Women exposed to frustrating noise stress snack more afterwards

In laboratory experiments, women — but not men — who had been exposed to frustrating noise stress ate more cheese, chocolate, potato chips and popcorn after the stressful session was over. Dr. Laura C. Klein, assistant professor of biobehavioral health who led the study, says, ”Although other researchers have shown that both men and women eat more during stressful periods, this is the first study to show that eating is affected in some individuals after a stress is stopped.

‘Self healing’ bandage to help diabetics

A revolutionary type of ‘self healing’ bandage that uses the patient’s own cells is being developed. The technique has already been tried successfully on patients with diabetic ulcers and in the long-term could offer a more effective, quicker and cost efficient way of treating many types of slow-healing wounds such as pressure ulcers. The bandages are already available for patients with severe burns.

New standard to help diagnose heart attacks

Diagnosing heart attacks will become a more precise science thanks to the first of a new series of clinical standards just issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2921 (human cardiac troponin complex) will help manufacturers develop and calibrate assays that measure specific protein concentrations in patient blood samples to determine whether a heart attack has occurred.

Cutting hydrocarbons would trim U.S. consumer fuel costs by $438 billion

Just as low-carbohydrate diets are trimming the American waistline, more judicious use of hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels would reduce U.S. energy consumption by 33 percent and save consumers $438 billion a year by 2014, according to a new analysis by ecologists. They found the most fat for trimming — with the best potential for major energy savings — in the transportation, residential heating and cooling, industrial and food-production sectors. Energy conservation and implementation of energy-efficient technologies also would allow significant savings in the production and use of chemicals, paper and lumber, household appliances, lighting and metals, the analysis showed.

Smoking helps keep arteries open following angioplasty

In an unusual paradox, smoking cigarettes-a deadly habit that contributes to the development of peripheral artery disease-actually helps arteries stay open following a procedure to repair clogged blood vessels in the legs, according to a study in the June issue of Radiology. The study found that habitual to heavy smokers who continued to smoke after angioplasty had a lower rate of restenosis, or re-narrowing of the arteries, than nonsmokers.

24/7 economy’s work schedules are family unfriendly, need changes

With 40 percent of the American labor force working mostly during nonstandard hours–in the evenings, overnight, on rotating schedules, or on weekends–workers’ family life and health are being adversely affected, according to research at the University of Maryland-College Park. ”Such schedules undermine the stability of marriages, increase the amount of housework to be done, reduce family cohesiveness, and require elaborate childcare arrangements,” according to the study’s lead researcher.

System Sets Speed Record for Quantum Encryption

The fastest known cryptographic system based on transmission of single photons–the smallest pulses of light–has been demonstrated by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The transmissions cannot be intercepted without detection, so that messages encrypted with the system can be kept secret. The NIST ”quantum key distribution” (QKD) system transmits a stream of individual photons to generate a verifiably secret key–a random series of digital bits, each representing 0 or 1, used to encrypt messages–at a rate of 1 million bits per second (bps). This rate is about 100 times faster than previously reported systems of this type.

Combination of drug therapies reduces cocaine use in primates

Researchers have demonstrated that a combination of drug therapies targeting the region of the brain that controls drug abuse and addiction significantly reduces cocaine use in nonhuman primates. These findings, which appear in the June issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, have implications for developing treatments for cocaine addiction in humans.

Male susceptibility to disease may play role in evolution of insect societies

A pair of scientists has proposed a new model for behavioral development among social insects, suggesting that a higher male susceptibility to disease has helped shape the evolution of the insects’ behavior. What might be called the ”sick-male” theory has been proposed by animal behaviorists Sean O’Donnell of the University of Washington and Samuel Beshers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and appears in the current issue of Proceedings Biological Sciences, published by the Royal Society of London.

Mystery beach closures may be linked to contaminated groundwater

Every summer, coastal communities from Maine to California are forced to temporarily close some of their most popular beaches because of unsafe levels of bacteria in the water. Typically, these sudden bacterial blooms disappear, only to return without warning later in the season. In many cases, health officials are unable to pinpoint the cause of the contamination, leading frustrated beachgoers to blame everything from offshore sewage pipes to passing cruise ships.