Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 03, 2005
Rehabilitation can restore some vision after stroke
Patients who lose vision after stroke can regain some of it through therapy that strengthens nerve cell activity, researchers reported at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2005.

Full-body MRI shows promise for screening, but should stay in research area for now, study says
The use of full-body cardiovascular and tumor MRI to screen for disease in patients who do not have any suspicious symptoms is technically feasible, but for the present, full-body MRI screening should not be performed outside of a research setting due to the uncertainty of whether the benefits outweigh the risks, according to a new study by researchers from the University Hospital of Essen in Germany.

PGA on a tour under the skin
Staphylococcus epidermidis is harmless on skin, but is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

Satellites see Siberian fires most common near people
Until now, most researchers assumed that lightning caused most of the fires that burned in Siberia.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2005
Story highlights from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory include: MATERIALS -- A layer at a time; HOMELAND SECURITY -- Safe harbors; GEOGRAPHY -- Case closed; and GENETICS -- Biosystems approach to skull disorder.

Using global warming to create conditions for life on Mars
Injecting synthetic

Experiments prove existence of atomic chain 'anchors'
Atoms at the ends of self-assembled atomic chains act like anchors with lower energy levels than the

Guidelines restricting endoscopy referrals put patients at risk
New guidelines restricting GPs from referring patients for endoscopy - a hospital procedure to check for cancer of the gullet or stomach - put patients at risk, says a letter in this week's BMJ.

Older people get the big picture faster, and they are less inhibited
The long-held belief that older people perform slower and worse than younger people has been proven wrong.

Best treatment for mild or moderate depression unclear
Guidelines for the management of mild or moderate depression are unclear because firm evidence is lacking, claim doctors in this week's BMJ.

Poverty in Northern Ireland
Senior social scientists and policy-makers meet in Belfast tomorrow (Friday, February 4) to explore how far the government is succeeding in abolishing child poverty, reducing social exclusion, and improving equal opportunities in Northern Ireland.

Stat5 protein inhibits spread of breast cancer cells
The presence of a protein known as Stat5 prevents laboratory-grown breast cancer cells from becoming invasive and aggressive, according to new research from Georgetown University.

Anti-depressants used during pregnancy linked to neonatal withdrawal syndrome
Babies exposed to anti-depressants called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in the womb may be born with withdrawal syndrome, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet. The authors of the study conclude that doctors should avoid or cautiously manage the prescribing of these drugs to pregnant women with psychiatric disorders.

Worldwide collaboration to answer big questions on climate
An international network of scientists collaborating through groundbreaking technology is aiming to shed new light on climate change.

UN University unveils plans for major global centre on innovation and development
A proposal to merge The Netherlands-based United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) with the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) would create a major global research centre focusing on innovation and development, the largest of its kind worldwide.

Pro-inflammatory protein contributes to Crohn's disease according to UCSD School of Medicine study
A pro-inflammatory protein activated by bacteria in the colon plays a key role in the development of experimental colitis in mice - a mouse-version of human Crohn's disease - according to research by scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.

Optimal treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome
Results of a recent clinical trial by a team of researchers in Madrid suggest that local steroid injection is just as effective as surgery for the long-term symptomatic relief of carpal tunnel syndrome - for a year, at least - and actually more effective over the short term.

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to excess risk of congestive heart failure
The authors' findings indicate rheumatoid arthritis as a significant risk factor for congestive heart failure - independent of established risk factors for heart attack and a history of atherosclerosis.

Doctors need to prepare for blood shortages now
Doctors need to prepare for shortages in the supply of blood for transfusion, warns an expert in this week's BMJ.

'Man the Hunter' theory is debunked in new book
You wouldn't know it by current world events, but humans actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals.

A filter that enhances the power of communications satellites
Researchers at the Public University of Navarre are designing and developing a filter that enhances the power of communications satellites for the European Space Agency.

World-first living donor islet cell transplant a success
A University of Alberta surgeon, well known for his pioneering work in developing the Edmonton Protocol treatment for diabetes, has taken another important step in the fight against diabetes.

Not-for-profit publishers call NIH public access rule a missed opportunity
The final public NIH rule is wasteful of federal research dollars and a missed opportunity to take advantage of available technology and existing efforts, according to leading not-for-profit medical and scientific publishers.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients at higher risk for unrecognized heart disease and cardiac sudden death
People with rheumatoid arthritis not only have a higher risk of coronary heart disease than those in the general population, but they have more silent, unrecognized heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.

Effective cancer treatments follow the clock
Oncologists have long thought that cancer treatments tend to be more effective at certain times of day.

The research assessment exercise is damaging UK medicine
The current method for assessing the quality of research in universities and colleges in the UK is having a negative impact on medical schools and should be abolished, concludes a commentary in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Pathogen-mimicking vaccine as strategy for cancer therapy
Results from the first clinical trial of a therapeutic cancer vaccine combining the synthetic bacterial DNA sequence, CpG 7909 (ProMuneTM, Coley Pharmaceutical), with a peptide antigen were reported today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Dedicated hospital stroke centers improve quality of acute care
Hospitals with certified, designated stroke centers administer clot-busting therapy and respond with needed tests and exams for acute stroke patients better than hospitals lacking certification, according to two new studies presented today at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2005.

