Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 12, 2005
Dartmouth Flood Observatory tracks the aftermath of Katrina
Researchers with the Dartmouth Flood Observatory have been working to help map and analyze the flooding that has occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Making the power grid secure is focus of NSF project
Cornell University will be one of four institutions participating in the

President Raveché participates in high-level UN Roundtable
At the invitation of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Stevens Institute of Technology President Harold J.

Researchers call for end to pharmaceutical industry's 'cynical use' of drug studies
Patients who volunteer for studies that help drug companies to develop new products are often misled into taking part, say research ethicists in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal.

Women heart attack sufferers face longer hospital delays than men, says new study
Women who suffer heart attacks wait longer to be assessed, admitted and receive treatment than men with the same condition, according to a paper in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Ocean instrument program led by Scripps set to achieve world coverage
An ambitious idea spawned more than 20 years ago to develop a new way to watch the world change has come to fruition.

NIST shielding data help launch shuttle
As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans for the next launch of the space shuttle, a critical aspect of the program's safety is being assured by 5 million pieces of data collected recently by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Obese patients with coronary artery disease can consider bariatric surgery
Mayo Clinic researchers report in the September edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings that bariatric surgery is a safe option for treating obese patients who have coronary artery disease.

Medical College of Wisconsin to develop drug countermeasures for radiological terrorism
The Medical College of Wisconsin has been selected to receive a five-year, $18.5- million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to establish a Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation, one of seven such centers being established nationally.

Prevalence of cataract causing vision problems appears high among US hispanics
Prevalence of cataracts causing significant visual problems appears high among older US Hispanics who also often encounter barriers to access to care, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Epigenetic activity silences Rb2/P130 gene in lung cancer
The attaching of methyl--or chemical--groups onto DNA sequences within the tumor suppressing gene Rb2/p130 can cause the gene to cease functioning in non-small lung cancer cells (NSLC) and retinoblastoma cells.

Morphology of fossil salamanders reflects climate change
A fossil record of the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) shows population-wide changes in body size and morphology in response to climate change over the last 3,000 years.

A new structural view of organic electronic devices
US researchers are helping manufacturers win the race to develop low-cost ways to commercialize products based on inexpensive organic electronic materials--from large solar-power arrays to electronic newspapers that can be bent and folded.

Northwestern Memorial named one of '100 Best Places for Working Mothers'
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a premier academic medical center in Chicago, was named to Working Mother magazine's annual

Reforestation of burnt earth: Use truffles
Researchers at the Botany Department of the University of Navarra, Ana María de Miguel y Miriam de Román, have undertaken a study on the use of mycorrhizzae-introduced plants (colonised with the Tuber melanosporum fungus or black Perigord truffle), on surface land areas affected by fires.

Japan and US National Science Foundation to collaborate on disaster prevention research
As part of a full week of activities in Japan, US National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Arden L.

Free HIV medicines must be given to all, not just to some
In some antiretroviral drug distribution programmes, free drugs are provided only, or preferentially, to patients who are treatment-naive.

Drug-eluting stents succeed after bare metal stents fail
Once a coronary stent becomes blocked with scar tissue, the likelihood it will become blocked again is 30 percent to 80 percent.

Millenium Development Goals ignore mental health
According to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, mental disorders are among the most important causes of disability and premature mortality in developing countries.

Does surgery induce angiogenesis in dormant breast cancer?
Analysis of breast-cancer relapse patterns from two independent databases provides indirect evidence for the theory that surgery to remove the primary tumor may initiate formation of a new blood supply (angiogenesis) in formerly dormant metastases, accounting for a pattern of early relapse in younger women.

Risks of having a cardiac death or heart attack after non-cardiac surgery
In an extensive review (and the first of a two-part series in CMAJ) P.J.

Adverse birth outcomes associated with homelessness and substance abuse
Merry Little and colleagues assessed the perinatal health of infants born of mothers who were homeless or underhoused or had substance abuse.

News briefs from the journal Chest, September 2005
News briefs from the journal CHEST highlight studies related to depression and sleep therapy; bone marrow transplants and lung disease; and computer aided detection of lung lesions.

Most embryos produced during IVF do not result in live births
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that 85 percent of embryos transferred during in vitro fertilization fail to become live births, highlighting the need for improving diagnostic techniques to identify viable embryos.

$1.3 million NIH grant awarded to Florida Tech chemistry professor
Dr. Joshua Rokach, Florida Tech Chemistry Professor and Director of the Claude Pepper Institute, has been awarded a four-year $1.3 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Many women who get mammograms failing to return for routine screenings
A new study finds the number of women getting routine screening mammography may be less than previously reported.

USC recipient of stem cell training grants from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has received a 3-year, $3.16 million stem cell training grant as part of the first round of grants awarded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Earthquake briefing on Capitol Hill
About 75 million Americans in 39 states face a significant risk from a strong earthquake.

