Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 14, 2005
Study explains why up to eight percent of cancers go undetected
New whole-body PET/CT scans will allow doctors to better diagnose and treat cancer.

Investigating 'brain shrinkage' in alcoholics
Previous studies have demonstrated that the brains of alcoholics are smaller, lighter and

Drinking for just eight weeks impairs learning and memory in mice
Previous human and animal studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can produce deficits in learning and memory.

Twenty NSF-supported young scientists and engineers receive Presidential Early Career Awards
Today, 20 young scientists and engineers whose work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are receiving the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), considered to be the highest national honor for investigators in the early stages of promising research careers.

Tetanus toxin found to have therapeutic properties
A team of researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has discovered that tetanus toxin, which causes tetanus, could be extremely useful as a therapy against psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and anorexia, and to slow the progress of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Gene variant linked to chronic kidney disease
Two common gene variations are associated with the risk for developing chronic kidney disease.

Invasive treatment may be more effective for heart attack patients presenting late to hospital
Invasive treatment including stenting may have better outcomes than conventional treatments for heart attack patients who arrive at the hospital more than 12 hours after symptoms began, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

Can't serve an ace? Could be muscle fatigue
Fatigue could reduce skills and cause injuries and muscle weakness during sport because the brain does not consider the extra effort required for movement, Monash University researchers have found.

Holographic movies show promise for medical, military applications
In a small research laboratory at UT Southwestern Medical Center, a grainy, red movie of circling fighter jets emerges from a table-top black box, while nearby, a video of a rotating human heart hangs suspended in a tank of gooey gel.

Invention breathes new life into tennis balls
The traditional cry of

Many drugs prescribed for chronic insomnia are not approved for that purpose
The most frequently used drugs for treating chronic insomnia have never been approved for that purpose by the U.S.

National medical, nursing and public health groups file suit
In an unprecedented action, national medical, nursing and public health groups will file suit against the U.S.

Phase I study examines biomarkers for response to erlotinib in glioma
Researchers have found two biomarkers that, in patients with a malignant type of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, were associated with response to the cancer drug erlotinib (Tarceva).

Study examines cost-effectiveness of HPV testing in four European countries
Incorporating testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA into cervical cancer screening has the potential for improving health benefits at a reasonable cost in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, according to a new study in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Stem cell training program to make its Stanford debut
For the first time ever, an advanced training program that teaches how to create and maintain embryonic stem cell lines will be offered outside of the University of Pittsburgh, where it originated in 2003.

Oxytocin/vasopressin research sees new clinical applications, key role in social behavior
American Physiological Society sponsors a research conference on the

Lowell receives Smith Family Award for Excellence in Medical Resarch
Bradford B. Lowell, MD, PhD, an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has received the Smith Family Award for Excellence in Medical Research from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation.

A poor child may be left behind
The tables are turned as tests show that standardized testing in public schools favors the wealthy with access to better instruction.

K-State part of effort to completely sequence common wheat genome
Wheat should be next in line for the genome sequencing process.

New genetic test may detect risk of rare complication from anesthesia
A rare but potentially life-threatening inherited condition called malignant hyperthermia (MH) may strike surgical patients who receive common anesthesia drugs.

Medication orlistat appears helpful in improving weight management for obese adolescents
When combined with diet, exercise and behavioral therapy, orlistat, a drug that decreases fat absorption, appears helpful for improving weight management in obese adolescents, compared with placebo, according to an article in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

Medicare's investment in quality improvement may not be paying off
Medicare's quality improvement organizations are charged with improving the medical care of Medicare beneficiaries.

Fish oil supplements may be harmful to patients with abnormal heart rhythms
A new study in JAMA shows that fish oil may be harmful to patients with dangerous heart rhythms and implanted defibrillators.

UCLA engineering professor Jennifer Jay named recipient of Presidential Early Career Award
UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science professor Jennifer Jay has been chosen as one of only 20 young National Science Foundation-supported scientists and engineers to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Two Children's Hospital Boston researchers win top presidential awards
Two physician-researchers from Children's Hospital Boston are among 58 investigators nationwide to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the government's highest honor for promising researchers starting independent careers.

