Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The News
VA Tries 'Exposure' Therapy on Older Female Vets
by Joseph Shapiro
Morning Edition, February 28, 2007 · A study contains surprises on the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder in female military veterans. Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs counselors try a new technique — prolonged-exposure therapy — on nearly 300 women suffering from long-term PTSD.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The News
Study finds vitamin pills not helpful
By Thomas H. Maugh II Los Angeles Times
Article Last Updated: 02/28/2007 12:59:20 AM MST

Adding to a growing scientific consensus, a large Danish study released Tuesday found that vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements provide no health benefits and may even produce a small increase in the risk of death.
The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association immediately was criticized by vitamin-makers and some researchers, but its findings are similar to other studies suggesting that supplements are not as quick and easy a way to improve health as their promoters claim.
Supplements "have great biological plausibility, and we all wish that they would work," but they do not, said Dr. Edgar R. Miller of Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the new study.
"We need to concentrate on life style modifications, stop smoking and lose weight, and not be deceived into thinking that taking a supplement will lower the risk of mortality," he said.
Dr. Goran Bjelakovic of Copenhagen University Hospital and his colleagues performed what is known as a meta-analysis, combining the results from 68 previously published clinical trials involving nearly 250,000 patients.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The News
CDC: 1 in 4 women have cancer-causing virus
By Lindsey Tanner The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 02/27/2007 01:47:39 PM MST
Chicago - One in four U.S. women ages 14 to 59 is infected with the sexually transmitted virus that in some forms can cause cervical cancer, according to the first broad national estimate.
The figure is mostly in line with previous assessments. The highest prevalence - nearly 45 percent - was found in young women within the age range recommended for a new virus-fighting vaccine, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers have estimated that 20 million Americans have some form of HPV. The study concluded that 26.8 percent of U.S. women are infected, a figure that is comparable to earlier estimates using smaller groups.
"We expected the prevalence of any HPV infection would be high and that's what we found," said CDC researcher Dr. Eileen Dunne, the study's lead author.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The News
Nanoparticles and Big Macs: good combo
COLUMBIA, Mo., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say a plant extract used to stabilize foods such as Big Macs can also stabilize gold nanoparticles used to detect cancers.
Professor Kattesh Katti, director of the University of Missouri Cancer Nanotechnology Platform, and colleagues tested plant extracts for their ability as non-toxic vehicles to stabilize and deliver nanoparticles for in vivo nanomedicinal applications.
The researchers determined gum arabic, used to stabilize foods such as yogurt, Big Macs and soda, can absorb and assimilate metals, creating a "coating" that makes gold nanoparticles stable and non-toxic.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Small.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The News
DNA Detectives Track Elephant Poachers,

by John Nielsen.
All Things Considered, February 26, 2007 · Ivory poaching is surging out of control in Africa, a new study says. But scientists say they've found a way to use DNA "fingerprints" to track down the poachers.

The study, which currently appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says well-armed gangs of poachers have been killing elephants by the thousands. Black-market sales of elephant tusks were relatively rare five years ago but are now at an all-time high.

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

The News
Artists' Masks Hid Wounds of World War I Soldiers.
All Things Considered, February 24, 2007 · Technology and trench warfare made World War II soldiers especially susceptible to facial injuries and shattered limbs. This posed significant problems for physicians, who had never encountered disfigurement on such a scale.
They struggled to save patients who streamed in by the thousands. There was little time to think of aesthetics.
Then a group of artists — sculptors, in particular — became pioneers in plastic surgery by learning the art of skin grafting and the creation of masks to cover soldiers' wounds.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in The Smithsonian.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The News
How beneficial is corporate role in medical research?
By Mark Yarborough, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center and director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities
Article Last Updated: 02/24/2007 11:43:42 AM MST

The involvement of private business in medical research is "essential," according to a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association. After all, drug and medical device makers fund important product development and marketing. In fact, private industry in the United States funds a significantly larger portion of clinical research - the investigation of new drugs and devices in patients - than do the government and government-sponsored university programs, despite a recent increase the National Institutes of Health budget. Essential or not, the question remains as to whether the influence of private industry on biomedical research is beneficial overall.
The News
The First University of Colorado Art in Science/Science in Art Exhibition is on display in the west atrium of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science from now until mid-May 2007. The 30 works by CU-affiliated artists and scientists show that Art and Science are not separate ways of seeing the world. In fact, for many of the works it isn't easy to tell whether they are art or science; they are both at the same time.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The News
Rethinking the Timing of the Clovis Culture
by Richard Harris

Morning Edition, February 23, 2007 · New evidence undercuts long-held beliefs about early inhabitants of North America. Evidence of the Clovis culture, discovered in 1952 in New Mexico, suggested a migration from Asia at the end of the last Ice Age. A new report points to a later arrival.

