December 2012 Archives

detecting cancer from breath-test?

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Scientists say they have developed a breath-test that can accurately tell if a person has bowel cancer.

This study was posted December 4th on BBC news, and in short discussed research published by the British Journal of Surgery, behind the breath-test, which looks for exhaled chemicals linked to tumour activity.

The test method had a 76% accuracy rating in identifying the patient's with the disease.
against 41 patient's as "controls" and who were thought to be healthy.

The initial test identified the cancer patients with 85% accuracy, but the overall result fell to 76%, but the researchers were still upbeat about the future of breath-test methods after finding significant potential from the studies results.



This research study took data released last fall from a 25,000-household survey and analyzed top first-run network shows the respondents said they watched in the previous seven days. The information provided from this study provides a glimpse into who is watching what, and where across the country they're watching from. Insight into specific demographics like Urbanites for example, who are usually slightly younger and more affluent- were said to be 34% more likely than the overall population to watch "America's Next Top Model." Versus CBS's "Mike & Molly" whose biggest demographic of viewers were 20% more likely to watch their program and were mostly 18-49 year olds from senior-heavy communities in the Midwest and Northeast. This is especially important for advertisers, because knowing particular qualities of an audience allows them to make better choices in which programs to support.


Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Liver Cancer?

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Research Article on New York Times Research Section:

-large projective study-

Scientific research on 300,000 men and women ages 50 to 71, attempted to link self-reported use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with diagnoses of hepatocellular carcinoma and death from chronic liver disease.

The results were published online last week in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute and concluded that aspirin users had a 37% reduced risk of liver cancer and a 57% reduced rate of death from liver disease.

HOWEVER-I found it interesting, that the frequency of use(daily, weekly or monthly) didn't matter and those who took non-aspirin NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen)had a 34 percent reduced risk of cancer, compared to those who did not.
- But they did not have a reduced risk of death from liver disease-


Link to Binge-drinking and Genetics

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(Article found on BBC News online homepage on December 4th 2012)

Scientists believe the gene-RASGRF2-is one of many genes suggested to have a link to drinking problems (PNAS journal reports)

The gene boosts levels of a happy brain chemical triggered by alcohol-dopamine.

SAMPLE/RESEARCH METHOD: Brain scans of 663 teenage for dopamine levels against gene-to find causation or correlation

RESULTS: The boys who showed a version of the gene, had heightened dopamine responses in tests.

(lead researcher Prof Gunter Schumann said ""We found that the RASGRF-2 gene plays a crucial role in controlling how alcohol stimulates the brain to release dopamine, and hence trigger the feeling of reward")

Link To Chronic Stress and Mood Disorders

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A link to chronic stress and mood disorders was linked in a new research on rats!

A new study found chronic stress has the ability to create the complications in the brain, often associated with mood disorders. It does so by blocking the a gene called neuritin-and if we boosted neuritin's activity- it could protect the brain from these very complications.

(Huffington Post-2012)


Android, iPhone data leak- Oct. 7th

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A study of 57 of the most popular iPhone free applications, found that 67% were transmitting unique device identifiers (UDIDs) with remote servers.

What's especially problematic is in a significant portion of the cases, this transmission of UDIDs to remote servers, (owned either by application developers or their advertising partners) was also accompanied by transmissions of log in data for user accounts, giving access their private information.

Genetic Study On Heart Attacks

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Medical Research News-December 3rd, 2012

This study discussed the recent genetic study into Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and it's main complication: Heart Attacks.

I thought it was interesting that this genetic study was the largest to date. I figured, as genetics seem to be followed closely in modern scientific research and heart attacks are relatively common, that research into this relationship would have been of been a bigger priority/of more interest to those in the field.

-outcome of study-
(-They identified 15 genetic regions newly associated with the disease-)

(-The team identified a further 104 independent genetic variants that are very likely to be associated with the disease-)

Long-Term Memory and Disturbing News Reports

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This study of communication research looked into the long-term memories from childhood exposure of disturbing televised news reports. They hoped the research would help discover the mechanisms through which children experience the emotion of fear. In terms of research methodology and approach, they used an online survey of 328 undergraduate students at a Midwestern university, in which respondents were questioned about their long term memories of a disturbing news report they saw during their childhood.


