Latest research news

February 7, 2007

Human skin is a zoo of bacteria, scientists say
The first detailed survey of the microbial "zoo" living on the human body has found far more species than expected, with a significant proportion being new to science. A molecular technique has been developed by scientists that can identify each individual bacteria living on the surface of the skin. They found that on average people have 182 species of bacteria living at any one time on their forearms, and about 8 per cent of these have never been formally described by scientists. The Independent

Depression linked to risk of heart disease
Physical signs of depression, such as fatigue and appetite loss, increase the risk of early heart disease, research has shown. A study found a significant association between depressive symptoms and the "furring up" of arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The findings may aid the development of new treatments aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease in people prone to negative feelings, said the researchers.
The Daily Telegraph

Study finds loneliness in old age may help trigger Alzheimer's
Feeling lonely may help to trigger Alzheimer's disease in later life, new research suggests. Scientists found that lonely individuals were twice as likely to develop the degenerative brain disease as people who experienced little loneliness. Previous studies associated social isolation or lack of personal contact with an increased risk of dementia and mental decline. But being alone is not the same as feeling lonely.
The Scotsman, The Guardian

New study fuels bone fears over Glaxo's Avandia
Patients taking GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia may have a higher risk of hip and other fractures because the medicine decreases bone formation, according to new research by doctors in New Zealand. A study of 50 postmenopausal women found those on Avandia had a 1.9 percent fall in total hip bone density after 14 weeks of treatment, while those on a placebo experienced a reduction of 0.2 percent. Lumbar spine bone density also fell significantly compared with starting levels but not compared with the placebo.
The Scotsman

Ultrasound beams could be the answer to chronic back pain
Technology used to confirm pregnancy or diagnose heart disease is now being used to treat low back pain. Pilot studies have suggested that therapeutic ultrasound can ease the symptoms of sciatica, and now University of Manchester researchers are recruiting patients for the first clinical trial. The trial will be made up of people over the age of 22, who have had symptoms of sciatica for less than three months.
The Daily Mail

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