Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 21, 2005
New studies show mixed results on epilepsy drugs and birth defects
March 22 Neurology: New studies show mixed results on the effects of epilepsy drugs taken during pregnancy.

Wiley forms book publishing partnership with American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers today announced that they have signed a multi-year agreement to jointly publish books in chemical engineering and industrial chemistry under a new, co-branded imprint, effective April 2005.

Scientist works on innovative treatments for brain tumors
With a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researcher will continue his quest to offer new treatments for one of the deadliest types of brain tumors.

Can Vancouver become a zero carbon city?
Zero Carbon City discussion shifts the emphasis to local level initiatives aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and practical measures to reduce carbon emissions.

National Academy of Sciences taps techno-savvy Lia as animated star of new website
Lia, a science-savvy, teen-aged Latina, recently learned she'll be moonlighting as the animated star of the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS's) website,
New generation contact lenses cut risk of severe eye infection
Sleeping in contact lenses carries a significant risk of severe eye infection (keratitis), but the new generation silicone hydrogel lenses cut that risk fivefold, finds research in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Energy-saving community unveiled in Ontario
A new community in Ontario will be setting the standard for energy efficiency.

Big hopes for tiny, new hydrogen storage material
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found a way to release hydrogen from a solid compound almost 100 times faster than was previously possible furthering hopes for a viable hydrogen storage medium.

Sediments in northern Gulf of Mexico not right for methane gas hydrate formation
Marine sediments in the northern Gulf of Mexico are likely too warm and salty to hold the amount of methane gas hydrates - a potential energy resource - originally thought to exist in the ocean floor there.

Breath may help diagnose infection
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University are developing a novel method of testing exhaled breath to detect infection rapidly after potential exposure to a biological warfare agent.

Why asthma sufferers struggle with the common cold
Lung cells from asthma sufferers fail to invoke critical anti-viral defenses when infected with the common cold virus, according to a study in the March 21 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Increasing charge mobility in single molecular organic crystals
Flexible displays that can be folded up in your pocket?

Photos show jaguar vamping for camera
He's beautiful and he knows it. A male jaguar recently acted like he was on a fashion runway in Manhattan, rather than his home in Kaa-Iya National Park in Bolivia, when it plopped down in front of a remote

Researchers pursue blast-resistant steel using new tomograph
Materials scientists and engineers at Northwestern University are developing a new

Study supports use of aspirin in treating pregnancy disorder
A new study led by Queen's University researcher Colin Funk provides indirect support for the use of low-dose aspirin therapy in preventing and treating pre-eclampsia - a pregnancy disorder that is often harmful to both mother and fetus.

Energy and sports drinks attack enamel
Sports beverages and energy drinks appeal to people who maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Traffic fumes damage DNA
Traffic fumes damage DNA, finds a small study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Food preservative neutralizes anthrax spores
Nisin, a commonly used food preservative effectively neutralizes anthrax spores and could be used to decontaminate skin in the event of exposure.

Neutralizing a protein linked to tumor development
In a study published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology, the strategy used to select aptamers that bind a tyrosine kinase mutated in certain cancers holds promise for targeting other members of this biomedically important class of proteins.

Tracking trends in cochlear implant complications using a federal database
Changes in the format of a federal database for mandatory reporting of major and minor complications for medical devices, including cochlear implants, could make it a valuable resource, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Leslie Roberts, Science Deputy News Editor, wins prize for 'first-rate' polio story
Leslie Roberts, deputy news editor of the journal Science, has won the 2005 Public Communications Award from the American Society for Microbiology for a story that explored the science, policy and human drama of efforts to eradicate polio.

Two UT Southwestern researchers named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators
Two UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists, Dr. Zhijian

Hospitals may now be more willing to partner up with former adversaries
The quality checks used by Medicare and Medicaid have lost their adversarial reputation, and may become leaders in quality health care.

Mitsubishi offsets carbon footprint through investment in Madagascar's rain forest
In an effort to offset the carbon footprint of its 'Mitsubishi Pavilion @Earth,' debuting at the 2005 Aichi World Exposition, Mitsubishi Group has provided financial support to help protect rain forests in Madagascar.

Mailman School of Public Health receives Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Center grant
The Mailman School of Public Health received a grant to create the Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Network, a program dedicated to reducing tobacco use through evidence-based smoking cessation treatment programs.

