Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 06, 2006
ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Nov. 1, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 35 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Under-18s spell out what they need to enjoy quality of life on a ventilator
The growing number of children relying on portable home ventilators to breathe create their own ventilator-dependent lifestyles.

Phase I study of novel gene therapy for HIV
The results are in for Phase I clinical trials of a gene therapy for AIDS.

Louisiana Tech receives award for hurricane-relief efforts
Louisiana Tech received has national recognition for its relief efforts following last year's hurricanes Katrina and Rita that devastated the Gulf Coast.

Open Access publishing in physics gains momentum
The first meeting of European particle physics funding agencies took place today at CERN to establish a consortium for Open Access publishing in particle physics, SCOAP3.

Scientists crack rhino horn riddle
Rhinoceros horns have long been objects of mythological beliefs. Some cultures prize them for their supposed magical or medicinal qualities.

Rare infections after medically induced abortions likely not drug-related
Since 2000, five women in North America who had medically induced abortions died from toxic shock caused by a Clostridium sordellii infection.

Researchers link ocean organisms with increased cloud cover and potential climate change
Atmospheric scientists have reported a new and potentially important mechanism by which chemical emissions from ocean phytoplankton may influence the formation of clouds that reflect sunlight away from our planet.

Boston Celtics fund first teen vaccination delivery program in the country
Highly safe and effective vaccines that can prevent HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases are only beneficial if they are successfully dispersed to the critical age group of adolescents.

New techniques pave way for carbon nanotubes in electronic devices
Many of the vaunted applications of carbon nanotubes require the ability to attach these super-tiny cylinders to electrically conductive surfaces, but to date researchers have only been successful in creating high-resistance interfaces between nanotubes and substrates.

Doctors able to predict chance of breast cancer returning
Doctors have created a first-ever computer tool to predict the risk of breast cancer returning in the same breast over a 10-year period in women who have had breast conserving surgery to remove only the cancer (lumpectomy), according to a study presented November 6, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Minister Lunn to speak at Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association Meeting
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources, will speak at the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association Annual Meeting.

Risk in social science
A new book by Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby and Dr. Jens Zinn explains how the break-neck speed of technological innovation, coupled with a collapse of confidence in public authorities,

Children's belly fat increases more than 65 percent since 1990s
Abdominal obesity increased more than 65 percent among boys and almost 70 percent among girls between 1988 and 2004.

Severity of diabetes is key determinant of heart transplant success
Having diabetes should not automatically disqualify you from being considered for a heart transplant, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers identify molecule that causes destructive lung inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients
Scientists at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have identified a protein that is critical to the development of inflammation during lung infection in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Joining forces to predict tsunamis: Pan-European approach to disaster prevention
Following a series of well documented natural disasters with grave human and economic consequences, the ability to predict these devastating events has once more come to the fore as a research priority for the European scientific community.

Protein structure initiative launches new resources for the scientific community
The Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) is creating new mechanisms for sharing the resources it has developed with the scientific community, including a new materials repository.

Study shows most ear infections host both bacteria and viruses
Ear infections are among the most common diseases seen in pediatric practice.

Ugandan adolescents want online AIDS education
The Internet has a number of characteristics that make it an attractive tool in health education and HIV prevention, especially for adolescents, including interactivity, privacy, the overlap between education and play and the ability to individualize information based on an initial assessment of background conditions, interest and knowledge.

Intravenous chemoradiation effective for inoperable head, neck cancer; easier for patients, doctors
Chemoradiation (radiation and chemotherapy given at the same time) given through a needle or tube inserted into a vein (intravenous) is as effective as treatment given directly to the tumor through a tube inserted into an artery (intra-arterial) for patients with inoperable head and neck cancer, according to a randomized study presented at the plenary session November 6, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Disparities in breast cancer treatment shown for women with disabilities
Among women receiving treatment for early-stage breast cancer, patients with disabilities had higher breast cancer mortality rates and were less likely than other women to receive standard treatment following breast-conserving surgery, according to a study in the November 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Increased hemodialysis may lead to greater survival rates
A study recently published in Hemodialysis International found that more frequent hemodialysis treatments (five or more weekly) can significantly increase the survival rate of patients suffering from irreversible kidney failure.

Green plants share bacterial toxin
A toxin that can make bacterial infections turn deadly is also found in higher plants, researchers at UC Davis, the Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., and the University of Nebraska have found.

