Tech

Scientists are reporting two findings that could influence the way researchers screen for, treat and assess prognosis for women with locally advanced breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease. One finding offers a critical message regarding treatment strategy, they say.

"Women with locally advanced breast cancer and their clinicians need to be aware that a growing breast mass should not be ignored even if someone has had a recent normal mammogram," says Laura Esserman, MD, UCSF professor of surgery and radiology and director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center.

Every $1 invested in mobile healthcare for the medically disenfranchised saves $36 in combined emergency department costs avoided and value of life years saved. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine suggest that 'health vans' decrease both the incidence and economic burden of preventable diseases, for a net profit to the healthcare system.

Biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab are effective at reducing symptoms and slowing progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These drugs act more quickly, require less laboratory monitoring, and are better tolerated than nonbiologic DMARDs, but they are also up to 100 times more expensive. Insurance plans differ greatly in their coverage of and cost sharing for biologic DMARDs, sometimes shifting a large portion of the cost of patients.

HOUSTON - (June 1, 2009) – Physicians who treat patients with multiple health problems will fare well under pay-for-performance, which bases physician reimbursement on the quality of care provided, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston (http://www.houston.va.gov/) in a report in the current issue of the journal Circulation.

Approximately 30 percent U.S. children live more than one hour away from a pediatric trauma center by ground or by air transportation, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

More than 17 million U.S. children live more than an hour away by ground or air transportation from a life-saving pediatric trauma center, according to a new study by researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. The creation of a national inventory of pediatric trauma centers may help to identify the locations of gaps and greatly improve access to care for U.S. children, the authors said.

UGR researchers Miguel Delgado, Waldo Fajardo and Miguel Molina decided to design a software programme that would enable a person who knew nothing about composition to create music. The system they devised, using AI, is called Inmamusys, an acronym for Intelligent Multiagent Music System, and is able to compose and play music in real time.

If successful, this prototype, which has been described recently in the journal Expert Systems with Applications, looks likely to bring about great changes in terms of the intrusive and repetitive canned music played in public places.

Testing people for heart disease might be just a finger prick away thanks to a new credit card-sized device created by a team of researchers from Harvard and Northeastern universities in Boston. In a research report published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), they describe how this device can measure and collect a type of cells needed to build vascular tissue, called endothelial progenitor cells, using only 200 microliters of blood.

There's little doubt that coral reefs the world over face threats on many fronts: pollution, diseases, destructive fishing practices and warming oceans. But reefs appear to be more resistant to one potential menace – seaweed – than previously thought, according to new research by a team of marine scientists from the United States and Australia.

Free products samples give consumers the opportunity to try before they buy. This tried and tested marketing model works well for products as diverse as shampoo and washing powder, instant coffee and bubble gum. A sample, often given away free with a magazine or in a mail shot, is often enough to entice a consumer who enjoys the product to buy a full packet next time they are in the supermarket.