Statins are known to be good for lowering cholesterol and maybe even fighting dementia, and now they have another reported benefit: they appear to slow decline in lung function in the elderly— even in those who smoke. According to researchers in Boston, it may be statins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help achieve this effect.
Their findings were published in the second issue for October in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
“We hypothesized that statins would have a protective effect on decline in lung function,” wrote Dr.
Central venous catheters are commonly used to provide permanent hemodialysis for patients with serious kidney disease. One technique, inserting a catheter through large vessels, has been commonly used worldwide in recent years.
A new study published in Hemodialysis International finds that this treatment may block the blood flow in the vessel, leading to superior vena cava syndrome (SVC syndrome), a highly serious complication caused by the obstruction of blood coming to the heart from the upper body.
The warning signs of SVC syndrome include shortness of breath, swelling of the upper limbs, neck and face, which occur as the catheter, generally inserted into a large blood vessel, blocks blood flow.
For the first time, scientists have linked the all-too-human preference for a food — chocolate — to a specific, chemical signature that may be programmed into the metabolic system and is detectable by laboratory tests. The signature reads ‘chocolate lover’ in some people and indifference to the popular sweet in others, the researchers say.
The study by Swiss and British scientists breaks new ground in a rapidly emerging field that may eventually classify individuals on the basis of their metabolic type, or metabotype, which can ultimately be used to design healthier diets that are customized to an individual’s needs. The study is scheduled for publication in the Nov.
Biophysicists at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the nuclei of human stem cells are particularly soft and flexible, rather than hard, making it easier for stem cells to migrate through the body and to adopt different shapes, but ultimately to put human genes in the correct nuclear ¡°sector¡± for proper access and expression.
Researchers pulled cell nuclei into microscopic glass tubes under controlled pressures and visualized the shear of the DNA and associated proteins by fluorescence microscopy. The study showed that nuclei in human embryonic stem cells were the most deformable, followed by hematopoietic stem cells, HSCs, that generate a wide range of blood and tissue cells.
A transistor containing quantum dots that can count individual photons (the smallest particles of light) has been designed and demonstrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The semiconductor device could be integrated easily into electronics and may be able to operate at higher temperatures than other single-photon detectors—practical advantages for applications such as quantum key distribution (QKD) for “unbreakable” encryption using single photons.
The NIST device, described in a new paper(1) can accurately count 1, 2 or 3 photons at least 83 percent of the time. It is the first transistor-based detector to count numbers of photons; most other types of single-photon detectors simply “click” in response to any small number of photons.
President George Bush declared October 1, 2007 Child Health Day. The EPA celebrates Children's Health Month each October by developing publications and activities that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks.
You can view an English calendar or download a Korean calendar with a children's environmental health tip for every day in October.