Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 19, 2005
Not enough is known about treating malaria in pregnancy, researchers say
Despite the fact that pregnant women are more vulnerable to malaria, a disease that can also pose serious risks to the health of a fetus, there is little information on which drugs are best, according to a new review of recent studies.

Study reveals trigger for insulin resistance in liver, potential drug targets
In the July issue of Cell Metabolism, researchers report the discovery of a trigger for insulin resistance in the liver.

Halt NSAIDs use before gum surgery, Case researchers say
Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine recommend the discontinuation of ibuprofen prior to surgery to correct gum disease because blood loss is two times greater for those using the medication than those not taking it.

Cranberry usage common for urinary tract infections
New research suggests that while it's fairly common for parents to give their children cranberry products to treat or prevent urinary tract infections, they usually do not discuss the treatment with their pediatrician.

Insulin pulses keep the liver lean
Insulin, a hormone long recognized as a generator of fat, also keeps fat in the liver under control, according to a new study in the July issue of Cell Metabolism.

HUP becomes first in region to implant a HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist System into a patient
Cardiothoracic surgeons at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) are helping to pave the way for new implantable pump devices to treat end-stage heart disease.

Students steer a blimp to test near space military technology
Using a 17-foot-long helium-filled blimp, four propellers and sophisticated electronics, three Johns Hopkins undergraduates have built a model airship that will aid professional engineers who are designing a military craft to conduct surveillance at the outer edge of the Earth's atmosphere.

OT, VP studied as novel psychiatric drug sources; consider gender-specific drug models
Wyeth Neuroscience says evidence is growing about the

Hepatitis C responds best to combo of ribavirin and interferon, study concludes
A combination of the drugs ribavirin and interferon is more effective in treating hepatitis C than using interferon alone, but it also increases the risk of side effects, according to a new systematic review of recent evidence.

Hormonal signaling in the brain: radical shift in understanding information processing
University of Edinburgh researchers say our understanding of how the brain processes information is undergoing a radical shift as we recognize the implications of hormonal signaling systems within the brain itself.

Object recognition improves when other objects appear in the same orientation
A rose by any other name may smell just as sweet, but tilt it at an unexpected angle and it may still be easy to smell, just not recognize.

New Scripps Oceanography project to study sediments and ecosystem restoration in Venice lagoon
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in conjunction with Italy's Venice Water Authority, Consorzio Venezia Nuova and Thetis SPA, has launched a multifaceted scientific program aimed at providing fundamental information about the effects of sediment translocation in Venice lagoon, a vital facet of the historic city of Venice, Italy.

Other highlights in the July 20 JNCI
Other highlights in the July 20 JNCI include a study identifying HPV types that may help manage cancer risk in women with cervical abnormalities, a study examining the risk of contralateral testicular cancer, a study that looks at the association between higher urinary melatonin levels and breast cancer risk, and a study examining how accurately Medicare claims data reflect chemotherapy use in elderly beneficiaries.

Patient reminders boost immunization rates
Patient reminders can help physicians improve immunization rates for their practice, according to a new review of studies.

APS oxytocin/vasopressin conference: 13 highlighted presentations
APS neurohypophoseal conference closed with Larry Young's keynote on autism and voles, capping four days of diverse research from genomics to potential compounds for pre-term labor and psychiatric disorders.

Soil fertility in the tropics can be influenced by landscape and precipitation, study finds
A new study conducted in the Hawaiian Islands has revealed that landscape and erosion play crucial roles in determining soil fertility in tropical ecosystems.

Micro-molecule plays big role in birth defects
By genetically modifying mice, scientists with the UF Genetics Institute were able to get the first-ever picture of how limbs would develop in a vertebrate without the help of microRNAs.

Single-dose antibiotics reduce appendectomy complications
A single dose of antibiotics may be just as effective as multiple doses in preventing infections after an appendectomy, a new research review confirms.

Doctors should stop prescribing antibiotics for the common cold, review advises
Antibiotics should not be prescribed to patients with the common cold because there is scant evidence they stop other infections, and the benefits do not outweigh the risks, according to a new systematic review of current evidence.

Fun foods and exercise may reduce childhood obesity
Children enrolled in kid-oriented diet and exercise programs are likely to adopt healthier eating and activity patterns, according to an updated systematic review.

Regular yoga practice may help prevent middle-age spread
A study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that regular yoga practice may help prevent middle-age spread in normal-weight people and may promote weight loss in those who are overweight.

Assessing smoking-cessation programs - Does the 5A program work?
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine provides the most comprehensive assessment yet available on the delivery of smoking cessation services recommended by the USPHS clinical practice guideline for tobacco - the 5A Program (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange).

Larry Young on animals and autism clues, environmental impact on hormone brain function
Young began studying voles for their monogamous behavior, then investigated molecular mechanisms in species behavior differences.

Research professionals applaud STN AnaVist
CAS and FIZ Karlsruhe have officially launched their new STN AnaVist software.

Bone-protecting drugs reduce pain and fractures in metastatic breast cancer
When breast cancer spreads to bones, relatively new protective drugs called bisphosphonates can reduce skeletal damage, says a new systematic review of previous studies.

Antidepressants should be first-line approach for nerve tissue pain
New reviews of previous studies confirm that older-style antidepressants, as well as anticonvulsant drugs, can help ease the disabling pain caused by nerve tissue damage.

Choline during pregnancy may avoid, reverse some Fetal Alcohol Syndrome nervous disorders
Tripler Army MedCenter researchers showed that including choline in pre-natal diets of rats avoided symptoms of prenatal alcohol in young adult animals.

