A test recently used by the UK government's Independent Depleted Uranium Oversight Board to detect exposure to UK troops by depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf Conflict was developed by a team led by a University of Leicester geologist.
Randall Parrish, Professor of Isotope Geology, developed the test with Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Axel Gerdes, who now works at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, and his colleague Matt Horstwood at the British Geological Survey, using advanced mass spectrometry.
Prof Parrish's team has tested more than 350 individuals as part of the programme, with the result that none so far tested had any demonstrable DU exposure resulting from their participation in the 1991 Gulf Conflict, though the extent of actual initial exposure of tested individuals to DU is unknown.
Ventria Bioscience wants to grow rice modified to produce human proteins on more than 3,000 acres (1,215 hectares) of farmland. The pharmaceutical rice would be harvested and refined for use in medicines to fight diarrhoea, dehydration and other illnesses that kill millions of infants and toddlers each year.
While Kansas officials have embraced the project as a boon to the state's emerging biosciences industry, environmentalists and some food groups warn the proteins could find their way into the food chain, causing medical reactions or allergies.
"We're opposed to the production of pharmaceutical and industrial chemicals in food crops grown outdoors because we think there are too many ways contamination of the food supply could occur," said Karen Perry Stillerman, senior analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy group.
Drinking a small amount of wine appears to extend men's life expectancy by a few years, Dutch researchers said in the latest study to find benefits in moderate drinking. Dutch researchers sought to gauge the impact on health and life expectancy of long-term alcohol consumption, tracking 1,373 men born between 1900 and 1920 who lived in Zutphen, an industrial town in the Netherlands.
The researchers followed alcohol intake in seven surveys carried out over four decades starting in 1960, tracking some men until they died and the rest until 2000. The men were asked about drinking, eating and smoking habits, weight, and prevalence of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Drinking a small amount of alcohol - less than a glass per day - was associated with lower rates of death from cardiovascular causes and overall causes, the study found. Drinking wine appeared to be more protective than spirits and beer. Drinking an average of about half a glass of wine per day was associated with lowest mortality levels, it found.
Tue, 06 Mar 2007 04:34 UTC
Girls who are overweight at the age of three risk reaching puberty as early as nine years old, a US study suggests.
The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, adds to mounting evidence suggesting childhood obesity is causing the trend of earlier puberty in girls.
Studies suggest girls who reach puberty earlier than the "normal" age of 10 and above also start drinking alcohol and begin having sexual intercourse sooner. UK experts said early puberty could cause girls significant distress.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve a powerful antibiotic for cattle despite warnings it would be dangerous for people, U.S. media reported on Monday.
The drug, called cefquinome, belongs to a class of highly potent antibiotics that are among medicine's last defenses against several serious human infections. No drug from that class has been approved in the United States for use in animals.
A genetic abnormality that makes people hungry between meals is behind the problem of obesity among almost 50,000 Britons, say scientists at the University of Cambridge.
The gene mutation prevents approximately one in every 1,000 individuals from identifying the presence of the hormone that normally tells the brain when they have eaten enough.
Scientists say that up to one per cent of obese people find it virtually impossible to diet due to the abnormality in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that plays a central role in hunger.
U.S. and German scientists have discovered the color red can affect how people function, keeping them from performing at their best on tests.
University of Rochester and University of Munich researchers looking at the effect of red on intellectual performance found if test takers are aware of even a hint of red, their performance will be affected to a significant degree.
University of Rochester psychology Professor Andrew Elliot, lead author of the research, said investigators found when people see even a flash of red before being tested, they associate the color with mistakes and failures. In turn, they do poorly on the test.
Dr. Priya Saxena RxPG
Mon, 05 Mar 2007 06:00 UTC
Research has shown that bad sleep can adversely affect a person's physical health and emotional well-being. However, the amount of sleep one gets can also influence his or her decision-making. A study published in the March 1st issue of the journal SLEEP finds that sleep deprivation impairs the ability to integrate emotion and cognition to guide moral judgments.
The study, conducted by William D.S. Killgore, PhD, and colleagues at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, was focused on 26 healthy adults, who made judgments about the "appropriateness" of various courses of action in response to three types of moral dilemmas on two separate occasions: at rested baseline and again following 53 hours of continuous wakefulness.
Compared to baseline, sleep deprivation resulted in significantly longer response latencies (suggesting greater difficulty deciding upon a course of action) for moral personal dilemmas.
Severe stress can damage a child's brain, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. The researchers found that children with post-traumatic stress disorder and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol were likely to experience a decrease in the size of the hippocampus - a brain structure important in memory processing and emotion.
Although similar effects have been seen in animal studies, this is the first time the findings have been replicated in children. The researchers focused on kids in extreme situations to better understand how stress affects brain development.
"We're not talking about the stress of doing your homework or fighting with your dad," said Packard Children's child psychiatrist Victor Carrion, MD. "We're talking about traumatic stress. These kids feel like they're stuck in the middle of a street with a truck barreling down at them."
Mon, 05 Mar 2007 00:56 UTC
Hong Kong - Researchers in the United States believe they have found an easily-produced vaccine for the killer H5N1 bird flu that could halt a feared pandemic, a media report said Monday.
Dr David Ho of the Aaron Diamond Aids Research Centre in New York says the vaccine would be "easy to produce, fast to produce and as broadly protective as possible", according to Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper.