Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2006
Stroke patients regain ability to communicate through use of speech generating device
Currently one million Americans suffer from aphasia. By 2020 the aphasic population of the US is projected to double.

MBL scientists to present research at 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting
Several scientists from the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) will be presenting their research at the 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 20-24, 2006 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Study indicates speed cameras could curb US road deaths
A study by Israeli and American researchers, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, says that reducing speed limits and extensive use of speed camera networks could significantly reduce the high number of road deaths in the United States.

MRI offers new hope for severe epilepsy sufferers
CIHR-funded researchers have found a way to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect minute brain lesions in people with severe epilepsy, making surgical treatment potentially available to many more patients.

East Africa's rapid development presents complex push and pull
The landscape is changing in East Africa, and quickly. A migrating and growing population, emerging economies and an increase in agricultural production are leaving their mark on the region's environment.

Undersea microbes active but living on the slow side
Deeply buried ocean sediments may house populations of tiny organisms that have extremely low maintenance energy needs and population turnover rates of anywhere from 200 to 2,000 years, according to an international team of researchers.

Understanding and nourishing the roots of food quality
The work of The Organic Center will be featured in a session at the AAAS meeting sponsored by the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition.

New treatment for back pain
From the 1 of March the Osteopathy and Manual Medicine Service at the Policlínica San José in Vitoria-Gasteiz, administrative capital of the Basque Autonomous Community, will have the very first Vertebral Axial Decompression Table in Spain.

Unearthing explanations for New Madrid earthquakes
On Dec. 16, 1811, residents of New Madrid, Mo., were wrested from sleep by violent shaking and a deafening roar.

Modeling shows containment could delay, not prevent, pandemic flu
New research from scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the University of Washington in Seattle suggests that containment can buy time to prepare, but containment alone is not enough to stop a flu pandemic from occurring.

Westmead leads Australian bird flu research
Researchers at Westmead Millennium Institute are conducting urgent research into bird flu.

UCLA scientists find male gene in brain area targeted by Parkinson's
UCLA scientists have discovered that a sex gene responsible for making embryos male and forming the testes is also produced by the brain region attacked by Parkinson's disease.

Flesh-eating bacteria escape body's safety net
Researchers at UCSD School of Medicine have discovered that so-called flesh-eating

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb. 21, 2006 issue
Topics covered in the Feb. 21 issue Annals of Internal Medicine include an article on how statin and B-Blockers may reduce the severity of a first heart event, an article detailing how neck artery disease found in people with rheumatoid arthritis and a third article discussing how hospital volume and experience with pneumonia does not translate into better care.

No difference between over-the-counter and prescription drug in relieving seasonal allergies
A small study indicates that there was no difference between an over-the-counter decongestant (pseudoephedrine) and a prescription medication (montelukast) in relieving symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis and improving quality of life, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The Arctic and global warming
A warmer Arctic Ocean may mean less food for the birds, fish, and baleen whales and be a significant detriment to that fragile and interconnected polar ecosystem, and that doesn't bode well for other ocean ecosystems in the future.

Stardust in the laboratory
Ernst K. Zinner, PhD, a research professor of physics and of earth and planetary sciences, both in Arts & Sciences, at Washington University in St.

Scientists look to the Bahamas as a model for coral reef conservation
One of the greatest challenges facing marine ecologists today is finding innovative ways to reverse the rapid decline of coral reef ecosystems around the world.

STN AnaVist 1.1 offers new options for sharing
Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and FIZ Karlsruhe have announced a new version of the STN AnaVist analysis and visualization software that provides customers the ability to share their visualization results with others in their organization through new login IDs for Shared Projects that enable interactive viewing and through new pre-defined Project Reports.

Grants put ANU in bird flu fight frontline
Australia's preparedness for a potential Avian Influenza pandemic will be boosted by four new projects at ANU, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Biometric science seeks to avert identity crisis
Two things are certain about biometrics: It is the hot buzzword in identity management for convenience and protection from terrorists and identity thieves - and it's not foolproof.

Most effective anthrax treatment: VA-Stanford study finds
Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine have found that what most likely saved lives from the various anthrax mailings in Sept.

