By Heidi Ledford
Patients who take the controversial diabetes drug Avandia are more likely to have a stroke or heart failure, or die, than those who take a rival drug, a survey of more than 200,000 insurance records has revealed. [More]
As the first of the Deepwater relief wells sinks to within a few hundred meters of intersecting the leaking Macondo oil well deep below the Gulf of Mexico's seafloor, BP's moment of truth is coming. Unfortunately, so is tropical storm Alex and its 95 kilometer-per-hour winds. The National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center forecasts that Alex could become a hurricane on Tuesday, possibly delaying the drilling of relief wells generally seen as the best and last hope to plug the 9.5 million liters of crude gushing into the Gulf daily. [More]
As you may have noticed, scientists remain convinced that humans are altering the global climate with an excess of greenhouse gas emissions--soot, methane and the ever-present carbon dioxide we pump out from our lungs and coal-burning power plants. The question is: how bad is said climate change going to get? [More]
Researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) have invented a real-life Transformer, a device that can fold itself into two shapes on command. The system is hardly ready to do battle with the Decepticons--the tiny contraption forms only relatively crude boat and airplane shapes--but the concept could one day produce chameleonlike objects that shift between any number of practical shapes at will. [More]
We all carry our DNA around with us--in every cell of our bodies--but some biotech trailblazers are toting their genomes with them, too. In a recent talk Jay Flatley, president and CEO of sequencing giant Illumina, recalled being asked by his doctor to get a certain genetic test. But Flatley was able to pull up his full genome on his iPad then and there instead of sending a spit sample off to the lab. [More]
On a dark night in 1967, Reed Hayes stepped out onto the gangway over the uranium thickener tank. He was replacing a light bulb during the graveyard shift at the now-demolished Atlas uranium mill in Moab, Utah. He stumbled, reached desperately for the safety line, and grabbed nothing but air. A worker on the previous shift forgot to secure it.
"All of a sudden I go plop!" Hayes recalled. "I go clear to the bottom. I'm in nitric acid, sulfuric acid, uranium yellowcake, and caustic soda. If I hadn't been a good swimmer, I probably would not have gotten out of there."[More]
Even if you have a light hand with the salt shaker, you probably get lots of sodium in processed or restaurant meals. But sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, and increases the risk for heart disease and failure, stroke, and kidney disease. So how many of us are limiting our sodium intake to recommended levels--which scientists say could reduce new cases of coronary heart disease by 60-to-120 thousand per year.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005/2006, the most recent years available. Nearly 4,000 adults over 20-years-old completed a physical, had their blood pressure taken and answered a survey of what they’d eaten over the past 24. This food survey was taken again about a week later.[More]
Seepage of carbon dioxide from long-term carbon capture and storage projects may lead to delayed global warming unless the gas can be tightly controlled, according to a new study.
Unless the seepage rate of sequestered carbon dioxide can be held to 1 percent every 1,000 years, overall temperature rise could still reach dangerous levels that cause sea level rise and ocean acidification , concludes the research published yesterday in Nature Geoscience .[More]