Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 16, 2003
Ceramics reinforced with nanotubes
A ceramic material reinforced with carbon nanotubes has been made by materials scientists at UC Davis.

Other highlights in the September 17 issue of JNCI
Other highlights of the September 17 issue of JNCI include a study on PSA doubling time and risk of death from prostate cancer, a study examining risk factors for esophageal and gastric cancers, a study suggesting that the á-tocopherol may play a role in the development of esophageal and gastric cancers, a study examining antisense inhibition in mouse models of neuroblastoma, and a commentary on the design of dual-label microarrays.

Engineers head into path of Hurricane Isabel
Engineers from Clemson University and the University of Florida are scrambling to deploy four mobile data-acquisition platforms squarely in the path of oncoming Hurricane Isabel.

A cheaper and more environmentally friendly process for dyeing fabric
An innovation in dyeing methods, EUROENVIRON ECDVAT replaces chemical agents with electrons in a new technology for dyeing fabric that is cheaper, cleaner and far easier to control than traditional methods.

Supernovae survey provides new clues to nature of mysterious dark energy
Measurements of 11 exploding stars spread throughout the visible universe made with the Hubble Space Telescope confirm earlier, ground-based studies which produced the first evidence that the universe is not only expanding, but expanding at an ever increasing rate and provide new clues to the nature of dark energy, the force that is pushing the universe apart.

Poor health affects business' bottom line, says HHS
Chronic conditions like obesity and asthma cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars in health insurance costs and lost productivity, according to a report released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

University of Chicago scientist wins prestigious Balzan Prize
University of Chicago Professor Wen-Hsiung Li, Ph.D., has been awarded the prestigious Balzan Prize -- a $709,000 award often referred to as the

High blood pressure, fatty deposits are 'bit players' in bulging arteries
Contrary to long-accepted conventional wisdom and to current theories, high blood pressure and other risk factors for plaque buildup are not major factors in the dangerous ballooning of blood vessels near the heart, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology this week.

Screening for depression at primary level could be next trend in healthcare
Given that one out of three patients seen by a primary physician suffers from a mental disorder, administering a simple screening measure at this level is not only effective, it's needed, says a Texas A&M University psychologist.

Madagascar to triple areas under protection
In an effort to safeguard tens of thousands animal and plant species found nowhere else in the world, the government of Madagascar announced today that it will more than triple the size of its network of areas under protection from 1.7 million hectares to 6 million hectares over the next five years.

Homing in on dark energy
A unique set of 11 distant Type Ia supernovae studied with the Hubble Space Telescope constrains cosmological parameters, sheds new light on dark energy, and reduces uncertainty due to host-galaxy extinction, according to the latest findings of the Supernova Cosmology Project.

Technique reduces time spent on radiation doses
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a technique that drastically decreases the time a radiologist spends calculating radiation dosages and also provides a more carefully controlled dosage with less damage to nearby healthy tissues.

Method to keep track of cancer comorbidities is successful; may help cancer research
Many cancer patients have other diseases, and those ailments can influence their chance of survival and response to treatment.

Promise of laparoscopic liver resection for liver cancer explored in unique program
Recognizing that less invasive surgeries should be among the treatment options available for patients with liver cancer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is holding the first-ever workshop devoted exclusively to laparoscopic liver surgery, Sept.

Tip percentage declines with larger bills
In the world of gratuities, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Longer commute for cancer treatment associated with better survival
Cancer patients who travel more than 15 miles for treatment appear to survive longer than patients who live closer to their treatment center, even after controlling for factors such as disease stage and economic status, concludes a study in the September 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Pharmacokinetic data presented at ICAAC on investigational HIV protease inhibitor 433908 (908)
Pharmacokinetic (PK) data from two clinical studies of the investigational HIV protease inhibitor (PI) 433908 (908) were presented here today at the 43rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

Was the Universe born in a Black Hole?
The universe may have been created by an explosion within a black hole, according to a new theory by two mathematicians recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Study assessing once daily Abacavir (ABC) in a once daily ART regimen
Studies supporting the efficacy of a once daily (QD) antiretroviral (ART) therapy regimen and the QD dosing of Ziagen® (abacavir sulfate) (ABC) were presented here today at the 43rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

'National LambdaRail' will push the limits of computer networking
Duke and other universities have joined to establish an experimental new high-speed computing network --

UGA, MCG study impact of long-term use of schizophrenia drugs
Whether the long-term use of the newer schizophrenia drugs damages or improves a patient's cognitive ability is the focus of a cooperative study by the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia.

New Dallas biotech firm the result of unique public-private partnership
Research pioneered at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas has led to the formation of Reata Discovery Inc., a Dallas biopharmaceutical company with $5.2 million in start-up financing and statewide and international business partnerships.

Testing information systems during development will prevent problems
By grouping the existing 350-plus metrics for object-oriented systems, a Penn State researcher has determined that using the right metrics at the right time can help avoid the costly mistakes that can hobble small and large-scale projects.

