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Wed, 23 Sep 2020
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Bulb

Start school later in the morning, say sleepy teens

A survey of sleep-deprived teens finds they think that a later start time for school and tests given later in the school day would result in better grades. The survey was presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

The survey of 280 high school students confirmed what most parents with a teenager know: they are not getting enough sleep. More sleep would translate into improved academic performance, according to the teens questioned. They all attended Harriton High School in suburban Philadelphia, where the school day begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 2:25 p.m.

The survey found that:

* 78% of students said it was difficult to get up in the morning

* Only 16% said they regularly had enough sleep

* 70% thought their grades would improve if they had more sleep

* 90% thought their academic performance would improve if school were to start later

Bulb

'Star Trek'-type scanning may reveal genetic activity of tumors, Stanford study shows

Peering into the body and visualizing its molecular secrets, once the stuff of science fiction, is one step closer to reality with a study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The research team is reporting that by looking at images from radiology scans - such as the CT scans a cancer patient routinely gets - radiologists can discern most of the genetic activity of a tumor. Such information could lead to diagnosing and treating patients individually, based on the unique characteristics of their disease. The study will be published May 21 in the advance online edition of Nature Biotechnology.

"Potentially in the future one can use imaging to directly reveal multiple features of diseases that will make it much easier to carry out personalized medicine, where you are making diagnoses and treatment decisions based exactly on what is happening in a person," said co-senior author Howard Chang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford, who led the genomics arm of the study.

The study's other senior author is Michael Kuo, MD, assistant professor of interventional radiology at UCSD, who said their work will help doctors obtain the molecular details of a specific tumor or disease without having to remove body tissue for a biopsy. "Ideally, we would have personalized medicine achieved in a noninvasive manner," said Kuo, who spearheaded the project in 2001 while he was a radiology resident at Stanford.

Magic Wand

Geographer designs computer model to predict crowd behavior

Patterns of human behavior and movement in crowded cities - the tipping point at which agitated crowds become anti-social mobs, the configuration of civic areas as defensible spaces that also promote free speech, the design of retail space that fosters active walking - are at the core of an immersive 3-D computational model under development by an Arizona State University geographer.

"Crowds are vital to the lifeblood of our cities, yet, crowd behavior is veiled to traditional academic inquiry," says Paul M. Torrens, an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences.

It is impractical, Torrens says, "to establish live experiments with hundreds or thousands of people along busy streetscapes, to reproduce mob behavior during riots for the purposes of academic experimentation, or, to expect to replicate the life and death behavior under emergency situations in a fabricated fashion."

"You couldn't stage a realistic rehearsal of an evacuation because people are not going to panic appropriately, or you could never bulldoze large sections of the city to see how it affects pedestrian flow," he says. Instead, Torrens is developing a realistic computer model that can be used to assist city planners, shopping center developers, public safety and health officials, and researchers in exploring the dynamics of individual pedestrian and crowd behavior in dense urban settings.

Attention

Soldiers acquired drug-resistant infections in field hospitals

An outbreak of drug-resistant wound infections among soldiers in Iraq likely came from the hospitals where they were treated, not the battlefield, according to a new study in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, currently available online.

The outbreak of drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex (ABC) infections among U.S. service members injured in Iraq has been of major concern to military health care workers since it was first detected in 2003. ABC bacteria are commonly found in soil and water. They sometimes also exist on the skin of healthy people. The bacteria pose little risk to healthy people. However, those with open wounds or weakened immune systems are at greater risk of ABC infection. An ABC infection can cause or contribute to death, especially if the patient is immunosuppressed.

Historically, ABC infections were treated with a wide variety of drugs. Unfortunately, in recent years, strains of Acinetobacter have been emerging that are resistant to nearly all known remedies. The ABC infections found among the U.S. service members are of this type, known as multi-drug resistant (MDR).

Evil Rays

Wi-Fi health risks in schools 'must be reviewed' sez UK HPA Head

The head of Britain's leading health watchdog today urgently calls for a review of potential health risks linked to wireless internet networks in schools.

Sir William Stewart, the chairman of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), spoke after emissions at a school were found to be three times those from a mobile phone mast.

His demand follows growing calls for research into whether children could be harmed by radiation from wi-fi networks.

Key

The Path of The Psycho

Dr. Robert Hare, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia, has spent more than three decades researching psychopathy. He has developed the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) and its revision, the Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R) These lists have proven extremely valuable for the proper assessment of psychopathy.

Hare describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs." They lack conscience, they take what they want and do as they please, without guilt or remorse. "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."

Health

Canadians don't care for Sicko

Michael Moore is handing out fake bandages to promote his new film Sicko, an exposé of the failings of the U.S. health care system.

But he may feel like applying a couple to himself after the mauling he received yesterday from several Canadian journalists - present company included - following the film's first viewing at the Cannes Film Festival.

"You Canadians! You used to be so funny!" an exasperated Moore said at a press conference in the Palais des Festivals.

"You gave us all our best comedians. When did you turn so dark?"

We Canucks were taking issue with the large liberties Sicko takes with the facts, with its lavish praise for Canada's government-funded medicare system compared with America's for-profit alternative.

Attention

Spate of suicides from Hudson spans spurs look at prevention

Normally, the bridges that take commuters over the Hudson River provide a pleasant view of the river on some days or torturous traffic on others. But they also take some people on a journey to another place.

The bridges of the Lower Hudson Valley have long exerted a fatal lure to the despondent and suicidal. Over the past 10 years, 27 people have leapt to their deaths from the Tappan Zee Bridge and nine from the Bear Mountain Bridge, along with many other attempted suicides.

Now, a spate of attempted and successful suicides on the Hudson Valley bridges, including three incidents this year on the Tappan Zee, has brought renewed focus to suicide deterrence. Echoing a mounting public conversation from San Franciso's Golden Gate Bridge to New York's bridges, mental health experts and public safety officials have been studying ways to stop the dying.

Question

More poisoned products may have originated in China

Diethylene glycol, a poison, has been found in 6,000 tubes of toothpaste in Panama, and customs officials there said Friday that the product appeared to have originated in China.

"Our preliminary information is that it came from China, but we don't know that with certainty yet," said Daniel Delgado Diamante, Panama's director of customs. "We are still checking all the possible imports to see if there could be other shipments."

Bomb

Study: Gulf War vets' children have higher birth defect rates

WASHINGTON - Children of veterans of the first Gulf War are more likely to have three specific birth defects than those of soldiers who never served in the gulf, a government study has found.

Comment: Gee! Could it be from the Gulf War veterans exposure to depleted uranium???