New research on the effects of blast waves could lead to an enhanced understanding of head injuries and improved military helmet design. Using numerical hydrodynamic computer simulations, Lawrence Livermore scientists Willy Moss and Michael King, along with University of Rochester colleague Eric Blackman, have discovered that nonlethal blasts can induce enough skull flexure to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even without direct head impact. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from mechanical loads in the brain, often without skull fracture, and causes complex, long-lasting symptoms. TBI in civilians is usually caused by direct head impacts resulting from motor vehicle and sports accidents.
A new publication that recommends best practices for the next generation of portable biometric acquisition devices - Mobile ID - has been published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Devices that gather, process and transmit an individual's biometric data - fingerprints, facial and iris images - for identification are proliferating. Previous work on standards for these biometric devices has focused primarily on getting different stationary and desktop systems with hardwired processing pathways to work together in an interoperable manner. But a new generation of small, portable and versatile biometric devices are raising new issues for interoperability.
Have you ever wondered what the chances are that you may die in the next year? Would it be from illness or an accident? Is it something you can control? Or is it completely out of your hands? A new Web site, http://www.DeathRiskRankings.com, developed by researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University, allows users to query publicly available data from the United States and Europe, and compare mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region. The Web site not only gives the risk of dying within the next year, but it also ranks the probable causes and allows for quick side-by-side comparison between groups. Suppose you wanted to know who is more likely to die next year from breast cancer, a 54-year-old Pennsylvania woman or her counterpart in the United Kingdom.
Manchester has been chosen to host a new state of the art centre to assess international medical graduates* before they work in the UK. From March 2010, the majority of doctors who want to work in the UK but graduated outside the European Economic Area will be assessed at the centre, which will be based at 3 Hardman Street, Manchester. It is expected that 1, 800 doctors per year will attend and the GMC has launched a recruitment drive for local staff. All international medical graduates have to demonstrate their clinical skills and knowledge before they are registered with the GMC and allowed to seek work in the UK. Most do this via the Professional Linguistics and Assessment Board (PLAB) test.
Cumulative Radiation Exposure From Imaging Scans Should Be Weighed Against The Benefits Say Researchers
US researchers found that repeated exposure to ionizing radiation from medical imaging such as x-rays, fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine scans can accumulate over time to substantial cancer-causing doses, and recommend that doctors and patients always weigh up the benefits of imaging against the risks. The study was the work of lead author Dr Reza Fazel and colleagues and appears in the 27 August issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM. Fazel, a cardiologist in the Department of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, told the media that: "We know that the use of medical imaging procedures in the US has increased rapidly over the past three decades, resulting in higher average radiation doses for individuals.
Mental health advocates are calling attention to what they see as a need for more psychiatric beds in North Carolina. Indy Week reports that "WakeMed Health & Hospitals is the 800-pound gorilla of health care in Wake County." In addition, it's easily the county's biggest health organization and, its leadership argues, the hardest-working. But when WakeMed went to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services this month for approval to add to its surgical and outpatient diagnostic facilities, the meeting was picketed by members of the Wake County chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill." The group complained that WakeMed "isn't providing enough services for the mentally ill, particularly with respect to establishing a designated psychiatric unit.