Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2005
Key mechanism found that promotes spread of malignant melanoma
Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a key signaling mechanism that may promote the ability of highly aggressive malignant melanoma cells to metastasize, or spread from a primary tumor to distant sites within the body.

Study shows that dialysis patients often have close family members also on dialysis
Nearly one-fourth of all dialysis patients have a close relative on dialysis, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and others, report in the current online edition of the American Journal of Nephrology.

Have a taste for fat? Yes! A sensor in the mouth promotes preference for fatty foods
The possibility for a taste modality directed to lipid has often been suggested because many animals exhibit a spontaneous attraction for fats, but the existence of an actual sensor remained a matter of debate.

Other highlights in the November 2 JNCI
Other highlights in the November 2 JNCI include a study of alcohol and breast cancer risk, a study of coronary heart disease in women who took tamoxifen, a study of the herbal medicine gamma-linolenic acid and inhibition of Her-2/neu, a study of the function of the transcription factor E2F1, and a study of the association between the BCL6 gene and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Characteristic cardiac scar pattern predicts risk of fatal arrhythmias
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the heart wall, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that people whose muscle wall thickness contained more than 25 percent scar tissue were approximately nine times more likely to test positive for a fast and dangerous heart rhythm known as ventricular arrhythmia.

ECCO 13 - Chernobyl legacy sheds light on link between thyroid cancer and radiation exposure
Study results presented at the 13th European Cancer Conference (ECCO 13) have provided further valuable insights into certain genetic mutations which occur in childhood thyroid tumours and their link to both radiation exposure and patient age.

HIV patients of low socioeconomic status likelier to die more often and sooner than others
HIV patients with a low socioeconomic status are likelier to die much more often than patients with higher levels of wealth and education, a new UCLA study has found.

Cancer prevention news tips
The following news tips are based on abstracts prepared for the American Association for Cancer Research 4th International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Baltimore, Maryland, October 30 - November 2, 2005.

Food for thought for winter, holidays
Here are a few tips on how to make your fall and winter seasons a bit healthier and happy this year, courtesy of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Infectious disease doctors respond to President Bush's strategy on pandemic influenza
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) applauds President Bush and his administration for outlining an aggressive domestic and international approach to pandemic influenza preparedness and giving this issue the high level of attention that it warrants.

New screen-and-treat methods for cervical cancer significantly reduce cancer precursor lesions
A new Columbia University Medical Center study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of two low-tech diagnostic tools to significantly reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer precursor lesions.

Children with neurological and neuromuscular diseases at risk for flu-related respiratory failure
Children with neurological and neuromuscular diseases should receive an annual influenza vaccination because of a higher risk of respiratory failure if they are hospitalized with influenza, according to a study in the November 2 issue of JAMA.

High doses of ibuprofen cause significant GI bleeding, despite safety profile
People who take high doses of ibuprofen on a regular basis are three times more likely to experience gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding than those who do not take painkillers.

Neurological disease raises risk of complications from flu
As another flu season approaches, patients with neurological and neuromuscular disease are especially vulnerable to respiratory failure caused by influenza.

Travelers can avoid jet lag by resetting their body clocks
A simple, at-home treatment -- a single light box and the over-the-counter drug melatonin -- allows travelers to avoid jet lag by resetting their circadian body clock before crossing several time zones, according to new research being published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Diabetic blacks have less coronary artery disease than diabetic whites
In a surprising outcome, investigators at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that diabetic black men have dramatically lower amounts of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, than diabetic white men.

Combination microbicides protect monkeys against HIV-like virus
Experiments in female monkeys have for the first time shown that when used in combination, vaginal gels known as microbicides can protect against an HIV-like virus.

Agnès Vignery, osteoporosis researcher, named Yale-Pfizer Visiting Faculty
Agnès Vignery, associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation, and cell biology has been named Yale-Pfizer Global Discovery Visiting Professor for 2005.

