Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2005
Live demonstration of 21st century national-scale team science
UC San Diego and NASA Goddard have conducted the first successful system test of a new 10-Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet optical path connecting the two institutions roughly 3,000 miles apart.

Illegal destruction of coral reefs worsened impact of tsunami
The illegal mining of corals off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka permitted far more onshore destruction from the 26 December2004 tsunami than occurred in nearby areas whose coral reefs were intact.

TPA and ATRA a potential one-two punch for cancer of the pancreas
In 2004, Rutgers researchers halted prostate cancer in laboratory animals using a compound derived from a Southeast Asian shrub whose leaves produce a poison ivy-like skin rash.

Role of microRNA identified in breast cancer
Scientists mining vast, largely unexplored regions of the human genome have identified a small handful of mini-molecules that play a major role in the development of cancer and perhaps many other diseases.

Childhood predictors of smoking in adolescence
Becklake and colleagues investigated possible predictors of teenage cigarette smoking and found that salivary cotinine, a measure of uptake of environmental tobacco smoke, was a significant predictor.

Carbon nanotubes made to stick like a gecko's foot
Renowned for their ability to walk up walls like miniature Spider-Men--or even to hang from the ceiling by one toe--the colorful lizards of the gecko family owe their wall-crawling prowess to their remarkable footpads.

Failure to dispose of unneeded cells during development linked to cancer
A new research study reveals that a diverse group of apparently unrelated genes that are associated with pheochromocytoma intersect at a common pathway that drives the necessary culling of cells.

Activated Stat5 protein in prostate cancer can predict outcome
Researchers from Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University found that testing for an activated Stat5 protein in prostate tumor tissue effectively predicts which men have a form of prostate cancer that may become more aggressive and life threatening.

Rockefeller researchers show evidence of asymmetric cell division in mammalian skin
New research by Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D., at Rockefeller University details how the direction of cell division in the skin is essential for its development.

After overeating, we don't compensate by eating less
After overeating by 35 percent for two weeks, a study's participants did not eat less afterwards, according to a new Cornell University study in Physiology and Behavior (Vol.

UC sociologist traces the evolution of the execution
Are executions in the United States returning to an audience-driven event, as it was in the days of the public square hangings?

Disasters do not necessarily affect minorities disproportionately
While it has long been assumed in the disaster research community that individuals with fewer resources are more likely to suffer in a disaster -- and it is true that non-whites, the poor, and females often suffer more than their counterparts -- the race-class-and-gender trinity of variables does not capture the entire spectrum in which disaster affects society.

Nutrition, education improve the well-being of cancer survivors
Women who receive an educational or nutritional intervention following the completion of their treatment for breast cancer are less likely to be depressed and have a better quality of life than other breast cancer survivors, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Emory University.

Study points the way to more nutritious animal feed
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have traced the biochemical pathway by which plants build a compound that compromises the quality of corn and soybeans as an animal feed.

Robotic technique shows promise in weight-loss surgery, Stanford study finds
Surgeons at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a safe and efficient way to use a surgical robot to perform gastric bypass operations.

The risk of waiting for coronary artery bypass surgery
The relative urgency of coronary artery bypass grafting is still under debate, and in this issue of CMAJ, Légaré and colleagues evaluated safety among patients with stenosis of the left main coronary artery.

Oral meds good for controlling Type II diabetes in children
Oral medications may control symptoms of Type II diabetes in children just as well as insulin injections, a new study reports.

Johns Hopkins-led center will study voting technologies
An NSF-funded center dedicated to improving the reliability and trustworthiness of voting technology, drawing on experts in computer science, public policy and human behavior, will be based at The Johns Hopkins University.

Type 2 diabetes: Problems in the furnace
A detectable decline in energy production by mitochondria -- the organelles that are the cell's furnace for energy production -- seems to be a key problem leading to insulin resistance, and thus to type 2 diabetes, according to studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

Rensselaer researchers awarded NIH grant to develop virtual patient models
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is leading a team of researchers awarded a three-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop 3-D virtual patient models that will more accurately compute radiation doses for CT imaging, nuclear medicine, and radiation treatment of cancer patients.

Global warming to boost Scots farmers
Climate change could be good news for Scottish farmers, according to ESRC funded research at the University of Stirling.

Scientists harness the power of pee
Physicists in Singapore have succeeded in creating the first paper battery that generates electricity from urine.

Research may lead to optimization of radiation treatment
A new study published in the August issue of Cancer Cell may bring good news for the hundreds of thousands of cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy each year.

