Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 01, 2006
Rutgers School of Engineering awards first alumni medals of excellence
The Rutgers School of Engineering is awarding its first

UCSD study reveals how plants respond to elevated carbon dioxide
An important source of uncertainty in predictions about global warming is how plants will respond to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

CT and ultrasound equally valuable in diagnosing pelvic pain in women
CT and ultrasound are both valuable first-line cross-sectional imaging tools to detect the cause of acute pelvic pain in non-pregnant women and the need for surgery in these patients, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.

Seasonal childhood anaemia in West Africa is associated with the haptoglobin 2-2 genotype
In a study done in West Africa, Dr. Sarah Atkinson and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London showed an association between a particular type of haptoglobin (Hp2-2) and anemia in children, in an area where malaria is very common.

30-year study of type 1 diabetes finds no improvement in heart disease rates
In one of the most comprehensive, long-term studies to date of the complications associated with type 1 diabetes, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health discovered that while cases of premature death and a few other complications have declined, rates of other serious diabetes-related disorders such as heart and eye disease have not improved over the past 25 to 30 years.

More careful 'aiming' of CT cuts down on radiation without compromising image quality
In most cases, longer localizer radiographs and the extra images acquired at abdominal or pelvic CT do not contribute additional diagnostic information, according to a new study by researchers from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA.

Higher strength MRI can help patients avoid arthroscopy for shoulder injuries
MRI, at a strength of 3.0 Tesla is comparable to arthroscopy in detecting cartilage tears in the shoulder, according to a new study by researchers from the Neuroskeletal Imaging Institute in Merritt Island, FL.

Patent awarded for LSUHSC-developed peptide that blocks lethal toxins of anthrax
A patent has been awarded for a peptide developed by Dr.

UCSB researchers discover new biotechnology to identify and engineer substrates for proteases
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a new biotechnology that enables scientists to identify and engineer protease substrates, giving them the means of crafting pharmaceuticals to outsmart disease.

Antidepressant medication may prevent recurring depression in diabetics
The antidepressant sertraline may reduce the risk of recurrent depression and increase the period of time between episodes of depression in patients with diabetes, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MIT nanoparticles may help detect, treat tumors
A new technique devised by MIT engineers may one day help physicians detect cancerous tumors during early stages of growth.

Air travel and pandemic flu
Restricting air travel from countries where there is a serious influenza outbreak will do little to hold back the spread of the infection, according to the findings of a study conducted at the UK Health Protection Agency and published in the journal PLoS Medicine.

New software protects confidentiality of data while enabling access and sharing
Penn State researchers have developed software that allows databases to

Prenatal cocaine exposure not linked to bad behavior in kids
University of Florida researchers found that disruptive behaviors in children actually seem to be linked more closely to maternal depression than prenatal cocaine exposure.

New MRI clues identify stroke victims at risk of skull hemorrhaging
The appearance of parenchymal enhancement of stroke lesions and the hyperintense MCA sign on MRI may help identify stroke patients at risk of hemorrhaging in the skull, says a new study by researchers at Shantou University Medical College in China and the University of Toronto in Canada.

OHSU research reveals possible future target for delaying or stopping Alzheimer's
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Neurological Sciences Institute (NSI) have located a possible target for future therapies aimed at delaying or stopping Alzheimer's disease.

Rapid lung function decline raises risk of death and hospitalization
Rapid lung function decline significantly increases the risk of death and hospitalization for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a large study.

The greenbeards have blue throats in a breakthrough study of the evolution of altruistic behavior
A new study of side-blotched lizards in California has revealed the genetic underpinnings of altruistic behavior in this common lizard species, providing new insights into the long-standing puzzle of how cooperation and altruism can evolve.

Image guided biopsy may help patients avoid kidney removal
Image-guided kidney biopsy can diagnose benign kidney tumors and has a low rate of complications, says a new study by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Co-workers hoard their best ideas
Have you ever asked a colleague for information, only to have them ignore your request?

First neutrons produced by DOE's Spallation Neutron Source
One of the largest and most anticipated US science construction projects of the past several decades has passed its most significant performance test.

