Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 06, 2005
Mosquito study shows new, faster way West Nile can spread
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have discovered a quick new way that mosquitoes can pass West Nile virus to each other.

Perceptions of weight important risk factor for suicidal behavior in adolescents
How adolescents perceive their body weight may be more important than their actual weight in terms of increased likelihood of suicidal thoughts and attempts, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Permanent deep-sea seismic sensors
A submarine seismic sensor was recently set in place at 2400 m depth, off Toulon (France).

Resettling the 'Lost Boys of Sudan' in the United States
Although young unaccompanied Sudanese refugees settling in the United States have done well in general, they may have behavioral and emotional problems in their personal and home life, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Newly published summer camp health guideline advises parents, camp directors
In just a few short weeks, 10 million American children will start heading off to summer camp.

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, June 7, 2005
This issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes a study indicating that using generic instead of brand-name drugs could save $8.8 billion/year, a finding that 1991 gulf war combatants have 4 health conditions more often than non-combatants and an HCV outbreak in a cancer clinic attributed to negligent infection control.

Overly tired teen? Sleepiness may signal serious health problem
In a major new report in Pediatrics, doctors who care for young adults are warned that computer games and caffeine may not be the only sources of teen sleep deprivation.

ACPM to host web-based conference on adolescent binge drinking
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) will host a web-based conference to discuss the significant and growing public health problem of adolescent binge drinking.

Public release of pig genomic sequences
Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Danish Committee of Pig Breeding and Production (DCPBP) jointly announce the public release of pig genomic sequences.

NRL develops self-cleaning 'smart' fabrics
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering (CBMSE) have developed a new cost-effective, self-decontaminating ultrathin materials coating that actively destroys pesticides and related chemical agents on contact.

New processing method reduces peanut allergenicity
A new study has found that the allergenicity of peanut products could be significantly reduced by a special fermentation process.

Experts hope policy breathes life into asthma treatment method
An inhaler is often as effective as a nebulizer in treating asthma patients, but it is rarely offered as an option.

Study supports whooping cough booster shot for adolescents
Despite childhood vaccination rates at all-time highs, pertussis (whooping cough) has re-emerged over the past two decades, especially among adolescents, adults, and young infants.

Pacemakers and defibrillators for the survival of patients suffering from heart insufficiency
Studies recently carried out at the University Hospital of the University of Navarra show that cardiac resynchronisation therapy using pacemakers and defibrillators improves the survival and quality of life of patients suffering from heart insufficiency and disorders of the blood-flow system.

Tercica presents pharmacokinetic and safety data from several studies at Endocrine Society Meeting
Tercica, Inc. announced today that it presented data from several studies in poster sessions at the 87th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society.

College students think favorably, but act timidly about organ donation
Only 11 percent of students surveyed at two universities in New York State have formally declared their intentions to become organ or tissue donors, a study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo has found.

Meditation skills of Buddhist monks yield clues to brain's regulation of attention
In an unusual but fruitful collaboration between Tibetan Buddhist monks and neuroscientists, researchers have uncovered clues to how mental states -- and their underlying neural mechanisms -- can impact conscious visual experience.

Study shows new method of growth hormone dosing improves height
A randomized UCLA study found that a new dosing paradigm can improve height outcomes in the treatment of children who have short stature due to growth hormone deficiency and idiopathic short stature.

Chemical that triggers hibernation may protect muscles
A phenomenon known as ischemic preconditioning (IP), in which blood flow to muscle is reduced and then restored, has previously been shown to increase muscle function, especially in the heart.

One-a-day tablet treats common infection among head and neck cancer patients
A bioadhesive tablet containing the antifungal drug miconazole is an effective and convenient means of treating oropharyngeal candidiasis, which is the most frequently occurring infection in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, scientists report today at the 2nd ESMO Scientific & Educational Conference (ESEC) in Budapest, Hungary.

Test accurately predicts aggressiveness of breast cancer
A test that measures how quickly cells are dividing is an accurate way for doctors to predict the aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors, even among women with very early stages of the disease, researchers told the 2nd ESMO Scientific & Educational Conference (ESEC) in Budapest, Hungary today.

Derivatives of cannabis for anti-cancer treatment win Kaye Award for Hebrew University student
Derivatives of the cannabis plant (hashish) have been shown by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ph.D. student to be effective in arresting cancerous growths in laboratory and animal tests.

