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NEWS
January 8, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan
Organic produce is more expensive than the conventional variety, and there are many reasons why consumers fork over that extra money. But if one of those reasons is a belief that organic fruits and veggies are healthier, Danish researchers have some bad news. A detailed scientific assessment of carrots, potatoes and onions – some grown conventionally and some grown organically – found that all of the veggies had essentially the same levels of flavonoids and phenolic acids, two types of nutrients that are thought to be helpful in preventing ailments such as heart disease, cancer and dementia.
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NEWS
February 24, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A mental illness that strikes young children suddenly may be caused by a range of factors, including infections, according to a new report. The paper, published in the journal Pediatrics & Therapeutics, reflects a consensus statement on a condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections -- or PANDAS. PANDAS causes the abrupt onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms in young children. In many cases, children fell ill after having a simple, childhood streptococcal infection, such as strep throat.
NEWS
June 13, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The gender gap persists in academic medicine, with female physicians who do research earning about $13,000 a year less than their male counterparts, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal JAMA. The coauthors, from the University of Michigan and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, surveyed 1,729 physician-researchers who received National Institutes of Health grants for career development between 2000 and 2003 -- reasoning that members of that cohort were likely to have similar aptitude and to conduct similar work.
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.
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
August 30, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A study looking at differences in suicide methods between men and women found that while women are less likely to shoot themselves in the head than men, there may be specific reasons why they choose to die that way. Researchers from the University of Akron and Ohio State University examined 621 suicides that occurred from 1997 to 2006 in Summit County, Ohio. In addition to looking at methods of suicide and what led up to them they also divided the data by gender to see if men's and women's means to suicide were different.
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
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.
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.
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.
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