Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2005)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2005.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2005

JCI table of contents, July 1, 2005
This press release contains summaries, links, and author information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online on June 16, 2005 in the JCI: Transplantation of sperm stem cells restores fertility after chemotherapy; Claudin-1: a potential biomarker of colon cancer progression; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia tampers with T cells; and Ezrin eager to block blood vessel growth.

Team investigates Active Denial System for security applications
A multi-organizational team is adapting for DOE use a technology that can help keep security adversaries out of DOE sites that contain nuclear assets. The DOE Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA) is exploring the potential to use directed energy weapons technology sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD), named Active Denial Technology (ADT), to help protect DOE nuclear assets.

Oral liquid hydroxyurea promising for long-term use in babies with sickle cell anemia
Treating babies who have sickle cell disease (SCD) with oral liquid hydroxyurea appears to prevent the onset of long-term complications triggered by this disease, according to results of a preliminary study by investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Mount Sinai Hospital researcher develops Canada's first embryonic stem cell lines
A senior scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital has developed Canada's first two human embryonic stem cell lines, giving researchers across the country new potential and hope for eventually discovering treatments and cures for many chronic and fatal diseases.

Baby, you can drive my song
A new University of Southern California computer system lets a user

NIST to accredit voting systems test labs
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has established a program for accrediting laboratories that will test voting systems and components in accordance with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Laboratories wishing to be considered for accreditation in the first group must submit an application and pay required fees by Aug. 16, 2005.

Johns Hopkins AIDS expert says global strategy needed to combat 'feminization' of HIV/AIDS
A Johns Hopkins physician and scientist who has spent a quarter-century leading major efforts to combat HIV and AIDS worldwide has issued an urgent call for global strategies and resources to confront the rapid

NASA helps highlight lightning safety awareness week
Summertime arrives officially today in the northern hemisphere, and with it comes thunderstorms. As a result, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration named the week of June 19-25 National Lightning Safety Awareness Week.

Study shows eutrophic lakes may not recover for a millennium
Although it has taken just 60 years for humans to put many freshwater lakes on the eutrophication fast track, a new study shows their recovery may take a thousand years under the best of circumstances.

Blood-based TB test matches up to old skin test in study among health workers in India
A UC Berkeley-led study has found that a new blood-based tuberculosis (TB) test is as useful as the traditional tuberculin skin test in a head-to-head matchup between the two methods of detecting latent infection. The results of the study, to be published in a special June 8 issue in JAMA, mean that switching to the more expensive blood test may not be necessary for people in India.

NIH awards $10.4 million to Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida
A group of researchers at the La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, campuses of The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $10.4 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish The Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center. This is a pilot program to discover small molecule tools for translating basic biomedical discoveries more quickly into medically relevant applications.

New bipolar survey: Patients' satisfaction influenced
Preliminary results from a large-scale global study of people living with bipolar disorder,1 presented today at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry (WCBP), found that patient satisfaction with treatment is achieved through combining broad-based efficacy with a favourable tolerability profile.

Predicting serious cardiac outcomes
In this issue of CMAJ, Worster and colleagues describe how they evaluated the prognostic capabilities of high or low levels of ischemia-modified albumin in patients with potential cardiac-ischemia symptoms.

Day care settings are a significant source of indoor allergens
Researchers studying day care facilities in the South have found the facilities to be a significant source for indoor allergen levels. A new study of 89 day care settings in two central North Carolina counties found detectable levels of seven common allergens from fungus, cats, cockroaches, dogs, dust mites, and mice in each facility tested.

Researchers identify new catfish family
New catfish family doesn't fit into patterns established in an area of diverse life in southern Mexico region.

Unease over guidelines that label 9 out of 10 people as sick
Guidelines that set ever lower thresholds for

UCI researchers create method for predicting most effective use of cancer-fighting drugs
UC Irvine researchers have developed a method that can help doctors choose the best combination of drugs for fighting cancer -- a development that may lead to more effective treatment strategies.

Genetic variation alters response to common anti-clotting drug
Millions of people take the anticoagulant drug warfarin to prevent harmful clotting after a heart attack, stroke, or major surgery. But the proper dose of warfarin can vary greatly and can be hard to predict. Some of this variability may boil down to a recently identified gene involved in blood clotting, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and Washington University in St. Louis.

