Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 01, 2005
3 papers present fresh paths to ponder Akt1 in the heart
Three JCI papers plus an accompanying commentary explore Akt1 in the heart.

UT Southwestern researchers unravel control of growing blood vessels
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a basic mechanism by which smooth muscle cells that line the blood vessels can grow - sometimes abnormally - suggesting methods of treatment for various coronary diseases.

Girls who were victims of violence more likely to commit violent acts
Girls who report previous violence victimization are more than twice as likely to report engaging in violent behavior, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Amphetamines reverse Parkinson's disease symptoms in mice
Amphetamines, including the drug popularly known as Ecstasy, can reverse the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in mice with an acute form of the condition, according to new research at Duke University Medical Center.

Most new graduates in Earth and space sciences find satisfying work in their field
The vast majority of 2003 graduates in the Earth and space sciences found work in that field, earning salaries commensurate with or slightly higher than in 2001 and 2002.

Omega-6 fatty acids cause prostate tumor cell growth in culture
A study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) has demonstrated that omega-6 fatty acids such as the fat found in corn oil promote the growth of prostate tumor cells in the laboratory.

Anti-tumor activity also plays a critical role during eye development in the embryo
A gene better known for its role in preventing cancer also plays a key role in the developing embryo, where the gene prevents excessive growth of blood vessels, according to investigators at St.

Waist size is associated with the metabolic syndrome in children
Waist circumference is associated with insulin resistance in children and may offer a simple way to identify children with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Severely mentally ill more likely victims than perpetrators of violence
More than one-fourth of individuals with severe mental illness were victims of violent crime in the past year, almost 12 times general population rates, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Pancreatic cancer risk higher in newly diagnosed diabetes patients 50 and older
According to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology, 1 in 120 people newly diagnosed with diabetes age 50 and older have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer -- a risk that is eight times more than expected for the general population.

Advancing the role of science and the critical connections with applied energy programs
International Energy Agency's Ad Hoc Group on Science and Energy Technologies (AHGSET) has announced its Workshop for the Development of an International Strategic Plan, which will take place in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA on 14-17 November 2005.

Beach pollution is worst during new and full moon
A new study of 60 beaches in Southern California suggests that water pollution varies with the lunar cycle, reaching the highest levels when tides are ebbing during the new and full moon.

8th World Wilderness Congress begins next month
The 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), convening from September 30 - October 6, 2005 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, is a public forum expected to attract more than 1,000 conservationists and experts from 55 countries.

Building a better mouse model of lung cancer: FHIT counts
Scientists have identified some of the very earliest genetic changes involved in the development of lung cancer and have incorporated them into a new strain of mouse that develops the disease in much the same way that humans do.

Many body-conscious teens use supplements to improve physique
A nationwide, population-based survey of more than 10,000 adolescents, published in the August issue of Pediatrics, reports a high rate of concern about body image in both boys and girls, and finds that adolescents with such concerns are much more likely to use hormones and dietary supplements to enhance their physique -- with a heavy dose of media influence.

Women's preference for female colonoscopists presents a barrier to colon cancer screening
Study of women patients finds that 43% preferred a female endoscopist to administer a lower endoscopy, which is a screening test for colon cancer.

Discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system
A team of researchers from CalTech, Yale, and Gemini Observatory in Hilo, HI, report the discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system.

Injuries sustained at home remain a leading cause of death for children, teens in the US
Preventable home injuries for children and adolescents in the United States account for more than 2,800 deaths each year.

Highlights of August 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
A survey of 228 Pennsylvania high schools found bottled water and fruit juice are available in more schools' vending machines than any other food or drink item.

New factor implicated in allergy and asthma attacks
Researchers have discovered strong evidence that the severe respiratory inflammation involved in an allergy or asthma attack requires damage by chemically hyperactive molecules known as

Dialysis treatment choice affects risk of death in patients with end-stage kidney disease
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that in people with end-stage kidney disease (ESRD), choosing peritoneal dialysis over hemodialysis increases their risk of dying by 50 percent.

Insight into JAK/STAT
Dr. Norbert Perrimon and colleagues at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) have used a genome-wide RNAi screen in cultured Drosophila cells to identify novel regulators of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for August 2005 (first issue)
Newsworthy articles include those demonstrating: that a below normal score on a common lung function test taken prior to stem cell transplantation points up a significant risk for early respiratory failure followed by death; that there is an alternative therapy to the removal of tonsils and adenoids for the relief of mild sleep-disordered breathing in children; and that occupational asthma now constitutes 9 to 15 percent of all adult asthma.

