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The effect of laws mandating bicycle helmet use
John LeBlanc and colleagues used trained observers to identify the rates of helmet use in Halifax before, during and after 1997, when helmet legislation was introduced in Nova Scotia. The authors also looked at trends in head-injury rates during the same period. (2002-03-04)

Lab scientists present cosmic findings to Astronomical Society
Two researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will present preliminary findings today that show the association of unique gas flows to rapidly rotating black holes. This research is of special interest to organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) because it may help explain unusual periodic timing properties seen in the X-rays being emitted near many suspected black holes. (2002-01-07)

Body image isn't just a woman's problem
Body dysmorphic disorder - a severe form of body image disturbance - affects as many men as women, yet it remains underrecognised and underdiagnosed, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ. (2001-11-01)

A new development in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) gives new hope to infertile couples
A case report published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth reports the success of a new IVF technique that resulted in a woman, who had been unable to conceive, giving birth to healthy twin boys. (2001-10-17)

Sick GPs fail to practise what they preach
Family doctors - burdened with a sense of duty of not letting down their patients or partners - fail to acknowledge their own ill health and attempt to work through their symptoms, says a report in this week's BMJ. (2001-09-27)

Women with prior Ceasarean at risk of uterine rupture during labor
Women who've had a Caesarean and who later attempt to deliver by labor are more likely to suffer a uterine rupture than women who go on to have a repeat Caesarean delivery. Induction of labor in a second pregnancy with attempted vaginal birth increases the risk. (2001-07-04)

Relapsed smokers can be successfully re-treated
New study at Oregon Health Sciences University finds that smokers who tried to quit using bupropion (Zyban) and failed can succeed on the drug if they try again. Second-time users of the drug were five times more likely to quit than those on a placebo. (2001-03-23)

Researchers announce plans to attempt first unmanned flight across the Pacific Ocean
Researchers at the University of Washington and The Insitu group this week announced plans to attempt the first unmanned flight across the Pacific Ocean. The transpacific attempt will demonstrate the feasibility of using miniature robotic aircraft to gather large-scale meteorological data for weather prediction, as well as other applications. It follows the group's historic first unmanned flight across the Atlantic with a robotic aircraft in 1998. (2000-10-19)

Investigational drug study may determine if lung cancer is preventable in cigarette smokers
Researchers at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University are seeking participants for a National Cancer Institute-sponsored study of an investigational drug that may prevent cigarette smokers from developing cancer. (2000-10-11)

Left-handedness is not necessarily the kiss of death
Although the percentage of left-handed people among those over age 60 is lower than in the rest of the population, there is no indication that left-handedness leads to an early demise. Rather, a complex combination of factors combine so that fewer of the old and oldest old report left-handedness, according to a Penn State researcher. (2000-09-26)

Massive new research effort will map inner workings of cells - San Francisco VA Medical Center chosen to host core laboratory
A new $50 million dollar research program launched this month will begin the daunting task of mapping out the thousands of molecular interactions that cells use in responding to their environment. The San Francisco VAMC will host one of the five core research labs that will collaborate on this project. (2000-09-17)

UPenn surgery for cancer-ridden lungs
When a surgeon opens the chest of a lung cancer patient and finds that the malignancy has spread from one of the lungs to its pulmonary artery, he or she will almost always remove the entire lung. But doctors at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center are performing and teaching a surgical procedure that routinely saves part of the affected lung, leaving the patient with more stamina and the potential for normal activity. (2000-09-04)

Chemical scissors may fine-tune nerve cell migration
HHMI researchers have shown that nerve cells may actually use a chemical scissors to snip off a portion of an axon guidance receptor in order to ensure proper navigation in the central and peripheral nervous system. The research provides another tantalizing hint of how axons -- the growing tips of neurons -- make decisions about where to migrate in order to wire up the developing nervous system. (2000-08-24)

Voice from the grave
American researchers have discovered that a subtle change in the sound of the voice is the first sign that someone is serious about committing suicide. The change is so distinctive that psychiatrists plan to use the sound change as an early warning system to sift those who are seriously suicidal from those who are merely depressed. (2000-08-15)

Freeing up the ER for real emergencies
In their study of emergency room use at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver, Dorothy Pope, Christopoher Fernandes, France Bouthillette and Jeremy Etherington found that 24 patients visited the emergency department 616 times during the course of one year. To help alleviate this problem, the authors devised care plans for frequent emergency room patients to be treated in the community setting. (2000-04-03)

How safe is the wait?
Patients awaiting coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in Ontario are at much greater risk of death than the general population. However, a new study concludes patients awaiting CABG in Ontario are at similar or decreased vital risk when compared with thousands of other patients living with coronary artery disease. (2000-03-20)

Schizophrenia research links form and function
Secrets of schizophrenia are yielding to new research models that attempt to link the illness to interrelated abnormalities in both brain structure and neurotransmitter functioning, according to research published in the January American Journal of Psychiatry. (2000-01-02)

