Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 20, 2005
Predicting serious cardiac outcomes
In this issue of CMAJ, Worster and colleagues describe how they evaluated the prognostic capabilities of high or low levels of ischemia-modified albumin in patients with potential cardiac-ischemia symptoms.

UCI researchers create method for predicting most effective use of cancer-fighting drugs
UC Irvine researchers have developed a method that can help doctors choose the best combination of drugs for fighting cancer -- a development that may lead to more effective treatment strategies.

Restoring flow to all blocked areas of the heart improves 5-year survival rate, study says
When a patient has several coronary arteries blocked, heart surgeons should attempt to restore blood flow to all affected areas of the heart, and they should use arteries, not veins, to serve as conduits.

Babies born after SET do as well as those conceived naturally
Two studies presented today (Tuesday 21 June 2005) at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology provide further proof that single embryo transfer (SET) produces babies that are healthier than those born after multiple implantations.

G-Zero finds that ghostly strange quarks influence proton structure
In a research performed at the Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab, nuclear physicists have found that strange quarks contribute to the charge distribution and magnetization of the proton.

Bumblebees copy one another when contending with unfamiliar flowers
Researchers have reported findings that offer a surprising new twist to our understanding of how bumblebees, a vital floral pollinator, select the flowers from which they collect nectar.

APNS sees abnormal cell division as possible precursor of Alzheimer's disease
A group of researchers led by Applied NeuroSolutions' (OTC BB: APNS;
Next level of camera development for molecular/nuclear imaging incorporates PET, CT, SPECT
The first imaging system to offer researchers three different imaging techniques in one instrument -- allowing flexibility in configuring anatomical and functional imaging modalities that will best support their research objectives -- was introduced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Study finds obesity is associated with an impairment of coronary circulatory function
A team of University of California-Los Angeles researchers found that positron emission tomography (PET) can provide important information on the relationship between heart function and obesity.

Thalidomide treatment proves better than conventional chemotherapy for multiple myeloma
In a new study, researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, demonstrate that Thal-Dex (thalidomide used in combination with dexamethasone) is more powerful than conventional chemotherapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Does gene therapy work? Nuclear medicine may provide the answers
French scientists, examining the possibility of using nuclear medicine with gene therapy to fight heart diseases, reported their findings at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Scientists test the potential of integrated PET/CT for molecular imaging of the heart
For the first time, researchers used positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) for imaging the subcellar function of the heart--from its subcellular function to its morphologic appearance.

Early detection of thick melanomas
Despite campaigns promoting early detection and increased awareness of melanoma (skin cancer) the proportion of the most aggressive and deadly form of melanoma remains the same, according to an article in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Children who are prone to ear infections have high rates of potential disease producing bacteria
Children who are prone to frequent ear infections may have a high number of potentially infectious bacteria and a relatively low number of protective bacteria in their noses, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Enzyme family plays role in Alzheimer's: University of Toronto study
The route to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease may have become more straightforward with the discovery that a key enzyme known to have a major role in this disease is in fact part of a family of enzymes.

PET confirms changes at brain molecular level in bulimia nervosa patients after CB therapy
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has detected brain molecular changes in patients who have undergone cognitive behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa, notes a study released at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Violent boys in unsafe conditions less prone to depression
Violent adolescent boys in neighborhoods where they routinely witness violence tend to be less depressed than other violent youths, says a new study by Raymond Swisher of Cornell University and former student Robert D.

New topical pain cream reduces pain
Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) have found that a new topical anaesthetic (liposomal lidocaine 4% cream, brand name Maxilene) effectively reduced pain for children having IVs inserted (cannulation) in the emergency department and improved procedural success rates.

When it comes to sensation, our brain seems tuned to the unexpected
On the basis of observations of how we interpret the sensation of a simple finger-tap, researchers have advanced our understanding of how the brain sorts important, externally-derived sensations from unimportant, internally-derived sensations.

Women more afraid of dentists than men: University of Toronto study
Women are 2.5 times more likely than men to fear a visit to the dentist, says a new University of Toronto study.

Radiofrequency ablation is effective long-term treatment for kidney tumors
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have shown that radiofrequency ablation - a minimally invasive way of destroying tissue - is an effective, longlasting treatment for small kidney tumors in selected patients.

