Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2006
FDA approves new epilepsy indication for Lamictal®
The Food and Drug Administration today approved a new use of the anti-seizure medicine Lamictal® (lamotrigine) Tablets for the treatment of one of the most serious forms of epilepsy -- Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic (PGTC) seizures, also known as

National Science Board to meet Sept. 27-28, 2006
The National Science Board (NSB) will hold its 394th meeting Sept.

58 percent of older hospital patients have problems eating, 31 percent leave most of their meal
Fifty-eight percent of hospital patients over 65 have problems eating but few receive help and nearly a third leave most of their meal.

Stevens awarded US Commerce Department's Export Achievement Certificate
Stevens Institute of Technology will be presented with the Export Achievement Certificate during an October 4 workshop,

Bird flu vaccine additive may stretch supply
Researchers have achieved an effective immune response to an avian influenza vaccine with doses as low as one-quarter of the norm when they added a chemical mixture known as MF59.

NSF awards $3.3 million grant to Cornell to bolster the percentage of women faculty members
The National Science Foundation has awarded Cornell University a $3.3 million grant to boost significantly -- over the next five years -- the percentage of women faculty members in the university's science and engineering departments.

H9N2 avian flu vaccine paired with adjuvant provokes strong human immune response at low doses
When combined with an immune-boosting substance called an adjuvant, low doses of an experimental vaccine against a strain of avian influenza (H9N2) provoked a strong antibody response in human volunteers, report scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

MIT: engine on a chip promises to best the battery
MIT researchers are putting a tiny gas-turbine engine inside a silicon chip about the size of a quarter.

NASA study finds world warmth edging ancient levels
A new study by NASA climatologists finds that the world's temperature is reaching a level that has not been seen in thousands of years.

Sen. Alexander honored with 'Friend of Science' award
The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) today announced that Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is the recipient of its newly established Distinguished Friend of Science Award.

Study shows how herpes infects cornea, evades immune cells
Herpes virus has an unusual strategy for infecting cornea cells that may also explain how it evades the immune system, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

UC develops new approach to Web-based drug withdrawal warnings
The University of Cincinnati has developed a faster approach for informing consumers online when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdraws a medication.

Copper circuits help brain function -- could tweaking the circuits make us smarter?
The flow of copper in the brain has a previously unrecognized role in cell death, learning and memory, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Integrative Cancer Therapies journal accepted into prestigious ISI index
Integrative Cancer Therapies (ICT) published by SAGE Publications, has been accepted by Thomson Scientific (formerly ISI), for inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded(TM).

It might could is!!!
Scientists of the CDF collaboration at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced today (September 25, 2006) that they have met the exacting standard to claim discovery of astonishingly rapid transitions between matter and antimatter: 3 trillion oscillations per second.

NIH funds Berkeley Lab research on defense against radiological attack
Kenneth Raymond of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is the recipient of a $998,325 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as principal investigator of a program to develop new agents for large scale radiological treatment of humans.

Most widely used organic pesticide requires help to kill
The world's most widely used organic insecticide, a plucky bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt for short, requires the assistance of other microbes to perform its insect-slaying work, a new study has found.

Why Popeye only has eyes for spinach
Eating spinach could protect your eyes from the leading cause of blindness in Western society, say experts at the University of Manchester.

Groundbreaking study by Field Museum scientists explains mane variation in lions
An article appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Zoology sheds light on several longstanding misconceptions regarding the controversial topic of mane variability among wild lions.

UW-Madison to help steer five-year, $30 million 'Open Science Grid'
University of Wisconsin-Madison computer scientists will play a central role in the expansion of a national

Academy allocates 7.5 million euros for research on sustainable production
The projects that will be funded under the Research Program on Sustainable Production and Products have been selected.

What animals can tell us about hemorrhage, organ transplants and aging
The American Physiological Society's, Comparative Physiology conference, taking place October 8-11, includes six plenary speakers, 20 symposia, and hundreds of poster presentations.

