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ASCLS eNewsBytes
March 31, 2009
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Plastic Protein Protects Bacteria from Stomach Acid's Unfolding Power
from Science Daily
A tiny protein helps protect disease-causing bacteria from the ravaging effects of stomach acid, researchers at the University of Michigan and Howard Hughes Medical Institute have discovered. Stomach acid aids in food digestion and helps kill disease-causing bacteria. One way that acid kills bacteria is by causing the proteins in them to unfold and stick together in much the same way that heating an egg causes its proteins to form a solid mass. More

Beckman Coulter

Stimulus Package has Billions for Healthcare
from Reuters
Despite a full plate that seems to be getting fuller all the time, the Obama administration has made healthcare reform a top priority. In his budget, the President establishes a reserve fund of more than $630 billion over 10 years to finance fundamental reform, while also appropriating billions directly to support more immediate healthcare initiatives. Lawmakers in Congress have already responded with proposals of their own, including one to keep any reserve fund budget neutral. More

Pregnancy Hormone Shows Promise in Heart Failure
from Reuters
A pregnancy hormone that relaxes blood vessels appeared to reduce symptoms of acute heart failure and improve survival, according to a preliminary study released by U.S. researchers. They said the hormone relaxin, which is being developed by privately held Corthera Inc. of California, was safe, and showed signs of reducing the risk of death from heart problems during the study. More

Statin Might Help Fight Blood Clots in Veins
from U.S. News & World Report
In addition to dramatically reducing the incidence of heart attacks and stroke, the cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor appears to have another important benefit: reducing the rate of blood clots in the veins, new research has found. More

Proteinuria May Not Help Predict Fetal or Maternal Outcomes in Preeclampsia
from Medscape Medical News
The estimation of levels of proteinuria in women with preeclampsia is not a clinically useful test to predict fetal or maternal outcomes, according to the results of a systematic review reported in the BMC Medicine. "Proteinuria is one of the essential criteria for the clinical diagnosis of pre-eclampsia," write Shakila Thangaratinam, from Birmingham Women's Hospital, United Kingdom, and colleagues. "Increasing levels of proteinuria is considered to be associated with adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Subscription required.

Scientists Find Safer Way to Make Human Stem Cells
from Reuters
U.S. researchers said they have found a safer way to coax human skin cells into becoming powerful embryonic-like stem cells, taking a step closer to their potential use as treatments for diseases. A team at the University of Wisconsin said they made the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, from human cells without using viruses or exotic genes, which leave behind genetic material that might pose risks if the cells were used as medical therapies. More

Equitech

Vertigo Linked to Osteoporosis
from Science Daily
People who have osteoporosis are more likely to also have vertigo, according to a study published in the Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study involved 209 people with benign positional vertigo with no known cause such as head trauma or ear surgery. Vertigo is an inner ear disorder that is a common cause of dizziness. The disorder is believed to be caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals that move in the sensing tubes of the inner ear. More

Cholesterol Drugs May Cut Risk of Clots
from The New York Times
New results from a large study suggest that the drugs known as statins may have a benefit beyond lowering cholesterol: reducing the risk of developing blood clots in the veins. The study, published on the Web site of The New England Journal of Medicine and presented at an American College of Cardiology convention, found that relatively healthy people who took a potent statin were 43 percent less likely than those who took a placebo to get a blood clot known as venous thromboembolism. More

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Kills Five in China
from The Associated Press
Chinese health officials said that hand, foot and mouth disease has sickened 41,000 people across the country and killed 18 children so far this year. The outbreak appears more widespread than in recent years, based on previously released data, with around twice the number of people infected than during the same period last year. The disease typically strikes infants and children, and while occasionally deadly, most cases are mild with children recovering quickly after suffering little more than a fever and rash. More

Autism: New Clue to Earlier Detection
from WebMD
A surprise discovery is leading autism researchers at Yale University toward earlier detection and new therapies for children with autism ‒ possibly beginning in infancy. That discovery is all about key differences in what captures the attention of children with autism compared to other kids. Those differences are in place by the time kids are 2 years old and may start much younger, note the scientists, who included Ami Klin, PhD, and Warren Jones, PhD, of the Yale Child Study Center. More




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