Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 13, 2006
OHSU research demonstrates possible health risks for children born to overeating mothers
According to the latest research from the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), overeating during pregnancy may have significant and numerous health impacts on an unborn child.

tNOX serves as a serum marker for detection and monitoring of disease progression in prostate cancer
A team of researchers at Purdue University has found a protein in the blood that may prove to be more reliable than the standard prostate specific antigen test in measuring the extent of prostate cancer.

The sweet science: Viruses switch grip to gain upper hand
Viruses grab hold of the carbohydrates the protrude from our cells in order to mount an attack.

New treatments for epilepsy may benefit patients at University of Virginia
Neurologists at the University of Virginia Health System are now testing two separate devices to treat epilepsy.

Brown engineers build a better battery -- with plastic
It's thin, light, flexible -- and plastic. Brown University engineers Hyun-Kon Song and Tayhas Palmore have created a prototype polymer-based battery that packs more power than a standard alkaline battery and more storage capacity than a double-layered capacitor.

Astronomers trace the evolution of the first galaxies in the universe
A systematic search for the first bright galaxies to form in the early universe has revealed a dramatic jump in the number of such galaxies around 13 billion years ago.

Molecular medicine comes to the rescue
On Aug. 14, a six-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was one month old, checked into the Clinical Research Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Mutation plays key role in hypertension
The identification in rats of a gene mutation in an enzyme that regulates smooth muscle contraction and blood pressure -- the first genetic link to muscle contraction and high blood pressure -- may lead to improved treatments for hypertension.

Study to forecast side effects of pollution policy
The University of Michigan will lead a four-university team in a large-scale project to develop software to help analysts craft greenhouse gas reduction policies in the transportation industry.

Barcelona University, ESF to host nanomedicine conferences
The European Science Foundation and the University of Barcelona are pleased to announce the launch of the ESF-UB conferences in biomedicine.

Novel biomarker for prediction of survival in colorectal carcinomas revealed
Levels of a protein called thymidylate synthase within two separate compartments of a tumor cell -- the nucleus and the cytoplasm -- may be critical markers predicting survival in colorectal cancer, according to a study at Yale University School of Medicine.

Warming climate may put chill on arctic polar bear population
According to scientists from NASA and the Canadian Wildlife Service, increased Arctic polar bear sightings are probably related to retreating sea ice triggered by climate warming and not due to population increases.

Tulane researcher reports on origin of deadly fever outbreak
Daniel G. Bausch, associate professor of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and an international team of researchers identified multiple genetic variants of virus in an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998-2000, pointing to exposure to a host reservoir in mines as a possible source of the disease.

Changes in solar brightness too weak to explain global warming
Changes in the sun's brightness over the past millennium have had only a small effect on Earth's climate, according to a new study appearing in Nature.

Stem cells: Chemistry paves way toward promising therapies
Chemists are developing new insights and techniques to expand the therapeutic potential of stem cells, which includes possible treatments for Parkinson's disease, diabetes, spinal cord injury and other devastating conditions.

Engineer ramps up protein production, develops versatile viral spheres
Scientists are taking protein-making parts out of cells and putting them into systems to mass-produce designer proteins for a variety of medical uses.

Stolkin, a Stevens professor, publishes paper in elite journal
Rustam Stolkin, research assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, has recently lead-authored and published a paper in the Institute of Physics Publishing's journal, Measurement Science and Technology.

Metals in China: Protecting the environment
A new international collaborative research project that seeks to protect the environment from metal contaminants will be launched next Monday (18 September) in Beijing, China.

New technique detects early metastasis of breast cancer
In the U.S., a novel technology soon may be available to detect the spread, or metastasis, of breast cancer earlier than now possible, according to research presented at the first international meeting on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, organized by the American Association for Cancer Research.

Wiley expands partnership with Skyscape
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced a new agreement with Skyscape, Inc., a leading provider of interactive, intelligent health solutions for desktop and mobile devices, to make InfoPOEMs evidence-based medicine summaries available to Skyscape subscribers.