Aloe vera: Natural, home remedy treats canker and cold sores
New reports prove that the aloe vera plant, which has been used to heal skin for more than 2,000 years, can also treat many oral health problems including canker sores, cold sores, herpes simplex viruses, lichen planus and gingivitis according to the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Strengths and failings of U.S. health care 'system' are driven by embedded vested interests
Medical sociologists examine how American social, cultural, and political-economic contexts govern the structure, efficiency, and operational nature of U.S. health care delivery in a special issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior (JHSB), a scholarly publication of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Light may arise from relativity violations
Light may be a direct result of small violations of relativity.

Success of liver transplantation may be most influenced by three risk factors
Three risk factors: donor age; the length of time an organ is cooled between procurement and transplantation; and how urgently the recipient needs the transplant; have the greatest impact on patient and graft survival rates for liver transplantation, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New technique shows promise for improved straightening of crooked nose
A surgical technique offers improved outcomes for straightening the middle third of the nose, a difficult to manage deformity, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Two UCSF scientists receive top funding honor from medical institute
Two UCSF professors were named today (March 21) as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, a highly prized honor that carries significant, long-term research support.

Scientists solve structure of key protein in innate immune response
When bacteria invade the body, a molecule called CD14 binds to substances liberated from the bacteria and initiates the cellular defense mechanisms.

Boston University team finds link between high cholesterol and better cognitive performance
What's bad for your ticker may be good for your bean, according to research from a team of scientists at Boston University.

New self-help technology set to combat eating disorders
A new interactive multi-media self-help package for people diagnosed with eating disorders developed at the University of Glasgow is now set to be delivered over the internet to adolescent sufferers.

Tufts University's Andrew Camilli named Howard Hughes Medical Investigator
Andrew Camilli, PhD, associate professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, was named one of 43 new Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators today.

World's largest rainforest drying experiment completes first phase
Scientists with The Woods Hole Research Center are analyzing the surprising results of the first phase of a drydown experiment in the Amazonian rainforest.

Love at first ... smell
Why do some males smell better than others? Scientists at Cardiff University, in collaboration with colleagues at Max-Plank Society, Germany - and the help of stickleback fish - have identified the chemical responsible.

MICE to go ahead
In the quest to unravel the characteristics of the mysterious neutrino particle, millions of which pass through us undetected every day, scientists from several international universities have joined forces with UK research colleagues to build a unique engineering technology demonstrator at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK.

Welfare-to-work reform didn't help children, study shows
Poverty itself matters at least as much as the parents' source of income.

Research warns against sleeping in contact lenses
Sleeping in contact lenses can lead to an increased risk of severe eye infection, new research suggests.

Leaders in sickle cell research meet in Cincinnati
The Cincinnati Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will host the 28th annual meeting of the National Sickle Cell Disease Program from April 10 to 13 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.

Dental erosion
Frequently consuming foods with a low pH value, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit and yogurt can lead to irreversible dental erosion, according to a report in the January/February issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

WISE study starts in Toulouse: 60 days of bed-rest for terrestrial female astronauts
Since Saturday, 19 March, the study entitled Women International Space Simulation for Exploration (WISE) has been fully under way.

Use of inhaled corticosteroid led to fewer hospitalizations for young children with asthma
A new study, presented at the 61st annual American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) showed that children who were prescribed a nebulized inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) as first-line treatment for asthma, experienced fewer emergency department (ED) visits or hospitalizations than children prescribed the medication as second or third-line treatment.

Simple intervention encourages sun protection behaviors
Photographs that reveal hidden skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun, combined with information on sunless tanning alternatives, was effective in encouraging sun protection behaviors in a small group of college students, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Employment prospects good for most cancer survivors -- but not all
Only one of five cancer survivors surveyed in a Penn State study were disabled or out of work four years after treatment, but a minority suffered lasting effects that prevented them from working.

RNA project to create language for scientists worldwide
Research into ribonucleic acids (RNA)--the building blocks of life--is exploding as scientists worldwide discover the roles of RNA in genetics, health, disease and the development of organisms.

Rural America vulnerable to bioterrorism and natural disaster threats
The Harvard School of Public Health Center for Public Health Preparedness, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and four other schools of public health, has released its latest independent report highlighting rural preparedness challenges and concerns.

Exotic physics finds black holes could be most 'perfect,' low-viscosity fluid
Physicists using string theory have determined that the fluid of a black hole in 10 dimensions, similar to a quark-gluon plasma in three spatial dimensions, could be the lowest-viscosity fluid.

Alcohol relapse adversely affects 10-year liver transplant survival
A new study on how alcohol relapse affects survival rates after liver transplants found that it adversely affected survival rates only after 10 years.

Recovered king of beasts returns to his home, thanks to unique operation
Samson the lion from the Hai-Kef zoo in Rishon Lezion, Israel, who had undergone a brain operation - unique in the world -- at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has recuperated and has returned to his cage and to his sister, Delilah.

