Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 25, 2004
New oral vaccine for Alzheimer's disease
In the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a new paper shows that a new oral vaccine treatment is effective in reducing Alzheimer's disease pathology in mice.

Worldwide approach tackles kidney disease
A new initiative,

Martian meteorite measurements give information on planet evolution
Scientists in the department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University have devised a method to precisely date the timing and temperature of a meteorite impact on Mars that led to ejection of a piece of the planet into space and its eventual impact on Earth.

Tests begin of flu vaccine grown in insect cell lines
Scientists are launching a research study to check the effectiveness of a new type of flu vaccine that is made differently than the conventional vaccine, which is grown in eggs.

LASER technology helps track changes in Mount St. Helens
US Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA scientists studying Mount St.

Fatal attraction
The politics of fear continues to lead news stories and analysis in these final days of the presidential election.

Clues to the puzzle of 'talking' root cells
Biologists studying the development of plant roots, a general basic model for tissue development, are uncovering new pieces of the puzzle of how one root cell sends its molecular instructions to another in the development process.

Retinal stem cells can regenerate after transplant
University of Toronto researchers have shown that human retinal stem cells transplanted into the eyes of mice and chicks can successfully regenerate.

Mouse study: Signal overload in Alzheimer brains
In studies with mice that develop the equivalent of Alzheimer's disease that runs in families, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that brain cells' signals confuse the movement of implanted neuronal stem cells.

Growing epidemic of wet AMD ushers in new era in treatment of the disease
As more Americans age, the threat of blindness is increasing, and the search for new ways to prevent and treat diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has become a high priority in the eye care community.

Major overhaul needed in end-of life care for patients with dementia
Three University of Chicago geriatricians just published a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine calling for creative and wide-reaching solutions to the problem of sub-optimal end-of-life care for patients with dementia.

Changing prescribing behaviour through the mail
New research in this issue of CMAJ shows the effect that a series of letters from a trusted source on evidence-based drug therapy had prescribing behaviour of physicians.

Bug's-eye-view of urinary tract reveals E.coli infection genes
During July of 2003, Jennifer Snyder spent 10 days trying to get 40 laboratory mice to urinate into little plastic tubes.

Singled out: Spotting mutant neurons in normal brains offers clues to Fragile X
Using an animal model system, researchers have advanced our understanding of Fragile X Syndrome by successfully visualizing individual mutant neurons in an otherwise normal brain.

Mixed signals to blame for restless legs syndrome
Iron-deficient cells in the brain are mixing up central nervous system signals to the legs and arms causing the irresistible urges to move and creepy-crawly sensations that characterize restless legs syndrome (RLS), a Penn State College of Medicine study reports.

Supervised treatment interruptions fail to control HIV-1 viremia
Long-term follow-up of 14 patients on HAART during acute infection followed by supervised treatment interruptions shows that most failed to achieve lasting control of viremia.

Predicting infection risk of mosquito-borne disease
A modeling approach reveals that incorporating the demography and behavior of mosquitoes can substantially change estimates of the risk of infection from diseases such as malaria.

New center to map DNA of key lab mice
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will invest $13 million to map the DNA of 15 mouse strains important to laboratory research on human health.

Study at Joslin shows ease of introducing technology to kids with diabetes
Pilot study finds wireless guessing game motivates children with type 1 diabetes to improve blood glucose monitoring.

UGA researchers receive $1.3 million CDC grant to study workplace physical activity intervention
A University of Georgia team, led by Rod Dishman, a professor of exercise science in UGA's College of Education, has received a $1.3 million grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week physical activity program in a three-year study involving 1,600 male and female employees in 16 worksites of The Home Depot, Inc., across the United States and Canada.

Network for European researchers in the US (ERA-Link)
A new network is being developed for European researchers based the US.

More focus needed to prevent farm injuries, study says
Researchers and policy makers could be doing more to prevent children's injuries on farms, says a new study from the University of Alberta that is published this month in Pediatrics.

Barriers preclude rural women from breast cancer screening
While breast cancer screening in rural America remains underutilized, barriers to screening mammography in poor, rural areas are marked by significant racial disparities, according to a new study.

