Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2006
Our Sun's fiery outbursts -- seen in 3-D
U.K. solar scientists are eagerly awaiting the launch of NASA's STEREO mission which will provide the first ever 3-D views of the Sun.

Biometric identification for on-line and off-line signature recognition
Day by day, natural and secure access to interconnected systems is becoming more and more important.

MIT creates fiber webs that see
In a radical departure from conventional lens-based optics, MIT scientists have developed a sophisticated optical system made of mesh-like webs of light-detecting of measuring the direction, intensity and phase of light (a property used to describe a light wave) without the lenses, filters or detector arrays that are the classic elements of optical systems such as eyes or camerasfibers.

Number of indoor swimming pools per capita linked to rise in childhood asthma across Europe
The prevalence of childhood asthma and wheeze rises around 2 to 3 percent for every indoor swimming pool per 100,000 of the population across Europe, indicates research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Anxious adults judge facial cues faster, but less accurately
Adults who are highly anxious can perceive changes in facial expressions more quickly than adults who are less anxious, a new study shows.

31st ESMO Congress
Highlights at the 31st ESMO Congress in Istanbul, Turkey include: Pharmacogenetics, personalized medicine, Multidisciplinary oncology, Cancer vaccines and prevention, Molecular-targeted therapies, State-of-the-art oncology.

Molecular DNA switch found to be the same for all life
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have shown that the core machinery for initiating DNA replication is the same for all three domains of life -- Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya.

Sticks and stones: Teenage ridicule has lasting effects on consumer behavior
In the first study to explore the extent to which teenagers influence each other's consumer behavior, David B.

MRIs show drug treatment slows brain deterioration on road to Alzheimer's disease
According to a new study, the drug donepezil measurably slows the rate of brain shrinkage in some patients with mild cognitive impairment, a pre-Alzheimer's disease condition.

Research documents children's exposure to pesticides, suggests need for family education
Two studies of immigrant farmworker families in North Carolina and Virginia found evidence of pesticide exposure in young children, and prompted researchers to call for pesticide safety training for workers' spouses.

Discovery of agile molecular motors could aid in treating motor neuron diseases
Over the last several months, the labs of Yale Goldman and Erika Holzbaur, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, have published a group of papers that, taken together, show proteins that function as molecular motors are surprisingly flexible and agile, able to navigate obstacles within the cell.

Study compares gastric bypass and gastric banding surgeries in extremely obese patients
Extremely obese patients who undergo gastric bypass procedures may have fewer complications, a greater reduction in obesity-related diseases, more weight loss and a higher level of satisfaction than those who have gastric banding procedures, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mitral valve surgery may be safe option for elderly patients
Deaths among elderly patients undergoing mitral valve surgery have decreased dramatically in recent years -- making the procedure a feasible option, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center
Space Shuttle Discovery successfully landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, at 15:14 CEST (13:14 UT) today.

Melanoma may be over-diagnosed
A Mayo Clinic physician and colleagues have defined the normal number of melanocytes that are present in Caucasians' sun-exposed skin.

Nutritional knowledge improves lunch lady image
Providing nutritional information with high school cafeteria lunch choices not only helps students to make better food choices, but also improves the students' satisfaction with school lunch programs and dining room staff, according to a Penn State study.

Do guidelines matter?
A new study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology examined the recently set Guidelines regarding the treatment and management of osteoporosis in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and found that they are effective.

Yale dean addresses biggest environmental threats in new book
New Haven, Conn. -- Ten global environmental threats and how they can be addressed through treaties, new forms of government and international cooperation are examined in a new book, Global Environmental Governance.

Top notch football players sustain identical injuries following season
Elite football players, injured in one season are almost three times as likely to sustain an identical injury the following season, reveals research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Carnegie Mellon, Pitt receive $15 million from NSF to found center to improve quality of life
Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh have received a five-year $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an engineering research center that will develop technologies that help older adults and people with disabilities live independently and productively.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet, July 18, 2006
Two articles and an editorial in this issue of Annals focus on adolescent obesity: Adolescent Female Obesity Can Lead to Premature Death as an Adult; Diet Drug Plus Therapy Helped Very Obese Adolescents Lose Weight; and Editorial Writer Says Prevention of Obesity is Best Long-Term Solution.

Unsure what to order? Study finds that decisions are easier when everything is priced the same
You're ordering dessert and know exactly what you want -- the lavender crème brulee that was reviewed in your favorite food column.

