Australian Doctors Operate on Conjoined Twins Microparticles .pdf

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                        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-
ers say.
   The University of Adelaide study included more than 500
women whose diet and supplements were assessed during
                                                                    Lazy Eye
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.

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