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NIH Research Matters

October 2011 Archive

October 31, 2011

Photo of an African American family.

Pinpointing Kidney Disease Risk in African Americans

Variants in the APOL1 gene account for the increased risk of kidney disease among African Americans, according to a new report. The finding may lead to screening tests and earlier treatment, although further research is required.

Photo of a woman doing yoga stretches.

Yoga or Stretching Eases Low Back Pain

Weekly classes of yoga or intensive stretching are equally effective at reducing low back pain and improving back movement, a new study reports.

Photo showing abnormal brain tissue.

Perinatal Antidepressant May Affect Brain Development

Rats exposed to an antidepressant just before and after birth had altered behaviors and substantial brain abnormalities. The findings raise questions about the use of antidepressants during pregnancy.

October 24, 2011

Illustration of a DNA double helix.

Genome Comparison Casts Light on Dark Areas of DNA

A massive effort to sequence and compare 29 mammalian genomes has shed new light on the “dark matter” of the genome, the over 98% of DNA that doesn’t code for proteins.

Illustration of red blood cells flowing through a blood vessel.

Study Points to Potential Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease

Scientists corrected sickle cell disease in adult laboratory mice by activating production of a special blood protein normally produced only before birth. The approach may lead to new treatments for the disorder.

Micrograph shows an empty, black area between green-glowing bacteria and blue intestinal cells.

Protein Creates Partition Between Bacteria and the Gut

Scientists found a protein that helps create a buffer zone between intestinal walls and the bacteria within. The finding might improve understanding of inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders.

OCTOBER 17, 2011

3D graphic of a sphere with stubby spikes.

DNA Primer Boosts Antibodies Against Avian Flu

Avian flu-fighting antibodies rose significantly in adults who received a DNA “primer” vaccine followed by an avian flu shot. The technique holds promise for blocking several strains of influenza.

Photo of a doctor and her patient in a clinic.

Doctors Miss Alcohol Screening Opportunities

Physicians often fail to counsel their young adult patients about excessive alcohol use, a new study found.

Scanning electron micrograph of a prostate cancer cell.

Prostate Cancer Risk from Vitamin E Supplements

A new study found that vitamin E, once thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, may actually increase the risk.

OCTOBER 3, 2011

Photo of a girl using an inhaler for asthma.

Gene Variant Affects Response to Asthma Drugs

A genetic variant may explain why some people with asthma don’t respond well to inhaled corticosteroids, the most widely prescribed medicine for long-term asthma control. The finding might eventually lead to more effective, personalized asthma treatments.

Photo of an older woman caring for her husband.

Insulin Nasal Spray Shows Promise for Alzheimer’s Disease

A small clinical trial has found that daily doses of an insulin nasal spray can slow memory loss and preserve thinking skills in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Photo of an older woman caring for her husband.

No Effect of Saw Palmetto on Urinary Symptoms

Saw palmetto, a widely used herbal dietary supplement, was no better than placebo in reducing urinary problems caused by prostate enlargement, according to a new study.

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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.

This page last reviewed on December 4, 2012

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