Riviste scientifiche

Brain barrier opened for first time to treat cancer

New Scientist - Me, 22/10/2014 - 13:43
Ultrasound has been used to open the brain's protective sheath in people with aggressive brain tumours – to deliver chemo drugs directly to cancer cells






Ban of vulture-killing drug in India is working

New Scientist - Me, 22/10/2014 - 12:53
Use of a cattle drug that has devastated vulture populations in India is in decline, offering hope of recovery – but vultures in Europe may now be at risk






First Mars settlers may last only 68 days

New Scientist - Me, 22/10/2014 - 10:00
The Mars One project aims to send people to the Red Planet, but a new analysis suggests oxygen poisoning from growing their own food could kill them






Maternal Clinical Diagnoses and Hospital Variation in the Risk of Cesarean Delivery: Analyses of a National US Hospital Discharge Database

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 23:00

by Katy B. Kozhimannil, Mariana C. Arcaya, S. V. Subramanian

Background

Cesarean delivery is the most common inpatient surgery in the United States, where 1.3 million cesarean sections occur annually, and rates vary widely by hospital. Identifying sources of variation in cesarean use is crucial to improving the consistency and quality of obstetric care. We used hospital discharge records to examine the extent to which variability in the likelihood of cesarean section across US hospitals was attributable to individual women's clinical diagnoses.

Methods and Findings

Using data from the 2009 and 2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project—a 20% sample of US hospitals—we analyzed data for 1,475,457 births in 1,373 hospitals. We fitted multilevel logistic regression models (patients nested in hospitals). The outcome was cesarean (versus vaginal) delivery. Covariates included diagnosis of diabetes in pregnancy, hypertension in pregnancy, hemorrhage during pregnancy or placental complications, fetal distress, and fetal disproportion or obstructed labor; maternal age, race/ethnicity, and insurance status; and hospital size and location/teaching status.The cesarean section prevalence was 22.0% (95% confidence interval 22.0% to 22.1%) among women with no prior cesareans. In unadjusted models, the between-hospital variation in the individual risk of primary cesarean section was 0.14 (95% credible interval 0.12 to 0.15). The difference in the probability of having a cesarean delivery between hospitals was 25 percentage points. Hospital variability did not decrease after adjusting for patient diagnoses, socio-demographics, and hospital characteristics (0.16 [95% credible interval 0.14 to 0.18]). A limitation is that these data, while nationally representative, did not contain information on parity or gestational age.

Conclusions

Variability across hospitals in the individual risk of cesarean section is not decreased by accounting for differences in maternal diagnoses. These findings highlight the need for more comprehensive or linked data including parity and gestational age as well as examination of other factors—such as hospital policies, practices, and culture—in determining cesarean section use.Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary

How to Make More Published Research True

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 23:00

by John P. A. Ioannidis

Developmental Profiles of Eczema, Wheeze, and Rhinitis: Two Population-Based Birth Cohort Studies

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 23:00

by Danielle C. M. Belgrave, Raquel Granell, Angela Simpson, John Guiver, Christopher Bishop, Iain Buchan, A. John Henderson, Adnan Custovic

Background

The term “atopic march” has been used to imply a natural progression of a cascade of symptoms from eczema to asthma and rhinitis through childhood. We hypothesize that this expression does not adequately describe the natural history of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis during childhood. We propose that this paradigm arose from cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal studies, and may reflect a population pattern that may not predominate at the individual level.

Methods and Findings

Data from 9,801 children in two population-based birth cohorts were used to determine individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis and whether the manifestations of these symptoms followed an atopic march pattern. Children were assessed at ages 1, 3, 5, 8, and 11 y. We used Bayesian machine learning methods to identify distinct latent classes based on individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis. This approach allowed us to identify groups of children with similar patterns of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis over time.Using a latent disease profile model, the data were best described by eight latent classes: no disease (51.3%), atopic march (3.1%), persistent eczema and wheeze (2.7%), persistent eczema with later-onset rhinitis (4.7%), persistent wheeze with later-onset rhinitis (5.7%), transient wheeze (7.7%), eczema only (15.3%), and rhinitis only (9.6%). When latent variable modelling was carried out separately for the two cohorts, similar results were obtained. Highly concordant patterns of sensitisation were associated with different profiles of eczema, rhinitis, and wheeze. The main limitation of this study was the difference in wording of the questions used to ascertain the presence of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis in the two cohorts.

Conclusions

The developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis are heterogeneous; only a small proportion of children (∼7% of those with symptoms) follow trajectory profiles resembling the atopic march.Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary

Could this bee love? Rekindling our affection for bees

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 21:00
A charming and poetic account of apiculture in Mark Winston's Bee Time reminds us why an ancient partnership between humans and bees needs saving






Sleepy sun could make Mars trips deadly

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 19:19
An unexpected lull in the sun's activity will let more cosmic radiation into the solar system, endangering astronauts on long interplanetary missions






Today on New Scientist

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 18:45
Today on newscientist.com: Julian Assange on surveillance, shopping for quantum computers, bat's winter portrait ends in tragedy, number of eggs predicts women's heart attack risk, and more






Chaotic cosmic wombs may birth backwards planets

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 18:30
Rebel planets orbit their stars the wrong way around – and prenatal turmoil may be to blame






Quantum internet could cross seas by container ship

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 17:30
Communication using quantum means is super secure, but sending it long distance is a problem. Perhaps container ships are the solution






Julian Assange: 'I hope there's much still to come'

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 16:00
The WikiLeaks co-founder says the internet can be both a tool of political empowerment and the road to dystopia






Why closing borders won't stop Ebola's rampage

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 14:30
Screening people as they cross borders never works well but stopping people leaving affected countries could have devastating consequences

Bat dozes through the depths of a Polish winter

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 13:00
A trek deep into a Polish forest in winter resulted in this a marvellous image of a sleeping Daubenton's bat, but the trip had an unhappy ending






Quantum computers: The world's first buyers' guide

New Scientist - Ma, 21/10/2014 - 10:08
With the first quantum computer already on the market, and more in the offing, should you splash the cash? Here's our verdict on the best buys out there






Quantum computer buyers' guide: Hardware

New Scientist - Lu, 20/10/2014 - 21:00
Spin or superconductor? It's the "Apple vs Android" of the quantum computing world. Here's what you need to know to choose

Quantum computer buyers' guide: Getting started

New Scientist - Lu, 20/10/2014 - 21:00
Baffled by how a quantum computer is supposed to work? Some of the biggest brains in physics can't figure it out either. Here's a rundown of the basics (full text available to subscribers)

Why language is neither an instinct nor innate

New Scientist - Lu, 20/10/2014 - 20:00
The ideas of Noam Chomsky, popularised by Steven Pinker, come under fire in Vyvyan Evans's book The Language Myth: Why language is not an instinct






Comet immortalised before close call with spacecraft

New Scientist - Lu, 20/10/2014 - 19:33
A comet making its first trip in from the Oort cloud was caught on camera before a near miss with four spacecraft currently orbiting the Red Planet






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