Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 15, 2006
Northwestern Memorial earns magnet status for nursing excellence
Northwestern Memorial Hospital has officially received Magnet status, the gold standard for nursing excellence and an honor that recognizes an organizational commitment to the best in patient care.

Racism effects health of Maori in New Zealand
Racism may have a detrimental effect on the health of Maori in New Zealand, according to a paper in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Challenge is in the eye of the beholder: A heavy burden can slant our world
New research finds that our physical capabilities affect how we view our environment.

Government scheme to improve health and well-being of deprived families called into question
The Government's Sure Start program, set up in 1999 to improve the health and development of socially deprived families with young children, shows some benefit for most poor families but may also be adversely affecting the worst off to some extent, says a paper in this week's BMJ.

Sport should not be used to promote unhealthy behaviour
Governments and sports organisations need to tackle the promotion of unhealthy behaviours at events such as the World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, state the authors of a Comment in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Mobile data retrieval improved with new algorithm
Penn State researchers have developed a new algorithm which enables cell-phone users to fetch data from music to TV shows as quickly as feasible with minimal channel switches.

Risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia cut significantly
Researchers found that administering the topical antiseptic chlorhexidine to critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation greatly decreased their daily risk of acquiring deadly hospital-related ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Growth factor triggers growth of new blood vessels in the heart
The newest concept for treating coronary artery disease is to induce hearts to grow their own new blood vessels to bypass damaged tissue or clogged arteries.

When it comes to gene transcription, random pauses aren't quite so random, study finds
Of the thousands of proteins produced in our cells, few are as important as the enzyme RNA polymerase (RNAP), which has the unique ability to faithfully copy genetic information from DNA.

Penn bioethicst challenges scientists to lead the public in discussions about their work
In the first-ever article on bioethics to appear in Cell, one of the nation's leading bioethicists challenges scientists to proactively engage the public in discussions about the value and significance of their research protocols ... to maintain an ethical base, at all times, in the conduct of their own research ... and to help advance scientific knowledge among the public and their colleagues by freely sharing new and relevant information.

UT Southwestern researchers identify roles of gene mutations causing lupus in mice
In two related studies, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have pinpointed defective genes in mice responsible for triggering the mysterious autoimmune disease lupus, which prompts the body's immune system to mistakenly attack healthy organs and tissues.

Taxpayer Alliance applauds congressional mandate for NIH public access
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access (ATA) strongly supports the U.S.

Target women's depression to reduce disability from chronic conditions, suggests study
Women with higher levels of depression when suffering with long-term pain report greater disability than men in the same situation, according to new research published in the latest edition of the European Journal of Pain.

Three new 'Trojan' asteroids found sharing Neptune's orbit
Three new objects locked into roughly the same orbit as Neptune--called

Anthropologists escape into the wider world
In the UK, around 100 social anthropology Ph.D.s are completed annually - a number that has more than doubled in the last 15 years - but only 10 or 20 permanent academic posts are advertised in this discipline every year.

Wildlife conservation and energy dev't study seeks balance in Rockies
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today - with key support from leading energy producers in the Rockies - released first-year results from a study on how natural gas development in the Rockies might be influencing wildlife, particularly pronghorn antelope.

New roles for growth factors: Enticing nerve cells to muscles
During embryonic development, nerve cells hesitantly extend tentacle-like protrusions called axons that sniff their way through a labyrinth of attractive and repulsive chemical cues that guide them to their target.

Did you know that tooth decay is still the most common human disease?
Did you know that tooth decay is still the most common human disease?

Upwardly mobile? Kids from mobile homes face challenges getting ahead
When parents purchase a mobile home near a prosperous small town, they believe they've secured the safety, neighborliness and good schools coveted by all rural residents, says a University of Illinois study published in the April issue of Family Relations.

Pregnancy complications still high for women with diabetes
The risk of death and major birth defects are still high in babies born to women with diabetes, despite an international strategy to raise standards of diabetes care, say researchers in a study published on
Simple strategies to reduce lab test requests could save time, money, & unnecessary treatment of PTs
Two simple strategies to reduce the number of laboratory test requests made by doctors could save time, money, and unnecessary treatment of healthy patients, according to a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Natural pine bark extract relieves muscle cramp and pain in athletes and diabetics
A study published in this month's issue of Angiology shows that supplementation with the pine bark extract Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) improves blood flow to the muscles which speeds recovery after physical exercise.

Media alert: Register now for the largest obesity conference in North America
The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting, which will take place October 20-24 in Boston, is the largest gathering of influential obesity experts in North America.

Stopping inhaled corticosteroid use causes no problems in cystic fibrosis patient users
In comparison to cystic fibrosis (CF) patients who regularly use inhaled corticosteroid, those who did not use these drugs for six months exhibited no positive or negative effects in terms of major disease factors.

84th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR
The 84th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research will convene in Brisbane, Australia, June 28-July 1, 2006.

Engaging with faith groups
Attempts to get faith groups involved in the wider community can lead to cynicism among members, unless carefully handled, according to a new booklet published by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), called 'Faith-based voluntary action'.

NIH Celebrates a Decade of Discovery in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) celebrates a decade of progress and promise in the behavioral and social sciences on June 21-22.

Potentially 1000s of 'brain drain' scientists would help home countries if system to do so created
University of Toronto researchers say potentially thousands of expatriate scientists and academics from developing countries would willingly contribute to scientific development and innovation in their countries of origin if simply there were effective mechanisms created to help do so.

IADR reinstates Isaac Schour Memorial Award
The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announces the reinstatement of the IADR Isaac Schour Memorial Award.

Science researchers catch an early bird
Spectacular new fossil specimens of the ancient bird Gansus yumenensis help fill in the avian family tree and suggest that today's birds may have gotten their start in aquatic environments.

Neutrophils in rheumatoid arthritis: How to lessen inflammation but still fight infection
Neutrophils, which quickly congregate at the sites of infection and inflammation, are capable of ingesting microorganisms or other particles.

Researchers offer clues to how leaf patterns are formed
Pick up a leaf and it is hard not to notice the pattern made by the veins.

HIV-1's high virulence might be an accident of evolution
The virulence characteristic of HIV-1--the virus predominantly responsible for human AIDS--might amount to an accident of evolution, new evidence reveals.

Alberta develops world's first electronic surgical reporting
Alberta cancer surgeons have developed a web-based surgical reporting tool that offers up to 50 per cent more information critical to assessing surgical effectiveness.

Journal of Law and Economics: Special issue on file sharing
An important collection of papers from the current issue of the Journal of Law and Economics addresses the battle between copyright owners and copying technologies.

EGF receptor activation prevents microbes from going more than skin deep
Our skin not only serves as a physical barrier against infection but skin cells themselves can mount an immune response to kill invading microbes by producing antimicrobial polypeptides.

Proposed changes to obesity guidelines may harm children in the US
New guidelines on obesity in the US may end up harming children, says an article in this week's BMJ.

Control system tests begin for Vega's main engine
Development of Vega, Europe's new launcher for small payloads, continues at full speed.

JCI Table of Contents, June 15 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online 6/15/06 in the JCI, including:

IL-21 receptor plays an essential role in the Th2 immune response
During the immune response immune cells express a variety of cytokines that stimulate B cells to proliferate and produce antibodies.

ESA and Spot Image set precedence with data sharing
ESA and Spot Image, the company that distributes data commercially from the French Space Agency's (CNES) Spot satellites, signed a multiyear agreement, which kicked off in January 2006, permitting ESA-accepted Category-1 projects to order more than 10 000 images per year from the Spot 1, 2, 3 and 4 satellites.

Incidence of hip fractures set to increase to 6.3 million worldwide in 2050
The estimated number of hip fractures worldwide will rise from 1.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2050, state the authors of a Seminar on osteoporosis in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Combination therapy with a monocloncal antibody and a vaccine leads to tumor rejection
Effector T cells are involved in activating immune cells, while regulatory T cells act to curb the over-aggressive responses.

Sleepy fruit flies provide clues to learning and memory
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that a brain region previously known for its role in learning and memory also serves as the location of sleep regulation in fruit flies.

Health-care needs of trafficked women are being neglected
Governments should be providing health care, shelter, and counselling for women who are trafficked, states an Editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Menopausal women don't get enough guidance on treatment options, Stanford survey shows
Few women are consulting their doctors before opting to use herbal therapies and soy products to treat their menopausal symptoms, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

Thawing soil in permafrost a significant source of carbon
Permafrost, permanently frozen soil, isn't staying frozen and a type of soil called loess contained deep within thawing permafrost may be releasing significant, and previously unaccounted for, amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, according to authors of a paper published this week in the journal Science.

Early bird caught the fish: Fossils depict aquatic origins of birds 115 million years ago
Five fossil specimens of a near-modern bird found in the Gansu Province of northwestern China show that early birds likely evolved in an aquatic environment. 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