Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The News
Green Detergents Clean Up As Environmentally Friendly Consumer Products
Science Daily — "Green" laundry detergents have taken the leading role in a new effort by retailers and industry to market mainstream, environmentally friendly consumer products, according to an article scheduled for the Jan. 29 issue of ACS' weekly newsmagazine, Chemical & Engineering News.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Chemical & engineering news.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The News
Study: TV Ads Overstate Benefits of Medication
by Patricia Neighmond
Morning Edition, January 30, 2007 ·
The amount of money drug companies spend on TV ads has doubled in recent years. Studies show they work: Consumers go to their doctor with a suggestion for a certain prescription drug they saw advertised on TV. Now a study in the Annals of Family Medicine raises questions about the message the ads promote.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The News
Research finds drug to help insomniacs
By The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/28/2007 10:57:04 PM MST

Washington - Researchers studying narcolepsy - a disease that causes people to suddenly drop off to sleep - are trying to turn what they have learned into a new way to help insomniacs get some shut-eye.
They found that blocking brain receptors for orexin, a blood peptide, promoted sleep in rats, dogs and people, according to a paper in Sunday's online issue of Nature Medicine.
Orexin, also known as hypocretin, is important in maintaining wakefulness. It is absent in the brains of people who suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic disorder in which people cannot regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. It is estimated to affect more than 135,000 people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The research team, led by Francois Jenck of the Swiss drug company Actelion Pharmaceuticals, reasoned that they might be able to induce sleep if they could block orexin.
They developed a drug that can block the receptors in the brain that respond to orexin- hypocretin. The researchers reported successful testing in rodents, dogs and men.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Nature Medicine

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The News
Study says brain damage may stub out urge to smoke
Finding could point to development of new cessation aids
By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/25/2007 11:36:00 PM MST

Washington - A longtime smoker, code-named Nathan, simply forgot his two-pack-a-day addiction after a stroke. He had no cravings, no desire to quit. "My body forgot the urge to smoke," he told his doctor nonchalantly. His comment inspired research that suggests damage to a silver-dollar-size spot deep in the brain can wipe out the urge to smoke. The discovery may shed important new light on addiction. The finding points scientists toward new ways to develop anti-smoking aids by targeting this little-known brain region called the insula.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The News
Call it dense, but new chip loaded with data
By Kenneth Chang The New York Times
Article Last Updated: 01/25/2007 01:54:25 AM MST

Scientists have built a memory chip that is roughly the size of a white blood cell: about one-2,000th of an inch on a side. Although the chip is modest in capacity - with 160,000 bits of information - the bits are crammed together so tightly that it is the densest ever made. The achievement points to a possible path toward continuing the exponential growth of computing power even after current silicon chipmaking technology hits fundamental limits in 10 to 20 years.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Nature
The News
Uterine fibroids may not require invasive surgery
A study suggests women would spend less time in the hospital, but it doesn't address threats to fertility.
By Alicia Chang The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/24/2007 07:41:02 PM MST

Women who had less invasive treatment for painful uterine fibroids did about as well as those who had surgery, including a hysterectomy, according to a new study that lays out the options for a troubling condition affecting millions of women. Uterine fibroids are common among women of child-bearing age. Nearly 40 percent develop these noncancerous growths in the uterus that often don't cause any symptoms. While the most common treatment is surgery to remove tumors that cause extreme pain, some women choose a gentler procedure called uterine artery embolization.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the New England Journal of Medicine

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The News
Ancient reptiles may have begun biplane-type flight
By Randolph E. Schmid The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/22/2007 08:05:17 PM MST

Washington - When the Wright Brothers first took to the sky in a biplane, they were using a design nature may have tried 125 million years earlier. A new study of one of the earliest feathered dinosaurs suggests it may have had upper and lower sets of wings, much like the biplanes of early aviation. Today, the biplane is widely considered an old-fashioned rarity. And the design is no longer seen in birds, although it's not clear whether it was a step on the way to modern birds or a dead end in nature and discarded. The intriguing possibility of a biplane dinosaur - Microraptor gui - is suggested by Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Monday, January 22, 2007

The News
Drug curbs muscular dystrophy in mice
Researchers say a common blood-pressure medicine reduced muscle damage
By Randolph E. Schmid The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/21/2007 11:04:10 PM MST

