Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2006
Cause of nerve fiber damage in multiple sclerosis identified
Researchers have identified how the body's own immune system contributes to the nerve fiber damage caused by multiple sclerosis, a finding that can potentially aid earlier diagnosis and improved treatment for this chronic disease.

It's not just rocket science -- businesses need many different kinds of knowledge to compete
Outcomes of the Economic and Social Research Council's Evolution of Business Knowledge research program, that focuses on shifts in the way businesses create and exploit knowledge, will be highlighted at a one-day conference due to take place on Tuesday Oct.

HealthGrades 2007 hospital-quality study and ratings released; chasm widens between best and worst
The largest annual study of hospital quality in America, issued today by HealthGrades, finds a typical patient, on average, has a 69 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's 5-star rated hospitals compared with the 1-star hospitals.

Risk factors for developing complications from sleep apnea surgery
Patients undergoing surgery to correct sleep apnea are more likely to have complications if their condition is severe, they have a high body mass index, they have other medical problems or they are undergoing certain other surgical procedures at the same time, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

National Academies advisory: Commuting Trends in America
How do women and men differ in their commuting patterns?

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists taps Sarah Chayes
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has named writer Sarah Chayes as the first recipient of its Ruth Adams Award.

New hope for children when leukemia treatment fails
Clinicians at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have successfully demonstrated an improved technique for blood stem cell transplantations in children that shows promise for those most likely to fail standard treatment for leukemia.

Study shows that targeted antibiotics lead to prolonged improvement in IBS symptoms
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have found that a nonabsorbable antibiotic -- one that stays in the gut -- can be an effective long-term treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disease affecting more than 20 percent of Americans.

Most beachgoers accurately report their sun habits
Adult beachgoers participating in a research study accurately report their sun habits, including sunscreen use and clothing worn on the beach, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

BG Group and Conservation International launch Conservation through Photography Alliance
BG Group and Conservation International have launched a partnership to demonstrate how the power of photography can be harnessed as a critical tool for protecting the environment.

Warning about strategic manipulation of Internet forums appears in October Management Insights
The danger of firms manipulating Internet-based opinion forums by posting anonymous messages praising their products is the subject of a paper in the Management Insights section of the October issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

New study gives further hope that vitamin D can fight breast cancer
Vitamin D may help curb breast cancer progression, according to a study published today in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Asthma linked to soot from diesel trucks in Bronx
Soot particles spewing from the exhaust of diesel trucks constitute a major contributor to the alarmingly high rates of asthma symptoms among school-aged children in the South Bronx, according to the results of a five-year study by researchers at New York University's School of Medicine and Robert F.

DNA computing targets West Nile Virus, other deadly diseases
Researchers say that they have developed a DNA-based computer that could lead to faster, more accurate tests for diagnosing West Nile virus and bird flu.

First direct evidence that human activity is linked to Antarctic ice shelf collapse
The first direct evidence linking human activity to the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves is published this week in the Journal of Climate.

Lane departure warning systems help drowsy drivers avoid crashes
Four driver-warning systems that may help those who fall asleep at the wheel were recently tested and evaluated by human factors/ergonomics researchers at Ford Motor Company.

Yale-BioHaven Entrepreneurship Seminar: 454 Life Sciences aiming for the $10K Human Genome
The Yale BioHaven Entrepreneurship Seminar series presents 454 Life Sciences from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Red tide models and forecasts to be expanded in Gulf of Maine
A new observation and modeling program focused on the southern Gulf of Maine and adjacent New England shelf waters could aid policymakers in deciding whether or not to reopen, develop and manage offshore shellfish beds with potential sustained harvesting value of more than $50 million per year.

Potassium limitation, ammonium toxicity and amino acid excretion in yeast
An amino acid excretion mechanism is identified in yeast. This stress response helps purge excess nitrogen when ammonium ion toxicity is encountered, presumed to leak through potassium channels, in potassium-limiting conditions.

Boston University biomedical engineers win major grant for pursuit of the '$1,000 Genome'
Two Boston University biomedical engineers have won a major National Institutes of Health grant to continue groundbreaking research aimed at reducing the cost of sequencing individual human genomes to about $1,000.

