Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 21, 2005
Penn research permits first-ever visualization of psychological stress in the human brain
Using a novel application of an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technique, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have, for the first time, visualized the effects of everyday psychological stress in a healthy human brain.

Researchers reveals how certain chemicals protect the brain against cell damage
A study by Johns Hopkins scientists has revealed that stimulating brain cell receptors for certain hormone-like chemicals in brain cells called prostaglandins can protect the cells from amyloid â-peptide 42 (Aâ1-42), a compound that has been linked to brain cell death and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Northern Ireland political impasse 'no longer such a threat to peace'
The peace and political processes in Northern Ireland have become disconnected, according to new research funded by the ESRC.

Mildly depressed people more perceptive than others
Surprisingly, people with mild depression are actually more tuned into the feelings of others than those who aren't depressed, a team of Queen's psychologists has discovered.

The impossible is possible: Laser light from silicon
Silicon has made its way into everything from computers to cameras.

Grant will fund study of tics and Tourette syndrome
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a multi-site grant to Yale, Harvard University and Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, to evaluate the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) program in adults with Tourette syndrome (TS).

Pitt reports re-opening of carotid arteries in stroke has high success rate with stenting
Pittsburgh researchers report a high level of effectiveness in re-opening completely blocked internal carotid arteries (ICA) as late as two to three days after acute stroke symptoms by using stents.

Multiple-birth babies, boys have higher risk of defects
UF researchers who studied all Florida births from 1996 through 2000 found multiples have a higher risk than babies born singly of developing 23 of 40 birth defects, such as spina bifida.

Immigrants losing homeownership advantage
Immigrants have lost their once-large homeownership advantage over their Canadian-born counterparts, says a University of Alberta researcher who has now also compared rates by skin colour in Canada and the United States.

Use of laparoscopic procedure for gallbladder removal varies widely
There is a wide variation in the use of laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder removal in Hong Kong hospitals, and use of this procedure is more likely at certain hospitals and among younger female patients operated on more recently, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

High-sugar diet pushing some Latino kids toward type 2 diabetes
Overweight Latino children who consume lots of sugar-especially in sugary drinks-show signs of beta cell decline, a precursor of type 2 diabetes.

Fruit fly research set to revolutionize study of birth defects
A Queen's University study of fruit flies that may revolutionize the way birth defects are studied has identified the genes affected by a widely-prescribed drug known to cause birth defects.

'Curing' depression?
Roger McIntyre and colleagues developed a brief 7-item questionnaire to determine if a patient with depression has recovered, and have now evaluated it for use in primary care.

Joslin Diabetes Center launches $100 million fundraising campaign
Joslin Diabetes Center, the acknowledged leader in diabetes research, care and education, has launched a $100 million comprehensive campaign to change the course of diabetes.

SLU research on teen moms refutes conventional wisdom: Early motherhood may not ruin their lives
A new Saint Louis University study disputes conventional wisdom about teenage mothers.

Forecast good for launch of Europe's latest MSG weather satellite
The successful launch of Ariane 5 Flight 167 leaves the launch campaign of Europe's newest meteorological satellite on track to meet its new target date of 21 December.

Study shows people unaware of harmful effects of painkillers
According to a study supported by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are often used inappropriately and there is an alarming number of people who are ignorant to the potential side effects.

The dynamics of rocky inclines
It is common to see banks or inclines on the roadside or at the side of railway cuttings.

Body position affects sleep apnea among young children
Children aged three and younger who have a sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea show more respiratory disturbance when they sleep on their backs, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Little gifts, big donations?
When charities enclose a few cards as presents with their appeals for help, this increases the volume of donations considerably.

Study uncovers placental microtransfusions lead to transmission of AIDS virus during childbirth
Transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, from pregnant women to their infants sometime during childbirth is a huge international problem, studies have shown.

Endorectal coil improves prostate cancer detection
The image quality for detecting prostate cancer is significantly better for MRI at 1.5 T using an endorectal-body phased-array coil as compared with the 3.0 T imaging using the torso phased-array coil, a recent study found.

