Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2003
Immune alarm system can both amplify and silence alerts, scientists find
The immune system mobilizes one of the body's most important defensive systems -- the immune system cells known as T lymphocytes -- when T cells bump against another type of immune system cell, the antigen-presenting cell.

Chronic diseases linked to falls in elderly women
Elderly women with chronic diseases, such as arthritis and depression, are at higher risk of falling, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Post-Sept. 11 study results published by U. of Colorado Center
Within three days of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, university researchers joined emergency personnel at Ground Zero and other locations to begin studying the events' aftermath and recovery efforts.

Better outcome for ICU patients after removal of bacteria from digestive tract
Patients in intensive-care units (ICUs) could have better survival outcomes with the preventative use of antibiotics to remove potentially harmful bacteria from the mouth, stomach and gut.

Soldier or worker - what do the genes say?
Research published in Genome Biology this week has uncovered 25 genes that are expressed at different levels in worker and soldier termites.

New gene for rare inherited paralysis may aid other spinal cord research, too
A single mutation in a single gene is enough to slowly rob people of their ability to walk, scientists report today.

Princeton paleontologist produces evidence for new theory on dinosaur extinction
Princeton paleontologist Gerta Keller has been asking a question so basic it has passed the lips of generations of 6-year-olds: What killed the dinosaurs?

Scientists switch components in cell circuits: Possible new technology, therapy
By tinkering with a few of the parts in a vital signaling circuit found in human cells, UCSF scientists have demonstrated the possibility of an entirely new technology: developing new devices or therapies by mixing and matching sub-cellular signaling components.

Novel proteins designed that block inflammation regulator associated with rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have tested and validated novel proteins, created by California-based Xencor, that block activity of a major molecule involved in the onset of inflammation, an innovation that may translate into new therapeutic options for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Academic clinical research is under threat from the EU
New therapies for hard-to-treat or rare cancers might never be developed and patients would continue to suffer and die unless problems with the proposed EU directive on clinical trials are resolved, a leading cancer expert warned today (Thursday 25 September) in a news briefing at ECCO12 - The European Cancer Conference.

Salmonella uses molecular staples to change structure of infected cells
Salmonella, a well-known food-borne bacterium, uses protein

Salk news: A new view on brain function
Scientists are developing a new paradigm for how the brain functions.

Sudden cardiac death: New risk factor first identified in Illinois family by SLU cardiologist
A cardiologist at Saint Louis University School of Medicine was the first to identify a new hereditary condition that increases the risk of sudden cardiac death.

2003 HBP news tips
To complement our news releases, News Media Relations has reviewed nearly 400 abstracts and prepared news tips for selected studies.

Sick Kids researchers link maternal folic acid intake to decrease in deadly childhood cancer
A research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) and the University of Toronto (U of T) has shown that folic acid food fortification has resulted in a 60 per cent reduction in the incidence of neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer.

Dog genome published by researchers at TIGR and TCAG
Researchers at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG) have sequenced and analyzed 1.5X coverage of the dog genome.

Heading into difficulty?
Webbe, who has studied the effects of heading since the early 1990s, recently published two studies with different collaborators.

Study calls for cheaper antitoxins for plant poisoning in less-developed countries
Antitoxins for plant poisoning and antidotes to snake venom should be included in the global drive to reduce costs and increase access to drugs in less-developed regions of the world, conclude authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Four IU computer science projects to receive $4.5 million in NSF funding
Indiana University researchers will receive more than $4.5 million in new grants from the National Science Foundation to improve weather modeling, protect crucial scientific data and develop software that girds

Energy Department-funded projects win 35 R&D awards
Researchers at Department of Energy laboratories and companies with research funded by DOE have won 35 of the 100 awards given this year by R&D Magazine for the most outstanding technology developments with commercial potential.

Deep brain stimulation offers benefits against Parkinson's
Deep brain stimulation via electrodes implanted on both sides of the brain markedly improves the motor skills of patients with advanced Parkinson's Disease, says a new long-term study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital.

Exercise can reduce prevent diabetes for people of any weight, say Pittsburgh researchers
Taking a brisk half-hour walk every day can decrease a person's risk of developing diabetes, regardless of their weight, report researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in the October 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

IU Chemistry distinguishes eight of the nation's faculty for excellence in undergraduate research
The Indiana University Department of Chemistry will honor eight chemists from throughout the nation at this year's Excellence in Undergraduate Chemical Research Symposium on Saturday (Sept.

Illustrated internal medicine book features UNC faculty, famous artwork
For the first time in 15 years, busy and time-pressured doctors seeking the most current information on everyday medical problems have a solid alternative to the exhaustive and massive texts currently in use.

Northern climate, ecosystems driven by cycles of changing sunlight
Emerging geochemical and biological evidence from Alaskan lake sediment suggests that slight variations in the sun's intensity have affected sub-polar climate and ecosystems in a predictable fashion during the last 12,000 years.

Snowy plover 'nursery' success earns Resource Stewardship Award
A single strand of rope separates threatened western snowy plovers from people recreating on the public beach of Coal Oil Point Reserve, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Fibroblasts hold clues to fat, scars and inflammation
Scientists used to think that fibroblasts - the cells that form basic tissue structures - were little more than scaffolding on which more important cells would climb.

