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  • July 24, 2017
    A new study indicates that a classification system based on patient symptoms and basic lab tests can reduce the need for diagnostic imaging, hospital admissions, and surgery in patients with suspected appendicitis. The system is based on the Appendicitis Inflammatory Response (AIR) score, which includes the following parameters: pain in right iliac fossa, history of vomiting, rebound tenderness or muscular guarding, body temperature, white blood cell count, proportion of neutrophil...
  • July 24, 2017
    The New Phytologist Trust, in partnership with John Wiley & Sons, is announcing the launch of a new crossdisciplinary Open Access journal: Plants, People, Planet, led by Professor Simon Hiscock (University of Oxford, UK and Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum). This exciting new journal will focus on the interface between plant science and society, offering a lively and accessible forum for plant science research and discussion in its broadest sense.Plants are...
  • July 24, 2017
    An analysis of published studies indicates that tai chi may help reduce the number of falls in both the older adult population and at-risk adults. The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, offer a simple and holistic way to prevent injuries.Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice focused on flexibility and whole body coordination that promotes harmonized motion in space. Previous research has shown that tai chi is an effective exercise to improve...
  • July 24, 2017
    A new study has uncovered a link between being overweight or obese in adolescence and an increased risk of developing colon cancer in adulthood. Obesity was also associated with an elevated risk of developing rectal cancer. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings come at a time of growing concern about the impact of adolescent overweight and obesity on chronic disease later in life.Study results on a potential link between...
  • July 21, 2017
    Vodka tastes different from brandy, and connoisseurs can distinguish among different brands of whiskeys. The flavors of spirits result from a complex bouquet of volatile compounds. New colorimetric sensor arrays on disposable test-strips read by hand-held devices allow for their rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive identification by their chemical “fingerprints”. They are based on novel sensor arrays that detect and differentiate among a diverse range of aldehydes and ketones, as...
  • July 21, 2017
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death globally, but medications have generally failed to benefit patients. A new study found that memantine, a drug that is used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, may be a promising therapy.  The study examined the effect of memantine on blood levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of neuronal damage, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in patients with moderate TBI. The GCS is the most common...
  • July 20, 2017
    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that affects the health of birds and other wild animals. Two varieties of songbird—zebra finch and European starling—were found to shed mercury accumulation with their feathers in a recent study.During a molt, both species quickly eliminated mercury from their blood and significantly reduced mercury concentrations in other tissues. This, coupled with a migration out of contaminated sites, may help birds deal with exposure to environmental...
  • July 20, 2017
    Scientists have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots—by growing cucumbers during spaceflight.Plant roots grow to find water, according to a process known as hydrotropism. Roots are also influenced by gravity and tend to grow downwards, called gravitropism. To find out whether gravity or water had the greater influence on root growth, investigators grew cucumber plants in the microgravity environment on board the International Space Station. In their...
  • July 20, 2017
    A new study indicates that a child’s temperament may be influenced by maternal postpartum depression, maternal sensitivity, and family functioning. Maternal depression was associated with difficult temperaments in infants when maternal sensitivity was low, but not when maternal sensitivity was high. Family functioning similarly moderated these links.The findings suggest that family factors play a critical role in shaping the trajectory of an infant’s behavioral style as it unfolds over...
  • July 20, 2017
    Factors such as low bone density and previous fractures are commonly used to predict an individual’s risk of experiencing a fracture over the next 10 years. A new analysis has found that a single bone density measurement and an assessment of fracture history in postmenopausal women can predict fracture risk over a much longer period, up to 25 years.The findings come from an analysis of data from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures that assessed bone mineral density and risk factors in 7,959...