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Electronic reminders can help tuberculosis patients stay on medication

2015-09-15
Reminders to take medication, delivered to patients via an electronic pillbox, may be able to improve adherence to tuberculosis (TB) treatment. The findings, reported this week in PLOS Medicine, are the result of a cluster randomized controlled trial by Shiwen Jiang of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Katherine Fielding, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues. The study randomized 36 districts in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Chongqing, China to receive one of four approaches to tuberculosis case management: ...

Cohort study explores association between SSRI use and violent crime

2015-09-15
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use is modestly associated with violent crime, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine. The cohort study, by Seena Fazel from the University of Oxford, and colleagues, showed in subgroup analysis that this association was evident in participants aged 15-24, but not significant for individuals aged 25 and older. SSRIs are widely prescribed, but inconclusive evidence links SSRI use with violent behavior. In this study, Fazel and colleagues compared the rate of violent crime while individuals were prescribed ...

Electronic reminders keep TB patients on track with medication in China

2015-09-15
Giving electronic reminders to tuberculosis (TB) patients in China can reduce the amount of medication doses they miss by half, according to new research published in PLOS Medicine. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and the National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention, China, conducted a trial with 4,173 patients from the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Chongqing. Patients either received text message reminders, an electronic medication monitor, both, or no reminders for their six month treatment period. Patients ...

A better look at religion's influence on political attitudes

2015-09-15
Measuring how religion affects a person's political attitudes and behavior can provide powerful insight to everyone from pundits to presidents. Now there's a new strategy to gather better, more nuanced perspective on that religious influence than ever before, developed by University of Cincinnati researchers. UC's Andrew Lewis and Stephen Mockabee presented research titled "Measuring Biblical Interpretation and Its Influence on Political Attitudes" at the American Political Science Association's annual meeting earlier this month in San Francisco. The association serves ...

New way to repair nerves: Using exosomes to hijack cell-to-cell communication

2015-09-15
MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Sept. 15, 2015) -- Regenerative medicine using stem cells is an increasingly promising approach to treat many types of injury. Transplanted stem cells can differentiate into just about any other kind of cell, including neurons to potentially reconnect a severed spinal cord and repair paralysis. A variety of agents have been shown to induce transplanted stem cells to differentiate into neurons. Tufts University biomedical engineers recently published the first report of a promising new way to induce human mesenchymal stem cells (or hMSCs, which ...

Twenty-five years ago Professor Thomas Jentsch opened up a new field of research

2015-09-15
A quarter of a century ago, the physicist, physician and cell biologist Professor Thomas Jentsch and his research team opened up an entirely new field of research in the field of ion transport. Now the British journal "The Journal of Physiology"* has devoted a special section in its latest issue to his discovery. In this issue (DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2014.270043), Professor Jentsch, who leads a research group at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) and at the neighboring Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie ...

Students in credit crisis

2015-09-15
New research from the USA suggests that college students are well aware that they should be personally responsible for their finances, including their card obligations, but this awareness rarely correlates with limiting the debts they accrue during their time in higher education. Details of the study are reported this month in the International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance. Lucy Ackert of the Department of Economics and Finance, at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, and Bryan Church of the Scheller College of Business, at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, ...

Dew helps ground cloud computing

2015-09-15
The most obvious disadvantage of putting your data in the cloud is losing access when you have no internet connection. According to research publishes in the International Journal of Cloud Computing, this is where "dew" could help. Yingwei Wang of the Department of Computer Science, at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada, describes what he refers to as a "cloud-dew" architecture that offers an efficient and elegant way to counteract cloud downtime and communication difficulties. In the world of cloud computing, users and organizations keep their ...

Sweeping study of US farm data shows loss of crop diversity the past 34 years

2015-09-15
MANHATTAN, KANSAS - U.S. farmers are growing fewer types of crops than they were 34 years ago, which could have implications for how farms fare as changes to the climate evolve, according to a large-scale study by Kansas State University, North Dakota State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Less crop diversity may also be impacting the general ecosystem. "At the national level, crop diversity declined over the period we analyzed," said Jonathan Aguilar, K-State water resources engineer and lead researcher on the study. The scientists used data from ...

