Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2006
Research project tests remote sensing to measure Earth's water cycle
For decades, Iowa State University researchers have studied the cycling of water among soil, vegetation and the atmosphere that is vital to production agriculture.

AVELOX as effective as multi-dose combination therapy for intra-abdominal infections
Schering-Plough Corporation today reported that monotherapy with the once-daily, broad-spectrum antibiotic AVELOX® (moxifloxacin HCl) was as effective and well tolerated as a standard multi-dose combination antibiotic regimen in the treatment of patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI), according to results of a study published in the current issue of the Annals of Surgery.

Most doctors not adequately trained in family planning options
A woman's preference as well as medical criteria are important in selecting a contraceptive method.

Old pulsars -- new tricks
The super-sensitivity of ESA TMs XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has shown that the prevailing theory of how stellar corpses, known as pulsars, generate their X-rays needs revising.

Einstein researchers find 'key' to unlocking world's deadliest malaria parasite
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have leveraged the results of their research into tuberculosis to craft a tool for unlocking the secrets of another of the world's leading infectious killers -- malaria.

Pre-life molecules present in comets
Evidence of atomic nitrogen in interstellar gas clouds suggests that pre-life molecules may be present in comets, a discovery that gives a clue about the early conditions that gave rise to life, according to researchers from the University of Michigan and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Radiation-killed bacteria vaccine induces broad immune response in mice
Vaccines made with bacteria killed by gamma irradiation, rather than by standard methods of heat or chemical inactivation, may be more effective, say researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Sunnybrook researchers identify which sets of molecules are required to induce T cells
The immune system uses two main types of T cells, alpha-beta and gamma-delta, each with unique roles in protecting us from disease.

Scientists map the flight of the bumblebee
Bumblebees have an incredible homing instinct that allows them to find their way home from up to eight miles away, according to the early results of research that aims to aid efforts to save the British bumblebee.

Illuminating science
Scientists at Cardiff University have developed a bright idea for detecting zinc in the body with implications for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Grueling four-day race becomes Stanford lab for cardiac experiments
Stanford cardiologist Euan Ashley wanted to study the hearts of endurance athletes, so he set up a mobile heart lab at the finishing line of the ultra-endurance race,

Clinical guidelines for recalled pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators developed
A team of medical experts led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher has established a set of clinical guidelines to help physicians determine how to best care for patients with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) that are the subject of an advisory or recall.

American Journal of Education special issue: Data use for school improvement
Written by some of the most respected researchers in the field -- and originally presented at the 2005 meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) -- this collection of papers seeks to address the paradoxical situation that today's educators are often

ARVO's Cogan Award to Austrian biomedical professor
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that Wolfgang Drexler, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2007 Cogan Award during ARVO's Annual Meeting to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in May 2007.

Radiation-armed robot rapidly destroys human lung tumors
Super-intense radiation delivered by a robotic arm eradicated lung tumors in some human patients just 3-4 months after treatment, medical physicist Cihat Ozhasoglu, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (, will report in early August at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in Orlando.

Unusual mechanism keeps repair protein accurate
Cancer researchers have discovered that a recently identified protein critical for repairing damaged genes uses an unusual mechanism to keep its repairs accurate.

UT Southwestern scientist named Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research
Dr. Russell DeBose-Boyd, assistant professor of molecular genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named a Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research by the Los Angeles-based W.M.

Undergraduates devise inexpensive hand-held Braille writer
To help provide a low-cost communication tool for blind people, undergraduates at Johns Hopkins have invented a lightweight, portable Braille writing device that requires no electronic components.

Carotid stenting the new anti-depressant?
Inserting a stent to open a narrowed carotid artery has been found to reduce symptoms of depression that may be associated with carotid stenosis, according to a study in the August issue of Radiology.

W.M. Keck Foundation announces 2006 class of Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research
The W.M. Keck Foundation, a leading supporter of high-impact medical research, science and engineering, announced the 2006 class of grant recipients under its Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research program today.

