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Research Matters 2008 Recap

Photo of a doctor and her patient. NIH has nearly 6,000 NIH staff scientists and supports more than 325,000 researchers with competitive grants to all 50 states, the territories and more than 90 countries around the world. Here's just a small sampling of the accomplishments made by NIH-supported scientists in 2008.


December 15, 2008

Photo of multiple vitamin pills and spoon.Dietary Supplements Fail to Prevent Prostate Cancer
Two large-scale clinical trials found that regular intake of vitamin E, vitamin C or selenium does not reduce the risk of prostate cancer or other cancers in older men, as some previous studies had suggested.

Three-dimensional image of lumpy round cell with multiple extensions.Compound Helps Detect Cancer Cells in Mice
A new imaging compound helps researchers visualize viable breast cancer cells that have spread to the lungs of mice. Similar compounds may one day help doctors monitor their patient’s tumors and even aid in tumor removal.

Long, thin cell among other disc-shaped cells.New Genetic Target for Sickle Cell Disease Therapy
Researchers have identified a gene involved in the inherited blood disorders sickle cell disease and thalassemia. The discovery identifies a potential new target for therapies that could dramatically alter the course of the disorders.


December 8, 2008

Photo of a computer monitor displaying a DNA microarrayGene Activity Can Predict Survival Rates of Patients with Lymphoma
A new study shows that gene activity can be used to predict survival rates of people with a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The method can potentially be used to guide treatment and to help develop future therapies.

Electron micrograph showing cluster of bacteriaGut Microbiomes Differ Between Obese and Lean People
A new study has found that obese and lean twins have clear differences in their gut microbial communities. The finding points the way for future research into the roles that gut microbes may play in obesity and other health conditions.

Image of tuberculosis bacteria.Experimental Drug Destroys TB Bacteria From Within
Scientists have discovered how an experimental drug unleashes its destructive force inside the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. The finding could help scientists develop new approaches for combating dormant infections, which are especially difficult to treat.


November 24, 2008

Photo of a female doctor checking the blood pressure of an older man.Blood Protein Helps Assess Cardiovascular Risks
Three new studies provide the strongest evidence to date that a simple blood test for a molecule called C-reactive protein could help clinicians better identify and treat people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Photo of a ginkgo leaf.Ginkgo Study Fails To Find Benefit in Preventing Dementia
The dietary supplement Ginkgo biloba was found to be ineffective in reducing the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to a new study.

Microscopic image of a fibrous mass.Imaging Compound May Help Predict Alzheimer’s Disease
A new brain imaging study has found that elderly people can develop a key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain without any evidence of cognitive impairment. The researchers hope that their detection method will one day help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s disease in 5 to 10 years.


November 10, 2008

Photo of newborn baby sleeping peacefully.Earlier Jaundice Treatment Decreases Brain Injury in Preemies
A new study has found that early treatment to prevent severe jaundice in extremely early preterm infants can reduce the rate of brain injury, a serious complication of jaundice.

Photo of joyful young woman in meadow.Longer Treatment Improves Outcomes for Opioid-Addicted Youth
Young adults addicted to opioids were more successful at remaining drug-free when they received longer treatment with a medication than those who received the same treatment for only 2 weeks.

Photo of hand breaking egg into bowl.Children with Egg Allergies May Tolerate Heated Egg
A new study has found that the majority of children with egg allergy may be able to eat some baked foods containing egg. The early results also raise the possibility that the gradual introduction of extensively heated egg may help alleviate some children’s allergy to regular egg.


November 3, 2008

photo of a young hand holding an elderly hand.Warm Hands, Warm Feelings
We often use terms like "warm" and "cold" to describe people. New research shows this may not just be a linguistic oddity; sensations and psychological concepts are actually linked in our minds.

image of a man pinching his belly.Where Fat Comes From
Researchers have found that most fat cells arise from cells in the walls of blood vessels in fat tissue. This insight may lead to new approaches to prevent and treat obesity.

image of a mouse running on a wheel.Insight into Post-Exercise Fatigue in Muscular Dystrophy
In a finding that may lead to a better understanding of the post-activity exhaustion that strikes many people with muscular dystrophy, scientists have identified a disrupted molecular pathway that leads to fatigue in mice with muscular dystrophy after even mild physical exertion. This fatigue can be relieved by giving the animals a drug that bypasses the disruption.


NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

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NIH Research Matters
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This page was last updated January 9, 2009 .
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