Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 02, 2005
Other highlights in the August 3 JNCI
Other highlights in the August 3 JNCI include a study that finds body size associated with the risk of myeloid leukemia, the identification of a potential colon cancer biomarker, an evaluation of the revised American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis staging system and its use after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer, and a study of how imiquimod (Aldara) works against skin cancer.

The relationship between lawns and allergies and asthma
Researchers at the Texas A&M University System Research and Extension Center at Dallas, are studying the relationship between allergies and asthma and the number of mold spores found in different types of turf grasses.

Penn State to host US DOE regional climate center
How energy production and use influences climate and environment will be the focus of Penn State's newly awarded Northeastern Regional Center of the U.S.

Prenatal exposure to famine increases risk of schizophrenia
People born during a famine in China have an increased risk of schizophrenia, consistent with previous research suggesting a link between fetal nutritional deficiency and schizophrenia, according to a study in the August 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Biologist discovers what may be world's 'pickiest' mates
California fiddler crabs may be among the world's pickiest animal when it comes to selecting a mate.

A new spin on silicon
For about 40 years, the semiconductor industry has been able to continually shrink the electronic components on silicon chips, packing ever more performance into computers.

Largest study of unrelated bone marrow transplantation for leukemia serves as benchmark
Together with 16 other institutions in the United States, University of Minnesota researchers led the largest study to date in patients with leukemia and related disorders undergoing bone marrow transplantation from unrelated donors.

Cognitive therapy effective in preventing repeat suicide attempts
Adults who had attempted suicide reduced their risk of a repeat attempt by participating in a cognitive therapy program, compared to adults who received the usual care, according to a study in the August 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Case/UHC/EXACT sciences researchers show positive impact of gene marker on DNA stool test
Researchers report identifying a new DNA gene marker, vimentin, that was shown to be three times more effective in detecting colon cancer than the standard doctor's office test that detects blood in the stool.

Weapon performance determines mating success in the collared lizard
In a study published in the September issue of The American Naturalist, A.

Cognitive therapy reduces repeat suicide attempts by 50 percent
Recent suicide attempters treated with cognitive therapy were 50 percent less likely to try to kill themselves again within 18 months than those who did not receive the therapy.

Researchers find Amchitka seafood safe for now
An independent consortium of university-based environmental scientists announced today the results from three 2004 expeditions to Amchitka Island in the western Aleutians to assess radionuclides in that marine environment and found that all levels of radionuclides were

Men overcompensate when masculinity is threatened
Threaten a man's masculinity, and his attitudes will become more macho, according to a study by Robb Willer, a Cornell Ph.D. candidate in sociology.

Studies of Amazonian languages challenge linguistic theories
Two studies that appear in the August/October 2005 issue of Current Anthropology challenge established linguistic theories regarding the language families of Amazonia.

Happy and passive means more productive animals
Breaking up families can be sad, but in a new method for selecting passive livestock animals, that's a main ingredient for better long-term productivity, according to a Purdue University geneticist.

Plastic surgery to restore facial defects
Insurance companies may deem reconstructing severe facial deformities in children with mental disabilities as cosmetic surgery and refuse to cover them.

K-State professors discover enzyme responsible for creation of a beetle's hard shell
Kansas State University researchers think their discovery of the enzyme involved in the hardening of a beetle's exoskeleton or cuticle could lead not only to better pest control, but also help create similar strong, lightweight materials for use in aircraft and armor.

Rats' response to 'stop snacking' signal diminished by high fat diet
Rats fed a high fat diet were less sensitive to a hormonal 'stop eating' signal than rats on a low fat diet when they were given access to a high calorie, high fat snack that the animals find yummy.

Scientists crack 40-year-old DNA puzzle and point to 'hot soup' at the origin of life
A new theory that explains why the language of our genes is more complex than it needs to be also suggests that the primordial soup where life began on earth was hot and not cold, as many scientists believe.

'Smart' bio-nanotubes developed; may help in drug delivery
Materials scientists working with biologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed

Visceral leishmaniasis: Successful vaccine trial in dogs
Visceral leishmaniasis, which is the most severe form of that group of diseases, affects 500 000 people in the world each year.

New research into the Mafia, Antimafia, and the plural cultures of Sicily
Thanks to movies like The Godfather, Sicily is synonymous, at least within the popular imagination, with organized crime.

Evolution of morphological integration
In an article in the September issue of The American Naturalist, Alexander V.

'I'm a Kid Too' project completes first phase
I'm a Kid Too is a project that allows

ASTRO selects National Cancer Institute doctor as honorary member
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology is pleased to announce that it has chosen Francis J.

Independent researchers confirm the existence of ivory-billed woodpecker
After reviewing new sound recordings from the White River of Arkansas, an independent team of ornithologists has confirmed the existence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Study evaluates averted costs of neuroblastoma screening
By not implementing a neuroblastoma screening program between 1989 and 2002, the United States and Canada saved $574.1 million in health costs, avoided the unnecessary treatment of more than 9,200 children, and avoided false-positive findings in more than 5,000 children, according to a new study in the August 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New, simpler treatment guidelines could save heart attack patients
A team of experts from across the country have written a new quick-reference statement to make it easier for emergency physicians to navigate the guidelines and treat heart and chest-pain patients in the emergency department.

