Author Interviews, Gender Differences, PLoS, Social Issues / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of PsychologyDirector, Preferences Lab PreferencesLab.comFranklin and Marshall College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Makeup is commonly attributed with increasing attractiveness in female faces, but this effect has not been investigated in male faces. We therefore sought to examine whether the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness can be extended to male faces. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS, Rheumatology / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Tim Vyse Professor of Molecular Medicine and Dr David Morris Non Clinical Lecturer in Molecular Genetics Guy’s Hospital, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We observed a correlation between the genetic associations with severe COVID-19 and those with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, Lupus), and aimed to discover which genetic loci were shared by these diseases and what biological processes were involved. This resulted in the discovery of several genetic loci, some of which had alleles that were risk for both diseases and some of which were risk for severe COVID-19 yet protective for SLE. The locus with most evidence of shared association (TYK2) is involved in interferon production, a process that is important in response to viral infection and known to be dysregulated in SLE patients.  Other shared associated loci contained genes also involved in the defense response and the immune system signaling. These results add to the growing evidence that there are alleles in the human genome that provide protection against viral infection yet are risk for autoimmune disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, PLoS / 21.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Stephen Duffy Director of the Policy Research Unit in Cancer Awareness, Screening and Early Diagnosis Centre Lead, Centre for Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis Queen Mary University of London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme provides 2 yearly screening to men and women aged 60-74, and it is in the process of reducing the starting age to 50 years. The screening method is faecal immunochemical testing (FIT), in which the screenee places a small sample of faeces in a container and mails this back to the lab, which tests the sample for haemoglobin, as bleeding can be a sign of cancer. The screenee is invited for colonoscopy if the level of haemoglobin is higher than 120 micrograms per gram. The system is under considerable pressure as there are limited colonoscopy resources, the programme is working towards a lower age at starting screening and we are still dealing with the backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there may be a need to reduce the intensity of screening in order that the colonoscopy services can cope. (more…)
Author Interviews, PLoS, PTSD / 27.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clare Jensen O’Haire Research Team Center for the Human-Animal Bond Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Service dogs for PTSD are becoming more common and the evidence shows they can help improve mental health and quality of life for many veterans with PTSD. However, some veterans benefit more than others. Our research goal was to ask for the very first time: Why? (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, PLoS, Social Issues / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Holly Bennett PhD Research Associate Population Health Sciences Institute Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle upon Tyne MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Life expectancy has been increasing over time and we want to ensure these are years in good health rather than increasing years in poor health. There has mainly been good news for those living with long term health conditions. With better treatment, prevention and care, the proportion of remaining years lived disability-free has increased for more recent generations. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, PLoS / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Laurence Moss MD, PhD candidate Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) Department of Anesthesiology Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) Geert Jan GroeneveldMD, PhD Neurologist | Clinical Pharmacologist | Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology CMO/CSO Centre for Human Drug Research Leiden, The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major source of morbidity and mortality, and the opioid epidemic in the Unites States (but increasingly in Europe also) has been well documented and reported on by the media. The alarming rise in opioid related mortality is largely driven by the increasing use of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, often surreptitiously mixed with heroin or other drugs such as psychostimulants or prescribed opioids. Opioid-induced respiratory depression in particular is a leading cause of opioid-related fatalities. Buprenorphine has been proven as an effective medication for the treatment of OUD. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic partial agonist for the opioid receptor that firmly binds to these receptors and displays only partial respiratory depressive effects, meaning it does not cause the complete cessation of breathing as is the case with other potent opioids such as fentanyl. Due to its firm receptor binding, we hypothesized that at sufficient buprenorphine receptor occupancy, the effect of fentanyl on respiration would be limited, even at high fentanyl doses. This study aimed to provide proof of principle for this hypothesis, and demonstrate whether buprenorphine could reduce fentanyl-induced respiratory depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 20.