Body

As they design new drugs to fight off influenza, scientists may not need to attack the virus directly. Instead, they may be able to stave off infection by targeting one of more than 100 proteins inside host cells on which the virus depends.

PITTSBURGH, July 9 , 2008 – In battle with an epidemic that has outpaced nearly all efforts to contain it, researchers are turning to strategies centered on the same antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that have been used successfully to treat HIV in hopes they will be as effective a stronghold for preventing the virus. For women, who make up nearly half of the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, the ARV tenofovir has particular promise because it can be formulated as either an oral tablet or a vaginal gel to be used daily.

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.