Science

Science
10:19 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Native Americans lost half of population in European conquest, new research shows

A new study used the DNA from Native American women in North and South America to show the indigenous population decreased by about half in the centuries following European contact.
miracc Flickr photo

A new study is shedding some light on a long-debated question about Native Americans. Just how much smaller was the indigenous population in North and South America after the European conquest? 

Clues can be found in DNA, according to research conducted at the University of Washington and University of Goettingen in Germany. 

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Health
4:59 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Health clinics for the poor look to middle class for income

Clinics and hospitals that serve low-income people are holding candle-light vigils in Seattle, Yakima and Spokane this week to draw attention to proposed budget cuts they call devastating. After education, the second biggest slice of the state budget goes to health care, totaling about a third of the general fund.

Some community clinics are taking the desperate step of marketing themselves to people with private insurance. That's a big change for non-profits with a mission to serve the poor.

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vaccine controversy
10:57 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Pediatricians struggle over patients who won’t vaccinate

Sitting in her home in Ashland, Ore., earlier this month Jennifer Margulis shows off empty vials of vaccine that she saves in case one of her children has a bad reaction. Like many parents, she is concerned about the right schedule for vaccinations.
Associated Press

Doctors across the country are saying they might fire you as a patient if you refuse to let your child be immunized, according to a few stories that have ignited all kinds of discussions about vaccines and the role of pediatricians.

But a new survey confirms that’s a minority viewpoint, particularly among pediatricians in Washington. 

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life science research
1:00 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

Seattle's biotech, research economy faces multi-threat future

Federal, state and private money for research in the life sciences are dwindling and that's a big threat to the industry build up around it.
Sergei Golyshev Flickr

Biotech and research jobs have increased in Washington, even as the overall economy sputtered. That’s according to a trade-group, the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association.

But the outlook for next year and beyond is less rosy.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Cool photo: Scientists present 'lightest material on Earth'

Researchers created a "micro-lattice" structure of interconnected hollow tubes with a wall thickness of 100 nanometers, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.
Dan Little HRL Laboratories

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 3:43 pm

We were stunned when we saw this image:

According to HRL Laboratories that is an "ultralight metallic microlattice" sitting atop a dandelion. The material was developed by scientists at HRL, The California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine.

The material is 99.99 percent air and 100 times lighter than styrofoam.

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Health
2:18 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

No West Nile virus cases this year

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes.
Charles Lam flickr.com

The West Nile virus season is over, and the state Department of Health reports there were no human cases of the disease in Washington this year, nor were any birds or horses found to be infected.

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Alternative to dentists
12:36 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

How much training do you need to pull a tooth?

Not recommended. But exactly how much training should you have?
Flickr photo by VoxEfx

In the old days, you might have tied a string to the door, and pulled a tooth with a slam (see the YouTube video below). But these days, most of us prefer a sterile environment and some anesthetic, not to mention a professional guiding hand.

How much training and supervision you need to pull teeth (and offer dental advice) are the central questions in a dispute between dentists and advocates for poor children. 

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Global Health
4:13 pm
Sun October 16, 2011

Bill Gates vs. the mosquitoes, who's winning?

One of the tools for fighting malaria is the bed net. Has it been successful?
Matt Handy Flickr

Four years ago the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called for the eradication of malaria. Since then it has spent nearly $2 billion in the effort.

While there has been success, many still wonder: What factors are driving malaria away? What's causing the success? There are also many confounding factors at play ranging from climate change to the mysterious disappearance of mosquitoes in east Africa.

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head injury
9:11 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Recession may have caused more infant abuse

It appears the economic recession has taken its toll on babies. Researchers have found the number of babies with severe head injuries nearly doubled in 2008 and 2009. Stress in the family seems to be a factor.

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health care costs
6:00 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

Workers' wellness saving jobs in parks, policing, transit

King County Executive Dow Constantine and nine county employees who've been getting healthier.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

King County Executive Dow Constantine says he’ll be able to preserve as many as a dozen sheriff’s deputies and 20 public health nurses. That’s because King County employees have been improving their health – and saving taxpayers about $23 million this year.

The savings go back into the county’s budget, and will mean fewer cuts next year.

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immunizations
4:54 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

State sees gains on child immunizations, still lags

More kids in Washington are getting immunizations, but the state still lags behind vaccination goals.
Flickr
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Washington continues to make progress boosting immunization rates among toddlers, despite having the highest percent in the nation of families exempting kids from vaccines. 

The new survey from the Centers for Disease Control shows the gains come with room for improvement.

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Science
12:24 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Undersea cable laid for 'transformative' ocean observatory

Map graphic courtesy of University of Washington.

This spring there was a big volcanic eruption in the Pacific Northwest. If you missed it, you're not alone. It happened under the ocean off the northern Oregon coast.

However, all this week a University of Washington research ship has been streaming live video via satellite of lava flows in the undersea crater. In a couple years, 24/7 video coverage of the ocean floor will be made possible by a new underwater fiber optic cable.

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Science
4:14 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

UW Researchers stream live video from undersea volcano

Coral grows on an older "pillow basalt" lava flow at Axial Seamount.
Courtesy of University of Washington

A University of Washington research ship is sending amazing live video of the aftermath of an undersea volcanic eruption. The large volcano is about 300 miles due west of Astoria, Oregon.

Some scientists theorize life on our planet started at a place like this.

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painkillers and addiction
6:00 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Better monitoring for prescription painkillers

Be.Futureproof Flickr

A new approach to prescription painkillers at Group Health Cooperative could become a model for other medical providers. 

Painkillers have become a national concern because they're addictive and there’s been an uptick in overdoses. The number of people who have long-term prescriptions for painkillers has doubled over the past decade. 

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Healthy living
11:17 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Follow-up: $800,000 ad campaign designed to help us choose healthy

Public health leaders have concluded that we struggle most when the healthier choices take more effort than the unhealthy ones.
Public Health Seattle & King County

Why spend $800,000 to advertise what seems like common knowledge?  That smoking is bad for you, that eating nutritious foods is better than a diet of fast-food and physical activity is a good idea?

Because too many of us have trouble following those golden rules.

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