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Jugnoo S Rahi Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist NIHR Senior Investigator Head, Vision and Eyes Group UCL HeadPopulation Policy and Practice Research and Teaching Department GOS ICH UCL Director, Ulverscroft Vision Research Group  GOS Institute of Child Health UCL / Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Institute of Ophthalmology UCL / NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre Chair, Academic Committee Chair, British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit Executive Committee Royal College of Ophthalmologists  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: We hypothesised that if changing environmental factors, in particular educational experience, are accounting for increasing frequency of myopia in the UK, a cohort effect would be discernible in changing associations with myopia, with different profiles for childhood and adult-onset forms. We investigated this using the UK Biobank Study, a unique large contemporary adult population sample whose members, born over a period of more than three decades, have undergone a detailed ophthalmic examination. This affords the opportunity to analyse ‘historical’ cohorts covering a period of important socio-demographic, economic, and educational change in the UK from which current and emerging trends may be identified and examined. Drawing on our previous proof-of-concept study, we investigated whether there were differences between childhood-onset versus adult-onset myopia in temporal trends in both frequency and severity and in associations with key environmental factors. (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Bell, PhD, MS Professor Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health The University of Arizona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In May 2020 my colleagues began a cohort study called CoVHORT, which  aimed to investigate the impacts of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic among residents of Arizona. The current study on long covid is a sub-study which included all CoVHORT participants who had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, were not hospitalized, and had symptom data 30 days are longer since the test. We wanted to investigate the prevalence of long covid, also known as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) amongst people who did not experience severe acute infection. Although the definition is still evolving in the research community, we defined PASC as continuing to experience at least one symptom 30 days or longer post-acute infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group, the Wellness Environment Scientific Team at the University of Vermont, hadn’t planned to look at COVID at the outset of this study and instead were going to look at mental health and engagement in wellness activities in college students across a semester. The pandemic disrupted that plan when students were abruptly sent home but fortunately, they continued to do their daily app-based ratings of their mood, stress levels, and engagement in healthy activities.  We then realized we had some interesting pre-COVID to COVID data that was worth exploring.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dengue, PLoS, Zika / 04.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gregor J. Devine, Ph.D Mosquito Control LaboratoryQIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Brisbane, Queensland, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Scale of the problem: Dengue, Zika and chikungunya are all transmitted by the same mosquito species.  That mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is superbly adapted to the human, urban environment – it lays its eggs and develops in the standing water that collects in the myriad containers associated with modern living (plastic bottles, food packaging, buckets, planters, crumpled tarpaulins etc.). Unusually they rely almost entirely on human blood for their nutritional requirements and they subsequently bite multiple times during each egg laying cycle. That reliance on human blood means that they are usually found resting indoors, a behaviour that also offers them some protection from weather extremes and predators. Once infected, and having incubated the virus until it is transmissible, a mosquito that survives for just a couple of weeks can infect many humans within the same and neighbouring households. In poorer tropical urban environments with dense human populations, unscreened houses, no air-conditioning, and innumerable rain-filled containers to develop in, Aedes aegypti proliferates and so do those diseases, causing ca 400M annual infections of dengue alone by some estimates. The economic impact of the dengue, which normally causes a high fever, muscle and joint pains and nausea, is pronounced; especially in poor households with few savings and no welfare system. Every year, about 500,000 of those dengue cases develop into severe dengue, or dengue haemorrhagic fever (typified by plasma leakage, severe bleeding and organ impairment). There are about 25,000 deaths annually. mosquito-Aedes aegypti-feeding-human.jpgThe Zika pandemic of 2015-2016 resulted in 1000s of babies born with microcephaly and damage to their brains and eyes. For 1000s of other children, the impacts of Zika on their cognitive development did not manifest in their first, formative years.  