Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 10, 2003
Carnegie Mellon inducts four famous robots into newly established Robot Hall of Fame
This evening, Carnegie Mellon University will induct four famous robots into its newly established Robo Hall of Fame (tm).

Elements of green tea prevent HIV from binding to human T cells
The major component of green tea prevents the binding of HIV to human T cells, the first step in HIV infection, according to a study and an accompanying editorial published in the November 2003 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI).

New studies of smell uncover effects of aging on working memory
In new studies of smell, scientists find that normal aging impairs brain processes involved in olfactory working memory; that olfaction can detect more than one odor at a time; and that 'attraction chemicals' known as pheromones can activate neurons in the main olfactory system, which may explain how humans respond to these substances.

Bone marrow cells improve failing heart function
Bone marrow stem cell therapy holds promise as a novel therapy for heart failure, offering a sustained improvement up to six months, according to research presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Immune memory from smallpox vaccination lasts more 50 years, according to Emory research
Immune memory after smallpox vaccination persists for at least 50 years in immunized individuals, according to research conducted by scientists at the Emory Vaccine Center and Emory University School of Medicine.

Experts use technology to research the past
The technology of the 21st century is being harnessed to help research into artwork more than 150 years old, thanks to expertise at Cardiff University, UK.

Antidepressants decrease chronic pain by inhibiting TNF production in brain, UB researchers find
Physicians have treated chronic pain with antidepressants for many years, knowing that the medications -- particularly the drug with the scientific name amitriptyline -- helped many sufferers, but they didn't know how it worked as a pain reliever.

Iceberg's end caught by Envisat
ESA's Envisat satellite was witness to the dramatic last days of what was once the world's largest iceberg, as a violent Antarctic storm cracked a 160-km-long floe in two.

Rutgers awarded $6 million grant to develop innovative drug abuse prevention programs
Rutgers University has received a five-year, $6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health, to establish a center to develop innovative drug abuse prevention programs targeted to young people.

Protein identified that may play central role in inflammatory bowel disease
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered that a protein expressed by the immune system, called TL1A, is linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients, especially Crohn's disease.

One in eight N.C. schoolchildren display three or more heart risks
More than one in eight rural North Carolina schoolchildren tested had three or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a heart disease precursor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found.

Scientists find brain areas affected by lack of sleep
Lack of sleep can affect an individual's memory, ability to perform simple daily tasks, and attention span.

Researchers find role RNA plays in progress of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at Ohio State University have found new clues to how free radicals can contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Diet high in vitamin C decreases stroke risk, especially among smokers
Eating a diet high in vitamin C may decrease your risk of stroke, particularly if you smoke, according to a study published in the November 11 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Studies describe heart disease following smallpox vaccination
Heart-related complications can occur after the smallpox vaccine, but symptoms are usually mild, according to three studies presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Brain signals from the paralyzed or injured captured by computer
Exciting new research into how signals from the brain can be captured by a computer or other device to carry out an individual's command may allow people with motor disabilities to more fully communicate and function in their daily lives.

Yucca Mountain site must make use of geological safety net, say IU and Los Alamos scientists
A proposed federal repository near Yucca Mountain, Nev., for the long-term storage of 70,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste must take advantage of the mountain's natural geological properties, according to a new study by scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Golfing toward a greener environment
As mountains of scrap tires continue to rise above the landscape, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found an environmentally friendly use for them: grind them up and place the rubber bits beneath golf course greens.

Daily vitamins could prevent vision loss among thousands
If every American at risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) took daily supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, more than 300,000 people could avoid AMD-associated vision loss over the next five years, according to results of a new government study led in part by researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.

Carnegie Mellon dorm honored as first green residence hall
Carnegie Mellon University's $12.5 million New House residence hall will be recognized as one of the nation's healthiest and most energy-efficient residence halls.

Automatic CPR device dramatically improves cardiac arrest survival in Stanford animal study
A small, portable device greatly increases the chance of surviving sudden cardiac death by restoring blood pressure better than conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to a Stanford University School of Medicine animal study.

Some re-established elk herds lack genetic diversity of ancestors
Continued monitoring is central to maintaining genetic diversity, which is the key to long-term success of animal reintroduction programs, according to research at Purdue University.

Aspirin may not be strong enough to prevent clots in some heart patients
While an aspirin a day helps keep a heart attack at bay, it may need reinforcement to totally prevent blood clots among patients with chest pain, a Johns Hopkins study shows.

Male flesh flies high-speed pursuit of females
Cornell University entomologists have discovered that male flesh flies traveling at very high speed, in sexual pursuit and swiveling their heads like gun turrets can lose sight of a target female, yet they compensate for the loss of vision and still catch up to mate.

epoline(R) Annual Conference
Patent professionals from all over Europe will come together in Barcelona on 9-11th December at the second epolineĀ® Annual Conference to learn about the latest developments in on-line patent management and information dissemination. epolineĀ® is the European Patent Office's (EPO) service providing a wide range of electronic products and services for the intellectual property community.

