Many women with breast cancer have all of their breast removed unnecessarily, according to Dr Robert Kuske from Arizona Oncology Services in the US. He says women are put off less radical breast-conserving surgery by the long and extensive radiation courses that are also required. According to Dr Kuske, a radiation technique called brachytherapy would eliminate these barriers. He spoke at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Mastectomy involves removing the whole breast that contains the cancer. In breast conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy, the cancerous tissue and some of the surrounding tissue is removed, leaving the rest of the breast intact. Several courses of radiation therapy, spread over weeks, are then given to kill any remaining cancer in the hope that it will not return. According to Dr Kuske, 80% of women with breast cancer would be candidates for breast conserving surgery. Previous research, involving 4,700 women with early breast cancer in 37 countries, found Britain has one of the lowest mastectomy rates. Overall, just over half the patients underwent a mastectomy, while the rest had some form of breast conserving surgery, the specialists from the University of Gdansk found.
But Dr Kuske says too many women are having mastectomies. "I believe women choose mastectomy because of the inconvenience of six to seven weeks of conventional radiotherapy and the fear of irradiation to uninvolved breast, skin, ribs, lung and the heart," he said. From BBC....
An experiment using cylindrical containers of various sizes is an incongruous starting point for a journey into the mysteries of cognitive development involved when humans learn the concepts behind individual terms of a language. But starting point it is. In the experiment, 5-month-old infants divided a series of actions into two categories, corresponding to 'tight' and 'loose' fits — a conceptual distinction that is marked in the Korean language, but not in English. Infants from a Korean-speaking environment detected this distinction, like adult Korean speakers. However, infants from an English-speaking environment also made the distinction, yet adult English speakers generally do not. Without linguistic support, an innate capability to make this distinction seems to vanish. So language learning seems to link linguistic forms to pre-existing representations of sound and meaning. From Nature....
Cooper pairs of fermions are thought to be responsible for the bizarre properties of superconductors (such as their total lack of resistance) and of superfluids (such as lack of viscosity and a strange, quantized flow within vortices). Achieving Cooper pairing in fermion condensates would enable scientists to examine the properties of Cooper pairs with unprecedented flexibility and would help unravel the enduring mysteries of the physics behind superconductors. From Sciences Magazine....
Starting this month, Song, the new low-cost flyer from Delta, will debut its new in-flight workout program.
For $8 passengers will get an elastic band, a squeezable ball and a how-to manual with a workout designed by fitness guru Dave Barton.
Song isn't the only airline aiming to keep you fit in flight. For the past several months Jet Blue has offered in-flight yoga, and more recently, Pilates.
It's too soon to tell whether the new workouts will give you "buns of steel," but when it comes to exercise, something's better than nothing. What's more, experts say that regular physical activity, especially on long flights, can help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
This is my first posting on my first blog site.
From New York Times
People who do not want to wait for old age to shrink their brains and bring on memory loss now have a quicker alternative - abuse methamphetamine for a decade or so and watch the brain cells vanish into the night.
The first high-resolution M.R.I. study of methamphetamine addicts shows "a forest fire of brain damage," said Dr. Paul Thompson, an expert on brain mapping at the University of California, Los Angeles. "We expected some brain changes but didn't expect so much tissue to be destroyed."
The image, published in the June 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, shows the brain's surface and deeper limbic system. Red areas show the greatest tissue loss.
The limbic region, involved in drug craving, reward, mood and emotion, lost 11 percent of its tissue. "The cells are dead and gone," Dr. Thompson said. Addicts were depressed, anxious and unable to concentrate.
The brain's center for making new memories, the hippocampus, lost 8 percent of its tissue, comparable to the brain deficits in early Alzheimer's. The methamphetamine addicts fared significantly worse on memory tests than healthy people the same age.