Science & Technology - Briefs

Science & Technology - Briefs health
Side-effects stay

Chemicals called contrast agents used during cardiac angiography can seriously damage kidneys which, in turn, increases chances of heart attacks. Side-effects were earlier thought to be temporary.

A team tracked 294 patients exposed to contrast agents for a year. 31 per cent of the patients were found to suffer from long-term negative health effects and 13 per cent either suffered from strokes, heart attacks or critical renal failure. The study appeared in the June 25 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

climate sciences
Rapid retreat

Glaciers that end in oceans as icebergs (tidewater glaciers) are supposed to be less affected by global warming but a team found evidence to the contrary.The ice in Greenland and Arctic, are in danger of shrinking in a geologic instant or the next 100 years. The team studied rock samples of a similar prehistoric glacier at the Canadian Arctic. Results suggested that 5,000 years ago a significant warming triggered a rapid breakdown of the glacier once it was barely inside deep waters. The study was published in the June 21 issue of Nature Geoscience.

Read the flames

Scientists recently transmitted information via chemical reactions. Terming it infochemistry, the team said the process only requires combustion energy and hoped it can be used to transmit data in harsh environments where electricity and batteries do not work. Using various metallic salts the team encoded a sentence on a strip of combustible material. It burnt and transmitted the data that was read by a detector located two metres away. The study was reported in the June 9 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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