Expert system developed to enhance diagnostic accuracy of Alzheimer's disease with FDG PET scans
German scientists developed a computer program that enhances the diagnostic accuracy of positron emission tomography (PET) scans with Alzheimer's patients, opening the door for earlier treatment of this progressive brain disorder.

AERA releases book on teacher education--proposes new research agenda
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) today releases a significant new book that examines the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers in the United States.

Patients, caregivers to hear research on a potential treatment option for primary immune deficiency
The Third Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) National Conference, June 23-25, 2005, is the largest meeting bringing together patients, families and caregivers affected by primary immune deficiency.

Fruit fly helps reveal the secrets of the fragile-X-syndrome
The fragile-X-syndrome is one of the major causes of mental retardation.

Increasing reproductive tourism in Europe is a 'safety valve' that promotes peaceful coexistence
Reproductive tourism is on the increase in Europe, but rather than condemning it, we should regard it as a

Scripps geophysicist elected Fellow of Royal Society
Thomas Guy Masters, professor of geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science.

Scientists create artificial cricket hairs
Scientists have re-created one of nature's most sensitive sound detectors - the tiny hairs found on body parts of crickets, which lets them make an escape before the predators get close enough to catch them.

A virus-like hitchhiker may trigger bacterial meningitis
Reporting in the June 20 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, a group of scientists in Paris, France led by Colin Tinsley may have discovered how a normally harmless bacterium can sometimes trigger outbreaks of life-threatening meningitis.

Buying homes of tomorrow now saves money, energy
While energy prices rise, buyers of new homes continually ignore a simple way to cut energy costs close to 50 per cent - requesting their home be built to be energy efficient with technology already available, says University of Toronto research.

Classics, biblical studies need new intellectual tools
Theological and classical studies are suffering intellectually because the academic tools used to study them have not progressed or evolved the way other scholarly subjects have, says Professor Bradley Mclean of biblical studies at Knox College.

Assessing the Amazon River's sensitivity to deforestation
Understanding how the Amazon River varies in time, what causes those variations, and how sensitive it will be to ongoing, and accelerating, deforestation is a focus of study for scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center.

Psychiatric illnesses are common in children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes
As many as one in five children with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes may also have a neuropsychiatric disorder, according to a new study.

Researchers discover 'window on the brain' that could help treat disorders
A University of Oregon discovery that promises to improve medical care for epilepsy and other brain disorders has sparked creation of a spin-off company.

European Patent Office Brussels epoline® User Day
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced details of the next epoline® User Day, which will take place on 27 September 2005 in Brussels, Belgium.

Does life exist on other planets?
Recent research argues that an atmosphere rich in oxygen is the most likely source of energy for complex life to exist anywhere in the Universe, thereby limiting the number of places life may exist.

Imprinting disorders and ART - world's largest study results are reassuring
Further confirmation of a link between 'imprinting' disorders and assisted reproduction techniques (ART) was provided to the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 21 June 2005) by Dr.

Researchers find evidence of photosynthesis deep within the ocean
A team of researchers, including a photosynthesis expert from Arizona State University, has found evidence of photosynthesis taking place deep within the Pacific Ocean.

Reducing pain in children receiving intravenous cannulation
Taddio and colleagues performed a double-blind randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of liposomal lidocaine 4% cream in reducing the pain, duration and failure rate of intravenous cannulation in children.

Anthrax inhibitors identified by Burnham team
A collaborative team of scientists led by The Burnham Institute's Maurizio Pellecchia, Ph.D., has identified inhibitors of the anthrax toxin, termed lethal factor (

Concept vehicle unveiled
An innovative concept for an Antarctic vehicle is unveiled this week at the Royal College of Art's final year show.

The European Patent Office epoline® Annual Conference 2005
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its fourth epoline® Annual Conference, which will take place in Athens, Greece on 23-24 November 2005.

Positive effects of nuclear medicine, 'smart drugs' provide hope for non-hodgkin's lymphoma patients
Three scientific studies--each highlighting new discoveries in treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma--were announced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Stem cells grown in lab mirror normal developmental steps
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a way to study the earliest steps of human blood development using human embryonic stem cells grown in a lab dish instead of the embryos themselves.

Self-correcting embryos could be an ethically acceptable source of embryonic stem cells
Early embryos with abnormal chromosomes are capable of returning to normal when grown in culture in the laboratory, according to a new research presented at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday 20 June).

