November 3, 2010

Get the Lead Out

1 Is There Lead in Your Vegetable Garden Soil?

High amounts of lead are common in urban gardens. Raising beds mitigates this, or does it? Eighty-one percent of urban gardens studied by Wellesley College researchers had lead levels above the US EPA limits of 400 micrograms of lead per gram of soil. When the beds were raised, soil that started with 110 micrograms of lead per gram of soil had more than 336 micrograms of lead per gram within four years. Urban lead contamination comes from two main sources - lead paint and leaded gasoline and, while both are banned, lead remains in the soil and is transported by wind and rain. Researchers say urban gardeners should scoop out the top two inches of soil every year from their raised bed and dispose of it properly to lower the incidence of lead in their home-grown produce.

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

Previously: Congress Outlaws Use of Term Mental Retardation

Tags: Lead Poisoning, Lead in Garden Soil, Wellesley College

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Malaria, Flu, Meningitis, O My

2 Many Travelers Ignorant of Health Risks Abroad

More than 30 million US travelers visit resource-limited areas abroad and almost half of them are ignorant of health risks from infectious disease, did not receive vaccinations or seek health advice prior to their trips, finds a study conducted by Mass. Gen. Hospital. The Centers for Disease Control, Boston Public Health Commission and officials from the Mass. Port Authority collaborated on the study in the hopes of developing tools to educate Americans about the public health risks of global travel. "International travel is the primary way many infections traverse the world," says senior author Edward Ryan, MD. "... without seeking the correct health information, [travelers] are putting themselves at increased risk of infection, as well as creating a public health risk ...”

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Antibiotic-Resistant Infections on the Rise

Tags: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Public Health Commission, Edward Ryan, Massachusetts Port Authority

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

Shining the Light on Cancer

3 Jellyfish Cells Can Detect Cancer

Researchers from the Yorkshire Cancer Research Lab have developed a way to remove fluorescent proteins from a jellyfish and place them into human cancer cells. The proteins can then be found with a special camera. Professor Maitland, leader of the research team, believes this technique will improve the way some cancers are diagnosed, saying, “Cancers deep within the body are difficult to spot at an early stage, and early diagnosis is critical for the successful treatment of any form of cancer. X-rays, for example, struggle to penetrate well deeply into tissues and bone, so diagnosing dangerous microscopic bone cancer is difficult. Our process should allow earlier diagnosis to take place.” If everything goes as planned, the procedure will be ready for clinical trials within five years.

More at Sky News | Posted 7 years ago by Marty Shaw

Previously: Whole Body MRI Best at Detecting Spread of Cancer

Tags: Cancer Detection, Jellyfish, Fluorescent Proteins, Yorkshire Cancer Research Lab

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (58%) / No! (42%)

Weird Tumor Caused Seizures

4 Woman in Induced Coma As Doctors Searched for Cure

Donna Landrigan had severe headaches and psychotic symptoms, but doctors had so much trouble finding the source they put her in an induced coma for five months while they worked toward a cure. CNN reports on Landrigan's unusual journey, which ended with a very rare diagnosis of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis caused by an ovarian teratoma tumor. Teratoma tumors are composed of hair cells, teeth and nerve tissue. Landrigan's teratoma tumor was causing nonconvulsive status epilepticus, which is recurring seizures in the brain unaccompanied by physical symptoms. A year after waking up from her induced coma, Landrigan still can't walk, but she appears to be on her way to a more complete recovery.

More at CNN | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Artifical Ovary

Tags: Induced Coma, Donna Landrigan, Anti NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, Teratoma Tumor, Nonconvulsive Status Epilepticus, Causes of Headaches, Rare Diseases

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

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