Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 28, 2005
Tiny flies could lead to understanding potential for non-embryonic stem cells
It has long been thought that cells that regenerate tissue do so by regressing to a developmentally younger state.

Widespread Arctic warming crosses critical ecological thresholds, scientists warn
Unprecedented and maybe irreversible effects of Arctic warming, linked to human intervention, have been discovered by a team of international researchers led by Queen's University biologist John Smol and University of Alberta earth scientist Alexander Wolfe.

Cosmetic surgery epidemic among young adults a myth
Many parents worry about the potential influence media may have on their children's self-esteem and body image.

High-fidelity patterns form spontaneously when solvent evaporates
Resembling neatly stacked rows of driftwood abandoned by receding tides, particles left by a confined, evaporating droplet can create beautiful and complex patterns.

Rabies spread speeds up
In a paper published in the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, a model predicting the rapid spread of rabies across Ohio reveals the power of this approach to proactively assist targeted surveillance strategies and vaccine delivery.

March Geology and GSA TODAY media highlights
Topics include: revised age estimate for the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary; discovery of ejecta from the Sudbury impact event in Canada; new model for predicting landslides; public health concerns from the first regional air assessment downwind from Kilauea volcano after 22 years of continuous eruption; evidence for Early Holocene collapse of the George VI ice shelf; and production of the first sequence of continental summer temperatures during the Antarctic glaciation of the Cenozoic.

Retrovirus struck ancestors of chimps and gorillas millions of years ago, but not ancestral humans
The ancestors of chimps and gorillas were struck with a deadly retrovirus millions of years ago, but there is no evidence it infected ancestors of modern-day humans.

Highlights of the March Journal of the American Dietetic Association
This issue contains a study on whether techniques being used to help women consume a diet high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer are working.

Imaginary friendships could boost child development
A post-graduate student from The University of Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences is investigating the theory that children with imaginary companions are quicker to develop language skills and retain knowledge.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer can affect men's thinking
A new study finds men treated with hormone therapy for prostate cancer may experience temporary cognitive changes that can affect verbal fluency, visual recognition and visual memory.

Tip sheet for the Annals of Internal Medicine, March 1, 2005
Highlights of the March 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet include: Two new studies find that diabetes prevention is cost-effective; Hepatitis B vaccination protects for 15 years, not 10 as earlier thought.

Amateur watchers invited to 'Rosetta Up Close' photo contest
Rosetta's Earth fly-by on 4 March, ESA's closest ever at just 1900 kilometres, will provide a fantastic photo opportunity.

Hawaiian volcano may be health risk
Hawaiian residents who live downwind from the long-active Kilauea volcano may have elevated risks of adverse health conditions because of high levels of sulfur dioxide and aerosol particulates that drift downwind, according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University and Hawaii.

Firing poor-performing employees may improve work quality
A recent study shows that

OHSU researchers study communication disorders in autism
Using the latest computer technology, researchers at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering have launched a research project to better understand childhood communication disorders associated with autism.

Deciphering DiGeorge syndrome
A collaboration of European scientists has uncovered new insight into the most common chromosomal microdeletion syndrome in humans.

Newly discovered protein an important tool for sleeping sickness research
African sleeping sickness, caused by organisms called trypanosomes, affects approximately 500,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa.

'Venom doc' tracks down snake bioweapons
Bryan Grieg Fry, Ph.D., a scientist from the University of Melbourne, Australia, has conducted the first comprehensive analysis of the origin and evolution of snake venom toxin proteins.

US chemical companies' earnings continue to increase, C&EN survey reports
US chemical companies finished 2004 with five straight quarters where earnings increases topped 40 percent when compared with the comparable year-earlier quarter, according to a Chemical & Engineering News survey of 24 firms representing a cross-section of the industry.

Screening patients with osteoporosis for celiac disease appears worthwhile
Results of a new study suggest that the higher prevalence of celiac disease in individuals with osteoporosis than in the general population may justify screening of patients with osteoporosis for celiac disease, according to an article in the February 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Analysis shows drug could save lives from prostate cancer
A new analysis shows the drug finasteride will save lives if given to men to prevent prostate cancer.

Diabetes prevention efforts worth every penny
More than 40 million Americans face a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and it would cost a lot to give all of them intensive help to prevent the disease from starting.

Youth with HIV take more risks after new meds introduced
Teens with HIV are having more risky sex with more partners than their counterparts did in the years before powerful new medications for HIV were introduced in 1996, according to a new report in the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Vitamin D injections may significantly improve survival in dialysis patients
The administration of intravenous vitamin D appears to significantly improve the survival of patients on dialysis, according to a study to be published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

National Academies advisory: NAS annual meeting May 1-3
The National Academy of Sciences will hold its 142nd annual meeting, at which new Academy members will be elected.

