Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2006
New findings offer more complete view of breast cancer gene mutations in US population
A large study funded by the National Institutes of Health today provided the clearest picture yet of the prevalence in the US population of mutations in two genes associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

GroPep and Novozymes announce merger proposal
GroPep Limited (

Adverse effects of chemotherapy may be under-reported
Young breast cancer patients who receive chemotherapy may have a higher number of serious side effects than reported in clinical trials.

How secondhand smoke injures babies' lungs
UC Davis researchers today described in unprecedented biochemical and anatomical detail how cigarette smoke damages the lungs of unborn and newborn children.

Mathematician uses topology to study abstract spaces, solve problems
Studying complex systems, such as the movement of robots on a factory floor, the motion of air over a wing, or the effectiveness of a security network, can present huge challenges.

Cancer stem cells spur glioma angiogenesis, could hold key to brain tumor therapy
Stem cell-like glioma cancer cells that share many characteristics with normal stem cells propel the lethal growth of brain cancers by promoting tumor blood vessel formation, and may hold the key to treating these deadly cancers, a research team reported in the August 15th issue of Cancer Research.

New light microscope may help unlock some of cells' secrets
A microscopy technique pioneered with the help of Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Fla. has led to the development of a new light microscope capable of looking at proteins on a molecular level.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative calls for new measures to search for an AIDS vaccine
AIDS Vaccine Blueprint 2006 Highlights Important Progress Being Made Against Substantial Challenges, Describes Innovative Ways to Conduct Research and Vaccine Trials, and Supports Stronger Policy Action.

Testing time for teachers as well as students
August is the cruelest month for hundreds of thousands of teenagers waiting for GCSE and A-level results.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
News tips from this issue of the Journal of Neuroscience include: Homer is a foursome; NAD to the rescue; discriminating whiskers; and CB1 receptors and drug seeking in rats.

India-Australia cancer care research headed up by CQU academic
A Central Queensland University researcher is heading up an exciting collaborative research partnership with a leading Indian cancer hospital.

Bison hunters more advanced than thought: archaeologist
A University of Calgary archaeologist has proposed a controversial theory suggesting the First Nations of the Canadian Plains developed complex tribal social structures some 1,700 years earlier than many researchers believe.

Sandia's rapidly deployable chemical detection system tested at McAfee Stadium
Through late June and early July, Sandia researchers in Livermore tested the Rapidly Deployable Chemical Detection System (RDCDS) during Oakland A's games at McAfee Stadium.

Other highlights in the August 16 JNCI
Other highlights in the August 16 JNCI include a study that finds no link between carbonated soft drinks and esophageal cancer, a study that examines a drug's ability to penetrate colon tumor layers, and a study of a drug that halts neuroblastoma growth.

Study links asthma to increased risk for sleep apnea in young women
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have found that young women with asthma are twice as likely to have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea -- a condition that often goes undetected in women--compared with those who do not have asthma.

PSA test has higher accuracy for patients taking finasteride
Finasteride increases prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing's ability to detect prostate cancer, a study in the August 16 Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports.

Climate change was major factor in erosion of Alps 6 million years ago
The Alps might have reached their zenith 6 million years ago and have been declining since.

Reducing the high post-surgical pneumonia rate in alcoholics
A new treatment dramatically decreases the usually high post-surgical pneumonia rate for alcoholic patients who have undergone aero-digestive tract surgery for cancer.

Study shows combination of sight and sound helps adults learn basic visual tasks more rapidly
Researchers from Boston University (BU) and UCLA have found that using multi-sensory training programs, a research technique that engages more than one of the senses, helps adults improve their performance of low-level perceptual tasks significantly faster than methods that use only one stimulus.

Cosmic Background Explorer team wins Gruber Prize
John Mather, Project Scientist of NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite mission, and eighteen members of COBE's Science Working Group, including George Smoot of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have jointly received the 2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize for their ground-breaking studies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

Common anti-depressants similarly safe and effective for treating postpartum depression
Two antidepressants commonly used to treat depression in the general population also can effectively and safely treat postpartum depression, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine-led study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Polio outbreak from oral vaccine identified -- and controlled -- in China
A 2004 outbreak of polio in China traced back to live attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV), which is widely used in global eradication efforts, highlights the small but significant risk to eradication posed by the use of OPV at suboptimal rates of coverage.

SWAN system to help blind and firefighters navigate environment
Georgia Tech researchers are developing a wearable computing system called the System for Wearable Audio Navigation (SWAN) designed to help the visually impaired, firefighters, soldiers and others navigate their way in unknown territory, particularly when vision is obstructed or impaired.

U of M professor explores spooning, snoring and sheet stealing
Snoring, spooning, stealing the sheets and sleeping in the nude -- for the millions of people who share a bed with a partner, University of Minnesota family social science professor Paul Rosenblatt's new book explores the challenges and benefits of

Study reveals sleepiness and performance impairment in commercial drivers
Truck drivers who have severe sleep apnea or who sleep less than five hours each night while at home are more likely to suffer from sleepiness, performance impairment and decreased task vigilance while behind the wheel.

