Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 06, 2004
World's oldest modern hummingbirds described in Science
The world's oldest known modern hummingbird fossils have been discovered in Germany.

UNC study finds protein in male reproductive tract kills bacteria, may improve fertility
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that a protein they discovered three years ago in the male reproductive tract is a potent anti-bacterial agent.

Tiny beetle wreaks havoc on Texas ornamental tree nurseries
Long a threat, the Asian ambrosia beetle is now appearing in devastating numbers.

CAD acts as 'intelligent colleague' in detecting polyps in the colon
A new computer-aided detection (CAD) system is proving that two is better than one in detecting polyps in the colon, a new study shows.

New findings on stroke prevention surgery should change medical practice
New evidence confirming that surgery to open narrowed neck vessels can dramatically reduce stroke risk means more people should be getting the treatment - and points out the need for screenings to diagnose the condition - say researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Kadian alleviated chronic pain in patients unsuccessfully treated with well-known therapies
New data presented demonstrate that patients who were treated unsuccessfully with MS Contin® and OxyContin® found pain relief with Kadian, a sustained-release morphine sulfate.

Ritalin may improve Parkinson's symptoms, OHSU study says
A well-known drug used to treat hyperactive children boosts the potency of another drug that reduces Parkinson's disease symptoms, an Oregon Health & Science University study has found.

June meeting in Orlando targets uniform antioxidant measurements, better nutritional data
The First International Congress on Antioxidant Methods will be held June 16-18 in Orlando, Fla., in an effort to reach agreement on a single method for measuring and reporting on the levels of antioxidants, beneficial compounds found in foods, cosmetics and certain vitamins which are thought to fight cancer, heart disease and aging.

Weight loss and exercise effective arthritis treatment
A combination of moderate weight loss and exercise is an effective treatment for overweight adults with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to new research from Wake Forest University published in the May issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Second generation targeted antibodies - It's all in the binding
Just weeks after one of the first anti-EGFR antibodies, ImClone's Erbitux (Cetuximab), was approved for use in Europe and the USA, a 'second generation' anti-EGFR antibody that is able to discriminate between EGFR molecules on cancer cells and EGFR molecules on normal cells is set to enter early-phase clinical trials.

Experimental drug improves sleep in older patients, Wake Forest Baptist study shows
Older people with insomnia slept better and longer after taking an experimental sleep medication, according to research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Society of Nuclear Medicine's 51st Annual Meeting June 19-23, 2004
Representatives of the media are invited to join over 3,600 nuclear medicine physicians, scientists, pharmacists, and technologists as they share research, learn about the latest breakthroughs and discuss the critical concerns facing nuclear medicine today.

OHSU researcher finds genetic explanations for some previously unexplained sudden cardiac deaths
OHSU researchers discovery a gene that causes some forms of sudden cardiac death in patients who have died without warning, despite having a structurally normal heart.

Housing segregation persists in many parts of nation, study shows
Neighborhood integration is necessary to reduce school segregation but Americans continue to remain separated in their neighborhoods a half century after the U.S.

New strategy aims to halve malaria deaths by 2010
Linking malaria programmes to other disease control strategies in Africa could help to halve deaths from malaria by 2010, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory include the toxicological effects of inhaling airborne ultrafine particles, greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions in engines, and a one-step process to separate cesium and strontium.

Tissue involved in brain development may offer new approach to stroke treatment
The same tissue that helps a developing brain form its protective blood-brain barrier may protect the adult brain from the ravages of stroke, researchers say.

Louisiana enacts prescription privileges law for psychologists
Today, Louisiana became the second state in the country to gain a law authorizing properly trained psychologists to prescribe certain medications for the treatment of mental health disorders.

Analysis uncovers critical stretches of human genome
Hundreds of stretches of DNA may be so critical to life's machinery that they have been

Older adults will accept monitoring technology to live in their homes longer
Younger adults might cringe at the thought of being monitored in their homes by technology.

Study: Many men take dietary supplements to prevent prostate cancer
A significant percentage of men take dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbs to prevent prostate cancer despite a lack of evidence that they work.

Archaeologists announce discoveries at the ancient Maya site of Waka' in northern Guatemala
A 1,200-year-old tomb of a warrior queen has been discovered in Guatemala's Peten region.

Climate variation in the tropical Pacific: coral provides proof
IRD scientists have revealed, in an article just published in Nature, that the cooling event known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Younger Dryas (about 12 000 years B.P.) was expressed in the Pacific by the absence of any South Pacific Convergence Zone activity and the movement of tropical waters closer to the Equator.

The great flamingo round-up
With South America's Mars-like Altiplano region serving as a surreal back-drop, a group of scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) recently braved frigid temperatures, high winds, and altitudes of over 11,000 feet to fit bands on 300 threatened James' flamingoes chicks.

White House lauds Physiological Society for mentoring underrepresented minorities in biomedicine
American Physiological Society awarded Presidential recognition for mentoring underrepresented minorities in physiologically-related sciences from kindergarten to post-doctoral studies.

UCLA scientists decipher how the brain retrieves and stores our oldest memories
UCLA neurobiologists have pinpointed a region of the brain that retrieves and stores distant memories.

2004 Max Planck Research Prize for Martin Vingron and Eugene W. Myers
Prof. Martin Vingron, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, and Prof.

Aneurysm screening could save lives
A national aortic screening programme in the UK could save lives at reasonable cost, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

President Bush honors excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring
President Bush today announced nine individuals and eight institutions to receive the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

Striking differences found in self harm services
Striking differences exist in the care of self harm patients in hospitals in England, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Taxanes may enhance immunity in breast cancer patients
Breast cancer patients treated with taxanes as part of their chemotherapy regimen have stronger immune systems one year after completing therapy than do women undergoing similar treatments without taxanes - a finding that turns conventional medical wisdom on its head.

