Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 04, 2006
Liver signal critical for insulin's brain action
New research in the April 5, 2006 Cell Metabolism identifies a key player in the body's ability to respond to insulin action in the brain by ratcheting down the export of blood sugar from the liver.

Low vitamin D levels associated with increased total cancer incidence
Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with increased total cancer incidence and mortality in men, particularly for cancers of the digestive system, according to a study in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die, U-M researchers find
Ginger is known to ease nausea and control inflammation. But researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are investigating a new use for this age-old remedy: treating ovarian cancer.

Starvation response in worms points to common hunger pathway
New evidence in the April 5, 2006 Cell Metabolism reveals a molecular mechanism that may play a general role in animals' ability to respond appropriately when starved.

Tiny particles may pose threat to liver cells, say scientists
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are to study the effects of nanoparticles on the liver.

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

Significant improvement noted in diabetes management using chronic care model
Educating people with diabetes in a primary-care setting with sustained, comprehensive intervention resulted in significant improvement in disease management and overall health, according to a study published in the current issue of Diabetes Care.

Osteoarthritis care for the elderly
A recent study published in the April 2006 issue of Arthritis Care & Research evaluated the quality of care provided for elderly osteoarthritic patients and found that it was in need of improvement.

Killing wolves may not protect livestock efficiently
Costly and time-consuming efforts to eliminate wolves that prey on sheep, cattle and other domestic animals are ineffective on a long-term, regional scale, according to an examination of wolf control methods in Alberta and several US states (Montana, Idaho and Wyoming) by University of Calgary researchers.

Albatross study shows regional differences in ocean contamination
As long-lived predators at the top of the marine food chain, albatrosses accumulate toxic contaminants such as PCBs, DDT, and mercury in their bodies.

Stem cells can repair torn tendons or ligaments
Weekend athletes who overexert themselves running or playing basketball may one day reap the benefits of research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that shows that adult stem cells can be used to make new tendon or ligament tissue.

Disability transitions and osteoarthritis in high functioning older women
A recent study published in the April 2006 issue of Arthritis Care & Research examined the impact of osteoarthritis in the lower extremities and found that women with this condition have a greater risk of developing decreased mobility, a risk which is further increased by being overweight.

Factor stimulates cartilage growth from stem cells
A novel growth factor significantly improves the ability of specialized stem cells derived from human fat to be transformed into cartilage cells, according to Duke University Medical Center and Pratt School of Engineering researchers.

One percent reduction in cancer mortality would be worth nearly $500 billion
Even a modest one percent reduction in mortality from cancer would be worth nearly $500 billion in social value, according to a new study by economists Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Cinnamon, cloves improve insulin function, lower risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease
Two studies provide new evidence for the beneficial effects (and biochemical actions) of cinnamon as an anti-inflammatory agent and support earlier findings of its power as an anti-oxidant agent and an agent able to lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose, and improve how well insulin functions.

Researchers study whether cutting calories may help you live longer
Reducing calories over six months resulted in a decrease in fasting insulin levels and body temperature, two biomarkers of longevity, according to a study in the April 5 issue of JAMA.

Study finds lesser conditions a stepping stone to major depression
Elderly patients with lesser versions of depression, a group many times larger than those with major depression, are more than five times as likely as healthy patients to descend into major depression within one year, according to a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Farm study raises doubts about new approach to swine-disease control
Sample sizes were small, but eyebrow-raising results from a study on a western Illinois farm have researchers and veterinarians taking a broader look at how swine producers battle an endemic viral disease that adds to their costs and threatens reproduction in their herds.

Soy intake associated with reduced risk of breast cancer
Because some studies have suggested that soy contains chemicals that may help ward off breast cancer, increasing numbers of women are using soy supplements as a potential tumor preventive.

Jefferson researchers uncover genetic signature that predicts colon cancer
Using a microarray chip to analyze the expression of microRNAs - tiny pieces of genetic material discovered in recent years that are thought to be important in regulating gene expression and in the development of cancer, researchers at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia have uncovered a genetic

Evolutionary scrap-heap challenge: Antifreeze fish make sense out of junk DNA
An antifreeze protein gene in cod has been discovered that has evolved from non-coding or 'junk' DNA.

