Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 12, 2004
Continuous insulin monitoring does not raise hospital costs
Patients with diabetes whose glucose is continually monitored after coronary bypass artery graft surgery do not incur higher medical costs despite the additional testing, Penn State Diabetes Center researchers report.

Unmarried women say they feel misunderstood in doctors' offices
Inhibitions about doctor visits was a main reason unmarried women said they did not seek routine cancer screening tests, according to initial findings from a five-year study of women ages 40 to 75.

Turning robots into a well-oiled machine
Humans are social creatures, but robots, for the most part, are not.

Nighttime chemistry affects ozone formation
When it comes to air pollution, what goes on at night can be just as important as what happens during the day.

Duration of hospital stay has shortened for patients with heart attack
From 1986 to 1999, the average length of hospital stay for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI, or heart attack) has significantly declined, without increases in death rates after discharge, according to an article in the April 12 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Vitamin C reduces level of C-reactive protein, finds UC Berkeley-led study
A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers is giving yet another boost to vitamin C's healthy reputation.

Statins and aspirin may protect against severe vision loss in elderly
Cholesterol-busting statins, the largest-selling prescription drugs in the U.S., may protect older people from blindness, a new study shows.

Missed alcohol diagnoses in hospital patients
Physicians are missing or not documenting patient alcohol use disorders.

Office spirometry significantly improves early detection of COPD
Spirometry testing in a primary care setting significantly improves early identification of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), says a study published in the April issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Risk of death among homeless women
Hwang and colleagues present data showing that homeless women 18-44 years of age are at up to 10 times the risk of death than women in the general population in Toronto.

Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration projected to increase substantially by 2020
Due to the rapidly aging population, the number of people in the United States with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people older than 65 years, will increase from 1.75 million people to almost 3 million people by the year 2020, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ultrasound treatment for hurt muscles may feel good, but doesn't promote healing, study suggests
Ultrasound therapy does nothing to help an injured skeletal muscle heal any faster, according to a new study conducted in rats.

Leading causes of blindness for blacks and whites different
The leading cause of blindness for white persons is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), while the leading causes of blindness for blacks are cataracts and glaucoma, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New method for determining age of artifacts fills chronological gap for scientists
A UC Irvine archaeological scientist has created a new method for determining the approximate age of many artifacts between 50,000 to 100,000 years old - a period for which other dating methods are less effective.

Many patients interested in reading their own medical records
Many patients report that they are interested in reading their own medical records, according to an article in the April 12 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Eye disorder that can cause blindness is high among people with type 1 diabetes mellitus
The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy, a disorder of the retina that can cause blindness, associated with type 1 diabetes mellitus is estimated to affect one per 300 adults over the age of 18 years in the United States, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Patients who receive kidneys from older donors do well
Recipients of kidneys from donors 55 years and older appear to have good outcomes, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

World's oldest mouse celebrates milestone birthday
Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, celebrated his fourth birthday on Saturday, April 10, 2004.

Police judge criminal profiles based on who writes them, study finds
A study of Australian police found that officers rated the criminal profile of a murderer as more accurate when they thought it was written by a professional profiler than when they thought it was written by someone else - even though the profiles were exactly the same.

Experiment harnesses state-of-the-art sequencing technology to detect life on Mars
Now that evidence has been found for water on Mars, could that mean there once was life?

Editorial: Blindness and visual impairment
This editorial accompanies articles appearing in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a special theme issue on blindness.

Researchers identify unifying code among diverse classes of natural antibiotics
Investigators at the Research and Education Institute (REI) at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center have identified a novel structural signature that is conserved in otherwise distinct classes of antimicrobial peptides.

Approximately one-third of people older than 40 have vision disturbances
Refractive errors (inability of the eye to focus properly) affect about one-third of people 40 years and older in the United States and Western Europe, and one-fifth of Australians 40 or older, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sights set on reporting of gunshot wounds
Ontario is considering introducing legislation that would require hospitals and physicians to report gunshot wounds and knife-related injuries.

American dream of home ownership turns sour for many low-income buyers
Despite federal government policies encouraging home ownership among minority and low-income families, more than half of them left their houses and returned to renting within five years, according to a new study.