American Thoracic Society journal news tips for June 2005 (second issue)
Newsworthy articles include studies showing that: in an area of high tuberculosis (TB) incidence, investigators found that the age-adjusted rate of disease reinfection after successfull treatment of TB was four times that for new cases; low-dose spiral computer-based tomographic (CT) screening for lung cancer can lead to early diagnosis in a high proportion of cases; and home care services can offer great potential for patients with respiratory diseases.

Arsenic - not the same for everyone
Children with a particular genetic variation metabolize arsenic from drinking water differently than adults with the same variation. The findings have important implications for the safety of drinking water worldwide and the use of arsenic as a cancer drug.

NSF names seven distinguished teaching scholars
Seven of the nation's leaders in research and education are being honored today by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as Director's Distinguished Teaching Scholars (DTS) for having achieved not only groundbreaking results in research, but for their strong teaching and mentoring skills and major educational contributions.

Unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and orcas stay active 24/7 during first months of development
A study led by UCLA researchers and published in the upcoming edition of Nature finds that unlike other mammals, newborn dolphins and killer whales remain awake and active 24/7 during the first weeks of life when critical development takes place. The lead investigator, Dr. Jerome Siegel, says these sea-faring mammals appear to have found an alternative to sleep during this crucial period of life and asserts that humans might have the untapped potential to do the same.

Scientists gain insight into spring onset, better forecasting expected
Scientists have discovered that the interplay between two layers of the atmosphere plays a major role in the arrival of spring -- a finding that could lead to improved weather and climate forecasting.

Australia boasts one of the largest biotech IP pools
A record number of commercialization teams from Australian universities and research centers head to BIO 2005 this week, focused on showcasing their offerings and cutting deals with US firms. From the 63 Australian firms and organizations exhibiting at the Australia Pavilion [June 19-22, 2005], 20 of these are public and privately funded research centres.

Florida Tech, nine other universities create Florida Lambda Rail
Research capabilities at Florida Institute of Technology and nine other Florida universities will blossom with creation of the Florida Lambda Rail (FLR), an extremely high speed computer network.

UC Davis Cancer Center awarded $4.5 million
UC Davis Cancer Center has received $4.48 million from the National Cancer Institute to lead a new nationwide effort aimed at reducing cancer in Asian Americans.

Restoring flow to all blocked areas of the heart improves 5-year survival rate, study says
When a patient has several coronary arteries blocked, heart surgeons should attempt to restore blood flow to all affected areas of the heart, and they should use arteries, not veins, to serve as conduits. These factors significantly impact long-term survival rates, according to a new study.

News briefs from the journal CHEST June 2005
News briefs from the journal CHEST highlight studies related to lung volume reduction surgery and emphysema, obesity and mortality rate in the MICU, and lung function and cardiovascular disease.

Going to extremes to improve human health
The rare ability to simulate -- in a laboratory setting -- environments as specific as a mountain top at 18,000 feet, and to change variables including temperature and relative humidity at will -- now belongs to scientists in the University of Oregon's Department of Human Physiology.

Ill-health and unhappiness among the risks for older mothers
Although there are considerable risks to becoming pregnant later in life, more and more women are choosing to do it, a scientist reported at the 21st annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 21 June 2005). Professor Michael de Swiet, from Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, UK, said that in 2000-02, 10% of UK women in their first pregnancy were over 35 compared to 3% in 1988-90.

Patients with disease, cancer of the esophagus benefit from new technique developed by OHSU surgeons
Surgeons at the Oregon Health & Science University Digestive Health Center have developed a new technique that makes feasible and safe a potentially lifesaving and noninvasive surgical procedure known as laparoscopic esophagectomy. Until now, the procedure was considered too technically demanding for most surgeons to perform. A paper on their findings recently was presented at the European Association of Endoscopic Surgery in Venice, Italy.

Study finds parking lot sealcoat may be major source of PAHs
A joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the City of Austin (Texas) has found that runoff from parking lot sealcoat, a black coating used to protect and beautify asphalt, is a previously unrecognized source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Abraded sealcoat may be an important contributor to PAHs found in U.S. streams, the researchers say. PAHs are known to have adverse health effects on animals, plants and people.

