Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 05, 2006
New study suggests 'planemos' may spawn planets and moons
Forget our traditional ideas of where a planetary system forms -- new research led by a University of Toronto astronomer reveals that planetary nurseries can exist not only around stars but also around objects that are themselves not much heftier than Jupiter.

Who are we up against? Local vs. global competition influences cooperative behavior in humans
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have shown that humans behave less cooperatively when they think they are in direct

Study shows that genetic quality of sperm deteriorates as men age
New research indicates that the genetic quality of sperm worsens as men get older, increasing a man's risk of being infertile, fathering unsuccessful pregnancies and passing along dwarfism and possibly other genetic diseases to his children.

New combination treatment induces regression of prostate cancer
A new treatment for prostate cancer may provide a distinct advantage over other conventional protocols and induce actual regression of the disease -- not just relief from bone pain or a limited control of the disease, according to a study by Italian researchers released at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

FDG PET takes its place as a valuable tool in diagnosing fevers of unknown origin
By providing early diagnosis of fevers of unknown origin in patients, positron emission tomography (PET) -- with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) -- eliminates the need for additional exhaustive and invasive tests, say researchers from university and community hospitals in the Netherlands.

Alexander Gottschalk receives 2006 Benedict Cassen Prize for research in nuclear medicine
Alexander Gottschalk, a pioneer researcher and an author who has helped to shape modern medical imaging, was awarded the 2006 Benedict Cassen Prize during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

New Gemini images contrast the late evolution of two very different stars
Two new images from the Gemini Observatory released today (Monday June 5th 2006) at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Calgary, Canada, show a pair of beautiful nebulae that were created by two very different types of stars at what may be similar points in their evolutionary timelines.

Blacks hit hardest by HIV infection among nation's young adults
HIV infection is significantly more common among non-Hispanic blacks than it is among any other young adult racial or ethnic group in the United States, according to the first study drawn from the nation's general youth population.

OHSU Cancer Institute physicians validate reclassification of breast cancer stages
Breast cancer is diagnosed as having progressed to any of four stages, Stage IV being the most advanced.

Zebra finch males prefer females with exaggerated maternal traits
Researchers have demonstrated that learning about the appearance of their parents may give birds a preference for mates with exaggerated parental traits, rather than traits that more exactly match those of their parents.

UGA astronomers discover surprising shortage of hot gas in famed spiral galaxy NGC 1068
For the first time, astronomers from the University of Georgia have discovered a startling absence of hot gas being given off by the

Exercise in childhood and adolescence may stave off osteoporosis
At the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada this week, several studies highlighted the importance of exercise in children and adolescents for building peak bone mass that will help protect against osteoporosis in later life.

Dartmouth heart researchers discover new defect in artery growth
From the beginning, arteries and veins are different in the way they branch into vascular networks, say Dartmouth heart researchers.

Biological diversity and human health; Rapid autopsy program; Snake bites and more
In the magazine section of the open-access journal PLoS Medicine: Researchers say that the rapid loss of biological diversity is a major threat to human health; Patients with a severe lung disease are being offered the chance to donate their lungs for medical research; Snake bites and envenomings are a a major neglected disease of the 21st century; Antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs may have their effect by creating abnormal brain states that coincidentally relieve psychiatric symptoms in the short term.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center -- on the forefront of the fight against multiple myeloma
Promising findings were reported today showing that the combination of thalidomide and dexamethasone (Thal/Dex) when used as initial therapy for multiple myeloma, slowed disease progression almost two-fold compared to dexamethasone alone.

Hispanic 3-year-olds more likely to be obese than black or white children
A study of more than 2,400 children in 20 U.S.

Do 'planemos' have progeny?
Two new studies, based on observations made with ESO's telescopes, show that objects only a few times more massive than Jupiter are born with discs of dust and gas, the raw material for planet making.

OHSU Cancer Institute scientists report more accurate prognosis of colon cancer survival
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute and five other institutions have found a more accurate way to report and predict the survival of colon cancer patients by calculating a statistic called conditional survival.

Newborn screening can cause unnecessary parental stress
Virtually all newborns in the US have their heels pricked to get a blood sample for genetic testing.

A step toward halting Alzheimer's: Using FDDNP PET to detect disease progression, MCI
By using positron emission tomography (PET) with the radiotracer 18F-FDDNP, UCLA scientists were able to detect increases in the brain pathology (of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

World's largest osteoporosis congress opens in Toronto
The IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis (IOF WCO), the worlds largest scientific congress devoted specifically to the bone disease osteoporosis, has opened in Toronto, Canada.

