Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 22, 2003
New test can identify patients who may suffer serious late toxicity from radiotherapy
Radiotherapists in Switzerland have developed a fast test that can be used immediately on patients to discover whether they are likely to suffer serious late onset side effects from radiation.

ORNL earns top Southeastern laboratory technology transfer award
Robust wireless technologies for extreme-environment communications--developed by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory--received the Excellence In Technology Transfer Award of the Year during the annual awards dinner of the Southeastern Region of the Federal Laboratory Consortium Sept.

Fruit odors lure some flies to evolve into new species
Scientists at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station say some flies find their host plant through specific blends of fruit odors.

The American Academy of Microbiology releases report
A new report from the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), entitled

Tai Chi class boosts shingles immunity
Chi class saw immunity factors that suppress shingles soar 50 percent.

International scientific body calls for ban on human reproductive cloning
More than 60 science academies from every continent in the world have called on the United Nations to adopt a ban on human reproductive cloning.

Results from first clinical trial using GVG to treat addiction
Using an experimental addiction treatment first investigated at the U.S.

NSF news tips - September 22, 2003
These news tips provide leads and sources for stories about advances and discoveries at the frontiers of science, mathematics, and engineering.

Stem cells isolated from monkey eggs continue producing variety of other cells
A line of monkey stem cells, produced without the use of an embryo, has reproduced for more than two years and still retains the capability of differentiating into a variety of tissue types, a research team reports in the current on-line edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

American Sociological Association issues a statement on Proposition 54
When California citizens next head to the polls, they will be asked to vote on Proposition 54, which would effectively end public agencies' ability to collect data on the racial, ethnic, and national origin categorizations of its citizens.

Earliest European modern humans found
A research team co-directed by Erik Trinkaus, professor of anthropology at Washington University in St.

Respiratory-pacing device found beneficial in heart failure
Heart failure patients witnessed a significant improvement in disease symptoms and markers of the underlying pathology using an experimental non-invasive treatment device, inToneTM, according to two studies presented this week at the 2003 Heart Failure Society of America annual conference in Las Vegas.

Improving fertilizer efficiency
Producers in the western U.S. base their nitrogen fertilizer applications on the results of soil nitrate tests, but in-season monitoring of plant nitrogen status may lead to more accurate fertilizer recommendations, says Texas A&M University scientists in the September/October issue of Soil Science Society of America Journal.

New study suggests menopause not linked to memory decline
Transitioning through menopause is not accompanied by a decline in working memory and perceptual speed, according to a study appearing in the Sept.

Panel of leading neurologists pronounce best treatment for Guillain-Barré Syndrome
Immunoglobulin infusions are now the treatment of choice for Guillain-Barré Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that typically affects patients once in a lifetime but may cause severe lifelong disability.

Weizmann scientist's invention moves forward: Cancer diagnosis technique gets FDA clearance
Thanks to a diagnostic imaging technique that should soon be finding its way to medical establishments, many patients could be spared the pain and risk of biopsies.

Fly bites plant, but plants can bite back, Purdue scientists find
The Hessian fly changes wheat growth by injecting poisons into the plants, but a newly discovered resistance gene that can kill the insect may add a new defensive weapon for the grain crop.

Tip sheet for the September 23, 2003 Neurology Journal
Highlights in the September 23 Neurology journal include memory loss during menopause and the Guillain-Barre' Syndrome in lay terms.

Tai chi chih boosts shingles immunity in older adults
Fifteen weeks of tai chi chih practice may have helped a small group of older adults increase the levels of immune cells that help protect their body against the shingles virus, according to a new study.

Abnormally high number of Lou Gehrig's disease cases identified among Gulf War veterans
An unusually high number of veterans of the 1991 Gulf War are becoming ill and dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which typically does not strike until decades later in life, according to Dr.

IT advances underground construction
Advances in IT, particularly in digital imaging, data management, visualization, and computation, can significantly improve analysis, design, and construction of underground excavations.

Largest Arctic ice shelf breaks up, draining freshwater lake
The largest ice shelf in the Arctic has broken, and scientists who have studied it closely say it is evidence of ongoing and accelerated climate change in the north polar region.

ASHRAE examines link between cabin air quality, health problems
Research examining the link between cabin air quality and health is being funded by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

$8 million grant establishes program to uncover genetics of asthma
Duke University Medical Center researchers have set out to uncover the genetic basis of environmental asthma.

Roche pledges continued support for Organ Transplantation Research Foundation
Roche announces that it is pledging further funding for the Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation (ROTRF) until 2008.

Risperdal® (risperidone) produces continuous improvement of 'manic' symptoms in bipolar disorder
When used alone, RISPERDAL® (risperidone) significantly improves symptoms of acute mania in persons with bipolar disorder as early as one week after treatment begins, according to data presented today for the first time at the 16th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP)1.

First steps towards a vaccine for pancreatic cancer
Research carried out in the United States has raised the hope that one day there could be a vaccine against pancreatic cancer - one of the most difficult cancers to treat successfully.

Collapse of seals, sea lions & sea otters in North Pacific triggered by overfishing of great whales
A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences hypothesizes that overfishing of whales in the North Pacific Ocean triggered one of the longest and most complex ecological chain reactions ever described, beginning in the open oceans 50 years ago, and leading to the decimation of Alaska's kelp forest ecosystems today.

Two studies find Gulf War veterans have increased risk of ALS
New research finds that veterans of the 1991 Gulf War have developed ALS at approximately twice the rate of the general population, according to two studies in the September 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

People with chronic eye diseases not getting recommended eye exams
People with chronic diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration fall far short of having annual eye examinations.

SMART-1: the first spacecraft of the future
A very efficient engine, plenty of room for instruments, accurate performance, good price.

