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Stinging nettle chemical improves cancer drug
March 20, 2015 02:20 PM - University of Warwick

A cancer drug could be made 50 times more effective by a chemical found in stinging nettles and ants, new research finds. Researchers at the University of Warwick found that when the chemical, Sodium Formate, is used in combination with a metal-based cancer treatment it can greatly increase its ability to shut down cancer cells.

NASA using space radar to track groundwater pollution risks
March 20, 2015 05:25 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Water is our most precious natural resource.  Without clean water to drink human populations cannot exist.  But our water supplies are under constant assault from anthropogenic pollution.

When pollutants get into groundwater, they can stay there for decades. Cleanup efforts are difficult, expensive and not always successful. It would be better to protect groundwater from contamination in the first place, but risks to groundwater are moving targets. Although unchanging factors such as porous soil or shallow aquifer depth play a role, the greatest risk comes from the source of the pollutants: people. And people are always moving. A growing city, in particular, usually means a growing threat to groundwater quality. To lock on to the moving target of groundwater risk, planners worldwide need up-to-date information on how people are changing the land surface.

A bright side to aging
March 19, 2015 06:56 AM - Northwestern University

Hollywood has given moviegoers many classic portrayals of grumpy old men. But new research suggests that getting older doesn’t necessarily make people cynical and suspicious. 

Instead, trust tends to increase as people age, a development that can be beneficial for well-being, according to two new large-scale studies by researchers at Northwestern University and the University at Buffalo.

“When we think of old age, we often think of decline and loss,” said study co-author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.

The link between diesel exhaust and lung irritation
March 14, 2015 08:07 AM - European Lung Foundation via EurekAlert

Estoril, Portugal: Researchers in the UK have, for the first time, shown how exhaust pollution from diesel engines is able to affect nerves within the lung. Air pollution is a significant threat to health, they say, and identifying potential mechanisms linking exposure to diesel exhaust and the exacerbation of respiratory diseases may lead to treatments for those affected.

Mr. Ryan Robinson, a PhD student at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK, will tell the 13th European Respiratory Society Lung Science Conference today (Saturday) about his work studying diesel exhaust particles and airway sensory nerves. The news comes as the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, launched by the European Respiratory Society and European Lung Foundation, takes places this year aiming to raise awareness of the importance of breathing clean air. 

Why Do We Have Daylight Savings Time?
March 9, 2015 09:12 AM - Amanda Onion, Discovery News

We lost an hour this morning, awaking to an already sunny sky. Some may feel robbed an hour from their day. So why, again, do we do this?

To some degree, we may have Benjamin Franklin to thank.

Good news! We're eating healthier!
March 9, 2015 08:55 AM - Bill Roth, Triple Pundit

The big news from the 2015 Natural Products Expo West was that the American consumer is buying healthy foods at volumes never seen before. Health and wellness products are achieving three times the sales growth as conventional food products.

A survey conducted by SuperMarket News found that 80 percent of surveyed food-industry wholesalers and retailers had sales growth in health and wellness products. A third of survey respondents reported an astounding 20 percent increase in annual sales!

Gluten- and allergen-free is now top wellness trend

Tobacco smoke impacts the unborn too
March 8, 2015 08:55 AM - THE ENDOCRINE SOCIETY via EurekAlert.

A fetus exposed to tobacco smoke may be at increased risk for diabetes in adulthood, a new study of adult daughters finds. The results will be presented in a poster Saturday, March 7, at ENDO 2015, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego. 

Women whose parents smoked during pregnancy had increased risk of diabetes mellitus independent of known risk factors, adding to the evidence that prenatal environmental chemical exposures can contribute to adult diabetes mellitus. 

Better fitness may slow brain aging
March 6, 2015 08:39 AM - American Heart Association

People with poor physical fitness in their 40s may have lower brain volumes by the time they hit 60, an indicator of accelerated brain aging, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting. “Many people don’t start worrying about their brain health until later in life, but this study provides more evidence that certain behaviors and risk factors in midlife may have consequences for brain aging later on,” said Nicole L. Spartano, Ph.D., lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Air pollution linked to slower cognitive development in children
March 3, 2015 03:49 PM - PLOS via EurekAlert!

Attendance at schools exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is linked to slower cognitive development among 7-10-year-old children in Barcelona, according to a study published by Jordi Sunyer and colleagues from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Spain, published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Filtration Systems on School Buses Are Needed to Protect Children from Pollutants
March 2, 2015 02:56 PM - UCLA Newsroom

An on-board air filtration system developed specifically for school buses reduces exposure to vehicular pollutants by up to 88 percent, according to a study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. The high-efficiency cabin air, or HECA, system could help protect the 25 million American children who commute on school buses nearly every day. Children are more susceptible to air pollution than adults because they breathe more quickly and their immune and cardiovascular systems are still developing, said Yifang Zhu, the study’s senior author and an associate professor in the department of environmental health sciences.

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