Body

Alexandria, Va.—A study conducted in Sweden found that more than 40 percent of widowers in that country whose wives died from cancer four or five years earlier reported they were either never told that their spouse's cancer was incurable, or they heard this information during the last week of her life. Eighty-six percent of widowers believed next-of-kin should be told immediately when a wife's cancer is incurable, including 71 percent of the men who did not recall being told this information.

A major international study involving the University of Adelaide, Australia, has shown that intervention is needed in South-East Asia to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies and prevent child and mother mortality.

The study - published in the international online journal PLoS ONE (www.plosone.org) - shows that while some best care practices have been implemented in hospitals in South-East Asia, a number of worrying practices remain and more needs to be done to improve mothers' and babies' health.

Men who take up cycling in an effort to stay fit, do their bit for the environment or avoid spiralling motoring costs, could be harming their health if they don't choose the right bicycle. That's the stark warning from consultant urological surgeon Mr Vinod Nargund from St Bartholomew's and Homerton Hospitals, London, in the urology journal BJU International.

He says that the problems to look out for include genital numbness, erection problems and soreness and skin irritations in the groin area.

Dementia is one of the major challenges of the 21st century due to the enormous burden these disorders impose on health care systems. Recently, common pathways of the two most frequent causes of dementia, Alzheimer´s disease and vascular dementia have been suggested. Today there is tremendous interest in developing effective treatments that will interfere with some step in the disease cascade or even prevent the clinical onset of dementia. In the absence of effective therapies, it is essential that all potentially reversible causes of dementia be fully investigated.

Nashville, Tenn. – July 7, 2008 – A new article indicates that an increased intake in minerals such as potassium, and possibly magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. A high intake of these minerals in the diet may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. These findings are published in a supplement appearing with the July issue of The Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

Organic-based devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes, require a transparent conductive layer with a high work function, meaning it promotes injection of electron holes into an organic layer to produce more light.

Employers globally are facing challenges and needs posed by baby-boom generation employees. A new Penn State study of 208 U.S. employers found a wide range of strategies used to recruit and retain older workers, rather than a single approach.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Three plant biologists at Rutgers' Waksman Institute of Microbiology are obsessed with duckweed, a tiny aquatic plant with an unassuming name. Now they have convinced the federal government to focus its attention on duckweed's tremendous potential for cleaning up pollution, combating global warming and feeding the world.

This enterprise builds upon Rutgers' burgeoning energy and environmental research and the important contributions Waksman Institute scientists have already made to plant genomics, including the sequencing of rice, sorghum and corn.

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A great deal of scientific evidence shows that cholesterol-reducing medications known as statins can help prevent coronary artery disease. Although the safety of these medications has been well documented, as many as 40 percent of patients who receive a prescription for statins take the drug for less than one year. Doctors believe that several factors -- including cost, adverse effects, poor understanding of statin benefits and patients' reluctance to take prescription medications long term -- may explain why some patients stop taking these medicines.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have made a major step forward in their work to develop a biologically engineered organism that can effectively deliver an antigen in the body. The researchers report that they have been able to use live salmonella bacterium as the containment/delivery method for an antigen.