Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2005
Open microfluidic and nanofluidic systems
Max Planck scientists develop fundamentals for new microfluidic and nanofluidic devices.

Another look finds promising proteomics test is not biologically plausible
In a new study, researchers present a

New test improves detection of bladder cancer
Testing for a certain protein in urine was found to increase the accuracy for diagnosis of bladder cancer, according to a study in the February 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology.

Next generation body scanner launched by the University of Manchester
The first 'next generation' MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) body scanner in the world will be officially launched at Hope Hospital later this week (Friday 18th February).

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for February 2005 (second issue)
A new study shows that montelukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, significantly decreased the rate of exacerbations in 2- to 5-year-old asthma patients who suffered from intermittent symptoms.

Single-donor islet transplantation procedure shows promise for patients with type 1 diabetes
Patients with type 1 diabetes who received islet transplantation from a single donor pancreas were insulin independent one year later, according to a study in the February 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology.

Study associates alcohol use patterns with Body Mass Index
NIAAA researchers analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997-2001).

Embryonic stem cells treated with growth factor reverse hemophilia in mice
Embryonic stem cells treated in culture with a growth factor and then injected into the liver reverse a form of hemophilia in mice analogous to hemophilia B in humans, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows.

Charles Yanofsky named National Medal of Science winner
Stanford University biologist Charles Yanofsky has been selected as one of eight recipients of the 2003 National Medal of Science, the country's highest scientific honor.

Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
Yale scientists report in the journal Nature that the

Melas, Candor and Ophir Chasmas: Centre of Valles Marineris
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the central part of the 4000-kilometre long Valles Marineris canyon on Mars.

Diabetes' link to obesity broken in mice
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis used genetically modified mice to uncover a potentially important link between diabetes and obesity.

Study shows naturally occurring proteins protect against rapid tumor growth
Research led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) helps explain how a group of angiogenesis inhibitor molecules serve as an important defense mechanism against the development and spread of cancer, offering key insights into why cancerous tumors grow at different rates among different individuals.

Amino acids in nectar enhance butterfly fecundity: A long awaited link
Recent experiments have shown that butterflies actually prefer nectars with a high amino acid content.

R. Duncan Luce wins National Medal of Science
R. Duncan Luce, a UC Irvine behavioral scientist whose work has profoundly influenced the fields of psychology and economics, will receive the 2003 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States, the White House has announced.

Tests confirm the Explosive Destruction System's (EDS) ability to destroy biological agents
A just-released study at Sandia confirms the Explosive Destruction System's (EDS) effectiveness against biological agents, bio-contaminated containers, and improvised biological devices.

NASA observatory confirms black hole limits
The very largest black holes reach a certain point and then grow no more.

Researchers turn to brainpower to beat dementia
Scientists have turned to the brightest brains in Britain in a bid to understand the link between intelligence and dementia.

X-rays have become laser-like
Austrian-German research team demonstrates for the first time a source of coherent kiloelectronvolt X-rays, which promises extraordinary applications.

New technique may help detect fetal single gene disorders
A technique called size-fractionation performed on a sample of the mother's blood allows researchers to identify fetal DNA molecules separate from maternal DNA as a way to determine which pregnancies may be at risk for genetic disorders, according to a preliminary communication in the February 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology.

Green tea extract shows promise as an anti-cancer agent, UCLA study finds
A study on bladder cancer cells lines showed that green tea extract has potential as an anti-cancer agent, proving for the first time that it is able to target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Small increases or 'blips' in HIV levels do not signal mutations leading to drug-resistant HIV
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have concluded that sudden, temporary spikes in the amount of HIV in the body, commonly called

Researchers find new technique to identify fetal genetic material from amniotic fluid
A preliminary report suggests that cell-free fetal messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid) can be extracted from amniotic fluid (fluid around the fetus), and then be analyzed to study gene expression changes that may reflect the well-being of the fetus, according to a paper in the February 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology.

Space 'eye' for textiles
An artificial eye developed for Earth observation is now being employed to recognise colour variations in dyed fabrics: a critical element of textile production.

Nano mechanism to control protein may lead to new protein engineering
UCLA scientists have created a nanoscale mechanism to control a protein's function and action - research could lead to a new approach to protein engineering.

Texas food and fiber system contributes $73 billion to Texas economy
Texas' food and fiber system contributed approximately $73 billion to the state's economy in 2001, according to a joint study by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Cooperative Extension, and the State Office of the Comptroller.

