Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 31, 2005
A novel model to pinpoint human androgen receptor targets developed
A novel computational model to pinpoint androgen receptor targets within the human genome was recently reported by the joint team of Genomatix Software GmbH, Munich, Germany, and Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR), Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

New studies examine the evidence on probiotics in IBS
A new study of the probiotic strain B. infantis 35624 shows promising results in normalizing frequency of bowel movements in patients suffering from constipation or diarrhea - the two ends of the spectrum in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Metal-containing compounds show promise as HIV weapon
A molecule consisting of two

Physicists offer new approach to studying antimatter
UC Riverside physicists are able to see for the first time in the laboratory that positronium atoms (each of which is made up of an electron and its antimatter counterpart, called the positron), become more unstable than usual after colliding with one another, turning into gamma radiation.

NJIT physicist sees terahertz imaging as ultimate defense against terrorism
John Federici, PhD, professor, department of physics, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and other physicists at NJIT recently received a U.S.

An existing diuretic may suppress seizures in newborns
A diuretic drug called bumetanide may serendipitously help treat seizures in newborns, which are difficult to control with existing anticonvulsants, according to a study in the November Nature Medicine.

ENFIN! Computational systems biology comes to a lab bench near you
The Commission of the European Union has awarded €9 million over five years for a new Network of Excellence that will make computational systems biology accessible to bench scientists throughout Europe and beyond.

NY Academy of Sciences & Blackwell announce science publishing partnership
Blackwell Publishing, the world's largest society publisher, announced that it has formed a publishing partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences.

Scripps scientists participate in historic first surface vessel voyage across Canada Basin
Two ships taking part in a recently completed research voyage investigating the oceanography, marine geology, geophysics and ice cover of the Arctic Ocean have become the first surface vessels to traverse the Canada Basin, the ice-covered sea between Alaska and the North Pole.

New study shows impact of birth order on maternal solicitousness towards children's GI symptoms
New research presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology suggests that birth order impacts child perceptions of maternal solicitousness toward GI symptoms, particularly in families where the mother has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Yale cell biologist, Ira Mellman, one of three Americans honored by EMBO
Ira Mellman, Chair and Sterling Professor of the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine, is one of the three Americans elected an Associate Member as the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) announced the 40 leading life scientists elected to its membership for 2005.

Pediatricians ignore screenings that flag hearing problems in children, new SLU research finds
Pediatricians are doing hearing screenings on children and ignoring the results, a study by a Saint Louis University reseacher finds.

Mice have a gift for song
Vocalizations emitted by male mice when encountering female pheromones have the characteristics of song, including temporal structure and repeated syllables, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Biology.

Perimeter Institute public events continue this fall
Following Canada's successful EinsteinFest celebrations at Perimeter Institute - with attendance topping 28,000 - public and scientific events continue.

Microbicide field praises agreement to license new AIDS drugs
The Alliance for Microbicide Development hails today's announcement by pharmaceutical giants Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb that each has granted to the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) royalty-free licenses to develop, manufacture, and distribute new antiretroviral compounds as potential microbicides to protect women from HIV.

Monkey math machinery is like humans'
Monkeys have a semantic perception of numbers that is like humans' and which is independent of language, Duke University cognitive neuroscientists have discovered.

The secret of impressive writing? Keep it plain and simple
Writers who use long words needlessly and choose complicated font styles are seen as less intelligent than those who stick with basic vocabulary and plain text, according to new research from the Princeton University in New Jersey, to be published in the next edition of Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Mirrors can trick the brain into recovering from persistent pain, research suggests
Looking in a mirror at a reflection of their healthy hand could help people with persistent pain ease their symptoms and eventually overcome their problem, say scientists in the latest edition of the journal Clinical Medicine.

New studies show young African Americans at much higher risk for pre-cancerous polyps
Two new studies show that young African Americans are at a much higher risk for colon cancer than other races.

Study findings show improvement in work attendance after consistent treatment of IBS
A new study shows that treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with constipation may have a significant impact on absenteeism from work, as well as improving presenteeism - defined as coming to work but being less productive.

Pedialyte and Gatorade equally effective in alleviating effects of viral gastroenteritis in children
In a trial of oral rehydration solutions, Gatorade proved as effective as Pedialyte in correcting dehydration and improving bowel symptoms for children with diarrhea and vomiting related to acute viral gastroenteritis.

A persistent immune response to an acute viral infection
Although parvovirus B19 apparently causes an acute viral infection, it appears to induce a persistent activated CD8 + T cell response, according to a paper published in PLoS Medicine.

Genetic prediction of Type 2 diabetes
In a large prospective study published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, Lyssenko and colleagues show that variants in the PPARG and CAPN10 genes can help predict whether a person will develop Type 2 diabetes.

Nanomanufacturing: Systematic study of nanostructure growth yields production 'road map'
Researchers have taken an important step toward high-volume production of new nanometer-scale structures with the first systematic study of growth conditions that affect production of one-dimensional nanostructures from the optoelectronic material cadmium selenide (CdSe).

Studies clarify risk factors for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus
Breastfeeding does not raise the risk of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to two new studies published in the December 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Global health histories: A symposium at NIH
This free international symposium, open to the public, brings together leading historians, social scientists, policymakers and practitioners in the emerging field of global health.

New mechanical heart implanted at the MUHC
Surgeons at the MUHC have successfully implanted a new kind of mechanical heart in two patients, the first time this new technology has been used in Canada.

Binghamton University psychologist honored by NIH for alcohol, developing brain research
Linda P. Spear, distinguished professor of psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has been selected to receive the 2005 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's Mark Keller Award and to deliver the accompanying lecture,

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Nov. 1, 2005
Highlights include:

Lightning research sparks new discovery
A new and surprising finding by Florida Institute of Technology's Dr.

New book expands biological classifications to account for 'alien' life
In a new book, a University of Washington paleontologist puts forth an expanded

New studies gauge knowledge, attitudes and preferences of patients with irritable bowel syndrome
Significant misconceptions about the causes of their condition and mistaken beliefs about its potential progression into other diseases, including cancer, marks the knowledge of a sample of patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

New monoclonal antibody therapies offer significant survival advantage for breast cancer patients
Results from the first and only interim analysis of an important trial assessing the potential of Herceptin (trastuzumab) to improve disease-free survival (DFS) in HER-2 positive breast cancer patients after adjuvant chemotherapy, have shown that Herceptin affords a significant survival advantage.

Forum to address controversies over antidepressants
In 1987, a new class of antidepressant medications, the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) appeared on the market, promising a cleaner, more effective treatment for depression.

New clues into causes of scleroderma
Using a novel model for scleroderma, researchers from Duke University Medical Center have discovered two important insights into this devastating disorder - the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol) may prevent the skin thickening and small blood vessel destruction that characterizes the disease.

Bid to boost uptake of bowel cancer screening amongst Scots men
Academics are to look at ways to encourage Scots to take part in a new national screening programme for bowel cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths in Western nations.

Virginia Tech football player uses prototype cast
Virginia Tech's starting running back Cedric Humes was able to play against Boston College despite a broken arm (the ulna bone) thanks, in part, to a prototype composite brace designed for him by Virginia Tech engineers.

Novel treatment target for deadly brain tumors identified
Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have identified a second promising treatment target for glioblastoma multiforme, one of the most deadly types of brain tumors.

Adolescents feel less biological pressure to head to bed early
A new study by leading sleep experts finds that the

Zebrafish and CHIP help untangle protein misfolding in brain disease
Protein handling is especially important for neurons because damage or death of brain cells causes neurological disease.

Pall tells FDA panel about blood filtering technology
Pall Corporation today presented the latest research results on its prion technology to remove TSE infectivity from blood.

Mathematicians get a handle on centuries old shape
Soap films were a favorite tool of 18th century mathematicians, and Frenchman Jean Meusnier used them in 1776 to prove a fundamental example in geometric optimization: An ordinary two-dimensional plane can be twisted infinitely into a helical shape called a 'minimal surface' that has the delicate balance of a soap film.

Cheek cells used to identify lung cancer
In a new study presented at CHEST 2005, the 71st annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), scientists found that buccal mucosa, or cells scraped from the inner part of the cheek, may contain information that separates patients with lung cancer from high-risk negatives, a finding that may support cheek cell analysis as a simple and inexpensive early screening method for patients at risk for lung cancer.

Public health tool from the '60s could help mitigate potential flu disaster
The World Health Organization warns that a flu pandemic is inevitable, and possibly imminent.

Scientists funded to investigate stress in farm animals
A team of Scottish researchers is to investigate the long-term effects of stress on farm animals and their young and look at the ways to improve their welfare.

UCB presents positive CIMZIA™ results from pivotal PHASE III Crohn's disease trial at major US medical meeting
A single 400 mg injection of Cimzia™ (certolizumab pegol, CDP 870) every four weeks was effective in maintaining control of the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease following induction therapy, according to pivotal phase III research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.

