Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 02, 2006
New study explores role of theater in Maya political organization
Magnificent stone sculptures of Classic Maya culture (AD 250-900) have long fascinated archaeologists and the general public alike.

Salmon farms kill wild fish, study shows
New research confirms that sea lice from fish farms kill wild salmon.

EU grants 2.5 million euros for research on childhood gut infections in Latin America
Leading experts from four European countries and five Latin American countries have teamed up to investigate the effects of gut infections on growth and development in young children.

Rutgers College of Nursing to host Preparing for Natural Disasters Forum November 3
Michael S. Beeman, national preparedness division director and acting director for response and recovery division for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II, will speak about national preparedness for natural disasters at the Third Annual Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases sponsored by the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness in collaboration with the Center for Professional Development at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Fighting cancer with aspirin?
When looking for new weapons in the war on cancer, scientists should turn to their medicine cabinets for an age-old remedy -- aspirin.

Encouraging results in pancreatic cancer research
Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and the Brooklyn VA Hospital have found that when a human protein, PNC-28, is administered to pancreatic tumor cells in animals, the tumors are destroyed.

The Anthropology of Christianity: Continuity thinking and the problem of Christian culture
Anthropologists have almost no track record of studying Christianity, a religion they have generally treated as not exotic enough to be of interest.

Cracking the egg
A new paper by Jackson Laboratory researchers in the journal Genes & Development presents significant new information about what is happening within a fully grown, pre-ovulatory egg and some of the changes that occur during transition to the two-cell stage embryo.

Low birth weight infants may have cognitive and physical problems when they reach adolescence
Sixteen-year-olds who weighed less than 2,000 grams (about 4.5 pounds) at birth and are not disabled are still more likely than the average teenager to have physical and mental difficulties, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

One-third of US youth not physically fit
Approximately one-third of boys and girls age 12 to 19 in the United States do not meet standards for physical fitness, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Why do cold animals make bigger babies?
Reproduction involves a critical decision: Should an organism invest energy in a few large offspring or many small ones?

2003 power outage: Minister Lunn and Secretary Bodman release final report
The Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources for Canada, and U.S.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC surgeons save two lives with domino transplant
Transplant surgeons at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and UPMC have saved two patients with life-threatening liver conditions utilizing a technique known as a domino transplant.

New study: Preterm birth causes one-third of all infant deaths
Nearly twice as many babies died because they were born premature than official government statistics indicate, according to a new analysis of birth and death certificates.

How low should we go? Researchers find no clear evidence for ultra-low cholesterol targets
Americans have been trying to get their cholesterol levels down for decades, and in recent years experts have suggested that some people should aim even lower.

Home, home on the range: How much space does an animal really need?
Instead of wandering around aimlessly, most animals tend to stay in a certain area -- known as their home range.

Broadband's high altitude 'revolution' to gather pace at York
A conference in York later this month will signal the next phase of the development of an ambitious project to revolutionise broadband communications.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for October 3, 2006, issue
Highlights of the October 3rd issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine include: Medical misdiagnoses in the office setting are caused by multiple breakdowns; Hemodialysis patients whose care meets clinical targets have fewer hospitalizations and deaths; and Advice program for primary care doctors didn't improve depression.

Study links receptor to stress-induced alcohol relapse
Relapse to uncontrolled drinking after periods of sobriety is a defining characteristic of alcoholism.

Researchers estimate significant fatty liver disease in children
To gauge its occurrence, a UCSD School of Medicine-led team studied 742 autopsy reports and tissue analysis of San Diego County children aged two to 19 who died from traumatic accidents, homicide or suicide and had a medical examiner autopsy between 1993 and 2003.

Childhood lead exposure linked to increased injuries as teens
Teenagers who experienced high blood-lead levels during childhood appear to suffer more accidental injuries than those who had lower lead exposure, according to new research conducted by University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health experts.

