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NIH Research Matters

October 2007 Archive

October 29, 2007

Silhouettes of people in diverse primary colors.

Second-Generation Map of Human Genetic Variation

The International HapMap Consortium has published analyses of its second-generation map of human genetic variation, which contains more than 3.1 million genetic variants. The improved HapMap will help researchers find DNA variants that influence the risk of disease and other traits.

Poplar trees

Trees Created to Clean up Pollutants

Researchers have created transgenic poplar trees that can break down a class of common environmental pollutants. With their large size and extensive root systems, these trees may one day help to clean up contaminated sites faster and for less money than current methods.

Photo of a woman sitting with her hands on her head.

Flawed Gene Activity May Contribute to Schizophrenia

By studying human brains from before birth through adulthood, researchers have identified a gene that increases its activity during normal brain development but that may fail to ramp up in people with schizophrenia. The faulty activity of this gene, called GAD1, may be to blame for at least some cases of schizophrenia, the scientists say.

October 22, 2007

Older woman eating a salad.

Low-Fat Diet May Cut Ovarian Cancer Risk

Sticking to a low-fat diet for at least 4 years can reduce an older woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer by about 40%, according to a new study. The results are the most promising to date from a large clinical trial that's examining how low-fat diets can affect the health of postmenopausal women.

Round cell body with long tendrils  reaching in all directions.

Treatment Targets Pain in Rats

Researchers have developed a combination treatment using two drugs that selectively blocks pain in rats without impairing movement or other sensations such as touch. The technique may lead to new pain treatments for people.

A woman boss yelling at a male employee.

Understanding Resilience to Stress

Stress can play a major role in the development of several mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Researchers have long wondered why some people are resilient to stress while others aren't. A new mouse study may have brought them a step closer to the answer.

OCTOBER 9, 2007

Scanning electron micrograph of microbe shaped like a teardrop with several rope-like flagella.

Genome of Common Intestinal Parasite Sequenced

What do children in daycare and hikers have in common? They are both prone to catching the intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia. Now, scientists have revealed its genetic secrets, paving the way to new treatment methods and possibly new vaccines.

Photo of a teenage girl gazing out the window.

Depressed Adolescents Respond Best to Combination Treatment

A major clinical trial has found that a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressant medication appears to be more effective for adolescents with major depressive disorder than medication or psychotherapy alone.

Photo of a newborn baby.

Low Cholesterol Levels Linked to Premature Birth

Low blood cholesterol is usually considered good for your health—but that may not hold true during pregnancy. New findings, although still considered preliminary, suggest that pregnant women with very high or very low cholesterol are more than twice as likely as women with moderate cholesterol levels to deliver their babies prematurely.

OCTOBER 1, 2007

Photograph of legs, with left leg extremely swollen.

Parasitic Worm Genome Gives Insight into Elephantiasis

Scientists have sequenced the genome of a tiny threadlike worm that can live for a decade in the human body and cause the debilitating disease elephantiasis, a painful and extreme enlargement of limbs and other body parts. The genome reveals dozens of potential new targets for drugs or vaccines to fight elephantiasis and similar parasitic diseases.

Cluster of oval-shaped cells.

Versatile Stem Cells Isolated From Adult Mouse Testes

Scientists have sequenced the genome of a tiny threadlike worm that can live for a decade in the human body and cause the debilitating disease elephantiasis, a painful and extreme enlargement of limbs and other body parts. The genome reveals dozens of potential new targets for drugs or vaccines to fight elephantiasis and similar parasitic diseases.

Photo of a woman holding her nose.

Genes Help Govern Your Perception of Body Odor

Whether a sweaty man smells fragrant or foul to you may depend on your genes. Scientists have uncovered the first evidence to date that variations in a single gene can influence a person's perception of scent. The findings shed light on the science of smell and may help researchers explore how odorous molecules affect human behavior.

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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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