Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 28, 2005
Hepatitis C complicated by morphine withdrawal
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that morphine withdrawal complicates hepatitis C by suppressing IFN-alpha-mediated immunity and enhancing virus replication.

Study establishes link between air pollution, ischemic strokes
The risk of ischemic stroke - which results when a blood clot travels to the brain - increases with a rise in particulate air pollution, according to a study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Regular physical activity may strenghten knee cartilage
In the November 2005 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a new study presents evidence to support the therapeutic value of exercise for OA patients, for improving not only joint symptoms and function, but also the quality of knee cartilage.

Alaska avian flu project issues initial surveillance results
So far, so good. Although only a few of the results are in, the University of Alaska Program on the Biology and Epidemiology of Avian Influenza in Alaska reports today that none of the samples taken from migratory waterfowl in the state this summer and screened to date have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus being reported in Eurasia.

National Academies advisory: Fighting infectious disease
Treating infectious diseases in a microbial world: Report of two workshops on novel antimicrobial therapeutics, a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council, examines innovative approaches to the development of antimicrobial drugs and vaccines.

Times reporter and author George Johnson to speak at Stevens
Author and New York Times reporter George Johnson will present a talk,

Hormones = Health
Meet leading researchers to learn about the endocrine link in everday life.

Novel discovery of 'DCDC2' gene associated with dyslexia
Pediatric researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified a gene on human chromosome 6 called DCDC2, which is linked to dyslexia, a reading disability affecting millions of children and adults.

Picky female frogs drive evolution of new species in less than 8,000 years
Females typically have the upper hand in choosing mates, and this choice can rapidly give rise to new species, according to a study by UC Berkeley's Craig Moritz and Univ. of Queensland's Conrad Hoskin.

Scientists and engineers apply nature's design to human problems
An interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology recently formed the Center for Biologically Inspired Design (CBID) with the goal of capitalizing on the rich source of design solutions present in biological processes.

A genome wide search for genes underlying anxiety disorders turned up unexpected candidates
Increasing the activity of two enzymes better known for their role in oxidative stress metabolism turns normally relaxed mice into

Medical news tips
The following news tips are based on Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center presentations made at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology 47th Annual Meeting October 16-20, 2005, in Denver, Colorado.

Pall Corporation presents approach for speeding vaccine production to Shanghai conference
As avian flu concerns increase, governments and pharmaceutical manufacturers face a potentially huge vaccine demand.

Conference examines role of chromosome changes in cancer
The University of Chicago will present a conference on

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific highlights
Notable articles from the Nov. 2005 issue of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Tulane receives millions for international health and tropical medicine research
Tulane University public health researchers are slated to receive over $7 million to support international health research.

Volunteers sought for avian flu vaccine study
Vanderbilt University Medical Center is enrolling volunteers in a study to test a new vaccine that targets avian flu, the first such vaccine against the virus.

Botox® injections effective for treating stroke spasticity
New research shows that repeated treatments of botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA) over one year after a stroke can improve muscle tone and reduce pain in the arms and hands, making it easier for patients to dress themselves and perform personal hygiene.

Oncology, cancer genomics research on agenda for UH grad
When Mohamad Halawi left war-torn southern Lebanon a few years ago, he had few resources but unlimited optimism.

Early cardiac screening necessary for muscular dystrophy patients
Early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease may lead to longer life in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients, say experts at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston in a report that appeared online in the journal Circulation.

October GEOSPHERE media highlights
The October issue of GEOSPHERE, published in electronic format only by the Geological Society of America, is now available online.

Study: Arctic undergoing holistic climate-change response
From glaciers to caribou, rivers to roads, Arctic climate change is having a broad effect on almost every aspect of life in the North.

MBL study shows how good cholesterol (HDLs) provide human immunity to certain parasites
For years biomedical researchers have known that high density lipoproteins, commonly called HDLs or

Design of controllers
In her PhD thesis at the Public University of Navarre, Industrial Engineer Marta Barreras Carracedo put forward a new method of designing controllers based on QFT (Quantitative Feedback Theory) and which facilitates its real implantation in the government of real physical processes.

Which drugs should health plans cover?
With the cost of prescription drugs rising faster than any other part of health care, more insurers and health systems have begun adopting restrictive policies for coverage of newer drugs.

What makes the brain tick, tick, tick. . .
The brain is a

Continued reduction in the number of drug-related deaths in the UK
The National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (np-SAD) based at the International Centre for Drug Policy, St George's, University of London, has found that there has been a decline in the number of drug-related deaths occurring, from 1,487 in 2003 to 1,372 in 2004, a drop of eight per cent.

Respond consortium making maps out of satellite images to support Pakistan disaster relief
European and international aid agencies responding to the South Asia Earthquake have been supported by rapidly-produced crisis and damage maps based on satellite images.

What is the best treatment strategy for early rheumatoid arthritis?
While the recent increase in therapeutic options offers much promise, it has left doctors grappling with the question: What is the best treatment strategy for a patient newly diagnosed with RA?

Cancer cell communication exposed
The discovery, by scientists at Monash University and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, of how communication between cancer cells is controlled has promised new treatment options for malignant tumours.

Rensselaer Professor Michael Shur elected as 2005 AAAS Fellow
Michael Shur, the Patricia W. and C. Sheldon Roberts '48 Chaired Professor in Solid State Electronics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Eventual unification of North and South Korea will be focus of conference
A program titled

Lack of specialist care for head injuries costing lives
Researchers at The University of Manchester and Hope Hospital in Salford have discovered that head injury patients not treated in specialist brain surgery centres are at significantly greater risk of dying from their injuries.

Aboriginal researcher receives Fiona Stanley medal
Aboriginal researcher Annette Stokes has been awarded the Fiona Stanley Medal for her commitment to improving child health and wellbeing.

Hunger in America rises by 43 percent over last five years
Hunger in American households has jumped 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released today.
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