NIH Research Matters
April 2008 Archive
April 28, 2008
Influenza virus strains that cause seasonal flu in temperate climates may emerge anew from tropical regions each year, according to a new study. Understanding how flu viruses evolve and spread is essential for making more effective future flu vaccines.
Scientists have identified brain regions that react to changes in how people perceive their social ranking. The findings could have implications for understanding how health and behavior are affected by social status.
New research shows that a particular kind of cell in the eye is crucial for light-related functions other than seeing. Mice without the cells can still see, but their pupils donít constrict or dilate normally, and their circadian rhythms donít change with the light cycles in their environment. A better understanding of these separate modes of light detection may eventually help people with sleep problems or seasonal depression.
April 21, 2008
Scientists have identified rare variations in 3 genes that can protect against hypertension and its consequences, such as stroke, kidney disease and heart failure.
Researchers have identified several factors that influence an extremely low birth weight infant's chances for survival and disability. The findings will help physicians and families to choose the most appropriate treatments.
Synchronized pulsing of heart muscle cells allows the heart to pump blood through the body. A new study has identified a protein that helps organize the structures that produce the contractions in these cells.
April 14, 2008
A new study links variants in a gene to the risk for developing asthma. The variants affect levels of a protein that can be measured in blood, raising the possibility that asthma risk could one day be measured with a simple blood test.
Smoking has long been recognized as the major cause of lung cancer. But now 3 separate research teams have identified variations in a genetic region that can also greatly raise the risk for developing this deadly disease. The findings may help to explain why some smokers develop lung cancer while others do not.
Lower cholesterol and blood pressure target levels may help adults with type 2 diabetes to prevent or even reverse hardening of their arteries, according to new research.
April 7, 2008
Rare deletions and duplications in a person's genetic makeup may significantly increase the risk for developing schizophrenia, according to a new study. Most of the mutations are so unusual that researchers spotted them only in one person or a single family.
Corneas donated by people as old as 75 years of age should be made available for transplantation, according to findings from a new study. Corneal transplants from older donors were found to have similar rates of survival to those from younger donors.
Inherited genetic variations that affect an anxiety-reducing molecule help explain why some people can withstand stress better than others, according to a new study.
NIH Research Matters
Bldg. 31, Rm. 5B64A, MSC 2094
Bethesda, MD 20892-2094
About NIH Research Matters
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.