Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 09, 2006
Three-week diet/exercise study shows 50 percent reversal in metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes
A UCLA study found the Pritikin diet and daily exercise reverses metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes in 50 percent of those with either condition, even without major weight loss.

Losing sleep undoes the rejuvenating effects new learning has on the brain
University of California and Stanford University researchers shed light on the role sleep plays in learning, showing that sleep-restricted rats had a lower rate of new cell survival in the hippocampus region of the brain than their rested counterparts.

Milky Way galaxy is warped and vibrating like a drum
For 50 years, astronomers have puzzled over a mysterious warp in the Milky Way galaxy, as seen in the hydrogen gas embedded among the stars.

Researchers confirm role of massive flood in climate change
First successful attempt to simulate the effect of flood into North Atlantic using state-of-the-art climate model shows that freshwater disrupted ocean circulation and Earth's climate; simulations confirmed by climate proxy record.

News Briefs from the January issue of CHEST
News briefs from the January issue of the journal CHEST highlight studies related to the SMART (salmeterol) trial, asthma prevalence and gender, and fish oil's effect on exercise-induced airway constriction.

Newer football helmet design may reduce incidence of concussions in high school players
Newer football helmet technology and design may reduce the incidence of concussions in high school football players, according to a preliminary three-year study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

15 percent of US employees work under influence of alcohol
Workplace alcohol use and impairment directly affects an estimated 15 percent of the US workforce, or 19.2 million workers, according to a recent study conducted at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions and reported in the current issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.

89 percent of men with penile implants are able to have sex says new study
89 percent of men fitted with a penile prosthesis were able to have sex and 81 percent were satisfied with the outcome of the procedure.

Use of proven heart medicines improves, but not enough
While the use of medicines proven to save the lives of heart patients has shown steady improvement, investigators at the Duke Clinical Research Institute have determined that there is still much need for better physician prescribing of, and patient adherence to, life-saving medicines, particularly continued long-term use of these medicines.

Mayo Clinic finds aggressive surgery best option for advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers report aggressive surgical removal of as much cancer as possible throughout the abdomen in ovarian cancer patients is the best option for most women.

In bacterial diversity, Amazon is a 'desert'; Desert is an 'Amazon'
Ironically, in the diversity of soil bacteria, the otherwise species-rich Amazon is a more like a desert, while the arid desert is a teeming microbial Amazon, researchers have found.

Screening test for prostate cancer does not improve survival
A screening test for prostate cancer that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels does not improve survival, researchers at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale School of Medicine report in the January 9 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Tumor cells that border normal tissue are told to leave
The thin, single-cell boundary where a tumor meets normal tissue is the most dangerous part of a cancer according to a new study by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Avian flu transmission to humans may be higher than thought
A new study suggests that there is an association between direct contact with dead or sick poultry and flu-like illness in humans and that the transmission is probably more common than expected, according to a new study in the January 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Florida Tech, FSRI receive $1.3 million federal grant for space research
Under a new $1.3 million NASA grant, Florida Tech and the Florida Space Research Institute will support ongoing programs within the state's Space Life Sciences Lab at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, including research aimed at mitigating the negative health effects of long-duration space flight.

AIDS drug from sunflowers
Sunflowers can produce a substance which prevents the AIDS pathogen HIV from reproducing, at least in cell cultures.

Surgery can ease sleep problems for those with brain malformations
People with a brain defect called Arnold-Chiari Malformation often develop sleep apnea.

Screening for prostate cancer may not reduce men's risk of death
Screening men for prostate cancer may not reduce their risk for dying, according to a new study in the January 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Two pathways found that lead to Alzheimer's disease
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a transitional stage between normal cognition and Alzheimer's disease, exists in two different forms, according to a study published today by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of California, Los Angeles in the Archives of Neurology.

American Academy of Neurology names Advocate of the Year at leadership forum
The American Academy of Neurology has named Glenn D. Graham, MD, PhD, a neurologist in Albuquerque, N.M., as Advocate of the Year.

Trusted head injury prevention technique debunked
Contrary to popular thinking in athletics, traditional neck muscle resistance training may not protect athletes from head injuries.

'Pregnant' protein-coding genes carry RNA 'babies'
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have performed a comprehensive analysis of small, non-protein-coding RNAs in the model nematode, C. elegans. They characterize 100 heretofore-undescribed transcripts, including two novel classes; they provide insights into the genomic structure and transcriptional regulation of non-coding RNAs; and they underscore the importance of non-coding RNAs in nematode development.

Scientists make first step towards 'holy grail' of crystallography
Scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Surrey have developed a new technique for crystallising proteins, a discovery which could help speed up the development of new medicines and treatments.

Psychologists make better shareholders
Shareholders seem to be swayed by the buying pattern of other shareholders much less than has hitherto been assumed.