Researchers to present findings on New Orleans levee breaches
On Wed., Nov. 2, a multi-institution research team led by geotechnical engineer Raymond Seed of the University of California (UC), Berkeley, will release preliminary findings from a study of the New Orleans levee system.

Single-visit program for cervical cancer screening increases rate of follow-up, treatment
Low-income women with abnormal Pap tests who participated in a program that combines screening and treatment in one visit had a higher rate of treatment and follow-up than women who did not participate, according to a study in the November 2 issue of JAMA.

Targeted drug delivery achieved with nanoparticle-aptamer bioconjugates
Ground-breaking results from researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, disclosed at the 13th European Cancer Conference (ECCO) have shown for the first time that targeted drug delivery is possible using nanoparticle-apatamer conjugates.

epoline® - the way to monitor state-of-the-art technology
The European Patent Office has announced the outcome of the first epoline® and esp@cenet® workshops on prior-art search which took place at the University of Oxford in October 2005, giving students and young researchers a valuable insight into the use of online search tools to determine the state of the art in their particular field.

New strides being made in chemoprevention
There are a number of things people are told to do to prevent cancer - eat well, exercise, don't smoke.

New therapeutic target identified in inherited brain tumor disorder
Researchers studying a mouse model of neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1), a genetic condition that causes childhood brain tumors, have found their second new drug target in a year, a protein called methionine aminopeptidase-2 (MetAP2).

Lung cancer survival better in women
Women with lung cancer are living longer than men, even when the disease is untreated, shows a new study presented at CHEST 2005, the 71st annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

ACTOplus met™ (pioglitazone HCl and metformin HCl)
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. today announced that ACTOplus metTM (pioglitazone HCl and metformin HCl) is now available by prescription in pharmacies across the United States for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Long-term hormone use helps prostate cancer patients live longer
Doctors in Canada have discovered that treating high-risk prostate cancer patients with radiation therapy and adding hormone therapy for more than one year allows patients to live longer, have better control of their prostate specific antigen levels and lowers the rate of death specifically from prostate cancer, according to a study published in the November 1, 2005, issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Engaging prior learning on creationism and evolution may benefit college biology students
An educational intervention intended to engage college students' initial ideas about evolution and creationism prompted students in an introductory biology course to report that they had become more accepting of evolution as an explanation for life, according to a study in the November 2005 issue of BioScience.

Research unveils new, reliable approach to drug delivery for cancer patients
Prostate, breast and other cancer patients may be offered a new, stauncher targeted drug delivery system to treat their diseases in the next decade.

Successful tests of new treatments in mice for eye disease causing irreversible blindness in humans
Researchers examined the effect of combining two treatments, gene therapy and oral medication, in blind mice that did not have the LRAT enzyme.

Study examines cancer risks after cancer diagnosis in family member
After a person is diagnosed with cancer, increased surveillance among their family members may result in the earlier detection of asymptomatic familial cancers.

Fatherhood possible for many testicular cancer survivors, study finds
The overall rate of fatherhood after treatment for testicular cancer is high, but the ability to conceive and the time to conception are influenced by the type and intensity of treatment, according to a new study in the November 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Interferon with ribavirin is safe and effective for children with chronic Hepatitis C
Nearly half of 118 children with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treated with a combination of interferon-alpha-2b and an optimized dose of ribavirin achieved sustained viral response, and side effects were generally mild.

Protein suppresses prostate cancer, enhances effects of vitamin E
Researchers have identified a protein that disrupts an important signaling pathway in prostate cancer cells and suppresses growth of the cancer.

The reason why antiviral therapy can't annihilate HIV infection, and what to do about it
A JCI study offers insight into eradication of HIV in infected individuals receiving antiviral therapy.

New discoveries about neuron plasticity linked to learning and memory
Neurons experience large-scale changes across their dendrites during learning, say neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin in a new study that highlights the important role that these cell regions may play in the processes of learning and memory.

Promising obesity therapy receives follow-on funding
Brisbane-based Adipogen Pty Ltd has raised a further $2.25 million to support the development of a novel treatment for obesity.