Virtual reality puts telepathy to the test
Scientists at The University of Manchester have created a virtual computer world designed to test telepathic ability.

Scientists coax nerve fibers to regrow after spinal cord injury
In tests on rats, researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Michigan have developed a treatment that helps spinal cord nerves regrow after injury.

Medication plus behavior changes helps obese adolescents lose weight
The weight loss medication sibutramine, when combined with behavior therapy, allowed hundreds of very obese adolescents to lose an average of 14 pounds over a year in a multicenter randomized clinical trial.

Test for esophageal reflux licensed to Bayer by Wake Forest University Health Sciences
A new test for esophageal reflux disease developed by a Wake Forest University Health Sciences (WFUHS) otolaryngologist has been licensed to Bayer HealthCare's Diagnostics Division by WFUHS.

Study identifies new role for breast cancer susceptibility gene
A recently discovered facet of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 reveals a mechanism linking mutation of BRCA1 to formation of large blood vessels needed to support cancer progression.

Structure determined for p53 tumor suppressor protein as bound to DNA for anti-cancer activity
More than half of human cancers involve mutations in the p53 tumor-suppressor gene, specifically in its DNA-binding core domain, pointing to this region of the p53 protein as being pivotal to its anti-cancer activity.

OHSU Cancer Institute researchers use shortcut to identify new treatment target for leukemia
Using a new, fast and relatively inexpensive approach to identify molecular abnormalities that cause normal human cells to turn into cancerous ones, researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute have identified a new treatment target for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and potentially other cancers.

Decline in concentration, decision-making and problem-solving
A new Mayo Clinic study finds that after memory begins to decline, executive function is the next brain function to deteriorate in the progression from mild cognitive impairment, a pre-Alzheimer's disease condition, to Alzheimer's disease.

Diabetes drug shows promise in treating Alzheimer's
A drug for type 2 diabetes shows promise in safety tests for treating Alzheimer's disease as well without serious side effects.

Mutations point the way to new leukemia drugs
HHMI researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School have identified a second mutation in a cell growth pathway that causes certain chronic leukemias.

A WINning solution for risk management
The 2002 sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off the Spanish coast was one of Europe's worst environmental disasters.

What does it take to maintain a normal body weight?
Ever wonder if people who have never been overweight face the same obstacles to stay thin as those who were once overweight, but successfully lost weight?

Gatekeeping: Penn researchers find new way to open ion channels in cell membranes
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a new way to open ion channels, in the membrane of cells.

Illicit trade led to modern globalization
In a forthcoming study from the American Journal of Sociology, Emily Erikson and Peter Bearman (Columbia University) demonstrate that an early example of globalization was the direct result of individual malfeasance, specifically, private trade using company resources.

ISU researchers test combustion for NASA
Iowa State researchers will drop a test rig eight stories to learn more about the combustion of powders as part of a research project for NASA.

Scientists isolate leukemia stem cells in a model of human leukemia
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston and their colleagues have isolated rare cancer stem cells that cause leukemia in a mouse model of the human disease.

High altitude broadband is the platform for the future
A three-year project led by the University of York, which aims to revolutionise broadband communications, reaches its climax later this year.

$1.4 million grant helps professor see the light
University of New Hampshire professor Rick Cote has received $1.4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue research into the central enzyme that controls initial steps of vision and that, when defective, can result in retinitis pigmentosa, a leading inherited cause of blindness.

Study compares treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis
UV-A therapy was found to be more effective than narrowband UV-B therapy in treating patients with chronic plaque psoriasis, according to an article in the July issue of Archives of Dermatology.

ACS Weekly PressPac -- July 12, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package for July 12 with reports from the 34 major journals.

Couch potatoes who start exercising after 40 can still stave off heart disease
Couch potatoes who start exercising in later life can still significantly cut their chances of developing coronary artery disease, suggests a small study published ahead of print in Heart.

OHSU surgeons challenge age-old practice
Oregon Health & Scinece University trauma surgeons are studying whether surgical intervention speeds recovery, prevents long-term disability and chronic pain in people with debilitating rib fracture; a new device co-developed by an OHSU orthopedic surgeon is helping to facilitate repair in some cases.

Being overweight as a teen associated with premature death in adulthood
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found that being overweight at age 18 is associated with an increased risk of premature death in younger and middle-aged women.

Take steps to protect against shoulder fired missiles, say operations research experts
What would the impact be if a terrorist took out just one plane with a shoulder-fired missile?

