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The most comprehensive study of its kind has found that violence costs the United States $70 billion annually, a figure that rivals federal education spending and the damage caused by hurricane Katrina.

It might be time to change some history books.

Prehistoric Polynesians, not European voyagers, may have brought chickens to the Americas, according to new research from The University of Auckland’s Department of Anthropology.Fancy artwork courtesy of University of Auckland

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills over 200 people every year in the United States. Although inexpensive CO detectors have been available since 1989, their use in hotels, motels and resorts is not widespread. In fact, while every guest room in the U.S. must contain a smoke detector, there is no federal mandate for CO detectors.

What did dinosaurs hear? Probably a lot of low frequency sounds, like the heavy footsteps of another dinosaur, if University of Maryland professor Robert Dooling and his colleagues are right. What they likely couldn't hear were the high pitched sounds that birds make.This diagram illustrates the relationship among archosaurs, which includes dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds. The drawings are of the inner ear structure of the different species. The numbers to the left are the time scale in million years.

By Chaim M. Bell and Wendy Levinson

Most doctors feel that they provide good to above-average patient care. However, Canadian physicians rarely receive feedback about their clinical performance or patient outcomes. Although both of us believe that we provide excellent patient care, we have never received any data on our clinical performance or patient outcomes compared with other physicians or benchmarks. How can we learn to improve our provision of care without objective measures of our performance?

Global warming and the destruction of natural habitats will lead to significant declines and extinctions in the world’s 8,750 terrestrial bird species over the next century, according to a study conducted by biologists at the University of California, San Diego and Princeton University.

Their study, the first global assessment of how climate change and habitat destruction may interact to impact the distribution of a large group of vertebrates over the next century, appears in the June 5 issue of the journal PLoS Biology.

Like hobos on a train, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, uses a pre-existing transport system to leave one infected cell and infect new ones, Hopkins scientists have discovered. Their findings, published in the June issue of Plos Biology, counter the prevailing belief that HIV and other retroviruses can only leave and enter cells by virus-specific mechanisms.

In head-to-head trials of two drugs, the one deemed better appears to depend largely on who is funding the study, according to an analysis of nearly 200 statin-drug comparisons carried out between 1999 and 2005.

UCSF researchers examined 192 published results of trials comparing one cholesterol-lowering statin drug to another, or to a non-statin drug.

Robotic surgery may be coming to your town. Robots that perform surgery can be driven by surgeons who no longer stand by the patient, but direct the operation from a computer console. In most cases the surgeon is seated at a console within the theatre, only a few metres away from the patient.

Now a team of surgeons and scientists have shown that the surgeon and robot can be linked via a 4,000 mile Internet connection or even by satellite.

Mechanical 'artificial hearts' can be used to return severely failing hearts to their normal function, potentially removing the need for heart transplantation, according to new research.

The mechanical devices, known as Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), are currently used in patients with very severe heart failure whilst they await transplantation. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that using an LVAD combined with certain drug therapies can shrink the enlarged heart and enable it to function normally once the LVAD is removed.