Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2004
Plant pathologists: Rust disease impacting ornamental plant production
An increase in the spread of rust diseases could have devastating results on the fast-growing ornamental crop industry, say pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

The future of drug development
In this month's PLoS Biology Essay, Tim Hubbard and Jaime Love argue that we need a better way to research and develop new drugs.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for February 2004 (second issue)
Newsworthy articles include studies that show: researchers have found that influenza vaccination did not significantly reduce the number, severity, or duration of asthma exacerbations caused by the flu; mothers who smoke adversely affect their offspring's lung function, as they grow older, in three major ways; and after evaluating the

Cardiovascular disease risk factors may also predict development of kidney disease
Established cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and obesity are associated with the development of kidney disease, according to a study in the February 18 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Effectiveness of chickenpox vaccine decreases after one year
The effectiveness of the chickenpox vaccine decreases significantly in the first year after vaccination, and also appears lower if the vaccine is administered to children younger than 15 months of age, according to a study in the February 18 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Duke physicians predict risks of deadly infections after cord blood transplants
Transplant physicians at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified several risk factors that make certain children more likely than others to die of viral infections after receiving umbilical cord blood transplants to cure their deadly cancers, immune diseases and rare metabolic disorders.

Chemical that turns mouse stem cells into heart muscles discovered by Scripps researchers
A group of researchers from The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute and from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) has identified a small synthetic molecule that can control the fate of embryonic stem cells.

Insulin-producing cells found in a variety of tissues in diabetes
Cells that produce insulin have been unexpectedly found in the fat, liver and bone marrow of diabetic mice, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in a report that appeared today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Federal grant supports advances in infant heart disease at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Under a new federal initiative to foster

Now accepting nominations for the $10,000 Maxwell A. Pollack Award
The Gerontological Society of America is now accepting nominations for the 2004 Maxwell A.

AACR hosts 95th Annual Meeting
The AACR Annual Meeting is the world's leading multidisciplinary event in the field, featuring the latest findings and most significant information in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

HIV exhausts the immune system through chronic non-specific activation
HIV infects the very cells that coordinate the immune response, which compromises the immune system and leaves the body susceptible to normally harmless microorganisms.

Food-borne pathogen traced to lettuce
For the first time, scientists have identified fresh produce as the source of an outbreak of human Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infections, according to an article published in the March 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Clinical trial of new TB vaccine begins
The Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA announced they have begun the first clinical trial of a live recombinant tuberculosis vaccine.

Targeting cell fusion as possible way to repair organs, deliver cancer vaccines
Mayo Clinic cancer researchers have developed a way to biologically fuse living cells through the use of a genetically engineered cell membrane.

ESA's Rosetta comet chaser ready for lift-off
Follow the Rosetta launch from an ESA or Arianespace establishment On 26 February at 04:36 a.m.

Ratings of teen-rated video games do not always fully describe content
The only rigorous, independent, and quantitative analysis based on actual play of Teen-rated video games shows that industry ratings do not always fully describe the content of video games.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center acquires biotechnology firm Rheogene Inc.
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has acquired important gene regulation technology, thanks to a donation from specialty chemical company Rohm and Haas Co.

Key advance reported in regenerating nerve fibers
By combining two nerve-regeneration strategies -- activating nerve cells' natural growth state and using gene therapy to overcome growth-inhibiting factors -- researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have achieved about three times more regneration of nerve fibers than previously attained.

Astrophysicists listen to loops shivering on the sun
You would imagine that a 500,000 kilometre long arch of super heated plasma on the sun would be as easy to

Imaging technique reveals new structure in retinal cells
A new imaging technique has revealed a previously unknown cellular structure in the retinas of mice.

Increased temperature may prevent winter flounder from rebounding in east coast estuaries
In a recent issue of the Marine Ecology Progress Series, an article by URI Graduate School of Oceanography fisheries biologists David L.

Revised guidelines published for testing for hereditary type of colorectal cancer
An international group of experts has updated a set of criteria for testing patients with colorectal cancer to determine whether the cancer is a specific type that is inherited and therefore may mean that a patient's family members are at an increased risk of the disease.

HPV testing helps identify potential cases of cervical cancer, meta-analysis suggests
A test for infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) can more accurately predict whether a woman with an equivocal cervical abnormality found on a Pap smear is likely to develop invasive cancer compared with a repeat Pap smear, according to a meta-analysis in the February 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Now accepting nominations for the $2,500 M. Powell Lawton Award
The Gerontological Society of America is now accepting nominations for the 2004 M.

A fully automatic system for managing e-commerce orders
A fully automated solution that can handle the packaging of CDs, books, videos and DVDs ordered through e-commerce sites.

DHEA boosts growth rate of human neural stem cells
Human neural stem cells, exposed in a lab dish to the steroid DHEA, exhibit a remarkable uptick in growth rates, suggesting that the hormone may play a role in helping the brain produce new cells.

Hi-tech in space - Rosetta - a space sophisticate
The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission gets underway next week.

Critical lessons from September 11th
Within days of the September 11th attacks, unseen by the public and below the radar screens of many in the media, the U.S. academic community was scrambling.

Other highlights in the February 18 issue of JNCI
Other highlights include two studies that examine aspirin for cancer prevention, a study of a tumor suppresor gene using tissue microarray analysis, and a study that characterizes the role of gene silencing in a precursor to cervical cancer.

Tumor cell-specific therapy shows preclinical promise
Nearly all tumors have mutations in the p53 pathway, many of them in the p53 tumor suppressor gene itself.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
These topics are in the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: Virus may cause aggression in honeybees; New solar unit successful at disinfecting water; Sourdough bread tolerated by celiac sprue patients.

Point well taken
In some cultures, pointing is a faux pas, sometimes even insulting.

Chemical Heritage Foundation names Jon M. Huntsman to receive 2004 Othmer Gold Medal
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has selected Jon M. Huntsman, founder and chairman of the company that bears his name, to receive the 2004 Othmer Gold Medal.

Media invitation - European Society of Cardiology Congress 2004
The ESC Congress 2004 is swiftly approaching and will be held from Saturday 28 August - Wednesday 1 September 2004 in Munich, Germany.

Stem cells found in adults may repair nerves
It used to be considered dogma that a nerve, once injured, could never be repaired.

Clinical research key in advance to prospective health care
The vast potential of the U.S. health-care system to improve health, minimize disease and increase the value of each dollar spent cannot be realized without a greater emphasis on clinical research, says a Duke University Health System leader.

Traditional Inuit ice treks guided from space
Each Arctic spring the waters at the ice edge become rich with life, and for thousands of years the Inuit of northern Canada have been going there for fishing and game. 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