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Updated: 53 min 26 sec ago

Central Line Infections And Ventilator Pneumonias Decline In Neonatal Units

September 10, 2014 - 12:00pm

Hospitals across the country have seen sharp declines in rates of central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAPs) among critically ill neonates and children, according to a new study which analyzed incidences rates of CLABSIs, VAPs and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) for 173 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and 64 pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) from 2007-2012.


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Sharks In Acidic Waters Avoid Smell Of Food

September 10, 2014 - 4:12am

Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is absorbed into ocean waters, where it dissolves and lowers the pH of the water. Acidic waters affect fish behavior by disrupting a specific receptor in the nervous system, called GABAA, which is present in most marine organisms with a nervous system. When GABAA stops working, neurons stop firing properly.


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Shared Pain Brings People Together

September 10, 2014 - 4:12am

What doesn't kill us may make us stronger as a group, according to findings from new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research suggests that, despite its unpleasantness, pain may actually have positive social consequences, acting as a sort of "social glue" that fosters cohesion and solidarity within groups:


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Do Children Make You Happier Or Does The Inability To Have Them Mean Unhappiness?

September 10, 2014 - 3:00am

An analysis of over 7,000 women over a decade after unsuccessful fertility treatment found that women who have difficulty accepting the fact that they can't have children following unsuccessful fertility treatment have worse long-term mental health than women who are able to let go of their desire for children.

The study is the first to look at a large group of women to try to understand mental health after unsuccessful fertility treatment, including factors such as whether or not they have children, whether they still want children, their diagnosis and their medical treatment.


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Epidemics: A Sleaze-Bag Payday?

September 10, 2014 - 1:41am
I've seen some pretty awful tactics used by various self-promoters, quacks, and other invertebrates over the years, but this one may take the organic cake.

Internet huckster Mike Adams, who ranks right up there with Crazy Joe Mercola, in terms of spreading self-serving, harmful nonsense around the web has outdone even himself this time.
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The Hidden Archaeology Of Stonehenge Revealed

September 10, 2014 - 1:13am

Previously unknown archaeological monuments have been discovered around Stonehenge as part of a digital mapping project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic landscape – including remarkable new findings on the world's largest 'super henge', Durrington Walls.


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Inhibiting Proteasomes Could Bring A New Generation Of Chemotherapies

September 10, 2014 - 12:30am

A new generation of chemotherapy drugs that are more effective and less toxic could be on the horizon thanks to a new mechanism to inhibit proteasomes, protein complexes that are a target for cancer therapy.

A member of the category of enzymes known as proteases, the proteasome is a protein complex responsible for several essential functions inside cells, such as eliminating harmful or non-functioning proteins and regulating the processes of apoptosis (programmed cell death), cell division and proliferation, say the authors in Chemistry&Biology,who were led by Daniela Trivella, researcher at the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory at the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials.


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New Glaucoma Cause Discovered, Could Lead To New Eye Drop

September 10, 2014 - 12:00am

Glaucoma, a condition where pressure builds from poor drainage of fluid from the anterior chamber of the eye, destroying retinal ganglion cells and eventually the optic nerve, is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. but a cure has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. 

In glaucoma, the eye becomes like a bathtub that can't drain because the pipe is clogged. The clogged or defective vessel, known as Schlemm's canal, is part of the lymphatic system that is essential for drainage in the eye. 


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Safety Of New Hip And Knee Implants 'Could Be Compromised'

September 9, 2014 - 11:26pm

Since the failures of some metal on metal hip implants were brought to light, the introduction of new joint implants has been the focus of major scientific and policy discussions, but regulation 'requires major overhaul,' say a group of experts, because the safety of several new technologies "could be compromised".

An International team led by Art Sedrakyan, Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, argues that the momentum for change generated by these recent high profile failures is important and there is an urgent need to evaluate the evidence for introducing new implants.


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Round 2: Ovulatory Cycles And Shifting Preferences

September 9, 2014 - 6:00pm

By Rob Brooks, UNSW Australia.

Settle in for a long read. Over the coming weeks you will be bombarded by shorter, snappier pieces about a controversy inflaming the front where evolutionary and social psychology meet. I’ve touched on this controversy already, and promised you more. Here’s that more, in 2,300 words of detail … rather too long for a column, I know.

Still with me? Thanks.

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You Can't Have Science 2.0 Without Statistics - Or Big Data Either

September 9, 2014 - 4:30pm
Statistics - learning from data and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty - has become important to science and it is vital to the future of science, Science 2.0.

Over the last 200 years, and certainly with the advent of large-scale computing in the last 30 years, statistics has been an essential part of the social, natural, biomedical and physical sciences, along with engineering; and business analytics.

