Short Course: Fish exposed to anti-anxiety drugs become aggressive

'Fish exposed to anti-anxiety drugs become aggressive'

BOSTON: Wild perch living in water tainted with a commonly prescribed human anti-anxiety drug aggressively feed, shun other fish and become careless, according to the results of a study presented at a meeting of scientists on Thursday. "We knew there was a pharmaceutical that was present in the environment that had behavioral-changing capabilities in humans, but what could this do to fish?" said chemist Jerker Fick of Umea University in Sweden. The findings highlighted the potential ecological implications of even trace amounts of psychiatric pharmaceuticals that are excreted in human urine and survive wastewater treatment plant processes, scientists told a meeting in Boston of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For the experiment, scientists divided 75 wild European perch into three groups. The research appears in this week's Science magazine.

More thorough dialysis may reduce deaths

NEW YORK: A more thorough dialysis technique may help prevent deaths due to heart conditions and infections in people with advanced kidney disease, according to a new study. Known as hemodiafiltration, that method is better able to clean the kidneys of larger toxins than standard dialysis, which mainly removes small molecules. When not removed from the kidneys, larger toxins could play a role in inflammation and cholesterol buildup, researchers said. People on dialysis are most likely to die of complications such as heart disease and infection, according to Dr. Francisco Maduell, the study's lead author from the University of Barcelona in Spain. Maduell said hemodiafiltration has been available in Europe for almost two decades and more recently in Asia and Canada as well. The Food and Drug Administration gave the okay for the first hemodiafiltration devices to be marketed in the United States less than a year ago. About 350,000 people in the U.S. are on dialysis.

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