Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality

Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality

On Earth Week--and in fact, every week now--trees in mountains across the western United States are dying, thanks to an infestation of bark beetles that reproduce in the trees' inner bark.

Some species of the beetles, such as the mountain pine beetle, attack and kill live trees. Others live in dead, weakened or dying hosts.

In Colorado alone, the mountain pine beetle has caused the deaths of more than 3.4 million acres of pine trees.

Krypton-dating technique allows researchers to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

Krypton-dating technique allows researchers to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

A team of scientists, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has successfully used a new technique to confirm the age of a 120,000-year-old sample of Antarctic ice.

The new dating system is expected to allow scientists to identify ice that is much older, thereby reconstructing climate much farther back into Earth's history and potentially leading to an understanding of the mechanisms that cause the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.

Safer alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers

Safer alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers

PHILADELPHIA - Nonsteroidal antinflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) that block an enzyme called COX-2 relieve pain and inflammation but can cause heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and even sudden cardiac death. This has prompted a decade-plus search for safer, but still effective, alternatives to these commonly prescribed, pain-relieving drugs.

Scientists successfully use krypton to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

Scientists successfully use krypton to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.

The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth's history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.

Narrowing of neck artery without warning may signal memory and thinking decline

PHILADELPHIA – For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck without any symptoms may be linked to problems in learning, memory, thinking and decision-making, compared to people with similar risk factors but no narrowing in the neck artery, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.

Study examines patient care patterns in Medicare accountable care organizations

Bottom Line: A third of Medicare beneficiaries assigned to accountable care organizations (ACOs) in 2010 or 2011 were not assigned to the same ACO in both years and much of the specialty care received was provided outside the patients' assigned ACO, suggesting challenges to achieving organizational accountability in Medicare.

Author: J. Michael McWilliams, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues.

False-positive mammograms associated with anxiety, willingness for future screening

Bottom Line: Mammograms with false-positive results were associated with increased short-term anxiety for women, and more women with false-positive results reported that they were more likely to undergo future breast cancer screening.

Author: Anna N.A. Tosteson, Sc.D., of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues.

Background: A portion of women who undergo routine mammogram screening will experience false-positive results and require further evaluation to rule out breast cancer.

Increased prevalence of celiac disease in children with irritable bowel syndrome

There appears to be an increased prevalence of celiac disease among children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Recurrent abdominal pain affects 10 percent to 15 percent of school-aged children. The prevalence of celiac disease is as high as 1 percent in European countries and patients can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms, including abdominal pain, although the disease is often asymptomatic.

Today's Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida

Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

The findings, published the week of April 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, underscore the potential for increased warmth at Earth's poles and the associated risk of melting polar ice and rising sea levels, the researchers said.

'Dustman' protein helps bin cancer cells

Cancer researchers have discovered a new 'dustman' role for a molecule that helps a drug kill cancer cells according to a study*, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), today (Monday).

The new findings point to a possible test that could identify patients who would be most responsive to a new class of cancer drugs and also those who might develop resistance, as well as suggesting new approaches to discovering more effective drugs.