Statistics helps quantify the reliability, reproducibility and general uncertainty associated with discoveries, because one can easily be fooled by complicated biases and patterns arising by chance.

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Bring Back No Child Left Behind? Common Core Standards, Lack Of Voice, Driving Teachers Out

September 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

After the last wave of 'American children don't perform well on international standardized tests' articles in news media, the Obama administration gutted No Child Left Behind, the program approved with overwhelming bipartisan over a decade earlier, and replaced it with Common Core standards. American teachers, who didn't like the feeling that they were having to 'teach to the test' in order for students to do as well on standardized tests as kids from countries who primarily teach to the test, have now been handed an entirely new and even more restrictive set of demands to teach to the test.


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Islamic State's 'Medieval' Ideology Owes A Lot To Revolutionary France

September 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

A protest against the killing of journalists by the Islamic State. Credit: Mast Irham/EPA

By Kevin McDonald, Middlesex University

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Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals - Even Living In A Liberal Democracy

September 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

America is a liberal democracy. 

Given the modern colloquial connotation of 'liberal' and its undertones of social authoritarianism, calling the United States a liberal democracy will make conservatives bristle, but it's true, and it is part of the reason they then say America is the greatest country in the world, or at least was until January of 2009. Ironically, conservatives, even those living in a liberal democracy, are happier than liberals pretty much...anywhere. 

An analysis of 16 Western European countries found that liberals are less happy overall, while conservatives tend to be more cheery, say psychologists. 


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Obama Administration Expediting Biosimilars To Save Money Could Be Putting People At Risk

September 9, 2014 - 3:30pm

Generic drugs and biosimilar drugs are conceptually equivalent, though a biosimilar drug is not a generic drug.

Generics drugs are equivalent copycats - exact copies of molecules that were developed at great cost by companies that are now outside the patent window. Biosimilars are instead copies of molecules of a protein nature involving biological processes and materials, like cell culture or the extraction of products using living organisms, which is why there is no product that is exactly the same as the other. Basically, that is why the name 'biosimilar' exists, because unlike generics they are not 'bioequivalent' to the drugs that have survived rigorous testing and approval. 


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Xenon Gas Reduces Brain Damage After Head Injury

September 9, 2014 - 3:00pm

Treatment with xenon gas reduces the extent of brain damage after a head injury reduces the extent of brain damage, according to a new study.

Head injury is the leading cause of death and disability in people under 45 in developed countries - due primarily to falls and road accidents. The primary injury caused by the initial mechanical force is followed by a secondary injury which develops in the hours and days afterwards. This secondary injury is largely responsible for patients' mental and physical disabilities, but there are currently no drug treatments that can be given after the accident to stop it from occurring.


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Bacteria That Can Eat Radioactive Waste Discovered

September 9, 2014 - 2:31pm

Tiny single-cell organisms living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal, according to a paper in the ISME (Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology) Journal.
  This is good news for Americans, since the Obama administration has lost the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository application even more often than the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has lost the emails showing they targeted political opponents.

Bacteria with waste-eating properties have been discovered before, but in relatively pristine soils. This is the first time finding microbes that can survive in the very harsh conditions expected in radioactive waste disposal sites.


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Playing Before School Starts Reduces Hyperactivity In Kids

September 9, 2014 - 2:31pm

Reducing hyperactivity in kids may be as simple as getting them out to play.

Kids are full of energy so having them trapped in a classroom all day from a young age isn't easy. For some, it is bordering on impossible and many of those have been saddled with the  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) label. Rather than putting kids on expensive - and in the case of Ritalin, dangerous - medications, the solution may be as simple as some play time before school starts.


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Buckyballs And Diamondoids: An Unlikely Teamup To Make Chip Components Molecule-Sized

September 9, 2014 - 1:54pm

By pairing two unconventional forms of carbon – one shaped like a soccer ball, the other a tiny diamond – scientists have created a molecule that acts as a rectifier - it conducts electricity in only one direction, which means it could be possible to cheaply shrink computer chip components down to the size of molecules.


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Clinical Trials Of SYN-004 In For C. Difficile Infections Upcoming

September 9, 2014 - 1:00pm
Positive results from its final preclinical toxicology study of SYN-004 have led Synthetic Biologics to get ready for clinical trials of the anti-infective, second-generation product candidate for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).

Synthetic Biologics is in the final stages of preparing its SYN-004 IND application for submission to the FDA, with the expectation of initiating Phase Ia and Ib clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2014, and a Phase II efficacy study in the first half of 2015.
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