Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 11, 2006
Electric jolt triggers release of biomolecules, nanoparticles
Researchers have devised a way to use a brief burst of electricity to release biomolecules and nanoparticles from a tiny gold launch pad.

Allocating HIV drugs to South African cities would prevent the greatest number of infections
The most effective way to control the AIDS pandemic in hard-hit South Africa would be to concentrate the allocation of scarce antiretroviral drugs in urban areas.

Wearing a helmet puts cyclists at risk, suggests research
Bicyclists who wear protective helmets are more likely to be struck by passing vehicles, new research suggests.

Life and death in the USA: New study concludes there are 'Eight Americas'
Life expectancy in the United States shows some remarkable variations -- from place to place, and between races.

Animal physiology conference sheds light on human physiology
If you're a bit weary of rewriting press releases, consider covering the American Physiological Society's conference, Comparative Physiology 2006: Integrating Diversity, taking place Oct.

Pitt scientists help bring world's smallest test tubes 'From the Lab to the Fab'
Just by picking up the phone, Nobel Laureate and nanotube pioneer Richard Smalley convinced University of Pittsburgh R.K.

Robots find regular teeth brushing helps them munch through 50,000 aluminium spot welds
A new automated polishing process produces 50,000 high quality resistance spot aluminium welds on just one set of electrodes.

New catalyst removes harmful perchlorate from groundwater
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new chemical catalyst that uses hydrogen gas to efficiently remove and destroy harmful perchlorate in contaminated groundwater.

Ingredient in Prozac increases risk of extinction for freshwater mussels
You'd think in a river filled with anti-depressants, freshwater mussels would be, well, happy as clams.

Census of Marine Life US National Committee hosts 2006 Marine Biodiversity Workshop
The U.S. National Committee of the Census of Marine Life is holding a workshop to improve understanding of marine and coastal biodiversity and the application of this knowledge to support sustainable and adaptive ecosystem-based management of living and non-living resources.

Doctors warn: Do not rely only on what young athletes say when managing concussions
When it comes to managing concussions in sports, relying only on an athlete's self report of symptoms is inadequate and likely to result in under-diagnosing the injury and the athlete unsafely returning to play following the concussion, warn doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

Forgetful? You may be losing more than just your memory
Older adults who complain their

Brown seaweed contains promising fat fighter, weight reducer
Chemists in Japan have found that brown seaweed, a flavor component used in many Asian soups and salads, contains a compound that appears in animal studies to promote weight loss by reducing the accumulation of fat.

Modeling the movement of electrons at the molecular scale
Marshall Newton, a theoretical chemist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory will give a talk about the theoretical techniques used to understand the factors affecting electron transfer at the 232nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Biodegradable napkin -- featuring sensitive nanofibers -- may quickly detect biohazards
Detecting bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances in hospitals, airplanes and other commonly contaminated places could soon be as easy as wiping a napkin or paper towel across a surface, says a researcher from Cornell University.

Air travel and flu: Post-9/11 restrictions delayed start of season
The onset of the flu season in the USA has been shown to be influenced by air travel.

Distinguishing friend from foe in the battle against cancer
The latest generation of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs specifically targets mutant enzymes or

SARS: No evidence that any of the treatments worked
The SARS virus set alarm bells ringing across the world when it first appeared in 2002, but now a review of the effectiveness of the treatments used against it has found no evidence that any of them worked.

NSF gives $12M to Rice to study nanotech's impact on health, environment
The National Science Foundation has extended funding for Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology with a five-year renewal worth $12 million.

OSA 'Frontiers in Optics' annual meeting celebrates 90th anniversary of innovation in optics
The Optical Society of America's Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2006, will cover the breadth of optical science and engineering.

Live H5N1 avian flu virus vaccines show protection in animal studies
When tested in mice and ferrets, experimental vaccines based on live, weakened versions of different strains of the H5N1 avian influenza virus were well-tolerated and protected the animals from a deadly infection with naturally occurring H5N1 flu viruses.

An artificial cornea is in sight, thanks to biomimetic hydrogels
At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, chemical engineer Curtis Frank will present a novel biomimetic material that's finding its way into artificial corneas.

Nanotechnology propels advances in regenerative medicine research
The promise of regenerative medicine and the nanotechnology catapulting it into the forefront of chemistry are highlighted in two papers being presented on Monday, Sept.