Beta-blockers for high blood pressure - ongoing debate
Khan and McAlister question the findings of a recently published meta-analysis by Lindholm and colleagues, which reported an increased stroke risk with the use of beta-blockers.

100,000 year-old DNA sequence allows new look at Neandertal's genetic diversity
By recovering and sequencing intact DNA from an especially ancient Neandertal specimen, researchers have found evidence suggesting that the genetic diversity among Neandertals was higher than previously thought.

Study evaluates benefits and risks of tamoxifen and raloxifene for reducing risk of breast cancer
Raloxifene and tamoxifen are both effective in reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer, but each has potential disease and quality of life side effects that women and their physicians will need to consider, according to two reports and an editorial published online June 5 by JAMA.

Child safety seats reduce risk of death in crashes more than seat belts alone
Young children involved in car crashes may have a greater chance of survival if secured in a child restraint system, such as a safety seat than if buckled only in a seat belt, according to an article in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Telephone counseling improves lung transplant quality of life
Telephone-based counseling significantly improved the psychological well-being and quality of life of people awaiting lung transplantation, according to the largest clinical trial of its kind, conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center and Washington University in St.

Small naps a big help for young docs on long shifts
The first study to assess the benefits of naps for medical residents during extended shifts found that creating protected times when interns could sleep during a night on-call significantly reduced fatigue.

Re-examine the approach to treatment decisions of the frail elderly in hospitals
In this guest editorial for the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr.

New research clarifies roles of calcium, vitamin D, and protein in bone health, fracture risk
New research shows calcium in food might do more to protect bones than supplemental calcium in pill form, according to results presented at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto, Canada.

The appearance of your hands can reveal your age, study finds
Want to know a person's real age? Just look at their hands, reports a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Cincinnati surgeon leads first test of mobile robotic surgery
A team of military, telecommunications and surgical experts led by University of Cincinnati (UC) faculty are using an unmanned aircraft and sophisticated communication tools to take the next step toward making

Rising health care premiums lead to lower wages and more part-time employment
In the United States, two-thirds of the nonelderly population is covered by employer-provided health care, either directly or as a dependent.

Penn researchers question change in 'gold standard' for assessing heart failure treatment
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine -- in the largest study to date of female heart failure patients who underwent a specialized stress test called oxygen uptake or VO2 -- concluded that women tend to have lower maximum exercise VO2 levels than men, yet their survival is significantly better than men.

Patient's generosity after death leads to possible clues for lung disease
Thanks in large part to a dying patient's generosity, researchers have for the first time begun to analyze the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a degenerative illness that typically leads to death within five years.

ADHD drug 'harmonizes' with body's dopamine system, gives hint to effect on children, adults
The brain's dopamine system, which has long been associated with reward learning and reward-related behavior, works differently in treated and untreated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) individuals, according to a study presented by German researchers at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

PET/CT offers 'superior' view of atherosclerosis plaque, may identify those at risk for heart attack
Positron emission tomography (PET) in combination with computed tomography (CT) offers a

When it counts: Shortening imaging time for individuals with suspected heart problems
Researchers discovered that the time spent on a myocardial perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging study -- also called a cardiac stress/rest test -- can be cut in half using a trademarked, innovative reconstruction technology.

'Cosmic telescopes' may have found infant galaxies
Using massive clusters of galaxies as

UGA researchers propose new hypothesis on the evolution of hot springs microorganisms
Since their discovery in the late 1970s, microorganisms known as archaea have fascinated scientists with their ability to thrive where no other life can - in conditions that are extremely hot, acidic or salty.

IOF-Novartis Young Scholars' Awards presented to seven researchers from six countries
Seven young investigators today received IOF─Novartis Young Scholars' Awards, which were presented during the 2006 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis (IOF WCO) in Toronto, Canada.

Results good for HER-2 positive breast cancer patients using trastuzumab
Researchers in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) have shown that patients who receive trastuzumab at the same time as post-chemotherapy radiation treatments for HER-2 positive breast cancer have no more risk for major side effects or complications than those who do not receive the drug.

Most children diagnosed with autism at age 2 years also diagnosed with the condition at age 9 years
About three-fourths of children who are diagnosed with autism at age 2 years appear to have the condition at age 9 years, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Dr Elise Feng-I Morgan of Boston University receives 2005 IOF-Servier Young Investigator Award
Dr Elise Feng-i Morgan, of Boston University, today received the prestigious 2005 IOF-Servier Young Investigator Award, during the 2006 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis (IOF WCO) in Toronto, Canada.

