Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2005
HIV patients may be at risk of heart problems when taking protease inhibitor drugs
A widely-used class of drugs that keep the HIV-virus infection from progressing to AIDS may cause serious and potentially lethal heart rhythm disturbances in some patients.

Defensins ward off HIV in two ways
Defensins are proteins with anti-HIV activity, but the mechanism was unknown.

'I had them a moment ago, now where are my glasses?'
Short-term or

JCI table of contents March 1, 2005
This press release contains summaries of the following newsworthy papers to be published online on February 17, 2005: Defensins ward off HIV in two ways; Haven't got time for the pain; RSK2 is bad to the bone; Lubricin longs to keep joints healthy; as well as links to PDFs of all papers, a directory of other articles appearing in the same issue, and contact information for all authors.

Miniaturized lab permits saliva screening on the go
A team of scientists and engineers led by Daniel Malamud at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a robust means of analyzing oral samples.

New study tests amitriptyline for painful bladder syndrome
A new study will test an FDA-approved antidepressant for its potential to alleviate bladder pain for which there is no known cause and no effective therapy.

Suicidal behaviour caused by antidepressants 'cannot be ruled out'
Antidepressant drugs may be associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviour, particularly in the early stages of treatment, shows new evidence in this week's BMJ.

Benefits of space for all citizens
Over 40 nations and around 20 international organisations, including ESA, have come together in Brussels for two days, today and tomorrow, to exchange views on policies related to international cooperation in space.

Can genes help prevent cancer - or increase your risk?
What: National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers Science Writers' Seminar Series in Los Angeles: Knowledge about cancer genetics is rapidly expanding, with implications for all aspects of cancer management, including prevention, screening, and treatment.

Brain region learns to anticipate risk, provides early warnings. suggests new study in Science
While some scientists discount the existence of a sixth sense for danger, new research from Washington University in St.

Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
Tackling a pressing and controversial technical barrier in stem cell biology, scientists at the WiCell Research Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have crafted a recipe that allows researchers to grow human embryonic stem cells in the absence of mouse-derived

Viagra used in stroke recovery study
Henry Ford Hospital has launched a safety study using the drug Viagra to determine if it can help patients recover from a stroke.

Chlamydia testing in pharmacies: Questions that need addressing
The Government's pilot scheme offering free chlamydia testing in pharmacies is to be applauded but a number of issues need to be resolved if it is to be a success, concludes an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Methodist, UH system joining forces for biomedical research, clinical care
The Methodist Hospital and University of Houston System signed a 30-year agreement for formalized collaborations.

Impact of scientific advances on drug studies and membrane research to be explored
Rice University is hosting a conference titled

Mayo Clinic study finds obese kidney donors face few increased risks
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that obese individuals in otherwise good health who donated a kidney had outcomes similar to their non-obese counterparts.

Scientists discover how climate change causes the simultaneous boom or bust of multiple populations
For the first time, scientists have shown precisely how weather conditions cause multiple populations of a species within a large geographical area to have simultaneous increases or decreases in their abundance, a process known as

Unemployed women at higher risk for cardiovascular disease
Women who have been fired or laid off from their jobs face not only emotional distress, but also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers reported today at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

Small is different
The practice of pairing computer simulations with real-world experiments is becoming more vital as scientists delve deeper into realms where the actors are measured on the nanoscale.

Gene signature can predict breast cancer spread
Researchers have discovered a genetic signature that can identify breast cancer patients at high risk of distant recurrence, reporting their results in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
For nearly a decade, scientists have been trying to fully understand a particular communication pathway inside of cells that contributes to many malignant brain and prostate cancers.

Purdue proves concept of using nano-materials for drug discovery
Researchers at Purdue University have built and demonstrated a prototype for a new class of miniature devices to study synthetic cell membranes in an effort to speed the discovery of new drugs for a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Brain controls robot arm in monkey, University of Pittsburgh researcher reports at AAAS
Scientists have made significant strides to create a permanent artificial device that can restore deliberate mobility to patients with paralyzing injuries.

England is largely invisible to Whitehall after devolution
England is largely invisible to Whitehall civil servants, despite the big changes that have been brought about by devolution.

Drugs aid weight loss among type 2 diabetes patients
Three commonly used drugs -- Prozac, Xenical and Meridia -- may help type 2 diabetes patients lose small amounts of weight, although long-term benefits are not clear, a new review of 22 studies suggests.

Folic acid recommendations have had little impact on birth defects
Recommendations on use of folic acid consumption have had no detectable impact on the incidence of neural tube defects, according to an international study published on
Advances in Uterine Leiomyoma Research: 2nd NIH International Congress
The National Institutes of Health will host

Robots walk with close-to-human efficiency
Researchers at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Holland's Delft University of Technology have built robots that seem to closely mimic the human gait, and the Cornell robot matches human efficiency.

Spit, and call me in the morning
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but many scientists would say the mouth is the window to the body.

Bridging gaps to save lives: UH hosts nanotechnology conference
Bridging gaps between medicine, biology, materials science, public policy and nanotechnology to provide new clinical approaches for saving lives, the Alliance for NanoHealth is holding a workshop Wednesday, Feb.

