Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 16, 2004
Geological demolition derby
The spectacular rift valleys of the Tibetan plateau don't run north-south as previously thought, according to new research.

IRCM scientist demonstrates basic active mechanism of immune-system cells
In the upcoming issue of Immunity, a highly regarded journal put out by the Cell group, Dr.

Ground-level ozone linked to increased mortality
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Yale University determined that changes in ground-level ozone were significantly associated with an increase in deaths in many U.S. cities.

Chemist breaks old barrier to better electron representationin molecular computations
University of Chicago quantum chemist David Mazziotti has proposed a new research tool that could help scientists more rapidly solve problems in atmospheric chemistry, combustion, medicine and other areas of research where the behavior of electrons plays a key role.

Other highlights in the November 17 JNCI
Other highlights in the November 17 JNCI include an examination of selenium and colorectal cancer risk, a follow-up of a study of chemotherapy for head and neck cancer, a trial that compared treatments for ovarian cancer, a study of an arthritis treatment and its ability to reactivate a virus responsible for some lymphomas, and a study of a heartburn medication and its ability to reduce tumors' drug resistance.

Computer assisted standing orders improve adult immunization rates
Computer-assisted standing orders for nurses significantly improve influenza and pneumonia immunization rates for adult hospital patients.

Brain's nicotine receptors also target for anti-depressants
The same receptors in the brain that are activated when a person smokes cigarettes also play a critical role in the effectiveness of antidepressants.

Infection in ELBW infants linked with poor neurodevelopmental, growth outcomes
Extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW) infants who have an infection during their hospitalization following birth are more likely to have adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes than those infants who do not have an infection, according to a study in the November 17 issue of JAMA.

New protein identified in development of lung cancer
A newly-identified protein that can flag an important tumor suppressor gene for destruction may be a key player in the development of lung cancer.

Discovery of real-time natural gas formation offers prospect for renewable energy resource
Researchers at Luca Technologies have made a discovery regarding natural gas production in Wyoming's Powder River Basin that could lead to a renewable source of energy for generations.

Researchers call for studies on role of BRCA1 mutations in chemotherapy response
Loss of BRCA1 function is associated with sensitivity to DNA-damaging chemotherapy and may also be associated with resistance to taxane-based chemotherapy.

Study shows how takeover bids change stock prices of firms
While stock prices of firms almost always go up immediately after an announcement of a takeover bid by another company, a new study shows that there's a lot of variation in just how far the stock prices may change.

Concord grape juice increased HDL, lowered inflammatory marker linked to heart disease
Drinking Concord grape juice significantly increased HDL--the good cholesterol--and significantly lowered two markers of inflammation, soluble CD40 ligand, an inflammatory marker and superoxide, a free radical, in study subjects with stable coronary artery disease, according to results of a study presented in the November issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

NIH launches new study to compare prostate surgery and drugs
The Minimally Invasive Surgical Therapies (MIST) Consortium for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) has launched a new study to compare long-term benefits and risks of transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) and transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) to a regimen of the alpha-1 inhibitor alfuzosin and the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor finasteride.

Chemoprevention backgrounder: Working for a future of cancer chemoprevention
Nowadays, a vial of blood taken by a family physician can sometimes forecast a person's risk of heart disease, and cholesterol-lowering drugs as well as a daily baby aspirin may be recommended to curb the threat.

Europe reaches the Moon
ESA's SMART-1 is successfully making its first orbit of the Moon, a significant milestone for the first of Europe's Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART) spacecraft.

Muscle loss from space travel, prolonged inactivity linked to two genes
In research that could benefit astronauts posted to the International Space Station as well as individuals whose universe is defined by their sick bed, Boston University Sargent College researchers Susan Kandarian and R.

Building a tree of life needs less 'wood'
Building a

Post-therapy damage in medulloblastoma patients can be mistaken for new tumors
Irradiation and high-dose chemotherapy used to treat two types of brain tumors--medulloblastoma and supratentorial PNET--can cause changes in the brain's white matter that look like tumors when seen on MRI scans.

Top 10 toys for children with ADHD
The top 10 toys for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with selection criteria designed to help guide parents, were announced by Shire and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.

Earthquake simulation network launched
The University of California, Davis', Center for Geotechnical Modeling joined a national effort in earthquake simulation with the launch of the George E.

Compound in apples may help fight Alzheimer's disease
A potent antioxidant abundant in apples and some other fruits and vegetables appears to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, a tissue-damaging process associated with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders, according to a new study in rat brain cells conducted by researchers at Cornell University in New York.

