Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 07, 2005
News briefs from the journal CHEST, March 2005
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, may help treat children with life-threatening asthma (LTA), according to a new study.

Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest
Novel techniques from a high-altitude aircraft, have detected two species of invading plants that are changing the ecology of rain forest near the Kilauea Volcano in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Researchers discover link between insulin and Alzheimer's
Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School have discovered that insulin and its related proteins are produced in the brain, and that reduced levels of both are linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Conserved amino acids play both structural and mechanistic roles in sandwich-like protein
A study of azurin has shown that amino acids in this sandwich-like protein are there to stabilize the structure and also to speed up the protein-folding process.

UCSD medical/bioengineering reseachers show titanium debris satobtage artificial joints
Microscopic titanium particles weaken the bonding of hip, knee, and other joint replacements, according to research published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Current daily smoking may be associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts
Suicidal thoughts or attempts are associated with daily smoking in current smokers, but not former smokers, according to an article in Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Beta-blockers may help broader group of patients with heart problems
Beta-blockers can benefit patients with certain serious heart problems such as diastolic heart failure, according to cardiologists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Man-made wetland's effectiveness similar to natural marsh
Researchers who studied a man-made wetland in Ohio for two years concluded that the created wetland filtered and cleaned water as well as or better than would a natural marsh.

Prime Minister visits Imperial College London, underlines commitment to British science funding
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt made a visit to Imperial College London today following the announcement of a £10 billion investment in UK science.

Severe injuries on the rise among children and adolescents riding motorbikes
The use of motorbikes among children and adolescents is dangerous, on the rise and leading to a greater number of injuries, according to a new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study.

Common schizophrenia symptoms often overlooked by physicians, according to expert panel
Treatment of schizophrenia has largely focused on controlling positive symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, while another set of symptoms that are equally important to patients is frequently overlooked by physicians, according to the findings of a new national consumer survey and the authors of a new consensus statement aimed at raising the bar for the treatment of the brain disease.

Even mild depression increases long-term mortality in heart failure
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found a strong association between depression and a higher long-term risk of death for patients with chronic heart failure.

Compound inhibits one critical pathway in breast cancer growth
A compound that suppresses the growth of cancer cells and is relatively non-toxic to normal cells may one day be useful for treating several types of cancer, researchers report in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Laboratory experiments in human breast cancer cells suggest that the compound inhibits the constant activation of a protein called Stat3 that is found in several different types of cancer.

Democracy increases education spending in Africa
The shift to multiparty elections in African countries has resulted in increased spending on primary education.

Doctors closer to using gene analysis to help trauma patients
A genetic tool with the potential to identify which trauma and burn patients are most likely to become seriously ill has worked consistently in a wide range of experimental clinical settings.

Study finds drug eluting stents as effective as vascular brachytherapy in preventing restenosis
A team of Emory cardiology researchers presented a study at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions today showing that patients with in-stent restenosis treated with a sirolimus-eluting stent (SES), which releases the therapeutic agent sirolimus over time to prevent restenosis, fared at least as well as those treated with vascular brachytherapy (VB).

Pioneering PET/CT research widens applications of imaging for diabetic foot
Pioneering research with combined PET and CT scans provides accurate detection and localization of foot infection in diabetic patients, according to an article in the March issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

NJIT authority on e-learning takes prestigious Sloan honor
The Sloan Consortium recently honored Starr Roxanne Hiltz, PhD, distinguished professor of information systems at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), for achievement in online teaching and learning.

From farm-to-fork - Canadian researcher part of new American food-safety initiative
Jan Sargeant, DVM, associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University, is the only Canadian lead investigator with the new Food Safety Research and Response Network (FSRRN).

Jupiter: A cloudy mirror for the Sun?
Astronomers using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope have discovered that observing the giant planet Jupiter may actually give them an insight in to solar activity on the far side of the Sun!

Tobacco industry pays scientists to challenge secondhand smoke's link to infant death risk
The link between secondhand smoke and sudden infant death has been discredited in the last few years in scientific articles paid for and influenced by cigarette manufacturers, according to a new study of once-secret industry documents.

Proteins found in urine of pregnant women could help diagnose preeclampsia
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that specific substances in the urine of pregnant women could serve as a screening/diagnostic tool for preeclampsia (hypertension and proteinuria during pregnancy).

American Chemical Society lauds 'coach' of women scientists
Geri Richmond will be honored for improving the status of women scientists during the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

University of Manchester pioneers study to support teenage mums' bone health
Researchers in The University of Manchester's School of Medicine are undertaking a pilot study into the healthy bone development of teenage mothers, as part of an ongoing commitment to supporting the health of young families.

