Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 24, 2006
ASM Biodefense Research Meeting
The American Society for Microbiology will host its 2006 Biodefense Research Meeting from February 15-18, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency Washington, DC.

Fitness counteracts cognitive decline from hormone-replacement therapy
Women pondering hormone-replacement therapy also should consider regular exercise. A new study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that being physically fit offsets cognitive declines attributed to long-term therapy.

Tufts University receives federal grant to address occupational risks among immigrants
Tufts University has received a National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health grant to advance understanding of occupational health risks among immigrants.

Diabetes complications rooted in faulty cell repair
Cells that travel throughout the body to repair damaged blood vessels become too rigid to move in patients with diabetes, fueling the disease's vascular complications.

NJIT mathematician receives noted math prize
Robert Miura, PhD, a professor in the departments of mathematical sciences and biomedical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was honored last week by his colleagues for receiving the Leroy P.

Antibiotic eardrops better than pills at treating middle ear infections
Topical quinolone antibiotics can clear aural discharge better than systemic antibiotics.

Study: Newer antibiotic more effective at treating elders' pneumonia
A newer antibiotic medication proved more effective at knocking out community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in patients 65 and older than the antibiotic that has been the front-line CAP treatment the last decade, according to a national study coordinated at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Children's peer relationships have enormous influence
In his book,

Chinese, Tibetan and Indian herbal medicines may help people with irritable bowel syndrome
Traditional herbal medicines may improve symptoms of abdominal pain, disturbed bowel movements, and/or bloating and distension caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Emory study lights up the political brain
When it comes to forming opinions and making judgments on hot political issues, partisans of both parties don't let facts get in the way of their decision-making, according to a new Emory University study.

Addressing alcohol problems in the regular health care setting, outside of specialized treatment
Most people with alcohol disorders do not enter specialized treatment; they are seen in regular health-care or social services, which is generally reflected by their poor treatment outcomes.

Chronic drinking and smoking cause both separate and interactive brain injury
Many alcoholics are chronic smokers. While much is known about the effects of chronic smoking on cardiac, pulmonary and vascular function as well as risk for various cancers, little is known about its effects on brain neurobiology and function.

Older drugs may be good stopgap treatment for malaria in Africa
A combination of older malaria drugs could treat malaria efficiently in some parts of Africa until a newer antimalarial drug called is widely available in those areas, a new review of recent studies suggests.

Breakthrough in brain injury study at University of Leicester
A breakthrough by scientists at the University of Leicester in understanding mechanisms within the brain, which cause injury could lead to better treatments in the future for conditions such as as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.

Genetic evidence shows colonialists pushed orang-utans to brink of extinction
A three year genetic study by wildlife geneticists from Cardiff School of Biosciences has shown a population collapse in the Bornean orang-utan.

Cause of ongoing pain discovered
New research from the University of Bristol, UK, shows that it is undamaged nerve fibres that cause ongoing spontaneous pain, not those that are injured.

WHSRN announces three new international sites
The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) -- a program administered by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences -- announces that three international sites in Argentina, Mexico and the state of Texas will join the international partnership dedicated to the conservation and protection of migratory shorebird species and their habitats.

Japan's ALOS in orbit: ESA will deliver its data to European researchers
ALOS, Japan's latest Earth Observation satellite, was successfully launched at 02:33 CET (10:33 Japan time) on 24 January.

A new way to help computers recognize patterns
Researchers at Ohio State University have found a way to boost the development of pattern recognition software by taking a different approach from that used by most experts in the field.

Daughters of alcoholics
During the last decade, most of the research on genetic and environmental variables relevant to children of alcoholics has focused on the sons of alcoholics.

BiovaxID™ yields 89 percent survival in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkins
Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABPI) and its subsidiary, Biovest International, Inc.

Low-cost drug gaining favor for use in HIV-infected children in poor countries
A new systematic review highlights strong results from a single study at the center of mounting support for worldwide use of the low-cost drug Bactrim to help HIV-infected children in poor countries.

