Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2006
Seattle Heart Failure Model is able to accurately predict survival for patients with heart failure
A new model developed at the University of Washington provides an accurate estimate of one-, two-, and three-year survival rates and average years of survival for patients with heart failure.

Women's bioethics project receives grant from Ford Foundation
The Women's Bioethics Project today announced it has received a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Could a simple test save Medicare hundreds of millions?
The Medicare agency will soon announce whether it will cover the cost of a $400 heart test that assesses a person's risk of dying suddenly from a heart condition.

Drug that switches on genes improves myelodysplastic syndrome treatment
A potent member of a new class of drugs increases survival in some patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and may become the new standard of therapy for this group of pre-cancer disorders, say researchers at The University of Texas M.

How can we protect patients with weakened immune systems from influenza?
The flu is bad enough for healthy people, but the disease can place a special burden on those with weakened immune systems, such as patients on chemotherapy.

Four-year data suggest the CYPHER® stent provides long-term efficacy and safety benefits
Patients treated with the CYPHER® Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent continued to experience significantly better long-term clinical outcomes than those who received a bare metal stent (BMS), according to data presented today during a symposium at the 2006 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.

Comet from coldest spot in solar system has material from hottest places
Scientists analyzing recent samples of comet dust have discovered minerals that formed near the sun or other stars.

Setting the agenda for food security in Europe
The European Science Foundation has recently accepted a proposal for a new Forward Look that aims to create a broad research agenda focusing on all aspects of food systems.

Penn clinical chemist wins prestigious Ullman Award
Dr. Larry Kricka, Director of General Chemistry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the winner of the 2006 Edwin F.

UCI researchers identify new form of superior memory syndrome
Researchers at UC Irvine have identified the first known case of a new memory syndrome -- a woman with the ability to perfectly and instantly recall details of her past.

Protein that regulates the recovery of blood cells from radiation and chemotherapy
Scientists have uncovered new information about what orchestrates the complex balance between blood stem cells and mature blood cells, a relationship that is often disrupted in leukemia.

Single dose of azithromycin prevents recurrence of inturned eyelashes
A Johns Hopkins Medicine study finds that a single dose of the oral antibiotic azithromycin taken after trichiasis eye surgery can reduce the frequency with which eyelashes turn back in and abrade the eye.

Memory, speed of thinking get worse over time with marijuana use
Memory, speed of thinking and other cognitive abilities get worse over time with marijuana use, according to a new study published in the March 14, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Anti-HIV drugs unlikely to stop HIV spread
Researchers believe antiretroviral therapy (ART) will not be effective in stopping HIV epidemics even if it is made universally available in poorer countries, and that widespread use could even lead to an increase in the numbers infected with HIV.

Penn researchers create the first reliable method for making gaps for nanotech apps
One small gap for a silicon wafer might mean an enormous leap for nanoelectronics, according to Penn physicists.

Study recommends treatment change for pre-leukemia disease
A new study finds that longer courses of a mild form of chemotherapy may help patients with a bone marrow disease only recently considered a form of cancer.

Immunoblot agent misses altered heart cell kinase, points to possible therapeutic opening
Columbia University researchers found unexpected complex protein regulation of PKC-delta because a common reagent missed its phosphorylated form in heart cells.

Body image relates to sexual risks taken by men and women differently
In a recent Penn State study, sexually active male first-year college students who had a positive view of their appearance had a higher likelihood of having multiple sexual partners and engaging in unprotected sex.

Public support for science and innovation: Productivity Commission report
In welcoming today's announcement of a Productivity Commission study into science and innovation, Medicines Australia can point to many examples where spending on innovation provides long-term rewards to the nation's economy and well-being.

Diabetic patients often overestimate healthy body weight
Heavier patients with diabetes are more likely to overestimate higher body mass index (BMI) measurements as

New data show CAS in clinical practice has comparable MAE rate with pivotal sapphire trial
The CASES Post Marketing Study (oral presentation) evaluates the 30-day efficacy and safety outcomes/major adverse events for carotid artery stenting (CAS) with PRECISE and ANGIOGUARD.

