Tech

Osteoarthritis (OA), a highly prevalent disease, raised aggregate annual medical care expenditures in the U.S. by $185.5 billion according to researchers from Stony Brook University. Insurers footed $149.4 billion of the total medical spend and out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures were $36.1 billion (2007 dollars). Results of the cost analysis study are published in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Southern Illinois University researchers determined Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas were 27% more likely than urban recipients to have total knee or hip replacement surgeries. Researchers found women were more likely than men to undergo total joint replacement surgeries. Differences in elective joint surgeries between white individuals and minorities in both rural and urban areas were observed, but were less pronounced in rural settings.

CHICAGO – Middle-aged men and women who engage in high levels of physical activity may be unknowingly causing damage to their knees and increasing their risk for osteoarthritis, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

DALLAS – Nov. 30, 2009 – UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that informed adults can help families stave off complications associated with asthma. The findings, available online and in the December issue of Pediatrics, suggest that interventions by parent mentors – caregivers of asthmatic children who have received specialized topical training – can effectively reduce wheezing, asthma attacks, emergency room visits and missed adult workdays.

DETROIT – Using mannequins to teach doctors-in-training how to do ultrasound-guided procedures is an effective way to improve their skills without compromising patient care and safety, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital.

In the next 25 years, the number of Americans living with diabetes will nearly double, increasing from 23.7 million in 2009 to 44.1 million in 2034. Over the same period, spending on diabetes will almost triple, rising from $113 billion to $336 billion, even with no increase in the prevalence of obesity, researchers based at the University of Chicago report in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new generation of ultrasmall transistors and more powerful computer chips using tiny structures called semiconducting nanowires are closer to reality after a key discovery by researchers at IBM, Purdue University and the University of California at Los Angeles.

The researchers have learned how to create nanowires with layers of different materials that are sharply defined at the atomic level, which is a critical requirement for making efficient transistors out of the structures.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Advances in computerized modeling and prediction of group behavior, together with improvements in video game graphics, are making possible virtual worlds in which defense analysts can explore and predict results of many different possible military and policy actions, say computer science researchers at the University of Maryland in a commentary published in the November 27 issue of the journal "Science."

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 25, 2009 -- Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced plans to conduct a series of deep energy retrofit research projects with the potential to improve the energy efficiency in selected homes by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

The projects will be supported by up to $1.4 million from the Department of Energy's Building America Program, which has received additional funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Bongani today and provided some important data that have helped forecasters figure out where the storm is headed, and helped them see that it has changed course.

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Researchers from the University of Granada have provided an early diagnosis of certain ocular diseases that are very common today, such as age-related macular degeneration and keratitis, by applying an existing optical technique that, nevertheless, had never before been used for this purpose.

MADISON, WI, NOVEMBER 25, 2009 – Soil is the linchpin of the environment, where atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere meet. Despite that, many students see soil as "just dirt" – a place to grow plants, but nothing more. Soil science educators are challenged with the task of helping students and the public recognize the critical importance of soil in the environment.

On September 11, firefighters, police officers and ambulance workers faced a terrifying rescue effort in the World Trade Center complex. They battled to save people from the collapsing Twin Towers, searched for survivors, tackled fires and evacuated as many people as they could in an area which contained an estimated 17,000 people. And making their jobs even harder was the problem of poor communications: frightened workers and their relatives jammed mobile networks with calls and the emergency services' own radio communications turned out to be incompatible with one another.

Researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine compared the outcomes of cirrhotic patients who underwent liver transplants for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) versus alcoholic liver disease (ETOH) and found no statistically significant differences in post-transplant survival rates between the NASH and ETOH groups. Study findings are presented in the December issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Food waste contributes to excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels which, along with methane and carbon dioxide emissions from decomposing food, impacts global climate change. In a new paper published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Kevin Hall and colleagues at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases calculate the energy content of nationwide food waste from the difference between the US food supply and the food eaten by the population.