Changing sexual behaviour in the UK
The past half-century has seen distinct changes in our sexual behaviour, and these changes have been considerably more marked among women than men. Analysing data from the 1990 and 2000 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles for ESRC's new report Seven Deadly Sins, Professor Kaye Wellings observes a series of significant trends in sexual activity.

Mosquito study shows new, faster way West Nile can spread
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have discovered a quick new way that mosquitoes can pass West Nile virus to each other.

Medical malpractice concerns lead to more breast biopsies
Some women may be undergoing unnecessary diagnostic imaging and breast biopsies because radiologists are worried about medical malpractice suits.

Silenced gene suggests greater risk, possible marker for African-Americans with prostate cancer
Among African-Americans with prostate cancer, a tumor-suppressing gene called GSTP1 is inactivated at a rate 3.5 times higher than among Caucasians, according to a study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Babies born after SET do as well as those conceived naturally
Two studies presented today (Tuesday 21 June 2005) at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology provide further proof that single embryo transfer (SET) produces babies that are healthier than those born after multiple implantations.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients are more at risk of coronary artery disease
Research published today in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from accelerated coronary artery disease, and face an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, than individuals with coronary artery disease but no rheumatoid arthritis.

Insects develop resistance to engineered crops
Cornell University entomologist Anthony Shelton finds when engineered crops containing just one Bt toxin grow near modified plants with two toxins, insects may more rapidly develop resistance to all the engineered plants.

Perceptions of weight important risk factor for suicidal behavior in adolescents
How adolescents perceive their body weight may be more important than their actual weight in terms of increased likelihood of suicidal thoughts and attempts, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Design of neonatal intensive care units critical to infant health
Effective neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) provide more than just services - they're designed in a way that contributes to the health of the infants being treated, says a Texas A&M University authority on health care facility design and environmental psychology.

Diuretics effective for people with diabetes and high blood pressure
In people with diabetes, diuretics work as well as ACE-inhibitors and calcium channel blockers in protecting against heart attack and improving survival, and offer more protection against congestive heart failure.

Supreme Court adopts IEEE-USA's balanced position in electronic file-sharing case
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision Monday in the MGM vs. Grokster electronic file-sharing case, adopted the active inducement standard and technology protection IEEE-USA proposed in its January amicus curiae brief (
More research funding needed to improve cancer care, oncologists say
In order to improve the standard of cancer care across Europe and around the globe, more funding needs to be channeled toward clinical research, according to oncologists surveyed by the European Society for Medical Oncology.

The DFG and the German Science Council welcome agreement on the Excellence Initiative
The President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, and the chairman of the German Science Council, Professor Karl Max Einhäupl, have welcomed today's approval of the 'Excellence Initiative' by the German federal government and the states. As both leaders said, this is very good news and has been anxiously awaited by the universities and the German scientific community.

Study ties risk of problem gambling with proximity to casinos and other gambling opportunities
Individuals who live within 10 miles of a casino or in a disadvantaged neighborhood are more likely to experience problem gambling, according to new research from the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

Only transplant center that developed comprehensive protocol for liver transplants in kids with MSUD
One year ago, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh became the first transplant center to develop a comprehensive, multidisciplinary medical protocol for performing liver transplants in patients with Maple Syrup Urine Disease. Today, seven children who suffered from the life-threatening disease have been transplanted and are now free from symptoms. MSUD is a metabolic disorder that causes amino acids to accumulate in the body, which can have toxic effects and lead to brain swelling and death.

Temple virologist receives $6.1 million NIH grant for neuro-AIDS research
Temple University rsearcher Kamel Khalili has been awarded a $6.1 million NIH grant for Neuro-AIDS research to continue the ongoing investigation into the molecular biology and genetics of the interaction between viruses and host cells in the central nervous system.

Pay up or the PC gets it
The FBI is warning that criminals have found a way to kidnap documents on your computer by exploiting encryption technology originally designed to protect your data. The hacker uses a virus to encrypt text-based documents on your hard drive, and then displays a ransom note demanding money for decoding the document so you can read it again.

Mars Express radar ready to work
MARSIS, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding on board ESA's Mars Express orbiter, is now fully deployed. It has undergone its first check-out and is ready to start operations around the Red Planet. 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