Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2008)

Science news and science current events archive 2008.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2008

Government dietary guidelines, unintended consequences and public policy
In the years following the government promotion of a low-fat diet, obesity in America has reached almost epidemic levels. What role did the federal guidelines play? In a study published in the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Paul R Marantz, Elizabeth Bird, Michael H. Alderman, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, suggest that the government issued these recommendations based on limited scientific data and assumed that no harm would result, but the evidence now suggests otherwise.

Scientists find how neural activity spurs blood flow in the brain
New research from Harvard University neuroscientists has pinpointed exactly how neural activity boosts blood flow to the brain. The finding has important implications for our understanding of common brain imaging techniques such as fMRI, which uses blood flow in the brain as a proxy for neural activity.

ASM and FIND to partner on strengthening infectious disease diagnosis in developing nations
The American Society for Microbiology and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today confirming their agreement to work in partnership for projects aimed at strengthening infectious disease diagnosis and service integration in resource-poor and transitional countries.

Emory study of former child soldiers yields new data to guide mental health interventions
Former child soldiers in Nepal are more than twice as likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as Nepali children who experienced war trauma as civilians, according to a study led by Brandon Kohrt, an Emory University graduate student. It is the first published study of the mental health of child soldiers that includes comparative data with children who were not coerced into military service.

No-nose bicycle saddles improve penile sensation and erectile function in bicycling police officers
A new study examines if no-nose bike seats would be effective in alleviating the harm caused by using a traditional seat.

Award-winning researcher says relationships with news media, public are critical
Relationships between scientists and the news media have evolved tremendously over the past 25 years, and scientists should continue to improve communications with both the media and the lay public, according to a Wake Forest University researcher whose commentary appears this month in a major scientific journal.

People not always needed to alleviate loneliness
New research at the University of Chicago finds evidence for a clever way that people manage to alleviate the pain of loneliness: They create people in their surroundings to keep them company.

Roman York skeleton could be early TB victim
The skeleton of a man discovered by archaeologists in a shallow grave on the site of the University of York's campus expansion could be that of one of Britain's earliest victims of tuberculosis.

ADVANCE diabetes trial results confirm no evidence of safety risk
Data from the ADVANCE Study, involving 11,140 high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes, provides no evidence of an increased risk of death among those patients receiving aggressive treatment to lower blood glucose.

Docetaxel given after doxorubicin reduces recurrence
Adding the drug docetaxel to anthracycline-based chemotherapy slightly improved disease-free survival in breast cancer patients, according to a randomized clinical trial published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

USC: gamers play against type
Players of online role-playing games tend to be older and fitter than suggested by popular stereotypes, survey finds. Older players also log more playing time, and women tend to be more committed to the game.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center recognized by American Heart Association
University Hospitals Case Medical Center has received the Get With the Guidelines Gold Performance Achievement Award in coronary artery disease, Silver Performance Achievement Award in heart failure, and Bronze Performance Achievement Award for stroke. This level of achievement shows UHCMC's commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart disease and stroke patients.

OHSU Cancer Institute researchers discover key gene involvement in cancer development
Oregon Health & Science University researchers have identified a gene that is necessary in eliminating cancer cells. The key protein, called ASPP2, works by activating biologic pathways that tell cancer cells to die. This protein is proving that it protects cells from one of the steps on the path to cancer.

Cervical cancer prevention should focus on vaccinating adolescent girls
The cost-effectiveness of vaccination in the US against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, will be optimized by achieving universal vaccine coverage in young adolescent girls, by targeting initial

New 'chemical radar' among national security innovations in ACS podcast
As the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, the American Chemical Society has issued a new podcast describing an array of technologies to help assure personal safety and national security. It is the sixth episode in ACS's acclaimed Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions series. Entitled Promoting Personal Safety & National Security, the podcast describes a

Presidential debates are mostly positive and emphasize policy
Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are preparing for their first presidential debate this week. William Benoit, one of the nation's leading experts on political campaigns at the University of Missouri, says presidential debates have become an important part of presidential campaigns since 1960.

Schistosomes, hookworm and trichuris infections synergize to increase the risk of anemia
New research published June 4 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases provides evidence that the risk of anemia is amplified in children simultaneously infected with hookworm and schistosomes or hookworm and trichuris, when compared to the sum of risks for children with singular infections.