Chikungunya is endemic in Asia and Africa but between 2010 and 2014, outbreaks and epidemics spread across the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, the Americas and the Pacific Islands. It causes severe, often debilitating joint pain in infected patients. Those affected also suffer from headaches, fever, severe muscle pain and conjunctivitis. Joint pain can persist in subacute or chronic form for several months or even years, particularly in older patients. The ubiquity of the mosquito Aedes aegypti across the tropics and sub tropics ensures that further epidemics of Zika and chikungunya will occur, outside their usual ranges. It’s simply impossible to predict when that will occur. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pancreatic, PLoS / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine and Graduate College Director of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit Division of Digestive Diseases Rush University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study builds on recent population based studies where opium use was found to be possible risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Although opium use is not a common recreational habit in the United States, opioid use has been rising remarkably over the past decade. In fact, opioid misuse and overdose have evolved into a public health crisis here with increasing opioid prescription use and abuse over the past decade. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, PLoS, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 29.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dongmei Li, Ph.D., Associate Professor Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Rochester Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous animal and human studies have found that nicotine exposure could harm adolescents’ brain development and impact their cognitive functions. Electronic cigarettes, which have become very popular among youth in the US in recent years, usually contain nicotine at equivalent or possibly higher levels than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that vaping might be associated with self-reported cognitive complaints. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Response: Main findings from our study are:
  1. Our cross-sectional youth and adult studies are the first to associate vaping with self-reported complaints of serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
  2. Our youth study also found that students who reported starting to vape early – between eight and 13 years of age – had higher odds of reporting difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions than those who started vaping at 14 or older.
  3. These studies add to a growing list of conditions and diseases (wheezing, COPD, cardiovascular disease, cancer) that have been associated with vaping/electronic cigarette use. 
(more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, PLoS / 17.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Alexandre Mebazaa Head of the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Hôpital Lariboisiere and of the Research group MASCOT supported by Inserm and the Université de Paris (Paris, France). Prof. Mebazaa is the principle investigator of the recently published preclinical experiments on Procizumab, a potent, pre-clinical drug candidate targeting DPP3 in patients with acute mycardial depression.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the significance of DPP3?  Response: The global burden of sepsis counts for one in three deaths world-wide. Recent findings have shown that circulating Dipeptidyl Pepidase 3 (cDPP3) is elevated in critical patients, including cardiogenic shock and septic patients, with the highest DPP3 blood levels found in non-survivors. Dipeptidyl Peptidase 3 (DPP3) is an intracellular peptidase that is released into the bloodstream upon cell injury and death, where it inactivates many circulating peptides including angiotensin II. This process likely leads to cardiac depression. Procizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody in preclinical development that targets and modulates DPP3. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the benefits of inhibiting circulating DPP3 by Procizumab in a preclinical model of sepsis-induced myocardial depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, PLoS, Social Issues / 12.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher W. Tyler D.Sc., PhD Division of Optometry and Vision Sciences School of Health Sciences City University of London London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The idea came from my previous  investigation of compositional regulates in paintings, which showed that there is a sense of balance  between symmetry and asymmetry in a composition, such that the asymmetry composition tends to appear more dynamic and interesting, but it needs to be anchored around a symmetric point for a comfortable sense of stability. That point in adult portraits tends to be the dominant eye, placed close to the centre line, but above the centre of the painting as a whole. Selfies are a fascinating art form and the lead author has published several papers on this topic from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. One fascinating feature of selfies is that they represent pseudo-artistic productions by individuals that do not generally have academic artistic training, making it interesting to compare them to self-portraits by real artists. If you then see the same phenomena, it is likely that these are rooted in our deep nature rather than on training and cultural conventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Nutrition, PLoS, Red Meat / 05.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christopher A. McDevitt B.Sc. (Hons) Ph.D , Associate Professor Group Leader, ARC Future Fellow The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity Melbourne | Victoria | Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Zinc-deficiency affects nearly one-third of the world’s population and is associated with an increased susceptibility to respiratory and enteric infections. The foremost global respiratory disease is pneumonia, which kills more than 1 million people per year with young children and the elderly being at greatest risk. This study investigated how zinc-deficiency affected Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, the primary bacterial cause of pneumonia. