ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
CANCER
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
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
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
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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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