Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 03, 2005
Two self-fulfilling prophecies are stronger, and more harmful, than one
Time and again, research has demonstrated the power of an individual's self-fulfilling prophecies - if you envision yourself tripping as you walk across a stage, you will be more likely to stumble and fall.

Very shy children may process some facial expressions differently
Children who appear to have higher levels of shyness, or a particular gene, appear to have a different pattern of processing the signals of interpersonal hostility, according to a study in the January issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Winter biological processes may help spread shrubs in the Arctic
A variety of evidence now suggests that subsurface winter biological processes contribute to a positive feedback mechanism that is leading to the expansion of shrubs in the Arctic, with potentially important implications for the global carbon budget.

New grant to study infertility
Dr. David Carroll, Florida Tech assistant professor of biological sciences, has earned a grant for $187,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research fertilization and early development in the starfish.

Holes in fossil shells show effects of competition and evolution
Fossil records of the holes drilled in clam shells before and after a mass extinction two million years ago show patterns of predator-prey behavior indicating that although diversity recovered rapidly, the level of competition has not, according to an article in the journal Science.

Cincinnati study of Chernobyl residents uncovers new cause of thyroid cancer
Yuri E. Nukiforov led a team of researchers from both Cincinnati University and the University of Munich in identifying a novel oncogene (a mutated and/or overproduced version of a normal gene that alone or together with other changes can convert a cell into a tumor cell) in papillary thyroid carcinomas that developed in patients exposed to radiation at Chernobyl.

Component of plastic stimulates growth of certain prostate cancer cells
An estrogen-like chemical commonly used to synthesize plastic food containers has been shown to encourage the growth of a specific category of prostate cancer cell, potentially affecting the treatment efficacy for a subset of prostate cancers.

The giant eagle of Middle Earth
In the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, a phylogenetic analysis reveals the rapid increase in size of a New Zealand eagle, demonstrating the speed at which evolution can act on islands.

Study finds heavy drinking linked to higher stroke risk
A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has found that heavy drinkers -- men who consume an average of three or more alcoholic beverages per day -- are nearly 45 percent more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke compared with nondrinkers.

Anti-psychotic drugs may be associated with increased risk of diabetes in schizophrenia patients
Patients treated with the atypical anti-psychotic agents clozapine and olanzapine may be at an increased risk for insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for diabetes mellitus, according to a study in the January issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

IL-7 wipes out HIV-1 hideouts
The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), has resulted in a dramatic improvement in health status for a large number of HIV-infected individuals.

Mothers speak: Physicians often fall short when delivering a down syndrome diagnosis
A survey of mothers in the January issue of Pediatrics found that physicians remain overwhelmingly negative in communicating a diagnosis of Down syndrome in newborn infants.

Study shows long-term use of NSAIDs causes severe intestinal damage
According to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, chronic users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have an increased risk of bleeding and visible damage to their small intestine.

Study links sexual behavior, genetic factors to increased risk of kidney infection in women under 50
Some of the same sexual behaviors and genetic factors that put women at risk for simple, lower urinary tract infections (UTIs)--as well as some unexpected factors--make them susceptible to more serious kidney infections.

Suspect protein found to play protective role in chronic lung disease
A cell surface protein regarded as a potential troublemaker in the lungs plays a surprising protective role mitigating the damage caused by chronic pulmonary diseases such as asthma and emphysema.

Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists discover key proteins linked to aging and cancer
Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers have made new discoveries that shed new light on the mystery of why human tissues, such as skin, age.

Stanford study shows hypnosis helps kids undergoing difficult procedure
Stanford researchers have found that hypnosis lessened distress in young patients who must undergo painful annual exams called voiding cystourethography, or VCUG.

Urinary tract infections likely caused by tainted food
A multi-state outbreak of urinary tract infections caused by drug-resistant Escherichia coli was probably due to consumption of a contaminated food product of animal origin, such as meat or milk, according to an article in the Jan.

Urban ecology study witnessing the birth of a 'designer ecosystem'
After seven years, the scientists involved in the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project are convinced that they are looking at a new kind of ecosystem - a

Elementary school intervention boosts positive functioning in early adulthood
An elementary school intervention program that taught children impulse control and gave their teachers and parents better management skills has long-lasting effects extending into early adulthood, showing that the children are more productive and well-adjusted members of society.

