Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 19, 2005
Photos reveal new primate species
The discovery of Africa's first new species of monkey in over 20 years is described in the current issue of Science.

Science study holds implications for gene therapy and stem cell biology
A study in the May 20 issue of Science holds mixed blessings for scientists who follow research in gene therapy and stem cell biology.

Boys, too, suffer long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse
Children of both genders are frequently victims of sexual abuse, and the long-term consequences are nearly identical in men and women, according to a broad-based new report in the June 2005 issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Rock on! Indiana limestone: NIST's first and latest SRM
It may sound like sentimentality, but it's coldly practical--the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has reissued one of its earliest Standard Reference Materials (SRMs), a mineral sample first distributed in 1910.

Premature use of stem cell therapy could put patients at risk
The premature use of stem cell therapy could put many patients at risk of viral or prion diseases unless appropriate safety systems are in place, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

Gene keeps neural cells on correct developmental path
HHMI researchers report details from a new study that may be one of the first to track a set of genes from stem cell to differentiated neuron.

U of MN researchers discover novel way estrogen affects the brain
University of Minnesota researchers have demonstrated how estrogen affects learning and memory.

CAD system makes breast MRI more effective, efficient
A computer-aided detection (CAD) system is helping radiologists to more quickly and accurately determine the sizes and locations of cancers found on breast MRI- information that could change patients' treatment, a new study shows.

Birth weight and breastfeeding in infancy may affect premenopausal breast cancer risk
Premenopausal women who were heavier than average at birth or had not been breastfed as infants appear to be at increased risk for developing breast cancer, epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo's School of Public health and Health Professions have found.

NSB announces recipients of the 2005 Vannevar Bush and Public Service Awards
The National Science Board (NSB) has announced that Robert W.

Bad teeth may signal risk for heart attack
Elderly persons with active root caries, a type of tooth decay, have an increased risk of having irregular heart beats.

More than 'SNARE' needed for proper synapse
A protein identified by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine appears to play a major role in the release of neurotransmitters and therefore communication between nerve cells.

Polymer expert writes text about better, inexpensive ways to create plastic
The complex and intricate world of plastics comes alive through the eyes of Marino Xanthos, PhD, a professor in the department of chemical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Lack of funds hampering important child health study
US Congress should boost funding for an important study to identify the risk factors for childhood chronic disease, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

As morphine turns 200, drug that blocks its side effects reveals new secrets
On May 21, 2005, the world of medicine will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the crystallization of morphine in Einbeck, Germany.

Enlarged prostate drug allows for less invasive prostate biopsies
A drug that is currently used to treat an enlarged prostate may improve the accuracy of prostate biopsies, a pilot study shows.

Chest CT can be first step to identifying if patient has had a heart attack
When radiologists are looking at contrast-enhanced chest CT examinations, they should take a look at the patient's heart to rule out heart attack, regardless of why the chest CT examination is being performed, a new study shows.

Researchers find genetic link to cerebral hemorrhage and porencephaly
Researchers at The Jackson Laboratory have discovered a genetic link to porencephaly, a rare but devastating neurological condition.

President Bush honors excellence in mentoring
Today, President Bush announced the recipients of the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)--a program supported and administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

New MRI techniques may help patients avoid knee surgery
Patients with suspected meniscal tears or other injuries to their knees may be able to avoid arthroscopic surgery by having a 3-Tesla MRI examination instead, two studies together indicate.

The role of the Royal Society should be reviewed
The Royal Society today has contributed little to medical science and should undergo an urgent review of its purpose and programmes, states an editorial in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Tsunami earthquake triggered Earth's free oscillations
Oscillations begun by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in December 2004 are providing important information about the composition of the Earth as well as the size and duration of the earthquake, according to a report in the journal Science by an international group of scientists led by Professor Jeffrey J.

Human cells can 'silence' HIV genes
For the first time, scientists have shown that humans use an immune defense process common in plants and invertebrates to battle a virus.

Empathetic voice improves doctor-patient communication
Doctors who use an empathetic voice with patients can elicit more information about their health problems and encourage them to stick to their treatment regime, a Monash researcher has found.

Sumatra-Andaman earthquake modeled and mapped
The earthquake that generated the Sumatran-Andaman Islands tsunami caused massive devastation, but exactly what happened beneath the ocean is the focus of modeling activities by an international team of geoscientists.

More than 250 experts attend NJIT's math conference
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) played host this weekend to more than 250 leading experts in applied mathematics.

The ultimate spa: embryonic body wash controls left-right development
Humans and other animals may appear to be symmetrical on the outside, but symmetry is only skin deep.

