Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 01, 2004
Dental x-rays could be first step in osteoporosis screening
Panoramic dental x-rays can be used to help identify postmenopausal women with low skeletal bone mineral density (BMD), meaning that screening for spinal osteoporosis could begin in the dentist's office a new study shows.

Brain surface stimulation alleviates Parkinson's symptoms
Researchers have found that low-voltage, high-frequency stimulation of the brain's motor cortex via electrodes implanted on its surface can alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Obesity hinders imaging quality, diagnosis
Obesity not only leads to numerous health problems, it can also limit the imaging equipment used to diagnose those problems, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

UCSD biologists identify gene in corn plants that may have paved way for development of maize
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have identified a gene that appears to have been a critical trait in allowing the earliest plant breeders 7,000 years ago to transform teosinte, a wild grass that grows in the Mexican Sierra Madre, into maize, the world's third most planted crop after rice and wheat.

Study suggests nutrient decline in garden crops over past 50 years
A study of 43 garden crops led by a University of Texas at Austin biochemist suggests that modern agricultural methods have contributed to declines in nutrient values as farmers plant crops designed to improve other traits.

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare CEO named to medicare technology commission
Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently announced that Gary A. Mecklenburg, CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, was appointed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to the Commission on Systemic Interoperability, a commission responsible for working with the public and private health sectors to develop a strategy and timeline for implementing health care information technology standards.

New stroke prevention therapy as effective as invasive surgery
Angioplasty and stenting, the same techniques used to clear arteries blocked by heart disease, can also be used on the carotid artery to prevent stroke, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Sea-level clue to climate change
A team of UIC scientists has discovered and dated a deeply buried core sample of peat from the Mississippi Delta that suggests a rise in sea level around the time of dramatic earth cooling 8,200 years ago.

Argo robotic instrument network now covers most of the globe
Scientists have crossed an important threshold in an international effort to deploy a global network of robotic instruments to monitor and investigate important changes in the world's oceans.

Researchers debate recreational use of PDE-5 inhibitors
Leaders in the field of sexual medicine will actively debate the use of oral pills for erectile dysfunction (ED) at the 7th Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine in London, UK.

Global assessments of biodiversity argue for expansion of protected areas in key regions
Articles in the December 2004 issue of BioScience, the monthly journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), provide new global assessments of how well protected areas such as parks can safeguard animal and plant species at risk of becoming extinct.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2004
This issue include: Cool under pressure, Better distributed energy, Stellar nova simulations and Cleaner, cheaper coal power.

News from the Industrial Physicist
Highlights from the Industrial Physicist include: Salary growth slows for industrial physicists, blackout clears the air; multiphysics analysis allows research to merge and; quantum key distribution overview.

Temporary weight gain over the winter holidays... might be a good thing
We are admonished not to gain weight during winter's two big eating holidays -- but might a little temporary fat actually strengthen our immune systems?

Did our Sun capture alien worlds?
Computer simulations show a close encounter with a passing star about 4 billion years ago may have given our solar system its abrupt edge and put small, alien worlds into distant orbits around our sun.

Findings show how toxic proteins rob Alzheimer's patients of memory
Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a molecular mechanism -- a tiny protein attacking nerve cells -- that could explain why the brain damage in early Alzheimer's disease results in memory loss and not other symptoms such as loss of balance or tremors.

Dartmouth Medical School receives $1.6 million in AIDS funding
A national foundation with a mission of supporting programs for children with AIDS made its final grant on Wednesday - World AIDS Day - with the distribution of $1.6 million to the section of Infectious Disease and International Health at Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Virtual colonoscopy can help patients avoid conventional colonoscopy
The significance of a detected colon polyp matches closely with the confidence score of an interpreting radiologist using virtual colonoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy shows significant promise as colorectal cancer screening option
A future trends report published recently in the American Gastroenterological Association's journal Gastroenterology, concluded that CT colonography (often referred to as

NIST demonstrates data 'repair kit' for quantum computers
A practical method for automatically correcting data-handling errors in quantum computers has been developed and demonstrated by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

MRI-guided ultrasound therapy relieves symptoms in patients with uterine fibroids
MRI-guided ultrasound therapy is an effective way to treat women with uterine fibroids, improving their quality of life and avoiding hysterectomy, a new study shows.

