Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 17, 2005
Improved blood safety measures from Pall can increase platelet availability
Availability of safe platelets is a fundamental blood transfusion challenge and can be especially problematic in times of emergency.

Hormone might cause dangerous pregnancy complication
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Academic Health Center have found evidence of a hormone they say is responsible for certain types of high blood pressure (hypertension), and could also cause preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that occurs during pregnancy.

Men who smoke heavily may impair sperm, fertility
Men who smoke cigarettes may experience a significant decline in their capacity to father a child, research by a reproductive medicine specialist from the University at Buffalo has shown.

Geoscientists and educators take on antievolutionists
Here's one way to win a debate: Start an argument with folks who aren't particularly talented debaters.

Climate model predicts dramatic changes over next 100 years
The most comprehensive climate model to date of the continental United States predicts more extreme temperatures throughout the country and more extreme precipitation along the Gulf Coast, in the Pacific Northwest and east of the Mississippi.

Healthgrades study: New hospital ratings show wide 'quality chasm'
A typical patient has a 65 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's highest-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals, in 18 common procedures and diagnoses, according to a large-scale study released today by HealthGrades.

Antievolutionism addressed by top geoscientists and educators
Two sessions, encompassing 24 separate presentations, and a panel discussion on the topic of antievolutionism are part of the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Salt Lake City this week.

Disaster lessons: What you don't know can kill you
Something remarkable happened on the island closest to the epicenter of the great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake last December: Only seven of the island's 78,000 inhabitants died.

Wright bros. upstaged! Dinos invented biplanes
The evolution of airplanes from the Wright Brothers' first biplanes to monoplanes was an inadvertent replay of the much earlier evolution of dinosaur flight, say two dino flight experts.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation hosts 19th Annual Worldwide Cystic Fibrosis Conference
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host its 19th Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Baltimore, Md., from Oct.

GeoPocket: A classroom tool for the GameBoy generation
Keeping students alert and engaged is a constant challenge for professors who teach large lecture courses.

Cleaning with catalysts
On repeated occasions we have read that volatile organic compounds are danaging for the atmosphere and to our health.

Leading to greatness: Top business leaders share their knowledge
The 11th Annual Worldwide Luminary Series Conference

Mars' climate in flux: Mid-latitude glaciers
New high-resolution images of mid-latitude Mars are revealing glacier-formed landscapes far from the Martian poles, says a leading Mars researcher.

Mice provide insight into therapy-induced cancers in humans
Scientists have developed a new tool that may prove to be invaluable for investigating the long-term mutagenic effects of chemotherapy and radiation, therapies that are widely used for the treatment of cancer.

More males chimps means more territorial patrols, study shows
A new study of wild chimpanzees shows that the biggest predictor of territorial boundary patrols is the number of males in the group.

Less invasive surgery effective in treatment of reflux disease
Laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery to treat severe reflux disease was effective in relieving symptoms and was associated with high rates of patient satisfaction five years after the procedure, according to a study in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NRL scientists detect 'milky sea' phenomena
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory's Marine Meteorology Division in Monterey, CA, (NRL-Monterey), working with researchers from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the National Geophysical Data Center, presented the first satellite detection of a phenomenon known as the

Coastal retreat in face of rising sea levels found to be influenced by wildfires
The retreat of coastlines due to rising sea levels may be accelerated by wildfires, a Duke University researcher has discovered.

Complementary new titles offer comprehensive view of antibiotics and resistance
Taken together, two new titles from ASM Press provide a complete encyclopedic reference on antibiotics and the strategies microorganisms have developed to resist them.

Rett gene regulates alternative splicing
The gene responsible for Rett syndrome, a devastating neurological disease found mostly in girls, not only silences some genes but in combination with another also regulates alternative splicing, crucial to the formation of proteins said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report appearing online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Police performance measures divert attention from anti-social behaviour
Emphasis on national performance measures for crime and detection rates causes police resources to be diverted from dealing with anti-social behaviour, according to new research sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Drug-eluting stents successfully treat vein-graft disease
The use of medicated stents markedly improves the clinical outcomes of patients who develop blockages in aging veins surgically grafted onto the heart, according to a just-published study in the November 2005 issue of Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions: Journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

New book focuses on how to market better nutrition
Just because people know that a food is nutritious does not mean they will eat it.

New study results suggest better outcomes with the CYPHER® Stent than brachytherapy
Results from the SISR trial, a multi-center, randomized study of the CYPHER® Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent versus radiation from within a vessel (brachytherapy) in patients with bare-metal in-stent reblockage (restenosis), were presented today at the TCT 2005 Scientific Symposium.

