Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 06, 2005
Long residency hours linked with impaired performance similar to effects of drinking alcohol
During heavy call rotation and long hours, effects on residents' neurobehavioral performance are comparable to the impairment associated with a 0.04 to 0.05 grams percent blood alcohol concentration, according to an article in the September 7 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Children using community health centers are more likely to be overweight
Children who use community health centers may be at a particularly high risk of being obese, according to a new study.

STEEPLE: Safety and efficacy of enoxaparin in percutaneous coronary intervention patients
Results of the STEEPLE trial to be announced at the Hotline session today by Pr Gilles Montalescot.

Medical students at risk for influence from pharmaceutical companies' marketing efforts
Third-year medical students receive on average one gift or attend one activity sponsored by a pharmaceutical company per week, and most believe that sponsored educational events are likely to be biased, according to an article in the September 7 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Vegetation growth may quickly raise Arctic temperatures
Arctic warming is stimulating the growth of vegetation and could affect the delicate energy balance there, causing an additional climate warming of several degrees over the next few decades.

Odd behavior and creativity may go hand-in-hand
A quirky or socially awkward approach to life might be the key to becoming a great artist, composer or inventor.

UC Davis study asseses impact of smoking in California's Korean and Chinese communities
A UC Davis Cancer Center study of California's Korean and Chinese communities shows that more than one in four Korean men smokes, a rate 46 percent higher than for California men overall, that Korean and Chinese women smoke at higher rates the longer they live in the United States, and that Korean and Chinese children are more likely than California kids overall to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

New search engine 'revolutionary'
A 26-year-old Australian PhD student has patented a new way of exploring the web that could revolutionise existing search engines.

New study suggests the 'buddy system' wins results for African-American women and exercise
A new University of Cincinnati study that surveyed the exercise habits of African-American women is published in the July-August issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior.

Animal model of Parkinson's disease reveals striking sensitivity to common environmental toxins
In findings that support a relationship between agricultural chemicals and Parkinson's disease, two groups of researchers have found new evidence that loss of DJ-1, a gene known to be linked to inherited Parkinson's disease, leads to striking sensitivity to the herbicide paraquat and the insecticide rotenone.

UQ researcher awarded top international honour
Professor Melissa Little from The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) has been selected as a 2006 Eisenhower Fellow and is the first Queenslander in 32 years to receive the honour.

Soy protein reduces effects of diabetes on liver
A group of researchers from Mexico has discovered that a diet rich in soy protein may alleviate fatty liver, a disease which often accompanies diabetes.

Solexa and collaborating scientists illuminate the small RNA component of the transcriptome
Science study: Solexa's unique high- throughput sequencing technology identified 77,000 small RNAs in plant, 10 times previously known.

Results of the ELISA II trial
Aspirin and Clopidogrel are widely used and proven to be effective in the treatment of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Smoking damages key regulatory enzyme in the lung
Smoking appears to reduce a key enzyme in the lungs, possibly contributing to some of smoking's deleterious health effects, according to a study by scientists at Brookhaven Lab.

Stroke sufferers at increased risk of developing epilepsy
Researchers in Norway determined that stroke severity measured by the Scandinavian Stroke Scale is a statistically significant predictor for epilepsy after stroke.

US government grant funds PXL 'scavenger drugs' to treat radiation damage
Proteome Systems (PXL) and its partners today announced they have been awarded a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to develop its

Hand sanitizer gel works
Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel significantly reduces the spread of gastrointestinal infections in the home, according to a study in the September issue of Pediatrics. In the first randomized study to look at hand sanitizers, involving 292 Greater Boston families, the families that used the gel had a 59% reduction in the spread of GI illnesses.

Manchester develops new wave energy device: The Manchester Bobber
The University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Intellectual Property Limited (UMIP) in partnership with Mowlem plc and Royal Haskoning, are developing an innovative and patented new wave energy device known as the 'Manchester Bobber'.

Anthrax stops body from fighting back, study shows
A lethal toxin in anthrax paralyzes neutrophils, the white blood cells that act as the body's first defense against infection.

