Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 09, 2005
UCLA discovery will aid in treatment of patients with a deadly brain cancer
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer have identified key characteristics in certain deadly brain tumors that make them 51 times more likely to respond to a specific class of drugs than tumors in which the molecular signature is absent.

Urban Britain is a recipe for heart disease
Researchers at The University of Manchester's Medical School, working with teams in India and Birmingham, have found that people moving from South Asia to the UK significantly increase their risk of contracting cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Coming soon: The sun in 3-D
Twin spacecraft designed to capture 3-D 'stereo' views of the sun and solar wind were shipped from Johns Hopkins to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for their next round of pre-launch tests.

Genetic analysis of glioblastoma brain tumors can aid in treatment decisions, study shows
Screening glioblastoma brain tumors for two gene variations can reliably predict which tumors will respond to a specific class of drugs, a new study shows.

Johns Hopkins flu expert calls for mandatory vaccination of health care workers
Johns Hopkins' senior hospital epidemiologist and flu expert is calling for mandatory vaccination of all health care workers as the best means of protecting patients and hospital staff from widespread outbreaks of the viral illness.

Hairy feet stick better to wet ceilings
The gecko lizard is known as a master of climbing.

Organised wind chaos on Jupiter
Jupiter's atmosphere is stirred by giant storms and high speeds jets that are mirrored in the planet's banded surface.

Fc gamma receptor gene variants associated with rheumatoid arthritis
People with a specific combination of variants of two genes, encoding two different receptors for the antibody Fc gamma, are three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than individuals with different variant combinations.

Vaccine for follicular lymphoma
A team of researchers has demonstrated the clinical efficacy and benefits of a vaccine for a type of blood cancer, follicular lymphoma, amongst first time relapse patients.

Alzheimer's disease onset tied to lapses in attention
People in early stages of Alzheimer's disease have greater difficulty shifting attention back and forth between competing sources of information, a finding that offers new support for theories that contend breakdowns in attention play an important role in the onset of the disease.

Vacations provide mental health benefits for women, Marshfield Clinic finds
Women who take vacations frequently are less likely to become tense, depressed or tired and are more satisfied with their marriages, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wis.

Historian at NJIT will discuss disseminating scientific knowledge in 19th century
How to reach out and touch someone before the telegraph was even invented, fascinates historian Kevin Gumienny, PhD, a special lecturer in the history department at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

When it comes to babies learning language, the eyes have it
Infants begin pulling off an amazing feat in the final three months of their first year of life.

The ethics of selecting for existence
Highlights from the current issue of Ethics, a symposium on disability by some of the leading theorists working on the subject.

Medical debt undermines housing security for working families, new national study shows
In a new analysis of the financial consequences that can strike those in the US with health care bills they cannot pay, the Boston-based Access Project released a report today showing that medical debt is threatening homeownership or housing stability for many American working families, including those with health insurance.

AACR-NCI-EORTC international conference
Critical innovations and new knowledge are now emerging from the laboratories of universities, medical centers and pharmaceutical companies worldwide, offering the prospect of a new generation of drugs capable of destroying cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy, without damaging adjacent normal cells.

Researchers devise dinosaur classification method
Josh Smith, PhD, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St.

Study: N.C. parents want tobacco use prevention to become higher priority
North Carolina parents strongly favor making tobacco use prevention a higher priority across the state, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study shows.

Hopkins study finds no 'cognitive decline' after use of heart-lung machine during bypass surgery
The use of a cardiopulmonary heart pump during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery does not significantly damage such high-level mental tasks as thinking, reasoning and remembering, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers recently published in Neurology.

Fisheries science student describes new species of mussel
Jess Jones' master of science thesis, titled

Red kiwi poised to make a healthy debut
First there was green, then yellow and now red-fleshed kiwifruit.

Swift satellite hailed as 'Best of What's New' by Popular Science magazine
The Swift satellite has received a

Clay material may have acted as 'primordial womb' for first organic molecules
Arizona State University geochemist Lynda Williams and her colleagues have discovered that clay minerals under conditions at the bottom of the ocean may have acted as incubators for the first organic molecules on Earth.

Invisible disabilities
Highlights from the current issue of Ethics, a symposium on disability by some of the leading theorists working on the subject.

Shoot a pic, focus later
Digital cameras that can refocus blurry photos after the picture has been taken could be useful for sports action shots or CCTV surveillance cameras.

More is not always better
When two options are compared; what is perceived as more may create a better feeling than what actually is more.

The bioweapon is in the post
Biotech firms that make up sequences of DNA to order could unwittingly be helping terrorists build vicious pathogens for biological weapons.

Bird calls may have meaning
A deep-voiced black-capped chickadee may wonder why other birds ignore it, but there may be a good reason behind the snub, says a University of Alberta study that looked into how the bird responds to calls.

Paving the way: UH prof's highway device cuts costs, saves time
One University of Houston professor has developed a time-saving, cost-cutting device to help the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) ensure highways meet proper construction standards for concrete thickness.

Rensselaer researchers test polymer membrane for fuel cell and hydrogen applications
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have started a new fundamental research project on the component that is often referred to as the heart of a fuel cell - the polymer membrane.

Einstein's relativity theory proven with the 'lead' of a pencil
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a new way to test Einstein's theory of relativity using the 'lead' of a pencil.

Worms know bad food when they smell it
For most people, just a whiff of food that has made them sick in the past is enough to trigger a wave of nausea - and to prevent them from eating that food again.