Eight aspects of early life put UK children at risk of obesity
Three year old children who spend more than eight hours watching television per week are at an increased risk of obesity, finds a study published online by the BMJ this week.

Study depicts peril, hope for children of jailed mothers
For a young child whose mother is imprisoned, life's prospects are predictably grim.

ASU's decision theater ushers in new age in public policy
A new age is dawning on public policy, one based on advanced scientifically informed decision making, with the May 23 opening of the Decision Theater at Arizona State University.

New partnership launched to accelerate and evaluate national malaria control program in Africa
A major partnership was launched today to demonstrate the enormous potential to save lives with existing malaria control interventions and identify specific ways that African governments can implement malaria control strategies most effectively.

Asthma drug fluticasone works as well as other drugs at half the dose
A new inhaled drug for chronic asthma may improve lung function as much as two older inhaled asthma drugs but at half the dose, a review of recent studies concludes.

Lack of coherent cloning policies reflects polarized debate, limited understanding, study says
The confusing welter of state laws regarding human cloning for reproductive purposes and for research uses reflects a national political impasse on regulating cloning, according to a new report by The Genetics & Public Policy Center, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and Johns Hopkins University.

Low back pain relief, causes, measurement & prosthetic fit, production, comfort
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) includes four articles on measurement, treatment, and causes of low back pain and five articles on prosthetic research, including the affect of practitioner knowledge and technique on prosthetic fit; rapid, low cost prosthetic production; and increase of skin temperature after a prosthetic limb is donned.

New institute for artificial intelligence studies
With a $5 million, five-year grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Cornell University has launched the Intelligent Information Systems Institute to develop artificial intelligence approaches to problems ranging from automated reasoning to data mining large complex networks.

Society of Nuclear Medicine professionals explore molecular imaging, present research highlights
Leading molecular/nuclear imaging authorities will discuss future directions and cutting-edge research results at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

'Cool' blood stem cell research leads to licensing deal
A Canadian company is betting that cryogenics research at the University of Alberta will set a new standard for stem cell storage and preservation.

Clinical trial proves link between chiropractic and migraines
Seventy-two per cent of migraine sufferers in a clinical trial experienced either 'substantial' or 'noticeable' improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment, defying historical skepticism of chiropractics by some medical practitioners.

Nanoscale switch links electronics to photonics
Cornell University researchers have taken a major step forward in photonics by developing a micrometer-scale silicon device that allows an electrical signal to modulate a beam of light.

'Cornell dots' for tagging, imaging and optical computing
By surrounding fluorescent dyes with a protective silica shell, Cornell University researchers have created fluorescent nanoparticles cheaper and more chemically inert than quantum dots, with possible applications in displays, biological imaging, optical computing, sensors and DNA chips.

Scientists generate patient-specific stem cells, Science study says
Scientists have isolated the first human embryonic stem cell lines specifically tailored to match the nuclear DNA of patients, both males and females of various ages, suffering from disease or spinal cord injury.

GM rice will not end hunger in China
Boosting food production with GM rice is unlikely to eliminate hunger in China, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Sonic flashlight puts ultrasound images in physician's line of sight for catheter placement
A new device, called a

ARL leads NASA effort to develop smarter machines for space missions
NASA has tapped Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) to lead a $9.6 million effort to give machines enough computer-based

Los Angeles 'big squeeze' continues, straining earthquake faults
Northern metropolitan Los Angeles is being squeezed at a rate of five millimeters a year, straining an area between two earthquake faults that serve as geologic bookends north and south of the affected region.

Stanford bioethicists want stronger protections for women donating eggs for stem cell research
Biomedical ethicists at the Stanford University School of Medicine say it's crucial to develop a unique set of protections for the women who donate their eggs to make the research possible.

Diamonds: Bill introduced to strengthen Canada's role in Kimberley Process
The Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, today introduced a bill in the Senate to ensure that Canada meets its obligations under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme -- an international agreement to help eliminate trade in illicit diamonds.

Seismologists publish detailed analysis of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake
The great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of December 26, 2004, was an event of stunning proportions, both in its human dimensions -- nearly 300,000 lives lost -- and as a geological phenomenon.

Flexible tactile sensors could help robots work better
A robot's sensitivity to touch could be vastly improved by an array of polymer-based tactile sensors that has been combined with a robust signal-processing algorithm to classify surface textures.

Fibromyalgia patients may benefit from cough remedy, UF study finds
An over-the-counter cough medication may help fibromyalgia patients fight pain.

AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner urges US to continue collecting job data on women workers
The American Association for the Advancement of Science on Wednesday (18 May) urged the U.S.

Neutrality and the National Security Council adviser
An article published in the latest issue of Presidential Studies Quarterly examines the impact of the

Research marks giant step in potential of using stem cells to treat human disorders
Research from the Republic of Korea's Seoul National University published in this week's edition of Science represents a major advance in the science of using stem cells to repair damage caused by human disease and injury, according to Gerald Schatten, Ph.D., professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and cell biology and physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a co-author on the Korean study.

Levels of bacteria in plaque beneath the gum line may increase risk for heart attacks
Researchers have found evidence that the amount of bacteria in subgingival plaques, the deep plaques in periodontal pockets and around the teeth, may contribute to an individual's risk of a heart attack, according to two studies appearing the Journal of Periodontology.

Radiology residents can accurately assess after-hours patients for stroke
Appropriately trained radiology residents on-call can accurately read emergency head CT studies and determine if a patient has had a stroke and is a potential candidate for thrombolytic therapy, a new study shows.

NEMS device detects the mass of a single DNA molecule
Researchers at Cornell University have built nanoelectromechanical oscillators small enough to sense the mass of a single DNA molecule.

Sandia helps small company with automatic tire pressure maintenance system
The National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories recently provided three engineering concepts to small business owner Dale Petty for a gadget that keeps car tires inflated to the right pressure.

New study questions benefits of aspirin for the over 70s
The benefits of giving low dose aspirin to healthy people from the age of 70 to prevent heart disease are offset by increased cases of serious bleeding, argue researchers in a study published online by the BMJ this week.

NIST method improves timing in oscilloscopes
A new method for correcting common timing errors in high-speed oscilloscopes has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Ultrasound-guided biopsies are safe alternative to endoscopic biopsies of the pancreas
Ultrasound-guided percutaneous biopsies are a safe and effective alternative to endoscopic biopsies for obtaining samples in the pancreas, a new study shows.

Ecosystems, economic choices and human well-being
The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment releases a series of 'synthesis reports' for 2005.

Long-term outcomes studied for stem cell transplant recipients
Improved techniques and supportive care have resulted in a growing number of long-term survivors of stem cell transplants, though little is known about the impact transplants have on patients' lives long after treatment.

ESC releases new chronic heart failure guidelines
Today the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) releases its new Guidelines on Chronic Heart Failure1, published in the latest edition of the European Heart Journal, official journal of the ESC and Europe's leading cardiology journal.

ESA issues first Jules Verne payload list
In 2006, with the launch of Jules Verne, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will become the new European powerful automatic re-supply spaceship able to bring an indispensable payload to the International Space Station and its permanent crew.

Women rising to the challenge of weightlessness
Following 60 days of 'bedrest' simulating the effects of weightlessness on the body, the first volunteers in the WISE (Women International Space Simulation for Exploration) study have been getting back on their feet.

Geophysicists upgrade Dec. 26 Sumatran quake responsible for deadly tsunami
Geophysicists from UC Berkeley, the USGS and India's Wadia Institute modeled the deadly Sumatran quake using GPS data from around Southeast Asia, concluding that the quake was twice as strong as seismologists thought, but much slower.

Scripps scientists find potential for catastrophic shifts in Pacific ecosystems
Opening the door to a new way of understanding ocean processes and managing and protecting marine resources, a group of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a groundbreaking analysis of the North Pacific Ocean and how dramatic changes can unfold across its waters.

Physiotherapists cure incontinence
Physiotherapy is effective in treating stress incontinence in about 80 per cent of cases, according to the first national study undertaken in clinical practice by researchers at the University of South Australia.

World Bank and IMF preventing transfer of foreign aid to HIV/AIDS programmes
Multilateral financial organisations that aim to reduce poverty are preventing foreign aid from reaching HIV/AIDS programs in developing countries, states an article in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Indian Ocean earthquake data suggest disaster warnings too conservative
The December earthquake and tsunami that killed approximately 300,000 people in the Indian Ocean region was so powerful that no point on Earth went undisturbed, pointing to the need for more active warnings about the consequences of future events, according to University of Colorado at Boulder seismologist Roger Bilham.

Disease progression model of pancreatic cancer developed by Penn researchers
Building on previous work, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed an animal model of pancreatic cancer that closely mimics disease progression in humans.

Brain may be less plastic than hoped
The visual cortex of the adult primate brain displays less flexibility in response to retinal injury than previously thought.
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