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Long-acting insulin is safer, more effective for patients with Type 1 diabetes

Long-acting insulin is safer, more effective for patients with Type 1 diabetes
2014-10-01
TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2014 – Long-acting insulin is safer and more effective than intermediate-acting insulin for patients with Type 1 diabetes, according to new research published in the BMJ. Researchers looked at once-daily and twice-daily doses of both long- and intermediate-acting insulin, ranking their effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness. "In patients with Type 1 diabetes, we found that long-acting insulin is superior to intermediate-acting insulin when it came to controlling blood sugar, preventing weight gain and treating severe hypoglycemia," said Dr. ...

All directions are not created equal for nanoscale heat sources

All directions are not created equal for nanoscale heat sources
2014-10-01
Thermal considerations are rapidly becoming one of the most serious design constraints in microelectronics, especially on submicron scale lengths. A study by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has shown that standard thermal models will lead to the wrong answer in a three-dimensional heat-transfer problem if the dimensions of the heating element are on the order of one micron or smaller. "As materials shrink, the rules governing heat transfer change as well," explained David Cahill, a professor of materials science and engineering at Illinois. ...

Microbes in Central Park soil: If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere

Microbes in Central Park soil: If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere
2014-10-01
Soil microbes that thrive in the deserts, rainforests, prairies and forests of the world can also be found living beneath New York City's Central Park, according to a surprising new study led by Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Boulder. The research team analyzed 596 soil samples collected from across Central Park's 843 acres and discovered a stunning diversity of below-ground life, most of which had never been documented before. Only 8.5 percent to 16.2 percent of the organisms discovered in the park soils, depending on their type, had been ...

Non-citizens face harsher sentencing than citizens in US criminal courts

2014-10-01
WASHINGTON, DC, September 29, 2014 — Non-Americans in the U.S. federal court system are more likely to be sentenced to prison and for longer terms compared to U.S. citizens, according to a new study. "Much of the discussion in this area has centered around deportation, but increasing numbers of immigrants are being brought before criminal courts, and little is known about how they are treated once they are in the criminal justice system," said Michael T. Light, an assistant professor of sociology at Purdue University and the lead author of the study. "This is a major ...

Immunotherapy could stop resistance to radiotherapy

2014-10-01
Treating cancers with immunotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time could stop them from becoming resistant to treatment, according to a study published in Cancer Research* today (Wednesday). The researchers, based at The University of Manchester and funded by MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Cancer Research UK, found that combining the two treatments helped the immune system hunt down and destroy cancer cells that weren't killed by the initial radiotherapy in mice with breast, skin and bowel cancers. Radiotherapy ...

Is Australia prepared for Ebola?

2014-10-01
Australia needs to be proactive about potential disease outbreaks like Ebola and establish a national centre for disease control. In an Editorial in the October issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Allen Cheng from Monash University and Heath Kelly from the Australian National University question Australia's preparation for public health crises. "Australia would do well to heed the lessons learned in other countries and be proactive in co-ordinating a consistent and outward looking response," the authors said. "Australia needs a national disease ...

Targeted treatment could halt womb cancer growth

2014-10-01
A drug which targets a key gene fault could halt an aggressive womb cancer and shrink tumours, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer*. The scientists, from the Division of Gynaecologic Oncology at Yale School of Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that the drug afatinib not only killed off uterine serous cancer cells after stopping their growth but also caused tumours to shrink. The drug, a type of personalised medicine, attacks faults in the HER2 gene which lie at the heart of the cancer cells. This stops the disease ...

Third of countries struggling to meet the needs of aging population

2014-10-01
People around the world are living longer, but social policies to support their wellbeing in later life are lagging behind in many countries. This is according a new report by HelpAge International, developed in partnership with the University of Southampton. More than a third of countries are falling significantly behind those at the top of the Global AgeWatch Index. It ranks 96 nations on the basis of the quality of life and social and economic wellbeing of older people (over 60s). The Index can also help governments to identify policies and institutional contexts that ...

