Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 05, 2005
Drug safety in the doctor's office: Nearly half of patients have lapses in monitoring
According to research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, only slightly more than half of patients taking chronic medications received the recommended laboratory tests to monitor drug side effects.

Decline in major heart disease offset by rise in diagnosed angina among British men
Rates of heart attack and coronary death among British middle aged men have fallen steadily since the late 1970s, but this has been largely offset by an increase in the rate of diagnosed angina, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers discover mechanism for multiplying adult stem cells
Although adult stem cell research isn't fraught with the controversies that surround embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are extremely difficult to isolate and then to multiply in a lab dish.

Motor transport in bio-nano systems
Max Planck researchers determine optimal parameters for biomimetic transport systems based on molecular motors.

Health and environmental sciences director named DuPont 'Distinguished Scientist'
Dr. Robert W. Rickard, science director for the DuPont Haskell Laboratory for Health and Environmental Sciences in Newark, Del., today was named DuPont Distinguished Scientist, the highest honor accorded by DuPont to a technical professional.

Envisat making sharpest ever global Earth map
The most detailed portrait ever of the Earth's land surface is being created with ESA's Envisat environmental satellite.

Israeli, U.S., German researchers unveil remarkable behavior of ocean plankton
An international team of scientists from Israel, the United States and Germany, led by Prof.

Earth lightens up
Earth's surface has been getting brighter for more than a decade, a reversal from a dimming trend that may accelerate warming at the surface and unmask the full effect of greenhouse warming, according to an exhaustive new study of the solar energy that reaches land.

Animal study: Compounds in cranberries may have heart-healthy effects
Compounds that occur naturally in cranberries may be good for the heart, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found.

NIST fire analysis tools featured in online training
A free interactive online training program for fire fighters and arson investigators that features fire research, video footage and expert analysis from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is now available.

Health benefits of quitting smoking could be improved by controlling weight gain
Controlling a person's weight after they have given up smoking could help maximise the benefits for their lungs, suggests a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Pitt professor wins prestigious NSF CAREER award
A University of Pittsburgh faculty member has received the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.

Society of Nuclear Medicine to offer $10,000 William L. Ashburn, M.D., Pilot Research Grant for 2006
The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) is pleased to announce the $10,000 William L.

A whole lot of shaking goin' on triggers early hatching in red-eyed tree frogs
What prompts the embryos of certain frogs to hatch early if shaken by a hungry reptile but not if buffeted by an outside force such as rain?

Physician assisted suicide and why patients are motivated to seek death
Patients motivated to seek a doctor for their death wish did so after a deliberative and thoughtful process rather than on impulse, according to a research study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine .

Columbia dedicates new 300,000 sq. ft. Irving Cancer Research Center
Columbia University Medical Center today announced the dedication of the Irving Cancer Research Center, a new 300,000 square foot facility located at the medical center's campus in northern Manhattan.

Morphine for chest pain increases death risk
While patients hospitalized for a heart attack have long been treated with morphine to relieve chest pain, an analysis by researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute has shown that these patients have almost a 50 percent higher risk of dying.

Scientists call for research aimed at better understanding Earth's energy 'balance'
In an article in this week's issue of Science, three leading climate and atmospheric scientists argue that scientific research is lacking in several core areas concerning Earth's climate and its fundamental energy system.

Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
A powerful laboratory technique used by fruit fly geneticists for more than a decade is now available to scientists studying genes and diseases in mice.

Small glaciers in Northern California buck
While glaciers around the world are shrinking and disappearing, presumably due to global warming, two small glaciers in the Trinity Alps of Northern California are holding their own.

Executives from AMO, Broadcom, Boeing, Toyota, others to speak at UCI's annual symposium
Key executives from Advanced Medical Optics, Broadcom, Boeing, Extend Fertility, Impinj, Mindspeed Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Printronix and Toyota will join academic and government experts at UC Irvine's fourth annual California: Prosperity Through Technology industry research symposium.

