Sci/tech

Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
December 25, 2007 08:13 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday. Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Toyota to cement top spot in 2008
December 25, 2007 02:54 AM - Chang-Ran Kim, Asia auto correspondent, Reuters

NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will charge further into emerging car markets to achieve another year of record sales in 2008, likely cementing its title as the world's biggest automaker ahead of General Motors Corp. With a product line-up including the Camry and Prius hybrid cars, Toyota has attracted more customers in emerging and mature markets alike, all the while increasing profits through cost cuts and economies of scale.

Turning plants into pills in Kenya
December 24, 2007 08:35 PM - Jack Githae, Tatum Anderson , SciDevNet

Kenya - Traditional healers are joining forces with plant chemists in Kenya to develop antimalarials isolated from plants, reports Tatum Anderson. In the shadow of Mount Kenya, traditional healer Jack Githae enters what he describes as his 'natural pharmacy'.

"Hot" patients need note to get through security
December 24, 2007 01:46 PM - Anne Harding, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Outpatient clinics that perform diagnostic procedures using radioactive materials could do a better job of telling patients that they may set off radiation detectors at security checkpoints, a study shows. Information and documentation that these facilities provide to patients "varies widely" in terms of quality, Dr. Armin Ansari, of the Radiation Studies Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who was involved in the study, told Reuters Health. "Some are extremely well done, some are not."

Tea drinking may not curb ovarian cancer risk
December 24, 2007 01:35 PM - Joene Hendry, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Tea drinking, in general, does not appear to decrease the risk for ovarian cancer, according to combined data from nine studies. But in one of these studies, conducted in China where the majority of tea drinkers drink green tea, Dr. Bin Wang and colleagues noted a downward trend for ovarian cancer risk in conjunction with an increased duration of tea drinking.

Chronic tummy aches common in young teens
December 24, 2007 01:29 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - One in five children will develop chronic abdominal pain during adolescence, according to a new study in English schoolchildren. The problem was more common in girls, with one-third reporting persistent stomach pain, compared to 13 percent of boys, Dr. A. El-Metwally of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and colleagues found, but the reasons for the gender difference remain unclear.

Coffee, tea linked to lower risk of kidney cancer
December 24, 2007 11:01 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Coffee and tea lovers may have a slightly reduced risk of developing kidney cancer, research hints. The findings, based on an analysis of 13 previous studies, suggest that coffee and tea may be protective against kidney cancer, while milk, soda and juice seem to have no effect one way or the other.

Hydrogen storage for cars?
December 23, 2007 07:35 PM - Wiley-Blackwell

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Unfortunately, one problem remains: Hydrogen is a gas and cannot easily be pumped into a tank like gasoline. Storage in the form of solid hydrides, chemical compounds of hydrogen and a metal or semimetal, are good storage materials in principle, but have not been well suited to automotive applications. An American research team at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn and the University of California, Los Angeles, has now developed a novel hydride that could be a useful starting point for the development of future automotive hydrogen-storage materials. As Jun Yang and his team report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, an “autocatalytic” reaction mechanism causes the composite made of three different hydrides to rapidly release hydrogen at lower temperatures and without dangerous by-products.

Gold nanoparticle probes may allow earlier cancer detection
December 23, 2007 07:27 PM - Emory University

Using tiny gold particles embedded with dyes, researchers have shown that they can identify tumors under the skin of a living animal. These tools may allow doctors to detect and diagnose cancer earlier and less invasively Studded with antibody fragments called ScFv peptides that bind cancer cells, the gold particles grab onto tumors after their injection into a mouse. When illuminated with a laser beam, the tumor-bound particles send back a signal that is specific to the dye, scientists at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology report.

Ecopod: The Smart Compactor
December 23, 2007 05:29 PM -

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a recent convert to eco-friendly products, you’ll love the 21st centuries' answer to the “old-school” trash compactor. Meet the Ecopod, recently made available this past fall, this innovative appliance provides an efficient way to crush, store and redeem recyclable beverage containers, particularly plastic bottles and aluminum cans. The design is simple and functional, not to mention sleek and attractive. It crushes with ease and comes with the engineering strength and smarts of the minds behind BMW.

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