September 14, 2010

The Heat Was On

1 Summer of 2010 is Fourth Hottest on Record in US

The summer of 2010 is the fourth hottest on record in the US, says the NOAA State of the Climate report. Record warm temperatures were recorded in several states including RI, NJ, DE, MD, VA, NC and TN. Several cities, including NY and Philadelphia, broke temperature records as well. Several states broke precipitation records, with Wisconsin experiencing its wettest summer to date, although below-average precipitation was recorded in parts of the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic states. Considering the record high temperatures, it’s not surprising that energy demand for much of the country was the highest for the 116 year record. In better news, wildfire activity, particularly for the month of August, when there is often activity, was the lowest it’s been in 11 years.

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Heat Wave, Summer 2010, NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate, Hottest Summer on Record

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Anxiety, Sleep Meds Implicated

2 Higher Mortality Risks Associated with Some Meds

Medications used to treat anxiety and insomnia are associated with a 36 percent increase in mortality risks finds a new study. Researchers compiled 12 years’ worth of data to conclude that respondents who used insomnia or anxiety medications had a mortality rate of 15.7 percent compared with a mortality rate of 10.5 percent for non-users. Researchers controlled for certain factors that might affect mortality rates including alcohol and tobacco use. "These medications aren't candy, and taking them is far from harmless," says study leader Dr.Geneviève Belleville. "Given that cognitive behavioral therapies have shown good results in treating insomnia and anxiety, doctors should systematically discuss such therapies with their patients as an option.”

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Tags: Anxiety, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Insomnia, Mortality Rates, Dr.Genevieve Belleville

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Corn Sugar Sounds Sweeter

3 High Fructose Corn Syrup May Have Name Change

The people who produce high fructose corn syrup have asked the FDA to approve a name change to corn sugar on labels, reports CBS News. The Corn Refiners Association is hoping to heal the battered image of high fructose corn syrup. Use of the ingredient is at a 20-year low. The Corn Refiners Association believes the name change will help alleviate confusion. They think that there's little scientific evidence supporting the claim that high fructose corn syrup may cause obesity. The high fructose corn syrup makers argue that it's not much different from sugar. While approval for the name change may take two years, the industry is already using the new name in advertising.

More at CBS News | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Corn Syrup More Fattening Than Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup Name Change, HFCS, Corn Sugar, Change Name of High Fructose Corn Syrup

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

Ingrid Lives On

4 Doctor Brands Woman's Uterus

Ingrid Paulicivic is taking legal action against her California gynecologist, Dr. Red Alinsod, who used an electrocautery device to write "Ingrid" on her uterus in 2006, reports CNN. It's not clear whether the woman's uterus was branded before or after it was removed during an operation. Either way, the doctor didn't have the patient's permission to inscribe her name in inch-high letters on the body part. Also at question is whether the branding caused burns on the patient's leg. Dr. Red Alinsod, who didn't want the uterus to be confused with others, admits that it's not typical to label a patient's organ with a name, but he says that he thought the woman wouldn't mind since she was a "good friend." Paulicivic's attorney says the patient didn't know her doctor before the office visits.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Test to Determine C-Section Necessary

Tags: Ingrid Paulicivic, Electrocautery Device, Dr. Red Alinsod, Uterus Was Branded, Odd Surgery Stories, Doctor Writes on Uterus

Read the Comments (4) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (53%) / No! (47%)

Early Pre-Elampsia Diagnosis

5 Blood Test for Pre-Eclampsia Developed

Researchers found 45 different compounds that could be measured in plasma to determine if a pregnant woman was at risk for developing pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening condition for both women and their babies characterized by hypertension and proteinuria. From the forty five, 14 amino acids, fats and sugars were selected for testing. Researchers tested 60 women who developed pre-eclampsia later and 60 who did not, all of whom were 15 weeks pregnant. The test caught about 90 percent of those who developed pre-eclampsia and yielded false positive rate of 24 percent. Eleni Tsigas of the Pre-eclampsia Foundation, said "A high caliber predictive test would allow women who are identified at high-risk for pre-eclampsia to seek obstetric care by specialists and to be monitored more vigilantly."

More at Yahoo! Reuters | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Gastric Bypass Lowers Risk of Pregnancy Diabetes

Tags: Pre-Eclempsia, Test for Pre-Eclempsia, Problems During Pregnancy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Can Work with HCMV Outside Body

6 Researchers Clone Human Cytomegalovirus

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a virus that causes congenital malformations and life-threatening disease to transplant recipients and those with HIV, has been cloned by researchers at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. HCMV did not replicate in a stable manner outside of the body, which made it difficult to clone the whole virus in a lab so it could be studied. Lead Research Dr Richard Stanton said "Cloning a copy of the virus from a strain... has enabled us to identify the genes causing the instability of the virus outside the body.” Once the genes were identified, researchers were able to develop cells in the lab that most closely represent the cells in the human body in which the virus grows. This will allow researchers to develop antivirals and vaccines against HCMV.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Two Antibodies Neutralize Most HIV Strains

Tags: Human Cytomegalovirus, HCMV, Studying HCVM in Laboratory, Growing Viruses in a Lab, Replication of Virus, Virus Genetics

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Not the Standard of Care Yet

7 Statins May Help Fight Infections

A study in Denmark that involved 70,000 patients with pneumonia, 7,000 of them in statins, showed that those on the cholesterol-lowering drugs had 31 percent lower mortality rate compared to those not taking them. A major factor that was not accounted for was that people on statins are usually young and fitter and better off than others. Another study done at the University of Wisconsin showed a lower mortality rate in organ transplant recipients on statins who developed infections. The results of these studies do not indicate that statins should be used to treat and prevent infections, but does warrant further study. Randomized studies of patients with infections who are given a statin or placebo will need to be conducted to confirm or repudiate these findings.

More at Yahoo! AFP | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Statins with Your Fast Food, Suggest Scientists

Tags: Statins, Infections, Infectious Diseases, Statins and Mortality Rate Due to Infections, Pneumonia, Infections After Organ Transplant

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Improved Viability and Motility

8 New Freezing Method Allows Sperm to Survive Longer

Researchers in England have developed a method of freezing sperm that results in greater viability and less damage. The traditional process slowly freezes it and then stores it in liquid nitrogen. The new procedure, called vitrification, removes sperm plasma and suspends it in a sucrose solution and fast-freezes it in liquid nitrogen. Although sperm can be stored by in the traditional method for many years, only 25 to 30 percent survive and with vitrification it was found that 80 percent of sperm was still viable after it was thawed. HIV is believed to reside in sperm plasma, so its extraction may prevent transmission to the woman and child if the man who donates his sperm is HIV-positive. At this point, this method has not been shown to improve pregnancy rates or makes sperm disease-free.

More at Yahoo! Health Day | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Smoking May Damage Sperm in Men and Male Embryos

Tags: Sperm, Method of Freezing Sperm, Vitrification, Donating Sperm, Sperm Plasma, HIV, Liquid Nitrogen, Sucrose, Frozen Sperm

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

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