Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 2007)

Science news and science current events archive May, 2007.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 2007

Want to improve your relationship? Do the dishes because you want to
If you do something positive for your mate, does it matter why? The answer is yes, according to new research from University of Rochester research assistant professor Heather Patrick. She will unveil a study at a Toronto conference later this month that shows both small sacrifices, like doing the dishes for your partner, and big ones, like moving across the country for a new job he or she really wants, mean more if you do them because you genuinely want to.

Obesity increases risk of injury on the job
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy report that having a body mass index in the overweight or obese range increases the risk of traumatic workplace injury. The results were published by the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Studies assess effectiveness of serotonin and nerve stimulants on irritable bowel syndromes
Studies have shown that gastrointestinal tract function is often influenced by specific stimulants or reactors, which sometimes cause irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. Two studies presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007 take a closer look at GI stimulation, including one examining the role of serotonin and reactions to certain types of foods and another looking at the potential therapeutic value of nerve stimulation for constipation. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Southwest Airlines' last-minute fares not always the best deal, economist finds
It may pay off to spend a little extra time shopping online for that last-minute airfare, according to a UC Irvine economist.

Enhanced MR-guided focused ultrasound guidelines demonstrate improved efficacy and durability
Data released today show that MR-guided focused ultrasound is a more effective option for a broader population of uterine fibroid sufferers. In a poster presented today at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology annual meeting in San Diego, Phyllis Gee, M.D., of the North Texas Uterine Fibroid Institute in Plano, Texas, showed that women undergoing MRgFUS experience rapid and sustained relief from their condition and have a reduced need for alternative, invasive treatments in the future.

Children's Hospital and Pitt lead national trial of hypothermia to treat pediatric brain injury
A renowned Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC neurosurgeon will lead a $11.5 million National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trial examining the effectiveness of induced hypothermia as a therapy for brain swelling in children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Students benefit from undergraduate research opportunities
Undergraduate students who participate in hands-on research are more likely to pursue advanced degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, according to a new study.

100 percent juice not associated with overweight in children
Using the same database that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses to confirm the rise in obesity rates, researchers have concluded that 100 percent juice is not associated with young children being overweight or at risk for becoming overweight.

New Mayo Clinic MRI technology enables noninvasive liver diagnoses
Two recent Mayo Clinic studies have found that magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), a new imaging technique invented at Mayo Clinic, is an accurate tool for non-invasive diagnosis of liver diseases. The findings will be presented this week at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany, and Digestive Disease Week 2007 in Washington, D.C.

Sleepless for science: Flies show link between sleep, immune system in Stanford study
Go a few nights without enough sleep and you're more likely to get sick, but scientists have no real explanation for how sleep is related to the immune system. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are finding that fruit flies can point to the answers.

New hope for severe heart disease patients
Patients with severe heart disease may soon have access to a simple injection to help manage their symptoms and reduce their need for large amounts of pain relief medication if a groundbreaking new study at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is successful.

Ground-based observatories join forces with Venus Express
Data from Venus Express, which has been revealing new and crucial details about our closest planetary neighbour, will now be augmented by synoptic data from a coordinated ground-based observation campaign.

IEEE-USA promotes engineering awareness
As part of its public-awareness program to improve public understanding of engineers and engineering and to promote technological literacy, IEEE-USA participates in collaborative activities with two other nonprofit organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Engineers Without Borders-USA.

Participation by physicians in the voting process is unimpressive
With healthcare issues returning to the forefront of public attention, physicians might be expected to participate in elections at a relatively high rate. In the first study of physician voter turnout, to be presented at the 2007 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting, evidence suggests that physician participation in the political process has declined over the past few decades.

Leading prevention researchers meeting in Washington, D.C., May 30-June 1, 2007
The nation's leading prevention researchers are set to release new findings on violence, suicide, school suspension, obesity and other major topics.

Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide
Between 2000 and 2004, worldwide CO2 emissions increased at a rate that is over three times the rate during all of the 1990s. The accelerating growth rate is largely due to the increasing energy intensity of economic activity and the carbon intensity of the energy system, with increases in population and in per-capita gross domestic product. The increases in energy and carbon intensity constitute a reversal of a long-term trend toward greater energy efficiency and reduced carbon intensities.

