Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2004
Model predicting colorectal cancer screening suggests higher mortality for virtual colonoscopy
A model predicting complications for colorectal screening options found a greater risk of cancer deaths and procedure-related deaths in virtual colonoscopy as compared to traditional colonoscopy.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery effectively improves obesity-related health problems
This study examines the positive effect laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery can have on obesity-related health problems.

Safety and immunogenicity data available for new pertussis booster vaccine candidate for adolescents
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) today reported results from a pivotal clinical study of its booster vaccine candidate, Boostrix.

Ethical paradigm: Relating embryonic stem cell use to organ donation
Conflict over embryonic stem cell therapeutic use pits the value of early human life against potentially life-saving therapies.

'Weekend' use matches daily drops for 'lazy eye'
Adults who dispense eye drops daily to correct a child's

Are museum collections of ancient life representative?
Members of the general public look to museums for the best examples of ancient life - the biggest dinosaur, the nicest fossils of plants and bugs.

UGA scientist Moran receives $2.6 million from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for marine research
University of Georgia marine scientist Mary Ann Moran has been awarded a grant of more than $2.6 million by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to continue her research on marine bacteria that are important in the cycling of carbon and sulfur in the coastal ocean.

Who laid the first egg?
In 1998, Shuhai Xiao and colleagues reported finding thousands of 600 million year old embryo microfossils in the Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation.

Bristol scientists find key to unlock body's own cancer defence
Scientists at Bristol University have found that a protein present in normal body tissues can prevent tumour growth.

New quick test for drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea
Potential antimicrobial resistance in the bacteria that cause gonorrhea can be detected without culturing the organism, thanks to a rapid test developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Pediatricians can help immigrant mothers by explaining child development, NICHD study suggests
Groups of immigrant mothers from Japan and South America knew less about child development than did their European American counterparts, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Fat buildup found in hearts of obese or diabetic heart failure patients
Diabetic or obese patients suffering advanced heart failure have higher levels of fat embedded in their hearts and greater molecular evidence of haywire cardiac metabolism, researchers report in the November FASEB Journal.

Carving new frontiers for ion-beam technology
An ion-beam system that simultaneously combines focused beams of electrons and positive ions will improve the versatility, efficiency, and economy of this important technology by creating self-neutralizing beams that do not charge the target.

American Thoracic Society journal news tips for November 2004 (first issue)
Newsworthy articles include the following topics: treatment with melatonin significantly improved subjective sleep quality in 12 women with mild to moderate asthma; in a large study, researchers found a high prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing and excessive sleepiness among commercial truck drivers; and in a large study of seriously ill Medicare patients, researchers found that critical care use was less likely the older an individual got.

Studies link obesity to increased frequency of heartburn symptoms; greater risk of esophageal cancer
This study examines the link between heartburn, GERD and esophageal cancer in the obese.

European nations urged to ratify international treaty on tobacco control
European oncologists and cancer organizations should urge their governments to ratify an international treaty on tobacco control, the World Health Organization and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) said on Monday, 1 November 2004.

A key to pregnancy-associated malaria
A malaria protein that traps infected cells in the placenta may provide a promising new target for a vaccine against pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM).

UC Irvine receives NASA/JPL contract to pinpoint Mars landings within 100 meters
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine has been awarded a contract with NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to develop guidance algorithms aimed at pinpointing future Mars landers within 100 meters of the desired site.

New scientific advances in gastroenterology
Many of the world's preeminent gastroenterologists will gather from October 29th through November 3rd for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 69th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Job-stressed women more vulnerable than men to 9/11 trauma
Women who faced everyday work stress were particularly vulnerable to symptoms of anxiety and increased alcohol consumption following the September 11 terrorist attack, according to a new study published by psychiatric researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Diabetes drug works by enhancing fat cell energy production
Drugs for type 2 diabetes that enhance sensitivity to insulin, such as rosiglitazone, work through mechanisms that involve fat.

Gene found to defend against environmental pollutants and pulmonary emphysema
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers have identified a

Gene that blocks free radical damage protects against emphysema
Emphysema, a major manifestation of the fourth highest cause of death in the United States --chronic obstructive lung disease, is primarily cigarette smoke induced.

New study of African-American and Hispanic colorectal cancer patients
An investigation of African-American and Hispanic colorectal cancer patients found that over one-quarter had been diagnosed before the age of 50, illustrating the importance of early screening among high-risk patients.

Mutations in transporter protein effect HDL levels in the general population
High density lipoprotein (HDL) has an essential role in reducing cholesterol levels, and therefore, has a cardioprotective effect.

