Body

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The search for what causes a debilitating shell disease affecting lobsters from Long Island Sound to Maine has led one Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) visiting scientist to suspect environmental alkyphenols, formed primarily by the breakdown of hard transparent plastics.

BOSTON—As NASA prepares to send humans back to the moon and then on to Mars, psychologists are exploring the challenges astronauts will face on missions that will be much longer and more demanding than previous space flights. Psychologists outlined these mental health challenges Thursday at the American Psychological Association's 116th Annual Convention, and introduced a new interactive computer program that will help address psychosocial challenges in space.

The vehicle is powered by petroleum on the freeway and by electricity in town, thus using considerably less energy. A hybrid propulsion system switches over to generator operation when the brakes go on, producing electric current that is temporarily stored in a battery. The electric motor uses this current when starting up. This yields tremendous savings, particularly in urban traffic. But up to now, hybrid technology has always had a storage problem. Scientists from three Fraunhofer Institutes are developing new storage modules in a project called "Electromobility Fleet Test".

In political campaigns, timing is almost everything. Candidates communicate with voters over a long period of time before voters actually vote. What candidates say to these voters is, of course, important, but it turns out that when they say it also influences voter preferences.

How the body regulates blood pressure in response to daily stress is the focus of a study geared toward helping people whose pressure is out of control.

"Research shows that two-thirds of patients' high blood pressure is not controlled despite the best efforts of their doctors. That is terrible," says Dr. Gregory Harshfield, director of the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia.

CHICAGO (August 14, 2008) – New research published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that "high-risk" patients with multiple medical conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, can safely undergo carotid endarterectomy – a stroke-preventing surgical procedure that clears blockages from the neck's carotid arteries.

All countries should take steps to govern organ donation and transplantation, thereby ensuring patient safety and prohibiting unethical practices, according to an article appearing in the September 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The document is a consensus of more than 150 representatives of scientific and medical bodies from around the world, government officials, social scientists, and ethicists, who met in Istanbul, Turkey, this spring.

As athletes from around the world compete in the Beijing Olympics, many are on alert for respiratory problems caused by air pollution. They should also be concerned about its toxic effects on the heart and cardiovascular system, mounting research shows.

According to an article published in the August 26, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), air pollution has both short- and long-term toxic effects that injure the heart and blood vessels, increase rates of hospitalization for cardiac illness, and can even cause death.

The discovery of "complementary" antibodies against plasminogen in patients with blood vessel inflammation caused by anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCAs) may lead to new approaches to research, testing, and treatment of ANCA vasculitis and other autoimmune diseases, suggests a paper in the December Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Common tree species in the Amazon will survive even grim scenarios of deforestation and road-building, but rare trees could suffer extinction rates of up to 50 percent, predict Smithsonian scientists and colleagues in the Aug. 12 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

How resilient will natural systems prove to be as they weather the next several decades of severe, human-induced global change? The debate is on between proponents of models that maximize and minimize extinction rates.