Drinking water could be beneficial to patients with low blood pressure
Ordinary tap or bottled water could help people suffering from low blood pressure who faint while standing, claim researchers from Imperial College London and St Mary's Hospital.

Explosions in majestic spiral beauties
Splendid images of two beautiful

Dairy Council of California program receives high marks from teachers & students
Healthy Choices, Healthy Me!, a first and second grade nutrition education program that reinforces language arts and math while teaching health in an innovative way, has received exceptionally positive marks in a formative evaluation by WestEd.

Methylphenidate improves attention, behavior of children surviving leukemia, brain tumors
Children who suffer from behavioral and learning problems after their central nervous systems have been exposed to chemotherapy or radiation appear to benefit from treatment with methylphenidate (MPH), the drug commonly known by the brand name RitalinĀ®.

Outpatient lung cancer procedure promising for inoperable disease
Lung cancer patients who are poor candidates for surgery have a new alternative with image-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a safe and effective office-based procedure, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Green tea polyphenols thwart prostate cancer development at multiple levels
The polyphenols present in green tea help prevent the spread of prostate cancer by targeting molecular pathways that shut down the proliferation and spread of tumor cells, as well as inhibiting the growth of tumor nurturing blood vessels, according to research published in the December 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Rolipram - a potential new treatment for Alzheimer disease
In the December 1 issue of the JCI, researchers from Columbia University propose a new treatment to counter Alzheimer disease (AD)-associated memory loss.

American Thoracic Socety journal news tips for December 2004 (first issue)
Newsworthy articles include studies showing that: 16 weeks of treatment with the oral drug bosentan led to marked improvement against the deadly disease pulmonary arterial hypertension; researchers demonstrated that simpler, cheaper methods can be used to determine optimal pressure for continuous postive airway pressure devices used to treat obstructive sleep apnea; and investigators proved that suspected hard-to-detect respiratory viral infections can be identified successfully by molecular methods.

Perfect packaging
Eureka is creating lighter, but stronger honeycomb cardboard packaging from corrugated cardboard.

Higher incidence of rejection following early steroid withdrawal
A new study on early steroid withdrawal following liver transplantation found that there was a higher incidence of rejection and a lower incidence of glucose intolerance necessitating treatment for diabetes.

Cannabis increases risk of psychosis
Frequent cannabis use during adolescence and young adulthood increases the risk of psychotic symptoms later in life, according to a new study published on
NU researcher finds missing atmospheric carbon dioxide
A Northeastern University researcher today announced that he has found that the soil below oak trees exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide had significantly higher carbon levels than those exposed to ambient carbon levels.

All Earth wants for Christmas? A sock for its coal
Concerns about greenhouse gases and global warming are getting scientists to think in unconventional ways about how to stem the carbon dioxide tide.

Radiologists use MRI to keep basketball players on their feet
Early identification of potential stress fractures with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can reduce the threat of season-ending injuries for college basketball players, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Nerve damage from alcoholism reversed after liver transplantation
A new study describes a patient with alcoholic liver disease complicated by peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage affecting the arms and legs) who underwent a liver transplant and regained almost normal muscle strength.

Understanding how prostaglandin prevents gut injury during radiation therapy
People undergoing radiation therapy for diseases such as cancer run the risk of irreversibly damaging the cells of their intestine due to the radiation-induced death of cells within the gut.

NIAID seeks applicants to lead revamped HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced that it is restructuring its HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks and soliciting investigators and institutions to lead the reorganized effort.

A complex agricultural society in Uruguay's La Plata basin, 4,800-4,200 years ago
A complex farming society developed in Uruguay around 4,800 to 4,200 years ago, much earlier that previously thought, Iriarte and his colleagues report in this week's Nature(December 2).

Science and medicine - bridging the gap
To address the gap between basic biology and medical practice, HHMI will award $10 million to stimulate the integration of medical knowledge into Ph.D. training.

Vaccination with anthrax capsule protects against experimental infection in animals
Vaccination with the anthrax capsule, a naturally occurring component of the bacterium that causes the disease, protected mice from lethal anthrax infection, according to scientists at the U.S.

