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May 4, 2009

Photo of a cow.Scientists Sequence Cow Genome
The domesticated cow has become the first livestock mammal to have its genetic blueprint sequenced and analyzed. This major milestone in animal genetics provides new information not only about cattle biology but also about mammalian evolution.

Photo of a little boy.Autism Tied to Genes That Influence Brain Cell Connections
Three genome-wide association studies have identified genetic variations that affect the risk of autism spectrum disorders. Understanding how these variations affect brain development will suggest new strategies for diagnosing and treating the disorders.

Photo of a woman holding an infant.Breastfeeding Moms Have Lower Heart Risks Later in Life
The longer moms breastfeed their babies, the less likely they are to have cardiovascular disease and related risk factors after their childbearing years, a new study suggests.


April 27, 2009

Close-up photo of a mosquito.New Insights Into Dengue Virus
Dengue fever is a painful and sometimes fatal illness spread by mosquitoes. In a finding that could lead to new therapies, scientists identified several components in both mosquitoes and humans that the dengue virus uses to multiply after infection.

Photo of heart surgery.Surgical Reconstruction Offers No Benefit Over Bypass Surgery
An extra surgery to reshape a damaged region of the heart does not further benefit heart failure patients undergoing bypass surgery, according to a large clinical trial.

Photo of a young woman sneezing.Change Allows Influenza Virus to Spread in Respiratory Droplets
A new study shows that the avian H9N2 influenza virus can fairly easily gain the ability to transmit in respiratory droplets, like that from a sneeze. Insights from the study will have profound implications for pandemic flu preparation.


April 20, 2009

Globular fat cells.Overlooked “Brown Fat” Tied to Obesity
Scientists have thought that adults lack a type of fat called brown fat. New research shows that not only do adults have it, but it may play an important role in weight control.

Photo of a middle-aged man's face.New Tools for Fighting Prostate Cancer
An experimental drug for treating advanced prostate cancer has shown preliminary success. The drug shrank tumors in the lab and reduced signs of the disease in drug-resistant cancer patients.

Close-up of an older man's face.Antipsychotics May Cause Metabolic Changes in Alzheimer’s Patients
Newer, second-generation antipsychotic medications may cause weight gain and other metabolic changes in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. The results build on previous work questioning the use of these drugs in Alzheimer's patients.


April 13, 2009

Picture of two women walking.Exercise Benefits Patients With Chronic Heart Failure
Regular exercise is safe for heart failure patients, improves their quality of life and may slightly lower their risk of death or hospitalization, according to a new study.

Detail from an illustration of human rhinovirus.Understanding a Common Cold Virus
Rhinoviruses are a major cause of the common cold and may contribute to about half of asthma flare-ups. Researchers have now completed sequencing the genomes of all the known rhinovirus types, setting the stage for the development of ways to combat the viruses.

Heart Cells Grow Throughout Life SpanImage of a cardiac muscle cell.
Researchers have discovered that the human heart continues to generate new cells throughout its life span. The finding may lead to the creation of new treatments to boost regeneration in people with heart problems, such as heart attack victims.


April 6, 2009

Photo of a woman holding a baby.Toddlers With Autism Preoccupied By Audiovisual Synchrony
Those with autism spectrum disorders often have an unusual pattern of eye contact during social interactions, particularly a tendency to look toward people’s mouths rather than their eyes. A new finding may explain why.…

Photo of a man and woman of African descent. Circumcision Curbs Risk of Genital Herpes and HPV Infection
Adult circumcision can significantly reduce the risk of becoming infected with the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts, according to a large study of heterosexual men.

Microscopic image of several long, thin stem cells.Reprogrammed Human Stem Cells Clear Another Hurdle
Researchers have developed a technique in which the genes used to reprogram human cells and give them the versatility of embryonic stem cells can be cleanly removed afterward. The advance takes researchers another major step toward creating cells that could potentially be used for human therapies.


March 30, 2009

Photo of a hand holding an apple.Neighborhood Food Options Linked to Obesity in New York City
Access to stores that sell healthy foods may be a crucial factor in fighting obesity, according to a new study.

Illustration of an EKG graph.Gene Variants Tied to Abnormal Heart Rhythm Risk
Researchers have linked variations in 10 gene regions with potentially harmful modifications in the heart’s electrical rhythm. The discoveries may lead to new approaches for treating and preventing irregular heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death.

An illustration of a neuron.Spinal Cord Stimulation May Ease Parkinson’s Symptoms
Electrical stimulation of the spinal cord improves mobility in rodents that have the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study. The technique, if effective in people, could make electrical therapy safer and more broadly available.


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
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
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This page was last updated May 4, 2009 .
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