MBL scientists get on squid's nerves
Scientists at the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) have recently launched the Squid Genome Project, a scientific collaboration to identify the genes of the long-finned squid -- information they say will aid in the complex process of researching debilitating neurological diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's disease.

Corticosteroids often used in treatment of infectious mononucleosis
Corticosteroids are used often in the treatment of infectious mononucleosis, and for reasons beyond usual criteria, according to a study in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New equation helps unravel behavior of turbulence
Researchers have discovered a mathematical formula that may enable more precise models of turbulence, with practical implications in areas as diverse as weather forecasting, pollutant control, engine design and astrophysics.

Largest single-institution study demonstrates Mammosite is a safe breast cancer treatment
Treating breast cancer with MammoSite® resulted in a low risk of complications and was generally well tolerated, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Infertility researchers identify one gene's critical role in the human embryo implantation process
Why some embryos successfully attach to the endometrium and others do not continues to be a mystery because little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in the human implantation process.

Subtypes of ependymomas arise from rare stem cells in the nervous system
Finding suggests that new drugs to treat ependymoma and other types of solid tumors should be designed to target the specific signal pathways that cause uncontrolled replication of cancer stem cells, according to St.

Penn study finds physically abused boys may be more likely to commit domestic violence as adults
According to a study in the October 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, a history of childhood physical abuse may be common in men from urban settings, and these men with physical abuse histories may be more likely to commit domestic violence.

Breath test offers hope for early detection of lung-bacteria growth in cystic fibrosis
Breath-analysis testing may prove to be an effective, non-invasive method for detecting the damaging lung-bacteria growth seen in cystic fibrosis, which would allow for early stage treatments that can extend the health of people with this disease, UC Irvine researchers have found.

Life in deadly conditions
The genome of another micro-organism which lives under extreme conditions has been sequenced.

Unveiling of first good rendering of a 4-dimensional object set for 21 October
The unveiling of a unique sculpture -- the first good rendering of any 4-dimensional object, either in solid or virtual form -- will take place on 21 October 2005 at the Penn State University Park campus.

Radiation after prostate cancer surgery increases survival
Patients with advanced stage prostate cancer who receive radiation therapy immediately after surgery to remove their prostate live longer without their cancer returning than patients who do not receive radiation after surgery, according to a study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

NHGRI's large-scale sequencing research network sets its sights on disease targets
In what promises to be a significant step forward in the genome era, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced plans to devote a portion of its large-scale sequencing capacity to efforts aimed at identifying the genetic roots of specific diseases that have long eluded gene hunters.

Dartmouth researcher tracks how immigrants fit in by studying household configurations
A Dartmouth researcher is studying the makeup of households to take a new look at how immigrants settle in to American society.

Sudden change in social status triggers genetic response in male fish, study finds
Throughout the animal kingdom, rival males routinely challenge one another for the right to reproduce.

Retinoblastoma researchers find success with two-drug combination
Studies using laboratory models of retinoblastoma show that the combination of topotecan and carboplatin are superior to the current multi-drug treatment.

PLoS announces open access journal for all clinical trials, positive or negative
PLoS announces a new journal devoted to publishing the results of clinical trials.

Studies validating performance of Pall prion reduction technology presented at AABB
Research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of prion filtration technology to safeguard the blood supply are being presented at the AABB Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington today.

Are comets more like 'icy dust balls' or 'dirty snowballs'?
When NASA shot a projectile into the comet Tempel 1 to hurl the comet's material into space, scientists followed the event with the help of OSIRIS cameras, on board the ESA comet probe Rosetta, developed under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

Anti-checkpoint activity
Dr. Ted Weinert and colleagues (University of Arizona) describe a phenomena by which yeast telomeres may prevent the recognition of chromosome ends as double strand breaks (DSBs).

Have researchers found a biomarker to signal a more agressive form of prostate cancer?
Researchers say they have identified a biomarker that indicates a more agressive form of prostate cancer.

Radiation and hormone therapy after surgery cures breast cancer
The current standard of care for early-stage breast cancer is breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) to remove the tumor followed by radiation and hormone therapy to kill any remaining cells.

New one week radiation treatment for breast cancer patients offers promising results
A new method of radiation -- accelerated partial breast irradiation using balloon brachytherapy -- makes it more convenient for breast cancer patients to receive radiation therapy after surgery and appears to be safe, offer good cosmetic results, and keep cancer from coming back, according to four-year results of an ongoing study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

Researchers show beneficial role of risk calculator in fighting progression of glaucoma
A new glaucoma risk calculator, which estimates a patient's risk of converting from high eye pressure, or ocular hypertension, to glaucoma, will help physicians determine whether to initiate therapy for patients.

