Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 31, 2006
First global study of sexual behavior
The second paper in the Lancet Online/Series presents the results of the first global analysis of sexual behavior data.

News tips from ACS Chemical Biology
In this issue of ACS Chemical Biology, issue we learn about a new technique to study how proteins interact in the cell, we report on a small molecule that binds to a specific thyroid hormone receptor and controls its activity, and we learn how to enhance an antibiotic so that it can no longer be pumped out of a bacterial cell.

Urban sprawl not cause of human sprawl
Researchers question the link between obesity and sprawling neighborhoods.

MIT survey: Climate change tops Americans' environmental concerns
According to a recent MIT survey, Americans now rank climate change as the country's most pressing environmental problem -- a dramatic shift from three years ago, when they ranked climate change sixth out of 10 environmental concerns.

Newer approach urged in screening for aggressive prostate cancer
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine say that how fast the amount of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in a man's blood increases, or PSA velocity (PSAV), is an accurate gauge of tumor aggression and danger, even when PSA levels are so low as to not warrant a biopsy.

Bone research that grows on you
Rapid and guided healing of bones has moved a step closer with research by two biomedical engineering students who have found new ways to deliver bone growth enhancers directly to broken or weakened bones.

Researchers show that veins stiffen as we age
As if creaking joints and hardening of the arteries weren't bad enough, a research team from the University of Delaware and the Christiana Care Health System has now confirmed that even our veins stiffen as we age.

Electrochemical Society names NJIT electrical engineer Fellow For Achievement
Durga Misra, Ph.D., a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at New Jersey Institute of Technology, was named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.

Businesses divided on training needs
A monthly internet survey run by the Institute for Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Nottingham has found that opinions within small- and medium-sized businesses are divided over the usefulness of training to promote innovation.

Boston College to develop urban environmental science curriculum for use in urban high schools
The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $2.1 million grant to an interdisciplinary group of Boston College faculty members to develop an urban environmental science curriculum, text book and multimedia system for use in America's urban high schools.

New Hubble Servicing Mission to upgrade instruments
After more than a decade of fascinating discoveries, the Hubble Space Telescope will soon be given the new beginning it deserves.

Europe should lead in promoting family planning in poor countries
Europe, rather than the US, should take the lead in revitalising global commitment to family planning, according to the third paper in the Online/Series published today.

Blacks in US have suicide attempt rate higher than previously reported
New research indicates that blacks in the US have a lifetime prevalence of attempted suicide of about 4 percent, a rate comparable with the general population, but higher than previous estimates, according to a study in the Nov.

White blood cells of cancer-resistant mice overwhelm natural defenses of cancer cells
The discoverers of the unique mouse line that is resistant to cancer have begun to pin down how the process works and found that white blood cells in these mice overwhelm normal defenses of cancer cells.

Scientists identify synthetic compound that keeps stem cells young
A team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute, the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine has discovered a new synthetic compound that can support growth and self-renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells, offering a simple alternative to current growth conditions that may vary batch-to-batch and confuse experimental results.

It's in your head: The brain's own globin defends you from shock and stroke
The next generation of treatments for shock or stroke could be based on a protein that is already in our heads -- neuroglobin.

Periodontal therapy helps patients with type 2 diabetes
Patients with type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease who receive periodontal therapy see levels of oxidative stress, a condition in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal, reduced to the same levels as nondiabetic patients, according to a new study that appeared in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP).

Radiation increases risk of second primary tumors for childhood survivors
Radiation exposure may increase the risk of brain and spinal column tumors in survivors of childhood cancer, according to a study in the November 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New Hubble Servicing Mission to upgrade instruments
After more than a decade of fascinating discoveries, the Hubble Space Telescope will soon be given the new beginning that it deserves.

New project on nature's 'capital'
The Nature Conservancy, WWF and Stanford University today announced the launch of an innovative partnership that aims to change the way governments and policy makers think about nature worldwide.

Increased co-payments can decrease hospital stays
The largest-ever study on the effects of health-care copayment costs on emergency department visits has revealed that requiring patients to pay for a portion of the cost can reduce the number of visits.

Boston University, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft form alliance to accelerate biomedical innovation
Boston University and its College of Engineering are joining the German research and development organization Fraunhofer Gesellschaft to create the Boston University-Fraunhofer Alliance for Medical Devices, Instrumentation and Diagnostics.