Gambling among adolescents and young adults associated with psychiatric problems
Adolescents and young adults who gamble are more likely than nongamblers to have substance use disorders and psychiatric problems, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New therapy under development improves quality of life in patients suffering from IBS
This study investigates the effectiveness of a new therapy (cilansetron) on improving the quality of life for patients suffering from IBS with diarrhea.

Sleeping, waking, ... and glucose homeostasis
Besides regulating various behavioral rhythms, the molecular clock plays a role in the control of glucose homeostasis.

Gene linked to enlargement of the factory where proteins are processed
Part of a cellular mechanism that regulates the folding of new proteins into their proper shapes also includes a genetic response that enlarges the factory where both protein folding and packaging of proteins occurs.

Hurricane Ivan helps student study sinkholes
Benjamin Schwartz, a Ph.D. student in geosciences in the College of Science, who is from Doe Hill, Va., in Highland County, is using an innovative technique to characterize ground water movement in sinkholes.

Climate uncertainty with CO2 rise due to uncertainty about aerosols
In a paper to be published in the November issue of the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, an atmospheric scientist at the U.S.

Dana-Farber receives CDC grants to develop health promotion/prevention programs in the work place
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has awarded researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) two grants totaling $3 million to develop workplace-based health promotion and prevention programs.

Plentiful fossils of dinosaur contemporary allow population study
As a contribution to efforts to create a family tree for all protosaurs, a Virginia Tech graduate student is taking advantage of the plentiful collection of Tanytrachelos fossils at the Virginia Museum of Natural History to study their preservation and population dynamics.

Molecular clock genes influence metabolism of sugar and dietary fats
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that components of the internal molecular clock of mammals have an important role in governing the metabolism of sugars and fats within the body.

Researchers tracking sources of arsenic contamination in water
Virginia Tech researchers from geosciences and biology are looking at where arsenic occurs in water, how it is getting there, and how to prevent it.

New study lays to rest concerns about virtual colonoscopy as a screening tool
Virtual colonoscopy can effectively detect flat lesions in the colon, a study of more than 1,200 patients shows.

UK researcher uncovers clues to Alzheimer's disease
University of Kentucky chemistry professor Allan Butterfield has uncovered new clues about how brain cells are damaged by Alzheimer's disease, evidence suggesting vitamin E may help prevent the debilitating illness.

Pediatricians often underestimate substance abuse problems in adolescents
Adolescents' substance use problems often aren't identified during routine pediatric visits, according to a study in the November issue of Pediatrics.

New ways identified to treat 'lazy eye' in children: Beyond eye patches and daily drops
Researchers at Saint Louis University and other institutions have found that atropine eye drops administered two days a week are as effective at treating amblyopia, or

Nicotine dependence & psychiatric disorders
First national estimate of overlap of nicotine dependence and other psychiatric disorders, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Lower level of education can impede reovery in elderly after hospitalization
Low education level can significantly impair functional recovery in older adults after a hospital stay, Yale researchers report in the November 1 issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Researchers unlock mysteries of toxic metals in the largest contaminated site in United States
Copper mining in Butte and Anaconda, Montana, starting in 1860's, poisoned the air, the land, and the water; well over 100 years later, contaminants are still found as far as 300 miles down the Clark Fork River.

Studies demonstrate positive data in treatment of hepatitis C
Data from two ongoing studies testing new approaches for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) this afternoon.

Smoking increases risk of colon polyps
Two studies explore smoking and how it can increase one's risk of developing colon polyps.

Capsule endoscopy aids in detection of small bowel tumors inaccessible to other diagnostic tests
This study investigates the effectiveness of capsule endoscopy at detecting tumors in the small bowel.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria increased after clindamycin use for common vaginal infection
In the first study to directly compare the emergence of antbiotic resistance following topical treatment with two antibiotics routinely prescribed for a common vaginal infection, researchers from the Magee-Womens Research Institute have found antibiotic-resistant bacteria more likely to develop with the drug clindamycin rather than metronidazole.

NIAID launches program to improve medical tools against emerging infectious diseases
NIAID has awarded 14 contracts totaling more than $73 million to fund the Large-Scale Antibody and T Cell Epitope Discovery Program, an initiative aimed at quickly identifying the regions of selected infectious agents that elicit immune reactions.

Study of trends in celiac disease
This retrospective evaluation of patients diagnosed with celiac disease from 1952 to 2004 finds they are now being diagnosed at an older age, and with a shorter duration of symptoms.

