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In Understanding Blood Clot Mechanics, Protein Unfolding Is Key

Fibrin, the chief ingredient of blood clots, is a remarkably versatile polymer. On one hand, it forms a network of fibers -- a blood clot -- that stems the loss of blood at an injury site while remaining pliable and flexible. On the other hand, fibrin provides a scaffold for thrombi, clots that block blood vessels and cause tissue damage, leading to myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. How does fibrin manage to be so strong and yet so extensible under the stresses of healing and blood flow? The answer is a process known as protein unfolding, report Penn researchers in Science this week. An interdisciplinary team, composed of investigators from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has revealed how protein unfolding allows fibrin to maintain its remarkable and contradictory characteristics.

Electronic Health Records Help Cardiac Patients Remain Healthy

An innovative program that cut cardiac deaths by 73 percent by linking coronary artery disease patients and teams of pharmacists, nurses, primary care doctors, and cardiologists with an electronic health record also kept the patients healthy two years after they left the program by keeping them in touch with their care givers electronically, according to a randomized study by Kaiser Permanente published in The American Journal of Managed Care this month. This is the first randomized study to evaluate a follow-up system for patients discharged from a cardiovascular risk reduction service, researchers said. The study was funded by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

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Indiana's First Incisionless Surgery To Treat Heartburn Performed At Goshen Health System

Surgery without an incision is now possible. Yesterday Goshen General Hospital and Drs. Mark Ranzinger and Norbert Schwer, of Gerig Surgical Associates and medical staff at Goshen General Hospital, became the first hospital and surgeons in Indiana to perform an incisionless surgery to treat heartburn. Over 40 million people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ), also known as acid reflux, a progressive disease that occurs when stomach acid, or occasionally bile, flows back up the esophagus. Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication, or TIF® , is an incisionless procedure for the treatment of GERD performed through the mouth.

CircuLite Awarded NIH Grant To Develop The Synergy R Micro-Blood Pump For Children And Infants With Life-Threatening Heart Conditions

CircuLite® , Inc. announced that it has been awarded a Fast-Track Phase I-II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the development of a pediatric circulatory assist device based upon CircuLite's Synergy Pocket Micro-pump. CircuLite, who will collaborate with the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the grant, has received funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at NIH to support the first phase of the grant. The total potential award for Phase I and Phase II could reach up to $3.7 million. Synergy is a micro-blood pump, the size of a AA battery, that can be implanted superficially in a "pacemaker-like" pocket.

Rapid Changes In Clinical Practice For Drug-Eluting Stents Due To Fast Release Of Data

E-mail, search engines, smart phones and other new technologies that can disseminate new medical information quickly led to an almost immediate change in clinical practice for drug-eluting stents, according to a study reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. With the rapid-fire release of data, studies presented at medical conferences in the age of instant information can have an almost immediate impact on patient treatment, said Matthew T. Roe, M.D., M.H.S., lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham N.C. "We were interested in whether practice patterns changed after the presentation of these studies, " he said.

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Freshly Crushed Garlic Better For The Heart Than Processed

A new study reports what scientists term the first scientific evidence that freshly crushed garlic has more potent heart-healthy effects than dried garlic. Scheduled for the Aug. 12 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it also challenges the widespread belief that most of garlic's benefits are due to its rich array of antioxidants. Instead, garlic's heart-healthy effects seem to result mainly from hydrogen sulfide, a chemical signaling substance that forms after garlic is cut or crushed and relaxes blood vessels when eaten. In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction.

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