Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 23, 2006
Anxiety disorders linked to physical conditions
Anxiety disorders appear to be independently associated with several physical conditions, including thyroid disease, respiratory disease, arthritis and migraine headaches, according to a report in the Oct.

Groups and grumps: Study identifies 'sociality' neurons
A University of California, San Diego study has for the first time identified brain cells that influence whether birds of a feather will, or will not, flock together.

Experimenters at Fermilab discover exotic relatives of protons and neutrons
Scientists of the CDF collaboration at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced today (October 23, 2006) the discovery of two rare types of particles, exotic relatives of the much more common proton and neutron.

Social medicine in the 21st century
This week PLoS Medicine publishes a unique collection of articles devoted to social and cultural aspects of medicine, featuring some of the leaders in the field, such as Paul Farmer, David Satcher, Arthur Kleinman, Leon Eisenberg, Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Rafael Campo.

Genetic disorder linked to rapid lung function decline in some World Trade Center rescue workers
New research presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, shows a rare genetic disorder known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may predispose patients to developing lung conditions, but a new rapid-response test could help identify patients with the deficiency before significant lung damage has occurred.

Sunflower speciation highlights roles for transposable elements in evolution
In a finding that furthers our understanding of how hybridization may contribute to genome changes and the evolution of new species, researchers have found that the genomes of three sunflower species that arose in evolution as hybrids of the same two parental types have undergone a massive proliferation of genetic entities known as transposable elements.

NASA sun satellites, with UNH sensors aboard, poised to launch
NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) mission, poised to launch this Wednesday evening, will dramatically improve understanding of the powerful solar eruptions that can send more than a billion tons of the sun's outer atmosphere hurtling into space.

Many teens lose migraines as they reach adulthood
There's good news for kids and teens with migraines. Nearly 40 percent of kids and teens with migraine no longer had headaches 10 years later, and another 20 percent developed less severe headaches, according to a new study published in the Oct.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Oct. 18, 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.

'Fruit fly dating game' provides clues to our reproductive prowess
Queen's University researchers have discovered that seeking out the most attractive mate may be unhealthy for any offspring.

Circadian gene helps the brain predict mealtime
By investigating how animals can predict the timing of food availability, researchers have identified the first gene critical for anticipation of mealtime.

Mayo Clinic study suggests that a central nervous system viral infection can lead to memory deficits
In one of the first known laboratory studies that explores memory deficits associated with a viral infection of the central nervous system, Mayo Clinic researchers have evidence that this infection can lead to memory loss late in life.

NIH scientists who helped develop FDA-approved cervical cancer vaccine to be honored
More than 150 distinguished guests and eminent physicians will host an award lecture recognizing the two NIH scientists whose research resulted in the clinical development of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine against cervical cancer.

'Umbrella' valve provides a potential alternative to lung surgery
A new umbrella-like valve is shown to be a safe and effective substitute for lung surgery in COPD patients with emphysema, shows new research presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Civil society movement calls for transparency in the WHO director-general elections
The nontransparent process currently taking place to select the head of the World Health Organization is unacceptable, say the People's Health Movement -- a worldwide network of individuals and civil society organizations -- in a viewpoint published online today Oct.

Gut check
University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have discovered what appears to be the first evidence of parasites in the gut contents of a dinosaur, indicating even the giants that roamed Earth 75 million years ago were beset by stomach worms.

Carnegie Mellon uses new imaging technique to discover differences in brains of people with autism
Using a new form of brain imaging known as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), researchers in the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered that the so-called white matter in the brains of people with autism has lower structural integrity than in the brains of normal individuals.

Healthy men who drink moderately have reduced risk of heart attack
For men with healthy lifestyle habits, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may be associated with a lower risk of heart attack than drinking heavily or not drinking at all, according to a report in the Oct.

San Jacinto fault is younger than thought, rises in seismic importance
A detailed study of sedimentary rocks exposed along a portion of southern California's San Jacinto fault zone shows the fault to be no older than 1.1 million to 1.3 million years and that its long-term slip rate is probably faster than previously thought.