Researchers use 3-D imaging system to unveil swimming behavior of microscopic plankton
From the surface, the ocean appears to be vast and uniform.

Shake and stir to make granular materials change phases
In an experiment originally planned for the International Space Station, physicists at Duke University have devised a controlled, measurable method to make a container of granules -- in this case plastic beads --

Gene implicated in chronic kidney disease
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered a gene responsible for one form of chronic kidney disease.

Drug combinations improve survival for patients with heart disease
Patients with coronary heart disease who take a combination of three specific drugs have a better chance of survival than those taking single drugs, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Early failure to pay attention to faces, speech may influence later development in autism
A leading scientist trying to understand and treat autism suspects that a failure to engage in such normal social activities as looking as a parent's face or listening to speech sound early in life may help explain the profound impairments in social and language development shown by most children with the disorder.

Seeing what protein C is all about
Patients with defective ProC activity suffer from thrombotic complications, which can result in stroke and/or hypertension.

ORNL, UC Berkeley unravel real-world clues to Earth's mysteries
A microbial community thriving under bizarre natural conditions in California could be a gold mine to researchers in their quest to understand the complex biological relationships and how these inner workings might apply on a grander scale.

Tollbooth ventilation system effective in protecting workers from traffic air pollution
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that tollbooth ventilation systems at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel are effective in keeping air toxins out of the tollbooth and away from the workers.

Children with autism have distinctly different immune system reactions compared to typical children
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, M.I.N.D.

Stroke drug still meets resistance from doctors wary of its risks
Forty percent of ER doctors say they're unlikely to give stroke patients the only FDA-approved drug shown to improve their prognosis, even in an ideal setting, mostly because of the fear of causing brain bleeding.

Microbes yield secrets of survival
The first comprehensive study of the proteins in a microbial community is providing insights into how microorganisms evolve, specialize and cooperate in order to adapt to extreme conditions of temperature, acidity, and toxicity.

Cancer exploits the body's wound-healing process
Scientists have known for the last decade that a link exists between wound healing and cancer.

The relationship between clinical depression and chronic pain
In a recent study featured in the May 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, the researchers' findings challenge existing notions on the interplay of emotion and sensation and have important implications for treating depression and pain as separate conditions, even when they occur simultaneously.

Medication combined with behavior therapy works best for ADHD children, study finds
A new study of treatments for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has found that combining behavior modification therapy with medication is the most effective way to improve the behavior of many ADHD children.

Pitt Professor awarded competitive Sloan Research Fellowship
Marc Sommer, assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Neuroscience, has received an Alfred P.

NYU researchers explain how organic molecules bind to semiconductor surfaces
Chemists at New York University have elucidated a mechanism by which organic molecules attach to semiconductor surfaces, a finding that has implications for the semiconductor industry.

Politicians bury their heads in the sand while global flu threat mounts
Governments around the world must stop burying their heads in the sand over the growing threat of a global epidemic of avian flu, argues a GP in this week's BMJ.

WHO's HIV initiative at risk of failing
Lack of financial resources, staff, and commitment from key countries, may hamper Who's goal to provide life-long antiretroviral therapy to 3 million people with HIV/AIDS in developing countries by the end of 2005 (3 by 5), states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Jin elected to National Academy of Sciences
Deborah S. Jin, a fellow of JILA, which is jointly operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder, has been elected as one of 72 new members to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Check colon tumors for signs of syndrome, study suggests
A new study suggests that, after surgery, all colon tumors should be tested to learn if the patient may have an inherited syndrome that carries an extremely high risk of cancer.

More effort needed to prevent pattern of child abuse
Children who have been abused are at risk of recurrence and effective prevention strategies are urgently needed, say the authors of a randomized trial published online today by The Lancet.

A candidate biomarker to improve treatment of lupus patients
A recent study provides the basis for a new laboratory biomarker to better evaluate new therapies as well as to help doctors more effectively treat lupus patients at risk for serious complications.

