Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 15, 2004
Can cabbage help prevent cervical cancer?
Did your grandmother always tell you to

November nutrition news from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts
Most people had not heard of ubiquitin until recently when the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their groundbreaking work on the subject.

Beyond supervision
The ophthalmologist who pioneered customized LASIK surgery - supervision - now aims to further improve patients' eyesight and minimize the risk of side effects.

Small seasonal changes can lead to big flu outbreaks
Flu season is on its way to homes across North America.

U. Va. Health System to develop new approaches to treat type 1 diabetics with islet cell transplants
The University of Virginia Health System has won a $1.2 million grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health to take islet cell transplantation to the next level.

Sexual quality of life lower for the obese
Obesity significantly impairs sexual quality of life for men and women, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found.

New study shows patients experience asthma variability, despite strict adherence to guidelines
A study presented today at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows that many patients with asthma continue to experience variability of disease control, despite strict adherence to treatment guidelines published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.(1) Variability in asthma control leads to continued disease symptoms and increased resource utilization, even when the disease is closely managed.

UCSD discovery opens new avenues for design of anti-tumor medications
The response of blood vessels to low oxygen levels may be the Achilles' heel of a developing tumor, according to a study led by University of California, San Diego biologists.

Workshop in Kathmandu on space technology for sustainable development in mountain areas
Starting today in Kathmandu, Nepal, ESA and the Governments of Austria and Switzerland and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) are holding a five-day Workshop on Remote Sensing in the Service of Sustainable Development in Mountain Areas.

Brain's immune system triggered in autism
A Johns Hopkins study has found new evidence that the brains of some people with autism show clear signs of inflammation, suggesting that the disease may be associated with activation of the brain's immune system.

New transistor laser could lead to faster signal processing
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the laser operation of a heterojunction bipolar light-emitting transistor.

Delays in cutting greenhouse gasses could harm environment
Successful efforts to stabilize the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere could still result in serious ecological damage if the cutbacks do not begin soon enough, according to a new analysis.

Sperm enzyme is essential for male fertility, study shows
A study led by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has determined that a novel enzyme in sperm is essential for sperm motility and male fertility.

Gastric bypass works for GERD and obesity in patients with prior surgery, says Pitt study
Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery can effectively control gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in morbidly obese patients who had previous antireflux surgery, with the additional benefit of weight loss and improvement of co-morbidities, according to a study published in the November issue of the journal Obesity Surgery.

Pioneering Welsh surgery delivered to hospitals
Women in Britain with breast cancer will soon benefit from a pioneering surgical technique developed by Professor Robert Mansel and his team at Cardiff University, Wales College of Medicine in the UK.

Study finds HER2-positive breast cancer invades organs due to fatal chemical attraction
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have solved the mystery of why an aggressive form of HER2-positive breast cancer travels readily to a few key organs - lungs, liver and bone - where it then establishes new tumors.

State-free industries in China attract more foreign investment
Cities in China not dominated by state-run industries are benefiting more from foreign investment than cities with a large number of state-controlled industries, find university researchers.

Panel offers recommendations for monitoring adverse events from dietary supplements
The Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO) releases its latest report.

Study clarifies impact of age on safety of warfarin treatment for atrial fibrillation
A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has clarified the risk of intracranial hemorrhage in older patients with atrial fibrillation who take the drug warfarin to prevent ischemic stroke.

New study shows people and pets can succeed together in fighting obesity epidemic
Results of the first-ever, 12-month combined people and pet weight management study were presented today at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity's (NAASO's) Annual Scientific Meeting.

St. Jude scientist wins International Society of Experimental Hematology award
Brian P. Sorrentino, M.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, has won a prestigious award from the International Society of Experimental Hematology.

Developmental issues among triplet infants
In a study comparing triplets with twins and singletons, we found that mothers of triplets exhibited lower levels of sensitivity to their baby's communicative signals, and triplets showed poorer cognitive outcomes at 1 year.

Nuclear imaging offers possibility for early detection of patients with coronary heart disease
Nuclear imaging will play an increasing role in both the detection of atherosclerosis (coronary heart disease) and, more specifically, the composition of plaque build up that can block the flow of blood through an artery, according to reports published by the Society of Nuclear Medicine in the November issue of

New findings may redirect strategies for treatment of prostate cancer
A new research study may have important implications for treatment of prostate cancer, the most common malignancy afflicting males in the United States.

New gene mutation found to cause 'bubble boy disease'
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) became widely known in the 1970's when the world learned of David Vetter, a boy with SCID who lived for 12 years in a plastic, germ-free bubble.