New evidence of early horse domestication
Soil from a Copper Age site in northern Kazakhstan has yielded new evidence for domesticated horses up to 5,600 years ago.

Study: Media rarely notes when alcohol plays role in violent crimes and accidents
The news media seriously underreport the role alcohol plays in violent crimes, injuries and traffic accidents, according to a new national study.

Study finds race affects African American survival of breast cancer
African American women with breast cancer were more likely to have larger, later-stage tumors that were more difficult to treat and also had lower survival rates than Hispanic and Caucasian women who received the same treatment in two independent series of clinical trials examined by researchers from the University of Texas M.

Honey bee genome holds clues to social behavior
By studying the humble honey bee, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have come a step closer to understanding the molecular basis of social behavior in humans.

Should patients undergoing surgery get ASA?
A national survey of Canadian surgeons by researchers at McMaster University found little consistency in their use of the blood thinner ASA in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

Researchers report initial success in promising approach to prevent tooth decay
A team of researchers report they have created a new smart anti-microbial treatment that can be chemically programmed to seek out and kill a specific cavity-causing species of bacteria, leaving the good bacteria untouched.

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to speak at Yale Dam Conference
Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton Administration, will deliver the keynote address to open a conference

Popular ADHD drug safe and effective for pre-schoolers
A new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and five other medical centers concludes that carefully measured, low doses of methylphenidate (Ritalin) are safe and effective for attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschoolers.

Analysis: Condition could predict life or death in heart patients
A growing health problem affecting older Americans puts them at higher risk for dying after heart surgery and other interventional procedures, such as heart catheterizations, according to findings published in the current edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and co-authored by two leading University of Kentucky cardiologists.

UGA study identifies North American wild bird species that could transmit bird flu
University of Georgia researchers have found that the common wood duck and laughing gull are very susceptible to highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses and have the potential to transmit them.

Undergraduate helps discover beautiful quark combinations
University of Rochester physics undergraduate Scott Field participated in the search for two subatomic particles whose existence was announced today by scientists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois.

Steep oxygen decline halted first land colonization by Earth's sea creatures
New research suggests a multimillion year gap in the colonization of Earth's land by marine creatures might have been caused by a sharp drop in atmospheric oxygen.

Age-related changes in DNA repair illuminate the connection between age and genetic damage
Researchers have uncovered a new way in which the aging process is linked to DNA damage -- which occurs normally as a result of cell metabolism and environmental influences -- and the various ways in which cells repair that damage.

Geologists make better estimates of rock ages, study global climate change
Ohio State University geologists have found that important rocks from Niagara Gorge -- rock formations that are used to judge the ages of rocks and fossils around North America -- formed five times faster than previously thought.

Vegetables, not fruit, help fight memory problems in old age
Eating vegetables, not fruit, helps slow down the rate of cognitive change in older adults, according to a study published in the Oct.

Disappearing nest egg: Researcher studying declining numbers of macaws
One of the most colorful birds in the world may have a less-than-colorful future.

Statins reduce risk of stroke in heart patients
Statins can significantly reduce the incidence of stroke, myocardial infarction, or all-cause death in patients with severe carotid arterial disease not revascularized, according to a new study presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Large community spirometry screening proves successful
New research, presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, shows that patients' knowledge of their own lung function, coupled with telephone calls from quit lines, can be a motivator for successful smoking cessation.

Computer-based 'games' enhance mental function in patients with Alzheimer's
Computer-based tasks aimed at increasing mental activity and enhancing mental function can improve cognition in patients with Alzheimer's disease, serving as an effective addition to medications commonly used to treat the disease.

America's energy and resource future
Two sessions at this week's 118th annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America address critical issues related to energy and other resource industries.

Obesity a growing problem in the Indo-Asian population
Jafar and colleagues estimated the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Pakistan from data from the National Health Survey of Pakistan for 1990-1994.

Depression symptoms less likely in kids with accurate self-perceptions
Children who can accurately assess how their classmates feel about them -- even if those feelings are negative -- are less likely to show symptoms of depression, according to Florida State University researchers in Tallahassee, Florida.

