Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 22, 2004
'Cool' fuel cells could revolutionize Earth's energy resources
Researchers at the University of Houston are striving toward decreasing electric bills with a breakthrough in thin film solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that is currently being refined in UH labs.

Computers significantly increase breast cancer detection rate
CAD can help radiologists detect breast cancer earlier. CAD can pinpoint micro-calcifications that may be early cancer.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this week's journal, Lenz et al. undertake a unique set of experiments in awake humans undergoing thalamic surgery for movement disorders or chronic pain, and Soares et al. now compare MPTP-induced parkinsonism with specific Gpe lesions in monkeys to reassess the GPe-STN-GPi loop.

Breast-saving technique also decreases treatment time
Breast brachytherapy is a breast-conserving technique that also decreases a woman's treatment time from six or seven weeks to just four or five days.

Family-friendly, flexible and far-reaching
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) today announced pioneering new eligibility criteria for its long-term and short-term fellowships.

Stuttering more than talk - research shows brain's role in disorder
New research from Purdue University shows that even when people who stutter are not speaking, their brains process language differently.

Encouraging results for long-term efficacy of meningitis C vaccine
Four-year results assessing the efficacy of the UK meningitis C vaccine programme are reported in a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

New gene associated with type 1 diabetes
A new gene mutation identified by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston is part of the constellation of genes associated with susceptibility to developing type 1 diabetes.

Georgia Tech researchers get $5 million to smooth out kinks in electromagnetic propulsion
Georgia Tech and several partner institutions have received a $5 million, five-year grant to study the effects that very high electromagnetic stress can have on electromagnetic launchers.

The practicalities of keeping clean
The second editorial broadly welcomes the UK Government's plans to address the growing problem of hospital-acquired MRSA infection, but points out some shortcomings: '[John} Reid's plan unfortunately makes no mention of four key considerations.

Why obese mothers abandon breastfeeding
Overweight and obese women don't respond biologically as strongly to their babies' suckling as normal-weight women do, which is one reason why they are more likely to quit breast-feeding sooner than normal-weight mothers, according to a Cornell University study.

Scripps researchers document significant changes in the deep sea
Although it covers more than two-thirds of Earth's surface, much of the deep sea remains unknown and unexplored, and many questions remain about how its environment changes over time.

The blind really do hear better
Nearly everyone has heard the popular notion that the blind hear better than the sighted - possibly to make up for their inability to see.

Is it churlish to criticise Bush over his spending on AIDS?
This week's lead editorial reflects on the recent criticism levelled at the US $15 billion programme for tackling HIV/AIDS.

For many adolescent girls, pregnancy may be no accident
As social scientists and health educators grapple with causes of adolescent pregnancy in the United States, some researchers suggest that one component of the problem has been largely ignored.

Media advisory 3 - Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting
This list of press conference topics is, of course, subject to change.

Seroquel: New data supports use in treatment of agitation in elderly patients with dementia
AstraZeneca announced important new data presented today at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in Philadelphia, which show that elderly patients with dementia, including those with Alzheimer's disease, who were treated with the atypical antipsychotic SEROQUEL (quetiapine) experienced improvement in symptoms of agitation.1 Additionally, patients treated with SEROQUEL had no cerebrovascular adverse events (CVAEs), which have been associated with the use of some other atypical antipsychotics in this patient population.

Ablation therapy destroys breast cancer without scarring
Image-guided thermal ablation effectively treats breast cancer with minimal discomfort and no scarring.

Scientists discover new intricacies in how ulcer bugs stick to stomach
Scientists working to develop a vaccine for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the primary cause of ulcers and a contributor to stomach cancers, have uncovered new intricacies in the way the bacterium sticks to the lining of the human stomach.

Breakthrough yields simple way to make microscopic electronics
In a breakthrough that could lead to dramatically smaller memory chips and other electronic components, Princeton scientists have found a way to mass produce devices that are so small they are at the limit of what can be viewed by the most powerful microscopes.

K-State researcher working to improve alternatives to equine antibiotics
While antibiotics can save lives, the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria presents a number of challenges for researchers in medicine — both human and animal.

Late-breaking news in Alzheimer's - Drug for agitation; AIDS connection; and an animal model
A member of a class of drugs that are widely prescribed for abnormal behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's - but not often studied in people with the degenerative brain disease - proved to be effective and well tolerated in treating agitation in people with severe Alzheimer's, according to research reported at The 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ICAD) in Philadelphia, presented by the Alzheimer's Association.

