Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2005
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2005
Story tips from the US DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory include: Environment - Carbon and climate; Energy - Better buildings; Environment - Eliminating kudzu.

Cardiac pump can extend life in end-stage heart failure
Heart pumps can significantly extend the lives of end-stage heart failure patients who are not candidates for heart transplants, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005.

Timing possible treatments against Alzheimer's disease
A study published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine reveals that in a transgenic mouse that overexpressed amyloid beta, turning off production via a tetracycline sensitive switch did not decrease the number of amyloid plaques present.

Prescribed walking can improve physical fitness
Exercise counseling with a prescription for walking at either hard intensity or high frequency produces improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study in the November 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cancer wasting, muscular dystrophy show common change
New research shows that a wasting condition responsible for nearly a third of all cancer deaths involves the loss of an essential muscle protein that is also lost in people with muscular dystrophy.

Exercise plus gene therapy shows promise for treating Lou Gehrig's disease
A new study in mice gives hope that a combination of gene therapy and exercise may extend the lives of people who have Lou Gehrig's disease.

One reason to test premature babies early: Results provide clues to later cognitive development
Cognitive deficits in premature infants are important harbingers of difficulties later in development.

OHSU study reveals each persons' activity level appears intrinsic, possibly tied to genetics
Research conducted by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University reveals that a person's level of activity is likely an intrinsic property of that individual.

Muscular dystrophy and cancer-associated muscle wasting share dystrophin dysfunction
A new study provides important insight into the mechanisms of a muscle wasting disorder that interferes with treatment for cancer and has a negative impact on patient survival.

Mental health services underutilized by cancer patients
Fewer than half of advanced cancer patients with major psychiatric complaints receive care from a mental health provider, according to a new study.

Hostility in women does not affect their long term heart health
A permanent hostility towards others, long regarded as a component of type A personality, does not affect the long term heart health of women, suggests research in Heart.

'Perception' gene tracked humanity's evolution, scientists say
A gene thought to influence perception and susceptibility to drug dependence is expressed more readily in human beings than in other primates, and this difference coincides with the evolution of our species, say scientists at Indiana University Bloomington and three other academic institutions.

PET imaging reveals the immune system at work
A team of researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University of California Los Angeles has used PET scanning to peer inside the body non-invasively and see the immune system fighting off a tumor.

Gene therapy potential for treatment of pancreatic cancer
A gene responsible for the production of a protein called vasostatin may prove a promising new way of treating pancreatic cancer, suggests research published ahead of print in Gut.

Older brains 'rise to the challenge'
When the going gets tough, older adults' brains get going, according to new research by a University of Michigan professor studying how key regions of the brain click on when needed.

Fentanyl patch safe and effective alternative to oral opioids for pediatric pain patients
A new study says using a transdermal patch to deliver the opioid fentanyl is an effective way to control pain in children.

Physicians slower to incorporate newer heart drug treatments
An analysis of the treatment received by more than 100,000 heart patients has shown that physicians' prescription practices for drugs proven effective for treating heart disease has shown steady improvement over the past three years, cardiologists at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) have concluded.

Misguided marketing: Using imagery can backfire
A commonly used advertising method, imagery can have the unintended effect of turning consumers away, says a new study forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Backyard treatment may yield leukemia treatment
Scientists here have identified a new pathway in the progression of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Archaeologists: Ancient brewery tended by elite, female brewmasters
In a paper to appear next week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archaeologists make public another noteworthy discovery about the ancient brewery in the Andes mountains built by the Wari empire 1,000 years ago.

K-State professor's research could possibly identify 'face' of terrorism
Akira Tokuhiro, a K-State associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, is combining two research areas, biometrics -- including facial expressions -- and robotics, to combat terrorism.

Physical activity improves life expectancy and cardiovascular health
People age 50 and older who engage in moderate or high levels of physical activity live longer and have less cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the November 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Students with disabilities encourage others to continue learning
Students with disabilities and learning difficulties are taking part in a unique University of Liverpool training scheme that enables them to educate those with similar disabilities to themselves.

Biorenewables - products for a sustainable future: York leads new consortium
The University of York is to lead a new group set up to explore the potential of products from the biosphere to reduce the global economy's dependence on fossil reserves and oil.

Child-headed households in Namibia turn to friends for aid
With millions of orphans in Africa, more are becoming the heads of their own households at very tender ages.

Spanking linked to child aggression and anxiety, regardless of cultural norm
An international study questioned 336 mothers about their discipline techniques, how they matched up with the norms of their culture, and the anxiousness of their children.

Results of exercise test may predict death in patients with coronary artery disease
Exercise capacity, as measured in terms of VO2max, is a powerful predictor of death in patients with coronary artery disease, not just patients with heart failure.