JAMA study: Long hours equal to alcohol in impairing young doctors
After long hours on call, medical residents' performance on attention tests and on a driving simulator was comparable to, or worse than, their performance after consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, according to a study conducted by experts at Brown Medical School and the University of Michigan.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights from the current issue include: Silencing cell-cycle reentry in postmitotic neurons; Monosynaptic whisker control in the rat; and Antidepressant responsiveness and 5-HT synthesis.

'Batch reading' mammograms lowers recall rates
Batch reading, the process of interpreting screening mammograms during a set-aside block of time in a quiet environment that prevents interruption or distraction, can significantly reduce the number of patients who have to return for additional mammograms--although few hospitals use it, say researchers from the University of Wisconsin.

RIT receives National Science Foundation grant to model rumor propagation
Rumors and their often dangerous aftereffects have long been major themes in pop culture, including an entire movie devoted to the spread of one rumor, Gossip.

Rensselaer researcher to showcase new solar underwater robot technology
A new solar-powered underwater robot technology developed for undersea observation and water monitoring will be showcased at a Sept.

UT Southwestern researchers develop screening test for cells that activate immune system
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are the first to create a large-scale, cell-based screening method that identifies which compounds activate immune-response cells that hold promise for future cancer-fighting vaccines.

Northwest Indians continue efforts to revive languages at UW workshop
A language is a terrible thing to lose, and that's why nearly two dozen community members of Northwest Indian tribes and nations will spend next week at the University of Washington learning way to breathe new life into endangered indigenous languages.

Displaced songbirds navigate in the high Arctic
By experimentally relocating migratory white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) from their breeding area in the Canadian Northwest Territories to regions at and around the magnetic North Pole, researchers have gained new insight into how birds navigate in the high Arctic.

Wake up, doc: Lack of sleep affects young doctors just like alcohol does
The long hours and overnight shifts that are a rite of passage for young doctors may leave them so sleep-deprived that they function as poorly as if they'd had a few cocktails, a new study finds.

Many resident physicians feel unprepared to care for culturally diverse patients
Although most resident physicians responding to a national survey acknowledge the importance of providing care that accommodates the needs of today's diverse patient population, many of them do not feel prepared to address cross-cultural issues they commonly face in practice.

Sandia, task force to study ways ocean and wastewater can be desalinized in California
Researchers from the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories, together with fellow members of the Joint Water Reuse & Desalination Task Force, in coming months will be studying the best ways to desalinize - and make potable - ocean water, subsurface brines, and wastewater.

Academy and Tekes launch new funding programme
The Academy of Finland and the National Technology Agency Tekes are launching a new funding programme with a view to attracting top foreign researchers to Finland.

Other highlights in the September 7 JNCI
Other highlights in the September 7 JNCI include a finding that the status of the progesterone receptor may be an important factor in breast cancer, a study of a gene involved in both Hirschsprung disease and some melanomas, a study of the drug SCH66336 in aerodigestive tract cancer cells, a study of a gene that may interact with the protein Brca2 in some breast cancers, and a phase I study of OGX-011 for prostate cancer.

New research shows folic acid in grains has reduced birth defects
Folic acid fortification of grain foods has produced a one-third decline in serious birth defects of the brain and spine, but the March of Dimes urged federal officials to help spare a greater number of babies from these devastating conditions by requiring 350 micrograms of the B vitamin per 100 grams of grain.

JUPITER II trial
JUPITER II is an international multi-centre, double blind, randomized clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of JANUS Tacrolimus-eluting Carbostent in the treatment of coronary lesions in

Recent improvements in prostate cancer outcomes may be result of shift in classification
Some of the improvement in prostate cancer survival rates over the past decade may be due to a shift in the classification of prostate tumors rather than to an actual improvement in outcomes, according to an article in the September 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

NASA's Deep Impact team releases first snapshot of Comet Tempel 1
Comet Tempel 1, source of NASA's July 4 fireworks, is coated in a powdery layer of dust and bears evidence of other celestial collisions, according to first results from the Deep Impact mission published in Science and presented at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting.

