Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 19, 2004
Gene mutation found for a form of juvenile-onset motor neuron disease
Researchers have discovered a genetic mutation associated with an inherited form of motor neuron disease in which symptoms first appear in childhood or young adulthood.

ACP guidelines: Many diabetics should be taking statins
All people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease and all people with diabetes and any other risk for cardiovascular disease should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, the American College of Physicians said in new guidelines published in the April 20, 2004, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Study is another step in determining if curry can protect against Alzheimer's
A new study has found that curry, a common and popular cooking additive, could be an effective enhancer of an enzyme that protects the brain against oxidative conditions.

How do animals exposed to 24-hour light retain their wake-sleep habits?
How do mammals in the Arctic - which is characterized by months of full light followed by months of full darkness -- retain their sleep and awake habits in such unusual circumstances?

Heart transplant survival: Results may be key to rejection prevention, detection, treatment
Research pointing to potential victories in the battle for immune system balance in heart transplant patients will be presented at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) 24th Annual Meeting, April 21-24 in San Francisco.

Images of thin models boost dieters' self-image: Study
Viewing media images of thin, glamorous models may have a positive effect on young women's self-image - but it may still lead to destructive dieting behaviour, says a University of Toronto study.

Rare Chinese mushroom derivative can improve capacity, endurance, in sedentary elderly
Some 1,500 years ago, cattle and sheep grazing in Himalayan meadows were drawn to an unusual mushroom-like grass.

Study finds few new antibiotics are in the pipeline
Despite a critical need for new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections and other infectious diseases, very few new antibiotics are being developed, according to a study in the May 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

First study of resveratrol dietary supplement finds effect on breast and prostate cancers unlikely
The first rigorous study of the dietary supplement resveratrol found that oral dietary supplements of resveratrol are unlikely to have any effect on breast and prostate cancer.

Imaging study reveals brain function of poor readers can improve
A brain imaging study has shown that, after they overcome their reading disability, the brains of formerly poor readers begin to function like the brains of good readers, showing increased activity in a part of the brain that recognizes words.

Lower taxes can boost government revenue: U of T study
Lowering corporate taxes may be a good strategy for provincial governments, University of Toronto economists have found, because firms with subsidiaries in multiple jurisdictions are more likely to shift their profits to a province with lower tax rates.

Brain cells become more discriminating when they work together
Team work is just as important in your brain as it is on the playing field: A new study published online on April 19 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that groups of brain cells can substantially improve their ability to discriminate between the orientation of simple visual patterns by synchronizing their electrical activity.

Patients with multiple sclerosis and fatigue may have abnormal sleep cycles
Fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis may be related to abnormal or disrupted sleep cycles, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

From DNA to work and play
The APS Annual Convention features presentations of cutting-edge research by psychological scientists on issues we confront in our everyday lives.

Longer-term, moderate exercise improves immune activity
Older men and women who performed moderate resistance exercise at home 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for eleven months, showed a significant increase in natural killer cell activity.

Robot device dusts potential bombs for fingerprints
Police who need to dust suspicious packages for fingerprints could someday rely on a robotic device to do this dangerous work.

Protein promotes cancer metastasis and survival
New study finds that periostin, a protein, promotes deadly spreading and late stage progression of colon cancer.

Study finds certain compounds in beer, wine effective in slowing breast cancer cell growth
Numerous studies have been published showing that consuming alcohol increases the risk for breast cancer.

DELTA mission heading to ISS with Dutch ESA astronaut
The DELTA mission, with European Space Agency astronaut André Kuipers, and the ISS Expedition 9 crew lifted off today in the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft on flight 8S to the International Space Station.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, April 20, 2004
Highlights from the Annals of Internal Medicine, April 20, 2004 include: new ACP guidelines that say many diabetics should be taking statins, heavy alcohol use is correlated with rise in colorectal cancer rate, and chaos in health care could spur innovation in general internal medicine.

Personalized treatment goal of IU breast cancer study funded by $10 million DoD grant
Using genomics, proteomics and pharmacogenetics technology, Indiana University School of Medicine researchers are isolating the mechanisms that make breast cancer tumors unique and the therapeutic agents they best respond to, producing individualized treatments.

High-tech 'phrenology' to identify children with fetal alcohol syndrome
To better define the visual characteristics of fetal alcohol syndrome, Indiana University School of Medicine researchers will use sophisticated technology and facial recognition techniques to examine the faces of children from across the globe.

Exposure to food increases brain metabolism
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have produced new evidence that brain circuits involved in drug addiction are also activated by the desire for food.

A non-invasive treatment for angina does not lead to enhanced athletic performance
Researchers from the Nike Sports Research Laboratory (NSRL) set out to investigate the effects of a traditional regimen of EECP® treatments on physiological functions that predict athletic performance in endurance-related competitive sports.

