Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2006
Conference on planning and response to terrorism and disaster
To help reduce the psychological impact of terror and disaster, the City of New Haven's Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV) at the Yale Child Study Center, and the Department of Psychiatry, will host a conference March 20 and 21 at Yale School of Medicine.

Record-breaking detector may aid nuclear inspections
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have designed and demonstrated the world's most accurate gamma ray detector, which is expected to be useful eventually in verifying inventories of nuclear materials and detecting radioactive contamination in the environment.

'Yanking' chemical bonds with molecular wires speeds reactions
Using a chain of molecules as an infinitesimal lanyard to tug on a chemical bond about to break, Duke University chemists have found they can speed a complex chemical reaction.

Study links 'smog' to Arctic warming
In a global assessment of the impact of ozone on climate warming, scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, evaluated how ozone in the lowest part of the atmosphere changed temperatures over the past 100 years.

Pressable photonic crystals produce full-colour fingerprints and promise enhanced security
In the future, law enforcement officials may take full-colour fingerprints using new technology developed by a University of Toronto-led team of international researchers.

Maintenance therapies offer lasting heart health benefits
With an increasing proportion of the American public taking therapies like statins and beta-blockers to manage heart-related risks, physicians are evaluating the potential long-term effects of these medicines on overall health.

Plant cells 'black out' when eaten by leafworms
When an Egyptian cotton leafworm eats the leaves of a lima bean plant, the natural voltage at the membranes of the plant's cells changes in a matter of seconds.

Going the extra mile for specialized heart attack care
Diverting ambulances with patients suffering a heart to a hospital providing emergency angioplasty rather than a closer hospital with no ability to provide this specialized care, may be feasible for the majority of Americans, researchers at Yale School of Medicine and the University of Michigan report in Circulation.

Coronary heart disease deaths in Ireland have halved in 15 years
Deaths from coronary artery heart disease in Ireland have halved since the mid 1980s, finds research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Blood transfusions linked to increased mortality in patients suffering from cardiac episodes
The controversial practice of blood transfusions for patients suffering from cardiac episodes may lead to an increased risk of mortality, and may be correlated to transfusion blood type and blood age, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session.

Greenhouse theory smashed by biggest stone
A new theory to explain global warming was revealed at a meeting at the University of Leicester (UK) and is being considered for publication in the journal

Sodas and energy drinks can supply a surprising caffeine jolt
The surprisingly high caffeine content in some beverages could present problems for pregnant women and children, and for adults with hypertension, heart disease or mental health ailments such as anxiety.

AstraZeneca, University of Miami, and Humana collaborate to improve consumer health
AstraZeneca, the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Humana Innovation Enterprises, Inc. announced today the creation of a multi-year research collaboration to improve consumer health by addressing the growing nationwide problem of patients not taking their prescribed medication or getting the treatment they need for chronic health problems.

Rare volcanic plumes create uncommonly dangerous ash flows
Three unique photographs of a recent volcanic eruption in a remote part of Ecuador show a plume unlike any previously documented, and hint at a newly recognized hazard, say scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Cutting-edge procedures cut costs, time associated with cardiac episodes
Scientists presented a novel diagnostic tool aimed at cutting the time and costs needed to evaluate acute chest pain, as well as updated pre-hospital protocol to quickly diagnose and treat heart attacks today at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session.

Researchers simulate complete structure of virus -- on a computer
When Boeing and Airbus developed their latest aircraft, the companies' engineers designed and tested them on a computer long before the planes were built.

Alzheimer's study first to explain death of brain cells
Researchers at Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland (CHRCO) have published a new study that is the first to explain how brain cells die in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Small birthweight and premature births associated with higher risk of child abuse
Small birthweight and premature birth may be associated with a higher risk of child abuse and neglect, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Newly discovered small molecules
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered several small molecules that can

Researchers link human papillomavirus (HPV) to common skin cancer
Human papillomavirus (HPV) may be a risk factor in developing squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, according to research led by Dartmouth Medical School.

Study finds shifts in treatment trends prior to publication of study results
The oral presentation of data from a single study at a national scientific conference can have an important impact on patient treatment, even before study publication or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, according to a study in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New generation of cardiac interventions, therapies optimize heart disease care
Research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session and the inaugural Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga., highlights critical advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Many high risk patients do not receive cholesterol-lowering therapies
New insights into medical treatment of high blood pressure, including a review of the extent of care for patients in need and the potential value of newer therapies, are among the topics of studies presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session.

Study highlighted at ACC better identifies patients at risk for sudden cardiac death
Researchers have found a more accurate way to tell which children are likely to be among the thousand who suddenly die each year in the United States from genetic heart conditions that cause arrhythmia.

Kiwi astronomers help find icy 'Super Earth' - Life in space discovery a step closer
The technique of gravitational microlensing has produced evidence of an Earth-sized terrestrial planet that could support life.

