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Aging linked to muscle development

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          HEALTH TIPS - Wednesday, February 14, 2007
               "News That Keeps You Healthy"

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          Stillbirths more likely in women over 40

SAN FRANCISCO, -- Researchers in the United States have 
found that women aged 40 and older who choose to have a 
baby are at an increased risk for stillbirth. The BBC 
reported experts saying that with the recent rise in 
births by older women, these expectant mothers should be 
carefully monitored from 38 weeks onward. The Yale 
University work is being presented to the Maternal-Fetal 
Medicine Conference, held in San Francisco. Research sug-
gested that women who bear children between the ages of 
40 and 44 are three times more likely to experience a 
stillbirth. The BBC reported that an obstetrician at 
University College, London Hospital, suggested it might 
be worth considering screening pregnant women over 40.

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              Aging linked to muscle development

LIVERPOOL, England, -- A study conducted by a team from 
Connecticut's Yale University has found that as one ages, 
the body's system that creates muscles slowly begins to 
fail. The study from Howard Hughes Medical School at the 
Yale University School of Medicine discovered that due 
to this decreased ability to create muscle tissue, the 
time needed to produce such results increases along with 
one's age, the BBC said. The group conducted its compara-
tive study using both 3-month-old and 2-year-old rats, Dr. 
Anne McArdle of the University of Liverpool in Britain 
immediately applauded the study's findings regarding the 
internal process of AMP-activated protein kinase. "Loss 
of skeletal muscle mass and function as we age is a major 
problem which has a significant effect on quality of life 
of older people," she said. "Studies which examine the 
mechanisms by which muscle function is lost are crucial 
to the development of interventions aimed at maintenance 
of muscle mass and function in later life." Yet McArdle 
was quick to point out that such increased attempts to 
gain muscle mass later in life could prove fruitless as 
it is impossible to regain muscle function, the BBC 

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              Viral infection process identified

BETHESDA, Md., -- U.S. scientists say some viruses, such 
as HIV-1, must assemble and release themselves from in-
fected host cells before invading nearby, uninfected cells.
James Hurley and colleagues at the National Institute of 
Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Md., 
say the host protein Alix is known for its role in sorting 
proteins into their proper intracellular compartments, but 
it is also used by a region of HIV-1 Gag protein, called 
p6, to promote release of viral particles from virus-
infected cells. The researchers used X-ray crystallography 
and site-directed mutagenesis to identify residues in Alix 
that are important for p6 binding, and, therefore, essen-
tial for virus release. The scientists say their finding 
provides information on what regions of host proteins are 
important for viruses such as HIV-1 to move from cell to 
cell. And that might lead to a technique to reduce the 
spread of infection. The report appears in the March 
issue of the journal Nature Structural & Molecular 

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