UCLA develops unique nerve-stimulation epilepsy treatment
A unique nerve-stimulation treatment for epilepsy developed at UCLA offers a potential new alternative for tens of thousands of individuals unable to control their seizures with medication and ineligible for surgery.

Obesity an increasing obstacle to medical diagnosis
The increase of obesity in the United States doubled the number of inconclusive diagnostic imaging exams over a 15-year period, according to a study featured in the August issue of Radiology.

There's a change in rain around desert cities
A study using NASA satellite data and weather records show the urban heat island effect, pollution, irrigation and population changes alter rainfall in desert cities.

NIDA announces recommendations to treat drug abusers, save money and reduce crime
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, today released a landmark scientific report showing that effective treatment of drug abuse and addiction can save communities money and reduce crime.

Constant din of barking causes stress, behavior changes in dogs in shelters
If your neighbor's barking dog drives you crazy, pity the employees of the nation's animal shelters, where the noise produced by howling, barking and yapping dogs often exceeds that produced by a jackhammer.

Study examines usefulness of cardiac CT scan for detecting blockages in coronary arteries
Use of the 16-row multidetector computed tomography (CT) scan to detect narrowing of coronary arteries may result in a high number of cases in which the diagnosis cannot be determined, limiting the clinical usefulness of the test, according to a study in the July 26 issue of JAMA.

Viral genetic differences are possible key to HIV dementia
A study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center has revealed a possible answer to a longstanding AIDS mystery: why only some people infected with HIV go on to develop HIV dementia.

National Academies advisory: TCE health risks
Assessing the human health risks of Trichloroethylene: Key scientific issues, a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council, reviews current data on cancer and other health risks associated with exposure to this environmental contaminant, often referred to as TCE.

Press update on World Congress of Cardiology 2006
Pre-registration for the World Congress of Cardiology 2006 closes on July 31.

NC State scientists characterize protein linked to neurodegenerative diseases
Scientists at North Carolina State University have effectively lifted the veil from an important protein that is linked to the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Huntington's.

Order by motion
Max Planck scientists have shown that molecular motors can induce orientational order in an isotropic liquid of filaments.

Combination therapy may improve survival for pancreatic cancer
Patients with pancreatic cancer, a historically difficult-to-treat cancer with poor survival rates, may benefit from treatments studied in an international, multi-center research trial.

Gene breakthrough heralds better prospect for malaria solution
Scientists have made a major breakthrough in understanding the genetics of the insect parasite that is being targeted by researchers as a way of preventing the spread of malaria.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Some news tips from the upcoming Journal of Neuroscience include: Short hairpin RNAs off-target; Making oligodendrocytes in the SVZ; A touching story from the leech; and A case of rescue by neural stem cells.

CCLRC and PPARC welcome government announcement on 'Next Steps'
This morning -- July 25, 2006 -- the Department of Trade and Industry announced that the government has decided to create a new Large Facilities Council merging the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) following the

Study shows new drug helps elderly with insomnia
The drug eszopiclone, marketed as Lunesta significantly improved sleep in elderly people with chronic insomnia, according to a report by W.

Forest service researchers test Chinese tallow tree for use in building materials
A preliminary study by USDA FS Southern Research Station (SRS) researchers and cooperators shows that the Chinese tallow tree, a nonnative invasive plant in the southeastern United States, holds promise as a material for bio-based composite building panels.

Weight lifting can help overweight teens reduce risk of diabetes
Teens at risk of developing diabetes can prevent or delay its onset through strength training exercise, a University of Southern California study has found.

Paternal-side family history of breast cancer may be missed
Taking a family history is one of the most accessible genomic screens for breast cancer.

Irradiation preserves T cell responses in bacterial vaccine
Using gamma radiation to inactivate bacteria for the preparation of vaccines, instead of traditional heat or chemical methods of inactivation, appears to create a vaccine that is more effective than so-called

Food-crop yields in future greenhouse-gas conditions lower than expected
Open-air field trials involving five major food crops grown under carbon-dioxide levels projected for the future are harvesting dramatically less bounty than those raised in earlier greenhouse and other enclosed test conditions -- and scientists warn that global food supplies could be at risk without changes in production strategies.