Capsaicin shows promise in inhibiting growth of pancreatic cancer
Cancer researchers have long sought to understand the contribution of diet and nutrition to the development of cancer.

St. John's wort, Echinacea interfere with some drugs by moving them out of the body too fast
St. John's wort and Echinacea, two widely-used herbal preparations, have been found to increase activity of a specific enzyme in the liver and intestine, an enzyme involved in the metabolization of roughly one in every four pharmaceutical drugs on the market today, say researchers.

Pine nut oil boosts appetite suppressors up to 60 percent for 4 hours
Pine nut oil's greatest effect came after 30 minutes, with overweight subjects reporting 29 percent reduction in desire to eat and 36 percent drop in prospective food intake.

Worm's hunger response provides clue to eating disorders
In research that may have implications for studying eating disorders in humans, a worm the size of a pinhead is helping researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center unravel the mechanisms of hunger.

No place like home: Ant navigation skills used in robot navigation
Dr Knaden, from University of Zurich, will report that a visit back to the nest is essential for ants to reset their navigation equipment and avoid getting lost on foraging trips.

NJIT students present leading research during Provost's Student Research Showcase
Students at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) work side by side with professors on the university's most prominent research projects - projects that could lead to new technologies in fields such as biomedical engineering and cancer research.

Do the obese know they are obese? Apparently not, according to a new study
Obese men and women are reasonably accurate when it comes to reporting their own weight, says researchers, but they are much more likely than normal weight persons to misjudge what weight falls into the obese category and therefore do not consider themselves to be obese.

FDA grants priority review of Remicade® for children with Crohn's disease
Centocor, Inc. announced today that the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for REMICADE (infliximab) for the treatment of pediatric Crohn's disease has been accepted and designated for Priority Review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Collaboration will investigate vulnerabilities of rapidly growing Internet phone and...
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issed four awards totaling $600,000 to the University of North Texas (UNT) to lead a multi-university collaboration to develop a geographically distributed, secure test bed to analyze vulnerabilities in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) -- an increasingly popular technology that turns audio signals into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.

Heavy horseriders - they're a pain in the back!
A horse's saddle and the weight of its rider can cause spinal abnormalities horses.

Soy foods associated with small reduction in risk of breast cancer
Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 18 epidemiologic studies revealing that women who eat soy products may have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Inflammation and drugs to control this activity studied in a variety of tumors sites
Inflammation cuts both ways. When invaded by an infectious agent, for example, the body calls on the forces of inflammation to fight and defeat the intruder.

Book on avian hybrids gives startling new insights into birds' breeding habits
Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it, wrote Cole Porter.

The hare and the greyhound: A race the hare can win
Now is the time to look for the sight of hares boxing.

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

Soy intake may be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer
Soy intake may be associated with a small reduction in the risk of breast cancer, according to a meta-analysis in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Thinner and younger
Can eating a low-calorie yet nutritionally balanced diet extend human life?

Fox Chase Cancer Center study shows that inhibitors of (FAP) attenuate tumor growth in mice
Fox Chase Cancer Center study shows that inhibitors of fibroblast activation protein (FAP) attenuate tumor growth in mice, according to new data presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research 97th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Flying tip of bees: Leave your legs dangling!
Unlike airplanes, leaving their landing gear down makes bees fly faster.

Low dose vitamin A derivative does not prevent head and neck tumors, clinical trial finds
Taking a vitamin A derivative called isotretinoin did not reduce the risk of second primary tumors or improve survival in patients with stage I or II head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCC), according to a study in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acid in fish oil linked to lowering of prostaglandin
A biochemist reports that fish oil significantly diminishes the production and effectiveness of various prostaglandins, naturally occurring hormone-like substances that can accentuate inflammation and thrombosis.

Variants in three estrogen-related genes linked to Parkinson's disease in women
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a possible connection between increased risk for Parkinson's disease and variants in three genes that control estrogen production and activity in the body.