Study suggests evolutionary link between diet, brain size in orangutans
In a study of orangutans living on the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, scientists from Duke University and the University of Zurich have found what they say is the first demonstration in primates of an evolutionary connection between available food supplies and brain size.

Elderly men with low testosterone levels more likely to fall
Low testosterone levels may be associated with a higher risk of falling in older men, according to a report in the Oct.

Scientists find a key to immune system's ability to remember
An international team of scientists has ferreted out an important clue to how the key cells of the immune system are able to remember old foes and quickly mount a response to hold them at bay.

Cancer survivors recognized for helping Philadelphia-area patients
ASTRO has named Rita Davis-Goldsberry of Newark, Del., as the 2006 Survivor Circle Award Winner and Barbara Knight-Meyers, Ph.D., as the 2006 Distinguished Honoree.

Stretching bone marrow stem cells pushes them towards becoming blood vessel
When stretched, a type of adult stem cell taken from bone marrow can be nudged towards becoming the type of tissue found in blood vessels, according to a new study by UC Berkeley bioengineers.

AMITIZA (lubiprostone) Phase III constipation trial results
In recent studies, AMITIZA (tm) (lubiprostone) demonstrated improvements in relief of symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), such as abdominal bloating and discomfort.

Researchers add to understanding of how brain cells communicate
An hour from now, will you remember reading this? It all depends on proteins in your brain called NMDA receptors, which allow your neurons to communicate with each other.

Diversity promotes cooperation among microbes
Understanding how cooperation evolves and is maintained represents one of evolutionary biology's thorniest problems.

Drug combo improves survival in patients with COPD
A combination of inhaled salmeterol and fluticasone propionate may reduced the risk of death in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, shows new research presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Blue eyes -- A clue to paternity
Before you request a paternity test, spend a few minutes looking at your child's eye color.

Diabetes gene carries similar risk to obesity
Carrying two copies of a common variant of a particular gene doubles your chances of developing diabetes and puts you in a similar risk category to being clinically obese, according to a collaborative study led by UCL (University College London) researchers.

Vegetables, not fruit, help fight memory problems in old age
Eating vegetables, not fruit, helps slow down the rate of cognitive change in older adults, according to a study published in the Oct.

Far more than a meteor killed dinos
There's growing evidence that the dinosaurs and most their contemporaries were not wiped out by the famed Chicxulub meteor impact, according to a paleontologist who says multiple meteor impacts, massive volcanism in India and climate changes culminated in the end of the Cretaceous Period.

Bargain or waste of money? Consumers don't always agree
Marketing executives should add new product features for upgraders and improve existing ones for first-time buyers if they want to sell more products, according to an assistant professor of marketing.

Study demonstrated AMITIZA (lubiprostone) showed efficacy
Results of a secondary analysis of two pivotal studies were presented today at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), and showed that 60 percent of patients treated with AMITIZA (TM) (lubiprostone) experienced a spontaneous bowel movement (SBM) within 24 hours of treatment, and 80 percent experienced a SBM within 48 hours of treatment.

UCF professor drives scientific stake into the heart of ghost, vampire myths
Ghosts cannot walk like humans and also pass through walls, according to Newton's Laws of Motion.

Adhering to clinical guidelines decreases blood clots in the elderly
A multifaceted intervention designed to increase adherence with clinical guidelines for preventing deep-vein blood clots may decrease the rate of such blood clots among elderly patients, according to a report in the Oct.

Cell wall of pneumonia bacteria can cause brain and heart damage
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered in mouse models how cell walls from certain pneumonia-causing bacteria can cause fatal heart damage; researchers have also shown how antibiotic therapy can contribute to this damage by increasing the number of cell wall pieces shed by dying bacteria.

UGA scientists unravel 'molecular inch-worm' structure of walking-pneumonia bacterium
Researchers at the University of Georgia, using glow-in-the-dark proteins and microcinematography, have helped unravel the development and function of a complex organelle in the bacterium that causes

Further investment for genomics announced
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) today announces continued funding, from 2007 to 2012, for its three research centers, CESAGen, EGENIS and INNOGEN, that, along with the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, make up the ESRC Genomics Network.

