jueves, 21 de mayo de 2015

Creative Minds: Harnessing Technologies to Study Air Pollution’s Health Risks | NIH Director's Blog

Creative Minds: Harnessing Technologies to Study Air Pollution’s Health Risks | NIH Director's Blog



05/21/2015 09:00 AM EDT
Perry Hystad

After college, Perry Hystad took a trip to India and, while touring several large cities, noticed the vast clouds of exhaust from vehicles, smoke from factories, and soot from biomass-burning cook stoves. As he watched the rapid urban expansion all around him, Hystad remembers thinking: What effect does breathing such pollution day in and day […]


Creative Minds: Harnessing Technologies to Study Air Pollution’s Health Risks

Perry Hystad
Perry Hystad
Credit: Hannah O’Leary, Oregon State University
After college, Perry Hystad took a trip to India and, while touring several large cities, noticed the vast clouds of exhaust from vehicles, smoke from factories, and soot from biomass-burning cook stoves. As he watched the rapid urban expansion all around him, Hystad remembers thinking: What effect does breathing such pollution day in and day out have upon these people’s health?
This question stuck with Hystad, and he soon developed a profound interest in environmental health. In 2013, Hystad completed his Ph.D. in his native Canada, studying the environmental risk factors for lung cancer [1, 2, 3]. Now, with the support of an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, Hystad has launched his own lab at Oregon State University, Corvallis, to investigate further the health impacts of air pollution, which one recent analysis indicates may contribute to as many as several million deaths worldwide each year [4].
Taking advantage of the latest scientific tools and technologies, Hystad is launching a study called PURE-AIR, which will monitor how outdoor and indoor air pollution affects the cardiopulmonary health of people living in low, middle, and high income nations. His goal is to quantify more precisely the global health impact of air pollution and to develop better ways of measuring health risks associated with poor air quality.
PURE-AIR will be part of the existing Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a global effort begun four years ago to track cardiovascular disease in 155,000 people in 17 countries for at least a decade. The type of pollutant that PURE-AIR will focus upon is fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which consists of airborne particles and droplets that measure less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter—30 times less than the width of a human hair. Fine particulate matter comes from a vast number of sources, most notably from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil; and biomass, such as wood, crop waste, and dried animal dung. These minute particles can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, where they can get trapped and trigger asthma attacks and other breathing problems. Because these particles can also carry carcinogenic compounds, inhaling fine particulate matter may increase the risk of cancer. The tiniest of these particles can even pass through the lungs and enter the bloodstream, with still largely undetermined consequences.
Indoor cookstove
Caption: Indian woman using a indoor cookstove with limited ventilation.
Credit: Romana Manpreet, courtesy of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Interestingly, Hystad’s study would not have been possible just a few years ago, because technologies simply didn’t exist to estimate air pollution levels reliably around the globe. But, thanks to remote sensing data from satellites, it is now possible to determine PM2.5 air pollution levels anywhere on earth. Hystad, who is an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health, wants to obtain even more precise measures of exposure—so he is also collaborating with several private companies and universities to develop low-cost wearable sensors that can monitor accurately the air pollution exposures of thousands of individuals and households taking part in the PURE study.
Hystad hopes to couple these air pollution measurements with health assessments and lifestyle surveys of each participant. That will enable his team to search for possible links between poor air quality and heart attack, heart failure, stroke, adult-onset asthma, and a variety of lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. To get things rolling, Hystad and his team plan to start collecting personal, household, and community air pollution measurements this summer in India, Bangladesh, and South Africa. Here’s wishing all of these creative minds safe travels—and success in their plans to provide some much-needed real world data on the health risks of air pollution.
References:
[1] Creating National Air Pollution Models for Population Exposure Surveillance in Canada. Hystad P, Setton E, Cervantes A, Poplawski K, Deschenes S, Brauer M, van Donkelaar A, Lamsal L, Martin R, Jerrett M, Demers P. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Aug;119(8):1123-9.
[2] Spatiotemporal air pollution exposure assessment for a Canadian population-based lung cancer case-control study. Hystad P, Demers PA, Johnson KC, Brook J, van Donkelaar A, Lamsal L, Martin R, Brauer M. Environ Health. 2012 Apr 4;11:22.
[3] Long-term residential exposure to air pollution and lung cancer risk. Hystad P, Demers PA, Johnson KC, Carpiano RM, Brauer M. Epidemiology. 2013 Sep;24(5):762-72.
Links:
Air Pollution (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH)
Particulate Matter (Environmental Protection Agency)
Hystad Lab (Oregon State University, Corvallis)
NIH Support: Common Fund