Seekers of what is lost
People seeking to restore the past - a fossil hunter, an artist reviving a lost language and a novelist recounting a story - will deliver keynote lectures and appear on National Public Radio's

'Cyber trust' at lowest point for a decade, warn internet security experts
Public confidence in electronic channels of communication, such as the internet, mobile and wireless communications is at its lowest point for a decade, claim information and communication technology (ICT) experts at two leading British Universities.

Brain Awareness Week teaches kids how their brains work
Brain Awareness Week is a science and health education fair to teach students about the brain.

Dental researchers answer key enamel question
Research published in Science answers major question about tooth enamel formation.

Sandia underground geo-tools aid in earthquake research
Geothermal researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed sensors that can be placed in hotter and higher-pressure underground environments than previous instruments, a capability that is allowing geologists worldwide to make more precise measurements of subterranean conditions before and after large earthquakes occur.

Laughter helps blood vessels function better
Using laughter-provoking movies to gauge the effect of emotions on cardiovascular health, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first time that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels.

Stroke warning signs often occur hours or days before attack
Warning signs of an ischemic stroke may be evident as early as seven days before an attack and require urgent treatment to prevent serious damage to the brain, according to a study of stroke patients published in the March 8, 2005 issue of Neurology.

Heart Center cardiologist performs rare liver catheter intervention on teen
Through an innovative catheterization procedure, a pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children's Heart Center in Houston repaired a severe liver condition in a 14-year-old male.

Eating oily fish may reduce inflammation
A new study explains how a diet high in oily fish like salmon and mackerel improves inflammatory conditions, particularly in combination with low doses of aspirin.

Conference examines political and economic challenges of Scottish devolution
A wide-ranging assessment of the successes and challenges of Scottish devolution after nearly six years of a Scottish Parliament will take place in Edinburgh later this month.

Rhesus monkeys can assess the visual perspective of others when competing for food
Researchers have found that rhesus monkeys consider whether a competitor can see them when trying to steal food.

Satellites guide world's top yachts through Southern Ocean 'iceberg alley'
Three of the world's largest and fastest yachts are in the midst of a non-stop trans-global race, hurtling in excess of 25 knots - 46 kilometres per hour - through the Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica.

Statement on the findings of the Women's Health Study
The NHLBI's Women's Health Study is the first large clinical trial to study the use of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke in women.

Asthma relapse in children common, possible risk factors identified
One-third of children with asthma who go into remission by the age of 18 will relapse and redevelop asthma by the time they are 26, says a new study published in the March issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication is effective in the treatment of panic disorder
Therapy for panic disorder that combines an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with medication may be more effective than the usual care offered to these patients in a primary care setting, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Simulations reveal surprising news about black holes
New computer simulations are answering questions about how black holes swallow matter and release energy, challenging common wisdom about the phenomenon.

Serum sodium level is a major predictor of a poor prognosis for heart failure patients
Research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's Scientific Sessions in Orlando pinpoints a major marker of a poor prognosis for heart failure, hyponatremia, or a lower than normal concentration of serum or blood sodium.

Study says rare allergic reactions to drug-eluting stents may raise risk for heart attack
Since their FDA approval in 2003, stents coated with sirolimus (a pharmaceutical agent that prevents excess tissue growth) have been shown to greatly reduce restenosis.

Foundation to honor joint German-Hebrew University project
The German Bible and Culture Society will honor the Bet Tfila-Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe in a ceremony to be held in Dresden, Germany, on Tuesday, March 8.

Fungus-friendly scientists meet in Tucson
The University of Arizona will host Deep Hypha, an annual international meeting of mycologists, the scientists who study fungi, March 11-13.

Portable system offers dialysis patients 'liberating' changes
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have found that a portable unit that allows patients to conduct their own dialysis at home or on the road shows promising preliminary results.

Duke University engineers join 'Red Team' robotic vehicle team
Students from Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering are partnering with Carnegie Mellon University's

NJIT chemistry professor edits text outlining best laboratory practices
The importance of meticulous measurements are essential to good science.

Study shows faces are processed like words
Although they are dramatically different, words and faces are both recognized by parts, according to a study published in February in the Journal of Vision, an online, free access publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Gender gap for lung cancer rates narrowing
Results of the most comprehensive analysis to date of the impact of gender differences in lung cancer incidence in the United States indicate that lung cancer rates among men are on the decline, while the rate in women remains steady.

Microwires: Replacement for the CD-ROM?
A ballpoint that detects if we are forging a signature or a substitute in miniature for the CD-ROM are some of the applications that can be carried out using microwires.

Geography predicts human genetic diversity
By analyzing the relationship between the geographic location of current human populations in relation to East Africa and the genetic variability within these populations, researchers have found new evidence for an African origin of modern humans.