National Institutes of Health to map genomic changes of lung, brain and ovarian cancers
The National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the first three cancers that will be studied in the pilot phase of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project.

Jerome Groopman wins 2006 Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Reporting
Jerome Groopman, a staff writer at The New Yorker and a professor of medicine at Harvard, has been awarded the 2006 Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting for stories that combine sensitivity to patients' concerns with a thoughtful analysis of issues and controversies in medicine.

Short duration of depressive symptoms in teens may affect evaluation of drug treatment responses
There has been much controversy in recent years regarding the correlation between teenage suicide and the use of antidepressant drugs.

Can hearing voices in your head be a good thing?
Psychologists have launched a study to find out why some people who hear voices in their head consider it a positive experience while others find it distressing.

Motorola researchers develop selective sensors based on carbon nanotubes
A team of researchers from Arizona State University and Motorola Labs has developed sensors based on carbon nanotubes, microscopically small structures that posses excellent electronic properties.

REG1A and its receptor EXTL3 are prognostic markers for colorectal cancer recurrence
Two genes, known as REG1A and EXTL3, are overexpressed in colorectal tumors of patients who are at high risk of recurrence, according to a new study from the Max Delbrueck Center in Berlin, Germany.

Biologists probe the machinery of cellular protein factories
Proteins do most of the work in living cells, and the DNA sequences in genes provide instructions for making those proteins.

Molecular markers signal early metastases from ocular melanoma
Patients with melanoma of the eye are at risk for liver metastases, which are often not detected until they have turned into large, lethal tumors.

Particle size matters to bacteria ability to immobilize heavy metals
One of the most common bacteria in the Earth, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, influences the mobility and bioavailability of iron and environmental contaminants like lead, cobalt and arsenic.

Fuel cell membrane materials offer solution for removing salt from water
Researchers at Virginia Tech have created a new polymer membrane for reverse osmosis that will not be degraded by chlorine.

VIRTUE clinical trial opens to primary immunodeficiency patients across the U.S.
ZLB Behring has launched the VIRTUE Trial, a Phase IV clinical trial of the study medication Vivaglobin.

People often forgo using lifesaving beta blockers despite health insurance
Fewer than half of the patients who were prescribed beta blocker drugs following a heart attack and who had some prescription drug coverage were regularly taking them during the first year after leaving the hospital, according to a Duke University Medical Center analysis of more than 17,000 patients nationwide.

Arctic ice meltdown continues with significantly reduced winter ice cover
As far as temperatures drop in the Arctic winter, a new study shows that in the last two years sea ice is shrinking on the surface of Arctic waters to record low levels.

Expedition allows teachers to participate in polar research
What better way to engage students in science than to apply lessons learned from fieldwork?

Raloxifene reduces breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women at all risk levels
Raloxifene protects postmenopausal women from developing invasive breast cancer whether they are at high or low risk of developing the disease, according to a new study.

Continuous, real-time analysis of radioactive waste achieved at PNNL
An improved monitoring system for providing continuous analysis of high-level radioactive waste has been developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers and reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Long-term lead exposure linked to cognitive decline in older adults
Older adults exposed to high levels of lead before the 1980s are showing signs of cognitive decrements as a result of long-term lead exposure in their communities, according to a study published in the online edition of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

International Genomics Consortium, TGen to lead Biospecimen Core for Cancer Atlas pilot project
The National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, both part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the selection of the International Genomics Consortium in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute to lead the Human Cancer Biospecimen Core Resource component of the Cancer Genome Atlas pilot project.

New tool helps blood specialists improve patient care
The American Society of Hematology and American Board of Internal Medicine announce the development of the first in a new wave of performance evaluation tools for blood specialists.

Biomarkers of response to VEGF pathway-targeted therapy discovered for renal cell carcinoma
Angiogenesis inhibitors can be far more effective in treating metastatic clear cell renal cell cancer -- an aggressive form of the most common kind of kidney cancer that is also rich in blood supply -- than traditional treatments, according to accumulating evidence.

