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June 26, 2008, 9:18 PM CT

'No men allowed' in women's secret world

'No men allowed' in women's secret world
From the Petri dish in the controlled environment of a sterile laboratory to the faraway fields of another country, virtually anything can be the topic of scientific study. However, a University of Missouri religion professor observed that if the researcher is a male fieldworker studying women, the situation can be challenging.

"The question of whether men can conduct field research on women ultimately will be determined by the quality and type of the data that they gather," said Robert M. Baum, professor of religious studies in the MU College of Arts and Science. "The subject matter of the field research will profoundly shape the possibilities of success. For example, access to women's ritual spaces and esoteric knowledge may be too restricted for male researchers. Research on female religious leaders whose teachings are designed for both men and women and who preside over mixed congregations will be far more fruitful for men to conduct".

His conclusions about male scientists studying female subjects are based on his extensive observations of the Diola (pronounced joe-la) people. Baum has been traveling to southwestern Senegal on the African continent and conducting field research among the Diola communities, approximately 600,000 people, for more than 30 years. The modern Diola are primarily rice farmers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 10:12 PM CT

Hurried doctor visits may leave patients feeling forgetful

Hurried doctor visits may leave patients feeling forgetful
Have you ever been whisked through a doctor's visit, and afterward were unable to remember what the doctor said? A University of Rochester Medical Center study disclosed that doctors don't often take the steps necessary to help patients recall medical instructions.

The study, published online in this month's Journal of General Internal Medicine, investigated how frequently physicians repeat themselves, write down information, summarize instructions or take other steps to help patients remember the doctor's advice. The results suggest that doctors do not use these tools effectively or consistently. In fact, not one of the 49 doctors who participated in the study summarized their therapy recommendations.

"It's common for patients to forget half of what they're told in a medical visit," said the study's lead author, Jordan Silberman, a second-year University of Rochester medical student. "Obviously, this is cause for concern. As noted by the British researcher Philip Ley, 'if the patient cannot remember what he is supposed to do, he is extremely unlikely to do it.' No matter how effective a therapy is, it can be rendered useless by poor recall".

Scientists sent unannounced standardized patients (actors trained for this study) into primary care doctor practices across Rochester, N.Y., with hidden recording devices. The actors complained of typical heartburn symptoms. Scientists then coded the recordings to determine how often doctors reinforced their instructions in some way.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 10:01 PM CT

Watch out for the wrong kind of sugar

Watch out for the wrong kind of sugar
WE KNOW about good and bad fats. Now suspicion is growing that not all sugars are created equal either. Overweight adults who consume large amounts of fructose have been found to experience alarming changes in body fat and insulin sensitivity that do not occur after eating glucose.

Pure fructose is found in fresh fruit, fruit juice and preserves. But much of it sneaks into our diets though high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in soft drinks - which gets broken down into 55 per cent fructose and 45 per cent glucose in the body - or via sucrose (ordinary sugar), which is broken down into the same two sugars.

Fears that fructose and HFCS are fuelling the obesity epidemic and triggering insulin resistance and diabetes have been circulating for years (New Scientist, 1 September 2001, p 26), but there have been few direct investigations in humans.

So Peter Havel at the University of California, Davis, persuaded 33 overweight and obese adults to go on a diet that was 30 per cent fat, 55 per cent complex carbohydrates and 15 per cent protein for two weeks. For a further 10 weeks, they switched to a diet in which 25 per cent of their energy came from either fructose or glucose.

In those given fructose there was an increase in the amount of intra-abdominal fat, which wraps around internal organs, causes a pot belly and has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This did not happen with the group who consumed glucose instead, even though both gained an average 1.5 kilograms in weight.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 25, 2008, 9:58 PM CT

Morbid thoughts whet the appetite

Morbid thoughts whet the appetite
Can watching TV news or crime shows trigger overeating? As per new research in the Journal of Consumer Research, people who are thinking about their own deaths want to consume more.

Authors Naomi Mandel (Arizona State University) and Dirk Smeesters (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands) conducted several experiments in Europe and the United States where participants wrote essays on their feelings about their own deaths. They then checked off items on a grocery list or ate cookies. Consumers who wrote about their own deaths wanted to buy more and ate more than those who wrote about a painful medical procedure (the control group).