Other highlights in the June 15 JNCI
This press release contains other highlights from the June 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Doctors argue for new ways to resolve health treatment choices
Health professionals led by a cancer specialist from the University of Edinburgh have put forward the case for finding new and fairer ways to assess the value of treatments for patients who will eventually die from their condition.

Better early diagnosis of relapsed prostate cancer
Positron Emission Topography with choline demonstrates greater efficiency in the early diagnosis of relapsed prostate cancer with respect to other imaging techniques.

Adults can be retrained to learn second languages more easily, says UCL scientist
Our ability to hear and understand a second language becomes more and more difficult with age, but the adult brain can be retrained to pick up foreign sounds more easily again.

Promising new TB drug enters clinical trial
A promising new drug candidate that may be effective against both actively dividing and slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) has begun testing in humans, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today.

Quality of care not necessarily better in hospitals that participate in quality improvement program
Hospitals that participate with the quality improvement organization (QIO) program are not more likely to show improvement on quality indicators than hospitals that do not participate, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

A molecule impedes the destruction of the 'Brucella' bacteria
Research carried out with the participation of the University of Navarra has shown how a determinate molecule helps an important pathogen, Brucella abortus, escape destruction within the cells charged with eliminating infectious agents (macrophages).

'Hazardous' drinking and drug use have serious health implications
Individuals with alcohol and drug dependencies tend to have a greater incidence of health-related problems as well as higher health-care costs.

National medical and public health groups sue EPA
Physicians for Social Responsibility, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association, representing more than 300,000 public health professionals, today filed suit against the U.S.

Thin films of silicon nanoparticles roll into flexible nanotubes
By depositing nanoparticles onto a charged surface, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have crafted nanotubes from silicon that are flexible and nearly as soft as rubber.

Maternal alcohol use increases the risk of newborn infections
Alcohol abuse is well known to increase the risk of infections in adults.

Canadian study demonstrates new approach to achieving diabetes control
Results of an all-Canadian study announced June 13 at an international diabetes congress demonstrate that patients with type 2 diabetes can safely achieve target blood sugar (glycemic) levels faster and more frequently when insulin is used earlier.

Food labels 'confuse' consumers
Information given about animal welfare on food labels is confusing because it varies widely between countries and between different certification bodies, research at Cardiff University, UK has found.

Even in Canada's universal health plan, wealth effects hospitalization
A study in Health Services Research examined this issue, looking at patients with conditions for which timely care in doctors'offices has traditionally been thought to prevent expensive hospitalization for more serious consequences.

Case finds oral health of residents in nursing homes needs more attention
The oral health of nursing home residents needs more attention.

Lance Armstrong through a physiological lens: hard training boosts muscle power 8%
Seven-year study of Lance Armstrong shows hard training to raise maximum capacity and boost sub-maximal efficiency raised muscle power 8%.

Fish oil does not lower risk of heart problems for patients with implantable defibrillators
Even though previous research has shown that fatty acids from fish oil reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, patients with implantable defibrillators who took fish oil supplements did not see a reduction in serious heart rhythm abnormalities, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

Marshfield Clinic researchers launch study of environmental causes of Alzheimer's disease
Marshfield Clinic researchers have begun searching for genetic and environmental links to Alzheimer's disease as a first step toward developing diagnostic markers to identify people at risk before they develop the disease.

Logging changed ecological balance for monkeys, damaged health
Twenty-eight years after intense selective logging stopped in the region now known as Uganda's Kibale National Park, the red-tailed guenon (Cercophithecus ascanius) is a primate still in decline.

Regenerative ocular biology the focus of ARVO Conference
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has extended the deadline for abstract submissions to June 24, 2005 for the Western Eye Research Conference (WERC) to be held September 25-28, 2005, in Laguna Beach, Calif.
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