Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 16, 2005
JCI table of contents, July 1, 2005
This press release contains summaries, links, and author information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online on June 16, 2005 in the JCI: Transplantation of sperm stem cells restores fertility after chemotherapy; Claudin-1: a potential biomarker of colon cancer progression; Chronic lymphocytic leukemia tampers with T cells; and Ezrin eager to block blood vessel growth.

Oral liquid hydroxyurea promising for long-term use in babies with sickle cell anemia
Treating babies who have sickle cell disease (SCD) with oral liquid hydroxyurea appears to prevent the onset of long-term complications triggered by this disease, according to results of a preliminary study by investigators at St.

NIH awards $10.4 million to Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida
A group of researchers at the La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, campuses of The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $10.4 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish The Scripps Research Institute Molecular Screening Center.

Silenced gene suggests greater risk, possible marker for African-Americans with prostate cancer
Among African-Americans with prostate cancer, a tumor-suppressing gene called GSTP1 is inactivated at a rate 3.5 times higher than among Caucasians, according to a study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC).

Extreme melting event defines Earth's early history
Could Earth have had an even more violent infancy than previously imagined?

20th annual convention of US naturopathic physicians convenes Aug. 24, 2005 in Phoenix
America's top naturopathic physicians are convening in Phoenix to discuss the latest developments in this branch of the complementary and alternative medicine field, and hold their annual convention.

Finding the true measure of nanoscale 'roughness'
In a research paper published in June, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and SEMATECH describe an improved method for determining nanoscale

Arteries bio-engineered from elderly cells
Researchers from Duke University's Medical Center and Pratt School of Engineering have demonstrated that they can grow new human blood vessels from cells taken from patients who especially need such assistance - older adults with cardiovascular disease.

Antibiotic treatment successful against elephantiasis
A single course of one antibiotic can successfully treat elephantiasis (filariasis)--a parasitic worm disease that is one of the most common causes of global disability, concludes a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

European working time directive may put doctors' and patients' lives at risk
The European working time directive may put doctors' and patients' lives at risk, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

The Lancet calls for open debate on illegal drug use
Open debate about illegal drug use is needed to gain accurate, impartial information about the true extent of usage and the acute and long-term health effects, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

MRI can help predict breast cancer recurrence
MRI measurement of breast tumor volume--before, during and after chemotherapy--can help predict whether a patient's cancer will return, a new study shows.

Claudin-1: A potential biomarker for colon cancer progression
Changes in claudin proteins expressed at junctures between cells occur during tumor initiation and growth, however no causal link between claudins and cancer has been demonstrated.

Pioneering research on ALS muscle disease rewarded
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable paralyzing neurodegenerative disorder.

Efficient 'can' lights open opportunities for energy savings
It turns out that the most popular form of residential lighting is generally the most inefficient.

Parasite whips up ideas for bowel cancer treatments
A study of how the body expels parasitic worms has led to a surprising new discovery about the immune system that could help in the treatment of bowel cancer.

Female volunteers prepare for a second 'bedrest'
Twelve women recently completed 60 days of voluntary bedrest in order to simulate the physiological effects of weightlessness on the human body.

Research zeros in on bipolar disorder genes, link with thyroid condition
Despite intensive effort, researchers have yet to identify the genes that cause bipolar disorder, yet the practical benefits of such a discovery are obvious.

'Punctuated' evolution in the human genome
Researchers report that regions of the human genome have been hotspots for acquiring duplicated DNA sequences - but only at specific time-points during evolution.

Software advance helps computers act logically
Computers just respond to commands, never

Northwestern Memorial Hospital installs 64-Slice CT scanner, now available for clinical use
Northwestern Memorial Hospital has installed the latest computed tomography (CT) imaging software and machinery, also known as a 64-slice CT scanner.

Scientists put the squeeze on electron spins
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a novel method for controlling and measuring electron spins in semiconductor crystals of GaAs (gallium arsenide).

Fossils tell the hole story of killer drillers and their prey
In the classic textbook example, predators and prey are locked in an escalating evolutionary arms race.