"People want to consumer more of all kinds of foods, both healthy and unhealthy, when thinking about the idea that they will die some day," write the authors.

The scientists found people with low self-esteem, in particular, tend to over-consume after death-related thoughts. Mandel and Smeesters explain the effect using a theory called "escape from self-awareness." "When people are reminded of their inevitable mortality, they may start to feel uncomfortable about what they have done with their lives and whether they have made a significant mark on the universe. This is a state called 'heightened self-awareness.' One way to deal with such an uncomfortable state is to escape from it, by either overeating or overspending," they write.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 24, 2008, 10:22 PM CT

Cheek Fat Compartments That Are Key To Youthful Appearance

Cheek Fat Compartments That Are Key To Youthful Appearance
Dr. Joel Pessa
Rejuvenating newly identified fat compartments in the facial cheeks can help reduce the hollowed look of the face as it ages, as per new research by plastic surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Scientists used special dyes to identify and map four cheek-fat compartments hidden deep beneath the skin. When these compartments are restored using fat, tissue fillers or artificial implants, the result is a more youthful and less hollow look to the overall face, as per Dr. Joel Pessa, assistant professor of plastic surgery.

Restoring these compartments also improves volume loss under the eyes, helps eliminate lines around the nose and mouth and gives more curve to the upper lip, all of which restore a more youthful appearance to the face, Dr. Pessa said.

"This research breaks new ground by identifying the boundaries of specific fat compartments that are key to facial rejuvenation involving the cheeks, and as a consequence, the overall look of the face," said Dr. Pessa, a co-author of the study, which appears in the recent issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. "Cheeks are vital to what we consider beautiful - from chubby-cheeked infants to Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie".

Plastic surgeons performed nearly 8,000 cheek implants in 2007, as per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In addition, nearly 47,000 fat injections and 1.1 million injections with hyaluronic acid fillers were performed last year.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 24, 2008, 10:15 PM CT

Savings help the medicine go down

Savings help the medicine go down
A new study of state-subsidized pharmacy assistance programs showed that providing prescription drug coverage for low-income seniors reduces Medicaid and Medicare costs. Moreover, needy seniors enrolled in the programs were able to cut their dose skimping and nursing home admissions in half, as per the Brandeis University research.

In 2002, Illinois and Wisconsin implemented state pharmacy assistance programs with joint federal funding. Senior citizens with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, but not eligible for Medicaid, could join. The Brandeis study reviewed whether these "SeniorCare" programs increased access to prescription drugs and reduced Medicaid enrollment, said lead author Donald Shepard, a health economist at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis.

The study matched 7,699 Illinois and 1,798 Wisconsin so called "buy-in" beneficiaries to similar Ohio controls because the states share a number of similarities. Since Illinois already had a different prescription program in place its SeniorCare program did not reduce the number of seniors enrolling in Medicaid, but it did reduce how a number of were admitted to nursing homes and how much enrollees spent on drugs.

For example, in the first year of the Illinois program, nursing home entry was 2.4 percent, in comparison to 4.4 percent for the Ohio controls. Likewise, Medicaid spending averaged $631 over Illinois SeniorCare members, versus $1,605 for Ohio controls, a savings of 61 percent. The study showed that these savings fell slightly short of the state's first-year program costs of $1,394 per enrollee.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 23, 2008, 7:16 PM CT

Retinal hemorrhaging and motor vehicle crashes

Retinal hemorrhaging and motor vehicle crashes
The severity of retinal hemorrhaging for young children in motor vehicle crashes is closely corcorrelation to the severity of the crash, as per a new study by scientists at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Retinal hemorrhages occur when the blood vessels lining the retina rupture, resulting in bleeding onto the surface of the retina.

The study, by Jane Kivlin, M.D., and Kenneth Simons, M.D., professors of ophthalmology at the Medical College, is reported in the recent issue of Archives of Ophthalmology

"The severity of the retinal injuries is similar to that seen in nonaccidental childhood neurotrauma, or shaken baby syndrome," as per Dr. Kivlin, a pediatric ophthalmologist and lead author, who sees patients at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "A number of perpetrators of shaken baby syndrome have confessed to violently shaking the child, subjecting the child to severe rotational force".

