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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 13, 2015


Mayo Clinic to study 10,000 patients for drug-gene safety
Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, is planning to launch a study of 10,000 Mayo biobank members for potential risk of drug reactions or lack of drug effect based on each individual's genome.
Cause of galactic death: Strangulation
Astronomers have partially solved an epic whodunit: what kills galaxies so that they can no longer produce new stars?
Smaller volumes in certain regions of the brain could lead to increased likelihood of drug addiction
An article publishing online today in Brain: A Journal of Neurology has found that individual differences in brain structure could help to determine the risk for future drug addiction.
Cybersecurity and the artificial pancreas -- what are the risks?
An artificial pancreas, designed for blood glucose control in diabetes, is controlled by software that runs on mobile computing platforms such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and operates over wireless networks under local or remote medical supervision.
Learning entrepreneurship: Starting a business is a matter of adequate training
The capacity to think and act in entrepreneurial terms is present in many people -- unbeknown to most of them.
Research suggests average-sized models could sell more fashion
New research from the University of Kent suggests the fashion industry could benefit from using average-sized models rather than size zero in marketing campaigns.
Antipsychotic drug use in pregnant women appears to pose minimal risk, new study suggests
Antipsychotic medication use during pregnancy does not put women at additional risk of developing gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders or major blood clots that obstruct circulation, according to a new study led by researchers at Women's College Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
Single low-magnitude electric pulse successfully fights inflammation
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, and SetPoint Medical Inc., a biomedical technology company, today released the results of research on the therapeutic potential of vagus nerve stimulation.
Astrology and celebrity: Seasons really do influence personality
People's personalities tend to vary somewhat depending on the season in which they are born, and astrological signs may have developed as a useful system for remembering these patterns.
Drug extends survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
A drug developed 50 years ago and abandoned because it was considered to be too toxic has gained a second life in an international clinical trial.
Latin-American immigrants 'social climate' is more tolerant to intimate partner violence
Spanish researchers have conducted studies to find out if there are any differences between Latin-American immigrants and Spaniards who have been convicted of violence against women, with regard to their attitudes toward, among other things, aggression and the risk of re-offending.
RDA Data Share announces fellowship awards
RDA Data Share, an early career engagement program for the Research Data Alliance, is pleased to announce its first selection of Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Researchers discover 'swing-dancing' pairs of electrons
A research team led by the University of Pittsburgh's Jeremy Levy has discovered electrons that can 'swing dance.' This unique electronic behavior can potentially lead to new families of quantum devices.
National study finds lower depression, better mental health during the Great Recession
Americans had fewer depression diagnoses and better mental health during the Great Recession (2007-09) compared to pre-recession, according to a University of Maryland study.
Assar Gabrielsson award for ground-breaking work on public health
The Assar Gabrielsson Award is given to someone who has written an excellent thesis on cancer research.
Performance degradation mechanism of a helicon plasma thruster
A part of the performance degradation mechanism of the advanced, electrodeless, helicon plasma thruster with a magnetic nozzle, has been revealed by the research group of Dr.
Every bite you take, every move you make, astrocytes will be watching you
Chewing, breathing, and other regular bodily functions that we undertake 'without thinking' actually do require the involvement of our brain, but the question of how the brain programs such regular functions intrigues scientists.
Starving cancer cells instead of feeding them poison
An enzyme-drug that prevents the essential nutrient asparagine from reaching cancer cells seem an effective way to kill them, but that enzyme-drug also does away with the nutrient glutamine that all cells need.
Study attributes varying explosivity to gaseous state within volcanic conduits
The varying scale and force of certain volcanic eruptions -- currently being witnessed at sites in Chile and Mexico -- are directly influenced by the levels of gaseous matter within magma inside a volcano's conduit, according to a new study led by Plymouth University.
Your handshake tells the story of your health
The study followed almost 140,000 adults aged 35 to 70 over four years in 17 countries.
Comet Wild 2: A window into the birth of the solar system?
A team of scientists from University of Hawai'i and University of California investigated the oxygen isotope and mineral composition of the comet dust returned from Wild 2.
Potential obesity treatment targets the 2 sides of appetite: Hunger and feeling full
Our bodies' hormones work together to tell us when to eat and when to stop.
Brain compass keeps flies on course, even in the dark
Fruit flies have an internal compass that works when the lights go out, scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus have discovered.
No link found between PTSD and cancer risk
In the largest study to date that examines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a risk factor for cancer, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, have shown no evidence of an association.
