Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 01, 2006
Plastic surgeons countdown first full facial transplantation
Even after news of the first partial facial transplantation performed in France spread around the world, plastic surgeons have continued to research how to make the first full facial transplantation a reality.

The environmental effects of hedgerows on crops
To evaluate the environmental effects of hedgerows on crops is the aim of the project being undertaken by researchers at the Public University of Navarre, within the framework of the Agenda Local 21 of Noáin municipal council in Navarre.

Complicating in order to simplify
In the rarefied sphere of classical mechanics, more can sometimes be elegantly less.

Computer simulation and lab synthesis sift through vast universe of possible molecules for the best
Duke University theoretical chemists are investigating a new computer method that could help scientists identify the best molecules for drugs, electronic devices or an array of other uses.

20th annual Society of Conservation Biology meeting
The Society of Conservation Biology (SCB) will host its 20th Annual Meeting,

Stealth sharks to patrol the seas
A number of groups around the world have gained ethical approval to develop implants that can monitor and control the behaviour of animals, from sharks to rats.

Technology to improve care at the bedside and beyond
In the supplement to the February issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Brad Doebbeling, MD, MSc, and colleagues offer strategy on how best to use technology to incorporate new or better treatments at the bedsides of patients treated anywhere.

Poor neighborhood conditions triple risk for disabilities
A comparison of residential areas in the St. Louis region reveals that late middle-aged and older African-Americans who live in rundown neighborhoods with poor air and street quality are three times more likely to develop difficulties walking, standing, or lifting than those in cleaner, better-maintained areas.

New predation management methods reduce conflict between humans and carnivores
Conflicts with human interests threaten populations of wolves, lions, leopards, cheetahs, coyotes, and spotted hyenas, among other predators.

Disease damages wheat roots, thwarts water uptake
Alterations in irrigation schedules may be needed when wheat streak mosaic infection is suspected in winter wheat crops, according to a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher in Amarillo.

Advanced aircraft to probe hazardous atmospheric whirlwinds
The nation's newest and most advanced research aircraft takes off this month on its first mission, studying a severe type of atmospheric turbulence that forms over mountains and endangers airplanes.

Satellite data used to warn oil industry of potentially dangerous eddy
Ocean FOCUS began issuing forecasts on 16 February 2006 - just in time to warn oil production operators of a new warm eddy that has formed in the oil and gas-producing region of the Gulf of Mexico.

Article on US news rankings in Law & Society Review March issue
Article provides evidence that the annual law school rankings produced affect the decisions made by schools.

'Nano skins' show promise as flexible electronic devices
A team of researchers has developed a new process to make flexible, conducting 'nano skins' for a variety of applications, from electronic paper to sensors for detecting chemical and biological agents.

William Broad, Times reporter, to discuss new book at Stevens
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents a talk by William J.

Case School of Engineering professor applies virtual reality to train brain and heart surgeons
Virtual reality simulation tools are already revolutionizing the way dentists are taught at Case Western Reserve University - and if M.

New theory suggests treatment for immune disorder could be effective against avian flu infection
Chemotherapy for a disorder of the immune system may, in theory, be effective against human avian influenza infection, suggest scientists in a hypothesis published online today (Thursday March 2, 2006) by The Lancet.

Primary biliary cirrhosis more prevalent around toxic waste sites in NYC
According to a new study, exposure to toxins from hazardous waste sites may be a significant risk factor for developing primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).

UCI researchers examine political participation and health issues facing Hispanics in coming decades
A sweeping report on the future of Hispanics in America, ranging from education and economics to health care and political influence, will be issued Wednesday in Washington, DC, by the National Academies' National Research Council.

Studies report findings on colorectal cancer screening methods and survival rates
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Companies license real-time pathogen detection technology developed at Kent State, NEOUCOM
Innovative technology developed at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) and Kent State University with the capability of detecting bioterrorism agents and pathogens in food and water has led to two licensing agreements.

Wellcome brain insights
Determining how the brain develops and functions is one of the greatest questions facing scientists today.

Inflammatory biomarker helps identify progressive precancerous lesions in the lung
C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation in the blood, can help to identify individuals whose abnormal precancerous lesions will advance to closer to invasive lung cancer.

Software to bring order to information chaos
A new software system that enables faster and more comprehensive analysis of vast quantities of information is so effective that it not only creates order out of chaos and allows computers to perform tasks that before only people could perform, it is also creating new information from old data.

First Amazon-Andean crop plant transfer and corn processing in Peru 3600-4000 years ago
Mouthwatering Peruvian cuisine like causa (mashed yellow potatoes layered with avocado and seafood) and carapulcra (dried potatoes and pork/chicken in peanut sauce) combine food crops from Amazon basin rainforests and Andean highlands.

International evaluation of research at the University of Helsinki
Peer reviews reveal the University of Helsinki's research to be of even higher quality than in the first evaluation carried out in 1999.

Study finds commitment to marriage, emotional engagement key to wives' happiness
A new study finds that the single most important factor in women's marital happiness is the level of their husbands' emotional engagement -- not money, the division of household chores or other factors.

