Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 06, 2006
Methadone therapy - one dose does not fit all
Methadone has been used for more than 30 years as a treatment for heroin addicts.

March of Dimes commits additional $2.4 million to prematurity research
The March of Dimes will support the innovative research of six scientists with combined grants of more than $2.4 million with its second annual Prematurity Research Initiative.

Transistor laser functions as non-linear electronic switch, processor
The transistor laser invented by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has now been found to possess fundamental non-linear characteristics that are new to a transistor and permit its use as a dual-input, dual-output, high-frequency signal processor.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor to study N.J. nurses' work environment
A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member launched one of the largest studies of New Jersey nurses to explore the impact of nurse staffing levels and work environment on patient outcomes.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Feb. 7, 2006
The current issue includes two articles and an editorial about the management of pulmonary embolism.

Barrow Neurological Institute neuroimmunology fellow receives $135,000 fellowship award
Ruolan Liu, MD, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, received a three-year career development fellowship of $135,000 from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Ames Laboratory innovation key to a 'lead-free' Europe
As the Eurpean Union moves toward a July 1 ban on products containing lead and other hazardous materials, a lead-free solder developed at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is playing a key role.

One in 14 men having a heart attack drive themselves to hospital
7 percent of men having a heart attack drive themselves to hospital, while women take an average of 14 hours - five times as long as men - to go to hospital emergency departments after symptoms first appear.

Exposure to military trauma related to post-war disease and death in Civil War veterans
An examination of military archives and medical records indicates that Civil War veterans who watched more of their comrades die or were younger when they entered the military were more likely to develop physical and mental illnesses later in life, and younger soldiers also had a higher risk of early death after the war, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Children with asthma more likely to have behavior difficulties
City children with asthma are more likely to have problems with behavior than children without the chronic respiratory problems, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study in this month's Pediatrics.

Flights reveal intriguing information about ice particles in clouds
In the clouds above Darwin, Australia, pilots guided by a team of international climate scientists are now one week into a series of carefully orchestrated flights to obtain key in situ data about tropical clouds.

Study: Hospitals rated top 5 percent have mortality rates 27 percent lower
Patients checking into a hospital rated in the top five percent in the country have, on average, a 27 percent lower chance of mortality and a 14 percent lower risk of complications, according to a study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company.

Children's asthma care improves on state health insurance program
Not surprisingly -- but definitely significantly -- children with asthma had fewer asthma-related attacks and medical visits after enrolling in the state children's health insurance program (SCHIP), according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study in Pediatrics this month.

Antarctic krill provide carbon sink in Southern Ocean
New research on Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a shrimp-like animal at the heart of the Southern Ocean food chain, reveals behaviour that shows that they absorb and transfer more carbon from the Earth's surface than was previously understood.

HIV subtype predicts likelihood of early death from AIDS
Johns Hopkins scientists say an infected person's HIV subtype is a better predictor than viral load for determining rapid death from AIDS.

Study supports limiting television time for children
Children who spend more time watching television spend less time interacting with their family and playing creatively, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard Children's Hospital in the journal Pediatrics.

Disposable catheter breakthrough, a world first
A unique low cost disposable solid-state catheter that can measure swallowing pressure has been developed by a University of South Australia research team using intelligent manufacturing processes that eliminate the infection risks posed by existing catheters.

Study finds significant reduction in respiratory illnesses in babies breastfed six months vs. four
Babies fully breastfed for six months are less likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses in their first two years than babies fully breastfed for only four months, according to research conducted by investigators at UC Davis Children's Hospital, the University of Rochester and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for Child Health Research.

Experimental evolution of yeast in the lab may illuminate early events in speciation
By experimentally promoting rapid, small-scale evolution within a lab population of yeast, researchers have shed light on the kinds of genetic changes that may underlie the emergence of new species.

