Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 01, 2005
Accentia Biopharmaceuticals announces that follow-up data
Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABPI), announced that its subsidiary, Biovest International, Inc (OTCBB: BVTI.OB), is presenting an abstract on December 11 at the American Society for Hematology in Atlanta, Ga., presenting long term follow-up data from its BiovaxID Phase II clinical trial.

Give an ant a nice place to stay and it might stick around
Many alien insects enter the United States as hitchhikers on imported plants.

Moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing can lead to stroke
Individuals who experience moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing are four times more likely to have a stroke during the next four years than those who did not suffer from the problem.

Scientists unlock solid tumor treatment genetic secrets
A biochemical mechanism that cells use to cope with hypoxia (lack of oxygen) actually cooperates with a less well-known mechanism that helps increase the expression of those hypoxia-sensitive genes, according to investigators at St.

IEEE-USA approves '06 public-awareness program
As part of its ongoing effort to promote the image of engineers in the United States, IEEE-USA volunteer leaders have endorsed a 2006 public-awareness program that reaches out to youngsters, adults and the public-at-large through targeted media and events.

'Dating agency' boosts hunt for disease genes
Doctors and scientists nationwide will today for the first time be able to join together over the internet to start the search for genes that underlie a range of chronic diseases.

DOE JGI releases fourth version of IMG in 2005
The fourth version of the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data management system of the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has been made available.

Atherosclerosis studied at the cellular level
Study finds that nitric oxide, normally considered a

PCBs, furans may factor in risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Scientists have found some additional evidence that environmental exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may be associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a study published in the December 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Hopkins study shows 30-day soft contact lenses pose very small risk of vision loss
A team of researchers led by the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute have determined that the corneal infection rate associated with the use of 30-day -extended-wear contact lenses made from silicone hydrogel is comparable to that previously reported for older lens types worn for fewer consecutive 24-hour periods.

High-dose chemotherapy may improve survival for women with advanced breast cancer
More trials are needed to compare high-dose chemotherapy with conventional dose chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Grant advances web portal for US/China standards
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a $250,000 matching grant to support the development of an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-sponsored US/China Standards Portal.

Pilot study shows that chronic fatigue syndrome may be a legitimate condition, probably neurological
Researchers might have found evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is a real and legitimate neurological condition.

Grant increases minority scientists' access to magnet lab's world-class facilities
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, in Tallahassee, Fla. and two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been awarded a $1.5-million, one-year collaborative grant from the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) to increase the involvement of minority scientists and their students in cutting-edge research.

Study looks at factors influencing African-American women's decisions to join cancer screening trial
Do African-American women who join a screening trial for cancer differ from those who do not join?

Gold mining firm gives $1 million to natural reserve
Barrick Gold Corp., parent of the firm that donated land in the 1990s to establish the university reserve, today gave $1 million to support the reserve for decades to come.

New model of prostate cancer helps identify promising pain treatment
Researchers have developed a new line of prostate cancer cells that they hope will provide a better model to study the disease.

NYU Child Study Center raises $4 million at eighth annual child advocacy award dinner
On Tuesday, November 29, 2005, the NYU Child Study Center hosted its eighth annual award dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street, raising $4 million to support the programs and initiatives of the Center.

Institute of Medicine news: Report on health care performance
National system needed to measure and report on health care performance; new board should be created to guide development.

Men and women differ in brain use during same tasks
New research from the University of Alberta shows that men and women utilize different parts of their brains while they perform the same tasks.

NCAR study: Trade imbalance shifts US carbon emissions to China, boosts global total
The growth of Chinese imports in the US economy boosted the total emissions of carbon dioxide from the two countries by over 700 million metric tons between 1997 and 2003, according to an analysis published in the journal Energy Policy by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

'Go Fishing' no game for inland waters worldwide
Fish pulled from the world's lakes and rivers seem to provide a never-ending source of food, jobs and income in developing nations.

Highlights from the December Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The December 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Crystal sponges excel at sopping up CO2
Since the Industrial Revolution, levels of carbon dioxide -- a major contributor to the greenhouse effect -- have been on the rise, prompting scientists to search for ways of counteracting the trend.

Iron-rich rice improves iron status of women
In the first study to see how foods bred to have extra nutrient value, Cornell University's Jere Haas and colleagues found that the iron status of women who ate iron-rich rice, developed through conventional plant breeding, was 20 percent higher than those who ate traditional rice.

Hair follicle stem cells contribute to wound healing
Hair follicle stem cells are important contributors to the wound-healing process, according to new research by investigators at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Government reforms may bring an end to free healthcare
The Government's current NHS reform programme could lead to patients being charged for access to healthcare, argues a paper in this week's BMJ.