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The News
A Messy Grieving Process Is Still a Healthy One
by Joseph Shapiro

Morning Edition, February 21, 2007 · The stages of grief are well known: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is commonly assumed that we move through these stages one by one as we mourn the death of someone we love. But therapists and other experts in bereavement have long suspected it's not quite so simple. New research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association investigates the process of grief.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in The Journal of the American Medical Association

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The News
New heart guidelines urge women to exercise, cut fat, consider aspirin
CNN POSTED: 7:18 p.m. EST, February 19, 2007

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Nearly all American women are in danger of heart disease or stroke and should be more aggressive about lowering their risk -- including asking their doctors about daily aspirin use, the American Heart Association said Monday in new guidelines. It is the first time guidelines have urged all women to consider aspirin for preventing strokes, although specialists warn that it can cause ulcers and dangerous bleeding. They said it is probably not a good idea for young women with no big health problems.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Circulation.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The News
Surgeons who play video games more skilled
CNN, POSTED: 4:03 p.m. EST, February 19, 2007

CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- Playing video games appears to help surgeons with skills that truly count: how well they operate using a precise technique, a study said Monday. There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon's capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopy and related surgeries involve manipulating instruments through a small incision or body opening where the surgeon's movements are guided by watching a television screen. Video game skills translated into higher scores on a day-and-half-long surgical skills test, and the correlation was much higher than the surgeon's length of training or prior experience in laparoscopic surgery, the study said.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Archives of Surgery.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The News

The American Association for the Advancement of Science just finished their annual meeting in San Francisco, California. Check out their website and their publication Science.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The News
Experts chew on chile facts
Research examining 6,100-year-old bowl residue shows fiery pepper pod was oldest spice in use in Americas
By David Brown The Washington Post
Article Last Updated: 02/15/2007 11:21:56 PM MST

Washington - Inhabitants of the New World had chile peppers and the main ingredient for taco chips 6,100 years ago, according to new research that examined the bowl-scrapings of people sprinkled throughout Central America and the Amazon basin. Questions on the research agenda - and this is not a joke - include: Did they have salsa? And when did they get beer? The findings, described today in a report in the journal Science, make chile pepper the oldest spice in use in the Americas and one of the oldest in the world.

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

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The News
Study says spray flu vaccine better than shots for tots
Nasal mist uses live virus that immune system learns to strike
By Donald G. McNeil Jr. The New York Times
Article Last Updated: 02/15/2007 01:23:20 AM MST

FluMist vaccine - a live virus in a nasal spray - is much more effective than flu shots in protecting young children against the disease, a study has found. The study, conducted by researchers from medical schools in St. Louis, Tennessee, California and Finland, found that children from 6 months to 5 years old got 55 percent fewer cases of flu when they were protected by the nasal-spray vaccine rather than shots. FluMist is not licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for children under 5, but the data could lead to major changes in the way they are protected. MedImmune, the company that makes FluMist, says it is hoping for FDA approval for younger children in time for the next flu season. MedImmune funded the study.

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The News
Secure little baby less likely to grow into a big baby as a romantic partner
By Shankar Vedantam The Washington Post
Article Last Updated: 02/12/2007 11:37:08 PM MST

Just in time for Valentine's Day, scientists are announcing the results of a two-decade-long study that explored the connection between insecure infants and relationship problems in young adults. Turns out the kind of baby you were at 12 months can say a lot about the kind of lover you will be at 21.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology.
The News
Siestas can be lifesavers
By Robert S. Boyd McClatchy Newspapers
Article Last Updated: 02/11/2007 11:41:09 PM MST
Washington - At last, science has come up with proof that naps are good for you. Tell your boss! Tell your spouse! People who take at least three daytime naps a week lasting 30 minutes or longer cut their risk of dying from a heart attack by 37 percent, according to a new study by a team of American and Greek researchers. Regular siestas apparently lower stress, which is frequently associated with heart disease.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The News
Earlier this month, this blog had a posting about the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The University of Colorado Graduate School of Public Affairs has become the home of a project that could significantly influence United States policy toward global warming. The school has received a $500,000 grant to create a climate action plan for the next President of the United States. The project will provide a menu of policies, programs and legislative actions to help the next Administration jump-start federal leadership on climate change, including actions the president can take in his or her first 100 days in office. Sen. Gary Hart, Wirth Chair professor, serves as a project chair and principal investigator. “This project addresses one of the greatest imperatives of our time–global warming," Hart said. "We’re proud to have this be a project sponsored by the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center.”

