Friday, March 16, 2007
First, it turns out that your old CPR instructions weren't the best: a Japanese study indicates that for heart attack victims (as opposed to drowning victims or overdoses), chest compressions alone are better than compressions and mouth-to-mouth. This makes some sense, and if the word gets out in the popular consciousness (unlikely, as mouth-to-mouth is so popular on medical drama TV), it could really improve outcomes for many people.
Speaking of breathing, German researchers have developed a catalyst to mimic the part of photosynthesis where CO2 is broken up and carbon fixed for use as fuel. This could be majorly important to future fuels, and is a really big step (assuming it really works!).
Another 'troublesome' element could be zinc: UK researchers have found elevated levels of the metal in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Patients with Alzheimer's also show elevated zinc in that disease's characteristic plaques, further boosting the idea of AMD as "ocular Alzheimer's" and possibly suggesting new treatments for both.
Good news for immune disease sufferers: Japanese researchers have successfully transplanted artificial lymph nodes into mice, and got them producing immune cells. This could be a really HUGE step.
Bad news for hyperglycemics, though: it seems that hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is linked to increased risk of cancer. The effect is strongest in women, but men see it too, and it is independent of body weight.
Finally, genetic studies have found that random gene mutations are more common in autism spectrum disorders (no, vaccines DO NOT cause this disease), and phthalates are really, really bad for you.