Illinois researchers produce two most important scientific papers
Two of the five most important papers published in the 43-year history of the journal Applied Physics Letters were written by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Researchers announce new predictor for lung cancer treatment and survival
Research from the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals of Cleveland has found a promising, novel biomarker that may be used to predict the survival of patients with advanced lung cancer and their response to treatment.

Cancer-reducing benefits of preventive surgery may be specific to gene mutation
A new multicenter study is the first to suggest that the prophylactic removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes may provide a different benefit for women who carry a genetic mutation in the BRCA2 gene than for those who have a BRCA1 genetic mutation.

Utah study shows minivans, trucks pose greater risk of backing over children in driveways
Every year Utah children are seriously injured and killed when they're hit by a vehicle backing out of a driveway.

Under-diagnosed rage disorder more prevalent than previously thought
A seldom-studied mental illness called Intermittent Explosive Disorder, characterized by recurrent episodes of angry and potentially violent outbursts -- seen in cases of road rage or spousal abuse -- has been found to be much more common than previously thought.

Clearing the air - links between smoking and osteoporosis strengthened
Young or old, man or woman, smoker or non-smoker - no matter what category you fit into, cigarette smoke can weaken your bones and increase your risk for fractures, according to new research presented this week at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis in Toronto.

Health risks continue well after the surgery is over
Even when all goes well, surgery patients may carry an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer for weeks or even years, say physician-scientists studying the unintended effects of surgery.

Scientists resolve 60-year-old plutonium questions
Scientists have solved a question about the nature of plutonium that has remained a mystery since the Manhattan Project.

Unwanted sex appears common in some teen relationships
Many adolescent girls report being threatened or pressured by their partners into having sex, potentially increasing their risk for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies, according to an article in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 6, 2006
The current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes the following articles:

Ethnic disparities in teen exercise: Do schools play a role?
A national study of 17,000 adolescents finds that racial differences in teens' exercise levels may come, in part, from the schools they attend, and that the picture differs for girls versus boys.

Beaver dams create healthy downstream ecosystems
Researchers have found that ponds created by beaver dams raised downstream groundwater levels in the Colorado River valley, keeping soil water levels high and providing moisture to plants in the otherwise dry valley bottom.

A new kind of mutation could explain numerous phenotypic variations in various species
Thanks to a recent study on the genetic factors that promote muscular hypertrophy among Texel sheep, Prof.

Clinical trial confirms novel EGFR antibody targets tumors but not normal tissues
The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and Life Science Pharmaceuticals (LSP) today announced the results of the first clinical trial of monoclonal antibody (mAb) 806, which demonstrate that 806 specifically targets epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on a wide range of tumor types but has no uptake by normal tissues.

Public has a stake in what religious schools teach, professor says
Whether it's prayer in schools, alternatives to evolution, or courses on the Bible, the debate continues on the role of religion in public schools.

Astronomers find hundreds of young, distant galaxy clusters
Astronomers have found the largest number of the most distant, youngest galaxy clusters yet, a feat that will help them observe the developing universe when it was less than half its current age and still in its formative stages.

UK markey cancer center receives FDA approval to test novel cancer drug
Tom Burke died of colon cancer only a few years ago, but not before he helped create a new drug to fight cancer.

Four mathematical pioneers highlight NJIT's Third Annual Math Conference
More than 120 mathematicians from around the world descended last month upon New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for news of the foremost advances in mathematical fluid dynamics at the university's annual conference on applied and computational mathematics.

Chaco Canyon: A place of kings and palaces?
Kings living in palaces may have ruled New Mexico's Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago, causing Pueblo people to reject the brawny, top-down politics in the centuries that followed, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder archaeologist.

A fundamentally new approach to improving cancer chemotherapy
Prospects for developing more effective cancer chemotherapy, with fewer side effects, have brightened with the discovery of a fundamentally new way of targeting anti-cancer drugs on malignant cells.

A new way to build bone
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers at Stanford University have found that they can increase bone mass in mice by tweaking the shape of a regulatory protein.

Chronic neuropathic, 'phantom' pain comes from affected nerve and spinal cord, not brain
Chronic pain caused by arthritis, sciatica, cancer and diabetes has higher visibility due to sharp increase in soldiers' amputations in the Iraq War.

Self-injury is prevalent among college students, survey shows
About 17 percent of college students report that they have cut, burned, carved or harmed themselves in other ways, reports a new survey by Cornell and Princeton University researchers.

Is being overweight all in the brain?
By using positron emission tomography (PET) to study the brain's neuroreceptors in relation to obesity, scientists may be getting closer to determining important information about the neurobiological mechanisms involved, according to a group of Danish researchers.

