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Archive for the ‘FDA Updates’ Category

Scanning the genomes of more than 100,000 people from all over the world, scientists report the largest set of genes discovered underlying high cholesterol and high triglycerides — the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, the nation’s number one killer. Taken together, the gene variants explain between a quarter and a third of the inherited portions of cholesterol and triglyceride measured in the blood. The research, representing scientists from 17 countries, appears in two papers in the Aug. 5 issue of Nature.

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have for the first time activated mouse egg cells at the earliest stage of their development and brought them to maturity. In a related experiment, the researchers replicated the finding by also bringing human eggs to maturity in the laboratory.

The National Institutes of Health today launched a multidisciplinary network of experts who will explore new approaches to understanding the origins of health disparities, or differences in the burden of disease among population groups. Using state-of-the-science conceptual and computational models, the network’s goal is to identify important areas where interventions or policy changes could have the greatest impact in eliminating health disparities. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), part of NIH, is contracting with the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, to establish the Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health (NICH).

People with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder experienced relief from symptoms of depression in as little as 40 minutes after an intravenous dose of the anesthetic medication ketamine in a preliminary study; while the patient group was small, this work adds to evidence that compounds in the class to which ketamine belongs have potential as rapid and effective medications for depression, including bipolar depression.

Nobel Prize winner Harold E. Varmus, M.D., today took the oath of office to become the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) 14th director. NCI is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), currently known for its therapeutic benefits against HIV, also reduced the spread of the virus among people with a history of injection drug use, according to a population-based study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the Lancet.

Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better health than did previous generations. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.

The National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health announces the appointment of five new members: Francisco Garcia, M.D., M.P.H., Ronda S. Henry-Tillman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Karen E. Kim, M.D., Claire Pomeroy, M.D., and Paul F. Terranova, Ph.D.

Today we congratulate the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the people of South Africa on the positive findings from the CAPRISA 004 microbicide study, which marks a significant milestone both for the microbicide research field and HIV prevention as a whole.

To coincide with the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna, NIDA has written a special issue of NewsScan on HIV/AIDS which features recent articles on the connection between drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and prevention and treatment strategies, authored by researchers supported by NIDA and other leading research organizations.

A clinical trial in Cambodia has found it possible to prolong the survival of untreated HIV-infected adults with very weak immune systems and newly diagnosed tuberculosis (TB) by starting anti-HIV therapy two weeks after beginning TB treatment, rather than waiting eight weeks, as has been standard. This finding by scientists co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, brings physicians closer to optimizing the treatment of severely immunosuppressed individuals with HIV-TB co-infection. The findings were presented today at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna by principal investigators Francois-Xavier Blanc, M.D., Anne E. Goldfeld, M.D., and Sok Thim, M.D.

Almost $6 million has been awarded to investigators and programs to help researchers in the early stages of careers in women’s health research. The funding is from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) and other co-sponsors. The money will go to 12 new and continuing Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) programs nationwide. This is the fifth funding round of an innovative, interdisciplinary career development program for men and women junior faculty in women’s health research.

At your next family reunion or gathering, consider discussing a different type of family tree–the family health history. Find out how to collect, organize and use information about your family’s health at Creating a Family Health History, the newest topic on the NIHSeniorHealth website. NIHSeniorHealth is a health and wellness website designed especially for older adults from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health.

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In humans, throwing a ball, typing on a keyboard, or engaging in most other physical activities involves the coordination of numerous discrete movements that are organized as action sequences. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the Gulbenkian Institute in Portugal have identified brain activity in mice that can signal the initiation and termination of newly learned action sequences. The findings appear online today in the current issue of Nature.

An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

A gene implicated in Carney complex, a rare disorder of the adrenal glands, appears to function as a molecular switch to limit cell growth and division, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Nine health research centers have received funds to develop ways to reduce the time it takes for clinical research to become treatments for patients. The funds were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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