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Infant learning: Is more really better?

2015-09-08
Many parents and caregivers believe that multi-sensory stimulation during infancy promotes developmental growth and learning, but researchers who conducted eye movement experiments on preverbal infants show that this is not always true. The team discovered that 8 to 10 month old infants could learn basic abstract rules, such as sequences, but only when the audio and visual stimuli were "congruently" or "consistently" paired. If a smiling face was paired with a crying sound, the infants were confused, and they did not learn the rule. The findings indicate that having ...

New rule to help identify fractures in young children with head trauma

2015-09-08
A new decision rule will help emergency department physicians determine when to use radiography in young children with minor head injuries. The Canadian-developed rule is published in CMAJ. Head injury is a common reason for children to visit emergency departments, resulting in more than 20 000 visits in Canada and 470 000 in the United States each year. Although termed "minor," these head injuries may have complications such as skull fractures and brain injury. Computed tomography (CT) scans, which are the most effective diagnostic tool, carry an increased risk of cancer, ...

Psychedelic therapy re-emerging for anxiety, PTSD and addiction

2015-09-08
Renewed medical interest in the use of psychedelic drugs for anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction has resulted in small research studies that show some success with the controlled use of these drugs, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Psychedelic drugs are substances that have a strong effect on one's "conscious experience," such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, found in "magic mushrooms," dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). "The re-emerging ...

Electronic records with decision support help optimize emergency care for stroke patients

2015-09-08
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The timely administration of a clot-dissolving treatment for emergency department patients with acute ischemic stroke nearly doubled following the introduction of new technology that enabled electronic order entry and offered care-decision support for physicians, according to a study published today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. The study was conducted during the staged implementation of computerized physician order entry when integrated into electronic health records across 16 Kaiser Permanente Northern California medical centers from 2007 to ...

Big data tool to reveal immune system role in diseases

2015-09-08
(NEW YORK - September 8, 2015) Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Princeton University have designed a new online tool that predicts the role of key proteins and genes in diseases of the human immune system. Called "ImmuNet," details of the publically available resource were published online today in the journal Immunity. The tool uses information compiled from 38,088 public experiments to predict new immune pathway interactions, mechanisms, and disease-associated genes. With advances in inexpensive computing power, and stored data collections ...

Keeping older muscles strong

2015-09-08
As we grow older, we lose strength and muscle mass. However, the cause of age-related muscle weakness and atrophy has remained a mystery. Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered the first example of a protein that causes muscle weakness and loss during aging. The protein, ATF4, is a transcription factor that alters gene expression in skeletal muscle, causing reduction of muscle protein synthesis, strength, and mass. The UI study also identifies two natural compounds, one found in apples and one found in green tomatoes, which reduce ATF4 activity in aged ...

Pitt researchers developing a novel way to identify pathogens

2015-09-08
PITTSBURGH--There are plenty of ways in the lab to determine which bug is bugging you when you're sick. The University of Pittsburgh's Xinyu Liu, Sanford Asher, and colleagues may have found a faster method. "You can do a swab and culture the bacterium or fungi, but that takes days," Liu says. "You can examine the DNA, but that takes another day or two. It's a pretty tedious process. So, before the identity of the pathogen can be determined, doctors give infected people a broad-spectrum antibiotic that kills everything." It would be better for the patient, then, to ...

Rudeness damages medical staff performance

2015-09-08
Researchers have proven that rudeness -- like poison in the water cooler -- is toxic in the workplace, affecting both job and business performance. But what if your office is a hospital Intensive Care Unit where lives hang in the balance? A new Tel Aviv University study published in Pediatrics suggests that even the most benign forms of impoliteness may impede medical personnel's ability to perform under pressure and damage the quality of patient care. Rudeness alone accounts for a significant drop in hospital staff's diagnostic and professional performance, according ...

Bubble, bubble ... boiling on the double

2015-09-08
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The boiling of water is at the heart of many industrial processes, from the operation of electric power plants to chemical processing and desalination. But the details of what happens on a hot surface as water boils have been poorly understood, so unexpected hotspots can sometimes melt expensive equipment and disable plants. Now researchers at MIT have developed an understanding of what causes this extreme heating -- which occurs when a value known as the critical heat flux (CHF) is exceeded -- and how to prevent it. The new insights could make it possible ...