Virtual animal shelters - How the Internet is transforming the experience of pet adoptions
A University of Cincinnati sociologist and dog owner clicks through a Web site that matches stranded pooches with potential new parents, and compares how Internet adoption services are complementing the work of overburdened animal shelters.

Action of nitroglycerin for chest pain may place some patients at risk
Definitive evidence to explain how the drug nitroglycerin relieves chest pain has resulted from a new study by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center.

Diabetics fare worse after ankle fracture surgery
In the largest analysis of its kind, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that patients with diabetes who require surgery for ankle fractures have significantly higher rates of complications and higher hospital costs compared to non-diabetic patients.

Parents find useful information on the internet about their child's surgery
Parents of children scheduled to undergo outpatient otolaryngology procedures turned to the Internet to learn more about their child's medical condition and used the information in making medical decisions, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers find that combined gene therapy eliminates glioblastoma multiforme in lab studies
Despite aggressive treatment, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) - the most common and deadly of brain cancers - usually claims the lives of its victims within six to 12 months of diagnosis.

Gerber funds Yale study on dietary calcium insufficiency in inner city infants
The Gerber Foundation has awarded Yale School of Medicine researcher Thomas Carpenter, M.D., $844,000 over three years to study biomarkers of dietary calcium insufficiency in inner city infants.

Scientists find cell surface enzyme matriptase causes cancer
Scientists report in animal studies that a single, scissor-like enzyme called matriptase, when left to its own devices, can cause cancer.

Scientific societies support teaching evolution
Executive Committees of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are concerned by President Bush's support for teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in K-12 science classes and have issued a position statement in support of teaching evolution.

NSF center aims to bolster security and trust in e-voting
The National Science Foundation today awarded $7.5 million to found a six-institution, multidisciplinary research center called ACCURATE that will evaluate e-voting systems, develop technical standards and design improved e-voting technology.

Emotional, not factual, ads win skeptical consumers, study shows
Naysaysers of advertisements are more accepting of aesthetically appealing commercials than ones that provide product information, according to a new study.

Psychiatric disorders delay cancer diagnosis
Patients with psychiatric disorders are diagnosed with esophageal cancer much later and at a more advanced stage than patients with no psychiatric diagnosis, according to a study conducted by researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University Digestive Health Center.

More is better, at least in angioplasty
Before patients get their clogged heart arteries re-opened, they may want to ask their doctor just how many such procedures he or she has done, a new study finds.

'High protection' sunscreen does not appear to influence longer duration of sunbathing
Sunbathers wearing sunscreen labeled as

UCI receives $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to research electronic waste
UC Irvine has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to reduce the environmental and health dangers posed by discarded electronics like cell phones.

Yale Public Health Professor elected fellow of the American Statistical Association
Theodore Holford, The Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Head of the Division of Biostatistics, was recently elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA).

Recovering alcoholic smokers can quit second addiction
Tobacco-caused disease is the leading cause of death for patients with alcoholism, but a study led by The Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center brings hope to non-depressed, recovering alcoholics who also smoke -- individualized nicotine patch therapy.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for August 2005 (second issue)
The following newsworthy studies are featured: researchers have discovered a new way to distinguish virus-induced asthma from that of allergen-caused disease during a study of 59 asthma patients who were experiencing an acute asthma exacerbation; and in two different studies designed to reduce potentially biased results among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who inhaled corticosteroids, investigators reported a 30 percent reduction in risk for either rehospitalization or death from the disease.

New insights into the early development of diabetes and the link to obesity
Insulin resistance in young lean individuals is associated with reduced phosphate transport into muscle cells and impaired mitochondrial energy generation in muscle, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Early estrogen therapy to prevent heart disease focus of Yale study
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine and seven other national institutions are recruiting patients to participate in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) to look at the effects of estrogen on heart disease prevention.

Adalimumab plus methotrexate effective for long-standing rheumatoid arthritis
For people with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis, combined treatment with the new

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, Aug. 16, 2005
The current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes: 1.

New UC study examines both black and white attitudes surrounding race and choosing a doctor
Preliminary results of a survey conducted in Greater Cincinnati will be presented at the meeting of the American Sociological Association on Aug.

Animals warn of human health hazards in new 'Canary Database'
Yale School of Medicine has launched a state-of-the-art database funded in part by the National Library of Medicine, called the Canary Database, containing scientific evidence about how animal disease events can be an early warning system for emerging human diseases.

Lyme disease prevention program launched in Connecticut
Researchers at the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) at Yale School of Medicine in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a Lyme disease prevention study in 21 Connecticut communities.

