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AGU journal highlights -- May 31, 2011

This release features research papers on the following topics: "Analyzing subsurface oil and gas intrusions from Gulf spill"; "Cold snaps still a threat despite global warming"; "Part of Gulf of Mexico became greener after oil spill"; "Tundra sites show no carbon uptake rise from early Arctic melt"; "Tropical air flows, rain in flux -- global warming likely factor"; "Ice sheet collapse affects...

Association between biomarkers and disease often overstated, Stanford researcher finds

ore than two dozen widely cited studies linking genes or other "biomarkers" to specific diseases vastly overstate the association, according to new research from an expert in scientific study design at the Stanford University School of Medicine. As a result, clinicians may be making decisions for their patients based on inaccurate conclusions not supported by other, larger studies.

Big city holds empty promise for bats

In the treeless, flat Prairie, you'd think a city would provide a good home for bats who like to snuggle up and roost in trees and buildings. But researchers at the University of Calgary made the surprising discovery that the urban landscape is far from ideal for these animals.

Blueberry's effects on cholesterol examined in lab animal study

Laboratory hamsters that were fed rations spiked with blueberry peels and other blueberry-juice-processing leftovers had better cholesterol health than hamsters whose rations weren't enhanced with blueberries. That's according to a study led by US Department of Agriculture chemist Wallace H. Yokoyama.

Breaking the fracture cycle through effective and coordinated models of care

A prior fracture at least doubles a patient's future fracture risk -- yet numerous studies from across the world have found that health-care systems fail to respond to the first fracture to prevent future fractures. A new position paper issued by IOF concludes that coordinator-based systems are the most clinically- and cost-effective models to optimize outcome in fragility fracture patients and...

California scientists discover how vitamins and minerals may prevent age-related diseases

Severe deficiency of the vitamins and minerals required for life is relatively uncommon in developed nations, but modest deficiency is very common and often not taken seriously. A new research published online in the FASEB Journal, however, may change this thinking as it examines moderate selenium and vitamin K deficiency to show how damage accumulates over time as a result of vitamin and mineral...

Carnegie Mellon researchers uncover how the brain processes faces

Until now, scientists believed that only a couple of brain areas mediate facial recognition. However, Carnegie Mellon University's Marlene Behrmann, David Plaut and Adrian Nestor have discovered that an entire network of cortical areas work together to identify faces. Published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their findings will change the future of...

Cosmetics can cause serious adverse effects

Permanent hair dye gives the most serious adverse effects, yet there are also many reactions to facial and body moisturizers. This comes from the first report from the National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetic Products from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

EARTH: D-Day's legacy sands

Next week marks the 67th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, and changed the face of World War II. Not much evidence of the war remains in Normandy: a few dilapidated relics, a cemetery, a war memorial. But something else was left behind that cannot be seen by the naked eye: shrapnel and iron and glass beads left over from the D-Day invasions in 1944.

Egg cartons not accurate in reporting animal welfare claims

If you think that you're using humanely produced eggs for your omelets or deviled eggs, think again. Egg companies recognize that most Americans care about the welfare of farmed animals and many market their eggs with labels claiming the hens were treated well. But a Rutgers-Camden law professor warns that many of the animal welfare claims on egg cartons aren't all that they're cracked up to be.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine

In an article published today in Annals ofInternal Medicine, the flagship journal of the American College ofPhysicians (ACP), Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Instituteof Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. Carl W. DieffenbachDirector of NIAID’s Division of AIDS, outline the critical elementsneeded to control -- and ultimately end -- the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

Extra weight equals better health-related quality of life for blacks, not so for women

A survey of nearly 4,000 Americans finds that obese women reported significantly worse health than obese men. Blacks who were overweight also reported better health than blacks in the normal or obese weight categories. Respondents were divided into three categories: normal, overweight, or obese, according to their height and weight. The survey results are published online in the June issue of...

Facelift incision offers safe option for some thyroid patients

A facelift incision and robotics can help surgeons safely remove a portion of a diseased thyroid from some patients without the characteristic neck scar. Georgia Health Sciences University surgeons developed the technique utilizing the remote access capabilities of robots, experience gained from another no-neck-scar approach through the armpit and earlier success removing the largest salivary...

Fracture prediction methods may be useful for patients with diabetes

Use of established fracture prediction methods in older patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) found that scores from these methods were associated with hip and nonspine fracture risk, and a certain score associated with higher risk of fracture compared to persons without DM, according to a study in the June 1 issue of JAMA.