Treat depression and chronic pain separately, U-M researchers say
Depression often causes a duet of anguish among people already suffering from chronic pain.

Doctor voices concerns over new NHS IT system
The political drive to implement the NHS's national programme for information technology is failing to take account of professionals' anxieties, argues a GP in this week's BMJ.

More love, more hurt
A new study finds that hurt feelings in relationships reflect on the perceived value of yourself, your partner, and the relationship.

Routine procedure during childbirth provides no benefits, study review finds
According to a systematic review of existing studies, to appear in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the surgical procedure known as an episiotomy, performed in up to 35 percent of U.S. vaginal births, usually provides no benefits.

Finding the function of fish ferroportin
To understand the role of ferroportin function is very important since many mutations have been reported in the ferroportin protein leading to type IV hemochromatosis.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine establishes Stem Cell Institute
Financier Leon D. Black has committed $10 million to Mount Sinai School of Medicine to establish the Black Family Stem Cell Institute.

Study examines measurement of service sector R&D
A new joint research project of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) found that it has become progressively more difficult to classify the research and development (R&D) that fuels innovation in the services sector.

Clutch hitters and choke hitters: Myth or reality?
Sports announcers already know it, and now Elan Fuld has proven it: clutch hitters really do exist.

Researchers discover new longer-living flower
Penn State researchers have discovered an extraordinary new flower that lives longer than an ordinary one.

Pitt math researcher wins prestigious NSF CAREER Award
University of Pittsburgh assistant professor of mathematics Anna Vainchtein has been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.

Autism conference reports advances in early diagnosis, role of immune system and more
Some 700 scientists from around the world who gathered in Boston this week shared exciting advances in understanding the causes of and treatments for autism disorders, which affect up to one of every 166 people.

Bomb blast mitigation technologies to be tested at new UCSD blast simulator
University of California San Diego structural engineers together with a team of industry and university partners will develop and evaluate blast mitigation technologies to harden buildings and bridges against terrorist bomb attacks through a new $7.5 million federal contract.

Researchers extend mouse lifespan by protecting against free radicals
Scientists at the University of Washington and their colleagues at other research centers have found a way to significantly extend the lifespan of mice while reducing the impact of the aging process.

Physicists detect the undetectable: 'baby' solitary waves
When University at Buffalo theorist Surajit Sen published his prediction that solitary waves, tight bundles of energy that travel without dispersing, could break into smaller,

Scientists take aim at virulent bacteria by decoding machinery of key control enzyme
By deciphering the ingenious mechanism used by the DAM (DNA adenine methyltransferase) enzyme to modify bacterial chromosome chemistry, scientists have come a step closer to designing a new kind of drug that could stop virulent bacterial infections in their tracks.

University of Minnesota to host international whole grains conference
Lester Crawford, acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, will join whole grain researchers, manufacturers, educators and regulators from around the globe as they meet May 18-20 in the Radisson Plaza Hotel, Minneapolis, to develop a research agenda and action plan for including more whole grains in peoples' diets.

Scientists reveal how disease bacterium survives inside immune system cell
New research on a bacterium that can survive encounters with specific immune system cells has strengthened scientists' belief that these plentiful white blood cells, known as neutrophils, dictate whether our immune system will permit or prevent bacterial infections.

Earth's reflectivity a great unknown in gauging climate change impacts
Earth's climate is being changed substantially by greenhouse gases, but a group of leading climate scientists contends the overall impact is not understood as well as it should be because data are too scarce on how much energy the planet reflects into space.

Scientists report strong evidence of alterations in blood samples of children with autism
Offering a new and exciting direction in the effort to develop a diagnostic test for autism in infancy, scientists from the UC Davis M.I.N.D.

Federal agencies partner to document endangered languages
Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced the recipients of 13 fellowships and 26 institutional grants as part of the agencies' joint Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) project -- a new, multi-year effort to digitally archive at-risk languages before they become extinct.
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