Fragment of yellow fever virus may hold key to safer vaccine
An HHMI international research scholar and colleagues have identified the crucial bit of yellow fever virus that people's immune systems need to spot and quash the often-fatal, re-emerging disease.

Students revamp tractor for use by workers with disabilities
Undergrad engineers answer challenge to make tractor useable by disabled volunteers at southern Maryland state park.

Study finds strong link between epilepsy and risk of schizophrenia
People with a history of epilepsy are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychosis, concludes a study published online by the BMJ today.

University of Maryland scientist wins 2005 Kettering Prize
Angela H. Brodie, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has won the prestigious Charles F.

Emerging diseases require a global solution
The threat of potential pandemics such as Ebola, SARS, and avian influenza demands a more holistic approach to disease control, one that prevents diseases from crossing the divide between humans, their livestock, and wildlife, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the most recent issue of the journal Foreign Affairs.

NCAR climate expert: Hurricanes to intensify as Earth warms
Warmer oceans, more moisture in the atmosphere, and other factors suggest that human-induced climate change will increase hurricane intensity and rainfall, according to climate expert Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

New base for North American cancer screening pioneers
A North American business specialising in pioneering skin cancer and sun-damaged skin testing is to establish a base in the UK to continue its world-leading research.

GeoConnections: funding renewed
The Government of Canada has renewed its commitment to providing access to high-quality maps, satellite images and related data and technologies.

Joint green chemistry meeting in Washington, D.C., features top experts on environment
Leaders in the burgeoning field of green chemistry from across the globe will gather in Washington, D.C., from June 20-24, to place under the microscope the latest processes and products designed to reduce or eliminate substances hazardous to the environment.

European experiments back on Earth with successful conclusion of Foton-M2 mission
The re-entry module of the Foton-M2 spacecraft, which has been in low-Earth orbit for the last 16 days made a successful landing today in an uninhabited area 140 km south-east of the town of Kostanay in Kazakhstan, close to the Russian border at 09:37 Central European Time, 13:37 local time.

Should everyone over 50 be taking aspirin?
Experts go head to head in this week's BMJ over whether everyone over 50 should take a daily aspirin to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Gene mutation responsible for lung and diaphragm defects
In a preview of PLoS Genetics, the new open access journal from the Public Library of Science, a study reveals that a mutation in the Fog2 gene causes small lungs and abnormal diaphragm development.

Pioneering technology to explore other planets
Drilling holes on other planets and inventing novel textiles to secure large structures in space are just two of the 27 challenges that expert teams have been working on in the first year of ESA's Innovation Triangle Initiative.

Deconstructing the genome of a notorious yeast
In a preview of PLoS Genetics, the new open access journal from the Public Library of Science, a study presents a more meaningful and detailed annotation of the genome of C. albicans, a yeast responsible for thrush and vaginitis, that will help in improving diagnoses and therapies to treat infections.

Novel approach for eradicating prostate cancer wins award for young Hebrew University researcher
A new method to facilitate the destruction of prostate cancer cells by the immunological system has been developed by a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

10-year survival after minor stroke established
People who have had a minor stroke have a 43% chance of another stroke or vascular event within 10-years, suggests a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Fine tuning drug levels in neuroblastoma patients is effective, St. Jude researchers show
Monitoring and fine tuning the levels of the cancer drug topotecan in children with neuroblastoma holds promise for maximizing the drug's effectiveness while reducing its toxicity, according to investigators at St.

Most common lung cancers may begin in newly discovered cells
HHMI researchers have discovered that the most common form of lung cancer may begin in a group of newly isolated lung stem cells.

'Biosensor' screens Air Force personnel and equipment
Air Force personnel will soon know within minutes if they or their equipment are contaminated with a biological agent, thanks to a new technology developed by the Air Force and a national laboratory.

Transplantation of sperm stem cells restores fertility after chemotherapy
Chemotherapy for leukemia can cause infertility in males. In a JCI study, researchers separated healthy germ cells, including spermatogonial stem cells, from leukemic cells in mice.

July Geology media highlights
Topics include: new developments in radiometric dating and the geologic time scale; timing of the onset of plate tectonics on Earth; a possible tool for identifying orbitally-driven changes in sea level; discovery of a new type of fossilized hot spring; macrobenthic response to the K-P boundary event; new insights into tectonics on Mars; and formation of ultradeep diamonds in former oceanic crust.

