Nutrition researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified five common genetic variations that increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of factors linked to heart disease and diabetes. Another variant they found appeared to protect against the condition.
People with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following symptoms: abdominal obesity, high blood triglyceride levels, lower good cholesterol (HDL), elevated blood pressure and elevated fasting blood glucose. They are four times as likely to develop heart disease and at least seven times more likely to develop diabetes as individuals without metabolic syndrome.
The investigators, who report their findings in the June issue of the journal Human Molecular Genetics, looked for changes in the CD36 gene, which is located in a region of chromosome 7 that has been linked to metabolic syndrome in several genome-wide studies.
Think an octopus is just an invertebrate mollusk with a brain that contains fewer nerve cells and a much simpler anatomical organization than that of vertebrate brains? Well, you're right, and that's what makes them important for learning studies.
Octopuses and other related creatures, known as cephalopods, are considered to be the most intelligent invertebrates because they have relatively large brains and they can be trained for various learning and memory tasks, says Dr. Benny Hochner of the Department of Neurobiology at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Their behavior repertoire and learning and memory abilities are even comparable in their complexity to those of advanced vertebrates, which makes them ideal to tackle one of the most interesting questions in modern neuroscience - how the brain stores and recalls memories.
Researchers have long known that type-2 diabetes and depression often go hand in hand. However, it's been unclear which condition develops first in patients who end up with both. Now, a new study led by Johns Hopkins doctors suggests that this chicken-and-egg problem has a dual answer: Patients with depression have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes, and patients with type-2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing depression.
For the study, published in the June 18 Journal of the American Medical Association, diabetes expert Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., M.H.S., and her colleagues took advantage of data generated by the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), which examined risk factors for atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, in an ethnically diverse group of 6,814 men and women between ages 45 to 84. Participants in the MESA study identified themselves when they enrolled as white, black, Hispanic or Chinese.
Meningiomas are tumors of the brain and nervous system and they account for 20% of all brain tumors. Doctors have a problem discriminating between the four different subtypes of meningiomas due to three key problems:
* The work can be painstakingly slow requiring up to two hours of analysis and expert consideration of a full "slide" of information.
* The finest histopathologists (tumor specialists) can at times come up with completely contradictory findings based on slight variations in their method of analysis.
* Currently the slides that specialists examine contain a few million pixels of data and the task of tumour diagnosis is painstakingly slow already. This problem is quite literally growing as medical equipment is coming out that can produce slides with hundreds of millions pixel resolution.
Clearly doctors would welcome any technological support which could speed up this process, use more of the information available and allow them time to diagnose and treat many more patients.
That convergence of media, telecommunication, information technology and consumer electronics you've been hearing about? Mostly hype, says new research from Cass Business School, London, and it's now over.
All that's left is a focus on exploiting the business opportunities created by the digital revolution, they say.
Dr Gianvito Lanzolla, Senior Lecturer in Strategy at Cass, suggests that because the revolutionary conceptual shifts from analogue to digital technology took place in 2003 – 2004, with a focus on first mover advantage and innovations, subsequent developments within digital technologies are adjustments rather than major changes.
A hernia is produced when the content of the abdominal cavity protrudes through a weakened natural orifice of the abdominal wall such as the inguinal canal, the umbilical area, the epigastrium or a previous incision in the abdomen such as from a surgical operation. The hernia manifests itself as a bulging lump since the internal lining of the abdomen protrudes in what is called a hernial sac that shrinks or grows depending on the effort exerted by the affected individual.
Hernias are more frequent in the groin or navel areas and in the area of an old surgical scar, and they never improve or disappear naturally; on the contrary, they tend to grow. Not only painful but unaesthetic too, hernias can produce complications such as bowel obstructions and strangulations.