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A new study shows that use of antipsychotic drugs is associated with an early and sustained increase in risk of death when used to treat disruptive behavior of older adults with dementia.

The study suggests that both newer “atypical” antipsychotics and older conventional antipsychotics are associated with increased mortality. The highest risk appears to involve use of the older conventional drugs.

Divorce puts children at higher risk of Ritalin use compared to kids whose parents stay together, says new research by a University of Alberta sociologist, who cautions that this doesn’t necessarily mean that divorce is harmful to a child. The study appears in this week’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In the cover story of this month’s BioScience journal, leading tiger experts warn that if tigers are to survive, governments must stop all trade in tiger products from wild and captive-bred sources, as well as ramp up efforts to conserve the species and their habitats.

The Library of Congress has no shortage of reading materials with more than 134 million items in its collection. This summer, a Florida State University chemist will use his knowledge of cellulose, a key component of paper, to help the world’s largest library find ways of preserving its vast treasure trove of books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and pamphlets, many of which are irreplaceable.

It could be an artist’s depiction of someone’s stomach before and after a rather decadent meal. But it is a 3-D cryoelectron microscope reconstruction of the cross-section of a virus, before and after cramming itself full of its own DNA.

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?