UN review shows need to halt destructive fishing practice
A long-awaited report by the United Nations shows the need for an international moratorium on bottom-trawling and other destructive fishing practices that damage deep sea life.

Arranged marriages in contemporary times: What's love (or chance) got to do with it?
Although difficult to comprehend for many Westerners, the arranged marriage is the dominant form of matrimony in other parts of the world -- among rich and poor, cosmopolitan and provincial -- including subcontinent India, Africa, the Middle East and parts of East Asia.

RFID chips could help surgeons avoid leaving sponges in patients, Stanford researcher finds
The same technology that prevents thefts in clothing stores could also help surgeons keep track of instruments and gauze sponges during medical procedures, according to a preliminary study at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Study supports 'urgent' need for worldwide ban on lead-based paint
Environmental and occupational health experts at the University of Cincinnati have found that major countries -- including India, China and Malaysia -- still produce and sell consumer paints with dangerously high lead levels.

Experts present strategies to address adolescent violence and bullying
During a web-based CME conference on July 13th, two of the nation's leading experts on adolescent violence and bullying examined the prevalence of adolescent violence -- including bullying -- in the United States, identifying risk and resiliency factors for violence, as well as common characteristics shared by victims and aggressors, and offered effective prevention strategies health professionals can use to combat the problem.

Routine HIV testing widely supported in Botswana
The following articles are included in this edition of PLoS Medicine: Routine HIV testing widely supported in Botswana; Antibodies proposed for trial of mother to child transmission of HIV only partly effective; Pathogenic mutation described in patents with myelofibrosis; and Mouse model of lymphedema.

Online surveys are less effective than phone surveys
Surveys are more than an annoyance. They are also a useful tool for market researchers, who rely on them to understand our attitudes towards products.

Study: Elders with dementia can tap into memory stores to give advice
Dementia may rob an older person of memory and focus, but the ability to offer timeless advice about life's big questions seems to be preserved, according to Florida State University researchers in Tallahassee, Fla.

RI Hospital Injury Prevention Center receives international award for gun safety promotion
The Rhode Island Hospital Injury Prevention Center, in conjunction with its community partners, has received an International Safety Media Gold Award for its Newspapers in Education supplement on gun safety.

You argue when you care
We are emotionally attached to the products we use regularly, so much so that we become defensive and tense when they are criticized, says a new study from the September issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Freedom to choose won't make you happier
Most of us would rather choose among options than have a choice made for us.

Combined treatment extends life expectancy for lung cancer patients
By combining radiation and thermal ablation for treatment of lung cancer, patients lived longer and had fewer recurrences.

Effects of nutrition on learning
The speed with which adult zebra finches learned a new association task inversely correlates not with the degree of nutritional deprivation experienced early in life, but with the level of compensatory growth, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

Animation can be outlet for victimized children, a tool for research
Animation is a proven vehicle for biting comedy, a la

UF scientists reverse muscle contractions in mouse model of muscular dystrophy
UF researchers used gene therapy to correct myotonia in mice.

Radio wand may help detect sponges left in surgery patients
A preliminary study suggests that a handheld wand scanning device that detects surgical sponges tagged with radiofrequency identification chips could help operating room personnel detect sponges that have been inadvertently left inside patients after procedures, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

US trumps Europe in public funding for cancer research
A major pan-European survey published in PLoS Medicine has found that there is inadequate public funding of cancer research relative to the actual burden of cancer in Europe.

Scientists discover why cornea is transparent and free of blood vessels, allowing vision
Scientists at the Harvard Department of Ophthalmology's Schepens Eye Research Institute and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) are the first to learn why the cornea, the clear window of the eye, is free of blood vessels -- a unique phenomenon that makes vision possible.

Protein-coated dental implants could improve bone regeneration
Titanium dental implants coated with proteins that induce bone formation may be a key advancement in treating tooth loss due to gum disease, researchers say.

JRRD tipsheet: Focus on spinal cord injury, gait, stroke, power mobility and more
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) focuses on articles involving spinal cord injury, gait with prosthesis, assistive technology in recovering from stroke, power mobility use, wound healing and teletechnology.

Research reveals tobacco company's role in China's cigarette smuggling crisis
New research based on the internal documents of one of the world's biggest tobacco companies, British American Tobacco (BAT), suggests that it been complicit in the smuggling of tobacco into China and has benefited from this illicit trade.
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