Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 21, 2003
New drug for non-small cell lung cancer shows efficacy
A new anti-cancer agent designed to block the signals responsible for telling cancer cells to grow has shown promising results for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

A new molecular culprit for type II diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Israeli scientists say they have solid evidence that precursor molecules -- called protofibrils -- are the problem molecules in type II diabetes, and their results support a similar mechanism for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Brain may 'hard-wire' sexuality before birth
UCLA scientists have identified 54 genes that may explain the different organization of male and female brains.

New drug proves helpful for treating long-term insomnia
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and elsewhere have completed the first large-scale study demonstrating sustained efficacy of a medication to treat insomnia for a period of six months.

Operations researchers say Delta Air Lines' Song has cut turnaround time of aircraft by 25%
SongTM, Delta Air Lines' new low-fare air service, has reduced the time that arriving aircraft return to service to 45-50 minutes, significantly shorter than the industry standard, according to a paper being presented at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

Doped liquid crystals allow real time holography
The addition of buckyballs or carbon nanotubes to nematic liquid crystals changes their properties and makes them low-cost alternatives for holographic and image processing applications, according to Penn State electrical engineers.

DNA production patent awarded to two UH-related engineers
Two engineers have been awarded a U.S. patent for a new process for the separation and assay of biochemical cultures by compaction agents.

High doses of radiation found to be effective, with few side effects
New research shows that men with clinically localized prostate cancer, treated to high dose levels with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), achieved long-term PSA relapse-free survival (PRFS) with minimal side effects.

UT Southwestern scientist awarded prestigious American Cancer Society research professorship
Dr. Luis Parada, director of the Center for Developmental Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, has been awarded this year's only American Cancer Society basic research professorship, making him one of 20 such designated professors nationwide.

Gray matter damage in the brain of MS patients linked to cognitive, physical deficits
The mental impairment and problems with walking experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are linked to damage in the brain's gray matter, with MRI findings suggesting the damage is due to toxic deposits of iron, researchers from the University at Buffalo have shown for the first time.

NIH funds two UCSD scientists to venture deep into human genome
Two UCSD School of Medicine researchers will receive two of the first grants in a three-year scientific reconnaissance mission aimed at discovering all the parts of the human genome that are crucial to biological function.

Outbreak of foodborne botulism traced from food sold at Texas salvage store
An outbreak of foodborne botulism in Texas in 2001, involving 16 cases, was traced back to storing conditions at a salvage store.

Arsenic remedy for arsenic poisoning?
A homeopathic remedy made from arsenic oxide could ease the suffering of the hundreds of millions of people at risk from arsenic poisoning worldwide.

Hormones increase side effects, complicate treatment decision for prostate cancer patients
A common treatment for some men with prostate cancer at risk of recurring may lead to prolonged survival, but a new study shows at what cost.

US women endure twice the surgical biopsies as British for same cancer detection rate
Although the rate of breast cancer detection is similar in the two countries, US doctors perform two to three times more open surgical biopsies than British doctors.

What trials do the NHS spend their money on?
The NHS Trusts Clinical Trials Register, launched by Current Controlled Trials Ltd in September 2003 (
MIT's plasmatron cuts diesel bus emissions, promises better gas engine efficiency
A bus in Indiana is the latest laboratory for MIT's plasmatron reformer, a small device its developers believe could significantly cut the nation's oil consumption as well as noxious emissions from a variety of vehicles.

Distinguished UH professor receives honorary doctorate in Dijon
Karl M. Kadish, University of Houston chemistry professor, was presented with an honorary doctorate at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, Oct.

Cyrospace, University of Houston sign commercialization agreement
Cyrospace Inc. and the University of Houston have signed a commercialization agreement in which the company will license and commercialize inventions and technologies created by the faculty, staff and students of the university.

K-State scientists' beetle chosen for national genome sequencing project
As the result of research performed by scientists from Kansas State University and the U.S.

Grant promotes marine ornamental fish aquaculture
Dr. Ralph Turingan, Florida Tech associate professor of biological sciences, has earned a $60,000 Florida Sea Grant to research the key factors that affect the survival of marine ornamental fish in their larval stage.

Improving the quality of life for larynx cancer patients
The most disabling consequence of a laryngectomy is generally considered to be the loss of vocal function.

Gene controls age at onset of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
By applying a new technique that combines independent lines of genomic evidence, Duke University Medical Center researchers and colleagues have identified a single gene that influences the age at which individuals first show symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

CMS-funded research will assess effectiveness of ESRD disease management models
URREA was awarded the CMS contract to evaluate the impact of enrolling patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in disease management systems.

Changing fiber optics communications
Dr. Ron Bailey, dean of the Florida Tech College of Engineering, said Murshid's discovery may transform the telecommunications industry.

Ki-67 biomarker a strong predictor of outcome for prostate cancer patients
The largest known biomarker study for prostate cancer patients treated with radiation therapy shows that the presence Ki-67 may be a significant predictor of patient outcome for men with prostate cancer treated with both radiation and hormones.

UCLA helping nurses quit smoking
A UCLA School of Nursing professor will launch a program to help nurses quit smoking.

Space technology keeps Nuna II ahead of the pack
The Nuon Solar Team look set to beat their own world record for driving a sun-powered car across Australia in the World Solar Challenge.

Beckman Laser Institute to improve breast cancer detection
The Beckman Laser Institute at UC Irvine will lead a nationwide effort to standardize use of a new technology that improves breast cancer detection, cancer therapy management and the quality of life for cancer patients.

FDA approves new HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva (TM)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced that the Food and Drug Administration has granted marketing clearance for LexivaTM (fosamprenavir calcium) (Lex-ee'-va, formerly GW433908, or 908), a new protease inhibitor (PI) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults in combination with other antiretroviral medications.

Who enrolls in clinical oncology trials?
A new study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute shows that a patient's race and the kind of institution where a patient seeks cancer treatment both influence the likelihood of that patient enrolling in an oncology clinical trial.

Whole-breast irradiation after lumpectomy may protect women from recurrence long term
A Fox Chase Cancer Center study of more than 2,700 women with breast cancer who received whole-breast irradiation following lumpectomy identifies a clear benefit that may not be gained with partial breast irradiation.

NHLBI study finds hostility, impatience increase hypertension risk
Impatience and hostility--two hallmarks of the

U.S. blacks five times as likely as whites to progress to kidney failure
A study has found that rates of early kidney disease do not differ between black and white Americans, but blacks with early kidney disease are five times as likely as whites to progress to the end-stage of kidney disease that requires transplantation or dialysis.
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