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Counselling has limited benefit on young people drinking alcohol

2014-08-21
Counselling techniques used to help young people with drinking problems may be of limited benefit, a new study suggests. In a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library, researchers found that an approach known as motivational interviewing did not substantially reduce drinking or alter alcohol-related behaviour. Globally every year, around 320,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 29 die as a result of alcohol misuse. Most of these deaths are due to car accidents, murders, suicides or drowning. Motivational interviewing is a counselling technique developed ...

Regular blood transfusions can stave off repeat strokes in children with sickle cell disease

2014-08-21
Monthly blood transfusions can substantially reduce the risk of recurrent strokes in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) who have already suffered a silent stroke, according to the results of an international study by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Vanderbilt University and 27 other medical institutions. Results of the federally funded research described in the Aug. 21 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, show that children with preexisting silent strokes who receive monthly transfusions have 58 percent lower risk of suffering repeat ...

NEJM Perspective: 'Studying 'Secret Serums' -- Toward Safe, Effective Ebola Treatments'

2014-08-21
WASHINGTON – Conducting clinical studies of agents to treat Ebola and allowing compassionate use of those agents are not necessarily mutually exclusive, writes Georgetown University Medical Center's (GUMC) Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., in a perspective piece published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. In "Studying 'Secret Serums' — Toward Safe, Effective Ebola Treatments," Goodman describes the Ebola virus as "one of the world's most feared pathogens." The latest Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in Dec. 2013 has infected more than 2,200 people ...

Imaging study reveals white-matter deficits in users of codeine-containing cough syrups

2014-08-20
Aug. 20, 2014 -- An imaging study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and associates these changes with increased impulsivity in CCS users. Researchers used diffusuion tensor imaging (DTI) (an MR imaging technique), coupled with fractional anisotropy, to investigate the white matter integrity of chronic CCS users. Deficits were found in multiple regions of the brain, including the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, which other studies have found to be abnormal in other forms of addiction, ...

High school students discover stars at SMU research program

2014-08-20
DALLAS (SMU) – Two Dallas high school students discovered five stars as members of a Southern Methodist University summer physics research program that enabled them to analyze data gleaned from a high-powered telescope in the New Mexico desert. All five stars discovered by Lake Highlands High School seniors Dominik Fritz and Jason Barton are eclipsing contact binary stars, pairs of stars that orbit around each other so closely that their outer atmospheres touch. As the stars eclipse, they dim and then brighten as one emerges from behind the other. These stars are categorized ...

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows
2014-08-20
VIDEO: This NASA video discusses new research that shows Earth's atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide.... Click here for more information. NASA research shows Earth's atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), which was once used ...

Blueprint for next generation of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment

Blueprint for next generation of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment
2014-08-20
SALT LAKE CITY— Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have identified and characterized mutated forms of the gene that encodes BCR-ABL, the unregulated enzyme driving the blood cancer chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 6,000 new cases of CML will be diagnosed in 2014. Drugs already in use, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), target BCR-ABL and are effective at controlling the disease. They do not cure CML but control it in a way that allows patients to get back to normal life and a ...

Water leads to chemical that gunks up biofuels production

Water leads to chemical that gunks up biofuels production
2014-08-20
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Trying to understand the chemistry that turns plant material into the same energy-rich gasoline and diesel we put in our vehicles, researchers have discovered that water in the conversion process helps form an impurity which, in turn, slows down key chemical reactions. The study, which was reported online at the Journal of the American Chemical Society, can help improve processes that produce biofuels from plants. The study examines the conversion of bio-oil, produced from biomass such as wood chips or grasses, into transportation fuels. Researchers ...

Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration

2014-08-20
Sockeye salmon that sprint to spawning grounds through fast-moving waters may be at risk, suggests new research by University of British Columbia scientists. When salmon encounter turbulent, fast-moving water – such as rapids or areas downstream of dams – they must move upstream using a behaviour known as "burst swimming" that is similar to sprinting for humans. "Days after sockeye passed through extremely fast-moving water, we started to see fish dying only a short distance from their spawning grounds," said Nicholas Burnett, a research biologist at UBC and lead author ...

Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel

2014-08-20
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that the immune system is defective in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is a major reason why sufferers have ongoing issues with pain. The research – the first of its kind in the world – could also help to explain why some painkillers may not offer satisfactory relief to sufferers. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 10% of the community. There are different forms of IBS but all of them involve unexplained gut pain, which often has the greatest impact on sufferers' quality of life. Scientists ...

Pica in pregnant teens linked to low iron

2014-08-20
ITHACA, N.Y. – In a study of 158 pregnant teenagers in Rochester, NY, nearly half engaged in pica – the craving and intentional consumption of ice, cornstarch, vacuum dust, baby powder and soap, and other nonfood items, reports a new Cornell study. Moreover, such teens had significantly lower iron levels as compared with teens who did not eat nonfood substances. Pregnant teens, regardless of pica, are at higher risk for low hemoglobin, which can lead to iron deficiency and anemia. Low iron in pregnant teens raises the risk of premature births and babies with low birth ...

Research: tax benefits for housing not as outsized as previously thought

Research: tax benefits for housing not as outsized as previously thought
2014-08-20
New research co-written by a University of Illinois expert in urban economics indicates that tax benefits for housing, including the ever-popular mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction, are not as distortionary as previous research and some prominent critics suggest. The existing system of tax benefits for housing caused the typical house to be 4 percent too large in 2007, creating a national economic waste of $7 billion per year – a figure that is substantially smaller than recent estimates by other economists, including some who have pegged the figure ...

Missing protein restored in patients with muscular dystrophy

Missing protein restored in patients with muscular dystrophy
2014-08-20
Advances in the treatment of muscular dystrophy: For the first time, a research team has succeeded in restoring a missing repair protein in skeletal muscle of patients with muscular dystrophy. Researchers from the University and the University Hospital of Basel, Department of Biomedicine and Clinic of Neurology, report their recent findings in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine. When muscle cell membranes are damaged, the repair protein dysferlin is activated and reseals muscle membrane tears. If this repair protein is altered due to a genetic mutation, ...

Researchers pinpoint most common causes of dangerous eye infection post surgery and trauma

2014-08-20
NEW YORK -- The most common cause of endophthalmitis, a potentially blinding condition that can occur after eye trauma, eye surgery, and eye injections, are the well-known staphylococci ("staph") and streptococci ("strep") bacterial strains, according to a study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology and based on a review of 25 years of cases at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE). The new study found that gram-positive bacteria, which include staph and strep infections, accounted for 95 percent of endophthalmitis cases. The findings could lead ...

Maturing brain flips function of amygdala in regulating stress hormones

2014-08-20
In contrast to evidence that the amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have found that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on stress hormones during the early development of nonhuman primates. The results are published this week in Journal of Neuroscience. The amygdala is a region of the brain known to be important for responses to threatening situations and learning about threats. Alterations in the amygdala have been reported in psychiatric disorders such as depression, post-traumatic ...

Pitt analysis questions use of acute hemodialysis treatment

2014-08-20
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 20, 2014 – A common approach to treating kidney failure by removing waste products from the blood did not improve survival chances for people who suddenly developed the condition, in an analysis led by experts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings, published online in the journal PLOS One, suggest acute hemodialysis, an aggressive method that is standardly used for people with sudden kidney failure, may not provide a definitive benefit to the patient. "Our findings question the accepted notion that acute hemodialysis decreases ...

Many solve civil justice problems on their own, rarely involving attorneys, says study

Many solve civil justice problems on their own, rarely involving attorneys, says study
2014-08-20
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Many of life's problems are also civil legal problems, but people don't see them that way. As a result, they often deal with them on their own, and rarely involve lawyers or courts, or even other third parties, according to a recent study. They rarely say that concern about the cost of legal help is a factor, contrary to common assumptions. Those were among the findings presented by University of Illinois professor Rebecca Sandefur Aug. 8 at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in Boston, in a report titled "Accessing Justice in the Contemporary ...