Geologists discover water cuts through rock at surprising speed
In the first study to measure when and how quickly rivers outside of growing mountain ranges cut through rock, University of Vermont geologists have determined that about 35,000 years ago the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers began carving out the Great Falls of the Potomac and Holtwood Gorge.

Childbirth and disasters discussed in July/Aug issue of Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health
In the aftermath of a disaster or other mass tragedy, life cycle events such as childbirth continue regardless of the chaos and women and newborns deserve the surety of safe, effective care in those situations, according to a special supplement this month of the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health.

NASA goes to the 'SORCE' of Earth sun-blockers
Scientists using measurements from NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite have discovered that Venus and sunspots have something in common: they both block some of the sun's energy going to Earth.

New view of leukemia cells identifies best treatment options, Stanford researchers say
People diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia usually receive the most commonly effective chemotherapy as a first line of attack, but it doesn't work for everyone.

Combination anti-clotting therapy raises bleeding risk for people at high risk of recurrent stroke
The combination of two anti-clotting agents, aspirin and clopidogrel-- known to be beneficial for people with cardiovascular disease--should not be recommended treatment for patients who have cerebrovascular disease, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

NICE is creating inflationary pressure on the NHS
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is creating inflationary pressure that the NHS cannot afford, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Study suggests antipsychotics do not raise risk of stroke in Alzheimer's patients
Antipsychotic drugs do not seem to increase the risk of stroke or other adverse cerebrovascular events in agitated or psychotic people with Alzheimer's Disease, according to research presented today by Lon Schneider, M.D., from the University of Southern California, and colleagues.

Mixed results for study assessing effectiveness of peer-led sex education
Results of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest a modest benefit for the use of peers (older pupils) to deliver sex-education classes rather than teachers.

Cancer detection method overcomes problem of samples with few cells
Finding cancer in a tiny drop of body fluid containing relatively few cells now may be possible with a new method of analyzing multiple genes in small samples of DNA, the cellular building blocks of our genetic code.

Study by Tufts biologist provides window into progression of some degenerative diseases
A Tufts University study has shed light on how some inherited diseases such as Huntington's and muscular dystrophy develop in humans.

Plant respiration not just an evolutionary leftover, study shows
A biological process in plants, thought to be useless and even wasteful, has significant benefits and should not be engineered out -- particularly in the face of looming climate change, says a team of UC Davis researchers.

URI oceanographer studies seasonal changes in coastal 'jet' south of Block Island
URI Graduate School of Oceanography oceanographer David Ullman and UCONN oceanographer Dan Codiga have studied the processes giving rise to a coastal current jet that forms in the Atlantic Ocean south of Block Island.

Canadian Society of Agronomy partners with Plant Management Network
The Plant Management Network (PMN), an innovative website designed exclusively for plant and agricultural professionals, is pleased to announce its new partnership with Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA).

Annual reminder needed for mammography
The healthcare industry is not reminding enough women to have annual mammograms.

Young people put at serious risk by poor advice on holiday sex
Holidaymakers, and young people in particular, face death and serious health problems from risky sexual behaviour abroad, while they receive little preventative advice or appropriate screening on return, according to a paper in this week's BMJ.

Medication helps quell the agitation of dementia
Doctors are reporting some success in treating one of the most troubling symptoms of dementias such as Alzheimer's disease.

Geologists discover water cuts through rock at surprising speed
In the first study to directly measure when and how quickly rivers outside of growing mountain ranges cut through rock, geologists at the University of Vermont have determined that it was about 35,000 years ago that the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers, respectively, began carving out the Great Falls of the Potomac and Holtwood Gorge.

Good bacteria trigger proteins to protect the gut
New studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers indicate that the millions of beneficial bacteria living in the human gut may actually be helping to stave off injury to the lining of the intestines.

Rutgers cancer prevention expert calls for FDA action to reduce colon cancer and osteoporosis
Rutgers' Harold Newmark issues a call to action for the simple addition of calcium and vitamin D to the existing FDA-mandated enrichment mix in products such as bread and pasta.

Microarrays, key genome expression trackers, work better when probes are sequence-verified
Harvard researchers found that up to 20% of biochip probes don't perfectly match the appropriate mRNA as defined by the RefSeq.

Researchers uncover surprising degree of large-scale variation in the human genome
A new study reveals surprising differences in the DNA of normal cells from different people.

New breast-imaging technology could save more women's lives
Unprecedented research is being made into digital mammography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging as supplements to standard mammography.

Protein key to trafficking in nerve terminals
A protein characterized by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine plays an important role in communication between neurons.
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