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Aug 26, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ASPIRIN, PAINKILLERS MAY NOT MIX

A study indicates mixing certain painkillers with aspirin may interfere with the drug's effectiveness in preventing a first heart attack. They say regular use of so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, may take away some of the clinical benefits of aspirin. There was no such potential conflict when NSAIDs were used only occasionally. The findings appear in the journal Circulation, published by the American Heart Association.

FALL MAY CAUSE SEVERE BRAIN INJURY

Questioning an earlier assessment of the dangers of falls to infants, researchers have found falls may cause severe brain injury in babies. "Previously, falls were considered relatively benign because the head was assumed to move in a linear path at the terminus of a fall," said Susan Margulies, associate professor of bioengineering at Pennsylvania State University. "Linear motions are most frequently associated with skull fractures and focal brain injuries, but it is primarily rotational movements that produce more severe diffuse brain injuries." Using a specially designed doll to measure the impact of a fall, the researchers found when the head hit a surface before the body did, significant rotational motions resulted. The findings may help child abuse investigators distinguish accidental falls from injuries caused by the deliberate striking of a child's head against a surface.

SHORTER BREAST CANCER THERAPY TESTED

Doctors are testing a shorter breast cancer treatment that takes one day instead of six weeks. The traditional treatment is surgery followed by six weeks of radiation. Stanford University researchers are testing whether a single dose of radiation aimed just at the region of the breast that contains the cancer is equally safe and effective. "We're very happy with the initial results of the trial," Dr. said Frederick Dirbas, assistant professor of surgical oncology. The first five women who participated had no additional pain or scarring compared with women who receive standard therapy. Doctors are recruiting additional participants with breast cancer or with precancerous conditions for the trial.

NO NEED TO TOSS THESE WRAPPERS

Chemists have developed edible food wraps that can keep a sandwich fresh and the environment clean. The biodegradable vegetable and fruit covers, unlike their plastic and aluminum counterparts, are tasty and healthy. They provide the equivalent of one serving of fruit or vegetables and come in a variety of flavors, including broccoli, carrot, tomato, mango, peach, pear, apple, papaya and strawberry. Creator Tara McHugh, a food chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Albany, Calif., says the wraps also can protect meat in home freezers. "They can provide a glaze or a sauce for cooking," McHugh says. "You can use a tomato or ketchup-flavored wrap to hamburgers when you freeze them and then when you defrost the meat you can cook the whole thing, wrap and all." The edible wraps are expected to hit store shelves by the end of the year.

(Editors: For more information about ASPIRIN, contact Jeff Ventura at 617-534-1600 or JVENTURA@PARTNERS.ORG, For BRAIN, Steve Bradt at 215-573-6604. For BREAST, Amy Adams at 650-723-3900 or amyadams@stanford.edu. For FOOD, Michael Bernstein at 202-872-6042 or m_bernstein@acs.org)

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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