More training needed to ensure accuracy of urine drug tests
In a survey of primary care physicians, most reported not using proper techniques when collecting urine samples for drug tests on adolescents and were often unaware of the tests' limitations, according to an article in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nearly half of people who need cholesterol treatment don't get it
Even though treatment for cholesterol disorders can reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease by about 30 percent over five years, many at-risk people aren't getting adequate treatment, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues reporting in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

History of depression linked to more brain plaques and tangles, rapid decline in Alzheimer's disease
A lifetime history of depression is associated with increased plaques and tangles in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease and more rapid cognitive decline, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

High blood pressure and kidney disease increase risk for heart disease and stroke in older Americans
Older Americans with high blood pressure and moderate to severe chronic kidney disease have a greater chance of developing heart disease than people with normal kidney function.

Gene behind rare but important pregnancy disorder found
Researchers funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have identified the genetic cause underlying

Course of bipolar disorder in youths described for the first time
Children with bipolar disorder experience more enduring and rapidly changing symptoms of the disease than adults, according to a study that, for the first time, maps the clinical progression of each of the three sub-types of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents.

Heparin prepared synthetically could replace animal-derived drug
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered an alternative way to produce heparin, a drug commonly used to stop or prevent blood from clotting.

Journal article validates the coming of age of hair replacement surgery
More than half of all men and one third of all women in the United States are going bald.

Scientists find ability for grammar hardwired into humans
Researchers have long wondered why certain fundamental characteristics of grammar are present in all languages, and now a team of scientists at the University of Rochester has found evidence that these properties are built into the way our brains work.

Gut protein found to protect against infection and intestinal breakdown
A protein that binds to bile in the small intestine may hold the key to preventing infection and intestinal breakdown in people with conditions such as obstructive jaundice or irritable bowel syndrome, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

Bank of America grant to expand community-based childhood immunization program in northern Manhattan
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced a $750,000 gift to Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Northern Manhattan Start Right Coalition, a community-based childhood immunization program.

Elsevier launches High Energy Density Physics
Elsevier, the world-leading scientific and medical publisher, announces the introduction of High Energy Density Physics.

Tufts expert examines the cardiovascular benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet
In a review paper, Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, explores the potential benefits, beyond those achieved with weight loss alone, of a Mediterranean-style diet for patients with metabolic syndrome.

Better funding needed for chronic disease
More funding, increased workforce resources and further reform of the health system are needed if the national chronic disease strategy is going to deliver better care to patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes, asthma and cancer, according to an international primary health expert.

Thousands of barges could save Europe from deep freeze
It is ironic that one consequence of global warming is that Europe might plunge into a deep freeze.

Older adults more vulnerable to distraction from irrelevant information
A study looking at brain function in young, middle-aged and older adults has identified changes in brain activity that begin gradually in middle age -- and which may explain why older adults find it difficult to concentrate in busy environments and filter out irrelevant information.

Resveratrol prolongs lifespan and delays onset of aging-related traits in a short-lived vertebrate
By studying a particularly short-lived fish species, researchers have been able to show that a natural compound previously shown to extend lifespan in non-vertebrate organisms can also do so in at least one vertebrate species.

JRRD special issue on hearing and hearing loss
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) is a supplement on hearing loss, which affects 31 million Americans.

Growing evidence of sex-based differences in lung cancer highlighted at roundtable meeting
Women's health and lung cancer advocacy groups, led by the Society for Women's Health Research, vowed today to make lung cancer education and advocacy, especially among women, a top priority for their organizations in 2006 and beyond.

Biodesign and TGen form joint Center for Systems and Computational Biology
To help usher in a new era of molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine, ASU's Biodesign Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have teamed up to establish the Center for Systems and Computational Biology.

Tropical fires add injury to biodiversity insult
El-NiƱo events in 1997-1998 burned an area in Borneo larger than Switzerland, more than a hundred butterfly species were locally exterminated.

Periodontitis is associated with pregnancy complications
Recent studies have demonstrated a positive association between periodontitis and pregnancy complications.

Home paper shredders pose serious injury risk to toddlers
As our environments change over time with technology, pediatric emergency specialists are continuously challenged to observe possible trends and prevent more injuries by educating the public.

