Tech

Scientists at the University of Leicester are investigating how the stuff of stink bombs and flatulence could play a critical role in the human reproductive system.

Hydrogen sulphide –partially responsible for the foul odour of stink bombs- is also a toxic gas and has been used for chemical warfare.

But research at the University of Leicester is now looking at beneficial effects it has in the body- and the potentially critical role the chemical might have in term and pre-term births.

July 20, 2009 -- Prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can adversely affect a child's intelligence quotient or IQ, according to new research by the the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health. PAHs are chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco. In urban areas motor vehicles are a major source of PAHs. The study findings are published in the August 2009 issue of Pediatrics.

INDIANAPOLIS – The results of a new study of the pen and paper workarounds employed by healthcare providers who use an electronic medical record system may help make electronic medical records even more useful to health-care providers and the patients they serve.

"Exploring the Persistence of Paper with the Electronic Health Record" appears in the September 2009 issue of the International Journal of Medical Informatics.

PROVIDENCE -- Rhode Island Hospital is one of only four sites across the country to participate in a new clinical trial called the DIGNITY Study. The study will investigate the effectiveness of a chemotherapeutic agent, ThermoDox, used in conjunction with mild hyperthermia (a form of heat therapy) for treating recurrent chest wall breast cancer.

What would happen if credit card holders no longer received rewards? Not much – but it could cut consumer credit card debt, says a new study on the impact of rewards programs on credit and debit card use.

The paper, co-published by the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, found that removing rewards would result in only a small number of credit card customers switching to more debit card and cash transactions.

A simple redesign of public buses used in hot and dry climates could make passengers more comfortable without the need to use extra fuel running air conditioning, according to a study published in the International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems.

Sunil Kale of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India, and colleagues point out that the majority of passenger trips are taken in open window buses.

To compete worldwide, European manufacturers have to compensate for an older, higher-paid, and better-protected workforce. A European research programme has prototyped an automated workstation to safely boost worker productivity.

Manufacturers know that modern factories have to be fast and flexible to compete in the international marketplace. Whether they are making automobiles, aeroplanes or advanced electronics, manufacturers must be able to modify existing products, develop new ones, and move them quickly from the drawing board to the marketplace.

It's not too often that two tropical cyclones are close enough to each other to be within a satellite's view as it tracks far above the Earth, but it happened this week with Carlos and Dolores in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, which is managed by NASA and JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency captured a two-for-one image of both tropical cyclones in one satellite image!

The June cover of the Journal of Virology features a photograph of the unusual effects on a cell infected by a virus. Montana State University researchers were the first to view the virus, which they collected from a boiling, acidic spring in Yellowstone.

The article linked with the cover photograph describes the researchers' findings about the life cycle of the virus Sulfolobus turreted icosahedral virus (STIV). No one has seen STIV replicate within a host cell prior to the work done by MSU scientists.

BOZEMAN -- Thread-like fungi that grow in soils at high elevations may play an important role in restoring whitebark and limber pine forests in Canada. Montana State University professor Cathy Cripps is looking for ways to use fungi to help pine seedlings get a strong start.

A small NASA aircraft completed its first successful science flight Thursday in partnership with the University of Colorado at Boulder as part of an expedition to study the receding Arctic sea ice and improve understanding of its life cycle and the long-term stability of the Arctic ice cover. The mission continues through July 24.

A daily dose of sodium bicarbonate—baking soda, already used for baking, cleaning, acid indigestion, sunburn, and more—slows the decline of kidney function in some patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), reports an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). "This cheap and simple strategy also improves patients' nutritional status, and has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality of life, and clinical outcome benefits," comments Magdi Yaqoob, MD (Royal London Hospital).

The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2 (ANDE-2), launched aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 15, 2009. The ANDE-2 satellite suite consists of two nearly perfectly spherical micro-satellites with instrumentation to perform two interrelated mission objectives. The first objective is to monitor the total atmospheric density along the orbit for improved orbit determination of resident space objects. The second is to provide a test object for both radar and optical U.S. Space Surveillance Network sensors.

TECNALIA Corporación Tecnológica and the Valencia Institute for Biomechanics (IBV) have designed made-to-measure solutions to improve adaptation to replacements for amputated legs – the prime objective of the new health biomaterials project, FABIO, financed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

A team of researchers has mapped patterns of illicit drug use across the US state of Oregon using a method of sampling municipal wastewater before it is treated.

Their findings provide a one-day snapshot of drug excretion that can be used to better understand patterns of drug use in multiple municipalities over time. Municipal water treatment facilities across Oregon volunteered for the study to help further the development of this methodology as a proactive tool for health officials.