Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 18, 2004
Elan and Biogen Idec announce results from Phase III maintenance trial of Antegren®
Elan Corporation, plc and Biogen Idec announced that in a Phase III maintenance study, ANTEGREN® (natalizumab) maintained clinical response and remission rates throughout six months among patients with Crohn's disease (CD) who had previously achieved clinical response.

New era of colon screening emerging
There is good news for the aging population of Americans whose doctors are recommending periodic colonoscopies - it is getting easier.

Study raises concerns about tablet splitting
Back and neck pain sufferers who divide the most frequently prescribed muscle relaxant may be getting anywhere from half to one-and-a-half times the amount of medicine they believe they are taking, suggests a new study examining the practice of tablet splitting.

Study shows M2A capsule endoscopy improves clinical outcomes in IBD patients
Data from a study led by a researcher at Mount Sinai School of Medicine indicates that M2A capsule endoscopy --examination of the intestinal tract with the so-called

Distant mountains influence river levels 50 years later
Rainfall in the mountains can have a heavy influence on river levels, but the effects are seen 50 years after the rain has fallen, according to a Penn State hydrologist.

Parents overestimate children's bike, car safety habits
Parents think their children use bicycle helmets and seatbelts more often than children say they use them, according to a new study by a University of Michigan Health System pediatric surgeon that matches parents and children's assessment of safety device usage.

Studies identify risk factors for colon cancer
Every day new research shows major correlations between prevalent diseases in America and leading research is often specific to more targeted populations, such as women.

Brain control
Even the least graceful among us has motor control the most high-tech unmanned undersea vehicle would envy, thanks to a region of the brain that allows our bodies to carry out complex maneuvers.

Other highlights in the May 19 JNCI
Other highlights in the May 19 JNCI include two studies that look for a safe three agent combination therapy for HER2-positive advanced breast cancer, an examination of multiple sclerosis and Hodgkin lymphoma patterns in families, a study of melanoma risks in families without a history of melanoma, and a study that provides clues to the anticancer abilities of vitamin E.

Chandra opens new line of investigation on dark energy
Dark energy. Does it exist, and what are its properties?

The $50 million solution
Colleges face tough challenges in teaching science today. To help them meet those challenges, Howard Hughes Medical Institute is awarding $49.7 million in grants to 42 baccalaureate and master's degree institutions in 17 states and Puerto Rico.

Stem cells toward sperm cells and back again
In experiments with fruit flies, Johns Hopkins scientists have restored the insect's sperm-making stem cells by triggering cells on the way to becoming sperm to reverse course.

NASA plans to put an Aura around the Earth
On June 19, NASA will launch Aura, a next generation Earth-observing satellite.

Drug combo effective in advanced breast cancer
A pair of studies at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center taking laboratory science to the patient bedside found that combining the molecularly targeted therapy Herceptin with a specific chemotherapy combination resulted in significant tumor response rates and longer relapse-free periods in women with an aggressive form of advanced breast cancer.

Distant mountains influence river levels 50 years later
Rainfall in the mountains has a major influence on nearby river levels, and its effects can be seen as much as 50 years after the rain has fallen, according to hydrologists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

National Academies news: vaccines and autism
Based on a thorough review of clinical and epidemiological studies, neither the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal nor the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine are associated with autism, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

OneWorld Health completes enrollment, treatment in Phase III India trial
The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the U.S., announced today it has completed enrollment and treatment of 667 patients in India suffering from visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a deadly parasitic disease also known as kala azar.

Stereotactic body radiation therapy conference
The third annual Conference on Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy will be held May 21-23 in Indianapolis hosted by the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, which is leading a new nine center lung cancer trial with 3-D imaging and high doses of radiation.

U of T study finds music teachers at risk of hearing loss
Noise levels music teachers are exposed to during teaching periods could damage the inner ear.

Mowing back antennas
In August, the Office of Naval Research will test the advanced multi-function radio frequency concept, or AMRF-C.

BioCDS could hit No. 1 on doctors' charts
While-you-wait medical tests that screen patients for thousands of disease markers could be possible with compact-disk technology patented by Purdue University scientists.

Different methods of adjuvant chemotherapy for colorectal cancer have similar outcomes
Colorectal cancer patients who receive fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy have similar survival rates whether the chemotherapy is delivered systemically (by vein or by mouth), regionally (to a specific area of the body), or by a combined regimen of both methods, according to a new study, which appears in the May 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

NASA and USGS magnetic database 'rocks' the world
NASA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) are teaming up to create one of the most complete databases of magnetic properties of Earth's rocks ever assembled.

Fortification of food supply with folic acid
In many countries, only about 25 per cent of women take folic acid supplements before pregnancy, despite their efficacy in preventing neural tube defects in the fetus.

Protein may reduce susceptibility to autoimmune disease
A recent discovery provides new information about critical cellular signals that may be involved in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for May 2004 (second issue)
Among a group of 205 patients who had multidrug resistant tuberculosis (TB) for an average of over 4 years, the 130 persons who underwent surgical resection to remove diseased lung tissue had nearly a fivefold increase in favorable outcome, according to a study published in the second issue for May 2004 of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Many physicians misperceive radiation risks to developing fetuses from X-rays and CT scans
Physicians who care for pregnant women perceive the risks to developing fetuses in early pregnancy from abdominal X-rays and CT scans to be unrealistically high, says a new study from researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto in Canada.

