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Progression to traditional cigarettes after electronic cigarette use in young people

2015-09-08
A new study of U.S. adolescents and young people suggests that using electronic cigarettes was associated with progression to traditional cigarette smoking, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics. Some studies suggest e-cigarettes may help smokers reduce the use of traditional tobacco products. Still, there is concern that e-cigarette marketing could position the product to recruit nonsmokers and the use of e-cigarettes has increased among both adolescents and young adults. Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of ...

Reference payment initiative for colonoscopy associated with lower prices, savings

2015-09-08
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) saved $7 million on spending for colonoscopy two years after it implemented a reference payment initiative that offered full insurance coverage at low-priced facilities but required substantial cost sharing if patients picked a high-priced alternative, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Some employers are experimenting with payment methods that seek to counter high health care prices while upholding consumer access to valuable services. Employers, insurers and consumers face ...

Study finds high prevalence of diabetes, pre-diabetes in US

2015-09-08
In 2011-2012, the estimated prevalence of diabetes among U.S. adults was 12 percent to 14 percent and the prevalence of prediabetes was 37 percent to 38 percent, indicating that about half of the U.S. adult population has either diabetes or prediabetes, according to a study in the September 8 issue of JAMA. Though data from recent years suggests that the increasing prevalence of diabetes may be leveling off. Diabetes is a major cause of illness and death in the United States, costing an estimated $245 billion in 2012 due to increased use of health resources and lost productivity. ...

Outcomes improve for extremely preterm infants

2015-09-08
Over the last 20 years, complications have decreased and survival has improved for extremely preterm infants, according to a study in the September 8 issue of JAMA. Advances in medicine over the past 2 decades have changed care for mothers in preterm labor and for extremely preterm infants. Evaluation of current in-hospital complications and mortality data among extremely preterm infants is important in counseling families and considering new interventions to improve outcomes. Barbara J. Stoll, M.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and colleagues ...

Iron supplementation during pregnancy and risk of malaria in malaria-endemic region

2015-09-08
Among women in a malaria-endemic region in Kenya, daily iron supplementation during pregnancy did not result in an increased risk of malaria, according to a study in the September 8 issue of JAMA. Iron supplementation did result in increased birth weight, gestational duration, neonatal length, and a decreased risk of low birth weight and prematurity. Anemia in pregnancy is a moderate or severe health problem in more than 80 percent of countries worldwide, but particularly in Africa, where it affects 57 percent of pregnant women. Iron deficiency is the most common cause, ...

Lack of adherence to usability testing standards for electronic health record products

2015-09-08
The lack of adherence to usability testing standards among several widely used electronic health record (EHR) products that were certified as having met these requirements may be a major factor contributing to the poor usability of EHRs, according to a study in the September 8 issue of JAMA. Many EHRs have poor usability, leading to user frustration and safety risks. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has established certification requirements to promote usability practices by EHR ...

Smoke-free zones, higher taxes deter youth smoking, study shows

2015-09-08
Banning smoking in the workplace and increasing taxes on cigarettes have discouraged teens and young adults from taking up smoking, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Merced. The study, published today (Sept. 8, 2015) in JAMA Pediatrics, used data on the smoking habits of a group of 12- to 18-year-olds living throughout the country in 1997. They were tracked for 11 years as they transitioned to young adults. The researchers found that a 100 percent smoke-free environment reduced the odds of taking up smoking by one third and that the number ...

Violence, self-harm and suicide attempts: Health of child trafficking survivors revealed

2015-09-08
Poor mental health, self-harm and suicide attempts are common among children and adolescents who have been trafficked for forced labour or sexual exploitation, according to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics. The research was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, and included interviews with 387 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years in post-trafficking services in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Researchers found that one third of boys and girls surveyed had experienced ...

Premature infant survival and health outcomes improve over 20 years, new study shows

2015-09-08
A study of extremely preterm infants born at U.S academic medical centers over the last 20 years found changes in maternal and infant care practices, resulting in modest increases in survival and reductions in several neonatal complications. The study will be published in the September 8 issue of JAMA. Overall survival increased most significantly in infants born at 23-24 weeks, but survival without major health problems identified prior to hospital discharge increased most in infants 25-28 weeks. The study found an increase in one complication of prematurity, however ...

