Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 27, 2005
Passive smoking in childhood may increase risk of lung cancer in later life
Children who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoking) are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer as adults, says a paper in this week's BMJ.

Auditory screening for newborns can be successful, UT Southwestern researchers report
Universal screening of newborns' hearing at large public hospitals, which annually deliver tens of thousands of babies, can be done more effectively when infants are not only tested four hours after birth - as required by many states - but also by rescreening those with a suspected problem before discharge and, if necessary, retesting infants at 10 days old, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers reported.

Longer cardiac rehab programs necessary, says U of T study
Although three months are often prescribed for cardiac rehabilitation, it takes nine months for patients to reach peak improvement, say researchers from the University of Toronto.

Penn study shows how next-generation diabetic drugs could work more selectively
In an attempt to find a new generation of diabetic drugs that will minimize side effects, researchers report a new understanding of how thiazolidinediones (TZDs), widely used diabetic medications, work in fat cells.

Steroid discoveries could add bulk to crop harvests
Discoveries made by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers open a new pathway to understanding how plant steroids work and may one day lead to less expensive ways to trigger growth enhancement of plants.

Medical meeting to feature research findings and disease prevention and health promotion sessions
New research findings and emerging issues in disease prevention and health promotion highlight the program for Preventive Medicine 2005, the premier national conference held annually for physicians and other healthcare professionals with an interest in preventive medicine.

Animal study shows link between nicotine and atrial flutter
In a recent animal study, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles have found that chronic nicotine ingestion after a heart attack significantly increases the incidence of cardiac fibrosis and causes electrical remodeling of the heart.

Disaster funding needs radical reform
We need to rethink the way we respond to large scale disasters such as the recent tsunami, say international health and relief experts in this week's BMJ.

UCLA researchers detail the evolution of quantum dot imaging in the journal Science
The evolution over the last two decades of the nanocrystals known as quantum dots has seen the growth of this revolutionary new tool from electronic materials science to far-reaching biological applications that will allow researchers to study cell processes at the level of a single molecule and may result in new and better ways to diagnose and treat cancers.

Study shows that diabetes increases risk of blood poisoning
A new study adds potentially fatal blood infections to the list of health risks from diabetes, a condition that is on the rise in the United States as obesity rates climb, according to the Feb.

Early surgical treatment not always necessary for patients with brain haemorrhage
Results of a randomised trial published in today's issue of The Lancet suggest that early surgery is no better than medical treatment for patients with brain haemorrhage.

Mayo Clinic discovers a key to 'low metabolism' - and major factor in obesity
Wiggle, walk, tap your toes, shop, dance, clean your basement, play the guitar to boost your NEAT - or if you're a scientist, your

Startling results from new biomedical research international conference
Researchers have discovered how to convert liver cells of mice into pancreatic cells using a single injection.

Calcium may protect women from cancer
A University of Minnesota Cancer Center study found that women consuming more than 800 milligrams of calcium each day reduced their risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 26 to 46 percent.

A new mechanism of regulating RNA degradation
As any dedicated video game player knows, the first requirement for using a weapon or tool is finding it.

Satellite data reveal immense pollution pool over Bihar, India
Scientists studying satellite data have discovered an immense wintertime pool of pollution over the northern Indian state of Bihar.

How the stories of ordinary people could give them more say over planning decisions
Stories in their own words from men and women directly caught up in debates and controversies over threats from technologies to themselves and their environment are to be recorded and analysed in new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Racial groupings match genetic profiles, Stanford study finds
Checking a box next to a racial/ethnic category gives several pieces of information about people - the continent where their ancestors were born, the possible color of their skin and perhaps something about their risk of different diseases.

NETL and Carnegie Mellon team up to create new paradigms for hydrogen production
The Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new computational modeling tool that could make the production of hydrogen cheaper as the United States seeks to expand its portfolio of alternative energy supplies.

Study bolsters greenhouse effect theory, solves ice age mystery
Critics who dismiss the importance of greenhouse gases as a cause of climate change lost one piece of ammunition this week.

Chemical used in marine paint may damage hearing in whales
A toxic chemical painted on the bottom of large vessels to protect against barnacles may cause hearing difficulties in whales and other mammals.