Virginia Tech fisheries department releases cultivated mussels at Nature Conservancy site
Seven years after a toxic spill wiped out aquatic life along seven miles of the Clinch River 17,000 mussels were released into the river at Cedar Bluff in Southwest Virginia.

The self's broken border: Tracing the role of agency attribution in schizophrenia
Healthy individuals possess an intact ability to distinguish between events that occur as a result of their own actions and events that occur as the result of someone else's.

Leukemia, infection tied to aging stem cells, Stanford researchers say
Older people are more prone to infections and have a higher risk of developing leukemia, and now researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have one hint as to why that may be.

NJIT small biz expert Bruce Kirchhoff supports high tech for jobs
Urban leaders who would like to create new jobs and better revenues may want to think high tech.

Tufts researchers shine light on firefly mysteries
For the first time, Tufts University researchers will explore whether male fireflies' flashing light - previously shown in one species to indicate superior physical and genetic quality - has evolved in another species to provide misinformation to prospective mates.

PET scans predict development of lung disease following trauma
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans can predict who may develop lung disease after trauma, according to findings made public at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Physicists clarify exotic force, but no 'theory of everything' yet
Gravity behaves exactly as Isaac Newton predicted, even at small scales, unfortunately for those in search of the so-called

Patients may want to skip that cup of coffee before undergoing PET/CT scans
Patients who need a positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) procedure to evaluate known or suspected malignancies should lay off the java, according to research by Medhat M.

Chemical Society announces EPA awards for environmentally friendly technologies
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will recognize six research projects today for creative chemistry that show promise for improving the environment.

Study examines barriers to disclosure of childhood abuse
Children who don't tell anyone about being sexually abused often come from families that have rigid gender roles and other similar characteristics, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Damage to sperm DNA affects older men's chances of fathering children
Damage to DNA in sperm is significantly higher in older men than in those who are younger, according to a research presented today (Tuesday 21 June 2005) at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

PECASE Award boosts engineer's efforts to provide rural IT services
Shalinee Kishore, a professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., is seeking to demonstrate wi-fi's benefits in relatively remote and rugged Susquehanna county in northern Pennsylvania.

Researchers develop way to identify individuals at high-risk of stroke after a 'mini-stroke'
UK researchers have derived a simple risk score to predict stroke in the 7 days after a person has had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke, reporting their results in a study published online today by THE LANCET.

Cloning advance: Researchers demonstrate direct transfer of terminally differentiated cell nuclei
In a new study publishing in the June 21 issue of Current Biology, researchers at the RIKEN Bioresource Center and the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology in Japan report the birth of offspring after direct nuclear transfer from natural killer T (NKT) cells, a unique lymphocyte cell population.

SPECT imaging can evaluate stem cell therapy effectiveness in patients with coronary heart disease
Researchers from Seoul National University confirmed that single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of stem cell therapy with ischemic or coronary heart disease.

Study examines characteristics of cancers of the esophagus
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be associated with more cases of cancers than previously thought, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New magnetic herding technique proposed to manipulate the very small
Engineers have introduced a new magnetic shepherding approach for deftly moving or positioning the kinds of tiny floating objects found within organisms, in order to advance potential applications in fields ranging from medicine to nanotechnology.

Macromolecules on surface control mobility in phospholipid bilayers
Phospholipid bilayers serve as the framework in biological membranes in which other components are embedded.

CERN Council positioned as Europe's strategic body for particle physics
Speaking at the 133rd session of CERN Council today, Council Chair, Enzo Iarocci, declared that the Council has agreed to take on the role of defining the future strategy and direction for European particle physics research.

World first: Scientists succeed in cloning human embryos from eggs matured in the lab
Scientists in Belgium have discovered how to clone human embryos from eggs that have been matured in the laboratory.

Eggs from embryonic stem cells could benefit sterile women
Monash researchers have developed a process that causes embryonic stem (ES) cells to develop into ovarian structures containing eggs.

Inner structure of cells behaves much as molten glass
An international team led by Jeffrey J. Fredberg, professor of bioengineering and physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, has found that the cell modulates its mechanical properties in much the same way as a glassblower shapes fine glassware.

Separating morning and evening in the circadian clock of mammals
Work by researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen and Nottingham suggests an anatomical basis for the adaptation of the mammalian circadian clock to changing day-length.

Elevated CRP can foil diet's ability to lower cholesterol
If you have high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker in blood for inflammation that is strongly associated with heart disease, trying to lower your LDL-cholesterol through modest diet changes alone may not work.