Study finds computer vignette to be effective way to measure quality of physician practice
A new measurement tool called the computerized clinical vignette can help clinicians and policymakers assess and improve the quality of physician practice while potentially reducing costs, according to a study led by a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Diabetes among older adults imposed an estimated $133.5 billion cost in 1990's
Sick days, disability, early retirement, and premature death of diabetic Americans born between 1931 and 1941 cost the country almost $133.5 billion by the year 2000, according to a new estimate by researchers with the University of Michigan (U-M) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Conference marks 40th anniversary of Moore's Law
A symposium featuring Gordon E. Moore and leaders in chemistry and technology assessing both the impact of Moore's law and the enabling role of chemical science and engineering in the development of the semiconductor industry.

Combination treatment helps thyroid cancer patients live longer
Combining radiation therapy with surgery and chemotherapy helps patients with rare forms of thyroid cancer live longer, according to a study published in the November 15, 2004, issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

UO's molecular 'claws' trap arsenic atoms
Arsenic atoms cannot resist a new molecule that traps and sequesters them.

Aging affects susceptibility to type 2 diabetes
Levels of PGC-1alpha and PGC-1beta (which activate the conversion of protein to glucose) are elevated in skeletal muscle of individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Studies from the November issue of The Archives of Dermatology, a theme issue on facial rejuvenation
A roundup of articles from the November issue of The Archives of Dermatology--a theme issue on facial rejuventation.

Proposed addiction treatment successful, safe in second small trial
A second, small-scale clinical trial of a proposed addiction treatment originally investigated at the U.S.

HIV, diagnostic health care tools top of list for UH researchers
Designing devices to combat HIV and biosensors to aid in diagnostic health care will be among the presentations of two University of Houston professors at a gathering of the top nanotechnologists in the nation.

800 calories a day less and women never missed them
When Penn State researchers made small changes in young women's meals -- reducing calorie density by 30 percent and serving size by just 25 percent -- the women ate 800 calories less per day and felt just as full and satisfied.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, Nov. 16, 2004
Highlights include: Studies of attempts to reduce health disparities; high-dose steroid use is associated with increased risk for heart disease; and new recommendations for appropriate dose of common blood thinner in older people with atrial fibrillation counter current guidelines.

NIAID launches influenza genome sequencing project
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced a joint influenza genome sequencing project with several scientific partners.

Multi-camera system searches images in 3D
A new three-dimensional multi-camera system that allows viewers to search areas from various vantage points could one day boost surveillance in public places such as airports and train stations, say University of Toronto researchers.

Brain inflammation found in autism
Inflammation in the brain is clearly a feature of autism, according to a new study.

Subanalysis finds patient-controlled, transdermal pain management system may be comparable
Researchers have reported that IONSYSTM, a novel patient-controlled, transdermal, analgesic system that delivers fentanyl through the skin, may be comparable to intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA) when used after gynecologic surgery.

Economic stress difficult for families regardless of ethnicity
This study showed that the links between economic stress and depression were generally the same for both European-American and Mexican-American parents.

Poverty, family conflict, and depression predict adolescent insecurity
Results of a longitudinal study found that adolescents became increasingly insecure in the face of stressors that overwhelmed their coping abilities, while also cutting them off from opportunities to rely on close relationships for support.

New WHO study asks, 'How happy are you with your lot in life?'
Researchers are asking people throughout Britain to describe how happy they are with their lot in life to help improve the effect of the healthcare they receive.

Immigration, lack of partner support are postpartum
Recent immigration, lack of partner support and pregnancy-induced hypertension are significant factors in predicting whether women will experience depressive symptoms soon after giving birth, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Penn addictions expert, Charles P. O'Brien, MD, PhD, receives prestigious, international honor
Charles P. O'Brien, MD, PhD, Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Director, Center for the Study of Addictions at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of Psychiatric Research at the Philadelphia Veteran's Administration Medical Center (VAMC), has been invited by the Academisch Medisch Centrum (Academic Medical Center) and the University of Amsterdam in Holland to present The Anatomy Lesson - a tradition dating back to the 16th century.

New HIV co-factor found
While trying to understand how a natural HIV inhibitor works, scientists have discovered that a protein on immune cells promotes HIV infection.

Computer models to simulate hypothetical outbreak of avian flu
Scientists developing computer models to combat infectious diseases have focused on the H5N1 strain of the bird influenza virus.

Determining which pancreatic cancers are treatable
A high-quality computed tomography (CT) scan is just as successful in predicting whether pancreatic cancer is treatable surgically as a more invasive diagnostic tool, according to an Indiana University School of Medicine study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

New gene therapy promising for treating Fabry disease
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a gene therapy that shows promise for early and sustained correction of Fabry disease, an inherited disorder whose sufferers have a life expectancy of only 40 to 50 years.

