Archive | Other

Report: Arctic Warming Ongoing

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — The arctic continues to heat up, affecting local populations and ecosystems as well as weather patterns in most of the Northern Hemisphere, U.S. scientists say.

The findings were released Thursday in the Arctic Report Card, a yearly assessment of arctic conditions, ScienceDaily.com reported.

Among the findings, researchers say Greenland is experiencing record-setting high temperatures, ice melt and glacier area loss, and that summer sea ice continues to decline with the 2009-2010 extent the third lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979.

“To quote one of my NOAA colleagues, ‘whatever is going to happen in the rest of the world happens first, and to the greatest extent, in the arctic,’” Jane Lubchenco, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration administrator, said.

“The arctic is an important driver of climate and weather around the world and serves as a critical feeding and breeding ground that supports globally significant populations of birds, mammals and fish,” she said.

NOAA’s Climate Program Office introduced the annual Arctic Report Card in 2006 to establish a baseline of conditions at the beginning of the 21st century to monitor the quickly changing conditions in the arctic.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Two Telescopes Find Massive X-Ray Emitter

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Oct. 22 (UPI) — Japanese and U.S. scientists say two space telescopes helped them detect an X-ray-emitting object previously hidden inside our Milky Way galaxy.

The object — a binary system — was revealed Wednesday when MAXI, an instrument on the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station caught it in the act of erupting with a massive blast of X-rays, ScienceDaily.com reported Friday.

Astronomers around the world were quickly alerted and NASA’s Swift Observatory followed up with an urgent “target-of-opportunity” observation 9 hours later, which allowed for the location of the X-ray nova to be measured accurately.

“The collaboration between the MAXI and Swift teams allowed us to quickly and accurately identify this new object,” Jamie Kennea, Swift X-ray Telescope scientist at Penn State University, said.

“MAXI and Swift’s abilities are uniquely complementary, and in this case have provided a discovery that would not have been possible without combining the knowledge obtained from both.”

The previously unknown bright X-ray source has been named MAXI J1409-619.

“The Swift observation suggests that this source is probably a neutron star or a black hole with a massive companion star located at a distance of a few tens of thousands of light years from Earth in the Milky Way,” David Burrows, Penn State lead scientist for Swift’s X-ray Telescope, said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Protein Seen As Cancer Link

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 22 (UPI) — A French-U.S. research team says a protein involved in hormone signaling is also made by blood vessel cells in cancer tumors and could be a good drug target.

Researchers say the protein showed up in 11 kinds of tumors examined but was notably absent in most healthy tissues, ScienceNews.org reported.

The discovery suggests that the protein, called a follicle stimulating hormone receptor, helps cancer gain a foothold by recruiting blood vessels to nourish the tumor.

Earlier studies had linked the protein to prostate cancer, and in the new study researchers found the receptor in every one of 773 prostate tumor samples they tested in blood vessel cells on the tumors.

The FSH receptor was absent in healthy prostate tissues from these patients, they said.

The researchers also found this pattern repeated when they looked at 10 other types of tumors obtained from 563 other patients.

“This is strong work with potential for significant clinical impact,” says Edgar Ben-Josef, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who was not part of the new study. “This receptor may be a valuable target for suppression.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Study: Don't Ban, Just Move Unhealthy Food

ITHACA, N.Y., Oct. 22 (UPI) — School cafeterias trying to get students to eat more healthy foods don’t need to change their offerings, researchers say — just move some of them.

A Cornell University study says the easiest way to improve children’s choices of good food is to make the healthier items more convenient, more visible and more “cool,” a university release said Friday.

In one set of schools, the study showed, sales of fruit increased by 100 percent when it was moved to a colorful bowl.

Salad bar sales tripled when the cart was placed in front of cash registers.

In other schools, creating a speedy “healthy express” checkout line for students not buying calorie-dense foods like desserts and chips doubled the sales of healthy sandwiches.

Ice cream kept in a freezer with a closed, opaque top significantly reduced the amount of ice cream taken.

And finally, moving chocolate milk behind plain milk increased sales of plain milk.

The conclusion of six different studies with more than 11,000 middle and high school shows that psychology and economics might be better in promoting healthy eating than outlawing tasty but unhealthy food.

“It’s not nutrition until someone eats it. You need to have foods that kids will eat, or they won’t eat — or they’ll eat worse,” Chris Wallace, food service director for the Corning, N.Y., School District, said.

The Cornell study was presented at a School Nutrition Association conference in New York.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Overweight Fathers Up Child Diabetes Risk

SYDNEY, Oct. 22 (UPI) — An overweight father who eats a high-fat diet may increase his child’s risk of diabetes, say researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Professor Margaret Morris of the University of New South Wales School of Medical Sciences says in a study involving rodents, a father who ate a high-fat diet initiates progression to metabolic disease — in the next generation.

“We’ve known for a while that overweight mums are more likely to have chubby babies, and that a woman’s weight before and during pregnancy can play a role in future disease in her children, partly due to the critical role the intrauterine environment plays in development,” Morris says in a statement.

“A family history of diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for the disease; however until now, the extent of any influence of non-genetic paternal factors has been unclear.”

