Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 05, 2006
Music -- the key to feeling good?
The Department of Psychology at the University of Helsinki is coordinating a wide-ranging EU-funded research project,

Elder's death at airstrip: Research exposes deeper issues
The death of an Aboriginal elder, who was left to die at a remote airstrip in the Northern Territory after treatment at Katherine Hospital, came as no surprise to National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow, Dr.

Mind the gap! Discrimination contributes to science pay disparity
Discrimination plays a significant role in the pay gap between men and women scientists working in UK universities, according to new research carried out at the University of East Anglia.

New research could help women facing high risk of stillbirth
Research by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick is helping evaluate the risks of stillbirth faced by pregnant women with diabetes.

Lay health advisers improve women's use of mammography
The number of rural, low-income women who choose to get mammograms may dramatically increase if those women get their health information from trained lay advisers in their own community, a new study shows.

ACTOS reduces stroke by almost 50 percent
Results of new analyses found that ACTOS® (pioglitazone HCl), an oral antidiabetic medication, significantly reduced the risk of recurrent stroke in high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes.

Stevens honors cybersecurity experts at Convocation 2006
On Sept. 6, 2006, Stevens Institute of Technology will formally welcome the Class of 2010.

Architects of the envelope
Every time a cell divides, the protective envelope that surrounds the nucleus is broken down and rebuilt into two new ones.

Gene signature assesses breast cancer outcomes
A test that looks at the expression of 70 genes linked to breast cancer can accurately assess a patient's risk of recurrence or death, according to an article in the Sept.

Childhood obesity briefing on Sept. 13
A new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies examines the progress made by obesity-prevention initiatives in the United States over the past two years.

A new clinical report from the AAP recommends dairy for children with lactose intolerance
A new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report released today in Pediatrics recommends children with lactose intolerance include dairy foods as part of a healthy diet in order to get enough calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients essential for bone health and overall growth

AGI publishing the Geoscience Handbook
The American Geological Institute announces the publication of The Geoscience Handbook: AGI Data Sheets 4th Edition.

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice joins the curriculum at NYU College of Dentistry
Students at New York University College of Dentistry will find a new item in their book bag as they start the new academic year -- The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, the foremost publication of information about evidence-based dental practice.

Young brainy students create world first
A new 3-D brain model is at the center of a project created by a group of postgraduate students based at the Howard Florey Institute.

Early alcohol dependence linked to reduced treatment seeking and chronic relapse
Previous studies have shown that early alcohol use increases risk for developing future alcohol problems.

Identifying risk for obesity in early childhood
A new research study of children's growth, published in the September issue of Pediatrics, can help parents and pediatricians determine the risk that a child will be overweight at age 12 by examining the child's earlier growth.

Eating protein boosts hormone that staves off hunger
The amount of a hunger-fighting hormone can be increased by eating a higher protein diet, researchers report in the September issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press.

Pall system to detect blood bacteria given CE mark
Pall Corporation announced the CE marking of its eBDS System to detect bacterial contamination of red blood cells, the most widely transfused blood component.

Other highlights in the September 6 JNCI
Other highlights in the Sept. 6, 2006, JNCI include a study that looks at a gene expression profile for neuroblastoma, a study on the use of community health advisors, a study of an enzyme that may slow breast tumor growth and a study of a therapeutic target for patients who develop pneumonitis.

Hormone-replacement therapy hurts hearing, study finds
The largest study ever to analyze the hearing of women on hormone-replacement therapy has found that women who take the most common form of HRT have a hearing loss of 10 to 30 percent more compared to similar women who have not had the therapy.

A 'recent' embosymbiont -- a rare evolutionary example -- offers clues to how plants came to be
Plastids are the photosynthetic engines in all algae and plants, and their origin and spread among eukaryotes, ultimately giving rise to land plants, was fundamental to the evolution of plants and animals on our planet.

Second graders dig into Healthy Choices, Healthy Me!
Healthy Choices, Healthy Me! second-grade nutrition education program, developed by Dairy Council of California, effectively conveys basic nutrition concepts and improves students' food choices.

Breast density helps predict breast cancer risk
Two new models for assessing patients' risk of developing breast cancer focus on breast density as an important predictor, two studies report in the Sept.

Pine tree bark reduces diabetic leg ulcers
A study published in the July journal of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis shows that Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, heals leg ulcers in patients who suffer from diabetic leg ulcerations.

More aggressive treatment warranted in patients with metabolic syndrome
More aggressive treatment with statins is necessary to lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in patients with coronary heart disease and metabolic syndrome, a syndrome composing of three cardiovascular risk factors (see editor's notes) according to an article published online today (Tuesday, September 5, 2006) by Lancet.

Research shows how ultrasound can deliver therapeutic molecules into living cells
Researchers have shown how ultrasound energy can briefly

New model emphasizes breast density as a predictor of breast cancer risk, large study shows
Breast density is nearly as important as age in determining a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new model developed by scientists from Group Health and seven other health care organizations in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.