Community living causes bacteria to diversify
Diversification is a strategy that strengthens groups of all kinds -- from forests to stock market portfolios.

New WHO study asks, 'How happy are you with your lot in life?'
Researchers are asking people throughout Britain to describe how happy they are with their lot in life to help improve the effect of the healthcare they receive.

Daddy counts
Study findings demonstrate that a supportive father can promote early cognitive and language development in young children as well as affect mothers' supportive parenting.

Strong, yet gentle, acid uncovered
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have discovered the world's strongest acid.

Good intentions versus bad habits: Why the old ways win out
Why are old habits so hard to break? A new study suggests that over time, our bad habits (such as smoking cigarettes or over eating) become automatic, learned behaviors.

Researchers piece together the puzzle of Hailey-Hailey skin disease
Hailey-Hailey disease is a blistering skin disorder, usually inherited, characterized by a painful erosive skin rash on the body in an unusual pattern of lines.

Smoking not linked to hearing loss
Levels of cotinine, a substance created by the breakdown of nicotine in the body, does not appear to be linked to hearing loss, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Adolescent coping
This study found that adolescents are unlikely to thrive when they face difficult experiences across multiple settings of their lives, even if they possess the personal resources, or resilience, to deal with a challenging environment.

'Birth control pill may reduce knee injury': McGill researchers
McGill researchers have shown that oral contraceptives affect joint flexibility.

'Brick wall' helps explain how corrosion spreads through alloy
Ohio State University researchers are finding new insights into how microscopic corrosion attacks an aluminum alloy commonly used in aircraft.

Inactive form of scatter factor protein found to suppress tumor growth and spread
Scatter factor (SF) controls the proliferation and survival of many tissues.

Survey suggests majority of women surgeons satisfied in their profession
Fifty-seven percent of women surgeons in Austria reported being very satisfied or satisfied in their professional situation, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Signal for inflammation linked to Ras-induced tumor growth
Cancer progression is dependent on the ability of tumor cells to interact with and favorably influence their environment.

Clemson professor receives award
Barbara Speziale of Clemson University received the 2004 Menzie-Cura Education Award in recognition of her efforts to include environmental issues in the curriculum for high school biology students.

Premature infants with lung disease may continue to need replacement substance to ease breathing
Physicians have known for decades that many premature babies suffer respiratory problems stemming from insufficiency of a lung substance called surfactant during their first few weeks of life.

Custom-built facial implants helpful for patients with HIV and facial wasting syndrome
Patients taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS often lose fatty tissues in the face as a result of treatment, making them appear gaunt and emaciated.

Safety of bismuth bullets questioned: Study
Bismuth bullets, which became the primary form of bullets sold in Canada after lead shot was incrementally banned for environmental reasons between 1991 and 1999, may not be as non-toxic as originally thought, according to a new study.

New tool highlights activity of key cellular signal
Scientists at Johns Hopkins and the University of Texas Medical Branch have created a new tool that easily reveals when and where a key cellular signal is active.

UCLA scientists uncork fountain of youth for HIV-fighting cells
UCLA scientists have shown that a protein called telomerase prevents the premature aging of the immune cells that fight HIV, enabling the cells to divide indefinitely and prolong their defense against infection.

New instruments at ORNL reactor will lead to dramatic increase in users
Four new instruments installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor this year make the facility an even more attractive destination for researchers around the world.

Sex versus survival: A tradeoff at geographical range limits
A new, Queen's-led study shows that plants growing in harsh northern climates are losing the ability to reproduce sexually, an evolutionary phenomenon similar to the loss of sight in cave-dwelling fish.

GlaxoSmithKline awards $250,000 in research grants for research on drug therapies for HIV/AIDS
The 2004 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Drug Discovery and Development Research Grants have recently been awarded to three scientists working on novel approaches to combat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

American Thoracic Society journal news tips for November 2004 (second issue)
Newsworthy articles include studies showing that: disease relapse in tuberculosis (TB) is associated with thrice weekly versus daily drug therapy and with cavities on the initial chest X-ray; in an analysis of the effects of ozone on mortality in 23 European cities, researchers found that death was primarily associated with ozone during the warmer months; and in a mouse model of TB, a new drug combination shortened treatment by 2 months.

Green car sets speed record
When the non-profit organisation IdéeVerte Compétition decided to create a 'green' racing car, they turned to space technology to make it safer.

Psychological and social adjustment in teens with same-sex parents
This is the first study to collect multiple measures of adjustment from adolescent offspring of same-sex parents drawn from a large, diverse national sample.

Discovery reveals how the body regulates blood oxygen
A team of UK researchers, led by a Cardiff University professor, has discovered how the body regulates the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. 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