Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 22, 2006
Alcohol consumption habits may threaten GI health
Many studies have evaluated the risks and benefits of alcohol intake, with some concentrating on potential benefits while others focus on the risks of abuse.

Certain blood pressure-lowering drugs reduce diabetes risk in Hispanic patients
Hispanic patients appear to benefit from tailor-made medication strategies.

First pictures from the map of the universe mission
An ambitious mission by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to make a new, high resolution map of the universe has just successfully returned its first pictures, and UK team members are delighted with the success.

Study identifies predictors of bipolar disorder risk
A new study presented today at the 159th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in Toronto, Canada identified five predictors for bipolar disorder risk in patients who have been unsuccessfully treated with antidepressants.

Nighttime breathing mask decreases blood pressure in people with sleep apnea
Patients with the nighttime breathing disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea who receive air through a mask while they sleep can significantly reduce their blood pressure, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22.

Carnegie Mellon study demonstrates that lower income, education lead to greater stress levels
People with low incomes are more likely to be under stress than their wealthier peers, according to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, the journal of the American Psychosomatic Society, by Sheldon Cohen, the Robert E.

How ancient whales lost their legs, got sleek and conquered the oceans
An international team of scientists says the gradual shrinkage of the whales' hind limbs over 15 million years was the result of slowly accumulated genetic changes that influenced the size of the limbs and that these changes happened sometime late in development, during the fetal period.

Ecologists home in on how sperm whales find their prey
Ecologists have at last got a view of sperm whales' behaviour during their long, deep dives, thanks to the use of recently developed electronic

Cysteine containing chewing gum for the prevention of upper digestive tract cancers?
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, suggest that cysteine containing tablets and chewing gum can be a new way for the prevention of upper digestive tract cancers.

Deep-water discovery
Last December, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researchers using advanced sonar techniques discovered new deepwater reef sites in the Straits of Florida between Miami and Bimini.

Greenhouse gas/temperature feedback mechanism may raise warming beyond previous estimates
Climate change estimates for the next century may have substantially underestimated the potential magnitude of global warming.

Tackling the social roots of health inequities
Irwin and colleagues discuss why the WHO has created the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which aims to strengthen health equity by

Conference celebrates ten years of transdisciplinary education and research
The Society for Design and Process Science (SDPS) announces the Ninth Conference on Integrated Design and Process Technology (IDPT), to be held in San Diego, California, June 25-30, 2006.

OHSU primate center research suggests multiple 'body clocks'
Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University suggests that contrary to popular belief, the body has more than one

Computer-based screening may encourage discussions about domestic violence
Computer screening may increase the odds that a woman at risk for domestic violence will talk to a health care professional in the emergency department about the topic but does not guarantee that domestic violence would be addressed, according to an article in the May 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UGA study reveals a new way of looking at vaccine development
University of Georgia researchers have given vaccine developers a new tool that could lead to the development of designer vaccines that protect against a wider range of diseases or work against diseases that are currently hard to prevent.

Inhaled anti-rejection drug preserves lung function in lung transplant patients
Lung transplant patients who received an inhaled version of the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine had significantly better lung function than those who inhaled a placebo drug in the two years after transplant, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22.

The Netherlands must value its scientific sector
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) wants an extra 433 million euros per year for top research.

The vicious cycle of rainforest destruction
Rainforests and savannas contain 70 percent of the world's plants and are critical to the health of our planet.

Lead exposure leads to brain cell loss and damage years later
Eighteen years later, people who worked with lead have significant loss of brain cells and damage to brain tissue, according to a new study published in the May 23, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Stevens to host 2006 TMEDA Technology Mgmt. Workshop
The Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology will host the 2006 Annual Technology Management Education Association (TMEDA) Technology Management Workshop,

Bayer HealthCare licenses Genomatix for microarray analysis
Genomatix announced today that Bayer HealthCare licensed Genomatix microarray analysis platform ChipInspector.

Research highlights how bacteria produce energy
The world's smallest life forms could be the answer to one of today's biggest problems: providing sustainable, renewable energy for the future.

Engineering student 'electrified' to become first-ever UH Goldwater scholar
With his sights set on making strides in the areas of electricity and oil conservation, Phuc Huynh, a University of Houston student only in his junior year already has extensive research experience, earning him a Goldwater Scholarship.

Women with COPD can fare worse than men
Woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) fare worse than men both in terms of the severity of their disease and the quality of their life, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22.

Gene therapy for chicken model of childhood blindness
In this week's PLoS Medicine Susan Semple-Rowland and colleagues, from the University of Florida, report the results of gene therapy for a chicken model of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), one of a group of hereditary diseases that cause blindness in infants and children.