Mild cognitive impairment prevalent in elderly population
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that mild cognitive impairment, a disorder considered a strong early predictor of Alzheimer's disease, is prevalent among the elderly and increases with age and fewer years of education.

16-Year follow-up study reinforces Betaseron long-term efficacy, safety and tolerability in MS
Berlex announced today that Betaseron® (interferon beta 1b) remained consistently safe, effective and well tolerated over the long term, according to results of the Betaseron 16-Year Long-Term Follow-up (16-Year LTF) Study presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Top federal officials to speak at 20-21 April AAAS policy forum
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and White House science adviser John H.

How low can you go? Ants learn to limbo
Have you ever tried to do the limbo? For ants it's a way of life!

VCU Medical Center team implants total artificial heart
A cardiac surgery team at Virginia Commonwealth University's Pauley Heart Center has performed the first artificial heart implant on the East Coast.

Epilepsy surgery successful for alleviating seizures over the long term
In one of the largest epilepsy surgery studies ever conducted, Mayo Clinic researchers have found that 81 percent of patients with intractable epilepsy become totally or nearly seizure-free six months following epilepsy surgery.

Prevalence of overweight children, teens and men in US continues to rise
The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents and obesity among men increased significantly between 1999 and 2004, according to a study in the April 5 issue of JAMA.

Physics and biology team up to tackle protein folding debate
A team of researchers from EPFL, (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), the University of Lausanne, Northwestern University and Tel Aviv University bring biology and statistical physics together to answer the question of how molecular chaperones fold, unfold and pull proteins around in the cell.

Abdominal fat more significant in exercise-induced shortness of breath than overall weight
When it comes to being short of breath during exercise, how fat is distributed on the body is a more significant factor than overall body fatness or lung function, say researchers.

Studies explore the many complex linkages between smoking and cancer
Researchers are delving deeper into the links between smoking and cancer, teasing out the genes and molecules involved as well as other factors that affect cancer risk.

First different black/white mechanism in pulmonary fibrosis/scleroderma identified
More than 40,000 persons die each year in the US from pulmonary fibrosis, but the mortality rate among African-Americans is twice as high Caucasians.

Vitamin D and flavonoids examined for impact on breast and ovarian cancers
While risk factors for breast and ovarian cancers include menopause, obesity, family history and specific genetic mutations, researchers also are looking at the role of diet in the development, as well as the treatment and prevention of these tumors.

Controlling blood sugar in hospitalized patients saves lives
If you are not diabetic and you are hospitalized, your blood sugar level is probably the last thing on your mind.

Statement from Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Today's report on academic sleep research and sleep medicine from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will inform the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research as they advise NIH on sleep research, education, and training needs.

US citizen hurt by H-1B program testifies before Congress
The H-1B visa program was intended to give US companies access to foreign workers when qualified US citizens cannot be found.

Mayo Clinic leaders offer health reform vision, prescriptions
In an essay published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic CEO Denis Cortese, MD, and Chief Administrative Officer, Robert Smoldt, diagnose problems in American health care and offer prescriptions for reform, suggesting solutions based on the concept of a

Alaska seal pup diet may hold key to decline of population
Female harbor seal pups whose blubber falls below average levels may be at risk of delayed sexual maturation or death, even if they eat enough fat later.

UPMC joins Italian government to create $398 million biomedical research center in Sicily
Building on its successful transplant center and clinical facility in Palermo, Italy, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center today announced a partnership with the Italian government, the Region of Sicily and Italy's National Research Council to create a $398 million Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center, also to be located in Sicily.

Circulating endothelial microparticles lead to heart valve disease
Under normal physiological conditions, low levels of microparticles are continually being shed into the blood from the endothelium - the cells that line the inside of blood vessels and some organs - and appear to cause no problems.

Modelling virtual dogs: It's a walk in the park!
Dog walking is a national pastime, but how does your dog walk?

Researchers probe enzyme that may lead to new SARS drugs
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and two other institutions have unraveled the structure of an important new drug target from the virus that causes SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Richard Zare named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Richard N. Zare, chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University, has been named a 2006 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Researchers look to the brain to explain gender differences in sleep apnea
The neural pathways between two areas of the brain that control the tongue -- and their interactions with each other -- may explain why more men suffer sleep apnea than women.