Safety and quality study ranks Rush among the nation's best
A study designed to identify the organizational and cultural factors that contribute to superior patient care ranked Rush among the top five academic medical centers in the country for quality and safety based on objective, patient-level outcomes data.

WA team uses baby tooth to solve death mystery
A team of Perth scientists have used a keepsake baby tooth to help a Queensland couple solve the mystery of their 7-year-old daughter's death - 14 years after she died.

Dramatic rise in number of authors publishing in open access journals, independent survey finds
Twenty-nine percent of senior authors questioned say that they have published in an open access journal, according to a new independent survey.

Rensselaer researcher awarded DARPA funding to improve terrain maps
A Rensselaer researcher has been awarded $845,000 in DARPA funding to create improved computer representations of terrain on the surface of the Earth and beyond.

Microfossils show promise in prospecting climate history
Has global warming flipped a switch and returned us to a hurricane regime unseen for 1000 years?

Gas-blockers might slow down Alzheimer's disease
A noxious gas speeds up brain degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, according to a study in the November 7 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Vaginal gel may provide a new approach to HIV prevention
Research with female monkeys at the Tulane National Primate Research Center has for the first time shown that three different anti-viral agents in a vaginal gel protect the animals against an HIV-like virus.

Academy conference examines how our brains view art & the dynamic interface between art and science
The New York Academy of Sciences and the Science & the Arts at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York will present a one-day conference, Visual Art and the Brain: At the Interface of Art and Science, on Nov 5, 2005 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Updated data on novel HPV vaccine confirms efficacy in large population
Updated data from a study on a promising new vaccine against a pre-cancerous cervical virus shows superior efficacy in preventing cervical pre-cancers and non-invasive cervical cancer, according to a study presented today during the American Association for Cancer Research's 4th Annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Baltimore.

Beating the 'clutter': Charities must learn to stand out in the crowd
Charities must be genuinely distinctive to stand out in an increasingly crowded market, according to new research funded by the ESRC.

Reagent under study as cancer vaccine may also help protect tumors
A bacterial mimic under study as a cancer vaccine because it signals the immune system to attack may also help some tumors hide, researchers have found.

UW scientists report a new method to speed bird flu vaccine production
In the event of an influenza pandemic, the world's vaccine manufacturers will be in a race against time to forestall calamity.

California's oak woodlands face a new threat: Climate change
California's iconic oak woodlands have endured many assaults over the years -- they've been cut for fuel, cleared for vineyards and housing developments, and their seedlings face intense grazing pressure and competition from invasive grasses.

New study confirms diabetics face significantly higher risks of colorectal cancer
A new study released at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology confirms that patients with diabetes are significantly more likely to have colon cancer than individuals without diabetes.

Fifth edition of the Glossary of Geology published
The American Geological Institute (AGI) announces the publication of the fifth edition of the Glossary of Geology.

Restless legs syndrome linked to psychiatric conditions
Adults with restless legs syndrome (RLS), a common debilitating condition, may be affected physically, mentally, and socially by their disease, shows a new study presented at CHEST 2005, the 71st annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

APIA announces the distinguished Dr. Barry Uretsky as opening speaker
President of SCAI and eminent physician, teacher and educator Barry F.

Out of sight, out of mind? Not necessarily
Visual information can be processed unconsciously when the area of the brain that records what the eye sees is temporarily shut down, according to research at Rice University in Houston.

Study uses stream fish as indicators of water quality
For many years, regulatory agencies have used chemical standards to assess water quality.

New study shows women more vulnerable to risk of colorectal cancer from tobacco
A new study of gender and risk factors for colorectal cancer reveals that while both tobacco and alcohol increase risk for colorectal cancer, women who smoke are at higher risk.

Clinical trials with immunotherapy for breast and colorectal cancer
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine are conducting clinical trials on a unique approach to enhance the immune system in patients with breast or colorectal cancer.

Highlights from October ESA journals
Studies from the Ecological Society of America's suite of journals include pieces on the Endangered Species Act, impacts of nuclear testing on coral reef fish, and the foraging habits of wandering albatrosses.

New study shows risk of serious GI problems & bleeding intensified by common OTC pain medications
Patients who combine the common over-the counter pain medications ibuprofen and naproxen with aspirin have a risk of gastrointestinal complications including ulcers, perforations and bleeding that is two to three times greater than patients who take these medications but do not combine them with aspirin.