Combination treatment enhances tetanus vaccination
In studies with mice, Penn State researchers have shown that a combination of retinoic acid -- a product the body makes naturally from vitamin A -- and PIC, a synthetic immunity booster, significantly elevates the immune system response to a tetanus shot.

Solutions to abrasion and erosion in wind generator vanes
Wind generator vanes can suffer degradation by erosion, particularly at their outer edge, produced by particles (dust, sand, etc.) which are present suspended in the air.

International conference on death, dying and disposal
Two hundred of the world's leading experts in death, dying and disposal will meet at a conference at the University of Bath this week to present and discuss their latest research findings.

Research provides first whole genome map of genetic variability in Parkinson's disease
Mayo Clinic researchers in collaboration with scientists at Perlegen Sciences, Inc. and funded by the Michael J.

National critical care program benefits families, patients, and hospitals
A nationwide hospital program developed to support families visiting loved ones in the intensive care unit (ICU) has significant benefits for families, patients, and team members in the ICU, shows a new study in the journal CHEST.

Consumption of soy may reduce risk of fracture in postmenopausal women
Postmenopausal women who consumed high daily levels of soy protein had reduced risk of bone fracture, according to a study in the September 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Childhood cancer survivors face social challenges
A new study finds children who survive cancer have about twice the rate of educational and social problems compared to children without a history of cancer.

Concept vehicle illustrating new options for military combat vehicles to be unveiled
A concept vehicle designed to illustrate potential technology options for improving survivability and mobility in future military combat vehicles will be shown publicly for the first time Sept.

CIRM awards $2.4 million training grant to the Gladstone Institutes
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded the J.

Women with atrial fibrillation face a higher risk of ischemic stroke than men
Women with atrial fibrillation who are not on anticoagulant therapy have a higher rate of ischemic stroke and face a higher absolute risk for stroke than do men with the condition, according to a joint study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente and Boston University School of Medicine.

New study shows link between heavy drinking and atrial fibrillation
A large-scale study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that heavy alcohol consumption - 35 or more drinks per week -- can significantly increase men's risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a dangerous type of arrhythmia and one of the leading risk factors for stroke.

Discovery confirms explosive prediction made by astrophysicists in 1999
NASA's Swift satellite and ground-based telescopes have discovered the most distant exploding star on record, confirming a 1999 prediction made by University of Chicago astrophysicist Don Lamb and Daniel Reichart, who was then a graduate student at Chicago.

Postmortem data support link between gene and schizophrenia
Comparative analysis of CAPON expression in postmortem brain samples from patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and from healthy controls.

New method for predicting risk of emergency caesarean section after a previous caesarean
By studying a large group of Scottish women giving birth, Gordon Smith and colleagues developed and validated a tool to assess the risk of failed vaginal birth after prior caesarean section.

Cancer gene MYC shown to activate gene involved in metastasis
The cancer gene MYC is among the most commonly overexpressed oncogenes in human cancers.

Study shows ACTOS® reduced heart attacks, strokes and deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes
Landmark data from the PROactive Study, presented today at the 41st meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) demonstrated that ACTOS® (pioglitazone HCl) significantly reduced the combined risk of heart attacks, strokes and death by 16% in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

Common pesticide may reduce fertility in women
Methoxychlor (MXC), a common insect pesticide used on food crops, may interfere with proper development and function of the reproductive tract, leading to reduced fertility in women, researchers at Yale School of Medicine write in the August issue of Endocrinology.

4th MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference - Roll Back Malaria Partnership's Forum V Global Partners Meeting
In mid-November, 1,500 scientists, policymakers, African ministers, health care workers, community members, and other experts on the diseases will gather in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the Fourth MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference November 13 - 18 and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership's Forum V Global Partners Meeting November 18 - 19.

Sun has binary partner, may affect the Earth
The ground-breaking and richly illustrated new book, Lost Star of Myth and Time, marries modern astronomical theory with ancient star lore to make a compelling case for the profound influence on our planet of a companion star to the sun.

University of Kentucky awarded $6 million for GDNF and related research
The University of Kentucky Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center of Excellence has been awarded nearly $6 million from National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to continue work on the promising drug glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and similar compounds.

Scientists get first glimpse at how plants, most animals repair UV-damaged DNA
For the first time, researchers have observed exactly how some cells are able to repair DNA damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Does the workplace damage your brain?
Why This Conference: High stress, long hours, bad diet, and substance abuse are facts of life in the workplace.

Risk factors for childhood obesity
In an attempt to better understand the problem of obesity in children, Paul Veugelers and Angela Fitzgerald interviewed all grade 5 students in Nova Scotia and their school principals.

Budesonide provides lasting relief for Crohn's disease patients
In a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers found that budesonide capsules are an effective treatment to prolong and maintain the period of remission of Crohn's disease.

LIAI scientists discover cellular switch for controlling immune system function
A major finding by researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) has identified a previously unknown cellular mechanism that acts as an off switch for immune system function.