New drug lets thyroid cancer patients avoid nasty side effects during treatment
A multicenter international study, including Johns Hopkins, has found that after surgery for thyroid cancer, giving genetically engineered human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) before radioiodine treatment avoids the previous need to stop thyroid replacement therapy and the miserable side effects that go with it.

Learned motor programs directly influence the visual perception of movements
When novel movements are learned -- for example, in sports -- visual and motor learning take place simultaneously.

MBL leads effort to update E. coli genome
In an attempt to consolidate the efforts of scientists working independently on the genome of the E.coli K-12 strain, an international team of biologists, led by MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) scientists Monica Riley and Margrethe

Follow-up study shows drug slows severe Alzheimer's symptoms for one year
A drug used to treat symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease appears to be effective for one year, according to the results of a new multicenter study that provides additional support for the continuing effectiveness of the treatment, called Namenda®, for patients in the later stages of the disease.

Plant-derived vaccines safeguard against deadly plague
Through an innovative feat of plant biotechnology and vaccine design, researchers in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have successfully turned tobacco plants into vaccine production factories to combat the deadliest form of plague.

GroPep starts Phase 1 infertility trial
GroPep's program - to develop a treatment for a condition that potentially causes 50 percent of all miscarriages - reached a major milestone today with commencement of recruitment of healthy women volunteers into a Phase 1 trial of its infertility drug, PV903.

Sequence-based early warning system for the detection of MRSA outbreaks in hospitals
Harmsen and colleagues show that an early warning algorithm based on epidemiological and DNA typing is a feasible approach for detection of clusters of MRSA infection in a paper published in PLoS Medicine.

Treating glaucoma early lowers economic burden
Treatments that delay the progression of glaucoma may significantly reduce the economic health burden on people with the disease and on the US health system, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University Eye Center and elsewhere.

Removing gaps depends on overall health
According to a recent report in the November/December issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, the success or failure of an implant relies on a number of factors, including the quality of the patient's overall health.

Administering stem cells to patients with myocardial infarction leads to a reduction of the infarct
This week, doctors at the Catholic University of Leuven -- with the University Hospital - Gasthuisberg, the Stem Cell Institute Leuven (SCIL), and the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) -- are publishing a major breakthrough in the treatment of patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Memantine appears effective and safe in moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease
Memantine, a drug approved for the treatment of Alzheimer disease, appears safe and effective in patients with moderate to severe cases of the condition, according to a study in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Preparing for flu pandemic: Pall breathing filters can help protect patients, healthcare workers
In the spring of 2003, the respiratory virus SARS traveled to five countries within 24 hours.

A clue from macaques yields evidence for impaired retroviral defense genes in humans
Researchers Harmit Malik and Michael Emerman and colleagues at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that a surprisingly large fraction of humans may be impaired in the function of a recently discovered arm of the body's defense against invading retroviruses such as HIV.

New insight into machinery of immune cells' 'tentacles'
Researchers have identified new molecular components of the machinery that regulates formation of the tentacle-like filaments by which immune system T cells grasp other cells.

New book edited by Stevens professor favorably reviewed
The book, Non-equilibrium Air Plasmas at Atmospheric Pressure (IOP Publishing, Bristol, UK, 2004), edited by Stevens Institute of Technology physics professor Kurt H.

Motor symptoms associated with increased risk for future Parkinson's disease
Elderly people who complain of stiffness, loss of balance and tremors may be at increased risk for future Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study posted online today that will appear in the April 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Higher intake of vegetable protein associated with lower blood pressure levels
People who eat more protein from vegetables tend to have lower blood pressure, according to a new study in the January 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Distribution model for digital content on the Internet
The general aim of this thesis is to provide a definition for a new distribution model on the Internet enabling the establishment of a new schema for carrying out transactions with digital content, respecting all the rights involved such as authors' copyright, clients' rights to privacy and anonymity regarding acquisitions, etc.

Retinol for combating leukemia cells
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is present in milk, liver, egg yolk, butter and other foodstuffs.

HealthGrades identifies hospitals with highest-rated specialty practices
HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company, today identified hospitals with specialty practices that are rated in the top ten percent in the nation.

UCLA develops new method to track neuron cell death leading to Alzheimer's disease
UCLA researchers developed a new brain imaging strategy that tracks neural cell loss in the hippocampus, a key memory center of the brain.

Patient safety monitoring at Hopkins Hospital finds law of unintended consequences at work
Rigorous attention to patient safety and monitoring for unexpected spikes in bloodstream infection rates at The Johns Hopkins Hospital led a team of Hopkins specialists to uncover an unintended, surprising safety problem with a new device that was supposed to make patients safer and easier to treat.

Tomato juice keeps emphysema from developing in new model; Lycopene cited
Feeding tomato juice to SAMP1 mice kept them from developing emphysema after cigarette smoke exposure long enough to induce emphysema in a SAMR1 control group.