National Tropical Botanical Garden reports possible dietary link and neurodegenerative disease
Dr. Paul Alan Cox, director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Institute for Ethnobotany has confirmed a dietary link to a Western Pacific neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC).

Physician organizations urge Secretary Thompson to defend NIH review process
In light of growing controversy that has emerged over congressional scrutiny of certain grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson calling on him to support the public health value of research and to defend the integrity of the peer-review process that funds federal research grants.

Heal thyself: Patients' bone marrow cells restore failing hearts
Bone marrow stem cells restored heart muscle that was damaged from a heart attack, providing a new treatment for failing hearts, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

New vaccine tested in animals may hold hope for Alzheimer's patients
In new research, scientists show that two dramatically different approaches may be effective in treating or preventing Alzheimer's disease.

New life-saving heart attack medication identified
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), who led a massive multi-center, international clinical trial, have demonstrated that a new medication is just as clinically effective as a proven ACE inhibitor in improving outcomes for heart attack patients.

Bone marrow stem cells build new circulation to lungs
A bone marrow stem cell transplant restored circulation to injured blood vessels in animals with pulmonary hypertension, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Air pollutants alone may cause asthma attacks
UCLA researchers show for the first time that diesel exhaust particles alone may be enough to induce acute asthma flares.

Enzyme revealed that is key to fungus's ability to breach immune system
A newly discovered mechanism by which an infectious fungus evades the immune system could lead to novel methods to fight the fungus and other disease-causing microbes, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center.

Study predicts loss of monarch winter refuges
Each fall, monarch butterflies by the millions flock south to their overwintering grounds in Mexico.

Survey on total cardiovascular risk shows significant gap between patient education and action
A nationwide survey released today suggests that American adults are overly optimistic about their risk of heart disease and give themselves an inflated

New technique helps shed light on progression of dementia
Researchers at Ohio State University have found a mechanism that may be important in contributing to the deterioration of mental ability in many elderly people.

Fox Chase Cancer Center study: Novel DNA-repair gene mutation can cause resistance to cancer drugs
The laboratory of cancer geneticist Alfonso Bellacosa, M.D., of Fox Chase Cancer Center reports new findings linking a novel genetic mutation to the ability of human cancers to resist certain anticancer drugs.

Tumor size predicts survival in patients with lung cancer
A new study in the November issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) shows that patients with lung tumors less than 2 cm in size had a higher 5-year survival rate than patients with tumors 2 to 3 cm in size.

Environmental influences found to have role for development and function of the pain system
Contrary to previous assumptions, recent findings indicate that experience-dependent mechanisms have a fundamental role for the proper development and function of the pain system.

High levels of immune protein in infant brain linked to SIDS
High levels of a protein called cytokine in the brains of infants could hold a clue to the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to a study in the November 11 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Scientists find brain areas activated in true versus false memories
New studies of false memories show that what happens in the brain when memories are established can be as important to the development of false memories as what happens during memory retrieval.

Big cut in heart failure problems from one hour of education
One hour of individualized education before heart failure patients leave the hospital makes a big difference in how well they take care of themselves at home, according to a study from the U-M Cardiovascular Center.

Scientists uncover neurobiological basis for romantic love, trust, and self
In new studies, scientists are discovering the neurobiological underpinnings of romantic love, trust, and even of self.

Department of Energy 20-Year science facility plan announced
The Department of Energy today released the department's Office of Science 20-year science facility plan, a roadmap for future scientific facilities to support the department's basic science and research missions.

Gene mutation in rare familial form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Investigations of a new, uncommon coding region variant, I425V, in the serotonin transporter gene in 112 OCD patients found this variant in two families with OCD.

Gene raises risk of neurodevelopmental problems after infant heart surgery
Children with heart conditions who require surgery as infants may be more vulnerable to neurologic problems if they have a particular variety of a gene.

Jefferson scientists show low lead levels can affect development of brain cells
Neuroscientists at Jefferson Medical College have shown for the first time that low levels of lead - below the levels of exposure deemed safe for humans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - can significantly affect the proliferation and development of neural stem cells.

Atacand(R) proven to prevent stroke in the elderly
Data presented today at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting highlight the potential of AtacandĀ® (candesartan cilexetil) in reducing the incidence of stroke in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension (ISH).

Higher blood levels of sitosterol may be associated with increased risk for coronary events
People with both high coronary risk and higher blood levels of sitosterol (a plant sterol) were at an increased risk of a major coronary event compared to similar patients with lower blood levels of the plant sterol, according to a nested, case-control study presented Nov.

