Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 19, 2005
Spice it up or just veg out, either way you may be helping to defend against cancer
Two new studies suggest that broccoli and red chili pepper may slow or prevent the growth of cancerous tumor cells.

Biomarkers isolated from saliva successfully predict oral and breast cancer
Screening for breast cancer and the early detection of other tumors one day may be as simple as spitting into a collection tube or cup, according to recent studies by UCLA researchers.

Researchers find promising cancer-fighting power of synthetic cell-signaling molecule
Novel anti-cancer compounds called Enigmols suppress the growth of human cell lines representing cancers of the prostate, breast, colon, ovary, pancreas, brain and blood, and reduce tumors in three animal studies, new research shows.

Chemokines orchestrate more than migration for immune cells
Scientists have discovered that chemical signals thought to function primarily as cellular traffic directors play a much more complex role in the activation of the adaptive immune response than was previously expected.

Next-era targeted therapy overcoming Gleevec's shortcomings
Though Gleevec has shown

Scientists infuse rat spinal cords with brain-derived human stem cells
Unveiling a delivery method that may one day help surgeons treat the deadly neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have inserted engineered human stem cells into the spinal cords of ALS-afflicted rats.

Being obese, underweight, associated with increased risk of death
Compared with normal weight, a person who is obese or underweight has an increased risk of death, although that risk appears to have decreased in recent years for obesity, according to a study in the April 20 issue of JAMA.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Story tips include: Light may rapidly and painlessly kill bacteria that cause gum disease; New approach for controlling drug-resistant staphylococci; and Interleukin-12 may protect against lethal respiratory infection.

Nanomagnets bend the rules
Nanocomposite materials seem to flout conventions of physics. In the latest example of surprising behavior, reported by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Brookhaven National Laboratory, a class of nanostructured materials that are key components of computer memories and other important technologies undergo a previously unrecognized shift in the rate at which magnetization changes at low temperatures.

Findings about anti-cancer agent could make it more effective
New research has revealed the power behind an anti-tumor agent being studied in the laboratory.

New polymers for applications in nanopatterning and nanolithography
The Cidetec Technological Centre continues to invest in nanotechnology development with its participation in the European NAPA (Emerging Nanopatterning Methods) project.

Paramedics need help to revive marriages: U of T study
Support services provided to paramedics should also be made available to their family members if these families are to remain healthy and intact, says a University of Toronto researcher.

American Dietetic Association statement on new 'MyPyramid'
According to the American Dietetic Association, the ultimate value and success of the new

Heart failure drug associated with higher risk of death
A drug that helps heart failure patients survive a crisis may actually increase their risk of dying in the first month after they leave the hospital, a new study shows.

Scientists propose new method for studying ion channel kinetics
Scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a new method for the study of ion channel gating kinetics.

NSAIDS okay for tonsillectomy, new study finds
When children have their tonsils removed, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for pain relief with no significant increase in bleeding and with less nausea and vomiting, according to a systematic review of current evidence.

Anammox bacteria produce nitrogen gas in oceans' snackbar
Advanced measurements off the coast of Namibia give a new explanation for the extremely efficient nitrogen removal from the oxygen poor areas of the ocean.

Sandia assists NASA with space shuttle rollout test
Sandia National Laboratories recently conducted a series of tests to help NASA understand the fatigue on the space shuttle caused during rollout from the Kennedy Space Center assembly building to the launch pad - a four-mile trip.

Women more collaborative in workteams: Study
When it comes to leadership in the workplace, work teams made up mostly of women tend to share leadership roles more than teams dominated by men, says a University of Toronto organizational behaviour expert.

Spontaneous ignition discovery has ORNL researcher fired up
Zhiyu Hu believes it is possible to match nature's highly efficient method to convert chemicals into thermal energy at room temperature, and he has data and a published paper to support his theory.

Method shows how precisely gene expression signals are copied in DNA replication
A group of University of Washington researchers has devised a method that combines DNA sampling and mathematical modeling to find out how accurately patterns of methylation, a process that can control how genes are expressed,are copied during DNA replication.

Turning viruses into allies against cancer
Through genetic engineering, viruses are being re-programmed to take advantage of their natural abilities to infiltrate, commandeer, replicate and destroy, but only in tumor cells and not surrounding healthy tissue.

Alcohol-impaired driving on the increase, study shows
After a long, slow downward trend alcohol-impaired driving has recently increased.

Researchers identify marker of heart disease in low-birthweight babies
Some low birth weight infants have large particles rich in apolipoprotein C-1, a blood protein that could put them at risk for heart disease later in life, according to a national study led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers.

No improvement in overall survival with lymph node removal in treatment of advanced ovarian cancer
Removing the aortic and pelvic lymph nodes during surgery for advanced ovarian cancer improves progression-free survival but not overall survival, according to a new study in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

No strong evidence linking mercury levels with worse neurobehavioral performance in older adults
In a study of older adults, researchers did not find a definitive association between blood mercury levels, which can become elevated with fish consumption, and adverse neurobehavioral effects, according to a study in the April 20 issue of JAMA.

Hospitalized babies with severe breathing problems may benefit from lying on their stomachs
Infants who are hospitalized with severe breathing problems may benefit from being placed on their stomachs rather than their backs, according to a new review of recent studies.

Novel gene-silencing nanoparticles shown to inhibit Ewing's sarcoma
A novel delivery system that transports gene silencing nanoparticles into tumor cells has been shown to inhibit Ewing's sarcoma in an animal model of the disease.

Protein studies may lead to new Alzheimer's test
A proteomic study of Alzheimer's disease patients' cerebrospinal fluid may lead to a new test for diagnosing the devastating illness.