Steroid users may be more likely to commit crimes involving weapons, fraud
The use of anabolic androgenic steroids may be associated with an antisocial lifestyle involving several types of crime, including weapons offenses and fraud, but did not appear to be associated with violent crimes or crimes against property, according to an article in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Group decisions: From compromise to leadership in pigeon homing
By studying how homing pigeons decide between two attractive options -- following a habitual route home and flying in the company of another homing pigeon -- researchers have deepened our understanding of the forces that underlie decision-making by social animals.

Most US adults in favor of more balanced approach to sex education in schools
The majority of US adults, regardless of political affiliation, support a more balanced approach to sex education in schools, including teaching children about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the results of a national survey published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Household transmission of SARS: Lessons learned
A retrospective cohort of SARS-affected households was studied to determine risk factors for household transmission of SARS.

Preliminary study finds holographic imaging system promising for cancer treatment planning
The device looks like something out of an old science fiction movie, but researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago say it holds promise in the treatment of cancer.

Better ways to cut a cake
Suppose a cake is to be divided between two people, Alice and Bob.

New brain-chemistry differences found in depressed women
A new brain study finds major differences between women with serious depression and healthy women in a brain-chemical system that's crucial to stress and emotions.

Early Earth haze may have spurred life, says University of Colorado study
Hazy skies on early Earth could have provided a substantial source of organic material useful for emerging life on the planet, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Targeted irradiation: A new weapon against HIV?
Preclinical studies in mice by Ekatarina Dadachova and colleagues at Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in the international open-access journal PLoS Medicine now suggest a new strategy to locate and kill many if not all HIV-infected cells in the body.

Additional hormone therapy use after radiation for some prostate cancers extends survival
The largest study examining the benefits of long-term use of hormone therapy after radiation treatment for prostate cancer shows men with aggressive locally advanced disease live longer if hormones are used for an additional 24 months.

Einstein researchers demonstrate a novel approach to treating AIDS
Using a radically new strategy featuring radioactive

Hundreds of thousands of viral species present in the world's oceans
An extensive metagenomic survey of viral diversity in the marine environment is presented.

Hormone therapy does not improve quality of life for women
A postmenopausal hormone therapy trial conducted in Estonia indicates that hormone therapy does not improve women's quality of life.

UCSD scientists establish connection between life today and ancient changes in ocean chemistry
Researchers in computational biology and marine science have combined their diverse expertise and found that trace-metal usage by present-day organisms probably derives from major changes in ocean chemistry occurring over geological time scales.

Europe's best young group leaders win EMBO support
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) has singled out 21 young group leaders to receive the support of its prestigious Young Investigator Program.

Study suggests potential underlying cause for dementia after cancer treatment
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have identified changes in brain chemistry that may be associated with the dementia that many cancer patients develop after whole-brain radiation treatment.

Your Voice, Whose Choice?
A free public debate,

New treatment strategy for the prevention of recurrent depression
Some patients who experience recurrent depression may benefit from long-term maintenance treatment with anti-depressant medication, according to a new study led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher.

New way of tracking muscle damage from radiation
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could become a valuable tool for predicting the risk of muscle injury during and following radiation therapy, according to investigators at St.

MRSA toxin acquitted: Study clears suspected key to severe bacterial illness
Researchers who thought they had identified the bacterial perpetrator of the often severe disease caused by community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) had better keep looking: Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have exonerated a toxin widely thought to be the guilty party.

Cambodia moves to protect endangered bird
In an effort to protect a large grassland bird from possible extinction, the government of Cambodia has recently moved to set aside more than 100 square miles of habitat for the Bengal florican, a bird now classified as endangered, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 7, 2006
This Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet, Nov. 7, 2006, issue includes: Breast cancer patients with disabilities less likely to get breast-conserving surgery; When to stop screening for colorectal cancer?

NRL sensor to measure natural airglow in the upper atmosphere
The second of five Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager remote sensing instruments, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, was launched on Nov.

Heart failure Rx: Pacemakers, not beta blockers, may be best for some patients
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have reported evidence to support a dramatic change in the way hundreds of thousands of Americans with a form of heart failure should be treated.

Biomarkers for psychosis
Scientists understand little of what goes wrong in a psychotic person's brain, but hope that brain imaging and systematic characterization of genetic activity and protein composition in the brain might help to shed light on mental diseases, eventually leading to better diagnosis, treatment and possibly even prevention.

Deakin University discovery could lead to new leukaemia treatments
Deakin University scientists have identified a protein that could hold the key to new leukaemia treatments.

USGS at Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
USGS will present research on a variety of toxicological research at SETAC.

