Phthalates are chemicals that increase the softness and flexibility of plastic. Due to concerns about potential health problems, the US government has permanently banned three types of phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP)1 in any amount greater than 0.1 percent for each phthalate in children's toys and for some child care items used for toddlers ages 3 and under.
Manufacturers have been turning to alternative plasticizers, which are different phthalates, but outside the ordinary approval process little is known about the toxicity of the replacements or whether they can enter the air infants breathe for 12 to 14 hours per day at potentially harmful levels.
Since infants breathe in far more air given their low body weights than adults, Ying Xu and Yirui Liang
Scientists have found the balance necessary to aid healing with high-tech hydrogel.
Hydrogels are used as a scaffold upon which cells can build tissue. The new hydrogel overcomes a host of issues that have kept them from reaching their potential to treat injuries and forming new vasculature to treat heart attack, stroke and ischemic tissue diseases.
Dust from soil erosion due to wind can affect human health, traffic, and, on a larger scale, climate. Investigators compared different models that quantify how the wind energy spreads over an herbaceous surface using data from the Sahel region of Africa, where estimates of dust emissions remain uncertain.
They found that the modeling tools give results in reasonable agreement, indicating that vegetation can decrease the amount of dust emitted from soil erosion by 6% to 26% in mass compared with bare soil.
Human papillomavirus is a virus that is responsible for almost all cases of cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine can prevent 70 percent of those.
A new study by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers indicates that only about half of the girls ages 11-12, the age recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, receive the vaccine.
By Imaani El-Burki, Lehigh University-->
By Delavane Diaz, Stanford University
Climate change is as much an economic problem as an environmental one.
The effects of climate change, such as damage from more severe weather or health problems from higher temperatures, will impose a cost on society. On the other hand, moving away from a fossil fuel-based energy system will require significant investments into low-carbon technologies. How does society determine which efforts are most cost-effective?-->
Researchers are on the verge of developing a new class of anesthetics, something that has not happened in decades, according to a study published in Anesthesiology. It is being derived thanks to a new approach to identifying compounds may lead to the next generation of anesthetics.
Positional cloning is a genetic mapping technique used to pinpoint the location of specific traits of interest, such as disease-causing genes or mutations, within the genome. Very simply, this map-based technique involves crossing mutant individuals with wild-type individuals and examining the offspring in order to localize a candidate region in the genome for the mutation. By identifying genetic markers that are linked to the trait, progressively more precise areas on a chromosome are defined until the gene is identified.
This approach has contributed to the successful mapping of genes involved in numerous human diseases such as Huntington's disease and cystic fibrosis, an important first step in understanding these conditions.
A research team has discovered a molecular "rheostat" in the brain's appetite control center that may provide new insights into obesity, which is at epidemic levels in this country.
The discovery of this novel cell signaling pathway, reported today in the journal Nature, revises the previous "on-off" switch model of appetite control, said Roger Cone, Ph.D., who led the research team with Masoud Ghamari-Langroudi, M.D., Ph.D.
The discovery centers on a receptor in the brain's appetite control center, the melanocortin-4 receptor, or MC4R, a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) embedded in the membranes of nerve cells.
Acute kidney injury often arises after major surgery because the kidneys can be deprived of normal blood flow during the procedure. The use of contrast media, or dyes, can contribute to this problem.
In patients undergoing coronary angiography or percutaneous coronary intervention, which are heart procedures that use dyes to help surgeons visualize the arteries, a high dose of the statin atorvastatin was linked with a reduction in blood levels of creatinine, a marker of kidney injury, as well as a lower incidence of acute kidney injury compared with a low dose of the statin.