Scientists identify molecular events that drive cell senescence
Scientists have identified specific cellular events that enable a cell to make the transition from a state of active growth to an irreversible state of growth arrest, called senescence.

NIH action plan charts future challenges for liver disease research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today released the trans-NIH Action Plan for Liver Disease Research, a comprehensive plan that addresses the burden of liver diseases in the United States and maps out challenges for future research.

Scientists develop split green for tagging protein
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a new protein tagging and detection system based on a process for

Jefferson virologists coax HIV out of hiding
After treatment with HAART, a cocktail of anti-HIV drugs, the virus instead goes into hiding, undetectable in the body and impervious to attack.

Heart-stopping antibodies
The immune system uses antibodies to target foreign,

A key signaling molecule in osteoarthritis is identified
Using naturally-occurring mutant mice with a defective collagen gene, scientists at Harvard have identified a signaling molecule involved in one of the most common causes of disability among the elderly in the United States, osteoarthritis.

Genome comparison of four campylobacter strains yields new genetic markers and clues to virulence
In a study that could benefit medical and food-safety research, scientists have used comparative genomics tools to find clues about why some strains of the bacterium Campylobacter - which each year cause more than 400 million cases of gastrointestinal disease - are more virulent than others.

Ethics of neuroimaging research to be focus of NIH/Stanford meeting
A Jan. 6-7 meeting in Bethesda, Md., sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with the Stanford University School of Medicine, is designed to help research institutions set standards for their brain imaging studies.

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan. 4, 2005
The current issue includes the following articles: Review of major commercial weight loss programs finds little evidence and great variation in components, counseling cost, and effectiveness; Heavy drinking is associated with risk for stroke; Study: Patients successfully managed their own blood thinners and had few complications.

Social development program in childhood aids in positive functioning as an adult
Young adults who participated in a social development training program in elementary school reported greater job stability, less incidence of drug use, and greater overall emotional well being compared with a control group, according to an article in the January issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Transplantation of monkey embryonic stem cells reverses Parkinson disease in primates
Researchers from Kyoto University have now shown that dopamine-producing neurons generated from monkey embryonic stem cells and transplanted into areas of the brain where these neurons have degenerated in a monkey model of Parkinson disease, can reverse parkinsonism.

Birth simulator helps physicians I.D. least forceful way to manage problem deliveries
Johns Hopkins researchers, using a novel birthing simulator designed by biomedical engineering faculty, staff and students at the University, have identified what may be the least forceful way to deliver a baby whose shoulders are stuck in the birth canal.

Mayo Clinic study suggests no link between autism and immunizations
Over the past 20 years, there has been speculation about a connection between immunizations and an increase in autism.

Health care costs higher for children with special health care needs
Although children with special health care needs comprised less than 16 percent of the child population, they had health care expenditures three times higher than other children, according to an article in the January issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Thoracic Society journal news tips for January 2005 (first issue)
Newsworthy articles feature studies showing that: school-age survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the chronic lung disease of prematurity, demonstrated impaired lung function test results while revealing low levels of a marker of pulmonary cellular dysfunction; individuals who are beryllium sensitive progress to chronic beryllium disease at a rate of 6 to 8 percent per year; and early high procalcitonin levels following a diagnosis of ventilator-associated pneumonia are strong predictors of unfavorable outcome.

Satellite images of Asian disaster
A week after the tsunami that hit Asia on 26 December the death toll is still rising.

Highlights of January 2005 issue of Biology of Reproduction
The January 2005 issue of Biology of Reproduction features groundbreaking papers dealing with genetic modification of germline stem cells and offering new insights into the

UA scientist on deep impact mission ready for spacecraft's launch
If all goes as planned, Deep Impact will become the first mission to slam into a comet, giving astronomers worldwide something far better than any other fireworks show on July 4, 2005-the first look inside a comet at the most primitive material left in the solar system.

A new service from the European Patent Office
The European Patent Office is pleased to announce the addition to its epolineĀ® range of products and services of a new online service called Register Plus.
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