Physicians slow to integrate information technology into patient practice
Although the use of e-mail and other Internet-based and computerized information resources has become routine in most professions, a survey of physicians across the US has found that fewer than half of them incorporate these common technologies into routine patient practice.

Gladstone investigators identify a new protective action for the powerful anti-HIV factor, APOBEC3G
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology (GIVI) have identified a previously unknown function of APOBEC3G (A3G), a protein that acts against HIV, a finding that may lead to new approaches for controlling HIV infection.

Foodborne pathogens hard to remove from produce, research is ongoing
Will you ever feel comfortable eating fresh spinach again? All raw agricultural products carry a minimal risk of contamination, said a University of Illinois scientist whose research focuses on keeping foodborne pathogens, including the strain of E. coli found recently on spinach, out of the food supply.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- September 27, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from the 34 major journals.

World Extend CEO earns top Rutgers-Camden Law Alumni honor
Terry Bienstock, CEO of World Extend, LLC, is the recipient of the 2006 Arthur Armitage Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers-Camden Law Alumni Association.

When two mutants collide: How XPD disorders can be partially rescued in compound heterozygotes
Effects of mutations in XPD were investigated in mice. Compound heterozygotes of otherwise homozygous lethal alleles demonstrated interallelic complementation and partial phenotypic rescue of XPD-related disease symptoms.

Conflict over rearing young shapes breeding systems
An article in the October 2006 issue of BioScience describes a range of evidence suggesting that conflict between males and females over which sex will raise the young has shaped the evolution of breeding systems in shorebirds.

Effects of new sleep medication appear unlikely to have potential for abuse or cognitive impairment
In a study of 14 adults with histories of sedative abuse, the newly approved sleep medication ramelteon does not appear to have effects that indicate potential for abuse or motor or cognitive impairment, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Association between neuroticism and risk for depression may be genetic
Genetic factors may be at play when it comes to the link between the personality trait of neuroticism and vulnerability for depression, according to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Rice's single-pixel camera takes high-res images
Using new mathematics and a silicon chip covered with hundreds of thousands of bacterium-sized mirrors, Rice University engineers have designed a time-multiplexed camera that takes high-resolution images with a single photodiode.

International Conference on Evidence for Health System Reform
Over 300 ministers, policymakers and academics from around the world will convene in Mexico City, October 4-6, to discuss the results of Mexico's work with health system reform over the past 6 years.

Anthropologist challenges species identification of ancient child skeleton found in Ethiopia
According to University of Pittsburgh anthropology professor Jeffrey Schwartz, author of the four-volume The Human Fossil Record (Wiley-Liss, 2002-05),

Molecular atlas provides new tool for understanding estrogen-fueled breast cancer
Lurking in unexplored regions of the human genome are thousands of previously unknown on/off switches that may influence how the growth of breast cancer is driven by estrogen, new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers has revealed.

Study finds 1 in 523 children and adolescents have diabetes
About one in every 523 children and adolescents in the United States had physician-diagnosed diabetes in 2001, according to estimates from a major national study called SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth.

Study offers new clues to brain-stomach interaction in overeating
Researchers at Brookhaven Lab have found new clues to how the brain and the stomach interact with emotions to cause overeating and obesity.

Highlights from the October 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The October 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Super chow, laced with semi-synthetic vitamin E derivative, inhibited spread of cancer in mice
A chemically altered form of vitamin E mixed into mouse chow dramatically reduced spread of aggressive mammary cancer in mice, suggesting that the compound in pill form could be used to treat human metastatic cancer, according to a report in the October 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

American Andrew Z. Fire shares Nobel Prize for discovering RNAi
Andrew Z. Fire, a scientist who discovered RNAi, or RNA interference, while at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology, along with Craig C.

Brief, high-dose steroid treatment offers extended relief to giant cell arteritis patients
A new study offers both hope and a practical treatment option for patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Monoclonal antibody reduces exacerbations in asthmatics
Patients with symptomatic moderate asthma who were treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha, an anti-inflammatory monoclonal antibody, experienced significantly fewer disease exacerbations than individuals taking a placebo.