Dark matter: CRESST searches for 'lightweights'

Dark matter: CRESST searches for lightweights
2015-09-08
This news release is available in German. The Earth, planets, stars, and galaxies form only the visible portion of the matter in the universe. Greater by far is the share accounted for by invisible "dark matter". Scientists have searched for the particles of dark matter in numerous experiments - so far, in vain. With the CRESST experiment, now the search radius can be considerably expanded: The CRESST detectors are being overhauled and are then able to detect particles whose mass lies below the current measurement range. As a consequence, the chance of tracking ...

Using a human voice in social media has a positive effect on company reputation

2015-09-08
Washington, DC (September 8, 2015) - The modern-day complaints department tends to be a direct mention on Twitter to the company that has wronged you. It's easier than ever to have a direct line to a company, but what does a corporation get out of this interaction? A recent study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication by researchers at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, found that people who follow corporate social media accounts that present a human voice are more likely to have a positive view of the company. Corné Dijkmans (NHTV Breda ...

Resin may provide medicine against epilepsy

2015-09-08
Sticky resin from conifers contains substances that could relieve or cure epilepsy. Researchers at Linköping University have synthesized and tested 71 substances known as resin acids, of which twelve are prime candidates for new medicines. "Our goal is to develop some of the most potent substances into medicines," says Fredrik Elinder, professor of molecular neurobiology and head of the study, which was newly published in Nature's open-access periodical Scientific Reports. Professor Elinder is an expert on the function of ion channels - the pores in the cell membrane ...

Realizing carbon nanotube integrated circuits

2015-09-08
Individual transistors made from carbon nanotubes are faster and more energy efficient than those made from other materials. Going from a single transistor to an integrated circuit full of transistors, however, is a giant leap. "A single microprocessor has a billion transistors in it," said Northwestern Engineering's Mark Hersam. "All billion of them work. And not only do they work, but they work reliably for years or even decades." When trying to make the leap from an individual, nanotube-based transistor to wafer-scale integrated circuits, many research teams, including ...

NASA sees Typhoon Kilo maintaining its eye

NASA sees Typhoon Kilo maintaining its eye
2015-09-08
Typhoon Kilo continues to thrive in the Northwestern Pacific and imagery from NASA's Terra satellite late on September 7 showed that the storm still maintained a clear eye. The MODIS or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies aboard Terra provided a visible-light image of Kilo on September 7 at 23:50 UTC (7:50 p.m. EDT). The image showed thick bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the eastern and northern quadrants of the visible eye. At 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT) on September 9, Typhoon Kilo had maximum sustained winds near 65 knots (74.8 mph/120.4 ...

Should countries honor their climate debts?

Should countries honor their climate debts?
2015-09-08
This news release is available in French. Montreal, September 8, 2015 -- All countries have contributed to recent climate change, but some much more so than others. Those that have contributed more than their fair share have accumulated a climate debt, owed to countries that have contributed less to historical warming. This is the implication of a new study published in Nature Climate Change, in which Concordia University researcher Damon Matthews shows how national carbon and climate debts could be used to decide who should pay for the global costs of climate ...

Texas A&M biologists zero in on 2-protein 2-step trigger for deadly scar-tissue loop

Texas A&M biologists zero in on 2-protein 2-step trigger for deadly scar-tissue loop
2015-09-08
Scientists at Texas A&M University have made additional progress in understanding the process behind scar-tissue formation and wound healing -- specifically, a breakthrough in fibroblast-to-fibrocyte signaling involving two key proteins that work together to promote fibrocyte differentiation to lethal excess -- that could lead to new advances in treating and preventing fibrotic disease. A new study led by biologists Richard Gomer and Darrell Pilling and involving Texas A&M graduate students Nehemiah Cox and Rice University technician Varsha Vakil points to a naturally ...