Developing countries should enroll medical and nursing students from rural areas

2014-10-01
Nearly one third of medical and nursing students in developing countries may have no intention of working in their own countries after graduation, while less than one fifth of them intend to work in rural areas where they are needed most, according to a new study. Health workforce shortages have been a major factor driving the current outbreak of Ebola in western Africa. The disease initially spread rapidly in rural parts of three of the world's poorest countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia), where health workers are scarcest. The study, which was published in ...

Minimum alcohol pricing would be up to 50 times more effective than below cost selling ban

2014-10-01
The previous policy of setting a minimum unit price would have had a 40-50 times greater effect, particularly among harmful drinkers, say researchers. Increasing the price of alcohol has been shown to be effective in reducing both consumption levels and harms, and the UK government has been considering different policy options for price regulation in England and Wales. In 2010, the government announced a ban on "below cost selling" to target drinks which are currently sold so cheaply that their price is below the cost of the tax (duty and VAT) payable on the product. ...

Healthy lifestyle could prevent nearly half of all diabetic pregnancies

2014-10-01
Gestational diabetes is a common pregnancy complication that has long-term adverse health implications for both mothers and babies. Several modifiable risk factors before pregnancy have been identified over the past decade. These include maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not smoking. So a team of researchers based in the United States set out to examine the effect of these "low risk" lifestyle factors on the risk of gestational diabetes – and measure the portion of the condition that may be preventable through adhering ...

The Lancet: Latest estimates show that preterm birth complications and pneumonia are the leading causes of death in children under 5 years

2014-10-01
Complications from preterm (premature) births and pneumonia are now the leading causes of death in children under five years, together responsible for nearly 2 million deaths in 2013, according to the latest estimates, published today [Tuesday 30 September] in The Lancet. Researchers led by Professor Robert Black, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA, used the latest available data and modelling methods to examine what caused an estimated 6•3 million deaths of newborn babies (neonates) and children under five years in 2013. They found that ...

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Genetic study casts further doubt that vitamin D prevents the development of type 2 diabetes

2014-10-01
A large genetic study, published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, has concluded there is no evidence of a causal link between a person's vitamin D levels [1], and whether they develop type 2 diabetes. The findings of the study, conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge, challenge evidence from earlier observational studies which suggest that higher concentrations of circulating vitamin D might prevent type 2 diabetes. This evidence led to speculation that the development of type 2 diabetes is associated with vitamin D insufficiency. ...

Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak

Improving babies language skills before theyre even old enough to speak
2014-10-01
In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds "might" be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new Rutgers research. The study by April Benasich and colleagues of Rutgers University-Newark is published in the October 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. The researchers found that when 4-month-old babies learned to pay attention to ...

New genetic 'operating system' facilitated evolution of 'bilateral' animals

2014-10-01
The evolution of worms, insects, vertebrates and other "bilateral" animals—those with distinct left and right sides—from less complex creatures like jellyfish and sea anemones with "radial" symmetry may have been facilitated by the emergence of a completely new "operating system" for controlling genetic instructions in the cell. That's the hypothesis of molecular biologists at UC San Diego. They report in the October 1 issue of the journal Genes & Development that this new system of controlling gene networks, analogous to a new computer operating system, paved the way ...

First comprehensive meshfree numerical simulation of skeletal muscle tissue achieved

First comprehensive meshfree numerical simulation of skeletal muscle tissue achieved
2014-10-01
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have completed the first comprehensive numerical simulation of skeletal muscle tissue using a method that uses the pixels in an image as data points for the computer simulation—a method known as mesh-free simulation. The researchers, led by J.S. Chen, the William Prager Professor of structural engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, presented their findings on the development of this method at the CompIMAGE'14 conference in Pittsburgh this month. Chen also gave a keynote speech about the work. ...

Low social support linked to poor health in young heart attack survivors

2014-09-30
Having few friends, family and a general lack of social support is associated with poor health and quality of life and depression in young men and women a year after having a heart attack, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Social support is the perception of having friends or family who serve as confidants and companions, offer advice and information, show emotional concern, or provide financial or material support, said Emily Bucholz, lead researcher and a student in the School of Medicine and the Department of Chronic Disease ...