Maternal difficulties may increase risk of behavior problems in children
Children whose mothers report difficulties with mental health, substance use and domestic violence one year after delivery appear more likely to have behavior problems at age 3 years, according to an article in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The Lancet Neonatal Series at one year of age - has anything changed?
One year after the Lancet published its Neonatal Survival Series, Joy Lawn (Saving Newborn Lives Initiative, Cape Town, South Africa) and colleagues conclude that more urgency is needed if Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 for child survival to be reached by 2015.

MRI accurate and safe for diagnosing ureteral reflux
MR cystography provides excellent anatomic detail of the urinary system and is a potential screening examination for vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), according to a new study by researchers from Changi General Hospital in Singapore and the University of California, San Francisco.

UCI researchers to study health effects of exercise in children
Researchers with the UC Irvine Center for the Study of Health Effects of Exercise in Children have received a $7.2 million, five-year National Institutes of Health grant to study the impact of physical activity on childhood health.

Multiracial youth more likely to engage in violent behavior, substance abuse
Multiracial adolescents in middle school are significantly more likely to engage in such problem behaviors as violence and substance abuse than single-race youth people.

Scientists solve 30-year-old mystery of mutant mouse's kidney woes
Researchers seeking insights into kidney failure in human infants have located the source of a 30-year-old mystery mutation that causes similar problems in a mouse line.

Enzyme inhibitor may help lower cholesterol and unclog arteries
One strategy for preventing heart disease and stroke is to clear out cholesterol clogged arteries, restoring circulation.

National survey estimates prevalence of type 2 diabetes among adolescents
An estimated 39,000 US adolescents may have type 2 diabetes and more than 2.5 million may have impaired fasting glucose levels, which could lead to diabetes and other health problems, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Underage drinkers account for about 17 percent of consumer expenditures for alcohol
Underage drinking contributes an estimated $23 billion yearly to the alcohol industry, more than 17 percent of the total consumer expenditures for alcohol, according to an article in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Low radiation dose still means successful interventional procedures, a new study shows
Radiation dose can be reduced by as much as 88 percent for common interventional radiology procedures and still be safe and effective, a new study shows.

Simple formula predicts blood needs in heart surgery
Duke University Medical Center researchers have developed a simple formula that will enable anesthesiologists to predict, based on individual patient characteristics, how much blood to have on hand in the operating room prior to coronary artery bypass surgery.

Survey suggests parents' perceptions about children's access to household guns are often inaccurate
A survey of parents and children in rural Alabama suggests that some parents may not realize that their children know the location of and have handled household firearms, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Plants' role in global warming re-examined in ORNL Science paper
Estimates of increased plant respiration in response to higher global temperatures may be somewhat overstated as they have not taken into account plants' ability to adjust to changing conditions, according to researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 2, 2006
The Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 2, 2006 includes

Perfectionist fathers can reinforce tendencies
Perfectionist fathers can reinforce disordered eating among college-age young people already preoccupied over their physical looks and subject to the demanding expectations of peers and media, according to a Penn State study.

Melatonin improves mood in winter depression
OHSU researchers tested the hypothesis that circadian physiological rhythms become misaligned with the sleep/wake cycle during the short days of winter, causing some people to become depressed.

Melatonin most effective for sleep when taken for off-hour sleeping
Researchers from the Divisions of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study, that melatonin, taken orally during non-typical sleep times, significantly improves an individual's ability to sleep.

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

What is the sound of one person talking? New speech collection tells all, syllable by syllable
When researchers interviewed 40 Columbus residents about their opinions on life in the city, the scientists ignored what the people had to say.

Vaccine combined with short-term postexposure antibiotics protects monkeys from inhalational anthrax
Scientists have demonstrated that postexposure vaccination can shorten the duration of antibiotic treatment required to protect against inhalational anthrax.

Combined contrast enhanced MRI shows promise
Combined contrast enhanced (CCE) MRI, in which two contrast agents are used together, permits accurate non-invasive staging of liver fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a new study by researchers from the University of California, San Diego.

Research shows that policy defaults are seen as recommendations on important issues
Every year about 5,000 people die in the United States because there are too few organ donors.

T cell 'brakes' lost during human evolution
A significant difference between human and chimpanzee immune cells may provide clues in the search to understand the diverse array of human immune-related diseases.