Argonne's Blue Gene/P to host large cadre of INCITE researchers
Twenty research projects have been awarded more than 111 million hours of computing time at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory. The awards are part of a competitively selected group of 55 scientific projects announced Thursday by the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Shame on us: Shaming some kids makes them more aggressive
Aren't you ashamed of yourself? All these years, you've been trying to build up your child's self-esteem, and now a growing body of research suggests you may be making a big mistake. A study published in the December issue of Child Development finds that early adolescents with high self-esteem are more likely to react aggressively when they feel ashamed than their peers with lower levels of self-esteem.

Tiny magnetic crystals in bacteria are a compass, say Imperial researchers
Scientists have shown that tiny crystals found inside bacteria provide a magnetic compass to help them navigate through sediment to find the best food, in research out today.

Yeast gives rise to new concept: cell fuel is 'brains' behind division
Mitochondria, the fuel of a cell, has been found to be the

Study further defines potential role of fish-based fatty acids in resolving, preventing asthma
In an ongoing effort to determine the anti-inflammatory value of diets rich in some types of fish, scientists studying asthma and allergic reactions have found that a molecule produced by the body from omega-3 fatty acids helps resolve and prevent respiratory distress in laboratory mice. The research, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, was led by a research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Medical Simulation Corp. announces partnership with University of South Florida
Medical Simulation Corp. announces a new partnership with the University of South Florida to provide simulation training and education for health professionals, with the aim of reducing medical errors and promoting patient safety.

New proteomics project to develop technology to detect liver disease via blood test
Washington State's Life Sciences Discovery Fund Board of Trustees announced today that the collaboration between scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Washington Liver Transplantation Program in Seattle will receive $4.8 million over the next three years to develop a new proteomics technology and apply it in search of biomarkers for liver disease.

Study examines cost-effectiveness of HIV monitoring strategy in countries with limited resources
In a computer-based model evaluating the benefits and costs of three types of HIV disease monitoring strategies, early initiation of antiretroviral therapy and monitoring using the CD4 count, a measure of immune system function, instead of based on symptoms appear to provide health benefits in low- and middle-income countries, according to a report in the Sep. 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New statement outlines essentials of heart failure clinics
Heart failure clinics are an increasingly important approach to the treatment of patients with heart failure, yet there have been no published standards regarding the care provided by these specialized clinics. To address this gap, the Quality of Care Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America has developed a consensus statement summarizing the rationale, goals and components of HF clinic care. The statement appears in the December issue of the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

Pennsylvania Hospital recognized for excellence in bariatric surgery
Pennsylvania Hospital's bariatric surgery program has been designated by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as a Center of Excellence. This designation recognizes the quality, safety and positive results of the bariatric surgical team at Pennsylvania Hospital. Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Researcher strives for watershed moment
According to the World Health Organization, water scarcity affects four out of every 10 people around the world and population growth, urbanization and increased domestic and industrial water use are making the problem worse. By examining the relationship between global warming and pollution, a researcher at the University of Western Ontario hopes to help protect future water resources.

Long-term care fraught with uncertainties for elderly baby boomers
The continued decline of the nursing home -- once the mainstay care for the frail elderly -- and an upsurge in popularity of assisted living will lead to many dramatic changes in long-term care, according to a University of Florida expert and editor of a new book on the subject.

Changing dosing, administration of anthrax vaccine reduces side effects
Reducing the number of doses of an anthrax vaccine and changing its administration to intramuscular injection resulted in comparable measures of effectiveness but with fewer adverse events, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of JAMA.

AAO-SOE Joint Meeting Nov. 9 glaucoma research highlights
Glaucoma-related highlights of today's scientific program of the 2008 Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and European Society of Ophthalmology include a study that correlates optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients with carotid artery narrowing and potentially elevated risk for stroke, and a survey that looks at how the practice of fasting, common to the world's seven major religions, may affect patient compliance with treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases.

Researchers seek children for a study of antibiotics for a urinary tract disorder
Researchers conducting a study to learn if children with a urinary tract disorder known as vesicoureteral reflux should be treated with an antibiotic for an extended period of time are seeking to enroll more participants. The study, known as the

New training method for hip surgery
A new surgical robot is making medical undergraduates three times more accurate during practice hip operations, according to pilot study to be discussed at a conference this week.

