Your healthcare news library

Archive for August, 2013

Grid Diary

Grid Diary – The simplest way to get started with keeping a diary (3.5 stars with 126 User Ratings) 
iPhone App 
$2.99 → Free 

 

 

griddiary

Grid Diary is a simple diary with a very easy to navigate interface that offers a unique way to encourage you to write. The diary will ask you questions that give your memory a good kick in the behind to get started on your writing. This gives you that extra bit of edge in recording the best moment of your day. Grid Diary can also motivate you to complete goals you set by asking questions such as what goals have you accomplished today or set three small goals for tomorrow. Once you’ve written some entries, you can search through your past entries via a keyword search functionality, and see everything laid out on a calendar grid so you can jump to specific days. If you want to keep spying eyes out, Grid Diary also features a passcode function. Whether you like writing a diary or not, Grid Diary is worth seeing if it can help.

via Best Free Apps of the Day on 8/29. Photo Manager Pro, iClean, Grid Diary, & More! | App Chronicles.

Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

black-bottom-peanut-butter-mousse-pie
INGREDIENTS

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

7 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 1/3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)

2/3 cup plus 1 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream, divided

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

6 ounces (1 cup) peanut butter chips

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)

PREPARATION

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips, 2/3 cup cream, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium heat until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Whisk until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of crust. Freeze 10 minutes.
  • Microwave peanut butter chips and 3/4 cup cream in large microwave-safe bowl on medium heat at 15-second intervals just until chips soften, stirring often. Whisk in peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool to barely lukewarm. Beat remaining 1 cup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until very thick but not yet holding peaks; fold into peanut butter mixture in 3 additions. Spoon mousse over chocolate layer. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

via Black-Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse Pie – Bon Appétit.

Malaria researchers propose targeting breeding sites

_69532083_8322cc2f-43cb-41c7-920d-8b2162c38527
Mosquitoes are increasingly resistant to insecticides

 

A new report says targeting mosquito breeding sites is likely to be increasingly necessary to reduce cases of malaria in Africa and Asia.

Researchers say that with mosquitoes becoming ever more resistant to insecticides, new approaches will be needed to help control the disease.

They include flushing out stagnant water where mosquito larvae grow and treating water with chemicals.

More than 600,000 people died from the malaria in 2010, most African children.

The number of deaths from malaria has fallen by a quarter in the last decade, largely thanks to the widespread distribution of mosquito nets treated with insecticides and the use of indoor insecticides sprays.

But the insects are becoming increasingly resistant to these chemicals, so a new report by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says authorities should also use a method called “larval source management”.

This is where mosquito larvae found in stagnant water like paddy fields or ditches are killed off by draining or flushing the land before they get a chance to develop. It also involves something called larviciding where chemicals are added to standing water.

The study found evidence that the method may significantly reduce both the number of cases of malaria by up to 75% and the proportion of people infected with the malaria parasite by up to 90% when used in appropriate settings.

The report’s authors trawled through thousands of studies looking at the effectiveness of this method and found 13 which reached a high enough standard to draw their conclusions. The research came from countries including The Gambia, Kenya, Mali and the Philippines.

The report’s author Lucy Tusting says the findings have important implications for malaria control policy

“The tremendous progress made in malaria control in the last decade is now threatened by mosquito resistance to the insecticides available for long-lasting insecticide treated nets and indoor residual spraying.” she says

“Thus additional methods are needed to target malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.

Our research shows that larval source management could be an effective supplementary intervention in some places.”

The World Health Organization says the research is not robust enough to support this method, and it is not recommended for use in rural areas where breeding grounds are hard to find.

A WHO spokesperson said: “Until there is more compelling evidence, larval control should continue to be viewed as a supplementary measure for malaria control in carefully selected settings. Promoting the widespread use of larval source management in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa would be premature.”

The WHO says larval source management should only be used alongside insecticide sprays and nets.

via BBC News – Malaria researchers propose targeting breeding sites.

Bullied mice overcome anxiety after light treatment

_69518156_69518155
Neurons were found (green) which inhibited the release of serotonin (red)

Scientists have discovered the neurons that can lead mice to become socially anxious when they are bullied.