Genomic comparison of lactic acid bacteria published
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and their colleagues have characterized the genome sequences of nine different lactic acid-producing bacteria, or LAB, and have published their findings in the Oct.

Medical student study to address workforce crisis
A new national study of medical students, their personalities, values and career aspirations will help inform future health workforce planning and assist in correcting doctor shortages in many communities.

University of Kentucky Project AGE provides elder-care training to future social workers
University of Kentucky College of Social Work's Project AGE will use a Practicum Partnership Program grant to train master's of social work students a broad range of elder-care methods.

Funding confirms UQ as backbone of Queensland research
The University of Queensland will receive more than 60 percent of the federal government funds for medical research announced for Queensland's universities, hospitals and research institutions on Oct.

Menzies receives $4.6 million funding boost
Darwin's Menzies School of Health Research has been awarded $4.6 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Who should receive vaccines and antiviral drugs in the event of a flu pandemic?
A new study in PLoS Medicine finds that 30 percent of nations have prioritized neither vaccine nor drugs in their pandemic influenza preparedness plans.

Campaigns on young people's weight miss point, says research
Campaigns that try to get young people to lose weight by focusing on their dissatisfaction with their appearance are missing the point, new research suggests.

Older breast cancer patients may be under-diagnosed and under-treated
Elderly patients with breast cancer who received care in a community hospital setting may have been under-diagnosed, under-staged and under-treated, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Simulation in a virtual combat environment puts surgical skills to the test
A unique study by human factors/ergonomics researchers in Norfolk, Va., concluded that virtual reality-based simulators can provide a safe venue for training military medical personnel in high-stress, high-workload conditions such as combat.

Listening to the sound of skin cancer
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia can now detect the spread of skin cancer cells through the blood by literally listening to their sound.

Growing up in a violent home: New study reveals secrets between sons and fathers
Research from the University of Cincinnati examines an understudied aspect of how a violent home can affect children long after they've grown up.

Mars Express and the story of water on Mars
For a number of decades now, astronomers have wondered about water on Mars.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- October 11, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Rush and UCSF found gene therapy appeared to reduce symptoms of Parkinson's by 40 percent
Ceregene, Inc., announced today that CERE-120, a gene therapy product in development for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, was well tolerated and appeared to reduce symptoms by approximately 40 percent.

UCSB's Glenn Fredrickson wins American Physical Society's Polymer Prize
Glenn Fredrickson, professor of chemical engineering and materials at UC Santa Barbara, has won the American Physical Society's 2007 Polymer Prize.

The dietary history locked up in strands of hair can help diagnose eating disorders
Women with eating disorders often cannot recognize their problem, or attempt to disguise it.

Hartford Foundation awards grant to address geriatric social work shortage
The Gerontological Society of America has received a five-year, $7.7 million renewal grant from the John A.

New treatment approach holds promise for children infected by dangerous respiratory virus
Working with laboratory mice, researchers have taken an important step toward developing a therapy for respiratory syncytial virus, showing for the first time that RSV damages lung cells by inducing the production of inflammatory reactive oxygen species -- an effect that can be substantially reduced by treating the mice with an antioxidant chemical.

Women on hormone therapy regain emotion response
Older women on hormone therapy are more sensitive to negative events, confirming speculation that age-related estrogen loss affects the brain's ability to process emotion, an Oregon Health & Science University study shows.

International pandemic influenza preparedness plans lack prioritization
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Ben-Gurion University report that one-third of countries engaged in pandemic influenza planning have not prioritized who should get vaccinations and antiviral medications.

Researchers stress the need to educate consumers about hazards of tire aging
Human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) researchers have found that vehicle owners may not be aware that older but relatively unused tires can fail and cause crashes.

UVa researchers seek to unlock broccoli's cancer fighting secret
Janet V. Cross, assistant professor of pathology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and her colleague Dennis J.

