Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2005
Are some medicines so good they should be free? In diabetes, the answer may be yes
Nothing in life is free, the old saying goes. But maybe some things should be, a new study shows.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 19, 2005
The current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes: Many still take vitamin E, even though it may be ineffective or even harmful; Test results pending after hospital discharge often languish; and Medicare would save money and improve care by paying full cost of ace inhibitors for people with diabetes.

IEEE-USA advocates protecting personally identifiable health information, development of NHIN
IEEE-USA is concerned that the Department of Homeland Security's authority to access and analyze personal information could lead to privacy breaches of one's personally identifiable health information, while also advocating establishing a National Health Information Network.

Elevated temperature enhances success of viral cancer therapy
New research suggests that fever might be a useful weapon in the fight as well.

Fundamental discovery -- bone fracture
A startling discovery about the properties of human bone has been made by scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Oxytocin raises aggression, cuts anxiety during lactation; similar effects on virgin rats
Maternal aggressive/protective behavior is recognized throughout mammalian species, especially during lactation.

Germany joins the Aurora Exploration Programme
Germany joined the Preparatory Phase of the European Space Exploration Programme Aurora.

Expanding forests darken the outlook for butterflies, study shows
Changing environmental conditions in the Canadian Rockies are stifling the mating choices of butterflies in the region, say University of Alberta researchers.

Laparoscopic surgery associated with reduced inflammatory response
Minimally invasive colorectal surgery may have a less pronounced inflammatory response and less of a suppressing effect on the immune system than conventional surgery, resulting in a possible reduction in post-operative complications, according to a study in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

VCR - First US implant
Ventracor Limited announced today the first implant in the United States of the VentrAssistTM Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS).

Does the language gender system of English and Spanish affect consumers' perception of brands?
Is a car masculine or feminine? It's not a trick question.

Microchip saves rare turtle from soup-pot
An extremely rare

Bitter or sweet? The same taste bud can tell the difference
The tongue's ability to differentiate between sweet and bitter tastes may reside in the same taste bud cells, a new study reports.

Quitting smoking could save your teeth, study shows
Smokers who give up are much less likely to lose their teeth prematurely than those who don't kick the habit, research by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has shown for the first time.

Compound from Chinese medicine shows promise in head and neck cancer
A compound derived from cottonseed could help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy at treating head and neck cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.

Alone in the aisle
The complex dance between consumer and salesperson is at the core of American consumer culture.

Prevalence of infection in a population can shape parasite virulence
In the open access journal PLoS Biology, research shows that the outcome of competition between mosquito larvae infected with a parasite depends on the infection status of the individual concerned and on that of its competitor, with implications for measuring virulence and for host-parasite dynamics.

Scholars of emblems to gather at Illinois
Experts from across the globe will gather at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in late July to share their latest research on some very old books.

Methane's impacts on climate change may be twice previous estimates
Scientists face difficult challenges in predicting and understanding how much our climate is changing.

Researchers make advances in wind energy generation
Engineers at the University of Alberta have created a wind energy generator that they hope people will one day be able to use to power their own homes.

Scientists discover more about how cancer cells form and grow
University of Michigan researchers have figured out one more component in cancer cells' aggressive growth -- and hope that knowledge can help kill the cells.

U of T study shows barriers to HIV vaccine acceptance
Public health officials must be sensitive to concerns about stigma and fear of vaccine-induced infection if they want women to take advantage of HIV vaccines now under development, says a University of Toronto researcher.

PTEN, TSC2, and tumorigenesis
Two papers in the August 1 issue of Genes & Development explore the genetic interactions between two well-known tumor suppressor proteins, PTEN and TSC2.

Astronomy conference will honor UC Santa Cruz professors Blumenthal, Faber and Primack
About 200 astronomers, including many of the world's leading astrophysicists and cosmologists, will gather from August 8 to 12 at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for a conference to honor three UCSC professors--astronomers George Blumenthal and Sandra Faber and physicist Joel Primack.

New study examines the nation's neighborhoods and segregation
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Maryland trace 30 years of data.

Reconstructive technique provides option for difficult nasal plastic surgery
A surgical technique that requires the removal, restructure and re-implantation of the nasal septum (the partition of the nose between the nostrils) appears to be a useful option for repairing the hard-to-treat severely deviated septum, according to an article in the July/August issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Light-sensing protein illuminates sun-loving ocean bacteria
Metagenomic analyses of the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea estimate that proteorhodopsin genes are exploited by a surprisingly high percentage of bacteria.

Cultural mindset a factor in forming responses to challenges
When faced with a challenging situation, a bicultural person may decide how to respond based on the cultural mindset that is active at the time, researchers have concluded.

NMR method rapidly solves 8 target genomic structures
In the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Thomas A.

16-MDCT can efficiently scan ER patients; repositioning patients may improve image quality
Emergency patients who undergo a 16-MDCT examination spend an average of 15 minutes from the time they enter the room to have the CT examination to the time they leave, a new study shows.

Discrimination against individuals with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
Results of a survey of attitudes and actions of over 1000 Nigerian health care professionals are published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Every second counts for shaken babies
Brisbane researchers are hoping to prove the dangers of shaking babies by creating a model that will show how quickly babies can be injured.

Mix and mingle for young professionals
The Marian Koshland Science Museum will hold a program for young professionals, interns, and students interested in current policy issues, the science behind the headlines, technology, media, journalism, and medicine from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2005.

