Tech

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a presentation today (Aug. 19) to the American Chemical Society meeting, Ankit Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described an experimental approach to wound healing that could take advantage of silver's anti-bacterial properties, while sidestepping the damage silver can cause to cells needed for healing.

Silver is widely used to prevent bacterial contamination in wound dressings, says Agarwal, "but these dressings deliver a very large load of silver, and that can kill a lot of cells in the wound."

Computed tomography (CT) scans are responsible for more than two thirds of the total radiation dose associated with medical imaging exams. However, a newly adapted low-dose technique called adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) may enable radiologists to reduce patient radiation resulting from CT up to 65 percent, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

A quick and accurate test for endometriosis that does not require surgery has been developed by researchers from Australia, Jordan and Belgium, according to new research published online today (Wednesday 19 August) in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction [1].

Until now there has been no way of accurately diagnosing endometriosis apart from laparoscopy – an invasive surgical procedure – and this often leads to women waiting for years in pain and discomfort before their condition is identified correctly and treated.

Allen H. Renear and Carole L. Palmer, professors of library and information science at Illinois, say that as techniques originally designed to organize and share scientific data are integrated into scientific publishing, scientists' long-standing practice of reading "strategically" will be dramatically enhanced.

Patients with advanced cancer who received a palliative care intervention focused on addressing physical and psychosocial issues and care coordination that was provided at the same time as cancer treatment reported improved quality of life and mood but did not experience a significant change in the number of days in the hospital or the severity of their symptoms compared to patients who received usual care, according to a study in the August 19 issue of JAMA.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers are adapting the same methods used in fusion-energy research to create extremely thin plasma beams for a new class of "nanolithography" required to make future computer chips.

Current technology uses ultraviolet light to create the fine features in computer chips in a process called photolithography, which involves projecting the image of a mask onto a light-sensitive material, then chemically etching the resulting pattern.

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 18, 2009 – After a big earthquake, it's key to keep the water system afloat. Water is necessary for life, and it fights the fires that often accompany such disasters.

UC Irvine engineers plan to outfit the local water system with sensors that will alert officials when and where pipes crack or break, hastening repair – thanks to nearly $5.7 million over three years from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and several local water groups.

Chevy Chase, MD—The Hormone Foundation, the public education affiliate of The Endocrine Society, in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving, today released key findings from a first-of-its-kind survey (http://www.hormone.org/Public/diabetes_caregiver.cfm) aimed at better understanding the daily needs and struggles of unpaid caregivers of people with diabetes.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2009 — A scientific trend to view the world's biggest cities as analogous to living, breathing organisms is fostering a deep new understanding of how poor air quality in megacities can harm residents, people living far downwind, and also play a major role in global climate change. That's the conclusion of a report on the "urban metabolism" model of megacities presented here today at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Pasadena, Calif.—Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and IBM's Almaden Research Center have developed a new technique to orient and position self-assembled DNA shapes and patterns—or "DNA origami"—on surfaces that are compatible with today's semiconductor manufacturing equipment. These precisely positioned DNA nanostructures, each no more than one one-thousandth the width of a human hair, can serve as scaffolds or miniature circuit boards for the precise assembly of computer-chip components.