Professor's research with hand-held device brings speech to impaired and disabled individuals
From children with autism or Down's syndrome to adults who have speech loss due to a stroke, more than two million Americans are not able to communicate easily or at all with words.

Korean breast cancer patterns reflect those of Western countries
In trends that echo those of Western countries, more Korean women are developing breast cancer; there is a larger proportion of young patients, asymptomatic cancers, breast-conserving surgery and immediate reconstruction after mastectomy in Korea; and more individuals there have risk factors for the disease, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Listening for the fish
Fisheries researchers are embarking on a state-of-the-art project next week to track black and red grouper in the Dry Tortugas National Park and develop a better understanding of species' movement and habitat requirements, so they can help more efficiently design and assess future marine-protected areas.

Commonly used drug may prevent fetal alcohol syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is often called the number one preventable birth defect.

Men in their 50s have more satisfying sex lives than men in their 30s
Men in their 50s are more satisfied with their sex lives than men in their 30s or 40s, despite reporting that sexual function reduces with age.

Large European study finds gene variant is no strong risk factor for osteoporosis
Variations in a number of different genes and environmental factors affect an individual's risk for osteoporosis.

Oceanic acidity
The ocean is getting more and more acidic, and that's bad news for coral reefs.

MRSA in Sweden: A quarter of cases infected abroad
A quarter of all people with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Sweden between 2000 and 2003 were infected abroad.

Subtropic challenges
Warm Caribbean waters may provide a toasty growing area for larval fish, but that's not enough to ensure a flourishing fish population.

Stressed-out women more likely to miscarry early
Women who exhibit signs of stress are three times more likely to miscarry during the first three weeks of the pregnancy, a recent study of a small population of women found.

High-speed locomotive
The L-9202 locomotive, baptised as the Virgen del Buen Camino, has successfully finalised its track trials.

Controlling algal blooms
Aldehydes released by marine diatoms trigger intracellular calcium transients and nitric oxide generation, which results in cell death, according to a paper published in the open access journal PLoS Biology.

Oceans may soon be more corrosive than when the dinosaurs died
Increased carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly acidifying the world's oceans and, if unabated, could cause a mass extinction of marine life similar to one that occurred when the dinosaurs disappeared.

Gum-chewing may speed recovery after colon surgery
A small study suggests that chewing gum after colon surgery may speed the return of normal bowel function and shorten patients' hospital stays, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Over-the-counter decongestant equals prescription drug in relieving hay fever symptoms
There is no significant difference between an over-the-counter decongestant and a prescription medication that costs almost four times as much in relieving hay fever symptoms.

Statins, beta-blockers lessen heart attack risk, says Stanford-Kaiser study
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that these preventive drugs can steer patients away from having a heart attack toward the less serious symptom of mild chest pain that occurs only with exercise (angina) even if they don't stop the build-up of cholesterol in a patient's arteries

Technology helps disabled kids find their voice
Laptop computers that combine features from popular toys with innovative technology have rapidly accelerated the learning and communication ability of disabled children, Penn State researchers say.

Comet dust from NASA mission under analysis
Scientists at the University of Chicago are among the first ever to analyze cometary dust delivered to Earth via spacecraft.

Tree of Life project grows more leaves and branches
The Tree of Life, a Web-based database that collects and shares information about the evolutionary history, relationships and characteristics of all groups of organisms, is growing and expanding.

Successful Venus Express main engine test
One hundred days after beginning its cruise to Venus, ESA's Venus Express spacecraft successfully tested its main engine for the first time in space.

Mayo Clinic noninvasive test for heart disease risk
A Mayo Clinic research team used a simple, noninvasive tool (arterial tonometer) to discover an association between stiffness in arteries and the presence and amount of coronary artery calcium, leading to the possibility of more accurate assessment of heart disease risk in adults with no symptoms, according to findings published in the current Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Pitt announces $5 million gift to advance nanoscale science and engineering research
The University of Pittsburgh has received a $5 million gift from alumnus John M.

Corticosteroids associated with poor outcomes, death in the trauma intensive care unit
Patients in the trauma intensive care unit who receive corticosteroids may have more infections, longer stays in intensive care or on a ventilator and a higher death rate than those who do not, according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
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