New study reveals components of cocoa may enhance the appearance of the skin
Cocoa butter has long been used topically in many skin creams and cosmetics because it is thought to be good for the skin.

Embedded software made simpler yet more powerful
The current decade will probably be known as the dawn of pervasive computing, when PCs were dethroned by technology to embed computers in almost everything.

Patients and their doctors have different perceptions about HIV and its treatment
According to results of a nation-wide study published in the latest issue of SAGE Publications' Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (JIAPAC), HIV positive patients and their doctors have very different views about the disease and how it's treated.

Here comes the sun: New solutions for world's energy woes
The number is staggering: Approximately 2 billion of the world's people -- nearly one-third of the human population -- have no access to electricity.

New study shows erosive esophagitis healing linked to acid control
New clinical data demonstrated, for the first time in a prospective study, a direct relationship between controlling gastric (or stomach) acid and healing erosive esophagitis caused by acid reflux disease.

More than just genetics: Lifestyle choices impact GI health
Lifestyle factors, such as daily breakfast choices and childhood home environments, have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal system, affecting your metabolism, body mass index and the likelihood of developing GI-related conditions, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week® 2006 (DDW).

Digestive Disease Week® 2006 highlights 'state of the art' research in GI health
Today's global leaders in gastrointestinal medicine will gather to discuss the latest in scientific research in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, and gastrointestinal (GI) surgery during Digestive Disease Week® 2006 (DDW), May 20-25 in Los Angeles.

Gene expression becomes heterogeneous with age in humans and rats
In a study of the effects of aging on gene expression, researchers have found that variation in gene expression among individuals tends to increase with age.

New study demonstrates that AMITIZA™ (lubiprostone) may help improve symptoms
A new study found that AMITIZA(TM) (lubiprostone) may help relieve the symptoms associated with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C).

UCLA study finds that simple lifestyle changes may improve cognitive function and brain efficiency
A UCLA research study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that people may be able to improve their cognitive function and brain efficiency by making simple lifestyle changes such as incorporating memory exercises, healthy eating, physical fitness and stress reduction into their daily lives.

Air pollution increases death risk in people with certain diseases
People with diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of death when exposed to particulate air pollution or soot, for one or more years, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22.

Brazil creates buffer zone around coral reefs off Atlantic coast
The Brazilian government has created an official buffer zone around the Abrolhos National Marine Park to protect the biologically richest coral reefs in the South Atlantic.

A dichotomy in migration patterns found for sea turtles in east Atlantic
Studying members of a large population of loggerhead sea turtles that nest on the Cape Verde islands off of West Africa, researchers have found an unexpected dichotomy in turtle behavior.

One fourth of older patients receive catheters for no reason
A study of 1,586 hospitalized patients age 70 and older at two Ohio hospitals indicates that 24 percent were given medically unnecessary urinary catheters, according to investigators led by a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

High rates of caesarean delivery may harm mothers and newborns
High rates of caesarean delivery in Latin America can be associated with a greater risk of maternal and newborn illness and death, report the authors of a paper published online today by The Lancet (Tuesday May 23, 2006).

Fruit flies yield clues to clinical heterogeneity of early-onset Alzheimer's disease
Sequencing of the genome of the fruit fly Drosophila revealed five years ago that ~60 percent of genes associated with known human diseases are also present in the fly genome, and in accordance with this finding, modeling of human genetic diseases in Drosophila has become a commonly used approach for understanding the causes and molecular mechanisms of human disease.

UF scientists restore sight to chickens with blinding disease
Scientists with UF's McKnight Brain Institute used gene therapy to give sight to a type of chicken normally born blind, proving in principle that a similar treatment can be developed for children with an incurable form of blindness.

Baylor researchers develop 'bubble' technique for potential treatment of Type I diabetes
Baylor Researchers have developed a novel technique using microscopic

Low levels of vitamin D in teens may affect lung function
Teenagers who consume low amounts of vitamin D have lower lung function than teens who get the recommended amount of the nutrient, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 22.

Five surprising facts about starvation that could change the international agenda
In The Lancet, researchers from UNICEF and the Friedman School at Tufts University in Boston present five surprising facts about severe childhood malnutrition (aka

Drug discovery team to explore newly discovered deep-sea reefs
From May 22-30, Harbor Branch scientists, along with colleagues from the University of Miami, will use the Harbor Branch Johnson-Sea-Link II submersible to explore for the first time newly discovered deep-sea reefs between Florida and the Bahamas.