Glaucoma treatment time and costs increase as disease progresses
Delaying the progression of the eye disease glaucoma from advancing to later stages is associated with lower cost of care, according to a study in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

An engineer, a dentist, a veterinarian build bone tissue
Most oral cancers are detected at advanced stages, requiring surgery and radiation; the five-year survival rate of 53 percent has not changed in 30 years.

Face perception is modulated by sexual orientation
New research indicates that an area of the brain thought to act in reward circuitry may represent a phase in visual processing during which sexual orientation modulates how we perceive individual faces.

Rewriting glacial history in Pacific North America
Although the story on glacier fluctuations in northwestern North America over the last 10,000 years has remained largely unchanged for decades, new evidence discovered by a University of Alberta researcher will rewrite that glacial history and offer clues about our climate history during the last several thousand years.

Family influences breast cancer treatment among older Hispanics
A study published in the February 15, 2006 issue of Cancer reveals that older, Hispanic women more than any other racial group, rely on family to make treatment decisions.

Education needed to reduce snowmobile injuries in children
A Mayo Clinic study has found that snowmobile use is a significant source of multiple trauma for children and adolescents.

Variation in bitter-taste receptor gene increases risk for alcoholism
A team of researchers, led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Massive star cluster found in Milky Way
A massive cluster of red supergiants -- super-sized stars on the verge of exploding -- was recently discovered in the Milky Way by a group of astronomers using infrared technology to penetrate the thick dust that cloaks much of the galaxy.

Zebra finches remember songs dad sang
Researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, believe they have located a place in the brain where songbirds store the memories of their parents' songs.

Caring for cancer carers: Are women's needs different from men's?
A cancer diagnosis can be a devastating experience for the person concerned, but for families and loved ones, who later become the primary source of support and care, it can be a stressful, life changing experience.

Polymer aids in blood clotting, pointing way to new treatment
A serendipitous comparison prompted by an old scientific image and involving an ancient but understudied molecule may lead to a new treatment strategy for injuries or illnesses in which blood clotting is paramount to survival.

Medications and cough syrups may cause cavities
A spoon full of sugar may help the medicine go down, but most dentists would likely encourage parents to skip that step when treating a child's illness.

Evolutionary shifts in olfactory sensitivities in fruit flies
How do an animal's senses change as it evolves to occupy a new ecological niche?

Car make, age and fuel economy all affect how much vehicles pollute, study finds
When it comes to how much automobiles pollute, some makes are cleaner than others, according to new research.

Role models influence ethical behavior
As the United States continues to grapple with ethical scandals in government and business, researchers examined the ethical behavior of college students - particularly students' behavior in negotiations.

Review highlights need for improved treatment of depression in elderly stroke patients
A review of the management of post-stroke depression in the elderly conducted by The George Institute for International Health calls for significant improvements to be made in the organisation of stroke services to address a major unmet need.

Genetic mutation linked to West Nile virus infection
A genetic mutation that protects against HIV increases the risk of developing clinical West Nile virus infection, according to a new study appearing online on January 9th in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Chinese pre-schoolers show better self control than North Americans, says Queen's psychologist
Chinese children are better able to control impulsive behaviour than their North American counterparts, a new Queen's University study shows.

MCG gets technology to help optimize medicine dosage
Technology that helps doctors decide how much medicine to give a specific patient is being used for the first time at the Medical College of Georgia.

VCU researchers find risk factors for depression may be largely the same in men and women
Men and women may share more similarities than previously thought when it comes to the risk factors for major depression, according to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

New data show Ferriprox is more efficacious than deferoxamine
Results from two new studies demonstrate that treatment with the oral iron chelator Ferriprox (deferiprone) prevents iron-induced heart disease and significantly reduces the risk of early cardiac death in patients who undergo regular blood transfusions to treat thalassemia, a genetic disease that affects the body's ability to make red blood cells.

Scientists probe black hole's inner sanctum
How does matter spiral its way to the center of a galaxy and into the mouth of a supermassive black hole?

Researchers discover new way to stimulate brain to release antioxidants
A joint research effort between researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, CA, and a team from Japan (Iwate University, Osaka City University, Gifu University, Iwate Medical University) has discovered a novel way to treat stroke and neurodegenerative disorders.

Profit-driven corporations can make management blind to ethics, study says
Cuthroat, profit-driven cultures seen in companies like the defunct Enron corporation can cause executives to suffer from moral ignorance and ethical insensitivity, accoring to a University of Washington Business School professor.

Publishing strategies in transformation
The dissemination of research findings on special, free-to-user or open access platforms on the internet is approved by a majority of research scientists in all disciplines.

Large survey of galaxies yields new findings on star formation
New findings from a large survey of galaxies suggest that star formation is largely driven by the supply of raw materials, rather than by galactic mergers that trigger sudden bursts of star formation.

Fatigue and breast cancer survivors
Published in the February 15, 2006 issue of Cancer, a study reveals women who have concomitant medical conditions, specifically cardiovascular problems and depressive symptoms, or who were treated with combined radiation and chemotherapy, have a higher risk of suffering from fatigue.
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