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NIH Research Matters

December 2011 Archive

DECEMBER 19, 2011

Photo of baby shoes.

Most Stillbirths Caused by Placental, Pregnancy Conditions

Half of all stillbirths result from pregnancy disorders and conditions that affect the placenta, a new study found. Risk factors known at the start of pregnancy accounted for only a small proportion of the overall risk of stillbirth.

Scanning electron micrograph of blood cells trapped in a fibrous mesh.

Gene Therapy Helps Patients with Hemophilia

Scientists report that a single dose of an experimental gene therapy boosted production of a missing blood-clotting factor in people with hemophilia. The therapy could provide a long-term solution for preventing dangerous bleeding.

Photo of a free rat and a rat in a transparent tube.

Rats Show Empathy, Too

A new study shows that empathy may drive rats to help each other. The finding gives insight into the biological roots of our urge to assist others in need.

DECEMBER 12, 2011

Photo of children

Less Medication Effective for Wheezing Preschoolers

Recurrent wheezing in children at risk for developing asthma can be controlled using far less medication by giving higher doses of an inhaled corticosteroid only as needed instead of lower doses every day, a study found.

Photo of pregnant woman

Prenatal Steroids Reduce Brain Injury in Preemies

Preemies born as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy are more likely to survive and have less brain injury if their mothers receive prenatal steroids, according to a new study.

Illustration of a spherical virus.

Antibodies Protect Against HIV in Mice

Researchers have devised a technique in mice that, with a single injection, protects the immune cells that HIV targets. With further development, the approach may one day prove effective at protecting people from HIV infection.

december 5, 2011

Photo of an iron pot on a smoking fire

Wood Cooking Stoves Combat Pneumonia

A new study found that wood-burning cooking stoves with chimneys lowered exposure to wood smoke from open cooking fires and reduced the rate of severe pneumonia by 30% in young children.

Electron microscope image showing a cluster of misshapen cells All rights reserved by Wellcome Images.

Targeted Light Therapy Destroys Cancer Cells

Scientists have developed a noninvasive technique that uses light to wipe out cancerous cells in mice without harming surrounding tissue. The novel method might eventually be used to treat tumors in humans.

Photo of a young woman cupping her hand to her ear.

Key Hearing Proteins Identified

Researchers have found what appear to be 2 key components of the long-sought-after mechanotransduction channel in the inner ear—the place where sound waves are transformed into the electrical signals that the brain recognizes as sound.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

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.

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This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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