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NIH Research Matters

October 2006 Archive

October 27, 2006

Picture of teeth.

Promising Approach to Prevent Tooth Decay

Researchers have created a new smart anti-microbial treatment that can be chemically programmed in the laboratory to seek out and kill a specific cavity-causing species of bacteria, leaving the good bacteria untouched

Picture of the varicella-zoster virus close up.

Human Protein Helps Chickenpox and Shingles Virus Spread

Researchers have identified a human protein that the varicella-zoster virus, which causes both chickenpox and shingles, uses to spread from cell to cell within the body. Interfering with this interaction inhibits the spread of virus among cells in the test tube. The discovery suggests a new way for designing therapies for shingles.

Picture of female patient laying in hospital bed.

Gene Affects Pain Sensitivity

Researchers have identified a gene that affects both a person's sensitivity to short-term (acute) pain and their risk of developing chronic pain after a kind of back surgery.

October 20, 2006

Picture of misfolded disease proteins (deep red) in the brain of someone with frontotemporal dementia.

Misfolded Protein Clumps Common to Dementia, Lou Gehrigís Disease

Scientists have identified a misfolded, or incorrectly formed, protein common to two devastating neurological diseases: frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigís disease). Certain forms of FTD, ALS and possibly other neurological diseases may involve this misfolded protein.

Picture of a pregnant woman's abdomen

Inexpensive Drug Can Prevent Postpartum Hemorrhage

Deaths from postpartum hemorrhage, excessive bleeding by the mother after giving birth, are rare in developed countries like the U.S., where the majority of births occur in hospitals and emergency care is available. But the condition can be life-threatening in countries where most births occur at home and emergency care may not be available. Researchers have now found that the drug misoprostol provides a safe, convenient and inexpensive way to prevent this major killer of women in developing countries.

Picture of the 2 older women playing pool.

Antipsychotic Medications Used in Alzheimerís Patients Questioned

More than half of those who have Alzheimerís disease get symptoms such as delusions, aggression, agitation and hallucinations.

OCTOBER 13, 2006

Picture of ragweed pollen grains under the microscope.

Experimental Ragweed Allergy Therapy Uses Fewer Shots

An experimental treatment for ragweed allergies requires fewer injections than standard immunotherapy and leads to a marked reduction in symptoms that lasts for at least a year after therapy has stopped.

Connecting Small Molecules, Genes and Disease

Chemists have been creating millions of small molecules in the hope that they might affect the body and make good medications. A major challenge for modern medicine is to understand how all these potential drugs interact with our genes to affect disease. Now, a team of researchers has created a systematic approach to uncovering the complex functional connections among diseases, genes and drugs.

Picture of Influenza viruses from the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic recreated in the laboratory.

New Clues about 1918 Influenza Virus

The first comprehensive analysis of an animalís reaction to the 1918 influenza virus provides new insights into this killer flu. Researchers have found that the virus triggers a hyperactive immune response that may be the key to its lethal effects. The findings also suggest that all eight of the virusís genes play a role in making the virus so deadly.

OCTOBER 6, 2006

A woman talking with her doctor

Islet Transplantation Promising for Type 1 Diabetes

A large clinical study testing the Edmonton Protocol, an approach to islet transplantation, shows that the procedure benefits some patients with severe complications of type 1 diabetes.

Picture of Family Sitting on Park Bench

Family Has More Influence on Child Development than Child Care

Many families rely on child care, but how it affects a childís development has been controversial. A new compendium of findings reveals that a childís family life has more influence through age four and a half than the childís experience in child care.

Picture of Avian influenza viruses (gold) grown in culture cells (green).

Progress on Human Avian Flu Vaccine

When combined with an immune-boosting substance called an adjuvant, low doses of an experimental vaccine against a strain of avian influenza provoked a strong immune system response in humans. The result brings researchers one step closer to creating vaccines that can protect people from emerging avian flu viruses.

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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.

ISSN 2375-9593

This page last reviewed on December 4, 2012

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