Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2005
Gene found in 90 percent of breast cancers may be cancer vaccine target
A gene that appears to help regulate normal embryonic development is found at high levels in virtually all forms of breast cancer, according to a new study led by Laszlo Radvanyi, Ph.D., an associate professor of breast and melanoma medical oncology at The University of Texas M.

Blink, and the brain misses it
Why are we not aware of the frequent mini-blackouts caused by blinks?

Stem cell therapy successfully treats heart attack in animals
Final results of a study conducted at Johns Hopkins show that stem cell therapy can be used effectively to treat heart attacks, or myocardial infarction, in pigs.

UCF tops $100 million milestone in research funding for 2004-05
University of Central Florida professors received a record $103.6 million in research funding in 2004-05, exceeding the $100 million milestone for the first time in the university's history.

Gamble or play it safe?
What will retirement look like for you? Will you buy that 40-foot sailboat and sail between your summer home in Maine and your winter home in the Caribbean?

Church impacts political activism among black Americans, expert says
In a journal article for

Ocean spray lubricates hurricane winds
According to mathematicians from UC Berkeley and Russia, turbulence at the boundary between wind and ocean should keep hurricane winds to a gentle breeze.

Eight million dollar commitment to schizophrenia research
Eight million dollars will be invested over the next five years to establish Australia's first Professorial Chair of Schizophrenia Research.

Identification of a protein important for Hepatitis B replication
A paper published in PLoS Medicine identifies the human cellular protein that triggers the replication of Hepatitis B.

Deep thinking: Scientists sequence a cold-loving marine microbe
At home in the deep, dark Arctic Ocean, the marine bacterium Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H keeps very cool -- typically below 5 degrees Celsius.

National Academies advisory: Preventing microbial contamination of Mars
If microbes on a spacecraft bound to Mars were to survive the trip and grow there, they could interfere with scientific investigations to detect any life that might be native to Mars.

'Good' bacteria helps ease pain of colitis
A mixture of bacteria developed in part by University of Alberta researchers has been proven highly effective in treating people suffering from ulcerative colitis.

Coral reef fish larvae settle close to home
In a new study, researchers have managed to uncover the patterns of local dispersion for a small coral reef fish species by employing a combination of inventive tracking techniques.

Armed forces search for ways to improve survival in the combat zone
Military experts believe that blood loss may be one of the most preventable causes of battlefield fatalities.

Breast biopsy rates remain steady despite introduction of new technology
Rates of breast biopsy (removal of tissue for diagnostic evaluation) remained stable over a 12 year period even as mammogram use increased and new and less invasive biopsy techniques were introduced, according to a study in the July 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cassini reveals Saturn's eerie-sounding radio emissions
Saturn's radio emissions could be mistaken for a Halloween sound track.

Hormone patch may provide some increase in sexual desire in menopausal women
A testosterone patch may produce modest increases in sexual desire and frequency of satisfying sexual experiences in women who develop distressful, low sexual desire following hysterectomy and removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, according to a study in the July 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Immigrants spend half as much on health care as native-born Americans
Immigrants in the United States receive less than half the health-care services than do native-born Americans, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Enlisting genomics to understand flu evolution
In the premier open access journal PLoS Biology, evolution of the flu virus is analyzed via genomic phylogeny; humans are found to provide a reservoir of antigenic variability implicit in flu adaptation and virulence.

Field of beams
By firing rapid pulses of polarized light at corn, spinach and other crops, researchers have uncovered a picture of plant health that is invisible to the naked eye.

Cassini reveals Saturn's eerie-sounding radio emissions
University of Iowa researchers Bill Kurth and Don Gurnett say that Saturn's radio emissions could be mistaken for a Halloween sound track.

Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds
Researchers have found new evidence suggesting that the ability to taste bitter compounds has been strongly advantageous in human evolution.

Using nanoparticles, in vivo gene therapy activates brain stem cells
Using customized nanoparticles that they developed, University at Buffalo scientists have for the first time delivered genes into the brains of living mice with an efficiency that is similar to, or better than, viral vectors and with no observable toxic effect, according to a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Understanding biases in epidemic models important when making public health predictions
Mathematical models have become invaluable decision-making tools for public health officials.

Possible exposure to nerve agents and brain cancer deaths in Gulf War veterans
A new research paper to be published in the August 2005 issue of the American Journal of Public Health finds that Gulf War veterans who may have been exposed to nerve agents during the March 1991 weapons demolitions in Khamisiyah, Iraq, appear to have a higher risk for brain cancer death than veterans who were not exposed.

Genetic links could unlock clues to leading cause of blindness
A genetic link between rhesus monkeys with macular degeneration and humans could unlock secrets about the earliest stages of the disease, when severe vision loss could still be stopped.

Low colon cancer screening rates leaves a million New Yorkers at risk
Half of New York City residents over 50, the age at which the American Cancer Society recommends beginning screening tests, have not received a colon cancer-screening test within the recommended time intervals, according to a new study published in the September 1, 2005 issue of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

M.D.-Ph.D. student wins Hertz fellowship
Rice University graduate student Gwen Hoben, who is simultaneously earning a medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine while she earns her Ph.D. in bioengineering from Rice, has been named to the elite class of 2005 Hertz Foundation Fellows.

