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Hookah tobacco smoking seems to be increasing in both prevalence and frequency

2015-09-15
PITTSBURGH, Sept. 15, 2015 - Nearly 1 in 5 recently surveyed high school seniors report having smoked tobacco from a hookah in the past year, and more than a third of them reported smoking hookahs often enough to be considered regular users, an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH) revealed. The findings, published online and scheduled for a coming print issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, add to evidence that hookah use among adolescents is increasing in both prevalence and frequency. ...

NYU researchers document self-reported use of new synthetic drugs by teens/young adults

2015-09-15
In recent years, there has been an increase in emergence and use of a variety of new drugs, so-called "novel psychoactive substances" (NPS) in the US and worldwide. However, there is little published survey data estimating the prevalence of use in the US. Media reports about use of new drugs such as "Spice" ("synthetic marijuana") and "bath salts" such as "Flakka" are now common, yet very few health surveys ask about use of such drugs. A new study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence by researchers affiliated with New York University's Center for Drug Use and HIV ...

Are early childhood educators undervalued?

2015-09-15
Montreal, September 15, 2015 -- With the federal election around the corner, child care has become a major ballot issue. While every party has its own idea of how best to offset the costs of raising children, no one is looking at how we perceive and value those who provide the education and care. Concordia researcher Sandra Chang-Kredl wants that to change. In a paper recently published in the Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, she writes that "invariably, the focus of the debate is on the children's needs, the parents' needs and society's needs. The educator is rarely ...

How much water does US fracking really use?

2015-09-15
DURHAM, N.C. -- Energy companies used nearly 250 billion gallons of water to extract unconventional shale gas and oil from hydraulically fractured wells in the United States between 2005 and 2014, a new Duke University study finds. During the same period, the fracked wells generated about 210 billion gallons of wastewater. Large though those numbers seem, the study calculates that the water used in fracking makes up less than 1 percent of total industrial water use nationwide. While fracking an unconventional shale gas or oil well takes much more water than drilling ...

Link between air pollution and increased deaths from heart disease affirmed

2015-09-15
In what is believed to be the largest, most detailed study of its kind in the United States, scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have confirmed that tiny chemical particles in the air we breathe are linked to an overall increase in risk of death. The researchers say this kind of air pollution involves particles so small they are invisible to the human eye (at less than one ten-thousandth of an inch in diameter, or no more than 2.5 micrometers across). In a report on the findings, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives online Sept. ...

Best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery may be identified through brain scans

2015-09-15
Fetuses with enlarged ventricles--the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain--may be less likely than other fetuses to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study co-authored by researchers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. The researchers found that fetuses with enlarged ventricles were more likely to require a second surgery to relieve a life-threatening build-up of pressure within the brain. Given the risks that fetal surgery poses for mother and newborn, the findings indicate that in these cases, it may be better ...

Researchers develop 'instruction manual' for futuristic metallic glass

2015-09-15
Sydney, Australia -- Creating futuristic, next generation materials called 'metallic glass' that are ultra-strong and ultra-flexible will become easier and cheaper, based on UNSW Australia research that can predict for the first time which combinations of metals will best form these useful materials. Just like something from science fiction - think of the Liquid-Metal Man robot assassin (T-1000) in the Terminator films - these materials behave more like glass or plastic than metal. While still being metals, they become as malleable as chewing gum when heated and can ...

Virus in cattle linked to human breast cancer

2015-09-15
BERKELEY -- A new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers establishes for the first time a link between infection with the bovine leukemia virus and human breast cancer. In the study, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE and available online, researchers analyzed breast tissue from 239 women, comparing samples from women who had breast cancer with women who had no history of the disease for the presence of bovine leukemia virus (BLV). They found that 59 percent of breast cancer samples had evidence of exposure to BLV, as determined by the presence ...

Social media data could contribute to conservation science

2015-09-15
Planning conservation actions requires up-to-date information on Biodiversity is diminishing at unprecedented rates, and quick decisions are needed in what and where to protect. "The decisions should be based on comprehensive information, but scientists do not have enough resources to collect more data and effectively monitor all species and habitats that need protection. As human are the main driving force of global change, conservation also needs information on human presence and behaviour" says Enrico Di Minin, a researcher in conservation science at the Department ...