New study: Inequality in recreational resources decreases physical activities, boosts weight gain
In general, minorities and people with lower incomes have much less access than wealthier people to recreational facilities, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation concludes.

Historic records shed light on soldiers' lifelong war scars
In the months after returning home from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, some American soldiers report they are haunted by depression, anxiety, anger and nightmares.

UF scientists trace origin of shark's electric sense
University of Florida Genetics Institute researchers have traced the origin of a shark's electrosensory powers to the same type of embryonic cells that gives rise to many head and facial features in humans.

New brain hormone puts brakes on reproduction
A hormone first discovered in Japanese quail turns out to play a major role in the mammalian reproductive system, acting on the brain to put the brakes on reproduction.

Fruit fly reveals a potential connection between dementia and cancer
By expressing a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease in the brain of the fruit fly, researchers have demonstrated an intriguing link between neuronal death and proteins previously associated with cancer.

'Freshman Fifteen' is a myth, but weight gain is still a problem
A common, but often undocumented, truism among college students is that they are likely to gain 15 pounds during their freshman year.

Brain changes significantly after age 18, says Dartmouth research
Two Dartmouth researchers are one step closer to defining exactly when human maturity sets in.

Alzheimer's found to be mostly genetic
Study of nearly 12,000 twin pairs finds genetic factors account for up to 80 percent of Alzheimer's cases.

Scientists call for Hepatitis treatment of young injection drug users
In a recent study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, scientists called for an immediate public health intervention to treat young injection drug users infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Older adults may reduce risk of metabolic syndrome by eating more whole grains
In a study published in the January issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA) found that consuming a diet rich in whole-grain foods may lower an elderly person's risk for cardiovascular disease and reduce the onset of metabolic syndrome.

Medical centers vary in disclosing conflicts of interest
Only 48 percent of US academic medical centers have a formal policy requiring that financial conflicts of interest are disclosed to potential participants in their clinical trials, a research team from Duke University Medical Center, Wake Forest University and Johns Hopkins University has found.

Drug resistance may travel same path as quorum sensing
The cellular

Parachuting allows krill to eat and run
Antarctic researchers have recorded a novel behavior in krill that may help regulate greenhouse gases.

From pills to bills: Pharmacist turned senator to speak at UH event
Pharmacist turned legislator, State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, will be the keynote speaker for the University of Houston's James T.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy appears associated with withdrawal symptoms in newborns
Almost one-third of 60 newborn infants whose mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy experienced neonatal abstinence syndrome, a type of withdrawal with symptoms that include high-pitched crying, tremors and disturbed sleep, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Chance, music, and the ear of the beholder
By studying the way that the brain's auditory cortex responds to certain types of changes in sound, researchers have found evidence for how the brain is attuned to be especially sensitive to degrees of change in sound that the brain is most likely to encounter in the natural world.

Some masks used in children's asthma treatment not effective, research shows
Some face masks commonly used to help young children inhale asthma medicine are not effective, according to a new study by researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Physician counseling, at-home follow-up may improve teen health behaviors
A program that combines advice from a primary care physician with computer assessment, mailings and phone calls may help teens improve some aspects of their diets and physical activity levels, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Link discovered between depression and changes in the brain in Alzheimer's disease
A lifetime history of depression is associated with increased plaques and tangles in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease and more rapid cognitive decline, according to a study by researchers at the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Long-term poverty affects mental health of children
Children in low-income families start off with higher levels of antisocial behaviour than children from more advantaged households.

Outbreak: Rapid appearance of fungus devastates frogs, salamanders in Panama
Something wicked this way comes, if you're a frog or salamander living near El Cope, Panama.

New 'Lemurs of Madagascar' book released
Conservation International (CI) has released the new edition of

Research into soy will continue but soy is not a solution for heart disease
Many soy food products carry health claims stating that they reduce the risk of heart disease.

Genetic factors important in development and timing of Alzheimer's disease
In a large study of twins, Alzheimer's disease appears to be highly heritable and genetic factors may also influence timing of the disease, according to an article in the February Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
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