Washington - A widely used blood-pressure drug reduced muscle damage in mice with the most common form of muscular dystrophy, researchers report. A team at Johns Hopkins University found the drug losartan seemed to improve muscle regeneration in mice with a rare condition known as Marfan syndrome and in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy - the most common form in children. "The results are very intriguing and certainly worthy of further investigation," said Dr. Valerie Cwik, medical director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Nature Medicine
The News
Daydreaming is brain's default setting
POSTED: 9:18 p.m. EST, January 19, 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Daydreaming seems to be the default setting of the human mind and certain brain regions are devoted to it, U.S. researchers reported Friday. When people are given a specific task to do, they focus on that task but then other brain regions get busy during down time. "There is this network of regions that always seems to be active when you don't give people something to do," psychologist Malia Mason of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital said in a telephone interview.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science

Friday, January 19, 2007

The News
Test success: China downs own satellite
By Marc Kaufman and Dafna Linzer The Washington Post
Article Last Updated: 01/19/2007 12:03:14 AM MST

Washington - The Chinese military used a ground-based missile to destroy one of its aging satellites orbiting more than 500 miles in space last week - a high-stakes test demonstrating China's ability to target regions of space that are home to U.S. spy satellites and space-based missile defense systems. The test of anti-satellite technology is believed to be the first of its kind in two decades by any nation and raised concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. satellites and a possible arms race in space.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Aviation Week & Space Technology.
The News
A fluid theory on lands' mobility
By Katy Human Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 01/18/2007 10:09:52 PM MST

Earth's continents drift on rock softened by a chemical process involving water and minerals - not because of pressure and heat from the planet's interior as thought for decades - according to a new study co-written by University of Colorado at Boulder geologist Joseph Smyth. The water is pressed out of certain minerals and helps soften a deep rock layer.
The finding - reported in the journal Science - helps explain how mountains form and continents move on the planet.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science.
Read a perspective about this research in the journal Science.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The News
Cancer likelier in dense breasts
By Jeff Donn The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/17/2007 08:38:32 PM MST

Boston - Cancer turns up five times as often in women with extremely dense breasts as in those with the most fatty tissue, a study shows, signaling the importance of a risk factor rarely discussed with patients. On mammograms, fat looks dark, but dense tissue is light, like tumors, so it can hide the cancers. But this study confirms that cancers are also more frequent - not just hidden - in women with dense breasts. That means that density is a true risk factor, along with other strong predictors such as age and the genes BRCA1 and 2. Yet specialists say that breast density is rarely considered with other risk factors in discussions between doctors and patients.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The News
Skull suggests interbreeding of Neanderthal, modern man
By Randolph E. Schmid The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/15/2007 11:54:22 PM MST

Washington - A skull found in a cave in Romania includes features of both modern humans and Neanderthals, possibly suggesting that the two may have interbred thousands of years ago.
Neanderthals were replaced by early modern humans. Researchers have long debated whether the two groups mixed together, though most doubt it. The last evidence for Neanderthals dates from at least 24,000 years ago.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The News
More fast food meals mean more excess weight
Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:34pm ET
By Anne Harding - Reuters Health

NEW YORK - A new study provides the best evidence to date that eating fast food makes you fat. Among nearly 3,400 young adults participating in a long-term study, every additional fast food meal they consumed each week correlated with a substantial increase in body mass index (BMI), Dr. Barry M. Popkin of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and colleagues found.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Monday, January 15, 2007

The News
Gene linked to chance of Alzheimer's
By Malcolm Ritter The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/14/2007 11:13:59 PM MST

New York - An international study out Sunday has identified a gene that apparently can raise the risk of developing the most common form of Alzheimer's disease, a discovery that may help scientists develop new treatments. Scientists analyzed DNA from more than 6,000 people from a variety of ethnic groups and found evidence implicating certain versions of the gene, called SORL1. It's too soon to tell how much those gene versions raise the risk of Alzhei mer's or what percentage of cases they account for, the researchers said. They said the effect on risk appears to be modest. Still, if the finding is confirmed by other scientists, it would be "a very substantial step forward in our understanding of the genetics of Alzheimer's disease," said Jonathan Haines of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., an expert not involved in the work.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Nature Genetics.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The News
Inquiry demanded in stunting of growth
By Lindsey Tanner The Associated Press
Article Created: 01/11/2007 06:14:18 PM MST

Chicago - Activists are demanding an investigation into treatment performed on a severely brain-damaged girl whose growth was deliberately stunted to make it easier for her parents to care for her at home. Critics want an official condemnation from the American Medical Association. They also want state and federal officials to investigate whether doctors violated the girl's rights. "It is unethical and unacceptable to perform intrusive and invasive medical procedures on a person or child with a disability simply to make the person easier to care for," said Steven Taylor, director of Syracuse University's Center on Human Policy.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Friday, January 12, 2007

The News
Procrastinators' ranks rise with tempting tech
By Seth Borenstein The Associated Press
Article Launched: 01/12/2007 01:00:00 AM MST

