Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 09, 2004
New Royal Society journal studies
This Royal Society journal release includes the mystery of the Moas, nightvision geckos and the origin of teeth development.

UK scientist and children's author wins EMBO Award for Communications 2004
Fran Balkwill, Professor of Cancer Biology at the Barts & The London, Queen Mary's Medical School, is the 2004 winner of the EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences.

Asymptomatic cardiovascular changes are powerful predictor of future heart disease
An index of early cardiovascular changes measurable even before symptoms appear is a more powerful predictor of future stroke, heart attack or other coronary heart disease than traditional risk factors such as smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

Study links polycystic ovary syndrome with early vascular changes of heart disease
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a disorder characterized by metabolic and endocrine abnormalities, affects millions of women in the United States alone and endangers their hearts by causing early buildup of calcium in coronary arteries, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health report in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Reduced risk of institutionalisation in patients with dementia
Long-term treatment with Reminyl® (galantamine) may be associated with a reduced risk of institutionalisation in patients with dementia.

'Outgrown' a peanut allergy? Eat more peanuts!
Children who outgrow peanut allergy have a slight chance of recurrence, but researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center report that the risk is much lower in children who frequently eat peanuts or peanut products.

First Max Planck Partner Institute in China
Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences establish joint institute in the field of theoretical biology.

Women wait longer for emergency heart treatment
In a heart attack, the saying goes,

NASA climatologists named in Scientific American top 50 scientists
For the first time NASA researchers have been awarded the Scientific American Top 50 Scientist Award.

Women with arrhythmias may also benefit from an ICD
A small study of patients with heart failure not caused by blocked arteries indicates that women, as well as men, may benefit from implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD).

Loyola study shows drug-coated stent induces less inflammation than bare metal stent
In the treatment of coronary artery disease, a sirolimus drug-coated stent causes less inflammation than bare metal stents, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting by Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill.

IgG treatment during pregnancy reduces severity of rare, recurring liver condition in newborns
Treatment with high-dose immunoglobulin G (IgG) during pregnancy lessens the severity of hemochromatosis (NH), a rare, devastating gestational disease with abnormal iron accumulation in the liver and severe liver injury that almost always results in fetal death or acute liver failure in newborns.

St. Jude scientist to lead NCI Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program
The National Cancer Institute has announced the establishment of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program (PPTP), a program that will systematically test 10-15 agents or combinations of agents annually in preclinical models of common childhood cancers.

UO study is first to link histamine receptors to heat stress
A University of Oregon graduate student's research is the first to identify histamine receptors as contributing to increased blood flow during heat stress.

Lung cancer specialist calls for cash to beat 'Cinderella' disease
Lung cancer is a 'Cinderella' disease which does not get adequate research funding, and patients with this disease are disadvantaged, says a University of Edinburgh specialist.

DHEA may help decrease abdominal fat in elderly persons
Preliminary research indicates that the dietary supplement DHEA could play a role in reducing abdominal fat in elderly men and women with age-related decreases in DHEA levels, according to a study in the November 10 issue of JAMA.

Taking pills, even if placebo, predicts better survival in heart failure
In findings that can not totally be explained but are sure to lead to future research, Duke Clinical Research Institute investigators have found that adherence to medical therapy, even if the medication is an inert placebo, relates to better outcomes for heart failure patients.

UC San Diego scientist wins award from IEEE for breakthrough in coding theory and practice
The IEEE Information Theory Society has selected an article by UCSD professor Alexander Vardy and a colleague from the University of Illinois as the top publication in information theory of the past two years.

No increase in deaths for heart failure patients with pulmonary artery catheter
The pulmonary artery catheter (PAC), a device that measures pressures and flows in the heart, is frequently used to diagnose, monitor, and guide treatment of congestive heart failure and other conditions.

NYU study provides new view of infant perceptual development
A new study by a New York University professor suggests perceptual maturity in infants develops in the early months after birth as a result of piecing together fragments of the visual scene.

Eye care for refugees, the displaced discussed at UH
Discussing his experiences with international relief agencies, Optometrist Jerry Vincent will speak at the University of Houston.

Stem cell therapy effectively treats heart attacks in animals
Results from an animal study conducted at Johns Hopkins show that stem cell therapy can be used effectively to treat heart attacks, or myocardial infarcts, in pigs.

Brookhaven Lab and BioSET develop a synthetic peptide that enhances the effect of BMP-2
Researchers from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and BioSurface Engineering Technologies, Inc.

Sandia, Stirling to build solar dish engine power plant
The National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories is joining forces with Stirling Energy Systems, Inc.

Abdominal fat decreases, insulin action improves when elderly take hormone
In a six-month study of elderly people, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

News tips for Tuesday, November 9, 2004
To complement our news releases, here are additional news tips reported by the American Heart Association's Public and Media Relations from more than 3,600 abstracts.

What makes a fast racehorse?
Around 80 per cent of modern thoroughbred racehorses have in their pedigree the 18th century horse Eclipse, which went its entire racing career unbeaten.

Oozing across Titan?
This synthetic aperture radar image of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan was taken on 26 October 2004, when the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens spacecraft flew about 2500 kilometres above the surface and acquired radar data for the first time.

Weizmann Institute receives $8 million grant from Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute
The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) announced today that the Weizmann Institute in Israel has been awarded an $8 million grant from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI).

Elevated inflammatory enzyme, Lp-PLA2, significantly linked to ischemic stroke
High levels of an enzyme - lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) - believed to trigger a cascade of inflammatory events in atherosclerosis can independently predict increased risk of stroke, even after accounting for both traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors, according to a new analysis by investigators from the ongoing Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2004.