World-first technology enables study of ancient bacteria
Experts at Cardiff University, UK, have designed world-first technology to investigate sustainable energy sources from the ocean bed by isolating ancient high-pressure bacteria from deep sediments.

Vitamin B12 deficiency as heart risk
Robertson and colleagues state that folic acid fortification has not yet had the expected effect of reducing homocysteine levels, which are associated with carotid plaque area, a strong predictor of cardiovascular events.

Gene linked to lower breast cancer risk
A specific genetic variation in a cytokine gene is associated with lower breast cancer risk.

Opiate cocktail may spare cells from morphine's dark side
Although morphine is well known as a highly effective analgesic, its clinical utility is severely limited by the development of drug tolerance, the requirement for increasing doses to maintain analgesic effect, and the development of physical dependence.

'Dr. Chef' improves quality of life for patients
A student at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School has combined his background as a professionally trained chef with his medical studies to come up with a unique approach designed to markedly improve the quality of life for people with severe digestive problems.

Animal model demonstrates course of epilepsy
A promising animal model of epilepsy became even more valuable with the demonstration that the course of the disorder closely parallels that of one of the most common forms of epilepsy in humans.

Soil emissions are much-bigger-than-expected component of air pollution
Nitrogen oxides from huge fires and fossil fuel combustion are a major component of air pollution.

Ancient DNA confirms single origin of Malagasy primates
Yale biologists have managed to extract and analyze DNA from giant, extinct lemurs.

Astronomers find evidence supporting theory of quasars
Astronomers led by Cornell University research associate Lei Hao find new evidence of a dusty torus surrounding active galactic nuclei.

Cranberry juice inactivates intestinal viruses
Cranberry juice, long considered a home remedy for urinary tract infections, may also be effective against a number of gastrointestinal viruses according to researchers from St.

Studying glial cells in the roundworm may provide insight into human brain diseases
Rockefeller University researchers show that roundworms are the perfect model system to study the function of glial cells in the nervous system, because these cells can be manipulated and the neurons still form and function, though not entirely as normal.

For disabled parents, extra family services could improve entire family's health
Research from Tufts University illustrates the role parental disability plays in overall family health as indicated by immunization rates for children.

New technique helps identify multiple DNA regulatory sites
Scientists in the United States and Sweden have developed a new bioinformatics technique for systematically analyzing key regions in DNA that help control gene activity.

'Watch and wait' - a shift in approach to kids' ear infections
The most frequent reason pediatricians prescribe antibiotics to young children is for an ear infection (acute otitis media).

Cancer killing virus shows early promise against colorectal cancer
A single injection of a genetically engineered virus has shown promise as a treatment for patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver, according to preliminary results reported today at the 2nd ESMO Scientific & Educational Conference (ESEC) in Budapest, Hungary.

Doctor 'report cards' may keep some heart patients from getting angioplasties
No one likes to have a bad mark on a report card.

Bacteria can survive for weeks on hospital surfaces
A major cause of hospital-acquired infections can persist for days and even weeks on environmental surfaces found in healthcare settings, including bed linens, computer keyboard covers and acrylic fingernails, according to research presented today at the 105th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

NASA: Earth and space sciences at risk
AGU calls for the U.S. Administration, Congress, and NASA to continue their commitment to innovative Earth and space science programs.

UVa Health System doctors study surgery to stop epileptic seizures
Neurologists and neurosurgeons at UVa are participating in a multicenter clinical trial to evaluate whether epilepsy surgery is more effective than drugs to eliminate seizures in newly diagnosed patients.

What do 'ecolabels' tell about food?
In a Nutrition Today article, William Lockeretz, PhD, and Kathleen Merrigan, PhD, both professors at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, note that the

Loyola researchers discover congestive heart failure biological marker
A simple blood test can quickly identify what type of congestive heart failure a patient has, according to Loyola University Health System researchers in the June 7 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

New research provides evidence that Rh proteins act as CO2 gas channels
Despite the Rh protein's importance in blood transfusion and the problems it can cause between Rh negative mothers and their Rh positive fetuses, its biological role has remained largely unresolved since its discovery 65 years ago.