MetOp launch postponed
EUMETSAT has announced that on Saturday 30 September the upper composite (comprising the MetOp spacecraft, the Fregat upper stage and the Soyuz fairing) experienced a slight mechanical shock.

Looking for new approaches to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Infection with Entercoccus faecalis can cause bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves that if not treated with antibiotics results in death.

New study aims to stop sepsis in its tracks
Sepsis is the second leading killer in the ICU. A 5-year grant of more than $8.4 million will nationally test the first set of standard procedures to diagnose and treat sepsis in emergency departments.

Record ozone loss during 2006 over South Pole
Ozone measurements made by ESA's Envisat satellite have revealed the ozone loss of 40 million tons on 2 October 2006 has exceeded the record ozone loss of about 39 million tons for 2000.

How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve from radially symmetric ones?
How did bilaterally symmetric flowers evolve from radially symmetric ones?

ADHD costly before and after diagnosis
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) use more health services in the two years before and two years after they are diagnosed than do children without ADHD, with white children accumulating more expenses than those of other ethnicities, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

One-of-a-kind imaging probe reveals secrets useful for drug discovery
Using a refined version of nuclear magnetic resonance technology, or NMR, University of Florida scientists have unlocked secrets hidden in tiny amounts of venom taken from spindly insects called common two-stripe walking sticks.

Cialis improves sexual function for prostate cancer survivors
In the first randomized trial of its kind, Tadalafil, a drug typically prescribed for erectile dysfunction in men, has been proven to increase the sexual function of prostate cancer survivors, according to a study released today from the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Ohio University researchers create improved magnetic-semiconductor sandwich
Researchers at Ohio University have created an improved magnetic semiconductor that solves a problem spintronics scientists have been investigating for years.

A new player in nuclear import of HIV-1
HIV-1 reverse transcription and pre-integration complexes (RTC) are imported into the nucleus, where they integrate into the cellular DNA; some tRNA species undergo nuclear re-uptake and promote HIV RTC nuclear import.

Stellar vampires unmasked
Astronomers have found possible proofs of stellar vampirism in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae.

Researchers receive $12.8 million NIH grant to improve diagnosis/treatment of chronic lung disease
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a $12.8 million grant to improve the diagnosis and predict the therapeutic response of several devastating lung diseases.

Why don't all moles progress to melanoma?
Scientists know that 30 percent of all melanomas begin in a mole.

British cattle give TB to badgers, finds UC Davis expert
The controversial practice of killing wild badgers to prevent tuberculosis in cattle is unlikely to succeed, according to a new study led by Rosie Woodroffe, an ecologist at the University of California, Davis, and a member of Britain's Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB.

OHSU researchers demonstrate how white blood cells cannibalize virus-infected cells
Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University have demonstrated how certain white blood cells literally eat virus-infected cells while fighting disease at the microscopic level.

Pitt to receive $8.4 million from NIH to determine best treatments for sepsis
Sepsis is among the most deadly and costly disease in the United States, affecting 750,000 Americans at cost hospitals of $17 billion each year.

Compound eyes, evolutionary ties
Biologists at UCSD have discovered that the presence of a key protein in the compound eyes of the fruit fly allows the formation of distinct light gathering units in each of its 800 unit eyes, an evolutionary change to an 'open system' that enabled insects to make significant improvements in visual acuity and angular sensitivity.

A plan for reintroducing megafauna to North America
Dozens of megafauna (large animals over 100 pounds) -- such as giant tortoises, horses, elephants and cheetah -- went extinct in North America 13,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene.

Unique gene regulation gives chilly bugs survival advantage at bottom of the world
The larvae of Antarctic midges never stop producing special proteins that minimize environmental stress, allowing them to withstand a range of intense environmental conditions in one of the world's harshest environments.

New study explains why hotter is better for insects
Organisms have been able to adapt to environments ranging from cold polar oceans to hot thermal vents.