Using Smart Phones to gather Health Information

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This article published by the Pew Research Center looks into mobile health finding it's market in Smart Phone Owners.

Research concluded that of the 85% of U.S. adults who own a cell phone, 53% own Smartphones, and that 52% of Smartphone owners gathered health information on their phones, compared to 6% of non-smartphone owners. It also concluded that Latino and African American cell phone owners ages 18-49 as well as those who hold a college degree or more likely to gather health information this way.

The results were reported from a nationwide survey of 3,014 adults living in the United States, consisting of 1,808 telephone interviews conducted by landline and 1,206 conducted by cell phones, from August 7th to September 6th.

As discussed in class, to access the validity of the statistical results, they were weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies, and the margin of sampling error was is ±2.4 percentage points, due to the large sample size.


This was an article published November 15th on USA TODAY, which included research into a Gallup Poll of Americans optimism for the next four years with Obama in office. According to the Gallup Poll, it seems most Americans are still optimistic about the next four years with Obama in office. The poll used a sample of 1,009 adults nationwide, and was conducted from November 9th to November 12th. The margin of error was +/-3 percentage points.


Plastic bulb development promises better quality light

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An article on BBC news published December 3rd 2012, whose information came from data published in the journal Organic Electronics, looked into the research of US scientists in developing a new type of lighting that could replace fluorescent bulbs.

This new light source is called field-induced polymer electroluminescent (Fipel) technology,and was created by using three layers of white-emitting polymer, and after testing the new light source, researchers project it will be twice as efficient as fluorescent bulbs.


New findings published in the Scientific Journal Brain on December 2nd 2012, produced from a study of athletes, military veterans and others, who absorbed repeated hits to the head, added to growing evidence of a link between head trauma and long-term, degenerative brain disease.

The study, which included brain samples taken from 85 people (after death) who had histories of repeated mild traumatic brain injury, revealed the possible consequences of routine hits to the head in sports like football and hockey. The possible consequences being long-term cognitive impairment
The study was conducted by investigators at the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy who created a four-tiered system to classify each subjects C.T.E. for doctor's to better assess later. It took four years to complete and included 85 subjects 17 to 98 years old.


This study was on published on November 27th by The Conference Board, who joined forces with The Nielsen Company, and provide insight for those in the business world into consumer attitudes and behaviors through their Consumer Confidence Index, and Consumer Confidence Survey.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is given on a monthly basis, using a probability-design random sample.

This month, they're Consumer Confidence Index, which also increased in October, posted another moderate increase for November as well. The index stands at 73.7 (1985=100) up from 73.1 in October. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board attributed this month's improvement to a slow rise in expectations. She said "Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions continues to hold steady, but that over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence."


Greenland, Antarctic Ice is Melting Faster

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This article was published by National Public Radio and discusses recent scientific research into the increasing melting rate of Greenland's Antarctic Ice cap's and the degree to which the melting rate will forecast the rate of sea-level rise in the years to come. Scientists are primarily doing so by using three satellite-based instruments.
1.To measure similar to the sort of instrument an airplane carries to tell how high it is above the ground
2.To measure the flow of giant glaciers as they stream toward the sea
3. To measure tiny changes in gravity, which also measures the mass of ice in those sheets.
Now, the experts in this field are thinking that sea level is much more likely to rise 2 or 3 feet by the end of the century. That includes additional sea-level rise from melting mountain glaciers and from the ocean itself, which expands as the water heats up.


U.S. Birth Rate falls to Record Low

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This was a study from the Pew Research Center which used data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau from 1990 to 2010 to analyze and compare fertility patterns of foreign-born and U.S. women. The study concluded the overall U.S. birth rate, which is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15 to 44, dipped in 2011 to the lowest number ever recorded at 63.2 per 1,000 women, since 1920.

They believe this is explained by behavior rather than population composition, and closely linked to economic distress.


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This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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