Surprising symbiosis: Glassy-winged sharpshooter eats with friends
Like a celebrity living on mineral water, the glassy-winged sharpshooter consumes only the sap of woody plants -- including grapevines in California, where it threatens prized vineyards.

Natural born killers
A collaboration between scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Pasteur Institute in Paris has uncovered the molecular signals that trigger maturation of natural killer cells, an important group of immune system cells, into fully armed killing machines.

Homeless young people warn researchers about the dangers of cash incentives
Young homeless people don't want large amounts of money to take part in health research, saying that coffee, music and phone vouchers are safer as they can't be spent on drugs.

Getting ahead of cancer: SPECT/Spiral CT technology enhances bone scanning, earlier diagnosis
New imaging technology -- the use of single photon emission tomography (SPECT) with spiral computed tomography (CT) scanners -- creates high quality images that enhance detection of cancer in patients, according to results presented at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

Intermittent explosive disorder affects up to 16 million Americans
A little-known mental disorder marked by episodes of unwarranted anger is more common than previously thought.

Got bugs? New project lets real computer users gang up on software bugs
Ben Liblit offers a bold prediction regarding all of the complicated software programs churning away in your computer: They have bugs.

Neuroendocrinology Congress June 19-22 to report new research on brain, hormones, behavior
New findings in clinical and basic science research will be presented for the first time at the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Pittsburgh from June 19 to 22.

Tumor response may not be best measure of efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer treatment
A new Southwest Oncology Group study led by a team of UC Davis Cancer Center researchers suggests that an alternative measurement -

No bones about it: FDG PET successful in difficult-to-detect chronic osteomyelitis
Diagnosing chronic osteomyelitis -- a common, serious and often incapacitating infection of bone and bone marrow -- in children and adults is often difficult, posing a challenge to physicians.

Fly's courtship sheds light on the formation of innate behaviors
By studying how genes influence the development and use of neural circuits that control a specific set of mating behaviors in the fruit fly, researchers have provided new insight into how instinctual behaviors - those that are not based on prior experience - arise in the developing nervous system.

Do angry men get noticed?
By comparing how quickly human facial expressions of different types are detected in a crowd of neutral faces, researchers have demonstrated that male angry faces are a priority for visual processing - particularly for male observers.

Cancer drug extends cognitive function in patients with brain metastases
The drug Xcytrin®, based on a molecule developed by chemists at The University of Texas at Austin, shows significant promise in prolonging cognitive function in patients with non-small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to the brain.

Serotonin, acting in a specific brain region, promotes sleep in fruit flies
Researchers have found that the neurotransmitter serotonin, known to affect many behaviors, also appears to promote lasting, quality sleep in an animal model for understanding how sleep is regulated.

Vitamin D and calcium supplements have varied effects on breast cancer risk
A large multicenter randomized clinical trial reported that supplementation with calcium and vitamin D did not reduce breast cancer risk in the overall population.

Number of children and teens treated with antipsychotics increases sharply
A steadily increasing number of patients younger than age 20 received prescriptions for antipsychotic medications between 1993 and 2002, according to a report published in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Physical activity linked to improved glucose control in children with type 1 diabetes
Children with type 1 diabetes who exercise regularly may have improved blood glucose levels compared with those who do not, and regular physical activity does not appear to increase the risk of severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Galaxy evolution in cyber universe matches astronomical observations in fine detail
Scientists at the University of Chicago have bolstered the case for a popular scenario of the big bang theory that neatly explains the arrangement of galaxies throughout the universe.

Plant diseases threaten chocolate production worldwide
Chocolate lovers, beware. Each year 20 percent of the cacao beans that are used to make chocolate are lost to plant diseases, but even greater losses would occur if important diseases spread.

New data at ASCO show CAMPTOSAR is key to treating 1st line metastatic colorectal cancer
New ASCO data show that the CAMPTOSAR regimen FOLFIRI provided statistically significant longer progression free survival compared to two other chemotherapeutic regimens with CAMPTOSAR used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer.

Unraveling Alzheimer's: Clues may be found visualizing plaques in human brain, mad cow-type diseases
An exciting new tracer allows visualization of abnormal protein deposits -- called amyloid plaques -- in human diseases like Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob and in prion diseases in animals like scrapie (similar to mad cow disease), according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and CHRU Tours in France.

Same species responds differently to same warming, depending on location
Based on current trends for both air and water temperatures, by 2100 the body temperatures of California mussels -- found along thousands of miles of coast in the northeast Pacific Ocean and not just in California -- could increase between about 2 degrees F and 6.5 F depending on where they live. 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