Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 19, 2005
Researcher: Toxic flood lifts lid on common urban pollution problem
Broken sewers, flooded industrial plants and dead bodies are all likely to blame for poisoning the waters being drained from New Orleans.

Use of antibiotics for acne may increase risk of common infectious illness
Individuals treated with antibiotics for acne for more than six weeks were more than twice as likely to develop an upper respiratory tract infection within one year as individuals with acne who were not treated with antibiotics, according to an article in the September issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

At Johns Hopkins: Emphasis on improved care and faster access to services shortens hospital stays
Physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) have disproved the notion that longer hospital stays mean better care.

Adult human neural stem cell therapy successful in treating spinal cord injury
Researchers at the UC Irvine Reeve-Irvine Research Center have used adult human neural stem cells to successfully regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue and improve mobility in mice.

Study: Second-generation antidepressants
Because clinical depression is so disabling and affects more than 16 percent of adults in the United States at some time in their lives, researchers have worked hard to develop more effective treatments.

Diamonds are a doctor's best friend
British scientists have developed a way of using diamond to help make low-friction medical implants, which could also help reduce infections due to superbugs such as MRSA.

Public patients denied effective obesity treatment
Public hospital patients are often denied access to one of the most effective forms of weight loss treatment, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB) surgery, a Monash expert says.

Kids at risk of TV / videogame seizures - Experts release new recommendations on reducing risk
The Epilepsy Foundation today issued new recommendations for families on how to limit the risk of seizures triggered by flashing images and certain patterns on television, videogames, computers and other video screens.

Mining and energy ministers to meet
On September 19 and 20, 2005, federal, provincial and territorial ministers will gather for the 2005 Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference.

New non-surgical approach showing great promise in the treatment of challenging brain aneurysms
Historically, if a brain aneurysm is more than 4 mm, coil embolization was not an option and the patient likely faced open surgery.

Monitoring the response to vaccination against melanoma
As shown in a paper in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, patients vaccinated with melanoma-associated peptides show a wide diversity of responses, analysis of which may help us understand the differing clinical responses to such vaccines.

Tip sheet for Annals of Internal Medicine, Sept. 20, 2005 issue
Highlights include: Canadian drugs on Internet are much cheaper than US Internet drugs; Study finds second-generation antidepressants similar; and Targeted health program for musculoskeletal disorders reduces short- and long-term work disability and is cost effective.

Researchers discover how malaria parasite disperses from red blood cells
Researchers at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have determined the sequence in which the malaria parasite disperses from the red blood cells it infects.

Cleaner diesel sensing a lucrative market
An ambitious EU project created new pollution sensors for the automotive industry that could enable a multi-billion euro market in emission control systems by 2010.

Canadian cancer researchers win prestigious award for their stem cell research
The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health, the Honourable David L.

Molecular defect found that may cause heart failure
A new study has identified a molecular defect in cardiac cells that may be a fundamental cause of heart failure, a progressive weakening of the heart that leaves the organ unable to pump blood through the body.

Surgeons lack training in palliative surgical options
A survey of general surgeons suggests that the amount of education and training they receive in palliative care is limited, according to a study in the September issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Molecular pathway linked to breast cancer recurrence
A study provides new evidence for a genetic pathway that is involved in the recurrence of breast cancer and identifies a potential target for development of new anticancer therapeutics.

Protein structure key for AIDS, cell function
Cornell University researchers have discovered the 3-D structure of a protein, human CD38, which may lead to important information about how cells release calcium -- a mineral used in almost every cellular process -- and also may offer insights into mechanisms involved with diseases ranging from leukemia to diabetes and HIV-AIDS.

Genomatix, AAAS ink agreement
Genomatix Software GmbH and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today announced an agreement that allows integration of data from the Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment into Genomatix's BibliospherePE pathway knowledge base and analysis system.

Healthcare workers who don't have flu injections could be risking patients' lives
Low flu vaccination rates among healthcare workers could be risking the lives of frail elderly patients and increasing winter pressures in UK hospitals, according to research published in the latest issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

No risk, no fun?
Tall people are more prepared to take risks than small people, women are more careful than men, and the willingness to take risks markedly decreases with age: These are the findings arrived at by researchers from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), the University of Bonn and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin.

Tissue rigidity promotes tumor progression
Most investigations into cancer have focused on chemical signals, but a new research study provides rare insight into how mechanical force can regulate cellular behavior.

'Six Years of Science with Chandra' symposium open to media
Members of the media are invited to attend the

Neanderthal teeth grew no faster than comparable modern humans'
Recent research suggested that ancient Neanderthals might have had an accelerated childhood compared to that of modern humans but that seems flawed, based on a new assessment by researchers from Ohio State University and the University of Newcastle .

Clearing jams in copy machinery
Rockefeller University scientists show that a protein crucial for the accurate copying of DNA during cell division serves as a toolbelt from which the correct proteins are retrieved to enable DNA replication in the face of DNA damage.