Revolutionary discovery could help tackle skin and heart conditions
Scientists at the University of Manchester have made an important discovery about how certain cells stick to each other to form tissue.
Dartmouth study shows that playing games can shift attitudes
A Dartmouth research laboratory is working to quantify the effects of playing games.
Boston University students awarded fellowships by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Two medical students from Boston University have been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to conduct full-time biomedical research in its Medical Research Fellows Program.
Vitamin D levels predict survival chances for sick cats, study finds
Higher levels of vitamin D are linked to better survival chances for hospitalized pet cats, a study from the University of Edinburgh's Royal School of Veterinary Studies has found.
Anemia distorts regular method of diabetes diagnosis and questions its reliability
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) highlights how anemia -- a common condition in the general population, especially in women -- can lead to a false diagnosis of diabetes based on HbA1c, when a person's blood sugar control is actually normal.
Burmese long-tailed macaque stone-tool use catalogued
Eighty percent of a population of Burmese long-tailed macaques on an island in southern Thailand use stone and shell tools to crack open seafood, and do so using 17 different action patterns.
X-linked gene mutations cause some cases of male infertility, Pitt study says
Some cases of male infertility are due to mutations in the maternal X chromosome that prevent development of viable sperm, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Magee-Womens Research Institute.
Professor Matei Ciocarlie wins Young Investigator Program grant for hands-on research
Matei Ciocarlie, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been awarded a three-year $637,000 Young Investigator Program grant from the Office of Naval Research for his work on human-in-the-loop systems in which humans and robotic manipulators work together, side by side, on the same task.
When flying, taste buds prefer savory tomato
While examining how airplane noise affects the palate, Cornell University food scientists found sweetness suppressed and a tasty, tender tomato surprise: umami.
Asthma app helps control asthma: Alerts allergists when sufferers need assistance
New study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows how an app directly connecting an allergist and an asthma sufferer can provide necessary intervention when asthma isn't under control.
Brains of smokers who quit successfully might be wired for success
Smokers who are able to quit might actually be hard-wired for success, according to a study from Duke Medicine.
Cancer Cell Metabolism
This symposium will highlight insights into tumor metabolism from leaders in the field and explore how this information is being used to design safe and effective, metabolism-targeted therapies.
Ancient skeleton shows leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia
An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia.
How the tumor microenvironment contributes to drug-resistant neuroblastoma
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have made an important step toward finding a target in the fight against drug-resistant neuroblastoma, the most common solid malignancy found, outside of the skull, in children.
Ward elected to National Academy of Sciences
Dr. William Ward, a retired Institute scientist at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his excellence in original scientific research.
The Lancet: Testing hand-grip strength could be a simple, low-cost way to predict heart attack and stroke risk
Weak grip strength is linked with shorter survival and a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to an international study involving almost 140,000 adults from 17 culturally and economically diverse countries.
New insight into inflammatory bowel disease may lead to better treatments
A newly discovered link between bacteria and immune cells sheds light on inflammatory bowel disease, an autoimmune condition that affects 1.6 million people in the United States, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Syracuse physicists aid in discovery of subatomic process
Physicists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have helped discover a rare subatomic process.
The dark side of star clusters
Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a new class of 'dark' globular star clusters around the giant galaxy Centaurus A.
A bucketful of new Eugenia plant species from Madagascar
The spigot for plant discoveries in Madagascar continues to flow steadily, with no signs of slowing down in the near future.
Satellite mapping reveals agricultural slowdown in Latin America: UBC study
For the first time, satellite mapping of Latin America shows that the continent's agricultural expansion has waned in the wake of the global economic downturn, according to UBC research.
Researchers build new fermion microscope
A team of MIT physicists has built a microscope that is able to see up to 1,000 individual fermionic atoms.
Where do the happiest children live?
Research of this kind is rare and this is the most wide-ranging and diverse study ever conducted internationally on children's lives from their own perspectives.
Penn study finds that various financial incentives help smokers quit
Four different financial incentive programs, each worth roughly $800 over six months, all help more smokers kick the habit than providing free access to behavioral counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.
'Extreme' exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke causes mild intoxication
Secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke under 'extreme conditions,' such as an unventilated room or enclosed vehicle, can cause nonsmokers to feel the effects of the drug, have minor problems with memory and coordination, and in some cases test positive for the drug in a urinalysis.
