Posted by: Viktor Mar | 2011 October 21

Leeches help save woman’s face


STOCKHOLM, Sweden (UPI) — Hundreds of leeches were applied to a woman’s face to treat a large wound inflicted by her own dog, doctors in Sweden said.
The woman was rushed to a hospital after the dog unexpectedly attacked her, ripping off a large piece of her face from her upper lip to her eye, The Local reported Tuesday.
After doctors worked to reattach the torn part, leeches were applied to help re-establish blood circulation to the woman’s face.
"The most important thing was to get blood into the torn off body part, which we managed to do within an hour of the start of the operation," specialist Stina Klasson said.
The 358 leeches, by sucking blood and introducing blood-thinning fluids, helped the process.
"The grower who supplies the hospital with leeches ran out. More leeches had to be flown in from the United Kingdom," Klasson said.
Doctors said the surgery was a success, although additional reconstructive procedures would probably be necessary.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International


Woman with two wombs delivers twins

CLEARWATER, Fla. (UPI) — A Florida mother with the rare medical condition of possessing two uteruses has given birth to fraternal twins, one from each womb, doctors said.
Her rare condition, called uterus didelphys, can lead to infertility, but Andreea Barbosa of Clearwater defied the odds and simultaneously conceived a boy and a girl in her separate uteruses, the St. Petersburg Times reported Monday.
"It was definitely a shocker," said Barbosa, 24, who learned about her unusual double pregnancy during an ultrasound at seven weeks. "I was frightened and scared — a little bit of everything in one."
Doctors put the chances of a successful double pregnancy of this kind at 1 in 5 million.
Healthy twins Nathan and Natalie Barbosa were born at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, with Nathan first, followed two minutes late by sister Natalie.
They join older sister Izabella, 2, who was conceived normally in Barbosa’s right uterus in a single pregnancy.
That will complete the family, Barbosa said.
"The first pregnancy I had one, the second I had two," she said.
"I can’t risk having three the next time."

Copyright 2011 by United Press International


New material promises better batteries

BERKELELY, Calif. (UPI) — Scientists in California say a new material could allow lithium-ion batteries in cellphones, laptops and the newest electric cars to store more energy.
Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are focusing on the anode, a critical component for storing energy in such batteries.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy facility have designed a new kind of anode that can absorb eight times the lithium of current designs and maintain its greatly increased energy capacity after more than a year of testing and hundreds of charge-discharge cycles, a laboratory release said Friday.
At the heart of the advancement is a polymer material that conducts electricity and binds closely to lithium-storing silicon particles, even as the particles expand to more than three times their volume during charging and then shrink again during discharge.
"High-capacity, lithium-ion anode materials have always confronted the challenge of volume change — swelling — when electrodes absorb lithium," laboratory researcher Gao Liu said.
This kind of swelling quickly breaks the electrical contacts in the anode, researchers said.
"Most of today’s lithium-ion batteries have anodes made of graphite, which is electrically conducting and expands only modestly when housing the ions between its graphene layers," Liu said.
A major benefit of the new polymer anode material is that in addition to its superior performance it is economical, he said.
"Using commercial silicon particles and without any conductive additive, our composite anode exhibits the best performance so far," Liu said. "The whole manufacturing process is low cost and compatible with established manufacturing technologies."

Copyright 2011 by United Press International


Pit bull credited with saving fallen woman

CARNEGIE, Pa. (UPI) — A Pennsylvania man said he is proud of his 2-year-old pit bull for saving the life of an elderly woman who fell into a ditch.
Jimmie Belchick of Carnegie said Cobain, his American pit bull terrier, a breed often in the news for attacking people, found the woman crumpled against a grate at the bottom of a ditch about 1 p.m. Saturday and quickly ran to alert his master, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Tuesday.
"My dog put Lassie to shame. He came and alerted me when somebody needed help and what more can you ask for out of your dog," Belchick said.
Belchick said the woman appeared weak and had trouble speaking. She was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where paramedics said she is expected to be fine.
Belchick said he is proud of Cobain for acting fast.
"He’s one in a million. I tell him that every day, but now, that’s some proof right there," Belchick said.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International


Survey: Scientists need coffee the most

CANTON, Mass. (UPI) — A survey commissioned by Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts ahead of National Coffee Day indicates scientists have the most need for coffee in their workdays.
The online survey of 4,700 U.S. workers, which was jointly commissioned by Dunkin’ Donuts and Web site CareerBuilder ahead of Thursday’s National Coffee Day, found 34 percent of respondents said they need coffee to get through their workdays and 46 percent of those said they are less productive without coffee.
The survey found scientists and lab technicians were the most likely to say they were less productive without coffee, followed by marketing and public relations professionals, education administrators, editors and writers, healthcare administrators and physicians.
"National Coffee Day is the perfect time to celebrate coffee’s unique place as a staple in our daily lives," said John Costello, chief global customer and innovation officer at Dunkin’ Brands. As these survey results show, coffee continues to play an increasingly important role in the workplace, helping to jumpstart people across all professions in the morning and keep them going throughout their busy workday.
The survey, conducted Aug. 16 through Sept. 8, had a plus or minus 1.43 percentage margin of error with a 95 percent certainty.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

Word choices of psychopathic killers eyed

ITHACA, N.Y. (UPI) — Computerized text analyses of words psychopathic killers use describing their crimes identify word choices beyond their conscious control, U.S. researchers say.
Scientists at Cornell University in New York say the finding could lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment and have implications for law enforcement.
Jeff Hancock, a Cornell professor of computing and information science, and colleagues at the University of British Columbia analyzed stories told by 14 psychopathic male murderers held in Canadian prisons and compared them with 38 convicted murderers not diagnosed as psychopathic, a Cornell release said Friday.
Psychopaths used more conjunctions such as "because," "since" or "so that," implying the crime "had to be done," Hancock said. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs such as food, sex or money.
Non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality, he said.
And psychopaths were more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes, the researchers said.
"Previous work has looked at how psychopaths use language," Hancock said. "Our paper is the first to show that you can use automated tools to detect the distinct speech patterns of psychopaths."

Copyright 2011 by United Press International


DNA of woman, 115, delineated

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (UPI) — Scientists in the Netherlands say they have sequenced the DNA of a woman whose mind was in remarkably good shape when she died at 115 years of age.
Dr. Henne Holstege of the Department of Clinical Genetics at the Vrije Universiteit Medical Center in Amsterdam says the woman, who was the oldest in the world when she died, appeared to have rare genetic changes in her DNA.
"We know that she’s special. We know that her brain had absolutely no signs of Alzheimer’s," Holstege told the BBC. "There must be something in her body that is protective against dementia.
"We think that there are genes that may ensure a long life and be protective against Alzheimer’s."
The researchers, whose work was presented at the American Society of Human Genetics’ annual meeting in Montreal, said it was unclear exactly what role her genetic differences contributed to her long life, the BBC said Saturday.
The identity of the woman, who donated her body to science, has not been released. Scientists say she was born prematurely but was healthy most of her life, suffering breast cancer at the age of 100 and dying of a stomach tumor. Two years before she died, scientists said, she had the mental acumen of someone 60 to 75 years old.
Scientists first charted the human genome more than a decade ago and have since charted the full gene map of a few hundred people, the BBC said.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International



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