Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 07, 2004
Center refutes finding that added sugars displace vitamins and minerals
Added sugars have little or no substantive effect on diet quality, according to a new study by the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy.

Child heart deaths at Bristol fall below national average
Child heart deaths at the Bristol Royal Infirmary have fallen markedly, to below the national average, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Yale recognizes vital role of Bristol-Myers Squibb in biomedical research and education
The Yale School of Medicine recently hosted a special program of neuroscience lectures and unveiled a plaque at the heart of the medical campus to honor Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for its contributions to biomedical research and education at Yale.

HHS awards $232 million in biodefense contracts for vaccine development
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced four new contracts totaling more than $232 million to fund development of new vaccines against three potential agents of bioterrorism: smallpox, plague and tularemia.

New model shows calcium control is key for synapse homeostasis
When memories are made and learning occurs, the connections between brain cells change.

NASA software enables satellite self-service options in space
NASA scientists recently successfully radioed artificial intelligence (AI) software to a satellite.

U-M scientists see ubiquitin-modified proteins in living cells
Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found a way to see proteins in cells that have been tagged by a molecular

New study shows sinus surgery can improve chronic fatigue
A review of published medical literature shows that a common sinus surgery can help people suffering from chronic fatigue caused by sinusitis.

Why rocks curl
One of sport's greatest scientific mysteries has been solved, sort of.

Embryonic stem cells correct congenital heart defect in mouse embryos
A study published in the October 8 issue of Science describes a previously unsuspected capacity of embryonic stem cells to influence neighboring defective cells and restore their capacity to function normally.

Vioxx: An unequal partnership between safety and efficacy
Last week's dramatic withdrawal of the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib (Vioxx) is discussed in this week's lead editorial, which comments that more vigilant drug licensing is vital to prevent the endangering of patients' health.

T cell's memory may offer long-term immunity to leishmaniasis
Penn researchers have discovered a

Is more better: Counting birds may only tell part of the story
Inspired by an article written by Beatrice Van Horn in 1983, Carl Bock and Zach Jones (University of Colorado -Boulder) reviewed studies from the past 20 years, looking at whether a large number of birds in an area meant the birds would successfully reproduce and survive.

Mechanism found that 'protects' aggressive melanoma from angiogenesis inhibitors
Northwestern University researchers have discovered a mechanism that may help to explain how angiogenesis inhibitors work on normal, blood vessel-forming endothelial cells, but not on insidious, aggressive melanoma cells that masquerade as endothelial-like cells by forming their own vascular networks, called

Glue-like polymer could replace sutures used for cataract surgery
People who need cataract surgery, but don't like the prospect of having their eyes sutured, may be in for some good news: A team of researchers has developed a novel, adhesive hydrogel that can be painted over incisions from cataract surgery and offers the potential for faster, improved repair, they say.

Air rather than oxygen for babies requiring ventilation after delivery
Provision of air rather than 100% oxygen for babies requiring ventilation after delivery could reduce infant mortality, suggests a study in this week's issue of The Lancet. The finding is counter to the long-held belief that 100% oxygen is better than air for babies requiring ventilation in the first few minutes of life.

New ASU research reveals the dynamic inner workings of Earth
At the surface of Earth, life on a geologic scale is calm and peaceful save the occasional earthquake caused by the rub and slip of Earth's tectonic plates.

Knee injury in women soccer players linked to early osteoarthritis
A recent study underscores the need for improved prevention and treatment of torn knee ligaments among young female athletes.

NREL theorist recognized for highest citation impact
Dr. Alex Zunger, Research Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a co-author of one of the 100 physics papers that has the highest citation impact over the past 110 years according to a recent analysis of manuscripts that have appeared in the journal Physical Review from 1893 to 2003.

Sedentary overweight people get insulin boost from short term exercise; CVD risks trend down
Researchers find that careful control of the amount of food and drink that formerly sedentary, overweight people ingest during and after short-term exercise has a significant impact on insulin action.

Health and politics: Lessons learned from the Iraq conflict
A Viewpoint in this week's issue of The Lancet discusses the complex issues concerning the provision of humanitarian relief in the Iraq conflict.

Taking the next step toward growing our own fuel
Developing a petroleum-free fuel from corn byproducts is one of the goals of a newly named research theme at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

New risks for bladder cancer identified by MIT team
MIT researchers and colleagues have identified three new chemical risk factors for bladder cancer in a study involving some 600 people in the Los Angeles area.

Radio astronomers remove the blindfold
UK radio astronomers at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, working with colleagues from Europe and the USA, have demonstrated a new technique that will revolutionise the way they observe.

UCR researchers identify key plant enzyme that defends against multiple infections
Scientists from the University of California, Riverside have identified one of the key enzymes that trigger programmed cell death, an important process plants undergo in fighting off bacterial, fungal or viral infections.

MIT: Recycling of scrapped electronics studied
MIT researchers have developed new metrics for assessing the performance of firms that recycle scrapped electronic equipment, a major source of toxic pollutants.

Should medical students have earlier contact with patients?
Allowing medical students to interact with patients earlier in their medical course would better prepare them for their future role as a doctor, suggest researchers in this week's BMJ.

Botulism bug says no to nitric oxide, provides key to molecule's role in human cell signaling
A deadly bacterium senses and evades a mortal molecular enemy by using a specialized protein that evolved into a crucial cell signaling component in higher life forms, scientists at The University of Texas Medical School report in Science Express.

Author Robert Zimmerman receives American Astronautical Society's prestigious Emme Award
The American Astronautical Society (AAS) has chosen Robert Zimmerman to receive the 2004 Eugene M.

Association of American Railroads selects Virginia Tech to host new research lab
Railroad traffic -- both freight and passenger -- has increased to record levels in the United States during the past few years, and the railroad industry is in need of new technologies to help ensure the future of railway infrastructure and operations.