Advances in Skeletal Anabolic Agents for the Treatment of Osteoporosis: A scientific meeting
To learn about the exciting new directions in drug therapy for osteoporosis and other bone diseases, media are invited to attend Advances in Skeletal Anabolic Agents for the Treatment of Osteoporosis, a two-day meeting focusing on the current and future status of bone-building anabolic skeletal agents for osteoporosis treatment.

A bit of Titan on Earth helps in the search for life's origins
Saturn's moon, Titan, could hold clues on how life came to be.

NASA's terra satellite tracks global pollution
Data from NASA's Terra satellite is adding to our understanding of how pollution spreads around the globe.

The UV advantage
After 30 years of research and the publication of more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, many in the three most prestigious medical journals in the world -- The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of the American Medical Association -- Dr.

Field Museum gives Parker/Gentry Award to Chinese conservationist
Field Museum gives its ninth annual Parker/Gentry Award to Yang Yuming, one China's foremost conservation advocates, on May 25.

Full recovery after cell transplantation for treating leukemia or lymphoma can take 3-5 years
Patients with leukemia or lymphoma who undergo hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and survive can expect full recovery to take 3-5 years, according to a study published in the May 19 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Researchers find a goldmine of seismic information
Seismic detectors placed in deep gold mines to monitor safety are shedding light on the small earthquakes not usually picked up by surface based seismic arrays, according to Penn State and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers.

Childhood vaccination coverage affected by temporary suspension of hepatitis B vaccine
A temporary suspension of the initial dose of hepatitis B vaccine appears to have contributed to fewer newborns being vaccinated for hepatitis B in 2000 than in 1998, according to a study published in the May 19 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Jefferson researchers announce recommendations on when to test blood pressure in young children
Children as young as three years old should have their blood pressure checked as part of their routine pediatric examinations--according to new treatment guidelines to be presented at the American Society of Hypertension's (ASH) Annual Scientific Meeting on Thursday, May 20, in New York City.

Breakthrough therapies treat Crohn's disease
Crohn's disease, which currently affects up to one million people in the U.S., causes inflammation in the lining of the small intestine that can lead to pain and discomfort.

Research Corporation awards $2.8 million in grants in chemistry, physics and astronomy
Research Corporation, America's first foundation for the advancement of science, announces the awarding of sixty-five grants to scientists at colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

Ganciclovir (Valcyte™/Cymevene®) reduces risk of cancer in kidney transplant patients
Data presented at the American Transplant Congress (ATC) annual meeting show that the gold standard CMV antiviral ganciclovir (Valcyte/Cymevene) has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer and organ rejection in kidney transplant patients.

Increasing co-payments may reduce use of essential and non-essential medications
Significant increases in co-payments may reduce the use of medications and raise concern about adverse health consequences, according to a study published in the May 19 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Stem cells more vulnerable to toxic chemotherapy when protective molecule is disabled
Inactivating a protective molecule in leukemic cells to make them more vulnerable to chemotherapy might also make healthy blood-forming cells more sensitive to the toxic effects of those same drugs.

Urine protein test: A tipoff to kidney transplant rejection
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed the basis of an inexpensive, simple urine test that identifies impending kidney failure or rejection following transplant surgery.

Study finds once-daily Valcyte prevents serious viral infection after kidney transplant
Research conducted in the Division of Transplantation at the University of Miami School of Medicine has found that at least three months of therapy with a single daily dose of the antiviral medication Valcyte (valganciclovir HCl tablets) safely and effectively prevents cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common infection in kidney transplant patients taking highly potent immunosuppressive therapy.

Full recovery after cell transplantation for treating leukemia or lymphoma can take 3-5 years
Dr. Karen L. Syrjala, head of biobehavorial sciences at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a study to examine recovery of physical and mental health and return to work after HCT for treatment of leukemia or lymphoma.

Direct mailing of blood test kits increases colorectal cancer screening
Direct mailing of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) kits combined with follow-up reminders increases adherence to colorectal cancer screening guidelines, according to a new study published in the May 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

UCSD researchers determine fatty liver disease different in obese children than in adults
Potentially life-threatening non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obese children has distinct characteristics, often different from those found in adults, according to a UCSD study.

Experts see ultrawideband local area networks and position locaters likely within three years
As part of his plenary address to an international conference on Ultrawideband technology now being held in Kyoto, Japan, University of Southern California UWB pioneer Robert Scholtz made public preliminary results from a wide-ranging survey on this question he made of more than 75 academics, business, and government experts in the field.

Celebrities are root cause of rush to dentist
A big increase in the number of young people seeking dental treatment has been attributed to their admiration of celebrities' perfect teeth.

Recycled materials make 100-year 'long life' bridges possible
Penn State engineers have designed 10 concrete mixtures containing industrial by-products that make it possible for concrete bridge decks to last three times longer or 75 to 100 years.

Research hones in on therapies and diagnosis of bowel diseases
Inflammatory bowel diseases collectively cause significant lifestyle sacrifices and suffering and millions of dollars in related health care costs every year, partially due to a lack of effective diagnostic procedures and therapies.
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