BRCA1 tumor suppression nullified by cyclin D1 at the estrogen receptor
For about a decade, scientists have recognized that many cases of hereditary breast cancer result from a mutation of a specific gene called BRCA1, which, in its normal state, helps keep tumor formation in check.

Wolves' top-down effect
Willow trees, warblers and beaver dams once were bountiful in an area near the town of Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Via Internet, Australian-based researchers perform real-time cell surgery in California
In an effort to combine sophisticated laser and Internet technologies, scientists in Australia have successfully performed laser surgery and

Common C-section method leads to unnecessary scars, Stanford study finds
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who have found that closing the parietal peritoneum, a multi-layered membrane that lines the abdomino-pelvic walls, substantially decreases the likelihood of scarring that can make future C-sections more difficult.

Older Americans with new-onset diabetes have high risk of pancreatic cancer
In a groundbreaking population-based study, researchers in Mayo Clinic Cancer Center found that new onset of hyperglycemic diabetes in adults age 50 or older may be a signal of underlying pancreatic cancer.

Master regulatory gene found that guides fate of blood-producing stem cells
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that a protein called NF-Ya activates several genes known to regulate the development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), or blood-producing stem cells, in bone marrow.

Amphetamine-related drugs ameliorate symptoms of Parkinson's
Research published in the premier open access journal PLoS Biology reveals that identification of dopamine transporter- and dopamine-independent locomotor actions of amphetamines suggests a novel paradigm in the search for prospective anti-Parkinsonian drugs.

Many discharged patients do not know diagnoses, medications, side effects
Researchers report in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings that more than one-half of their study patients were unable to list their medications, diagnoses, treatment plan (names and purposes of medications) and common side effects of prescribed medications.

Cracking the perception code
The brain may interpret the information it receives from sensory neurons using a code more complicated than scientists previously thought.

Researcher uncovers details of how cancer spreads
A study by Cornell professor Jun-Lin Guan reveals how connective tissue holding a cancer cell in place might degrade, unmooring the diseased cell and allowing it to spread to other parts of the body.

Disaster Charter brings satellites to bear on Romanian flooding
Teams responding to devastating flooding in Romania received assistance from orbit, with satellite images and maps of affected areas provided in near-real time following activation of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Sensor could detect concealed weapons without X-rays
A new sensor being patented by Ohio State University could be used to detect concealed weapons or help pilots see better through rain and fog.

Gragoudas to receive ARVO's Weisenfeld Award
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that Evangelos S.

Gene expression in the aging brain
In a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Biology, transcriptional profiles in human and chimpanzee reveal a diversity of aging patterns present within the human brain, as well as how rapidly genome-wide patterns of aging can evolve between species.

Women missing out in heart treatment - more needed in clinical trials
The designers of heart disease trials should ensure that they recruit enough women to reveal reliably whether they are responding to the drugs in a different way from men, according to research published on line (Tuesday, 2 August) in Europe's leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal.

'Smart' nanoprobes light up disease
Researchers from Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) have developed a

Geriatic pyschiatry grant recognizes growing mental health needs of seniors
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has made a $984,000 grant to the University of Rochester Medical Center to support the training of physicians and scientists for research careers in geriatric mental health.

New amphibian species result from exploration, not from rule changes
An analysis published in the August 2005 issue of BioScience, the monthly journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, indicates that, contrary to some published expert opinions, new amphibian discoveries are a consequence of increasing exploratory effort, not of changing criteria for recognizing a species, or

Mayo Clinic collaboration invents 'virus in stealth' to help kill cancer cells
Mayo Clinic researchers working with colleagues in Germany have discovered a way to fight cancer by using parts of a virus found in tree shrews, small Southeast Asian mammals.

Human cerebellum and cortex age in very different ways
Researchers have found that the two primary areas of the human brain appear to age in radically different ways: The cortex used in higher-level thought undergoes more extensive changes with age than the cerebellum, which regulates basic processes such as heartbeat, breathing and balance.

Surgery gives fresh start to patients with thickened hearts
Patients who have surgery for a thickened heart muscle, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people, don't just get symptom relief; their mortality rates match those of the general population, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic study published this week in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Behavioural ecologists elucidated how peahens choose their mates, and why
Since Darwin, the peacock exhibiting an elongated tail composed of ocelli has been a prime example of sexual selection.

Once-dreaded leprosy 'replaced' by tuberculosis, say researchers
What caused leprosy - a widely dreaded disease in medieval Europe - to fade from the scene?

Power of suggestion may help dieters avoid specific foods
Most dieters know that the mind is a powerful force in the battle of the bulge; but a new study led by psychologist Elizabeth Loftus shows that the malleable nature of human memory might be used to help people avoid certain fattening foods.