These neurons inhibit the release of serotonin, the deficiency of which is linked to social disorders.

The team was able to “switch off” these neurons which made the mice resilient to bullying.

The work is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, and could give insight into how similar structures in humans function.

Olivier Berton at the University of Pennsylvania medical school, US, said his paper provided a novel understanding at the cellular level, of how social defensiveness developed in a mouse.


How anxiety affects social cues

  • Our brains have evolved to pick up important social cues from others, which in turn helps us anticipate threat and to avoid potentially undesirable interactions
  • But when social affective disorders such as anxiety and depression are present, these appraisal systems no longer function as they should
  • Previous studies have shown that decreasing levels of serotonin in the brain leads both healthy and those with social deficits to perceive neutral faces to be more hostile. When given anti-depressants this is reversed
  • There are numerous areas of the brain that are known to relate to social disorders but at the cellular level there remains much to be discovered, which this new work aims to do

Source: Olivier Berton and colleagues

Dr Berton and colleagues exposed 54 mice to negative social experiences from aggressive, territorial mice and found that more than half were defeated by bullies, which made them anxious.

The neurons responsible for emitting serotonin consequently became less responsive.

Resilient mice

The team identified that a class of GABA neurons (gamma aminobutyric acid – the neurotransmitters which inhibit other cells) were next to the neurons which released serotonin.

It was these GABA neurons that were putting a “brake” on the serotonin being released.

Using optogenetics, a technique which can make individual neurons respond to light, the team was able to switch off these neighbouring GABA neurons which made the mice resilient to bullying.

After the GABA neurons had been deactivated, it changed the way mice perceived a social threat and therefore prevented them becoming socially anxious.

“We are removing the brake from serotonin neurons and they are then able to fire normally,” explained Dr Berton.

A mouse receiving inhibition while in sensory contact with an aggressor
The team was able to switch off neurons using a technique called optogenetics

Finding the function of these GABA neurons could now help scientists understand why current antidepressants do not work for everyone and targeting these neurons could improve medication, he added.

“It could help us understand the basis of similar social symptoms in human pathologies, like social phobias and depression.”

Dr Berton explained that while there has been much progress made indentifying regions of the brain involved in social disorders, more needs to be done to learn about the cellular level of the brain.

“This work may give us a stepping stone to extrapolate about how this is happening in the human brain,” he told BBC News.

Lynn Kerby of the Temple University School of Medicine, Philadephia, US, was not involved with the research.

She said the study could give “significant insight” into the behaviours that contributed to social stress in humans.

“If there was a way to control these circuits in the human brain with the cellular precision used in the mice in this study, the results suggest that we might be able to promote adaptive behavioural responses to stress.

“Though exciting to imagine, whether such manipulations will ever be available or practical for use to treat human psychiatric diseases in the future, remains to be seen.”

via BBC News – Bullied mice overcome anxiety after light treatment.

Protein clue to old-age memory loss

_69535282_c0151930-white_matter_fibres_and_brain,_artwork-spl
Why does memory decline in old age?

A clue to why memory deteriorates with age has been found by US researchers.

Experiments on mice suggested low levels of a protein in the brain may be responsible for memory loss.

It is hoped the discovery could lead to treatments to reverse forgetfulness, but it is a big leap from the mouse to a human brain.

The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, said age-related memory loss was a separate condition to Alzheimer’s disease.

The team at Columbia University Medical Centre started by analysing the brains of eight dead people, aged between 22 and 88, who had donated their organ for medical research.

They found 17 genes whose activity level differed with age. One contained instructions for making a protein called RbAp48, which became less active with time.

Memory boost

Young mice genetically engineered to have low RbAp48 levels performed as poorly as much older mice in memory tests.

Using a virus to boost RbAp48 in older mice appeared to reverse the decline and boosted their memory.

One of the researchers, Prof Eric Kandel, said: “The fact that we were able to reverse age-related memory loss in mice is very encouraging.

“At the very least, it shows that this protein is a major factor, and it speaks to the fact that age-related memory loss is due to a functional change in neurons of some sort. Unlike with Alzheimer’s, there is no significant loss of neurons.”

