Body

A medication called cinacalcet—an important part of treatment to control high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD)—works by resetting the balance between calcium and PTH levels, according to a study in the November Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

NEW YORK, July 14, 2008 – A two-year study led by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) reveals that low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets may be just as safe and effective in achieving weight loss as the standard, medically prescribed low-fat diet, according to a new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was conducted by BGU and the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, Israel, in collaboration with Harvard University, The University of Leipzig, Germany and the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

LOS ANGELES (EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 16, 2008 AT 5 P.M. ET) – A new therapy developed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center improves transplant rates and outcomes for patients awaiting living- and deceased-donor kidney transplantation, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The therapy may provide an option for many patients "sensitized" to transplant antigens (human leukocyte antigens, or HLA) who previously would not have been candidates for transplantation because of their intense immune response to these HLA targets.

Boston, MA – Menthol cigarette brands have been rising in popularity with adolescents, and the highest use has been among younger, newer smokers. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) explored tobacco industry manipulation of menthol levels in specific brands and found a deliberate strategy to recruit and addict young smokers by adjusting menthol to create a milder experience for the first time smoker. Menthol masks the harshness and irritation of cigarettes, allowing delivery of an effective dose of nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is operating a virtual environment that enables scientists and engineers to interpret raw data collected with powerful instruments called dynamic atomic force microscopes.

The online tools, believed to be the first of their kind for the instruments, represent a research trend, with tools for other applications also being developed, said Arvind Raman, a Purdue professor of mechanical engineering.

On June 16, 2008, Barbara Ganschow of Palatine, IL, became the first person in the world to be successfully treated with a new device designed to make it safer and easier for heart specialists to create a hole in the cardiac atrial septum. The hole, created by the NRGTM Transseptal Needle, allows cardiac catheters to cross from the right side of the heart to the left side.

40,000 years ago, the Cro-Magnoid people – the first people who had a skeleton that looked anatomically modern – entered Europe, coming from Africa. In the July 16 issue of the open-access journal PLoS ONE, a group of geneticists, coordinated by Guido Barbujani and David Caramelli of the Universities of Ferrara and Florence, shows that a Cro-Magnoid individual who lived in Southern Italy 28,000 years ago was a modern European, genetically as well as anatomically.

A variant of a gene found only in people of African ancestry increases the odds of becoming infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) by 40 percent, according to a long-term study of African Americans reported in the [date] issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe, a publication of Cell Press. However, once people are infected, the same variant seems to protect against progression of the disease, allowing those who carry it to live about two years longer.

Diet can strongly influence how long you live and your reproductive success, but now scientists have discovered that what works for males can be very different for females.

In the first study of its kind, the researchers have shown that gender plays a major role in determining which diet is better suited to promoting longer life or better reproductive success.

A genetic variation which evolved to protect people of African descent against malaria has now been shown to increase their susceptibility to HIV infection by up to 40 per cent, according to new research. Conversely, the same variation also appears to prolong survival of those infected with HIV by approximately two years.

The discovery marks the first genetic risk factor for HIV found only in people of African descent, and sheds light on the differences in genetic makeup that play a crucial role in susceptibility to HIV and AIDS.