Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Cystic Fibrosis Study Points to Potential Treatment

Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which the genetic defect underlying cystic fibrosis (CF) leads to fatal bacterial colonization of the lungs. The new findings, published today in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that an aerosol treatment aimed at balancing pH in lung cells could be developed to stave off or delay such infections.

The most common inherited lethal disorder in Caucasians, CF stems from mutations in a gene that

Gene may fend off prions

A gene may protect people against variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

People who lack a gene involved in immune responses may be three times more likely to suffer from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a new study suggests1. The result, if borne out in larger studies, could point researchers toward therapies for the incurable brain disease.

vCJD is thought to occur when people are exposed to misshapen prion proteins from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy – B

Bacteria make bandage glow

A microelectronic sensor may alert doctors to bacterial hazards.

Smart bandages could soon alert doctors to the presence of certain bacteria in a wound by glowing different colours. Researchers in the United States have created a tiny device that emits faint light of two colours in response to two types of bug 1 .

Benjamin Miller, of the University of Rochester in New York State, and colleagues hope that a refined sensor might ultimately generate an instant an

Study Elucidates Relationship Between "Parkinsonian Personality" and Dopamine

Scientists have long noted that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease commonly exhibit a specific personality type characterized by, among other things, a lower-than-average tendency to seek out new experiences. In explanation, investigators suggested that this trait was rooted in an inability to reap the pleasurable rewards of increased dopamine levels normally brought about by new stimuli because the disease destroys the neurotransmitter. Previous studies of personality and dopamine activi

Anthrax action shapes up

Researchers find two new leads for anti-anthrax drugs.

As fears over bioterrorism attacks spiral, researchers are making progress towards better anthrax drugs – but these are unlikely to reach the drugstore soon.

Of ten confirmed anthrax cases in the United States by Monday, four have been of the severe, inhaled form against which antibiotics often fail. By the time drugs destroy the bacteria responsible, Bacillus anthracis, the organisms have released enough lethal toxin t

Breast cancer screens scrutinised

Study questions whether mammography saves lives.

Breast-cancer screening programmes may not save lives, according to a new examination of clinical trials. The controversial findings have led to calls for a re-evaluation of the routine monitoring procedure undergone by numerous women.

Mammography, X-ray breast imaging, is used in Europe and the United States to catch cancers early. “We’ve based a national screening programme on a set of results which do not stand up to scrut

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