Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2006
Aspirin therapy may be safe for some survivors of brain hemorrhage
A study from the Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital has found that some patients who have survived an intracerebral hemorrhage - a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain - may be safely treated with aspirin to prevent future heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clots.

Screening blood for West Nile virus
Screening all blood donations in all states to avoid transmission to blood transfusion recipients is not cost-effective according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Advancing the biomedical frontier: Experimental Biology 2006
More than 12,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for the Experimental Biology 2006 meeting at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, April 1-5.

Chemical warfare agent detection technology used to treat lung disease
A new technique based on the same technology used to detect chemical warfare agents and explosives is being employed by scientists at The University of Manchester to treat hospital patients with lung disease.

British blackcurrants beat Alzheimer's
Compounds in blackcurrants could prevent Alzheimer's disease and the characteristics of British berries suggest they do it best.

Ethnic differences in response to HIV medicines
This cross-sectional analysis of race/ethnicity, apoC-III/apoA- I genotypes, and protease inhibitor exposure on plasma lipids showed that race/ethnicity was a highly significant predictor of plasma lipids, published in a paper in PLoS Medicine.

Keeping biological tubes in check: New insights into tube size morphogenesis
The function of tubular organs like the kidneys, lungs, and vessels of the vascular system is critically dependent on the length and diameter of the tubular branches of which they are composed.

Activation of a protein solidifies fear memory in the brain
When activated, a specific protein in the brain enhances long-term storage of fearful memories.

New Zealand tops environmental scorecard at World Economic Forum in Davos
New Zealand ranks first in the world in environmental performance, according to the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) produced by a team of environmental experts at the environment school at Yale University and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Breakthrough for stem cell research
A University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher based at the Diabetes Transplant Unit (DTU) at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital has produced a human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line without the use of any animal products.

Erectile dysfunction common, linked with severity of heart disease
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately one in five American men, appears to be associated with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases and may predict severity and a poor prognosis among those with heart disease, according to three studies in the January 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

For some, aspirin doesn't increase risk of recurring hemorrhagic stroke
Because aspirin may cause bleeding, it is typically avoided in people who have had a hemorrhagic stroke, also called intracerebral hemorrhage.

Swiss researchers develop all-in-one remote control gene expression tool
In an article appearing online today in the journal Nature Methods, researchers at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) unveil a powerful new tool that will facilitate genetic research and open up new avenues for the clinical treatment of genetic disease.

Compounds in licorice root may help fight tooth decay
The online version of the research paper cited above was initially published Jan.

AAAS and EurekAlert! announce winners of the 2006 Fellowships for Reporters from Developing Regions
EurekAlert!, the premier global science-news source, in cooperation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), today announced winners of the prestigious 2006 Fellowships for Reporters from Developing Countries.

Pleasing plant shapes explained by new computer model
Botanists and computer scientists teamed up to produce the most detailed model yet of how plant growth occurs, beginning at the molecular level.

Invasive skin cancer a growing problem in Hispanics
A new study finds in contrast to non-Hispanic Caucasians, increases in melanoma in Hispanics have been confined to thicker lesions, which have a poorer prognosis.

Stem cell study seeks to prevent heart failure
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers today announced the launch of a study that will examine whether transplanted stem cells can be safely used to treat damaged heart muscle in patients just after their first heart attack.

NASA flies into tropical 'portal' to the stratosphere
NASA scientists are leading an airborne field experiment to a warm tropical locale to take a close look at a largely unexplored region of the chilly upper atmosphere.

Viral, gold nanoparticles can assemble themselves to potentially find and treat disease
Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report that they have created a way for viral and gold particles to

Networking computers to help combat disease
Subtropical diseases lay waste to millions of people each year.

News nuggests: University of Pittsburgh health sciences research roundup
University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences researchers are frequent contributors to peer-reviewed journals and presenters at scientific meetings, reporting on a wide range of basic science and clinical research findings.