Pushy parents can be bad for their children's health
Well intentioned, but pushy parents, intent on exercising their rights as healthcare consumers, can be bad for their children's health, suggests a small study in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Can San Francisco become a zero carbon city?
The relationship between climate change and local communities is of vital importance to the well being of our world.

Brain research to help in fight against cardiovascular disease
Scientists at the University of Liverpool, supported by the British Heart Foundation, are studying blood flow in the brain to further medical understanding of cardiovascular disease.

Study finds anticonvulsant drug poses greater birth-defect risk than suspected
Use of the anticonvulsant drug valproate during pregnancy may pose a significantly great risk of birth defects than does use of other antiseizure medications.

Can Los Angeles become a zero carbon city?
The relationship between climate change and local communities is of vital importance to the well being of our world.

TEL2 gene cooperates with MYC gene to provoke B-cell lymphomas
The genes TEL2 and MYC cooperate with each other to promote pediatric cases of the immune system cancer B-cell lymphoma.

ICPB locks in license to improve plastics with corn
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board, ICPB, has signed its first commercial license with Battelle to produce a new plastic additive made from corn that offers a variety of commercial advantages.

No serious adverse events found with next-generation smallpox vaccine
Interim data from a phase I/II clinical trial of a next-generation vaccine for smallpox suggest that the vaccine may provide immunity and thus far the trial has been without any serious adverse events.

Spintronic materials show their first move
How much energy does it take for an electron to hop from atom to atom, and how do the magnetic properties of the material influence the rate or ease of hopping?

Mice with defective sperm offer clues to infertility in men
Mice lacking the Septin4 gene may provide clues to human infertility and help the development of a reversible male contraceptive pill.

Cavity prevention tips for pre-school age children
Providing proper care and oral hygiene during preschool years can mean a lifetime of good oral health, according to a recent article in the January/February issue of General Dentistry, clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education.

Study shows use of budesonide reduced the risk of asthma related events by 40% in children
New data indicated that earlier intervention with once-daily budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid delivered by dry powder inhaler to children with mild persistent asthma, significantly reduced the long-term risk and frequency of severe asthma-related events as well as the need for other inhaled medication.

South America's vast pantanal wetland may become next everglades, UNU experts warn
South America's giant Pantanal wetlands, one of the world's most bio-diverse ecosystems, is at growing risk from intensive peripheral agricultural, industrial and urban development - problems expected to be compounded by climate change, United Nations University experts warn.

Influenza vaccine uses insect cells to speed development
Using a strategy involving a genetically modified baculovirus and caterpillar cells scientists from Protein Sciences Corporation have been able to speed up a key step in the development of an experimental cell-based influenza vaccine.

HHMI taps two Long Island researchers as among the nation's most promising scientists
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) today announced the selection of 43 of the nation's most promising biomedical scientists as new HHMI investigators.

Donor age has no affect on long-term liver transplant survival
A new study on the effect of donor age on survival and recurrence of hepatitis C after liver transplantation found that it influenced short-term survival, but had no long-term effect.

ESA Council give go-ahead to Europe's cooperation with India in a lunar exploration mission
On 17 March the ESA Council, at its meeting in Paris, unanimously approved a cooperation agreement between ESA and the Indian Space Research Organisation for India's first moon mission - Chandrayaan-1.

New colorectal cancer screening recommendations for African Americans
New recommendations from the American College Gastroenterology urge healthcare providers to begin colorectal cancer screening in African Americans at age 45 rather than 50 years using colonoscopy as

The Bacteria's guide to survival
A recent study published in the premier open-access online journal PLoS Biology reveals that force exerted on the membrane of epithelial cells by bacterial attachment enhances the expression of stress-responsive genes.

Institute for OneWorld Health awarded Skoll Foundation's Social Entrepreneurship Award
The Institute for OneWorld Health today announced that it has been awarded a 2005 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in the amount of $615,000 over three years.

Scientists discover that host cell lipids facilitate bacterial movement
When the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes invades the body, it commandeers its host cell's actin cytoskeleton to invade other cells.

Wolves alleviate impact of climate change on food supply, finds new UC Berkeley study
Gray wolves play a critical role in easing the effects of climate change on Yellowstone's ecosystem, according to a new UC Berkeley study.

Key target for Foot and Mouth drug revealed
A complete picture of Foot-and-Mouth Disease's key replication enzyme could lead to the development of new drugs to control the disease without recourse to vaccination or slaughter, scientists report today.

Researchers develop fingerprint detection technology
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a novel method for detecting fingerprints based on the chemical elements present in fingerprint residue. 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