Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 01, 2004
Disease diagnosis, drug development focus of UH prof's biochip research
Leading the way to disease diagnosis and drug development, biochip research at the University of Houston will be presented to an international audience of top nanoscientists next week.

Researchers identify the genome's controlling elements
Scientists have churned out dozens of genome sequences and won't be letting up any time soon.

Rare deficit maps thinking circuitry
Using brain imaging, neuroscientists have pinpointed the site of a defect in a brain circuit associated with a specific thinking deficit.

Dentists find alternative to 'potentially risky' general anaesthetic
A new sedation procedure which could relieve pressure on hospitals and allow patients to avoid potentially risky general anaesthetics has been developed and tested in clinical trials involving more than 600 children with extreme dental problems.

'Considerable disagreement' between quantitative sonography and DXA for diagnosing osteoporosis
A lack of correlation between quantitative sonography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in detecting osteoporosis makes quantitative sonography impractical for routine diagnostic use, despite it being able to evaluate bone fracture risk without the use of ionizing radiation, say researchers from the University of Vienna in Austria.

Counseling boosts immunity, improves health habits
Regular psychological counseling for breast cancer patients may do more than just lower their stress and anxiety.

Convulsions in worms mimic epileptic seizures
Researchers at the University of Alabama have found a way to mimic epileptic seizures in the tiny roundworm C elegans.

Flame retardants found on supermarket shelves
A new study has found flame retardant chemicals, called PDBEs, in foods taken straight from supermarket shelves in Dallas, Texas, suggesting that food may be a key source of the contamination measured in people around the world.

Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
An international team of researchers has identified a family of proteins that are involved in HIV-1 budding from host cells, and are therefore likely to be essential for the spread of the virus.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights include: Modulating a song with noradrenaline: Noradrenergic inputs mediate state-dependence of auditory responses in the avian song system and sAPP-alpha, Transthyretin, and Neuroprotection.

Temple University researcher studying gender differences in how damaged hearts heal
Gender-based differences in how damaged hearts heal could explain the differences in survival rates between men and women with heart failure, according to Temple University researcher Deborah L.

Should AIDS therapy be used earlier than current guidelines recommend?
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been shown to delay progression of AIDS and reduce mortality, yet the optimal time to start it is unknown.

Study reveals first genetic step necessary for prostate cancer growth
A new study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reveals what may be the earliest step in the development of prostate cancer.

MDCT 'unwraps' Egyptian mummy, clearly revealing face of 3,000 year old man
Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) was used for the first time to produce a detailed 3D model of the face of an Egyptian man who lived nearly 3,000 years ago--without having to unwrap his mummified corpse, say a multidisciplinary group of Italian researchers that included physicians, anthropologists and forensic scientists.

Mayo Clinic pioneers gene therapy delivery system for glaucoma
Mayo Clinic researchers have demonstrated they can permanently transfer a functioning gene to targeted tissues within the eye.

Transplant of pig tissue may reduce stroke size and damage
A tiny capsule containing tissue that secretes a cocktail of brain-nourishing neurotrophic factors may one day help reduce the damage and disability of stroke, according to research published in the September issue of Stroke.

Stopping skin cancer -- Stat3
Skin cancer is the most common cancer for both men and women.

Computer models expose humans as main cause of caribou decline
If not for humans, the number of woodland caribou in northern Alberta would be seven times greater than it is now, a new study from the University of Alberta shows.

Virtual colonoscopy shows significant promise as colorectal cancer screening option
A future trends report published in the September issue of the American Gastroenterological Association's journal Gastroenterology, concludes that CT colonography (often referred to as

Veterinarians discover first known case of canine distemper in a wild tiger
Veterinarians from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have confirmed the first-known case of canine distemper in a wild Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, further threatening populations of this highly endangered big cat.

Select research highlights from current AACR journals
Current articles published in the journals of the American Association for Cancer research during the first week of September reflect an array of cutting-edge cancer research discoveries.

Guiding light on a nanoscale at Berkeley
Another important step towards realizing the promise of lightning fast photonic technology has been taken by scientists with the U.S.

Envisat witnesses return of the South Polar ozone hole
The smudges of dark blue on this Envisat-derived ozone forecast trace the start of what has unfortunately become an annual event: the opening of the ozone hole above the South Pole.

Chernobyl study: Risk of thyroid cancer rises with radiation dose
The risk of thyroid cancer rises with increasing radiation dose, according to the most thorough risk analysis for thyroid cancer to date among people who grew up in the shadow of the 1986 Chernobyl power-plant disaster.

Analysis fingers causes of desertification
A meta-analysis published in the September 2004 issue of BioScience concludes that desertification is driven by a limited group of core variables, most prominently climatic factors that lead to reduced rainfall, technological factors, institutional and policy factors, and economic factors.

New imaging technology at Joslin shown to detect early signs of type 1 diabetes
By the time overt symptoms of type 1 diabetes appear in an individual, destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas has already progressed significantly.

How a dietary supplement can protect against Alzheimer's disease
There have long been hints from epidemiological studies that dietary supplements of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids might protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Returning travellers could highlight emerging infections worldwide
Though picking up a Salmonella infection abroad could ruin your holiday, reporting it to your doctor could help detect emerging infections in tourist destinations, according to an article published today in BMC Medicine.