Multiple sclerosis research into reparative cells offers new avenue for fighting disease
Plaques that form around the nerve cells of people with multiple sclerosis are apparently what disable people with the disease.

Inadequate prescribing practices lead to poor pain control in nursing home residents
Researchers have discovered that many nursing home residents have poorly controlled pain due to inadequate medication treatment.

United Nations Biosafety meeting to take place in Brazil
The 132 member governments to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety are meeting in Curitiba, Brazil from 13 to 17 March 2006 to clarify international trade rules for genetically modified commodities.

Experimental drug reverses key cognitive deficits, pathology in Alzheimer's
A new drug that enhances the activity of a key brain cell receptor involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) reverses learning and memory deficits in mice engineered to have pathological hallmarks of the disease.

Sex: Why bother? Evolutionary mysteries probed at UH
What advantage did sex offer when it first appeared and why does sex persist in modern organisms, stopping them from becoming asexual again?

National Academies news: Managing coal combustion residues in mines
Filling mines with the residues of coal combustion is a viable way to dispose of these materials, provided they are placed so as to avoid adverse health and environmental effects, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies' National Research Council.

FDA centennial science forum
Scientists and clinicians from all over the country will attend the Food and Drug Administration's 2006 Science Forum from April 18-20, 2006.

Oklahoma school captures second National Communications Award
St. Philip Neri School of Midwest City, Okla., won the sixth annual IEEE-USA Best Communications System Award at the national finals of the Engineers Week Future City Competition on 22 February.

Acrux patent portfolio advances in USA
New patent granted in USA for MDTS® drug delivery system.

Georgia Tech helps implement statewide interoperable communications system
When a crisis occurs, it's critical for public-safety officials to coordinate their efforts.

UCI researchers identify first compound to block progression of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at UC Irvine have found that a new compound not only relieves the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but also reduces the two types of brain lesions that are hallmarks of this devastating disease, thereby blocking its progression.

Obesity and risk for death due to motor vehicle crashes
A team at the Injury Research Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has found that being obese increases male drivers' risk of dying in a car crash, as does being very slim.

Highlights from the March 2006 issue of the American Dietetic Association
The March 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Amifostine makes radiation more effective, eases side effects
Doctors in Brazil have concluded that the drug amifostine eases many of the most common side effects associated with patients receiving radiation therapy to treat their cancer while simultaneously making the cancer more susceptible to radiation.

Proteins stop blood-vessel and tumor growth in mice
Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center report in the March issue of Cancer Research that a pair of promising proteins, known as fibulins 3 and 5, slow the growth of cancer tumors in mice by preventing blood vessels from sprouting.

Americans and Venezuelans lead the world in national pride
When it comes to being proud about their country, people in the United States and Venezuela lead the world, according to a new report produced by the National Opinion Research Center.

Marrow-derived stem cells deliver new cytokine to kill brain tumor cells, offer protection
Gliomas are highly invasive brain tumors with poorly defined borders.

Obese people are more sensitive to pain, suggests study
Obese people may be more sensitive to pain than people who aren't obese, a new study suggests.

SNM Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment program modules approved by ABNM, ABR for CME credit
SNM's Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program modules, which allow molecular imaging/nuclear medicine professionals to demonstrate competence -- and accountability -- to patients, colleagues, managed care companies and government regulators, have gained the approval of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine and the American Board of Radiology.

Amber reveals ecology of 30 million year old spiders
Scientists at The University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University have carried out the first comparative scientific study of ancient spiders trapped in amber more than 30 millions years ago.

Hit-and-run injury to the brain
A seven-year tracking study has prompted scientists to suggest that chronic fatigue syndrome could be the result of brain injuries inflicted during the early stages of glandular fever (Infectious mononucleosis).

Whites more likely than blacks to die soon after spouse's death
White Americans are far more likely than their black counterparts to die soon after the death of a spouse, according to new research from Harvard University.

New anti-drug program shows 'phenomenal' success by focusing on positives
A newly-released study suggests that a well-designed in-school and community communication campaign really can dramatically cut marijuana and alcohol use among young teens.

Smoking cessation delivered at-home proves effective
A new study suggests that incorporating smoking cessation counseling into home-based medical care is an effective and feasible way to help people break the habit.

Antibody therapy reduces asthma in mice
Asthma rates are increasing, particularly in children. In a study appearing in the March issue of the JCI, Jörg Köhl and colleagues from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Research Foundation report that complement C5aR blockade promotes asthma upon first exposure to inhaled allergen, whereas C5aR blockade during established inflammation suppresses asthma.

Nature, nurture and the risk of depression
Some people are more than twice as likely to become depressed as others, given similar circumstances, according to landmark research from Brain Sciences UNSW (University of New South Wales).

Procedure for irregular heartbeat gives long-lasting relief & improves quality of life
People who have endured the effects and risks of an irregular heartbeat for years can get long-lasting relief from a procedure that takes less than two hours, a definitive new study shows.