New stent graft for thoracic aneurysms offered at Penn
In an important step toward further establishing treatment options for patients with life-threatening aneurysms or trauma involving the aorta, the body's largest artery, the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center is participating in an FDA-approved clinical trial of the TalentTM Thoracic Stent Graft System, manufactured by Medtronics, Inc.

Ancient Maya stone altar recovered in Guatemala
An unprecedented collaboration of archeologists, Maya villagers and Guatemalan authorities has resulted in the recovery of a magnificent Maya altar stone that was carved in 796 AD and sheds new light on the collapse of the classic Maya civilization.

Similar outcomes for atrrial fibrillationi patients with congestive heart failure
Duke University Medical Center cardiologists have shown that patients with an abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, and who also have congestive heart failure (CHF), have similar mortality rates when treated with drugs that control the heart's rhythm compared to treatment with drugs that control the heart's rate.

Stereotactic lung cancer study produces positive initial results
Surprisingly high doses of radiation were tolerated and 87 percent of patients had positive tumor response in an Indiana University School of Medicine extracranial stereotactic radioablation Phase I study for non-small cell lung cancer.

IU fruit fly scientists capture $20 million grant
Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington, Harvard University, Cambridge University (U.K.) and the University of California at Berkeley have been told by the National Institutes of Health that their request for approximately $20 million in continued funding for FlyBase has been approved.

Sexual and physical assault are common experiences for the homeless, according to a UCSF study
Homeless people are at high risk of being victims of sexual or physical assault, according to UCSF researchers.

UCLA researchers find gingko biloba may help improve memory
UCLA researchers found significant improvement in verbal recall among a group of people with age-associated memory impairment who took the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba for six months compared with a group who took a placebo.

Researchers to develop new drug to treat myasthenia gravis
Under a new $4.7 million grant from the National Eye Institute, researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland hope to develop in five years a drug ready for human clinical trials to treat myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that weakens muscles, affects vision, and in the most severe cases, puts patients on artificial ventilation.

Open access to Ohio research
One of the most active library consortia in the U.S., The Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK), has secured BioMed Central institutional membership for 84 institutions in the state.

Panel: Clinical use of embryonic stem cells jeopardized by Bush's policy on federal funding
The human embryonic stem cell lines currently eligible for research with federal funds are not suitable for use in future clinical trials, nor would they ensure fair access to new stem cell-based therapies, according to the scientists, philosophers and lawyers on a panel convened at Johns Hopkins.

Advances in understanding the basis of fear extinction offers new knowledge on anxiety disorders
Recent advances in understanding the behavioral, molecular, and anatomical bases of fear extinction in animals and humans are leading to new knowledge about the nature of fear and new treatments for anxiety disorders that affect millions of Americans.

News tips for Monday, Nov. 10, 2003
To complement our news releases, here are additional news tips reported by the American Heart Association's News Media Relations from more than 3,700 abstracts.

U. of Colorado team developing 'Flu Chip' for fast, accurate diagnosis
A team of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder is developing a 'Flu Chip' that will aid physicians in swiftly diagnosing respiratory illness for future flu seasons.

A bird in a tree for biodiversity
Fooling with Mother Nature by fragmenting long-established contiguous natural land parcels can have unanticipated and severe ecological consequences, a study of bird-tree mutualism in Tanzania has shown.

Study suggests new view of gene activation as a dynamic process
How are genes turned on? A new study reveals the gene-activation process to be more dynamic than had been appreciated previously.

Psychiatric illness and drug abuse common in jailed juveniles
A study by Northwestern University researchers shows that about half of teens in juvenile detention have two or more psychiatric disorders and substance abuse disorders.

Human senses not distinct, but interact in many ways, studies show
Until fairly recently, scientists believed that the information gathered by each of the senses -- touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste -- was processed in separate areas of the brain.

Musicians take note: Tufts engineers say there's 'no value' in freezing trumpets for better sound
Despite the growing trend of trumpet players freezing their trumpets in hopes they can improve the instruments' tone, engineers at Tufts University have shown that cryogenic treatment has minimal effect on the sound.

PET: An effective method to predict breast cancer survival?
University of Washington researchers conducted a study to determine if 18F-FDG and 15O-water PET can accurately predict patient response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and disease-free survival (DFS).

Rochester chosen to focus on rare neurological diseases
The University of Rochester Medical Center has been chosen to lead one of seven national centers established by the National Institutes of Health to investigate especially rare diseases.

New studies show factors responsible for enhanced response to music
In new studies, scientists are uncovering the factors responsible for an enhanced brain electrical response to music; the effects on the brain of growing up in a musical or non-musical environment; and which areas of the brain process different aspects of music including speaking and singing.
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