Study finds growing public support in the USA and Canada for smokefree outdoor laws

2015-09-15
A new study has found increasing support in the United States and Canada for smokefree laws for outdoor areas, especially in playgrounds and school grounds. The collaborative study between the University of Otago, New Zealand and University of Alberta, Canada, provides new and some unexpected insights for health promotion in North America. A key finding is that most residents welcome smokefree laws. Support was strongest for smokefree playgrounds and school grounds, but there was also majority support for a range of other smokefree areas. University of Otago, Wellington ...

Acetic acid, found in vinegar, shown to be effective against bacteria found in burn wounds

2015-09-15
Highly diluted acetic acid, an active ingredient of household vinegar, has been shown to be an effective alternative agent to prevent infection and kill bacteria found in burn wounds. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) investigated the antibacterial activity of acetic acid against key burn wound colonising organisms growing both planktonically and as biofilms. Burns are a common traumatic injury and prone to becoming infected due to loss ...

NASA's SDO catches a double photobomb

NASAs SDO catches a double photobomb
2015-09-15
On Sept. 13, 2015, as NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, kept up its constant watch on the sun, its view was photobombed not once, but twice. Just as the moon came into SDO's field of view on a path to cross the sun, Earth entered the picture, blocking SDO's view completely. When SDO's view of the sun emerged from Earth's shadow, the moon was just completing its journey across the sun's face. Though SDO sees dozens of Earth eclipses and several lunar transits each year, this is the first time ever that the two have coincided. This alignment of the sun, moon and ...

A more acidic ocean will bend the mermaid's wineglass

A more acidic ocean will bend the mermaids wineglass
2015-09-15
New research from the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories shows that a more acidic ocean can weaken the protective shell of a delicate alga. The findings, published Sept. 9 in the journal Biology Letters, come at a time when global climate change may increase ocean acidification. The creature in question is Acetabularia acetabulum, commonly called the mermaid's wineglass. Reaching a height of just a few inches, this single-celled alga lives on shallow seafloors, where sunlight can still filter down for photosynthesis. Like many marine creatures, the ...

Crunching numbers to combat cancer

2015-09-15
UC San Francisco has received a National Cancer Institute grant of $5 million over the next five years to lead a massive effort to integrate the data from all experimental models across all types of cancer. The web-based repository is an important step in moving the fight against cancer toward precision medicine. The goal is to accelerate cancer research to improve the way we diagnose, treat and conduct further research on the disease. The resulting database, called the Oncology Models Forum (OMF), will be accessible to researchers through the National Institutes of ...

New drugs could stop the growth of drug-resistant childhood tumors

2015-09-15
Current drugs may stop working against the most common type of brain tumor in children, medulloblastoma, but the tumor could be targeted in a new way, according to Stanford University scientists. In research to be published in the journal eLife, a team led by Prof. Matthew P. Scott at the University's School of Medicine tested a drug called Roflumilast in mice with a brain tumor that is resistant to Vismodegib, the drug in current use. Roflumilast is normally used to treat inflammatory lung diseases. It dramatically inhibited tumor growth from the first day of treatment. ...

Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases
2015-09-15
This news release is available in French. Montreal, September 15th 2015 - It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University of Alberta could be a game changer for patients, improving both quality of life and longevity. The ...

World loses trillions of dollars worth of nature's benefits each year due to land degradation

World loses trillions of dollars worth of natures benefits each year due to land degradation
2015-09-15
To better inform the tradeoffs involved in land use choices around the world, experts have assessed the value of ecosystem services provided by land resources such as food, poverty reduction, clean water, climate and disease regulation and nutrients cycling. Their report today estimates the value of ecosystem services worldwide forfeited due to land degradation at a staggering US $6.3 trillion to $10.6 trillion annually, or the equivalent of 10-17% of global GDP. Furthermore, the problem threatens to force the migration of millions of people from affected areas. ...