Astrolab Industry Day to showcase European research technology on ISS
ESA will be hosting the

Opening of the first German-Korean research training group
Optoelectronics initiative links basic research and practical application. Scientists from the University of Mainz, Seoul National University and Hannam University will collaborate on this initiative, bringing together basic research and practical applications at an internationally high level.

Access to safe, legal abortion improves the health of women
When abortion is made legal, safe and easily accessible, women's health rapidly improves, according to the fourth paper in the Online/Series published today.

High-tech ventilation fails to control secondhand smoke
What happened when James Repace, one of the world's leading experts on secondhand smoke exposure, teamed up with Dr.

High PSA velocity linked with low survival rates
The rate at which prostate-specific antigen levels change may help identify men with life-threatening prostate cancer, according to a study in the November 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue includes the following articles: Making fly synapses with and without glutamate receptors; Sensory input and olfactory bulb circuits; The site of perceived pain control; and Retroviral fusion of microglia with neurons.

Rehabilitation technique for stroke patients effective in improving arm, hand movement
Therapy that includes restraining the less-impaired arm or hand of a stroke patient appears effective in improving movement and functional use of the paralyzed arm or hand, according to a study in the Nov.

Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography decreases costs vs. digital subtraction angiography
The results of a new study of about 20,000 Veterans Affairs system patients undergoing diagnostic imaging for peripheral vascular disease (PVD) from 1999 to 2004 show significant cost savings with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) as compared with digital subtraction angiography (DSA).

Researchers identify key indicators for activity-friendly communities
There is no doubt that people can benefit from regular physical activity.

High-tech research shows cocaine changes proteins and brain function
In the first large-scale analysis of proteins in the brains of individuals addicted to cocaine, researchers have uncovered novel proteins and mechanisms that may one day lead to new treatment options to fight addiction.

Microwave pre-cooking of French fries reduces cancer chemicals
Microwaving your French fries before you fry them reduces the levels of a cancer-causing substance, reveals findings published today in the SCI's Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

New text focuses on microbes in the mouth
A new microbiology textbook from ASM Press pays more than just lip service to microbes in the mouth.

Flu vaccines provided to older adults on election day through 'Vote and Vax' initiative
Of the roughly 100 million Americans who will vote in November elections, about half are 50 or older.

A potential biological cause for sudden infant death syndrome
New autopsy data provide the strongest evidence yet that sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is not a

National Academies advisory: Two-day stem cell symposium begins November 7
National Academies advisory: Two-day stem cell symposium begins November 7.

The CReSA is working on a new strategy to combat spongiforms
Researchers at the Animal Health Research Centre (CReSA) are developing immunotherapeutical strategies against diseases produced by prion, such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis.

Governments should act now to save threatened turtles
Ecology and conservation experts from the University of Exeter today urge international governments to work together to protect threatened Caribbean sea turtle populations.

SIDS infants show abnormalities in brain area controlling breathing, heart rate
Infants who die of sudden infant death syndrome have abnormalities in the brainstem, a part of the brain that helps control heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, temperature and arousal, report researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

First sunrise on Hinode's instruments
The Hinode (formerly Solar-B) satellite, a joint Japan/NASA/PPARC mission launched on September 22, 2006, has today (October 31st) reported its first observations of the sun with its suite of scientific instruments.

Conservative forces hampering progress in sexual and reproductive health
The increasing influence of conservative political, religious and cultural forces around the world threatens to undermine progress in sexual and reproductive health, according to the first article in the Lancet's Sexual and Reproductive Health Online/Series published today, Nov.

Brainstem abnormality link to SIDS stronger than previously indicated
Preliminary research suggests that brainstem abnormalities involving certain serotonin pathways in the brain may play a more important role in SIDS than previously thought, according to an article in the Nov.

In most comprehensive study yet, two-week regimen helps stroke survivors regain arm control
In the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind to date, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health showed clinical improvements out to one year when stroke survivors who had lost function in one arm were given a unique, two-week rehabilitation regimen.

Drug prescribed for migraines and seizures increases risk of kidney stones
Topiramate, a drug commonly prescribed to treat seizures and migraine headaches, can increase the propensity of calcium phosphate kidney stones, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

NC State start-up looks to turn 'lights out' on flu, other viruses
Laboratory testing of a novel, permanent nano-coating, developed in collaboration by researchers at North Carolina State University College of Textiles and Emory University School of Medicine, has been shown to kill or inactivate most viruses and bacteria when exposed to visible light.