The male rats were fed a high-fat diet to induce obesity and glucose intolerance and then mated with rats with normal weight. The female offspring showed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion as young adults, the study says.

The findings are reported in the journal Nature and are scheduled to be presented at the Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society meeting in Sydney.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Vehicle Air Bags Protect Kidneys Too

HOUSTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — Drivers and passengers who crash in motor vehicles equipped with air bags are much less likely to suffer kidney or renal damage, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Thomas G. Smith III, an assistant professor of urology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, compared crash victims in vehicles with no air bag group to crash patients in vehicles with air bags.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, found front-impact air bags were associated with a 45.3 percent reduction in kidney injuries and side-impact air bags were associated with a 52.8 percent reduction in renal injuries.

The researchers analyzed 2,864 records in the Crash Injury Research and Engineering database from 1996 to September 2008. The researchers identified 139 kidney injuries involved in crashes in motor vehicles with and without air bags

“The sharp reduction in the rate of kidney injury was surprising because air bags are primarily designed to protect the head and spine” Smith says in a statement.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

'Silvery' Moon Really Does Contain Silver

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 22 (UPI) — The phrase “by the light of the silvery moon” is more than just poetic, scientists say — the moon really does contain deposits of the precious metal.

The surprise discovery was made when NASA crashed a rocket into a lunar crater and analyzed the material thrown up by the impact to see if it contained water, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Water was found, scientists say, by they also discovered a treasure trove of elements including traces of silver.

In addition to the silver, the analysis found mercury, calcium, magnesium, carbon monoxide and dioxide, ammonia and sodium in the target crater of Cabeus in a permanently shaded area of the moon with temperatures as low as minus 396 degrees F.

“This place looks like it’s a treasure chest of elements, of compounds that have been released all over the moon, and they’ve been put in this bucket in the permanent shadows,” Peter Schultz from Brown University says.

The discovery of minute traces of silver “doesn’t mean we can go mining for it” since levels are far too low to make it worth opening a lunar silver mine, Schultz says.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Breast Scans Called Over-used

LONDON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — MRI scans can lead to unnecessary breast surgery because the technique is too sensitive and picks up harmless growths, an Irish expert says.

While magnetic resonance mammography is particular good at finding tumors that are hard to spot using standard X-ray mammography, one British surgeon says its routine use at an early stage could do more harm than good, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Malcolm Kell, a consultant surgeon at the Eccles Breast Screening Unit at University Hospital, Dublin, says MRM is invaluable for assessing advanced breast cancer and to assess responses to chemotherapy but said there was “no compelling evidence that this technique should be routinely used in newly diagnosed breast cancer.”

One trial of the use of MRMs in the detection of early stage breast cancer showed it failed to reduce the proportion of women requiring a second operation because initial surgery had not completely removed all potentially cancerous tissue.

Another surgeon said about one in four indications of breast cancer from MRMs was inaccurate, known as a “false positive.”

But Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute, said it was an essential tool for checking younger women who were at a high genetic risk of cancer.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

U.S. Food Inspections Said 'flawed'

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — Problems are rife within the quality control system of the U.S. food industry, which relies on private-sector auditors, industry experts say.

Food retail executives and other experts say the voluntary system used by the country’s $1 trillion food industry is plagued by conflicts of interest, inexperienced auditors and cursory inspections that produce inflated ratings, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The use of private inspectors has increased as companies try to protect themselves from lawsuits and recalls that can damage their brand names.

But the inspections don’t necessarily mean safer products for consumers, experts say.

“It’s a business strategy, not a public-health strategy,” said David Acheson, former assistant commissioner for food protection at the Food and Drug Administration.

Large chain stores and food producers, wanting assurances about the products they place on their shelves and the ingredients they use in making food, often require that their suppliers undergo regular inspections by independent auditors.

This all takes place outside any government involvement.

Industry experts say that while such inspections can be useful, a major problem is that auditors are typically paid by the companies they are inspecting, creating a conflict of interest for inspectors who might worry about losing business if they don’t give high ratings.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

Brains of New Moms Actually Grow

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 (UPI) — Many new mothers say their brains turn to mush, but U.S. researchers say the brains of new moms actually grow.

Neuroscientist Pilyoung Kim, now with the National Institute of Mental Health, and colleagues found the brains of new mothers grew in volume in areas linked to motivation and behavior.

In addition, mothers who gushed the most about their babies showed the greatest growth in these key parts of the mid-brain, the researchers say.

The brains of the women were measured high-resolution magnetic-resonance imaging on the brains of 19 women who gave birth at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.

A comparison of images taken two to four weeks and three to four months after the women gave birth showed that gray matter volume increased by a small but significant amount in various parts of the brain.

The mothers who rated their babies as special, beautiful, ideal, perfect and so on were significantly more likely to develop bigger mid-brains than the less awestruck mothers, Kim says.

The intense sensory-tactile stimulation of a baby may trigger the adult brain to grow in some areas, may allow mothers, to “orchestrate a new and increased repertoire of complex interactive behaviors with infants,” Kim says.

Brain volume doesn’t change over a few months without significant learning, brain injury, illness, or major environmental change.

The study is published in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement