Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 25, 2005
Gene therapy reverses genetic mutation responsible for heart failure in muscular dystrophy
University of Pittsburgh investigators have for the first time used gene therapy to successfully treat heart failure and other degenerative muscle problems in an animal model that is genetically susceptible to a human muscular dystrophy.

Bladder problems increase in men as they age, Mayo Clinic study reports
Mayo Clinic researchers studying prostate problems in men report in the current issue of the Journal of Urology that as men grow older their bladder function can worsen and the prostate gland may be responsible.

Study provides insight into cellular defenses against genetic mutation
With their latest discovery, researchers have significantly advanced the understanding of how human cells protect themselves from constant and potentially destructive changes in gene expression.

Patients receiving supplemental oxygen during surgery have reduced risk of wound infection
Patients who received a higher concentration of supplemental oxygen during colorectal surgery had a significantly reduced risk of wound infection, according to a study in the October 26 issue of JAMA.

Pending animal measure threatens U.S. research, AAAS says in letter to Congressional committee
A measure designed to restrict colleges, universities and research institutions from purchasing laboratory animals from some suppliers could have a

Color perception is not in the eye of the beholder: It's in the brain
First-ever images of living human retinas have yielded a surprise about how we perceive our world.

New analysis supports starting with VFEND for life-threatening fungal infections
Initial therapy choice positively impacted patient survival for those with invasive aspergillosis and reduced need for salvage therapy.

Most comprehensive USA clinical trial to date shows competing medicated stents work equally well
With billions of dollars at stake, and interest high among the cardiologists who perform more than 750,000 angioplasties annually, researchers at Carolinas Medical Center find TAXUS and CYPHER stents yield 'virtually identical' clinical results.

Plant genes identified that can form basis for crops better adapted to environmental conditions
Roots are crucial for the development of strong, healthy crops.

Heavy rains can make more dust in Earth's driest spots
A new NASA-funded study looking at some of the world's dustiest areas shows that heavy downpours can eventually lead to more dust being released into the atmosphere.

Alcoholism research reveals promising new approach to treating Alzheimer's disease
Research by a team of Saint Louis University scientists points to a new class of drugs that can slip past the blood brain barrier and potentially work in treating diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Dalai Lama, top scientists to discuss science & clinical applications of meditation
With Western medicine's increasing interest in meditation's affect on mental and physical well-being, the Mind & Life Institute, in partnership with the Georgetown University Medical Center, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will host

Lawyers' salaries in private sector impact whether federal attorneys take drug cases to trial
Assistant U.S. attorneys in districts with high private salaries are more likely to take a drug-trafficking case to trial than are assistant attorneys in districts with low private salaries.

Study reveals $20 billion in untapped generic drug savings
U.S. consumers could have saved $20 billion in 2004 and even more during this and future years by using more generic drugs.

Sandia researchers determine that common anthrax sampling methods need improvement
A research team from the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories has discovered that common anthrax sampling methods need improvement.

Middle-age people more likely to use alternative medicine
Middle-age people are more likely than younger or older adults to use complementary and alternative medicine, according to researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

New imaging technique reveals how likely you are to break a bone
Scientists have developed a technique which can be used to reveal the strength of bones, allowing doctors to more accurately estimate the risk of bone fracture.

Is there another world in the mirror, Case physicist asks
Lawrence Krauss, Case Western Reserve University professor of physics, began his search for extra dimensional worlds with the Twilight Zone episode,

Growth hormone illegal for off-label anti-aging use, study warns
Because of 1988 and 1990 amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, off-label distribution or provision of human growth hormone to treat aging or age-associated illnesses is illegal in the United States, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Media alert -- A look forward and a look back: 50 years of crop science
A Golden Anniversary Symposium which highlights the scientific accomplishments of the Crop Science Society of America will be presented on Nov.

Researcher says flu responders can learn from 1918 epidemic
Jim Higgins, a doctoral candidate at Lehigh University, has been researching the 1918 flu pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million worldwide and attributes the high death toll to a weak health care infrastructure.

Amazing nanotech in Boston: Weighing DNA, digital heat flow, electromechanical butterfly images
How does heat flow at the quantum scale? What seldom exploited electromechanical property in biological tissue made possible some of the best nanoscale images of butterfly wings to date?

Can bench pressing reduce or prevent lymphedema symptoms in breast-cancer survivors?
In a novel research study to begin this week at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor in Epidemiology, will help to determine the extent to which a slowly progressive program of strength-training exercises is safe for breast cancer survivors with and without symptoms of lymphedema.

Silicon nitride - Improving the properties of one of the world's most important structural materials
With excellent high temperature strength, good resistance to oxidation and low coefficient of thermal expansion Si3N4 ceramic is one of the most important structural materials.

Leading groups offer NIH direct links to journals to make research access easy for public
Nation's leading scientific and medical organizations offer the NIH direct links to their journals to make it easy for the public to access research.

NIH awards nearly $30 million for research facilities improvement projects
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will award nearly $30 million for 10 Research Facilities Improvement Program (RFIP) projects across the country.

NC State researchers redesign life for Mars and beyond
Researchers at North Carolina State University are looking deep under water for clues on how to redesign plants for life deep in outer space.

Valuing biodiversity services, including its insurance against disease
By diluting the pool of virus targets and hosts, biodiversity reduces their impact on humans and provides a form of global health insurance, biodiversity experts say.

More than 470 physicists sign petition to oppose US policy on nuclear attack
More than 470 physicists, including seven Nobel laureates, have signed a petition to oppose a new US Defense Department proposal that allows the United States to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.

Couples share sexual problems and solutions
In the November issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers have published the first-ever prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-institutional treatment study with multi-dimensional psychometrically valid outcomes and concluded that an effective erectile dysfunction treatment in men also significantly improved sexual function and sexual satisfaction in untreated women partners.

Measuring certain enzyme activity in urine shows promise for detection of bladder cancer
Measurement of an enzyme level (telomerase activity) in urine appears useful for detection of bladder cancer in men, according to a study in the October 26 issue of JAMA.

Study sheds light on signaling mechanism in stem cells, cancer
UCSF scientists have illuminated a key step in a signaling pathway that helps orchestrate embryonic development.

Automated analysis of security-sensitive protocols
The sheer number and variety of security protocols for Internet applications under development makes it difficult to be sure that any one protocol is 100 per cent secure from attack.

Structure of key cancer drug target identified
Researchers from Monash's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have determined the structure of the protein JAK2 kinase, a discovery with huge implications for the design and development of new cancer drugs.

Purdue's gold nanorods brighten future for medical imaging
Researchers at Purdue University have taken a step toward developing a new type of ultra-sensitive medical imaging technique that works by shining a laser through the skin to detect tiny gold nanorods injected into the bloodstream.

Preventing pneumonia in children helps prevent pneumonia in older adults
The incidence of pneumonia among older adults has decreased substantially, linked to the introduction of a pneumonia vaccine for children in 2000, according to a study in the October 26 issue of JAMA.

Innovate or perish? Helping developing countries fight neglected diseases
Given the scope of health challenges, is there a way for developing countries to solve health disparities and bootstrap these efforts into economic growth?

ASH Self-Assessment Program receives approval for maintenance of certification credit
The American Society of Hematology is pleased to announce that the ASH Self-Assessment Program (ASH-SAP) has been approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to provide 60 lifelong learning points for the ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

Little evidence behind bronchodilator therapy for cystic fibrosis
Little evidence exists to support the widespread use of bronchodilators to treat children and adults with cystic fibrosis, according to a new systematic review of published research.

Housecat-sized Siberian tiger cubs get collared
Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their Russian colleagues from the Russian Far East recently fitted three wild 40-day-old Siberian tiger cubs with tiny radio-collars, marking the youngest wild tigers to be tracked by scientists.

Dissociation now online
The University of Oregon Libraries, in collaboration with the university's psychology department, has created an online archive of Dissociation, a seminal psychology journal.

Wistar emeritus professor Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D., elected to Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has announced the election of 64 new members, including Stanley A.

Taking measure of the world: Radar altimetry in spotlight at Venice event
The measurement of sea level is a topic of special significance for Venice.

Venus Express preliminary investigations bring encouraging news
Following the announcement of the Venus Express launch delay due to particulate contamination found in the launcher fairing where the spacecraft was installed, ESA staff and industry teams have started an inspection of the spacecraft.

Asthma home intervention cost-effective for inner-city children, research reveals
Through efforts to limit exposure to environmental irritants, health workers and municipalities can cut illness generally among inner-city children with asthma and also the number of clinic visits for those young patients by at least 19 percent, a new study concludes.

New classification of eukaryotes has implications for AIDS treatment, agriculture and beyond
The first major higher level classification of all organisms (with the exception of bacteria), coordinated by the International Society of Protistologists, overturns previously held scientific assumptions.

Even 'failed stars' form planets
Astronomers from German, American, and Italian research institutes have used NASA's SPITZER space telescope to discover that there is at least the beginnings of planet formation around brown dwarfs, sometimes called 'failed stars.'

NSF grant to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia bridges academic research, child safety innovation
Auto safety researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania are working to make automobiles safer for children and young drivers by quickly turning new discoveries into new and safer products.
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