Antibiotic may reduce stroke risk and injury in diabetics

AUGUSTA, Ga. – A daily dose of an old antibiotic may help diabetics avoid a stroke or at least minimize its damage, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.
Minocycline, a drug already under study at MCG for stroke treatment, may help d…

Green tea linked to skin cell rejuvenation

Research into the health-promoting properties of green tea is yielding information that may lead to new treatments for skin diseases and wounds.
Dr. Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology, has uncovered a wealth of information about green tea in the last few years. Most importantly, he helped determine that compounds in green tea called polyphenols help eliminate free radicals, which can cause cancer by altering DNA. He also found that polyphenols safeguard healthy cells while ushering cancer cells to their death.

Cells Use Patch to Heal Rips and Tears, Avoid Destruction and Disease

Most cells in the body rapidly repair many tears to their delicate surface that result from everyday use, trauma or disease, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher. Dr. Paul L. McNeil’s decade-old hypothesis says that when the cell surface is so compromised, calcium ions from outside the cell rush in, prompting membranes inside the cell to fuse and patch the hole. he cell biologist seems to have proven his theory by taking the red blood cell — the one cell in the body known to lack these internal membranes — and documenting its inability to self-repair.<

Nerve-Destroying Chemicals are Model for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Tiny motor proteins delivering vital nutrients along the length of nerves are a target for two common chemicals known for their neurotoxicity, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher. Acrylamides – used in water purification, paper manufacturing, mining and recently found in potato chips, French fries, baked cereals and other carbohydrates cooked at high temperatures – and hexanes — an organic solvent used in glues, paints and shoe manufacturing – can shut down these motor proteins, says Dr. Dale W. Sickles, MCG neurotoxicologist.

Less fit teens more likely to have precursor to diabetes

A child who is overweight and unfit may already be on the road to developing insulin resistance, an early sign of diabetes, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association’s 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how well the body responds to insulin, a hormone that transports carbohydrates from the blood into cells where they are turned into energy. High insulin sensitivity means the body is responding well to insulin. Low insulin sensitivity ? also called insulin resistance ? is often a precursor to diabetes.

Testicular self-exams often not done, study shows

A self-exam for testicular cancer takes maybe a minute to do and about that much time to teach but most often, neither happens, according to a study published in the March issue of Pediatrics. An electronic survey completed by 129 pediatric or pediatric/internal medicine residents at two teaching programs in the United States showed that 29 percent of the male residents performed monthly self-exams and that 40 percent of all the residents taught the exam to their 12- to 21-year-old patients, said the study’s lead author.

Georgia researcher finds new source of stem cells: the gut

A cell type with the potential for making the four major types of human tissue has been found in the stomach and small intestine by a Medical College of Georgia researcher. These VENT cells have been found in addition to the three sources of cells typically associated with gastrointestinal development, says Dr. Paul Sohal, MCG developmental biologist, who first identified these cells nearly a decade ago. Identification of VENT — ventrally emigrating neural tube — cells within the stomach and small intestine is another piece in Dr. Sohal’s effort to fully define and describe the cells that he first found migrating out from the neural tube of a chick embryo. If Dr. Sohal’s studies are on target, he’s found the first source of new cells identified in the embryo since 1868 and what might be the precursor for adult stem cells.

Gene that helps blood vessels form linked to complex birth defect

A gene known for its ability to form blood vessels has been found to be a key player in a chromosomal abnormality that causes potentially devastating birth defects in the heart and throughout the body. In a study published in the February 2003 issue of Nature Medicine, a group of collaborators from across the globe reports that abnormalities in vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, is a cause of DiGeorge syndrome. The syndrome can cause a wide range of heart defects, many of which are vascular in nature, as well as problems with the thymus and parathyroid gland, craniofacial abnormalities and mental retardation.

Protein Research Provides Clues to How Blood Clots, Wounds Heal

They are proteins that cut other proteins, enabling a wide range of essential functions such as wound healing, blood clotting and formation of muscle and nerve cells.
But serine proteases also can cut a path of destruction, contributing to the plaques involved in heart disease and Alzheimer’s and to extensive birth defects as well when something goes awry. Understanding this sort of physiological crescendo called a protease cascade is a goal of Dr. Ellen K. LeMosy, developmental biologist at the Medical College of Georgia.

Meditation Benefits Schoolchildren, Study Finds

A Medical College of Georgia pilot study using meditation to help lower blood pressure in teens was so successful that the project has been extended to five high schools and a middle school. Dr. Vernon Barnes, a physiologist at the Georgia Prevention Institute with over 30 years of experience in teaching and applying meditation techniques, conducted the pilot five years ago, teaching meditation to students with high-normal blood pressure at a Richmond County high school. The results, published in a 1999 edition of Psychosomatic Medicine, cited lower blood pressure and other improvements among participants. The success spurred the GPI to expand the project to include 156 high school students and 80 middle school students in Richmond County. The study is funded by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.

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