Friday, April 10, 2009

Traffic Pollution Linked to Birth Weight

Scientist has found the relationship between exposure to traffic pollution and the affect of the development of babies in the womb. A mother who has a high level of exposure in early and late stages of pregnancy are more likely that the baby would not grow properly although more detailed research into the link was necessary.

The researchers have recorded details including each mother's ethnicity, marital status, education, whether or not she was a smoker and the location of the mother prior to the birth of the baby. A mother who has lived near the roadway during pregnancy has a higher chance that the high levels of pollutants in the air were linked to restricted fetal growth thus lower birth weight overall.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Baby Fat Key to Obesity

Hard to believe but studies have shown that adults who retain their high-quality baby fat is a buffer against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Unlike the regular adult white fat which stores only energy, good brown fat vigorously burns calories for heat, but has been thought only to exist in childhood. But Researchers have found that adults still had brown fat left over from their childhood and slimmer adults had more of it than fatter ones.

Scientist are not developing ways to stimulate brown fat growth to control weight gain and improve glucose metabolism thereby preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes that ‘s practically considered a scourge these days. While this is far from being a miracle cure and is still a couple of years before the treatment becomes available, scientist are optimistic about the results and the treatments future.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stressed Pregnant Women | Asthma

Research from Children of the 90s study have discovered that pregnant women who undergo pressures that make them stressful are likely to have a child with asthma. The study has found nervous pregnant women have a 60% chance to deliver a baby that would develop asthma. Less stressful moms to be reported a lower incident of their child developing this illness. The discovery was a total surprise as the researchers were finding ways to improve the quality of childcare. Doctors are now advised to council expecting mothers to develop a healthy, less stressful lifestyle to lower the chance of asthma from occurring.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Scratching To Stop an Itch

We all know scratching helps relieves itchiness, but do we actually know why it does that? The physiological mechanisms for how this works are little understood until now. Researchers have discovered that scratching helps relieve an itch by blocking some activity in the spinal cord nerve cells that transmit the sensation to the brain. But this effect only seems to occur during itch itself, scratching at other times makes no difference at all.

Research has suggested that a specific part of the spinal cord, the spinothalamic tract plays a key role as nerve cells in this area have been shown to be more active when itchy substances are applied to the skin. Scratching the skin blocks activity of nerve cells in the spinothalamic tract during itchiness - preventing the spinal cord from transmitting signals from the scratched area of skin to the brain as scientist hopes the work could lead to ways to relieve chronic itch effectively for the first time


Friday, April 03, 2009

Childhood Leukemia from Common Infections

The Institute of Cancer Research has come out with a study that childhood leukemia may develop from just common infections. Leukemia occurs when large numbers of white blood cells take over the bone marrow, leaving the body unable to produce enough normal blood cells to balance it off. Scientist has identified a molecule, TGF, produced by the body in response to infection that stimulates development of the disease. It triggers multiplication of pre-cancerous stem cells at the expense of healthy counterparts.

The researchers have identified a genetic mutation, a fusion of two genes that actually occurring in the womb that creates pre-leukemic cells that then grow in the bone marrow of the baby that is effectively acting as a time bomb that can stay in the body for up to 15 years that may explode at any given time given the proper trigger which maybe any common infection that the child might acquire during the 15 year period. Better screening process should be developed to better detect the infection before it becomes cancerous.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tropical Countries Produce More Baby Girls

Studies have shown that people who live in the tropics produce more baby girls than boys compared to other parts of the world. Research has concluded that it may be down to the hotter weather or the longer days as the hot climate may change miscarriage rates and sperm quality. Also, there seems to be some evolutionary advantage to having more girls than boys if you live by the equator. But further studies are still needed to this conclusion to be validated. Plus experts already agree that the birth rates of boys and girls vary across the globe.

Aside from the weather, extreme environmental stress like war, the birth rate of girls far outstrips that of boys. That proof of natural evolutionary process in action. But globally, the gender balance still favors the males at around a rate of 106 males for every 100 females. But this maybe due to a wide variety of other factors like culture and tradition. Not necessarily nature in action. But nevertheless, nature and evolution will kick into action once the gender imbalance becomes critical to a point it endangers us as a species.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Problem Sleepers Maybe Suicidal

People who suffer from constant chronic sleep problems are more likely to commit suicide, as a U.S study recently suggested. This study has caused enough concern that doctors are now being told to be on the lookout for patient that has reported troubled or disturbed sleep, even if they have no history of mental health problems at all!

The more varied types of sleep disturbances people had, the more likely they were to have thoughts of killing themselves, or may already have tried to do so. Scientists in the past have consistently linked sleep disturbances to an increased risk of suicidal behavior in people with psychiatric disorders and in adolescents but have not yet been conclusively proven until now.

Poor sleep and sleeping habits have long been linked with an increased risk of depression, but this study suggests that the increased risk of suicidal behavior is not necessarily linked to depression and thus can affect those that doctors might not feel are at risk. This is a great argument for people to get enough rest and sleep in our age where getting a good 8 hours sleep is harder and harder to come by.