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Pediatrics, PLoS, Social Issues / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jayanta Kumar Bora Guest Researcher IIASA|Laxenburg, Austria & Ph.D. Scholar Indian Institute of Dalit Studies New Delhi, India  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although under-five mortality rate (U5MR) is declining in India, it is still high in a few selected states and among the scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) population of the country. We examined the disparities in under-five mortality in high focus states of India. The high-focus states in India were designated as such by the Indian government because of their persistently high child mortality and relatively poor socio-economic and health indicators. This study re-examines the association between castes and under-five mortality in high focus Indian states using the most recent Indian Demographic Health Survey data conducted in 2015-16. The study also aims to quantify the relative contribution of socioeconomic determinants to under-five deaths by explaining the gap between socially disadvantaged (SC and ST) and non-disadvantaged castes in high focus states. Identifying disadvantaged groups in high focus states can help to reduce the absolute and relative burden of under-five deaths in India. (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, PLoS / 12.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Inger Mechlenburg, PhD, DMSc Orthopaedic Department, Aarhus University Hospital Department of Clinical Medicine Aarhus University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Traditionally, displaced 2-part humerus fractures have been operatively treated using a metal plate and screws. However, there are no studies showing a benefit of operation of those fractures. Therefore, we were interested in investigating, in a direct comparison between operation and non-operative treatment, whether there was a difference in patient-reported function, pain and health-related quality of life two years after the fracture. In this Nordic research collaboration http://nitep.eu/en/ between Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark we showed that there is no difference in functional results between operative and non-operative treatment in persons aged 60 or more with displaced proximal humerus fractures. In the study, only fractures with a significant displacement between bone fragments were included. In the non-operative treatment group, patients used a collar and cuff sling for three weeks and underwent instructed physiotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 16.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have been increasing within the past 30 years. We can point to things like sedentary lifestyle, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and savvy marketing techniques of large food corporations that target kids and their parents to buy food items that aren’t healthy. That said, we do know that women who have an unhealthy weight status (as measured by BMI ≥ 25) tend to have offspring that eventually attain an unhealthy weight status themselves. Aside from environmental factors, could this be due to maternal programming or perhaps something in the breastmilk? Or both? We saw some interesting research that showed breastfed infants/toddlers born to asthmatic moms were more likely to develop asthma. Furthermore, this association became stronger the longer the infants/toddlers were breastfed. The conclusion here is that it must be something in the breastmilk. We knew that asthma and obesity are both inflammatory in nature and that there are specific pro- and anti-inflammatory and obesogenic bioactive compounds in human breastmilk. Some have been studied before but there were no studies at the time that tied all of the pieces together. If we could target specific compounds in the milk that were associated with unhealthy growth patterns in infants then we could perhaps be more specific in how we fight this problem. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, PLoS / 09.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kyle Gardiner B.Pharm(Hons)PhD candidateDiscipline of PharmacyQueensland University of Technology | QUT · Brisbane, Australia Kyle Gardiner B.Pharm(Hons) PhD candidate Discipline of Pharmacy Queensland University of Technology | QUT · Brisbane, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The background to this study was a personal interest in behavioural science. I am often intrigued as to why health professional behave the way they do. Studies exploring health professional behaviour are seldom complete or comprehensive, however. Medicinal cannabis presents an interesting case point to explore health professional behaviours due to its topical nature. The socio-political discussion surrounding medicinal cannabis is often quite different from the medical discussion, yet for legal and regulated access to be achieved across most jurisdictions, a health professional is required to be involved in that process. Simply, if health professionals are not willing to behave, the delivery of medicinal cannabis does not occur. For purposes of transparency, I neither support or reject the use of medicinal cannabis and this paper has nothing to do improving or reducing access. This paper is about beginning to understand health professional behaviours within the context of medicinal cannabis. Yet, if we hope to change practice in the future, by definition, we need to change behaviour. We cannot change behaviour without first understanding the behaviour in context. