Body

DALLAS, TX—Roses have long been a favorite of gardeners, but they often require a lot of work to thrive. And the emphasis on organics has more home gardeners concerned about the environment and reluctant to use pesticides.

W. A. Mackay of Texas A&M University led a study comparing several varieties of roses to determine which grow best with minimal care under certain conditions. The results were published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology.

Plants are essential to our survival and that of most other animals on earth. It is easy to overlook this fact because they have become discretely embedded into our everyday lives. Plants provide us with food, medicines, and raw materials used by our industries. In spite of their importance, very few of us could name more than a tiny fraction of the plants that surround us.

Vigabatrin (Sabril), first intention molecule for the treatment of epilepsy in children, in many cases produces secondary effects that lead to an irreversible loss of vision. Serge Picaud, head of research at Inserm, and his colleagues of the Institut de la Vision have just discovered the origin of this secondary effect and have proposed strategies for limiting it. They have shown that vigabatrin provokes a marked decrease in the blood level in an amino acid, taurine, resulting in a degeneration of the retina cells induced by light.

Some forty years ago, notions of informed consent and autonomy were first officially endorsed and the concept of patients' rights emerged. In 1990, a condition of hospital accreditation was to inform every patient about their rights. Then in 2001, the US House of Representatives and US Senate passed bills to create a Federal Patients' Bill of Rights (PBOR). Many states now have Patients' Bill of Rights laws in place.

An enzyme makes the mouse heart prone to chronic cardiac insufficiency – if it is suppressed, the heart remains strong despite increased stress. Cardiologists at the Internal Medicine Clinic at Heidelberg University Hospital in cooperation with scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Göttingen University Hospital have now explained this key mechanism in a mouse model and thus discovered a promising approach for the systematic prevention of chronic cardiac insufficiency.

EDINBURG, TX—Greenhouses are an integral part of U.S. agriculture. Nearly $200 million of food is produced in domestic greenhouses each year, and the facilities play a vital role in producing seeds and transplantable vegetation. Understanding how to keep greenhouse plants healthy can translate to increased revenue for producers.

Results from the ATHENA trial, reported in the 12th February issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that the (as yet unlicensed) antiarrhythmic drug dronedarone can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular-related hospitalisation or death in patients with atrial fibrillation. The study was performed at more than 550 centres in 37 countries.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – More than 30 years ago the United States began embracing the theory, clinical practice and research of ancient Asian medical practices including non-contact therapeutic touch (NCTT). Now, according to a study at the University of Missouri, researchers discovered that 73 percent of patients receiving NCTT experienced a significant reduction in pain, had fewer requests for medication, and slept more comfortably following surgery.

Researchers at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have linked higher levels of the hormone aldosterone to high blood pressure and blood vessel disease in African Americans. Aldosterone is secreted by the adrenal glands and causes salt retention by the kidneys.

The study appeared in the December 18, 2008, American Journal of Hypertension.

ST. LOUIS – In a recent study, Saint Louis University researchers found that weight loss of at least 9 percent helped patients reverse a type of liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a finding that will allow doctors to give patients specific weight-loss goals that are likely to improve their livers. The finding comes from a study of the diet drug orlistat (also known as Xenical and Alli), which did not itself improve liver disease.

BINGHAMTON, NY – Peer victimization during middle and high school may be an important indicator of an individual's sexual behavior later in life. These are the findings of Binghamton University researchers Andrew C. Gallup, Daniel T. O'Brien and David Sloan Wilson, and University at Albany researcher Daniel D. White. The study will be published in an upcoming issue of Personality and Individual Differences, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID).

Madison, WI , February 2, 2009 -- Promoting genetic diversity in crops is traditional practice for agriculture professionals, and with today's technology, scientists are able to develop breeding programs with great care for the security of crops. This is particularly important due to the numerous risks the world's food supplies face with the changing climate. Genetic diversity in a breeding program is essential as an insurance against unforeseeable changes in the environment and to maintain genetic progress.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research suggests that blocking the activity of a protein in the blood could offer powerful protection against some skin cancers.

In the study, normal mice and mice that had a genetically engineered protein deficiency were exposed to almost a year of ultraviolet light that mimics chronic sun exposure. The mice that lacked the protein developed fewer, smaller, less aggressive and less vascular skin cancer tumors than did the normal mice.

CHICAGO – A recent study conducted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital found that integrated team training and pre-operative discussions increase staff communication and teamwork, thus reducing the potential for operating room errors. The study, published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, was conducted by implementing a communication model known in the airline industry as Crew Resource Management, which was tailored to the specific needs of a surgical environment.