Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 01, 2005
Multi-purpose protein regulates new protein synthesis and immune cell development
A signaling protein called IRE1, which helps stressed-out cells make new proteins, may be more versatile and important than scientists believed.

Key mechanism in genetic inheritance during cell division identified
A key mechanism in the passing of genetic material from a parent cell to daughter cells appears to have been identified by a team of Berkeley researchers.

Oregon may lead future of wave energy
Significant advances in university research and other studies in the past two years are pointing toward Oregon as the possible epicenter of wave energy development in the United States.

Cardiac imaging is underused in women to diagnose disease
Cardiac imaging methods such as stress single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and stress echocardiography work as well in women as in men to accurately diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD).

More homeless mentally ill than expected according to UCSD study: Interventions urged
The prevalence of homelessness in persons with serious mental illness is 15 percent, a higher percentage than suggested in previous studies, according to new research by investigators at the UCSD School of Medicine.

Earth & Space Week 2005: Celebrating our planet while reaching for the stars
From 12 to 20 February, world leaders, policy makers and space experts will gather in Brussels for a week packed with events organised with a view to the 3rd Earth Observation Summit - taking place for the first time in Europe - and a major conference on international cooperation in space.

Increased risk of osteoporosis associated with gene that one in five people have
About nineteen percent of people have a genetic variation that may increase susceptibility to osteoporosis, a new study reveals.

New bedside tool gauges mortality risk in heart failure patients
For the first time, UCLA researchers have developed a new tool - used right at the bedside upon hospital admission - to quickly predict the mortality risk in patients hospitalized with heart failure.

AGU journal highlights - 1 February 2005
In this edition: Detecting landmines with sound without touching the ground; Aged soot loves water; Natural lightning emits X rays too; The

Stopping smallpox in its tracks: A new anti-viral approach
Natural or deliberate exposure to smallpox poses a great health threat.

Calcium and vitamin D most effective for treatment of Crohn's-related bone loss
According to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the addition of popular bone building drugs to calcium and vitamin D therapy to treat bone loss associated with Crohn's disease is not beneficial.

State policies decrease youth smoking, drinking and sex
A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that state policies, such as taxing the sale of cigarettes and alcohol, decrease teenage smoking and drinking.

Infection in breast implants
Breast augmentation is the most frequent type of plastic surgery done in the UK and--after nose reshaping and liposuction--it is the third most common cosmetic procedure in the USA.

Cholesterol under-treated in high-risk women in managed care study
Nearly two-thirds of women at highest risk for a heart attack and death from heart disease who have dangerously high cholesterol levels are not benefiting from life-saving cholesterol-lowering medications, according to a report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Single stem cells from bone heal a broken heart
The ability of the human heart to regenerate or repair damaged tissue after a heart attack is limited.

Neoadjuvant and adjuvant systemic therapy for breast cancer give equivalent survival, study finds
The timing of systemic therapy--chemotherapy or endocrine therapy--for breast cancer does not appear to affect survival or disease progression.

Beer-drinking rats count calories better than many people, UF researchers say
Weight-conscious people should heed the humble rat, which stays trim by instinctively cutting calories when indulging in alcoholic drinks, say researchers at the University of Florida's Evelyn F. and William L.

Heat response provides evidence for high temperature superfluidity in cold 'fermion' gas
Duke and University of Chicago researchers found signs that the gas can undergo a phase change leading to a novel state.

Promise of 'bladder pacemaker' for people with spinal cord injury
Biomedical engineers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have demonstrated for the first time that stimulating a specific nerve in the pelvis triggers the process that causes urine to begin flowing out from the bladder, refuting conventional thinking that

News Tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Journal highlights include Antidepressants, BDNF, and the Dentate Gyrus; and Crossing Bridges to Spinal Cord Regeneration.

Phobic anxiety increases heart disease death risk among women
Women with phobic anxieties, such as the fear of crowded places, heights or going outside, are at higher risk for fatal heart disease than women with fewer or no anxieties, according to a report in today's Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show
In the first field trial of plants genetically tweaked to absorb more contaminants, researchers from UC Berkeley and the USDA found that the transgenic plants handily beat out their wild-type counterparts.

$10-million study explores men's role in transmitting HPV
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the subject of a $10-million grant at Moffitt Cancer Center -- the world's largest study of men's role in transmitting the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Sequential MDCT sufficient for determining possible risk of coronary artery disease
Sequential MDCT offers an adequate way to stratify which patients have calcium build-up in their coronary arteries--a possible risk factor for developing coronary artery disease, a new study shows.