Medication helps alcoholics control drinking
A little-known drug called naltrexone provides a

Pall-Aquasafe protects patients from exposure to waterborne contaminated medical equipment
Hospital water is a significant source of microbial contamination contributing to the increase of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections worldwide, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality especially among immunocompromised patients.

Bipedal bots to star at AAAS media briefing
In a Feb. 17 media briefing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), members of three independent research teams will jointly unveil a new breed of energy-efficient, two-legged, powered robots with a surprisingly human gait.

Enzyme shown to help protect genomic stability
Genomic instability, particularly in the regions at the ends of the chromosomes known as telomeres, has been linked to aging and cancer.

Map of human genetic variation across populations may promise improved disease treatments
Mapping of key genetic signposts across three human populations could help speed efforts to pinpoint disease-related DNA variations, and ultimately may promise more effective, individualized treatments.

Discovery offers cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment hopes
Michigan State University researchers have found that a certain gene, expressed within a human adult stem cell, could hold the key to not only offering new hope to cancer patients, but also to answering the question of how cancer originates.

'Marital strain' increases women's risk of death, heart disease
Married women who avoid conflict with their spouses have an increased risk of dying from any cause, researchers report today at the Second International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke.

Michael F. Hochella Jr. named Virginia's 2005 Outstanding Scientist
Virginia Tech professor Michael F. Hochella Jr.'s innovative work on how Earth materials interact with living things, water, and air has led to his being named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist for 2005.

New satellite observations reveal surprising features of mysterious gamma-ray blasts from Earth
A particle accelerator operates in Earth's upper atmosphere above major thunderstorms at energies comparable to some of the most exotic environments in the universe, according to new satellite observations of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes.

Stem-cell research hints at better looking cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
Stem-cell researchers have shown how cosmetic surgery, such as wrinkle removal and breast augmentation, might be improved with natural implants that keep their original size and shape better than synthetics.

New clues add 40,000 years to age of human species
Nearly 40 years after an historic anthropology expedition to Ethiopia's Lake Turkana basin, researchers have uncovered evidence suggesting human bones found at that time are roughly 195,000 years old.

Worms, slugs inspire robotic devices
Drawing on an understanding of how slugs, leeches and earthworms traverse their environments and grasp objects, a team of Case Western Reserve University biologists and engineers has developed two flexible robotic devices that could make invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies safer for patients and easier for doctors to administer.

International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' welcomes Japanese space agency as latest member
The International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' yesterday welcomed the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as its newest member, establishing a network of international space partners in disaster management that now encircles the globe.

Ali Nayfeh earns Virginia's Lifetime Achievement in Science award
Among his research achievements, Ali Nayfeh has developed: a new method for controlling ship motion; a novel wave envelope method to analyze acoustic waves in aircraft engine-duct systems; and a system for controlling the pendulation of military and commercial cranes that is being considered for implementation on container cranes and ship-mounted cranes for naval and commercial applications.

Earth and Space Week: Third Earth Observation Summit agrees ten-year GEOSS action plan
Around 60 nations and more than 40 international organisations joined ESA and host the European Community at the Third Earth Observation summit on Wednesday.

Drugs used to treat Alzheimer's in nursing homes are worsening sufferers' illness
Quetiapine, a drug commonly used in nursing homes to treat agitation and related symptoms in people with Alzheimers' disease actually worsens patients' illness, speeding up their rate of decline significantly, says a paper published on
Teams build robots that walk like humans
Three independent research teams, including one from MIT, have built walking robots that mimic humans in terms of their gait, energy-efficiency, and control.

Mechanical tension helps shape lung development
Embryonic organ development requires precise coordination and timing of cell growth in three-dimensional space.

Merck / AAAS announce 2005 winners for outstanding undergraduate research programs
The Merck Company Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today announced winners of the 2005 awards for the Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program.

USGS featured at AAAS - Nation's largest science meeting
How close are we to predicting earthquakes? Can science help diplomacy and national security?

Vaccine may complement conventional treatment for chronic leukaemia
A vaccine that boosts the immune response could improve the effect of conventional treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), suggest early results of a trial published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Brain activity of men and women during hostile or impulsive acts differs less on nicotine
UC Irvine researchers have uncovered significant differences in the brain activity of men and women when engaged in a broad range of activities and behavior -- differences that are even more acute during impulsive or hostile acts.

Violence in the media can lead to aggressive behaviour in young children
Violent imagery in the media can have a substantial short-term effect on young children's arousal, thoughts and emotions, increasing the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behaviour, concludes a review published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Why is the helix such a popular shape? Perhaps because they are nature's space savers
Something about nature loves a helix, the ubiquitous spiral shape taken on by DNA and many other biomolecules.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This issue includes the following articles: 'New Coronavirus Identified in Bats,' New Test May Differentiate Between Poultry Vaccinated Against or Infected with Avian Flu,' and 'Salmonella spp.

Scripps researchers find clear evidence of human-produced warming in world's oceans
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues have produced the first clear evidence of human-produced warming in the world's oceans, a finding they say removes much of the uncertainty associated with debates about global warming.

The UK pioneers programs to recruit women in science, engineering and technology
A panel of UK experts on women in science will host a workshop discussing the UK government and university commitment and policies to promote women in science, successful initiatives and perspectives from industry and the research community. 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