Cholesterol-lowering drug may slow Alzheimer's progression
The cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin slowed down mental decline and improved depressive symptoms in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Genetic variant linked to weakened heart pumping
Duke Clinical Research Institute researchers have discovered that a variant of a transcription factor crucial to the regulation of a cell's metabolism is associated with decreased pump function in heart patients.

Religious 'neutrality' in French gaols fosters racism and discrimination for Muslim prisoners
The supposed neutrality of the prison service in France towards the ethnic and religious backgrounds of prisoners is widely blamed by Muslim inmates as a prime cause of racist and discriminatory treatment, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Calcium channel blocker reduces adverse cardiovascular events in certain patients
The calcium channel blocker amlodipine decreases the risk of cardiovascular events (such as heart attack or heart-disease related deaths) in patients with coronary artery disease and normal blood pressure, as does the ACE inhibitor enalapril, but to a lesser extent, according to a study in the November 10 issue of JAMA.

Identifying the path to infection
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have determined the two-dimensional crystal structure of a membrane protein involved in the process by which the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria infects a human.

Pioglitazone shown to reverse thickening of carotid artery wall
Clinical study results presented today in New Orleans, Louisiana during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2004 proceedings, have shown that the drug pioglitazone (ACTOS®, Takeda) significantly reduced the thickness of the carotid (neck) artery in patients with type 2 diabetes.

New insights into chimpanzees, tools, and termites from the Congo basin
From six-months of remote video surveillance at termite nests, we provide the first descriptions of the form and function of two distinct tool sets used by chimpanzees in preying upon termites in central Africa.

Study reveals link between cardiovascular risk and cognitive decline
Elderly people with the metabolic syndrome -- a constellation of cardiovascular risk factors including excessive fat around the abdomen, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose levels -- are at greater risk for cognitive impairment and decline than those without the syndrome, according to a study led by a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

African-American heart attack patients fare worse long term
In the largest analysis of its kind, researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) found that African-American heart attack patients have a 1.7 times higher death rate than Caucasians one year after being treated in the hospital.

Grants target better predictors for type 1 diabetes
Identifying better biomarkers to predict who will get type 1 diabetes is one aim of Medical College of Georgia researchers.

Mysteries behind Earth's continental puzzle examined at UH symposium
To celebrate one of the early pioneers in plate tectonics - the concept that explains the evolving puzzle of the movements of the Earth's continents - the University of Houston's Department of Geosciences is hosting a symposium on the subject Nov.

Albany NanoTech and AMD team up to develop breakthrough silicon measurement technique
Albany NanoTech's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany and Advanced Micro Devices will collaborate on the development a new nanometrology capability for measuring the stress state in strained silicon.

Sea change: Skeletons of ancient corals different from today's
A Johns Hopkins graduate student may have solved a problem that has been baffling marine biologists and paleontologists: Why do coral reefs disappear from the fossil record during the beginning of the Cretaceous period only to reappear after its end 35 million years ago?

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue of the Journal of Neuroscience contains the following articles: A BDNF polymorphism and cortical size in normal humans, and nicotine withdrawal and the beta4 AChR subunit.

Spatial structure, dispersal, and management of a recovering raptor population
In this study, researchers from the University of California Santa Cruz show that the spatial structure of Peregrine Falcons in California has profoundly influenced the management and recovery of this species.

Angioplasty, robotically assisted keyhole bypass combo appears effective
Combining stented angioplasty and robotically assisted

Regular family meals promote healthy eating habits
It's not only the routine of sitting down to dinner as a family, but the importance, structure, and atmosphere of family meals that may help steer adolescent girls from eating disorders.

People on food stamps can't afford heart-healthy meals
Most food stamp beneficiaries can't afford heart-healthy food options, according to a study of low-income, African-American-residents in a Boston neighborhood.

Rare heart problem decreases in clot-busting era
The incidence of cardiac tamponade, an infrequent but potentially fatal event following a heart attack, has not increased despite the widespread use of clot-busting and blood-thinning medications, according to an new analysis by Duke Clinical Research Institute investigators.

New Crestor® data in African-American patients with high cholesterol
New data presented today at the American Heart Association's Annual Scientific Sessions showed that AstraZeneca's CRESTOR® at 10 and 20 mg reduced LDL-C or

Ventricular assist devices can be used as bridge to heart recovery without need for heart transplant
A heart ventricular assist device (VAD) is used as a bridge to organ transplantation, maintaining a patient's cardiac function until a donor organ becomes available.

Metabolic syndrome associated with cognitive decline in elderly persons
Elderly individuals with the metabolic syndrome, a grouping of several common conditions including abdominal obesity, low level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the

Pediatric cardiology researchers describe findings in neurologic outcomes, heart devices
Predicting neurological outcomes after newborn heart surgery, using implantable devices to prevent sudden cardiac death, and releasing protective genes directly into diseased arteries were among the research findings presented by pediatric cardiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Ancient marine invasion sheds light on diversity
Fossils from the sea floor illuminate the relationship between local and global diversity, and these relationships may help us understand the effects of global climate change on species diversity.

Respiratory infections, not air pollution, pose winter health threat for children with asthma
Although particulate air pollution has been blamed for a wide variety of negative health effects, a three-year study of asthmatic children in Denver indicates that it does not lead to significant worsening of asthma during the pollution-heavy winter months.
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