Scientists create mice with a major genetic cause of ALS and FTD

Scientists create mice with a major genetic cause of ALS and FTD



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Scientists create mice with a major genetic cause of ALS and FTD

NIH-funded study provides new platform for testing treatments for several neurodegenerative disorders
Scientists at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida created a novel mouse that exhibits the symptoms and neurodegeneration associated with the most common genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), both of which are caused by a mutation in the a gene called C9ORF72. The study was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Science.
Image of gene mutation in mouse model.
ALS and FTD in a mouse – Scientists created a mouse model of ALS and FTD caused by mutations in the C9ORF72 gene. Courtesy of Petrucelli lab, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
More than 30,000 Americans live with ALS, which destroys nerves that control essential movements, including speaking, walking, breathing and swallowing. After Alzheimer’s disease, FTD is the most common form of early onset dementia. It is characterized by changes in personality, behavior and language due to loss of neurons in the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes. Patients with mutations in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) gene have all or some symptoms associated with both disorders.
“Our mouse model exhibits the pathologies and symptoms of ALS and FTD seen in patients with theC9ORF72 mutation,” said the study’s lead author, Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., chair and Ralph and Ruth Abrams Professor of the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic, and a senior author of the study. “These mice could greatly improve our understanding of ALS and FTD and hasten the development of effective treatments.”
To create the model, Ms. Jeannie Chew, a Mayo Graduate School student and member of Dr. Petrucelli’s team, injected the brains of newborn mice with a disease-causing version of the C9ORF72 gene. As the mice aged, they became hyperactive, anxious, and antisocial, in addition to having problems with movement that mirrored patient symptoms. The brains of the mice were smaller than normal and had fewer neurons in areas that controlled the affected behaviors. The scientists also found that the mouse brains had key hallmarks of the disorders, including toxic clusters of ribonucleic acids (RNA) and TDP-43, a protein that has long been known to go awry in the majority of ALS and FTD cases.
“This is a significant advancement for the field. Scientists have been trying to create mice that accurately mimic the pathologies associated with these forms of ALS and FTD,” said Margaret Sutherland, Ph.D., program director, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of NIH. “This mouse model will be a valuable tool for developing therapies for these devastating disorders.”
The C9ORF72 gene is encoded by repeating strings of six DNA molecules. Disease-causing C9ORF72mutations make the strings excessively long which leads to the accumulation of RNA that either cluster into structures, called foci, or cause the production of abnormal c9RAN proteins in the brain and spinal cord of patients. The scientists found both in the brains of the mice. They also found clumps, or inclusions, of TDP-43 protein which is another pathological hallmark found in patients with the C9ORF72 mutation.
“Finding TDP-43 in these mice was unexpected” Dr. Petrucelli said. “We don’t yet know how foci and c9RAN proteins are linked to TDP-43 abnormalities, but with our new animal model, we now have a way to find out.”
Dr. Petrucelli and his team think these results are an important step in the development of therapies for these forms of ALS and FTD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
This work was supported by grants from NIH (NS089979, NS084528, NS079807, NS088689, NS063964, NS077402, NS084974, AG016574, ES20395), Department of Defense (ALSRP AL130125), Mayo Clinic Foundation, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Graduate School, ALS Association, Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, Target ALS and Alzheimer’s Association (NIRP-14-304425, NIRP-12-259289).
For more information, visit:
The NINDS is the nation’s leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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References

Chew et al. “C9ORF72 Repeat Expansions in Mice Cause TDP-43 Pathology, Neuronal Loss and Behavioral Deficits,” Science, May 14, 2015. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9344

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FDA MedWatch - Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Cautions about Dose Confusion and Medication Errors

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MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Cautions About Dose Confusion and Medication Errors

[Posted 05/20/2015] 
AUDIENCE: Nursing, Pharmacy, Risk Manager
ISSUE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health care professionals about the risk for dosing errors with the antibacterial drug Zerbaxa (ceftolozane and tazobactam) due to confusion about the drug strength displayed on the vial and carton labeling. (See the Drug Safety Communication for Label Photos).
FDA evaluated seven reported cases of medication error that occurred during preparation of the dose in the pharmacy due to confusion with the display of the strength of individual ingredients on Zerbaxa’s vial labels and carton labeling. Listing the individual drug strengths led to confusion because it was different from labeling for other drugs in the beta-lactam/beta-lactamase class that express strength as the sum of the two active ingredients. In some cases, this led to administration of 50% more drug than was prescribed. No adverse events were reported among these seven cases.
BACKGROUND: Zerbaxa is used to treat complicated infections in the urinary tract, or in combination with the antibacterial drug metronidazole to treat complicated infections in the abdomen. Antibacterial drugs work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause illness.
RECOMMENDATION: FDA urges health care professionals and patients to report side effects and medication errors involving Zerbaxa to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178 
Read the MedWatch safety alert, including links to the Drug Safety Communication, at:http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm447629.htm

