The nation’s largest tobacco companies are challenging court-ordered advertisements requiring the cigarette makers to say they lied about the dangers of smoking.
The so-called corrective statements are part of a case the government brought in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in 2006 that the nation’s largest cigarette makers concealed the dangers of smoking for decades and has since ordered them to pay for the statements in various advertisements in newspapers, as well as on TV, websites and cigarette pack inserts.
Young Women Don’t Recognize Cervical Cancer Symptoms
New research led by King’s College London suggests that many women under 30 with cervical cancer are diagnosed more than three months after first having symptoms. In many cases, this was because they did not recognize the symptoms as serious. The study is published today in the British Journal of General Practice.
Approximately one in 134 women will get cervical cancer at some point in their lives. It is most common in women in their thirties. Cervical cancer is nearly always caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection is very common, especially in young women, but for most, the infection resolves completely on its own and does not lead to cervical cancer. In England, the NHS offers screening to prevent cervical cancer to women aged 25-64.
Genome from Southern Africa Sheds Light on Human Origins
What can DNA from the skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tell us about ourselves as humans? A great deal when his DNA profile is one of the earliest diverged – oldest in genetic terms – found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.
The man’s mitochondrial DNA was sequenced to provide clues to early modern human prehistory and evolution. Mitochondrial DNA provided the first evidence that we all come from Africa, and helps us map a figurative genetic tree, all branches deriving from a common “Mitochondrial Eve.”
Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants — long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation’s most influential pediatricians’ group recommends.
In an updated policy, the American Academy of Pediatrics says condoms also should be used every time teens have sex, to provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases that other forms of birth control don’t provide, and to boost chances of preventing pregnancy.
Greenland More Vulnerable to Climate Change than Thought
A new model developed by researchers at the Univ. of Cambridge has shown that despite its apparent stability, the massive ice sheet covering most of Greenland is more sensitive to climate change than earlier estimates have suggested, which would accelerate the rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities worldwide.
In addition to assessing the impact of the increasing levels of melt water created and spilled into the ocean each year as the climate continues to warm, the new model also takes into account the role that the soft, spongy ground beneath the ice sheet plays in its changing dynamics.
Using ecstasy significantly affects a person’s ability to detect faces, shapes and patterns, research has found.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, discovered ecstasy users were poorer than matched controls at detecting patterns through global form processing, a mechanism that helps the brain to detect visual information.
Years before they show any other signs of disease, pancreatic cancer patients have very high levels of certain amino acids in their bloodstream, according to a new study from MIT, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute.
This find, which suggests that muscle tissue is broken down in the disease’s earliest stages, could offer new insights into developing early diagnostics for pancreatic cancer, which kills about 40,000 Americans every year and is usually not caught until it is too late to treat.
Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made global warming on more than half of them.
Researchers found that climate change increased the odds of nine extremes: heat waves in Australia, Europe, China, Japan and Korea, intense rain in parts of the U.S. and India and severe droughts in California and New Zealand. The California drought, though, comes with an asterisk.
Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Now, using materials from alfalfa and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, Uppsala researchers have come up with an interesting alternative. Their study will be presented soon in the scientific journal ChemSusChem.
“We think our discovery can open several doors to more environment-friendly, energy-efficient solutions for the batteries of the future,” says Daniel Brandell, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Uppsala Univ., one of the researchers behind the idea.
Tooth in Bone Shows Predators Tangled Across Land, Sea
About 210 million years ago, when the supercontinent of Pangea was starting to break up and dog-sized dinosaurs were hiding from nearly everything, entirely different kinds of reptiles called phytosaurs and rauisuchids were at the top of the food chain.
It was widely believed the two top predators didn’t interact much as the former was king of the water, and the latter ruled the land. But those ideas are changing, thanks largely to the contents of a single bone.
Today in Lab History: September 29, 1901- Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi, born Sept. 29, 1901, was an Italian-American physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1938 as one of the chief architects of the nuclear age. He was the last of the double-threat physicists: a genius at creating both esoteric theories and elegant experiments.
Scientists have found amphibians worldwide are breeding earlier because of climate change, but how that affects species is just now being answered.
After warmer winters, wood frogs breed earlier and produce fewer eggs, a Case Western Reserve Univ. researcher has found. Michael Benard, the George B. Mayer Chair in Urban and Environmental Studies and assistant professor of biology, also found that frogs produce more eggs during winters with more rain and snow.
The profusion of tiny bubbles escaping from the electrodes as soon as the solar cells are exposed to light say it better than words ever could: the combination of sun and water paves a promising and effervescent way for developing the energy of the future.
The journal Science published the latest development in Michael Grätzel’s laboratory at EPFL: producing hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. By combining a pair of solar cells made with a mineral called perovskite and low cost electrodes, scientists have obtained a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency from solar energy to hydrogen, a record using earth-abundant materials as opposed to rare metals.
At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, MIT researchers unveiled an oval-shaped submersible robot, a little smaller than a football, with a flattened panel on one side that it can slide along an underwater surface to perform ultrasound scans.
Originally designed to look for cracks in nuclear reactors’ water tanks, the robot could also inspect ships for the false hulls and propeller shafts that smugglers frequently use to hide contraband. Because of its small size and unique propulsion mechanism — which leaves no visible wake — the robots could, in theory, be concealed in clumps of algae or other camouflage. Fleets of them could swarm over ships at port without alerting smugglers and giving them the chance to jettison their cargo.