CT angiography 'highly accurate' for detection of high-grade artery stenosis
MD-CTA (64-slice CT angiography) is highly accurate in detecting and grading extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) stenoses in which the artery is closed between 70-90 percent when compared to color-coded Doppler sonography, power Doppler and B-flow ultrasound, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Munich-Grosshadern in Munich, Germany.

Image-guided biopsy can help patients avoid unnecessary kidney removal
Percutaneous image-guided biopsy of renal masses is safe and accurate, and it frequently alters clinical decision making, says a new study from the University of Michigan.

Bronchial thermoplasty offers significant improvement for asthmatics in small study
Asthmatic patients showed significant improvement in peak expiratory flow, airway responsiveness, and number of symptom-free days after treatment with bronchial theroplasty, a new procedure designed to reduce the ability of airway smooth muscle to narrow from inflammation.

MDCT shows potential for detecting bladder cancer without surgery or contrast
MDCT urography is a promising technique for detecting bladder tumors both with and without contrast material, helping patients avoid an invasive test, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI.

Flu news: Study in 8,475 young children points to a more effective influenza vaccine
A large international study shows that a needle-free intranasal flu vaccine is more effective than an injectable flu shot in young children.

Minimally invasive approach can take the pain out of herniated disks
Much like the aging face, the taut disks that cushion the spinal column, enabling us to twist and bend, become less elastic over time.

National Academies advisory: May 3 launch of Iraqi Virtual Science Library
At a ceremony at the National Academies, US government officials and representatives from the scientific community will launch the Iraqi Virtual Science Library (IVSL), a project that gives Iraqi scientists, engineers, and university students access to cutting-edge scientific and technical information to foster improvements in that nation's higher education system and research base.

Physician approaches to patient spirituality vary according to doctors' religious characteristics
Although 45 percent of physicians do not inquire about religious belief, 55 percent do; 10 percent of them do so

Stem cell expansion
A study in PLoS Medicine shows how expression of a gene called HOXB4 can instruct stem cells to divide and make more stem cells in order to treat patients whose hematopoietic system is defective or has been destroyed (often through radiation or chemotherapy of cancer).

NIEHS Director unveils new strategic plan for environmental health sciences
One year into his role as the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, David A.

Study reports newborn screening tests can save both lives and money
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers recommend a national uniform panel of newborn screening tests which they found to be cost saving as well as life saving.

Hurricane Katrina reshaped political map of New Orleans, report says
As the Big Easy heads into a mayoral runoff this month between incumbent Ray Nagin and Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landreiu, the city may elect a white mayor for the first time in nearly thirty years.

The odd couple: Unlikely receptor pair key to failed asthma treatments
Drugs known as beta2 agonists activate the beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR) on airway smooth muscle cells, causing the airways to relax and an asthma attack to subside.

Small Business grant helps Chadwick Optical bring Schepens Institute invention to patients
Chadwick Optical, Inc., a small cutting-edge optical business in Vermont, received the second phase of an NIH Small Business Innovation Grant this week.

New MRI guided technique makes fibroid treatment 60 percent faster
A new MRI guided technique known as manual interleaved MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) safely treats fibroids in 60 percent less time than conventional MRgFUS, according to a new study by researchers from the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA.

New study explores how a school's organizational structure can influence graduation rates
In an important new longitudinal study forthcoming in May 2006 issue of the American Journal of Education, researchers explore the role of a high school's organizational structure on a student's eventual graduation.

Liver transplants can be successful in HIV patients with Hepatitis B
A new study on HIV patients who also had Hepatitis B virus (HBV) found that better outcomes are possible if they are referred early for transplant and treated with a combination of drugs for HBV.

Mild neurologic deficits appear to increase vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder
A study of identical male twins found that Vietnam combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their non-combat exposed, identical twins had minor neurologic deficits that veterans without PTSD and their twins did not have, suggesting that those deficits are not acquired by exposure to traumatic events but instead may predispose individuals to PTSD, according to an article in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Onset of psychosis may be delayed by medication
Administration of an anti-psychotic medication may minimize or delay the onset of psychosis in young people who clearly seem to be developing early signs of schizophrenia.