ADHD medication might also treat hyperactivity symptoms in autism
Methylphenidate, a medication used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may be effective in treating hyperactivity symptoms in children with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders, researchers report in the November Archives of General Psychiatry.

Active listening gives meaning to digital music
Imagine a home hi-fi system where music was automatically categorised according to preferences, where you could read the lyrics as you listen, summon up a favourite tune by humming it, and play along with your favourites.

$3.2 million MERIT Award for study on disability and recovery in older persons
The National Institute on Aging has awarded Yale School of Medicine researcher Thomas M.

Medicine by media
Because of concerns about liver toxicity and an increased risk of venous thromboembolism, warnings were sent to physicians advising them not prescribe Diane-35 for birth control or mild acne.

Age alone influences risk of death and disease for octogenarians after heart surgery
Patients aged 80 and older have a higher risk of death and disease than younger patients after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery or valve surgery, and age alone influences these outcomes, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Prescription drug coverage: An essential service or fringe benefit?
In British Columbia, patients aged 65 years and older are required to pay dispensing fees of their prescription drugs up to an annual maximum of $200, beyond which all of their drug costs are covered for the rest of the year.

Studying substitute animals will not save endangered species
The reasons behind endangerment of one species cannot easily be applied to another.

Study of domesticated foxes reveals changes in gene expression as a basis for tame behavior
By comparing foxes selected for tameness with others that have not been selected in this way, researchers have found evidence that dramatic behavioral and physiological changes accompanying tameness may be associated with only limited changes in gene activity in the brain.

New plastic electrochromic devices
The NANOEFFECT 'Nanocomposites with High Colouration Efficiency for Electrochromic Smart Plastic Devices' project, led by the Fraunhofer-Institut Silicatforschung (ISC), is designing new electrochromic devices that are totally plastic and flexible, capable of changing colour on the simple application of an electric current.

Study shows value of innovation to manufacturers as outsourcing's impact continues
A new study of nearly 650 Georgia manufacturing companies underscores the importance of innovation as a competitive strategy - at a time when international outsourcing continues to impact Georgia's manufacturing community.

Imperial receives Gates Foundation grant to develop new tests for managing AIDS treatment
Imperial College London has received a £4.9 ($8.6) million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a simple, affordable and rapid test to measure the health of the immune system in HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries.

Decrease cancer-suppressing protein activity, increase life span
Too much production of the p53 protein shortens life span.

Ohio professor receives national computational science award
Capital University Professor Ignatios Vakalis won the Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Sciences (UCES) award in Seattle last week during the international Supercomputing 2005 conference.

In autism and related disorders, recognizing emotion is different than identity
In contrast to previous reports, for those with autism or Asperger's syndrome, recognizing facial expressions is separate from identifying familiar faces, according to a study published in the November 22, 2005, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New clues to the dark side of a key anti-tumor guardian
In work reported this week, researchers studying p53 function in fruit flies show new evidence that despite the protective role of p53 as a guardian against tumor formation, normal levels of p53 activity -- at least in some cell types -- may indeed contribute to aging and decreased lifespan.

Mayo clinic study finds occupation and education influence risk for Parkinson's disease
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an individual's educational and career paths impact Parkinson's disease risk later in life.

Rise in hospital noise poses problems for patients and staff
Acoustical engineers say hospital noise levels have grown steadily over the past five decades, stressing patients and staff, raising the risk of medical errors and hindering efforts to modernize hospitals with speech recognition systems.

Leading women and minority scientists to be honored
Five leading women and minority scientists will be honored for their contributions to science on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at the Second Annual

Brain morphing technology simplifies the surgical treatment for movement disorders
Tens of thousands of people who experience movement disorders associated with Parkinson's and a variety of other neurological conditions stand to benefit from a new guidance system that uses computerized brain-mapping techniques to significantly improve an increasingly popular procedure called deep brain stimulation.