Failure to suppress irrelevant brain activity in Alzheimer disease
When performing a navigation task with exclusively visual clues, healthy individuals de-activate areas of the brain involved in hearing.

New studies shed light on stroke prevention and management
Coinciding with the National Stroke Week in Australia (19 - 25 September 2005) is the release of results from two recent stroke studies from the George Institute for International Health that investigate both the causative factors as well as a little studied outcome of stroke, that of depression.

Mars breaks new ground in heart health with Cocoaviaâ„¢
A new line of cocoa-based, sterol-containing snacks that can significantly reduce LDL (the

Status and reproduction in humans: New evidence for the validity of evolutionary explanations
Men holding high positions within a hierarchical organisation have more offspring than those in other positions within the same organisation.

Gaining ground in the race against antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance puts humans in an escalating

Researchers identify new target in fight against obesity
University of Cincinnati (UC) scientists have identified a possible new target for treating obesity and diabetes.

Columbia scientists develop cancer terminator viruses
Columbia scientists believe that the

One in every hundred Londoners could be crack cocaine users, claim researchers
Researchers believe there could be 46,000 crack cocaine users aged 15-44 in London, suggesting one in every hundred young adult Londoners could be a user.

Findings relate aspirin-induced ulcers, hearing loss
New research from Rice University shows how high doses of aspirin may cause ulcers and temporary deafness.

UVa participates in landmark breast cancer screening trial
Digital mammography that uses computers to detect breast cancer found significantly (up to 28%) more cancers than screen film mammography in women 50 and younger, premenopausal and perimenopausal women, and women with dense breasts, according to results from one of the largest breast cancer screening studies ever performed.

Evolving trends in the treatment of vascular birthmarks
The September/October issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, contains several articles on the current state of knowledge and experience with vascular birthmarks, which are caused by blood vessels that do not form correctly.

Penn researchers discover a molecular pathway that leads to recurrence of breast cancer
Using a recently developed mouse model of breast cancer, a team from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has shown that Snail, a molecule normally important in embryonic development, can promote breast cancer recurrence.

First national conference on diversity and disparity in organ transplantation
Dr. Robert Higgins, chairman of cardiovascular-thoracic surgery at Rush University Medical Center, will serve as co-chair of the first national conference to address issues of potential racial and ethnic disparities in access to training and clinical care in organ transplantation.

Doctors survey hospital food, reveal current trends
Nutrition scientists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have conducted a nationwide survey to determine if hospital cafeterias and restaurants are meeting the need for low-fat, cholesterol-free foods that can help people maintain a healthy weight and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Adult sickle cell drug proves effective in young children
A drug used for the treatment of sickle cell anemia in adults has now been shown to cause significant improvements in very young children with the disorder.

Study of new treatment for short stature underway at Rush University Medical Center
Rush University Medical Center is participating in a clinical trial to evaluate the potential benefit of the first major innovation in 20 years for the treatment of growth failure.

Ministers work toward viable mining communities
Federal, provincial and territorial mines ministers from across the country gathered today for the 62nd Annual Mines Ministers' Conference in St.

Owner receives keys to Net Zero Energy Habitat for Humanity House
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver today dedicated the ultimate energy efficient demonstration home: a house designed to produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.

Cytokinetics presents data on CK-1827452
Cytokinetics has recently initiated a new clinical trials program that may result in the first novel heart failure drug in decades to directly improve cardiac muscle contractility.

American Neurological Association 130th Annual Meeting in San Diego
Identifying and overcoming barriers to translating basic research from the laboratory to the clinic ... protecting brain cells in stroke ... understanding stem cells in neurologic disorders ... using commonalities among Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurodegenerative diseases to design treatments.

NIMH study to guide treatment choices for schizophrenia
A large study for the first time provides detailed information comparing the effectiveness and side effects of five medications - both new and older medications - that are currently used to treat people with schizophrenia.

Earliest meteorites provide new piece in planetary formation puzzle
Researchers trying to understand how the planets formed have uncovered a new clue by analysing meteorites that are older than the Earth.

Canada-wide promotions encourage energy efficiency in the home
This fall, retailers, utilities, suppliers and manufacturers are making it easier than ever for Canadians to take action around the home to help meet the One-Tonne Challenge and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that lead to climate change.

Defective lymphatic vessels identified as a novel cause of adult-onset obesity
Leaky lymphatic vessels are the leading cause of the adult onset obesity observed in a laboratory model developed by investigators at St.

Preschool children display innate skill with numbers, addition
Psychologists at Harvard University have found that five-year-olds are able to grasp numeric abstractions and arithmetic concepts even without the formal education or language to express this knowledge in words.

Injury prevention could save Maryland at least $700 million per year
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that over $700 million could be saved if Maryland's injury death rates decreased to those of Massachusetts, resulting in 23,700 fewer years of potentially productive life lost.

Enhanced imaging techniques could improve medical diagnosis
Chris Wyatt is a Virginia Tech electrical engineer who is attempting to provide the medical community with better, quicker, and more relevant images of the human body.
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