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Research carried out by scientists from Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, has reinforced the urgent need to protect Europe’s remaining peat bogs.

Dubbed the ‘rainforests of Europe’ as they are so diverse in wildlife, peat bogs contain more than 20 per cent of the world’s carbon. However, western Europe has lost most of its natural peat bogs, largely due to peat extraction for horticulture.

Doctors are adjusting their bedside manner as better informed patients make ever-increasing demands and expect to be listened to, and fully involved, in clinical decisions that directly affect their care.

You know, how doctors always said patients should be.

In a study just published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Dr. J. Bohannon Mason of the Orthocarolina Hip and Knee Center in Charlotte, NC, USA, says changes in society, the population and technology are influencing the way patients view their orthopaedic surgeons. As patients gain knowledge, their attitude to medicine changes: They no longer show their doctors absolute and unquestionable respect.

A 40,000-year-old tooth has provided scientists with the first direct evidence that Neanderthals moved from place to place during their lifetimes.

In a collaborative project involving researchers from the Germany, the United Kingdom, and Greece, Professor Michael Richards of the Max Planck institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and Durham University, UK, and his team used laser technology to collect microscopic particles of enamel from the tooth.

Contrary to our previous beliefs, identical twins are not genetically identical. This surprising finding is presented by American, Swedish, and Dutch scientists in a study being published today in the prestigious journal American Journal of Human Genetics. The finding may be of great significance for research on hereditary diseases and for the development of new diagnostic methods.

How can it be that one identical twin might develop Parkinson’s disease, for instance, but not the other" Until now, the reasons have been sought in environmental factors. The current study complicates the picture.

For more than a decade, Peter Zandstra has been working at the University of Toronto to rev up the production of stem cells and their descendants. The raw materials are adult blood stem cells and embryonic stem cells. The end products are blood and heart cells – lots of them. Enough mouse heart cells that they form beating tissue.

Less smoking or less time eating in restaurants because of a ban on smoking? Either way, the number of acute coronary events such as heart attack in adults dropped significantly after a smoking ban in public places in Italy, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers in Rome compared acute coronary events in the city for five years preceding a public smoking ban with those occurring one year after the ban. They found an 11.2 percent reduction of acute coronary events in persons 35 to 64 years and a 7.9 percent reduction in those ages 65 to 74.

“Smoking bans in all public and workplaces result in an important reduction of acute coronary events,” said Francesco Forastiere, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study and head of the Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology, Rome E. Health Authority, Italy. “The smoking ban in Italy is working and having a real protective effect on population health.”