease risk based on information in an individual's genome.But the variations identified to date only account for a small percentage – typically one to three percent – of the overall genetic risk of any common disease.

Spitting cobras have an exceptional ability to spray venom into eyes of potential attackers. A new study published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology reveals how these snakes maximize their chances of hitting the target.

Living with a female of its species can extend the reproductive life of a male mouse by a dramatic 20 percent, according to a study reported at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction.

In the research, conducted by a team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, male mice were housed with or without female mice for 16 to 32 months. Each male was placed with two novel females at 2-month intervals to test its ability to impregnate the females.