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As more money has been spent on biomedical research in the United States over the past 50 years, there has been diminished return on investment in terms of life expectancy gains and new drug approvals, two Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say.

In a report published Aug. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers found that while the number of scientists has increased more than nine-fold since 1965 and the National Institutes of Health's budget has increased four-fold, the number of new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration has only increased a little more than two-fold. Meanwhile, life expectancy gains have remained constant at roughly two months per year.

Scientists working have developed a brain-computer control interface for a lower limb exoskeleton by decoding specific signals from within the user's brain using an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap.

The system allows users to move forwards, turn left and right, sit and stand simply by staring at one of five flickering light emitting diodes (LEDs), according to the paper in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

Each of the five LEDs flickers at a different frequency, and when the user focusses their attention on a specific LED this frequency is reflected within the EEG readout. This signal is identified and used to control the exoskeleton.

Same-sex couples encounter more obstacles to fertility treatment than traditional couples,  said Ann V. Bell, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Delaware, who noted that the U.S. medical system is standardized to work with heterosexual couples.

When government scientists determined that there would be negligible environmental impact due to the Keystone XL pipeline, another 400 miles of new, safer pipeline in an area where 20,000 miles of older pipeline already existed were not going to ruin the ecology, President Barack Obama ordered them to study it again.

If an unidentified flying object suddenly appeared in the sky, it's likely your heart would beat faster.

Now, researchers have found that the same is true for bears.

The UFOs in this case are actually unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which have become increasingly valuable to wildlife researchers, allowing them to observe animals, including endangered species, in their natural settings from long distances and over difficult terrain. It had appeared as though the animals were taking these encounters in stride. For instance, American black bears rarely seem to startle or run away when a UAV comes near. But the new study reveals that despite the bears' calm demeanor when in the presence of UAVs, their heart rates soar, a sign of acute stress.

The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006 has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a new study in Tobacco Control which suggests that the primary effect of varenicline (marketed as Chantix) has only been to displace the use of older tobacco addiction therapies, such as nicotine patches and the antidepressant, bupropion (Zyban).