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Health and Medicine

Studies shed new light on how nitric oxide is produced

Jan. 20, 2012—The discovery of a previously unrecognized and pivotal role of enzyme ASL in nitric oxide production could potentially lead to new therapies for babies with pulmonary hypertension.

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Digestive disease research bolstered by grant renewal

Jan. 20, 2012—The Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a second five-year renewal of its federal research grant.

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Pumping up the pancreas in pregnancy

Jan. 20, 2012—A strain of mutant mice provide a novel model for studying glucose intolerance and gestational diabetes during pregnancy and suggest that certain molecules may be useful for therapeutic applications.

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Obesity genes linked to uterine cancer

Jan. 20, 2012—In addition to body mass index, genetic markers of obesity may provide value in predicting endometrial cancer risk.

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Nicotine may aid memory for some older adults: study

Jan. 13, 2012—Wearing a nicotine patch may help improve memory loss in older adults with mild cognitive impairment, according to a study published this week by Paul Newhouse, director of the Center for Cognitive Medicine.

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Study eases childhood cancer survivors’ birth defect worries

Jan. 13, 2012—A large, retrospective study of the children of childhood cancer survivors who were treated with radiation therapy and/or some forms of chemotherapy found that the offspring do not have an increased risk for birth defects compared with children of cancer survivors who did not receive these treatments.

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Study applies random genotype sets to new disease

Jan. 5, 2012—A new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics, led by Vanderbilt researchers Josh Denny, M.D., M.S., and Dana Crawford, Ph.D., takes random volumes of human genotypes and matches them with data siphoned from de-identified medical records and sheds new light on the genetic basis of the common disease hypothyroidism. In a research lab,...

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Melatonin found to ease sleep woes in children with autism

Jan. 5, 2012—A new Vanderbilt study shows that the over-the-counter supplement melatonin is promising in helping children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and their families, sleep better. The study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, contributes to the growing literature on supplemental melatonin for insomnia in ASD, according to lead author Beth Malow, M.D.,...

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VUMC researchers reveal darker side of common cold

Jan. 5, 2012—Human rhinovirus (HRV), also known as the common cold, can be uncommonly serious for certain children, a study led by a Vanderbilt University Medical Center pediatrician shows. The study, published in the Dec. 28, 2011 online issue of the journal Pediatrics, shows that not only can HRV lead to hospitalization in very low birth weight...

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Diabetes trial sets bar high for retaining research subjects

Jan. 5, 2012—Loren Kirkpatrick has been enrolled in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) at Vanderbilt’s Diabetes Center for nearly half of her adult life. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1982 at age 34, Kirkpatrick enrolled as the study’s first patient in 1983. Now Kirkpatrick has become the symbol of what Vanderbilt researchers hope is...

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Fishing for heart attack repair tools

Jan. 5, 2012—Managing myocardial infarction – and the resulting heart failure – remains a clinical challenge. To search for chemicals that can stimulate cardiac muscle cell production, Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology investigators led by Tao Zhong, Ph.D., Terri Ni, Ph.D., and Eric Rellinger, M.D., turned to a novel drug discovery tool: zebrafish. The researchers visually screened...

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Clues to flattened faces

Jan. 5, 2012—Mutations in the Jagged1 gene cause Alagille syndrome, an inherited disorder that affects the liver, heart, kidneys and facial structure. Patients with Alagille syndrome often have a prominent forehead, a flattened midface and a prominent chin; some have a cleft palate. To investigate how mutations in Jagged1 cause facial anomalies, Steven Goudy, M.D., and colleagues...

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