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NEWS
July 21, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Researchers at De Montfort University, the University of York and Loughborough University in Britain have released a study suggesting that many students with sickle cell disease aren't getting the help they need from their schools.   Sickle cell disease is a rare, inherited blood condition - in the U.S., most prevalent in African Americans - that causes sufferers to develop abnormally shaped, "sickled" red blood cells that clog blood vessels and cause complications such as chronic severe pain, organ damage and sometimes stroke.
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NEWS
September 17, 2010
British researchers reported Friday that it may be possible to identify people who are going to develop Type 2 diabetes even before symptoms occur. If the test can be verified, it might be possible to screen people who are at higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes and intervene before symptoms, and the broad spectrum of complications that accompany them, occur. Triggered by increases in obesity, Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major health problem, with an estimated 285 million people worldwide now affected by the disease -- a number that is expected to grow to 400 million by 2030.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
As a parent, I never wished popularity on my children; it takes a lot of work to stay on top. And researchers have come up with a reason I hadn't thought of: Popular kids are more likely to smoke cigarettes, they say. The conclusion, published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys among teenagers in ninth and 10 th grades at seven predominantly Latino high schools in the Los Angeles area. It confirms previous studies about high school students in the U.S. and Mexico.
SCIENCE
July 17, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people a year, but it has a weakness — to infect humans, it needs mosquitoes. In a potential step toward eradicating the disease, researchers report that they have developed a genetically engineered breed of mosquito that cannot be infected by the malaria-causing parasite. Genetically-modified mosquitoes are far from ready for use in the field, but the researchers achieved an unprecedented 100% blockage of the Plasmodium parasite, highlighting the promise of this approach, according to their study.
SCIENCE
April 20, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
DNA and RNA molecules are the basis for all life on Earth, but they don't necessarily have to be the basis for all life everywhere, scientists have shown. Researchers at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England, demonstrated that six synthetic molecules that are similar to - but not exactly like - DNA and RNA have the potential to exhibit "hallmarks of life" such as storing genetic information, passing it along and undergoing evolution. The man-made molecules are called "XNAs.
NEWS
October 30, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
It's not just what you eat but where and how you eat that seems to affect obesity, say researchers who looked at the effects of family dinner rituals. Families who frequently ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room had significantly lower body mass indices for adults and children, compared with families who ate elsewhere, including in front of the television, the researchers wrote. “Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground to fight obesity,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity, published Wednesday.
SCIENCE
April 22, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
African American high school students and boys in low- to middle-income families reported short, fragmented sleep, and that could play a role in their health risks, researchers reported Monday. Anyone who's ever lived with a teenager knows they often don't get the eight to nine hours of sleep the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. Researchers writing in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at one group of young people - those in a lower socioeconomic community.
SCIENCE
May 12, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
For the first time, an international team of researchers has used satellites to track the movements of manta rays, providing valuable new information about the massive rays, which are considered "vulnerable" to extinction  by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The preliminary findings for the Atlantic mantas showed that they traveled as far as 680 miles over a one- to two-month period searching for food, sticking close to the coastline. They also spent considerable time in shipping lanes, which rendered them vulnerable to being hit by freighters.
AUTOS
January 7, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
American drivers appear to be slowly getting fuel economy religion. The average fuel economy for all vehicles sold last year climbed by 1.3 miles per gallon, or 6%, to a record high of 23.8 mpg,  according to University of Michigan researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle. The fuel economy of cars people purchased over the last year increased even though gas prices have dipped slightly. AAA said the average price of a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.297 as of Monday, compared with $3.371 a year ago. PHOTOS: Best car values for fuel economy Since 2008, the first full year of monitoring by Sivak and Schoettle, fuel economy has risen 14% -- from 20.9 mpg. On a monthly basis, fuel economy in December was 23.9 mpg, a slight drop from 24.1 mpg in November.
SCIENCE
June 27, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
A 2-million-year old hominid from South Africa had a very unusual diet, an international team of researchers has found. Instead of living on grasses and wild animals from the nearby savannas, like modern humans and pre-humans that have previously been studied, Australopithecus sediba lived on bark, woody tissues, fruits and other plants found almost exclusively in forests, like modern chimpanzees. That diet may be one reason why the species died out, researchers said. A. sediba was first discovered in 2008 in a pit at the Malapa Cave about 30 miles north of Johannesburg.
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