Thursday, February 2, 2012
For the first time, scientists have tracked the activity, across the lifespan, of an environmentally responsive regulatory mechanism that turns genes on and off in the brain's executive hub. Among key findings of the study by National Institutes of Health scientists: genes implicated in schizophrenia and autism turn out to be members of a select club of genes in which regulatory activity peaks during an environmentally-sensitive critical period in development. The mechanism, called DNA methylation, abruptly switches from off to on within the human brain's prefrontal cortex during this pivotal transition from fetal to postnatal life. As methylation increases, gene expression slows down after birth.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues have identified how resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in red wine and other plant products, may confer its health benefits. The authors present evidence that resveratrol does not directly activate sirtuin 1, a protein associated with aging. Rather, the authors found that resveratrol inhibits certain types of proteins known as phosphodiesterases (PDEs), enzymes that help regulate cell energy.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
As part of American Heart Month, on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI's) The Heart Truth campaign, with the support of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), will showcase its signature event, the Red Dress Collection 2012 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. As part of its 10th anniversary this year, The Heart Truth has partnered with Million Hearts, a national initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Asian women who consumed an average of 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day — the equivalent of roughly two cups of coffee — had elevated estrogen levels when compared to women who consumed less, according to a study of reproductive age women by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. However, white women who consumed 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day had slightly lower estrogen levels than women who consumed less. Black women who consumed 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day were found to have elevated estrogen levels, but this result was not statistically significant.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Women who consumed a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy were at higher risk for gestational diabetes than women whose diets were lower in animal fat and cholesterol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes seen during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes increases the risk for certain pregnancy complications and health problems in the newborn.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
A new resource, Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask, will help individuals and families struggling with addiction ask the right questions before choosing a drug treatment program. It was developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is available to the public free online or in hard copy through NIDA's DrugPubs service (see press release for more information).
Friday, January 13, 2012
More than 32 million people in the United States have autoantibodies, which are proteins made by the immune system that target the body’s tissues and define a condition known as autoimmunity, a study shows. The first nationally representative sample looking at the prevalence of the most common type of autoantibody, known as antinuclear antibodies (ANA), found that the frequency of ANA is highest among women, older individuals, and African-Americans. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers in Gainesville at the University of Florida also participated.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
A new type of lab has been created to utilize near-atomic resolution microscopy and other structural biology technologies to help accelerate important medical discoveries relating to global health challenges, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The Living Lab Structural Biology Center was formed through a cooperative research and development agreement between the National Institutes of Health and FEI, Hillsboro, Ore., a scientific instruments company.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Since the discovery of the microscope, scientists have tried to visualize smaller and smaller structures to provide insights into the inner workings of human cells, bacteria and viruses. Now, researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed a new way to see structures within viruses that were not clearly seen before. Their findings are reported in the Jan. 13 issue of Science.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Children exposed to HIV before birth are at risk for language impairments, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. Moreover, children exposed to HIV before birth may benefit from routine screening for language impairment, even if they don’t have any obvious signs of a language problem, the researchers said.