ECCO 13 evidence suggests link between Chlamydia and OAL
Infection with a bacteria from the Chlamydia family may be linked to the development of a type of lymphoma which affects the tissues surrounding the eye, according to results released at the 13th European Cancer Conference (ECCO).

Newly recognized gene mutation may reduce seeds, resurrect plants
A mutated plant that seems to return from the dead may hold the secret to how some flora protect their progeny during yield-limiting drought and other stresses, according to Purdue University scientists whose study of the plant led to discovery of a gene.

Every squeak you make
Scientists have known for decades that female lab mice or their pheromones cause male lab mice to make ultrasonic vocalizations.

Broccoli sprouts, cabbage, ginkgo biloba and garlic: A grocery list for cancer prevention
In the high-tech 21st century, the most rudimentary natural products continue to reveal exciting anti-cancer properties to scientists, offering people relatively simple ways to help protect themselves from the disease.

New imaging method shows early in treatment if brain cancer therapy is effective
A special type of MRI scan that measures the movement of water molecules through the brain can help doctors determine halfway through treatment whether it will successfully shrink the tumor or a patient's cancer will continue to grow, a new study shows.

Rainforest conservation worth the cost, University of Alberta shows
The economic benefits of protecting a rainforest reserve outweigh the costs of preserving it, says University of Alberta research--the first of its kind to have conducted a cost-benefit analysis on the conservation of species diversity.

Web Forum launched for schizophrenia researchers
Researchers trying to crack one of medicine's most perplexing unsolved mysteries can now keep abreast of late-breaking developments via the Schizophrenia Research Forum, a website launched this month.

Bees solve complex colour puzzles
Bees have a much more sophisticated visual system than previously thought, according to a new UCL (University College London) study in which bees were able to solve complicated colour puzzles.

Methane found in desert soils bolsters theories that life could exist on Mars
Evidence of methane-producing organisms can be found in inhospitable soil environments much like those found on the surface of Mars, according to experiments undertaken by scientists and students from USC.

Study findings offer potential new targets for antibiotics
A new study of genetic changes in bacteria may ultimately help drug makers stay a step ahead of disease-causing bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics.

U of MN researchers awarded more than $20 million for stem cell and natural killer cell research
University of Minnesota Cancer Center researchers have been awarded two program grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) totaling more than $20 million over five years to conduct research on stem cells and natural killer cells for treatment of cancer.

'Silent' nighttime acid reflux symptoms can cause poor sleep and sleep apnea
New research on acid reflux shows: 1. Patients with sleep complaints but no heartburn symptoms suffered episodes of nighttime acid reflux; 2.

Clinical trial in China to test whether early blood pressure reduction improves stroke outcomes
A large clinical trial called INTERACT, launched in China this month, will determine the effects of early intensive blood pressure lowering on death and disability in stroke patients.

Negative body image: New treatment study
Therapies for those with a significant negative body image, which affects an individual's capacity to form close and affectionate friendships and relationships and may be associated with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and fear, will be the focus of a new ANU study.

New study suggests the stomach - not the heart - offers greater lie detection accuracy
A new study suggests that changes in gastric physiology perform better than standard polygraph methods in distinguishing between lying and telling the truth.

Combination therapy for mouse model of human inherited blindness
In the open access journal PLoS Medicine, a combination of intraocular gene therapy and pharmacologic bypass provides a complementary way to restore retinal function in an animal model of human hereditary blindness.

ECCO 13 - One voice, one vision needed to overcome cancer in Europe
Despite improved technologies and treatments following a decade of exciting progress in cancer research, Europe is failing to meet the expectations of patient and healthcare professionals on the standard of cancer care according to the first patient programme held by Federation of European Cancer Societies at ECCO 13.

Could plain soap and probiotics beat hospital bugs?
Doctors might be better off washing their hands with yoghurt instead of relying on antiseptic soap-scrubbing, according to a new discussion paper by a UCL (University College London) researcher.

Scientists determine how tumor gene controls growth
Researchers have discovered a genetic mechanism that controls cellular growth in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and believe it likely that a similar system may be at work in normal and cancerous human cells.

Gene therapy improves gemcitabine effects in experimental glioma model
Attempts to improve the chemotherapeutic efficacy and radiotherapy-sensitivity of the anticancer agent, gemcitabine, using gene therapy have yielded interesting results in preclinical glioma models presented at the 13th European Cancer Conference (ECCO).

Scientists gain new insights into 'frozen' methane beneath ocean floor
An international team of scientists supported by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) has completed a unique research expedition aimed at recovering samples of gas hydrate, an ice-like substance hidden beneath the seafloor off Canada's western coast.
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