November 7, 2012 |
A collection of 70,000-year-old sharp stone blades found in a South African cave suggests that humans were adept at producing advanced tools at that time and successfully passed down the technology from generation to generation, according to a report in Wednesday's edition of the journal Nature. The blades, called microliths, are small - about 3 centimeters long - and were likely used as the points of early weapons. The evidence has generally been incomplete as to when and for how long early humans possessed the skills to produce and use tools like the microliths described in the study.
November 5, 2012 |
Researchers have moved one step closer to understanding how anesthesia drugs work by identifying a component of brain activity that could explain why we lose consciousness under the influence of the drugs, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Though "going under" is an extremely common part of many medical procedures, the mechanism by which it works remains a mystery. This fact has practical ramifications: Some studies have shown that anesthesia can lead to loss of memory and other side effects, something researchers might be able to alleviate if they understand exactly what the drugs do in the body.
October 29, 2012 |
Patients diagnosed with lung cancer that is considered incurable appear to misunderstand the purpose and likely effect of a treatment aimed at making them more comfortable, a new study says. The result may not only be a failure of communication between physicians and their patients: The misunderstanding also may prompt some lung cancer patients and their families to choose aggressive treatments near the end of life rather than opt for care that makes their final days more comfortable.
October 28, 2012 |
Dwight Howard and Steve Nash are not the only additions to the Lakers this season. The storied franchise also has a new television partner: Time Warner Cable. And just as new players sometimes have trouble fitting in with the established stars, Time Warner Cable is learning that launching a sports channel is not as easy as an uncontested layup. Time Warner Cable struck deals with Charter Communications and Verizon Fios on Friday, and on Saturday added AT&T U-Verse and its 450,000 subscribers.
October 24, 2012 |
BENGHAZI, Libya - The U.S. ambassador was missing, his compound was in flames and the safe house where survivors took shelter had come under fire. But the U.S. rescue team had to wait, stymied by the disarray in post-revolutionary Libya. The eight-member American team had rushed here from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, arriving at the airport about 2 a.m. on Sept. 12, hours after the attack on the U.S. mission that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and State Department staffer Sean Smith.
October 4, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers in their last meeting voted almost unanimously for a new bond-buying program to boost growth, but they were far from unified in terms of how much good they thought the new stimulus would do for the real economy. Fed members also considered adopting more changes in their communication strategy to give the public greater clarity about the their decision-making on interest rates, according to minutes of their last monetary policy meeting, released Thursday with the usual three-week lag. Officials at the central bank generally agreed last month that without further monetary stimulus, "economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions," the minutes said.
September 9, 2012 |
It occurred to me the other day that it is becoming less and less necessary to speak. Why talk when you can text, tweet or email? Why pick up the telephone when Facebook brings you up to date with every detail of your friends' lives? It feels like the human voice is becoming irrelevant, and I'm thrilled about it. You see, I have a daughter who can't speak. When Eva, who is now in her late 20s, was 6 months old, we received the official diagnosis of cerebral palsy. It wasn't a surprise.
September 8, 2012 |
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the way insurers do business. A few years from now, you may see your health plan in a different light. You might even decide you like it - even if it's not that much more affordable. But it's not all good news: Future employers are also expected to shift more costs to employees, and consumers will generally take on more of their healthcare expenses. "A greater role in cost sharing is really forcing consumers to take a hard look at the care they access," said Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a New York City nonprofit that provides healthcare cost information.
July 26, 2012 |
The Orange County Register officially has a new owner. The Boston investment group 2100 Trust, headed by former greeting card company executive Aaron Kushner, has purchased Freedom Communications Inc., an Irvine company that owns the Register and six smaller daily newspapers. The sale was announced last month and completed Wednesday, according to a statement from Freedom. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. According to the statement, the Freedom name will be retained for the newspaper group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2012 |
The Los Angeles Fire Department has formed a task force to help address lingering questions about how quickly units are responding to fire and rescue emergencies. The group, which includes sworn and civilian members of the department as well as a handful of outside data experts, will work to ensure the accuracy of the department's statistics and make sure that information is communicated clearly to the public, officials said at Tuesday's Fire Commission meeting. The creation of the task force comes after months of questions about the department's performance and transparency.