In first, Salk scientists use sound waves to control brain cells

In first, Salk scientists use sound waves to control brain cells
2015-09-15
LA JOLLA--Salk scientists have developed a new way to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle and other cells using ultrasonic waves. The new technique, dubbed sonogenetics, has some similarities to the burgeoning use of light to activate cells in order to better understand the brain. This new method--which uses the same type of waves used in medical sonograms--may have advantages over the light-based approach--known as optogenetics--particularly when it comes to adapting the technology to human therapeutics. It was described September 15, 2015 in the journal Nature ...

Additional time spent outdoors by children results in decreased rate of nearsightedness

2015-09-15
The addition of a daily outdoor activity class at school for three years for children in Guangzhou, China, resulted in a reduction in the rate of myopia (nearsightedness, the ability to see close objects more clearly than distant objects), according to a study in the September 15 issue of JAMA. Myopia has reached epidemic levels in young adults in some urban areas of East and Southeast Asia. In these areas, 80 percent to 90 percent of high school graduates now have myopia. Myopia also appears to be increasing, more slowly, in populations of European and Middle Eastern ...

Sex differences in academic faculty rank, institutional support for biomedical research

2015-09-15
Women are less likely than men to be full professors at U.S. medical schools, and receive less start-up support from their institutions for biomedical research, according to two studies in the September 15 issue of JAMA. Women now make up half of all U.S. medical school graduates. However, sex disparities in senior faculty rank persist in academic medicine. Whether differences in age, experience, specialty, and research productivity between sexes explain persistent disparities in faculty rank has not been studied. Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, ...

Factors for higher risk of death following hip fracture surgery than hip replacement

2015-09-15
Patients undergoing surgery for a hip fracture were older and had more medical conditions than patients who underwent an elective total hip replacement, factors that may contribute to the higher risk of in-hospital death and major postoperative complications experienced by hip fracture surgery patients, according to a study in the September 15 issue of JAMA. Although hip surgery can improve mobility and pain, it can be associated with major postoperative medical complications and mortality. Patients undergoing surgery for a hip fracture are at substantially higher risk ...

Equity gap

2015-09-15
Women physicians are substantially less likely to be full professors than men of similar age, experience, specialty and research productivity. With recent increases in the number of women attending medical school, women now comprise nearly half of all new physicians. But the proportion of women at the rank of fullprofessor at U.S. medical schools has not changed since 1980, despite efforts to increase equity, according to a new research study led by Anupam Jena, associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. The results are published today in JAMA. "Many ...

Doubt cast on recent study claiming to have unraveled the last mystery of electromagnetism

2015-09-15
A group of scientists from ITMO University, Australian National University and Aalto University called into question the results of a study, published by the researchers from Cambridge University in a prestigious scientific journal Physical Review Letters. In the original study, the British scientists claimed that they managed to find the missing link in the electromagnetic theory. The findings, according to the scientists, could help decrease the size of antennas in electronic devices manifold, promising a major breakthrough in the field of wireless communications. The ...

Popular hypertension drugs linked to worse heart health in blacks compared to whites

2015-09-15
Drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks and strokes, are associated with significantly worse cardiovascular outcomes in hypertensive African Americans compared to whites, according to a new comparative effectiveness research study led by researchers in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center. The study, published on September 15 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), is unique, the authors say, in that it evaluates racial differences in cardiovascular outcomes and mortality between hypertensive ...

New perspectives for long-term climate predictions?

New perspectives for long-term climate predictions?
2015-09-15
Are climate predictions over periods of several years reliable if weather forecast are still only possible for short periods of several days? Nevertheless there are options to predict the development of key parameters on such long time scales. A new study led by scientists at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel shows how the well-known 11-year cycle of solar activity affects the long-time development of dominant large-scale pressure systems in the Northern Hemisphere. For their investigations the scientists used a coupled ocean-atmosphere model. In addition, ...

