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Single gene change increases mouse lifespan by 20 percent
By lowering the expression of a single gene, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have extended the average lifespan of a group of mice by about 20 percent. The research team targeted a gene called mTOR, which is involved in metabolism and energy balance, and may be connected with the increased lifespan associated with caloric restriction.
NIH and Children’s National Medical Center open new cardiac intervention suite
A new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to pediatric cardiac imaging and intervention, co-established by the National Institutes of Health and Children’s National Medical Center, was opened with a special dedication ceremony today. The new facility, located at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., is the culmination of a long collaboration combining the cardiac imaging expertise at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) with the renowned clinical care at Children’s National.
Benefits of quitting smoking outpace risk of modest weight gain
The improvement in cardiovascular health that results from quitting smoking far outweighs the limited risks to cardiovascular health from the modest amount of weight gained after quitting, reports a National Institutes of Health-funded community study. The study found that former smokers without diabetes had about half as much risk of developing cardiovascular disease as current smokers, and this risk level did not change when post-cessation weight gain was accounted for in the analysis.
Researchers find gene variant linked to aortic valve disease
A newly identified genetic variant doubles the risk of calcium buildup in the heart’s aortic valve. Calcium buildup is the most common cause of aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve that can lead to heart failure, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.
Next-generation CT scanner provides better images with minimal radiation
A new computed tomography (CT) scanner substantially reduces potentially harmful radiation while still improving overall image quality. National Institutes of Health researchers, along with engineers at Toshiba Medical Systems, worked on the scanner. An analysis of data on 107 patients undergoing heart scans found that radiation exposure was reduced by as much as 95 percent compared to the range of current machines, while the resulting images showed less blurriness, reduced graininess, and greater visibility of fine details.
NIH Media Availability: New rheumatoid arthritis drug targets NIH-discovered protein
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new oral medication for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis that represents a new class of drugs for the disease. The drug, tofacitinib (Xeljanz), provides a new treatment option for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to, or who are intolerant of, methotrexate, a standard therapy for the disease.
Major cancer protein amplifies global gene expression, NIH study finds
Scientists may have discovered why a protein called MYC can provoke a variety of cancers. Like many proteins associated with cancer, MYC helps regulate cell growth. A study carried out by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and colleagues found that, unlike many other cell growth regulators, MYC does not turn genes on or off, but instead boosts the expression of genes that are already turned on.
Silent heart attacks are common and predict risk of death, MRI diagnosis shows
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is more effective than electrocardiography (ECG) at identifying "silent" heart attacks, also known as unrecognized myocardial infarctions, according to a study performed by National Institutes of Health researchers and international colleagues.
NIH Media Availability: Protein linked to increased risk of heart failure and death in older adults
A protein known as galectin-3 can identify people at higher risk of heart failure, according to new research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
NIH pilot study shows feasibility of MRI to guide heart catheter procedures
Heart catheter procedures guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are as safe as X-ray-guided procedures and take no more time, according to a pilot study conducted at the National Institutes of Health. The results of the study indicate that real-time MRI-guided catheterization could be a radiation-free alternative to certain X-ray-guided procedures.