Fetal surgery for spina bifida shows early benefits in leg function, fewer shunts
Physicians at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have reported encouraging short-term outcomes in fetal surgery for the birth defect spina bifida.

Innovative shuttle bus debuts in Washington, D.C.
A modernized version of the traditional Yellowstone National Park tour bus has been developed as a low-emission, cost-effective community/transit shuttle bus of the future.

New method could aid in prostate and breast cancer diagnosis
Scientists at Northwestern University have developed an ultra-sensitive technology based on gold nanoparticles and DNA that can detect prostate specific antigen when present at extremely low levels.

A low-sodium diet does not raise blood cholesterol levels
Reducing the amount of sodium in a person's diet does not -- as some scientists have proposed -- increase blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's 57th Annual High Blood Pressure Research Conference.

Nordic collaboration gives new insights into adjuvant chemotherapy
A major clinical collaboration by Scandinavian cancer specialists has shown that patients with advanced colon cancer could well gain a small but worthwhile improvement in five-year overall survival if they were treated with chemotherapy as well as surgery - provided the drugs were given in optimum conditions and to the most appropriate patients, according to research presented at ECCO12 - The European Cancer Conference.

Real-time 'movies' will predict wildfire behavior for one hour
Someday fire fighters will be able to manage wildfires by computer.

EUROCARE 3 - new European cancer survival figures
Survival figures for cancer in Europe show large differences between countries - more than can reasonably be accounted for by artefact, bias, or chance, according to the authors of the EUROCARE-3 study

Data on global vaccination coverage paints overoptimistic picture
Officialy reported data for vaccination coverage across the world could be misleading, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

NIH awards $51 million to fight autoimmune diseases
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded nine 5-year grants totaling approximately $51 million to expand research on autoimmune diseases, conditions where the body turns on itself.

Improved procurement could more than double availability of life-saving transplant organs
Last year, fewer than 6,200 people in the United States donated organs though more than 80,000 waited for organ transplantations.

Small changes in hospital practice bring significant benefits to rectal cancer patients
Small but important changes in hospital practice during the treatment of rectal cancer can produce significant benefits to patients, according to research from Sweden presented at the European Cancer Conference.

Are hepatitis A vaccine boosters unnecessary?
Authors of a review article in this week's issue of The Lancet propose that booster vaccinations for hepatitis A virus (HAV) are unnecessary for people with a healthy immune system.

Duke scientists 'program' DNA molecules to self assemble into patterned nanostructures
Duke University researchers have used self-assembling DNA molecules as molecular building blocks called

Winning racer backed by space technology
Sunday's latest racing victory at Nogaro, France, underlined a triumphant season for Pescarolo's team and their new prototype car - improved with European space developed materials.

Researchers solve the mystery of a key structure in immune system cells
If the immune system had a motto, new research shows that an appropriate one would be

Have parents behaved irrationally towards MMR?
Parents seem to neglect a real risk to their children (injuries from road crashes) but amplify an insignificant risk (autism caused by MMR vaccine), argues a senior researcher in this week's BMJ.

Even health professionals who treat obesity are biased against overweight patients
New Haven, Conn. -- Obesity specialists from physicians and researchers to pharmacologists and psychologists, showed significant anti-fat bias according to a recent Yale study.

Envisat radar altimetry tracks river levels worldwide
For over a decade ESA has used satellites to bounce radar pulses off the Earth and precisely measure the height of ocean and land surfaces.

UCSD-TCAG collaboration to focus on transformation of genome-based knowledge into health benefits
UCSD and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG) today announced a formal collaboration in genomic medicine that combines large-scale human genome analysis with innovative medical research.

Leakey Foundation celebrates 100 years of human origins discovery
Dozens of the world's leading anthropologists, geologists, biologists and evolutionary scientists - including Louis and Mary Leakey's granddaughter Louise Leakey - will mark the 100th anniversary of Louis Leakey's birth at a two-day Centennial Tribute presented by The Leakey Foundation and held at The Field Museum Oct.

IUB biologist gets $2.6 million to study soybean disease resistance
The National Science Foundation has approved funding for a new three-year, $2.6 million Indiana University Bloomington study of genes that make soybean plants resistant to disease.

How can doctors best communicate health risks?
Doctors can improve the ways in which they communicate risk information, according to several articles in this week's Education and Debate section of the BMJ.

Software tackles protein pathways
When biologists want to compare different sequences of DNA, it's as simple as plugging the information into a browser and pressing enter.

UVa scientists detail salmonella protein
A protein in Salmonella bacteria called SipA invades healthy human cells by using two arms in a 'stapling' action, according to scientists at the University of Virginia Health System.

Better outcome for ICU patients after removal of bacteria from digestive tract
Patients in intensive-care units (ICUs) could have better survival outcomes with the preventative use of antibiotics to remove potentially harmful bacteria from the mouth, stomach and gut.

New findings in yeast may reveal why growing older is the greatest carcinogen in humans
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research center have made a landmark discovery in yeast that may hold the key to revealing why growing older is the greatest cancer-risk factor in humans.

MIT: Atomic insight may lead to cleaner cars
MIT researchers affiliated with the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment are gaining atomic-level insight into how sulfur in engine exhaust 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