Investigating cosmic forces that produce new galaxies
When galaxies collide (as our galaxy, the Milky Way, eventually will with the nearby Andromeda galaxy), what happens to matter that gets spun off in the collision's wake?

NIST assists with testing crash avoidance system
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are assisting the Department of Transportation (DOT) by developing tests for a crash avoidance system that could substantially reduce the number of rear-end, road departure and lane change accidents.

Disruption of gene interaction linked to schizophrenia
Disruption of the normal interaction between the genes PRODH and COMT contributes directly to major symptoms of schizophrenia by upsetting the balance of the brain chemicals glutamate and dopamine, according to a group of investigators that includes a scientist now at St.

Picking particles faster than one at a time
Computer scientists and biologists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed software that can select tens of thousands of high-quality images of biological molecules from electron microgaphs, rapidly and automatically, with accuracy approaching that of experienced human analysts.

Battle of the bulge: Why losing weight is easier than keeping it off for good
Columbia University researchers have now explained why once you lose weight the pounds can easily creep back on again.

Study confirms that stents releasing medication help keep heart bypass vein grafts open
A study confirms that medication-releasing stents reduce scar tissue formation in saphenous vein grafts, and patients receiving them have lower short-term incidence of vessel re-narrowing, heart attack and death.

No evidence that COX-2 inhibitors provide greater stomach protection
There is no evidence to back up claims that the new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs (COX-2 inhibitors) are less harmful to the stomach lining than many traditional anti-inflammatory drugs, concludes a study in this week's BMJ.

Food subsidies are damaging health
Overproduction of food in rich countries is fuelling health problems worldwide, argues a public health expert from Sweden in this week's BMJ.

First Galileo satellite travels to launch site
GIOVE A, the first Galileo satellite, departed from ESA's test facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in The Netherlands on the morning of 29 November, bound for the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Uncontrolled use of artemisinin leading to drug-resistant malaria
Scientists have found evidence of resistance to artemisinin malaria drugs in French Guiana and Senegal, reporting their findings in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Childbirth not linked to urinary incontinence, study finds
Postmenopausal women who have given birth vaginally do not appear to suffer from urinary incontinence at higher rates than their sisters who have never given birth, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study published in the December Obstetrics and Gynecology journal.

Coffee and tea can reduce the risk of chronic liver disease
A study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology found that people at high risk for liver injury may be able to reduce their risk for developing chronic liver disease significantly by drinking more than two cups of coffee or tea daily.

Overfishing in inland waters reduces biodiversity and threatens health
Overfishing of fresh waters occurs worldwide but is largely unrecognized because of weak reporting and because other pressures can obscure fishery declines.

Studying substitute animals will not save endangered species
The reasons behind endangerment of one species cannot easily be applied to another, warn UC Davis conservation biologists who examined the common research practice of using surrogate animals to predict or identify what is endangering another species.

Coherent, robust performance measurement system needed
Full impact of quality improvement initiatives cannot be realized without a comprehensive performance measurement system.

Lack of research hampering efforts to provide health services to homeless people
The paucity of validated research involving homeless people is hampering efforts to expand health services and improve uptake for this population, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

People in committed relationships are happier
Having a romantic relationship makes both men and women happier -- and the stronger the relationship's commitment, the greater the happiness and sense of well-being of its partners, according to a study by Cornell University's Claire Kamp Dush.

Child poverty going down, due to more mothers working
The number of children living in poverty in the United States is down to 16 percent -- the lowest in 20 years.

Needle-free immunizations
Samir Mitragotri, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says the myriad shortcomings of injections have led to active research and development of needle-free methods of immunization.

Designated driving takes on new meaning
The phrase designated driver (DD) is meaningless for many young adults who, instead of choosing a sober chauffer, pick the

Gladstone researchers identify new drug target for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease have identified a potential new way to stop brain cell death related to Alzheimer's disease.

Modern tools to unlock ancient texts
Tools for ancient texts have been successfully created that will open up rare texts and manuscripts locked away in museums, libraries and archives, and promote new kinds of scholarship while also preserving large swathes of history and culture for the future.

Study demonstrates role of exercise in modifying melatonin levels
Moderate physical activity, which is believed to help reduce the risk of breast cancer, may do so because it increases production of a hormone believed to have protective effects against the disease, a Canadian research team has learned.

Fat tissue surrounding thoracic arteries may be beneficial
A team of McMaster researchers has discovered that fat tissue surrounding thoracic arteries may be beneficial in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery.

