Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 13, 2005
Hygienic surfaces, biocidal and self-cleaning coatings
Microbian evolution on a wide variety of surfaces can produce phenomena such as corrosion, dirt, smells and even serious hygiene and health problems.

How to best protect children in side-impact crashes
Researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have found that children fare better in side-impact crashes if they are restrained and if they are seated with other occupants in the back seat.

Exercise stress testing helps identify people at risk of developing coronary heart disease
Performing cardiac stress tests that measure exercise capacity and heart rate recovery can improve dramatically on existing techniques that predict who is most likely to suffer a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease (CHD), the leading cause of death in the United States, a team of cardiologists at Johns Hopkins reports.

Prof probes impact of post 9/11 surveillance
Immediately after the 9/11 Al-Qeada terrorist attacks, government officials in both the US and Canada were quick to pass legislation to increase surveillance of their citizens.

UCLA Stem Cell Institute receives $3.75-million training grant from state
The UCLA Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine (ISCBM) received a three-year, $3.75-million grant - the largest awarded - from the state to train young scientists to conduct stem cell research.

Tropical deforestation affects rainfall in the US and around the globe
New research finds that deforestation in different areas of the globe affects rainfall patterns over a considerable region.

DFG to fund nine clinical trials
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced funding for nine clinical trials in a joint programme established in 2003 by the DFG and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The ESRF tests the hardest and least compressive material in the world
The tests at the ESRF have demonstrated the unique properties of a new material, the Aggregated Diamond Nanorods (ADNR).

High blood sugar levels a risk factor for heart disease
An elevated blood glucose level is the defining feature of diabetes, but until now it was unclear whether elevated glucose levels contributed independently to increasing heart-disease risk.

Study will examine legal, ethical implications of patients paying for more of their medical costs
With patients being required to pay more of their medical costs, a new study will look at how this added responsibility affects the care that patients receive and what the implications are for health care law and medical ethics.

Aortic aneurysm associated with decreased incidence of atherosclerosis
Having an aneurysm in the ascending aorta is significantly associated with decreased incidence of atherosclerosis.

World leaders seek cure for a pain in the neck
Professor Gwendolen Jull and Dr Michele Sterling of the UQ Division of Physiotherapy are conducting two clinical trials investigating recovery following a whiplash injury.

Tiny avalanche photodiodes target bioterrorism agents
Researchers at Northwestern University's Center for Quantum Devices have demonstrated solar-blind avalanche photodiodes (APDs) that hold promise for universal biological agent detection.

Heart failure patients at greatest risk of death least likely to receive appropriate medications
Even though certain medications such as ACE inhibitors reduce the risk of death for patients with heart failure, patients at greatest risk often are not prescribed these medications, according to an article in the September 14 issue of JAMA.

A friendly reminder for HIV patients
In a study from Johns Hopkins, a pocket-size device giving electronic-voice reminders to

Research Australia welcomes NEMIC shift to community-driven health and medical research
Research Australia welcomes the changes announced by NHMRC to its strategy and structure and supports the organisation's overall goal of a better fit between community needs and national health priorities.

Researchers create meta-search engine to help locate displaced people
A new Web site aimed at locating displaced Hurricane Katrina victims features a sophisticated

GEOSPHERE, new GSA electronic journal, now available online
The Geological Society of America has launched GEOSPHERE, the Society's new geoscience research journal in electronic-only format.

NIEHS awards $37 million to train emergency and hazardous waste workers
More than $37 million will go to workers involved in emergency response and hazardous waste clean-up from awards just made by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the National Institutes of Health.

Leading educationalist criticises UN proposals for global state primary schooling
A leading educationalist is criticising United Nations proposals to eliminate fees in state primary schools globally.

Researchers gain support from Merck Sharp & Dohme for novel area of diabetes research
For the first time, medical researchers from across Europe have received joint financial support from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) to encourage innovation and new research into the vital area of Beta Cell Function & Survival.

NASA satellite data provides rapid analysis of Amazon deforestation
NASA satellite images can allow scientists to more quickly and accurately assess deforestation in the Amazon.

The doctor said: No more children jumping on the bed
Typically, parents worry about their children bumping their heads or wearing out mattresses when they catch them jumping on the bed.

