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Surgery without stitches

A thin polymer bio-film that seals surgical wounds could make sutures a relic of medical history.

Measuring just 50 microns thick, the film is placed on a surgical wound and exposed to an infrared laser, which heats the film just enough to meld it and the tissue, thus perfectly sealing the wound.

Newspaper

New Science Study Shows Institutionalized Children Fare Best in Foster Care

Newly published research in the journal Science confirms that institutionalized orphans placed into foster care have much better intellectual development than those who remain behind. The authors say the results have implications for countries "grappling with how best to care for abandoned, orphaned and maltreated young children."

Smiley

Revealed: The seven great "medical myths"



©REUTERS/Yonathan Weitzman
A lone traveller reads a newspaper in Ben-Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv March 21, 2007. Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes and is a well-worn theory among seven "medical myths" exposed in a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally carries light-hearted features in its Christmas edition.

Reading in dim light won't damage your eyes, you don't need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs won't make the hair grow back faster.

Attention

Beef from Safeway may have had salmonella: USDA

The Agriculture Department said fresh ground beef products contaminated with multi-drug resistant Salmonella may have been ground and later sold at Safeway Inc stores in five states.

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the products were sold at supermarket chain Safeway Inc in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico between September 19 and November 5, 2007.

Bulb

Scientists Identify Brain Abnormalities Underlying Key Element of Borderline Personality Disorder

Innovative Brain Imaging Brings Into View Centers Linking Poor Impulse Control with Negative Emotion, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Team Reports

Accompanying AJP Commentary Commends Study's Unique Systematic Approach.


Using new approaches, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City has gained a view of activity in key brain areas associated with a core difficulty in patients with borderline personality disorder - shedding new light on this serious psychiatric condition.

"It's early days yet, but the work is pinpointing functional differences in the neurobiology of healthy people versus individuals with the disorder as they attempt to control their behavior in a negative emotional context. Such initial insights can help provide a foundation for better, more targeted therapies down the line," explains lead researcher Dr. David A. Silbersweig, the Stephen P. Tobin and Dr. Arnold M. Cooper Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and attending psychiatrist and neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.


Heart

Study Quantifies Orphanage Link to I.Q.

Psychologists have long believed that growing up in an institution like an orphanage stunts children's mental development but have never had direct evidence to back it up.

Now they do, from an extraordinary years-long experiment in Romania that compared the effects of foster care with those of institutional child-rearing.

Ladybug

Teen Sexual Behaviour Linked To Sex Education, US Study

A new US study found that the sexual behaviour of teenagers is linked to whether or not they have had formal school sex education.

The study is available as an early online issue of the January 2008 imprint of the Journal of Adolescent Health, and was conducted by lead author and epidemiologist Trisha Mueller and colleagues, from the Division of Reproductive Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Red Flag

Premenstrual symptoms getting on your nerves?

For some women premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a minor monthly annoyance, but for others, more severe symptoms seriously disrupt their lives. However despite the number of women affected, science has yet to offer a full explanation or universal treatment. Now intriguing new findings published in the online open access journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine suggest not only that PMS is tied to decreased nerve activity each month, but also that those with extreme symptoms may have a permanently depressed nervous system.

A team of Japanese researchers led by Tamaki Matsumoto from the International Buddhist University in Osaka investigated whether the activity of the autonomic nervous system, which plays a vital role in equilibrium within the human body, changed during the menstrual cycle. The team measured heart rate variability and hormone levels and used questionnaires to evaluate physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms accompanying 62 women's menstrual cycles.

Bulb

Twins study shows genetic basis for face and place recognition

New evidence suggests our brains are hardwired before birth to recognize faces and places. But in contrast, the neural circuitry we use to recognize words develops mainly as a result of experience.

That's according to new findings from the University of Michigan.

"There's been a big debate about whether face recognition is a function we're wired to perform for survival. This is the first study to look at that question using brain imaging in twins," said psychology professor Thad Polk, the first author of a paper on the results that are published in the Dec. 19 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Polk and his colleagues used functional MRI to examine brain activity in sets of identical and fraternal twins who viewed pictures of faces, houses, chairs, made-up words and abstract control images. Faces, houses, and words are known to elicit distinct patterns of activity in the brain's ventral visual cortex, on the bottom of the brain, behind and around the ears.

Heart

What's the Rush? Taking Time to Acknowledge Loss is not that Bad

There are two guarantees in every person's life: happiness and sadness. Although lost opportunities and mistaken expectations are often unpleasant to think and talk about, these experiences may impact personality development and overall happiness. A seven-year study conducted by Laura King, a researcher at the University of Missouri, indicates that individuals who take time to stop and think about their losses are more likely to mature and achieve a potentially more durable sense of happiness.

"People are generally in a hurry to be happy again, but they need to understand that it's okay to feel bad and to feel bad for a while," said King, who teaches psychology in the College of Arts and Science. "It's natural to want to feel happy right after a loss or regrettable experience, but those who can examine 'what might have been' and be mindfully present to their negative feelings, are more likely to mature through that loss and might also obtain a different kind of happiness."