Even very low levels of environmental toxins can damage health
Wigle and Lanphear argue that for many toxins widely dispersed in the environment, even very low levels pose health risks, in a paper published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Medicine.

Radiation, chemotherapy before surgery controls rectal cancer
For patients with rectal cancer, receiving radiation therapy and chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor so it can be more easily removed helps keep the cancer from coming back, according to a study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

Research: removal of dominant rivals causes male cichlid fish to undergo remarkable transformation
In a new study of cichlid fish descended from others caught in East Africa's Lake Tanganika, scientists have made some surprising observations about how those animals respond to changes in their environments known as

Statement by NSF Director Arden Bement on the 2005 Nobel Prizes
On behalf of the American public, I am pleased to congratulate the 2005 Nobel laureates in science.

New stem cell transplantation technique may match donor for every patient
New stem cell technology may greatly expand the donor pool for malignant and nonmalignant disorders, including bone marrow diseases.

Eastern California shear zone puzzles seismologists
Residents and seismologists in Northern California focus on the San Andreas Fault, but a Penn State researcher thinks more questions should be asked about the Eastern California Shear Zone, a fault that ends or dissipates without a clear connection.

New genetic link to high blood pressure found
A new genetic discovery made by a University of Michigan team may help explain why some people develop high blood pressure and others don't -- and why some people's blood pressure increases as they age.

Seafloor creatures destroyed by ice action during ice ages
New research by marine scientists at National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOC) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) will mean that text books will have to be rewritten.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for October 2005 (second issue)
Newsworthy studies show that Californians who live close to naturally occurring asbestos source rocks and who are exposed to low levels of the mineral are at increased risk for malignant mesothelioma, a serious cancer of the pleural membrane covering the lungs; and researchers have developed a new clinical prediction rule that accurately classifies patients who have pulmonary embolism into five disease stages that show increasing risk of death or other adverse outcome.

UCLA researchers identify how antibody blocks prostate cancer growth in animal models
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center have uncovered the mechanism by which an antibody blocks the growth of prostate cancer in animal models, a discovery that could pave the way for development of a new molecularly targeted therapy.

Rutgers engineers address container backlog in N.J. ports
Empty freight containers stacking up in seaport regions present shipping firms and government agencies with challenges in managing business assets and protecting the environment.

Cytori demonstrates adipose stem cells improve cardiac function in preclinical heart attack model
Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., today presented results demonstrating that adipose stem cells improved cardiac function following a severe heart attack in a porcine study.

Feeding the monster
Near-infrared images of the active galaxy NGC 1097, obtained with the NACO adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, disclose with unprecedented detail a complex central network of filamentary structure spiralling down to the centre of the galaxy.

Rapid genomic and physiological responses for social dominance
Cichlid fish can rise to dominance over subordinate males within minutes of the opportunity to do so; and this behavioural change is accompanied by changes in hypothalamic gene expression, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Biology.

'Big picture' of brain changes may be crucial to recovery from stroke injury
A study of patients who have difficulty paying attention to the left side of their environment has provided some of the first direct evidence that brain injury can cause detrimental functional changes in brain regions far from the site of the actual injury.

Black women with chronic pain have more psychological and physical distress
Black women with chronic pain experience more psychological distress, physical impairments and post-traumatic stress disorder than white women with chronic pain, a finding that researchers from the University of Michigan Health System say should help lead to a narrowing of the gap in the treatment of chronic pain between black and white women.

New genetic test can detect clam disease
A sensitive new genetic test can now detect a crippling disease called QPX occurring in clam beds from Cape Cod south to Virginia and north to Canada.

Restoring silenced suppressor gene kills lung-cancer cells
A new study suggests that restoring a gene often silenced in lung cancer causes the cells to self-destruct.

Cosmopolitan lifestyle could allay cancer threat
Scientists have discovered a new compound in cranberries that works in a completely new way to prevent metastasis, the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Oct. 18, 2005
The current issue for the Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following two articles: 1.

U. of Colorado researcher identifies tracks of swimming dinosaur in Wyoming
The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.

Qubit link could pave the way for world's most powerful computers
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made a major breakthrough which could pave the way for a new type of high-speed computer.