New astronomical results refine the Geological Time Scale
A team led by Jacques Laskar (IMCCE & Paris Observatory, France) has released new computational results for the long-term evolution of the orbital and rotational motion of the Earth.

Children's Hospital Boston geneticist awarded for research on muscular dystrophy
Dr. Louis M. Kunkel, director of the Program in Genomics at Children's Hospital Boston and a well-known muscular dystrophy scientist, has received the major annual award given by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG).

Studies examine risk factors and potential consequences associated with prehypertension
A substantial proportion of Americans have prehypertension (blood pressure above optimal levels, but not clinical hypertension) which is associated with an increased prevalence of other risk factors for heart disease and stroke and is also associated with potential increased risk for hospitalization and death, according to two articles in the October 25 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Jefferson neuroscientists find evidence of lead exposure affecting recovery from brain injury
Lead exposure at a young age can hurt the brain's development and cause learning and behavioral problems.

Racial differences, poverty linked to mammography use
Better detection and treatment are helping to reduce death from breast cancer in America, but poor, rural and minority women - especially Native Americans - face barriers that keep them from taking advantage of cancer screenings that could potentially save their lives, researchers say.

Obese patients have higher health care costs than nonobese patients
Compared to nonobese persons, obese patients had higher average health care costs over a one-year period, according to an article in the October 25 issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Psychologist finds instance where 'two wrongs do make a right'
A University of Oregon study published in the November issue of PLoS Biology refutes a prominent and influential hypothesis which suggests the existence of two separate visual systems in the brain.

Medical informatics project targets ovarian, breast cancers
Researchers at Indiana University, Ohio State University and the University of Missouri have begun a five-year, $8 million project that will help doctors better understand the damage caused by breast and ovarian cancers.

Spread of HIV could slow if repeat testing is supported
Findings of a recent study published in Public Health Nursing suggest that if the main barriers preventing high-risk populations from having routine testing for HIV are addressed, the spread of AIDS could be slowed in the US.

Mellon grant to fund project to develop data-mining software for libraries
Using cutting edge

Study finds nearly 60% of American adults may have elevated blood pressure
UIC biostatisticians analyzed government health statistics and found that some 60% of Americans age 18 or older have elevated blood pressure.

Nitric oxide is essential for animal development
By employing the efficiency of Drosophila genetics, researchers have discovered that nitric oxide (NO), a versatile signalling molecule involved in a diversity of clinically important cellular functions, is essential for an organism's development.

Sandbagging cancer in the bloodstream
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has identified a potential treatment strategy against metastatic cancer cells that has never been tried before.

Biodiversity: measuring up to the loss
An index is developed from the IUCN Red List that measures the overall threat status of taxa and reveals that the status of the world's birds has deteriorated since 1988.

Soaking up signal: Endocytosis controls spreading and effective signaling range of Fgf8 protein
In a new paper, researchers have reported evidence that cells can actively regulate the levels of secreted signaling proteins that they encounter in the context of their extracellular environment.

Field Museum 'reuniting' scattered collections from ancient Iraq site
Field Museum is embarking on a two-year project that could bridge cultural, scientific barriers exacerbated by the Iraq war.

Procter & Gamble wins top decision-making award at operations research meeting
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMSĀ®), a professional society, today recognized Procter & Gamble for the advanced decision-making methods it brings to many facets of the Fortune 50 Corporation's operations.

A clear view of mycobacterial infection
A zebrafish model of mycobacterium infection demonstrates that formation granulomas - immune structures composed of macrophages - requires a bacterial gene, indicating that mycobacteria exploit granuloma formation for infection.

Ovarian cancer rates across Europe
Europe has one of the highest incidence rates of ovarian cancer in the world, making it an important public health issue.

UGA professor receives $3 million grant from National Cancer Institute for breast cancer research
The National Cancer Institute has awarded University of Georgia Journalism and Mass Communication professor Jeffrey Springston a $3 million grant to research the differences between promoting breast cancer screening by comparing the effectiveness of the use of CD-ROMs against person-to-person telephone consultations.