Thursday Health.mil News Round-Up: Fueling with fluid; Military Health System to Consolidate Online Training; Drew Brees Motivated by Military Families’ Fitness Efforts

Thursday Health.mil News Round-Up: Fueling with fluid; Military Health System to Consolidate Online Training; Drew Brees Motivated by Military Families’ Fitness Efforts

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Fueling with fluid
May 12, 2015
Optimal fueling includes staying well hydrated during exercise. Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration that affects your mental and physical performance.
Online training for Military Health System (MHS) personnel is moving to a new web-based site, Joint Knowledge Online (JKO), in June. The move to JKO consolidates and standardizes MHS online training, better known as e-learning. The move simplifies assigning, locating, completing and tracking of online medical training.

Over the last few months, I have watched with pride as our service members and their families have risen up to meet The UltimateMe PALA+ Challenge. Week by week, participants like you have signed up, tracked workouts, and most importantly, made regular physical activity and a healthy diet part of a daily routine. I’ve been inspired by your commitment to strengthening not only your body but also your entire community—and I’ll be using it as motivation as I prepare for the start of football season. Keep working towards earning a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, encourage friends and family to join you, and help your own team have a winning summer.”

Is intelligence determined by genetics? - Genetics Home Reference

Is intelligence determined by genetics? - Genetics Home Reference

Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions



Is intelligence determined by genetics?

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Like most aspects of human behavior and cognition, intelligence is a complex trait that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
Intelligence is challenging to study, in part because it can be defined and measured in different ways. Most definitions of intelligence include the ability to learn from experiences and adapt to changing environments. Elements of intelligence include the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, and understand complex ideas. Many studies rely on a measure of intelligence called the intelligence quotient (IQ).
Researchers have conducted many studies to look for genes that influence intelligence. Many of these studies have focused on similarities and differences in IQ within families, particularly looking at adopted children and twins. These studies suggest that genetic factors underlie about 50 percent of the difference in intelligence among individuals. Other studies have examined variations across the entire genomes of many people (an approach called genome-wide association studies or GWAS) to determine whether any specific areas of the genome are associated with IQ. These studies have not conclusively identified any genes that underlie differences in intelligence. It is likely that a large number of genes are involved, each of which makes only a small contribution to a person’s intelligence.
Intelligence is also strongly influenced by the environment. Factors related to a child’s home environment and parenting, education and availability of learning resources, and nutrition, among others, all contribute to intelligence. A person’s environment and genes influence each other, and it can be challenging to tease apart the effects of the environment from those of genetics. For example, if a child’s IQ is similar to that of his or her parents, is that similarity due to genetic factors passed down from parent to child, to shared environmental factors, or (most likely) to a combination of both? It is clear that both environmental and genetic factors play a part in determining intelligence.

To find out more about the influence of genetics on intelligence:

This news release from the journal Nature explains why it is so difficult to identify genes associated with IQ: “‘Smart genes’ prove elusive”This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. (September 8, 2014)
The Tech Museum of Innovation at Stanford University provides a Q&A about the influence of genes and environment on IQThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory offers an interactive tool called Genes to CognitionThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. that provides information about many aspects of the genetics of neuroscience.

Scientific journal articles for further reading:

Deary IJ. Intelligence. Curr Biol. 2013 Aug 19;23(16):R673-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.07.021. PMID:23968918This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.. Free full-text available from the publisher:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213008440This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.
Deary IJ, Johnson W, Houlihan LM. Genetic foundations of human intelligence. Hum Genet. 2009 Jul;126(1):215-32. doi: 10.1007/s00439-009-0655-4. Epub 2009 Mar 18. Review. PMID: 19294424This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..
Plomin R, Deary IJ. Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings. Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;20(1):98-108. doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.105. Epub 2014 Sep 16. Review. PMID: 25224258This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.. Free full-text  available from PubMed Central: PMC4270739This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..
Sternberg RJ. Intelligence. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Mar;14(1):19-27. Review. PMID: 22577301This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.. Free full-text available from PubMed Central: PMC3341646This link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

Teens' Page: MedlinePlus

Teens' Page: MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You



05/19/2015 04:52 PM EDT


Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health
Related MedlinePlus Page: Teens' Page

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Teen Sexual Health: MedlinePlus

Teen Sexual Health: MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You



05/19/2015 04:52 PM EDT


Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health
Related MedlinePlus Page: Teen Sexual Health

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