Third archiving deal for Oxford Journals guarantees long term preservation of electronic content
Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press, has signed a key archiving agreement with Portico, an electronic archiving service launched in 2005 with funding from JSTOR, The Andrew W.

New planet found: Icy 'super-Earth' dominates distant solar system
An international collaboration of astronomers has discovered a

Cardiac devices during hospital stays linked to better outcomes
Placement of cardiac resynchronization devices during a heart failure hospitalization may improve outcomes, suggesting that physicians should not wait until weeks or months later to recommend resynchronization therapy.

Researchers convinced satellites are helpful in tracking epidemics
The amount of data acquired by satellites is increasing at an exponential rate, and researchers are learning about the value of this data in fighting epidemic outbreaks as a result of the ESA's Epidemio project.

Pregnancy complications increase women's risk of heart disease, death
Young women who have a range of complications during pregnancy, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or preterm birth, are at an increased risk of developing heart disease and of dying later in life.

Ultra-clean coal - Could the price now be right to help fight climate change?
A new chemical process for removing unwanted minerals from coal could lead to reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.

Study analyzes gene therapy for patients at high risk for amputation
A new randomized study presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session investigates an innovative treatment for critical limb ischemia, or lack of arterial blood supply and oxygen to the legs, using a therapeutic approach to generate new blood vessels.

'Genetic network' guards against lethal DNA damage
The discovery in yeast cells of a genetic network that guards against lethal DNA damage is a first step in the creation of a database of disease-causing combinations of mutated human genes, according to researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine led by Jef.

Very high-intensity statin therapy shows promise for inducing regression of coronary atherosclerosis
Patients treated with very intensive statin therapy lowered LDL-C levels on average by about 50 percent, increased HDL-C levels by 15 percent, and showed regression of coronary atherosclerosis, according to a study that will appear in the April 5 issue of JAMA.

Yale researchers identify gene depth protects against kidney stones
Yale School of Medicine researchers report in Nature Genetics this week that they have identified a gene whose function protects the body against kidney stones.

World experts gather in New York to discuss the feasibility of sustainable development
More than 25 leading experts from across diverse private and public sectors will converge at the fourth biennial State of the Planet conference, hosted by The Earth Institute at Columbia University, in New York on March 28 and 29.

Intensive statin therapy may partially reverse plaque build-up in arteries
A study presented today at the ACC 55th Annual Scientific Session demonstrates, for the first time, that very intensive cholesterol lowering with a statin drug can regress (partially reverse) the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries.

Heart therapy studies highlight advantages of keeping it simple
Practical and inexpensive techniques can be among the most effective ways to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, reducing blood pressure and controlling disabling fainting spells, according to two studies presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session in Atlanta, Ga.

Medication reduces risk of adverse events for patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing PCI
Patients with acute coronary syndromes who were pre-treated with the anti-platelet agent clopidogrel before undergoing a procedure such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement had a reduced risk of adverse events if they received the anti-clotting drug abciximab, according to a study that will appear in the April 5 issue of JAMA.

Cognitive impairment appears to be common in ALS patients
In a study of 40 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), about one-third showed evidence of cognitive impairment, but these deficits did not appear to be related to survival, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Liverpool report urges local democracy review
Unelected bodies control up to 60 percent of all public spending in local authority areas, new research carried out by the University of Liverpool has revealed.

Study on brain injury in rugby players will enhance safety and recovery
Coinciding with International Brain Awareness Week (13- 19 March 2006), the George Institute for International Health will launch the second phase of a large-scale study on mild-Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) among non-elite rugby union and league players in Sydney.

Do plants have the potential to vaccinate against HIV?
Scientists have developed a new kind of molecule which they believe could ultimately lead to the development of a vaccine against HIV using genetically modified tobacco.

Advice to children with sleep apnea: Wear that night-time breathing device!
Wearing a special mask to bed helps children with sleep apnea breathe and sleep better, but a small, six-month study at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and two other pediatric hospitals suggests children aren't always using them consistently enough to reap the maximum benefits.

Common anti-convulsant drug may help slow the progression of dementia
Researchers have found that a common anticonvulsant drug improved cognitive function and appeared to restore nerve cells in the brains of patients with HIV-related dementia.