Researchers identify neurons that assign value during learning
By using an experimental trick to activate certain sets of neurons and effectively substitute activation of these cells for positive or negative experiences, researchers have been able to identify neurons in the fruit fly Drosophila that are responsible for assigning value to stimuli during so-called associative learning.

Physician burnout associated with increase in perceived medical errors
Physicians who believe they have committed a major medical error in the previous three months are more likely to report symptoms of burnout and depression, which may also increase the risk of a future error.

Medical interns often work longer hours than mandated, at increased risk for injuries
It is common for medical interns to work beyond the recently implemented work-hour limits and be at increased risk for job-related injuries such as needlesticks and cuts, which were associated with longer hours and fatigue, according to two studies in the September 6 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Researchers find not all drugs are equal in treating teen drivers with ADHD
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have found that teenage drivers with attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD) drive better when they took OROS methylphenidate (OROS MPH), a controlled-release stimulant, rather than extended release amphetamine salts (se-AMPH ER).

Recycling technology
Scientists at the University of York are to play a pivotal role in new research aimed at averting a growing environmental problem caused by discarded liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Uninsured Latino children more likely not to get medical care
Latino children whose parents do not have health insurance are significantly more likely to go without a regular physician and medical care due to expense, lack of health insurance, difficulty making appointments and cultural barriers than insured Latino children, according to Glenn Flores, M.D, a pediatrician at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Depression, risky sex behavior linked in African-American youth
A new study from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Brown Medical School reveals that African-American teens with symptoms of depression are more than four times likely to engage in risky sexual behavior (i.e. not wear condoms).

UCLA study uncovers new risk factor for schizophrenia
UCLA scientists have discovered that infants who possess a specific immune gene that too closely resembles their mothers' are more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life.

The subtleties of tropical forest demise
Compelling new research deepens our understanding of the threats faced by tropical forests and wildlife.

NYU biologists identify gene that coordinates two cellular processes
A team of biologists at New York University's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics has uncovered a dual role for the gene mel-28.

Parents describe their spiritual needs when facing a child's death
A survey of parents indicates that they not only want the best medical care, but also need spiritual care when facing the death of a child.

Empty nesters can't let go
After some adult birds stop feeding their young, they ensure the inexperienced fledglings don't go hungry by calling them to the best foraging sites, researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered.

Drug combo may reduce protease inhibitor-related hardening of the arteries
Researchers may have found a way to decrease the risk of hardening of the arteries that accompanies the long-term use of protease inhibitors, a class of drugs that has emerged as the most effective treatment against HIV.

Virginia Tech trauma expert crusades for changes in disaster preparedness and recovery
A nationally known trauma expert and member of the research team that released the results of a comprehensive mental health study of Hurricane Katrina survivors suggests the publication of the findings is an excellent opportunity to make meaningful and lasting changes in disaster preparedness and recovery.

U of MN researchers develop mouse model for muscle disease
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have identified the importance of a gene critical to normal muscle function, resulting in a new mouse model for a poorly understood muscle disease in humans.

Diabetes slows nerve recovery after heart transplant
Diabetes has a detrimental effect on a person's ability to recover from a heart transplant, notes a study in the September Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

A cognitive strategy shared by human infants and our great-ape kin
In a comparative study that investigates ways in which our cognitive skills and characteristics as humans have been shaped by our primate ancestry, researchers report new findings showing that human infants display the same preferences as all other great apes in their strategies for remembering where things are, but that these preferences shift as humans develop.

Study uncovers mechanism of drug resistance in form of lung cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers and their colleagues have demonstrated that a genetic error so scarce it can't be detected with some standard screening equipment is often responsible for the loss of effectiveness of front-line drugs against non-small cell lung cancer.

Protein folding physics, nanohandles, sunscreen for algae and classical quantum weirdness
Highlights in this issue include: Quantum mechanics of protein folding; Getting a grip on nanotubes with nanohandles; Quantum weirdness at the classical scale; and Photonic crystal sunscreen for sea scum.

Many resident physicians not trained in the use of medical interpreters
A significant number of resident physicians receiving training in U.S.

NHLBI and NIH statements on totally implanted permanent artificial heart
Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first totally implanted artificial heart for patients with advanced heart failure in both of the heart's pumping chambers.

'Empty nester' parent birds use recruitment calls to extend offspring care
By studying a habituated population of pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) in the Kalahari Desert, researchers have discovered a surprising new way in which parent birds can extend the period of their care of offspring.

Cell-regulating gene may predict survival outcomes for breast cancer patients
A study led by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has shown that a cell-regulating gene overexpressed in about 30 to 50 percent of all breast cancers is associated with a better chance of survival and increased sensitivity to a cancer-fighting drug.