The Research
For a different view of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, see The Fraser Institute.
The News
Influence of the Menstrual Cycle on the Female Brain
Science Daily What influence does the variation in estrogen level have on the activation of the female brain? Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Jean-Claude Dreher, a researcher at the Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNRS/Université Lyon 1), in collaboration with an American team from the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, Maryland) directed by Karen Berman, has identified, for the first time, the neural networks involved in processing reward-related functions modulated by female gonadal steroid hormones. This result, which was published online on January 29, 2007 on the PNAS website, is an important step in better comprehension of certain psychiatric and neurological pathologies.

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

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The News
Trapping Light and Saving It for Later

Talk of the Nation
February 9, 2007 · Scientists manage to stop light, hold it trapped in a cloud of chilled atoms known as a Bose Einstein condensate, and then release it in a second cloud a short distance away. We'll talk about the work and its potential applications in information processing.
Lene Vestergaard Hau,
Mallinckrodt professor of physics and McKay professor of applied physics, Harvard University

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

Friday, February 9, 2007

The News
Forensic Photography Brings Color Back To Ancient Textiles

Science Daily
Archaeologists are now turning to forensic crime lab techniques to hunt for dyes, paint, and other decoration in prehistoric textiles.
Although ancient fabrics can offer clues about prehistoric cultures, often their colors are faded, patterns dissolved, and fibers crumbling. Forensic photography can be used as an inexpensive and non-destructive tool to analyze these artifacts more efficiently, according to new Ohio State University research.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
The News
Study: Sleep Helps Youngsters Stay Trim

Morning Edition,
February 8, 2007 · It's well known that children who exercise and eat healthy foods are less likely to be overweight. A new study in the journal Child Development finds that getting enough sleep is also key.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal Child Development.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The News
Conscience, Religion Alter How Doctors Tell Patients About Options
Science Daily
— Many physicians feel no obligation to tell patients about legal but morally controversial medical treatments or to refer patients to doctors who do not object to those treatments, report researchers from the University of Chicago in the Feb. 8, 2007, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.
The News
Adapt for climate change, paper urges
The global-warming battle needs to be accompanied by better responses to normal climate variation, a CU scientist says.
By Katy Human Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 02/08/2007 01:27:57 AM MST

In the face of global warming triggered by people burning fossil fuels, it's not enough to turn to the wind and sun for electricity, a new report says.
Countries and communities also need to become better at handling normal climate variation - dry years and wet ones, good years for bugs and bad years for crops, said University of Colorado science policy professor Roger Pielke Jr.
Energy policy changes could make it less hot a century from now, but people are already dying from floods, tropical diseases and crop failures related to capricious weather, Pielke said in a paper appearing today in the journal Nature.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal Nature
(the entire issue, February 8, 2007, is focused on climate change)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The News
Post-op dangers found with heart-surgery drug
By Carla K. Johnson The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 02/06/2007 06:31:35 PM MST

Chicago - A drug widely used to prevent excessive bleeding during heart surgery appears to raise the risk of dying in the five years afterward by nearly 50 percent, an international study found.
The researchers said replacing the drug - aprotinin, sold by Bayer AG under the brand name Trasylol - with other, cheaper medications for a year would prevent 10,000 deaths worldwide over the next five years.
The findings were more bad news for Trasylol: The same scientists found the drug raised the risk of kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes in a study published last year. Most of the deaths in the new study were related to those problems.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in The Journal of the American Medical Association

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The News
Inbreeding has a positive effect for some
BONN, Germany, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Breeding between close relatives is believed unfavorable from an evolutionary standpoint, but a Germany study finds it might be good for some species.
Inbreeding is viewed negatively, in part because it allows harmful mutations to be more easily propagated, although theory predicts under some circumstances, the benefits of inbreeding might outweigh the costs.
University of Bonn researchers report gaining evidence in support of that theory. Studying an African chiclid fish species, Pelvicachromis taetiatus, in which both parents participate in brood care, the researchers found individuals preferred mating with unfamiliar close kin rather than non-kin.
One possible explanation for kin preference in breeding in that species is that it offers a benefit by facilitating parental cooperation, the researchers said.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal Current Biology

