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Disinfectants are routinely used on hard surfaces in hospitals to kill bacteria, with antimicrobial containing wipes increasingly being employed for this purpose.

A study by the University's Welsh School of Pharmacy looked into the ability of antimicrobial-surface wipes to remove, kill and prevent the spread of such infections as MRSA. They found that current protocols utilized by hospital staff have the potential to spread pathogens, particularly due to the ineffectiveness of wipes to actually kill bacteria.

The team, led by microbiologist Dr Jean-Yves Maillard is now calling for a 'one wipe – one application – per surface' approach to infection control in healthcare environments.

Mind readers have long been the domain of folklore and science fiction. But some new findings demonstrate the power of computational modeling to improve our understanding of how the brain processes information and thoughts and it brings scientists closer to knowing how specific thoughts activate our brains.

In their most recent work a computer scientist, Tom Mitchell, and a cognitive neuroscientist, Marcel Just, both of Carnegie Mellon University, used fMRI data to develop a sophisticated computational model that can predict the brain activation patterns associated with concrete nouns, or things that we experience through our senses, even if the computer did not already have the fMRI data for that specific noun.

The researchers first built a model that took the fMRI activation patterns for 60 concrete nouns broken down into 12 categories including animals, body parts, buildings, clothing, insects, vehicles and vegetables. The model also analyzed a text corpus, or a set of texts that contained more than a trillion words, noting how each noun was used in relation to a set of 25 verbs associated with sensory or motor functions. Combining the brain scan information with the analysis of the text corpus, the computer then predicted the brain activity pattern of thousands of other concrete nouns.

In cases where the actual activation patterns were known, the researchers found that the accuracy of the computer model's predictions was significantly better than chance. The computer can effectively predict what each participant's brain activation patterns would look like when each thought about these words, even without having seen the patterns associated with those words in advance.


It used to be you went to see a doctor, he gave expert advice and you did what you were told.

In today's world, patients have the opportunity to become more knowledgeable, sometimes increasing problems (diagnosing themselves) and sometimes causing impatience with hurried doctors who don't want to argue but most often a better understanding of the issues is good for everyone.

Due to that, there is growing interest in shared decision-making (SDM) in which the clinician and patient go through all phases of the decision-making process together, share treatment preferences, and reach an agreement on treatment choice.

Brown dwarfs, "failed stars", are a class of objects that represent the missing link between the lowest-mass stars and the gas-giant planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. Brown dwarfs are the faintest and coolest objects that can be directly observed outside the solar system, emitting as little as 1/300,000th of the energy of the sun and having surface temperatures around 800° F - that's the temperature of a pizza oven and more than 9,000° F cooler than the surface of the sun.

Astronomers have used ultrasharp images obtained with the Keck Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope to determine for the first time the masses of the coldest class brown dwarfs. With masses as light as 3 percent the mass of the sun, these are the lowest mass free-floating objects ever weighed outside the solar system. The observations are a major step in testing the theoretical predictions of objects that cannot generate their own internal energy, both brown dwarfs and gas-giant planets. The new findings, which are being presented in a press conference today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in St. Louis, show that the predictions may have some problems.


Microscopic robots crafted to maneuver separately without any obvious guidance are now assembling into self-organized structures after years of continuing research led by a Duke University computer scientist.

Each microrobot is shaped something like a spatula but with dimensions measuring just microns, or millionths of a meter. They are almost 100 times smaller than any previous robotic designs of their kind and weigh even less, Donald added.

Formally known as microelectromechanical system (MEMS) microrobots, the devices are of suitable scale for Lilliputian tasks such as moving around the interiors of laboratories-on-a-chip.




Investigators of the University of Naples have explored the inability to express emotions (alexithymia) in panic disorder in a paper published in the third 2008 issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

In patients with panic disorder (PD), the difficulty to identify and manage emotional experience might contribute to the enduring vulnerability to panic attacks. Such a difficulty might reflect a dysfunction of fronto-temporo-limbic circuits.

The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that drug-free patients with PD, as compared with healthy subjects (HS), show a higher prevalence of alexithymia, greater difficulty in emotional stimuli processing and poorer performance on neuropsychological tests exploring the activity of fronto-temporo-limbic circuits.