Hebrew University professor wins prize for work on WWII and the Jews
An international prize for the best book on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust has been awarded to a Hebrew University of Jerusalem political scientist, Prof.

Stevens WebCampus honored for excellence in distance learning
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Board today presented Stevens Institute of Technology's WebCampus with its new 21st Century Best Practices Award for Distance Learning.

Stimulating the brain makes the fingers more sensitive
Functional magnetic resonance imaging and sensory threshold testing demonstrate that brief periods of transcranial magnetic stimulation can induce changes in somatosensory processing, according to a paper published in PLoS Biology.

Integration of cell survival signals in PTEN-deficient tumors
A new research study published in the October issue of Cancer Cell identifies a molecular switch that integrates cell survival signals from multiple intracellular signaling pathways.

Study finds new type of silicone implant offers more natural looking breasts, low complication rate
A new type of silicone breast implant may offer breast augmentation and reconstruction patients more natural looking breasts with a low complication rate, according to a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Hopkins scientist to direct international studies of antibiotic as new treatment for tuberculosis
A Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert will lead two international studies of the effectiveness of the antibiotic moxifloxacin as a new treatment for tuberculosis, the highly contagious bacterial disease that kills more than 2 million people worldwide each year and is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV and AIDS.

UC Santa Barbara's Eckart Meiburg elected a fellow of the American Physical Society
Eckart Meiburg, professor and chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

Dartmouth professor warns of misuse of mapping technology in political redistricting
Dartmouth researcher says the mapping technology of GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is a powerful political tool, but it does not resolve the basic conflict of how to create voting districts that are both representative and competitive.

Mountain winds may create atmospheric hotspots
Rapidly fluctuating wind gusts blowing over mountains and hills can create

First powder injection molding process for pure niobium
Penn State researchers have developed the first powder injection molding process for pure niobium, a biocompatible material similar to platinum and titanium but cheaper.

Cannabis smoke is less likely to cause cancer than tobacco smoke
Cannabis smoke is not as carcinogenic as tobacco smoke. In a review article published today in Harm Reduction Journal, Dr.

Doctors can halve dose of radiation and still cure Hodgkin's
Doctors in Germany have determined that patients suffering from early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma can receive a reduced dose of involved field radiation therapy, combined with chemotherapy, and still retain a high survival rate, according to a study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

Virginia Tech geoscientists resolve inconsistent data on crystal growth, dissolution
Virginia Tech geoscientists Patricia Dove and Nizhou Han have demonstrated that crystals dissolve and grow by the same set of analogous 'reversed' mechanisms.

Javits Award funds neurology of animal movement study
Ron Harris-Warrick, professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell, has been awarded the prestigious Sen.

National Soybean Rust Symposium to be held in Nashville
The American Phytopathological Society (APS), in co-operation with related organizations, will hold a National Soybean Rust Symposium, November 15-16, 2005 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

A warmer world might not be a wetter one
A NASA study is offering new insight into how the Earth's water cycle might be influenced by global change.

TB Alliance and Bayer launch historic global drug trials for tuberculosis
The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and Bayer Healthcare AG today announced a partnership to study the potential of moxifloxacin to shorten TB treatment.

Beta blockers should not remain the first choice treatment for high blood pressure
Beta blockers are not as effective as other drugs that reduce high blood pressure in patients with hypertension, concludes a meta-analysis published online today (Tuesday October 18, 2005) by The Lancet.

Notch signaling molecule important in type 2 immunity
Defects in immune system cells called T helper cells may lead to diseases characterized by a faulty inflammatory response such as autoimmunity and asthma.

Is America's oil age already waning?
The United States is at a crossroads: Americans want more oil, but they are split on whether it's worth the international political cost or the environmental damage.

MRI helps doctors select best treatment for early breast cancers
Breast magnetic resonance imaging enhances patient selection for accelerated, partial breast irradiation by detecting previously unsuspected, microscopic lesions within the breast, according to a study presented October 17, 2005, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 47th Annual Meeting in Denver.

Cervical cancer has profound psychosocial impact on affected women, as well as male partners
A recent study in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer revealed that women with cervical cancer have a broad range of concerns regarding cervical cancer, its treatment and additional psychosocial issues, including but not limited to sexuality, and that their male partners had equal levels of concerns in the first year following treatment, contrary to beliefs that the types or intensities of concerns between the two may differ.

Biomarker test may give early warning of brain woes
The discovery could lead to tests for the clinic or battlefield to diagnose ailments with just a few drops of blood, bypassing cumbersome and expensive CT or MRI brain scanning equipment.
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