Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 21, 2004
Patients with Parkinson disease and high homocysteine levels may be more likely to be depressed
Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) who also have high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid produced by the body) are more likely to be depressed compared with other patients with PD who have normal levels of homocysteine, according to an article in the June issue of The Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Japanese researchers develop novel method of introducing transgenes into animals
Japanese scientists report the birth of transgenic mice with new genetic material from sperm stem cells possessing a retroviral transgene injected into the testes of immature male mice.

Scientists discover two new interstellar molecules
A team of scientists using the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Robert C.

Environmental toxins can cause a model of Parkinson's disease in rats
Scientists have induced a movement disorder in rats that closely resembles Parkinson's disease in humans.

Cardiac monitoring essential for preventing heart disease in patients with blood disorder
Cardiac disease in patients with thalassemia major can be predicted in time for preventive treatment by regularly monitoring patients' left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), according to a new study published in the July 1, 2004, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Oncological crystal ball
A method to predict the risk of tumor recurrence after radiation therapy uses positron emission tomography and the radiotracer FMISO to test the radiation sensitivity of individual tumors.

Stem cells commit to a future of fat with one signal
In the June 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Johns Hopkins researchers report finding a key signal in mice that tells stem cells to commit to becoming fat cells.

Scientists discover new role for tiny RNA in plant development
New research from Rice University and MIT in the June 22 issue of Current Biology finds that one the first-discovered plant microRNAs -- known as miR164 -- is crucial for the proper development of the flowers, leaves, and stems of Arabidopsis.

Physicists reveal first 'nanoflowers'
Today the Institute of Physics releases some of the most beautiful science images of the year so far, a collection of photomicrographs of tiny

How left-handed amino acids got ahead
A chemical reaction that demonstrates how key molecules in the biological world might have come to be predominately left or right handed has been reported by scientists at Imperial College London.

New test may provide answers for women with chest pain
A new noninvasive test shows potential for helping women with unexplained chest pain, according to a study published in the June 22 journal Circulation.

Cincinnati Children's researchers identify link between heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have linked the toxic protein clusters called beta-amyloids, known to be associated with Alzheimer's disease, to heart disease.

Tracking Alzheimer's
By using positron emission tomography (PET) and a radioactive tracer that binds to amalyoid plaque, researchers can see the characteristic lesions of Alzheimer's disease in the brains of living subjects.

Saharan people are falsely accused of terrorists acts
The myth that the Central Sahara is out of control and 'swarming' with terrorists is not only damaging the local economy, but could serve as a pretext to reopen old military conflicts, according to anthropologist Dr Jeremy Keenan, who will be addressing a prestigious ESRC conference at the University of East Anglia on June 22-24.

Brain cell death in Alzheimer's disease linked to protein accumulation and insulin biochemistry
Alzheimer's disease patients often have seemingly unrelated abnormalities in their brain cells.

Half of head and neck cancer patients disabled by treatment
More than half of people treated for head and neck cancer were unable to return to work after treatment, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System.

New designed paclitaxel analog kills more cancer cells than natural product
A multi-university research team has succeeded in enhancing the structure of paclitaxel (TaxolTM) to make it more effective in killing cancer cells.

Link discovered between Earth's ocean currents and Jupiter's bands
Scientists have discovered a similarity between certain ocean currents on Earth and the bands that characterize the surface of large planets like Jupiter.

NASA research helps highlight lightning safety awareness week
NASA will mark National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 20-26, through unique contributions its lightning research makes to climate studies, and severe storm detection and prediction.

Targeting cancer
Follicular lymphoma, one of the more common forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is a slow killer.

Venus transit 2004: A tremendous success!
The Venus transit was without any doubt a resounding success and so is the VT-2004 programme.

Five years on - no common understanding of 'institutional racism' among police
Five years after the MacPherson report raised questions about the management of race relations in the police, there is still no common understanding of 'institutional racism' within constabularies, according to a new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Partial breast radiation procedure may benefit cancer patients
Some women with breast cancer who prefer breast conserving surgery consisting of lumpectomy and radiation may choose a procedure that delivers radiation to the malignant tumor and not to the entire breast, according to research of a breast surgeon from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Lifesaving potential of mammograms lost due to underuse
Women across age, racial and socioeconomic spectrums underutilize the recommended annual breast cancer screening, effectively reducing the life-saving benefits of annual mammography.

Brain development and puberty may be key factors in learning disorders
A Northwestern University study suggests delayed brain development and its interaction with puberty as key factors contributing to learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Biocompatibility to widen scope of biomaterial applications
Researchers across the world are working toward biocompatibility by optimizing interactions that occur between implanted biomaterials and the host living tissue.

One-stop shopping
Scientists from the University Hospital of Zurich presented the first evaluation of a promising new, non-invasive method for the assessment of coronary artery disease at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 51st Annual Meeting.

Virtual reality significantly reduces pain-related brain activity
Virtual reality appears to dramatically change how the brain physically registers pain, not just how people subjected to pain perceive the incoming signals, according to a new UW study.

'Space' car comes fourth at Le Mans
Pescarolo car no. 18 came 4th in this year's 24-hour Le Mans race, thanks to three excellent drivers and a car optimised with advanced technology originally designed for European space programmes.