Letrozole following tamoxifen may benefit women with breast cancer
Switching to the drug letrozole following 5 years of treatment with tamoxifen reduces the risk of hormone-dependent breast cancer recurrence, but not overall survival, among postmenopausal women, according to a new study in the September 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Investors behave like ostriches in choosing bank deposits over T-bills
Why do people prefer to put their money into closed, interest-bearing bank deposits, when they could invest it in liquid, higher-yielding government treasury bills (T-bills) at no greater risk?

Prenatal exposure to marine toxin causes lasting damage
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the naturally occurring marine toxin domoic acid can cause subtle but lasting cognitive damage in rats exposed to the chemical before birth.

Smoking damages key regulatory enzyme in the lung
Smoking appears to reduce a key enzyme in the lungs, possibly contributing to some of smoking's deleterious health effects, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Study's final report confirms letrozole's benefit for breast cancer patients
The complete analysis of data from an international trial of the drug letrozole (Femara) confirms earlier reports that the drug reduced the recurrence of breast cancer in women previously treated with tamoxifen.

Study suggests racial discrimination harms health
In the first national study of its kind, a UC Irvine sociologist finds that black immigrants who arrive in America from black-majority regions of the world are healthier than those from white-majority regions; still, regardless of how healthy black immigrants are when they come to the U.S., the longer they stay, the more their health erodes.

Part of drug trial for patients with atrial fibrillation discontinued
Study treatments for the ACTIVE W trial of the ACTIVE (Atrial Fibrillation Clopidogrel Trial with Irbesartan for Prevention of Vascular Events) program have been discontinued due to a significant difference in efficacy, in favour of the standard oral anticoagulation (OAC) over antiplatelet therapy (clopidogrel plus aspirin).

Neighborhood safety concerns boost TV time, but not necessarily obesity, in preschoolers
If mothers of preschoolers perceive their neighborhood as unsafe, their children tend to watch more television, but differ little in amounts of outdoor play or overweight, compared to peers in safer neighborhoods.

Teenage boys may not plan on pregnancy, but believe it might happen anyway
Most teenage boys who don't plan to cause pregnancy still believe it is likely they will get someone pregnant within six months.

The Basel stent kosteneffektivit├Ąts trial (BASKET)
Repeat interventions to treat restenosis are the Achilles heal of stenting.

Resident physicians report that training often not adequate to treat patients from other cultures
Many resident physicians report a lack of preparedness in caring for patients with specific cultural characteristics, such as those who have beliefs or practices at odds with Western medicine, according to an article in the September 7 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

3D MRI useful in detecting most lethal of all major cancers
3D MRI can detect pancreatic cancer when it is smaller and patients have a greater likelihood of survival, a new study shows.

Markers of brain cell development may help success of stem cell transplants
Four sugar-coated faces made by stem cells as they differentiate into brain cells during development have been identified by scientists.

Grant to study work options as boomers reach retirement
The newly established Boston College Center on Aging & Work has received a $3-million grant from the Alfred P.

Driving improved automotive chip design
A recently completed EU project developed better tools for integrated microcircuit design; achieved some world firsts in performance analysis and now may even spin off a new company to commercialise some of its new technologies.

Severe hypoglycemia is rare after islet transplantation
Episodes of dangerously low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, were greatly reduced in people who received an islet transplant for poorly controlled type 1 diabetes, according to an analysis of outcomes in 138 patients who had the procedure at 19 medical centers in the United States and Canada.

Number of students in US medical schools remains constant over 10 years
The enrollment at U.S. medical schools has changed very little over the last 10 years, according to an article in the September 7 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Symbols can help children control impulses, get more of what they want
Researchers investigating how self- control develops in young children found that abstract symbols can lead the youngsters toward a more optimal decision than when they have to make a choice with tangible objects such as candy.

Star eats companion
ESA's Integral space observatory, together with NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer spacecraft, has found a fast-spinning pulsar in the process of devouring its companion.
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