(Press-News.org) COLUMBUS, Ohio - When researchers wanted to verify alcohol-use survey results at a senior housing center, they came up with a novel way to measure residents' drinking: Count the empty bottles in recycling bins.
Scientists compared the recycling bin results with two residential surveys gauging drinking habits of people living in a San Diego complex for low-income, older adults.
"We were able to check how much the residents said they were drinking with the empty beer, wine and liquor containers they were actually putting in the recycling bins," said John Clapp, co-author of the study and professor of social work at The Ohio State University.
"In addition, we got important information from the recycling bins that you can't get from our two surveys, such as time patterns in drinking."
One of the most important results from the recycling data was that the amount of alcohol use showed a predictable pattern, spiking in the days after the residents received their social security checks and around holidays.
"That's not surprising, but it is not something that has been studied before in older adults," Clapp said.
"It suggests that social workers and others should target their alcoholism prevention programming to these times when there is the most alcohol use."
The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
This research began when Clapp was a professor of social work at San Diego State University. The managers of a housing complex for older, low-income adults approached him because they were troubled about alcohol use among their residents.
Clapp and his colleagues conducted a survey, but the management was concerned that it wasn't capturing the full extent of drinking among those who lived there.
That's when the researchers decided to use recycling as a way to further probe alcohol use. They put two recycling bins on five floors of the residential center and checked them twice a week for more than a year (55 weeks), collecting all the beer, wine and liquor containers.
They then calculated the number of standard drinks (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor) consumed by the residents each week.
During the study, 3,014 recycled alcohol containers representing 14,103 standard drinks were collected from the residential center. The number of standard drinks estimated from the recycling bins was actually slightly lower than what the residents reported they drank in the survey (174 participated in the survey).
That's not surprising, Clapp said, since residents probably threw out some alcohol containers in the trash rather than recycling them or got rid of the containers in other ways.
Overall, the researchers estimated that about 10 percent of the residents (25 percent of those who said they drank alcohol) were at risk for alcohol abuse.
"It was important to learn this because limited research has been conducted on the prevalence of drinking among low-income older adults," Clapp said.
He said the use of recycling bins to measure alcohol use could be a good way to study people living in places like fraternities and residence halls.
"This type of research is inexpensive, unobtrusive and relatively easy to do," Clapp said.
Co-authors on the study were Mark Reed and Maria Gonzalez of San Diego State University; Brandi Martel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control; and Danielle Ruderman of Ohio State.
When it comes to teaching dogs how to sniff out explosives, there's nothing quite like the real thing to make sure they're trained right. That's the message from William Kranz, Nicholas Strange and John Goodpaster of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in the US, after finding that dogs that are trained with so-called "pseudo-explosives" could not reliably sniff out real explosives (and vice versa). Their findings are published online in Springer's journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.
Genuine explosive materials are traditionally used ...
Washington, DC (November 26, 2014) - The holiday season gives people the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family each year. Sometimes these interactions can be stressful, especially around the Thanksgiving table where a heated debate can occur. How come some people are better at handling these stressful interactions than others? A recent study published in the journal Human Communication Research by researchers at Rollins College and The Pennsylvania State University found that individuals who were exposed to intense verbal aggression as children are able to handle ...
New Rochelle, NY, November 24, 2014--Genetically engineered pigs, minipigs, and microminipigs are valuable tools for biomedical research, as their lifespan, anatomy, physiology, genetic make-up, and disease mechanisms are more similar to humans than the rodent models typically used in drug discovery research. A Comprehensive Review article entitled "Current Progress of Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Biomedical Research," describing advances in techniques to create and use pig models and their impact on the development of novel drugs and cell and gene therapies, is ...
DENVER--Nov. 24, 2014-- Four years ago, a bulldozer operator turned over some bones during construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado. Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science were called to the scene and confirmed the bones were those of a juvenile Columbian mammoth, setting off a frenzy of excavation, scientific analysis, and international media attention. This dramatic and unexpected discovery culminates this month with the publication of the Snowmastodon Project Science Volume in the international journal Quaternary Research.
Conventional treatment seeks to eradicate cancer cells by drugs and therapy delivered from outside the cell, which may also affect (and potentially harm) nearby normal cells.
In contrast to conventional cancer therapy, a University of Cincinnati team has developed several novel designs for iron-oxide based nanoparticles that detect, diagnose and destroy cancer cells using photo-thermal therapy (PTT). PTT uses the nanoparticles to focus light-induced heat energy only within the tumor, harming no adjacent normal cells.
The results of the UC work will be presented at the ...
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have learned new details about how an important tumor-suppressing protein, called p53, binds to the human genome. As with many things in life, they found that context makes a big difference.
The researchers mapped the places where p53 binds to the genome in a human cancer cell line. They compared this map to a previously obtained map of p53 binding sites in a normal human cell line. These binding patterns indicate how the protein mobilizes a network of genes that quell tumor ...
Researchers at UC San Francisco have identified patterns of genetic activity that can be used to diagnose endometriosis and its severity, a finding that may offer millions of women an alternative to surgery through a simple noninvasive procedure.
The study is online in the journal Endocrinology.
"This promising molecular diagnostic approach would not have been possible without advances in genomics and bioinformatics," said senior author Linda Giudice, MD, PhD, distinguished professor and chair of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF.
A protein that stimulates the brain to awaken from sleep may be a target for preventing Alzheimer's disease, a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests.
In recent years, scientists at Washington University have established links between sleep problems and Alzheimer's. For example, they have shown in people and in mice that sleep loss contributes to the growth of brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's, and increases the risk of dementia.
The new research, in mice, demonstrates that eliminating that protein - called orexin ...
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2014 -- The season of giving is often also the season of over-indulging at the dinner table. As Thanksgiving approaches, Reactions takes a look down at our stomachs to find out what happens when you overeat. Put on your "eating pants" and enjoy the video here:
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INFORMATION:The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific ...
How does glass transition from a liquid to its familiar solid state? How does this common material transport heat and sound? And what microscopic changes occur when a glass gains rigidity as it cools?
A team of researchers at NYU's Center for Soft Matter Research offers a theoretical explanation for these processes in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Our understanding of glasses as they change state is relatively limited. This is because, unlike other materials such as metals, their constituent particles--which can be as small as a billionth of a meter ...