Inherited variations in mitochondrial DNA linked to renal and prostate cancer
More than 20 million men in the United States with a particular signature set of inherited characteristics and mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are at significantly increased risk for developing renal and prostate cancers, according to research at Emory University.

Compound from Chinese medicine shows promise in head and neck cancer, U-M study finds
A compound derived from cottonseed oil could help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy at treating head and neck cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.

UCF researcher uncovers protein that could stop replication of cancer cells
University of Central Florida Molecular Biology and Microbiology professor Mark Muller has found that the protein, called MKRN1, promotes the destruction of an enzyme called telomerase that enables rapid duplication of cells.

U of T research examines nursing home quality of care
Not-for-profit homes in the United States generally provide better care than their for-profit cousins, says a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights include

Mercury levels and cognitive function investigated in adults
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently completed the first study of mercury and cognitive function in urban, U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 70 years.

Technique may speed drug production, reduce costs and waste
University of Toronto researchers have a developed a new chemical reaction that could greatly accelerate pharmaceutical production, while also cutting costs and toxic by-products.

Genetic changes in breast tissue caused by pregnancy hormone helps prevent breast cancer
A full-term pregnancy at an early age is one of the most effective ways to reduce the lifetime risk of breast cancer, according to research pathologist Irma H.

The Cochrane Library newsletter, 2005, issue 2
The Cochrane Library, 2005, issue 2 will be published online Wednesday, April 20 at
UGA's Grady College receives $200,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation
The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has been awarded a $200,000 grant to establish the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Visiting Professionals.

Press registration reminder - ESC Congress 2005, 3-7 September 2005
The next ESC Congress is swiftly approaching and will be held from 3-7 September in Stockholm, Sweden.

CML found to wield 'death factor' that kills normal blood marrow cells
Based on surprising results from animal experiments, researchers at The University of Texas M.

Number and quality of kidney transplants much greater if national matching program adopted
A collaboration between Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists has mathematically demonstrated that a national matching program for kidney paired donation, also called paired kidney exchange, would ensure the best possible kidney for the greatest number of recipients who have incompatible donors.

Institute of Medicine news: Human resource crisis in HIV/AIDS
New organization is needed to mobilize U.S. health care workers and other experts to assist countries devastated by HIV/AIDS, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Research notes: Policy points from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts
The field of Public Nutriton includes nutritional assessment, analysis and response, is delayed by practical challenges and more importantly, by research and programmatic questions.

Short sugar chains-­a future drug for Alzheimer's?
Heparansulfate, which is needed for normal fetal development among other things, is also important for the build-up of amyloid, morbid protein deposits that appear in several serious diseases.

Researchers develop 'genetic blueprint' to predict response to esophageal cancer treatments
For the first time, researchers appear to be able to use a comprehensive panel of genetic variants to predict how a patient with esophageal cancer will respond to a spectrum of cancer treatments.

Kidney donation program may provide more matches for previously incompatible recipients and donors
A mathematical simulation model suggests that implementation of a national kidney paired donation program would provide a greater number and quality of matches for recipients and donors that were incompatible, according to a study in the April 20 issue of JAMA.

Other highlights in the April 20 JNCI
Other highlights in the April 20 JNCI include a study of radiation exposure and male breast cancer among atomic bomb survivors; an examination of the natural history of HPV in HIV-positive women; a study of genetic polymorphisms and lung cancer risk; a study of birth order, immune dysregulation and non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk; and an examination of hormone concentrations and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal hormone users.

Clinical trial of gefitinib for advanced lung cancer closes early
Researchers have closed a randomized clinical trial comparing gefitinib (IressaTM) vs. placebo following chemotherapy and radiation for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.

Mitochondrial DNA variants linked to renal, prostate cancer
Now, scientists at Emory University have discovered that mitochondrial DNA contains signature sequencing that is associated with two times the risk for prostate and up to two-and-one-half times the risk for renal cancer.

Scientists probe origins of brain disorders
Many currently incurable diseases of the nervous system are likely to have their origin in problems which happen during the growth of the brain --but pinpointing where the defects occur is like finding a needle in a haystack, says a University of Edinburgh scientist.

Readers of genome decipher signatures of cancer patient outcomes
By perusing the contents from the Human Genome Project for clues into the molecular origins and risks for cancer, scientists are now defining sets of genes or

'Live fast, die young' applies to forests, too
In the most recent issue of Ecology Letters, Stephenson and van Mantgem show that birth and death rates of trees vary in parallel with global patterns of forest productivity.

Combination chemotherapy shows small survival benefit in advanced stomach cancer
Patients with advanced stomach cancer have the best chance of prolonging their survival with a combination of chemotherapies instead of just one, according to a new review of previous studies.

Are rice and wheat behind China's population boom?
The rapid growth of the earliest cities in northern China starting as far back as 2400 to 2000 BC is the result of successful rice farming combined with other crops, says University of Toronto anthropologist Gary Crawford.

Obesity hits below the belt: Overweight Americans suffer higher rate of knee cartilage tears
In the first major study of its kind, University of Utah School of Medicine researchers found the likelihood of tearing the meniscus, the cartilage that bears much of the load on the knee joint, increases dramatically with body mass index (BMI).

Some Alzheimer's patients can benefit from drug memantine
The drug memantine can reduce cognitive deterioration and loss of everyday functions in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, according to a new review of studies.

Increasing benefit seen in novel drug that treats Gleevec resistance
An investigational drug is producing powerful responses in patients resistant to Gleevec, the targeted therapy that helps most people diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), an international research team headed by investigators at The University of Texas M.
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