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NIH Research Matters

February 11, 2013

Photo of a teenage girl.

Many Doctors Don't Ask Teens About Alcohol

In a new study, more than one-third of 10th graders reported recent alcohol use. But many didn't recall their doctors asking them about it. The finding reveals important missed opportunities to prevent underage alcohol use.

Photo of elderly an man asleep.

Sleep and Memory in the Aging Brain

New research reveals a connection between sleep and memory and sheds light on why forgetfulness is common in the elderly. The study also suggests that boosting sleep quality may help improve memory.

Microscope image showing bright fluorescent signal in a nerve fiber.

Sensing Positive Touch

Scientists have identified a rare type of neuron in mice that's responsible for detecting the pleasant stroking of skin. The finding opens the door to exploring the molecules and neural pathways that recognize a positive touch.

February 4, 2013

Photo of a happy pregnant woman.

H1N1 Flu Shots Safe for Pregnant Women

A study of pregnant women in Norway found that those infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had an increased risk of miscarriages and stillbirths. But those vaccinated against the virus had no increased risk of pregnancy loss.

Transmission electron micrograph of dengue virus particles in tissue.

Dengue Vaccine Shows Early Promise

A low-cost vaccine against the dengue virus showed promise in an early-stage clinical trial. With further development, the vaccine may help ease the burden of dengue fever in developing countries.

Photo of a medical team rushing a sick patient to the emergency ward.

Strategy May Improve Survival after Shock

Blocking digestive enzymes in rat intestines increased survival, reduced organ damage and improved recovery after shock. The innovative approach may lead to better therapies for shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure.

January 28, 2013

Photo of young students.

Early Autism May Not Last a Lifetime

A new study found that some children correctly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders at an early age may lose symptoms as they grow older. Further research may help scientists develop more effective interventions.

Photo of a cheeseburger.

Genes, Junk Food and Weight

Why do some people gain weight more easily than others? A study of mice eating the mouse equivalent of a fast-food diet gives insight into how genetics can influence obesity.

Illustration of several round bacteria on the surface of a white blood cell.

New Drug Effective Against MRSA in Mice

Scientists identified an effective new drug for mice with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an infection that's very hard to treat. The findings may lead to new ways to treat people with the resistant bacteria.

January 14, 2013

Photo of a hand reaching for a sea of peanuts.

Therapy Shows Promise for Peanut Allergy

An experimental therapy for people with peanut allergy can reduce their sensitivity to peanuts, a new study found. With further development, the technique could make life easier for those whose only current option is to avoid peanut products.

Photo of electrocardiogram showing a heart pulse.

Implanted Defibrillators Boost "Real World" Survival

A new study linked implanted cardiac devices to improved survival rates, whether or not patients were participating in a carefully controlled clinical trial.

Microscopic images of mouse skin.

Protein Linked to Atopic Dermatitis

A study in mice suggests that lack of a certain protein may trigger atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema. The finding may lead to improved treatment options for people.

January 7, 2013

Confocal micrograph of green and pink patches of cells.

2012 Research Highlights

A special recap of scientific findings published in 2012 by NIH-supported investigators.

December 17, 2012

Photo of a healthy baby.

Genomic Technology Detects Fetal Problems

Two new studies show the potential of a genomic technique to help spot abnormalities in fetuses that conventional methods can’t. The technology might allow better planning for early interventions and prevention of stillbirth.

Photo of an untrustworthy man in a senior’s doorway.

Brain Changes as Trust Rises With Age

Older adults are more likely than younger ones to perceive dishonest faces as trustworthy, according to a study of social judgments and brain activity. The findings may help explain why older people are more likely to fall victim to fraud.

Image of mouse heart cells with brightly colored nuclei.

Source of New Heart Cell Growth Discovered

A study in mice suggests that new heart cells arise from pre-existing heart cells and that the renewal process slows with age. The findings may lead to improved regenerative therapy for people with heart damage.

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About NIH Research Matters

Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

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This page last reviewed on February 11, 2013

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