New teeth grown from human urine
Researchers from the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health in China say they have been able to grow rudimentary forms of teeth from stem cells. But they’ve used a very unusual source–human urine.
For this study, the researchers turned to cells that are normally passed from the body, including those from urine. The cells were then harvested in a laboratory and a mix of them and other materials were implanted into mice. In three weeks, they grew into a bundle of cells that resembled a tooth. The “teeth” contained dental pulp, dentin, enamel space and enamel organ, though they were not as hard as natural teeth.
Despite the promise of this research as a way of replacing lost teeth, other scientists were less enthusiastic. Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London, for instance, noted that urine is a poor source of stem cells. The risk of contamination is also considerably higher, he said.
NEXT: The benefits of herbs (Infographic)
Sourced from: BBC News, New teeth grown from urine - study
Weight discrimination makes people more obese
Weight discrimination can have a significant effect on a person’s mental and physical health and actually cause them to gain more weight, according to a new study at Florida State University. And a person’s race, gender, education, ethnicity or age doesn’t seem to make a big difference, say the researchers.
In a study of more than 6,000 people, obese people were found to become more obese if they perceived that they were discriminated against. In fact, those who felt this way more than doubled their risk of gaining weight when they were re-evaluated four years after initial study. While other studies have shown a link between weight discrimination and poor economic and psychological outcomes, this is one of the first to suggest that it might also have an impact on a person’s long-term body weight.
The authors noted that this can create a “vicious cycle” where people who are overweight and obese are more vulnerable to weight discrimination and that this discrimination can then lead to more obesity and weight problems.
NEXT: New teeth grown from human urine
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Weight discrimination makes people more obese
Blood test for Alzheimer's coming soon
A team of German researchers may have successfully created a blood test that can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. According to a report published in the journal Genome Biology, the test could allow doctors to definitively confirm that person has Alzheimer’s much earlier in the progression of the disease. Currently, it can be diagnosed with certainty only through an autopsy once a person dies.
In addition, the test was able to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders. Alzheimer’s and similar conditions have unique microRNA signatures, which can be found in a patient’s blood. The team tested for a 12 microRNA “panel” associated with the disease in 48 people believed to have Alzheimer’s and in 22 healthy people. The blood test was then expanded to 202 people, which included Alzheimer’s patients, healthy participants and people with other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders and it was able to reliably distinguish people with Alzheimer’s from the healthy patients and from the other conditions.
The new test was found to be 95 percent accurate in identifying people with Alzheimer’s and 92 percent accurate in identifying people without it. The study authors did acknowledge that while their blood test shows a great deal of promise, it still needs to be validated for clinical use, and may eventually work best when combined with other diagnostic tools, such as imaging.
But they do believe it could be a breakthrough in better understanding and treating the disease.
NEXT: Weight discrimination makes people more obese
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Blood test for Alzheimer’s coming soon
Drinking coffee linked to lower suicide risk
People who drink two to four cups of coffee a day are considerably less likely to commit suicide. So concludes a report from the Harvard School of Public Health based on the analysis of three large U.S. studies.
The research found that drinking that much coffee lowered the risk of suicide by as much as 50 percent, compared to adults who drank decaf coffee or little to no coffee at all. The scientists explained that coffee can act as a mild anti-depressant, boosting production of dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain.
The researchers analyzed data collected from the Health Professionals Follow-up study, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II—studies that included information from 43,599 men and 164,825 women. Study participants’ caffeine and coffee intake was recorded, as were suicide rates. Caffeine consumption also was assessed for non-coffee sources as well, such as chocolate, tea or caffeinated soft drinks.
Previous research has found that people who drink more than four cups a day have a higher prevalence of depression.
NEXT: Medicare is born: July 30, 1965
Sourced from: Medical News Today, Drinking coffee linked to lower suicide risk in adults