JCI table of contents: Oct. 2, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.

NYU, Pratt Institute researchers find why ultramarine blue fades
The restoration of Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has left visitors in awe of the work's original majesty -- notably the brilliance of the blue that graces the Last Judgment's sky.

Updated guidelines on diagnosis, treatment of Lyme disease
In response to growing concern and confusion about Lyme disease, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has updated its Clinical Practice Guidelines on the disease, in order to provide guidance to physicians and patients based on the latest scientific evidence.

New wood-plastic composites to boost industry, help use waste products
Wood science researchers in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University have developed new wood-plastic composites that are stronger and less expensive than any similar products now available -- a major breakthrough for this growing industry.

New blood tests aid detection of latent tuberculosis
Thanks to the availability of two new blood tests called T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold, physicians around the world can better detect latent tuberculosis (TB) infection.

Alaskan storm cracks giant iceberg to pieces in faraway Antarctica
A severe storm that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska in October 2005 generated an ocean swell that six days later broke apart a giant iceberg floating near the coast of Antarctica, more than 8,300 miles away.

Drug used for advanced cancer could cause exposed bone in jaw
A type of drug used to strengthen bones when cancer has spread there may be linked to a side effect that involves deterioration of the jaw bone, according to two new reviews of cancer literature.

Plastic surgery reflects on its past; Highlights innovations for the future of the specialty
Plastic Surgery 2006, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annual scientific meeting, will include presentations by experts discussing cutting-edge techniques and developments and the latest issues affecting plastic surgery.

Progesterone shows promise as treatment for traumatic brain injuries
Giving progesterone to trauma victims shortly following brain injury may reduce the risk of death and the degree of disability and appears to be safe, according to results from the first clinical trial of its kind in the world.

Resistance to chemotherapy in lung cancer, optimizing flu vaccination strategies
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of PLoS Medicine: KEAPing tumor cells susceptible to chemotherapy; Comparing influenza vaccine strategies: shots for those at high risk of catching the flu or those most likely to die if they do?; Assessing groups of genetic variants improves prediction of type 2 diabetes; Tuberculosis Recurrence and Mortality after Successful Treatment: Impact of Drug Resistance; and Unhealthy myths about the HIV epidemic in Asia.

Study recommends strategies for distributing flu vaccine during shortage
When faced with potential vaccine shortages during a flu outbreak, public health officials can turn to a new study by mathematical biologists at the University of Texas at Austin to learn how to best distribute the vaccine.

Improving textile hygiene
One of the problems protective clothing and sportswear manufacturers are faced with is finding a polypropylene-based fabric which remains comfortable and hygienic to its users.

Negative effects of caffeine are stronger on daytime sleep than on nocturnal sleep
A new study at the Université de Montréal has concluded that people drinking coffee to get through a night shift or a night of studying will strongly hurt their recovery sleep the next day.

Second-generation antipsychotic medications appear to offer little advantage over older drugs
Among patients with schizophrenia whose medication is changed because of ineffectiveness or harmful side effects, second-generation antipsychotic drugs do not appear to offer significant benefits compared to first-generation antipsychotic drugs, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Italian public smoking ban leads to fall in hospital heart attack admissions in under 60s
Hospital admissions for acute heart attack in people under 60 fell by 11 percent in the Piedmont region of Italy in the five months after the introduction of a ban on smoking in indoor public places, compared with admissions for the same period in the previous year, researchers report in the European Heart Journal (3 October).

Short episodes of manic symptoms may indicate bipolar disorder in some youth
Not all children with bipolar disorder may be getting properly identified because they fall just short of meeting diagnostic criteria for the disorder -- criteria that is based on adult experiences -- finds a study that examines the characteristics of children and adolescents who have symptoms of mania.

Bypass surgery tops angioplasty for sickest heart patients
Patients with severe coronary artery disease live longer if they receive coronary artery bypass surgery as their initial treatment instead of artery-opening angioplasty or heart medications, according to a Duke University Medical Center analysis. 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