Light to moderate alcohol consumption not beneficial to health
Any coronary protection from light to moderate alcohol consumption will be very small and unlikely to outweigh the harms, states a comment in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Preventing bacterial biofilms could help fight TB
HHMI researchers have identified a gene that enables mycobacteria -- the cause of tuberculosis and leprosy -- to form biofilms.

The heat is on: Why some cholesterol-lowering drugs cause hot flashes
University of Heidelberg researchers have now shown how the cholesterol-lowering agent nicotinic acid causes flushing or

Endotoxins in house dust pose a significant risk for asthma
Exposure to household endotoxin levels poses a significant risk for asthma, according to the first nationwide sampling of house dust.

IMPRESS project: First in-flight results onboard Texus sounding rocket
The IMPRESS project saw the first launch of an experimental payload, the Electromagnetic Levitator, onboard an ESA/DLR-funded Texus 42 sounding rocket, from the Esrange launch site near Kiruna in northern Sweden, on 1 December at 10:06 hours CET.

Institute for OneWorld Health receives multimillion dollar grant
The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the US, today announced that it has received a US$30 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to initiate and evaluate the impact of a pilot program to dramatically reduce morbidity and mortality from visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the rural communities of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Study provides first estimate of US population affected by Barrett's esophagus
According to estimates put forth in a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology, more than 3 million Americans are living with Barrett's esophagus, a condition that leads to esophageal cancer.

Chandra proves black hole influence is far reaching
Scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered evidence of energetic plumes - particles that extend 300,000 light years into a massive cluster of galaxies.

'Long' distances measured with picometer accuracy
A new laser-based method for measuring millimeter distances more accurately than ever before -- with an uncertainty of 10 picometers (trillionths of a meter) -- has been developed and demonstrated by a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Collapse of p53 into clumps might be linked to cancer, according to St. Jude
The disruption of a molecular bridge that holds together the molecule p53 tends to destabilize this protein, allowing it to form potentially disease-causing aggregates, or

Jewelry-making program empowers participants, reduces HIV risk
The Jewelry Education for Women Empowering their Lives (JEWEL) program introduced 55 drug-using women to HIV risk prevention and the making, marketing and selling of beaded jewelry.

UCSF wins HHMI award for interdisciplinary graduate education
UCSF's Integrated Program in Complex Biological Systems has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to initiate fundamental changes in the way PhD scientists are trained.

'Jammed Networks' may clear the way for better materials
Jammed networks may cause upheaval in phone systems, but among wispy carbon nanotubes or nanofibers, a similar phenomenon may greatly improve flammability resistance and, perhaps, other properties in polymers, report researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Pennsylvania.

Research provides more evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is a legitimate medical condition
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be rooted in distinct neurological abnormalities that can be medically tested.

Hopkins study proves cochlear implants prevent or reverse damage to brain's auditory nerve system
New research at Johns Hopkins has clearly demonstrated the ability of cochlear implants in very young animals to forge normal nerve fibers that transmit sound and to restore hearing by reversing or preventing damage to the brain's auditory system.

Cannabis almost doubles risk of fatal crashes
Driving under the influence of cannabis almost doubles the risk of a fatal road crash, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

MicroRNA may have fail-safe role in limb development
A specific microRNA may act as a protective mechanism in the hindlimbs in the event normal gene transcription goes awry.

Specialized neurons allow the brain to focus on novel sounds
A team of Spanish and American neuroscientists has discovered neurons in the mammalian brainstem that focus exclusively on new, novel sounds, helping humans and other animals ignore ongoing, predictable sounds.

In video games, not all mayhem is created equal
New research by Iowa State University researchers shows that rewarded violence in video games increases hostility and aggressive thinking and behavior.

Most detailed image of the Crab Nebula
A new Hubble image - among the largest ever produced with the Earth-orbiting observatory - gives the most detailed view so far of the entire Crab Nebula.

Making the best decisions when faced with the risks of premature delivery
Mothers who give birth to premature babies must often make critical and difficult decisions.

Study shows long-term benefits of psychotherapy for PTSD among youths after natural disaster
A study in the December 2005 American Journal of Psychiatry spotlights benefits of psychotherapy for children and adolescents after a natural disaster.

Does the district general hospital have a future?
Government reforms are threatening the future of district general hospitals, says an expert in this week's BMJ.

Overproducing leptin receptors in fat cells may be key to halting weight gain
A new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests that when fat cells increase in size - as they do during the development of obesity - the cells progressively lose receptors for the hormone leptin, a powerful stimulus for fat burning.

No safe ground for life to stand on during world's largest mass extinction
The world's largest mass extinction was probably caused by poisonous volcanic gas, according to research published today. 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