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Microbiome, PLoS, Sexual Health / 16.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brent E. Palmer, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Director, ClinImmune and ACI/ID Flow Cytometry Facility Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology University of Colorado Anschutz Medical College Aurora, Colorado 80045  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous studies showed that in western populations, men who have sex with men (MSM) have a distinct gut microbiome composition when compared with men who have sex with women (MSW). We wanted to understand how these microbiome differences in MSM could impact their immune system. To test this, we transferred feces from healthy MSW and MSM to gnotobiotic (germ-free) mice and examined the immune system in the mice post-transplant. In mice that received transfers from MSM, there were higher frequencies of activated T cells in gut tissues, which are the primary targets of HIV. This result suggested that gut microbes associated with MSM sexual behavior may actually contribute to HIV transmission by driving activation of HIV target cells. In fact, when we stimulated human gut derived cells with gut microbes isolated from MSM and MSW, cells that were stimulated with microbes from MSM were infected at a higher rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Infections, PLoS, University of Michigan / 25.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Betsy Foxman PhD Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Influenza is a major cause of human illness and death worldwide. Vaccines are the best available means of prevention. However, vaccine effectiveness has been low to moderate in recent years and coverage remains low in many countries. There is increasing evidence suggesting the microbiome plays an important role in shaping host immunity and may be a potential target for reducing disease. In our study, we used a household transmission study to explore whether the respiratory microbiome was associated with influenza susceptibility.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Global Health, Infections, PLoS / 28.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Marks MRCP DTM&H PhD Clinical Research Department, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Hospital for Tropical Diseases London, United Kingdom Twitter @dr_michaelmarks Daniel Engelman MBBS; BMedSci; MPHTM; FRACP; PhD Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Tropical Diseases Research Group Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne, Australia Twitter @Dan_Engelman                   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? MM: Scabies is extremely common. Globally in the region of 100-200 million people are believed to be affected by scabies annually. Recently the WHO has recognised Scabies as a ‘Neglected Tropical Disease’ in response to this burden of disease. There has been increasing interest in using Mass Drug Administration (treating whole communities) as a strategy to control scabies in communities. In order to make this practical countries need an easy mechanism for establishing if scabies is a significant problem in their communities. In general when treating an individual, clinicians would conduct a full body examination to diagnose scabies – however this may not be practical or necessary when making decisions about whether to treat whole communities. DE: Despite the fact that Scabies is a very common condition that causes a great deal of health problems, it has been largely neglected by health, research and funding agencies – but pleasingly, the WHO has now started to take action on scabies control, starting with the recognition of scabies as a "Neglected Tropical Disease" (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, PLoS, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 17.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Photo booth: The Smoking Man" by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pradeep G. Bhide, Ph.D. Professor | Jim and Betty Ann Rodgers Eminent Scholar Chair of Developmental Neuroscience Director, Center for Brain Repair Department of Biomedical Sciences Florida State University College of Medicine Tallahassee, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Until now, much attention had been focused on the adverse effects of cigarette smoking by pregnant women on their children’s cognitive development. Some reports suggested that cigarette smoking during pregnancy can produce harmful effects in multiple generations of descendants (transgenerational effects). Not much had been known about the effects of paternal smoking, although more men smoke cigarettes than women. Our study shows that paternal nicotine exposure can be deleterious to the offspring in multiple generations. That is, cognitive function may be compromised in children and grandchildren of a nicotine-exposed male. Of course, our study was done in mice and not men.  However, since studies done in mice on maternal nicotine exposure produced results consistent with studies done in women and children, we believe that he findings from our present study likely can be extrapolated to humans.