IEEE-USA commends NASA decision to service Hubble Space Telescope
IEEE-USA commends NASA for announcing today that it would send a space shuttle mission to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Making good sexual and reproductive health a reality for all
The final paper in the Online/Series represents a call to action and focuses on what needs to be done to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health services by 2015.

STIs other than HIV are important global health issues
While HIV prevention must remain a major public health priority globally, the control of other sexually transmitted infections must not be neglected, state the authors of the fifth paper in the Online/Series published today.

Shire investigational drug (SPD465) designed to reduce ADHD symptoms for up to 16 hours
Shire announced that the investigational amphetamine compound SPD465 (triple-bead mixed amphetamine salts) improved Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms in adults for up to 16 hours post-dose and had a generally well-tolerated safety profile consistent with currently marketed amphetamine products, according to the results of two phase 2 trials released at a meeting of child and adolescent psychiatrists in San Diego, California.

Trying to control pain can be a double-edged sword, say scientists
Scientists have shown for the first time why a feeling of control helps us reduce pain.

Not just 'entertainment': Soft news coverage really affects voters' choices
A new UCLA study of voter preferences and voting patterns during the 2000 presidential election shows that politically inattentive voters who watched daytime talk shows were nearly 25 percent more likley to vote according to their own values and preferences than their counterparts who did not watch daytime television.

Nanotechnology goes out on a wing
A team of researchers led by Jin Zhang and Zhongfan Liu (Peking University) have used the wings of cicadas as stamps to pattern polymer films with nanometer-sized structures.

New cancer-fighting virus kills invasive brain cells
Alberta researchers have developed a virus that, given intravenously, destroys the most malignant form of brain cancer in mice.

Breast cancer patients may benefit from new accelerated treatment
Women with early-stage breast cancer may benefit from a new, accelerated approach to radiation therapy making their course of treatment shorter, according to a new study released today in the International Journal for Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Statin use associated with lower risk of death and hospitalization for patients with heart failure
Patients with heart failure who used statins for the first time had a reduced risk of death of nearly 25 percent, compared to non-users, and also a lower risk for hospitalization, according to a study in the Nov.

Poor people in well-to-do neighborhoods face higher death rates
By living in a well-to-do neighborhood, poor people increase their risk of death, according to a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Other highlights in the November 1 JNCI
Other highlights in the November 1 issue of JNCI include a review of statins and fibrates for action against melanoma, a study of a virus that kills brain tumors in mice, an antibody that decreases ovarian cancer growth in mice and a study that describes the use of the immunohistochemical assay in predicting clinical trial results for breast cancer patients.

Light-sensitive photoswitches could restore sight to those with macular degeneration
The major cause of blindness in this country is the death of photoreceptors -- rods and cones -- in the retina, a disease called macular degeneration.

New research house to guide future home development
The University of Nottingham is helping to battle climate change on the home front -- with the construction of a new experimental house on campus that will cut

Joslin Diabetes Center study examines insulin pump therapy in adolescents
Joslin study shows durability of insulin pump therapy for adolescents and identifies factors to help them overcome barriers to success.

Communication is key to protecting public safety
Protecting public safety requires both more information sharing and better confidentiality protection, reconciling the two is a central challenge of joined-up government.

Jefferson scientists show gene reverts cancer genes to normal, predicts breast cancer prognosis
Scientists have shown that the activity of a gene that commandeers other cancer-causing genes, returning them to normal, can predict the prognosis of an individual with breast cancer.

The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology looks at effects of smoking cessation drug, varenicline
Smoking is the world's leading cause of premature death. Smokers who quit are able to significantly reduce their risk of premature death and other health issues -- almost completely if they quit by age thirty and by fifty percent if they quit after age fifty.

Antiprotons 4 times more effective than protons for cell irradiation
A pioneering experiment at CERN with potential future application in cancer therapy has produced its first results.

Bacteria could make new library of cancer drugs that are too complex to create artificially
Researchers at the University of Warwick are examining a way of using bacteria to manufacture a new suite of potential anti-cancer drugs that are difficult to create synthetically on a lab bench.

Constraint-induced movement therapy is effective in rehabilitating stroke patients
Stroke patients who receive constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT)√Ďa rehabilitative technique that restrains the less-impaired arm, show significant improvement in arm and hand function, according to a seven-center national study. 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