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HPV Early Detection Test Created

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, November 1st, 2007 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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           Bacteria 'talk' among themselves

JERUSALEM,-- Israeli scientists have discovered a peptide 
that enables bacteria to "talk" with each other but that 
also eventually causes their death. The finding by scient-
ists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem might lead to 
development of new and more efficient antibiotic medicat-
ions. Although bacteria are considered unicellular organ-
isms, there is increasing evidence bacteria seldom behave 
as isolated organisms, the researchers said. Instead, the 
scientists said, bacteria are members of a community in 
which isolated organisms communicate among themselves, ther-
eby manifesting some multicellular behaviors. Researchers 
led by Professor Hanna Engelberg-Kulka said the peptide is 
produced by the intestinal bacteria Escherichia coli and is 
secreted by the bacteria. It also enables activation of a 
built in "suicide module" located on the bacterial chromo-
some that is responsible for bacterial cell death under 
stressful conditions. The new factor has been designated 
EDF -- Extra-cellular Death Factor. Understanding how EDF 
functions might lead to a new kind of antibiotic that can 
trigger bacterial cell death in the intestine and probably 
many other bacteria, the researchers said. 

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        Structure of receptor protein is revealed

BETHESDA, Md., -- U.S. scientists have created the first 
three-dimensional image of the beta2-adrenergic receptor 
protein -- the target used by beta blocker drugs. The recep-
tor, researchers said, is part of a family of proteins 
called G protein-coupled receptors that control critical 
bodily functions, several human senses and the action of 
about half of today's pharmaceuticals. National Institute of
General Medical Sciences researchers who led the study said 
the determination of the protein's structure is expected to 
speed the discovery of drugs and also broaden the underst-
anding of human health and disease. "This is an absolutely 
remarkable advance" said Jeremy Berg, director of institute.
"Many laboratories around the world are trying to reveal the
secrets of these proteins and this important structure takes
the field to a higher level." 
  
  
         Seizure-induced brain cell changes seen

ST. LOUIS,-- A U.S. study of changes in brain cells in seiz-
ure-induced mice might lead to ways to prevent cognitive im-
pairments observed in some epilepsy patients. Dr. Michael 
Wong of the Washington University School of Medicine in St.-
Louis, who led the study, said prior research suggested sei-
zures could damage the tree-like branches of nerve cells 
called dendrites that extend from nerve cells to receive 
signals. Wong and his research team induced seizures in mice
and used a technique known as mutiphoton imaging to examine 
brain cells before, during and after seizures. "Within min-
utes, we found changes were happening quite rapidly in the 
dendrites," Wong said. "They would become swollen and their 
spines would disappear." Wong said his team will search for 
drugs to reverse that effect. He said his goal to find a 
medication that can be given immediately after a seizure 
to prevent cognitive impairment.

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              HIV movement history is updated

TUCSON, -- A new study suggested the human immunodeficiency 
virus that leads to AIDS probably entered the United States 
about 1969 -- earlier than has been believed. An internat-
ional team of researchers led by the University of Arizona-
Tucson determined HIV originated in Africa, traveled to 
Haiti and then the United States before spreading around the
planet. Assistant Professor Michael Worobey, the study's 
senior author, said the research is the first to definitiv-
ely pinpoint when and from where HIV-1 entered the United 
States and shows most HIV/AIDS viruses in the U.S. descended
from a single common ancestor. Worobey and colleagues deter-
mined when HIV reached the United States by conducting gen-
etic analyses of archived blood samples from early AIDS pat-
ients. 
 
 
        Lung cancer radiation scarring is studied

NEW YORK,-- A U.S. radiological study suggests preventing 
lung scarring during radiation therapy for lung cancer might
extend patients' lives. Researchers at New York University 
Medical Center have found that using a special type of drug 
called a pharmaceutical monoclonal antibody to prevent a 
serious side effect of radiation therapy for lung cancer 
patients -- pulmonary fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs -- 
extends patients' lives and improves their quality of life.
"The toxicity of pulmonary fibrosis limits the amount of the
radiation dose that can be safely given to patients," said 
Dr. Simon Cheng, author of the study. "These study results 
may lead to more effective radiation therapies for advanced 
lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths in 
the (United States)." More than 50 percent of patients rec-
eiving radiation therapy for advanced lung cancer develop 
radiation-induced lung fibrosis, the scientists said.
 
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            HPV early detection test created

AMES, Iowa, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have developed 
a technology that can detect a single molecule of the virus 
associated with female cervical cancer. Iowa State Univers-
ity Professor Edward Yeung and colleagues said their achiev-
ement represents a significant improvement over the current 
test for the human papillomavirus that requires 10 to 50 
virus molecules for detection. "We are always interested in 
detecting smaller and smaller amounts of material at lower 
and lower concentrations," Yeung said. "Detecting lower lev-
els means earlier diagnosis." The Centers for Disease Con-
trol and Prevention reports the human papillomavirus is one 
of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the 
United States, infecting about 6.2 million Americans every 
year. Yeung said single molecule detection of the virus 
could help women and families decide to be vaccinated. He 
said vaccines administered after such early detection could
still have time to stop the virus.
  
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End of HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. 
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