Adding menthol to topical creams for osteoarthritis provides significant pain relief
Menthol has been shown to possess analgesic properties thereby reducing the sensation of pain.

High-volume hospitals best equipped for complex surgery
Patients who receive care at a hospital that performs complex surgical procedures have a higher likelihood of survival, even if their particular problem is not one of the hospital's specialties, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Vanderbilt doctors use Viagra to treat infants with pulmonary hyptertension
Chronic pulmonary hypertension is virtually a death sentence in newborn babies.

UC Riverside researchers improve drought tolerance in plants
University of California, Riverside researchers reported the development of technology that increases crop drought tolerance by decreasing the amount of an enzyme that is responsible for recycling vitamin C.

Estrogen-like drugs may eventually help postmenopausal women with weight gain
Scientists may debate whether weight gain is a side effect of menopause, but the numbers are clear: On average, women may experience a gain of approximately 10-15 pounds in the years surrounding menopause.

Mayo Clinic researchers restore lost immunity -- Possible breakthrough for AIDS
Mayo Clinic researchers have found a way to revive immunity in mice that have abnormal or deficient immune systems.

Blood screen may help cancer patients thwart radiation side effects, say Stanford researchers
Radiation therapy is a powerful tool for treating cancer, but for 5 percent of patients that lifesaving treatment comes with serious side effects.

Dallas Congresswoman Johnson wins American Chemical Society public service award
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the first woman and first African-American ever to represent Dallas, Texas, in the U.S.

Ethics of boosting brainpower debated by researchers
Questions being raised by modern neuroscience were the topic of a meeting of neuroscientists, ethicists and psychologists funded by the National Science Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Insights on stroke from the peripheral blood suggest ways to develop markers and therapies
Using blood samples taken from patients' arms during strokes, researchers have found white blood cell genetic changes they believe reflect the body's fighting response to an ischemic stroke.

Discovery sheds light on how cancer cells grow and divide
A Mayo Clinic discovery about a protein known as Dynamin-2 has thrown conventional wisdom for a loop.

Public-safety gains endangered by decreased federal funding of crime research
Gains in public safety from dramatic drops in crime over the last decade are at risk because of cuts in federal support for crime-related research.

Low-dose transdermal estrogen viable short-term treatment for menopausal women
Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Yale University School of Medicine, examines alternative hormones, doses and delivery systems for treating menopausal symptoms that were not explored in the WHI.

Invention could improve PVC safety and strengthen $1.8-billion industry worldwide
Recently patented organic PVC stabilizers invented by William and Mary Chemistry Professor William Starnes can make one of the world's most valuable and widely used plastics safer and more versatile.

Still time to apply for the $10,000 Maxwell A. Pollack Award!
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is still accepting applications for the $10,000 Maxwell A.

Growing interest in organic light emitting diodes compel manufacturers to enhance product features
Following exceptional end-user interest in organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), manufacturers have been under pressure to improve specific product features such as material lifetime, device stability, and light extraction.

More useful plants may sprout from gene role discovery
It may be possible to alter plants so they are more nutritious and easier to process without weakening them so much they fall over, according to Purdue University researchers who found a new twist in a plant formation biochemical pathway.

Not guilty! Evidence exonerates 328, but many still falsely imprisoned
Exonerations of defendants convicted of serious crimes more than tripled over the past 15 years as DNA and other new evidence overturned the convictions, a University of Michigan study shows.

UC San Diego selects Entrée Wireless to supply mobile gateways for homeland security
Entrée Wireless, a leading developer of Mobile Wireless Gateways, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)²] will deploy Entrée's technology solution to provide high-speed wireless connectivity in the field for first responders in disaster situations.

Botox injections restore voices, confidence to voice disorder patients
An injection that's best known for smoothing wrinkles also helps restore the voices -- and the confidence -- of people with a voice disorder caused by spasms in their vocal cord muscles, a new study finds.

Multiple factors affect psoriasis treatment compliance
Psychological, social, and disease-related issues may influence a patient's compliance with psoriasis treatment, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Solvent, common drug plus hormones raise risk of reproductive failures and breast cancers
Researchers have identified an industrial solvent in the environment and a frequently prescribed drug, valproic acid, as compounds that so potently boost estrogen and progestin activity inside cells that they likely trigger the reproductive failures -- and potentially even breast cancers -- seen among women exposed to these chemicals.

Yet another benefit of green tea
Derived in part from green tea, a new biodegradable machining compound for computer hard drive manufacturing is three to four times more effective than toxic counterparts.

Chicken litter harbors agents that generate antibiotic multi-resistance, according to UGA study
Scientists may need to reexamine assumptions about the spread of antibiotic-resistant genes, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Georgia.

