Volume 8 Issue 150
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 30-May-2006 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 31-May-2006

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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New MRI technique shows emphysema in asymptomatic smokers

A new imaging method has revealed early signs of emphysema in smokers with no external symptoms of the disease, according to a study published in the June issue of Radiology. The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, details a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that appears to be much more sensitive to lung changes than even the current modality of choice, computed tomography (CT). more  

MR spectroscopy significantly reduces need for breast biopsy

In a study featured in the June issue of Radiology, researchers found that imaging suspicious breast lesions with magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy reduced the need for biopsy by 58 percent. The investigators, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, discovered that with the addition of MR spectroscopy to their breast MR imaging (MRI) protocol, 23 of 40 suspicious lesions could have been spared biopsy, and none of the resultant cancers would have been missed. more

Ritalin packs punch by elevating norepinephrine, suppressing nerve signal transmissions

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) elevates norepinephrine levels in the brains of rats to help focus attention while suppressing nerve signal transmissions in the sensory pathways to make it easier to block out extraneous stimuli, a Philadelphia research team has found. more  

New potential drug target in tuberculosis

Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest threats to public health. Every year two million people die of the disease, which is caused by the microorganism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Roughly one third of the world's population is infected and more and more bacterial strains have developed resistance to drugs. Researchers from the Hamburg Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (MPIIB) in Berlin have now obtained a structural image of a protein that the bacterium needs for survival in human cells. This image reveals features of the molecule that could be targeted by new antibiotic drugs. more

Fear circuit flares as bipolar youth misread faces 

Youth with bipolar disorder misread facial expressions as hostile and show heightened neural reactions when they focus on emotional aspects of neutral faces, researchers at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have discovered. The study provides some of the first clues to the underlying workings of the episodes of mania and depression that disrupt friendships, school, and family life in up to one percent of children. more

Fatty diet does not increase risk of skin cancer  

Eating fatty food does not appear to increase the risk of skin cancer. A study published today in the open access journal BMC Cancer contradicts previous research that showed a link between high fat intake and certain types of skin cancer. The results of this latest study suggest that high fat intake might even play a protective role in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer. more

Gold nanoparticles help with gene knockdowns

Researchers have been exploring the potential of a technique called antisense for more than 20 years. Antisense molecules “knock down” or neutralize the effects of particular genes and thus are useful tools in the laboratory. They may also have potential for treating diseases like cancer and AIDS, where knocking down the activity of a particular gene might be an effective therapy. However, researchers have faced several technical challenges working with antisense molecules, starting with getting them into cells. Investigators from Northwestern University have now used gold nanoparticles to deliver antisense molecules into cells — and found that they become more effective once they’re inside. more

 

Eating fatty food does not appear to increase the risk of skin cancer.