The retrospective study examined ten cases of children younger than three years taken from autopsies performed by the Milwaukee County medical examiner from January 1, 1994, to December 31, 2002. All patients died in motor vehicle crashes as passengers or pedestrians. They were subjected to extremely severe forces involving rapid deceleration with a rotational, or whiplash-like, component.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


June 23, 2008, 7:10 PM CT

Idle Computers Offer Hope

Idle Computers Offer Hope
A biomedical engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin is using a concept called "grid computing" to allow the average person to donate idle computer time in a global effort to fight cancer.

Muhammad Zaman, assistant professor in biomedical engineering, recently introduced Cellular Environment in Living Systems @Home or CELS@Home for short. The program already has more than 1,000 computer users worldwide contributing to the project. And the numbers keep growing.

The idea is based on what is called grid computing. Instead of using local computing resources, which are almost always limited, grid computing allows Internet users worldwide to contribute their idle computer time, creating a "virtual" supercomputer to solve a difficult problem. In this case, the grid computing program is calculating cellular interactions in different environments to help understand the principles of cell migration and cancer cell metastasis, or the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other parts of the body.

"We have launched a global effort to recreate the in vivo (live) environment of cancer cells in a computer model. This allows us to perform virtual experiments and study processes that are too costly or technically very difficult to study," says Zaman, who also directs the Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics. "By recreating this whole 'system of processes inside a cancer cell' we will be in a position to fully comprehend the problem and hopefully identify targets that will one day translate into anti-cancer drugs".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 19, 2008, 9:03 PM CT

Canadian physicians to become medical brokers

 Canadian physicians to become medical brokers
Health-care system constraints combined with a lack of a uniform referral process are leaving Ontario physicians brokering which patients are in greatest need of hip and knee replacement, a study led by a St. Michael's Hospital researcher funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research has revealed. The variability in this process means not everyone who needs this surgery will actually get surgery.

"Findings from our study suggest several system factors are shifting the onus to physicians and surgeons to prioritize which candidates will receive hip and knee replacement," said lead author Pamela Hudak, a researcher in the Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital. "Physicians appear to adjust their criteria, often on a case-by-case basis, to identify which patients will be referred for or, in the case of surgeons, offered surgery. Ultimately this results in a varied approach in determining the best candidates, leaving a number of eligible and suitable candidates on waiting lists or to manage their problems as best they can with conservative approaches like medications".

The study, conducted by a team of scientists from across the University of Toronto and published last week in the journal Medical Decision Making, published by SAGE, examined the impact of patient characteristics, including age, weight/obesity, comorbidity and perioperative risk, and gender and caretaker roles in the decision-making process of 18 family physicians, 15 rheumatologists and 17 orthopedic surgeons from across Ontario.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 18, 2008, 9:08 PM CT

Caesarean sections associated with risk of asthma

Caesarean sections associated with risk of asthma
Babies born by Caesarean section have a 50 % increased risk of developing asthma in comparison to babies born naturally. Emergency Caesarean sections increase the risk even further. This is shown in a new study based on data from 1.7 million births registered at the Medical Birth Registry at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The goal of the study was to investigate the possible link between being born by Caesarean section and later development of asthma.

Summarised results from the study:.
  • In comparison to children born in the natural way (i.e. spontaneously and vaginally), children born by Caesarean section had an approximately 50 % increased risk of developing asthma.
  • Children born vaginally, but with assistance from vacuum or forceps, had a 20 % increased risk of asthma.
  • For children born between 1988 and 1998, planned Caesarean section was linked to an approximately 40 % increased risk of asthma while emergency Caesarean section was linked to a 60 % increased risk.
.

Why do Caesarean sections give an increased risk of asthma?

- We found a moderately strong association between birth by Caesarean section and asthma in childhood, says doctor and research fellow Mette Christophersen TollÄnes, who works for both the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care at the University of Bergen, Norway.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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