Music helps patients tune out test anxiety
Patients who plug into their favorite tunes during a colonoscopy procedure may be able to relax enough to require less sedation, without sacrificing comfort, according to a new study by doctors at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital in Philadelphia.

Gene therapy study takes aim at prostate cancer
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) are hoping a new gene therapy that takes a gene called RTVP-1 directly into the prostate tumor will prove effective in preventing recurrence of the disease.

How butterflies got their spots: A 'supergene' controls wing pattern diversity
In an intriguing example of adaptive evolution, genetic linkage analysis identifies a conserved region in distantly related Heliconius butterfly species that controls the diverse effects of wing patterning and mimicry.

Real-time Plant Physiology: ASPB extends 'open access' benefit for members
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) announces a groundbreaking new benefit for members of the Society who publish research papers in Plant Physiology, the most highly cited plant biology journal in the world.

In stroke, negative studies less likely to get published
Stroke studies where the results are positive or neutral are more likely to get published than studies with negative results, according to an analysis of 45 years worth of studies published in the Sept.

Stock analysts likely punished for unfavorable recommendations
Investor relations professionals retaliate against analysts who don't give favorable stock recommendations on their companies by excluding them from analyst-firm meetings and refusing to answer questions during conference calls, according to a new study.

Learning to discern
From buying a car to making decisions about which political candidate to support, we use data in our daily lives.

When nerve cells can't make contact
Max Planck scientists have decoded the molecular details of a genetic defect that disrupts signal transmission in the brain and causes autism.

New study: Why CEO pay matters
Executive compensation scholars have released new, breakthrough research analyzing perceptions of fairness in executive pay and how CEO over- or underpayment cascades down to lower organizational levels.

Worries of injuries, errors, top list for world's best rugby players
Three worries--injury, mental errors and physical mistakes during play--accounted for 44 per cent of the stressors players from the United Kingdom and Ireland felt over the course of a study conducted in part by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

International team analyzes human genetic variation in key immune region
An international group of researchers today unveiled a detailed map of human genetic variation within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), the most important region of the human genome encoding the human response to infection, autoimmune disease and organ transplantation.

Resistant bacteria increasing source of muscle infection
An antibiotic-resistant bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasingly a cause of muscle infections in children, said Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) researchers in a report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Mother birds give a nutritional leg up to chicks with unattractive fathers
Mother birds deposit variable amounts of antioxidants into egg yolks, and it has long been theorized that females invest more in offspring sired by better quality males.

Heartburn drug may help to slow progression of chronic heart failure
An over-the-counter medication used to treat heartburn and acid reflux also appears to help decrease the debilitating effects of chronic heart failure, preliminary research shows.

USGS at The Wildlife Society: From sea-ice change to contaminants to predators and prey
USGS presentations at The Wildlife Society Annual Conference range from presentations on sea-ice change and effects on polar bears and walruses to a plague vaccine for ferrets and prairie dogs to contaminants and wildlife

Breakthrough offers new tool for studying degenerative disease
Scientists in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered a new technique to let them watch, visualize and precisely measure a key oxidant in animal cells, an important breakthrough that could dramatically speed research on everything from Lou Gehrig's Disease to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and aging.

Open Science Grid receives $30 million award
Scientists on the track to discovery got good news this month when a powerful computing tool received critical government funding.

Bacterial protein shows promise in treating intestinal parasites
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego and Yale University have discovered that a natural protein produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium sprayed on crops by organic farmers to reduce insect damage, is highly effective at treating hookworm infections in laboratory animals.

Early statin therapy for patients with acute coronary syndromes reduces death, cardiovascular events
Early, intensive therapy with statin medications reduces death and cardiovascular events for patients who have had heart attacks or other acute heart events, according to an analysis of previous studies published in the September 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

University of Georgia study finds far-reaching enrollment effects of HOPE Scholarship
A new study by economists at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business reveals that the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship has increased enrollment at the state's colleges and universities, but its greatest effect has been on the decision of where - rather than whether - to attend college.

Stroke survivors and caregivers to benefit from Kent State study
The quality of life of a stroke survivor is inextricably linked to the well-being of his or her caregiver.