Corn fungus is nature's master blaster
Biologists have discovered that a common corn fungus is by far nature's most powerful known cannoneer, blasting its spores out with a force of 870,000 times the force of gravity.

Name your price
Participation is central to successful consumerism. It's the subtle and neighborly haggling over a rusty mailbox at a garage sale, throwing one's hand in the air at an auction, offering and counter-offering for a house, and the newest incarnation of the centuries old practice of negotiating price: the Internet.

Study on female twins finds occupational class influences adult health, above early life conditions
Nancy Krieger, a professor of society, human development and health at the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues, compared the health status, education levels and adult occupational class among women who were identical twins and who lived together through adolescence, to demonstrate that adult socioeconomic conditions affect adult health, above and beyond genetics and early life conditions.

Together alone
When sociologists Calvin Morrill and David Snow dispatched a research team to a local strip club, the last thing they expected to find were men at bar tables developing meaningful personal relationships with partially-clad dancers.

Posting and lurking
In the ever growing use of the Internet as a place to communicate with others asynchronously, the ability to rate products or learn about other consumers' experiences with a product that you are considering has become an important tool for consumers.

Wiley to publish new edition of Textbook of Biochemistry in November 2005
Edited by Thomas M. Devlin,

Study reveals potential for new treatment of paralysis and brain disease
New research published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research shows that a naturally-produced protein, KDI tri-peptide, can block the damaging effects of glutamate, a substance that is released by the body in response to CNS trauma and neurodegenerative disorders.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the media in disseminating health information?
The way in which the media report health issues has recently come under scrutiny.

FSU food scientist is lead scholar in trade
After mad cow disease was twice detected in North American livestock in 2003, The People's Republic of China banned imports of all US meat by-products.

Improved statistical tools reveal many linked loci
In the open access journal PLoS Biology, researchers describe a new, innovative statistical method that efficiently identifies all the genomic elements that produce specific traits.

$1 million grant from John A. Hartford Foundation awarded to UCSF geriatric nursing center
The geriatric nursing program in the UCSF School of Nursing has received a key grant from The John A.

Fragile X-related disorder difficult to diagnose; guidelines suggested in new study
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome can be difficult to diagnose and should have guidelines for diagnostic testing, according to a study in the July 26 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Artemisinin-based therapy may not be the best treatment for uncomplicated malaria in Africa
In the open access journal PLoS Medicine, research reveals that artemisinin has limits in treating malaria.

Spaced out
Repetition is a hallmark of advertising, but the advertisements to which consumers are exposed are not simply repeated without a plan.

Multiple genetic 'flavors' may explain autism
In a pair of studies, the researchers identify and characterize a number of mutations in the gene that regulate brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in breathing, digestion, sleep, appetite, blood vessel constriction, mood and impulsivity.

Toxins drove evolution of human taste sense, global study reveals
Plant toxins in the diets of early humans drove the evolution of a bitter taste receptor better able to detect them, suggests a new genetic research by scientists at University College London, Duke University Medical Center, and the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

New method shows it is possible to grow bone for grafts within a patient's body
An international team of biomedical engineers has demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to grow healthy new bone reliably in one part of the body and use it to repair damaged bone at a different location.

Patients learn more facts from videos but need contact with doctor to soothe their anxiety
Researchers have found that showing patients an educational video about their condition teaches them the facts about their disease even better than when their doctor tells them about the condition.

Stevens rolls out its latest venture: Attila Technologies
Attila Technologies LLC, a Stevens Institute of Technology Technogenesis® Company, was recently launched by the Vice President of Stevens' Office of Institute Technology Initiatives, Dr.

UGA physics professor William Yen wins international honor for work on luminescence
William Yen, Graham Perdue Professor of Physics at the University of Georgia, has been named winner of the ICL Prize for Luminescence Research, and he will receive the international award at ceremonies in Beijing on Monday, July 25.

Many cancer survivors initiate lifestyle changes to benefit their health
An analysis of more than 100 studies of cancer survivors shows that many survivors initiate diet, exercise, and other beneficial lifestyle changes following a cancer diagnosis, but that those who are male, older, and less educated are less likely to adopt such changes.

Hospital experience and nursing improve cancer surgery outcome
Choosing a hospital that either performs many cystectomies - the surgical removal of the urinary bladder - or has a high nurse-to-patient ratio minimizes post-operative complications after the procedure, according to a new study published in the September 1, 2005 issue of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Adult socioeconomic position and health of twins
In a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, adult socioeconomic position can significantly affect later health.

To translate touch, the brain can quickly rearrange its sense of the body
The brain is bombarded by information about the physical proportions of our bodies -- familiar sensations, such as a puff of wind, serve to remind the brain of the body's outer bounds.

New study reports the risk perceptions of natural vs 'medicalized' childbirth
Many vestiges of the

Endangered North Atlantic right whale study says population in crisis
Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are threatening the survival of the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered whales with an estimated population of about 350.

Vitamin D supplements not effective in preserving bone mineral density in black women
Vitamin D supplementation did not appear to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal black women, according to a study in the July 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What is the best treatment for postherpetic neuralgia?
A paper published in PLoS Medicine reveals the most effective treatment for posttherpetic neuralgia.
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