Secretin should not be used to treat autism, researchers say
The intestinal hormone secretin, considered by some to be a promising drug in the treatment of autism, does not improve the symptoms and should not be used to treat the disorder, according to a new review of studies.

National Academies news: Coeur d'Alene Superfund site
According to a new report, the EPA's decisions about human health risks at Coeur d'Alene Superfund site are largely sound, but the plan for cleaning up the environment has weaknesses.

Microreactor efficiently regenerates cofactors for biocatalysis
One of the longstanding challenges in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food additives is the continuous regeneration of molecules called cofactors that permit the synthesis through inexpensive and environmentally friendly biocatalytic processes.

Endocannabinoids - the brain's cannabis - demonstrate novel modes of action to stress
Research teams from Louisiana, Japan and Scotland report on endocannabinoids as a novel neural messenger in various stress-related situations with possible applications in eating, disease treatment and social behavior.

A new molecule discovered in the battle between plants and disease
Scientists at Washington State University in Pullman have discovered a molecule that plays a role in the battle plants must win against bacteria and fungi that would eat them for lunch.

Scientists help Fijian villagers conserve coral reef while earning a living from it
In a unique project that combines environmental conservation, economic development and drug discovery research, scientists and policy experts led by the Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating with the villagers of Tagaqe, Fiji, and the University of the South Pacific to explore, protect and generate income for islanders from their coral reef.

Futuristic design wins competition for new Antarctic Research Station
A futuristic design by Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects has won the competition for the new British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Halley Research Station.

Biased reporting found in cancer prognostic studies
Selective reporting biases may taint many published studies of so-called prognostic factors -- biologic or genetic markers that may predict how a patient may fare during or after treatment, according to a new study in the July 20 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Deaths from volatile substance abuse drop in the UK
A report released today by the Division of Community Health Sciences at St George's, University of London, reveals that in 2003 there were 51 deaths in the UK associated with volatile substance abuse.

Biotech text connects science with society for non-biologists
A new biotechnology text from ASM Press not only explains the science but helps to put it into the context of modern society.

UCI researchers define estrogen's role in limiting heart disease in women
UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers have identified how estrogen helps prevent a cardiac ailment often seen in women who have heart attacks.

Study questions mortality benefit of breast cancer screening in community settings
A new study calls into question the actual benefits of breast cancer screenings as practiced in the real world, as opposed to the well-controlled situations of previous screening trials.

Florida Tech student entrepreneurs develop interactive restaurant pager
The Florida Tech team of five undergraduate electrical engineering majors and one business administration undergraduate, earned an $11,500 NCIIA grant for their product, an interactive guest paging system.

Children born with extremely low-birth-weight have considerable health and educational needs
Children born in the 1990s weighing less than 2.2 lbs.

Highest concentration of specific ground water contamination in northeast US
The presence of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a component used to add oxygen to gasoline to meet Clean Air Act standards, has been detected as a contaminant in ground water supplies underlying urban areas, particularly in the northeastern United States.

Would boosting the oxytocin system lead to longer breast-feeding?
The benefits of breastfeeding infants over giving them formula are well-known.

Researchers identify gene's role in suppressing longevity
HHMI researchers have determined that a gene present in mouse cells limits the number of times that a cell can divide.

'Hospital-at-home' concept does not save money or improve outcomes, study finds
Although patients generally prefer to be home instead of the hospital to recover from serious illness, a new review of studies finds that

Tufts nutrition scientists say it is premature to focus on nutrient supplements over diet
In a special communication piece that appears in the July 20th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer U.S.

Insulin resistance associated with increased risk for congestive heart failure
New research indicates development of insulin resistance increases a person's risk for development of congestive heart failure, according to a study in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

Surgery is favored treatment for severe hemorrhoids
Surgical removal of severe hemorrhoids is more effective in the long run than tying them off with rubber bands, a less invasive treatment alternative, according to a new review of studies.

Diabetes drug controls blood glucose, cardiac risk
A new review of studies confirms that the drug metformin should be in the first line of defense against type 2 diabetes.

Hospital 'report cards' found not effective for quality improvement
Hospitals that were given feedback on their performance on certain quality indicators for treating heart attack patients did not show more improvement in those areas than hospitals that were provided with the feedback at a later date, according to a study in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

Camera-guided colon surgery works best for most patients, study confirms
Camera-guided surgery through small incisions works better than conventional surgery for colon cancer and related diseases, at least in the short term recovery, a new review of previous studies confirms.

Calcium may prevent polyps, but effect on cancer still not known, study finds
Although calcium supplements might prevent development of polyps that sometimes lead to colon cancer, there is not enough evidence that the mineral can prevent colorectal cancer itself, according to a new study.

Geophysics graduate blazes new trails for UH in seismic exploration
Innovations in seismic technology for oil and gas exploration have earned top international honors for a recent University of Houston Ph.D. graduate in geophysics.

Woods Hole Research Center plans controlled burn in Amazon rainforest
Fire is an important agent of transformation in the Amazon landscape.

Recent use of antibiotics doubles your chances of being resistant
A new study has shown that a prescription of antibiotics taken within the previous two months doubles the chances of patients carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria.

August GEOLOGY media highlights
Topics include: formation of Martian outflow channels; images of a continent-ocean fracture zone utilizing 3D seismic reflection data; Pleistocene ecosystems and dining habits of several animal species; origins of the Richat dome; evidence for lateral crustal flow on Mercury; and geological analysis of the Spartel Bank hypothesis associated with the legend of Atlantis.

Study warns against global use of old asthma medicines for kids' coughs
An asthma medicine widely used around the world to stop children's coughs has no provable benefit for that purpose and may cause harm, a new review of existing studies reports. 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