Health & Wellness
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 21:35 CST
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine says the drug eltrombopag appears to significantly boost platelet counts in hepatitis C patients.
A low blood platelet count is a frequent complication associated with advanced disease, a problem compounded by the fact that standard antiviral treatment for the disease can further reduce platelet numbers to dangerously low levels, Dr. Samuel Sigal of Weill Cornell Medical College said Friday in a release.
Sigal said tests show eltrombopag increased platelet counts, allowing more patients to complete antiviral therapy.
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 19:11 CST
When thoughts of death intrude, the human mind isn't paralyzed with negativity or fear. Instead, the brain instinctively moves toward happier notions and images, a new study suggests.
The finding supports the notion that people are stronger, emotionally, when faced with their own or a loved one's death than they may have ever thought possible.
"It again speaks to how resilient humans are and how this tendency to cope with threats is some sort of indicator of mental health," said study co-author Nathan DeWall, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.
DeWall and co-researcher Roy Baumeister, of Florida State University, published their findings in a recent issue of Psychological Science.
Meredith F. Small
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 19:06 CST
Next time the baby shoots you a dirty look, it might not be gas. Instead, the baby might be really disgusted by your behavior.
Interpersonal interaction is a major survival feature of the human species and so it's not surprising that we come hard-wired with the mental power to track relationships. The big news is that we also start very early to track how others play out those rules, even when the interaction has nothing to do with us.
Babies have far more social smarts than we give them credit for. For instance, research on babies has shown for years that they recognize and prefer a human face. Put a Picasso face arrangement - with eyes where the nose should be - in their line of vision and babies look away in disgust. But present them with a real face or a picture of a real face, and they are captivated. Also, as early as 3 weeks of age, a baby can tell the difference between an object and a person, and they prefer the person.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 16:18 CST
Flag waving is a metaphor for stirring up the public towards adopting a more nationalistic, generally hard-line stance. Indeed, "rally 'round the flag" is a venerable expression of this phenomenon.
It comes as some surprise, then, that studies conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have shown that exposing people to a subliminal image of the national flag had just the opposite fact -- moderating their political attitudes.
Further, the researchers say that their studies indicate that, in general, subliminal messages -- that is, messages that are processed by our brains but never reach our consciousness - do indeed influence explicit attitudes and real-life political behavior, a significant extension to what we know about the effects of non-conscious processes.
The studies, led by cognitive scientist Dr. Ran Hassin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Psychology Department, show that the subliminal presentation of a national symbol affects not only political attitudes, but also voting intentions and actual voting in general elections.
In an article in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Hassin reported on a set of experiments that examined the effects of the subliminal presentation of the national flag. The experiments involved over 300 participants who were recruited on the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University.
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 15:51 CST
Highly publicized events such as school shootings arouse public interest in the effects of media violence exposure on children, yet there is still considerable public debate about whether to take this issue seriously. A recent article in Social Issues and Policy Review summarizes the research on the effects of media violence and convincingly demonstrates the profound influence that media violence is having in our society.
The many studies that have been compiled on the effects of viewing media violence show that there are at least 14 scientifically documented effects on children's physiological and psychological well-being, both in the short and long term. Although many different types of studies have been conducted, they converge on the same conclusion: Violent media exposure increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior. Video games are of special concern because their effects may be particularly pronounced.
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 10:13 CST
A feisty breed of terrier could stop scientists from barking up the wrong tree as they research a deadly lung disease in humans.
The illness, called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), affects 128,000 Americans, is typically fatal within three years of diagnosis, and kills more than 40,000 people in the United States annually -- a death toll equivalent to that of breast cancer.
A fatal condition that looks remarkably like IPF also strikes the diminutive West Highland White terrier ("Westie"), however. And recently, medical scientists from the human and veterinarian worlds met for the first time to share information and pool resources against a mysterious killer.
"People may be a little startled at first to learn about this idea -- 'You're kidding me, you actually think there's promise in studying this dog to help my Dad with this disease?' And the answer is -- 'Yes'," said Mark Shreve, chief operating officer of the patient advocacy group Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, based in San Jose, Calif.
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 05:12 CST
Hanoi, Vietnam - Baffled scientists first watched a mysterious virus called H5N1 jump from birds to humans a decade ago in Hong Kong, killing six people and forcing the territory to slaughter its entire poultry population. It quieted for a while, but resurfaced in 2003 with even more questions.
Jeremy W. Peters
The New York Times
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 04:06 CST
Trenton - An H.I.V. test is about to become as routine as an ultrasound for pregnant women in New Jersey.
Under a bill signed into law on Wednesday, all pregnant women in the state will be tested for the virus as part of their prenatal care unless they object. The law also requires testing for newborns if the H.I.V. status of the mother is unknown.
Medical News Today
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 03:55 CST
The father of Javona Peters, a 16-year old girl who went into coma after an operation to relieve pressure on her brain, has gone to Bronx Supreme Court for a decision on whether to take her off life support - the case is set for January 7th.
Thu, 27 Dec 2007 11:49 CST
Childhood milk and egg allergies may be more persistent and harder to outgrow than they were a generation ago, U.S. researchers report.