Mars under the spotlight again
Relieved UK scientists are celebrating the news that NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) appears to have smoothly entered Mars orbit on Friday night (March 10th).

2006 SGO Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer
The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 37th Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer is the preeminent educational and scientific event for physicians and health care professionals involved in the field of gynecologic oncology.

Freezing magnets with magnets
Jason Gardner, a scientist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has been able to freeze a spin liquid by applying a magnetic field.

Only four percent of Americans with bladder problems seek medical help
As few as four percent of US adults with overactive bladders (OAB) seek medical treatment, despite the condition affecting an estimated 34 million Americans over the age of 18.

New drugs improve bone marrow cancer outlook
Decitabine, a new drug undergoing Phase III efficacy trials, provides palliative therapy for patients with the bone marrow disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), according to a new study.

'Wild' nature play before age 11 fosters adult environmentalism
Children with plenty of opportunity to play in nature before age 11 are more likely to grow up to be environmentalists than other children, says Cornell University environmental psychologist Nancy Wells and research associate Kristi Lekies.

Access to antiretrovirals unlikely to reduce HIV infection rates
A new study suggests that the HIV epidemic in poor countries will not be controlled through antiretroviral drugs alone, even if universal access is achieved.

Strawberries by design
Researchers have developed a new procedure for the efficient transfer of specific DNA sequences into the genome of strawberry.

Esophageal stenting is a new non-surgical procedure that can cure the life-threatening complication
A new procedure can now treat esophageal perforations (holes in the esophagus) when caught early, therefore greatly reducing mortality rates.

Prisons not adapting to needs of aging inmate population
The prison inmate population is aging rapidly, but prisons have not yet adapted to the physical and mental needs of geriatric prisoners, according to a study conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Study examines stenting options in diabetics
People with heart disease who also have diabetes pose specific challenges in treatment options due to the nature of their disease.

Telephone counseling and care may help smokers quit
Smokers who receive telephone care and counseling for smoking cessation have higher rates of stopping smoking than those who receive routine care by health care providers, according to a study in the March 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New research data on the link between learning results and working memory
A research project on the Working Memory and Cognition has reached its conclusion.

ECG transmission from ambulance cuts time to direct clot removal
When emergency medical technicians (EMTs) wirelessly transmit eletrocardiograms (ECG) directly to a cardiologist's hand-held device, heart attack patients can potentially receive direct clot removal in half the usual time, according to cardiologists at Duke University Medical Center and NorthEast Medical Center, Concord, N.C.

Potential heart benefit found in stem cells
Stem cell transplantation is among one of the most exciting and hotly debated areas of medical research today.

UCI receives major grant to help create national methods and standards for functional brain imaging
A nationwide consortium of researchers, led by UC Irvine brain imaging specialist Dr.

CI and GW publish new manual on creating ecotourism destinations
Determining if a destination is suitable for sustainable ecotourism is not an easy task.

Patient view of asthma as a temporary health problem negatively impacts control of disease
Over half of adults with serious asthma believe they only have asthma when they have symptoms and these individuals are significantly less likely to take necessary medications during asymptomatic periods, according to a study in the March issue of Chest.

U of M reports telephone support helps smokers quit more than routine medical care
University of Minnesota Medical School and Minneapolis VA Medical Center research shows that smokers who receive support over the telephone when trying to quit are more successful in kicking the habit than those who receive help as part of routine medical care.

Medications that lower blood pressure linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease
Taking medications to lower blood pressure, particularly those known as diuretics, may be associated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study posted online today that will appear in the May 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Protein that regulates quiescent blood stem cells may enhance recovery from radiation and chemo
Scientists have uncovered new information about what orchestrates the complex balance between blood stem cells and mature blood cells, a relationship that is often disrupted in leukemia.

Drug-eluting and absorbable stents push interventional frontiers
Medicated stents that prevent arterial renarrowing are offering hope to patients with certain types of cardiovascular disease, while a novel stent that slowly dissolves into the artery wall is proving to be a safe alternative to conventional devices, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's inaugural Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga.