New clinical research study evaluates novel cell therapy
Physicians at Rush University Medical Center are testing whether a novel cell therapy using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells attached to tiny gelatin bead microcarriers implanted in the brain can improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

First-line use of voriconazole yields better outcomes for life-threatening fungal infection
Data presented at the 43rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) showed that the antifungal treatment voriconazole, a second-generation triazole, is more effective and less costly than the standard of care for invasive aspergillosis when used as first-line therapy (Posters M-964 and A-1359).

Study shows dramatic increase in wrist fractures over 30-year span
Wrist fractures, especially those occurring during the adolescent growth spurt, are significantly more common now than 30 years ago, according to a study by scientists at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN.

Hurricane Isabel poised for mid-Atlantic downpour
Hurricane Isabel, moving up the Eastern Seaboard has no choice but to turn westward into the mid Atlantic states.

Prescription drug utilization reviews are less than useful
After examining data from six state Medicaid programs, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have concluded that drug utilization review programs do not improve patient health or reduce the rate of prescription errors.

Major new center at UIC to study racial/ethnic disparities in health
A major new center established today at the University of Illinois at Chicago will study why mortality rates for breast and other cancers are so much higher in African Americans and Hispanics than in Caucasians.

Ocean plant life slows down and absorbs less carbon
Plant life in the world's oceans has become less productive since the early 1980s, absorbing less carbon, which may in turn impact the Earth's carbon cycle, according to a study that combines NASA satellite data with NOAA surface observations of marine plants.

Mayo Clinic study finds increase in forearm fractures among adolescents
Forearm fractures are on the rise among both adolescent boys and girls, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the September 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Many children in Medicaid managed care do not receive same quality of care
Children enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans had lower rates than those in commercial plans for quality indicators such as immunization rates and well-child visits, according to a study in the September 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), conducted with support from The Commonwealth Fund.

Northwestern Memorial remains Chicago's 'most preferred' hospital
For the fifth consecutive year, Northwestern Memorial has been recognized as a Consumer Choice Award winner by the people of Chicago.

Religion helps shape wealth of Americans, study finds
A new national study shows that religious affiliation plays a powerful role in how much wealth Americans accumulate, with Jews amassing the most wealth and conservative Protestants the least.

Longer commute for cancer treatment associated with better survival
Cancer patients who travel more than 15 miles for treatment appear to survive longer than patients who live closer to their treatment center, even after controlling for factors such as disease stage and economic status.

Brief telephonic questionnaire detects early signs of dementia
Researchers have developed a 3-item telephone questionnaire that reliably distinguishes between persons with signs of dementia and persons with normal cognitive function.

Fall foliage forecast
While the leaves usually start to turn in the northeastern United States within the next few weeks, much of the country won't see the first signs of autumn until mid-October.

Interim analysis comparing TDF to EFV in combination with 3TC + ABC
An unplanned interim analysis of a study comparing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) to efavirenz (EFV) - both given in combination with a fixed-dose investigational co-formulation of Epivir® (lamivudine) (3TC) and Ziagen® (abacavir sulfate) (ABC) - for the treatment of HIV showed that subjects in the TDF- containing arm experienced an unacceptably high rate of early virologic non-response compared with the EFV-containing arm.

And the beat goes on: New insight into the genetics of congenital heart disease
Using a sophisticated approach to alter gene activity in the embryo, scientists have identified a potential culprit for one of the most common human congenital heart malformations, AVCD (atrioventricular canal defect).

North American mammographers prone to more false positives, study finds
Community-based mammography screening programs in North America are yielding a higher percentage of abnormal mammograms than corresponding programs in other countries, but without any apparent benefit in terms of a higher cancer detection rate, according to a study in the September 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Lunar prospecting with Chandra
NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory observations of the bright side of the Moon have detected oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon over a large area of the lunar surface.

NIMH funds $1.98 million study of advance directives for patients with mental illnesses
The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a Duke University Medical Center team $1.98 million in research funding to study the use and effectiveness of

UCLA scientists invent search-and-destroy method to flush HIV out of hiding places in body
UCLA AIDS Institute scientists have devised a new technique to drive hibernating HIV from its hiding places in the body.

Novel therapeutic target identified in fight against Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scientists have identified an exciting therapeutic target that may lead to the development of new treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

HIV researcher at Rush awarded grant from Doris Duke Foundation
The Doris Duke Foundation has awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant to immunologist Alan Landay, PhD, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Study of hip replacement patients finds 80 percent eligible for minimally invasive surgery
After analyzing safety and efficacy data from an initial group of 120 minimally invasive hip surgery patients, Chicago's Rush-Presbyterian-St.

URI oceanographer receives NSF grant to study carbon flux in the ocean
Understanding how particulate organic carbon (POC) moves from the surface waters to the depths of the world's oceans and how it is transformed to dissolved organic carbon is the focus of an $827,710 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to GSO chemical oceanographer Dr.

College students support smoking restrictions
U.S. college students express strong support for tobacco control policies that aim to reduce cigarette smoking on college campuses, according to a new survey by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health .
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