University of Oregon scientist wins American Society for Microbiology award
A University of Oregon scientist who is pioneering the newly emerging field known as beneficial microbes is being honored this week by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) during its annual meeting in Atlanta.

Housing subsidies may help prevent children's undernutrition
The children of low-income families who receive public housing rent subsidies had greater weight for age, an indicator of better nutrition, than children whose families did not receive rent subsidies, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Leading sleep expert at Wake Forest to speak at NIH Consensus Conference
A leading sleep expert at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has been invited to speak to an experts consensus conference on chronic insomnia at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

High school start times deprive teens of sleep, affect academic performance
Current high school start times deprive adolescents of sleep and force students to perform academically in the early morning, a time of day when they are at their worst, according to a study in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.

OHSU researchers uncover cause, possible treatment for abdominal fat in postmenopausal women
Oregon Health & Science University researchers have unveilled research results that help explain why middle-aged women develop central body fat.

'Real life' study clarifies risk of recurrence for high-risk breast cancer patients
High-risk breast cancer patients do not appear to have a higher risk of relapse than the general breast cancer population during the first two years after diagnosis, unless their cancer has spread to more than 10 axillary lymph nodes, Italian researchers reported today at the 2nd ESMO Scientific & Educational Conference (ESEC) in Budapest, Hungary.

Results of world's first gene therapy trial for arthritis show approach safe, feasible
Gene therapy for arthritis and other non-terminal conditions is both feasible and safe, report researchers who conducted the world's first such test on the approach in patients with advanced rheumatoid arthritis.

Traditional models underestimate extinction rates
In a paper published in the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, manipulating the environment of Daphnia reveals that extinction risk can be reliably predicted only if density-dependent demographic stochasticity is included and that traditional models ignoring this underestimate the risk of extinction.

Monkeys understand numbers across senses
Monkeys can match the number of voices they hear to the number of faces they expect to see, Duke University scientists have found.

A clinical return-to-work rule for patients with back pain
Dionne and colleagues report on their development of a 7-question clinical algorithm to determine the likelihood of patients with nonspecific back pain returning to work with durable good results.

Survey seeks top scientists for study of research creativity and innovation
Who's doing the most innovative and important research in the fields of human genetics and nanotechnology?

Understanding DNA drug delivery for lung diseases
By using imaging technologies, researchers are able to successfully trace the delivery of DNA nanoparticles and the extent of gene transfer in the lungs of cystic fibrosis mice.

Study recommends new guidelines for air bag safety in children
A new study shows more children may be at risk for air bag injuries than previously thought.

Prevalence and severity of mental illness in the United States
Over the course of the previous 12 months, more than one-fourth of adults reported having symptoms that would qualify them for a diagnosis of a mental disorder; and most of those disorders can be classified as serious or moderate, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Alcohol may lower risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
People who drink alcohol may have a lower risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL)--a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, suggests a study published online today (Tuesday June 7, 2005) by The Lancet Oncology.

IBM and EPFL join forces to uncover the secrets of cognitive intelligence
IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer tackles major scientific challenge - scientists to create a complex digital 3D model of the brain.

New finding in studying dopamine transporter
Yale researchers observed an altered availability of the dopamine transporter in healthy persons with a genetic variation linked to substance abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Chemotherapy options improve for patients with advanced colorectal cancer
For the first time, researchers have shown that a chemotherapy regimen of capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (CAPOX) is as safe and effective as infusional 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid plus oxaliplatin (FUFOX) in the first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinoma (MCRC).

Research to investigate links between Ancient Greeks and modern science fiction
New research into the Ancient Greeks shows their knowledge of travel inspired early forms of fantasy and science fiction writing.

Mental illness exacts heavy toll, beginning in youth
Researchers supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and that despite effective treatments, there are long delays -- sometimes decades -- between first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.

Centres of Excellence as a response to the problem of access to water in Africa
The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), held a Water Access workshop between 9 and 12 May.

Pathogens shape evolution of humans' most diverse genes
Genes encoding the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) proteins are among the most diverse in the human genome, and scientists have proposed a number of hypotheses to explain why.

Institute for OneWorld Health to exhibit at BIO
Representatives from the Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the U.S., will be available at the BIO 2005 Annual International Convention, Philadelphia, booth 564, June 20-22.
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