DVD discs double as cheap diagnostic kit for HIV
May 7, 2013 04:12 PM - Richa Malhotra, SciDevNet
Researchers have turned conventional DVDs into portable and cheap diagnostic tools for developing countries, and are now adapting their prototype into a workable medical device. A team led by Aman Russom of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden has demonstrated proof-of-concept for the tool by testing for HIV. Blood samples are loaded into micro-channels on a modified, semi-transparent DVD disc and scanned by a DVD reader, which has been adapted to detect light transmitted through the disc. The image can then be visualized on a computer screen.
Gulf Killifish Affected by 2010 Oil Spill
May 6, 2013 09:34 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened over three years ago, but according to scientists, crude oil toxicity still continues to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, teamed up with researchers from Louisiana and South Carolina to find that Gulf killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations in 2010 and 2011 show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching and reduced hatching success.
Summer is coming, be aware of chemical hazards to children
May 6, 2013 06:32 AM - Nationwide Children's Hospital, via EurekAlert
Hydrocarbons, a chemical compound commonly found in household items from cleaning products to gasoline, are among the top 10 causes of pediatric poisoning deaths in the United States. A new study by researchers at the Central Ohio Poison Center and the Center for Injury Research and Policy, both at Nationwide Children's Hospital, found these injuries are most likely to occur during months when the weather is warm and are associated with activities such as mowing lawns, use of Tiki torches and use of lighter fluid for outdoor cooking. According to the study, published online May 6, 2013 and in the June 2013 print issue of Pediatrics, 31 percent of hydrocarbon exposure incidents were reported during the summer with 17 to 19 percent being reported during winter months.
The Human Brain Rivals Google Maps
May 3, 2013 06:16 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Have you ever wondered how you remember how to get to places you have only gone to once? How does the brain generate a map of your route that allows you to retrace your steps another time, perhaps weeks or months in the future? Using virtual reality, neurophysicists determine how environmental stimuli and brain rhythms generate our neuronal maps of the world. Using virtual reality, neurophysicists determine how environmental stimuli and brain rhythms generate our neuronal maps of the world. Leaving the house in the morning may seem simple, but with every move we make, our brains are working feverishly to create maps of the outside world that allow us to navigate and to remember where we are. Take one step out the front door, and an individual brain cell fires. Pass by your rose bush on the way to the car, another specific neuron fires. And so it goes. Ultimately, the brain constructs its own pinpoint geographical chart that is far more precise than anything you'd find on Google Maps.
Toxic Metals in Lipstick
May 2, 2013 10:12 AM - University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health via EurekAlert
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores. They detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns. Their findings will be published online Thursday, May 2, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Prior studies also have found metals in cosmetics, but the UC Berkeley researchers estimated risk by analyzing the concentration of the metals detected and consumers' potential daily intake of the metals, and then comparing this intake with existing health guidelines. "Just finding these metals isn't the issue; it's the levels that matter," said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."
Economic development 'can restore lost biodiversity'
May 2, 2013 06:26 AM - Bernard Appiah, SciDevNet
Economic development can lead to increased biodiversity restoration in Sub-Saharan Africa, on a similar scale to its loss due to development, according to a study. Biodiversity loss is one of the important environmental threats that humanity faces, the study says, and it disproportionately harms the world's poorest people, who are less able to adjust to it, as they have limited access to alternatives then using natural resources for livelihoods.
Microbes in the Subway
May 1, 2013 09:03 AM - Editor, ENN
New York City has some strange smells, especially in the subway. Walking underground you can sense that the air just feels stuffier, smells smellier, and must be dirtier. Well according to new research, the microbial population in the air of the New York City subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets.
Air pollution linked to life-threatening hardening of the arteries
April 25, 2013 08:47 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries", according to a University of Michigan public health researcher and colleagues from across the US. Sara Adar, the John Searle Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health, and Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and medicine at the University of Washington, led the study that found that higher concentrations of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) were linked to a faster thickening of the inner two layers of the common carotid artery - an important blood vessel that provides blood to the head, neck and brain.
April 25, 2013 08:31 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Microbubbles are bubbles generally smaller than one millimeter in diameter, but larger than one micrometer. They are often used in medical diagnostics as a contrast agent for ultrasound imaging. The microbubbles oscillate and vibrate when a sonic energy field is applied and may reflect ultrasound waves. This distinguishes the microbubbles from surrounding tissues. Microbubbles may also decrease the time and acoustic power of ultrasound required to heat and destroy an embedded target, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound. If these results can be replicated in the clinic, microbubbles could improve the efficiency of high intensity ultrasound treatment of solid tumors.
Forest conservation could reduce malaria transmission
April 22, 2013 12:37 PM - María Elena Hurtado, SciDevNet
Preserving the biodiversity of tropical forests could have the added benefit of cutting the spread of malaria, according to a new study. The finding contradicts the traditional view that clearing native forest for agriculture curbs malaria transmission in the Amazon rainforest.