Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 21, 2004
Gene defects found in age-related macular degeneration
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have identified subtle defects in a single gene that underlie a hereditary form of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world.

Cardiologists studying new screening test for heart disease
A multi-center study led by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center cardiologist David M.

Enhanced LEDs promise to transform lighting
A research team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created a new type of reflector that has dramatically improved LED (light-emitting diodes) luminance.

What are babies thinking before they start talking?
Babies as young as five months old make distinctions about categories of events that their parents do not, revealing new information about how language develops in humans.

Ship-sinking monster waves revealed by ESA satellites
Once dismissed as a nautical myth, freakish ocean waves that rise as tall as ten-storey apartment blocks have been accepted as a leading cause of large ship sinkings.

It's a no-brainer: Prepare for West Nile virus
A U of T study, published in the May issue of the quarterly Canadian Journal of Neuroscience, found that among hospitalized patients in Toronto with West Nile virus (WNV), encephalitis was the most common neurological manifestation.

'Go pills' blunt anticipation of rewards
Researchers have now found that amphetamines diminish people's anticipation of rewards.

Siblings help children get along with others in kindergarten
Children who grow up with one or more siblings get along better with their classmates in kindergarten than do only children.

Philosopher asserts morality matters more than ever
Today's society is wracked by moral shortcomings. Amid the smoke and mirrors of the Iraq war is a question of morality that becomes weightier to the extent that torture appeared to be condoned within the US Administration.

Minorities hardest hit by Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease symptoms begin, on average, almost seven years earlier in U.S.

Did Napoleon's doctors finish him off?
How exactly did Napoleon Bonaparte die on the island of St Helena?

Women at least twice as likely to get some musculoskeletal disorders
Women are at least twice as likely as men to develop some musculoskeletal disorders of the upper body.

Antimalarial substances found in New Caledonian sponges
Marine organisms synthesize many different substances, some of which possess anticarcinogenic, antiviral or antiparasitic properties.

New Investigator Award presented at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) announced the winner of the 2004 New Investigator Award at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, June 22.

Study shows that ultrasound accreditation improves the quality of ultrasound practice
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) accreditation increases the quality of ultrasound practice, according to an article published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

IDSA proposes federal measures to spur antibiotic development
To avert a looming public health crisis with a unique set of underlying causes, Congress and the Administration, including federal public health agencies, must act quickly to reinvigorate pharmaceutical investment in antibiotic research and development (R&D).

Lower drug prices could eliminate coverage gap in Medicare prescription drug plan
The prices paid for drugs in Canada, the United Kingdom and France are a reasonable international benchmark for pharmaceutical prices in the United States and is similar to the level of price discount necessary to eliminate the so called

Astrazeneca urges FDA to dismiss Public Citizen petition on Crestor(R)
In a comprehensive, 30-page response sent today to the U.S.

Report outlines vision and recommendations for microbiology in the 21st Century
The future of biological and planetary sciences lies in understanding the role microbes play in shaping this earth and its inhabitants, says a report released today by the American Academy of Microbiology.

Quantum computing, secure communication closer
Quantum computing, which holds the promise of nearly unlimited processing power, secure communications, and the ability to decode encrypted conversations by terrorists, is a significant step closer to becoming a reality with new research published July 22 by UCLA scientists in the journal Nature. The UCLA team succeeded in flipping a single electron spin upside down in an ordinary commercial transistor chip, and detected that the current changes when the electron flips.

Pump failure implicated in a form of dystonia
Tiny genetic flaws in a protein that pumps sodium and potassium across the membranes of neurons have been implicated in a rare but devastating form of dystonia.

School in Tunisia at the hub of major socio-economic and cultural issues
Since the 1960s strong efforts have been exerted in Tunisia devoted to education.

Mayo Clinic editorial discusses new targeted therapy for treatment of resistant colorectal cancer
The drug cetuximab, a promising new targeted therapy better known as Erbitux, offers another option for patients who have colorectal cancer that resists standard chemotherapy treatment, according to an editorial written by two Mayo Clinic cancer researchers that will be published in the July 22 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Nature mimics industry
Human made chemical compounds called organohalogens get loads of attention as they are best known for their often harmful effect on the environment - substances like the CFCs (the ozone-damaging chemicals), dioxin (found in the herbicide Agent Orange), PCBs (industrial fluids) and several pesticides.