Octopus arm inspires future surgical tool
A robotic arm that can bend, stretch and squeeze through cluttered environments has been created by a group of researchers from Italy.
Scientists discover new molecules that kill cancer cells and protect healthy cells
A new family of molecules that kill cancer cells and protect healthy cells could be used to treat a number of different cancers, including cervical, breast, ovarian and lung cancers.
$30 million gift to Hebrew University's Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences
Five years after its initial donation of $20 million for establishing the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, the Edmond J.
Stainless staining provides a new tool for clinicians and researchers
A new technique promises to overturn the standard workflow in pathologic assessments of tissue by adding molecular information to standard optical imaging.
Can drinking alcohol harm the child before the mother knows she is pregnant?
According to a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, Finland, alcohol drunk by a mouse in early pregnancy changes the way genes function in the brains of the offspring.
TB Alliance launches 'Nix-TB' clinical trial to test new XDR-TB treatment
TB Alliance and its partners announced the start of a clinical trial of a new regimen to treat extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Spores for thought
Researchers at the Institute of Food Research have established how clostridia bacteria emerge from spores.
TGen study matches infant stiff-joint syndromes to possible genetic origins
A study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute has for the first time matched dozens of infantile diseases and syndromes involving muscle weakness and stiff joints to their likely genetic origins.
A SMARTer approach to stroke care
Time is critical when it comes to stroke, and early treatment is associated with better outcomes.
MRI -- prostate cancer screening for the future?
A screening method that combines a traditional PSA test with an MRI detects a significantly greater number of prostate cancer cases and improves diagnostic accuracy.
IU, Regenstrief investigators LaMantia and Unroe honored by American Geriatrics Society
Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute investigators Michael LaMantia, M.D., MPH, and Kathleen Unroe, M.D., MHA, will be honored by the American Geriatrics Society at its Annual Scientific Meeting.
Myriad showcases its pioneering research at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting
Myriad will present data from 19 clinical studies at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting to be held May 29-June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Ill.
Trap-jaw ants jump with jaws to escape the antlion's den
Some species of trap-jaw ants may use their spring-loaded mandibles to hurl themselves out of harm's way when an ant-trapping predator stalks.
Variations in liver cancer attributable to hepatitis virus variations
Significant clinical variations exist among patients with the most common type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma, depending on the viral cause of the disease --hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus.
Disposable wipes are costing sewage systems millions of dollars
Several class-action lawsuits filed recently against the makers of flushable wet-wipes have brought to light a serious -- and unsavory -- problem: The popular cleaning products might be clogging sewer systems.
GPM, AIRS, and RapidScat view Typhoon Dolphin headed for Guam
Typhoon Dolphin (strengthened overnight on 5/12 from Tropical Storm status) formed south of Pohnpei in the western Pacific Ocean on May 7, 2015.
No laughing matter: Some perfectionists have a dark side
The type of perfectionist who sets impossibly high standards for others has a bit of a dark side.
Study reveals how rivers regulate global carbon cycle
River transport of carbon to the ocean is not on a scale that will solve our CO2 problem, but we haven't known how much carbon the world's rivers routinely flush into the ocean, until now.
UM study uncovers why songbirds vary in time devoted to warming eggs
The amount of time and effort songbirds spend warming their eggs directly correlates to their own survival probability and that of their eggs, according to a study by University of Montana researchers.
CCFA to develop world's largest Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis research database
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) announces a three-year, $17.5 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B.
Infant antibiotic use linked to adult diseases
A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota has found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life.
Nano-policing pollution
OIST researchers find an affordable way to detect pollution with gas sensing at the nanoscale.
Lehigh chemical engineer awarded DOE funding to design novel functional materials
Jeetain Mittal, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Lehigh University, is one of 44 scientists selected from across the nation to receive significant funding for research as part of the US Department of Energy's Early Career Research Program.
When it comes to testosterone, more isn't always better
A study connects increased diabetes risk and higher levels of testosterone to prostate enlargement.
Device developed at WashU may allow sensations in prosthetic hands
A team of engineers and researchers at Washington University in St.
The infant gut microbiome: New studies on its origins and how it's knocked out of balance
A fecal sample analysis of 98 Swedish infants over the first year of life found a connection between the development of a child's gut microbiome and the way he or she is delivered.
HIV 2015
This meeting brings together scientists, policy makers, and international organizations dedicated to advancing our scientific knowledge of HIV and translating that information into the most effective programs for reducing transmission.