NIAID seeks applicants to lead clinical trials units for revamped HIV/AIDS networks
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) today announced that it is soliciting applications from U.S. and overseas research institutions seeking to become Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) in the Institute's revamped HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks.

Faster, less expensive test proven more effective in detecting bladder cancer
Physicians now have a more dependable, less expensive tool to help detect bladder cancer earlier.

Conversational 'black holes' reveal uncertainty in offices
The tension created between the supposed egalitarianism and the hierarchical realities of the American workplace can often cause conversational

Cardiologist to testify at FDA hearing: Animal tests implicated in Vioxx tragedy
On February 17, John J. Pippin, M.D., FA.C.C., will testify before Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials and present a new report detailing how experiments on mice, dogs, and other animals misled scientists and ultimately contributed to a tragic outcome for human patients exposed to Vioxx and other drugs.

Johns Hopkins scientists receive presidential medals
Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., and astrophysicist Riccardo Giacconi, Ph.D., have been named recipients of the 2003 National Medal of Science, the United States' top scientific recognition, the White House announced today.

Most episodes of HIV 'blips' not clinically significant in patients receiving HAART
Patients with HIV-1 may occasionally experience intermittent episodes of detectable viremia (presence of the HIV virus in the bloodstream), which are also known as

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue includes the article 'A STAT3 call for regeneration.'

Findings suggests that blocking estrogen may be crucial to lung cancer survival
New and effective treatments for lung cancer may rest on their ability to hinder the action of estrogen in lung cancer cells, according to two studies published in the current issue of Cancer Research.

Other highlights in the February 16 JNCI
Other highlights in the February 16 JNCI include three papers that address issues in using serum proteomics for detective ovarian cancer, a study that examines using gene methylation changes to detect cervical cancer, and an examination of tissue zinc concentration and the risk of esophageal cancer.

Study examines effect of managed care on quality of care for cancer patients
Increases in the market share of managed care within a community have limited or no effect on the quality of care that cancer patients receive, according to a new study in the February 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers confirm Vioxx nearly doubled cardiovascular risks in cancer prevention study
The largest prospective trial ever examining the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx as a chemoprevention agent found that the risk of developing a cardiovascular

Sending mixed messages improves math instruction
Researchers at the University of Chicago have come up with a technique for teachers to use that increases student understanding of mathematics: explain how to solve a problem in one way, and also provide an alternative approach through gesture.

'Blips' in HIV treatment are not cause for alarm
Intermittent

Certain genetic test helps detect mutations that may be missed by conventional DNA test
Researchers have identified a genetic test that when used with DNA testing would detect a higher number of genetic mutations in colorectal cancer patients, according to a study in the February 16 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical applications of biotechnology.

An implanted nerve stimulator helps drop foot sufferers walk faster and better
An innovative implanted nerve stimulator helps drop foot sufferers walk faster and better is a valuable aid in the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Surf's up: Professor using models to predict huge waves
If you're a ship captain and there might be 50-foot waves headed your way, you'd appreciate some information about them, right?

Mothers' exposure to air pollutants linked to chromosome damage in babies
A new study of 60 newborns in New York City reveals that exposure of expectant mothers to combustion-related urban air pollution may alter the structure of babies' chromosomes while in the womb.

First critical parts of giant neutrino telescope in place
Working under harsh Antarctic conditions, an international team of scientists, engineers and technicians has set in place the first critical elements of a massive neutrino telescope at the South Pole.

Proteins link obesity, diabetes; May underlie systemic 'metabolic syndrome'
Proteins that shuttle lipids in the body might be a missing link between obesity and other conditions that tend to go along with the excess weight, including diabetes and fatty liver disease, suggests a new study published in Cell Metabolism.

Hepatitis B viral load, genotype affect liver cancer risk, study finds
Infection with a specific subtype of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and a high viral load are associated both independently and additively with an increased risk of a type of liver cancer, according to a new study in the February 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Intervention cuts nerve damage, boosts life span
A novel genetic manipulation significantly extends the life spans of flies by reducing the amount of wear and tear suffered by nerve cells in adults, according to new work published in Cell Metabolism.

Fitness correlates of song repertoire size in free-living song sparrows
Female birds are thought to preferentially mate with males with more complex or extravagant songs.

Bishop named winner of National Medal of Science
UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, MD, has been named a recipient of the 2003 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for science and technology.

Studies examine coffee drinking and risk of liver and colorectal cancers
Two new studies in the February 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examine the effects of coffee consumption on the incidence of liver and colorectal cancers.

Anita Roberts to deliver Excellence in Science lecture
Anita Roberts has been selected to receive the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Excellence in Science Award.
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