Ear-like system could clear up cellphone conversations
Background noise that interferes with cellphone conversations could be a thing of the past thanks to a dual microphone system developed at the University of Toronto.

$8.7 million U. of Colorado instrument to fly on high-tech mercury mission
A small, powerful University of Colorado at Boulder instrument will fly on NASA's Messenger mission, slated for launch Aug.

Joslin Diabetes Center releases new low impact exercise video
The Video, Keep Moving!...Keep Healthy With Diabetes, created by Joslin's Exercise Physiology staff, offers low-impact exercises that are designed for people with physical limitations or who are new to exercise.

Media advisory: American Psychological Association 112th Annual Convention
This media advisory contains descriptions and links to embargoed press releases on convention presentations and other convention information for reporters.

Presidential Recognition Awards presented at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention
Lewis Nelson, III, MD, RDMS, president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), announced the winners of the 2004 Presidential Recognition Award during the Board of Governors banquet at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 22, 2004.

Researchers overcome barrier to shrinking wireless devices
James Bond-style technologies such as cell phones the size of earpieces and invisible sensors sprinkled about to detect toxins are closer to reality.

Unique observations of newborn star provide information on solar system's origin
A new study has caught a newborn star similar to the sun in a fiery outburst.

Military flight planning software expands capabilities and attracts new users
The U.S. military's flight planning continues to be made easier by multimedia software developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute engineers and their collaborators in the early 1990s.

Children can have a better memory than adults (at least sometimes)
Believe it or not, a 5-year-old could beat most adults on a recognition memory test, at least under specific conditions, according to a new study.

AIUM regional course, Doppler Imaging 2004: From Basic Applications to New Frontiers
Through lecture, discussion, case presentations, and demonstrations, this course will provide a comprehensive understanding of Doppler ultrasound techniques and applications throughout the vascular system.

Call for investment in prevention of 'neglected diseases' to improve global health
The author of a Viewpoint article in this week's issue of 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.

Technological advances enhance video surveillance equipment progress
Intense competition and a flood of inexpensive closed circuit television systems from Asia are making it challenging to turn profits in the security equipment market.

Scientists target prime suspect in Alzheimer's disease
Researchers report favorable results in two safety trials of drugs that may be able to prevent the formation of beta-amyloid, the sticky substance that many believe kills brain cells in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Food rations hydrated by swamp water...or worse
The same people that brought us the

ET first contact 'within 20 years'
A senior astronomer at the SETI Institute is boldly predicting that if intelligent life exists elsewhere in our galaxy, we'll know about it in 20 years.

AIUM announced education and research grant recipients at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) announced the winners of its 2004 Education and Research Fund (ERF) grants and the Gilbert Baum Memorial Grant at the 2004 AIUM Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 22, 2004.

Biology is not always destiny in Alzheimer's, says new twins data
When one twin develops Alzheimer's disease, the other does not always develop the disorder, a study of male twins who served in World War II shows.

Register early for the AIUM regional course, Sonography: A Broad Sweep, and Save
Through lecture, discussion, case presentation, and demonstrations, this course will provide a broad and complex overview of practical approaches to multiple areas of diagnostic sonography.

Register early for the AIUM regional course, Ultrasound: The Complete Perspective, and save
The course will provide an update of current ultrasound and Doppler practices and techniques in abdominal, gynecologic, and vascular applications.

Research reveals role of gene in infertility
A paper describing discoveries about the role of a gene that is important in all animals, plants, and fungi is published in the 20 July 2004 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One of the discoveries about the gene's role in plants suggest that it also may have an essential role in the production of sperm and egg cells in humans and other mammals.

New framework for biodiversity conservation
Current conservation planning may be hindering - not helping - endangered wildlife.

Healthy fats and oils essential to satisfy calorie-conscious consumers
Reacting to the obesity epidemic, food consumers have stirred a global health revolution and are increasingly demanding healthier oils and fats. 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