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In 2006, a pneumococcal vaccine (Prevenar®) was introduced in the childhood vaccination programme in Norway. Two years later, the experiences have been published in the journal Vaccine. The results show a strong decline in serious pneumococcal infections among young children.

Researchers have found what they believe to be the most accurate way of predicting the birth-weight of babies born to the growing number of obese mothers, according to a study in the UK-based journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Experts from the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, USA, have recorded accurate results in more than nine out of ten cases using the gestation-adjusted projection method (GAP).

The gender of donor and recipient plays a larger role in kidney transplants than previously assumed. Female donor kidneys do not function as well in men – due to their smaller size. Women have a higher risk of rejecting a male donor kidney. Therefore, in the future, gender should be considered more in the allocation of donor kidneys, say researchers from Basel and Heidelberg.

NOAA scientists reported in the current issue of the journalEnvironmental Health Perspectives that an algal toxin commonlyinhaled in sea spray, attacks and damages DNA in the lungs oflaboratory rats. The findings document how the body's way ofdisposing the toxin inadvertently converts it to a molecule thatdamages DNA. Human inhalation of brevetoxins produced by the red tideorganism, Karenia brevis, is an increasing public health concern.

More than ever before, building design and construction can be significantly improved to reduce wind pressures on building surfaces and to help better resist high winds and hurricanes in residential or commercial construction, said NJIT architecture professor Rima Taher, PhD. Taher, who is also a civil/structural engineer, teaches at the New Jersey School of Architecture. Courses taught by her include topics related to wind and earthquakes with guidelines and recommendations for better design and construction in hurricane and earthquake prone areas.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The continued decline of the nursing home — once the mainstay care for the frail elderly — and an upsurge in popularity of assisted living will lead to many dramatic changes in long-term care, according to a University of Florida expert and editor of a new book on the subject.

BERKELEY, CA – For the first time, scientists from Rice University, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have measured — in the field rather than in the laboratory — how changes in stress in rocks affect changes in the speed of seismic waves at depths where earthquakes begin. The measurements could lead to a "stress meter" for better understanding how fault-zone stress is related to earthquakes.

CHAPEL HILL – Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a list of prescription drugs that increase the risk of falling for patients aged 65 and older who take four or more medications on a regular basis.

"Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for adults 65 and older, and research suggests that those taking four or more medications are at an even greater risk than those who don't – perhaps two to three times greater," said Susan Blalock, Ph.D., an associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Durham, NC – (July 9, 2008)– MED-EL Corporation announced today new data regarding FineHearingTM technology, available only with the MAESTRO™ Cochlear Implant System. In addition to hearing in "high definition" with FineHearing, MED-EL's MAESTRO system offers the smallest internal implant and the thinnest, lightest externally-worn speech processor available.