Crippled by indecision? Maybe you're focusing on the wrong thing
Researchers compare focusing on the process of decision-making to focusing on the outcome of the decision.

Prevent risky behavior in your teen: Get to know their friends in and out of school
As antisocial children move into adolescence, they begin to form alliances and gain acceptance with other antisocial children.

What's in a name? A lot, says new research about the effect of one's own name on consumer behavior
New research from the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that we pick certain brand names for an entirely narcissistic reason - because they contain letters of the alphabet that are in our own name.

Alcohol biomarker test cuts care costs for chronically ill patients
Adding a new alcohol biomarker test to patients' revelations about their drinking habits could lower the cost of caring for patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure, a health economics analysis finds.

New gene marker may identify need for intense AML therapy
Researchers here have discovered a new marker that might identify a serious form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in people who lack the signs that normally alert doctors that the patient needs intense therapy.

Support system helps overcome barriers for nursing home residents in need of cataract surgery
Although nursing home residents with vision-impairing cataract face significant obstacles to obtaining surgical services, a support system that facilitates scheduling surgery and getting the patient to and from the hospital increases cataract surgery rates, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

McMaster virologist develops avian flu test
A diagnostic test that detects all the major human respiratory viruses, including H5N1 (avian flu) and SARS Corona, has been developed by a virologist at McMaster University, and is about to undergo clinical evaluation.

Risky business: Consumer risk influenced by level of enjoyment in sequential activities
Imagine an evening out with friends. You've enjoyed a phenomenal dinner, and the night is going great.

New research links consumer behavior to the weather
It's a sun-drenched weekend afternoon. You're at a music store listening to demo CDs and leave the store with a load of CDs.

Study suggests that aspirin is under-prescribed
Aspirin is underused compared with statins especially for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, despite being more cost-effective, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Parental discipline, life events, and peers affect teens' risk of depression
New findings suggest that environment can affect a child's likelihood of depression, regardless of genetic predisposition towards the mental illness.

Plastic diode could lead to flexible, low power computer circuits, memory
Researchers have invented a new organic polymer tunnel diode - an electronic component that could one day lead to plastic computer memory and plastic logic circuits on computer chips.

Breastfeeding may protect against gluten intolerance (coeliac disease)
Breastfeeding may protect children against gluten intolerance otherwise known as coeliac disease, suggests research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Older consumers prefer emotional appeals
A growing body of research on older consumers reveals that as we grow older we become more emotional.

Cells derived from heart stem cells can repair heart attack damage
Stem cells derived from human heart tissue develop into multicellular, spherical structures called cardiospheres that express the normal properties of primitive heart tissue, smooth muscle and blood vessel cells, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Biomarkers may provide important information for patients at risk for recurrent ischemic stroke
Measurement of two biomarker levels in stroke survivors may provide predictive information for recurrent ischemic stroke beyond traditional risk factors, according to a study posted online today by the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sweeping online changes by the journal Science make career support and news freely available
Based on a merger of ScienceCareers.org and Science's Next Wave, the journal Science today announced a new Web site that is believed to be the single most comprehensive, freely accessible source of online science-career support currently available for scientists, teachers, students, career counselors and the public.

Conference offers new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
More than 150 people gathered last weekend at the National Academies' Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the third annual National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE conference.

Speaking Spanglish correctly
A groundbreaking study from the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research examines the correct and incorrect ways of mixing languages with regard to marketing messages.

Study sheds new light on genetic variation in statin response
A newly discovered genetic variation, in combination with a second variation, reduces the ability of statin drugs to lower

Blue-light special vs. price slashing: Comparing frequent discounts to periodic deep discounts
Frequently fluctuating prices cause consumers to perceive a product's average price as lower than when the price of a product was reduced by a larger amount but less often.

Consumer, meet brand. Brand, meet consumer.
Humans forge relationships with just about everything they encounter: the car you coax up steep hills, that worn pair of shoes you wear on the weekends, and even your stove or refrigerator.

Brain memory area modifies its 'wiring diagram' during the female cycle
Researchers at Northwestern University and Columbia University have found that

Exercise may ward off death in women with metabolic syndrome
A high level of fitness may extend the lives of women with metabolic syndrome, according to new findings presented today by a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

Burning down the brewery
An extensive Wari imperial outpost on the top of a sacred mountain in Peru was ceremoniously evacuated and burned to 1,000 years ago.

Innovative nanomaterials processing points to advances in semiconductor optoelectronics
The study of semiconductor nanoparticles embedded in a matrix is currently a very active research area.