Soy processing influences estrogen-dependent breast cancer growth in mice
Highly purified soy foods and soy supplements marketed in the United States may stimulate the growth of pre-existing estrogen-dependent breast tumors, according to a study done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sediments in many Central Valley streams contain toxic levels of pyrethroid pesticides
Pyrethroid pesticides such as permethrin, sprayed around the home and increasingly on many crops, have been replacing the more restricted organophosphate pesticides, but are they more benign?

Survey of adults reveals life-long consequences of ADHD
Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have grown up with the condition, but have they outgrown its effects?

Animal ID good idea even if not mandatory yet
Even though federally mandated animal ID systems may a year or more away, it is in farmers and ranchers' self-interest to start voluntarily tagging their cattle electronically now, said one of the featured speakers at a recent East Texas forage and beef field day.

Policy makers need to rethink obesity message
Policymakers and health professionals must think about motivation as well as information when they promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, according to social psychologist Dr Gregg Maio, who will be addressing a high-level conference on Choosing Health?

Breast cancers show 'surprising characteristics' on MRI
MRI can effectively detect cancers missed by mammography and physical examination, but cancers can have some surprising characteristics on the MRI image, a new study shows.

First multi-center trial shows cryosurgery successful at treating some early-stage breast cancer
Imagine being treated for breast cancer right in your doctor's office, with an incision as small as a pinprick to show for it.

Dampened hopes for transplanting bone marrow stem cells in heart attacks
There is little, if any, evidence that adult stem cells can build other cells in an adult organism than those formed in the organs they themselves come from.

American Academy of Neurology guidelines for treating of epilepsy
The number of drugs available to treat epilepsy have more than doubled in the last decade.

Long-term study proves ADDERALL XR® is a safe and effective option to treat adults with ADHD
Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc (NASDAQ: SHPGY, LSE: SHP.L, TSE: SHQ CN) announced that adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experienced significant ADHD symptom control when treated with once-daily ADDERALL XR® (a mixed salts amphetamine product).

Tropical legume could be alternative hay/forage crop for Texas
Lablab, a drought-tolerant, summer annual legume native to the tropics, could be a valuable addition to the Texas forage repertoire.

Alternative medicine therapy now being tested for heart disease
Rush University Medical Center is enrolling patients in a study that tests whether chelation is a safe treatment for patients who have had a heart attack and whether it prevents second heart attacks in these patients.

Can a computer judge acoustic quality?
A project jointly led by Cardiff University and Salford University in the UK will examine whether it is possible for a computer to make a judgement about the acoustic quality of a space, such as a concert hall or pop music arena.

MRI proves more sensitive than CT in detecting adrenal adenomas
MRI is better than unenhanced CT in evaluating adrenal adenomas (benign masses on the adrenal glands), a new study suggests.

Could autoantibodies predict future disease in healthy people?
A review article in this week's issue of THE LANCET discusses how autoantibody detection in the blood of healthy individuals could have potential as a marker for future autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus syndrome.

Scientists uncover how brain retrieves and stores older memories
Scientists have identified the region of the brain responsible for storing and retrieving distant memories: the anterior cingulate cortex.

Are NICE guidelines too passive?
The effectiveness of the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommending changes in surgical procedures within the UK National Health Service is questioned by authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

MRI is better than PET for detecting small metastatic lesions in the liver
Contrast enhanced MRI should be the imaging method of choice for determining if patients with gastrointestinal cancer have disease that has spread into their liver, a new study shows.

Surprising 'ultra-conserved' regions discovered in human genome
Researchers comparing the human genome with the genomes of other species have discovered a surprising number of matching DNA sequences in a variety of vertebrate species, including the mouse, rat, dog, and chicken.

Disruption of a gene may prevent type 1 diabetes, UVa researchers find
Disrupting a gene called Stat-4 suppresses the activation of white blood cells involved in the development of type 1 diabetes, say researchers from the University of Virginia Health System in the May issue of

Seroquel: New data show efficacy and tolerablity in bipolar depression
AstraZeneca announced important new data today presented from the first large-scale clinical trial to examine SEROQUEL (quetiapine) as a treatment for depressive episodes in patients with bipolar I and II disorders.

Children of single mothers do just as well in school
Single parenthood, in and of itself, is not necessarily a risk factor for how well 12- and 13-year-olds do in school or how well they behave, according to a large, multiethnic Cornell University study.

Nano-scale trees created at Lund Institute of Technology
For the last few years scientists at the Nanometer Consortium at Lund University have been able to make nanowires, tiny wires just a few millionths of a millimeter

Training carers reduces stroke burden and saves money
Training carers of disabled stroke patients in basic nursing skills improves quality of life and saves money, according to two studies in this week's BMJ.

Trial found no impact of Malarone(TM) on performance and alertness tasks
Results from a new study presented today at the 75th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) in Anchorage, USA, suggest that MalaroneTM (atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride) would not be expected to affect the ability of pilots and cabin crew to perform their duties while on an aircraft.

World first: computer games that can boost self esteem
In a world-first, researchers from McGill University's Department of Psychology have developed and tested computer games that can actually help people enhance their self-acceptance.

Carotid artery surgery could substantially reduce stroke among high-risk patients
Results of an international study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that surgery to widen narrowed carotid arteries could halve the risk of stroke among high-risk patients.

'Identify and isolate'
Simple public health measures, such as the isolation of individuals with disease symptoms and the tracing and quarantining of anyone who has been in contact with them, are the most effective ways of stopping many infectious diseases, according to mathematical modelling by a team of Imperial College London researchers.
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