Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2005
New TB test scoops top prize at Medical Futures competition
An inexpensive and rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) which could be used in developing countries has won first place in the Best Innovation to Improve Global Healthcare category of the Medical Futures Innovation Awards.

Mathematicians predict 2005 Cy Young winners
Pitchers Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals and Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees will win the 2005 Major League Baseball Cy Young awards, predicts a pair of mathematicians from Rhode Island College.

Mapping alcohol brain damage
University of Queensland (UQ) biochemists are working with American researchers to pinpoint why only some parts of the brain are damaged in alcoholics.

Common viruses may cause cancer
According to a recent study, cell fusion triggered by viruses is a possible contributing factor in the development of human cancer.

Chemistry jobs outlook still dim, but salaries rise, C&EN reports
The job market for chemical scientists remains depressed for the fifth straight year -- though better than for the nation as a whole -- but employed chemists have enjoyed solid salary increases, according to the Nov.

Sleeping sickness parasite shows how cells divide their insides
Researchers at Yale have brought to light a mechanism that regulates the way an internal organelle, the Golgi apparatus, duplicates as cells prepare to divide, according to a report in Science Express.

Bacterium present in eyes with 'wet' age-related macular degeneration
Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) have found that Chlamydia pneumoniae, a bacterium linked to heart disease and capable of causing chronic inflammation, was present in the diseased eye tissue of five out of nine people with neovascular, or

Virginia Tech geobiologist wins Schuchert Award
Michal Kowalewski, who collects paleontological and geological data over a wide range of time scales to study such diverse topics as ecological interactions of ancient predators and their fossil prey and long-term evolutionary patterns, has been named the recipient of this year's Charles Schuchert Award by the Paleontological Society.

'New' science gleans knowledge from ancient lands and societies
Understanding how pollution effects the dynamics of Earth and the spread of disease in ancient times are two areas in which ASU's new School of Human Evolution & Social Change can make a dramatic and immediate impact, said Sander van der Leeuw, director of the school.

Envisat shows behemoth B-15A iceberg breaking up
After five years of being the world's largest free-floating object, the B-15A iceberg has finally broken up off Antarctica's Cape Adare.

Brainstem blocks pain to protect key behaviors
University of Chicago researchers show that by activating

UCSD physicist proposes new way to rank scientists' output
Publications in peer-reviewed journals are the yardstick by which academic scientists compare their work with their colleagues.

Release of National Forest Strategy accomplishments report
A new report on initiatives taken to further sustainable forest management in Canada is now available.

Is it okay to sign Alzheimer's patients up for research studies?
A new study sheds light on this question, which may come up more often as potential treatments require more involved and invasive research.

New malaria vaccine shows promise in early clinical trial
Functional assays suggest that MSP3-based vaccine elicits strong immune response in human volunteers according to a paper published in PLoS Medicine.

RNA splicing occurs in nerve-cell dendrites
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that nerve-cell dendrites have the capacity to splice messenger RNA, a process once believed to only take place in the nucleus of cells.

News briefs from the journal CHEST, November 2005
News briefs from the November issue of the journal CHEST highlight studies related to medication compliance in patients with COPD, respiratory disease in hair stylists, and preoperative statin use for the prevention of atrial fibrillation.

The case for pneumococcal vaccination of infants
Although the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that children receive the new pneumococcal vaccine PCV7 beginning at 2 months of age, provincial implementation of the recommendation has been slow.

Cornell bridges boundaries with pioneering approach to medical education in the Middle East
Cornell University is bridging cultural boundaries and setting new standards for medical education in the Middle East with its pioneering medical college in the Gulf State of Qatar.

Resetting epigenetic code could aid lupus patients
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of Virginia hope to reset part of the

A commonly prescribed drug reverses learning and attention deficits in a mouse model of the genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis type I
This week, researchers report evidence that a statin drug already shown to be safe for use in humans has proven effective at correcting cell-cell communication and curing learning disfunction in a mouse model of Neurofibromatosis type I, a human genetic disorder that causes learning disabilities in millions of people worldwide.

Study highlights the ramifications of medical misdiagnosis
A new study shows how common a medical misdiagnosis can be and how severely it can exacerbate a disease.

Mathematics: The loss of certainty
For centuries mathematics has been seen as the one area of human endeavor in which it is possible to discover irrefutable, timeless truths.

Super high temperature, high wear SiAlON coatings made using innovative production methods
Sialons are ceramics possessing chemical inertness, good thermal shock resistance, and excellent mechanical properties that are retained up to high temperatures.

