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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Early Retrovirals Dramatically Reduce Spread of HIV

A multinational study has led to a discovery that could help slow the spread of HIV.

In other biomedical news, scientists believe they've discovered stem cells in the lung that can make a wide variety of the organ's tissues, a finding that might eventually open new doors for treating emphysema and other diseases.

And in an alarming twist to the bedbug crisis, Canadian scientists have detected drug-resistant staph bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a poor Vancouver neighborhood.

At a Senate hearing, the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, warned that the fraction of grant applications that are funded this year could drop below 20 percent for the first time.

And a watchdog group found that nursing homes are unnecessarily administering powerful antipsychotic drugs to many elderly residents, including residents with dementia.

The outbreak of a plant disease in soybeans has raised questions about genetically modified crops.

Some experts questioned the claim that the Human Genome Project and associated research generated almost $800 billion in economic benefits.

It's estimated that nearly half of all adults under age 40 sport at least one tattoo, and federal health officials are concerned that not all tattoo inks are safe.

Strokes often occur during sleep, and the L.A. Times examined the prevailing wisdom on treating such strokes.

And an expert panel has concluded that U.N. peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti last fall.


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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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