ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
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Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth

Scientists have identified the way a simple amino acid makes human teeth strong and resilient.

Proline is repeated in the center of proteins found in tooth enamel. When the repeats are long, such as in humans, they contract groups of molecules that help enamel crystals grow. When the repeats are short, such as in frogs, teeth don't have the enamel prisms that provide strength, the researchers explained.

The research offers clues on how to engineer tooth enamel.

"We hope that one day, these findings will help people replace lost parts of the tooth with a healthy layer of new enamel," lead researcher Tom Diekwisch, professor and head of oral biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, said in a news release.

But the benefits may extend well beyond teeth.

"Proline repeats are amazing. They hold the key to understanding the structure and function of many natural proteins, including mucins, antifreeze proteins, Alzheimer's amyloid and prion proteins," Diekwisch said. "We hope that our findings will help many other important areas of scientific research, including the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."

The findings are published in the Dec. 21 online edition of the journal PLoS Biology.

SOURCES: University of Illinois at Chicago, news release, Dec. 21, 2009 Published on: December 22, 2009