Polycystic ovary syndrome more prevalent in overweight women
Overweight and obese Spanish women appear five times as likely as lean women to have polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that decreases fertility and contributes to other illnesses, according to an article in the Oct.

Data show treatment with Remicade reduced hospitalizations for ulcerative colitis patients by half
Patients with UC treated with Remicade® (infliximab) had an approximate 50 percent reduction in mean number of hospitalizations per year compared with placebo, according to an analysis of long-term data from a Phase 3 clinical trial presented at the ACG meeting.

Gulf bay double whammy: Rising seas, dammed rivers
Research presented today at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Philadelphia finds that Gulf Coast bays in Texas and Louisiana are vulnerable to significant flooding in the coming century due to a combination of rising seas and dammed rivers.

Global warming and your health
Global warming could do more to hurt your health than simply threaten summertime heat stroke, says a public health physician.

Plutonium or greenhouse gases? Weighing the energy options
Can nuclear energy save us from global warming? Perhaps, but the tradeoffs involved are sobering: thousands of metric tons of nuclear waste generated each year and a greatly increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation or diversion of nuclear material into terrorists' hands.

Further evidence that moderate drinking reduces men's heart attack risk
Even as studies have consistently found an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced heart attack risk in men, an important question has persisted: What if the men who drank in moderation were the same individuals who maintained good eating habits, didn't smoke, exercised and watched their weight?

Different strategies underlie the ecology of microbial invasions
Infectious disease can play a key role in mediating the outcome of competition between rival groups, as seen in the effects of disease-bearing conquistadors in the New World -- or, on a much smaller ecological scale, the ability of bacteria to spread their viruses to competing bacteria.

VIB and Johnson & Johnson set up a new fund
VIB, Johnson & Johnson's Corporate Office of Science and Technology and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development have established a first Proof-of-Concept Fund at the value of 500,000 EUR.

SAGE partners with the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
SAGE Publications is pleased to announce it will begin publishing the journal Reproductive Sciences on behalf of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (SGI).

Statins protect smokers from lung damage
In a new study presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, current and former smokers who used statins had lower lung function decline than those not using statins, regardless of whether patients continued or stopped smoking.

Racial disparity in breast cancer outcome linked to aggressive tumors
Malignancies of the breast can be more aggressive and associated with poorer outcome in African-Americans than other races, according to a new study.

Compliance with medications lowers health care costs
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who take medications as directed incur 12.5 percent lower medical costs than those who do not report University of Chicago researchers.

A little of what you fancy does you no good
Hemiclonal analysis of Drosophila melanogaster reveals that high-fitness males produce low-fitness daughters and high-fitness mothers produce low-fitness sons, with implications for models of sexual selection.

ORNL launches trucks for nationwide DOE field operational test
A nationwide truck test that will include special monitoring equipment on six instrumented tractors and nine instrumented trailers was launched today from the National Transportation Research Center -- a joint transportation research facility involving the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee.

Rare disease benefits from specialized clinic in Italy
This study reports on 776 patients with angioedema without urticaria, seen over 11 years at a specialized clinic in Italy.

Hormone resistance of pituitary tumors and Cushing disease explained
Montréal Scientists and collaborators from around the world unravel mechanism of hormone resistance in pituitary tumors of Cushing disease patients.

Study identifies women with breast cancer most likely to benefit from aromatase inhibitor
While some breast cancer survivors could benefit from adding aromatase inhibitors to the standard five years of tamoxifen, a new study shows the additional therapy should be weighed carefully for each individual.

Tiny 'housekeeper' crabs help prevent coral death in South Pacific
Tiny crabs that live in South Pacific coral help to prevent the coral from dying by providing regular cleaning

Female pronghorns choose mate based on substance as well as show
When a female animal compares males to choose a mate, she can't order a laboratory genetic screen for each suitor.

Mineral discovery explains Mars' landscape
A Queen's University researcher has discovered a mineral that could explain the mountainous landscape of Mars, and have implications for NASA's next mission to the planet.

New experiment to investigate the effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds and climate
A novel experiment, known as CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets), begins taking its first data today with a prototype detector in a particle beam at CERN , the world's largest laboratory for particle physics. 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