Jefferson scientists find how HIV causes dementia
Ever since the AIDS epidemic began more than two decades ago, scientists have been trying to understand why as many as one-quarter of those infected with HIV develop dementia.

Is a single bout of exercise helpful or harmful in getting a good night's sleep?
Army researchers set out to quantify the quality and length of sleep obtained after non-habitual acute resistance and aerobic exercise.

Moderate iron deficiency affects cognitive performance - but iron supplementation improves it
Young women who took iron supplementation for 16 weeks significantly improved their attention, short-term and long-term memory, and their performance on cognitive tasks, even though many were not considered to be anemic when the study began.

Colorectal cancer rates in African Americans equal with insurance parity
When insurance coverage is equal, racial differences in deaths due to colorectal cancer in blacks and whites disappear, according to a collaborative project between researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College.

2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award winners announced
The joint winners of the 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award are Sue Goetinck Ambrose, a science writer for The Dallas Morning News, and W.

Second NIAID SARS vaccine candidate helps mice fend off SARS
An experimental vaccine based on a critical piece of the SARS virus protects mice from SARS infection, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have found.

A multi-institutional study may offer clues for the treatment of some autoimmune diseases
Preliminary data confirm the hypothesis that use of the PNP inhibitor BCX-1777 to elevate plasma dGuo results in elevation of cellular dGTP and a corresponding reduction of leukemic T-cells.

Families generally happy with initial early intervention services, study shows
Most families of infants and toddlers with disabilities are generally happy with their initial experiences with early intervention services offered under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a new study shows.

Salty scans
Kidney disease may affect as many as one in twelve people, and causes millions of deaths each year.

Fertility herbal supplement sprouts promising results in Stanford pilot study
A researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine says a small study shows promise for a nutritional supplement that may help boost fertility in women who have difficulty conceiving.

Aberration-corrected microscopes bring 2020 vision to the nano-world
Two new instruments acquired by Lehigh University will give scientists the long-sought ability to simultaneously image and determine the chemical identity of individual atoms in crystalline materials.

Successful therapy for head and neck cancer may lead to long-term circulatory problems
A new study examines three cases where symptomatic baroreflex failure occurred apparently as a late consequence of neck irradiation.

Virginia Sen. John Warner wins American Chemical Society public service award
Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a longtime advocate for scientific research and development, has won the American Chemical Society Award for Public Service.

Is there a relationship between repeated pregnancies and increased cardiovascular disease?
A study was undertaken to explore the effects of repeated pregnancies on cardiovascular regulation, specifically control of blood pressure.

Rensselaer receives NIH grant to develop virtual surgery simulator
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a $347,000, two-year grant to develop a next-generation simulator to train surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery.

Two-way link between heart disease and autoimmunity
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the developed world.

Topiramate reduces frequency of migraines
Topiramate, a drug used to treat epilepsy, is effective for preventing migraine headaches, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Trans fat linked to increase in cholesterol
The government's direct assault on obesity and cardiovascular disease has at least one target in its sights:

Black women with high blood pressure during pregnancy have higher homocysteine levels
Black women with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure have more homocysteine (an amino acid linked with atherosclerosis) and less folic acid in their blood than white women, according to a study published in the rapid access issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Supplement use growing among children and adolescents
More than 50 percent of all young children and more than 30 percent of all adolescents in the United States have used a dietary supplement, according to research by a pediatrician at Brenner Children's Hospital and reported in the April issue of Pediatric Annals.

A rose by any other name
A rose is a rose is a rose, but do we and the artist and poet all see the same flower in the same way?

New research explores 'early bird' and 'night owl' sleep patterns
Are you annoyed by cheerful

The preference for sweetened foods may decline after exercise
Anecdotally, athletes occasionally quote that sweetness of a beverage that they prefer before exercise is too strong during as well as after exercise.

Federal official wins American Chemical Society public service award
Raymond Orbach, Ph.D., director of the Office of Science, U.S.

Seven organizations vie in Tech World Series
INFORMS® today announced seven finalists that will compete for the 2004 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Calorie restriction drastically reduces risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes
People who severely restrict their caloric intake drastically reduce their risk of developing diabetes or clogged arteries, the precursor to a heart attack or stroke.

UCSD researchers determine fibrin depletion decreases multiple sclerosis symptoms
Tissue damage due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is reduced and lifespan lengthened in mouse models of the disease when a naturally occurring fibrous protein called fibrin is depleted from the body, according to researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine.

Oral cancer survey from Case dental school shows dental hygienist's role in catching cancer
In one of the first national surveys of dental hygienists about their knowledge and screening practices for oral cancers, researchers at Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine found indications that while dental hygienists view screening for oral cancer an important component of their practice and possess comparable oral cancer knowledge with the general dentist in the private practice, they often do not carry out oral cancer screenings. 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