Periodontal therapy may reduce the incidence of preterm births and low birthweight infants
Pregnant women will want to include a periodontal evaluation as part of their prenatal care.

Toddlers with sleep apnea suffer more respiratory problems while sleeping on their backs
Researchers find that respiratory events caused by obstructive sleep apnea rise when toddlers spend more time sleeping on their backs.

Removing egg from nest may help save endangered whooping crane
Removing an egg from the endangered whooping crane's nest increases the species chances of survival despite governmental concerns about tampering with nature, says a University of Alberta scientist.

Feinstein Institute neuroscientist wins top honor in Parkinson's research
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has awarded the 2005 Fred Springer Award -- the world's highest honor in Parkinson's disease research -- to David Eidelberg, MD, director of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research's Center for Neurosciences.

Penn psychologists believe 'unit bias' determines the acceptable amount to eat
Just how much dip is in a serving anyway? University of Pennsylvania psychologists demonstrate the power of

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV
Placental microtransfusions as measured by placental alkaline phosphatase levels in cord blood are a risk factor for mother- to-child transmission during vaginal deliveries.

Psychologists glimpse biological imprint of childhood neglect
The absence of a loving caregiver in the earliest years of life could sway the normal activity of two hormones - vasopressin and oxytocin - that play an essential role in the ability to form healthy social bonds and emotional intimacy.

Watch out super nanny - Australian parents are doing it for themselves!
The first large scale scientific evaluation of group-based positive parenting programs has found that the intervention reduces clinically significant behavioural problems in children by 36 per cent.

War on terror meets war on cancer
A scientific method that has been used to track the source of illegal drugs, explosives, counterfeit bills and biological warfare agents may have some new uses: detecting rapidly growing cancers and studying obesity and eating disorders.

CO2 sensing proves critical for fungal pathogens to adapt to life in air and human hosts
By using pathogenic fungi as model systems for understanding fungal diseases, two groups of researchers are reporting new work that offers insight into how carbon dioxide (CO2) governs the morphogenic changes that allow pathogenic fungi to survive in different environments and invade the human body, and they provide new evidence for how CO2 sensing and metabolism utilize evolutionarily conserved enzymes to control the growth and sexual reproduction of pathogenic microbes.

Sonography valuable in determining surgery in peroneal nerve injuries in the knee
Sonography allows radiologists to visualize the neural and extraneural pathology, as well as to define the exact extent of lesions; that is to say, the development and source of the damage to the nervous system and surrounding area in the nerves of the leg, a recent study found.

Charter schools serving more disadvantaged kids, study finds
The charter experiment launched in the early 1990s continues to expand despite

AGI announces winners of Earth Science Week 2005 contests
The American Geological Institute (AGI) is proud to announce the 2005 Earth Science Week contest winners.

Thanksgiving gluttony misaligned with 'intuitive eating' approach examined in new study
Counting calories and other restrictive dieting techniques aren't the best way to lose weight, according to a new study that suggests that an approach toward food called

Pulp mill devastates swans' sanctuary in Chile
A recently opened pulp mill in Chile has devastated one of South America's most biologically outstanding wetlands, decimating its famed population of black-necked swans, along with most other bird life, a WWF-led team of investigators said Monday.

Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times reporter, to speak at Stevens
Andrew C. Revkin, a Science and Environment reporter at The New York Times, will present a talk and slide show, 'The Melting Arctic and Other Tales of Global Warming,' at Stevens Institute of Technology, Wednesday, December 14.

Viagra® improves urinary tract symptoms in men with erectile dysfunction
Viagra® (sildenafil citrate), known for improving erectile dysfunction (ED), also effectively treats the prostate and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with prostate enlargement that often occur with ED, a Northwestern University study has found.

Imaging industrial products
When ESA experts wanted to see what the ion engine designed for the SMART-1 mission to the Moon would finally look like, they contacted a French start-up company: News'UProduction. 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