Tech

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Young women and teenage girls often face efforts by male partners to sabotage birth control or coerce pregnancy — including damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives — and these efforts, defined as "reproductive coercion," frequently are associated with physical or sexual violence, a study by a team of researchers led by UC Davis has found.

Considered a dermatological nuisance that was long gone, skin irritations caused by toilet seats appear to be making a comeback in pediatricians' offices, according to research led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center investigator Bernard Cohen, M.D.

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 24, 2010 – When University of Utah scientists discovered a new kind of laser that was generated by an electrically conducting plastic or polymer, no one could explain how it worked and some doubted it was real. Now, a decade later, the Utah researchers have found these "random lasers" occur because of natural, mirror-like cavities in the polymers, and they say such lasers may prove useful for diagnosing cancer.

(PHILADELPHIA) – People who are in car crashes or suffer serious falls, gunshot or knife wounds and other injuries at nights or on weekends do not appear to be affected by the same medical care disparities as patients who suffer heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrests and other time-sensitive illnesses during those "off hours," according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the ten most disabling diseases in the developed world and is set to become more of a financial burden on health services as average life expectancy increases.

OA is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans or 12.1% of the adult population of the United States, according to Laurence et al.¹ A 2001 study showed that the disease costs US health services about $89.1 billion,2 and indirect costs relating to wages and productivity losses and unplanned home care averaged $4603 per person.3

Pediatric hospitals can significantly decrease the number of bloodstream infections from central venous catheters by following some low-tech rules: Insert the catheter correctly and, above all, keep everything squeaky clean after that.

Yearlong research by Marlene Miller, M.D. Ms.C., of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and colleagues from other hospitals saw a 43-percent drop in the rate of bloodstream infections from catheters in 29 pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) that focused on careful placement and basic daily cleaning of the devices.

BOSTON, Mass. (Jan. 19, 2010) —Thirteen-pound babies may make headlines, but they aren't the norm. In fact, U.S. infants are getting smaller, according to researchers at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute's Department of Population Medicine, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Their findings, published in the February 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, suggest that birth weights in this country have declined during the past 15 years.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers have discovered that some of the most fundamental assumptions about how water moves through soil in a seasonally dry climate such as the Pacific Northwest are incorrect – and that a century of research based on those assumptions will have to be reconsidered.

A new study by scientists from Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency showed – much to the surprise of the researchers – that soil clings tenaciously to the first precipitation after a dry summer, and holds it so tightly that it almost never mixes with other water.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — When it comes to saving the environment, Generation Y is all for it – as long as it comes with an economic benefit, according to new research by Michigan State University in collaboration with Deloitte LLP.

Based on a scientific survey of 18- to 30-year-olds, researchers from MSU's Eli Broad Graduate School of Management found that young consumers will not pay a premium price for an automobile simply because it is environmentally friendly. Instead, the determining factor – by far – is fuel efficiency.

Obesity comes with plenty of health risks, but there's one that's perhaps not so well known: an increased risk of developing cancer, and especially certain types of cancer like liver cancer. Now, a group of researchers reporting in the January 22nd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, have confirmed in mice that obesity does indeed act as a "bona fide tumor promoter." They also have good evidence to explain how that happens.

Acute adverse reactions from gadolinium-based contrast agents used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help improve the information seen on the images rarely occur, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A tiny new sensor could provide fresh, inexpensive diagnosis and treatment methods for people suffering from a variety of diseases.

University of Florida engineers have designed and tested versions of the sensor for applications ranging from monitoring diabetics' glucose levels via their breath to detecting possible indicators of breast cancer in saliva. They say early results are promising — particularly considering that the sensor can be mass produced inexpensively with technology already widely used for making chips in cell phones and other devices.

With many companies investing heavily in algae-based biofuels, researchers from the University of Virginia's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have found there are significant environmental hurdles to overcome before fuel production ramps up. They propose using wastewater as a solution to some of these challenges.

These findings come after ExxonMobil invested $600 million last summer and the U.S. Department of Energy announced last week that it is awarding $78 million in stimulus money for research and development of the biofuel.

Pioneering research combining plant breeding and high-intensity x-rays is being used by scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to explore the possibility of developing wheat which could be used to make potentially life-saving mineral enriched flour. The research is highlighted in the latest issue of Business, the quarterly highlights magazine of BBSRC.

A new, low-cost bushfire detection and monitoring system is being developed by University of Adelaide researchers using mobile communications technology.

The same technology used to send SMS messages on mobile phones could be used to develop an efficient and cost-effective early warning message to authorities and people living in fire-risk areas, according to researchers from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.