Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 09, 2003
The NCOA and The Epilepsy Foundation launch initiative to educate about epilepsy in the elderly
Today at a media briefing in Boston, The National Council on the Aging (NCOA), The Epilepsy Foundation and UCB Pharma, Inc. announced an initiative to raise awareness of the national concern of epilepsy in the elderly and highlight the increasing incidence of the disorder in this population.

Researchers manipulate tiny, floating droplets on a chip
In an innovative study, researchers at North Carolina State University have designed a way to control the movement of microscopic droplets of liquid freely floating across centimeter-sized chips packed with electrodes.

People with undetermined muscle/bone pain tend to be severely vitamin D deficient
People with persistent, non-specific musculoskeletal pain should be screened regularly for vitamin D deficiency, the leading study in tomorrow's Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports.

American Society of Hematology honors prominent researchers with major awards
The American Society of Hematology is pleased to announce the winners of two of the Society's highest honors.

Online support for people with depression
Many people suffering from untreated and undiagnosed depression are turning to Internet communities for help, according to a study published this week in BMC Psychiatry.

New dynamic PET technique offers greater comfort for cancer patients
German researchers conducted a study to determine if dynamic PET provides useful data when taken over a shorter period than the traditional one-hour scan.

'Sunshine vitamin' shines in colon study
In one of the most comprehensive studies to date on colon-cancer risk, a team led by Veterans Affairs (VA), National Cancer Institute and Harvard researchers confirmed that proper intake of cereal fiber and vitamin D are associated with reduced risk of serious colon polyps that may lead to the disease.

Bullying in schools pervasive, UCLA study finds
More than one in five 12-year-olds are repeatedly either bullies, victims or both, and bullies are often popular and viewed by classmates as the

Study examines risk factors associated with colorectal cancer
Smoking, drinking alcohol at or above moderate levels, or having a first degree relative with colorectal cancer, are associated with an increased risk for having serious colon polyps, according to an article in the December 10 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Low-dose interferon fails to improve survival in high-risk melanoma patients
A study examining the use of low-dose interferon following surgery in patients with high-risk melanoma showed no significant difference in recurrence-free or overall survival compared to patients receiving no further treatment.

Hear here: University of Toronto robot navigates using its own voice
In the past, museum guides carried a clipboard and waved a flag to help straggling tourists find the group.

Incidence of pertussis among infants appears to be increasing
The number of reported cases of the respiratory illness pertussis among infants increased in the 1990's, according to an article in the December 10 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Johns Hopkins technology will guide hybrid undersea robot
The robotic

Gleevec shows promise in treating another form of leukemia
GleevecĀ®, which has produced striking results in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), is now demonstrating encouraging benefits in treating a different blood cancer, a type of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

American black cherry tree overruns Europe by playing dirty
The invasion of Europe by an American cherry tree is helped along by Europeans' own dirt, according to a new study by scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and the Centre for Terrestrial Ecology in the Netherlands.

Study finds elderly patients achieve seizure freedom on epilepsy therapy
According to the results of a study presented today, University Hospitals of Cleveland researchers found that treatment with the anti-epileptic drug (AED) Keppra (levetiracetam) used alone resulted in seizure freedom in elderly patients.

Tests measure compatibility of DVD disks and drives
Initial tests conducted by NIST researchers in collaboration with the DVD Association and the Optical Storage Technology Association show that compatibility between recordable DVDs and DVD drives is only 85 percent.

Future medical leaders have shorter futures, study says
Being a medical school class president could literally take years off your life, says a study by University of Toronto researchers.

New hybrid vehicle will enable US scientists to reach deepest parts of the world ocean floor
For the first time since 1960, US scientists will be able to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans, up to seven miles below the surface, with a novel underwater vehicle capable of performing multiple tasks in extreme conditions.

Standard helps control quality of joint replacements
Ionizing radiation isn't generally thought of as good for you, but it's good for artificial hips.

