Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 28, 2005
A bacterial genome reveals new targets to combat infectious disease
In a paper published in the premier open-access online journal PLoS Biology, analysis of the Wolbachia genome, which resides within filarial parasites, offers insight into endosymbiont evolution and the promise of new strategies for the elimination of human filarial disease.

Muscle-targeted gene therapy reverses rare muscular dystrophy in mice
Gene therapy methods that specifically target muscle may reverse the symptoms of a rare form of muscular dystrophy, according to new research in mice conducted by medical geneticists at Duke University Medical Center.

Aldo Leopold leadership program moves to Stanford University and awards new fellowships for 2005
The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, which trains academic environmental scientists to communicate effectively to non-scientists, has relocated to Stanford University.

Nanotechnology could promote hydrogen economy
Rutgers scientists are using nanotechnology in chemical reactions that could provide hydrogen for tomorrow's fuel-cell powered clean energy vehicles.

Modular Genetics, Inc., strikes deal with Monsanto
Genes that could bolster crop yields, improve nutritional content, or make food crops more disease resistant can now be more easily identified and developed because of breakthrough technology developed by Modular Genetics Inc.

Consumers with disabilities empowered by American Disabilities Act
Research finds that the consumer interests of people with disabilities have been served by the ADA in a variety of ways, but there is more to be done.

Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
For the first time, a group of scientists has accomplished the daunting task of evaluating the status of all of the ecosystems on Earth, and the outlook is troubling.

'Invisible' influences reveal unconscious pathways used in visual perception
What aspects of our brain's activity are we actually aware of?

Babies born preterm cost businesses big money: Hospital charges estimated at $7.4 billion annually
Premature birth is the leading killer of newborns. In addition, there are heavy economic costs.

Do you know where you are? Body and self not the same
Normally, we think of our selves as being located in our bodies.

Cultural and social factors influence prostate cancer treatment
Researchers say social and cultural factors play a significant role in patients' prostate cancer treatment decisions.

Discovery of gene will likely lead to new treatments for inflammatory diseases, cancer
Researchers from Boston University School of Dental Medicine report the discovery of a new gene, STAT6(B), that helps regulate production of the potentially deadly tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) cytokine.

New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
A special type of MRI scan that measures the flow of water molecules through the brain can help doctors determine early in the course of brain cancer regimen if a patient's tumor will shrink, a new study shows.

Fat may promote inflammation, new study suggests
Why does extra fat around the waist increase the risk of heart disease?

Uric acid and heart disease
In a paper published in the premier open-access journal PLoS Medicine, the largest ever prospective analysis and meta-analysis of uric acid in coronary heart disease finds no evidence that uric acid is useful in predicting coronary heart disease.

Poplar trees redirect resources in response to simulated attack
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have applied some of the same techniques used in medical imaging to track the distribution of nutrients in poplar trees in response to a simulated insect attack.

Organizational traits associated with quality patient care are essential to home care nursing
Organizational traits that support hospital-based nurses' efforts to provide high quality patient care and enhance their job satisfaction are also essential to home care nursing, according to a study conducted by a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member.

Protecting children from industrial chemicals in the environment
An article published in the premier open-access journal PLoS Medicine argues that the existing requirements in the United States for toxicity testing and regulation of pesticides and industrial chemicals are inadequate to safeguard children.

Professionalism and professional ethics in medicine
The March 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine contains several articles relevant to the topic of professionalism in medicine and/or professional ethics.

Essential mangrove forest threatened by cryptic ecological degradation
The recent killer tsunami has highlighted once more the importance of coastline protection.

Economist: Cuba's state-run baseball doesn't go to bat for players
Cuba touts its state-run baseball system as superior, but a study finds that Cuba exploits its players, while offering its fans less-even competition than in the market-driven United States.

Institute of Medicine advisory: Spinal cord injury treatment
SPINAL CORD INJURY: PROGRESS, PROMISE, AND PRIORITIES, a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, identifies promising approaches and strategies to accelerate the development of cures for spinal cord injuries.

Protein protects kidneys from damage caused by chronic renal disease and injury
University of Michigan scientists have identified a new and unusual protein that reduces, in laboratory mice, kidney damage caused by chronic renal disease and acute toxic injuries.

Corrected metabolism leads to health benefits and weight loss
Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure have been stabilized by a revolutionary weight loss program, says a leading Canadian General Practitioner.

BRCA1 causes ovarian cancer through indirect, biochemical route
Mutated BRCA1 genes cause ovarian cancer indirectly, by interfering with the biochemical signals one ovarian cell sends to another, according to a team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Southern California.

Britain's top climatologist backs global warming claims
One of Britain's leading climate change experts has thrown his weight behind the claim that global warming is being caused by human activity in a report published today by the Institute of Physics.

Police officers' racial bias can be eliminated
New research in the March issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society, shows that extensive training with a computer simulation can eliminate this racial bias.

Plant hemoglobins: Oxygen handlers critical for nitrogen fixation
Hemoglobins, ancient proteins with well-known roles in oxygen transport and respiration in animals, are also present in plants and bacteria, but until now the physiological role of plant hemoglobins has been unclear.

Wiley author awarded the 2005 Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that Dr.

'You can't buy conservation,' suggests survey of Africa's rain forest parks
Economic assistance to areas surrounding Africa's rain forest parks does not, as currently applied, contribute to their health, suggests an extensive survey of park scientists and managers.

Blind more accurate at judging size than sighted
Close your eyes and imagine a loaf of bread. With your eyes still closed, estimate with your hands the size of that loaf of bread.

Acupuncture found to lower elevations in blood pressure
Acupuncture treatments using low levels of electrical stimulation can lower elevations in blood pressure by as much as 50 percent, researchers at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at UC Irvine have found.

Lack of clinical trial participation may contribute to lower survival rates
A new study finds poor survival rates among young adults and older adolescents with some cancers may be partially explained by the lack of participation in clinical trials.

A marker for new blood vessel formation in tumors
Research published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Medicine reveals that visualizing integrins with PET scanning can show angiogenesis in tumors and also be used to monitor anti-angiogenic therapy.

Indiana University researchers closer to helping hearing-impaired using stem cells
Results of research conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine suggest that adult stem cells could be used to treat deaf patients in the future.

Bullying among sixth graders a daily occurrence, UCLA study finds
Nearly half the sixth graders in two Los Angeles area public schools were bullied by classmates during a five-day period, UCLA researchers report in the first study of daily school harassment.

Primary care office strategies may increase colon cancer screening
Patients are more likely to receive colorectal cancer screening when primary care practices use an office systems approach, according to an article in the March 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Gene variations explain drug dose required to control seizures
Determining which variants of particular genes patients with epilepsy carry might enable doctors to better predict the dose of drugs necessary to control their seizures, suggest basic findings by researchers at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) and the University College London.

Raw food vegetarians have low bone mass
Vegetarians who don't cook their food have abnormally low bone mass, usually a sign of osteoporosis and increased fracture risk.

Advertising by academic medical centers may risk eroding public trust, says study
Most prominent academic medical centers develop and distribute advertisements to attract patients, but none have a formal review process to assess the balance and straightforwardness of these advertisements, according to the first study to investigate these practices.

In the sea slug's defense against lobsters, confusion is key
Like many other marine creatures, Aplysia, a common sea slug, enlists chemical defenses against its predators, but the mechanisms by which such chemical attacks actually work against their intended targets are not well understood by researchers.

Suppressing the cells that trigger cat allergy
Immunotherapy is one approach to treating cat allergy and asthma.
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