Sociality of sweat bees evolved simultaneously during climate change
In the first study to link social evolution to climate change, Cornell's Bryan Danforth and colleagues show that the social behavior of many sweat bees evolved simultaneously during a period of recent global warming, only 20 million to 22 million years ago.

MIST study explores link between migraines and hole in heart
A study presented today during the American College of Cardiology's inaugural Innovation in Intervention: The i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga., will answer intriguing questions about whether repairing a hole in the heart known as a patent foramen ovale (PFO) can ease the pain of severe migraine headaches.

To avoid doing more harm than good, land trusts must consider market forces when acquiring property
Land trusts that focus on biodiversity conservation should consider the impact of real estate market forces when acquiring land, according to a new study to be published in the March 13 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Mixed mortars of calcium and cement in the restoration of buildings
The chemist Mikel Arandigoyen Vidaurre, of the Department of Chemistry and Soil Sciences of the University of Navarra, has proved the effectiveness of new formulas for the restoration of buildings.

Obesity surgery translates to cardiac benefit
As rates of obesity in America continue to soar, surgery has become an increasingly popular solution when diet and exercise regimens fail.

Heart devices, procedures evaluated across patient populations
Studies investigating procedure and device efficacy across patient populations have found varying results with regard to Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD) and defibrillators.

Molecular signatures predict disease progression and prognosis of high grade brain tumors
Scientists have gained valuable new insight into the biology of aggressive, incurable brain tumors.

Racial disparities in access to medicines increase after implementation of prescription surveillance
Health policies designed to curb inappropriate medication prescribing can have the unintended effect of increasing racial disparities in access to appropriate care, reports a study by the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention (of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care).

Faxed alerts to physicians may not improve patient antidepressant adherence
Faxing pharmacy information to alert physicians when their patients fail to refill their prescriptions for antidepressants may not increase the rates of patients taking their drugs as prescribed, according to an article in the March 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New research questions antibiotic use in infants
New research published in the March issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that children under age 1 who were treated with an antibiotic were twice as likely as untreated children to develop asthma in childhood.

Study shows that cells have a natural defense against HIV
Scientists here have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that cells use to fight off the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS.

Inefficient immune killer cells abet HIV infection
Although cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) kill a large number of HIV-infected cells every day, they may not be responsible for the majority of infected cell death.

Refinements and innovations enhance safety, effectiveness
Research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session offers new insight into the most effective therapies for acute coronary syndromes, atrial fibrillation and heart failure, and sheds light on simple ways to prevent the harmful effects of inflammation in patients who have cardiac surgery.

Newsbriefs from the journal Chest, March 2006
Newsbriefs from the journal Chest highlight studies related to asthma perceptions, glucose control in the ICU, and barriers to asthma care due to Medicaid.

Shrinking magnetic storage media down to the nanoscale
In the world of electronic and magnetic devices, the goal is to get smaller.

Getting patients to swallow their medicine
In a study designed to assess whether alerts faxed to physicians can help to improve patient adherence to antidepressant medications, Kara Zivin Bambauer, PhD, a research fellow in the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention (of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care) and colleagues have concluded that fax interventions to prescribers did not positively affect rates of patient adherence.

Endocrinologist-directed intervention aimed at primary care physicians improves diabetes care
With the rate of diabetes skyrocketing to epidemic proportions, researchers at Emory University have found that management of diabetic patients in a primary care setting can be improved by an intervention aimed at physicians.

Judgments of moral blame can distort memory of events, study finds
Thinking that a person is dishonest or immoral can change how you remember objective facts, prompting you to recall the person's behavior as worse than it really was, finds Cornell Professor David Pizarro.

Scientists discover how coffee can reduce risk of pancreatitis
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found how coffee can reduce the risk of alcohol-induced pancreatitis.

Microscopic radiator flying on 'skin' of a NASA spacecraft to launch March 14
Researchers have developed a radiator so small its components are only visible under a microscope.

New technique provides the first full view of the far side of the sun
The hidden face of the sun is fully visible for the first time, thanks to a new technique developed at Stanford University.

Jefferson scientists test new device for fixing holes in hearts of young stroke patients
Interventional cardiologists have been using transcatheter devices designed to close PFO successfully for many years. 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