Penn researchers utilize MRI for early diagnosis of schizophrenia
Researchers may have discovered a new way that may ultimately assist in the early diagnosis of schizophrenia - by utilizing MRI to study the patient's brain.

Social learning in noncolonial insects?
Social learning and use of social information in general have been understood to be largely restricted to vertebrates.

Gender differences are a laughing matter, Stanford brain study shows
According to a new Stanford University School of Medicine study, gender affects the way a person's brain responds to humor.

Major EU grant to develop cancer-fighting cells
A pre-clinical research project coordinated by The University of Manchester, which will advance understanding of how cancer cells evade the immune system, has been awarded nearly €12m by the European Union.

Change in neurons' responsiveness marks newly formed sensory associations during learning
During our waking hours, our brains are inundated with sensory information that shifts from one moment to the next.

In SAD patients, autumn antidepressants can prevent winter depression
For patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), starting treatment with antidepressant medication during the fall can reduce the risk of developing depression throughout the fall and winter months, reports a study in the Oct.

High income earners use more diagnostic imaging
In this study, investigators looked at over 300,000 imaging procedures in Winnipeg over a 1 year period.

Plenary lectures announced for world's largest osteoporosis congress
Leading osteoporosis experts are scheduled to present at the World Osteoporosis Congress in Toronto, Canada, in June, 2006.

MIT closes in on bionic speed
Robots can potentially go wherever it's too hot, cold, dangerous, small or remote for people to perform any number of important tasks.

Worm parasite may hold clues in bid for illness and allergy cures
Tiny worms that can trick the body's natural defences could hold the key to new treatments for a range of conditions, including diabetes, asthma and hay fever.

Avoid the hookah and save your teeth
Smoking a hookah also known as a water pipe is becoming an increasingly trendy menu item in Mediterranean restaurants, cafes and bars.

Psychologically distressed children more likely to be involved in bullying
Bullying by elementary school children was associated with increased odds of lacking a feeling of safety while at school, having lower academic achievement, and feeling sad most days, according to an article in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study finds low birth weight rates vary widely across US
Low birth weight, an important risk factor of infant mortality and childhood developmental disorders, varies more than 3-fold in regions across the US, according to national research conducted at Dartmouth Medical School.

Finding the mind's eye
Dartmouth professor of psychological and brain sciences Peter Tse has published new results in his on-going investigation of the brain and how it transforms visual stimuli into conscious experience.

Inherent vascular repair key to atherosclerosis
The progression of the artery-clogging disease atherosclerosis is linked to the inability of specialized bone marrow cells to continuously repair damage to the arterial lining, Duke University Medical Center researchers have demonstrated.

Race can affect decision about lung cancer treatment
Race may play a role in whether a patient accepts surgical treatment for lung cancer.

Recreating 'Flowers for Algernon' with a happy ending
UCLA scientists used statin drugs to reverse the attention deficits caused by NF1, the leading genetic cause of learning disabilities.

Study: Key holes appear in books giving parents advice about raising adolescent
Books offering advice to parents about teens are less likely to contain injury prevention messages than those that give advice on parenting smaller children, according to a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study.

Fewer days of ice on northern New England rivers in recent years
As the spectacular New England fall foliage gives way to another of the region's infamous winters, many wonder what this year will bring.

Leaders work to establish diabetes plan for Pennsylvania
Some 200 top diabetes researchers, clinicians and other leaders from government, public health agencies, business, insurance, hospitals, patient advocacy groups and volunteer organizations will take part in a Pennsylvania Diabetes Summit on Nov.

Nine percent of children may outgrow their tree nut allergies
Approximately nine percent of children with an allergy to tree nuts will outgrow their allergy, including children who have previously experienced a severe allergic reaction, according to a study in the November 2005 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI).

Success tastes sweet for scientists
A low-calorie sweetener that tastes like sugar and could help control diseases like diabetes and obesity may be closer to reality thanks to research published today.

Parents' safe gun storage behaviors improve after counseling
Families who received a brief gun-safety counseling intervention from their pediatrician were more likely to improve their gun storage safety practices, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Unrelated adults in the home associated with child-abuse deaths
Young children who live in households with one or more unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die from an inflicted injury, usually being shaken or struck, as children living with two biologic parents, report researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Chicago in the journal Pediatrics.

Study reveals surprising attitudes about research involving adults with Alzheimer's
A new study looks at how far Americans will go in allowing people with Alzheimer's disease to take part in studies of promising -- but sometimes risky -- new treatments and other research when they cannot consent for themselves.

