Science2.0

Whooping Cough Booster Vouchers Don't Boost Immunization Rates Of Caregivers

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 7:48pm

PHILADELPHIA (February 3, 2016) - Cases of pertussis (whooping cough) have increased dramatically over the past five years, putting infants at risk of serious illness or death. Most infants are infected by a caregiver who has not received a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster, so caregiver immunization is particularly important. However, many caregivers go unvaccinated, and new strategies are needed to convince those living with infants to get the Tdap booster.


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No Proof That Radiation From X Rays And CT Scans Causes Cancer

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 7:48pm

MAYWOOD, Il. - The widespread belief that radiation from X rays, CT scans and other medical imaging can cause cancer is based on an unproven, decades-old theoretical model, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The model, known as linear no-threshold (LNT), is used to estimate cancer risks from low-dose radiation such as medical imaging. But risk estimates based on this model "are only theoretical and, as yet, have never been conclusively demonstrated by empirical evidence," corresponding author James Welsh, MD and colleagues write. Use of the LNT model drives unfounded fears and "excessive expenditures on putative but unneeded and wasteful safety measures."


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Intense Work Helped Michelangelo Maintain Use Of Hands Despite Osteoarthritis

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 7:48pm

Prolonged hammering and chiselling accelerated degenerative arthritis in the hands of Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter and one of the greatest artists of all time. But the intense work probably helped him keep the use of his hands right up until he died.


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What's The Impact Of New Marijuana Laws? The Data So Far...

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 7:48pm

February 3, 2016 - How has new legislation affected marijuana use in the United States? The best available data suggest that marijuana use is increasing in adults but not teens, with a decrease in marijuana-related arrests but an increase in treatment admissions, according to an update in the January/February Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.


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Orangutans: Lethal Aggression Between Females

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 4:24pm

Researchers have for the first time witnessed the death of a female orangutan at the hands of another female. Even more extraordinary is that the perpetrator recruited a male orangutan as a hired gun to help her corner and attack the victim. Before this observation, lethal fights between females had never been observed in orangutans; in other primates such fights occur mainly between males, according to Anna Marzec of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She is the lead author of a report on the fatal incident, which appears in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.


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Investigating Potential Fetal Exposure To Antidepressants

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 4:24pm

Depression is a serious issue for expecting mothers. Left untreated, depression could have implications for a fetus's health. But treating the disease during pregnancy may carry health risks for the developing fetus, which makes an expecting mother's decision whether to take medication a very difficult one. To better understand how antidepressants affect fetuses during pregnancy, scientists studied exposure in mice. They report their findings in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience.


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It's Not Dark Matter

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:30pm

The undefined blanket term "dark matter", what must exist in the universe to account for missing mass, is invoked for just about everything, and so a lot of claims are made affirming they have evidence for it. But one claim, that bursts of gamma rays are such, is instead  other astrophysical phenomena such as fast-rotating stars called millisecond pulsars, according to two new studies in Physical Review Letters.

Previous papers suggested that gamma rays coming from the dense region of space in the inner Milky Way galaxy could be caused when invisible dark matter particles collide. But using new statistical analysis methods, two research teams independently found that the gamma ray signals are uncharacteristic of those expected from dark matter. 


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MLL1 Enzyme Key To Link Between Age-Related Inflammation And Cancer

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:30pm

Researchers have shown that an enzyme key to regulating gene expression -- and also an oncogene when mutated -- is critical for the expression of numerous inflammatory compounds that have been implicated in age-related increases in cancer and tissue degeneration,

Inhibitors of the enzyme are being developed as a new anti-cancer target.

Aged and damaged cells frequently undergo a form of proliferation arrest called cellular senescence. These fading cells increase in human tissues with aging and are thought to contribute to age-related increases in both cancer and inflammation. The secretion of such inflammatory compounds as cytokines, growth factors, and proteases is called the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, or SASP.


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A Conservative Argument For Genetic Modification Of Embryos

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm
I have often argued that the pro-life movement has a disconnect about actual life when it comes to science. I don't mean about the health issues of abortion or birth control, I mean about saving babies using science. They seem to think science should only help after a baby is born, exactly the opposite of the argument they make about the beginning of life during abortion debates.
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Dietary Supplements Could Seriously Mess With Your Medication

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm
Doctors typically prescribe several drugs to patients with mental health conditions in order to treat the various symptoms. For example, a person with bipolar disorder may be prescribed one drug to treat mania and another to treat depression. But there’s limited evidence on how combinations of drugs interact, or how diet and nutrition influence their effects.
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Argument: Schizophrenia Does Not Exist

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:30pm

The term "schizophrenia," with its connotation of hopeless chronic brain disease, should be dropped and replaced with something like "psychosis spectrum syndrome," argues Professor Jim van Os at Maastricht University Medical Centre in The BMJ.