Influenza pandemic will pose tough choices for use of mechanical ventilation
Amidst all the talk about the risk of an influenza pandemic, little has been said about the difficult decisions that would have to be made in an overwhelming health care crisis.

Professor to explore global emergence of engineering
Gary Downey, a professor of science and technology in society at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to research the emergence of the engineering profession in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.

Massage for childbirth prep may reduce episiotomy rate
Low-tech, at-home preparation in the last month before childbirth could help pregnant mothers avoid one of the more common surgeries performed on women in the United States, a new review suggests.

Alzheimer's drugs offer modest improvements, equal effectiveness
The Alzheimer's drugs Aricept, Razadyne and Exelon can lead to small improvements in mental functioning and the ability to carry out everyday activities in people with mild to moderate forms of the disease, according to a new review of recent studies.

Women with endometriosis undergoing IVF benefit from treatment with GnRH agonists
The live birth rate per woman was significantly higher in women with endometriosis who received gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist for three to six months before commencing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), compared to control groups.

Three neuronal growth factors may be key to understanding alcohol's effects
Growth factors are a large and diverse group of polypeptides critical for the development of the central nervous system.

A UAB research team discovers a new type of building built in Peru over 2000 years ago
A research team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has discovered a new type of construction, unknown until now, in the archaeological region of Puntilla, in the province of Nazca, Peru.

Treatment of Down syndrome in mice restores nerve growth in cerebellum
Researchers at Johns Hopkins restored the normal growth of specific nerve cells in the cerebellum of mouse models of Down syndrome that were stunted by this genetic condition.

Leading hepatology textbook edited by SLU researchers
Bruce R. Bacon, MD, and Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, MD, have teamed up for a new edition of a textbook widely considered to be the leading clinical reference on hepatology.

Supplemental radiation therapy beneficial for stage I endometrial cancer
Women with stage I endometrial cancer (with grade 1 and grades 3 and 4 disease) who receive radiation therapy in addition to other treatment have improved survival rates, according to a study in the January 25 issue of JAMA.

Bird flu poses threat to international security, Illinois scholar says
In the past, when government leaders, policymakers and scholars have turned their attention to peace and security issues, the talk invariably has focused on war, arms control or anti-terrorism strategies.

Johns Hopkins team discovers statue of Egyptian queen
A Johns Hopkins archaeological expedition in Luxor, Egypt, has unearthed a life-sized statue, dating back nearly 3,400 years, of one of the queens of the powerful king Amenhotep III.

Clawed frog helps Fanconi anemia research make leaps
A large, clawed frog is helping Oregon Health & Science University researchers gather a princely sum of knowledge on Fanconi anemia, a rare, genetic, cancer-susceptibility syndrome.

Brain abnormality found in Alzheimer's disease related to gait impairment in older persons
A new study from Rush University Medical Center helps explain why gait problems are often progressive in old age and related to risk of dementia and death.

Duck-billed dino crests not linked to sense of smell
After decades of debate, a U of T researcher has finally determined that duck-billed dinosaurs' massive but hollow crests had nothing to do with what many scientists suspected -- the sense of smell.

Polycystic kidney disease
The National Institutes of Health and the PKD Foundation have launched two treatment trials for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

Pair of studies offer new clues to combat antibiotic resistance
In the continuing battle against antibiotic resistance, two new studies shed light on the complex defense mechanisms pathogenic bacteria use to evade antibiotic attack, an understanding of which could lead to new, more effective antibiotics to help save lives and combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Common bacteria pirate natural mechanism to get inside cells
Bacteria and viruses utilize a natural mechanism to get inside cells and grow, researchers say.

Studies confirm effectiveness of fentanyl lozenges for 'breakthrough' cancer pain
The narcotic painkiller fentanyl relieves breakthrough pain quickly and more effectively than other narcotics and traditional drug therapy in patients with cancer, according to a systematic review of current evidence.