American Thoracic Society journal news tips for November 2005 (first issue)
Newsworthy journal articles feature research showing that: physicians should maintain a high degree of suspicion and carefully examine any patient who has had two or more relatives with pulmonary fibrosis since genetic susceptibility plays a significant role in the development of this fatal disease, especially among smokers; and investigators believe a new blood test for tuberculosis (TB) is more sensitive than the traditional skin test in detecting latent TB in exposed persons.

UV measurement tool aids defense against microbes in tap water
Researchers at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering have developed a new way to measure microbes' exposure to ultraviolet light.

Researchers use 'trickery' to create immune response against melanoma
A new type of immunotherapy in which dendritic cells are tricked into action against cancer when they are exposed to harmless pieces of viruses and bacteria is described in the November issue of Cancer Research.

NIH grant to fund U-Georgia's doctoral student's innovative dietary research
A new $147,200 two-year federal grant from the National Institutes of Health will help researchers from UGA's College of Public Health understand how communication and lifestyles affect our consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Smokers misinformed about smoking's link to cancer
Women who smoke are more concerned about their habit and their ability to quit than men, yet both genders appear misinformed about smoking and its link to cancer, shows a new study presented at CHEST 2005, the 71st annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

Study shows escalating climate change impacts
The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, along with co-sponsors Swiss Re and the United Nations Development Programme, today released a study showing that climate change will significantly affect the health of humans and ecosystems and these impacts will have economic consequences.

Primrose oil component cuts levels of cancer-causing gene Her-2/neu
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a substance in evening primrose oil and several other plant oils used in herbal medicine, inhibits action of Her-2/neu, a cancer gene that is responsible for almost 30 percent of all breast cancers, Northwestern University researchers report.

Lung-sparing treatment for cancer proving effective
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers report that patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer responded well to high doses of radiation administered through extracranial stereotactic body radiation therapy, a lung-sparing procedure.

Causes of primary biliary cirrhosis
A case-control study of more than 2000 people has identified a number of factors that may induce primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in genetically susceptible individuals.

Vitamin D compounds show promise for prevention of prostate cancer
The active metabolite of vitamin D, calcitriol, and other vitamin D analogs are promising chemopreventive agents that may prevent prostate cancer, according to a study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research's 4th annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting in Baltimore.

Imperial College London-BP project to explore energy savings in cities
The BP Urban Energy Systems project at Imperial will explore how money and energy could be saved in the future if cities integrated the systems that supply them with resources.

Family meals cut teenage fatness
They might prefer to be in front of the TV or Playstation, but Brisbane teenagers are likely to be healthier if they eat meals with mum and dad.

Institute of Medicine news: Report on mental illnesses and drug addictions
Without a comprehensive strategy to improve the quality of health care for people with mental conditions and alcohol or drug problems, high-quality care in the nation's overall health system and better health for the public are goals that will remain unmet, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Lung scarring diseases linked to genes and smoking
In a study of 111 families that had at least two relatives with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP), people who smoked cigarettes were three times more likely than non-smokers to develop the disease.

Discover energy's bright future
Today (1st November 2005) sees the launch of the Research Councils' Energy Programme at the first in a series of 'Energy Research Summits.'

Making nuclear power more attractive
Increasing the safety and reliability of nuclear power as a solution for satisfying energy needs is the challenge addressed by a new initiative announced today.

Manchester strikes strategic deal with IBM
The University of Manchester is to form a strategic partnership with IBM forging alliances across research, teaching and recruitment.

Clinical trials stopped early for benefit warrant skepticism from physicians
A review article in the November 2 issue of JAMA suggests clinicians ought to view with skepticism the results of randomized clinical trials stopped early because of apparent benefit.

NIH offers $35,000 in annual student loan repayment
The application cycle for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs opened on September 1, 2005, and closes December 1, 2005.

Dr. Rita Colwell delivers 2005 Barmes Global Health lecture on November 15
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Fogarty International Center, both part of the National Institutes of Health, jointly announce the 2005 David E. 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