New efficiency record for solar hydrogen production is 14 percent

New efficiency record for solar hydrogen production is 14 percent
2015-09-15
Solar energy is abundantly available globally, but unfortunately not constantly and not everywhere. One especially interesting solution for storing this energy is artificial photosynthesis. This is what every leaf can do, namely converting sunlight to chemical energy. That can take place with artificial systems based on semiconductors as well. These use the electrical power that sunlight creates in individual semiconductor components to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen possesses very high energy density, can be employed in many ways and could replace fossil ...

Researchers explore cocoa as novel dietary source for prevention of cognitive deterioration in AD

2015-09-15
Amsterdam, NL, September 9, 2015 - The potential benefits of dietary cocoa extract and/or its final product in the form of chocolate have been extensively investigated in regard to several aspects of human health. Cocoa extracts contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients that have many health benefits, including reducing age-related cognitive dysfunction and promoting healthy brain aging, among others. Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, Saunders Family Chair and Professor of Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of Biomedical Training ...

MRI improves diagnosis of microbleeding after brain injury in military personnel

MRI improves diagnosis of microbleeding after brain injury in military personnel
2015-09-15
OAK BROOK, Ill. - Imaging patients soon after traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs can lead to better (more accurate) detection of cerebral microhemorrhages, or microbleeding on the brain, according to a study of military service members, published online in the journal Radiology. Cerebral microhemorrhages occur as a direct result of TBI and can lead to severe secondary injuries such as brain swelling or stroke. The ability to monitor the evolution of microhemorrhages could provide important information regarding disease progression or recovery. According to the Centers ...

Effects of prenatal myelomeningocele closure on the need for a CSF shunt

2015-09-15
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (SEPTEMBER 15, 2015). Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS) investigators analyzed updated data on the effects of prenatal myelomeningocele closure on the need for placement of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt within the first 12 months of life. These researchers reaffirm the initial MOMS finding that prenatal repair of a myelomeningocele results in less need for a shunt at 12 months and introduce the new finding that prenatal repair reduces the need for shunt revision in those infants who do require shunt placement. The researchers also found ...

Link between air pollution, increased deaths and increased deaths from heart disease affirmed

2015-09-15
In what is believed to be the largest, most detailed study of its kind in the United States, scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have confirmed that tiny chemical particles in the air we breathe are linked to an overall increase in risk of death. The researchers say this kind of air pollution involves particles so small they are invisible to the human eye (at less than one ten-thousandth of an inch in diameter, or no more than 2.5 micrometers across). In a report on the findings, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives online Sept. ...

'Our chairs are killing us,' say researchers

2015-09-15
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 15, 2015 -- Prolonged sitting time as well as reduced physical activity contribute to the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a study of middle-aged Koreans. These findings support the importance of both reducing time spent sitting and increasing physical activity, say researchers. Their results are published in the Journal of Hepatology. Physical activity is known to reduce the incidence and mortality of various chronic diseases. However, more than one half of the average person's waking day involves sedentary ...

Combining epigenetic therapies with immunotherapies likely to improve cancer patient outcomes

2015-09-15
PHILADELPHIA -- Recent data suggest that epigenetic therapies are likely to provide additional clinical benefit to cancer patients when rationally combined with immunotherapeutic drugs, according to a review published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. "The term epigenetics refers to the study of cellular changes in gene expression that are heritably transmitted during cell replication," said Michele Maio, MD, PhD, chair of medical oncology and immunotherapy, Ospedale Santa Maria alle Scotte, Istituto Toscano Tumori, ...

Video game warnings fall far short in rating tobacco content

2015-09-15
Video games are not adequately rated for tobacco content, according to a new UC San Francisco study that found video gamers are being widely exposed to tobacco imagery. The researchers concluded that a national ratings board set up more than 20 years ago is not a reliable source for learning whether video games contain tobacco imagery. The study will be published online September 14 in Tobacco Control. "Parents should stop relying on the ratings to screen for tobacco use in buying video games for their kids," said first author Susan Forsyth, a PhD candidate at ...
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