Medical Research

wikimedia commons

Autism's causes remain a mystery, but researchers at the University of Michigan could soon have a better understanding of it. The school is getting $1.6 million in federal funding to determine what social and environmental factors cause autism.

The college has committed to a 3-year study of the disorder.

Marie Lynn Miranda is the dean of U of M's School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

She says none of the existing autism databases contain significant information about social or environmental exposures.

A new Michigan State University study found that website videos are more effective at delivering public health messages than using text alone.

The study created two websites designed to teach mothers with young daughters about breast cancer. One contained only text, while the other included short video clips.

Evan Perrault works for MSU's Communications Department. He says there was a clear difference in results between the two sites.

He says those who viewed the website that included videos performed one more risk protection behavior than those who visited the plain text site.

Perrault says MSU has been looking for the best way to inform the general public about their scientific discoveries, and is likely to conduct further research to expand upon this study's findings.

The study, “Testing the Effects of the Addition of Videos to a Website Promoting Environmental Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Practices: Are Videos Worth It?” was published online today in the National Communication Association's Journal of Applied Communication Research.

fotosinteresantes / Foter / CC BY

New research from the University of Michigan shows promise in someday being able to help the human body better withstand the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation.

Jian-Guo Geng is an associate professor in the University of Michigan  School of Dentistry.  He's found that in mice, injecting stem cells into the intestinal tract makes the mice much better able to survive high doses of chemo-radio therapy.

Geng says the discovery may someday make it possible to cure late-stage, metastasized cancers.  He says "People will not die of cancer, if our prediction is true." 

The study found that 50 to 75 percent of mice treated with a stem cell injection survived what should have been lethal doses of chemotherapy. 

Results of the research appear in the journal, Nature.