Unique genetic profile helps over-45s conceive naturally
Women who have a special genetic profile can conceive spontaneously after the age of 45 years, a scientist said at the 21st annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 21 June 2005).

Patients undergoing PET/CT may want to pass on that cup of coffee, according to SNMTS study
Patients who need a positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) procedure to evaluate potential known or suspected malignancies should forgo coffee before the test, according to the results of study released at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, June 21, 2005
Highlights from the Annals of Internal Medicine include: Physicians performing independent medical exams can be liable for damage;

Human rational and irrational buying behavior is mirrored in monkeys
The basic economic theory that people work harder to avoid losing money than they do to make money is shared by monkeys, suggesting this trait has a long evolutionary history, according to a Yale University study.

Could better mangrove habitats have spared lives in the 2004 tsunami?
In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia on the 26th of December, 2004, academics and politicians alike are trying to investigate how the number of casualties could have been reduced and, more important, how such severe damage can be avoided if a tsunami ever strikes again.

MIT tissue engineers implant viable, vascularized 3D muscles
MIT researchers have used a novel cocktail of cells to coax muscle tissue to develop its own vascular network, a process called pre-vascularization.

Rosetta monitors Deep Impact
ESA's comet chaser Rosetta will take part in the one of world's largest astronomical observation campaigns - the Deep Impact event - while on its cruise to Comet 69P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

New method of obtaining embryonic stem cells could reduce embryo wastage
Scientists in the USA have discovered a new way of obtaining embryonic stem cells that avoids contamination by other types of cells and reduces the numbers of embryos needed to create embryonic stem cell lines.

Munich researchers discover exciting possible new application of PET imaging for ovarian cancer
Noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging may allow earlier prediction of a patient's response to chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, according to research reported at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 52nd Annual Meeting June 18-22 in Toronto.

'Win-win' economic strategy for mobile PET/CT imaging reported at SNM's 52nd Annual Meeting
By taking mobile positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) imaging services in-house, small regional hospitals can cut costs and offer expanded services to their communities -- resulting in a

SMART-1's tribute to Cassini
This image from SMART-1 was dedicated to the Cassini-Huygens mission team at the occasion of the European Geoscience Union conference in Vienna, April 2005, when new results from both missions were presented.

Pregnant women at risk for injury in summer
Most pregnant women don't drink, speed, or behave recklessly; yet many will end up in trauma rooms across Canada this summer.

Cedars-Sinai medical tipsheet for June 2005
The June tipsheet from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center includes story ideas on brain tumor research, lung volume reduction surgery, minimally invasive surgeries for children, fluorescence spectroscopy, a bladder pacemaker for treating urge incontinence, ovarian cancer research, and more.

Tiny zebrafish teaches researchers how to fight off a deadly cancer
The embryo of a tiny, silvery tropical fish found in many home aquariums is providing cancer researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with powerful new insights into the development of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Keyhole surgery is a safe option for colon cancer
Keyhole surgery can be safely used for the removal of tumours from the colon, concludes a study published online today (Tuesday June 21, 2005) by the Lancet Oncology.

Adjusting to custody tough for some male young offenders
Some male young offenders have more difficulty adjusting to time in custody than others and institutions must do more to address factors such as loneliness that hinder their progress, says a University of Toronto study.

Recurrent miscarriages: Could prednisolone reduce the occurrence of this distressing condition?
Researchers investigating recurrent miscarriages have made the intriguing discovery that the steroid prednisolone reduces the numbers of a type of cell that is known to play a role before and during early pregnancy.

Rice bioengineer wins ASME's Van C. Mow Medal
Renowned Rice University bioengineer Kyriacos Athanasiou has been awarded the inaugural Van.

New study showed ramelteon helped adults with chronic insomnia fall asleep, sleep longer
Ramelteon, a novel investigational compound under review with the FDA for the treatment of insomnia, reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased total sleep time in adults with chronic insomnia, according to results from a Phase 3 study presented this week at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

VCR - US trial sites and key appointments named
Ventracor Limited today named the five American heart transplant centres that will take part in the feasibility stage of the US clinical trial of its world leading heart assist device.

ASU researcher fashions DNA to further advances in nanotechnology
The familiar DNA double helix is serving as a microscopic trellis in order to further advances in nanotechnology aimed at improving human health.
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