Bats and balls, not base runners, cause worst injuries to major league catchers

2015-09-08
Contrary to popular belief, the worst injuries baseball catchers face on the field come from errant bats and foul balls, not home-plate collisions with base runners, according to findings of a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The research, done in collaboration with Baltimore Orioles trainers Brian Ebel and Richard Bancells, involved analysis of all catcher injuries during major league baseball games over a 10-year period. A summary of the findings, published ahead of print Aug. 28 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, ...

Hypertension in professional football players likely results from trauma on the field

Hypertension in professional football players likely results from trauma on the field
2015-09-08
AUGUSTA, Ga. - The regular physical trauma that appears to put professional football players at risk for degenerative brain disease may also increase their risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease, researchers say. The frequent hits football players experience, particularly frontline defenders such as linemen, likely continually activate the body's natural defense system, producing chronic inflammation that is known to drive blood pressure up, according to a study in The FASEB Journal. While strenuous physical activity clearly has its benefits, it also produces ...

New drug-like compounds may improve odds of men battling prostate cancer, researchers find

New drug-like compounds may improve odds of men battling prostate cancer, researchers find
2015-09-08
Researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, have discovered three new drug-like compounds that could ultimately offer better odds of survival to prostate cancer patients. The drug-like compounds can be modified and developed into medicines that target a protein in the human body that is responsible for chemotherapy resistance in cancers, said biochemist Pia D. Vogel, lead author on the scientific paper reporting the discovery. So far there's no approved drug on the market that reverses cancer chemotherapy resistance caused by P-glycoprotein, or P-gp for short, ...

Stem cell-derived 'mini-brains' reveal potential drug treatment for rare disorder

2015-09-08
Using "mini-brains" built with induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with a rare, but devastating, neurological disorder, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say they have identified a drug candidate that appears to "rescue" dysfunctional cells by suppressing a critical genetic alteration. Their findings are published in the September 8 online issue of Molecular Psychiatry. The neurological disorder is called MECP2 duplication syndrome. First described in 2005, it is caused by duplication of genetic material in a specific ...

Physicians highlight ENT research to be presented during otolaryngology's annual meeting

2015-09-08
ALEXANDRIA, VA--The latest research on hearing loss, head and neck cancers, sleep apnea and other otolaryngic topics will be presented in Dallas, TX, September 27-30, at the 2015 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO? of the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), the largest annual meeting of ear, nose, throat, head and neck physicians in the world. Abstracts of the research to be presented are now available online at http://oto.sagepub.com/content/153/1_suppl.toc. The 2015 Annual Meeting features more than 380 oral and 180 poster presentations ...

New guidelines address long-term needs of colorectal cancer survivors

2015-09-08
ATLANTA - September 8, 2015-New American Cancer Society Cancer Survivorship Care guidelines released today provide primary care clinicians with recommendations for providing comprehensive care to the estimated 1.2 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States. The guidelines are the second to be published in a series of cancer survivorship care guidelines developed by the American Cancer Society. They provide guidance on identifying and managing potential physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of colorectal cancer and its treatment, as well ...

E-cigarettes serve as gateway to smoking for teens and young adults

2015-09-08
PITTSBURGH, Sept. 8, 2015 - Young people across the United States who smoke electronic cigarettes are considerably more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes within a year than their peers who do not smoke e-cigarettes, according to an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH) and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), was the first to assess this relation in a national U.S. sample of youth, and to include people older than 18 ...

Continued smoking after MS diagnosis associated with accelerated disease progression

2015-09-08
Continued smoking after a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) appears to be associated with accelerated disease progression compared with those patients who quit smoking, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology. MS is a neurogenerative disease and smoking is one of its known risk factors. While MS begins with an initial course of irregular and worsening relapses, it usually changes after about 20 years into secondary progressive (SP) disease. The time from onset to conversion to SPMS is a frequently used measure of disease progression. Jan Hillert, ...

Survivors of child trafficking exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD

2015-09-08
About one-third of girls and boys who survived child trafficking experienced physical and/or sexual violence during their ordeal in a study of children receiving posttrafficking services in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics. Many of these survivors of child trafficking in the Greater Mekong Subregion of Southeast Asia screened positive for depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and mental health symptoms were associated with self-harm and suicide ideation, according to the article. Millions ...
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