Tech

Hamilton, ON (Dec. 23, 2009) – A McMaster University researcher has found the first evidence that prolonged exposure to higher levels of the pollutants found in car exhaust fumes and industrial air pollution can lead to hospitalization for pneumonia in adults aged 65 and older.

Health and social care provision needs to be put in place for a large increase (33%) in the 85 year old population in the UK by 2020, according to a study published today on bmj.com.

The researchers say that while "the oldest old" (individuals aged 80 or 85 years and over) are the fastest growing sector of the world's population, detailed data about the health problems experienced in this age group is lacking.

Routine screening for postnatal depression in primary care - as recommended in recent guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) - do not appear to represent value for money for the NHS, concludes a study published on bmj.com today.

The results suggest that both the NICE guidance and widespread current practice should be reviewed.

URBANA – A new miscanthus rhizome root harvester and planter will be unveiled at the seventh annual Bioenergy Feedstocks Symposium on Monday, Jan. 11 and Tuesday, Jan. 12 at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, Ill.

In collaboration with the University of Illinois, European bioenergy developer, Tomax Ltd., and Oklahoma machinery manufacturer, Bermuda King, will reveal how the Rizomgen™ Harvester /Planter package can save 50 percent on existing rhizome harvesting and planting costs.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University researchers have developed a prosthetic device that literally puts the spring back into an amputee's step. The ASU scientists have developed and refined SPARKy (for spring ankle with regenerative kinetics) into a smart, active and energy storing below-the-knee (transbitial) prosthesis.

SPARKy is the first prosthetic device to apply regenerative kinetics to its design, which resulted in a lightweight (four pound) device that allows the wearer to walk on grass, cement and rocks, as well as ascend and descend stairs and inclines.

Berkeley – Disability rates among non-institutionalized older Americans increased between 2000 and 2005, a trend that could seriously impact the quality of life of seniors in the coming decades if it continues, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley.

Most nurses that work in a children's critical care unit feel prepared and trained to help parents during the final moments of their child's life and the difficult hours that follow.

The biggest challenges in helping families cope play out earlier than that tragic moment, concludes a new study by Brigham Young University professor Renea Beckstrand and graduate student Nicole Rawle.

Based on research involving nearly 500 pediatric nurses, Beckstrand and Rawle identify the three biggest obstacles to supporting families of dying children:

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Refineries could trim millions of dollars in energy costs annually by using a new method developed at Purdue University to rearrange the distillation sequence needed to separate crude petroleum into products.

The researchers have demonstrated their method on petroleum plants that separate crude, showing that 70 of the new sequences they identified could enable oil refineries to improve the energy efficiency of this step anywhere from 6 percent to 48 percent, said Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Expanding Michigan State University's global health outreach, a team of researchers is working in the Dominican Republic to establish a model for HIV/AIDS care that can be exported to other resource-limited countries.

The team, led by Reza Nassiri, the director of MSU's Institute of International Health, is treating patients and educating doctors at the Santo Domingo HIV/AIDS clinic.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Scientists at Arizona State University have developed an elegant method for significantly improving the memory capacity of electronic chips.

Led by Michael Kozicki, an ASU electrical engineering professor and director of the Center for Applied Nanoionics, the researchers have shown that they can build stackable memory based on "ionic memory technology," which could make them ideal candidates for storage cells in high-density memory. Best of all, the new method uses well-known electronics materials.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories scientists have developed tiny glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the way solar energy is collected and used.

The tiny cells could turn a person into a walking solar battery charger if they were fastened to flexible substrates molded around unusual shapes, such as clothing.

Israel can make natural gas usage a bigger part of its energy portfolio without jeopardizing its security, but even more importantly, the nation needs to make conservation measures a priority in its future energy plans, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Building a new ski run by bulldozing a mountainside, rather than only cutting its shrubs and trees, is far more damaging ecologically, yet might offer only a week's earlier start to the downhill season, says a new UC Davis study.

Even that extra week of revenue may be partly offset by higher summer maintenance costs.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---It's commonly known that plants interact with each other on an everyday basis: they shade each other out or take up nutrients from the soil before neighboring plants can get them. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan have learned that plants also respond to the past.

The research appears in the February 2010 issue of the American Naturalist.

OAK BROOK, Ill. – In a new study published in the January issue of Radiology, 42 percent of women eligible for breast cancer screening with MRI declined to undergo the procedure.