New study explores beetle species with two forms of females
A fascinating new study from the forthcoming issue of The American Naturalist attempts to explain the mysterious persistence of two forms of females in many diving beetle populations.

Study reveals Maori and Pacific islanders have increasing incidence of stroke
A study published this month in Stroke* investigating trends in stroke incidence in Auckland, New Zealand shows Maori and Pacific peoples are suffering more strokes than other ethnic groups.

Mute swan population helps explain longstanding evolutionary question
In an important new study forthcoming from The American Naturalist, biologists from the University of Oxford tracked a colony of mute swans for more than two decades to explore a longstanding evolutionary question: whether the number of eggs laid by a female bird - known as

Awareness under anaesthesia-findings from research by University of Leicester professor
Psychologists investigating consciousness during operations reveal techniques to identify wakefulness.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Highlights from the Journal of Neuroscience include:

Mark Estelle of Indiana University awarded Kumho International Science Prize
Indiana University Professor Mark Estelle has been awarded the 2006 Kumho International Science Prize by the Kumho Cultural Foundation of Seoul, Korea and its chairman, Sam Koo Park.

Progress needed on global regime for access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing
The meeting in Spain is the second negotiating session dealing with international regulations on access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits.

HIV prevention hope: Yogurt bugs that make antiviral drugs
A research team led by Bharat Ramratnam, a Brown Medical School professor, has genetically modified bacteria found in yogurt so that the bugs produce a protein proven to block HIV infection in monkeys.

Patterns in genome organization may partially explain how microbial cells work
The high degree of organization found in prokaryotic genomes is a complete surprise.

Unhappy marriages detrimental to self-esteem and health
Long-term, low-quality marriages have significant effects on overall well-being, according to a recent study by Penn State researchers.

First two research awards from university-industry partnership
Two researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have received the first $100,000 research awards from Johnson & Johnson based on the potential of their work to lead to medical advances.

Study suggests statins can prevent sepsis in people with cardiovascular disease
Statins -- the drugs used to lower cholesterol -- may also reduce the risk of sepsis in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online today (Wednesday January 25, 2006) by The Lancet.

Next generation three-dimensional photoelectric modules
In December the ROBOTIKER-TECNALIA Basque Technological Centre signed a joint Agreement with the Japanese company KYOSEMI CORPORATION for the analysis of photoelectric modules based on a new, vaulted-structure topology.

Induced labor has some benefits in cases of premature water break
A new review of recent studies suggests there are some benefits to inducing labor in women whose water breaks at the point of full-term pregnancy but before the start of labor.

Crop development efforts get major boost
The long, arduous and expensive process of developing new crop varieties received a major boost this week with the joint launch in Mexico and the Philippines of a new scientific program and facilities that unite key databases and research on the planet's three most important crops: rice, wheat and maize.

Livermore researchers shed light on physical properties of carbon
A team based in Livermore has shed some light on the phase diagram of carbon at high pressure and temperature.

NJIT's SmartCampus project to create closer connections
The entire campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will soon be a laboratory for investigating innovative ways in which students can better connect with each other by using cell phones and other compact wireless communications devices.

2005 was the warmest year in a century
The year 2005 may have been the warmest year in a century, according to NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world.

Less than half of US healthcare workers get flu shots
UCLA/Harvard scientists measured flu vaccination rates among 1,651 US healthcare workers.

Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids unlikely to significantly reduce risk of cancer
A review of numerous studies finds no strong evidence indicating a significantly reduced risk of cancer associated with the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, according to an article in the January 25 issue of JAMA.

Heart injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning increases long-term risk of death
Of patients who were hospitalized and treated for moderate to severe carbon monoxide poisoning, those who sustained heart muscle injury due to their exposure had an increased risk of death during a mid-point follow-up period of 7.6 years compared to those without injury to the heart, according to an article in the January 25 issue of JAMA. 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