Study finds acupuncture does not improve chronic knee pain

2014-09-30
Among patients older than 50 years with moderate to severe chronic knee pain, neither laser nor needle acupuncture provided greater benefit on pain or function compared to sham laser acupuncture, according to a study in the October 1 issue of JAMA. Chronic knee pain affects many people older than 50 years and is the most common pain concern among older people consulting family physicians. Nonpharmacological approaches are central to managing chronic knee pain, and patients with joint pain frequently use complementary and alternative medicine. Acupuncture is the most ...

Use of a 'virtual ward' model of care does not reduce hospital readmissions, risk of death

2014-09-30
In a trial involving patients at high risk of hospital readmission or death, use of a virtual ward model of care (using some elements of hospital care in the community) after hospital discharge did not significantly reduce the rate of readmission or death up to a year following discharge, according to a study in the October 1 issue of JAMA. Hospital readmissions are common and costly, and no single intervention or bundle of interventions has reliably reduced readmissions. The virtual ward model of care is a way of providing care to patients with complex needs who are ...

Study compares long-term outcomes for types of aortic valve replacements

2014-09-30
Among patients ages 50 to 69 years who underwent aortic valve replacement with bioprosthetic (made primarily with tissue) compared with mechanical prosthetic valves, there was no significant difference in 15-year survival or stroke, although patients in the bioprosthetic valve group had a greater likelihood of reoperation but a lower likelihood of major bleeding, according to a study in the October 1 issue of JAMA. Approximately 50,000 patients undergo aortic valve replacement annually in the United States. In older patients, bioprosthetic valves pose a low lifetime ...

Medical professional liability claims and esophageal cancer screening

2014-09-30
An analysis of liability claims related to esophageal cancer screening finds that the risks of claims arising from acts of commission (complications from screening procedure) as well as acts of omission (failure to screen) are similarly low, according to a study in the October 1 issue of JAMA. Endoscopic screening for esophageal cancer has been recommended for patients with chronic symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, but only if they have additional risk factors. Surveys of gastroenterologists indicate that concern about litigation for missing a cancer may drive ...

Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is threatened by alien species

2014-09-30
Millions of tourists visit the Mediterranean each year, but its deep-blue waters host the largest invasion currently underway on Earth. Almost 1,000 alien species, including fish, crustaceans, and algae are now established from other seas through human activities. In the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science, a multinational team of researchers analyzed data from a new information system developed by the European Commission to show how the introduction of alien species has changed the native biodiversity within the Mediterranean. A hotspot for marine biodiversity, ...

Clinical trial finds virtual ward does not reduce hospital readmissions

Clinical trial finds virtual ward does not reduce hospital readmissions
2014-09-30
TORONTO — A virtual ward, a new model of care that provides support to high-risk and complex patients in the community for a few weeks after discharge from hospital, did not prevent hospital readmissions as hoped in a clinical trial in Toronto. Hospital readmissions are common and costly and no intervention has reliably reduced them. Virtual wards, pioneered in Britain 10 years ago, were thought to have the potential to reduce readmissions, but had not been rigorously evaluated by researchers. Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a physician at St. Michael's Hospital, led a randomized trial ...

Researchers show EEG's potential to reveal depolarizations following TBI

2014-09-30
CINCINNATI—The potential for doctors to measure damaging "brain tsunamis" in injured patients without opening the skull has moved a step closer to reality, thanks to pioneering research at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Neuroscience Institute. The research team, led by Jed Hartings, PhD, research associate professor in the department of neurosurgery at the UC College of Medicine, has shown that spreading depolarizations—electrical disturbances that spread through an injured brain like tsunami waves—can be measured by the placement of electroencephalograph (EEG) electrodes ...

NASA's Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star

NASAs Swift mission observes mega flares from a mini star
2014-09-30
On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10,000 times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever recorded. "We used to think major flaring episodes from red dwarfs lasted no more than a day, but Swift detected at least seven powerful eruptions over a period of about two weeks," said Stephen Drake, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, ...
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