Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 13, 2004
$43 million from Gates Foundation to produce inexpensive antimalarial drug for Third World
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is taking a gamble on a technological solution to the shortage of antimalarial drugs for the Third World.

Research by scientists affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University
Summaries of selected papers - presented at the December 2004 AGU meeting - include topics on climate, earthquakes, poverty, and others by scientists affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Nearsighted children may benefit from rigid contact lenses
New research suggests rigid gas permeable contact lenses may help slow the progression of nearsightedness - myopia -- in young children.

U. of Colorado research team discovers life in Rock Glacier
A University of Colorado at Boulder research team has discovered evidence of microbial activity in a rock glacier high above tree line in the Rocky Mountains, a barren environment previously thought to be devoid of life.

O Christmas tree: Your bark may fight arthritis
A fake Christmas tree may be more popular, but here's a new reason to appreciate the real thing: Researchers have identified a group of anti-inflammatory compounds in the bark of the Scotch pine -- widely used for Christmas trees -- that they say could be developed into new treatments for arthritis and pain.

Families inform roadmap to improve care for dying in nursing homes
End-of-life care in nursing homes often results in unnecessary suffering due mainly to a lack of staff time, training and communication, according to a new AARP study conducted at Brown Medical School.

MIT team aims to mend broken hearts
MIT engineers are significantly closer to mending broken hearts. In a paper to appear the week of Dec.

Researchers control chemical reactions one molecule at a time
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside showed that L.

Study finds lemons, lilac among top 10 smells that predict Alzheimer's Disease
The inability to identify the smell of lemons, lilac, leather and seven other odors predicts which patients with minimal to mild cognitive impairment (MMCI) will develop Alzheimer's Disease, according to a study presented today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) annual meeting.

In wake of Lyme disease vaccine for people, mice may be next in line for shots
As Americans queue up anxiously for flu shots, new research proposes a different sort of mass vaccination program to combat Lyme disease - a vaccine drive for mice.

University of Vermont heads translatlantic cardiovascular research network
Researchers at the University of Vermont will direct a research network focused on thrombosis, one of the first four Transatlantic Networks of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research funded by Fondation Leducq in France.

NSF taps University of Nevada, Reno to take national lead on study of bridge earthquake safety
The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Nevada, Reno a $2 million grant to take the lead on research studying the safety and performance of highway bridges under destructive earthquakes.

Kinder, gentler procedure gives superior results for stem cell transplants
An improved stem cell transplant regimen that is well-tolerated and has a high success rate has been developed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Research points to new theory driving evolutionary changes
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have used canine DNA to identify a genetic mutation mechanism they believe is responsible for rapid evolutionary changes in the physical appearance of many species.

First US SARS vaccine trial opens at NIH
Powerful research tools that speed up vaccine development have led to the start today of human tests for a preventive vaccine against the respiratory disease SARS.

Shire receives US FDA approval of EQUETRO (TM) for bipolar disorder
Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY, TSX: SHQ) announces the US Food & Drug Administration approval of EQUETRO (TM) (extended-release carbamazepine capsules) for the treatment of patients with Bipolar Disorder.

Brain imaging reveals new language circuits
A new study questions previous theories about the brain and the existence of two distinct brain areas critical for language production and comprehension.

Carbon nanotubes yield a new class of biological sensors
Nanotechnology researchers at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a tiny, implantable detector that could one day allow diabetics to monitor their glucose levels continuously-without ever having to draw a blood sample.

Strange ocean wave patterns raise questions about beach erosion
Engineers who were studying beach erosion got more than they bargained for recently when they discovered unexpected wave behavior in the water along an east coast shoreline.

Broad-based vaccination of wild mice could help reduce lyme disease risk in humans
Vaccinating large populations of white-footed mice against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease could help reduce the risk of transmission of the disease to humans, says a study supported by NIAID, part of NIH.

Stereotypes can impact self-assessment and learning ability
Research has shown that stereotypes can impair the standardized test performance of African Americans.

Researchers discover new gene in colon cancer
Cancer researchers have found a gene that suppresses the growth of colon cancer.

Drug to treat ADHD has similar effect on children with reading disorders
The drug methylphenidate (brand name Ritalin) increased activity in brains of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as those with a reading disorder, researchers at Yale report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Fred Hutchinson receives $9.7 million to lead early detection consortium
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has been awarded $9.7 million to lead a federally funded research consortium dedicated to developing blood tests for early detection of cancer and other diseases.

Anniversary of one of the largest hepatitis A outbreaks in the US brings experts together
Former United States Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and the National Partnership for Immunization are joining forces to educate the public about the disease and prevention through vaccination.

Anger, negative emotions may trigger stroke
Anger and other negative emotions may be triggers for ischemic stroke, according to a study published in the December 14 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

News briefs from the Journal CHEST, December 2004
News briefs from the December issue of the journal CHEST highlight how mental distress affects asthma patients; how a new model can accurately predict lung cancer; and how antitobacco legislation reduces smoking rates and deaths.

DNA breaks and genomic instability: Broken ends stick together
Two studies report findings that offer new insight into how breaks in chromosomes can lead to the so-called genomic instability that is a hallmark of cancer.

Purdue scientists hunt for 'secret X' to treat liver cancer
A Purdue University study has shown that a protein the hepatitis virus instructs chronically infected liver cells to produce - known as the X protein - under certain conditions instructs precancerous infected liver cells to die.

