Science

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

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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bus ads
5:00 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Why Metro Transit refuses to run a public health message

This healthy living campaign is okay for billboards, but not for buses.
Public Health Seattle & King County

A major ad campaign launches this week to promote healthy living, with advertisements featured on Seattle-area television, radio and billboards. Just about the only place you won’t find the ads is on Metro buses.

The transit agency says the advertisements violate its new policy regarding public service announcements. The policy, adopted April 8th, prohibits ads that express a viewpoint on “matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues.”

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Public health
1:09 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Help track the West Nile virus

You can help King County health officials track potential cases of the West Nile virus by reporting dead birds. Crows in particular die quickly from the disease.
Leveretdreaming flickr.com

If you see dead birds, especially clusters of dead crows, King County health officials want to hear from you.

The dead birds could indicate the presence of West Nile virus, which can be deadly to humans. Over the next three months, dead birds reported to Public Health will be collected for laboratory testing for the virus if they are deemed suitable candidates for testing.

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oral health
12:43 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Rotting toddler teeth targeted by pediatricians, dentists

Dan Hatten Flickr

Your average American’s teeth may be whiter and straighter than they were a generation ago, but for very young children, tooth decay is still one the biggest health problems. 

Dentists and pediatricians are meeting this week at the University of Washington to find ways to reverse the trend.

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Weather
5:40 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Why no summer? Will it end?

Lower than normal pressures (in blue) and higher (in green) correspond to where temperatures are below and above normal.
National Weather Service, 7-15-11

Grouchy Northwesterners are starting to call this 'The year of no summer.' While we may be secretly glad to miss the heat wave that’s punishing the Midwest, we're wondering why we’re stuck with clouds … and when will it end?

When I talked to experts, the first thing they told me: It is no coincidence.

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