Early function of specialized neurons marks 'first light' in retinal maturation
Researchers have discovered that a set of light-responsive retinal cells that form connections to the circadian clock are functional very early in development, from the day of birth.

Scientists report tissue engineering success
US scientists have successfully engineered blood vessels from human vascular cells in the lab, detailing their results in a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Study shows importance of exposure age for Hanford nuclear workers' cancer risk
The ages at which workers are exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation apparently make a difference in whether they will develop cancer, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

Van Buchem disease decoded
A team of scientists provides convincing evidence that the deletion of a large non-coding DNA segment on human chromosome 17 is responsible for Van Buchem disease.

Siberian tigers hang tough
Results of the latest full range survey indicate that tiger numbers in Russia appear to be stable, say the coordinators of a 2005 winter effort to count the animals, led by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.

High rates of sexually transmitted infections found in young drug users
High rates of herpes simplex virus 2 and syphilis were found among young drug users in Baltimore, Md.

Hybrids are becoming mainstream
Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles are rapidly becoming mainstream choices for American consumers, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and
Women, space travel and infection: Bed-rest study investigates female immune response
A bed-rest study with female participants will help scientists understand changes to the immune response and decreased resistance to infection in space.

Superconducting nanowires show ability to measure magnetic fields
By using DNA molecules as scaffolds, scientists have created superconducting nanodevices that demonstrate a new type of quantum interference and could be used to measure magnetic fields and map regions of superconductivity.

Study confirms intensive treatment of diabetic patients significantly reduces heart disease
New study results confirm, for the first time, that intensive treatment of diabetic patients results in a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

Winners of Nobel Essay Contest announced
The New York Academy of Sciences is proud to announce that three NYC high school juniors from the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island have been named the winners of the first annual Nobel Essay Contest.

How much excess fresh water was added to the North Atlantic in recent decades?
Large regions of the North Atlantic Ocean have been growing fresher since the late 1960s as melting glaciers and increased precipitation, both associated with greenhouse warming, have enhanced continental runoff into the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas.

Why being a teenage mum could be good for you!
A unique breed of cockroach may hold the key to explaining why women who delay having children until later life have lower fertility compared to women who gave birth in their teens.

UK College of Public Health earns national accreditation
The University of Kentucky's College of Public Health has received full accreditation this week from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

Northwestern Memorial neurologist is lead author of comprehensive stroke center recommendations
Recommendations for establishing comprehensive stroke centers (CSC) to treat patients with complex types of stroke or cerebrovascular disease who require more specialized care and technological resources than are available at Primary Stroke Centers (PSC) will be published in an upcoming issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Children's Hospital Oakland Int'l thalassemia collaboration
Children's Hospital Oakland creates international effort to fight life-threatening disease.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Many of 2 billion dryland dwellers at risk as land degrades
Growing desertification worldwide threatens to swell by millions the number of poor forced to seek new homes and livelihoods.

Planned home births in the United States are safe, say researchers
Planned home births for low risk women in the United States are associated with similar safety and less medical intervention as low risk hospital births, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Researchers track down cause of a disfiguring bone disorder
Scientists have tracked down the biological trigger that gives rise to Van Buchem disease, a hereditary, disfiguring bone disorder that can cause blindness and deafness.

Sandia, FAA, NASA create computer model for fire detection in airliner cargo compartments
A project to improve the false alarm rate and to standardize the certification of fire detection systems in cargo compartments of commercial aircraft is underway with major participation by Sandia National Laboratories, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and NASA Glenn Research Center.

New gene chip may be early cancer diagnosis tool
A pilot study at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in support of the National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), has validated the measurement accuracy of new techniques that use mitochondrial DNA as an early indicator for certain types of cancer.

500 million years of errors: Brachiopod shells record shadow of arms race in ancient oceans
From 550 million years ago until 250 million years ago, brachiopods, or

New NIST method improves accuracy of spectrometers
Measurements of the intensity of light at different wavelengths can be made more accurately now, thanks to a new, simple method for correcting common instrument errors.
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