Fusion protein controls design of photosynthesis platform
Photosynthesis is one of the most important biological processes on the planet.
Trap-jaw ants jump with their jaws to escape the antlion's den
Some species of trap-jaw ants use their spring-loaded mandibles to hurl themselves out of harm's way when an ant-trapping predator stalks, researchers report in the journal PLOS ONE.
Long-term depression may double stroke risk for middle-aged adults
Adults over 50 who have persistent symptoms of depression may have twice the risk of stroke as those who do not, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H.
Two Large Hadron Collider experiments first to observe rare subatomic process
Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, have combined their results and observed a previously unseen subatomic process.
Kent State researchers identify positive, negative effects of smartphone use and exercise
Kent State University researchers Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., and Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., as well as Kent State alumni Michael Rebold, Ph.D., and Gabe Sanders, Ph.D., assessed how common smartphone uses -- texting and talking -- interfere with treadmill exercise.
New nanomaterials inspired by bird feathers play with light to create color
Inspired by the way iridescent bird feathers play with light, scientists have created thin films of material in a wide range of pure colors -- from red to green -- with hues determined by physical structure rather than pigments.
Medical marijuana pill may not be effective in treating behavioral symptoms of dementia
A new study suggests that medical marijuana pills may not help treat behavioral symptoms of dementia, such as aggression, pacing and wandering.
NOAA Fisheries and partners winners of Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award
NOAA Fisheries staff Tom Good (Northwest Fisheries Science Center) and Steve Copps (West Coast Region), together with our partners at Washington Sea Grant and Oregon State University, were recently awarded the 2015 Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award.
Protein FGL2 may have potential as therapy target for brain cancer
Blocking FGL2, a protein known to promote cancer, may offer a new strategy for treating brain cancer, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Highly competitive geographic areas have a higher annual number of liver transplants
The annual number of liver transplantation operations increases when transplantation centers are concentrated in geographic areas that are highly competitive, according to findings from a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy achieves better overall survival than surgery for early lung cancer
Patients with operable stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) could achieve better overall survival rates if treated with Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) rather than the current standard of care -- invasive surgery -- according to research from a phase III randomized international study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Saving critical time diagnosing stroke patients with MRI by borrowing 'lean' principles
Few hospitals around the world routinely use MRI first-line for acute stroke diagnosis because of treatment delay concerns.
No difference in post-op complications for pregnant women undergoing general surgery
Pregnant women who undergo general surgical procedures appear to have no significant difference in postoperative complications compared with women who are not pregnant, according to a report published online by JAMA Surgery.
New shortcut to solar cells
Rice University scientists find gold electrodes can serve as catalysts to make black silicon for solar cells.
'Supercool' material glows when you write on it
A new material developed at the University of Michigan stays liquid more than 200 degrees F below its expected freezing point, but a light touch can cause it to form yellow crystals that glow under ultraviolet light.
Depression intensifies anger in veterans with PTSD
The tendency for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to lash out in anger can be significantly amplified if they are also depressed, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Light it up: Materials crystallize with surprising properties (video)
Think about your favorite toys as a child. Did they light up or make funny noises when you touched them?
Nation's beekeepers lost 40 percent of bees in 2014-15
Beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest results of an annual nationwide survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the US Department of Agriculture.
How used coffee grounds could make some food more healthful
Coffee has gone from dietary foe to friend in recent years, partly due to the revelation that it's rich in antioxidants.
JRC thematic report: Science for food
The JRC has released a new report on its scientific support to EU's 'from farm to fork' policy which ensures Europeans enjoy safe and nutritious food, while facilitating the food industry to work under the best possible conditions.
Moffitt researchers say androgen deprivation therapy may lead to cognitive impairment
Cognitive impairment can occur in cancer patients who are treated with a variety of therapies, including radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.
Economic burden of cancer extends into survivorship
A new study finds the economic burden of cancer extends beyond diagnosis and treatment, and concludes that cancer survivors face thousands of dollars of excess medical expenses every year.
New blood test quickly reveals severity of radiation injury
A novel blood test could greatly improve triage of victims of radiation accidents by rapidly predicting who will survive, who will die, and who should receive immediate medical countermeasures, according to scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Water was plentiful in the early universe
New research from Tel Aviv University and Harvard University reveals that the universe's first reservoirs of water may have formed much earlier than previously thought -- less than a billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 5 percent of its current age.
