Tech

To subdue the steaming heat of hurricanes or to thaw out during a blizzard, gasoline-powered, portable generators are a lifeline during weather emergencies when homes are cut off without electricity. But these generators emit poisonous carbon monoxide—a single generator can produce a hundred times more of the colorless, odorless gas than a modern car's exhaust.

A comparison of national agencies that play a role in determining drug coverage decisions in Britain, Canada and Australia finds that uncertainty regarding clinical effectiveness is a key issue in coverage decisions, with other factors including the ability to negotiate price and societal values, according to a study in the October 7 issue of JAMA.

Ancient soil-inhabiting creatures decreased in body size by nearly half in response to a period of boosted carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures, scientists have discovered.

The researchers' findings are published in the October 5, 2009, early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A partnership between the University of Washington and the Italian sports-car company Automobili Lamborghini has been formalized, and the presidents of both organizations today attended the naming ceremony of the UW's Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory.

The UW is the first university in the country to collaborate with Lamborghini. The company has committed to provide substantial funding for lab equipment and support for UW undergraduate and graduate students.

Results: MIT electrical engineers have proposed a new scheme that can overcome a critical limitation of high-resolution electron microscopes: they cannot be used to image living cells because the electrons destroy the samples. The researchers suggest using a quantum mechanical measurement technique that allows electrons to sense objects remotely without ever hitting the imaged objects, thus avoiding damage.

San Diego, CA – While operating room fires can occur in a variety of clinical settings, it is the use of lasers and electrosurgical devices that are most likely to cause them. Those are the findings in new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.

Washington, D.C. - The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) supports the recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that primary care providers should screen all adults for depression, and further recommends that all primary care providers should have systems in place to ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of this condition. The earliest and best opportunities to identify depression are in the clinics of primary care providers and all primary care practices should have such systems of care in place.

(Boston) - Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have concluded that the 940nm wavelength laser is superior for treating facial spider veins (telangiectasias) as compared to the 532nm wavelength laser. The findings, which appear in the recent issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, are the first time these lasers were tested against each other for superiority.

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, leading to over 50,000 fatalities every year. But it can be prevented with early screening using a procedure called a colonoscopy. Now researchers from North Carolina State University, Mayo Clinic and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass) have created a tool to help colonoscopy facilities operate more efficiently, ultimately lowering costs and leading to shorter waiting times for patients.

Scientists are working on a new range of materials characterisation analysers and techniques that could help unlock the value contained in Australia's mineral deposits and improve processing performance, according to the October issue of Process.

Machine-mounted sensors, being developed through CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship, could help locate ore deposits, characterise the mining environment, and differentiate ore grades.

Boston, MA (Sep 29, 2009)—Expanding health coverage might not cost as much as policymakers assume.

New findings from researchers at Harvard Medical School demonstrate that individuals who were either continuously or intermittently uninsured between the ages of 51 and 64 cost Medicare more than those who had continuous insurance coverage in the years prior to Medicare eligibility.

STANFORD, Calif. - In a city the size of New York, starting a vaccination campaign a few weeks earlier could save almost 600 lives and over $150 million, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study, to be published online Oct. 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, modeled a pandemic in a hypothetical urban area with a population and demographic characteristics mirroring New York City's.

Iron is a micronutrient essential to the survival of both humans and disease-causing microbes. Changes in iron levels therefore affect the severity of infectious diseases. For example, individuals with mutations in their HFE gene have exceedingly high levels of iron in their liver and are more susceptible to infection with a number of microbes.

Routine use of electronic health records may improve the quality of care provided in community-based primary care practices more than other common strategies intended to raise the quality of medical care, according to a new study by RAND Corporation researchers.

Studying 305 groups of primary care physicians in Massachusetts, researchers found that practices that used multifunctional electronic health records were more likely to deliver better care for diabetes and provide certain health screenings than those that did not.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Small bits of metal may play a new role in solar power.

Researchers at Ohio State University are experimenting with polymer semiconductors that absorb the sun's energy and generate electricity. The goal: lighter, cheaper, and more-flexible solar cells.

They have now discovered that adding tiny bits of silver to the plastic boosts the materials' electrical current generation.