Predicting successful outcomes in living-donor liver transplants
A new study on identifying which patients were likely to have poor outcomes following a living-donor liver transplant (LDLT) found that measuring how a certain non-toxic dye was eliminated by the liver shortly after surgery was an accurate indicator of liver function, and therefore a reliable indicator of the outcome of the procedure.

Understanding the life of C. elegans
When the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has enough to eat, enjoys the right temperatures and is not crowded out by its fellows, it produces a hormone, which binds to a receptor called DAF12 that allows it to reach reproductive maturity and live a natural lifespan.

International scientists to present MRSA research in Liverpool
Experts in MRSA will meet at the University of Liverpool next week to discuss research that will facilitate development of new treatments for the potentially fatal bacterium.

Experiments examine hydrogen-production benefits of clean coal burning
Experiments are underway at Sandia to optimize the combustion of coal to produce the most energy and the least possible pollution.

UCL scientists gauge pain in premature babies
Scientists at UCL (University College London) have measured responses to pain in the brains of premature babies and have shown that they are likely to experience 'true' pain rather than simply displaying reflex reactions.

Institute of Medicine advisory: Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders: An unmet public health problem, a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, assesses the country's capacity to conduct sleep-related research and diagnose and treat people suffering from these disorders, and recommends ways to improve it.

Lack of response to herceptin may be reversed with addition of a PI3K inhibitor
Breast cancer patients with HER2-positive tumors who don't respond to Herceptin (trastuzumab) may benefit from cocktail therapy that includes Herceptin along with one or more PI3K inhibiting agents, say researchers at The University of Texas M.

Salmon go veggie to save wild fish stocks
Salmon, like humans, require omega-3 fatty acids in their diet to function healthily.

Despite medical advances, children receiving liver transplants wait longer than a decade ago
A new study on children undergoing liver transplants found that although innovative transplant techniques have been developed in recent years, the waitlist times for pediatric transplant candidates have increased compared to the early 1990s.

One gene provides fruit fly both antenna and color vision
A team of researchers that includes biologists from Washington University in St.

Equivalent of 2-4 drinks daily fuels blood vessel growth, encourages cancer tumors in mice
University of Mississippi researchers say they have created the first-ever mammalian model of how alcohol consumption spurs tumor growth, showing that even moderate drinking resulted in larger and more robust tumors.

Fat cells around coronary arteries may play a role in heart disease
The fat cells that surround coronary arteries may play a central and previously unrecognized role in development of cardiovascular disease, according to a study by University of Iowa researchers.

Retrospective commemorates late PNAS journal editor-in-chief
A retrospective in remembrance of the life and work of Nicholas Cozzarelli -- dedicated professor, researcher, and editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) -- publishes today in PNAS's online early edition.

Hitachi teams with Clemson University on electron microscopy
Thanks to a partnership with Hitachi High Technologies America Inc.

Gene mutation causes lethally low-fat diet
We are all familiar with the dangers of too much fat in our diet.

Other highlights in the April 5 JNCI
Other highlights in the April 5 JNCI include a study that looks at gene expression in melanoma development, a study examining vitamin A levels in liver cancer, and a study of a therapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Finding a better way to quiet noisy environments
Researchers at UCSD report in the Journal of Sound and Vibration a new mathematical algorithm that improves the ability to achieve destructive interference, the generation of anti-noise signals that combine with and destroy unwanted sounds.

Jesus walked on ice, says study led by FSU scientist
The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof in Tallahassee, Fla., it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of floating ice.

Educational goals higher for visible minority youth
Visible minority youth are aiming higher when it comes to education largely due to educational values promoted from within their own families, says new University of Alberta research.

Americans voice strong bipartisan support for improving the environment
Most Americans are pessimistic about the state of the environment and want action taken to improve its health, according to a new national survey conducted by Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment.

Chaos=Order: Physicists make baffling discovery
According to a computational study conducted by a group of physicists at Washington University in St.
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