Yale scientists find cooperative RNA switches in nature
Research at Yale reported in the journal Science identifies a new riboswitch (RNA regulatory sequence) class in bacteria that operates as a rare

Society for Psychophysiology Research
SPR's annual meeting is widely regarded as a leading forum for presentations on cutting-edge research on the connections between the physiological and psychological aspects of behavior.

Lipids vary by race, gender
When it comes to lipid profiles -- a key measure of heart disease risk -- it appears that African-Americans and women have it better than whites and men, according to a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Widely used treatment for head injuries found to be harmful
The use of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat patients with severe head injuries --common practice worldwide for the past 30 years-- is actually dangerous and associated with around a 20% increase in death within two weeks of hospital admission, conclude authors of an international study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

UF researchers shine light on new explosives detection method
A team of University of Florida researchers has invented a way to rapidly detect traces of TNT or other hidden explosives simply by shining a light on any potentially contaminated object, from a speck of dust in the air to the surface of a suitcase.

ASPB opposes ban of GE crops in Butte County Ballot Measure D
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), today urged Butte County, California voters to vote

Technologies companies at NJIT receive $500,000 in funding from state
Two young innovative technology companies --a software developer and an electronics designer who creates cameras for medical devises-- have received a total of $500,000 in funding from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

K-State's Walter Schumm has analyzed whether defeat of Hussein reduced suicide attacks in Israel
In his debate with Sen. John Edwards Tuesday night, Vice President Dick Cheney speculated that the decrease in suicide attacks in Israel is related to the defeat of Saddam Hussein.

Doctors and patients call on politicians to save lives of cancer patients
Cancer specialists and representatives of cancer patients, speaking today at a workshop on 'Cancer treatment: a priority for patients in Europe,' called on the UK and Luxembourg governments to put access to quality cancer treatment at the top of their health agendas during their Presidencies of the EU in 2005.

Component of volcanic gas may have played a significant role in the origins of life on Earth
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are reporting a possible answer to a longstanding question in research on the origins of life on Earth--how did the first amino acids form the first peptides?

Université de Montréal study shows superior sound-location skills in the blind
A research team led by Professor Franco Lepore, director of the Centre for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognition at the Université de Montréal, has shown that both early- and late-onset blind people have better sound discrimination abilities than people with normal vision.

Telling a salty tale of martian water
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with a scientist from Indiana University have devised a method for determining whether sulfate salts can account for evidence of water on Mars.

New York Academy of Sciences celebrates New York as a world science center
To celebrate New York City as one of the world's great centers for science, the New York Academy of Sciences is inaugurating an annual parade of events designed to enhance New York's economic competitiveness and its role in spreading science literacy.

Dutch study highlights crying as risk factor for child abuse
Doctors and other health-care professionals should be more aware of the association between infant crying and potentially abusive parental behaviour, conclude authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Illinois to play lead role in project to preserve digital information
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been chosen as one of the lead institutions in a massive new Library of Congress project to save at-risk digital materials nationwide.

Toward a better understanding of taste and smell impairments
A team of researchers from Philadelphia's Monell Chemical Senses Center and Jefferson Medical College has been awarded a $7.7 million, five-year grant by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to study how inflammation affects our senses of taste and smell.

Drought in the West linked to warmer temperatures
Severe drought in western states in recent years may be linked to climate warming trends, according to new research led by scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

GMC is right to appeal over life prolonging treatment
The General Medical Council, Britain's regulatory body for doctors, is right to appeal against a high court ruling that its current guidance on withholding and withdrawing life prolonging treatment is unlawful, says a professor of medical ethics in this week's BMJ.

Smoking and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
A recent study shows significantly higher risk for the disease among current smokers with a classic genetic risk factor.

Latest Public Policy & Aging Report forecasts possible US labor shortage
Demographic and workforce experts are predicting a high chance of a looming labor shortage, according to the latest issue of the Public Policy & Aging Report, the quarterly publication of the National Academy on an Aging Society.

Report: How 10 top new technologies will help world reach globally-agreed goals by 2015
New medical tools that quickly and accurately diagnose diseases like AIDS and malaria top a list of 10 biotech breakthroughs deemed most important for improving health in developing countries within the decade, science that will dramatically move the world towards its Millennium Development Goals for 2015, according to scientists and ethicists in a major new report to the United Nations.

In South, Hispanics pass blacks in deaths from injuries at work
For many years -- probably centuries -- black men in the South were more likely than whites or other races and ethnic groups in this country to die from accidents suffered while working.

Radiological risks are not explained well
Radiological examinations, such as chest x-rays and CT scans, confer a definite (albeit low) long term risk of cancer, but patients undergoing such examinations often receive no or inaccurate information about these risks.

New UCI institute will uncover how water droplets influence air pollution & global warming
UC Irvine has been awarded a total of $7.5 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to establish an Environmental Molecular Science Institute - one of only seven currently funded EMSIs dedicated to understanding at the molecular level how human activity and nature contribute to global environmental problems.

Breathing problems during sleep may affect mental development in infants and young children
Two new studies report on impaired mental development in children who have problems breathing during sleep.

Experts present new research on hot topics in aging at GSA's annual meeting in Washington, DC
The Gerontological Society of America will host its 2004 Annual Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC, November 19-23.

US Agency for International Development awards $34 million to Virginia Tech
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade Program has awarded Virginia Tech two grants totaling $34 million over 5 years to lead two global Collaborative Research Support Programs.

Tar measurements on cigarette packets are misleading
Labelling cigarette packets with tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide measurements is misleading and should be stopped, argue cancer experts in this week's BMJ. 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