LA Times Science Files for 2007/07/02

These are items compiled by staff of the LA Times.

    Stress can be fattening, study finds

    The fat on your belly may be there because of stress in your everyday life, and researchers think they may know how to get rid of it. Studies of mice and monkeys show that repeated stress – and a high-fat, high-sugar diet – release a hormone, neuropeptide Y, that causes a buildup of abdominal fat, researchers from Georgetown University reported Sunday. By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer.

    Lasers hit home

    With the evolution of laser technology, do-it-yourself personal care has entered a new realm. Consumers can now calm acne flare-ups, plump facial wrinkles and restore thinning hair with a variety of hand-held devices. Others in development could treat superficial wounds, relieve pain and remove body hair. By Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer.

    Program to target Medicare fraud

    WASHINGTON – Fraudulent Medicare billings submitted by medical equipment suppliers in the Los Angeles area and south Florida are the target of a pilot program to be announced today by the Department of Health and Human Services. By Claudia Lauer and Jack Leonard, Times Staff Writers.

    The HPV test: Should you or shouldn’t you?

    Advertisements can be very persuasive – whether they’re promoting a snack food, a toy or even a medical test. If you’ve watched much television lately, you may have seen a commercial touting the benefits of a relatively new screening test for cervical cancer. Its message is unambiguous: “A Pap test isn’t enough.” By Valerie Ulene.

    Why ‘Sicko’ hits a nerve

    The Los Angeles premiere of “Sicko” at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater was over, the audience on their feet and the “stars” – a.k.a. underserved, suffering patients and whistle-blowing insurance company employees – had taken their bows. Michael Moore was looking at them with a paternal glow. Then came the lone question, shouted from the audience. “What do we do?” By Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer.

    Iguana dating a drain on females

    A good man is hard to find – and for female Galapagos iguanas, the search for the sexiest mate is so exhausting that it may actually threaten their ability to survive, according to a study published last week. By Amber Dance, Times Staff Writer.

    Rocks’ heat buoys the U.S.

    If the rocks under Los Angeles were not unusually warm, the city would rest 3,756 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, according to Utah geologists. In fact, without the rocks the only parts of the U.S. that would be above sea level would be the Pacific Northwest and the upper Rockies, they reported last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. By Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer.

    There’s no better time to find a healthcare remedy

    The stars are in rare alignment this summer for state healthcare reform. The governor has been trotting all over Earth, waving to cameras and taking bows for last summer’s global warming legislation that he actually had little to do with, except to sign it. Major healthcare reform would punch his ticket for another year of victory jaunts – and a greatly enhanced legacy. By George Skelton, Times Staff Writer.

    Like an earplug in a pill

    Several groups have started testing various chemicals for their safety and effectiveness at preventing noise-induced hearing loss in people. If the tests go well and the drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they would be the first of their kind. By Kendall Powell, Special to The Times.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.