KIDS: OUT OF THE TANNING BOOTH California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill last week barring children under 14 from using tanning salons.

State lawmakers passed the ban in May, citing concerns by dermatologists who blame the artificial light in tanning booths for contributing to a rise in skin cancer. Public health officials increasingly view melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer, as a pediatric disease. Although melanoma usually strikes older adults, researchers say that overexposure to the sun during teen and preteen years begins the disease process.

The law also says teens aged 14 to 18 need a note from their parents to use a tanning salon. Salon operators in violation could be fined up to $2,500.

ANNALS OF INEXPENSIVE MEDICAL DEVICES "I wish to report yet one more use for the ubiquitous Post-it, this time as an aid in cardiac physical diagnosis," writes Daniel Shindler of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey -- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. "A small Post-it folded into an L-shaped strip readily clings to the skin during a physical examination. The free edge of the folded paper, oriented like a flag, perpendicular to the surface of the skin, greatly amplifies cardiac, arterial and jugular venous pulsations. When the folded strip of adhesive paper is properly placed on the point of the maximal impulse of the heart, the subjective tactile perception of a single observer is replaced by a visual demonstration of the cardiac impulse. This . . . permits the cardiac impulse to be simultaneously evaluated by multiple observers."

In other words: Stick a Post-it where a big blood vessel is close to the skin, and you can "see" the heartbeat!

BIG LAWSUITS Public interest law professor John Banzhaf suggests suing doctors to fight obesity. At a recent meeting, Banzhaf, from George Washington University, recommended suing doctors who breach federal protocols by failing to warn obese patients about the health dangers of their condition and to provide them with effective assistance to lose weight. "Suing the first physician whose patient suffered from a sudden diabetic collapse would immediately cause the others to follow the federal standards," Banzhaf said.

SO NOTED "Our study provides the first piece of experimental evidence to show that dogs can detect cancer by olfactory means more successfully than would be expected by chance alone."

-- British doctors, reporting on a study in which dogs were able to detect, by smell, organic compounds in urine that are linked to bladder cancer.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports