Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2006
The complexity of tropical forest structure defies simple characterization
In a forthcoming pair of papers in Ecology Letters, Muller-Landau and collaborators associated with the Center for Tropical Science test the predictions of the theory of metabolic ecology using large datasets from tropical forests around the world.

At-risk drinking associated with higher death rates among men with certain diseases
Older men who drink as few as two drinks twice a week and also have diseases that could be worsened by alcohol or cause problems with medications taken while drinking alcohol have higher death rates, as compared to men who either drink less or may drink more but don't have such comorbidities

Epstein-Barr virus may be associated with multiple sclerosis
Young adults with high levels of antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that most often causes mononucleosis, may be more likely to develop multiple sclerosis 15 to 20 years later, according to a study posted online today that will appear in the June 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cancer vaccine developer honoured with fellowship
University of Queensland (UQ) researcher Professor Ian Frazer has been awarded a $1.25 million Smart State Premier's Fellowship.

Age-related vision problems may be associated with cognitive impairment
Older patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration and reduced vision may be more likely to also have cognitive impairment, or problems with thinking, learning and memory, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Europe slow to add infant pneumococcal vaccine to national programmes despite strong US results
Europe is slow to add the pneumococcal vaccine to childhood immunisation programmes despite US evidence that it can reduce invasive pneumococcal diseases, including meningitis, by 94 percent.

USC receives first round of stem cell training funds
The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California received funds to begin a three-year, $3.16 million stem cell training grant as part of the first round of grants awarded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

Altering genetic blueprint of receptors in brain could help stroke victims avoid brain damage
YouMing Lu, a professor at the University of Central Florida's Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences, is hopeful that changing the genetic blueprint of AMPA receptors can help to block lethal flows of calcium into neurons of human stroke victims.

Keck Futures Initiative announces grant recipients
$1 million has been awarded to 14 research projects by the Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE.

Research provides clues to obesity's cause and hints of new approach for curbing appetite
Hot fudge sundaes and french fries aside, new research suggests obesity is due to an attraction between leptin, the hormone that signals the brain to stop eating, and a protein associated with heart disease.

Chronic pain hurts both workers and employers, says FSU professor
Wayne Hochwarter, an associate professor of management in Florida State University's College of Business in Tallahassee, Fla., has conducted several studies to examine the role of chronic pain on work factors such as job stress, employee performance and organizational profitability.

Legume compounds may help cancer treatment
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research (CILR) has lodged a complete patent application for compounds to treat cancer.

Nature can help reduce greenhouse gas, but only to a point
Plants apparently do much less than previously thought to counteract global warming, according to a paper to be published in next week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Restoring seagrass beds: Is it for the birds?
Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists hope to restore propeller-scarred seagrass beds in Alabama by encouraging birds to visit and provide natural fertilizer.

First analysis of recent disease outbreak in China
Last year, there was major press coverage of an alarmingly large and deadly outbreak of Streptococcus suis disease in Sichuan province in China.

Spirited study aims to help older Australians
University of Western Sydney researchers would like to hear the pastoral care experiences of the elderly, their families and the people who are delivering the service to the community.

Large family study pinpoints genetic linkage in drug addiction
Based on data obtained from one of the largest family sets of its kind, Yale School of Medicine researchers have identified a genetic linkage for dependence on drugs such as heroin, morphine and oxycontin.

Inadequate housing may contribute to poor health in immigrant farmworker families
Many Hispanic farmworker families in North Carolina live in inadequate housing that puts them at higher risk of exposure to disease, toxins and overcrowding that can affect their psychological well-being, according to new research by Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Newsbriefs from the journal Chest, April 2006
Newsbriefs from the April issue of the journal Chest highlight studies related to snoring and middle-aged women, waist size and lung function, and a smoking cessation program for rescue workers in New York City.

Parents reliable sources of their child's patient experience
Researchers and physicians can confidently assess quality of life factors in pediatric patients from either the child or parents, according to a new study.

The corporate sponsored creation of disease - Press Release from PLoS Medicine
The corporate sponsored creation of disease--

Growth factor-promoting angiogenesis expressed in tumor cells and normal neurons
Scientists have discovered that a stem cell factor overexpressed both in brain tumor cells and in neurons following brain injury promotes tumor survival by inducing angiogenesis.

Biotechnology Study Center honors Jean-Pierre Changeux, Charles Weissmann and Eric Kandel
The Biotechnology Study Center of NYU School of Medicine will hold its annual awards symposium on April 24 to honor three outstanding pioneers in neurobiology and cognition.

New risks identified after early breast cancer
A new study of women with early stage, localized breast cancer identifies new patterns and risk factors for invasive disease that may influence how patients are treated.

Computer animations used in court colored by bias, researchers say
A courtroom jury views a computer animation of a vehicle accident or heinous crime.

Numerical processing similar in children and adults, brain scans reveal
This functional imaging study provides evidence for a neurobiological link between early non-symbolic numerical abilities of 4 year-old children and the more symbolic numerical processing of adults, according to a paper published in PLoS Biology.

Big hips, big belly? It's in your genes, Joslin-led study shows
Obesity, body fat distribution more in your genes than previously known, Joslin Diabetes Center-led study shows.

Nano-particles effective in killing cancer with one-two punch of chemotherapeutics
Penn researchers demonstrate that biodegradable nano-particles containing two potent cancer-fighting drugs are effective in killing human breast tumors.

Numerical processing similar in children and adults, brain scans reveal
Four-year-olds who are still developing numerical abilities show activity in the same brain region during numerical tasks as do math-adept adults, Duke University researchers have found.