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Environmental Risks, Genetic Research, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrei V. Tkatchenko, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Columbia University Medical Center Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clear distance vision is rapidly becoming a rare privilege around the world, especially in Asia, due to increasing prevalence of myopia. Although much effort has been directed towards elucidating the mechanisms underlying refractive eye development and myopia, treatment options for myopia are mostly limited to optical correction, which does not prevent progression of myopia or pathological blinding complications often associated with the disease. During early childhood development, the axial length of the eye normally grows to match its optical power in a process called emmetropization, producing focused images on the retina. However, very often environmental and genetic factors lead to a mismatch between the optical power of the eye and its axial length resulting in the development of myopia if eyes grow too long for their optical power. Experimental studies in many animal species suggest that emmetropization is regulated by optical defocus. The eye can compensate for imposed negative and positive optical defocus by increasing or decreasing its growth rate, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying emmetropization are poorly understood which prevents development of anti-myopia drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, HPV, PLoS, Sexual Health / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brandon Brown, MPH, PhD Associate Professor Center for Healthy Communities Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health UCR School of Medicine Riverside, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The authors have been working in Lima, Peru on HIV-related projects for over 17 years. This particular study arose out of interest from our main community collaborator and the only gay men’s health NGO in Lima, Epicentro Salud (http://epicentro.org.pe/index.php/en/). The NGO noticed that one of the main health issues among their clients was genital warts. When we learned this, we applied for funding through the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program to conduct a study examining the link between genital warts and incident HIV infection. Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection. Specifically, individuals in our study with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV were more likely to acquire HIV. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Osteoporosis, PLoS, Stanford / 29.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stuart Kim PhD Professor of Developmental Biology, Emeritus Bio-X Affiliated Faculty James H. Clark Center Stanford University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Osteoporosis is caused by a reduction in bone mass, and leads to a high incidence of bone fracture because the weakened bone is less able to withstand the stress of slips and falls. Osteoporosis affects millions of elderly, is responsible for as many as 50% of fractures in women and 25% of fractures in men over the age of 50, and accounts for $19 billion in annual health care costs in the US. Identification of people with an increased genetic risk for osteoporosis could reduce the incidence of bone fracture. Low BMD is also a risk factor for stress fractures. For athletes and military personnel undergoing harsh rigors of training, stress fractures are common injuries that limit playing time, military effectiveness and competitive success. Using data from UK Biobank, a genome-wide association study identified 1,362 independent SNPs that clustered into 899 loci of which 613 are new. These data were used to train a genetic algorithm using 22,886 SNPs as well as height, age, weight and sex as predictors. Individuals with low genetic scores (about 2% of those tested) showed a 17-fold increase in risk for osteoporosis and about a 2-fold increase in risk of fractures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cocaine, Gastrointestinal Disease, PLoS, Surgical Research, Vanderbilt, Weight Research / 27.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aurelio Galli, Ph.D. Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Science Associate Director for Research Strategy Vanderbilt Brain Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study builds on evidence that bile acids influence the brain’s reward system. Bile acids are normally released from the gall bladder into the upper part of the small intestine, where they emulsify fats for absorption, before being recycled further down the small intestine. In bile diversion surgery, an experimental treatment for weight loss, bile is released at the end of the small intestine, increasing the amount of bile acids that enter the general circulation. Mice treated with this surgery have less appetite for high-fat foods, which suggests that bile acids affect brain reward pathways. We demonstrated that mice receiving the surgery also showed less preference for the cocaine-associated chamber, indicating that cocaine was probably less rewarding. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, PLoS / 16.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “TOMATOES” by RubyGoes is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wilfried Schwab Technical University of Munich Center of Life and Food Science Weihenstephan Biotechnology of Natural Products Freising, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of food allergy is an increasing health problem. Although tomatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide and have health beneficial effects lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, patients suffering from birch pollen allergy can develop cross-reactivity after consumption of fresh tomatoes. The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method for the quantification of the birch-pollen homologous allergen Sola l 4 in various tomatoes cultivars. Furthermore, the effect of conventional or organic cultivation as well as processing techniques on Sola l 4 content was investigated. (more…)