Tech

Hospitals across Canada are seeking ways to free up beds. University of Alberta researcher Donna Wilson has a suggestion: people should be encouraged to die at home rather than in hospital.

She looked at statistics dating back to 1950 and has found that there's been a dramatic change in the location of death of Canadians. Up until 1994, about 80 per cent of people dying each year were passing on in hospital. Now that number is down to 61 per cent, and Wilson is hoping the trend continues.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Some researchers hope to turn plants into a renewable, nonpolluting replacement for crude oil. To achieve this, scientists have to learn how to convert plant biomass into a building block for plastics and fuels cheaply and efficiently. In new research, chemists have successfully converted cellulose -- the most common plant carbohydrate -- directly into the building block called HMF in one step.

Rice University's Andrew Barron and his group, working with labs in Italy, Germany and Greece, have identified specific molecules that could block the means by which the deadly virus spreads by taking away its ability to bind with other proteins.

Using computer simulations, researchers tested more than 100 carbon fullerene, or C-60, derivatives initially developed at Rice for other purposes to see if they could be used to inhibit a strain of the virus, HIV-1 PR, by attaching themselves to its binding pocket.

"Medical and nursing students don't have many opportunities to train together and interact with pharmacists and hospital managers until they are in a professional setting – the students' lack of experience and confidence can affect patient care," said Gretchen Gregory, clinical instructor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. "Group simulation requires students to interact with other health professionals and care for patients as a team."

MADISON, WI, MAY 18, 2009 –Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) carried in biosolids (i.e., treated sewage sludge) may reach surface waters or groundwater when these materials are applied as fertilizer to agricultural land. During the high flow conditions created by land application of liquid municipal biosolids (LMB) the residence time of solutes in soil macropores may be too short for sorption equilibration which increases the risk for leaching. Physically based solute transport simulation models are widely used in environmental risk assessment for pesticides.

ATS 2009, SAN DIEGO—Research conducted seven years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City (NYC) found that children attending the socioeconomically and ethnically homogeneous elementary school closest to Ground Zero have high rates of self-reported asthma and airway obstruction.

The research will be presented on Tuesday, May 19 at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego.

Last year's energy crisis highlighted an unforseen by-product of the looming fuel shortages of the 21st century. Petroleum-based products such as plastics that society takes for granted but now requires to function will run out with the oil. Scientists are looking to microorganisms to pick up the slack and help produce environmentally friendly plastics, according to research presented today at the 109th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

A new 3-minute test could help in diagnosing prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, according to scientists.

Researchers have developed the test by using light energy to measure the level of citrate in fluid samples from the prostate gland. The technique could provide the basis of a rapid means of detecting prostate cancer in the future. Almost a quarter of male cancers in the UK are diagnosed as prostate cancer and more than 10,000 men die from the disease each year.

A novel vaccine strategy using virus-like particles (VLPs) could provide stronger and longer-lasting influenza vaccines with a significantly shorter development and production time than current ones, allowing public health authorities to react more quickly in the event of a potential pandemic.

PROVIDENCE, RI – It is time for states to suspend, rather than terminate, the Medicaid benefits of inmates while they are incarcerated, say correctional health care experts from The Miriam Hospital in a commentary published online by the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Although federal law does not mandate Medicaid termination for prisoners, 90 percent of states have implemented policies that withdraw inmates' enrollment upon incarceration, which the authors say leaves a vulnerable population uninsured following release.

Many scientists currently think at least 5 percent of humanity's carbon footprint comes from the concrete industry, both from energy use and the carbon dioxide (CO2) byproduct from the production of cement, one of concrete's principal components.

Yet several studies have shown that small quantities of CO2 later reabsorb into concrete, even decades after it is emplaced, when elements of the material combine with CO2 to form calcite.

AUSTIN, Texas—Scientists struggling to understand how Earth's climate will change in the next few decades have neglected a potential treasure trove of information—sediments deposited in the ocean by major Arctic rivers such as the Colville and Mackenzie rivers—according to geoscientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

The researchers' study was published in the May 19 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An NSERC-funded lab at the University Of Waterloo has laid the groundwork for a lithium battery that can store and deliver more than three times the power of conventional lithium ion batteries.

The research team of professor Linda Nazar, graduate student David Xiulei Ji and postdoctoral fellow Kyu Tae Lee are one of the first to demonstrate robust electrochemical performance for a lithium-sulphur battery. The finding is reported today in the on-line issue of Nature Materials.

The answer to the looming fuel crisis in the 21st century may be found by thinking small, microscopic in fact. Microscopic organisms from bacteria and cyanobacteria, to fungi and microalgae, are biological factories that are proving to be efficient sources of inexpensive, environmentally friendly biofuels that can serve as alternatives to oil, according to research presented at the 109th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.