No small feat: First ever gene therapy success for muscular dystrophy achieved
University of Pittsburgh researchers report the first study to achieve success with gene therapy for the treatment of congenital muscular dystrophy in mice, demonstrating that the formidable scientific challenges that have cast doubt on gene therapy ever being feasible for children can be overcome.

How losing the plot makes watching 'Lord of the Rings' more pleasurable
When devotees of 'Lord of the Rings' re-watch the fantasy movies, many do their level best to forget the story and convince themselves they are seeing them for the first time, according to the biggest ever study of its kind, sponsored by the ESRC.

American Chemical Society supports teaching evolution in K-12
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is reiterating its call for evolution to be included in the K-12 science curricula at an

NSF awards $36 million toward securing cyberspace
The National Science Foundation (NSF) expects to make 36 new awards totaling $36 million through its 2005 Cyber Trust program.

U of M researchers find anxiety disorders can compromise success of alcohol-dependence treatment
Individuals who have an anxiety disorder when starting treatment for alcohol dependence have a significantly greater risk for relapse to drinking within four months, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.

Brain tumors may originate with neural stem cells, researchers say
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined that stem cells in a certain region of the brain may be the source of a particular type of incurable brain tumor and may be implicated in other types of brain cancers as well.

New lab research may help those deafened by immune system attack
In thousands of people each year, the body's immune system suddenly attacks the delicate structures of the inner ear - - leaving patients deaf.

e-Science methods reveal new insights into antibiotic resistance
Large-scale computer simulations have pinpointed a tiny change in molecular structure that could account for drug resistance in Streptomices pneumoniae, the organism that causes childhood pneumonia and claims 3.5 million lives a year, mainly in developing countries.

State regulations associated with decreased youth access to indoor tanning facilities
In three states that have age regulations on indoor tanning access, 62 percent of surveyed facilities reported they would not allow a 12-year-old to tan, compared to 18 percent of facilities in a non-regulation state, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New study examines disadvantaged people and medical care
The findings of new research from the University of Cincinnati will be presented Aug.

Proportion of high-risk HPV infections preventable by a HPV16/18 vaccine may vary by region
Vaccines currently being developed against two types of virus that cause cervical cancer--HPV16 or HPV18--may prevent a larger proportion of high-risk HPV infections in Europe than sub-Saharan Africa, suggests a study being published online by The Lancet.

Researchers find evidence for 'tanning addiction'
Using criteria adapted from those used to screen for alcoholism and drug dependency, researchers have determined that repetitive tanning behavior may be the product of a kind of addiction.

Babies detect unfamiliar music rhythms easier than adults
Babies can recognize unfamiliar musical rhythms far more readily than adults, report Cornell University and University of Toronto researchers Erin Hannon and Sandra Trehub in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition.

Time and money make a difference in endangered species recovery
Since passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, over 1,300 endangered species have been protected in the United States and its territories.

Ships bring alien jellyfish invaders to our shores
Marine environments around the world are being threatened by exotic species of the moon jellyfish being dispersed by international shipping, according to new research.

Is that lizard a basilisk? How Harry Potter sparks interest in the reptile house
Films such as 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' could help zoos educate visitors about the world of wild animals and spark interest in creatures which would otherwise not get a second glance, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC's Science in Society Programme

UCLA professor awarded major DOE grant to apply mathematics to plasma physics
UCLA Mathematics Professor Russel Caflisch has been awarded $630,000 by the U.S.

New study reports on score-celebration injuries among soccer players
In one of the most popular sports worldwide, extensive attention is given to the

Carnegie Mellon CyLab researchers work to develop new red tide monitoring
Carnegie Mellon CyLab computer scientist Yang Cai is working with NASA's Earth-Sun System Technology Office, the Goddard Space flight Center and NOAA to develop new software for detecting and tracking toxic algae plaguing North American waters.

Robotic gastric bypass surgery shows promise
A system that allows surgeons to perform laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery from a remote console, controlling up to three robotic arms and a binocular camera, was successfully tested in 10 patients, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Young athletes ignore skin cancer risk
Thousands of young athletes are at such high risk for developing skin cancer, a University of Cincinnati (UC) dermatologist says, he dreams of the day

A novel method to propagate stem cells
Austin Smith and colleagues derive neural stem cells from mouse embryonic stem cells and demonstrate their long-term propagation in vitro in a published article in PLoS Biology.

Families at prayer? Half of children with two religious parents reject church
Religious belief is declining faster than attendance at services in the UK, according to a new study funded by the ESRC which found that parents' beliefs, practices and affiliations have the biggest impact on children.

Stem cells bring fast direct improvement, without differentiation, in acute renal failure
In results challenging the widely accepted
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