ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
FITNESS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
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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