Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2004
Denying NHS care to overseas visitors is unethical
Current UK regulations for treatment of overseas visitors or people of uncertain residential status are unethical, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Second probable case of CJD infection from blood transfusion
A research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET details the second case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) infection that was probably caused by blood transfusion.

Two-month study of life in mid-Atlantic yields trove of species, new insights & questions
Exploring life in the mid-Atlantic at various depths down to 4 km (2.5 miles), 60 scientists from 13 countries on a two-month expedition have surfaced a wealth of new information and insights, stunning images and marine life specimens, several thought to be species never before known to science.

Spirit's cameras confirm albedo changes in Martian soil
Mars rover Spirit's mission scientists -- led by Cornell astronomers -- confirm that the red planet's dusty surface albedo indicates important variations in mineral and dust composition.

3-D irradiation of brain cancer in children spares IQ, memory, other cognitive functions
A radiation therapy technique that kills brain tumors in children while sparing normal tissue allows young patients to enjoy normal development of memory, reasoning, problem-solving and other cognitive functions, according to investigators at St.

Spiders or scapegoats
A viewpoint article in this week's issue of THE LANCET discusses how the negative portrayal of spiders through the centuries is largely unfounded, and that necrotising skin ulcers in particular cannot be solely attributable to spider bites.

Deaths no higher in patients of new surgeons
Patients and hospitals should be reassured that being operated on by newly appointed heart surgeons carries a similar risk of death as being operated on by established surgeons, say researchers in a study available on
Full promise of genomics in disease research yet to be realized
Over the past decade genomics has revolutionized our understanding of how microorganisms cause disease.

Breakthrough in diagnosis using PET could affect future standard of care for deadliest skin cancer
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Division of Nuclear Medicine, have determined positron emission tomography (PET) to be more accurate in diagnosing recurrent melanoma than the current, clinical procedures.

Viral proteins may prevent bacterial infections
Researchers from Rockefeller University are enlisting proteins produced by viruses in a novel strategy that may someday help prevent bacterial infections in hospitals and nursing homes.

Neurosurgeons at Rush are the first in the midwest to implant investigational neurostimulator
Neurosurgeons at Rush University Medical Center are the first in Chicago to implant a new investigational neurostimulator in a patient with medically refractory epilepsy.

Small delay in delivery could reduce risk of disability for very premature babies
Results of a European study in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggest that delaying delivery by a few days is as effective as immediate delivery for babies who have experienced fetal trauma.

2004 Alzheimer Award to Lester I. Binder, PhD
The 2004 Alzheimer Award has been presented to Lester I.

Tobacco firm launches mobile trailers to counter smoking bans
Tobacco sponsorship of motor sports is an efficient way to reach boys and young men, but now the world's third largest tobacco producer has found another way to promote smoking.

Fundamental change to Immunology 101
T cells are critically important, yet little is known about their early development.

Method to visualize gene activity may provide insight into normal development & genome function
A technique developed by University of California, San Diego biologists, which uses bright fluorescent dyes to reveal the activity of genes in individual cells of an organism, promises to be a boon to developmental biologists, and may provide new insight into how cancerous tumors begin and grow.

UCSD researchers are first to demonstrate molecular link between inflammation and cancer
First evidence of the molecular link between inflammation and cancer has been shown by researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine.

WHO's African office must evolve or die
This week's lead editorial considers the future of WHO/AFRO (the African region of the World Health Organisation)--with the hope that the imminent election of a new leader for the agency will prioritise Africa's diverse health-care needs rather than the political expediency characteristic of the outgoing administration.

Rheumatoid arthritis and early indicators of disease
A team of researchers set out to investigate the evidence in the bloodstream of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, beginning with samples donated 15 years before the onset of disease symptoms.

Parasitic cowbirds thrive with a less ruthless strategy than cuckoos
American cowbirds are parasites of the bird world. Like European cuckoos, they lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species and let someone else raise them.

Vital visionaries program improves medical students attitudes towards older people
Creating art with older

Avalanche of change
When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, it set off an enormous avalanche and buried a vast area with volcanic rock and ash, violently shattering its 123-year 'slumber.' Ecologists used this chance to discover how ecosystems respond to a natural disturbance.

Physics gravity model applicable to disease spread
Tracking the spread of new or reemergent diseases like SARS or smallpox is essential in controlling disease epidemics, but horse-and-buggy concepts of how diseases spread have been supplanted by 21st-century realities.

EURYI Award given for the first time to 25 young European researchers
For the first time, the European research organisations, under the umbrella of the European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs), have honoured 25 young researchers with the European Young Investigator Award (EURYI).

Increasing international insect threat to stored food
Increased international trade means the world community will have to be more vigilant in preventing economic loss and hardship due to destruction and spoilage of foodstuffs by insects, according to a CSIRO entomologist David Rees.

Bad news for pathogenic bacteria: Scientists find protein essential for bacterial survival
Further investigation into how the common organism Escherichia coli regulates gene expression has given scientists new ideas for designing antibiotics that might drastically reduce a bacterium's ability to resist drugs.

U-M scientists find common virus in human prostate tissue
Research by scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School suggests the intriguing possibility that a common virus called BK may play a role in the development of prostate cancer.

Travelers' diarrhea not improved by restricted diet
Travelers suffering from

'Self-recovery' from Hep C infection linked to genes that suppress action of killer immune cells
In a study to be published in Science online Aug.

Transcriptional gene silencing in nucleus shown by UCSD/VA medical researchers
A new gene-silencing technique that takes place in the nucleus of human cells, has been demonstrated by researchers at UCSD School of Medicine and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Jefferson DOD grant supporting trial of targeted agent against high-risk prostate cancer
A Jefferson radiation oncologist plans to use a grant from the Department of Defense to test the potential effectiveness of a new therapy aimed at thwarting the effects of prostate cancer spread to the bones.

Research aims to improve safety at sea
New research, which will result in a better understanding of maritime risks, will result from a major programme of support for research at Cardiff University, Wales, UK by Lloyd's Register.

A new marker for osteoarthritis
To improve the early diagnosis and effective treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), medical researchers have turned to the promise of biochemical markers - molecules released into bodily fluids during the process of tissue turnover.

Dispersing asylum seekers may increase HIV burden
Doctors are concerned that the UK policy of dispersing asylum seekers may lead to increased HIV transmission, according to a paper in this week's BMJ.

Prednisolone ineffective against HIV-associated pleural tuberculosis
Prednisolone, a glucocorticoid that is sometimes added to anti-tuberculosis drug regimens, should not be used to treat patients with pleural tuberculosis and HIV infection, nor can it be recommended for those with pleural tuberculosis who are not co-infected with HIV, according to a study in the August 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Younger men lead surge in Viagra use, study reveals
The use of Viagra(R) (sildenafil) has grown more than three- fold among younger men since it entered the market, according to a study published today in the International Journal of Impotence Research. The study is the first to profile trends in the use of Viagra using prescription claim information from a random, nationwide sample. 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