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Research Matters

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June 8, 2009

Photo of boy's face.Common Medication Ineffective for Children with Autism
The medication citalopram is often prescribed for children with autism to reduce repetitive behaviors. But now a new clinical study shows that the drug is no more effective than a placebo and leads to more adverse effects.
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Image of a white blood cell.Scientists Discover New Genetic Immune Disorder in Children
Researchers have identified a rare but devastating genetic condition that affects children around the time of birth. Most of the children responded quickly to a synthetic form of the protein that's abnormal or missing in the condition.
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June 1, 2009

Close-up photo of human skin.Unexpected Microbe Diversity on Human Skin
A new study of the skinís microbiome—all of the DNA of all of the microbes that inhabit human skin—reveals that our skin is home to a much wider array of bacteria than previously thought.
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Scanning electron micrograph of a human egg.Scientists Detect Key Proteins Needed for Ovulation
Researchers have identified 2 proteins that are essential for ovulation in mice. The discovery may lead to new approaches for treating infertility and preventing pregnancy.
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Flow Forces Promote Embryonic Blood Cell FormationImage of a colony of red blood cells
Scientists have discovered that cells in an embryo are prompted to develop into blood cells by the force of rushing fluid pushed by the beating heart. The finding has important implications for developing stem cell therapies for blood diseases.
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May 18, 2009

Photo of a man clutching his lower back.Acupuncture-Like Treatments Improve Low Back Pain
Acupuncture and simulated acupuncture both improved chronic low back pain more than conventional care in a new study. The result highlights central questions about how acupuncture helps people with chronic pain.
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Image of a brain with 2 colored areas Potassium Channel Linked to Schizophrenia
Scientists have connected a gene that regulates the flow of potassium into and out of cells with schizophrenia. The discovery provides a new potential therapeutic target.
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Detail from image of mouse torso with glowing blue patch indicating the liver.  New Proteins Help Peer Inside Living Animals
Scientists have developed a new molecule that emits infrared light bright enough to be detected deep within the tissues of a living mouse. This type of molecule could one day aid the study of cancer, infections and other biological processes in small animals.
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May 11, 2009

Photo of an outdoor African market.Landmark Study Looks at Genetics of Africans, African Americans
Researchers have analyzed genetic variation in people across Africa, helping to tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans. The results will also help uncover genes that contribute to disease in these populations.
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Illustration of an EKG graph.Genes Help Breast Cancer Cells Invade the Brain
Scientists have identified 3 genes that help breast cancer cells gain access and take root in the brain. The finding points to potential new strategies for blocking the often-deadly spread of cancer to the brain and other parts of the body.
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An illustration of a neuron.Immune System Tied to Narcolepsy
A new finding provides evidence that autoimmunity, in which the immune system turns against the bodyís own tissues, may play an important role in narcolepsy.
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May 4, 2009

Photo of a cow.Scientists Sequence Cow Genome
The domesticated cow has become the first livestock mammal to have its genetic blueprint sequenced and analyzed. This major milestone in animal genetics provides new information not only about cattle biology but also about mammalian evolution.
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Photo of a little boy.Autism Tied to Genes That Influence Brain Cell Connections
Three genome-wide association studies have identified genetic variations that affect the risk of autism spectrum disorders. Understanding how these variations affect brain development will suggest new strategies for diagnosing and treating the disorders.
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Photo of a woman holding an infant.Breastfeeding Moms Have Lower Heart Risks Later in Life
The longer moms breastfeed their babies, the less likely they are to have cardiovascular disease and related risk factors after their childbearing years, a new study suggests.
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April 27, 2009

Close-up photo of a mosquito.New Insights Into Dengue Virus
Dengue fever is a painful and sometimes fatal illness spread by mosquitoes. In a finding that could lead to new therapies, scientists identified several components in both mosquitoes and humans that the dengue virus uses to multiply after infection.
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Photo of heart surgery.Surgical Reconstruction Offers No Benefit Over Bypass Surgery
An extra surgery to reshape a damaged region of the heart does not further benefit heart failure patients undergoing bypass surgery, according to a large clinical trial.
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Photo of a young woman sneezing.Change Allows Influenza Virus to Spread in Respiratory Droplets
A new study shows that the avian H9N2 influenza virus can fairly easily gain the ability to transmit in respiratory droplets, like that from a sneeze. Insights from the study will have profound implications for pandemic flu preparation.
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NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

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NIH Research Matters
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
National Institutes of Health
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This page was last updated June 8, 2009 .
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