For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck without any symptoms may be linked to problems in learning, memory, thinking and decision-making, compared to people with similar risk factors but no narrowing in the neck artery, according to a study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, April 26 to May 3, 2014.
“To date, the focus of diagnosis and management of carotid artery blockages has been prevention of stroke since that was the only harm that these blockages were thought to cause to patients,” says Brajesh Lal, with the VA Maryland Health Care System’s Baltimore VA Medical Center and the Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. “These results underscore the importance of assessing the status of memory and thinking in people with carotid artery narrowing.”
Scientists are facing a number of barriers as they try to develop circuits that are microscopic in size, including how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit that is the width of a single molecule.
Alexander Shestopalov, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Univ. of Rochester, has done just that, thereby taking us one step closer to nanoscale circuitry.
There was a time when no one thought about light bulbs — one blew, you screwed another one in. Nowadays, it’s more complicated, as energy efficiency concerns have given rise to a slew of options, including incandescent, compact fluorescent lights, and light emitting diodes.
LEDs are the most expensive option, but they are also the most energy efficient, are getting more cost-efficient, and they are growing in popularity. With this increasing acceptance, concerns have arisen about long- or short-term direct skin exposure—especially since a 2012 SBU study found that contact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs can harm skin cells due to UV-light emittance.
Americans generate nearly 300 million scrap tires every year, according to the EPA. Historically, these worn tires often end up in landfills or, when illegally dumped, become breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. They also pose a potential fire hazard.
In recent years, however, interest has been growing in finding new, beneficial and environmentally friendly uses for discarded tires.
The tech giant is asking nonprofit groups to propose ideas for how to use the Web-connected eyewear Google Glass in their work. Five charities that propose the best ideas by May 20 will get a free pair of the glasses, a trip to Google for training and a $25,000 grant to help make their project a reality.
The Food and Drug Administration unveiled a proposal Tuesday, April 22, designed to speed up development and approval of medical devices that treat life-threatening diseases and debilitating conditions.
Under the Expedited Access Program, companies developing devices for critical and unmet medical needs would get earlier access to FDA staff to discuss their products. The agency says the earlier contact with regulators should result in “earlier access to safe and effective medical devices.”
Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells thrive when deprived of oxygen. Tumors in low-oxygen environments tend to be more resistant to therapy and spread more aggressively to other parts of the body.
Measuring tumors’ oxygen levels could help doctors make decisions about treatments, but there’s currently no reliable, noninvasive way to make such measurements. However, a new sensor developed at MIT could change that: a research team led by professor Michael Cima has invented an injectable device that reveals oxygen levels over several weeks and can be read with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Using this kind of sensor, doctors may be able to better determine radiation doses and to monitor whether treatments are having the desired effect, according to the researchers, who describe the device in PNAS this week.
Whether it’s recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products, guilt can be a strong motivator — not just on Earth Day.
Now, research from Concordia Univ.’s John Molson School of Business published in the Journal of Business Ethics, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behavior can increase the likelihood of following through — especially when there’s an audience.
The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing.
Research at Michigan State Univ., published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, shows that a small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from clumping, or aggregating, the first step of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. The results are pushing the promising molecule toward clinical trials and actually becoming a new drug, says Lisa Lapidus, MSU associate professor of physics and astronomy and co-author of the paper.
Image of the Week: There is No Biodiversity Crisis
A Univ. of St Andrews study has found that — despite fears of a biodiversity crisis — there has, in fact, not been a consistent drop in numbers of species found locally around the world.
Instead, in a study of 100 communities and a total of 35,000 species that span from trees to starfish, scientists found a consistent change in which species are found in any one place. The researchers, who were surprised by the findings, say that the study should not detract from the threat many of the world’s species are under, but that policy-makers should focus on changes in biodiversity composition as well as loss.
Team Improves Understanding of Valley-wide Stream Chemistry
A geostatistical approach for studying environmental conditions in stream networks and landscapes has been successfully applied at a valley-wide scale to assess headwater stream chemistry at high resolution, revealing unexpected patterns in natural chemical components.
“Headwater streams make up the majority of stream and river length in watersheds, affecting regional water quality,” says Assistant Prof. Kevin McGuire, associate director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. “However, the actual patterns and causes of variation of water quality in headwater streams are often unknown.”
A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.
The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth’s history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.
Nonsteroidal antinflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) that block an enzyme called COX-2 relieve pain and inflammation but can cause heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and even sudden cardiac death. This has prompted a decade-plus search for safer, but still effective, alternatives to these commonly prescribed, pain-relieving drugs.
Building on previous work that showed that deleting an enzyme in the COX-2 pathway in a mouse model of heart disease slowed the development of atherosclerosis, a team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the Univ. of Pennsylvania has now extended this observation by clarifying that the consequence of deleting the enzyme mPEGS-1 differs, depending on the cell type in which it is taken away.
Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings by a scientist in Georgia State Univ.’s new Institute for Biomedical Sciences.
In a recent issue of Nutrients and an upcoming publication of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Sang-Moo Kang reports the beneficial effects of ginseng, a well-known herbal medicine, on human health.
Ever stop to consider why lotus plant leaves always look clean? The hydrophobic – water repelling – characteristic of the leaf, termed the “Lotus effect,” helps the plant survive in muddy swamps, repelling dirt and producing beautiful flowers.
Of late, engineers have been paying more and more attention to nature’s efficiencies, such as the Lotus effect, and studying its behavior in order to make advances in technology. As one example, learning more about swarming schools of fish is aiding in the development of unmanned underwater vehicles. Other researchers are observing the extraordinary navigational abilities of bats that might lead to new ways to reconfigure aviation highways in the skies.