Brain abnormalities mapped in autistic children
November 29, 2007 09:50 AM - Reuters

Autistic children have more gray matter in areas of the brain that control social processing and sight-based learning than children without the developmental disability, a small study said on Wednesday.

Researchers combined two sophisticated imaging techniques to track the motion of water molecules in the brain and pinpoint small changes in gray matter volume in 13 boys with high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome and 12 healthy adolescents. Their average age was 11.

Manure Management Reduces Levels of Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance Genes
November 29, 2007 08:36 AM - American Society of Agronomy

Antibiotic resistance is a growing human health concern. Researchers around the globe have found antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals to be present in surface waters and sediments, municipal wastewater, animal manure lagoons, and underlying groundwater. In a recent article in the November-December issue of Journal of Environmental Quality, researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) describe a study to find out if animal waste contributes to the spread of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG), and if they can be reduced by appropriate manure management practices.

Researcher develops realistic cancer growth models
November 29, 2007 08:17 AM - Anne Ju -Cornell Chronicle

Scientists can only develop new cancer drugs or search for cures by testing their theories on the real thing. Traditionally, they've done so by culturing cancer cells on petri dishes or plastic slides. But those cancer cells do not behave the way they do in the body. They only partially re-create the aggressive behavior of tumors in real patients.

That is the problem that drives Claudia Fischbach-Teschl, Cornell assistant professor of biomedical engineering, whose lab creates realistic experimental tumor models, which may then lead to better drug therapies or even a cure.

Wild birds not ruled out as UK bird flu source
November 29, 2007 07:39 AM - Reuters

It also said no evidence had been found so far that infected poultry or poultry products may have been the cause.

HIV/AIDS discrimination widespread in China: U.N.
November 28, 2007 05:49 AM - Reuters

Subinay Nandy, China country director for the U.N. Development Programme, said China had done a "tremendous job" implementing anti-HIV/AIDS discrimination policies and legislation but enduring misconceptions were stopping sufferers from seeking treatment.

Cancer-resistant mouse discovered
November 27, 2007 08:55 AM - University of Kentucky

A mouse resistant to cancer, even highly-aggressive types, has been created by researchers at the University of Kentucky. The breakthrough stems from a discovery by UK College of Medicine professor of radiation medicine Vivek Rangnekar and a team of researchers who found a tumor-suppressor gene called "Par-4" in the prostate.

The researchers discovered that the Par-4 gene kills cancer cells, but not normal cells. There are very few molecules that specifically fight against cancer cells, giving it a potentially therapeutic application.

High glycemic index diet may boost diabetes risk
November 27, 2007 08:30 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regular consumption of foods with a high glycemic index appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in African-American and Chinese women, according to the results of two studies published Monday.

Glycemic index refers to how rapidly a food causes blood sugar to rise. High-glycemic index foods, like white bread and potatoes, tend to spur a quick surge in blood sugar, while low-glycemic index foods, such as lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains, create a more gradual increase in blood sugar.

Global Fund head sees progress in malaria fight
November 27, 2007 07:56 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Malaria is fading as a major public health problem in certain African countries where the killer disease is endemic, the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Tuesday.

Michel Kazatchkine, Global Fund executive director, said that malaria mortality rates for children under the age of five had dropped by more than 50 percent in areas of Tanzania and Eritrea in the last five years.

Study sees rise in imaging exams for pregnant women
November 27, 2007 05:44 AM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Pregnant women are receiving more high-tech imaging exams, exposing their babies to higher doses of radiation than a decade ago, a study said on Tuesday.

While the levels of radiation exposure are low, they carry a slight risk of harm to the developing fetus, said study author Elizabeth Lazarus, a professor of diagnostic imaging at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

EU, U.S. regulators ease process for orphan drugs
November 26, 2007 01:47 PM - Reuters

The European Commission, the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they have adopted a common application form for drugmakers seeking orphan designation for their medicines.

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