Posted: March 24th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Medical Research, Science | Tags: Australian Researchers, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Cerebral Palsy Prevention, Magnesium Sulphate, Medical Research, The Royal Australasian College of Obstetricians | Comments Off
The risk of premature babies developing cerebral palsy is cut by a third if the mother is given magnesium sulphate immediately before birth, new research shows. So far it’s only been proven to work in babies born before 30 weeks, however, advocates of the research are saying that this new approach could prevent up to 150 babies a year from developing the chronic life-long condition.
Doctors are hailing the development as the biggest breakthrough in preventing the debilitating condition in 50 years, despite the fact it is not yet being routinely used in hospitals. The benefits of magnesium sulphate had been observed for a while, but obstetrics Professor Caroline Crowther says it was a large study in Australia and New Zealand in 2003 that gave compelling evidence. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Medical Research, Science, Science News | Tags: Chronic Obesity, Genetics, Obesity, Science News ©indeep media: http://www.cankler.com.au/ | Comments Off
The discovery offers clues about how to turn on brain sensitivity to leptin and insulin, hormones that turn off appetite.
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have revealed how a mutation in a single gene is responsible for the inability of neurons to effectively pass along appetite suppressing signals from the body to the right place in the brain. What results is obesity caused by a voracious appetite.
Their study, published March 18th on Nature Medicine‘s website, suggests there might be a way to stimulate expression of that gene to treat obesity caused by uncontrolled eating.
The research team specifically found that a mutation in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) gene in mice does not allow brain neurons to effectively pass leptin and insulin chemical signals through the brain. In humans, these hormones, which are released in the body after a person eats, are designed to “tell” the body to stop eating. But if the signals fail to reach correct locations in the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that signals satiety, eating continues. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 14th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Medical Research, Science, Science News | Tags: Anthropogenic Global Warming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Climate Change, Global Warming, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD | Comments Off
A new published study has highlighted how the media influences opinion on emotive issues. The study undertaken by the University of Sydney was carried out to investigate whether climate change had any impact on the nature of the obsessions or compulsions experienced by sufferers of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – OCD – The study takes reference from a 1994 study which found that some children developed obsessive thoughts about Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome – HIV/Aids – once media reports on the virus became common place.
“We suggest that mental health professionals need to be aware of, and assess for the presence of such concerns” the study recommended.
This latest study has found that many patients suffering with OCD are worrying about the effects of climate change and global warming. Dr Mairwen Jones and her co-authors looked at 50 patients attending an anxiety disorders clinic. They found one-third of the patients had anxiety about the effects of climate change. The most common concerns were wasting water, gas and electricity, often leading to an obsessive checking to make sure utilities and appliances were switched off. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Medical Research, Science | Tags: Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Diabetes, research | Comments Off
Research has revealed that interrupting sitting time with short bouts of light exercise can lower glucose and insulin levels by as much as 30 per cent, helping people avoid diabetes. The research was published online today in Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association. Associate Professor David Dunstan, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, was the study’s lead researcher.
“What this study is showing is that people who sit for long periods, like office workers and call centre staff and drivers, could improve their health by simply breaking up their sitting time with frequent activity breaks,” Dunstan said. ”Inside this study we used breaks every 20 minutes, just for two-minute activity bouts, and showed that it was, it substantially improved the body’s response to a glucose challenge.”
Sixty per cent of Australians are either overweight or obese with the risk of developing diabetes. Professor Dunstan says people who work sitting at their desks should stand up at least every every 30 minutes. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: February 25th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Science, Science News | Tags: Albert Einstein, CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research, Fermilab, Gran Sasso Laboratory, Indiana University Professor Alan Kostelecky, Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, James Gillies Head of Communication, Jenny Thomas, neutrinos, OPERA, sub-atomic particles, Theory of Relativity, University College of Londo | Comments Off
The controversial finding that cast a large shadow of doubt over Einstein’s belief that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light might have been caused by a loose cable, the lab behind the result said. Physicists at the CERN laboratory near Geneva appeared to contradict Albert Einstein last year when they reported that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos could travel fractions of a second faster than light. Einstein had said nothing could travel faster than light.
James Gillies, a spokesman for CERN, said the lab’s startling result was now in doubt. Earlier on Wednesday, the website ScienceInsider reported the surprising result was down to a loose fibre optic cable linking a Global Positioning System satellite receiver to a computer. ScienceInsider is run by the respected American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mr Gillies confirmed a flaw in the GPS system was now suspected as a possible cause for the surprising reading. Gillies’ says further testing was needed before any definite conclusions could be reached. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: February 19th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Science | Tags: Benjamin K. Sovacoo, Bill Gates, Economics of new nuclear power, Filbe, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, NEA, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, SMR, Southern Company, TED-Innovating to Zero, Westinghouse SMR | Comments Off
2012 is an historic year for nuclear power, with the first new reactors gaining U.S. government approval in almost 35 years. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - NRC – has approved the first nuclear reactors to be built in the U.S. since 1978. The NRC voted 4-1 in favour of Southern Company building two new nuclear reactors at an existing Georgia plant. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko voted against, expressing concern that the licence was being approved “as if Fukushima never happened”. The reactors are expected to cost $US14 billion/£8.8 billion and could begin operating as early as 2016. No reactors have been approved for construction since a year before the accident at Three Mile Island, a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, in 1979.
Some have seen the approval of the Southern Company’s two Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors – to be built in Georgia – as the start of a revival of nuclear power in the West, but this may be a false dawn because of the problems besetting conventional reactors. Safety concerns around nuclear power have risen following a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima power plant in March 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami cut the plant off from the power grid. In the wake of the Japanese disaster the commission launched a review into whether existing and new US reactors could withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. It may be that when a new boom in nuclear power comes, it won’t be led by giant gigawatt installations, but by batteries of small modular reactors – SMRs – with very different principles from reactors of past generations. Read the full article »»»»