UN General Assembly urged to strengthen worldwide capacities in science, technology, and innovation
In an unprecendented statement to the UN General Assembly, the leadership of international scientific, engineering, and medical organizations urged the Heads of State and Government meeting in New York in September 2005 to strengthen worldwide capacities in science, technology, and innovation.

Study of faulty fingerprints debunks forensic science 'zero error' claim
While forensic scientists have long claimed fingerprint evidence is infallible, the widely publicized error that landed an innocent American behind bars as a suspect in the Madrid train bombing alerted the nation to the potential flaws in the system.

NIST improves accuracy of 'watt balance' method for defining the kilogram
A leading experimental method for defining the kilogram in terms of properties of nature is now more accurate than ever, scientists at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reported today.

Medication-releasing stent reduces risk of artery re-narrowing following angioplasty
Compared to bare metal stents, placement of stents that release the medication paclitaxel reduces the risk of the artery re-narrowing nine months following angioplasty for patients with complex coronary artery lesions, according to an article in the September 14 issue of JAMA.

New treatment option for childhood cholera
Researchers in Bangladesh have found that severe cholera in children can be treated effectively with a single dose of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, according to a study published online by The Lancet.

Mars Express instrument under investigation
ESA has started a technical investigation into the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) on board Mars Express, after a problem developed in the instrument a few months ago.

Hurricane aftermath: Infectious disease threats from common, not exotic, diseases
In the wake of Katrina, the public health threats from infectious diseases in hurricane-devastated areas are more likely to come from milder, more common infections rather than exotic diseases.

Study reveals trends in US death rate, leading causes of death over 30 years
The death rate from all causes of death combined decreased by 32 percent between 1970 and 2002, with the largest decreases for heart disease and stroke, but with an increase in death rates for diabetes and COPD, according to an article in the September 14 issue of JAMA.

Aspirin might prevent Vioxx cardiac damage
Low-dose aspirin might prevent the cardiovascular damage known to arise from use of the painkiller rofecoxib (Vioxx®), suggest new findings from mouse studies by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Birds and bats sow tropical seeds
A UIC ecologist will study the effectiveness of birds and bats in distributing a range of tree seeds among fragmented remnants of tropical rainforests.

The making of a fat cell
A new study reveals critical molecular events in the origin of fat cells.

Chemical imbalance may explain painkiller's cardiac danger
The increased rate of cardiovascular complications in patients taking the cox-2 inhibitor painkiller rofecoxib (Vioxx) may result from a chemical imbalance, according to an animal study in the September Cell Metabolism.

FDA approves expanded patient profile for non-hormonal intrauterine device
FEI Women's Health announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an updated label for its intrauterine device (IUD), ParaGard® T 380A Intrauterine Copper Contraceptive.

Secrets of the whale riders
University of Utah biologists studied the genetics of

Less virulent strains of avian influenza can infect humans
In findings with implications for pandemic influenza, a new study reports for the first time that a less-virulent strain of avian influenza virus can spread from poultry to humans.

Eating and body weight regulated by specific neurons
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine provide direct evidence that two parts of a neuronal system, one that promotes eating and another that suppresses eating, are critical for the acute regulation of eating and body weight, according to a study published online in the September 11 issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Internet-based stroke exam speeds treatment in rural areas
An Internet-based examination system enables stroke patients to be treated as rapidly in rural communities as they are in bigger hospitals with stroke teams, researchers have found.

Insurance status affects ability to secure necessary, timely follow-up medical appointments
Callers claiming to have private insurance were much more likely to receive a follow-up appointment within a week for an urgent medical condition than those with Medicaid coverage or without insurance, according to an article in the September 14 issue of JAMA.

Gladstone Institutes assists with Exploratorium stem cell exhibit
Members of the Gladstone Institutes' Conklin lab and Embryonic Stem Cell Lab provided living cells and helped train museum staff members for the development and launch of a current Exploratorium exhibit featuring live mouse embryonic stem cells.

High-dose radiation reduces risk of prostate cancer recurrence
Men with localized prostate cancer who received high-dose external radiation therapy were less likely to have cancer recurrence than men who received conventional-dose radiation therapy, according to an article in the September 14 issue of JAMA.
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