Culture

CLEVELAND – A recent discovery at Case Western Reserve University may help keep food and drugs safer and fresher longer and electronic equipment dryer and more secure than ever before – all at a lower cost.

Scientists can easily explain the structural order that makes steel and aluminium out of molten metal. And they have discovered the molecular changes that take place as water turns to ice. But, despite the fact that glass blowers have been plying their trade since the first century BC, we have only just begun to understand what makes molten glass solid.

"Conventional wisdom – and conventional theory – tells us that when infection can potentially be spread to almost everyone in a community, such as for measles, a disease outbreak can never be contained using voluntary vaccination," says Chris Bauch and Ana Persic, researchers from the University of Guelph. "However, our work shows conventional wisdom may be wrong for diseases that are spread primarily through close contact, such as smallpox." Their findings appear in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology on February 6th.

Alcohol advertising and marketing may lead to underage drinking. A large systematic review of more than 13,000 people, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, suggests that exposure to ads and product placements, even those supposedly not directed at young people, leads to increased alcohol consumption.

Interrupting chest compressions during resuscitation reduces the chances of heartbeat return after defibrillation. New research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine shows that for every second of a pause in compressions there is a 1% reduction in the likelihood of success.

A new series of mutations have been discovered that allow rats to resist the effects of the popular poison warfarin. Research published in the open access journal BMC Genetics describes eighteen new genetic changes found in rats from four continents.

Montreal, February 5, 2009 – It's not uncommon for students to consume energy drinks to increase their concentration as they study throughout the night. "Energy drinks are the coffee of a new generation," says Stéphanie Côté, nutritionist with Extenso, a Université de Montréal health and nutrition think-tank. "These drinks are made up of sugar and caffeine and can have a negative impact on health."

New Haven, Conn. — A missing link in the evolution of the front claw of living scorpions and horseshoe crabs was identified with the discovery of a 390 million-year-old fossil by researchers at Yale and the University of Bonn, Germany.

GALVESTON, Texas — Ever since scientists first proposed that our planet might be experiencing widespread climate change, concerns have been raised about its implications for the spread of arboviruses – viruses carried by arthropods such as mosquitoes, midges and ticks. However, while alterations in temperature and rainfall are important factors in making new territory hospitable to an invading arbovirus, many other forces also play significant parts in new patterns of viral emergence.

Despite the great cultural, physical, and genetic diversity found amongst the numerous West Central African human populations that are collectively designated as "Pygmies," a report published online on February 5th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, finds that they diverged from a single ancestral population just about 2,800 years ago.