It is still not know what impacted adjusting levels of RbAp48 in the far more complex human brain or even it if is possible to manipulate levels safely.

Dr Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “While the findings may seem clear cut from these studies, in reality people reaching older age may well have a combination of changes happening in the brain – both age-related and those involved in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

“Separating early changes in Alzheimer’s from age-related memory decline in the clinic still presents a challenge, but understanding more about the mechanisms of each process will drive progress in this area.”

via BBC News – Protein clue to old-age memory loss.

Miniature ‘human brain’ grown in lab

_69521015_image42
Cross-section of miniature human brains termed cerebral organoids

Miniature “human brains” have been grown in a lab in a feat scientists hope will transform the understanding of neurological disorders.

The pea-sized structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old foetus, but are incapable of thought.

The study, published in the journal Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases.

Neuroscientists have described the findings as astounding and fascinating.

The human brain is one of the most complicated structures in the universe.

Scientists at Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have now reproduced some of the earliest stages of the organ’s development in the laboratory.

Brain bath

They used either embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells to produce the part of an embryo that develops into the brain and spinal cord – the neuroectoderm.

This was placed in tiny droplets of gel to give a scaffold for the tissue to grow and was placed into a spinning bioreactor, a nutrient bath that supplies nutrients and oxygen.

Brain
A cerebral organoid – the brown pigments are a developing retina

 

The cells were able to grow and organise themselves into separate regions of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex, the retina, and, rarely, an early hippocampus, which would be heavily involved in memory in a fully developed adult brain.

The researchers are confident that this closely, but far from perfectly, matches brain development in a foetus until the nine week stage.

The tissues reached their maximum size, about 4mm (0.1in), after two months.

The “mini-brains” have survived for nearly a year, but did not grow any larger. There is no blood supply, just brain tissue, so nutrients and oxygen cannot penetrate into the middle of the brain-like structure.

One of the researchers, Dr Juergen Knoblich, said: “What our organoids are good for is to model development of the brain and to study anything that causes a defect in development.

“Ultimately we would like to move towards more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. They typically manifest themselves only in adults, but it has been shown that the underlying defects occur during the development of the brain.”

The technique could also be used to replace mice and rats in drug research as new treatments could be tested on actual brain tissue.


I think it’s just mindboggling”

Prof Paul MatthewsImperial College London

‘Mindboggling’

Researchers have been able to produce brain cells in the laboratory before, but this is the closest any group has come to building a human brain.

The breakthrough has excited the field.

Prof Paul Matthews, from Imperial College London, told the BBC: “I think it’s just mindboggling. The idea that we can take a cell from a skin and turn it into, even though it’s only the size of a pea, is starting to look like a brain and starting to show some of the behaviours of a tiny brain, I think is just extraordinary.

“Now it’s not thinking, it’s not communicating between the areas in the way our brains do, but it gives us a real start and this is going to be the kind of tool that helps us understand many of the major developmental brain disorders.”

The team has already used the breakthrough to investigate a disease called microcephaly. People with the disease develop much smaller brains.

Brain with microcephaly
A much smaller brain develops with microcephaly

By creating a “mini-brain” from skin cells of a patient with this condition, the team were able to study how development changed.


It’s a long way from conscience or awareness or responding to the outside world. There’s always the spectre of what the future might hold, but this is primitive territory”

Dr Zameel CaderJohn Radcliffe Hospital

They showed that the cells were too keen to become neurons by specialising too early. It meant the cells in the early brain did not bulk up to a high enough number before specialising, which affected the final size of even the pea-sized “mini-brains”.

The team in Vienna do not believe there are any ethical issues at this stage, but Dr Knoblich said he did not want to see much larger brains being developed as that would be “undesirable”.

Dr Zameel Cader, a consultant neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, said he did not see ethical issues arising from the research so far.

He told the BBC: “It’s a long way from conscience or awareness or responding to the outside world. There’s always the spectre of what the future might hold, but this is primitive territory.”