Washington - Procrastination in society is getting worse, and scientists are finally getting around to figuring out how and why. Too many tempting diversions are to blame, but more on that later.
After 10 years of research on a project that was supposed to take only five years, a Canadian industrial psychologist found in a giant study that not only is procrastination on the rise, it makes people poorer, fatter and unhappier.
Something has to be done about it, sooner rather than later, University of Calgary professor Piers Steel concludes. His 30-page study is in this month's peer-reviewed Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Psychological Bulletin

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The News
Smells Like Home: For Fish, Reefs Are Unique
by John Nielsen
All Things Considered, January 11, 2007 · Coral reefs may all smell the same to humans. But to some fish, reefs' smells have distinct qualities — even when they're several hundred miles away.
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues that some reef fish use smelly ocean currents the way New Yorkers use their subway lines — as the quickest way home.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The News
Ex-cons face steep risk of death
By Karen AugeDenver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 01/10/2007 05:51:54 PM MST
If there is anything more risky than going to prison, it may be getting out of prison, a new study shows. In the first two weeks after release, former inmates die at a rate 13 times that of the general population, a University of Colorado researcher has found. The leading cause of death among former inmates is - by a whopping margin - drug overdose. And the most common deadly drug is cocaine, according to the study by Dr. Ingrid Binswanger (University of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Center) which will appear in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal New England Journal of Medicine

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The News
Sobriety helps alcoholic brain rebound, study shows
By Melissa Healy Los Angeles Times
Article Last Updated: 01/07/2007 12:38:22 PM MST
In addition to claiming lives, marriages, homes and careers, alcoholism has a greedy way of robbing its victims of brainpower. Over time, alcohol dependence literally shrinks the brain and several of its components. In so doing, it erodes an alcoholic's ability to learn new tasks, remember things and organize for action. Even regular heavy drinking can take a cognitive toll, researchers have found.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Brain
The News
Kids at home could mean higher-fat diet
By AMY LORENTZEN Association Press Writer
Adults living with children tend to eat more fat than grown-ups in kid-free homes, consuming as much additional saturated fat each week as found in an individual-size pizza, a new study suggests.

The Research
Read the research article behind this story in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The News
Report says bias taints industry-paid studies
By Marilynn Marchione The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 01/08/2007 07:49:26 PM MST

Does milk lower blood pressure? Does juice prevent heart disease? Beverage studies were four to eight times as likely to reach sweet conclusions about health effects when industry was footing the bill, a new report contends.

Its authors claim to have done the first systematic analysis of such studies published from 1999 through 2003 in hundreds of journals around the world.

The Research
Read the journal article behind this story in PLoS Medicine

The News
NPR Morning Edition, January 9, 2007.
A new study, co-authored by Harvard researchers and analysts from the Center for Science in thePublic Interest, suggests there's a systematic bias in nutrition studies funded by food companies.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The News
Stem-cell find skirts fray
By Karen Kaplan Los Angeles Times
Article Last Updated: 01/07/2007 09:47:59 PM MST

Researchers have found stem cells in human amniotic fluid that appear to have many of the key benefits of embryonic stem cells while avoiding their knottiest ethical, medical and logistical drawbacks, according to a study published Sunday.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in Nature Biotechnology.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The News
Climate gurus see a record warm-up for 2007
By Raphael G. Satter The Associated Press
Article Launched: 01/04/2007 09:28:00 PM MST

Deepening drought in Australia. Stronger typhoons in Asia. Floods in Latin America. British climate scientists predict that a resurgent El Niño climate trend combined with higher levels of greenhouse gases could touch off a fresh round of ecological disasters - and make 2007 the world's hottest year on record. "Even a moderate (El Niño) warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top," said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The News
Scientists' hypothesis of Saturn's big moon holds fluid
Denver Post 1-4-07
As scientists predicted but have had a hard time proving, the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, appears to be dotted with an abundance of lakes of liquid methane. The lakes are more intriguing evidence of the active phenomena at play on the only moon in the solar system that has a dense atmosphere.

The Research
Read the research articles behind this story in Nature
The lakes of Titan
Planetary science: Titan's lost seas found
The News
Study Describes an Iranian Oil Industry in Decline
NPR Morning Edition, January 4, 2007 · Geographer Roger Stern has produced a study predicting a sharp decline in the ability of Iran to export oil in the coming years.

The Research
Read the research article behind this story in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The news
as heard on NPR
Cows engineered for immunity to Mad Cow Disease
January 3, 2007 · Scientists have created a dozen cattle that seem to be immune to mad cow disease. The animals, now 2 years old, have been genetically engineered to lack the protein that's susceptible to the disease.

The Research
Read the research article behind this story in Nature Biotechnology