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UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News
[September 06, 2007]

UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News

(UPI Science News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) NASA commemorates its 50th anniversaryWASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has joined with Discovery Communications to commemorate the U.S. space agency's 50th anniversary.

The space agency, which was created by the National Aeronautics and Space Act, began operations Oct. 1, 1958.

The partnership was announced Wednesday in New York during a premiere screening of In the Shadow of the Moon, a film in which crew members from NASA's Apollo missions tell their story. The Discovery Channel will air the world television premiere of the film next summer.

This partnership with Discovery enables NASA to bring the excitement of 50 years of exploration and discovery to a wider audience, said Robert Hopkins, NASA's chief of strategic communications. This leverages NASA's compelling content with Discovery's state-of-the-art production capability and technology to tell the NASA story -- past, present and future -- through a variety of media and platforms.

Special programming on the Discovery and Science channels next year will celebrate NASA with never-before-seen archival footage. Podcasts and interactive features at Discovery's Web site will also enable viewers and users to take a closer look at NASA's history and its plans for the future.

New CPR procedure may be more effectiveWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A U.S. biomedical engineer has developed a cardiopulmonary resuscitation method that might be more effective than standard CPR.

The technique developed by Purdue University Professor Leslie Geddes is said to increase blood flow by 25 percent more than the current CPR procedure, which has a 5 percent to 10 percent success rate, depending upon how quickly and well the procedure is performed.

Any medical procedure that had that low a success rate would be abandoned right away, said Geddes. But the alternative is not very good, either: Don't do CPR and the person is going to die.

The CPR alternative works by pushing on the abdomen instead of the chest.

There are major problems with standard CPR, Geddes said. One is the risk of breaking ribs if you push too hard but if you don't push hard you won't save the person. Another problem is the risk of transferring infection with mouth-to-mouth breathing.

The new CPR method eliminates both risks, Geddes said.

The research that included Assistant Professor Ann Rundell, doctoral student Aaron Lottes and graduate students Andre Kemeny and Michael Otlewski appears in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Arctic ice to drop 40 percent before 2050WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A U.S. study released Thursday forecast that the Arctic Ocean's ice coverage will decline by more than 40 percent by 2050.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research was led by oceanographer James Overland and meteorologist Muyin Wang.

The findings are based upon a study of national and international computer models that closely matched the observed sea-ice extent during a 1979-1999 baseline period and then project forward to determine changes.

The report forecast summer sea ice loss across the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska, Canada and Asia. Sea ice loss is also predicted to occur during winter months in the seasonal ice zones of the more southern Bering and Barent seas and the Sea of Okhotsk. The models show no ice loss in the Baffin Bay region, west of Greenland.

These seasonal ice zones have large variability on annual and decadal time scales, said Wang. Projections of sea ice are important as there will be impacts on humans and other ecosystem components.

The study is to appear in the Sept. 8 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Evolution-schizophrenia linkage foundBATH, England, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- British-led researchers said they found a linkage between evolution and the development of schizophrenia.

The scientists said they found evidence of positive selection, also known as Darwinian selection, in several genes associated with schizophrenia. Darwinian selection is the process by which new variants of genes become dominant because organisms with the new versions are more likely to survive.

The researchers -- Steve Dorus of the University of Bath, Bernard Crespi of Canada's Simon Fraser University and Kyle Summers of East Carolina University -- said they believe their finding helps explain the persistence of schizophrenia, despite its adverse effects on health and reproductive fitness.

About 1 percent of people suffer from schizophrenia.

The world-wide presence of this disorder at an appreciable frequency, despite its impact on human health and reproductive fitness, is somewhat of a paradox, said Dorus, adding the persistence of schizophrenia would be understandable if the condition was a by-product of other adaptive changes during human evolution.

Our finding that positive evolutionary processes have impacted genes underlying the disorder is consistent with this idea, he said.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Copyright 2007 United Press International

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