Study in Royal Society journal on evidence for impact of global warming on bird populations
Royal Society journals release including study on evidence for impact of global warming on bird populations.

Infection puts extremely low birth weight infants at risk for developmental delays
Extremely low birth weight infants--the tiniest category of premature infants--are much more likely to experience developmental impairments if they acquire an infection during the newborn period, according to a study by the Neonatal Research Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Genome of ancient fish could reveal evolutionary mysteries, Stanford scientists say
A prehistoric fish that until 1938 was thought to be extinct has caught the eye of geneticists at the Stanford University School of Medicine who hope to sequence the ancient genome to learn how animals evolved to live on land.

Penn State receives funds to investigate mine voids
In the wake of the Quecreek Mine rescue, the U.S.

Seeking better cancer treatments
An eight-year partnership of co-operation and research will lead to new treatments for prostate cancer and partial or complete androgen receptor insensitivity syndrome.

Dinosaurs in bullet-proof vests
Some dinosaurs possessed a hard bony armoured shell similar to today's crocodiles or tortoises.

Prevalence of human papillomavirus infection differs for men and women
The age-specific prevalence of sexually transmitted human papillomavirus infection in women differs substantially from that in men who have sex with men, according to a new study published in the December 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Multipurpose nanocables invented
Tiny nanocables, 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, could become key parts of toxin detectors, miniaturized solar cells and powerful computer chips.

No link found between pneumonitis in breast cancer patients and taxane-based chemotherapies
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have shown that breast cancer patients treated with taxane-based chemotherapies and radiation are not at increased risk of developing a dangerous lung condition involving the inflammation of lung tissue, pneumonitis.

Army-funded effort examines androgen's role in bone loss
An extensive, Oregon Health & Science University-led research effort examining the role of the male sex hormone androgen in bone formation has piqued the interest of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

Linking empires, economics, evolution
Economics, history and the evolution of life are governed by the same underlying principles, implying predictable trends in all three areas, according to a new book.

A $2 Million NSF grant brings technology and biology together at UC Riverside
Monitors that can sense too much fertilizer in a running river and tiny sensors that warn when a plant is starving are among the possible future breakthroughs to be pioneered by a new $2 million National Science Foundation project at UC Riverside.

Earthquake experts gather to celebrate pioneer's 70th birthday
Seismology pioneer and University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Professor James Brune will be celebrating his 70th birthday with some of the world's leading earthquake experts this week.

Sensor network mimics synchronized calling by frogs, cicadas
Vanderbilt engineers have designed an electronic network with the ability to mimic the synchronized calling behavior of frogs, cicadas and other creatures that coordinate their night-time choruses.

Pediatricians wary about recommending complementary therapies
Many pediatricians know their patients use complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) to improve their health, yet most do not feel comfortable discussing or recommending these therapies, according to a study published in the November issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics.

Confronting ageism and economics
This is the newly announced closing session for the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America.

Study links ozone, mortality in urban areas
More people died in urban areas when ground-level ozone was higher during the previous week, researchers at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Johns Hopkins report in the November 17 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Short-term increase in ozone linked to rise in number of deaths in large US cities
A 10-ppb (parts per billion) increase in daily ozone levels is associated with an increase in the number of deaths in large U.S. urban communities, according to an article in the November 17 issue of JAMA.

Infections in low-birth-weight infants are associated with impaired neurodevelopment and growth
Neonatal infections in extremely-low-birth-weight infants significantly increase the likelihood of problems related to neurodevelopment in early childhood, according to a study of more than 6,000 premature infants.

Australia's potential to fuel Asia's growing steel market
Australia's significant magnetite resources could hold the key to further expansion of Australian iron ore production and potentially help supply Asia's current and emerging steel markets.

Rare immunodeficiency provides new insight into immune system function
Scientists now have a better understanding of the complex events that contribute to the pathology of an inherited immunodeficiency called X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP).

Academic research leaders meet with NIH's Zerhouni
On Monday, November 15, the final day before the close of the public comment period on their proposed guidance,

Computerized orders effective in increasing administration of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines
Computer-based standing orders are more effective than computerized reminders to physicians in increasing influenza and pneumococcal vaccine administration for hospitalized patients, according to an article in the November 17 issue of JAMA.

Paclitaxel chemotherapy for breast cancer not associated with serious radiation pneumonitis
Breast cancer patients treated with paclitaxel-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy do not experience pneumonitis--an inflammation of lung tissue--more often than patients treated with radiation and a chemotherapy regimen that did not include paclitaxel, according to a new study that appears in the November 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
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