The DFG is fourth partner in the knowledge exchange network
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is the fourth partner in the Knowledge Exchange network, a joint initiative between the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, which aims to promote the use of information and communication technology (ICT) within research and higher education.

Unique interplay between tumor and blood vessel cells promotes angiogenesis and tumor growth
Scientists now have a more complete understanding of how cancer cells send signals to surrounding tissues to promote development of the blood supply needed to support tumor growth.

Engaging the Private Sector: Homeland Security R&D Directions and Opportunities
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate is hosting a conference to provide the private sector with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) needs of the Department; potential business opportunities; and R&D being pursued under DHS S&T sponsorship.

Quantum decoys foil code-breaking attempts
Computer code-makers may soon get the upper hand on code-breakers thanks to a new quantum cryptography method designed at the University of Toronto.

Mouse studies of oseltamivir show promise against H5N1 influenza virus
Experiments in mice show that an antiviral drug currently used against annual influenza strains also can suppress the deadly influenza virus that has spread from birds to humans, killing dozens of people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand since early 2004.

UQ researchers tackle emotions head on - at the cellular level
University of Queensland researchers have identified a protein that is crucially involved in how our memories are stored and processed, paving the way for new strategies to treat conditions certain mental disorders.

Female adolescents trendsetters in teen talk
A casual remark by a teenage girl such as

Ferry-linked water monitoring system becomes new model for United States
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University marine scientists who began monitoring surface water quality in the Neuse River in 2000 say their expanded effort has become a model for continuous ferry-based water assays throughout the nation.

Space matters: Estimating species diversity in the fossil record
In a paper published in the premier open access journal PLoS Biology, the importance of accounting for geographic area in estimating biodiversity from the fossil record is revealed through an analysis of the Miocene Mammal Mapping Project.

ARC, Pirelli Labs sign deal to develop micro fuel cell for industrial applications
Pirelli Labs S.p.A., of Italy, and Alberta Research Council Inc.

Stories of descent: Deep genealogy
The Marian Koshland Science Museum will hold a public program on deep genealogy from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m on Thursday, July 21, 2005 with writer Steve Olson, author of MAPPING HUMAN HISTORY: GENES, RACE, AND OUR COMMON ORIGINS.

Kids are cynics, too? Yeah, right
As a generally cynical society, we tend to assume that the only innocent minds worth cherishing are those of children.

Time under general anesthesia associated with postoperative complications in head and neck surgery
The amount of time a patient is under general anesthesia during major head and neck surgery, not their age, was associated with postoperative complications, according to an article in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Predicting the outcome of drug-induced liver disease
A study published in the August 2005 issue of Hepatology analyzed reports of suspected drug-induced liver injury received by the Swedish Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (SADRAC) in order to evaluate the validity of Hy's rule and determine what factors might predict the outcome of different forms of DILD.

Australian discovery of adult stem cells in the uterus could restore your pelvic floor & more
Monash Institute of Medical Research (MIMR) senior scientist Dr Caroline Gargett's discovery of adult stem cells in the uterus that can be grown into bone, muscle, fat and cartilage has been hailed as a major medical and scientific development by international reproduction experts.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Highlighted stories include:

New lead reported in tumor angiogenesis
Scientists report for the first time that in addition to the well-known strategy of secreting proteins to trigger angiogenesis, tumor cells also physically attach to a protein displayed on the surfaces of cells that line the walls of our blood vessels.

Judging brands
In the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research researchers examine the effect of marketplace stereotypes on consumers.

New technique rapidly detects illness-causing bacteria
Cornell scientists have developed a rapid, cost-cutting and sensitive new technique for detecting food-borne bacteria that cause scarlet fever, or other bacteria like E.

Animal disease reports to be released at July 18 news conference at AVMA convention
Two new reports from the National Academies' National Research Council examine how a shortage of veterinarians in public-health and research positions, along with a fragmented animal-health system, are hampering the country's ability to counter new and emerging animal diseases such as mad cow disease and avian influenza, as well as the threat of bioterrorism.

Towards a cheap and easy way to monitor HIV/AIDS
In a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, a rapid, affordable method for counting CD4 cells may be useful for management of HIV in resource poor settings.

Discovering an ecosystem beneath a collapsed Antarctic ice shelf
The chance discovery of a vast ecosystem beneath the collapsed Larsen Ice Shelf will allow scientists to explore the uncharted life below Antarctica's floating ice shelves and further probe the origins of life in extreme environments.

Genetic discovery could lead to drought-resistant plants
New knowledge of how plants 'breathe' may help us breed and select plants that would better survive scorching summers, says a University of Toronto study.

Paramedic training challenges highlighted by University of Pittsburgh study
Across the United States, many patients require insertion of emergency breathing tubes before arriving to the hospital, but emergency medicine researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that many paramedics - the highest level of prehospital care providers - do not get enough clinical experience in this life-saving skill.

Why were the HIV prevention trials in commercial sex workers abandoned?
The dramatic protests that shut down trials of tenofovir as pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV may prove damaging in our fight against the HIV pandemic, according to an article published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Foot in mouth: Breaking the rules of social behavior
While most people can usually avoid telling painful truths by inhibiting themselves, the results of experiments conducted by University of New South Wales psychological researcher Bill von Hippel suggest that we should be extra wary of making social blunders when we are under strain or fatigued. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to