Small but substantial proportion of surgeons interested in part-time training
Medical students expressed increased interest in a career in surgery if part-time training options were available, and some residents, fellows and practicing surgeons would be interested in flexible training options as well, according to the results of a web-based survey published in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

ANU medical research attracts major funding
Health and medical experts at the Australian National University will be able to pursue a range of vital research projects thanks to new Commonwealth Funding totalling more than $13.5 million.

Study: Antibiotic gives hope to patients with IBS
A new study found that patients reported greater global improvements in irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and less bloating after taking rifaximin than patients taking placebo.

The Gerontological Society of America awards new Hartford Doctoral Fellowships
Eleven outstanding social work students have been chosen as the newest recipients of the prestigious Hartford Doctoral Fellowship, a program funded by the John A.

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, October 17, 2006
This tipsheet features the following highlights: Antibiotic gives hope to patients with IBS, and People treated for sexually transmitted infections are at high risk for reinfection.

Orthopedics surgeons at Rush perform total knee replacement surgery on computer Web cast, October 16
Orthopedic surgeons at Rush University Medical Center will perform a Total Knee Replacement surgery which can be viewed online on Monday, October 16, at 5:00 p.m., at www.or-live.com.

Radar opens new window into the ice for Antarctic scientists
Scientists are getting their first glimpse into the inner secrets of an ice shelf, thanks to the innovative application of a new radar technique developed by British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

Researchers discover key mechanism by which lethal viruses Ebola and Marburg cause disease
Researchers in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Caribbean Primate Research Center have discovered a key mechanism by which the Filoviruses, Ebola and Marburg, cause disease.

Pfizer to fund doctoral study fellowships, seminars in biostatistics at Rutgers
A Rutgers University graduate student in biostatistics is the first recipient of a doctoral fellowship funded by Pfizer, Inc., a leading pharmaceutical and consumer products company.

Prototype just-in-time medical device enables untrained bystanders to save lives
Human factors/ergonomics researchers at the University of Utah have created a prototype device that could make it possible for anyone -- even those with no emergency medical training -- to perform life-saving actions for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

Mass vaccination unnecessary in the event of a large bioterrorist US smallpox attack
Mass vaccination would not be necessary in the event of a large-scale smallpox bioterrorist attack in the United States, according to researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Preschoolers with ADHD improve with low doses of medication
The first long-term, large-scale study designed to determine the safety and effectiveness of treating preschoolers who have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder with methylphenidate has found that overall, low doses of this medication are effective and safe.

Jefferson lab programmer a finalist in Google's Global Code Jam
Michael Haddox-Schatz, a computer programmer at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, out-coded more than 20,000 participants to win a spot in Google's Global Code Jam 2006 Championship Round.

18th EORTC -- NCI -- AACR Symposium
There are just three weeks to go to the joint European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, U.S.

Antioxidant protects against lung damage in silicosis
Levels of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an antioxidant that protects against reactive oxygen species (damaging oxygen molecules that cause direct tissue injury), become elevated in the lungs of chronic silicosis patients and could represent a new treatment approach for the disease.

New guidelines for postoperative nausea and vomiting
After five years of reviewing the latest research findings, a panel of experts led by a Duke University Medical Center anesthesiologist has developed new guidelines to help physicians reduce the occurrence of nausea and vomiting in patients after surgery.

First case of heart recovery with VentrAssist reported
Ventracor today reported the first case of recovery of a patient's heart allowing removal of the VentrAssist left ventricular assist device after providing support for over 12 months.

Two-fold higher mortality from cardiovascular disease in older people with diabetes
A new study by Joshua Barzilay (Kaiser Permanente of Georgia and Emory University) and colleagues, published in the international open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine, finds that older people with diabetes are much more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than their non-diabetic peers.

ASU embarks on NSF grant for Nanotechnology Solar Energy Initiative
ASU scientists Rudy Diaz and Stuart Lindsay will lead a research group on a three-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for an innovative project designed to break through the current technological hurdles of solar energy.

Special chip provides better picture of salmon health
How do you tell if a fish is fit and well?