DHA-rich diet protects brain from Alzheimer's damage, UCLA study shows
UCLA neuroscientists have shown for the first time that a diet high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps protect the brain against the memory loss and cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Diabodies act as guided missiles targeted to mammary tumor growth
A mini-antibody bearing a payload of tumor-busting radiation thwarts the growth of human breast cancer in laboratory animals, according to research published in the September 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

September 2004 Ophthalmology journal
Studies from the September 2004 issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, are now available.

Moho gone missing, geologists say
About 25 miles beneath the Earth's surface is a discrete boundary between the planet's rocky crust and the mantle below that geologists call the Moho.

Patient end-of-life choices limited by physician outlook
Quality of life and care for terminally ill patients is often dictated by the specific options and treatment recommendations offered by their doctors, according to a study published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September 2004 (first issue)
Newsworthy research includes: investigators measuring traffic pollutants from nearby roads have shown modest but significant increases for children in either bronchitis or physicican-diagnosed asthma; tuberculosis patients who participated in directly observed therapy had a 98 percent cure rate as contrasted with about 80 percent for self-medicated patients; and lower rates of fetal growth and higher rates of weight gain in early infancy were associated with impaired lung development.

Analysis of gene expression in lymphoid cells can determine lymphoma cancer
Analyzing the expression levels of the gene CDK9 (cyclin dependent kinase) and its attached molecule CYCLIN T1 in lymphoid cells in a sample of blood can accurately pinpoint lymphoma, according to researchers at Temple University and University of Siena in Italy.

Older patients with chronic kidney disease are costly as they transition to dialysis
The costs of treating Medicare patients with chronic kidney disease remain relatively stable until right before patients begin dialysis, when costs increase significantly, according to a study by University of Minnesota researchers.

American Journal of Nursing partners with GSA to improve care of older adults
The American Journal of Nursing (AJN), the official journal of the American Nurses Association, and The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), a national organization of professionals in the field of aging, are teaming up to improve the care of older adults.

Essential smell gene may provide key to new insect repellents
Insects navigate by smell to find food, mates and -- in the case of disease-spreading mosquitoes -- humans to bite.

Radiation after lumpectomy may be unnecessary for many older women
Older women treated with tamoxifen after removal of early-stage breast cancer by lumpectomy may safely be able to avoid radiation therapy and its unpleasant side effects.

Possible link found between hypothyroidism and glaucoma in men
A significant association was found between hypothyroidism and open-angle glaucoma, according to a study appearing in the September issue of Ophthalmology, the clinical journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

ET, don't phone home; drop a line instead
Were E.T. really interested in getting in touch with home, he might be better off writing than phoning...

Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
An unprecedented picture of how bacteria latch on to human cells has been published by UK, French and US scientists.

Entrepreneurs to be told how nature's secrets can improve business
Entrepreneurs and inventors from all over the globe will soon be told the secrets of nature that can help them succeed in business.

A genetic disorder yields insight into genes and cognition
Researchers attempting to understand the stunningly complex machinery by which genes give rise to the brain often find invaluable clues in genetic disorders that affect brain structure and function.

Chauvenet prize to Burger
Professor Edward Burger, chair of the department of mathematics at Williams College, has been awarded the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Chauvenet Prize for his article,

Pig-human transplantation not PERVerted
Transplantation can be life saving, but thousands die waiting for available organs or tissues.

New study finds leptin plays a key role in women's health
A new study has found that leptin plays a critical role in women's reproductive and neuroendocrine health and suggests a future for the hormone in treating a number of conditions including exercise-induced bone loss, eating disorders and some cases of infertility.

Prison stigma leads to poor health for African American men
The Justice Policy Institute (2002) estimated that between 1980 and 2000, three times as many African American men went to prison than to universities and colleges.

Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
An antioxidant, a type of compound that prevents certain types of damage to living cells, appears to allow some kinds of plants to thrive on metal-enriched soils that typically kill other plants, says a Purdue University scientist.

Paper or mouse-click? What's on computers is easier to find
Participants in a survey reported that they were much more likely to lose track of their papers than information stored on a computer.

MCG/Georgia Tech partnership probes tissue regeneration
As astounding as it may seem, it is now within the realm of science--not science fiction--to regrow tissues such as bone, cartilage, muscle, teeth and skin.

Explosive growth in renal artery interventional procedures; More cardiologists performing procedures
The annual number of Medicare beneficiaries who underwent renal artery interventional procedures to unblock arteries more than doubled between 1996 and 2000, with much of the growth attributed to more cardiologists beginning to do these procedures, according to a new study.

Implantable contact lens safe and effective for correcting myopia
Implantable contact lens (ICL) to correct myopia, are safe, effective and have predictable results for correcting moderate to high myopia or nearsightedness, according to a study published by the Opthalmology journal.

International stem cell symposium to be held at Imperial College London
An international symposium exploring the potential of stem cells for repair and regeneration is to be held at Imperial College London's Hammersmith campus on the 27-28 September 2004.

Zoledronic acid zings cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide.

Men from early middle ages were nearly as tall as modern people
Northern European men living during the early Middle Ages were nearly as tall as their modern-day American descendants, a finding that defies conventional wisdom about progress in living standards during the last millennium.

Liposuction shown to be safe under proper conditions
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have completed the first comprehensive study of the effects of liposuction on different parts of the body during and immediately following the procedure. 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