Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 17, 2006
Political scientists' models predict Democratic takeover of House of Representatives
Election forecasting models completed by political scientists months before recent events predict significant Democratic gains in the 2006 midterm elections, including a likely 22 seats in the U.S.

Springer expands life science program with In Vitro journals
Springer has entered into a partnership with the Society for In Vitro Biology and the International Association for Plant Biotechnology to publish their journals In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology -- Animal and In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology -- Plant.

Heart transplant from organ donor with hepatitis C associated with decreased survival
Heart transplant patients who receive a donor heart from a person with hepatitis C have a lower rate of survival, according to a study in the Oct.

The American Legacy Foundation and Mayo Clinic announce collaboration to reduce smoking rates
The American Legacy Foundation and Mayo Clinic announced today their first collaboration together, to marry the expertise of the Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center and the American Legacy Foundation's public health and marketing acumen to help smokers who want to quit to be successful.

Researchers give name to ancient mystery creature
For the first time, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, have been able to put a name and a description to an ancient mammal that still defies classification.

Successful one year gene therapy trial for Parkinson's disease announced by Neurologix
Neurologix announces successful completion of first ever phase I gene therapy trial for Parkinson's disease.

Childhood cancer survivors may have low birth weight children
Female childhood cancer survivors may face pregnancy problems, including early deliveries and low birth weight children, according to a study in the October 19 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

UCSD receives $52 million to lead Alzheimer's disease study
The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), a federally established consortium directed by Leon Thal, M.D., Director of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UCSD School of Medicine, will receive $52 million over six years to conduct several new clinical trials on Alzheimer's disease.

U of M identifies cell line that is resistant to retroviruses, including HIV
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified a protein that enables viruses such as HIV to infect cells and spread through the body.

Study finds that students in voc-ed classes with enhanced math performed better on tests
In a study led by the University of Minnesota, researchers have found that high school students who took vocational education classes with enhanced mathematics instruction performed significantly better on standardized math tests than students in a control group.

NJ Assembly Telecoms Committee to hear Dr. Fallah
Professor M. Hosein Fallah of Stevens Institute of Technology will present his findings on the decline of the New Jersey telecommunications industry in expert testimony to the NJ State Assembly Committee on Telecommunications and Utilities, this Thursday, Oct.

Our vision changes in the blink of an eye
A study by Scott Read of the QUT School of Optometry found the upper eyelid's pressure and shape of its opening work to change the shape of our eyes throughout the day.

Biofuel cells without the bio cells
Scientists have observed a first: direct electricity-shuttling from a protein to a mineral.

Experimental vaccine protects mice against deadly 1918 flu virus
Federal scientists have developed a vaccine that protects mice against the killer 1918 influenza virus.

Gene linked to autism in families with more than one affected child
A version of a gene has been linked to autism in families that have more than one child with the disorder.

USC groups present at Neuroscience 2006
Highlights from presentations by University of Southern California researchers at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

NAE president and US Assistant Defense Secretary keynote USC software conference
Dr. William Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering, and John Stenbit, Department of Defense CIO and assistant secretary for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, will keynote the inaugural convocation of the University of Southern California Center for Systems and Software Oct.

Hemorrhoid stapling has more long-term risks than surgical removal
Stapling of hemorrhoids -- a relatively new and increasingly popular procedure -- is associated with a higher risk of recurrence and prolapse than conventional hemorrhoid removal surgery, investigators report in a comprehensive review of clinical studies.

Large number of adverse drug events lead to emergency department visits
Each year, an estimated 700,000 persons experience adverse drug events that lead to emergency department visits, according to a study in the Oct.

MIT designs portable 'lab on a chip'
Testing soldiers to see if they have been exposed to biological or chemical weapons could soon be much faster and easier, thanks to MIT researchers who are helping to develop a tiny diagnostic device that could be carried into battle.

Other highlights in the October 18 JNCI
Other highlights in the October 18 JNCI include a study that suggests colorectal cancer surgery guidelines aren't often followed, a study that looks at aspirin takers and colorectal cancer risk, a study that examines a protein called relaxin and anticancer activity, and a study examining an activation pathway for two proteins involved in cancer cell death.

How ants find their way
Ever wondered how ants find their way straight to the uncovered food in your kitchen?

PNAS study reveals why organs fail following massive trauma
A team of researchers is working on the problem of post-trauma immune system and organ failure, and has discovered several new biochemical pathways that play a central role, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Latest weight-loss pill offers modest results, blocks 'munchies'
A new drug billed as a magic bullet for obesity -- rimonabant (Acomplia) -- does help people lose weight, although not that much weight, and also helps lower cardiac risk factors, according to a review of studies.

Internet addiction: Stanford study seeks to define whether it's a problem
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have taken an important step toward resolving the debate over whether compulsive use of the Internet merits a medical diagnosis.

The truth about rumors and why we believe them
In their recent book

Allergy drugs more harmful than helpful for chronic ear inflammation
Children who have persistent fluid in the middle ear, a condition called otitis media with effusion, are more likely to be harmed than helped by antihistamines and decongestants, a new review of studies has found.

Discovery's Edge is Mayo Clinic's online research magazine
Discovery's Edge, Mayo Clinic's online research magazine, highlights stories of leading medical investigators.

Virtual colonoscopy effective in preventing colorectal cancer
Three-dimensional computed tomography colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, is an accurate screening method for colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the November issue of the journal Radiology.

New study shows the benefits of eating fish greatly outweigh the risks
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health undertook the single most comprehensive analysis to date of the fish and health and found the benefits of fish intake outweigh the risks.

U of MN earns $7.9 million NIH grant to expand neuroscience research
The University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research was one of four institutions in the country to receive a NIH Blueprint Grant for Neuroscience Research.