Women addicted to crack cocaine need many support services
Federal welfare-to-work programs need to provide an array of support services to women crack cocaine addicts in troubled neighborhoods if these women are expected to succeed, says a Penn State researcher. (1999-10-11)

Researchers characterize mollusk insulin gene, find unique peptide
Researchers at the University of Illinois have isolated, sequenced and characterized an insulin gene from the marine mollusk Aplysia californica. The gene's structure -- though similar in form and function to that of human insulin -- possesses an additional peptide, the purpose of which remains unknown. (1999-10-05)

New alternative medicine center opens at OHSU
The NIH has awarded Oregon Health Sciences University with a $7.8 million grant to fund the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders. The center will study alternative therapies for Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders. (1999-09-30)

Control That Computer With A Wave Of Your Hand
Computer mice could soon be history if researchers at MIT get their way. Instead, they have created a (1999-03-03)

Do Varicose Veins Have Symptoms?
In this week's BMJ Andrew Bradbury and colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, along with researchers at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, report that symptoms including heaviness, swelling, cramps and tingling in the legs are extremely common in the general population whether or not varicose veins are present. (1999-02-05)

If You Can't Stop Polluting, Try Changing The Weather Instead
Mexico City may resort to unproven technology in an attempt to cleanse the city's heavily polluted air. By using an antenna system to either create or neutralise ions, they hope to influence local wind patterns and rainfall. (1999-01-27)

New Guidelines On Smoking Cessation In England Launched
This week's BMJ publishes a summary of the new Smoking Cessation Guidelines for Health Professionals which hopes to stop patients from smoking within routine clinical care. The NHS spends £1500 million annually in treating smoking related diseases in England alone. (1999-01-15)

American Psychiatric Association Tipsheet - December
In the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:
  • Persons With Mental Disorders More Often Denied Care.
  • Managed Care Carve-out Decreases Costs In Massachusetts.
  • Patients With Down's Syndrome Can Attempt Suicide.

Why Women Are Less Likely Than Men To Commit Suicide
Writing in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry, George E. Murphy, M.D., an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says that women may be protected from suicide because of the way that they think about problems and interact with others. (1998-11-10)

New Book Tackles Issue Of Whether Nostratic Was A Real Language
On the family tree of languages, no one is sure whether Nostratic is a real branch or just a shadow that fooled some linguists. Nostratic is the name of a language hypothesized as the common ancestor of a number of language families, including Indo-European (which includes English), Uralic, and Afroasiatic. (1998-10-30)

Trans-Atlantic Crossing Aims To Prove Viability Of Unmanned Aircraft
Following Charles Lindbergh and the Concorde on the well-traveled, trans-Atlantic path to aviation history, researchers from the University of Washington and The Insitu Group next month will attempt the first Atlantic Ocean crossing by an autonomous aircraft. The crossing aims to demonstrate unmanned planes are ready for oceanic applications such as remote weather reconnassiance. (1998-07-16)

What Does The General Medical Council Case Mean For The Future?
Dr Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ, discusses the issues raised by the GMC inquiry, with the future of the doctor- patient relationship at the core of his discussion. He concludes that the failure of doctors' organizations to implement much better mechanisms for ensuring high quality of care might lead to the micromanagement of doctors that is routine in the United States. (1998-06-26)

Study Questions Common Practice Of Steroid Administration To Induce Lung Development In Premature Infants
A new study conducted by researchers in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network suggests that the steroid dexamethasone, which is commonly prescribed to help premature infants get off mechanical ventilators, may have serious side effects. The study was an attempt to learn if earlier treatment of ventilator-dependent premature infants with the drug dexamethasone is beneficial. (1998-04-15)

Baby Milk Manufacturers Are Breaking The Rules
Baby milk manufacturers are breaking the international code of marketing breast milk substitutes, adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981 says Anna Taylor, Interagency Group on Breastfeeding Monitoring. Good breast feeding practice could save 1.5 million infants every year, says the author. (1998-04-10)

Solo Balloonist's Round-The-World Flight To Carry JPL/NASA Payload
NASA instrumentation that someday will study Mars or Venus will fly aboard Steve Fossett's balloon as he attempts to fly around the world this winter. Position, temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity and vertical wind velocity will be measured. Washington University in St. Louis is mission control for Fossett1s attempt. (1997-12-08)

First Smoke-Free Day Crucial To Success Quitting Smoking, Duke Researchers Find
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and the Durham V.A. Medical Center say the psychological impact of taking even a single puff of a cigarette on a pre-set (1997-02-10)

Sexual Assault Associated With Increased Rate Of Attempted Suicide
A survey of nearly 3,000 North Carolina residents, reported in the June 13 Archives of General Psychiatry, has found that women with a history of sexual assault are six times more likely to attempt suicide at some point in their lives, according to a study at Duke University Medical Center (1996-06-13)

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