Change needed to ensure women secure business loans
Access to and the use of finance in the UK are seen as major barriers preventing more women from developing successful businesses.

Link between autism and abnormal blood-vessel function and oxidative stress
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that children with autism showed signs of abnormal blood-vessel function and damaging levels of oxidative stress compared to healthy children.

Atoms looser than expected
A study how a single electron behaves inside an electronic bottle updates the fine structure constant and other fundamental physics values.

Experts review current and future approaches to dementia diagnosis
Given that Alzheimer's disease and most of the other dementias have specific biologic findings at autopsy, one would think that the clinical diagnoses would be very straightforward.

Decrease in progression of prostate cancer
Statistics say that one out of six American men will develop prostate cancer and more than a third will experience a recurrence after undergoing treatment, putting them at high risk to die of the disease.

Schepens Eye Research Institute scientist is ARVO's 2007 Friedenwald Award recipient
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that Ilene K.

Low-risk prostate cancer patients face overtreatment
Many low-risk prostate cancer patients are being overtreated and might fare better if doctors monitored the cancer until treatment was necessary, a new study reports in the August 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

GP'S providing fewer consultations
The aging GP workforce and more female doctors are only small pieces of the puzzle causing the drop in services provided by GPs -- they're also just not providing as many consultations, new research shows.

New study provides a clearer picture of breast-cancer gene mutations in American women
A large, population-based, multicenter study provides the clearest picture yet of the prevalence and predictors of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations among women in the general population.

Current desires distort children's choices about the future
Psychologists looking at the largely unknown world of how children perceive the future have found that the youngsters' choices are warped when they are caught up in a primal desire such as thirst.

Charter offers ResearchChannel programming on VOD
All of Charter Communications' video on demand-enabled digital customers now have access to ResearchChannel's programming.

Mathematicians maximize knowledge of minimal surfaces
Mathematicians make breakthrough in understanding complex

U-M study finds some prostate cancer patients potentially overtreated
More than half of men with lower-risk prostate cancer received surgery or radiation treatment when a wait-and-see approach of no therapy and active surveillance would have been a reasonable option, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Establishing a connection between global warming and hurricane intensity
Climate change is affecting the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, and hurricane damage will likely continue to increase because of greenhouse warming, according to a new study.

Adverse effects and costs of chemotherapy greater than previously thought
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School have found that breast cancer patients 63 years of age or younger may experience more chemotherapy-related serious adverse effects than reported in clinical trials, according to a new study in the August 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

NIH funds 14 High-End Instrumentation grants
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide $21.5 million for 14 High-End Instrumentation (HEI) grants that will fund cutting-edge equipment required to advance biomedical research and increase knowledge of the underlying causes of human disease.

Boosting key protein in brain could improve seizure treatment, Stanford study finds
A naturally occurring protein in our brains could be the basis for a more promising epilepsy treatment - without the nasty side effects caused by many of the current medications.

Fatty spheres loaded with siRNA shrink ovarian cancer tumors in preclinical trial
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers package short interfering RNA in a liposome to penetrate cells, shutting down a protein that helps ovarian cancer survive and spread.

Study finds gene related to brain development and function plays causal role in schizophrenia
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, variations of a gene related to brain development and function -- OLIG2 -- may play a causal role in the development of schizophrenia, a hereditary psychiatric disorder with no known biological cause.

Vultures at risk from deadly traces of pain killer
Asian vultures are at risk of lethal kidney failure if they feed from carcasses of a cow that died up to four days after treatment with the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac.

Comparative Environmental Politics
This volume looks at the way countries vary politically and assesses the impact this may have on respnse to global environmental issues: climate warming, biodiversity loss, deforestation and trans-boundary air pollution.

Rare, historic medical cartoons to be featured in film series
A selection of films will be shown from 6 p.m.

Unusual data shed new light on brain and inhibiting behavior
When a child has a problem focusing or acts too quickly with inappropriate behavior, it's enough to drive adults nuts.

More carbon dioxide may help some trees weather ice storms
The increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere predicted for later this century may reduce the damage that future ice storms will cause to commercially important loblolly pine trees, according to a new study.

Skin tone more important than educational background for African Americans seeking jobs
For the first time, a study indicates that dark-skinned African-Americans face a distinct disadvantage when applying for jobs, even if they have resumes superior to lighter-skinned black applicants.

$6.5 million gift to establish hereditary cancer center at Georgetown University
As scientists continue to uncover the lifestyle and genetic factors that play a role in who develops cancer, a newly established center at Georgetown University may help current and future patients better understand their own genetic risk.

Penn researchers find many commercial drivers have impaired performance due to lack of sleep
Truck drivers who routinely get too little sleep or suffer from sleep apnea show signs of fatigue and impaired performance that can make them a hazard on the road, according to a major new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
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