MIT studies undersea channels for oil recovery
Work in an MIT lab may help energy companies withdraw millions of additional barrels of oil from beneath the sea floor.

MIT revamps energy system for more fuel-efficient cars
MIT researchers are trying to unleash the promise of an old idea by converting light into electricity more efficiently than ever before.

Pharmacists go beyond the counter to help hospitalized patients
Getting hospital-based pharmacists out from

How satellite tracking revealed the migratory mysteries of endangered Atlantic loggerhead turtles
According to a paper in Current Biology, Dr Brendan Godley and an international team describe how they used satellite tracking to follow the journeys of ten turtles from Cape Verde, West Africa, which is one of the world's largest nesting sites for loggerheads and a hotspot for industrial fishing.

Dartmouth researchers test new technique to examine breast tissue
Dartmouth physicians and engineers are collaborating to test new imaging techniques to find breast abnormalities, including cancer.

NIAID study finds higher dose of flu vaccine improves immune response in the elderly
There may be a simple way to provide elderly Americans with extra protection against the annual flu virus: give them a higher dose of seasonal flu vaccine.

Lower levels of physical performance associated with increased risk of dementia in older adults
Poor physical function may be associated with an increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease in elderly adults, according to a report in the May 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Astrophysicists discover 'compact jets' from neutron star
Compact jets that shoot matter into space in a continuous stream at near the speed of light have long been assumed to be a unique feature of black holes.

New compounds fight chronic symptoms of bowel disorders
Symptoms of bowel disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease can vary in function and severity.

Obesity linked to all types of breast cancer
According to a new study, women who gain weight in adulthood face a higher lifetime risk of all types of breast cancer even if they do not take hormone replacement therapy after menopause.

Good physical function linked to Alzheimer's delay
Regular exercise may help stave off dementia and Alzheimer's disease by improving and maintaining physical conditioning, according to this joint study between Group Health and University of Washington in Seattle; and the first signs of dementia may be physical, not mental.

New study finds that Ramelteon shows potential for circadian phase shifting
Results from a new study to further explore the mechanistic action of ramelteon suggest it may have the ability to shift the biological circadian rhythm - one's natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle - based on a study model designed to examine this potential.

Biologic therapies lead evolution of Crohn's treatments
A variety of diseases are now treated with biologic therapies, which are derived from human tissues, because of their ability to target specific causes of inflammation compared with the general immunosuppressive effects of the chemical-based compounds that make up current therapies.

First characterization of chikungunya viruses from Indian Ocean outbreak
Since late 2004, a large outbreak of chikungunya fever in the Indian Ocean has caused a public health crisis and alarmed international experts.

Survivors of childhood cancer face unemployment hardship
Adults with a history childhood cancer are more likely than the general population to be unemployed, according to a new review.

High-dose flu vaccines appear to safely boost immunity in elderly
High-dose influenza vaccines may increase elderly patients' immune response without significant adverse effects, offering this vulnerable population additional protection against the flu, according to an article in the May 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Akari delivers its first images
AKARI, the new Japanese infrared sky surveyor mission in which ESA is participating, saw 'first light' on 13 April 2006 (UT) and delivered its first images of the cosmos.

Scientists uncover new clues to limb formation (and loss) in some sea mammals
Researchers from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine have revealed the genetic basis behind one of the best-documented examples of evolutionary change in the fossil record: how whales lost their hind limbs.

Computer information systems in hospitals: What works and what doesn't?
Drs. Liette Lapointe and Suzanne Rivard analyze the reactions to computer information system implementation at three hospitals to understand better why physician resistance is often high and why implementations may fail.

Tropical forests leak nitrogen back into atmosphere, say scientists
In findings that could influence our understanding of climate change, a Princeton research team has learned that tropical forests return to the atmosphere up to half the nitrogen they receive each year, thanks to a particular type of bacteria that lives in those forests.

AMITIZA(TM) (lubiprostone) shown effective and well-tolerated in people older than age 65
AMITIZA(TM) (lubiprostone), the first selective chloride channel activator for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation, was effective and well-tolerated in treating the symptoms of chronic idiopathic constipation in the elderly adult population according to findings presented during a poster session today at Digestive Disease Week 2006.

Study investigates Nexium® benefits patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
A new clinical study shows that the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) maintained normal gastric (stomach) acid levels in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or idiopathic gastric acid hypersecretion (IGH).

Invisible scars: Verbal abuse triggers adult anxiety, depression
A new study by Florida State University researchers in Tallahassee, Fla. has found that people who were verbally abused as children grow up to be self-critical adults prone to depression and anxiety. 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