Tech

OAK BROOK, Ill. – Radiologists who interpret a high volume of mammograms may not detect more cancers but are better at determining which suspicious lesions are not malignant, according to a new study published online and in the April print edition of Radiology.

A new study released today in the EarlyView of Ecology Letters addresses forest productivity trends in Alaska, highlighting a shift in biomes caused by a warming climate. The findings, conducted by scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and three other institutions based in Alaska and France, linked satellite observations with an extensive and unique tree-ring data set. Patterns observed support current hypotheses regarding increased growth of evergreen forest at the margins of present tundra and declining productivity at the margins of temperate forest to the south.

When it comes to curing skin infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), timely and proper wound cleaning and draining may be more important than the choice of antibiotic, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study. The work is published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Black carbon (BC) and tropospheric ozone (O3) are harmful air pollutants that also contribute to climate change. The emission of both will continue to negatively impact both human health and climate.

While our scientific understanding of how black carbon and tropospheric ozone affect climate and public health has significantly improved in recent years, the threat posed by these pollutants has catalysed a demand for knowledge and concrete action from governments, civil society, United Nations (UN) agencies and other stakeholders.

WASHINGTON – Archaeology is a vital tool in understanding the long-term consequences of human impact on the environment. Computational modeling can refine that understanding. But according to Arizona State University archaeologist C. Michael Barton, it takes a revolution in thought, along with the newest methods of modeling, to produce a comprehensive picture of the past that can help inform land-use decisions for our future.

In research appearing in today's issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology, Nongjian "NJ" Tao, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has demonstrated a clever way of controlling electrical conductance of a single molecule, by exploiting the molecule's mechanical properties.

Such control may eventually play a role in the design of ultra-tiny electrical gadgets, created to perform myriad useful tasks, from biological and chemical sensing to improving telecommunications and computer memory.

In 2011 the Earth's population will reach 7 billion. The United Nations (UN) reports that the total number of people will climb to 9 billion in 2050, peak at 9.5 billion, stabilize temporarily, and then decline. Despite the confidence with which these projections are presented, in an American Association for the Advancement of Science press briefing and presentation today the Population Council's John Bongaarts presents evidence that the actual population trajectory is highly uncertain.

Failure to pursue a program for recycling spent nuclear fuel has put the U.S. far behind other countries and represents a missed opportunity to enhance the nation's energy security and influence other countries, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Sunday.

Dale Klein, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Texas System, said largely unfounded concerns and "long-held myths" about the reprocessing of spent fuel have prevented the U.S. from tapping into an extremely valuable resource.

The sun provides more than enough energy for all our needs, if only we could harness it cheaply and efficiently. Solar energy could provide a clean alternative to fossil fuels, but the high cost of solar cells has been a major barrier to their widespread use.

Stanford researchers have found that adding a single layer of organic molecules to a solar cell can increase its efficiency three-fold and could lead to cheaper, more efficient solar panels. Their results were published online in ACS Nano on Feb. 7.

To build the next generation of sensors – with applications ranging from medical devices to robotics to new consumer goods – Chang Liu looks to biology.

Liu, professor of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, is using insights from nature as inspiration for both touch and flow sensors — areas that currently lack good sensors for recording and communicating the senses.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---The Mimosa plant, which folds its leaves when they're touched, is inspiring a new class of adaptive structures designed to twist, bend, stiffen and even heal themselves. University of Michigan researchers are leading their development.

Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis, according to a Penn State materials chemist, but a number of problems need to be solved first.

"We are focused on the hardest way to make fuel," said Thomas Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics. "We are creating an artificial system that mimics photosynthesis, but it will be practical only when it is as cheap as gasoline or jet fuel."

SAN DIEGO, CA – Improving healing after a rotator cuff tendon repair is an ongoing problem for orthopaedic surgeons world-wide. Researchers, presenting a study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego (February 19th) found that one of the latest tools for healing injuries, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), does not make a big difference.

Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair is highly effective and provides durable results five years after surgery, according to a large, prospective study by Hospital for Special Surgery investigators. The study also surprisingly revealed that the rotator cuff has the ability to heal even when early imaging studies have found a defect at the site of repair. The research will be presented at the upcoming American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) 2011 Specialty Day meeting, to be held Feb. 19 in San Diego, Calif., following the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Sports hernias are commonly found in individuals with a mechanical disorder of the hip and can be resolved with surgery to fix the hip disorder alone in some cases, according to a recent study. The research, conducted by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery, will be presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine 2011 Specialty Day meeting, held Feb. 19 in San Diego following the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.