Number of people at high risk of fracture set to double by 2040

2015-09-15
September 15, 2015 - Nyon, Switzerland A study from the University of Southampton and Sheffield Medical School in the UK projects a dramatic increase in the burden of fragility fractures within the next three decades. By 2040, approximately 319 million people will be at high risk of fracture -double the numbers considered at high risk today. In this first study to estimate the global burden of disease in terms of fracture probability, the researchers quantified the number of individuals worldwide aged 50 years or more at high risk of fracture in 2010 and projected figures ...

Teen marijuana use down despite greater availability

2015-09-15
Marijuana use among American high school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago, despite the legalization in many states of marijuana for medical purposes, a move toward decriminalization of the drug and the approval of its recreational use in a handful of places, new research suggests. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say, however, that marijuana use is significantly greater than the use of other illegal drugs, with 40 percent of teens in 2013 saying they had ever smoked marijuana. That number was down from 47 percent ...

NASA gets infrared view of new Tropical Storm 20W

NASA gets infrared view of new Tropical Storm 20W
2015-09-15
The twentieth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean formed early on September 14 and became a tropical storm the next day, triggering a tropical storm watch. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the low pressure area as it was consolidating and saw powerful thunderstorms circling the center. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite gathers data in infrared light that provides information about temperatures. The colder the cloud top temperature, the higher the storms are in the troposphere (because the higher ...

Beta-blockers promote heart muscle cell survival following a heart attack, York U study

2015-09-15
TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2015 - A commonly prescribed drug for heart disease may do more good than previously thought. Researchers at York University have found that beta-blockers may prevent further cell death following a heart attack and that could lead to better longer term patient outcomes. Human hearts are unable to regenerate. When cardiac muscle cells die during and immediately after a heart attack, there is no way to bring the organ back to full health, which contributes to the progression towards eventual heart failure. Preventing the cells from dying in the first ...

Scientists report earlier date of shift in human ancestors' diet

Scientists report earlier date of shift in human ancestors diet
2015-09-15
Millions of years ago, our primate ancestors turned from trees and shrubs to search for food on the ground. In human evolution, that has made all the difference. The shift toward a grass-based diet marked a significant step toward the diverse eating habits that became a key human characteristic, and would have made these early humans more mobile and adaptable to their environment. New evidence just published by a research team led by a Johns Hopkins University scientist shows that this significant shift took place about 400,000 years earlier than experts previously ...

Skin microbiome influences common sexually transmitted disease

2015-09-15
Washington, DC - September 15, 2015 - For years, researchers have known that the human skin is home to a diverse community of microorganisms, collectively known as the skin microbiome. Now a new study has shown that individuals with a particular skin microbiome can effectively clear bacteria that cause chancroid, a sexually transmitted disease common in the developing world that has been linked to enhanced HIV transmission. The study, published in the September 15th issue of mBio, is the first prospective study to show that the skin microbiome can influence the outcomes ...

Dealing with climate change and local beliefs in Africa

2015-09-15
Experts should take note of local knowledge and beliefs when making plans about how to help people in vulnerable regions cope with the impacts of climate change. This will ensure that such interventions are money well spent, and are not culturally insensitive, advises Conor Murphy of Ireland's Maynooth University. Together with an interdisciplinary research team from universities in Malawi, Zambia and Ireland he interviewed community members in rural Malawi and Zambia to assess how well they are able to adapt to the way they produce food within the context of shifting belief ...

Whole-body PET scan with new imaging agent can locate hidden blood clots

2015-09-15
A novel radiopharmaceutical probe developed at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has the potential of providing physicians with information that could save the lives of patients with ischemic stroke or pulmonary embolism - conditions caused when important blood vessels are blocked by a clot that has traveled from another part of the body. In a report that will appear in the October issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and has been published online, the MGH team describes using this new probe to conduct full-body scans in an animal model. ...
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