Islands spark accelerated evolution
That morphological evolution in mammals occurs more rapidly on islands than on the mainland is a long-held assumption, but it is now confirmed using data from a range of fossil and extant species, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

Drug improves memory loss for traumatic brain injury patients
Traumatic brain injury patients with moderate to severe memory loss improved their memories while taking the drug rivastigmine, according to a study published in the September 12, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Before dementia's first signs appear, weight-loss rate doubles in elderly
A long-term study of the elderly has revealed that their average rate of weight loss doubles in the year before symptoms of Alzheimer's-type dementia first become detectable.

Human activities are boosting ocean temperatures in areas where hurricanes form, new study finds
Increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are causing ocean temperatures to rise in key hurricane breeding grounds in the Atlantic and Pacific, according to a study that will be published next week.

A public health lesson from 9/11: To curb the flu, limit flights
A detailed analysis of influenza patterns indicates that the sharp dip in air travel after September 11, 2001, slowed flu spread and delayed the onset of the 2001-2002 U.S. flu season, report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston.

New Orleans 'toxic soup' a less serious problem than initially believed
Despite the tragic human and economic toll from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the Gulf Coast in 2005, the much-discussed

Of rice and hen: Fashions from the farm
In the future, it might be perfectly normal to wear suits and dresses made of chicken feathers or rice straw.

Exercisers may have better breast cancer survival
Women who reported the highest levels of physical activity in the year before they were diagnosed with breast cancer may have higher survival, according to a new study.

Childless women risk poorer health in later life
Childless women run the risk of earlier death and poorer health in later life.

Scent of father checks daughter's maturity
Chemical cues from fathers may be delaying the onset of sexual maturity in daughters, as part of an evolutionary strategy to prevent inbreeding, according to researchers at Penn State.

Understanding the chemistry of ionic liquids for nuclear fuel reprocessing
At the 232nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, Brookhaven National Laboratory chemist James Wishart will present his research on how ionic liquids containing the element boron could help to prevent runaway chain reactions in nuclear fuel reprocessing.

Do patients in teaching hospitals get better care?
Hospitals where doctors receive training are generally thought of as the most advanced type of hospital.

IOS Press presents commemorative volume on Alzheimer's Disease to her majesty, Queen Sofia of Spain
During the recent International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (ICAD), IOS Press was honored to present Queen Sofia of Spain with a commemorative edition of Alzheimer's Disease: A Century of Scientific and Clinical Research.

Researchers discover that sheep need retroviruses for reproduction
A team of scientists from Texas A&M University and the University of Glasgow Veterinary School in Scotland has discovered that naturally occurring endogenous retroviruses are required for pregnancy in sheep.

By analyzing and targeting specific germs, hospital hopes to improve pneumonia treatment
By analyzing patient characteristics and the particular bacteria causing some patients to develop pneumonia during hospital stays, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has developed treatment guidelines to more effectively target the germs.

Promising preclinical results with live attenuated H5N1 vaccines
Several approaches are in progress to develop vaccines against the avian flu variety of the influenza virus.

Funding to tackle hospital superbugs
A novel approach to treating infectious diseases is being developed by researchers at Cardiff University.

Inhaled corticosteroids reduce death in patients with COPD
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who use inhaled corticosteroids may have a significantly decreased mortality risk, according to a new study published in the September issue of the journal CHEST.

Accelerating weight loss may signal development of Alzheimer's disease
The slow, steady weight loss associated with aging may speed up prior to the onset of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, according to an article in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UW-Madison work on stem cells, cardiac health to be presented at ACS
Several University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers will present findings at the American Chemical Society's national meeting, held through Thursday, Sept.

Barrow receives a $382,869 grant from the National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Replacing insulin is top-ranked breakthrough foreseen for health in developing world
Eliminating the need for costly insulin injections for diabetics, regenerating heart muscle after it fails and improving resistance to disease by engineering immune cells top a list of 10 potential breakthroughs for health in developing countries seen emerging from the new world of regenerative medicine, according to a study by University of Toronto researchers published today in the prestigious journal, Public Library of Science Medicine.

Amateur boxing linked to brain cell injury
A study of 14 Swedish amateur boxers suggests that they have higher levels of certain chemicals in their cerebrospinal fluid in the days following a bout, indicating injuries to neurons and other cells important to brain function, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?
A new and insightful volume of New Scientist Magazine's quirky science questions and answers from its readers.

An advanced genetic diagnostic method for multiple myeloma
A researcher at the University of Navarra, Borja Sáez Ochoa, has proposed a new genetic diagnostic method for multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, which permits the detection of this disease in earlier stages.

Will stem cell-based treatments make a difference to the developing world?
A new study in the open access journal PLoS Medicine suggests that developing countries could benefit enormously from the new field of regenerative medicine, in which treatments are being developed from stem cells.

