Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2005
Radiation therapy can help spare vision in patients with melanoma of the eye
Treating a rare form of eye cancer with radiation therapy can spare patients from significant vision loss, according to new research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

USC neuroscientist to receive Prince of Asturias prize
USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio will accept the 2005 Prince of Asturias Award on Friday, October 21.

Weight-loss surgery increasing, except for the poor
There will be nearly ten times as many operations performed for weight loss in 2005 as there were in 1998, report researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California at Irvine in the 19 October 2005 issue of JAMA, but the groups that need surgery the most are not the ones driving the increase.

Expert encourages alternate treatments for men who abuse women
The ability to effectively treat men who repeatedly abuse women may be improved through individualized therapy rather than the traditional group treatment approach, according to a Purdue University domestic violence expert.

Dual therapy works best for controlling asthma
A combination of airway-opening drugs and inhaled inflammation-reducing steroids works better at preventing severe asthma attacks than a normal dose of steroids alone, according to a new review of recent studies.

Study finds patients with chronic total occlusions benefit from the CYPHER® Stent
Results from a study on chronic total occlusions in the coronary arteries show positive clinical outcomes in patients treated with the CYPHER® Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent compared to those treated with conventional bare metal stents.

Steroids and chicken pox not a good mix
Children who have been treated with steroids and are exposed to chicken pox tend to have a more severe case of the virus, according to pediatric oncologists at Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Risk of death from bariatric surgery among Medicare patients higher than previously estimated
Medicare patients have a substantially higher risk of early death following bariatric surgery than previously suggested, and the risk of death is higher among men, older patients, and patients of surgeons who perform lower numbers of bariatric procedures, according to a study in the October 19 issue of JAMA.

Asthmatic cats may be allergic to humans, say vets
In a complete turnaround, instead of pets being blamed for causing allergies and breathing problems amongst people, human lifestyles are potentially triggering asthma attacks in cats.

CDC awards UGA researchers $900,000 grant to study teen behaviors in high school
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a $900,000 grant to researchers at the University of Georgia for a three-year study of high school students to help identify factors that lead to positive social and academic development, as well as factors that may contribute to aggressive behaviors and school dropout.

Three-year SAPPHIRE and US carotid feasibility trials demonstrate durability of carotid stenting
Preliminary three-year data from the SAPPHIRE and final three-year data from the US Carotid Feasibility Study (USFS) presented at the 2005 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics meeting, demonstrate the long-term durability of carotid artery stenting (CAS) for the prevention of stroke versus carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in high risk surgical patients.

High-risk African American women may benefit from genetic testing for breast cancer
African American women at high-risk of breast cancer have genetic mutations that would make genetic testing feasible, according to a study in the October 19 issue of JAMA.

Bariatric surgical procedures increase substantially
The number of bariatric surgical procedures performed in the US from 1998 to 2003 increased considerably, according to a study in the October 19 issue of JAMA.

Polarization holographic device using photoreactive polymer liquid crystals
For many years, researchers have looked to develop organic materials as a reliable and cost effective replacement for inorganic materials in optical devices.

Climate change adaptation: C-CIARN sponsors Atlantic Canada Workshop
On Tuesday and Wednesday, October 18 and 19, the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network (C-CIARN) is co-sponsoring the workshop Climate Change Adaptation in Atlantic Canada: Adapting Water Management in First Nations Communities to Climate Change.

New study: Drug combo against AIDS-related infections also prevents malaria
A drug combination used to prevent pneumonia and opportunistic bacterial infection in persons with HIV/AIDS has unexpectedly been found to be highly effective at preventing malaria, according to a study published in the November 15 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

To stem disease, keep cats indoors, stop feeding strays, scientist urges
Keep pet cats inside, stop feeding strays, cook meat sufficiently and reconsider the way the veterinary profession and public health agencies think -- and teach -- about the zoonotic pathogen Toxoplasma gondii.

Entire lakes feel effects of climate warming, University of Alberta study shows
Climate warming brought on in part by human activities is producing major ecological changes in remote arctic lakes at an alarming rate, according to new University of Alberta research--the first study to show a whole lake biological response to warming in these waters.

UK College of Pharmacy to develop treatments for people exposed to dirty bomb
Researchers at the UK College of Pharmacy in partnership with ChemPharma International will be developing orally administered treatments to be used in the case of a radiation emergency, such as the use of a dirty bomb by terrorists.

New study reveals attempted suicide often a snap decision fuelled by drugs and alcohol
As Australia tries to arrest its national suicide rate, new University of Western Sydney research reveals that many suicide attempts are unplanned, with a good portion of suicide survivors reporting they felt the urge to harm themselves less than ten minutes before acting on it.

