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WASHINGTON -- Millions of people each day rely on transit, yet few urban area emergency plans have focused on its role in an emergency evacuation, says a new report from the National Research Council's Transportation Research Board. Transit systems could play a significant role in transporting carless and special needs populations in times of emergency, but these groups are inadequately addressed in most local emergency plans and evacuating them could easily exceed limited transit resources.

Whether a painless, portable device that uses electrical current rather than X-ray to look for breast cancer could be an alternative to traditional mammograms is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

MCG is one of 20 centers internationally and the only place in Georgia studying new technology developed by Z-Tech Inc., to compare traditional mammograms with impedence scanning, a technique based on evidence that electrical current passes through cancerous tissue differently than through normal tissue.

Plants undergo stress because of lack of water, due to the heat or the cold or to excess of light. A research team from the University of the Basque Country have analysed the substances that are triggered in plants to protect themselves, with the goal of choosing the species that is best suited to the environment during reforestation under adverse environmental conditions.

CHICAGO -- Why do patients with gastric or pancreatic cancer live longer when they are treated at cancer centers or high-volume hospitals than patients treated at low-volume or community hospitals?

New research from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine found that cancer patients have more lymph nodes examined for the spread of their disease if they are treated at hospitals performing more cancer surgeries or those designated as comprehensive cancer centers.

The polymer researchers at the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht (Germany) expected about 30 scientists to attend the kick-off meeting of the new EU project HARCANA (High Aspect Ratio for Carbon-based Nanocomposites). New kinds of plastic-based nanocomposites could be used to develop lightweight materials that would increase the mechanical stability of materials and add electrical or magnetic properties, for example.

Blue Light and Hydrogen Peroxide May Effectively Treat Biofilms That Cause Cavities and Gum Disease

Blue light commonly used by dentists to cure resin fillings and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) combined may be capable of reaching and treating bacteria in deep layers of biofilms that can cause cavities and gingivitis. The researchers from Hebrew University, Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel and the University of California San Francisco report their findings in the July 2008 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

ST. LOUIS – For patients with head and neck cancer, accurately determining how advanced the cancer is and detecting secondary cancers usually means undergoing numerous tests – until now. New Saint Louis University research has found that the PET-CT scanner can be used as a stand-alone tool to detect secondary cancers, which occur in 5 to 10 percent of head and neck cancer patients.

ST. LOUIS – Unnecessary biopsies could be a thing of the past for patients undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer. New Saint Louis University research found that when nuclear medicine clinicians and treating physicians work together to interpret PET-CT scan results, the accuracy dramatically improves, sparring patients unnecessary pain and suffering.

Researchers have discovered that a frog that lives near noisy springs in central China can tune its ears to different sound frequencies, much like the tuner on a radio can shift from one frequency to another. It is the only known example of an animal that can actively select what frequencies it hears, the researchers say.

OAK BROOK, Ill. – A minimally invasive treatment for a common cause of male infertility can significantly improve a couple's chances for pregnancy, according to a new study published in the August issue of Radiology. The study, conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany, also found that the level of sperm motility prior to treatment is a key predictor of success.

OAK BROOK, Ill. – The simple application of a pain-relieving gel may reduce the breast discomfort some women experience during mammography exams, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the online edition of Radiology.

Arlington, Virginia (July 22, 2008) – Researchers in Madagascar have confirmed the existence of a population of greater bamboo lemurs more than 400 kilometers (240 miles) from the only other place where the Critically Endangered species is known to live, raising hopes for its survival.

The discovery of the distinctive lemurs with jaws powerful enough to crack giant bamboo, their favorite food, occurred in 2007 in the Torotorofotsy wetlands of east central Madagascar, which is designated a Ramsar site of international importance under the 1971 Convention on Wetlands.

The exponential growth of diverse types of biological data presents the research community with an unprecedented challenge to keep the flood of biological data as accessible, up-to-date, and integrated as possible. But it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to cultivate new models of data curation and exchange by engaging the direct participation of the community. In a new article published this week in PLoS Biology, "WikiPathways: Pathway Editing for the People," Alexander R.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans were associated with a 16.6% rise in death rates from tuberculosis (TB) in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern European countries between 1992 and 2002, finds a study in this week's PLoS Medicine.

The study, by David Stuckler and colleagues from the University of Cambridge, UK, and Yale University, USA, also found that IMF loans were linked with a 13.9% increase in the number of new cases of TB per year and a 13.2% increase per year in the total number of people with the disease.

Group A rotavirus in Kenyan children

Combining prospective hospital-based surveillance with demographic data in Kilifi, Kenya, James Nokes (of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme) and colleagues assess the burden of rotavirus diarrhoea in young children. They find that over 2% of children in Kilifi are admitted to hospital with group A rotavirus diarrhoea in the first 5 years of life. "This translates into over 28,000 vaccine-preventable hospitalisations per year across Kenya," say the authors, "and is likely to be a considerable underestimate."