Henri Poincaré Prize goes to Ludvig Faddeev
Springer editor Ludvig Faddeev was among this year's three winners of the Henri Poincaré Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematical physics.

Recycled paper and compost could both be key tools to control plant disease
New research by the University of Warwick should have gardeners and commercial growers competing for both recycled paper and organic waste composts.

Better sludge through metagenomics
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and collaborators at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Advanced Wastewater Management Centre, University of Queensland, Australia, have published the first metagenomic study of an activated sludge wastewater treatment process.

MIT tool aids cost estimates for complex projects
Consider the following scenario: A project manager at a major aerospace company is about to bid on the development of a new air fighter for the U.S.

Physicians often do not communicate important medication information
Physicians prescribing new medication often do not communicate to patients important details, such as potential side effects, how long or how often to take the drug or the specific name of the medication, according to an article in the Sept.

NIAID awards $4 million to develop anti-radiation treatments
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued five awards totaling $4 million to fund the development of products that eliminate radioactive materials from the human body following radiological or nuclear exposure.

Multitasking is no problem, but double talk overwhelms us
We can listen to a car radio and drive while keeping an eye on changing traffic conditions -- separate complex tasks completed without much trouble.

Jumping gene could provide non-viral alternative for gene therapy
A jumping gene first identified in a cabbage-eating moth may one day provide a safer, target-specific alternative to viruses for gene therapy, researchers say.

What affects the survival of patients with tuberculosis?
As the incidence of tuberculosis in Canada declines, so, too, does the experience of physicians with this disease.

Is Clostridium difficile-associated disease linked to use of common stomach medication?
Recently, controversy has surrounded a possible link of community-acquired Clostridium difficile-associated disease to the use of proton pump inhibitors, drugs commonly used to suppress acid production in the stomach.

MIT finds most complex protein knot ever seen
An MIT team has discovered the most complicated knot ever seen in a protein, and they believe it may be linked to the protein's function as a rescue agent for proteins marked for destruction.

Laser probe of a brain pigment's anatomy may offer insight into Parkinson's disease
In a finding that may offer clues about Parkinson's disease, a team led by Duke University researchers used a sophisticated laser system to gain evidence that a dark brown pigment that accumulates in people's brains consists of layers of two other pigments commonly found in hair.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Sept. 20, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from the 35 major journals.

Japanese adults with diabetes have increased cancer risk
Japanese adults with diabetes may have a higher risk of cancer overall and in several specific organs, including the liver, pancreas and kidney, according to results of a large study published in the September 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cancer survival compromised by poor staging methods
Most patients who undergo gastric cancer staging by lymph node sampling have inadequate assessments that compromise survival, according to a new study.

Race influences uterine cancer survival
African American women with uterine cancer have worse survival rates than Caucasian women who received similar treatment even though they had similar prognostic factors, according to a new review of four clinical trials.

Acorda announces positive Phase 3 Fampridine-SR study in people with multiple sclerosis
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) announced positive results from its Phase 3 clinical trial of Fampridine-SR in people with multiple sclerosis, a consistent improvement in walking speed, the study's primary outcome, compared placebo (34.8 vs.

Study suggests menthol cigarette smokers may have more difficulty quitting smoking
Menthol and non-menthol cigarettes appear to be equally harmful to the arteries and to lung function, but smokers of menthols may be less likely to attempt or succeed at quitting, according to a report in the September 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New path from estrogen to survival in breast cancer cells described
After years of research, scientists at the University of Texas M.

Study: Air travelers don't mind delays if security checks consistent
A new study finds that people are willing to endure the wait for airport security screening, especially if delays are consistent among airports and at different times of day.

Predicting species abundance in the face of habitat loss
Manipulating habitat volume and the presence of top trophic levels of an aquatic community reveals that trophic structure can determine species abundance despite habitat loss, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

Report highlights change in Canada's forests
Challenge and change are central to our forest sector, according to The State of Canada's Forests 2005-2006 report. 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