The nude mouse tale: Omega-3 fats save the life of a terminal cancer patient
University of Nevada, Reno professors publish a case study of a successful nutritional treatment for cancer.

Study finds torture and human rights abuses among Tibetan refugees
Canadian and American researchers have examined the prevalence of mental health illness and torture among Tibetan refugees.

A resetting signal keeps circadian rhythm on track in Drosophila fruit flies
A Brandeis University study published this week in Nature shows for the first time that a molecular signal maintains coherence among brain clock cells that regulate daily activity of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies).

Venus express en route to probe the planet's hidden mysteries
European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft was successfully launched this morning from Baikonur, Kazakstan.

Star on the run
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have recorded a massive star moving at more than 2.6 million kilometres per hour.

Feds give researchers ok for safety test of adult stem cells in patients with heart disease
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved plans to begin a Phase I study to evaluate the safety of using adult stem cells from bone marrow to treat chronic ischemia, a serious form of heart disease.

New screening test proves earlier, more accurate predictor for Down syndrome
A new study from Columbia University Medical Center researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia of more than 38,000 pregnant women at 15 US centers demonstrates the high accuracy of non-invasive screening for Down syndrome (also known as trisomy 21) in the first trimester of pregnancy, at 11 weeks.

Columbia study suggests benefits of Zyflamend® in the early treatment of prostate cancer
Data from the Columbia University demonstrates that Zyflamend®, a unique herbal extract preparation, suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct via a process called

Research: In environmental policy, we get what we pay for
As with most things in life, cheaper doesn't mean better -- and that's especially true when setting environmental cleanup policy.

Central Americans save plant diversity through local cultivations
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report that farmers and families in Central America actually have saved genetic variation in the jocote (ho-CO-tay), Spondias purpurea, a small tree that bears fruit similar to a tiny mango.

Pinpointing oil, gas below earth's surface focus of UH prof's research
The next revolution in hydrocarbon exploration and subsurface reflection seismology is being fueled by new algorithms developed by John Castagna, a University of Houston geophysics professor.

Researchers to uncover secrets of Gladstone's library
Researchers at the University of Liverpool are undertaking a major study at the library of the former Prime Minister, William Gladstone, which will provide new insights into the mind of the famous Liverpool-born politician.

Statement from Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of AAAS, on the Kansas State Board of Education vote
Dr. Alan I. Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science, issued a statement today regarding the 8 November 2005 vote by the Kansas State Board of Education.

First few seconds of earthquake rupture provides data for distant shake warnings
UC Berkeley seismologist Richard Allen has found that the frequency of P waves produced within the first four seconds of an earthquake provides enough information to estimate the ultimate magnitude of the earthquake.

Stevens dean to chair two sessions at Sloan-C Conference
Robert Ubell, Dean of Professional Education at Stevens Institute of Technology, will chair two corporate learning sessions at the 11th Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) Conference to be held in Orlando this month.

Joint statement on Savvy Phase 3 trial in Ghana to test the effectiveness of Savvy Gel in preventing HIV
Family Health International and Cellegy Pharmaceuticals announced today that they plan to stop the HIV prevention trial of Savvy being conducted by FHI in Ghana.

MUHC investigators search for the root of sexual pain in women
A multidisciplinary team consisting of researchers from McGill/MUHC and the CHUM have been awarded a grant of nearly $700,000 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to continue their groundbreaking research on pain suffered by some women during sexual intercourse.

Growers and homeowners can help detect citrus disease
Plant pathologists from The American Phytopathological Society (APS) report that citrus greening is spreading faster than expected and encourage growers and homeowners to aid in the detection process by alerting the appropriate agricultural officials if they suspect they have infected trees.

UK sperm donor crisis
A study by a leading UK fertility centre published on-line in Human Reproduction (Thursday 10 November) has found that the numbers of men - especially students - coming forward as potential sperm donors fell sharply after 2000, almost certainly due to growing awareness that changes in the law would be removing the right to anonymity.

Shire announces positive two-year study of ADDERALL XR in the treatment of adult ADHD
Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experienced significant long-term ADHD symptom control when treated with once-daily ADDERALL XR® (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product), according to results of a two-year, open-label trial led by Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital, presented today at the US Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress.

Sleep apnea and death association point to need to examine treatments, modify devices
In the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, two studies draw attention to the newly recognized association between sleep disorders and heart trouble.

Youth obsession and reality of ageing set to collide
Australian society's obsession with looking younger is set to collide with the reality of an ageing population, a University of Queensland researcher has warned.

STEREO spacecraft arrives at NASA Goddard for final testing
The two Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft arrive at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. on Nov.

Abalones along Pacific coast may owe their huge, dinner-plate size to sea otters
California sea otters are maligned for their ruthless pursuit of large abalones prized by divers.

NHS England extend BioMed Central membership to 2008
BioMed Central is pleased to announce that NHS England have renewed their BioMed Central membership agreement until March 2008.

Data on herceptin for early breast cancer currently insufficient for decision on its use
Yesterday Patricia Hewitt, the UK's Health Secretary, intervened directly to mediate a debate about access to the drug Herceptin for patients with early breast cancer.

Sleep apnea and risk for stroke and death
An observational study of more than 1,000 patients at the Yale Center for Sleep Medicine found that obstructive sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of stroke or death from any cause, and that the risk is linked to sleep apnea severity.

Unexpected function for a key regulator of blood glucose levels
An unexpected twist to a discovery reported just two months ago may significantly improve our understanding about the molecular origins of diabetes. 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