Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2006
Women with major depression at risk of relapse during pregnancy
Contrary to a common belief that the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy provide a protective effect against depression, women with major depression who discontinue antidepressant medication during pregnancy are at risk of relapse, according to a study in the February 1 issue of JAMA.

Jan/Feb Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet reviews highlights of the Jan/Feb 2006 Annals of Family Medicine including topics such as the risk of state anger, diabetes diagnosis and management and the importance of quality measures.

Barrow's new technology permits global consultations during surgery in real time
The world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix has installed a first-of-its-kind, real-time, tele-presence video-conferencing system that will have far-reaching implications for patient care, medical education and medical product development.

Chronic oil pollution takes toll on seabirds along South American coast
Chronic oil pollution, a long-standing problem along a 4,200-mile stretch of coast from southern Brazil to northern Argentina, is taking a toll on Magellanic penguins and other seabirds.

Other highlights in the February 1 JNCI
Other highlights in the February 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute include: a study that suggests a protein that regulates cell growth can suppress tumor growth, a study of a molecule in the immune system and neuroblastoma growth, a labeling system to monitor oncolytic adenoviruses, and a population study on the risks of AML after Hodgkin lymphoma.

Archaeologists find evidence of earliest African slaves brought to new world
Digging in a colonial era graveyard in one of the oldest European cities in Mexico, archaeologists have found what they believe are the oldest remains of slaves brought from Africa to the New World.

Australian biomedical scientist wins top UK award for ovary research
Australian biomedical scientist, Professor Jock Findlay, AM, has been awarded the UK Society for Reproduction and Fertility (SRF) Distinguished Scientist Award for 2006.

Airborne and satellite radars record Frascati grape harvest
The slopes of Frascati overlooking Rome boast rich, volcanic soils: wine has been produced there since time immemorial.

UBC/CBS researcher invents device to boost world supply, quality of blood platelets
Cancer and open-heart surgery patients, disaster victims, organ or bone marrow transplant recipients, and others who require life-saving blood platelet transfusions will benefit from equipment invented by a researcher at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Blood Research.

NYAS China Conference reveals latest advances in biomedical sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Institutes of Biomedical Sciences recently hosted a groundbreaking conference, Frontiers in Biomedical Science

Anticholinergic drugs linked to mental impairment in elderly people
Anticholinergic drugs may lead to mild cognitive (mental) impairment in elderly people, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Stopping antidepressants during pregnancy may lead to symptom recurrence
Women who stop taking antidepressant medications during pregnancy are at a five times greater risk for recurrence of depression than are women who continue taking their medication throughout their pregnancies, according to a multi-institutional study published in the February 1 Journal of the American Medical Association.

UNC nutrition researchers dispute claims that obesity problem is exaggerated
Two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers disagree with a prominent Colorado attorney's contention that talk of a national and global epidemic of obesity is exaggerated.

Research shows promise for using stem cell transplantation to treat patients with severe lupus
About half of patients with severe lupus that was refractory to standard treatment and who underwent autologous stem cell transplantation to improve their immune system have substantial improvement in disease activity after several years, according to preliminary research published in the February 1 issue of JAMA.

Blood safety program in South Africa associated with decline in HIV-1 in blood donations
A blood safety program in South Africa that included closing donor clinics in areas of high HIV prevalence is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of HIV in donated blood, according to study in the February 1 issue of JAMA.

Secrets of the sea yield stronger artificial bone
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have harnessed the way seawater freezes to develop a porous, scaffolding-like material that is four times stronger than material currently used in synthetic bone.

Turbulence yields secrets to 73-year-old experiment
A simple but groundbreaking experiment performed more than 70 years ago finally has been explained by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

'Biobullets' fight harmful mussels
British researchers have developed a

Protein holds back growth of head and neck tumors
A protein associated with the growth of head and neck tumors may serve as a tumor suppressor that could prevent the spread of cancer when it is expressed above normal levels, according to a study published in the Feb.

Imaging changes treatment for lower back pain
A simple diagnostic imaging procedure can help identify patients with lower back pain who would benefit from spinal injections and spare those who would not, according to a study appearing in the February issue of Radiology.

Studies examine associations between provider characteristics and mortality rates in ovarian cancer
Two studies in the February 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examine whether hospital volume, surgeon experience, or surgeon specialty affect the treatment received and the risk of death following treatment among women with ovarian cancer.

Dow AgroSciences achieves world's first registration for plant-made vaccines
Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, (NYSE: DOW), announced today that it has received the world's first regulatory approval for a plant-made vaccine from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics.