Cigarette use may explain asthma epidemic in children, says Mailman School of Public Health study
The rise in cigarette use by adults over the past century may explain the asthma epidemic in children. The prevalence of asthma has increased at least threefold during the past several decades

Brain, size and gender surprises in latest fossil tying humans, apes and monkeys
A surprisingly complete fossil skull of an ancient relative of humans, apes and monkeys bears striking evidence that our remote ancestor was less mentally advanced than expected by about 29 million years ago.

Emotional rollercoaster? Scientists examine affect across the lifespan
The Association for Psychological Science is proud to present

Researchers publish first marsupial genome sequence
An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported by the National Institutes of Health, today announced the publication of the first genome of a marsupial, belonging to a South American species of opossum.

DNA reveals hooded seals have wanderlust
An international team of researchers have learned that all the hooded seal populations in the world share the same genetic diversity.

Savvy employers will implement NICE smoking cessation interventions
Savvy employers will take heed and implement the smoking-cessation recommendations published by the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence, says an editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Study shows that many children of HIV-positive parents are not in their custody
A new study shows that more than half of children with an HIV-infected parent are not consistently in that parent's custody.

NASA's close-up look at a hurricane's eye reveals a new 'fuel' source
In the eye of a furious hurricane, the weather is often quite calm and sunny. But new NASA research is providing clues about how the seemingly subtle movement of air within and around this region provides energy to keep this central

Ireland Cancer Center researcher lays out benefits of aspirin to prevent colon cancer
In an editorial in today's New England Journal of Medicine, a colon cancer researcher at the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center has laid out the roadmap for how medical science should employ aspirin and new aspirin-like drugs for use in preventing colon cancer in certain high-risk individuals.

Gene expression patterns predict rapid decline in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients
University of Pittsburgh researchers have identified a specific genetic profile in a group of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients that indicates a far more rapid progression to complete pulmonary failure and death without a lung transplant in comparison with other patients. In collaboration with pulmonary scientists in Mexico and California, Pittsburgh researchers found 437 differentially expressed genes. Most IPF patients live about five years following diagnosis with the chronic lung disease.

An aspirin a day keeps colorectal cancer away
Long term use of 300mg or more of aspirin a day for five years can prevent colorectal cancer, conclude authors of a study published in this week's special gastroenterology edition of the Lancet.

Eggs promote weight loss and help close nutrient consumption gap
Nine studies presented at this week's Experimental Biology 2007 meeting support the growing body of research on the nutritional benefits of egg consumption, including its promotion of weight loss and its role in providing choline, an essential nutrient often lacking in the diet that promotes brain and memory development and function.

Widespread 'twilight zone' detected around clouds
There is something new under the sun that could complicate scientists' efforts to get a fix on how much the world will warm in the future. In addition to greenhouse gases, clouds, and aerosol particles that influence the temperature of the atmosphere, a new ingredient has been discovered: an extensive and previously unseen

Researchers identify new therapy for patients with Crohn's disease
A study led by Mayo Clinic found that adalimumab (HUMIRA) is an effective treatment for adults with Crohn's disease who do not respond to infliximab (REMICADE) therapy. These findings were published online today by Annals of Internal Medicine.

Cell splits water via sunlight to produce hydrogen
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a unique photocatlytic cell that splits water to produce hydrogen and oxygen in water using sunlight and the power of a nanostructured catalyst. The group is developing novel methodologies for synthesis of nanostructured films with superior opto-electronic properties.

Ocean observing contracts awarded to UC San Diego and University of Washington
Joint Oceanographic Institutions has awarded multimillion dollar contracts to the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington to support the development and operations for the Ocean Observatories Initiative. The OOI is a US National Science Foundation investment to advance scientific understanding of the oceans, transforming research by establishing a network of interactive, globally distributed sensors in the ocean.