Research shows how water may enhance nanocatalysis
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered important evidence that explains how water, usually an inhibitor of catalytic reactions, can sometimes promote them.

Immune system has evolved to prevent autoimmune disease
Upcoming research in the journal Physical Review Letters finds the human immune system has foregone evolutionary changes that would allow it to produce better antibodies in less time because the improved antibodies would be far more likely to cause autoimmune disease.

Microtubules critical to development of mental disorders
Neuroscientists at the University at Buffalo have shown in two recently published papers that destabilization of structures called microtubules, intracellular highways that transport receptors to their working sites in the brain, likely underlie many mental disorders and could be promising targets for intervention.

'Patient-choice' C-section rate rises 36%: HealthGrades study
The number of pregnant women choosing to have a

PSA remains best indicator of prostate cancer progression
Despite recent claims by some urologists that measuring the blood protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) may not be effective in predicting risk of prostate cancer, a Johns Hopkins study of more than 2,000 men confirms that PSA remains the best measure of the likelihood of cancer recurrence after surgery.

Researcher at UGA College of Veterinary Medicine identifies new way of combating viral diseases
Four seemingly unrelated viral diseases may some day be defeated by a single treatment, according to a recent collaborative study involving researchers at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Cellular antacids give vaccines a boost
Scientists in Italy have found that a drug that blocks acid buildup inside cells revs up the immune response to vaccines.

Rutgers entomologist honored by Chinese Academy of Sciences
Randy Gaugler, a distinguished professor of entomology at Rutgers' Cook College, has been named as a recipient of the 2006 Albert Einstein Professorship by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Rensselaer researchers create tiny magnetic diamonds on the nanoscale
Diamonds have always been alluring, but now a team of scientists has made them truly magnetic -- on the nanoscale.

New guideline: Blood test can help determine type of seizure
Using a blood test to measure the level of the hormone prolactin can help determine, in certain clinical settings, whether an epileptic seizure has occurred, according to a guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology and published in the September 13, 2005 issue of Neurology.

Is the UN leadership turning the Millenium Development Goals from an opportunity into a liability?
A paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine argues that five years into the Millenium Development Goals project, problems with measurement mean that often we cannot know if true progress towards these goals is occurring.

Johnson & Johnson names selection committee for Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Johnson & Johnson today announced the appointment of a top-level scientific committee of international experts who will serve as the selection committee to nominate and select the inaugural recipient of the Dr.

No single gene for ageing
According to professor Thomas Kirkwood of the University of Newcastle, there is no single gene for ageing.

Native plant eaters have gourmet palates
New research suggests that plant eaters may prefer to eat exotice species over domestic plants.

Climate researchers meet to simulate flight operations for storm cloud experiment
This week, a team of more than 25 international cloud climate scientists are conducting a three-day operations and planning simulation at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, to prepare for a complex experiment that will result in the most detailed data sets ever collected for tropical convection.

Interferon does not affect duration of 'black hole' lesions in multiple sclerosis
Although treatment with interferon appears to reduce the formation of new areas of damage in the brains of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), including lesions that appear as highly contrasted images, called black holes, on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), treatment does not appear to affect the duration of these damaged regions, according to a new study posted online today by Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

European Commission funds EBI to research synergies between bio- and medical informatics
The European Commission has selected the EBI to coordinate a project that will stimulate and explore synergies between bioinformatics (the science of storing, retrieving and analysing large amounts of biological information) and medical informatics (the science of processing, sharing and using large amounts of medical information).

Oral contraceptives associated with reduced risk of multiple sclerosis
Over a three-year period, the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) was reduced in women taking oral contraceptives, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Yale study reconciles two models of schizophrenia
Study shows interplay of two brain signaling systems, glutamate and dopamine, in psychosis and cognitive function.

Researcher's work to compute how a brain 'sees' wins NSF award
Georgetown University Medical Center neuroscientist Maximilian Riesenhuber, Ph.D., has received a five-year CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his efforts to establish a quantitative framework aimed at describing the complex workings of the human brain.

Genetic factors influence propensity to bone fractures in elderly
The importance of genetic factors in an elderly individual's propensity to bone fractures depends on the individual's age and the type of fracture, according to a study in the September 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Unusual RNAs linked to chronic leukemia, may help treat it
A new and unusual class of genes plays an important role in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to new research here.

Teachers are wary about using IT in the classroom
Despite the government's £1bn commitment to increase the use of information technology in schools, few teachers make full use of computers in the classroom, according to ESRC funded research.

Making practical markets for vaccines
For vaccines to reach the greatest number of people requires access, accelerated regional disease control, and the development of public health infrastructure, according to PLoS Medicine

Star-shaped metal clip takes novel approach to closing artery punctures
A metal clip that closes an arterial puncture by drawing the wound edges together like a drawstring stitch is proving an easy and effective way to speed patient recovery after coronary interventions, according to a study in the just-published October 2005 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.
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