Using nanoparticles and alternating magnetic fields, University of Georgia scientists have found that head and neck cancerous tumor cells in mice can be killed in half an hour without harming healthy cells. The findings, published recently in the journal Theranostics, mark the first time to the researchers' knowledge this cancer type has been treated using magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-induced hyperthermia, or above-normal body temperatures, in laboratory mice. "We show that we can use a small concentration of nanoparticles to kill the cancer cells, " said Qun Zhao, lead author and assistant professor of physics in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Researchers found that the treatment easily destroyed the cells of cancerous tumors that were composed entirely of a type of tissue that covers the surface of a body, which is also known as epithelium.
Patients who have undergone sinus surgery can safely take an alternative pain medication that does not cause the side effects of narcotics such as fentanyl and Vicodin, a Loyola University Health System study has found. The alternative medication is ketorolac (brand name, Toradol). It is in the same class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as Advil and Aleve. Ketorolac does not cause the side effects that narcotic drugs cause, such as itching, nausea, vomiting, constipation and drowsiness, said Kevin Welch, MD, corresponding author of the study, published online ahead of print in the International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology. Earlier studies have found that ketorolac is a safe and effective pain medication following cardiothoracic and other surgeries. Conversely, several studies have found that ketorolac increases postoperative bleeding in children who have had tonsillectomies.
Anxious people have a heightened sense of smell when it comes to sniffing out a threat, according to a new study by Elizabeth Krusemark and Wen Li from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. Their work¬ is published online in Springer's journal Chemosensory Perception. The study is part of a special issue¬ of this journal on neuroimaging the chemical senses. In animals, the sense of smell is an essential tool to detect, locate and identify predators in the surrounding environment. In fact, the olfactory-mediated defense system is so prominent in animals, that the mere presence of predator odors can evoke potent fear and anxiety responses. Smells also evoke powerful emotional responses in humans. Krusemark and Li hypothesized that in humans, detection of a particular bad smell may signal danger of a noxious airborne substance, or a decaying object that carries disease.
People born without a sense of smell experience higher social insecurity and increased risk for depression, according to a study published Mar. 21 in the open access journal PLoS ONE. The authors of the study, led by Ilona Croy of the University of Dresden Medical School in Germany, investigated 32 individuals born without a sense of smell, known as isolated congenital anosmia. They found that the non-smellers did not have significant deviations from the norm in terms of many daily smell-related functions, such as food preferences and eating behaviors, but they did have increased social insecurity, increased risk for depression, as well as increased risk for household accidents. The mechanism behind these correlations is not yet known, but the results suggest that olfaction plays a role in these behaviors, the authors write.
The hair cells of the inner ear have a previously unknown "root" extension that may allow them to communicate with nerve cells and the brain to regulate sensitivity to sound vibrations and head position, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered. Their finding is reported online in advance of print in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The hair-like structures, called stereocilia, are fairly rigid and are interlinked at their tops by structures called tip-links. When you move your head, or when a sound vibration enters your ear, motion of fluid in the ear causes the tip-links to get displaced and stretched, opening up ion channels and exciting the cell, which can then relay information to the brain, says Anna Lysakowski, professor of anatomy and cell biology at the UIC College of Medicine and principal investigator on the study.