Inspired by art, lightweight solar cells track the sun

2015-09-08
ANN ARBOR--Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces. Now, by borrowing from kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed solar cells that can have it both ways. "The design takes what a large tracking solar panel does and condenses it into something that is essentially flat," said Aaron Lamoureux, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering ...

UC Davis study shows popular molecular tests

2015-09-08
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Clostridium difficile is a common cause of infection and diarrhea in hospitalized patients, but a new study by UC Davis pathologists suggests that many patients are mistakenly diagnosed and do not need antibiotic treatment. As a result, patients are likely being over-diagnosed and over-treated, adding to concerns about antibiotic resistance, damage to the "good" bacteria that live in people's intestines, and increased health-care costs. "It all depends on the type of test doctors use to diagnose patients," said Christopher R. Polage, associate ...

Blood and teeth samples accurately predict a criminal's age

2015-09-08
Forensic biomedical scientists from KU Leuven, Belgium, have developed a test to predict individuals' age on the basis of blood or teeth samples. This test may be particularly useful for the police, as it can help track down criminals or identify human remains. When forensic examiners find traces of blood at a crime scene, they can try to identify the perpetrator on the basis of DNA. From now on, the blood samples can also be used to predict the criminal's age. This is also the case for deceased individuals: when traditional methods do not lead to identification, the ...

False alarm from the body may be responsible for acute pancreatitis

2015-09-08
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden may have discovered one of the keys to understanding how the body develops acute pancreatitis. The results offer hope for the development of drugs that specifically target the disease. Within gastro research it is a well-known fact that the excessive activation of a type of white blood cells, neutrophils, causes the inflammation of the pancreas. Until now, however, there has been no satisfactory explanation for what causes neutrophil activation. Three research groups at Lund University have worked together to find an answer. "Our ...

Statistical model may identify patients who can benefit from surgery for mesothelioma

2015-09-08
Chicago, September 8, 2015 - A new statistical model may help predict which patients are most likely to receive life-extending benefits from surgical treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), according to an article in the September 2015 issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Key points A new statistical model may help identify which patients will benefit most from surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Younger age, no history of asbestos exposure, epithelioid histology, and a low number of affected lymph nodes were strongly associated with better ...

The Achilles' heel of HI virus

The Achilles heel of HI virus
2015-09-08
Researchers at the University of Bonn have discovered how cells in the body can detect the genetic material of so-called retroviruses. The pathogen of the immunodeficiency disease AIDS, the HI-1 virus, also belongs to this group. At the same time, the HI virus appears to circumvent this important defense mechanism. The researchers are now presenting their results in the renowned journal Nature Immunology. The first line of defense of the immune system against pathogens is innate immunity. It is based on specialized sensor proteins, the receptors. These receptors detect ...

A new type of Au deposits: The decratonic gold deposits

2015-09-08
Gold is a kind of rare precious metal and has a wide-range use. Gold price has been rising since the 80's of the last century. The great demand for gold has not only stimulated gold exploration but also led to the need of understanding the genesis of gold deposits. A number of models have been advanced to explain how gold deposits were formed, and several types of gold deposits are accordingly established, such as the Witwatersrand-type, porphyry-type, Carlin-type, epithermal (low and high sulphidation), and orogenic gold deposits. These popular models, however, can hardly ...

Injection drug use limits benefits of surgery for treatment of heart lining infection

2015-09-08
Chicago, September 8, 2015 - Injection drug users who undergo surgery for infective endocarditis (IE) have a significantly higher risk of reoperation or death between 3 and 6 months after surgery compared to patients who develop endocarditis who are not IV drug abusers, according to an article in the September 2015 issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Key points: Patients with active injection drug use who undergo surgery for infective endocarditis have a 10-fold increased risk of reoperation or death between 3 and 6 months after surgery compared to non-drug abusers. The ...