Immune system response to viral DNA is unique
The human body has a unique immune system response to foreign DNA, suggesting that DNA viruses and RNA viruses are detected by different mechanisms.

2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting: Press conferences planned
The following press conferences are currently planned:

Typhoid fever led to the fall of Athens
Scientists have for many years debated the cause of the Plague of Athens.

Fruit fly's beating heart helps identify human heart disease genes
In a discovery that could greatly accelerate the search for genetic causes of heart disease, a multi-disciplinary Duke University research team has found that the common fruit fly can serve as a powerful new model for testing human genes implicated in heart disease.

Study reveals new player in sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome
A series of studies in sepsis patients, mice, and cultured endothelial cells suggest that excess levels of Ang-2 can provoke pulmonary leak and congestion and might be responsible for sepsis-associated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, according to a paper published in PLoS Medicine.

Marine scientists going down for the count
Three world-class oceanographic research institutions today announced a collaboration to conduct a global census of coral reef ecosystems aimed at estimating the numbers of reef species and determining their vulnerability to human stressors.

ASU's Nanotech in Society Center hosts launch event
On Monday, January 30, nanotechnology leaders from across the nation will gather in Tempe as ASU launches its Center for Nanotechnology in Society.

Mice studies illustrate potential of chimp/human antibodies to protect against smallpox
Results from a new study indicate that hybrid laboratory antibodies derived from chimpanzees and humans may provide a potentially safe and effective way to treat the serious complications that can occur following smallpox vaccination -- and possibly may even protect against the deadly disease itself.

From Quonset huts to ballerinas
A team of Princeton researchers has untangled the mystery behind a puzzling phenomenon first observed more than a decade ago in the ultra-small world of nanotechnology.

Study shows parental alcoholism creates risk factors for substance abuse in emerging adults
The impacts of parental alcoholism in children are well known, particularly the alcohol consumption habits of children of alcoholics (COA's).

Discovery at Barrow localizes visual awareness
Stephen Macknik, PhD, a researcher in the Neurosurgery and Neurobiology departments at Barrow, and his colleagues have discovered that awareness of simple visual objects is generated in a small portion of the occipital lobes of the brain.

Darkness more than triples EMS helicopter crash fatality risk
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, after reviewing National Transportation Safety Board records of emergency medical service (EMS) helicopter crashes between January 1, 1983, and April 30, 2005, concluded that post-crash fires, darkness or bad weather greatly decrease the likelihood of surviving and EMS helicopter crash.

Genetic study shows humans have pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction
A genetic analysis reveals a recent and dramatic decline of orangutan populations in Malaysia, and demonstrates that genetic data can quantify the effects of recent anthropogenic changes on endangered species.

Mining for gems in the fungal genome
Ever since penicillin, a byproduct of a fungal mold, was discovered in 1929, scientists have scrutinized fungi for other breakthrough drugs.

Common blood thinner increases risk of bone fracture
Elderly patients taking the commonly prescribed blood thinner warfarin experience an increased risk for osteoporosis-linked bone fractures, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Sustainable farm practices improve Third World food production
Crop yields on farms in developing countries that used sustainable agriculture rose nearly 80 percent in four years, according to a study scheduled for publication in the Feb.

Complications in plastic surgery are unrelated to duration of anesthesia
The length of time patients spend under anesthesia during facial plastic surgery procedures does not appear to be linked to their risk of complications or death.

Academy awards medal to noted expert in disappearing amphibians
The Academy of Natural Sciences today named a Berkeley scientist who first called attention to the worldwide disappearance of amphibians to receive its prestigious award named for one of the first scientists to call attention to dinosaurs.

Public schools equal or better in math than private or charter schools
Contrary to common wisdom, public schools score higher in math than private ones, when differences in student backgrounds are taken into account.

Reactive oxygen species shown essential for development of inner ear's balance machinery
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are normally produced as a product of metabolism, and, as their name implies, they are highly reactive with surrounding biological components.

