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NEW YORK, July 7 (Praxis Press) Prompt treatment of heart attacks is crucial to the survival of the patient. Two important treatments that require trained emergency medical personnel and need to be administered as quickly as possible are drugs to dissolve clots (thrombolytic agents) and defibrillation and other methods to control heart arrhythmias. Rapid access to emergency medical care is a problem in many communities and even when the decision is made to seek medical care, most patients in the

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Endocarditis prophylaxis

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) The current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infectious endocarditis (IE), recommend echocardiography to determine IE risk in patients with suspected valvular lesions. Based on AHA clinical and echocardiography criteria, a retrospective survey classified patients who underwent outpatient transthoracic echocardiography into three risk categories (high, moderate, negligible) and evaluated to check if physician recomme

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Is the President of South Africa really so irrational about AIDS?

By | July 10, 2000

Robert Walgate asks: Do Thabo Mbeki's opening words at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban at the weekend justify the reported reaction?

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Lowering CAD risk

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Lifestyle-related risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and poor diet. Investigators from the Nurses Health Study, which involved 84 129 women, looked at the impact of these risk factors considered together. Each risk factor independently and significantly predicted risk, but many were correlated. Only 3% of the women studied had none of the risk factors, and their relative risk of coronary events was 0.

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MI treatment

July 10, 2000

Gender differences in treatment for myocardial infarction don't change outcome.

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NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Oral contraceptive (OC) use has been inconsistently associated with several adverse cardiovascular events. To assess whether OC use is associated with ischemic stroke, a recent study analyzed results of 16 observational studies identified in a review of the published literature from January 1960 through November 1999. Summary risk estimates indicated that current use of OCs, including newer low-estrogen preparations, was associated with a significantly increased r

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A success story in Europe's forests

By | July 7, 2000

Europe's forest area is expanding by half a million hectares a year, enough to cover Belgium in six years or Switzerland in eight, according to a joint report of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Economic Commission for Europe.Moreover, claims the report, temperate and boreal forests absorb about as much carbon every year as is released by tropical deforestation, thus slowing the speed of climate change.The report covers the forest resources of not only Europe, but also the Commo

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British doctors react to a year of scandals

By | July 7, 2000

The General Medical Council promises reform.

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5000 scientists tell President Mbeki "HIV causes AIDS"

By | July 6, 2000

The views of South African President Thabo Mbeki - who has expressed doubts whether HIV causes AIDS, ascribing the disease to poverty - have stimulated 5000 scientists and doctors from over 80 countries to sign a declaration stating that the virus really does cause the disease. The issue is crucial for two reasons: first because South Africa faces one of the worst AIDS epidemics in the world, and if the country doubts the cause of the disease health interventions will go awry; and second because

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New York, July 5, 2000 (Praxis Press) Aspirin's antithrombotic effects have made it part of the first-line therapy in the primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD), and self-medication is widespread. The potential risk of serious bleeding, however, requires selective prescription. In a recent randomized-controlled trial, Meade et al determined that low-dose aspirin therapy of 75 mg daily did not significantly affect the risk of CAD in patients with higher blood pressure (over 145 mm H

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