Rush neurosurgeons testing cooling method to treat brain aneurysms
Patients who undergo brain surgery to treat aneurysms are at risk for permanent brain damage, but a protective cooling system is now being tested at Rush University Medical Center to reduce or eliminate this risk.

Probing the world of alien abduction stories
People's physical reactions to stressful memories are usually seen as proof that the events occurred, even when the memories are far-fetched.

Mouse shows how Rituximab removes human B cells
The monoclonal antibody Rituximab has been approved for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since 1997, but how Rituximab disposes of the cancerous (and normal) B cells is unknown.

The science and law of torture
Incidents of torture are making headlines around the globe. In the United States, as more is revealed about the Iraq prisoner scandal, public debate has centered on the legal requirements for prisoners of war and the standards to protect them against torture as codified in the international human rights treaties that this country has ratified.

A step further on the EU-US relations on performance assessment
The workshop on

Innovative treatment approach to mantle cell lymphoma results in a high complete remission rate
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are achieving an exceptionally high complete remission rate in patients with mantle cell lymphoma, a subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is currently considered incurable.

Stanford researchers eye new chip's potential as an artificial retina
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a prototype for a new kind of implantable chip they believe could be adapted to serve as both a prosthetic retina for people who suffer from a common form of age-related blindness and as a drug-delivery system that could treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

Detecting infection
Researchers from the National Cardiovascular Center in Suita, Osaka, Japan are using positron emission tomography to image infection in vascular grafts that may signal the beginning of the rejection process.

Nanoshells cancer treatment proves effective in first animal test
Research in the June 25 issue of Cancer Letters describes a revolutionary new form of cancer therapy in development at Rice University and Houston-based Nanospectra Biosciences Inc. that has proven effective at eradicating all tumors from a small group of laboratory animals during its first phase of animal testing.

Tip sheet for the June 22, 2004 Neurology journal
Topics in the June 22, 2004 issue of Neurology include: can dogs anticipate seizures in children with epilepsy?, two Italian studies examine side effects of thalidomide in the treatment of skin disease, and implication of anti-seizure drugs in recent Patient Pages.

Stat3 controls inflammation, reducing tissue damage in rats after acute lung injury
U-M scientists have discovered that Stat3, an anti-inflammatory protein, appears to regulate the inflammatory response in lab rats with severe lung injuries.

CU-Boulder satellite instrument to provide new details on ozone
Just after 3 a.m. on July 10, University of Colorado at Boulder researcher John Gille expects to watch a new NASA satellite blast into orbit from the dark California coastline on a mission to study Earth's protective ozone layer, climate and air quality changes with unprecedented detail.

First IODP expedition will establish seafloor observatories for studying water flow in ocean crust
An international team of scientists will investigate how water flows through rock formations beneath the seafloor during an eight-week expedition this summer to the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the coast of British Columbia.

UCSD chemists bring use of designer molecules to treat common diseases closer to reality
By making use of model compounds in drug design, chemists at the University of California, San Diego identified a class of molecules that could lead to treatments for a wide range of diseases, including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Cognitive decline can occur before chemotherapy treatment, as well as after
In a series of studies in breast cancer patients, researchers at The University of Texas M.

NIH consensus development conference to assess evidence on Celiac disease
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a Consensus Development Conference on Celiac Disease, June 28-30, 2004 at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Echinacea may have no benefit in treating common cold
A Marshfield Clinic study, published in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, questions the ability of the herb echinacea to reduce the severity or duration of the common cold.

Journal Cancer: Protein shift predicts brain cancer grade, recurrence and patient survival
A molecular change that occurs as brain tumors progress may give clinicians a way to more precisely evaluate tumor grade and more effectively predict time to recurrence and length of patient survival.

New technique images gene expression in mice
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have demonstrated a nuclear medicine technique that provides a picture of genetic expression in mice.

Flies may taste bitter better, first map of insect 'tongue' reveals
The first sensory map of the fly equivalent of a tongue suggests that insects have discriminating taste -- perhaps trumping that of mammals in the ability to differentiate among bitter flavors.

After amnesia, brain lesions appear
Researchers have new insights into a mysterious type of amnesia, according to a study published in the June 22 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Solutions to engineer shortage explored at UH
Addressing the engineer shortage that faces the U.S., the University of Houston's College of Technology is hosting teachers from across the country armed and ready to tackle this challenge.

North Shore-LIJ research collaboration with Correlogic Systems to advance ovarian cancer blood test
The North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Research Institute, a disease-oriented biomedical research institution, and Correlogic Systems, Inc., a Bethesda, MD-based clinical proteomics company that has pioneered the development and application of pattern recognition in disease detection, today announced a collaboration to advance the final development of a blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer.

Two scans are better than one
Early detection of bone infection in diabetic patients is critical to avoiding one of the most feared consequences of diabetes -- amputation of a foot.

Study says widely reported side effect of chemotherapy may be overestimated
A new study says the incidence of

Without disturbances in nature the world's forests will be impoverished
The forests of the world are not the stable and unchanging ecosystems they have been assumed to be.

Newly grown kidneys can sustain life in rats
Growing new organs to take the place of damaged or diseased ones is moving from science fiction to reality, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Erectile dysfunction in diabetic men may predict silent heart disease
Men with type 2 diabetes who have difficulty achieving an erection could have heart disease and not realize it, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
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