Evolution study tightens human-chimp connection
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found genetic evidence that seems to support a controversial hypothesis that humans and chimpanzees may be more closely related to each other than chimps are to the other two species of great apes - gorillas and orangutans.

Erectile dysfunction may warn of heart disease
Erectile dysfunction (ED) may provide a warning sign of significant coronary heart disease.

Healing from research: A real possibility
An eye test that could one day help prevent heart attacks is being supported by a $300,000 grant from Australia's leading research-based medicines company.

York researchers develop pollution-busting plants to clean up contaminated land
Scientists at the University of York have played a crucial role in developing a way of using plants to clean up land contaminated by explosives.

Infections could contribute to adult brain tumours
Infections could play a key role in triggering certain types of adult brain cancer, according to results from a new statistical analysis of the disease.

More to learn about soybean rust in the 2006 growing season
The 2005 soybean growing season provided researchers, growers, and industry representatives with valuable information for 2006, yet there is still a great deal of information needed to understand soybean rust development and management, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

White blood cell count, inflammation linked to cancer deaths
In a study of more than 3,000 older Australians, those with a higher white blood cell count, a sign of inflammation, were more likely to die of cancer, according to an article in the January 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Viagra®, unlikely tool for vision research, slows the visual response to flickering light
Therapeutic doses of Viagra® have been shown to influence the rate at which visual signals are integrated by the brain, affecting the way quick, repeated events, such as flickering light, are perceived.

UQ scientist honoured for developing the world's first cancer vaccine
The Australian newspaper's

New model may help identify patients with pulmonary embolism who are at low risk of death
Looking at 10 easily obtained risk factors, including age, blood pressure and medical history, could help physicians identify patients with pulmonary embolism who are at low risk of death in the short term and therefore are candidates for outpatient treatment, according to a new study in the January 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Race/ethnicity predict lipids, heart-disease risk in HIV-1 patients on protease inhibitors
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, have found that small changes in a human gene, apolipoprotein CIII (apoC-III), which vary in frequency among people of different ethnicity, may help predict which HIV-1 infected patients are likely to develop lipid disorders and be at increased risk for heart disease if they take a particular class of anti-AIDS medicines known as protease inhibitors.

From communications to biosensors, nanotech research dominates UH contest
Fostering multidisciplinary research with projects ranging from those that impact the communications field to improving the fabrication of integrated circuitry used in data storage and biosensors, the 30th Semiannual Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH) Student Symposium recently showcased original research from UH science and engineering students.

Carnegie Mellon develops non-invasive technique to detect transplant rejection at cellular level
Carnegie Mellon University scientist Chien Ho and colleagues have developed a promising tool that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track immune cells as they infiltrate a transplanted heart in the early stages of organ rejection.

End-of-life wishes vary among racial and ethnic groups, and between genders, study finds
A new study finds sometimes divergent views in how the racial and ethnic groups view health care, spirituality, family, and dying.

Predicting the weather on Titan?
Using recent Cassini, Huygens and Earth-based observations, scientists have been able to create a computer model which explains the formation of several types of ethane and methane clouds on Titan.

Palliative radiation actually a cure for some lung cancer patients
About one in a hundred patients with apparently incurable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) survive five or more years after being given relatively small doses of radiation therapy (RT) meant to ease symptoms, according to a new study.

NJIT solar physicists report paradox: Less sunlight, but temps rise
Less sunlight reaching the Earth's surface has not translated into cooler temperatures, according to a team of solar physicists at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

NFL players show more rapid recovery from concussions than high school players
NFL players showed quicker recovery from concussions than high school players in a research study by the NFL's Committee on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, the results of which will be published in the February issue of the scientific journal Neurosurgery.

Pay cuts lead to worker insomnia, but supervisor training helps
When workers take a pay cut, money is not the only thing that is lost - they may also lose sleep, according to new research.
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