Carnegie Mellon creates smart system to automatically enhance underexposed photos
A Carnegie Mellon University robotics researcher has developed a system that automatically improves the appearance of darkened or underexposed photos by digitally adding light to dark areas.

History of frog deformities suggests emerging disease
A historical examination of amphibian deformities - frogs with extra legs growing out of the abdomen, for example - suggests that these aberrations are not a new phenomenon, but part of an emerging disease that could jeopardize the survival of these organisms.

On the tip
Calcium may play a key role in the detection of tastes by the tongue, say USC researchers.

Study finds safe & effective seizure treatment for elderly patients with epilepsy
University of Miami researchers have found that the anti-epileptic drug (AED) Keppra (levetiracetam) controlled seizures and was well tolerated by more than 70 percent of elderly patients with epilepsy evaluated in a new study.

Car access, not location, motivates college students to shop online for apparel, study finds
Students who attend college in an urban area are just as likely to shop online for apparel products as students on a rural campus, according to a recent Ohio University study.

Common airborne substance makes asthmatics more sensitive to house dust mites: study
Exposure to endotoxin, a bacterial substance found commonly in outdoor and indoor air, makes mite-allergic asthmatics more sensitive to house dust and may place them at increased risk of asthma attack.

Scientists develop soil moisture sensor to cut costs and benefit the environment
Scientists from University of Warwick and McBurney Scientific have developed a new

Microscopes provide new view for tissue engineering
In the November issue of Optics Express, NIST scientists describe a novel combination of microscopes that can peer deep into tissue-engineering scaffolds and monitor the growth and differentiation of cells ultimately intended to develop into implantable organs or other body-part replacements.

Rice engineers make first pure nanotube fibers
Researchers at Rice University have discovered how to create continuous fibers of out of pristine single-walled carbon nanotubes.

High blood-sugar levels indicate greater chance of death for critically ill patients
A study in the December issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings on blood-sugar levels in 1,826 intensive care unit patients showed that hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar levels) increased the patient's chance of death.

Research generates reliable energy source during outages
As utility companies search for ways to avoid blackouts, like the one that shut down the northeastern corner of the United States last summer, one idea comes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mars is just around the corner
After a journey of 400 million km, ESA's Mars Express is now approaching its final destination.

Scientists announce long-sought mouse model of human pancreatic cancer
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have created bioengineered mice that develop aggressive, fatal pancreatic cancer through the same genetic mishaps that cause the disease in humans.

Telescience recognized for facilitating biomedical research on a global network
Recently, a team of Telescience researchers competed in the annual Bandwidth Challenge at Supercomputing 2003 and were recognized with the

Ebola virus-like particles prevent lethal Ebola virus infection
Scientists successfully immunized mice against Ebola virus using virus-like particles (VLPs) that are non-infectious but elicit an immune response.

Testing rescue robots at arenas around the globe
Opportunities for major strides in robotic search and rescue technology should advance in December when Italy opens a year-round, robot-testing arena in Rome.

Atkins diet may reduce seizures in children with epilepsy
Along with helping some people shed unwanted pounds, the popular low-carbohydrate, high-fat Atkins diet may also have a role in preventing seizures in children with epilepsy, say researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

UCI to lead first public health study exploring link between air pollution and heart disease
A UC Irvine epidemiologist will lead the nation's first public health study to understand how ultrafine particles in urban air pollution contribute to coronary heart disease in the elderly.

Study suggests that inflammation may play a role in developing high blood pressure
High levels of C-reactive protein are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, according to an article in the December 10 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Complementary medicine use high for prostate cancer
Almost one-third of Ontario men with prostate cancer are using complementary medicine in addition to conventional cancer treatment, says a University of Toronto study.

Medical school deans and state medical society executives see physician shortages
A perception exists among medical school deans and state medical society executives that shortages of physicians exist, particularly in the non-primary care specialties, according to an article published in the December 10 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Atlantic Canadians tops in art of networking: Survey
Think you're well connected? If you live in the Atlantic provinces, you are, finds a University of Toronto survey. 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