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Free drug samples provided to physicians by pharmaceutical companies could actually be costing uninsured patients more in the long run, according to a study done by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.

The retrospective study looked at the prescribing habits of more than 70 physicians in a university-affiliated internal medicine practice in the months immediately before and after the closing of their drug sample closet. The results indicate that the availability of free samples from pharmaceutical companies greatly impacts whether an uninsured patient is given a prescription for a generic or a brand-name drug. The complete findings can be found in the September issue of Southern Medical Journal.

You may have seen projections by some scientists of global seas rising by 20 feet or more by the end of this century as a result of warming, and you may have seen others projecting less than two feet in a worst case scenario. There are a lot of projections but a new University of Colorado at Boulder study concludes that global sea rise of more than 6 feet is not only a top end of the projection, it is a near physical impossibility.

Women with hormone-receptor positive, metastatic breast cancer may take medications for years to help keep their cancer at bay, but when the tumor becomes resistant to anti-hormonal drugs, treatment with chemotherapy becomes the only option. But a study presented today at the 2008 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposiummay change this approach. Early data suggests a new treatment approach can "re-sensitize" the tumor, allowing anti-hormonal drugs to do their job once again.

The strategy being investigated involves breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen—these are called estrogen-receptor or progesterone-receptor positive cancers (ER or PR positive).

A new Institute of Physics report published Friday, 5 September, 2008, provides the most comprehensive evidence available to confirm that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)’s switch-on, due Wednesday September 10th, poses no threat to anyone.

Nature’s own cosmic rays, they note, regularly produce more powerful particle collisions than those planned within the LHC, which will enable nature’s laws to be studied in controlled experiments.

The LHC Safety Assessment Group have reviewed and updated a study first completed in 2003, which dispels fears of universe-gobbling black holes and of other possibly dangerous new forms of matter, and confirms that the switch-on will be completely safe.

What is a gene?

You'll be forgiven if you have a few definitions. Even scientists define ‘a gene’ in different ways, so it may come as little surprise that the media also have various ways of 'framing' the concept of a gene.

But how journalists 'frame' what you might think are common terms has a very real impact on what readers think, and since more and more readers are becoming accustomed to making voting decisions based on science policy ones, how terms are used, and their context, has become ever more important.

Ferocious debates on genetically modified crops or stem cell research illustrate the importance that genetics and molecular biology have gained in everyday life so it's important that people understand the terms being used; and how they are sometimes misused.

A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks. The study is published in the September 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Led by Stuart Brody of the University of the West of Scotland in collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, the study involved 16 female Belgian university students. Subjects completed a questionnaire on their sexual behavior and were then videotaped from a distance while walking in a public place. The videotapes were rated by two professors of sexology and two research assistants trained in the functional-sexological approach to sexology, who were not aware of the women's orgasmic history.