Fleshing out the genome
Scientists describe a powerful new proteomics and bioinformatics method that integrates experimental and computational analyses to ascribe function to genes that had been termed

Opportunity missed: TIA patients receive less aggressive attention than those with stroke
Transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients receive less aggressive diagnostic testing, treatment and education compared to stroke patients, which is a missed opportunity to prevent permanent disability or death, researchers reported at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2005.

Cell research signals cancer hope
Scientists have moved a step closer to understanding what happens when cells receive a faulty signal that is known to be a cause of cancer.

Light continues to echo three years after stellar outburst
The Hubble Space Telescope's latest image of the star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) reveals dramatic changes in the illumination of surrounding dusty cloud structures.

HIV/AIDS conspiracy theories may hamper efforts to halt the disease
Public health officials need to address conspiracy theories surrounding the spread and treatment of HIV/AIDS in African American communities, comments an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Biology in four dimensions
Scientists now have a clear idea of when proteins form 'molecular machines' in the cell - are they pre-fabricated or put together on the spot for each specific job?

University of Washington joins new Autism Treatment Network to provide better medical services
Six leading medical institutions, including the Autism Center at the University of Washington, are joining forces with physicians and parents to form the nonprofit Austism Treatment Network.

Researchers at UT Southwestern discover new function for old enzyme
In a step toward understanding the early evolution of the cell, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that an enzyme important in the production of energy also protects the mitochondria, the energy factory itself.

New study suggests race fear isn't hard wired
If you've ever walked down a dark alley and seen a stranger approach, then you probably know that automatic vigilance - a signal from your brain making you more alert.

Special imaging study shows failing hearts are 'energy starved'
Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for the first time to examine energy production biochemistry in a beating human heart, Johns Hopkins researchers have found substantial energy deficits in failing hearts.

Least protection offered to those most at risk of sudden cardiac death
Those most at risk of dying from sudden cardiac death in England are offered the least protection from available preventative measures, say researchers on
Early supported discharge services can reduce long term dependency for stroke patients
Stroke patients who are discharged early from hospital to home and given community support are more likely to be independent than those who receive conventional care, suggests a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Migraine-sparked vision loss may increase stroke risk in women; Migraine
Women who experience vision loss as a symptom of migraine have a 70 percent increase in risk of stroke compared to women who don't have migraines, researchers reported today at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2005.

Public interest advocates question NIH Enhanced Access policy
Public interest supporters of the NIH Enhanced Public Access Plan today declared the just-announced policy falls short of their expectations and long-standing recommendations.

Flocking together: Study shows how animal groups find their way
A study led by Princeton biologists has revealed a remarkably simple mechanism that allows flocking birds, schooling fish or running herds to travel in unison without any recognized leaders or signaling system.

Lost tolerance is a grave Omenn
Omenn syndrome is a disease associated with defective T and B cells, caused by mutations in RAG1 or RAG2, which hamper B and T cell generation.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients have double the risk of heart failure
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients have twice the risk of heart failure, or a weakening of the heart's ability to pump blood, as those without rheumatoid arthritis.

Alcohol: Global burden on health similar to tobacco and high blood pressure
The amount of death and disability caused by alcohol globally is similar to that caused by tobacco and high blood pressure, concludes a review in this week's issue of The Lancet.

McGill researcher looks at the genetics behind cheese
The art of making great cheese has moved from the farm to the genetics lab.

Bacterial spread all down to chance: Some strains 'just the lucky ones'
Scientists have discovered that factors such as human immunity and drug resistance are less important to the success of bacterial spread than previously thought.

HIV vaccine trial breaks ground for future research
The results of the world's first phase 3 HIV vaccine efficacy trial are reported in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Controlling protein diversity
Proteins called coactivators control the process by which a single gene can initiate production of several proteins in a process called alternative splicing, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in today's issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

Blasted coral reefs need tender, low-cost care
Rehabilitation of destroyed coral reefs is expensive, but researchers may have lower cost solutions.

Calit2 launches prize program to encourage bioinformatics research by UCSD undergraduates
A technology institute at UC San Diego handed out its first awards to honor undergraduate researchers in bioinformatics.

National Academies Advisory: Priorities for future space exploration
Science in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, new from the National Academies' National Research Council, reviews NASA's objectives for implementing its Vision for Space Exploration, a new set of goals for human and robotic exploration of the solar system and beyond.

Binghamton University launches microelectronics research center
With a $10 million competitively bid contract from the U.S.

Substance protects resilient staph bacteria
Researchers have identified a promising new target in their fight against a dangerous bacterium that sickens people in hospitals, especially people who receive medical implants such as catheters, artificial joints and heart valves.

Government approach to cutting hospital stays may be misleading
Government plans to use community matrons to help keep older people out of hospital may be based on misleading data, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.
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