Second SPORT study shows surgery advantage for spinal stenosis and slipped vertebra
In one of the three most common back conditions for which patients seek treatment, surgery proved to have substantially better results than non-surgical remedies, according to Dartmouth-led research published in the May 31 New England Journal of Medicine. The paper is the second in a series detailing the findings of the Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT), a seven-year, $21 million national study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Manchester researcher wins Libyan award
A University of Manchester researcher has been named the Best Libyan International Student 2007 having published an amazing number of papers before his PhD.

The 'healthy immigrant effect' and pregnancy outcomes
New immigrants to Western nations are believed to experience fewer chronic health problems -- e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease -- than long-time residents of those countries. Dr. Joel Ray and coauthors tested whether this

Southeastern Theoretical Chemistry Association meets at Virginia Tech
The 2007 meeting of the Southeastern Theoretical Chemistry Association will be held at the Inn at Virginia Tech on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19. The event covers all areas of theoretical chemistry, including electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics, statistical mechanics and more.

Increasing radiation dose shortens treatment time for women who choose breast sparing treatment
Radiation therapy after lumpectomy for early-stage breast cancer can be safely delivered in higher daily doses to greatly reduce treatment time. This conclusion of a new Fox Chase Cancer Center study is good news for women who might opt to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy because of the time commitment needed for the usual six-week radiation course with the breast-sparing surgical option.

Data showed improved quality of life and patient satisfaction with SYMBICORT
New data demonstrated that the combination asthma therapy, SYMBICORT(budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate), led to significant improvements in health-related quality of life and greater patient-reported satisfaction with asthma treatment, versus its monocomponents (budesonide or formoterol) or placebo. The results from these two 12-week randomized, double-blind trials were presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference held in San Francisco, May 18-23.

UQ research heralds vaccine technology breakthrough
New Queensland research may lead to a groundbreaking vaccine technology that could wipe out an infection that commonly affects young children.

Plasma science decadal survey
The field of plasma science has progressed dramatically in recent years and is poised to make even more breakthroughs during the next decade. Some of these hoped-for advances, like the confinement of burning plasma by the international magnetic fusion experiment (ITER), will be critical steps toward making fusion a viable energy source.

U of MN will lead national research study on causes of bone cancer in children
Logan Spector, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota Cancer Center researcher, has received a $1.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the causes of pediatric osteosarcoma.

Susan Nolen-Hoeksema to address the 19th Annual Association for Psychological Science Convention
One of the foremost experts in depression research, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, will speak at the 19th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C., May 24-27th.

Younger Scots and Welsh may become more likely to support Nationalist parties
Generational change is contributing to a decline in British national pride with young people in Scotland and Wales likely to become increasingly responsive to nationalist parties, a study sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council shows.

When lava flows and glaciers recede, predicting how species take over
When fire, clearcutting, lava or receding glaciers create empty habitat, species arrive to form a new ecological community. Adverse conditions -- such as isolation of the new community or an unfavorable climate -- may hinder the arrival of new species and change the pattern of succession. This study provides a framework to understand why communities mature at different rates, which is fundamental to managing clear cuts or fire.

Infection takes high toll in young children
A new study has found that infectious diseases are the most common reason that children under two years of age are admitted to hospital.

Swabs not reliable for detecting lead dust in homes
The quick, inexpensive test kits used by homeowners nationwide to detect lead-laced dust are prone to high error rates, according to a University of Rochester study.

Science academies issue statements on energy efficiency, innovation
The US National Academy of Sciences joined 12 other national science academies today in calling on world leaders -- particularly G8 leaders who will meet in June -- to address global climate change and energy-access issues by promoting low carbon-emission energy systems and more efficient use of energy.

$10M grant to VCU to develop new cancer treatments
The National Cancer Institute has awarded a five-year, $10.7 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers to develop a new form of radiation therapy that will enable the safe administration of more aggressive cancer treatments.

MEMS student design contest winners announced by Sandia
Teams from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are winners of Sandia's third annual University Alliance competition for student microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) designs.

pHLIP, a novel technology to locate and treat tumors
Research teams at Yale University and the University of Rhode Island have demonstrated a new way to target and potentially treat tumors using a short piece of protein that acts like a nanosyringe to deliver

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