Insulin spares intensive care patients from organ failure and death
Controlling blood glucose with insulin reduces the risk of organ failure and death of patients in intensive care.

New analysis of pottery stirs Olmec trade controversy
Clearing -- or perhaps roiling -- the murky and often contentious waters of Mesoamerican archeology, a study of 3,000-year-old pottery provides new evidence that the Olmec may not have been the mother culture after all.

East meets West in effort to prevent diabetes
University of Queensland researchers are using traditional Chinese exercises to combat the growing problem of diabetes.

Babies born at night have greater risk of death, study finds
Babies born at night have a greater risk of dying in their first month of life than babies born earlier in the day, according to a new study published this month in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Individuals with severe mental illness at high risk to be victims of crime
More than one fourth of individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) were victims of violent crime in the past year, eleven times the rate in the general population, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Customized gene chip provides rapid detection of genetic changes in children's cancer
Genetics researchers have developed a customized gene chip to rapidly scan tumor samples for specific DNA changes that offer clues to prognosis in cases of neuroblastoma, a common form of children's cancer.

Scientists develop nanotech-laser treatment that kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue
Scientists at Stanford University have developed a new laser therapy that destroys cancer cells but leaves healthy ones unharmed.

Internet technology for rail operations and maintenance
Successfully prototyped hardware and software that helps keep rail operators on track with their maintenance offers real-time diagnostic capabilities and remote monitoring for train systems through the use of Internet technology.

Rutgers College of Nursing hosts emerging infectious diseases conference
Gina Kolata, The New York Times science and medicine journalist, will deliver the keynote address at the Second Annual Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases: Pandemic Flu and Avian Influenza sponsored by the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, August 2, 2005
The current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes: New study: GERD linked to obesity; Study assesses risk for death associated with two kinds of kidney dialysis; and A national health information infrastructure will cost billions.

Scientists characterize proteome of human cornea
An international group of researchers has characterized the proteome of the human cornea.

Forests in the clouds
On Sunday, 7 August 2005, Cristián Samper, Director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (United States), will give a presentation entitled,

Home videos suggest regression occurs in some autistic children
Home videos of first and second year birthday parties provide support for parents' reports of children whose behavior seemed normal when they were one-year-olds but then display symptoms of autism at the age of two years, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Moving closer to the grand spiral
An international team of astronomers from Chile, Europe and North America is announcing the most accurate distance yet measured to a galaxy beyond our Milky Way's close neighbours.

Polypharmacy in children on the rise in the US
Pediatric polypharmacy, the practice of prescribing two or more medications for psychiatric symptoms in children, is on the rise in the United States, raising concern about unknown side effects, according to a new study appearing in the August issue of the journal Psychiatry 2005

New molecule may aid in production of biofuels and fungi-resistant plants
In a recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, scientists report on the discovery of a new molecule that is essential for degradation of the biopolymer chitin.

Review & outlook 2005: Research at Stevens hits new highs
The Office of Institute Technology Initiatives at Stevens Institute of Technology reports that FY 2005 research expenditures hit an all-time high at the fast-growing institution: $30.1 million, with a projected growth to $50 million annually by 2009.

New anti-blood-thinning drug not as safe as protamine
The results of an international clinical trial led by Duke University Medical Center researchers has shown that a new drug is not a suitable replacement for protamine, a drug that has been used for more than 40 years after coronary artery bypass surgery to return thinned blood to its normal state.

Are there national patterns of teaching?
Why do teachers today teach as they do, and why has teaching evolved in the way that it has evolved?

Radiation helps eye cancer patients beat the disease, retain vision
Doctors in the United Kingdom have determined that patients suffering from cancer affecting their eye can usually avoid visual handicap, loss of the eye and spread of the disease by receiving proton beam radiation therapy, according to a new study published in the August 1, 2005 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

Ed admin council chooses open-access curricula
Rice University's Connexions Project, the world's fastest growing collection of open-access scholarly knowledge, today announced that the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration (NCPEA) will use Connexions to develop a comprehensive set of writings and up-to-date information that its members can use to develop courses.

A bug's life: Exceptional genomic stability yet rapid protein evolution in a carpenter ant mutualist
Dr. Jennifer Wernegreen's group from the Marine Biological Laboratory presents new data that support a fascinating model for genome evolution in bacteria that live inside insects.

Penn researchers discover key to how SARS virus infects cells
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that inhibitors of an enzyme called cathepsin L prevent the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus from entering target cells.
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