Despite causes of lupus proving complex, critical 'checkpoint' suggesting new therapy is revealed
Scientists at The Rockefeller University have determined that the autoimmune disease lupus results from a combination of genetics that likely varies from person to person, and that a common

Need better social research but it doesn't come cheap
Social science is regarded as a relatively inexpensive area of research, but human decision processes are as complex and elusive as anything in biology, physics or chemistry, and the resources needed to study them effectively are considerable.

Monkeys pay per view
In a finding that deepens our understanding of animal social cognition, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have demonstrated for the first time that monkeys, like humans, value information according to its social content.

Molecular biology fills gaps in knowledge of bat evolution
One in five mammals living on Earth is a bat, yet their evolutionary history is largely unknown because of a limited fossil record and conflicting or incomplete theories about their origins and divergence.

Scientists ID molecular 'switch' in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have identified a molecular mechanism in the liver that explains, for the first time, how consuming foods rich in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids causes elevated blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and increases one's risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Virginia Tech, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments sign memorandum of understanding
Virginia Tech and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop research collaborations and educational and training programs that will serve COG's constituents and provide Virginia Tech with unique research and educational opportunities related to metropolitan issues.

Wider use of simpler cervical cancer screening could benefit women in developing countries
An easy, inexpensive method using ordinary vinegar in screening women for cervical cancer could be applied in more situations in developing countries around the world, thus increasing the number of women whose disease is caught early and treated.

Study reports women don't experience undue pain, anxiety during mammography screening
The assumption that women avoid mammograms for fear of pain is challenged in a study published in the February 2005 issue of The American Journal of Roentgenology, which finds that women undergoing screening mammography report minimal levels of distress.

Columbia researcher identifies cellular defect that may contribute to autism
The causes of autism have long remained a mystery, but new research from Columbia University Medical Center has identified, for the first time, how a cellular defect may be involved in the often crippling neurological disorder.

From town planning to intimate sex: Understanding the risks in our lives
The recently formed Social Contexts and Responses to Risk network (SCARR) will be launched at a conference in Canterbury 28 - 29 January.

Cooling lessens brain damage in sick newborn babies
Cooling the brains of babies deprived of oxygen at birth can reduce the risk of brain damage and cerebral palsy, according to an international study published today (January 28) in the Lancet on-line.

Have profiling microwave radiometer, will travel
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is in the final phases of testing a mobile atmospheric-measuring station, soon to head on worldwide tour to fill data gaps in global climate models.

Risk and intimate relationships: Can hope triumph over experience in an age of 'messy' lives?
In an age when neither jobs nor marriages are for life, how do people perceive and weigh-up their options for partnering, reproduction and employment?

Telemedicine is healthcare's new frontier
Telemedicine is healthcare's new frontier, a means of facilitating the distribution of human resources and professional competences.

Coal cleaning technology to be used to recover coal from waste
Billions of tons of coal that have been considered waste for decades can now become an energy source, thanks to the advanced separation technologies developed at Virginia Tech.

Protein stops growth of brain tumor, OHSU study shows
A protein developed by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University blocks the growth of an aggressive and deadly brain tumor in laboratory rats, a new study shows.

Researchers discover genetic variant that may explain why women develop M.S. more than men
Why do women develop multiple sclerosis (MS) almost twice as often as men?

Genetic regions influencing male sexual orientation identified
In the first-ever study combing the entire human genome for genetic determinants of male sexual orientation, a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has identified several areas that appear to influence whether a man is heterosexual or gay.

New puzzle-piece shows how growth hormones work in plants
Plant and animal growth is controlled by steroid hormones, which tell specific genes in cells to begin increasing cell size.

Indiana University scientists' research success puts Indiana in new stem cell business
Scientific discoveries by two Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have led to the creation of EndGenitor Technologies Inc., a life sciences company whose products could someday repair the blood vessels of heart attack victims and diabetics.

UCSD-Salk team show protein's gene-silencing role in development of nervous system
The first evidence that a group of proteins called phosphatases play a key role in the development of the nervous system, has been shown in fruit flies and mice by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, in collaboration with scientists at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California.

First US kidney cancer vaccine trial underway at Columbia
The first U.S. kidney cancer vaccine trial is now underway at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

Green tea extract boosts exercise endurance 8-24%, utilizing fat as energy source
Green tea extract improved exercise endurance up to 24%, depending on dosage, though GTE's active ingredient was less effective. 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