Insects implicated in the evolution of new human infectious diseases
Insects and other invertebrates are the arena for the evolution of new infectious diseases in humans, new research shows.

LA BioMed research briefs
In the November 2004 issue of medical/research briefs highlights include an anthrax vaccine tested at LA BioMed, Dr.

Outstanding efficacy of Crestor (TM) in treating range of patient populations at risk of CVD
Results from five studies (DISCOVERY, COMETS, MERCURY I, URANUS, RADAR) involving more than 5,000 patients, presented at the XV International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism (DALM) provide further evidence of the outstanding efficacy of CRESTORTM (rosuvastatin) in treating key cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in patients with dyslipidaemia and either atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes or the metabolic syndrome.

College of Nursing professor develops videos for computers to reduce HIV sexual risk behavior
A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, Rachel Jones, is conducting a pilot study to develop video vignettes for hand-held computers to reduce HIV sexual risk behavior in young women living in urban areas.

Gene for diabetes found
A gene involved in the action of insulin is associated with type 2 diabetes and the body's response to insulin, report scientists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Interventional methods may increase the use of evidence-based practice
Results of a recent study have shown multiple barriers to evidence-based practice, a method of patient care that can improve outcomes by 28%, previous data supports.

Jefferson scientists find new way to convert adult human stem cells to dopamine neurons
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College have found a new way to coax bone marrow stem cells into becoming dopamine-producing neurons.

Cars, not crops, should be chief targets in reducing greenhouse gases
Retiring croplands and switching to no-till agriculture can contribute in a modest way to reducing the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but doubling fuel efficiencies of cars and light trucks would achieve much greater results, according to two Duke University ecologists.

Scripps atmospheric scientist appointed to Pontifical Academy of Sciences
V. Ramanathan, an internationally renowned atmospheric scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been appointed by Pope John Paul II to be an academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Researchers identify brain protein that halts progression of Alzheimer's
Researchers have identified a protein in the brain that halts the progression of Alzheimer's disease in human brain tissue.

Malaria vaccine trial
Inducing an immune response is just one part of what a vaccine needs to do before it will protect against episodes of malaria.

Implantable heart defibrillators
New research by Ratika Parkash and colleagues show only a minority of eligible patients in selected communities in Ontario received an implant over a five-year period beginning in 1997.

Tip sheet for the October 26, 2004 Neurology
The next issue of Neurology contains the articles: seizures increased when brand medication switched to generic; relationship between concussion history and symptom reporting explored; patient page on concussion.

Jefferson scientists uncover new evidence to help explain statins' effects in Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University have taken another step in understanding the potential effects of anti-cholesterol drugs on Alzheimer's disease.

Doctors can improve colorectal cancer screening rates
Women and Hispanics are less likely to undergo colorectal cancer (CRC) screening but improving their access to CRC screening may be as simple as educating doctors to make the recommendation and explain its impact to patients, according to a new study.

Anxiety good for memory recall, bad for solving complex problems
Students, keep this in mind before that next major exam: Pre-test jitters make it easier to recall memorized facts, but that stress also makes it tough to solve more complex problems.

Tea could improve memory, study shows
Drinking regular cups of tea could help improve your memory, new research suggests.

OHSU study: Testosterone deprivation makes men forget
Scientists in the OHSU School of Medicine's departments of Behavioral Neuroscience and Medicine, and the OHSU Cancer Institute, in a study presented this week to the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego, found that verbal memory -- specifically, word retention -- drops sharply after only two minutes among men undergoing testosterone deprivation therapy, a common treatment for prostate cancer that wipes out most male hormones found in the body.

Potential new oncogene may be missing link in cancer-causing chain
High levels of a protein called LRP6 can make cancer cells more aggressive, according to Washington University researchers affiliated with the Siteman Cancer Center.

Farmers don't need a new superstar toxin to fight bugs
A new Michael Jordan of toxins isn't required to increase crop protection against bugs as long as the right genes are strategically placed to take their shots at destructive insects, researchers report.

Sleep disorders often indicate multiple health conditions
People who have difficulty sleeping at night or staying awake during the day may suffer from more than just a sleep disorder.
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