Study challenges belief that tree frogs depress metabolic rate after 'waxing' themselves
Researchers from the University of Florida explore wiping behaviours in a tree frog that waxes itself, and test whether these frogs become dormant to conserve energy during dehydration.

Brain changes in patients with migraine
Researchers from Harvard Medical School have found increased thickness of two areas of the brain cortex in people with migraine when compared to healthy controls.

Two medical devices win HFES Product Design Award
Two medical devices are the winners of the 2006 HFES User-Centered Product Design Award, which recognizes innovative and user-centered approaches to human factors and industrial design.

Europe's first polar-orbiting weather satellite ready for launch
Following the roll out to the launch pad and erection at the launch tower at the weekend, MetOp is ready for launch at 18:28 CEST tomorrow from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Prescription pain medication abuse on surprising increase, with unexpected geographic distribution
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center found prescription pain medication (PPM) abuse is a rapidly growing problem with surprising and often unpredictable distribution patterns.

HIV exploits competition among T cells
New HIV research shows how competition among the human immune system's T cells allows the virus to escape destruction and eventually develop into full-blown AIDS.

GPs need to be prepared for flu pandemic
General practitioners would be crucial in avoiding large numbers of deaths in Australia as a result of a pandemic influenza outbreak, researchers at the Australian National University have shown.

Children's Hospital Boston neurosurgeons to perform brain tumor removal during live Web cast
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, neurosurgeons at Children's Hospital Boston will remove a brain tumor employing functional mapping of the cortex on a 13-year-old pediatric patient during a live Web cast.

Early use of nicotine could increase susceptibility for life-long addiction
Nicotine exposure at a young age may alter the

Economic pressures can lead to unequal treatment of patients
Two studies in Florida show that pressure from hospitals and insurance companies to minimize health-care costs can negatively affect the quality of care for some people.

Hospital disaster preparedness in Los Angeles County
Researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center conclude that among hospitals in Los Angeles County, disaster preparedness appears to be limited by a failure to fully integrate interagency training and planning along with a severely limited surge capacity.

Computer-driven system reduces patient mechanical ventilation time significantly
For patients with acute respiratory failure, a computer-driven system can significantly reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation and length of stay in the intensive care unit, as compared with the traditional physician-controlled weaning process.

Using chemistry to predict the dynamics of clotting in human blood
University of Chicago chemists have demonstrated for the first time how to use a simple laboratory model consisting of only a few chemical reactions to predict when and where blood clotting will occur.

Study reveals ways to improve systems using new weather technology
Human factors/ergonomics researchers are working to ensure that improved weather radar data gathered through the Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere project will help emergency managers make faster, more accurate and more confident decisions about approaching severe weather.

Learning to live with oxygen on early Earth
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution and Penn State University have discovered evidence showing that microbes adapted to living with oxygen 2.72 billion years ago, at least 300 million years before the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere.

Berkeley Cancer Genome Center to study tumor genomics
The newly established Berkeley Cancer Genome Center is a collaboration among scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at San Francisco.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2006
The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has stories in the following topics: emission, microscopy, transportation and energy.

WEHI researchers awarded $51 million by National Health and Medical Research Council
The minister for health and aging, the Hon. Tony Abbott, has announced that WEHI will receive 32 National Health and Medical Research Council grants and fellowships, worth $51 million, as part of the federal government's half billion dollar commitment to health and medical research in Australia.

Lessons from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami topic of public forum
How coastal communities manage risks associated with major tsunamis is an issue of global importance following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 200,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage in 11 nations.

Stem Cell Conference in Washington
An Oct. 24 conference in Washington titled

Funding kicks off new treatments for diabetes and multiple sclerosis
A $5.23 million research program that will combine stem cell therapies with a rebuilding of a key part of the immune system -- the thymus -- to treat diseases such as autoimmune gastritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes is being pursued at Monash University following today's announcement that it has been funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council's Programs scheme.

Livermore scientists team with Russia to discover element 118
Scientists from the Chemistry, Materials and Life Sciences Directorate at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia (JINR), have discovered the newest superheavy element, element 118.
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