Ants on the march in non-native conifer forests

2015-09-08
A species of ant is thriving in habitats created by thousands of acres of coniferous forest planted in a UK National Park in the last 60 years, according to new research by scientists from the Department of Biology at the University of York and Forest Research, the Forestry Commission's research agency. The success of the northern hairy wood ant (Formica lugubris) in colonising plantations of largely non-native coniferous species in the North York Moors National Park supports recent suggestions that non-native plantations can have positive influences on forest-dependent ...

Canadian Researchers answer important scientific debate connected to heart disease

2015-09-08
Ottawa - September 8, 2015 - Researchers from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), together with the teams of Dr. Martin Farrell at Oxford University, and Dr. Sekar Kathiresan at the Broad Institute, have found the answer to an ongoing debate in the cardiovascular scientific world. Dr. Ruth McPherson and Dr. Majid Nikpay, researchers at the UOHI's Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, report that the genetic basis of heart disease is largely derived from the cumulative effect of multiple common genetic variants, rather than from a few rare variants ...

Children overcoming adversity

2015-09-08
Making a plan can be the difference in overcoming a difficult childhood, while just thinking about those difficulties can drag down the child. A set of four new studies from researchers at USC and Southwest University in China suggest, contrary to prior belief, children in difficult situations need to do more than dream of a happier and successful future self: They need a strategy for becoming that person. Two of the studies found eighth graders performed better in school if they had strategies for becoming their future selves, as well as several options for becoming ...

Pitt researcher lands the cover of Developmental Cell by uncovering an evolutionary secret

2015-09-08
PITTSBURGH--How did the elephant get its trunk? Or the turtle its shell? How, in general, did the seemingly infinite diversity of complex animal forms on our planet arise? The scientific pursuit of how such "evolutionary novelties" come about is one of the big mysteries that biologists are trying to tease apart. The University of Pittsburgh's Mark Rebeiz and colleagues provide some answers in a paper published today in the journal Developmental Cell. Even in the most complex organisms, the genetic repertoire is limited. If creatures don't evolve by acquiring new genes, ...

Teens are not always irrational

2015-09-08
DURHAM, N.C. -- Teenagers are irrational and make bad decisions. Or do they? A new Duke study finds that adolescents ages 10 to 16 can be more analytical in their economic choices than many slightly older young adults. Published online in the October-December issue of Cognitive Development, the study suggests not only that society should give adolescents more credit for rationality but also that parents should help children hone their cost-benefit analysis skills in making real-life decisions. "The new results point to the idea that we should not think of adolescents ...

Increased detection of low-risk tumors driving up thyroid cancer rates, Mayo study finds

2015-09-08
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Low-risk cancers that do not have any symptoms and presumably will not cause problems in the future are responsible for the rapid increase in the number of new cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed over the past decade, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the journal Thyroid. According to the study authors, nearly one-third of these recent cases were diagnosed when clinicians used high-tech imaging even when no symptoms of thyroid disease were present. "We are spotting more cancers, but they are cancers that are not likely to cause harm," says ...

Light shed on the underside of the 'cocktail effect' of endocrine disruptors

2015-09-08
This news release is available in French. Chemical substances that are safe for humans when taken in isolation can become harmful when they are combined. Three research teams bringing together researchers from Inserm and CNRS in Montpellier have elucidated in vitro a molecular mechanism that could contribute to the phenomenon known as the "cocktail effect." This study is published in the journal Nature Communications. Every day we are exposed to many exogenous compounds such as environmental pollutants, drugs or substances in our diet. Some of these molecules, known ...

Untangling the mechanics of knots

2015-09-08
Got rope? Then try this experiment: Cross both ends, left over right, then bring the left end under and out, as if tying a pair of shoelaces. If you repeat this sequence, you get what's called a "granny" knot. If, instead, you cross both ends again, this time right over left, you've created a sturdier "reef" knot. The configuration, or "topology," of a knot determines its stiffness. For example, a granny knot is much easier to undo, as its configuration of twists creates weaker forces within the knot, compared with a reef knot. For centuries, sailors have observed such ...
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