Archive for September 4th, 2012
Danish researchers looked at more than 70,000 babies and found that those who were bottle-fed were nearly five times more likely to develop pyloric stenosis than breast-fed babies. The study did not find a cause-and-effect relationship between bottle-feeding and pyloric stenosis, but did suggest that breast milk can protect babies from the condition. The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics.
A combination of high doses of vitamin D and antibiotic treatment helped tuberculosis patients heal faster, according to a British study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings suggest that exposure to high levels of vitamin D slows down inflammatory responses to infection, which in turn protects the lungs from damage.
People who eat a Western-style diet high in artificial sweeteners, fructose and sugar alcohols could be at higher risk of obesity and metabolic disorders, Swiss researchers said. A review of previous research showed that this type of diet leads to a loss of diversity in gut microflora, setting in motion a series of processes that contribute to metabolic disorders and obesity.
A lack of data on antibiotic use in animals makes it harder to document the link between agricultural antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, scientists say. Tests of chicken breasts this year are finding greater incidence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, but the number of samples tested may be too small to rely upon, according to experts.
When it comes to following political conventions, Twitter may soon trump television. TV viewership for last week's Republican National Convention dropped sharply from 2008, suggesting interest in this presidential race falls short of some past contests. But the convention was a hit online and on social networks, the latest evidence of the political conversation's gradual migration from traditional media to the Web.
A new study, by scientists from the Universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds, involving analysis of fossil and geological records going back 540 million years, suggests that biodiversity on Earth generally increases as the planet warms.
But the research says that the increase in biodiversity depends on the evolution of new species over millions of years, and is normally accompanied by extinctions of existing species. The researchers suggest that present trends of increasing temperature are unlikely to boost global biodiversity in the short term because of the long timescales necessary for new forms to evolve. Instead, the speed of current change is expected to cause diversity loss.