Antisocial behavior in children associated with gene variant and environmental risk factors
For children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), possessing a variant of a gene involved in brain signaling may predict antisocial behavior and increase susceptibility to the effects of lower birth weight, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Increased suicide rate with possible link to nearby industry chemicals in second N.C. community
Sustained elevation of the suicide rate in a North Carolina county may be linked to releases of hydrogen sulfide and other airborne chemicals from a nearby paper mill and possibly other industrial sites, a new study led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychiatrist indicates.

Seal rookeries could provide a reliable food source for endangered California condors, study finds
A team of scientists is proposing that endangered California condors raised in captivity can be released near seal and sea lion rookeries so that the birds can once again feast on the carcasses of marine mammals as their ancestors did centuries ago.

New study shows link between prolonged bottle-feeding and iron deficiency
Children bottle-fed past 12 months of age and Mexican-American children may be at high risk for iron deficiency and the problems that accompany it, according to a national study by Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin researchers.

Researchers find nine risk indicators for tooth loss
Severe periodontal disease causes tooth loss and affects a certain group of people that appear to exhibit increased susceptibility to periodontal destruction, according to a study that appeared in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Manchester awarded £1.5m to establish transatlantic composites partnership
Lord Sainsbury, Science and Innovation Minister, has announced that The University of Manchester will be one of only four UK universities to lead transatlantic research partnerships under a new Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) pilot scheme.

No good evidence that cholesterol drugs lower melanoma risk
No clear evidence exists that some widely-prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs can decrease the risk of melanoma, a deadly and malignant skin cancer, according to a new review of recent studies.

Aspirin might prevent development of oesophageal adenocarcinoma
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin might be effective in preventing the development of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's oesophagus, according to US researchers reporting online in The Lancet Oncology.

Cancer survivors require distinct care
Citing shortfalls in the care currently provided to the country's 10 million cancer survivors, a new report recommends that each cancer patient receive a

Regional disparities in transplantation rates
Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for ESRD because it prolongs survival, improves quality of life and is less costly than dialysis.

Children in car crashes should be monitored for acute stress symptoms, whether injured or not
In a national study of children in motor vehicle crashes, researchers found that traumatic stress can occur without injury.

Small-bowel obstruction
Obstruction of the intestines due to adhesions resulting from previous abdominal surgery is painful, results in vomiting and dehydration and requires urgent medical and often surgical intervention.

Medication shows promise in the treatment of hyperactivity associated with autism-related disorders
Medication commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be effective for treatment of hyperactivity symptoms in children with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Adolescents who watch smoking in movies are more likely to try smoking
The first national study to look at the connection between smoking in movies and smoking initiation among adolescents shows that exposure to smoking in popular films is a primary risk factor in determining whether young people will start smoking.

Anxiety disorders increase risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts
A pre-existing anxiety disorder significantly increases the risk of a subsequent onset of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

First Intergovernmental Forum on Sustainable Development for Mining, Minerals and Metals
Thirty-seven countries and several international and multilateral organizations will meet from November 7 to 9, 2005, at the headquarters of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva for the first Intergovernmental Forum to be held on Sustainable Development for Mining, Minerals and Metals.

Health of Acehnese reefs in the wake of the tsunami shows human impacts more harmful
According to research reported this week in Current Biology, tsunami damage to coral reefs closest to the epicenter of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake was occasionally spectacular, but surprisingly limited, particularly when compared to damage from chronic human misuse in the region.

Markers found for bacterial vaginosis
Findings reported in this week's New England Journal of Medicine (November 3 issue) highlight promising findings from two Seattle-based researchers on the origins of bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Bronzes show promise for use as cathodes in lithium batteries
Since their discovery in 1830 the tungsten bronzes have been extensively studied due to their interesting chemical, electrical and optical properties.

Malaria risk - it's not all in the genes
Genetic factors accounted for one quarter of the total variability in malaria incidence in this study population, slightly less than household-specific environmental factors in a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Ads for SSRI antidepressants are misleading, say researchers
Many ads for SSRI antidepressants claim that the drugs boost brain serotonin levels.

The Politicization of Science
The Harvard Medical School (HMS) Division of Medical Ethics will host a public forum, titled 'The Politicization of Science,' which will bring together opinion leaders to discuss the effect of politics on science.

Aspirin & similar drugs may cut risk of esophageal cancer in people with Barrett's esophagus
Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may significantly reduce the risk of esophageal cancer among people with Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition associated with chronic heartburn that affects an estimated 1 million to 2 million Americans.

Link between maternal malaria, pregnancy history, and infant risk
Children of mothers with placental malaria were more likely to exhibit parasitemia within their first year.

University's HIV diagnostic test expands into European market
The University of Liverpool's HIV diagnostic test expands into the European market.
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