Smoking causes cognitive impairment in adolescents
Adolescents who smoke show impairment of working memory and other cognitive functions.

Two studies find evidence that sunlight may have beneficial influence on cancer
Two new studies in the February 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute have found that sun exposure may have a beneficial influence on some types of cancer.

Wiley presents its 2004 Gaden Award to Jeffrey A. Hubbell
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that the recipient of the 2004 Gaden Award is Jeffrey A.

Temple researcher attempting to create cyclic ozone using ultrafast lasers
With nearly twice the energy of normal, bent-shaped ozone (O3), cyclic ozone could hold the key component for a future manned-mission to Mars.

Rush physicians using gene therapy for heart patients with moderate to severe chest pains
Individuals with moderate to severe chest pains (angina) who have not found relief from medication may benefit from a new gene therapy approach being used by cardiologists at Rush to grow new blood vessels in the heart.

Assessment of recent rapid land-cover change yields portraits of global human impact
The February 2005 issue of BioScience, the monthly journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), includes a new assessment of rapid land-cover change around the world over the period from 1981 to 2000.

Experimental radar provides 3-D forest view
An advanced radar technique to image forests in three dimensions has undergone an ESA-backed test campaign in Indonesia.

Sunlight reduces risk of lymph gland cancer
Sunlight reduces risk of lymph gland cancer A new study from Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University shows that, contrary to previous belief, sunlight reduces the chances of developing tumours in the lymphatic glands (malignant lymphoma).

Progress toward a more targeted treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Scientists from VIB connected with K.U.Leuven have shed a little more light on Alzheimer's disease.

Treatment for brain tumor does not always follow recommendations
An examination of how the most common type of primary brain tumor is treated found that care does not always follow established practice guidelines, according to a study in the February 2 issue of JAMA.

New geologic map of North America illustrates discoveries and advances in geoscience
The last definitive geologic map of North America was published before the theory of plate tectonics was widely accepted, back in the days when impact craters were known simply as

AHA urges earlier diagnoses, referrals for PCI in women
Physicians should diagnose and provide referrals for percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) earlier in women, the American Heart Association recommends in a statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

No magic pill for treating dementia symptoms
Many of the drugs commonly prescribed to treat agitation, delusions and other symptoms that can accompany dementia are not effective, researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues report this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cell phone users drive like old folks
If you have been stuck in traffic behind a motorist yakking on a cellular phone, a new University of Utah study will sound familiar: When young motorists talk on cell phones, they drive like elderly people, moving and reacting more slowly and increasing their risk of accidents.

Women's heart risk underestimated by doctors, resulting in less preventive care than in men
Women are less likely than men to receive recommendations from their doctors for preventive therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin therapy and cardiac rehabilitation to protect them against heart attacks and death, according to a study published in today's issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

ASGE announces grant recipients in annual research awards program
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the ASGE Foundation announced this year's institutional winners of medical research grants, as part of the ASGE's annual Research & Outcomes & Effectiveness Awards Program.

Blocking cell signaling can stymie viral infections, study shows
In a finding that represents an entirely new approach to treating viral diseases such as smallpox, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborating institutions have shown that infections can be stymied by interfering with signals viruses use to reproduce in human cells.

Study says supportive relationships more protective against major depression for women
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that women who feel more loved and supported by their friends, relatives and children are less at risk for major depression than men, suggesting important gender differences in the pathways leading to depression.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for February 2005 (first issue)
Newsworthy highlights include studies showing that: a 7-day course of hydrocortisone infusion helped to resolve severe pneumonia and prevented life-threatening sepsis complications; sildenafil, prescribed for male erectile dysfunction, protected men against high-altitude induced pulmonary hypertension, improved pulmonary gas exchange, and limited altitude-induced hypoxemia; and researchers have controlled the major transmissible pathogen that affects cystic fibrosis patients by segregating those with the communicable strain during hospitalization.

Compound from rare plant shows promise in treating breast cancer
After five years of painstaking, sophisticated tests, scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered that a compound, derived from a rare South American plant, stops the growth of human breast cancer cells in laboratory cultures.

Diffusion-weighted MRI can diagnose 'mad cow'-related disease in humans before symptoms show
Diffusion-weighted MRI is

Balancing care decisions for gravely ill patients
Mayo Clinic researchers studying gravely ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients found that unrealistic family expectations resulted in the increased use of health care resources without a significant improvement in survival rate among these patients.