Virginia Tech Student Affairs administrator shares research on millennial generation
The Millennial Generation -- Americans born between 1982 and the present -- are a high-achieving, intelligent, and optimistic group, but are often under prepared for the challenges of an independent lifestyle, according to Edward Spencer, associate vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech.

RNAi and telomere length
A team of Russian scientists, led by Dr. Vladimir Gvozdev (Russian Academy of Sciences) reports on a novel link between RNAi and telomere maintenance in the Drosophila germline.

Like their pregnant mates, primate dads-to-be pack on pounds
Confirming what many have long suspected, scientists have found that male monkeys of two different species get heavier when their mates are pregnant.

Words help deterimine what we see
The language we speak affects half of what we see, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago.

Undergraduate researcher turns up the heat on hibernation
An HHMI-supported undergraduate's research reveals the neurological mechanism controlling hibernation-like states.

Call for nominations for 2006 National Academies Communication Awards
On Feb. 1 the National Academies will begin accepting nominations for the 2006 National Academies Communication Awards for excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2005.

Rural life isn't just little house on the prairie
Women in rural communities have their own specific obstacles to face.

When we say the wrong thing...repairing the message
Communication scientists from Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University have studied how and why people choose certain ways to repair the damage done once hurtful words are spoken.

Scientists find genetic pathway that could lead to drugs for kidney disease
Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have reported a discovery at the cellular level that suggests possibilities for drug therapy for kidney disease.

Life-threatening lupus responds to stem cell transplant therapy
Transplanting patients with blood stem cells that originate from their own bone marrow can induce the remission of life-threatening, treatment-resistant lupus, according to a study that took place at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Global effort needed to anticipate and prevent potential misuse of advances in life sciences
Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways -- leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas.

Missing steps of jumping-gene replication discovered
In experiments with transgenic mice, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers discovered the remaining steps in the complicated process of how the largest class of jumping genes replicates and inserts themselves within the human genome.

Discovery of new gene for rare nerve disease may help doctors understand more common illnesses
An international research team discovers the genetic mutation that causes a rare form of the most common inherited neurological disorder.

APS Physics Tip Sheet #60
Featured articles include one describing how researchers and amateur scientists have made their own versions of ball lighting and another article describing new simulations that show how to make liquids drip from an opening, even in the absence of gravity's tug.

Virginia Tech researcher examining malignant melanoma in horses
An ancient medicine may have modern uses for chemotherapy of non-resectable malignancies, according to a Virginia Tech veterinary researcher, who demonstrated that equine melanomas respond to frankincense oil therapy.

European R&D: Gehrer promises action during Austrian Presidency
On the occasion of the Austrian Council Presidency, the Federal Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Mrs.

Equalizing the sexes
Two independent research papers in the February 1 issue of Genes and Development reveal that the Drosophila UNR protein is a novel regulator of X-chromosome dosage compensation in flies.

Study using new imaging technology detects subtle brain changes in patients with Type 1 diabetes
A recent study using new imaging technology detects subtle brain changes in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

Treatment method improves survival for advanced laryngeal cancer, U-M study finds
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that determining early into treatment for cancer of the larynx, or voice box, which patients would benefit from chemotherapy and radiation treatment and which would be better off having surgery led to better survival rates than typically expected for this type of cancer.

Scientist named first Ruth Patrick Chair in Environmental Science
In recognition of his internationally acclaimed research involving microscopic aquatic plants, The Academy of Natural Sciences today named Dr.

Who's the liar? Brain MRI stands up to polygraph test
Traditional polygraph tests to determine whether someone is lying may take a back seat to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), according to a study appearing in the February issue of Radiology.

New 5 year Metvix-PDT data demonstrate long-term efficacy & reliability for NM skin cancer treatment
New five year clinical trial results have demonstrated the high efficacy and long-term response rates of Metvix® photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT) in NMSC compared to current standard treatments cryotherapy and surgery.

Intelligence may contribute to health inequalities
Intelligence may play an important role in health inequalities, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

NYU medical experts analyze subway injuries
A new survey of subway injuries provides a rare glimpse into what happens to people who are hit by oncoming trains.

Enter the semantic grid
To allow business and people to rapidly, and easily, establish virtual organisations to share information, services and computing resources a team of European researchers are laying the technological foundations that will open the door to the era of the Semantic Grid.

Inside rocks, implications for finding life on Mars
UCLA paleobiologist J. William Schopf and colleagues have produced three dimensional images of ancient fossils - 650 million to 850 million years old - preserved in rocks, an achievement never done before.
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