Kids who cut are finding each other on the Internet, study finds
Some 500 Internet message boards are bringing together adolescents who cut and burn themselves, for example, in a world that's invisible to adults but gives isolated teens a safe forum, reports a new Cornell University study.

Obesity levels in US are grossly underestimated
Obesity levels in US have been greatly underestimated, according to a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Overcoming Health Disparities: The Changing Landscape
A conference titled, Overcoming Health Disparities: The Changing Landscape, will take place Friday, May 12 through Saturday, May 13, at the New York Academy of Medicine (103rd Street and 5th Avenue, Manhattan.

Inflammation markers identify fatigue in breast cancer survivors
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have defined conditions associated with disabling fatigue that persists for years in almost a third of breast cancer survivors, according to a study in the May 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Children living near major roads face higher asthma risk
Children living near major roadways have a much higher risk of getting asthma than their neighbors, just blocks away.

Protowings may have helped bird ancestors cover rough terrain
An article by Kenneth P. Dial and two co-authors in the May 2006 issue of BioScience summarizes experimental evidence indicating that ancestral protobirds incapable of flight could have used their protowings to improve hindlimb traction and thus better navigate steep slopes and obstructions.

Shared theories on thought could lead to smart machines
Ontologists meeting in a workshop at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have agreed to share their leading-edge concepts on such comprehensive ideas as time, space and process - concepts embodied in some of the most advanced logic systems - in a cooperative effort that could lead to software programs that will equip machines with mutually compatible frames of reference, enabling them to interpret and act on commands with near human common sense.

Combining PET and CT scans makes cancer treatment more accurate
Doctors have discovered that combining images derived from positron emission tomography and computed tomography in the planning and delivery of radiation treatment for patients with head and neck cancer leads to more accurate delivery of the radiation dose and an increased chance for survival.

Does IQ drop with age or does something else impact intelligence?
If college students had to perform under conditions that mimic the perception deficits many older people have, their IQ scores would take a drop.

Concurrent PET/CT for radiation therapy planning shows promise over separate PET and CT
Using concurrent PET/CT may improve the accuracy of imaging for radiation therapy treatment planning by decreasing errors caused by organ motion, says a new study by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Born dead: Over 3 million stillbirths every year
One large group of deaths yet to count or to be counted are stillbirths - babies born dead during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, according to an article published early online today (Tuesday May 2, 2006) by the Lancet.

Residents report less fatigue, better care under 80-hour work week mandate
Residents whose 80-hour work week conforms to new duty-hour requirements report less fatigue interfering with their care of patients, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

FDG-PET accurate for evaluating lung tumor destruction from radiofrequency ablation
FDG-PET can be used to assess the amount of tumor destruction after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) -- the use of heat to destroy tumors -- for the treatment of lung tumors and may provide more valuable information than CT alone, according to a new study.

Children's Hospital uses latest CT technology in ER for better diagnoses
Brenner Children's Hospital is one of few children's hospitals in the United States using the latest computed tomography (CT) technology in an emergency setting - providing a more accurate diagnosis in a shorter period of time.

Study links ADHD cognitive and behavioral problems to genetic and environmental interactions
A new study indicates that cognitive and behavioral problems that underlie attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, are due to a complex interplay of genes and the environment.

Low estrogen levels in men linked to increased risk for hip fracture
A new study has found that men with low estrogen levels have an increased risk for future hip fracture, and those with both low estrogen and low testosterone levels have the greatest risk.

Biotech cotton provides same yield with fewer pesticides
Arizona farmers receive the same yield/acre, use fewer chemical insecticides and maintain insect biodiversity when they plant the biotech cotton known as Bt cotton, according to new research.

Freezing kidney tumors is a safe alternative to surgery
Percutaneous cryoablation, a relatively non-invasive technique that destroys tumors by freezing them, is a safe method for treating kidney tumors in selected patients who are not considered candidates for surgery, according to a new study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Deviant peer groups and street gangs
A Université de Montréal study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal has identified the principal risk factors that predispose boys to become involved in deviant peer groups during adolescence.

Immune systems in breast cancer survivors who suffer from fatigue fail to shut off after therapy
Breast cancer survivors who suffer from persistent, debilitating fatigue years after their diagnosis have something in common: their immune systems don't shut down following treatment, according to researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. 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