Tech

November 23, 2009 -- Exposure shortly after birth to ambient metals from residential heating oil combustion and particles from diesel emissions are associated with respiratory symptoms in young inner city children, according to a new study by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The study is the first to analyze the effects of exposure to airborne metals in this very young population and the findings could have important public health implications.

Influenza, particularly H1N1, has understandably captured the attention of public health officials, the media and the public. However, an analysis from Children's Hospital Boston, based on patients seen in its emergency department (ED) during several recent flu seasons, shows that another virus – respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) -- takes a substantially greater disease toll among young children than does seasonal flu.

Preliminary results from 1500 respondents show that those who own their own home are more likely to separate their rubbish (83 per cent) than those in rented accommodation (59 per cent), whilst less than one in a hundred households have solar water heating (0.5 per cent) or solar energy panels (0.5 per cent).

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 13, 2009 -- A group of researchers at the City College of New York is developing a new way to generate power for planes and automobiles based on materials known as piezoelectrics, which convert the kinetic energy of motion into electricity. They will present their concept later this month at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics will take place from November 22-24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A new application for the Android smartphone shows users and software developers how much power their applications are consuming. PowerTutor was developed by doctoral students and professors at the University of Michigan.

Battery-powered cell phones serve as hand-held computers and more these days. We run power-hungry applications while we depend on the phones to be available in emergencies.

A simple blood test corresponding to the follicular phase (days 3-14) of a normal menstrual cycle can aid in optimal scheduling of breast MRI exams in premenopausal women with irregular cycles — possibly reducing the number of repeat scans and non-diagnostic tests patients experience and providing clearer images on which doctors make their recommendations, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Surplus biomass from the production of flax shives, and generated from Brassica carinata, a yellow-flowered plant related to those which engulf fields in spring, can be used to produce bioethanol. This has been suggested by two studies carried out by Spanish and Dutch researchers and published in the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

With the introduction of a single bacterial gene into yeast, researchers from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands achieved three improvements in bioethanol production from agricultural waste material: 'More ethanol, less acetate and elimination of the major by-product glycerol' This week the invention was published in the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Car fuel

At the 2009 Supercomputing Conference in Portland, Oregon (USA), the high-performance computer QPACE (QCD Parallel Computing on the Cell) was recognized today as the most energy-efficient supercomputer in the world. QPACE is at the head of the Green500 list, which provides a global ranking of energy-efficient supercomputers. QPACE was developed by an academic consortium of universities and research centers as well as the German IBM research and development center in Böblingen within the framework of a state-sponsored research association.

Purchasing prescription drugs in a three-month supply rather than a one-month supply has long been regarded as a way to reduce the cost of drugs for patients and third-party payers. New research from the University of Chicago quantifies the savings for the first time.

The increased computerization in U.S. hospitals hasn't made them cheaper or more efficient, Harvard researchers say, although it may have modestly improved the quality of care for heart attacks.

The findings, published in today's [Friday's] online edition of the American Journal of Medicine, contradict claims by President Obama and many lawmakers that health information technology (health IT), including electronic medical records, will save billions and help make reform affordable.

High irradiances of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) should not be used over melanomas. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Cancer studied the pain relieving, anti-inflammatory 'cold laser', finding that it caused increased tumour growth in a mouse model of skin cancer.

  • Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) has been linked to significant impairments in social skills.
  • Researchers have found that a social- skills intervention called Children's Friendship Training can lead to a decrease in hostile attributions or perceptions of children with PAE.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University scientists have helped identify and group the genes thought to be responsible for cell wall development in maize, an effort that expands their ability to discover ways to produce the biomass best suited for biofuels production.

Most people would like to be able to charge their cell phones and other personal electronics quickly and not too often. A recent discovery made by UC San Diego engineers could lead to carbon nanotube-based supercapacitors that could do just this.

In recent research, published in Applied Physics Letters, Prabhakar Bandaru, a professor in the UCSD Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with graduate student Mark Hoefer, have found that artificially introduced defects in nanotubes can aid the development of supercapacitors.