Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2004
Another fringe benefit for highly paid employees: More fun at work
Highly paid workers aren't just reaping the greatest material rewards on the job - they are also more likely than lower-paid employees to report rich social lives among their co-workers.

Vertigo can be treated at home
People with vertigo can get relief by doing maneuvers at home, according to a study published in the July 13 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Nearly half of L.A. county residents get almost no exercise
About 40 percent of Los Angeles County residents say they get no more than 10 minutes of continuous physical activity each week, according to a new report.

New research suggests previously unrecognized mechanism by which blood vessels are patterned
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of mortality in children worldwide.

A genetic model for hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) disease
Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a devastating motor disorder that relegates patients to walkers and, in more severe cases, wheelchairs.

Irregular heart rhythm linked with sleep disorder
People with an irregular heart rhythm are more likely to have sleep apnea than other cardiology patients, according to a report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New study in moths shows insects not entirely ruled by instinct
By examining the brain activity of moths, researchers have found that the behavior of these insects isn't ruled entirely by instinct.

Secret behind hard exoskeletons, spreading wings revealed
A team of biologists has discovered the structure and genetic sequence of the hormone that makes insects develop their hard outer shells and allows them to spread their wings.

Winning sound with Ariane technology
The use of Ariane launcher technology has blasted a French loudspeaker firm into a winning position.

Some HIV patients treated during early infection test negative
UCSF researchers have found that some HIV patients treated with antiretroviral therapy early after infection do test negative, at some point, for the virus.

Altered expression of key developmental genes underlies evolution of butterfly wing patterns
The diverse and colorful wing patterns of butterflies and moths provide some of the most iconic examples of the evolutionary process.

LSU researcher discovers new bird
For almost four years, LSU research associate Daniel Lane was haunted by the memory of an unusual, yellowish bird.

Report outlines steps needed to lessen smallpox threat
The best bet for averting the deadly spread of smallpox following release of the virus by terrorists may rest with the establishment of a major collaborative research effort to develop new antiviral drugs that would involve the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, universities and government agencies, according to a new report from the National Academies.

Study links virus to aggressive breast cancers
A new study finds increasing evidence a virus may play a role in breast cancer.

More intensive cholesterol treatment an option for high risk heart patients
Updated recommendations say more intensive cholesterol treatment is an option for people at high risk for heart attack and death from cardiovascular disease, according to updated recommendations from the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

Advanced electrical systems needed to power highly automated, next-generation cars
Car manufacturers will require advanced electrical systems to provide power and range for highly automated next-generation vehicles.

Update on cholesterol guidelines: more-intensive treatment options for higher risk patients
A 2004 update to the National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP) clinical practice guidelines on cholesterol management advises physicians to consider new, more intensive treatment options for people at high and moderately high risk for a heart attack.

Updated guidelines support lowering of cholesterol in those at risk for heart attack, stroke
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has updated its guidelines for treatment of blood cholesterol, suggesting that people at risk for heart attack and stroke would benefit from more intensive cholesterol-lowering therapies.

National Science Foundation renews funding for Georgia State University led center
There's good news for educators wanting to stay abreast of some of the latest advances and instructional techniques in the chemical sciences.

When sun's too strong, plankton make clouds
People say size doesn't matter, and that may be true for tiny plankton, those free-floating ocean plants that make up the bottom of the marine food-chain.

Patients anticipate high number of side effects to cancer treatment
A new study finds patients about to undergo chemotherapy or radiation expect a high number of side effects, and that age, gender, educational background, and the type of cancer all influence how many side effects a patient expects.

Large study confirms UK Gulf war servicemen report more ill health.
The largest study of UK Gulf war servicemen, published today in BMC Public Health confirms that forces deployed to the first Gulf War report more ill health than veterans who did not serve there.

New 20-year study links COPD and asthma
New research in the journal CHEST shows that adults with asthma are 12 times more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than adults without asthma.

Latanoprost safe and well tolerated for glaucoma treatment
The drug latanoprost is safe and well tolerated as adjunctive therapy for long-term treatment of the most common form of glaucoma, according to an article in the July issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Molecular traffic cop directs cellular signals
Scientists report that a recently identified molecule functions as a molecular switch that influences the activity of key signaling molecules by restricting the location of the activated molecules within the cell.

Sequential signals choreograph embryonic tubule formation
A new research study demonstrates that a single chemical growth factor orchestrates a complex developmental process by sequentially activating distinct subsets of molecular signals.

