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August 3, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Prostate cancer screening may become significantly better with the use of a urine test, according to a new study. Prostate cancer screening is currently based on a blood test to detect PSA -- prostate-specific antigen. But that test often produces false positives and leads to unnecessary biopsies. More than a million men in the U.S. undergo a prostate biopsy each year, and fewer than half of the patients actually have prostate cancer. The test is also thought to lead to over-treatment of prostate cancer.
April 21, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey
Pesticides on fruits and vegetables may be harmful to a developing fetus — slightly. Children whose mothers were exposed to low doses of a specific class of pesticides may have a slightly lower IQ in later childhood, three new studies suggest. The new research found children had a slightly lower IQ by age 7 if their mothers, mostly low-income and mostly Latina and black, had higher-than-average exposure in pregnancy to organophosphates, pesticides farmers still sometimes spray on fruits and vegetables.
April 21, 2011 | By Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times
A 38-year-old Fontana man has been arrested on suspicion of kicking and killing his family's dog, authorities said Wednesday. Victor Lopez apparently became angry Sunday morning when the 2-pound Yorkie named Woody urinated on the floor, police said. Lopez took the dog to the back door and allegedly kicked it about 15 feet onto a concrete slab, said Sgt. Billy Green of the Fontana Police Department. Family members told police the dog did not move after hitting the concrete.
February 19, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Black bears have a method of hibernation previously unobserved in any mammal, researchers reported Thursday. Although their body temperature drops only about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, their metabolism falls by more than 75%, allowing them to sleep through the winter without eating, drinking, urinating or defecating, researchers reported in the journal Science. Previous research had indicated that the bears' temperature does not fall like that of other animals ? which often drops near freezing ?
January 17, 2011 | Marc Siegel, The Unreal World
The premise Twenty-seven-year-old Aron Ralston ( James Franco) is a mechanical engineer and thrill-seeker. He is in Utah's Blue John Canyon when he falls down a narrow canyon, and his arm is pinned by a large chalkstone boulder. He watches as his fingers turn blue and gray from insufficient blood flow (ischemia). Though he doesn't appear to be in pain, he is unable to free himself. He has very little food and water, and finally, as he grows dehydrated, he drinks his own urine.
January 3, 2011 | Tami Dennis / Tribune Health
Sexually transmitted diseases -- so easy to get, so difficult to remember how or when. That's not quite the conclusion of a new study published Monday in Pediatrics, but suffice to say: Don't take a young adult's claim of abstinence as proof he or she is disease-free. (The same may well hold true for older adults, but this study was limited to the young variety.) Researchers at  Emory University analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and tested 14,012 of the respondents (with their permission)
September 15, 2010
The use of prescription opiates by American workers and job applicants rose 18% from 2008 to 2009 and has grown 40% since 2005, researchers said Wednesday. Tests performed after on-the-job accidents showed that drug use was four times as common as among job applicants, suggesting that the drugs may be playing a role in the accidents. The good news from the new report by Quest Diagnostics Inc. of Madison, N.J., is that cocaine use continued to decline, and was down 29.3% from 2008 to 2009 in the general workforce and 25% among safety-sensitive workers, such as pilots and drivers.
September 2, 2010
Aggressively lowering blood pressure does not prevent further kidney damage in African Americans unless they already have protein in their urine, a sign of more advanced kidney disease. In that case, aggressive treatment reduces end-stage kidney disease and death by about 25%, researchers said Wednesday. Data from the same study had earlier shown that the aggressive treatment does not prevent kidney-disease progression over a four-year period, but the new results reported in the New England Journal of Medicine extend the findings out to 12 years.
July 29, 2010
My esteemed colleague Tami Dennis recently wrote about “pine mouth,” the bitter flavor that can linger after some people eat pine nuts. That got us to wondering…What other strange taste things happen when people eat certain foods? And why do they happen, to the extent that scientists know? Two very obvious ‘strange things” — ones that would be hard to miss — are changes in the urine when a person has eaten asparagus or red beets. A nasty odor, in the first case.
June 12, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams and Maura Dolan
Drug-test records that prosecutors say link former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds to steroid use cannot be admitted as evidence against him in his trial on perjury charges, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The ruling could derail the nearly decade-long federal case against Bonds, legal analysts predicted, unless prosecutors manage to compel Bonds' former trainer, Greg Anderson, to confirm that the blood and urine samples that tested positive in a confidential 2001 drug screening came from Major League Baseball's home run king.
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