Asthma risk increased in women with high levels of fat tissue inflammatory protein
Women with high levels of an inflammatory protein produced by fat tissue are at significantly increased risk of asthma, finds research in published ahead of print in Thorax.

Salt substitute significantly reduces hypertension amongst rural Chinese
A salt substitute specially formulated to be flavourful and effective has significantly reduced blood pressure among high-risk residents of northern, rural China, where home-pickled foods are a dietary mainstay and hypertension is rampant.

New review series covers diverse human factors/ergonomics topics for professionals and students
The new HFES series, Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, distills research and application in a wide range of subject areas.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience includes the following articles:

Technologies diagnose coronary disease in one heartbeat
As a growing number of Americans are diagnosed with heart conditions each year, it is becoming increasingly important that new heart-specific diagnostic technologies are developed that are easier and more effective than previous standards.

Low-income patients reduce heart risk via Internet
Low-income patients with treatable cardiac risk factors may benefit from regular visits with an Internet based telemedicine doctor.

Strength of cocaine cravings linked to brain response
Rats that have a strong craving for cocaine have a different biochemical response to the drug than their less-addicted counterparts, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Post-stent maintenance therapies questioned
Patients admitted to the hospital with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) are often treated with a catheter-based procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI.

Med students thrive in virtual classroom
A virtual classroom proved superior to a traditional one in teaching medical students to identify heart sounds, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

Researchers unravel DNA tangles and enzyme seamstresses
Study explores how DNA strands are carefully unravelled from the nucleus and how a DNA knot can be deadly.

Other highlights in the March 15 JNCI
Other highlights in the March 15 JNCI include: a study that associates dietary folate intake with reduced pancreatic cancer risk, a study that examines childhood leukemia incidence and influenza, and a study of a tumor suppressing protein in lung cancer.

Early treatment with blood pressure meds may reduce hypertension
Patients experiencing high normal blood pressure (HNBP), a precursor to hypertension, may benefit from early treatment with pharmacological therapy, according to new research presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session.

Exposure to volcanic mineral associated with increased mesothelioma incidence in Turkey
High exposure to a fibrous volcanic mineral called erionite was associated with a high incidence of a type of cancer called mesothelioma, according to a study in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ultracold atoms produce long-sought quantum mix
Rice University physicist Randall Hulet is discussing breakthroughs in creating quantum superfluids at a press conference at today's American Physical Society 2006 March Meeting in Baltimore.

Bank mergers bring down the neighborhood
New research shows that bank mergers generate negative economic effects in poor neighborhoods, resulting in an increase in property crime.

Women and children are the first hurt by welfare reform
Policy changes to welfare threaten the health and health care of single, low-income mothers and their children.

HPV subtype associated with squamous cell skin cancers
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types called beta HPVs may be associated with an increased risk of developing a major type of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a new study in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Found: Key 'go-between' in heart disease
Medical researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have shed light on a little-known mechanism involved in the thickening of arteries, a process associated with heart disease.

Multi-million pound UK Biobank underway
UK Biobank, a visionary medical project aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other serious conditions is launched in the UK this week after several years of meticulous planning.

Chemistry as a life science
A biennial conference featuring leading chemistry researchers who address issues central to modern pharmaceutical research, ranging from synthetic organic chemistry to chemistry and biology.

Wound monitor 'sniffs out' infections
The University of Manchester has received £1m (€1.67m) to develop a new device able to 'sniff out' harmful infections.

Impact of fondaparinux tested on most serious heart attacks
The results of a large international cardiovascular trial will shed light on whether the addition of a new drug that prevents blood clotting, or thrombosis, can improve the treatment of the most serious form of heart attacks.

Complex artery disease best treated with simple approach
Cardiologists increasingly use non-invasive methods to treat patients with diseased arteries that previously required open-heart surgery.

Chemical reaction yields ties that bind permanently
Chemists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a new method to add functional groups to the amino acid cysteine and other thiols.

Report finds cruise industry is protecting the precious places it visits
The major players in the cruise industry, including cruise lines, local governments and shore operators - in collaboration with civil society organizations - are taking proactive measures to ensure a sustainable future for cruise tourism while preserving cruise destinations, according to a new report titled

Doctors in training improve skills via virtual patient
An electronic stethoscope that doubles as a virtual patient dramatically improved the accuracy of medical residents in identifying heart sounds.

Anti-thrombotic medication significantly reduces risk of death for heart attack patients
Heart attack patients who have a certain pattern on an electrocardiogram significantly reduced their risk of death and having another heart attack at 30 days with the medication fondaparinux, without an increased risk of bleeding and strokes, according to a study that will appear in the April 5 issue of JAMA.