Shark cartilage cancer 'cure' shows danger of pseudoscience
The rising popularity of shark cartilage extract as an anti-cancer treatment is a triumph of marketing and pseudoscience over reason, with a tragic fallout for both sharks and humans, a biologist says.

Say goodbye to Rudolph and other reindeer if global warming continues
With increasing global warming Rudolph and the rest of Santa Claus' reindeer will disappear from large portions of their current range and be under severe environmental stress by the end of the century.

Applying Multiple Social Science Research Methods to Educational Problems
The National Research Council's Center for Education--with support from the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation--will host a one-day national forum.

Stem cells may hold promise as multiple sclerosis cure
Neural stem cells injected into mice can repair brain cells damaged by a disease similar to multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Stem cells of limited use for cardiac muscle repair
New evidence suggests that a promising investigational treatment for patients with damaged hearts -- using adult stem cells to regenerate heart tissue -- may not work as planned.

Molecular tailoring of chemotherapy with novel imaging techniques
Researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania are applying a host of imaging techniques to develop better ways to look noninvasively at the molecular characteristics of tumors.

UCSD researchers identify new role for drugs in prevention, treatment of atherosclerosis
Drugs that work in the liver to reduce fatty triglyceride levels and improve insulin resistance, are also effective at inhibiting the formation of cholesterol-laden plaques that cause atherosclerosis in artery walls, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine

UCLA physicist applies physics to best-selling books
Physics can help explain what makes a book a best seller.

Racial disparities noted in immune system genes
Specific variants in genes that encode proteins regulating inflammation may hold a key to explaining a host of disease processes known to cause increased risk of illness and death among African Americans, according a study from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).

Student nurses need better understanding of poverty-stricken patients
Misconceptions about poverty that lead to insensitive care may prevent the poor from seeking the help they require from front-line health-care workers, according to a new study by the University of Alberta.

Small social circles tied to heart disease death in women
Women with suspected coronary artery disease and smaller social networks die at twice the rate of those who have a larger circle of social contacts, according to a new study.

Jefferson scientists use gene therapy to rescue failing hearts in animals
Heart researchers at Jefferson Medical College have used gene therapy to bring failing rat hearts back to normal.

Early detection reduces threat of foot injury in college basketball players
Early identification of potential stress fractures with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can reduce the threat of season-ending injuries for college basketball players, according to a Duke University Medical Center radiologist.

International trial finds benefits of breast MRI in women at high risk
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enables radiologists to accurately identify tumors missed by mammography, according to the first international, multicenter trial comparing the two screening methods in women at high-risk for breast cancer.

CERN awards the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics for its role in grid development
In the presence of Minister Letizia Moratti, CERN Director General, Robert Aymar has presented the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) with an award to recognize its contributions to developing computational Grids, and its pioneering efforts to establish and promote Grid technology at the national level and in Europe.

Colon cancer screening with CT may also identify heart attack risk
Virtual colonoscopy, an imaging procedure used for early identification of colon cancer, may also detect heart attack risk in patients, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Stem cells to the rescue - or not?
Researchers from the University of Chicago transplanted a subset of bone marrow stem cells from normal male mice into female mice lacking delta-sarcoglycan - an animal model of cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy - to determine their ability to restore delta-sarcoglycan expression.

How the brain is wired for faces
Faces produce a particular resonance of recognition, even in the youngest infants, who respond to the sight of a face almost from birth.

NASA satellites witnessed El Nino creep in from the Indian Ocean
A new index was created using satellite rain and wind data to see the development of El Nino events by looking at the Indian Ocean.

More than 41 million Americans need colorectal cancer screening
More than 41 million Americans who are candidates for colorectal cancer screening have not been screened for this second-leading cancer killer, the first time the unscreened population has been quantified.

New drug protects against the hardening of arteries
In the December 1 issue of the JCI, researchers frp, UCSD compared the effects of PPARalpha, PPARbeta, and PPARgamma agonists on the development of atherosclerosis in a mouse model of this disease.

UU research pushing back the frontiers of space
Cutting edge research at the University of Ulster into how to make complex computers and communications systems manage themselves could power the next generation of US space probes, it was revealed today. 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