Nature's strongest glue could be used as a medical adhesive
A bacterium that lives in rivers, streams and human aqueducts uses nature's strongest glue to stay in one place, according to new research by Indiana University Bloomington and Brown University scientists reported in next week's (April 11) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

ACE inhibitors may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in patients with coronary artery disease
Angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), may reduce cardiovascular risk and the risk of death in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a new analysis of previously conducted clinical trials reported in the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

'Happy face' crater on Mars
These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the Galle Crater, an impact crater located on the eastern rim of the Argyre Planitia impact basin on Mars.

Infant snoring linked to parental snoring
New research published in the April issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that infants, who had at least one parent who snored frequently, were three times more likely to snore frequently than children with no parental history of snoring.

Stroke patients may be more likely to experience memory decline
A history of stroke may be associated with progressive memory difficulties in patients without dementia or cognitive impairment, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Scientists discover new genetic subtypes of common blood cancer
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and collaborators have identified four distinct genetic subtypes of multiple myeloma, a deadly blood cancer, that have different prognoses and might be treated most effectively with drugs specifically targeted to those subtypes.

Genome changes tracked during multiple myeloma initiation, progression and treatment
Scientists have made significant progress toward elucidating key genetic events associated with the development and progression of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable malignancy that is the second most common cancer of the blood.

Shock wave therapy for kidney stones linked to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension
Mayo Clinic researchers are sounding an alert about side effects of shock wave lithotripsy: in a research study, they found this common treatment for kidney stones to significantly increase the risk for diabetes and hypertension later in life.

AGU journal highlights - 10 April 2006
In this issue: Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes caused by intracloud lightning; Documenting past climate with dinoflagellates; Volatile iodinated compounds and ozone depletion; Europa's auroral tail on Jupiter; Deep-ocean mixing near sloping bathymetry; Coriolis force revisited; Surface loading due to storm surges measured accurately; Deformations caused by storm surges on Europe's northwest shelf; Iron from dust released into the remote ocean by acidic sulfur pollutants; 17th century coral isotopes in the western Indian Ocean.

Stricter law enforcement results in more girls' arrests, not rise in violence, research says
Recent arrest data suggest that girls are

Appetite-inducing hormone receptor found active in breast cancer
A hormone receptor with regulatory roles as diverse as food intake, fear response, and cardiovascular function may also be involved in breast cancer, according to University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers.

Free-radical busting antioxidants might not promote healthy hearts
Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and Vitamin E, have been touted for their ability to protect against heart disease.

MIT, Brigham: Nanoparticles armed to combat cancer
Ultra-small particles loaded with medicine - and aimed with the precision of a rifle - are offering a promising new way to strike at cancer, according to researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

A virtual healthcare assistant for a healthier lifestyle
Anyone who has ever been told by their doctor to steer clear of certain foods, lower their calorie intake or cut down on salt knows just how hard it can be to avoid temptation and stay motivated.

National Academies advisory: Genomics Revolution Conference summary
The GenomicS Revolution: Implications for Treatment and Control of Infectious Disease, a summary of the Keck Futures Initiative conference, explores nine challenges in this area and possible solutions to them.

Novel device shows potential in better detecting oral cancer
Researchers supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, report today their initial success using a customized optical device that allows dentists to visualize in a completely new way whether a patient might have a developing oral cancer.

Pennsylvania researchers find liver transplants provide metabolic cure for rare genetic disease
Liver transplants cured the metabolic symptoms of 11 patients with a rare but devastating genetic condition known as Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), according to a study by researchers from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Clinic for Special Children.

Snoring can run in the family
Children of parents who snore are three times more likely to snore themselves, according to a new study by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Satellite instrument helps tackle mysteries of ozone-eating clouds
Polar stratospheric clouds have become the focus of many research projects in recent years due to the discovery of their role in ozone depletion, but essential aspects of these clouds remain a mystery.

A Jekyll and Hyde of cytokines: IL-25 both promotes and limits inflammatory diseases
What is the connection between worm infections in developing nations and asthma in developed nations?

Landmark book commemorates centennial of discovery of Alzheimer's disease
IOS Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of a landmark work commemorating the centennial of Alois Alzheimer's discovery of what would be known as Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Hormone use linked to increased breast cancer risk among black women
Hormone therapy appears to be associated with increased risk of breast cancer among black women, with a stronger link for leaner women, according to a study in the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UQ research will move medicines to market more quickly
Queensland is set to become a global leader in drug development, thanks to a $1.7M from the State Government.

UCSD forms stem cell collaboration with major Australian centers
Scientists from the University of California, San Diego are joining forces with colleagues from the Australia's Monash University and the Australian Stem Cell Centre to create a powerful new international collaboration in stem cell research.

Postmenopausal hormone therapy appears to increase risk of blood clots in veins
Estrogen therapy may increase the risk of venous thrombosis, the formation of blood clots in the veins, among postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed, according to a study in the April 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Help for siblings of children with special needs
Siblings of children with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities are two to three times more likely than their peers to experience psychological adjustment problems.

March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to research pioneer
Alexander Varshavsky, PhD, has been chosen as the 2006 recipient of the March of Dimes Prize for explaining how a tiny protein plays a major role in our lives by helping to regulate many crucial processes in human cells.

People with near death experiences can differ in sleep-wake control
People who have had near death experiences often have different arousal systems controlling the sleep-wake states than people who have not had a near death experience, according to a new study published in the April 11, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Hopkins-led clinical study shows brain's reaction to 'uppers' determined by gender
Results from a government-funded study at Johns Hopkins provide what is believed to be the first evidence in people that amphetamines have a greater effect on men's brains than women's -- a discovery that could lead to tailored treatments for drug abuse and neurological diseases.

Scientists fly in for maggot fest
The University of Manchester is to play host to a major international conference... on maggots!
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