Monday, February 5, 2007

The News
Study seeks to ID depression genes
STANFORD, Calif., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they might be close to identifying the gene or genes responsible for causing severe depression.
The Stanford University School of Medicine researchers say some people appear to be genetically predisposed to developing severe depression, but scientists have yet to identify the genes responsible.
Now Dr. Douglas Levinson, a professor of psychiatry, is leading a consortium of researchers in identifying a specific region rife with promise.
"This finding has a very good chance of leading to a discovery of a gene that could yield important information about why some people develop depression," said Levinson.
If problematic genetic variations could be identified, it would open the door to a whole new world of investigation, and eventually, treatment possibilities, he said.

The Research
Read the articles behind this story in the journal American Journal of Psychiatry
Homing in on depression genes.
Genetics of Recurrent Early-Onset Major Depression (GenRED): Final Genome Scan Report.
Genetics of Recurrent Early-Onset Major Depression (GenRED): Significant Linkage on Chromosome 15q25-q26 After Fine Mapping With Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Markers.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

The News
Breakthrough In Nanodevice Synthesis Revolutionizes Biological Sensors
Science Daily — A novel approach to synthesizing nanowires (NWs) allows their direct integration with microelectronic systems for the first time, as well as their ability to act as highly sensitive biomolecule detectors that could revolutionize biological diagnostic applications, according to a report in Nature.
"We electronically plugged into the biochemical system of cells," said senior author Mark Reed, Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Engineering & Applied Science. "These developments have profound implications both for application of nanoscience technologies and for the speed and sensitivity they bring to the future of diagnostics."

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal Nature

Saturday, February 3, 2007

**Top Science News Stories for 2006**

Neanderthal Genome, Arctic Ice, Origin of the Solar System

In the top science news of 2006, scientists mapped sections of the genetic code of Neanderthals, discovered that arctic ice is melting at a faster rate than before, and found clues about the origin of the solar system by examining comet dust. Learn more about these stories in an exclusive interview with John Rennie, the editor of Scientific American magazine, and Andrew Revkin, science reporter for the New York Times and author of the book "The North Pole was Here."
The News
Flu Report
by Richard Knox
Audio for this story will be available at approx. 1:00 p.m. ET
Weekend Edition Saturday, February 3, 2007 · Researchers around the world are trying to figure out the crucial differences between a bird virus, like the H5N1 virus, and a flu bug that can spread explosively among humans. The report is in the latest issue of the journal Science.

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

Friday, February 2, 2007

The News
No one strategy best for teaching reading
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Educators have long debated whether phonics is most effective in teaching reading but a U.S. researcher says an individualized program is best.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science
The News
Climate Report Predicts Environmental Changes
Morning Edition, February 2, 2007 · Scientists and government officials from 113 countries issue a new report on climate change that blames humans for rising global temperatures. The report predicts changes in temperature, precipitation patterns and sea level over the next 100 years.

The Research
Report summary
Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The News
Air's grit found to be potent risk
While older women have appeared to be more susceptible to pollution, the large federal study quantifies the danger.
By Jeff Donn The Associated Press
Article Launched: 02/01/2007 01:00:00 AM MST

Boston - The fine grit in polluted air boosts the risk of heart disease in older women much more powerfully than scientists realized, a big federally funded study has found, raising questions of whether U.S. environmental standards are strict enough.
The Environmental Protection Agency tightened its daily limit for these tiny specks, known as fine particulates, in September. But it left the average annual limit untouched - 15 millionths of a gram for every cubic meter of air.
In this study of 65,893 women, the average exposure was 13 units, with two-thirds of the subjects falling under the national standard. But every increase of 10 units, starting at zero, lifted the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease by about 75 percent.
"There was a lot of evidence previously suggesting that the long-term standard should be lower, and this is adding one more study to that evidence," said Douglas Dockery, a pollution specialist at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.
The News
Study Puts Bigger Focus on Binge Eating
by Allison Aubrey
Morning Edition, February 1, 2007 · A new survey by researchers at Harvard University finds that frequent binge eating is the nation's most prevalent eating problem, outpacing better-known disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. The results come from what researchers say is the first national census of eating disorders.
Harvard psychiatrist James Hudson says binge eating "absolutely" qualifies as a stand-alone mental disorder.
"An eating binge is when you eat a large amount of food in a short period of time and have a sense of loss of control over the eating," he says.

The Research
Read the article behind this story in the journal Biological Psychiatry