Hospital care quality differs markedly by state: annual HealthGrades study
The quality of hospital care all 50 states has been ranked in a new study to be released on Monday, September 22nd, by HealthGrades.

Bones from French cave show Neanderthals, Cro-Magnon hunted same prey
A 50,000-year record of mammals consumed by early humans in southwestern France indicates there was no major difference in the prey hunted by Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon.

Anticonvulsant drug promising therapy for cocaine abuse
Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health, suggests that a drug used to treat epilepsy may prove to be an effective treatment for cocaine addiction.

A milestone in colorectal cancer unveiled - Avastin(TM) confers unprecedented survival advantage
Treatment with Avastin (bevacizumab, rhuMAb-VEGF) - a new agent designed specifically to restrict the blood supply to tumours - can significantly improve survival in advanced colorectal cancer compared to established chemotherapy alone, according to data presented today at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO).

Ultrafiltration device shown safe, effective and reduces hospital stay for heart failure patients
Data presented at this year's Heart Failure Society of America meeting showed that ultrafiltration using CHF Solutions' System 100 Fluid Removal System is a safe and effective means to remove large volumes of excess fluid in patients with heart failure, reducing hospital length of stay by almost two days when compared to conventional diuretic treatment; overall health benefits are substantial enough to improve patients' heart failure ranking on the New York Heart Association's classification scale.

Smart electric grid of the future is in development
Researchers at Columbia University have assembled a national team of experts to spearhead development of a lean and efficient electrical delivery system that can meet the future energy and security demands of the nation.

Cervical cancer - A single vaccine could benefit most women
The risk of developing cervical cancer by women infected with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is essentially the same no matter which type of virus is involved, provided it belongs to the group of 15 or so that are currently identified as high risk, a scientist told ECCO 12 - the European Cancer Conference.

Trans fatty acids: What are they and why shouldn't you eat them?
Just what is the skinny on those trans fatty acids that are so bad for you?

Study of bees by UC San Diego biologist provides insight into evolution of bee communication
A team of biologists working in Brazil may have found the clues to resolving the longstanding mystery of why some species of bees, such as honey bees, communicate the location of food with dances in their hives and why other bees simply leave scent trails from the food source to the nest.

Salmon farms pose significant threat to salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, researchers find
The growing popularity of farm-raised salmon has plunged the commercial fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest into a state of crisis, according to a new report by Stanford University researchers.

Mt. Sinai researchers report that aspirin reduces risk of first heart attack by one-third
Aspirin reduces the risk of a first heart attack by 32 percent, according to a report by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute (MSMC-MHI) published in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Talented Hokies research brain impacts while battling Aggies
While they were busy overpowering the Texas A&M Aggies on Sept.

Empowerment in cyberspace - Electronic discussion helps cancer patients cope
An electronic mailing list can help cancer patients cope better.

A test for sensitivity of normal tissue to radiation damage?
Researchers in Denmark have identified specific changes in the basic building blocks of DNA that can affect how sensitive a patient is to radiotherapy.

Researchers involved in renal and cardiovascular function gather for fall conference
Every body issues instructions to the heart, the blood vessels and the kidneys about what to do.

Virginia Tech engineer aims to tame the wild chip
A Virginia Tech researcher is creating tools that will save time and improve accuracy in the design, testing and verification of computer chips.

Symptom improvement seen in schizophrenia patients switched to Risperdal® Consta
People with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders can switch with ease from previous antipsychotic medications to RISPERDAL® CONSTAä (risperidone long acting injection), the first and only newer-generation, long-acting injectable antipsychotic.

Moving the target for osteoporosis treatment
A major axis that helps regulate the critical balance of bone production and loss has been found within bone cells, according to Medical College of Georgia researchers.

Guideline: Early treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome may speed recovery
Treating Guillain-Barré syndrome early may speed up the recovery time, according to a guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology.

Epilepsy drug can stop cocaine use in addicts
An epilepsy drug used in Europe and elsewhere can stop cocaine use in hard-core addicts, in part by eliminating their craving for cocaine, according to the first study to assess the treatment's effects on addicts.

Four-year data show risk of relapse is halved in Risperdal patients compared to haloperidol
Treatment with RISPERDAL (risperidone), a newer- generation, 'atypical' antipsychotic medication, significantly reduces the risk of relapse in individuals experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia, even when using the lowest possible dose.

Washington University in St. Louis funds new materials research center
New and improved consumer goods, better planes, vehicles, and electronics, and new biomedical products that could lead to better pharmaceuticals and innovative medical devices are among the objectives of a new, interdisciplinary center housed in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St.

Actonel® helped preserve bone quality at five years, new data show
Actonel® (risedronate sodium tablets) helped preserve important aspects of bone quality at five years in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, according to new research presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).

Study finds even healthcare professionals are sun worshipers
Prevention and education programmes have increased knowledge about the dangers of too much sun, but even healthcare professionals with high levels of awareness of the risk of skin cancer don't seem to be changing their behaviour, according to research presented at ECCO 12 - The European Cancer Conference today (Monday 22 September).

Science journalists invited to 'Calibration of Geologic Time Scale' workshop
Science journalists are invited to attend a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

'Shaping' technique found effective and efficient in stroke rehab
A behavior-based therapy called shaping may help stroke and traumatic brain injury patients to recover more efficiently than other treatments, according to a study in the September 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Successful prostate surgery: It's quality of surgery not quantity that matters most
Research presented at ECCO 12 - The European Cancer Conference shows that a surgeon's personal skill in performing radical prostate surgery and not necessarily the number of operations performed is the key to a patient's future quality of life and the potential for a cure.
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