Clinicians report missing patient information is common
A survey of clinicians indicates that missing clinical information for patients is common and may adversely affect patients, according to a study in the February 2 issue of JAMA.

Gene therapy promising for growing tooth-supporting bone
A University of Michigan research team has found that introducing a growth factor protein into a mouth wound using gene therapy helped generate bone around dental implants, according to a new paper in the February issue of the journal Molecular Therapy.

COX-2 inhibitor increases the risk of heart attack in elderly adults with no history of heart attack
New research published in the on-line version of the Annals of Internal Medicine today, documents an increased risk of heart attack with one of the COX-2 inhibitors used in elderly adults with no previous history of heart attack--a group previously considered low-risk.

Business before pleasure: Emotions play key role in guiding consumer spending
New research shows consumers typically avoid feelings of guilt by purchasing products they need rather than what they want.

Research guides medication choices for young Asthma patients
New research should help physicians choose effective asthma medications tailored to the characteristics of their individual patients.

Yale researcher studying acupuncture to reduce back pain in pregnancy
A Yale researcher and expert in the practice of acupuncture is conducting a study on the effectiveness of this ancient Chinese practice in reducing low back pain during pregnancy.

Sensor technology at Case Western Reserve University can help uncover package tampering
In a world with an intensified need for security, Case Western Reserve University researchers are developing materials that could make consumers less susceptible to product tampering or failures.

The Qur'an offers women the same rights, author says
The Qur'an, Islam's sacred text, offers Muslim women the same rights as men, according to a new book,

How the brain creates false memories
Memories of people who observe complex events are notoriously susceptible to alteration if they receive misleading information about the event after it has taken place.

Heart specialists call for cardiovascular screening for all young competitive athletes
International heart and sports medicine experts writing in the European Heart Journal (Wednesday 2 February)have called for a Europe-wide cardiovascular screening programme for all young athletes before they are allowed to take part in competitive athletics.

Testosterone supplements for elderly men
The University of Manchester has just launched trials to investigate whether increasing the testosterone levels of frail elderly men could improve their strength, energy and mobility.

Other highlights in the February 2 JNCI
Other highlights in the February 2 JNCI include a finding that most colorectal cancer patients receive inadequate lymph node evaluation, an examination of the possible association between obesity and malignant lymphomas, a study of the reasons behind the high cure rate of Down syndrome children with a type of leukemia, and a review of the use of imaging in assessing angiogenesis drugs.

Swift sees pinwheel galaxy, satellite fully operational
The Swift satellite's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) has seen first light, capturing an image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, long loved by amateur astronomers as the

New way to block pox shows promise in lab study
Acute viral infections, including smallpox, may be halted by aiming a drug not at the virus but at the cellular machinery it needs to spread from cell to cell--an approach that might eliminate the problem of antiviral drug resistance, report researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Ancient statue of Hermes fitted for earthquake protection
The world-renowned statue Hermes with the Infant Dionysos has been equipped with innovative seismic protective devices that will help the 7-foot-high marble statue of the Greek god withstand powerful earthquakes.

Positive emotions slash bias, help people see big picture details
Positive emotions like joy and humor help people

Dartmouth awarded $21.8 million NSF grant
An interdisciplinary group led by Dartmouth researcher Michael Gazzaniga has received a $21.8 million National Science Foundation grant to establish the Center for Cognitive and Educational Neuroscience (CCEN), as part of NSF's new Science and Learning Center (SLC) initiative.

Mapping the underwater world in 3-D
Scientists will be able to view the sea bed in incredible 3-D detail following new investment and collaboration in the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Science at Cardiff University.

National Academy of Engineering announces million-dollar challenge to provide safe drinking water
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the establishment of the Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability.

Wax works: Wax proves a perfect model of the Earth's crust
Physicists in the US have proven that wax is a perfect model of the ocean floors.

New research could help physicians tailor asthma therapy in children
Researchers have identified specific asthma characteristics in children that could help determine the type of asthma treatment they will best respond to.

Brain tumor treatment can vary greatly, according to new JAMA study
Primary malignant brain tumors are not very common -- about 9,000 patients diagnosed per year -- and are associated with a poor prognosis.

Lupus Research Institute increases funding for innovative research
Committed to its core belief that original thinking--idea-driven science--is the overarching need in lupus research, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) is raising its individual novel research grant awards to $300,000. 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