Scientists show how Kaposi’s sarcoma virus causes cancer cells to grow

Scientists have shown for the first time how the virus that causes Kaposi’s sarcoma inhibits the body’s immune response and causes cancer cells to grow through a technique called immune evasion. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, or KSHV,causes Kaposi’s sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel cells that often occurs in tissues under the skin or mucous membranes, and is the most common malignancy occurring among AIDS patients. KSHV belongs to the family of herpesviruses that includes the causes of genital herpes, cold sores and chickenpox. The same researchers who previously discovered KSHV examined the expression of a virus-derived cytokine (a hormone-like substance that regulates cells during an immune response) in KSHV and found it not only inhibits immune function, but also causes cancerous cells to grow

Infant stroke severely under-recognized, researcher says

A neurologist at the University of California at San Francisco says stroke in neonates and children is severely under-recognized, with about 1 case per 4,000 live births. About 6 percent of those children will die, 20 to 35 percent will go on to have another stroke, and more than two-thirds of survivors will have neurological deficits or seizures.

Climate Change Linked to Population Shifts Among Mammals

Scientists have shown, for the first time, that changes in a large-scale climate system can synchronize population fluctuations in multiple mammal species across a continent-scale region. The study, to be published in the 14 November 2002 issue of the journal Nature, compares long-term data on the climate system known as the North Atlantic Oscillation with long-term data from Greenland on the population dynamics of caribou and muskoxen, which are large mammals adapted to breeding in the Arctic.

Causes of Life-Expectancy Gap Between Races, Education Levels ID’d

Researchers for the first time have identified and ranked which diseases contribute most to the life-expectancy gap between races and between education levels. The top four contributors to the life-expectancy disparity between blacks and whites are hypertension, HIV, homicide and diabetes. The top six contributors of mortality differences between education levels are all smoking-related diseases.

Dietary vitamin E associated with sharply lower risk of Parkinson’s

Previous research has implicated oxidative damage (cell degradation) in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Because vitamins E, C and carotenoids are antioxidants, researchers recently studied the associations between their intake and risk of Parkinson’s disease. Their conclusions point not to supplements, but to dietary intake of vitamin E (from the foods we eat) as having a protective factor in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The study is reported in the October 22 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.