Seals introduced tuberculosis to the New World

2014-08-20
Scientists from the University of Tübingen, Arizona State University, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) isolated Mycobacterium pinnipedii from skeletons found in Peru which are at least 1000 years old. The pathogen is a relative of the TB bacterium that affects seals but only occasionally causes disease in humans today. These researchers assume that seals carried the pathogens from Africa to the Peruvian coast. "The link to sea lions was unexpected" comments Sebastien Gagneux, from the Swiss Tropical and Public ...

Satellite eyes a big influence on Tropical Storm Karina

Satellite eyes a big influence on Tropical Storm Karina
2014-08-20
NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center noted that Tropical Storm Karina's next move is based on its interaction with Tropical Storm Lowell. Lowell is positioned to the east of Tropical Storm Karina in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Karina is still well over 1,000 miles away from Hawaii and has become almost stationary as the mammoth Tropical Storm Lowell creeps closer to it. The CPHC expects Karina to start drifting eastward and away from Hawaii starting Thursday, August 21, as Karina starts being affected by Lowell's massive circulation. On August 20, NOAA's GOES-West ...

Beaver complex and July complex wildfires in California

Beaver complex and July complex wildfires in California
2014-08-20
The Beaver Complex is comprised of the Salt Creek Fire (20 miles northwest of Medford) and the Oregon Gulch Fire (15 miles east of Ashland), lightning-started fires that started on July 30-31, 2014. After it was first discovered on July 31, the Oregon Gulch Fire rapidly moved southeast from the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument into the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area, from Jackson County into Klamath County, and then into California. To date 35,302 acres have been affected. The wildfire complex is currently 100% contained. Per the Inciweb site total cost of this complex ...

Survey finds veterans generally satisfied with mental health care

2014-08-20
A survey of U.S. veterans receiving mental health services from the Veterans Health Administration finds general satisfaction, but also significant room for improvement among all areas studied. The RAND Corporation study, conducted in 2008 and 2009, found that patients with a substance use disorder were less satisfied than other veterans who received mental health services. Those with substance abuse problems also were less likely than others to report that staff listened to them or respected their decisions. The findings, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, ...

Recovery reversal seen in Oregon study of returning concussed athletes

Recovery reversal seen in Oregon study of returning concussed athletes
2014-08-20
EUGENE, Ore. -- When are athletes who have suffered concussions ready to return to action? A new University of Oregon study has found that high school athletes who head back on the field with medical clearance within 60 days experience a significant regression in their abilities to simultaneously walk and do simple mental tasks. The regression, as seen in changes in their balance and/or altered walking speed, was found in 12 of 19 athletes. Ten of the 12 had returned to activity in less than a month. Seven athletes, who performed similarly to uninjured control subjects, ...

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

2014-08-20
Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that acral melanomas – the rare type of skin cancer that caused reggae musician Bob Marley's death – are genetically distinct from other more common types of skin cancer, according to a study (link is external) published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research. Acral melanoma most often affects the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, nail-beds and other hairless parts of the skin. Unlike other more common types of melanoma, it's not caused by UV damage from the sun. The team, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester ...

Drexel study: Enhanced communication key to successful teamwork in dynamic environments

2014-08-20
From management consulting projects to research and development laboratories to hospital trauma centers, organizations of all types are increasingly creating teams whose members have diverse professional backgrounds. While the allure of these cross-functional teams is their ability to use their diverse knowledge to solve complex problems, not all such teams are able to reach their full potential. According to new research led by Christian Resick, PhD, an associate professor of management in Drexel University's LeBow College of Business, these teams need to master the ...

Highs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mapped

Highs and lows: Height changes in the ice sheets mapped
2014-08-20
Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany have used satellite data to map elevation and elevation changes in both Greenland and Antarctica. The new maps are the most complete published to date, from a single satellite mission. They also show the ice sheets are losing volume at an unprecedented rate of about 500 cubic kilometres per year. The results are published today in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). "The new elevation maps are snapshots of the current state of the ice sheets," says lead-author Veit Helm ...
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