Bt cotton in China fails to reap profit after seven years
Bt cotton in China fails to reap profit after seven years because secondary pests emerge and require lots of pesticides, three Cornell researchers find.

Clean water, clean wounds
Drinking water could be a simple, cheap and effective way to clean wounds according to a recent study by the University of Western Sydney and Sydney South West Area Health Service.

Charles Yerkes, telescope benefactor, a stellar scoundrel, author says
Robber barons apparently didn't come by their titles easily. Just how hard they had to work -- on both sides of the law -- to hold onto their empires is revealed in a new book about one particularly ingenious and controversial tycoon.

Research adds weight to growing pains in children
University of South Australia researchers have discovered that young children experiencing growing pains had significantly greater body weight than children for whom no pain was reported.

New project to help solve problems of UK water shortage
Businesses and landowners will benefit from a new £1.5 million project at the University of Liverpool which aims to alleviate the effects of pollution and low rainfall on water supplies in southeast England.

New mothers should be screened regularly for postpartum depression
Physicians should screen mothers for postpartum depression regularly for at least a year following childbirth to better identify women who develop symptoms throughout the year and those whose depression persists, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers say.

Brookhaven Lab wins R&D 100 Award for X-ray focusing device
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has won a 2006 R&D 100 award for developing the first device able to focus a large spread of high-energy X-rays.

Titan's pebbles 'seen' by Huygens radio
An unexpected radio reflection from the surface of Titan has allowed ESA scientists to deduce the average size of stones and pebbles close to the Huygens' landing site.

Ancient global warming drove early primates' dispersal
The continent-hopping habits of early primates have long puzzled scientists, and several scenarios have been proposed to explain how the first true members of the group appeared virtually simultaneously on Asia, Europe and North America some 55 million years ago.

Google-like process for mammogram images speeds up computer's second opinions
To help computers provide faster

Study shows digitalis safe in patients with common form of heart failure
Despite a widely held belief that the heart drug digitalis shouldn't be given to patients with diastolic heart failure, a new analysis shows it is relatively safe.

Heat therapy for cancer may be key to 'Lance Armstrong Effect'
Experts at Johns Hopkins have linked scientific evidence spanning more than 30 years to suggest an explanation for why testicular cancer patients like seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong survive far better than patients with other advanced cancers.

How can identical twins be genetically different?
U-M researchers have discovered three genes that are over-expressed in rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, that were not known to be associated with the disease before.

3-D computer simulation to aid treatment of collapsed lungs
The treatment of premature babies and adults who suffer from Respiratory Distress Syndrome could be boosted by new research at The University of Manchester, as published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

Test helps identify patients at low risk for recurring blood clots
A test that measures the generation of a certain protein involved with blood clotting can help determine whether patients who have experienced a venous blood clot are at low risk of developing another blood clot, and thus avoiding anticoagulant treatment and its possible side effects, according to a study in the July 26 issue of JAMA.

Early-onset of diabetes associated with increased risk of kidney disease and death before age 55
Onset of type 2 diabetes before age 20 in a population of American Indians is associated with a substantially increased risk of end-stage kidney disease and death between 25 and 55 years of age, according to a study in the July 26 issue of JAMA.

Preventing ventilation induced lung injury depends on giving the right number of 'sighs'
Periodic deep inflation (akin to a sigh) combined with low tidal volume provides the best balance between keeping the lung open and preventing ventilator-induced lung injury, a study of ventilation therapy shows.

UGA researchers find high rates of off-label prescriptions
A University of Georgia study has found that three-quarters of people prescribed antidepressant drugs receive the medications for a reason not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Screening for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among substance users is improved
NDRI scientists have documented an effective, simple and inexpensive way to screen adult substance users for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 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