Breakdown of myelin insulation in brain's wiring implicated in childhood developmental disorders
An article in press with the journal Adolescent Psychiatry pinpoints the breakdown of myelin -- the fatty insulation coating the brain's internal connections -- as an important component of childhood developmental disorders and addiction.

Patients missing out in communication divide
Patients are missing out on the latest advances in medical technologies, drugs and treatment options because doctors and researchers do not communicate, according to a British health policy expert being hosted by ANU to give the keynote address at a health conference in Canberra this week.

Rheumatic disease increases risks in pregnancy, Stanford study finds
The first nationwide study of pregnancy outcomes in women with rheumatic disease confirms that they experience greater pregnancy risks and longer hospital stays than the average pregnant woman.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Nov. 15, 2005, issue
The upcoming issue for the Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following three articles: New study: Condom use reduces incidence of genital herpes; Blood clot problems in pregnancy and soon thereafter are infrequent but can be life-threatening; Nurse practitioners, P.A.s provide similar quality of HIV care as physician HIV-experts and better than non-HIV-expert physicians.

Researchers approach quantum limit in third-order nonlinear light-light interaction
Lehigh-ETH team says donor-substituted cyanoethynylethene molecules show one of the strongest nonlinear optical responses yet observed and approach the Kuzyk Limit on maximum possible nonlinear-optical susceptibility of molecules allowed by quantum mechanics.

Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
An international team of scientists for the first time has detected a memory trace in a living animal after it has encountered a single, new stimulus.

Kids can remember events even if they can't remember times
A new study showed that children aged 4-13 may recall details of an event fairly well, yet may be unable to link those details with a specific time of year.

Reify corporation announces Myosight(tm)
Reify Corporation announces the development of Myosight(tm), a breakthrough screening service to test drug candidates for therapeutic and toxic cardiac effects in large, mixed populations of living heart cells.

Eating out often may add to kids' cardiovascular risk
Children who frequently eat out score worse on measures of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk than those who eat more meals at home, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005.

New report on state-by-state charitable giving across US
States that have been labeled 'stingy' -- reported to lag behind the nation in charitable giving -- actually have higher generosity levels than those previously indicated by a widely-touted annual index, according to a new study by researchers at the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy.

Compound from marine bacteria shows potential as multiple myeloma therapy
An anti-cancer compound derived from bacteria dwelling in ocean-bottom sediments appears in laboratory tests to be a potent killer of drug-resistant multiple myeloma cells, and potentially with less toxicity than current treatments, report Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers in the November issue of Cancer Cell.

Multilateral initiative on malaria seeks international effort
Achieving victory over malaria in Africa, a disease that each year kills millions and imposes costs that cripple entire economies, requires a new internationally funded effort dedicated to training and supporting a critical mass of African malaria researchers, according to a new plan launched today by the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) at the Fourth MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Rapidly accelerating glaciers may increase how fast the sea level rises
Satellite images show that, after decades of stability, a major glacier draining the Greenland ice sheet has dramatically increased its speed and retreated nearly five miles in recent years.

How does Mycobacterium tuberculosis infect the lung?
Alveolar macrophages from patients with TB express higher levels of DC-SIGN compared with controls, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Tuning into affluence: Television's role in American materialism
While our insatiable devotion to buying more stuff is no revelation, it is not completely understood where this materialistic mentality comes from.

Alcohol, stress, a family history of alcoholism, and the β-endorphin system
An individual's ability to cope with stressful situations may indicate their vulnerability to alcoholism.

The tumor suppressor protein phosphatase 2A offsets the BCR/ABL oncogenic kinase
Scientists have uncovered an unexpected functional link between a phosphatase known to act as a tumor suppressor and BCR/ABL, a kinase that is intimately linked with cancer development and progression in specific forms of leukemia.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Arthritis Foundation introduce pediatric rheumatic diseases CD-ROM
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation, announces the launch of the

Many needles, many haystacks
Most of what happens in cells is the work of machines that contain dozens of molecules, chiefly proteins.

Low-income pregnant Latinas drink despite universal alcohol-warning messages
Language and cultural differences may discourage some women from drinking alcohol, but may also present a barrier for others to understand the risks of drinking during pregnancy.

Experimental Biology 2006 meets in San Francisco April 1-5
More than 12,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for Experimental Biology 2006 April 1-5, 2006.

Feelings, nothing more than feelings: How you feel affects buying behavior
Have you ever felt really low and thought, for some reason, that shopping for new clothes was a good idea?

Fourth Health Services and Research Policy Conference
Patients are missing out on the latest advances in medical technologies, drugs and treatment options because doctors and researchers do not communicate, according to a British health policy expert being hosted by ANU to give the keynote address at a health conference in Canberra this week.