Early blood pressure treatment may postpone true hypertension
A new study offers intriguing early insight into the possibility of postponing hypertension among the 59 million Americans whose blood pressure is slightly high.

Ice volcanoes on Saturn's moon Enceladus
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics and the University of Potsdam have found ice volcanoes - or what could be called

University of Queensland researchers win four Rotary grants
Life may soon be just a little easier for parents of autistic children thanks to a parenting program being trialed at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Study offers preview of ice sheet melting, rapid climate changes
Behavior of Scandinavian Ice Sheet at the end of the last Ice Age may preview loss of Greenland Ice Sheet due to global warming.

Enoxaparin beats unfractionated heparin as adjunct therapy for heart attacks
A simple-to-use strategy that prevents blood clots in patients who have suffered a heart attack markedly reduces the risk of repeat heart attack or death when compared to an older, more widely used blood thinning strategy, according to a large international study presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session and the inaugural Innovation in Intervention: The i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga.

Researchers develop foundation for circuitry and devices based on graphite
Graphite, the material that gives pencils their marking ability, could be the basis for a new class of nanometer-scale electronic devices that have the attractive properties of carbon nanotubes - but could be produced using established microelectronics manufacturing techniques.

Predicting chemotherapy outcome
Studying the gene-expression profiles of patients with colorectal cancer might help predict their response to chemotherapy.

Rice University researchers create 'nanorice'
Researchers at Rice University have invented

Quickplacer, the fastest robot in the world
Fatronik has launched the most rapid robot in the world at the BIEMH (International Machine-Tool Biennial) in Bilbao.

Hospitalized patients with schizophrenia more likely to have medical and surgical complications
A Johns Hopkins study of more than 1,700 patients with schizophrenia hospitalized for medical or surgical care unrelated to their mental disorder shows they are at least twice as likely as similar patients without schizophrenia to suffer dangerous and expensive adverse events.

ICCL and CI launch global mapping project to protect sensitive marine areas
The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) and Conservation International (CI) today announced a joint initiative to develop a global map that integrates additional sensitive marine areas into cruise line navigational charts where wastewater discharge should be avoided.

Landmark trial shows carotid stenting beneficial for patients with disease but no symptoms
Results from the largest-ever multi-center US registry on the efficacy of carotid stenting shows that the procedure is safe in patients who are at high risk for standard surgical therapy.

OHSU study aims to halt Alzheimer's by blocking enzyme
In a study published in the Feb. 28 issue of the journal Neurology, LY450139, a gamma secretase inhibitor, was shown to reduce blood plasma levels of beta-amyloid by 38 percent in 70 Alzheimer's patients given 30 milligrams of LY450139 for one week, followed by 40 milligrams for five weeks.

Mayo Clinic researchers say bariatric surgery may reduce risk of heart disease
Mayo Clinic researchers discovered in a first-of-its-kind study that people who undergo bariatric surgery -- commonly referred to as stomach stapling -- reap significant cardiac benefits compared with patients in a more traditional weight-reduction program.

Electrons 'in limbo' seen for first time
Hrvoje Petek, University of Pittsburgh professor of physics and codirector of Pitt's Gertrude E. and John M.

Gold nanorods may make safer cancer treatment
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, San Francisco, have found that by using gold nanorods, rather than nanospheres, they can detect malignant tumors hidden deeper under the skin and destroy them with lasers only half as powerful as before - without harming the healthy cells.

Studies compare stents and cardiac procedures for long-term survival
Cardiologists are continually searching for the most effective and non-invasive methods of treatment for their patients.

Web site shows search censorship in different countries
Search engines might be created with the intent to give all users equal access to the same information, but a Web site created by researchers at the Indiana University School of Informatics visualizes how some countries' censorship laws affect search results.

Report finds limited number of psychiatrists statewide
North Carolinians dealing with anxiety, depression or other common mental disorders are having a more difficult time getting treatment because of the limited number of psychiatrists statewide, according to a recent report on psychiatrist supply.

Use of high humidity does not improve symptoms for children with croup
For children with moderate to severe croup treated in the emergency department, use of high humidity did not improve symptoms more than low humidity or mist therapy, according to an article in the March 15 issue of JAMA.

USGS assessment significantly increases Afghanistan petroleum resource base
The USGS and the Government of Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry have completed the first-ever assessment of Afghanistan's undiscovered petroleum resources and have determined that the resource base is significantly greater than previously understood.

Janus particles offer new physics, new technology
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of change and transition, often portrayed with two faces gazing in opposite directions.

Test to predict cardiovascular risk in heart attack patients not yet appropriately used
A new brain chemical test that predicts which patients with heart attack symptoms are at higher risk of dying is paradoxically not being used in younger, healthier patients who could benefit the most from the prognostic information provided by this test, according to a new analysis by cardiologists at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI).
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