Nov. 18, 2009 Teeth Grinding Treatment
A mild electric shock can help treat patients complaining of nighttime
teeth grinding, overcoming their daytime sleepiness.
News in Brief Chocolate Reduces Food-Borne Ills Have
Tiny Bubbles Clean
Stress Lasting Consequences
Eating dark chocolate every day can reduce stress, according to a study. More than just a bad bout of stomach flu, some food-borne illnesses can cause long-term
Oil From Water The study found that people who rated themselves highly stressed to begin with had consequences, especially for young people.
lower levels of stress hormones after eating chocolate every day for two weeks. Researchers at the Center for Food-Borne Illness Research & Prevention in Pennsylvania
A University of Utah engineer has developed an inex- Subjects in the study ate 1.4 ounces (40 g) of dark chocolate daily, or a little less than a studied the five most common food-borne diseases and found they can cause life-long com-
pensive new method to remove oil sheen from water by regular-sized Hershey’s bar, which contains 1.55 ounces (44 g), LiveScience recorded. plications, including kidney failure, paralysis, seizures, hearing or visual impairments and
repeatedly pressurizing and depressurizing ozone gas, The doctors took urine and blood plasma samples from the participants at the beginning, mental retardation, Reuters reported.
creating microscopic bubbles that attack the oil so it can halfway through and at the end of the two-week study, and found lower levels of the stress Since 2006, outbreaks of the illness among Americans have been linked to peanuts, pep-
be removed by sand filters. hormones cortisol and catecholamines in the samples at the end. pers, ground beef, spinach and other common foods.
Small amounts of oil leave a fluorescent sheen on pol- The study was small, however--just 30 people--so further research is needed to verify Diarrhea and vomiting are the most common symptoms of food-borne illness, and typi-
luted water. Oil sheen is hard to remove, even when the the results. cally last only a few days. But in 2 to 3 percent of cases, food-borne disease can cause serious
water is aerated with ozone or filtered through sand, “The daily consumption of dark chocolate resulted in a significant modification of the long-term health problems, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
Physorg reported. metabolism of healthy and free living human volunteers with potential long-term conse- In addition to diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, campylobacter
“We are not trying to treat the entire hydrocarbon [oil] quences on human health within only 2 weeks treatment,” the researchers wrote in the infection can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, the most common cause of paralysis in the
content in the water--to turn it into carbon dioxide and paper. United States. It can also trigger arthritis, heart infections and blood infections.
water--but we are converting it into a form that can be “This was observable through the reduction of levels of stress-associated hormones and E. coli O157:H7 infection can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, the leading cause of
retained by sand filtration, which is a conventional and normalization of the systemic stress metabolic signatures.” acute kidney failure in children in the United States. Listeria has been linked with infections
economical process,” says Andy Hong, a professor of The study adds to a growing body of research showing that certain elements in choco- of the brain and spinal cord, resulting in serious neurological dysfunctions or death. It kills
civil and environmental engineering. late--such as antioxidants called polyphenols--can have helpful health benefits. about 1 in 5 people. Salmonella bacteria can cause reactive arthritis, a painful form of arthri-
In laboratory experiments, Hong demonstrated that Previous studies found chocolate can help fight heart disease and reduce the chances of tis that can interfere with work and quality of life. And infants whose mothers were infected
pressure-assisted ozonation and sand filtration effec- developing cancer. Of course, moderation is key. Since most chocolate products contain with toxoplamosis, caused by a food-borne parasite, can develop mental retardation, crossed-
tively remove oil droplets dispersed in water, indicating fat and sugar, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. eyes and in some cases blindness in one or both eyes.
it could be used to prevent oil sheen from wastewater
discharged into coastal waters.
Iranians Help Treat
Hong says the method also could be used to clean a
variety of pollutants in water and even soil.
Folic Acid Late in Pregnancy
Problematic for Kids
Children born to women who take folic acid in late preg-
nancy are at increased risk for asthma, Australian research-
The University of Adelaide study included more than 500
women whose diet and supplements were assessed during
pregnancy. The women’s children were checked for asthma
at age 3.5 years and at 5.5 years. he software known as Optosys is succeeded in improving the eyesight of
Asthma was found in 11.6 percent of children at 3.5 years designed by Iranian experts to treat 30 patients out of 43 in 2009.
and in 11.8 percent of children at 5.5 years, lazy eye or amblyopia. “Among these cases, even patients
HealthDay reported. Dr. Ibrahim Jafarzadehpour, the de- above the age of 9 have completely im-
“In our study, supplemental folic acid in signer, told ISNA the software helps treat proved eyesight due to the continuous
late pregnancy was associated with an in- lazy eye through exercises and activation use of the software, while experts believe
creased risk of asthma in children, but there of systems affected by amblyopia. treatment after this age is very weak.
was no evidence to suggest any adverse ef- “In the visual system, there are two Lazy eye is a disorder of the visual sys-
fects if supplements were taken in early preg- main and parallel mechanisms for tem, which is characterized by poor or in-
nancy,” Michael Davies, the university, said. processing visual information (Parvo and distinct vision in an eye that is otherwise
The researchers also said they found no Magno). The mechanisms in a lazy eye physically normal, or out of proportion to
association between asthma and dietary are affected differently, hence activation associated structural abnormalities. De-
folate, which is found in green, leafy veg- of the Parvo system will increase the ef- tecting the condition in early childhood
etables, certain fruits and nuts. fectiveness of treatment. Appropriate and increases the chances of successful treat-
Pregnant women are advised to take a targeted stimulation of Magno system for ment.
supplemental dose of 400 micrograms of treating the disease, in some circumstanc- Amblyopia is a developmental prob-
folic acid per day in the month before and es, will also be needed,” he said. lem in the brain, not an organic problem
during the first trimester of pregnancy to reduce the risk of The traditional treatment of lazy eye in the eye (although organic problems
neural tube birth defects. is to close the healthy eye in order to in- can induce amblyopia that persists af-
“Our study supports these guidelines, as we found no in- crease the vigilance of the lazy eye. This ter the organic problem has resolved).
creased risk of asthma if folic acid supplements were taken does not activate the two systems. The part of the brain corresponding to
in pre- or early pregnancy,” Davies said. “However, these Referring to the trial performance of the visual system from the affected eye
guidelines may need to be expanded to include recommen- the project since 2005, Jafarzadehpour is not stimulated properly and develops
dations about avoiding use of high-dose supplemental folic said the experimental use of the software abnormally.
acid in late pregnancy.”
