Rural microbes could boost city dwellers’ health

Main Points:

The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper.

Published in:

Clinical & Experimental Immunology

Study Further:

The article, published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Immunology, argues that people living in urban centers who have less access to green spaces may be more apt to have chronic inflammation, a condition caused by immune system dysfunction.

When our immune systems are working properly, they trigger inflammation to fight off dangerous infections, but the inflammation disappears when the infection is gone. However, a breakdown in immune system function can cause a low level of inflammation to persist indefinitely. Such chronic inflammation can cause a host of health disorders.

“Chronic inflammation can lead to all kinds of problems from irritable bowel syndrome to asthma to allergies and even depression,” said Christopher Lowry, an associate professor in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Integrative Physiology and a co-author of the paper. “The rise of chronic inflammation and these associated disorders, especially among people living in the cities of developed countries, is troubling.”

The two other article co-authors are Graham Rook of UCL (University College London) and Charles Raison of the University of Arizona. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - April 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

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Mysteries of a Nearby Planetary System’s Dynamics now are solved

An illustration of the orbital distances and relative sizes of the four innermost planets known to orbit the star 55 Cancri A (bottom) in comparison with planets in own inner solar system (top). Both Jupiter and the Jupiter-mass planet 55 Cancri “d” are outside this picture, orbiting their host star with a distance of nearly 5 astronomical units (AU), where one AU is equal to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. (Credit: Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, Penn State University.)

An illustration of the orbital distances and relative sizes of the four innermost planets known to orbit the star 55 Cancri A (bottom) in comparison with planets in own inner solar system (top). Both Jupiter and the Jupiter-mass planet 55 Cancri “d” are outside this picture, orbiting their host star with a distance of nearly 5 astronomical units (AU), where one AU is equal to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. (Credit: Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, Penn State University.)

Main Points:

Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study, which presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets — the star named 55 Cancri — was led by Penn State University graduate student Benjamin Nelson in collaboration with faculty at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State and five astronomers at other institutions in the United States and Germany. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 2:00 am

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Stillbirth may be associated with both severely restricted and excessive fetal growth

Main Point:

When several factors are accounted for, stillbirth may be associated with both severely restricted and excessive fetal growth, according to a study by US researchers published in this week’s PLOS Medicine.

Published in:

PLOS Medicine

Study Further:

Radek Bukowski and colleagues from the NICHD Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network investigated the fetal growth abnormalities associated with stillbirth using a new approach developed by the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network to estimate gestational age.

Using this approach the authors investigated all the stillbirths, and a sample of live births, which occurred over 2 and a half years at 59 hospitals in five US regions.

Read more…

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Specialized Ambulance Improves Treatment Time For Stroke

Main Points:

Using an ambulance that included a computed tomography (CT) scanner, point-of-care laboratory, telemedicine connection and a specialized prehospital stroke team resulted in decreased time to treatment for ischemic stroke, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Published in:

JAMA

Study Further:

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability. In acute ischemic stroke, thrombolysis (dissolving of blood clots) using intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the treatment of choice after excluding bleeding in the brain by imaging. Past studies have shown time-dependent benefits of tPA, with early treatment associated with better outcomes. Apart from delayed patient presentation, management inside and outside of the hospital contributes to treatment delays. Recent data from the United States indicate that less than 30 percent of patients have a door-to-needle time for receiving tPA within the recommended 60 minutes. A recent study reported time-savings for 12 tPA administrations performed in a special ambulance with a CT scanner and laboratory. Little is known about the overall effects of specialized ambulances for treating patients with stroke, according to background information in the article.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 1:00 am

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Study Examines Effectiveness of Two Medications for Treating Epileptic Seizures In Children

Main Points:

Although some studies have suggested that the drug lorazepam may be more effective or safer than the drug diazepam in treating a type of epileptic seizures among children, a randomized trial finds that lorazepam is not better at stopping seizures compared to diazepam, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Published in:

JAMA

Study Further:

Status epilepticus is a prolonged epileptic seizure or seizures that occurs approximately 10,000 times in children annually in the United States. Rapid control of status epilepticus is essential to avoid permanent injury and life-threatening complications such as respiratory failure. The Food and Drug Administration has approved diazepam, but not lorazepam, for the treatment of status epilepticus in children. Studies involving lorazepam have shown mixed results, according to background information in the article.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by saypeople - at 1:00 am

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