Other highlights in the October 19 JNCI
Other highlights in the October 19 JNCI include a study of the monoclonal antibody cetuximab combined with photodynamic therapy in a mouse model of ovarian cancer, a phase III clinical trial of chemotherapy regimens for hepatocellular carcinoma, a review of epigenetic therapies, and a study of the mechanism of tumor cell resistance to an angiogenesis inhibitor.

African-American clinic patients' reactions to racism may affect their health outcomes
Ninety-five percent of older African-American clinic patients reported at least some exposure to racism during their lives in a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Study estimates melanoma risk in gene mutation carriers
People who carry a mutation in the melanoma susceptibility gene CDKN2A have a much lower risk of melanoma than has been suggested by previous estimates, although this risk is higher than that in the general population.

UGA receives $3.5 million CDC grant to create center in health marketing and health communication
The University of Georgia has been awarded a three-year $3.5 million grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a new center aimed at improving the health of the poor and near poor living in the South through better health communication and marketing.

Yale book offers new paradigm for building design
A new paradigm for the design and development of buildings will restore a positive relationship between people and nature, according to a new Yale book,

Mental stimulation through play has beneficial effect on children with stunted growth
Mental stimulation through play could improve IQ scores and reading in children with stunted growth, suggests a study published online today (Wednesday October 19, 2005) by The Lancet.

Ideal doses of IMRT defined to reduce treatment side effects for head and neck cancer
Results from a University of Pittsburgh study evaluating intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for head and neck cancer determined the ideal doses for lessening treatment side effects.

New U of T strategy will boost cord blood stem cells
A team of bioengineers led by the University of Toronto has discovered a way to increase the yield of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, to an extent which could broaden therapeutic use of these cells.

Atypical antipsychotic drugs for dementia may be associated with small increased risk of death
Patients with dementia who took atypical antipsychotic drugs had a slightly increased risk of death compared to patients who took placebo, according to a meta-analysis published in the October 19 issue of JAMA.

GlaxoSmithKline's Havrix® now approved for use in children aged 12 months and older
GlaxoSmithKline announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the expanded use of Havrix(R) (hepatitis A vaccine, inactivated) for the prevention of hepatitis A in children aged 12 months and older.

Research team develops cancer-curing T-lymphocyte-based therapy to eradicate malignant tumours
In a major research initiative funded by The Terry Fox Foundation, Claude Perreault, Canada Chair in Immunobiology at the Institute of Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal, has succeeded in developing a new approach to eradicate malignant melanoma tumours in mice.

Treatment regimen offers greater survival advantage for recurrent head and neck cancers
Few treatment options exist for patients with head and neck cancers who develop a second tumor or whose disease recurs in a previously radiated area.

Antipsychotic drugs linked to increased risk of death for some elderly Alzheimer's patients
Some newer antipsychotic medications may be associated with a small increased risk of death when used to treat elderly dementia patients, psychiatrists at Johns Hopkins warn.

U.S. House passes resolution recognizing National Chemistry Week, Oct. 16-22
The U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 17 passed a resolution, H.Res.457, recognizing the week of Oct.

A fatty acid found in milk may help control inflammatory diseases
One of the isomers of conjugated linoleic acid, a group of fatty acids found in milk, is a natural regulator of the COX-2 protein, which plays a significant role in inflammatory disease such as arthritis and cancer, according to a study published by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.

Despite storms, US economy still steaming ahead, no recession looms, UNC expert says
Despite recent major buffets from bad weather, the US economy keeps steaming ahead strongly, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill business expert James F.

No single strategy effective to control antibiotic prescribing in hospitals
Plenty of promising strategies exist to control antibiotic-prescribing practices, but no single method emerges as the best for hospital patients, according to a new review of studies.

Military funds research on how nicotine impairs bone healing
Researchers have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study ways in which nicotine from cigarette smoke may interact with stem cells to slow the healing of bone injuries.

Treating multiple brain tumors with radiosurgery results in improved survival
Treating four or more brain tumors in a single radiosurgery session resulted in improved survival compared to whole brain radiation therapy alone, according to a study the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).

Conference to set deer-vehicle crash research agenda
More than 1.5 million drivers nationwide last year collided with deer on roadways around the country, and the costs related to this growing problem total more than $1 billion each year.

Founder of eastern Congo gorilla reserve wins prestigious award
In the chaos of war, Pierre Kakule Vwirasihikya organized other local chiefs in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to protect the rich and unique wildlife of their homeland.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience includes the following two articles: 1.

Radical approach to cardiac resynchronization shows promise
Correcting the timing of heart contractions through cardiac resynchronization therapy can be a lifesaver to people with advanced heart failure.

