What's The Buzz

Surfing the net helps slow dementia

You can stop your ageing grandparents from becoming forgetful by simply asking them to surf the net, for a new study has found that Googling can consistently stimulate brain to slow or even reverse the age-related declines that can end in dementia. Gary Small, University of California, Los Angeles, observed 24 men and women aged between 55 and 78 to reach the conclusion.

Half of the people were regular users of the net, while the remaining persons were not.
It was learnt that the internet stimulated the mind greater compared to reading. Also the effects of an internet session apparently continued for a long period after it had ended.
During the research, the brains of the participants were scanned using a technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging, while they conducted a series of searches on the web.

HAART for mothers to be affects newborns also
In what could be good news to hundreds of HIV positive pregnant women, a new study by American researchers has found that mothers receiving antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to treat HIV-1 infection have less chances of transmitting the deadly virus to their newborn child through breastfeeding.

The research led by Taha E Taha, Johns Hopkins University, suggest HAART regimens should be initiated as early as possible in eligible mothers in areas with limited resources, such as Africa, where most infant HIV-1 infections occur, and breastfeeding is common.
Researchers studied 2,318 infant/mother pairs in Malawi to come up with their conclusions and suggest that HAART regimens should be administered as soon as possible to mothers, especially in underdeveloped countries. However, some cannot take HAART due to a high CD4 count. CD4 is a primary receptor used by HIV-1 tyo enter into host T cells.

Copper bracelets ineffective in relieving arthritis pain
Copper bracelets and magnetic wristbands are ineffective in relieving the crippling pain of arthritis, experts have claimed. Pain sufferers have long believed in the healing powers of the devices with some wearers thinking the bands will help ward off the degenerative disease in their advancing years. But now scientific research suggests that they have no health benefits.

Researchers conducted the first randomised placebo-controlled trial on the use of both copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps for pain management in osteoarthritis — the most common form of the condition. The trial was led by Stewart Richmond, University of York, who said: “This is the first randomised controlled trial to indicate that copper bracelets are ineffective for relieving arthritis pain.”

“It appears that any perceived benefit obtained from wearing a magnetic or copper bracelet can be attributed to psychological placebo effects, he said.

Radioactive imaging agent for skin cancer diagnosis
An Australian government funded research group has developed a potential new material that can make early diagnosis of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer possible. The Cooperative Research Consortium for Biomedical Imaging Develop has revealed that the novel material is currently being tested in laboratory animals.

Ivan Greguric, a group member, notes that about 1,30,000 new cases of malignant melanoma occur each year worldwide. Although patients do best with early diagnosis and prompt treatment, according to the researcher, the positron emission tomography (PET) scans sometimes used for diagnosis sometimes miss small cancers, delaying diagnosis and treatment. While searching for better ways of diagnosis, the researchers identified a new group of radioactive imaging agents, known as fluoronicotinamides.

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