ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
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
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
A Honey of a Sinusitis Treatment
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Countdown to Hair Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new group of environmentally friendly fungicides may prove to be safer, more selective and less likely to fall victim to pests becoming resistant to them over time, Canadian researchers report.

Called phytoalexin detoxification inhibitors, or paldoxins, the fungicides bolster a plant's natural defenses by blocking access to the chemical pathways that fungi use to weaken a plant's resistance. Unlike conventional fungicides that kill everything -- good and bad -- in their path, paldoxins harm only the disease-causing organisms, said the researchers, who were to present their work Monday in Salt Lake City at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

"Our products only attack the fungus when it's misbehaving or attacking the plant. And for that reason, they're much safer," study leader Soledade Pedras, a chemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, said in a news release from the meeting sponsor.

Plants produce natural chemicals called phytoalexins that help them ward off attacking fungi. However, sometimes fungi can become too tough, destroying the phytoalexin and overwhelming the defenseless plant.

In laboratory tests on plants that normally handle fungicides well, Pedras's team found that the phytoalexin in a camelina, a flowering plant also called "false flax," proved to be the most powerful and effective at thwarting the killer enzymes many fungi use to attack plants.

"We found that many fungi couldn't degrade this chemical," Pedras said. "So that's what we used to design synthetic versions that were even stronger than the original."

The team has developed six synthetic versions of the paldoxins, which in lab tests have successfully protected generally fungicide-friendly crucifer plants and vegetables, such as rapeseed plants and mustard greens. Field tests, in which the paldoxins would be applied like regular pesticides, will soon take place on tougher-to-protect grass crops such as wheat, rye and oat, Pedras said.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on pesticide safety.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, March 23, 2009

Last Updated: March 23, 2009

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