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Scientists based in Switzerland and South Africa have created a biophysical methodology that may help to overcome hearing deficits, and potentially remedy even substantial hearing loss. The authors propose a method of retuning functioning regions of the ear to recognize frequencies originally associated with damaged areas. Details are published August 29th in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

All drugs used to treat psychosis are linked to an increased risk of stroke, and dementia sufferers are at double the risk, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

Previous research has shown that second generation (atypical) antipsychotic drugs can increase the chances of patients having a stroke. But the risk of stroke associated with first generation (typical) antipsychotics, and whether the risk differs in people with and without dementia, is not known.

Last week the government in England closed its consultation on the effectiveness of vascular checks for high-risk individuals aged 40-74, to be rolled out in 2009-10, but will this strategy be worthwhile? Experts debate the issue on bmj.com today.

The Department of Health suggests that up to 9 500 heart attacks and strokes and 2 000 deaths could be prevented each year by vascular screening and managing high-risk individuals aged 40-74 in England.

Des Moines, Iowa – August 27, 2008 – What happens when linguistic tools used to analyze human language are applied to a conversation between a language-competent bonobo and a human? The findings, published this month in the Journal of Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, indicate that bonobos may exhibit larger linguistic competency in ordinary conversation than in controlled experimental settings.

Shedding some genetically induced excess baggage may have helped a tiny fish thrive in freshwater and outsize its marine ancestors, according to a UBC study published today in Science Express.

Measuring three to 10 centimetres long, stickleback fish originated in the ocean but began populating freshwater lakes and streams following the last ice age. Over the past 20,000 years - a relatively short time span in evolutionary terms - freshwater sticklebacks have lost their bony lateral plates, or "armour," in these new environments.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- They aren't the lost cities early explorers sought fruitlessly to discover.

But ancient settlements in the Amazon, now almost entirely obscured by tropical forest, were once large and complex enough to be considered "urban" as the term is commonly applied to both medieval European and ancient Greek communities.

Waltham, MA—Everybody loves the way breakfast eggs conveniently slide off of Teflon without leaving any pesky pieces of egg in the pan. Indeed, the carbon-fluorine bond at the heart of Teflon cookware is so helpful we also use it in clothing, lubricants, refrigerants, anesthetics, semiconductors, and even blood substitutes. But the very strength of the C-F bond that makes it useful in so many applications also gives it formidable greenhouse gas effects that persist in nature.

(WASHINGTON, August 28, 2008) – Blood transfusions are a valuable treatment mechanism in modern medicine, but can come with the risk of donor disease transmission. Researchers are continually studying the biology of blood products to understand how certain diseases are transmitted in an effort to reduce this risk during blood transfusions.

Researchers report the discovery of the first new living species of giant clam in two decades, according to a report to be published online on August 28th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. While fossil evidence reveals that the new species, called Tridacna costata, once accounted for more than 80 percent of giant clams in the Red Sea, it now represents less than one percent of giant clams living there.

LIVERMORE, Calif. - Certain explosives may soon get a little greener and a little more precise. LLNL researchers added unique green solvents (ionic liquids) to an explosive called TATB (1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene) and improved the crystal quality and chemical purity of the material.

This work, supported under the Transformational Materials Initiative (TMI) Laboratory Research and Development project, appears on the cover of the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

NEW YORK (AUGUST 28, 2008) –A WCS report reveals surprisingly large populations of two globally threatened primates in a protected area in Cambodia.

The report counted 42,000 black-shanked douc langurs along with 2,500 yellow-cheeked crested gibbons in Cambodia's Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, an estimate that represents the largest known populations for both species in the world.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have developed a unique technology that will allow scientists to look at microscopic activity within the body's chemical messenger system for the very first time, live as it happens.

The cutting edge laser technology has helped to attract £1.3 million from the MRC (Medical Research Council) for a five-year project that will offer a new insight into the tiny world of activity taking place within single cells and could contribute to the design of new drugs to treat human diseases such as asthma and arthritis with fewer side effects.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Hundreds of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars could potentially be saved if emergency managers could make better and more timely critical decisions when faced with an approaching hurricane. Now, an MIT graduate student has developed a computer model that could help do just that.

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have been awarded £2.8 million by the Wellcome Trust to develop a new drug that could ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of heart disease patients who are unable to take beta-blockers.

In the UK, 2.6 million people suffer from heart disease and most are able to have their symptoms effectively managed with the prescription of beta-blocker drugs which stop adrenaline from making the heart work too hard.