Injury prevention for indigenous children
The George Institute for International Health has today announced a newly-funded study that will address one of Australia's key health priorities, injury prevention and control amongst Indigenous communities.

Insurance company rewards to doctors and hospitals may not improve care
With increasing quality problems in the U.S. health care systems, many health insurers are turning to a new approach to get doctors and hospitals to do better: pay-for-performance.

Proofreading and error-correction in nanomaterials inspired by nature
Mimicking nature, a procedure developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can find and correct defects in self-assembled nanomaterials.

Study examines safety of radical prostatectomy for older men
Radical prostatectomy may be a safe option for the treatment of prostate cancer in otherwise healthy men up to age 79, according to a new study in the October 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Immobilizing metals under study at UGA's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
Immobilizing metals, so that they do not migrate into new areas, may be a more realistic treatment that removing them, according to many scientists.

Advances in wireless biosensor technology
This new technology also makes possible measurements and long-term monitoring, which would be practically impossible using existing technologies.

HIV patients face discrimination from doctors
Research published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reveals that 26% of HIV-infected individuals reported that they felt discriminated against by physicians and other health care providers.

Interactive websites can help manage chronic diseases
Interactive health websites can help people live with their chronic illness, according to a UCL (University College London) review of studies on internet health.

Purdue findings help Coast Guard modify search-and-rescue plane
Purdue University engineers are helping the U.S. Coast Guard deal with a possible 10-fold increase in vibration that could result from installing a larger observation window in a search-and-rescue aircraft to improve visibility during missions.

Humble yeast sheds light on promising anti-cancer drug
The humble yeast has revealed the molecular workings of an anti-cancer drug that stops the growth and spread of tumours in humans by starving their blood supply.

Genetic testing for breast cancer could benefit minorities but is underused
Ten years after the identification of the first breast cancer susceptibility genes so few high-risk minority women have been tested that the risk-assessment tools have not been validated.

Mount Sinai Researchers present findings on treatments for prostate and breast cancer
Researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology and the Milton and Caroll Petrie Department of Urology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine are presenting findings from ten studies of prostate and breast cancer treatments at the 47th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO), October 16-20, 2005, in Denver, Colorado.

Nanoparticle created as diagnostic, therapeutic agent; brain tumors targeted
Researchers working with a man-made, metal-filled nanoparticle are developing the material for use as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent that may boost the sensitivity of MRI techniques and improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors.

UC Davis ophthalmologist to examine ancient Chilean mummy eyes
Over the next week, UC Davis ophthalmologist William Lloyd will dissect and examine the eyes of two North Chilean mummies for evidence of various diseases and medical conditions.

Antipsychotic treatment of dementia leads to small increase in risk of death
Atypical antipsychotic drugs seem to confer a small increased risk for death when used in people with dementia, concludes a team of researchers from the University of Southern California.

Patients have increased hospitalization rate after gastric bypass surgery
Patients who have gastric bypass surgery have double the rate of hospitalization in the year following the operation than in the year preceding surgery, according to a study in the October 19 issue of JAMA.

CT scan can spare some head and neck cancer patients surgery
Using a CT scan was found to be much more accurate than relying on a physical exam to assess response to radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.

RSRF-funded research yields novel function for Rett syndrome gene
Huda Zoghbi, of Baylor College of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Juan Young, also of Baylor and colleagues report in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, posted the week of October 17, 2005, that the Rett Syndrome gene, MECP2, regulates RNA splicing.

Should doctors consider male marital status when planning palliative treatment for bone metastasis?
Single men are less likely to seek radiation re-treatment for pain caused by prostate cancer that has spread to the bone than married men.

Nutrition expert evaluates new weight-loss medication
A 60 mg low-dose version of the prescription weight-loss medication orlistat (marketed by GlaxoSmithKline as Xenical® 120 mg) was found to be safe, effective and tolerable in overweight individuals, according to new data presented today at the 2005 Annual Meeting of NAASO, The Obesity Society in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Yale chemist, Mark A. Johnson, honored by American Physical Society
Mark A. Johnson, professor of physical chemistry at Yale has been awarded the 2006 Earle K.

Scientists zero in on memory-related proteins at the core of Alzheimer's disease
New research sheds light on how the formation of long-term memories may be blocked in Alzheimer's disease.

UQ study gives young Australians with disabilities a healthy start
The more than 500,000 Australians with intellectual disabilities can feel invisible to the health care system, according to the Director of UQ's Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (QCIDD).

Protein involved in 'mad cow' disease
The scientific magazine Brain Research has recently published the results of research work by scientists from the University of Navarra. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to