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An infection that often goes undetected can block the lung's natural protective response against tobacco smoke, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. The findings, recently published online and scheduled to appear in the October issue of Infection and Immunity, suggest one mechanism that may cause smokers to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Bethesda, MD, August 19, 2008 – The prevalence of obesity and overweight in the United States coupled by the increased risk of gastrointestinal diseases related to obesity raises serious implications for the health of Americans. Several scientific studies in the August issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology examine the association between obesity and the risk of colorectal cancer and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

About 13 percent of elderly Americans are mistreated, most commonly by someone who verbally mistreats or financially takes advantage of them, according to a University of Chicago study that is the first comprehensive look at elder mistreatment in the country.

"The population of the country is aging, and people now live with chronic diseases longer. So it's important to understand, from a health perspective, how people are being treated as they age," said lead author Edward Laumann, the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor in Sociology at the University of Chicago.

PHILADELPHIA, PA — In the quest to better understand one of nature's most "ghostly" elementary particles — the neutrino — scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory are spreading their expertise from the mines of Canada to the mountains of China. Richard L. Hahn, a senior chemist at Brookhaven Lab, will discuss some of the neutrino's mysterious properties and two new neutrino research projects at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society at 11 a.m.

The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone, report researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection. The pneumonia was caused when bacteria that normally inhabit the nose and throat invaded the lungs along a pathway created when the virus destroyed the cells that line the bronchial tubes and lungs.

Brachytherapy, also called seed implants, may be a more beneficial treatment than surgery or external beam radiation therapy for overweight or obese prostate cancer patients, according to a study published in the August issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

PHILADELPHIA, August 19, 2008 – Targeted health education may help urban, minority adolescent women better understand how the emergency contraception pill works and eliminate some misconceptions about side effects, confidentiality and accessibility, according to a study by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.