Implanted devices detect high-risk heart failure patients
Implanted devices intended to optimize the cardiac function of patients with heart failure have provided new insights into which patients might be at higher risk of dying suddenly from their disease, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Breast implant Website launched by leading plastic surgery societies
Information regarding the safety and effectiveness of breast implants, silicone or saline-filled, has been confusing and controversial for more than a decade.

College students at no greater risk of alcohol-related problems than peers
Although college students had higher rates of yearly, monthly, and weekly alcohol use than their peers not attending college, they did not appear to be at a greater risk for alcohol dependence problems, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Curious female rats survive tumors longer
Curious female rats, more willing to step out and explore their environment, survive breast and pituitary tumors longer than their more cautious sisters, says a Penn State researcher.

Researchers make surprise discovery that some neurons can transmit three signals at once
Generations of neuroscientists have been indoctrinated into believing that our senses, thoughts, feelings and movements are orchestrated by a communication network of brain cells, each responsible for relaying one specific chemical message.

Researcher describes new type of strong, lightweight metallic material
An engineering professor at UCSD has described in the March issue of JOM (the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) unique properties of a new type of metallic laminate that can serve as armor and as a replacement for beryllium, a strong but toxic metal commonly used in demanding aerospace applications.

Most older people with mild cognitive impairment have AD or cerebral vascular disease
Mild cognitive impairment in older people is not a normal part of growing old but rather appears to be an indicator of Alzheimer's disease or cerebral vascular disease, according to a study published in the March 8 issue of the journal, Neurology.

Protein delivers selenium for normal sperm development
Reproductive biologists have identified the protein in mammalian blood that delivers selenium needed for the development of normal sperm and for male fertility.

eDocAmerica launches Hispanic Website for members
eDocAmerica, the web-based provider of doctor-consumer consultations online, today announced that it has launched a Spanish-language version of its website for its increasing number of Hispanic users.

The circadian clock: Understanding nature's timepiece
A cluster of brain cells less than half the size of a pencil eraser tells you when to wake up, when to be hungry and when it's time to go to sleep.

Incubator company at NJIT develops lifesaving MRI coil for small animals
Supertron, a start-up technology company housed in the small business incubators at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), announced today that it has begun developing a cryogenic coil to improve Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners.

Society of Nuclear Medicine Annual Meeting
The Society of Nuclear Medicine's Annual Meeting has been recognized by thousands of professionals as the premier event for educational and networking opportunities in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

Non-invasive and invasive breast cancers share the same genetic mutations
Women diagnosed with early stage, non-invasive breast cancer who carry the same mutations in two inherited breast/ovarian cancer genes as women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, may benefit from high risk treatment, Yale researchers report in the February 23 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gene therapy cures inherited liver disease in rats
A single dose of gene-virus combination cured rats of a inherited liver disease in which lack of a gene causes the accumulation of bilirubin - which, untreated, results in jaundice and brain damage, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

Basis for DNA ejection from single phage particles
Studying phage, a primitive class of virus that infects bacteria by injecting its genomic DNA into host cells, researchers have gained insight into the driving force behind this poorly understood injection process, which has been proposed in the past to occur through the release of pressure accumulated within the viral particle itself.

University of Manchester awarded £826k for brain science and mental health research
The University of Manchester's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences has been awarded £826k by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Department of Health (DH).

Rosetta's view of Earth
After skimming by the Earth at just 1954 km on 4 March 2005, Rosetta turned its Navigation Cameras back towards our home planet and recorded a series of black and white images.

New data on Orqis Medical's Cancion® CRS™ to be reported at ACC
Research presented at ACC suggests that patients with acutely decompensated chronic heart failure may benefit from Orqis Medical's Cancion CRS cardiac recovery system.

Symbiotic bacteria protect hunting wasps from fungal infestation
Researchers have discovered a fascinating symbiotic relationship between a wasp species and a newly discovered bacterial species - a relationship that potentially sheds light on how bacteria can be successfully utilized by higher organisms in defensive mechanisms against other microbes.

LHC magnets: The great descent
The first superconducting magnet for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was lowered into the accelerator tunnel at 2.00 p.m. on Monday, 7th March.

Study: Two brain systems regulate how we call for help
The willingness to call out in distress to get help from others appears to be regulated by two brain systems with very different responsibilities, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

English-speaking Hispanic youth more likely to have sex early
Hispanic teenagers with lower acculturation (integration into American society) who use Spanish as their primary language are significantly less likely than their English-speaking more highly acculturated Hispanic peers to have had an initial experience of sexual intercourse, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

More elderly residents do not necessarily reduce school tax base
A concentration of senior citizens in a community can be a financial boon to a school district, rather than an adversary, unless the group includes a high percentage of newcomers with few, if any, emotional ties with the area, according to two Penn State experts. 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