Pure industrial chemicals by gasifying lignocellulosic biomass
VTT has demonstrated that lignocellulosic biomass can be successfully converted into pure BTX chemicals: benzene, toluene and xylene.
CNIO scientists are able to take immortality from cancer
The researchers blocked the shelterin protein TRF1 in cancer cells, disrupting telomere protection and preventing immortal proliferation of cancer cells.
Game intelligence can be learned
New theories on game intelligence could change the world of team sports forever.
TSRI scientists identify interferon beta as likely culprit in persistent viral infections
Interferon proteins are normally considered virus-fighters, but scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found evidence that one of them, interferon beta, has an immune-suppressing effect that can help some viruses establish persistent infections.
Blind signatures using offline repositories
In the new era of quantum computers, many daily life applications, such as home banking, are doomed to failure and new forms of ensuring the confidentiality of our data are being study to overcome this threat.
Memory and the hippocampus
New work by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute computational neuroscientist Mallar Chakravarty, Ph.D., and in collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health challenges in a thrilling way the long-held belief that a larger hippocampus is directly linked to improved memory function.
Physicists observe attosecond real-time restructuring of electron cloud in molecule
The recombination of electron shells in molecules, taking just a few dozen attoseconds (a billionth of a billionth of a second), can now be viewed 'live,' thanks to a new method developed by MIPT researchers and their colleagues from Denmark, Japan and Switzerland.
Tumor sequencing study highlights benefits of profiling healthy tissue as well
As the practice of genetically profiling patient tumors for clinical treatment decision making becomes more commonplace, a recent study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests that profiling normal DNA also provides an important opportunity to identify inherited mutations that could be critical for patients and their families.
Older patients receive less evidence-based cardiac care than younger patients
People in their 80s and 90s are more likely to develop acute coronary syndrome than their younger counterparts.
Stanford scientists find genetic signature enabling early, accurate sepsis diagnosis
Investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a pattern of gene activity that could help scientists create a blood test for quickly and accurately detecting whether patients are experiencing a deadly immune-system panic attack.
Novel biomarkers may provide guide to personalized hepatitis C therapy
A simple blood test can be used to predict which chronic hepatitis C patients will respond to interferon-based therapy, according to a report in the May issue of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.
New test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster
The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a UCL-led team.
Climate change boosts a migratory insect pest
The migratory potato leafhopper causes untold millions of dollars in damage every year.
Nuclear modernization programs threaten to prolong the nuclear era
In the latest issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, experts from the United States, Russia, and China present global perspectives on ambitious nuclear modernization programs that the world's nuclear-armed countries have begun.
Research shows how antibodies produce vaccine-like effect against tumors
New research at Rockefeller University shows how antibody therapy destroys tumor cells then prompts a patient's immune system to form immunological memory that can suppress the same cancer should it try to return.
New study on acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation in children with acute appendicitis
Acupuncture was shown to lessen pain and reduce the underlying inflammation in pediatric patients with a diagnosis of acute appendicitis, according to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Caution urged in using measures of students' 'non-cognitive' skills for teacher evaluation, school accountability, or student diagnosis
Policymakers and practitioners have grown increasingly interested in measures of personal qualities other than cognitive ability -- including self-control, grit, growth mindset, gratitude, purpose, emotional intelligence, and other beneficial personal qualities -- that lead to student success.
Researcher discovers molecules that could kill cancer while protecting healthy cells
Researchers have identified new molecules that kill cancer cells while protecting healthy cells and that could be used to treat a variety of different cancers.
Smoking linked to worse outcomes after urologic cancer surgery and other major surgeries
Patients who smoke, as well as those who once had the habit, are more likely to develop complications during and after major urologic cancer surgery, according to a new study that included researchers at Henry Ford Health System.
New cancer treatment and prevention studies signal major advances for children and adults
The American Society of Clinical Oncology today announced results from four major studies to be presented at ASCO's 51st Annual Meeting, May 29-June 2, in Chicago.
Long-term depression may double stroke risk despite treatment
Long-term depression may double the risk of stroke for middle-aged adults. educing symptoms of depression may not immediately reduce the elevated stroke risk.
Recreational drug use on weekends often morphs into daily use, BU study finds
More than half of patients who report 'weekend-only' drug use end up expanding their drug use to weekdays, too -- suggesting that primary care clinicians should monitor patients who acknowledge 'recreational' drug use, says a new study by Boston University public health and medicine researchers.

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