Songbirds may hold key to advances in treatment of brain degeneration
Ongoing research at Lehigh University may one day help make strides toward therapeutic advances in the treatment of diseases that involve the loss of memory and brain degeneration such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and stroke. Colin Saldanha, associate professor of biological sciences, was named a recipient of a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for

Worried about family or friends falling? New guideline identifies those most at risk
A new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology finds certain neurology patients are at a high risk of accidental falls and should be regularly screened to help prevent the high number of fall-related injuries and deaths in the United States each year. The guideline is published in the Feb. 5, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New MacArthur network to examine impact of aging society
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is creating a new inter-disciplinary research network to help America prepare for the challenges and opportunities posed by our aging society.

Like an arrow: Jumping insects use archery techniques
Froghoppers, also known as spittlebugs, are the champion insect jumpers, capable of reaching heights of 700mm -- more than 100 times their own body length. Research published today in the open access journal BMC Biology reveals that they achieve their prowess by flexing bow-like structures between their hind legs and wings and releasing the energy in one giant leap in a catapult-like action.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund award creates new Ph.D. path linking laboratory and population sciences
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has selected Emory University for a $2.5 million, five-year award aimed at training new biomedical scientists whose expertise in research and teaching will bridge laboratory and population sciences.

HIV shifting from most to least educated in sub-Saharan Africa
HIV infections appear to be concentrating among the least educated people in Africa, reversing previous patterns which saw higher levels of infection among the most educated, according to a study published today in the journal AIDS.

Subtle nervous system abnormalities appear to predict risk of death in older individuals
Subtle but clinically detectable neurological abnormalities, such as reduced reflexes and an unstable posture, may be associated with the risk of death and stroke in otherwise healthy older adults, according to a report in the June 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Experts meet on need for new rules to govern world's fragile polar regions
Consideration of international law and policy issues in polar regions is urgently needed as climate change opens the Arctic Ocean to shipping, fishing, and other resource exploitation, and as growing numbers of bioprospectors, researchers and tourists flock to Antarctica, all with potentially serious environmental consequences in these highly fragile ecosystems.

Institute formed at McMaster to advance automotive research
A new research institute has been established at McMaster University to coordinate its increasing involvement in the automotive sector. The McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology, known as MacAUTO, brings together more than 75 researchers in engineering, science, business and other faculties involved in automotive-related research.

Insect release proposed to control exotic strawberry guava
US Forest Service scientists with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry have submitted a proposal to release a Brazilian insect to control the spread of strawberry guava, a South American tree that has invaded and degraded native Hawaiían ecosystems since it was introduced in 1825 as a garden plant.

Kidney disease patients with poor health literacy are less likely to receive kidney transplants
Kidney disease patients' ability to understand basic health information may have a significant impact on whether or not they will receive an organ transplant, according to a study appearing in the January 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology. The findings reveal an important disparity in access to care and point to the need for more standardized procedures for referring patients for transplantation.

Study examines association between caffeine consumption and breast cancer risk
Caffeine consumption does not appear to be associated with overall breast cancer risk, according to a report in the Oct. 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. However, there is a possibility of increased risk for women with benign breast disease or for tumors that are hormone-receptor negative or larger than 2 centimeters.

Premier Brumby announces plans to build largest life sciences supercomputer facility
$100 Million Supercomputer Will Aid Breakthrough in Disease Discovery in Australia and Beyond

Evolutionary roots of ancient bacteria may open new line of attack on CF
The redox-active pigments responsible for the blue-green stain of the mucus that clogs the lungs of children and adults with cystic fibrosis are primarily signaling molecules that allow large clusters of the opportunistic infection agent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to organize themselves into structured communities.

Chemotherapy with chemoradiation for pancreatic cancer has small survival benefit
The addition of the drug gemcitabine with chemoradiation for the treatment of patients who had surgery for pancreatic cancer was associated with a survival benefit, although this improvement was not statistically significant, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Poor and uninsured patients more likely to experience racial discrimination
A new study examines the impact of poor, uninsured patients' race in terms of reporting racism in their health care.

Blacks awaiting lung transplants more likely to die or be denied than whites
Blacks with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were less likely to receive a lung transplant and more likely to die or be removed from the transplant list than whites, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to