During the evaluation of competitive athletes, a history or a documentation of cardiac arrhythmias has become particularly important because arrhythmias may be the initial expression of an underlying cardiac disease or of primary electrical disorders, sometimes early manifestations of potentially life-threatening events. Cardiac arrhythmias are among the most important causes of non-eligibility to sports activities, and some arrhythmogenic diseases are three times more frequent among athletes than among sedentary subjects of the same age.

Arrhythmias, in young competitive athletes and also the elite are usually "benign" or "paraphysiological" (duo to prolonged training).

Mechanical 'artificial hearts' can be used to return severely failing hearts to their normal function, potentially removing the need for heart transplantation, according to new research.

The mechanical devices, known as Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), are currently used in patients with very severe heart failure whilst they await transplantation. The new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that using an LVAD combined with certain drug therapies can shrink the enlarged heart and enable it to function normally once the LVAD is removed.

For the study, researchers from Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust gave the full combination therapy to 15 severely ill patients. Of these 15, 11 recovered.

Astronomers using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii have looked 60 million years further back in time than any other astronomers, to find the most distant known galaxy in the universe. In doing so, they are upholding Subaru's record for finding the most distant and earliest galaxies known. Their most recent discovery is of a galaxy called I0K-1 that lies so far away that astronomers are seeing it as it appeared 12.88 billion years ago.

A breast cancer treatment based on MIT research originally intended for detecting missiles is documented in a new book by Alan J. Fenn, an MIT researcher and inventor of the technique.


Image at left shows process of detecting and destroying an enemy missile using MIT targeted radar. Microwave energy is fixed on a missile while simultaneously nullifying enemy jammers. On right, microwave energy is aimed at a cancerous tumor with a deep focused beam while simultaneously nullifying any energy that would overheat surrounding healthy tissue. (Image courtesy of Lincoln Laboratory_

Russia's Federal Space Agency said Wednesday it hopes the Sea Launch project will be resumed despite the explosion of a Zenit-3SL rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite.


"A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL vehicle, carrying the NSS-8 satellite, experienced an anomaly today during launch operations. Sea Launch will establish a Failure Review Oversight Board to determine the root cause of this anomaly," said a statement issued by Sea Launch.

Probes designed to find life on Mars do not drill deep enough to find the living cells that scientists believe may exist well below the surface of Mars, according to research led by UCL (University College London). Although current drills may find essential tell-tale signs that life once existed on Mars, cellular life could not survive the radiation levels for long enough any closer to the surface of Mars than a few metres deep -- beyond the reach of even state-of-the-art drills.


Elysium's frozen sea may be one of the best places to look for life on Mars. (Credits: ESA/DLR/Berlin/Neukum)

When it comes to the inequality in people's health across the globe, says Professor Danny Dorling (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom) "you can say it, you can prove it, you can tabulate it, but it is only when you show it that it hits home."


Public Health Spending: Worldmapper Poster 213. Source of data used to create map: United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2004. (Credit: Worldmapper)