Gene therapy works in mice to prevent blindness that strikes boys
Scientists from the UF Genetics Institute describe how they successfully used gene therapy in mice to treat retinoschisis, a rare genetic disorder that is passed from mothers, who retain their sight, to their sons.

Electrical exercise system gives paralysis sufferers power to recover strength
A new system uses electrical signals to stimulate movement in arm muscles where function has been lost.

Galileo satellite arrives at ESA-ESTEC for testing
One of the two Galileo satellites currently under development, GSTB-V2/A, has arrived at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre to undergo testing.

Study examines criminal records of homicide offenders
The prevalence of having a serious criminal record is far higher among persons arrested for homicide than for the general population, according to researchers analyzing data of all arrests and felony convictions in Illinois for 1990 - 2000.

Environment, area and diversification in the Iridaceae plant family
In a study published in the September issue of The American Naturalist, T.

X-ray technology sheds light on ancient stone inscriptions
Cornell University scientists and humanists have teamed up to demonstrate a novel method for recovering ancient text by zapping and mapping worn inscriptions using X-ray fluorescence imaging and the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source.

UT Southwestern researchers find differences in a predictor of heart disease among sexes, races
A protein in the blood that is considered to be a key indicator of future heart disease may vary considerably among women and men, as well as blacks and whites, according to new research at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

PTSD, depression epidemic among Cambodian immigrants
More than two decades after they fled the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, most Cambodian refugees who resettled in the United States remain traumatized, a study has found.

Preschoolers who take responsibility do better later on
Children whose parents listen to their perspective and encourage them to make decisions do better in school--academically and socially.

Few benefits, many costs associated with changing definition of 'abnormal' PSA level
Lowering the current prostate-specific antigen (PSA) threshold for recommending a prostate biopsy may subject millions of men to unnecessary, potentially harmful medical procedures with no evidence that it will improve prostate cancer mortality rates, according to a new study in the August 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Mechanistic analytical models for long-distance seed dispersal by wind
In the September issue of The American Naturalist, G. G.

Mental health of war survivors
In a survey of people who had experienced war-related events and traumas in the former Yugoslavia, researchers found that most survivors (79 percent) reported a sense of injustice in relation to perceived lack of redress for their trauma.

Will urbanization in developing countries in 2030 be less pronounced than model projections?
UNO projections on population and urbanization are used widely as input for assessments of other global trends such as poverty, energy consumption and so on.

Refugee mental health influenced by social and political factors
Economic, social and cultural conditions before and after displacement influence the mental health of refugees, according to a meta-analysis published in this JAMA theme issue.

Practical screening tools for severely malnourished children in sub-Saharan Africa
Even though severe malnutrition is a major cause of death among many hospitalized children in sub-Saharan Africa, the current recommended assessment method using weight for height to determine if a child is malnourished is not always feasible in these clinical settings.

Oldest dated evidence of cattle in southern Africa found
A team of researchers working with colleagues from the Botswana National Museum shed new light on the questions of when cattle were brought to southern Africa and from where.

Researcher warns space weather hole blocks manned Mars mission
Research published in the journal Space Weather warns that massive gaps in our understanding and monitoring of space weather will effectively block US plans for a manned mars space mission.

Divergent mating systems and parental conflict as a barrier to hybridization in flowering plants
A new study in the September issue of The American Naturalist argues that with increased self-fertilization, parental conflict decreases.

Ecological specialization of mixotrophic plankton in a mixed water column
Ecological specialization is an important process underlying the self-organization of ecosystems.

Highway improvements drive UH engineering efforts in bridge design
A way to build steel bridges cheaper and quicker has been developed by engineers at the University of Houston.

Cambodian war refugees experience psychiatric disorders many years after resettlement
Cambodian refugees who resettled in the U.S. more than 20 years ago still experience high rates of psychiatric disorders related to their trauma such as posttraumatic stress disorder or depression, according to a study in the August 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Many cats unaffected by catnip, C&EN reports
Have you ever met a cat that doesn't go crazy over catnip?

Unemployment is down, salaries are up for US chemists, C&EN reports
Unemployment among U.S. chemists has dropped to 3.1 percent this year from a record high of 3.6 percent in 2004, according to an American Chemical Society survey reported in the Aug.

Hope for Alzheimer's blossoms
A substance found in daffodils, which could offer hope for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease, is being supported for large scale manufacture by Cardiff University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC).

National Academies news: Emissions-free, petroleum-free vehicles
A public-private effort to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles and eventually introduce hydrogen as a transportation fuel is well-planned and identifies all major hurdles the program will face, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council.

UCSF study finds English proficiency a major hurdle in patient comprehension
Limited efficiency with the English language is a barrier to medical comprehension and increases the risk of adverse medication reactions, according to a recent study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

New theory tests sex ratios under asymmetrical local mate competition among parasitoid wasps
In a new study featured in the September issue of The American Naturalist, David M.

Applying ecological laws to bacteria
Researchers have obtained further evidence that one of the oldest biological laws can also be applied to bacteria living in the sump tank reservoirs of machines in an engineering workshop in Oxford, according to a paper published in Environmental Microbiology.
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