Patients who are active in their health care may lower their risk of heart disease
Women who believe they should take charge of their health, rather than rely solely on treatment by doctors, have fewer signs of pre-clinical atherosclerosis, suggesting they somehow translate those attitudes into better health through behavioral and psychological mechanisms.

Many company benefits can help parents meet needs of children with ADHD
Health care and related services for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) usually depend on the medical insurance and other programs offered by their parents' employers.

Modeled climate and land-use change threatens plant species
Proteas--plants with large, colorful flowers that are important in the floral trade--are under threat from land-use change and climate change.

Medication awareness key to catching error: Study
Patients taking a high number of prescription medications who are then unexpectedly admitted to hospital face a medication error rate of more than 50 per cent with their existing medications, one-third of which could result in more serious complications, says a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

Rest easy: MIT study confirms melatonin's value as sleep aid
-A new study by MIT scientists and colleagues confirms that melatonin is an effective sleep aid for older insomniacs and others.

Those who perform last finish first, Carnegie Mellon study says
Studies by Carnegie Mellon University researcher Wändi Bruine De Bruin have found that participants who appear toward the end of juried competitions do better than those who perform at the beginning.

Accounting and information systems professor receives Fulbright Distinguished Chair
France Belanger, associate professor of accounting and information systems at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business, has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair.

The chimp genome reveals retroviral invasions in primate evolution
In a study published in the open-access online journal PLoS Biology, comparison of human and other primate genomes provides evidence for a retroviral infection that bombarded genomes of chimpanzees and gorillas 3-4 million years ago.

UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
Scientists at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Imperial College London have discovered the origin of hydration force, a phenomenon that causes some complex chemical and biochemical species (including DNA and other electrostatically charged molecules) to repel at short distances when surrounded by water.

Changes in clinical progression to AIDS in patients on HAART therapy
Although clinical progression to AIDS of patients infected with HIV has declined since the introduction of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), there is little data on the changes in incidence of AIDS-defining events during the first few years of therapy.

Researchers uncover scaffolds in the brain's wiring diagram
An article published in this week's issue of PLoS Biology describes the discovery of strongly preferred patterns of connectivity or scaffolds within the wiring diagram of the rat brain.

UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
New keys to understanding the evolution of life on Earth may be found in the microbes and minerals vented from below the ocean floor, say scientists at UCSB.

Massage therapy: A profession on the rise
Massage therapists elicit an impressive level of goodwill and increasing popularity among American adults.

Experimental electrode implant treatment shows promise for helping severely depressed
A team of Toronto researchers says it has obtained promising early results from a landmark surgical study of the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in severely depressed patients who were otherwise resistant to standard types of treatment.

Mystery blood vessel disorder implicated in 'mini' strokes
Physicians have long been puzzled by a condition called intracranial arterial dolichoectasia, in which the larger arteries of the brain become elongated and misshapen.

Conference focuses on depression on college campuses
College-age young adults are one of the highest-risk groups for developing depression, both because of their age and the many stresses they face.

Patients with osteoporosis should be screened for celiac disease, study suggests
Rates of celiac disease are significantly higher in patients with osteoporosis, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Treatment of sleep apnea lowers glucose levels in diabetics
Patients with Type II diabetes who also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea can lower their glucose levels by receiving the most common sleep apnea therapy, a new study has found.

Naltrexone tested as weight gain deterrent in quitting smoking
Yale researchers are investigating the use of the medication naltrexone to help men and women quit smoking without gaining weight.

Risk of herpes infection rises with oral sex
The first clinical study to document risk of acquiring herpes simplex virus type 1 infection based on sexual activity has linked oral sex and vaginal intercourse with a demonstrably higher rate of infection, particularly in young women, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh report in the February issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the journal of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.

Forgoing of end of life treatment varies in European countries
The frequency of withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatment at the end of a patient's life varied greatly among six European countries, according to an article in the February 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Urban green space linked to walking, cycling levels
The degree to which city people walk or ride bicycles for their daily transportation needs depends largely on how much green space there is, says a new study that examines the role of urban design in physical fitness.

Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
UCL scientists have found a protein that could unlock the secret to quicker, more effective treatment of TB by waking TB bacteria in the body.

New Stiquito book from Wiley demonstrates how to assemble an autonomous robot
Presenting a unique opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of robotics and embedded systems,

Medication errors common at the time of hospital admission
Medication errors are common at the time of hospital admission and some have the potential to be harmful, according to the February 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Child sex-trafficking study in Bosnia reveals misperceptions
Unprecedented research into child sex trafficking in the post-war nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina suggests that public perceptions of the problem and some kinds of intervention efforts around the globe may be misguided, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder sociologist.

Brain stimulation treats resistant depression
Electrical deep brain stimulation can dramatically alleviate depression that is resistant to other treatments, researchers have found in an initial study on six patients.

Sleep loss increases cardiovascular disease in alcoholics
Sleep loss increases the heart rate and sympathetic catecholamine levels in alcoholics, compared with non-alcoholics, disrupting cardiovascular health.
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