Occupational therapy improves independence in stroke survivors
Occupational therapy significantly reduces the risk of deterioration after stroke, according to a new systematic review.

UT Southwestern recruiting patients for heart-failure device study
Physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center are part of a multinational clinical trial evaluating a unique implantable device designed to treat a larger number of patients with heart failure.

UCLA's J. Fraser Stoddart, colleagues make interlocked molecules
An enormous challenge to science is the generation of two individual molecules that are not chemically bound to each other but are mechanically wedged together to form a tight link.

A natural chemical found in strawberries boosts memory in healthy mice
Fisetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid commonly found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables, stimulates signaling pathways that enhance long-term memory, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in this week's online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New biomedical device uses nanotechnology to monitor hip implant healing, may reduce wait times
It is so small, you can barely see it, but a microsensor created by University of Alberta engineers may soon make a huge difference in the lives of people recovering from hip replacement surgery.

US Department of Transportation awards grant to Rutgers
Rutgers' Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation has won a rigorous national competition for funding -- $1 million per year through the end of 2010 -- as a Tier I University Transportation Center of the U.S.

Ecosystem of vanishing lake yields valuable bacterium
A team of researchers that includes an MSU professor is characterizing a bacterium found near Soap Lake, Wash., that could potentially clean polluting nitrates from fertilizer and explosive manufacturing plants.

Review of previous studies indicates health benefits from eating fish outweigh risks
Despite the risks of possible contaminants, the health benefits of consuming fish, including a lower rate of death from heart disease, exceed the potential risks, according to a review of previous studies, published in the Oct.

Dartmouth researchers find a neural signature of bilingualism
Dartmouth researchers have found areas in the brain that indicate bilingualism.

How will crop producers and Congress respond to higher prices?
Wheat, corn and soybean prices, which have moved higher since mid-September, have implications for the production plans of farmers and perhaps for farm policy, said a University of Illinois marketing specialist.

Brain protein improves stroke symptoms in rats, even when injected after 3 days
A protein naturally occurring in the brain improves recovery from stroke when injected up to three days after the onset of the stroke, and could be used as an effective stroke drug.

Potential new therapeutic target for asthma, allergies and cancer
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified how a bioactive molecule involved with allergy, inflammation and cancer is transported out of mast cells, according to findings published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New MUHC study adds more evidence to clear measles mumps rubella vaccine as a risk factor for autism
A new MUHC study provides conclusive evidence that the Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine is not associated with the development of autism spectrum disorders.

Parkinson's disease impacts brain's centers of touch and vision
Although Parkinson's disease is most commonly viewed as a

Vaccine against early stage malaria shows real potential, review finds
An experimental vaccine that attacks the malaria parasite in its early stages prevents a significant number of malaria cases, and should move closer to licensing and widespread use, according to a new review of recent studies.

Bacteria increase risk of lower stomach cancer, decreases risk of upper
The bacteria Helicobacter pylori substantially increase the risk of cancer in the lower stomach, but it may decrease the risk of cancer near the junction between the esophagus and the stomach, according to a study in the October 19 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Hospital Clínic starts a home-care program for bone marrow transplanted patients
A clinical trial started five years ago by physicians and nurses from the Institut Clínic of Haematology and Oncology, makes real a program permitting patients undergoing autologous bone marrow transplant to recover from their homes, avoiding from three to four weeks of hospitalization.

New data hint at oncoming cocaine epidemic
New data from UF and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show that since 2000 cocaine has increasingly been cited as the cause of death in coroner's reports, and that the number of cocaine deaths per 100,000 people in the state has nearly doubled in the past five years, from 150 in 2000 to nearly 300 in 2005.

IUBMB selects Wiley to publish Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that it has been selected by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to publish Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, effective January 2007.

Pediatric heart condition's origin, prevalence mirror adults
A study shows for the first time the underlying causes, frequencies and outcomes of dilated cardiomyopathy, which often leads to heart failure, paralleling those in adults with DCM.

New dwarf buffalo discovered by chance in the Philippines
The fossil of a newly described species of extinct, dwarf water buffalo was found in the Philippine island of Cebu.

Center for Sensory Biology Inaugural Symposium
The newly established Center for Sensory Biology in the Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins is believed the first and only of its kind to combine laboratories studying all the senses in one location.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps children with obsessive-compulsive disorder
Cognitive behavioral therapy reduces the severity of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents, according to a new review.

Study recommends fix to digital disconnect in US education and workforce training
Groundbreaking recommendations calling on government, educators and businesses to develop comprehensive strategies to use video games to strengthen U.S. education and workforce training will be released at a press briefing today, the Federation of American Scientists and Entertainment Software Association announced.

Widely prescribed diabetes drug falls short of promise, says new review
A new systematic review calls into question the health benefits versus risks of an oral medicine widely prescribed for diabetes throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

New titles focus on food safety: Fresh produce and tracking contamination
ASM Press announces the first two titles in a new series of books devoted to emerging issues in food safety.

How much influence do medical publications have on your doctor? A great deal, says new SLU research
New research by Saint Louis University in today's Journal of the American Medical Association asks two intriguing questions: How much impact do articles in prominent medical journals really have on how doctors treat patients, and how fast does that impact affect clinical practice?

80 percent of migrant workers' skills 'wasted' by Northwest job sector
A study of migrant workers in the Northwest, carried out at the University of Liverpool, has revealed the majority are employed in jobs that undervalue their skills.

Colliding galaxies make love, not war
A new Hubble image of the Antennae galaxies is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies.

Pre-operative breathing training helps decrease risk of complications following bypass surgery
Patients at high-risk of developing pulmonary complications such as pneumonia following coronary artery bypass graft surgery can reduce their risk through breathing exercises and respiratory muscle training before the operation, according to a study in the Oct. 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