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Generic Drug Price Gouging Has Physicians Raising Red Flags

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 1:28pm
Pharmaceutical companies take a lot of cultural heat for high prices, politicians routinely criticize them to score political points, but at least they did real discovery. One out of 5,000 candidates will make it to market, and then it has to be successfully promoted to make back costs that routinely run into the billions of dollars.

Generic companies, on the other hand, get a free pass. They do no work, they just start manufacturing after the real work has been done and the patent expires. Yet the cost savings generic drugs were supposed to bring has not really come to pass. Companies only take up the profitable ones and when a company does try to make a boutique compound profitable, they are criticized for price gouging.
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Clean Kitchens Cut Calories

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 11:52am

Cluttered and chaotic environments can cause stress, which can lead us to grab more of the indulgent snacks-- twice as many cookies according to this new study!

Conducted at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and published in Environment and Behavior, the study shows that cluttered kitchens are caloric kitchens. When stressed out females were asked to wait for another person in a messy kitchen -- with newspapers on the table, dishes in the sink, and the phone ringing - they ate twice as many cookies compared to women in the same kitchen when it was organized and quiet. In total they ate 65 more calories more in 10 minutes time.


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Media Fuel Anti-Muslim Stereotypes

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 11:43am

With the attacks in Paris and in California recently, all linked to Muslim terrorists, where is the line between being factual about who is committing terrorist acts and fueling anti-Muslim sentiment?

Craig Anderson, Distinguished Professor of psychology at Iowa State University, and colleagues think they can find out, by surveying college students.

According to their results, published in the journal Communication Research, there is a link between negative media stories of Muslims and support for military action and restrictions against Muslims. And since conservatives in America are mostly likely to be strong on topics like crime and military defense, they say it was entirely predictable that GOP candidates would take strongs against terrorism. 


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Study Shows North Atlantic Ocean CO2 Storage Doubled Over Last Decade

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 3:22am

MIAMI--A University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science-led study shows that the North Atlantic absorbed 50 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world's oceans in just 10 years.


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Pills For Anxiety And Sleep Problems Not Linked To Increased Dementia Risk

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

Taking benzodiazepines (widely used drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia) is not associated with an increased dementia risk in older adults, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

These results do not support a direct (causal) association between benzodiazepine use and dementia, say the researchers. However, healthcare providers are still advised to avoid benzodiazepines in older adults to prevent important adverse health outcomes.

Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed among older adults to manage sleep, anxiety and depressive disorders. Some studies have suggested that benzodiazepine use could be associated with an increased risk of dementia, but results are conflicting.


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Doctor Raises Serious Questions About Medical Awards System

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

The system that awards national and academic honors to doctors is called into question by a senior doctor writing in The BMJ this week.

Consultant cardiologist, Peter Wilmshurst, tells the story of Anjan Kumar Banerjee, a surgeon who spent the years 2002 to 2008 erased from the medical register for serious professional misconduct related to research fraud, financial misconduct, and substandard care.

Yet in 2014 he was awarded an MBE "for services to patient safety."


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New Analysis Shows Insect Diversity Is Nothing New

Science2.0 - February 3, 2016 - 2:34am

Insects are astonishingly diverse, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all named animal species living today, and their diversity is widely thought to have increased steadily over evolutionary time. A new study, however, finds that insect diversity actually has not changed much over the past 125 million years.

It's not that no new insects have evolved. Rather, as new insects have evolved, others have gone extinct, leaving the overall diversity relatively unchanged, according to paleontologist Matthew Clapham, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, whose team published the new findings February 3 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


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Natural Clay Deposit May Hold Keys To Defeating Hospital Infections

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 11:32pm

Washington, D.C.--January 26, 2016-- Researchers have uncovered potent antimicrobial activity in a natural clay deposit found on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada. The research, published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, shows that the clay can kill members of the ESKAPE group of bacterial pathogens, the culprits behind some of the deadliest and most antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infections.


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New Zealand's Little Penguins Are Recent Australian Invaders

Science2.0 - February 2, 2016 - 11:32pm

The little penguin species (popularly known as little blue penguins) found in southern New Zealand is a surprisingly recent invader from Australia, according to a new study led by University of Otago researchers.

Following the recent discovery that little penguins in the southern province of Otago belong to an Australian species, a team of researchers from New Zealand and the United States set out to determine when the Aussies first arrived.

The Marsden and Allan Wilson Centre-funded study was carried out by Dr Stefanie Grosser as part of her PhD research, and led by Professor Jon Waters from Otago's Department of Zoology.


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