New molecule heralds breakthrough in electronic plastics
Researchers have developed a new plastic that conducts electricity, may be simpler to manufacture than industry counterparts and easily accommodates chemical attachments to create new materials.

Embryonic skin cells committed at an early age
Surprising results from a new research study demonstrate that the embryonic cells destined to become skin have an intrinsically high commitment to irreversible differentiation and are not, as was previously thought, a stem cell-like population with a high potential for growth.

Prevalence of cataracts expected to increase substantially in coming decades
The number of persons in the United States affected by cataracts is estimated to rise to 30.1 million people in the next 20 years, an increase of 50 percent, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Vision loss from eye diseases will increase as Americans age
With the aging of the population, the number of Americans with major eye diseases is increasing, and vision loss is becoming a major public health problem.

Computerized prescriber order entry systems may have limited impact on patient harm
Computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems decrease medication error, but they may not decrease patient harm due to medication error, according to the results of a study conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and published this week in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Immigrants' literacy skills a human capital concern
According to a new report from ETS and NU's Center for Labor Market Studies, the vast majority of immigrants lack the most basic literacy skills, which are correlated with strong wages, less dependency on government aid, and civic engagement.

Reading test may validly estimate pre-dementia functioning
According to a study in the April 13 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, UK, have shown that it is possible to use a straightforward reading test to estimate validly how well persons functioned before they were affected by dementia.

Timing of adverse events in hospital patients
Alan Forster and colleagues follow up their recently released research on the rate of adverse events in an urban, multi-campus teaching hospital with new data on the timing of such events.

Rewards, not sanctions, help schools succeed under accountability programs, study finds
One problem with the

Guideline: Heart condition does not increase risk of second stroke
A new guideline refutes the current thinking that people with a heart condition called a patent foramen ovale (PFO) who have had a stroke are at greater risk of having a second stroke.

UCLA yoga study seeks breast cancer survivors
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center are recruiting volunteers who have completed treatment for breast cancer and are experiencing persistent fatigue to join a study to see if yoga can improve energy, mood and physical functioning.

Newer drugs appear to stem violent behavior
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that a new generation of medications called

New method is first to mimic subtle genetic changes
Scientists have developed a new technique to predictably alter gene expression in mice without disrupting the regulatory elements essential for normal gene function.

Extended lymph node dissection fails to increase long-term survival among gastric cancer patients
Extended lymph node dissection - a treatment for gastric cancer involving the surgical removal of lymph nodes near the tumor, in distant areas of the stomach, and in some cases, in combination with the removal of the spleen and pancreas tail - has shown no long-term survival benefit for gastric cancer patients, according to the largest randomized trial of limited and extended lymph node dissection among this population.

News briefs from the journal CHEST, April 2004
In studies published in the April issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, findings include: First responders to WTC collapse hit hardest with respiratory ailments; WTC ironworkers afflicted with respiratory problems; and, Lung damage from second-hand smoke increases with exposure.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for April 2004 (second issue)
Newsworthy highlights include studies showing that: researchers have demonstrated that the subsequent 2 to 3 years after hospital discharge following pneumonia treatment may provide only a short-term lease on a future healthy life; air pollutants cause pathophysiologic changes in 9 healthy, young, non-smoking highway patrol troopers; and reduced airway function measured when an infant was 1 month old was associated with a persistent wheeze in the child at age 11.

Operative time increases when training surgical residents in the operating room
There is an increase in operative time required to complete some surgical procedures associated with training surgical residents in the operating room, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Purdue scientists finding ways to outsmart crop-damaging bugs
A new screening method aimed at boosting pesticide effectiveness may be commercially viable, according to Purdue University researchers.

Surprises found in gene variation associated with schizophrenia
Approximately 2 percent of Caucasians have a gene polymorphism that can cause a certain form of schizophrenia.

OHSU researchers, collaborators make recommendations to self-treating physicians
There are both distinct benefits and problems when physicians decide to treat their own illnesses.

One in 12 diabetics over age 40 has vision-threatening eye disease
Pooled data from previous studies suggests that approximately 4.1 million U.S. adults 40 years or older have diabetic retinopathy (DR), a disorder of the retina that occurs as a complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), affecting one twelfth of diabetics in this age group, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, a theme issue on blindness, and one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
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