Plant Experts Unveil DNA Barcode Australian Doctors Operate on Conjoined Twins
Hundreds of experts from 50 nations are set to agree on a
“DNA barcode” system that gives every plant on Earth a A team of Australian surgeons were working on tors were first working to remove the bone at the
unique genetic fingerprint. Monday on a delicate and complicated surgery to back half of the girls’ heads.
The technology will be used in a number of ways, includ- separate twin sisters who are joined at the top of the “It is a stressful time for any group of surgeons
ing identifying the illegal trade in endangered species, BBC head. with this sort of case,” Holmes told reporters.
reported. The two-year-old Bangladeshi orphans, Trishna “They only come along really once in a lifetime
The data will be stored on a global database that will be and Krishna, share parts of their skull, brain tissue and I think everybody has been on tenterhooks. We
available to scientists around the world. and blood flow, AP reported. have had a few ups and downs with these children
“Barcoding is a tool to identify species faster, more cheaply Doctors expected the operation, which began on because of medical problems.”
and more precisely than traditional methods, “ explained Pa- Monday morning, to take at least 16 hours, with a The girls were brought to Australia in 2007 by
tricia Escalante, head of the Zoology Department at Mexico’s team of 16 surgeons and nurses. the Children First Foundation and have already had
National University (UNAM). “I am cautiously optimistic,” plastic surgeon Tony several operations in preparation for separation.
In an effort to limit the impact on the planet’s biodiversity, Holmes said after the surgery began. Doctors say the chance of a successful separa-
Dr Escalante said it is vital to establish a reliable monitoring Holmes said the girls were sedated Sunday night tion is 25 percent. There is a 50-percent chance
system. and that an angiogram was performed to take a final the girls will suffer brain damage and a 25-percent
“We need an accurate inventory,” she observed, “to rec- look at the blood vessels before the operation. Doc- chance one of the sisters will die.
ognize parasites of medical, economic or ecological impor-
Mexican researchers, she added, were involved in a net-
work to produce barcodes in key taxonomic groups such as
trees, fungi, bees and aquatic insects.
“Biodiversity scientists are using DNA technology to un-
Microparticles Deliver Antioxidant Enzyme
ravel mysteries, much like detectives use it to solve crimes,” Researchers at Emory University and enough in the body to have any benefi- als encase the enzyme and are taken containing particles to treat mice engi-
said David Schindel, executive secretary for the Consortium the Georgia Institute of Technology cial effects. up by cells within the heart. There the neered to have a deficiency in SOD in
for the Barcode of Life. have developed microscopic polymer “Our goal is to have a therapy to particles slowly release the enzyme. the lung.
beads that can deliver an antioxidant blunt the permanent damage of a heart The microparticles break down into Although the SOD particles had a
enzyme made naturally by the body attack and reduce the probability of nontoxic components in the body--an protective effect when the heart was
NeuroStar Depression Therapy into the heart. heart failure later in life,” Michael advantage over other biodegradable examined three days after the simulat-
Injecting the enzyme-containing Davis from Georgia Tech and Emory polymers like PLGA (polylactic-co- ed heart attack, the beneficial effects
NeuroStar has developed a therapy called particles into rats’ hearts after a simu- University says. “This is a way to get glycolic acid), already approved for weren’t as strong three weeks later.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation that lated heart attack reduced the number extra amounts of a beneficial antioxi- use in sutures and grafts. When poly- The rats’ hearts still had a 35-percent
applies short pulses of magnetic fields to of dying cells and resulted in improved dant protein to the cells that need it.” mers such as PLGA are made into par- improvement compared to untreated
stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain heart function days later, ScienceDaily The simulated heart attacks caused ticles for drug delivery, they can in- animals, Davis says.
thought to control mood. reported. a 20-percent decrease in the ability of duce inflammation. Combining them with microparti-
You lay back in a chair that looks far too The enzyme in the particles, called the rats’ hearts to pump blood that was Davis and his colleagues have also cles containing the anti-inflammatory
much like a dental chair, and remain alert superoxide dismutase (SOD), soaks up completely prevented by the particles, used the polyketal microparticles to drugs proved to provide an additional
while being treated. toxic free radicals produced when cells he says. encase anti-inflammatory drugs. This boost.
Each session lasts a little over half an are deprived of blood during a heart at- The particles are made of a material is the first report on the antioxidant “This is likely because it is impor-
hour, and it is recommended that patients tack. Previously, scientists have tried called polyketals, developed by Niren enzyme-containing particles’ use in a tant to scavenge free radicals at early
receive 20-30 treatments over a 4-6 week period, IdeaCon- injecting SOD by itself into injured an- Murthy, PhD, assistant professor of model of heart attack. time points, but inflammation becomes
nection reported. imals, but it doesn’t seem to last long Georgia Tech and Emory. The polyket- The scientists have also used SOD- more important later on,” he says.