The “mini brain” is roughly the size and developmental level of a nine-week foetus

Dr Martin Coath, from the cognition institute at Plymouth University, said: “Any technique that gives us ‘something like a brain’ that we can modify, work on, and watch as it develops, just has to be exciting.

“If the authors are right – that their ‘brain in a bottle’ develops in ways that mimic human brain development – then the potential for studying developmental diseases is clear. But the applicability to other types of disease is not so clear – but it has potential.

“Testing drugs is, also, much more problematic. Most drugs that affect the brain act on things like mood, perception, control of your body, pain, and a whole bunch of other things. This brain-like-tissue has no trouble with any of these things yet.”

via BBC News – Miniature ‘human brain’ grown in lab.

檳城‧蚊症病例飆升18區亮紅燈‧一起防毒蚊

455x310.2013.08.29.p828e02
阿菲夫說,相比去年同期,今年的骨痛熱症病例狂飆。(圖:星洲日報)

年初至今已有482宗病例,2人死亡,上週25人患病;州內18區亮紅燈,有關地區的居民受促提高警惕。

檳州衛生事務委員會主席阿菲夫昨日(28日)在檳州首席部長林冠英及其他行政議員的陪同下召開新聞發佈會。

阿菲夫說,相比去年同期,今年的骨痛熱症病例狂飆,不幸患病死亡的人是一名來自峇央峇魯區的1歲嬰孩及一名來自喬治市的79歲年長者,死亡案例發生在今年6月。

阿菲夫:人口移動提高傳染率
開齋節後病例突增

阿菲夫說,病例在開齋節後突然增加,今年第三十三週,共有18宗病例,第三十四週則有25宗病例。

他認為,這是由於開齋節時有人口大量移動,而增高了傳染率,佳節時期也缺乏清潔活動。

他說,這一週的骨痛熱症熱點是西南區的斯里德里瑪組屋(Flat Sri Delima)和東北區的雙溪檳榔第一條路(Lebuh Sungai Pinang1)。檳州衛生局也圈下了另18個骨痛熱症熱點,這地區的居民在未來一週內需格外小心,若身體出現骨痛熱症狀,就需馬上到醫院檢血斷定。

拉昔:每月至少一次
各區鄉委會須辦大掃除

檳州第一副首長拉昔說,鄉委會事務由他掌管,他將下令各區共291個鄉委會每個月至少要舉辦一次大型清潔活動。

他說,鄉委會需關注此事,並與檳州衛生局緊密合作,帶動社區居民一起對抗骨痛熱症;其中一個方式就是在住宅區進行清潔活動,消滅黑斑蚊的溫床(積水處)。

阿菲夫表示,檳州衛生局已準備了滅蚊藥,公眾可以自行領取,該局也將在黑區噴蚊霧。

即起徵免費乳房檢查計劃書

阿菲夫說,州政府即日起向私人醫院和診所徵求“免費乳房檢查”計劃書,9月30日截止。

他說,州政府將提供“免費乳房檢查”給州內女性,並準備提供交通工具載送女性前往接受檢查。

州政府即日起向私人醫院和診所徵求“免費乳房檢查”計劃書,有意者可瀏覽州政府官方網站,取得更多詳情。

 


 

你知道嗎? 

骨痛熱症簡介
黑斑蚊傳染病毒

骨痛病毒只能存於人、猴子及病媒蚊(黑斑蚊)體內,病毒則藉由黑斑蚊叮呅才能傳給人。

骨痛熱症在病患開始發燒的前一天,直到退燒期間,都具有傳染力。病毒在黑斑蚊體內經過8至12天的成長後,便可以傳給他人,期間可能長達數個月,依此循環,直到這隻蚊子死亡。

症狀包括發燒(39度至40度)或惡寒、皮膚出疹、四肢酸痛、肌肉痛、前額頭痛、後眼窩痛、腹部痛、背痛、喉痛、嘔吐、頭暈、牙齦出血、吐血或血便、可能出現疲倦及抑鬱症狀。

via 2013年08月29日 – 檳城‧蚊症病例飆升18區亮紅燈‧一起防毒蚊 – 大北馬 – 地方.

Tag Cloud