New method enables researchers to make human SARS antibodies quickly
Human antibodies that thwart the SARS virus in mice can be mass-produced quickly using a new laboratory technique developed by an international research team collaborating with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health.

UCSD biologists discover cell's defense mechanism against class of disease-causing bacterial toxins
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered a new mechanism that allows cells to fight a class of toxins made by a wide variety of disease-causing bacteria.

New pulmonary hypertension guideline challenges use of common medication
A new evidence-based guideline for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) cautions the use of calcium channel blockers, a commonly used treatment for high blood pressure, in unstable patients due to the potentially fatal side effects associated with the medication.

Society for conservation biology conference
From bumblebees in San Francisco's urban parks to living with leopards in the Himalayas--the 2004 meeting of the Society For Conservation Biology focuses on conservation in an urbanizing world.

National Bioinformatics Resource Center to support infectious disease research
The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech and its partners have been awarded a five-year, $10.3 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Call for investment in prevention of 'neglected diseases' to improve global health
The author of a Viewpoint article published online by The Lancet argues for a renewed public-health effort to tackle so-called 'neglected diseases' which continue to have serious impact in less-developed countries.

Neurology journal broadens recruitment efforts for clinical research trials
With the July 13 issue, Neurology is introducing a new clinical trials recruiting section organized by disease.

Racial variations in nursing home resident vision loss
Cataract was the primary cause of low vision in 54 percent of African American nursing home residents compared to 37 percent of white residents, according to an article in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Genital pain linked to increased pain sensitivity throughout the body, UMHS researchers find
Women with a condition called vulvodynia process pain differently, and these women are more sensitive to pain at other points in their body, researchers at the University of Michigan Health System found.

$1.86 billion boost for UK science and innovation
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced of $1.86bn (£1bn) extra funding for UK science in his comprehensive Government spending review.

ESA 89th Annual Meeting
Members of the media and freelance writers are invited to attend the Ecological Society of America's 2004 Annual Meeting to be held in Portland, Oregon, August 1-6, 2004.

News briefs from the journal Chest, July 2004
News briefs from the journal CHEST highlight the latest research on asthma medications, sepsis, and how a heart attack treatment can be dangerous for women.

Strict environmental regulations compel petroleum refiners to opt for catalytic processes
Oil refiners across the world are struggling - or soon will be - to meet tighter product quality specifications mandated by stern environmental legislations.

Lifelong career adds up to top honors for UH math professor
Whether applying math to the medical or petroleum industries, UH Professor Roland Glowinski counts his career as one of his greatest rewards.

MRI analysis shows brain connections that develop last decline first
UCLA neuroscientists using a new MRI analysis technique to examine myelin sheaths that insulate the brain's wiring report that as people age, neural connections that develop last degenerate first.

War casualties are negatively impacting Bush's chances of re-election
American casualties from the war in Iraq are having a profound negative impact on President Bush's approval rating and might have a similar effect on his chances of re-election, according to a study by political scientists at Rice University in Houston and Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Mass.

Chipmunks descended from ancestors that survived last ice age, scientists say
Well, nuts. Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) have upset the apple cart of assumptions on glacier-driven population migrations.

Small not necessarily different
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and NASA suggest that materials on the nanoscale may sometimes be subject to the same physical rules as their macro-world counterparts.

Medication can help diabetics lose weight, but long-term effects uncertain
An antidepressant drug and two medications for weight loss can help patients with diabetes achieve statistically significant weight loss over 26 to 52 weeks.

Fast and slow motor-skill learning are mediated by distinct neural processes
When we learn a new motor skill, we experience rapid improvement in motor performance during the initial training period and slowly improve with further training across subsequent days.

Appetite-stimulating hormone levels decrease after gastric bypass surgery
Severely obese patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery show significant early declines in levels of a hormone that stimulates the appetite.

XsalF comes to the fore in brain regionalization
New work by scientists in the Laboratory for Organogenesis and Neurogenesis (Group Director, Yoshiki Sasai) at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB; Kobe, Japan) showing anterior neural specifying activity in the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis,indicates that the specification of the forebrain (an anterior structure, presumed to be induced by the initial signal in the activation-transformation model) requires additional regulatory inputs as well.

Beta-blocker drugs well tolerated for heart failure patients
Beta-blocker therapy in patients with heart failure is well tolerated and associated with fewer overall withdrawals and less heart failure deterioration than placebo, according to an article in the July 12 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study reveals evolution on the (butterfly) wing
A butterfly's wing is a uniquely visual exhibition, not only of the aesthetics of nature, but of the machinery of evolution. 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