Unpublished papers reveal lesser-known, but significant research of Sir Isaac Newton
Known primarily for his foundational work in math and physics, Sir Isaac Newton actually spent more time on research in alchemy, as well as its interrelationships with science, history and religion, and its implications for economics.

Mysteries of Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa's highest mountain, and although it has been studied scientifically for over 100 years, it still hides some mysteries.

Study shows enzyme builds neurotransmitters via newly discovered pathway
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a previously unknown function of an enzyme that appears to play a primary role in the biosynthesis of a large class of lipids that help modulate diverse physiological processes, including anxiety, inflammation, learning and memory and appetite.

Newsbriefs from the journal CHEST, September 2006
Newsbriefs from the September issue of the journal CHEST highlight studies related to the link between obesity and asthma; chest x-rays and lung cancer, and the prevalence of sleep apnea in the United States.

Mechanism to organize nervous system conserved in evolution
A study led by University of California, San Diego biologists suggests that, contrary to the prevailing view, the process in early development that partitions the nervous system in fruit flies and vertebrates, like humans, evolved from a common ancestor.

Study considers auto industry and consumer behavior in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Tougher environmental policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector will affect more than the production of cars and light trucks.

Clean water project hit by funding drought
Thousands of lives in developing countries could be saved by a new type of water filter, say its British designers -- but aid agencies will not support the project.

Progression of diabetic retinopathy among African-Americans with diabetes
In a six-year study of African-Americans with type 1 diabetes, progression of diabetes-related eye disease was high and related to poor blood glucose control and high blood pressure, according to an article in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New breast cancer screening tool helps general practitioners
A new screening tool for the general practitioner effectively identifies patients at risk for hereditary breast cancer, according to a new study.

Jefferson researchers find potential biomarket for heart failure
A team of cardiology researchers at Thomas Jefferson University has determined that GRK2, a protein that plays an important regulatory role in heart failure, is elevated in patients with failing hearts when compared to patients with normal heart function.

Did 'ABCs' cause Uganda's fall in HIV rates?
A provocative debate in PLoS Medicine considers the two sides to the question of whether the ABCs are helpful or harmful in the battle to control the HIV pandemic.

High chemical levels in blood stream indicate need for action to avoid heart attack, death
Researchers working to decode chemical SOS signals sent out by disease-damaged hearts believe they now know better when to aggressively clear clogged arteries and when medical procedures may be unnecessary and even harmful.

Stubborn ulcerative colitis responds to arthritis drug, review finds
In good news for patients with stubborn cases of ulcerative colitis, a serious intestinal disorder, a new research review suggests that the drug infliximab can be a useful alternative if other treatments don't work.

Weightlifting increases pressure within the eye
Weightlifting may cause a temporary increase in pressure within the eye, with higher pressure occurring with breath-holding during a weightlifting exercise, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Over the edge: New therapeutic strategy takes advantage of stressed cancer cells
A biochemical alteration that has long been viewed as an adverse aspect of tumor biology may turn out to be a deadly double-edged sword for the cancer cells themselves.

Biodegradable 'napkin' could help quickly detect, identify biohazards
Detecting bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances could soon be as simple as wiping a napkin or paper towel across a table, according to Cornell University researchers.

Solar flares are tremendous explosions on the surface of our sun, releasing as much energy as a billion megatons of TNT in the form of radiation, high energy particles and magnetic fields.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants and risk of violent behavior
Use of one class of antidepressant drugs, the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), may be associated with severe violence in a small number of individuals say the authors of paper published in PLoS Medicine.

Anti-inflammatory drug prevents liver cancer in at-risk liver patients
Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug most often used to treat gout, prevented liver cancer in patients with hepatitis virus-related end-stage liver disease, according to a new study.

Migraine treatment also appears effective for cluster headaches
Zolmitriptan nasal spray, used to treat migraine headaches, also may be safe and effective in treating painful cluster headaches, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the November 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Two copies of G2019S Parkinson's gene mutation doesn't lead to more severe disease
Parkinson's disease researchers found no observable differences between those who have two copies of the most common mutation of the recently discovered LRRK2 gene and those who have only one copy.

Minnesota and Michigan reseachers discover new insights for antibiotic drug development
University of Minnesota and University of Michigan researchers have discovered a new method of developing antibiotics, an important step in fighting the growing number of drug-resistant infections.

Human activities found to affect ocean temperatures in hurricane formation regions
New research shows that rising sea surface temperatures in hurricane 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