Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2003
Weizmann Institute Prof. Moshe Oren named winner of NIH MERIT Award
Prof. Moshe Oren, a cancer researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, was named a 2003 winner of the highly selective MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award.

NREL and company researchers team up on thin film solar cells
An Austin, Texas-based company is moving toward commercial production of advanced solar cells by using unique facilities and capabilities of the U.S.

High saturated fat, starch avoidance weight loss diet offers good preliminary results
In the quest for an effective weight loss diet that also is nutritionally complete, researchers in the November issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings report preliminary weight loss results of a regimen that is similar to the Atkins diet that are encouraging, but merit further, broader study.

Vaccines against fatal African cattle fever
Research carried out in the Netherlands has led to the development of two new vaccines against East Coast Fever.

Clinical trial patients don't care about study sponsors or physician conflicts of interest
Many patients will volunteer for a clinical trial if asked, even if the physician who inquires is a stockholder in the sponsoring company or has other potential conflicts of interest, a Johns Hopkins study demonstrates.

Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University to run Forest Nutrition Research Cooperative
Virginia Tech's department of forestry in the College of Natural Resources and the department of forestry at North Carolina State University have formed a partnership to jointly run the Forest Nutrition Research Cooperative, which conducts applied research on behalf of the forestry industry worldwide.

Neutron detector under development to monitor spacecraft radiation
A new device, currently being tested, will help astronauts determine if they are being exposed to high levels of neutron radiation.

Simple tests could signal and prevent heart disease in women, says Pittsburgh researcher
Occasional blood tests to monitor insulin, glucose, adiponectin, LDL cholesterol particle size; and EBT scans to check for coronary calcium could identify and possibly prevent coronary heart disease in women approaching and going through menopause, according to findings reported by a University of Pittsburgh researcher at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions held Nov.

Growth factor grows stem cells that help heal hearts
A drug that stimulates bone marrow to produce stem cells helped regenerate damaged heart muscle in one of the first studies of its kind, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Nicotine metabolite shows promise for improving memory, protecting brain cells
A nicotine metabolite shows promise for improving memory and protecting brain cells from diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's without addiction and other side effects of nicotine, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher.

Study finds new mothers are resistant to stress
New mothers are calmer under pressure and deal with adversity better, suggests a new study at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

ESA's new view of the Milky Way - in gamma rays!
ESA's gamma-ray observatory Integral is making excellent progress, mapping the Galaxy at key gamma-ray wavelengths.

Repetitive work tasks linked to bone damage
While experts disagree on whether work tasks alone can be the exact cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a new study by researchers at Temple University proves that a highly repetitive work task, a risk factor for WMSD, does in fact cause bone damage.

Parasite lipids against asthma or diabetes
Dutch research has demonstrated that lipids from the parasite schistosoma can inhibit human immune responses.

200 years later, geologist completes Lewis and Clark readings
Lewis and Clark, meet Robert Criss. Virtual explorer Robert Criss, Ph.D., professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St.

Better brain imaging helps surgeons avoid damage to language functions
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are developing a painless, non-invasive imaging technique that surgeons here already are using to better evaluate brain surgery risks and to more precisely guide operations so that damage to sensitive language areas is avoided.

Poor neighborhood linked to poor heart attack survival
Living in a low-income neighborhood increases the risk of death after a heart attack, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

System halts computer viruses, worms, before end-user stage
A computer scientist at Washington University in St. Louis has developed technology to stop malicious software - malware - such as viruses and worms long before it even has a chance to reach computers in the home and office.

Complement inhibitor decreases heart attacks and death in men following cardiac surgery
Use of an investigational therapeutic called TP10, under development by AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc.

Post-9/11 surveillance crosses borders, affects 'ordinary people'
The trend toward increased surveillance post 9/11 is invading the lives of ordinary people - enabling a form of

Nicotine metabolite may improve memory, protect against disease
Scientists continue to explore the remarkable protective effect of nicotine on the brain.

A little electrical boost may help many heart failure patients
An electrical device that can strengthen the heart's pumping power shows promise as a new treatment for heart failure - a disease that affects some 4.9 million Americans, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Stents combined with clot-busting drugs effective in limiting impact of deadly form of stroke
A small but promising study suggests that coupling the insertion of stents with injections of clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) directly into blocked blood vessels that serve the brain is an effective way to either prevent or limit the damage from acute vertebrobasilar ischemic stroke, according to a team from Johns Hopkins.

Studies show beneficial effects of bilingual learning
Scientists continue to unravel the mystery of the brain's role in the development of language skills -- and with some provocative results.

EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences 2003 goes to Hungarian scientist
Peter Csermely (45) is this year's winner of the EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences.

Men's social isolation linked to higher heart disease risk
Older men who have few personal relationships may have increased risk of heart disease, according to a report presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Influence of women on mask rituals revealed
Contrary to the prevailing view, Dutch research has shown that women play an important role in Senegalese mask rituals.

Researchers identify enzyme that may turn fleeting experience into lasting memory
The enzyme that can help turn a one-time experience into a long-term memory has been identified in mice, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center reported today at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans.