Better communication between families, health care providers can reduce cost, length of stay in ICU
A growing population of chronically critically ill (CCI) patients use approximately half of all hospital intensive care unit (ICU) resources at a cost of an estimated $50 billion annually.

Reactions to last DTaP vaccine not prevented
A red splotch forms where most preschoolers get their fifth, and last, shot of the acellular diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, and it can last a few days.

Gladstone Institutes ranks #1 in The Scientist survey of Best Places for Postdocs to Work
The J. David Gladstone Institutes is North America's best institutional work environment for life sciences postdoctoral fellows, according to The Scientist's annual

Medicare must change the way it values physician services to avert primary care collapse
Medicare must change the way that it values and reimburses physician services to prevent a collapse of primary care medicine in the US, the president of the American College of Physicians (ACP) told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health today.

Depressive symptoms in adolescents associated with parental domestic violence
Adolescents who witness domestic violence between their parents are significantly more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression.

Joslin study provides physiological evidence that insulin is critical for blood vessel formation
For people with type 2 diabetes, the death rate from a first heart attack is two to three times the death rate of patients without the disease.

Biomarkers may hone anti-aging therapies
Lotions and potions that promise to remove wrinkles and other effects of aging crowd cosmetics aisle shelves, but do these treatments really work?

Delayed-release stimulant used to treat ADHD may be less subject to abuse
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers has found that a delayed-release stimulant used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may be less likely to be abused than other stimulant drugs.

Update on tuberculosis -- 2005
A reduction in tuberculosis (TB) incidence, prevalence, and death rate can be achieved by 2015 in most parts of the world, with the greatest challenges occurring in Africa and Eastern Europe, according to a projection by the Stop TB Department of the World Health Organization.

Anti-inflammatory drug's potentially deadly side effect found to be rare
Scientists have completed an extensive study of more than 3,000 patients who received a promising anti-inflammatory drug, natalizumab, that was linked to three cases of a serious brain infection in large clinical trials halted in early 2005.

Prudent investments in education and training needed for nation's Hispanic population
Education and training are the linchpins that will give the nation's Hispanic workers and their children important tools to contribute to and share in US prosperity, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council that examines the Hispanic experience in the United States.

Liggins Institute Director wins a 'World Class New Zealand' award
Professor Peter Gluckman, Director of the Liggins Institute at The University of Auckland, has won an important award for making a major contribution to New Zealand's success on the world stage.

Conference examines latest research on drug-induced liver injury
A recent conference examined issues relating to drug-induced liver injury (DILI), the primary cause of acute liver failure in the US.

Laboratory licenses hydrogen sensor technology
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that Nuclear Filter Technology (NucFil) has been awarded licenses to manufacture Fiber Optic Hydrogen Sensors.

Habitat microstructure drives salamander metamorphosis
Whether salamanders transform into their terrestrial, adult form or retain their aquatic, juvenile form depends on the nature of the streambed where they develop.

Acupuncture is as effective as standard drug treatments for migraine
Treatment outcomes for migraine do not differ between patients treated with sham acupuncture, traditional Chinese acupuncture, or standard therapy, according to an article published online today (Thursday March 2, 2006) by The Lancet Neurology.

Hawaii's anthurium growers cope with plant disease
A destructive pathogen is impacting Hawaii's production of anthuriums, a plant known for its heart-shaped flower and leaves, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

New route to stroke therapy could protect vulnerable neurons
Researchers have discovered the distinct molecular malfunction that renders some neurons particularly vulnerable to stroke damage.

UMaine researcher puts new date on early agriculture
Research by UMaine researcher Dan Sandweiss places cornmeal on the menu for native Americans much earlier than previously believed.

Carnegie Mellon study identifies impact of neural connections in learning process
Through a clever experimental design, Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists have validated decades of experiments to show how learning and memory may be encoded in a living animal.

Evaluation of patients treated with natalizumab finds no new cases of PML
An independent clinical and laboratory study of more than 3000 people treated with the drug natalizumab (Tysabri®) for multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis has found no evidence of new cases of the often-fatal disorder called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Fighting the battle against disease - Leeds researchers take on the world
Every year at least six million people die from TB, malaria or HIV.

Better Business Bureau more reliable than criticism reveals
A new study shows that the criticisms are overstated.

Think solar not nuclear for the energy of the future, say scientists
Solar rather than nuclear energy should be the UK government's priority in planning future energy production, according to scientists writing today in the journal Nature Materials.

Predicting cardiovascular problems in liver transplant patients
Two methods of assessing a patient's risk of cardiovascular events -- SCORE and PROCAM -- proved more valuable for liver transplant recipients than an alternative method, according to a new study.

Latest research shows how mantrams can even tackle post-traumatic stress disorder
Repeating mantrams can help control the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, have a calming effect in traffic and even ease the boredom of exercise, according to a study in the latest issue of Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Einstein scientists discover cause and possible treatments for hereditary movement disorder
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered the underlying cause of a type of ataxia, hereditary disorders characterized by poor balance, loss of posture and difficulty performing rapid coordinated movement. 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