Tech

INDIANAPOLIS – Frequent testing and treatment of infection does not reduce the prevalence of chlamydia in urban teenage girls, according to a long term study by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers published in the January 1, 2010 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Viruses love plane travel. They get to fly around the world inside a closed container while their infected carrier breathes and coughs, spreading pathogens to other passengers, either by direct contact or through the air. And once people deplane, the virus can spread to other geographical areas.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- When it comes to pumping up the appeal of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), some regions are more ripe for the cars than others, and some consumers' buttons need more pushing than others – an important policy distinction when shaping subsidies, two energy policy experts say.

Amid concerns regarding terrorists targeting airliners using weapons less detectable by traditional means, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is ramping up deployment of whole body scanners at security checkpoints in U.S. airports. These systems produce anatomically accurate images of the body and can detect objects and substances concealed by clothing.

To date, TSA has deployed two types of scanning systems:

High antiretroviral therapy adherence, which has been shown to be a major predictor of HIV disease progression and survival, is now associated with lower health care costs, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers examined the effect of antiretroviral therapy adherence on direct health care costs and found that antiretroviral therapy improves health outcomes for people infected with HIV, saving a net overall median monthly health care cost of $85 per patient.

Scientists in Texas are reporting the development of a "nanodragster" that may speed the course toward development of a new generation of futuristic molecular machines. The vehicle — only 1/50,000th the width of a human hair — resembles a hot-rod in shape and can outperform previous nano-sized vehicles. Their report is in ACS' Organic Letters, a bi-weekly journal.

Manufacturers of counterfeit prescription drugs are embracing new tactics to deal with an estimated $75-billion-year market in knockoffs, a battle that is far from being won. That's the focus of an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. Counterfeiting ploys include embracing the same technology that pharmaceutical companies use to identify their products as genuine.

The United States needs to fundamentally rethink its policy of promoting ethanol to diversify its energy sources and increase energy security, according to a new policy paper by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University determined that immune responses to the tetanus vaccine were not changed when rituximab in combination with methotrexate (MTX) was compared with MTX alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Responses to a pneumococcal vaccination (Pneumovax® pneumonia vaccine), however, were reduced in RA patients with rituximab. Complete findings of this study are published in the January 2010 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

A new computerised device that tracks portion size and how fast people eat is more successful in helping obese children and adolescents lose weight than standard treatments, according to research published on bmj.com today.

The quest to discover whether Mars ever hosted an environment friendly to microscopic forms of life has just gotten a shot in the arm.

"Mars was a lot different 3-1/2 billion years ago. It was more like Earth with liquid water," said Jennifer Eigenbrode, a scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Maybe life existed back then. Maybe it has persisted, which is possible given the fact that we've found life in every extreme environment here on Earth. If life existed on Mars, maybe it adapted very much like life adapted here."

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers at Purdue University have created a magnetic "ferropaper" that might be used to make low-cost "micromotors" for surgical instruments, tiny tweezers to study cells and miniature speakers.

The material is made by impregnating ordinary paper - even newsprint - with a mixture of mineral oil and "magnetic nanoparticles" of iron oxide. The nanoparticle-laden paper can then be moved using a magnetic field.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the U.S., also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report.

VERNON – Short grazing periods on multiple paddocks within a pasture can not only restore forage conditions, but also profit margins, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist. Dr. Richard Teague, AgriLife Research range ecologist in Vernon, has been studying the benefits of multi-paddock grazing for the past eight years.Ranchers need to know answers to practical questions such as: how good is this management option, where is it successful, and what does it take to make it work as well as possible, Teague said.