Wide range of options increases extreme choices
A new study forthcoming in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research found that offering a wide range of options causes consumers to gravitate towards extreme choices because it is easier for the consumer to discern difference.

Marathon of nano-sprinters
Processive bio-molecular motors, which move actively along cytoskeletal filaments, drive the cargo traffic in cells and in biomimetic systems.

New marine research shows global warming may affect organic matter recycling differently
Marine sediments are a significant reservoir of organic carbon around the globe, and burial of sedimentary organic carbon affects the accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Symbolic brands used to delineate group association
A new study in the forthcoming issue of Journal of Consumer Research examines the profound impact brand meaning has in constructing group preference.

On World Diabetes Day, Joslin President warns of explosion in diabetes and its complications
World Diabetes Day -- on the heels of new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which show an alarming 14 percent increase in the number of people with diabetes in the US in the past two years alone, Joslin Diabetes Center President C.

Aspirin-a-day advice unheeded by those who need it, Stanford study finds
A daily dose of aspirin is an inexpensive, proven strategy for reducing the likelihood of heart disease among those most at risk for such disorders, yet a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that aspirin therapy is being used by fewer than one-third of the US outpatients.

Eighth annual NYU Child Study Center child advocacy award dinner
On Tuesday, November 29, 2005, the NYU Child Study Center will host its eighth annual award dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Generous home-poured alcoholic beverages may lead to overindulgence
A standard US drink is usually defined as the equivalent of 0.6 ounces (17.74 ml.) of pure alcohol.

Penn researcher wins awards from two major cardiovascular research organizations
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has won the first-ever American Heart Association Population Research Prize.

Chronic stress accelerates atherosclerosis following angioplasty procedure
Chronic stress can induce rapid blocking of arteries after a balloon angioplasty procedure, according to research performed in animal studies at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Population-level bioethics: Mapping a new agenda
Bioethics has mainly addressed ethical issues at the individual level, particularly involving the patient-doctor relationship.

Looking for the genes that affect a person's level of response to alcohol
A person's level of response (LR) to alcohol is genetically influenced and can affect his or her risk for developing alcoholism.

The burden of food related ill health in the UK
The UK's poor dietary habits are costing its health service an annual £6 billion - three times as much as the financial toll from smoking - reveals research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Womb needed for proper brain development
The brains of babies born very prematurely do not develop as well as those who are carried to full-term, indicating that the early brain may be compromised by being subjected to complex stimulation too early.

Can't quite place it?: The effects of unidentifiable celebrity voiceovers
It's not uncommon to hear a familiar voice in an advertisement but not see the accompanying familiar face.

Why consumers make conflicting choices
There's method to our madness, say researchers. In an important new study forthcoming in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers from the University of Chicago and Yale University seek to explain the presence of simultaneous, conflicting goals and how they affect consumer behavior.

Life support services threatened, 700 experts urge more prominence of biodiversity on world agenda
The abundance, distribution and diversity of plants and animals around the world is being transformed or destroyed by major human-induced processes with potentially catastrophic consequences for human life as well, according to 700 leading scientific experts from 60 countries convened in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Get With The Guidelines program dramatically improves care
After one year - Get With The GuidelinesSM programs used in hospitals significantly improved care for almost 30,000 coronary artery disease patients of all ages and sexes, according to research reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005.

Promising advance in breast cancer research
Two new drugs, when combined, killed up to 75 percent of breast cancer tumor cells in mice and suppressed the regrowth of tumors, according to researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.

Drug may help prevent cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes patients
The cholesterol-lowering drug fenofibrate may reduce the risk of combined cardiovascular disease events (CVD) -- heart attack, stroke, and bypass surgery -- in patients with type 2 diabetes but does not reduce the combined risk of coronary heart disease death and non-fatal heart attack, concludes a randomised trial published online today (Monday November 14, 2005) by The Lancet.

Metals involved in the colour of wine
A University of Navarre research team, made up of Irene Esparza, José María Fernández, Carolina Santamaría, María Isabel Calvo and José Mª García-Mina, have studied the influence of a number of metals in giving wine its colour.

A Bird in the hand: Why we overvalue what we have and undervalue what we want
Based on their findings, the authors suggest that sales strategies such as allowing a car buyer to take a vehicle home and park it her or his garage overnight can affect the buyer's point-of-view once seeing the car in its future home.

Implantable pumps extend lives of patients too sick for transplant
Pumps implanted into the chest to maintain circulation can significantly extend the lives of the sickest patients in end-stage heart failure who are not candidates for heart transplantation, according to the results of a clinical trial led by Duke University Medical Center cardiologists.
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