Anemia affects body ... and maybe the mind
For older adults, anemia's trademark loss of oxygen-toting red blood cells has long been linked to fatigue, muscle weakness and other physical ailments.

Aussie team makes landmark insulin discovery
A team of CSIRO scientists has determined the molecular structure of the insulin receptor, the protein on the surface of cells that mediates the effects of insulin.

Political party policies to reduce social inequalities have better health outcomes
Political parties which implement redistributive policies designed to reduce social inequalities have a positive influence on population health, according to an online/public health article published today by the Lancet.

High-throughput oncogene mutation detection in human cancers by mass spectrometry-based genotyping
Researchers have devised a new method to detect a spectrum of known gene mutations in a variety of cancer genes that they say is both sensitive and cost-effective.

Bath falls common among older adults, but can be prevented
Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower can be a perilous journey for older adults, even when they have bathrooms already equipped with safety features, according to research by the University of Michigan Health System.

Dieting danger: Female athletes limiting calories more likely to get stress fractures
Female college athletes on low-calorie diets could be putting themselves at risk for stress fractures, according to new Saint Louis University research published in this month's American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Test can predict spread of eye cancer to liver
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a method to predict whether melanoma of the eye will spread to the liver, where it quickly turns deadly.

Preventive ovary removal linked to early death in younger women, Mayo Clinic discovers
Death rates rise when women under 45 years old undergo bilateral ovariectomy -- surgical removal of both ovaries -- and do not receive proper hormone replacement therapy.

Mega-dams back on the agenda
The World Bank is

Arctic sea ice diminished rapidly in 2004 and 2005
The Arctic Ocean's perennial sea ice shrank abruptly by 14 percent between 2004 and 2005, according to a newly published study.

MIT's molecular sieve advances protein research
New MIT technology promises to speed up the accurate sorting of proteins, work that may ultimately aid in the detection and treatment of disease.

Sensitive and specific biomarker for early detection of prostate cancer identified
Scientists at a Maryland-based pharmaceutical company have preliminary evidence showing that a protein in the blood may prove to be a biomarker that is more sensitive and specific than current methods of early detection for prostate cancer.

What's next for gene therapy? Plastic
Gene therapy depends upon foreign DNA, even viruses, to deliver genes, therapeutic proteins or medicine to cells within the body.

National study: Patients poorly prepared for end-of-life decisions
Terminally-ill patients in Canada are poorly prepared to deal with end-of-life issues such as whether or not they will be resuscitated if they suffer a heart attack or other life-threatening medical complication, says Queen's University professor of medicine Daren Heyland.

Hope for major advance in fighting world killer disease
Project headed by University of Leicester scientists now being piloted in Indian hospitals.

South Asian men suffer more urinary problems than white men but are less likely to seek help
A study of nearly 8,000 men over 40 found that 37 percent of South Asian men reported at least one urinary problem compared with 29 percent of white men.

Clemson research cleans up with edible oil
Oil and water don't mix, and that could be the key to edible vegetable-based oil being the answer to contaminant clean-up.

Researchers reveal 'extremely serious' vulnerabilities in e-voting machines
In a paper published on the Web today, a group of Princeton computer scientists said they created demonstration vote-stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine.

Diabetics see dramatic increase in lower limb amputations
People that neglect foot and leg pain -- particularly diabetics -- can be at risk for amputation, with diabetic amputations increasing 227 percent since 1980.

A potential new affordable diagnostic test for TB
A technique that identifies proteins in the blood particular to tuberculosis could be used to develop a new diagnostic test for the disease, according to an online article published today by the Lancet.

A tNOX-based protocol for early detection of lung cancer in smokers and nonsmokers
Lung cancer is a formidable disease. While it is one of the most preventable cancers, with the vast majority of 160,000 annual deaths in the United States due to smoking, it is invariably difficult to find early when it is most amenable to treatment.
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