Physicians may have limited ability to accurately self-assess their own CME needs
Physicians appear to have a limited ability to accurately self-assess their own continuing medical education needs as compared with external observations of their competence, according to a review article in the Sept.

Bone mass continues to increase in liver transplant patients, despite early loss
A new study on bone loss in patients with liver disease before and after transplant found that those with the lowest bone density before transplant showed the most improvement afterwards.

Distress from self-perceived medical errors common among resident physicians
About one-third of surveyed resident physicians report committing at least one major error during the study period, often associated with substantial personal distress, according to a study in the September 6 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Scientists crack genetic secrets of human egg
Scientists at Michigan State University report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have identified genes unique to the human egg.

New evidence shows Antarctica has warmed in last 150 years
New research suggests that Antarctica has been getting gradually warmer for the last 150 years, a trend not identifiable in the short meteorological records and masked at the end of the 20th century by large temperature variations.

Programs help increase number of minority and disadvantaged students admitted to medical schools
Programs created to increase the enrollment of minority and disadvantaged students to medical schools appear to be effective, according to a study in the September 6 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Society of Nuclear Medicine offers free access to Journal of Nuclear Medicine
SNM announced today that its flagship Journal of Nuclear Medicine and the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology have moved to an open access publishing model, providing free, full-text online articles 12 months after publication.

What is it like to be on a NASA hurricane mission?
On Aug. 23, 2006, scientists on the NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses mission took an eight-hour research flight into a tropical disturbance.

Licensing arrangement reached for antiepileptic drug
A worldwide licensing arrangement for development, production and marketing of an antiepileptic drug created at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been signed by Shire Pharmaceuticals with Yissum, the Hebrew University's technology transfer company.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In the latest edition of Journal of Neuroscience, the following articles will be featured: Probing repetitive firing in pyramidal neurons; A well-rounded view of the fly synapse; Stimulus orientation and human stereo vision; and Mutant synucleins and cytosolic catecholamines.

Who gives stem cells their marching orders?
Researchers from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) have shown that a single gene involved in embryonic development is responsible for two seemingly contradictory activities -- maintaining stem cells after the embryo has implanted in the mother's uterus, and later providing cues to direct their differentiation in a coordinated fashion when the time is ripe.

Clue found to Epstein-Barr virus' ability to form and sustain tumors
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have found a viral target that opens the door for the development of drugs to destroy tumors caused by Epstein-Barr virus.

Hopkins-led study finds that chronic form of depression runs in families
The odds are more than two to one that people whose close relatives developed chronic severe unipolar depression when they were young will have it too, according to results of a multicenter analysis of more than 600 people and their families.

Carbon monoxide may help prevent debilitating pregnancy condition
New findings by Queen's University researchers suggest that administering low doses of carbon monoxide to pregnant women may help prevent the potentially damaging effects to mother and baby of pre-eclampsia.

Road-crossing in chimpanzees: A risky business
In a finding that broadens our understanding of primate cooperation, researchers have found that chimpanzees evaluate risk when crossing roads and draw on an evolutionarily old principle -- shared with at least some other primates--of protective

Radical surgery for kidney cancer is risk factor for chronic kidney disease
A retrospective study by urologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and their colleagues, suggests that this practice needs to be re-evaluated.

Designer babies - what would you do for a 'healthy' baby?
The well-educated are significantly more open to the idea of

Switchable lotus effect
Japanese Researchers led by Kingo Uchida and Shinichiro Nakamura have synthesized a compound in the diarylethene family whose surface becomes super-water-repellent on command.

After insects attack, plants bunker sugars for later regrowth
One gene activates a rapid SOS (save our sugars) response in young green leaves after attack by insect larvae.

Hebrew University ranked among top 100 universities
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the only Israeli university to be ranked in a new survey as one of the world's 100 leading universities.

Overweight in early childhood increases chances for obesity at age 12
Children who are overweight as toddlers or preschoolers are more likely to be overweight or obese in early adolescence, report researchers in a collaborative study by the NIH and several academic institutions.

Cholesterol implicated in progression of fatty liver disease
Cholesterol may play an important role in the progression of fatty liver to an advanced stage of disease that can lead to permanent liver damage, according to a report in the September, 2006, issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press.

Proteins necessary for brain development found to be critical for long-term memory
A type of protein crucial for the growth of brain cells during development appears to be equally important for the formation of long-term memories, according to researchers at UC Irvine.

Nanoscientists create biological switch from spinach molecule
Nanoscientists have transformed a molecule of chlorophyll-a from spinach into a complex biological switch that has possible future applications for green energy, technology and medicine.

Methamphetamine use restricts fetal growth, study finds
Results from the first large-scale, prospective study of prenatal methamphetamine use show that newborns exposed to the drug are more than three times as likely to be born underweight.

MRI on the cheap and on the go
When we hear the term
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