Long-term data show benefit of DETROL LA as first-line therapy for overactive bladder
Pfizer Inc today announced results of a comprehensive six-year review of efficacy and safety data for DETROLĀ® LA (tolterodine tartrate extended release capsules) indicating that DETROL LA significantly reduces symptoms of overactive bladder (OAB) with a low occurrence of side effects, and should be considered first-line therapy.

UA mirror lab to cast first mirror for giant Magellan telescope
The University of Arizona Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and the Carnegie Observatories of the Carnegie Institution have signed an agreement to produce the first mirror segment for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), a project of the multi-institutional GMT consortium.

Historic Himalayan ice dams created huge lakes, mammoth floods
Ice dams across the deepest gorge on Earth created some of the highest-elevation lakes in history.

Williams computer science professor wins award
Kim B. Bruce, the Fredrick Latimer Wells Professor of Computer Science at Williams College, will be presented the 2005 award for outstanding contributions to computer science education at the ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education in St.

Vaccinating wildlife can reduce human risk for Lyme disease
Direct field evidence shows that Lyme disease in humans can be prevented by vaccinating wildlife, researchers in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hudson's Bay Company fur trapping policies set stage for modern environmental struggles
The Pacific Northwest has seen its share of major environmental battles.

Georgia Tech uses pentacene to develop efficient organic solar cells
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to creating lightweight organic solar cells.

Glass reveals secrets under pressure
Glass is a mysterious material, but when researchers apply pressure, it reveals secrets.

'Carol of the Bells' wasn't originally a Christmas song
Original lyrics to

Discovery about Vitamin C explains its metabolic value
Researchers at Oregon State University have made a major discovery about the way vitamin C functions in the human body, which may help explain its possible role in preventing cancer and heart disease.

Silent risk of osteoporosis in men with prostate cancer
Men being treated for prostate cancer using hormone therapy maybe under-recognized for their risk of developing osteoporosis, according to a new study.

Risk of stroke doubles for migraine sufferers
Migraine sufferers are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than those who don't experience migraines, according to a report in this week's BMJ.

Surprise mechanism behind light-induced blindness
It has been known for decades that exposure of mammals to constant light for many weeks, even at low or moderate levels, results in severe retinal degeneration and visual impairment.

Timing scavenging to prevent age-related blindness
Light-detecting cells in the eye must renew their light-gathering apparatus each day at sunrise (for rod cells) or sunset (for cone cells) by shedding their outermost tips, which are then gobbled up and digested by surface (epithelial) cells.

Method ranks impact of computer and information science funding agencies, institutions & individuals
The National Science Foundation tops all national and international agencies for funding research that makes the most impact in computer and information science, according to Penn State researchers in the School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST).

Stanford study questions accuracy of ads for body scans
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine recently analyzed 40 ads from companies that provide medical images directly to consumers, not requiring any consultation with a physician.

Race may affect weight and fitness level
Race may play an important role in determining a person's obesity and fitness levels, shows a new study in the December issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

Baby songbirds and human infants learn sounds in similar ways
Rockefeller University scientists have found that zebra finches, songbirds native to Australia, use infant-like strategies to learn their song.

Growing cities in arid regions
The School of Architecture at the University of Arizona is organizing the second international symposium on

Permafrost warming a challenge to Tibetian train route, says U. of Colorado researcher
Engineers constructing a new railroad across the vast, high-altitude Tibetan Plateau are using a surprisingly simple idea to fortify shifting frozen soils affected by climate warming, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder permafrost expert.

Dec. 16-18 evolution meeting in Irvine, Calif.
The Sackler Colloquium will celebrate the 100th birthday of evolutionist Ernst Mayr, author of Systematics and the Origin of Species (1942) one of the four books often considered the foundation of the modern theory of evolution.

Study provides clues to alcohol's cancer connection
For the first time scientists have demonstrated a model that may explain how alcohol stimulates tumor growth.

Method removes MTBE from water
A researcher has discovered an effective way to remove a troubling new pollutant from our nation's water sources.

Study shows PET/CT imaging can help diagnose and define occult recurrent cancer
Combined positron emission tomography and computerized tomography (PET/CT) can help diagnose occult (hidden) recurrent cancer, possibly a cancer patient's greatest post-treatment fear, report a team of Israeli physicians in the December issue of the Society of Nuclear Medicine's

Space scientist proposes new model for Jupiter's core
After eleven months of politics, now it's time for some real

Study suggests Akt3 protein is key to melanoma's resistance to chemotherapy
Wiping out a protein in skin cancer cells could significantly stall melanoma tumor development and increase the sensitivity of the cancer cells to chemotherapy, a Penn State College of Medicine study suggests.

Doctors link common chemotherapy drug to jawbone necrosis
Doctors at Long Island Jewish Medical Center recently discovered a link between a common chemotherapy drug and a serious bone disease called osteonecrosis of the jaw.

Where there's smoke, there's money
While Republicans get more money from pro-tobacco interests, Democrats seem to be more influenced by the contributions they receive, a new Saint Louis University research finds.

Global bird populations face dramatic decline in coming decades, study predicts
Ten percent of all bird species are likely to disappear by the year 2100, and another 15 percent could be on the brink of extinction, according to a new study by Stanford University biologists. 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