The Health News – 05 August 2015

Overview:
• The research by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Melbourne University investigating whether nanotechnology is a better way to treat heart attacks and strokes have developed a nano-capsule that homes in on a blood clot, then breaks it down has been published in the journal Advanced Materials.

• A major longitudinal men’s health study coming out of Chicago has found that fatherhood makes men fat. The findings, just published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, are a reminder that men shouldn’t ignore their own health at the expense of looking after their families.

• A team from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute took a lead role in the international in a melanoma study that has uncovered five new gene regions that increase a person’s risk of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 5th August 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/scientists-discover-immediate-heart-attack-stroke-treatment/6670398?WT.ac=localnews_melbourne

Melbourne scientists investigating whether nanotechnology is a better way to treat heart attacks and strokes have developed a nano-capsule that homes in on a blood clot, then breaks it down.

The research by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and Melbourne University has been published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Baker IDI’s Christoph Hagemeyer said paramedics could eventually administer the nano-capsule intravenously in emergency situations.

“This can be given in the ambulance straight away so you really save a lot of time and restore the blood flow to the critical organs much faster than currently possible,” he said.

About 55,000 Australians experience heart attack or stroke every year, however half of them cannot use the current treatments in place.

“[It’s] especially critical for stroke because the drugs have a lot of side-effects at the moment,” Dr Hagemeyer said.

“So that’s the reason why only probably 3 to 5 per cent get this treatment at the moment for stroke patients.

“The antibody is targeted against platelets, which are highly abundant cells in the blood and they form thrombosis [a clot] and for that, [the] antibody we’re using is specially designed to fly to these blood platelets so it really seeks out the clot.” [he said]

He said the process of releasing the capsule is very fast.

Dr Hagemeyer said the method paramedics currently administer has side-effects.

Dr Hagemeyer has been working on the latest innovation for more than five years, but he said it would probably take another five years to bring the nanotechnology to patients.
Editor’s note (04/08/15): The research was funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/fatherhood-makes-men-fat/6662186

A major longitudinal men’s health study coming out of Chicago has found that fatherhood makes men fat. Health measures, including Body Mass Index, have been tracked in over 10,000 men, since they were adolescents.

Results indicate that even when age, race, daily activity, marital status and a number of lifestyle factors are controlled for, fatherhood, and in particular being a new dad, leads to weight gain. The findings, just published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, are a reminder that men shouldn’t ignore their own health at the expense of looking after their families.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/genetic-melanoma-risks-uncovered-in-queensland-led-study/6670150

A Queensland-led melanoma study has uncovered five new gene regions that increase a person’s risk of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer.

A team from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute took a lead role in the international project, the largest study of its kind, which examined more than 12,000 melanoma samples.

Dr Matthew Law said the discovery moved scientists marginally closer to “unravelling the melanoma puzzle”.
“The exciting thing from our point of view is that we know that genes influencing pigmentation and also genes involving mole count are very important for melanoma; but the five new regions we’ve found aren’t involved in those characteristics, so they uncovered new bits of melanoma biology,” he said.

“The most interesting one is a gene involved in the telomeres, which are like caps at the end of your chromosomes that protect them from damage, and one of the genes is involved in the length of your telomeres.
“The other four regions, we have a handle on how they may influence melanoma but more research is needed.”
Dr Law said the discovery could lead to better treatments and improved outcomes for patients.

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can grow quickly if left untreated.
Dr Law said the best way to avoid it was to practice sun safety, and to see a doctor if new freckles or moles appeared or if existing ones changed.
The latest research has been published in the prestigious journal, Nature Genetics.

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