Esophageal capsule technology proves as effective as endoscopy
This study investigates the effectiveness of capsule endoscopy at detecting tumors in the small bowel.

OneWorld Health presents preliminary clinical trial results at ASTMH
Initial results of a Phase III clinical trial in India for a low-cost drug to cure a parasitic disease will be presented by Victoria Hale, Ph.D., founder and CEO of the Institute for OneWorld Health, the first U.S. nonprofit pharmaceutical company.

CT with multiplanar reconstruction gives new perspective on complex ankle fractures
CT with multiplanar reconstruction provides a clear multi-dimensional view of tibial triplane fractures of the ankle--a view that alters what is found in many medical textbooks and changes the way physicians understand these complex fractures, a new study shows.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Nov. 2, 2004
Highlights of the Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet for November 2, 2004 include treating atrial fibrillation, a new study that says U.S. will need 200,000 more doctors by 2020, whether high risk adults should be screened for HCV infection , ARBs suitable alternative to ACE inhibitors for heart illnesses, and an in-depth study of SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003 finds useful patterns.

One-way processes speed degradation of coral reefs
Efforts to protect coral reefs should be refocused on terminating self-reinforcing processes that accelerate degradation of these biological marvels, according to a Forum article published in the November 2004 issue of BioScience.

Protein not only aids nerve development, but promotes blood vessel growth, too
A protein important to nerve development serves the dual purpose of stimulating the growth of blood vessels, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Stanford University have discovered.

Socio-economic factors sway African-Americans
Socio-economic factors are a major influence on why Blacks are less likely than Whites to quit smoking once they have started, although Blacks are more likely to be lifetime nonsmokers than Whites, according to researchers.

Gut microbes can open gates in fat cells
The microorganisms that normally live in the gut can increase body fat, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Improved acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment offers hope for eliminating irradiation
Improved risk classification for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), coupled with more intensive intrathecal chemotherapy for high risk patients and the use of a drug called dexamethasone, could one day permit physicians to omit irradiation as a part of routine treatment.

Twenty-Year prospective study of pregnant women with inflammatory bowel disease finds healthy babies
This 20-year study examines the effect IBD, and IBD medications, can have on the health of babies born to mothers with the disorder.

Electronic records to improve care for children with asthma
Yale University has received a $1.2 million three-year grant from the United States Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research for the ERICCA Project (Electronic Records to Improve Care for Children with Asthma).

Do lead bullets continue to be a hazard after they land?
There were 4.1 million tons of lead bullets fired in the United States in the 20th century.

Blood transplants may be more harmful than bone marrow transplants in pediatric leukemia patients
A new study has shown for the first time that transplantation of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) from sibling donors may be more harmful than bone marrow in pediatric leukemia patients.

Imperial to lead the way in developing vaccines against bio-weapons
Scientists at Imperial College London and Hammersmith Hospital are to help develop new vaccines in case of a terrorist release of biological agents such as anthrax.

Team-centered program effective in reducing disordered eating among athletes
A peer-led, sport team-centered program reduces eating disordered behavior and body-shaping drug use in female high school athletes, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Electroconvulsive therapy improves mood, quality of life
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) improves mood, quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with major depression, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Optimism associated with lowered risk of dying from heart disease
Patients who described themselves as highly optimistic had lower risks of all-cause death, and lower rates of cardiovascular death than those with high levels of pessimism, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Air bubbles in breakfast syrup illustrate potential pathway to new technology
The behavior of air bubbles in ordinary breakfast syrup demonstrates how scientists might be able to make vanishingly thin tubes and fibers for biomedical and other applications.

Research news from the AGA
Two studies published today show that widespread use of virtual colonoscopy will ultimately decrease demand for traditional colonoscopy and increase colorectal cancer screening rates, and

Obese women face higher risk of colorectal cancer
New study findings show a high body mass index (BMI) among women is a more significant risk factor for colorectal neoplasia than for men.

Majority of cigarettes in the US smoked by nicotine-dependent or psychiatrically ill persons
Psychiatrically ill and nicotine-dependent individuals consume approximately 70 percent of all cigarettes smoked in the United States, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UCSF study finds long-term medication and counseling help smokers quit successfully
People who want to quit smoking have an improved chance of success if they receive long-term comprehensive drug and psychological interventions, according to a new study by UCSF researchers.

NIH awards OHSU $4 million biodefense contract to study tuberculosis
The NIAID has awarded Oregon Health & Science University one of only 14 biodefense contracts to look for proteins that activate the body's immune response to emerging infectious diseases.
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