Whalley picked for keynote address at The Gerontological Society of America's 2003 Annual Meeting
The Gerontological Society of America is pleased to announce that Professor Lawrence J.

Researchers pinpoint enzyme involved in arthritis onset
Researchers from Cardiff University have uncovered a molecular pathway that plays a pivotal role in the onset of arthritis.

Air pollution, even at 'safe' levels, is bad for the heart
Urban air pollution is linked to increased rates of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Image processing means you can see both the wood and the trees
During her doctoral research in the Netherlands, Gemma Piella developed a new method for processing images.

Book explores how children use imagination to battle chronic illness
For children who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and asthma, the physical pain they endure may sometimes be equaled - even eclipsed - by the emotional stress they encounter on a regular basis.

Telemedicine and e-learning put communities in touch
Looking to bridge the digital divide, the French Senate hopes to replicate winning applications.

Defibrillators may improve survival in non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
Research from Northwestern University suggests that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can improve the survival rate of people who have a weakened heart muscle caused by factors unrelated to coronary artery disease - a condition known as non-ischemic cardiomyopathy.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away . . . but so may a cigarette
Cigarettes might just hold the key to treating some serious neurological problems.

News tips for Tuesday, Nov. 11, 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.

Multi-hospital angioplasty improvement effort reduces deaths and complications
Angioplasty patients in Michigan are getting far better care and suffering fewer complications than they used to, thanks to a cooperative quality improvement project involving local hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Newer formulation of heparin improves outcomes for suspected heart attack patients
A newer, more convenient formulation of the blood thinner heparin appears to improve outcomes with fewer complications -- when combined with a platelet receptor blocking drug and invasive management -- for patients who come to emergency rooms with a suspected heart attack.

Hospital work shifts influence survival from cardiac arrest
The odds of surviving cardiac arrest in the hospital are lower during the night shift, according to one of the largest studies of its kind, reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Drug proven to benefit heart attack victims vastly underused
After analyzing data of more than 56,000 U.S. patients who arrive at emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms, researchers from a Duke University Medical Center-led patient registry have found that almost two out of three patients did not receive a class of clot-inhibiting drugs within the first 24 hours of symptoms, despite the fact that clinical trials that have proven that the drugs save lives.

Smokers may want to kick butt before dental procedures
Swedish researchers may have found why tobacco smoking impairs the outcome of surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy.

Thanksgiving: A time for healthful eating?
Could there be something redeeming about those delicious calorie-loaded items piled on the Thanksgiving table?

Thermal superconductivity in carbon nanotubes not so 'super' when added to certain materials
Superb conductors of heat and infinitesimal in size, carbon nanotubes might be used to prevent overheating in next-generation computing devices or as fillers to enhance thermal conductivity of insulating materials, such as durable plastics or engine oil.

New mothers protected from stress, have heightened reward, smell
New studies find much to recommend in pregnancy and motherhood.

Emory scientists link atrial fibrillation with decrease in nitrous oxide
Emory research presented at the Abstract Oral Sessions of the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions today entitled

Energy subsidy is not always favourable
Dutch research has revealed that energy subsidies can delay the dissemination of new energy-saving technologies.

Wanted: Innovations to feed the hungry
Published in AgBioForum, a Columbia economist proposes a new way of fighting hunger: by giving cash prizes to innovators who develop sustainable techniques that the world's poor can use to feed themselves.

A heart-strengthening pace: brisk but comfortable
The pace that feels right probably is. When it comes to fitness, a brisk, comfortable walking pace strengthens the heart, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2003.

Emory scientists find oral tetrahydrobiopterin can reduce high blood pressure
In a presentation at the AHA's Scientific Sessions here today, Sonya Lefever, MD, a senior cardiology fellow at Emory, discussed findings by Emory researchers suggesting that oral tetrahydrobiopterin (also known as BH4) holds promise as a therapy for patients with hypertension.

Intergenerational program has benefits for children, older adults
In a time when children often live far from their grandparents and older adults tend to be isolated from others, special ways must be found for children and older adults to interact.

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice marching to different drivers
A 30-year satellite record of sea ice in the two polar regions reveals that while the Northern Hemisphere Arctic ice has melted, Southern Hemisphere Antarctic ice has actually increased in more recent years.

High heart risk for lupus patients linked to death of cells lining blood vessels
Mass suicide by protective cells lining blood vessels may be to blame for the increased risk of heart and vascular disease in patients with the autoimmune disease known as lupus, new research suggests.

Study of primitive life form expected to provide clues to biological processes in higher organisms
Primitive microorganisms provide important clues as to how all creatures employ a basic regulatory mechanism to conduct the business of life.

Clock cells, tumor suicide, tailored therapies among subjects of AACR-NCI-EORTC Conference
Critical innovations and new knowledge are now emerging from the laboratories of universities, medical centers and pharmaceutical companies worldwide, offering the prospect of a new generation of drugs capable of destroying cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy, without damaging adjacent normal cells.

Dutch philosophers compiled in substantial reference work
More than 400 philosophers once worked and published in the Dutch Republic of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

INFORMS names Fellow Award Winners
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®) today announced the recipients of the second annual INFORMS Fellow Awards. 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