Genetic 'missing link' sheds light on sudden cardiac death
An electrical imbalance caused by a malfunctioning gene triggers long QT syndrome, a potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder.

Rice's Connexions wins $1.7 million from Hewlett Foundation
Rice University's open-source publishing platform Connexions today announced plans to explore new revenue-generating initiatives with the support of a new $1.7 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Plant studies reveal how, where seeds store iron
Biologists have learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for scientists working to improve the iron content of plants.

Salaries for chemists rise, but jobs outlook little improved
While chemical scientists and engineers who have not changed jobs continue to post gains in salary of close to 5 percent per year, unemployment figures for the past year only dropped modestly, according to the November 6 Employment Outlook section in Chemical & Engineering News.

Reward for fight against onchocerciasis
The managing director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Prof.

Stress, childhood trauma linked to chronic fatigue syndrome in adults
Traumatic events in childhood and stress or emotional instability at any period in life may be associated with the development of chronic fatigue syndrome, according to two articles in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Accelerating loss of ocean species threatens human well-being
An international group of ecologists and economists has shown that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean's ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants and rebound from stresses such as overfishing and climate change.

Health professionals should be trained to be wary of pharmaceutical promotion
An influential group of advocacy organizations has published a set of four recommendations for improving education for health professionals about pharmaceutical and device promotion.

Iron-deficient infants have lower cognitive scores at 19, especially in lower socioeconomic levels
Costa Rican teens who were iron-deficient as infants continue to lag behind their peers in cognitive test scores, with a wider gap for children at lower socioeconomic levels, according to study results published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sunscreens with benzophenone-3 unsuitable for children
Sunscreens that contain benzophenone-3 provide effective protection against both UVA and UVB radiation, but these preparations should not be used for young children.

EUREKA project promises fast and reliable explosive agent detection
Terrorism poses an increasingly dangerous and difficult threat to governments and citizens around the world.

Comprehensive model is first to map protein folding at atomic level
Scientists at Harvard University have developed a computer model that, for the first time, can fully map and predict how small proteins fold into three-dimensional, biologically active shapes.

Dried plums act as antioxidant in some meats
To help satisfy consumer demand for more natural food products, researchers at Texas A&M University are investigating dried plums as a meat preservative.

New study on school bus safety shows injuries well exceed previous reports
Each year in the United States, 23.5 million children travel 4.3 billion miles on 450,000 school buses -- and a new study shows that kids may not be as safe as previously thought.

Fighting HIV with HIV
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report the first clinical test of a new gene therapy based on a disabled AIDS virus carrying genetic material that inhibits HIV replication.

Children with higher intelligence appear to have reduced risk of post-traumatic stress disorder
Children who are more intelligent at age 6 may be less likely to experience trauma by age 17 and if they do, may be less likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

AGU journal highlights -- Nov. 6, 2006
In this issue, the following articles are published: Land surface evaporation increased during the second half of the 20th century; Symmetry and stability of the geomagnetic field; Quantifying lava flows at Arenal volcano, Costa Rica; Detailed analyses of the October 2005 Pakistan earthquake; Surface temperatures in China will increase despite a decrease in insolation; Ground frequency recovery after strong earthquakes; Seasonal variations in seismic velocities at Merapi Volcano, Indonesia; and A new technique for measuring turbulence dissipation rates in the ocean.

UCLA engineers develop revolutionary nanotech water desalination membrane
Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science today announced they have developed a new reverse osmosis membrane that promises to reduce the cost of seawater desalination and wastewater reclamation.

Hospital costs for children with flu may be higher than thought
Going into another flu season, a new study reports that hospitalizing children for influenza may cost up to three or four times the previously accepted estimates.

Newest in CT imaging technology -- dual energy source -- now being utilized on patients at Penn
The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is now offering the newest multi-slice computed tomography (CT) imaging technology to patients, becoming the first hospital in Philadelphia equipped with pioneering dual X-ray source technology -- which produces amazingly detailed 3-D images of the heart.

FSU study links anxiety sensitivity to future psychological disorders
People who experience a pounding heart, sweaty palms or dizziness -- even if the cause is something as mundane as stress, exercise or caffeine -- are more likely to develop a clinical case of anxiety or panic disorder, according to a Florida State University researcher in Tallahassee, Fla.

Radiation after surgery doubles survival time for some lung cancer patients
Patients with lung cancer that has spread to mediastinal lymph nodes -- located between the chest, breastbone and spine -- who receive radiation after surgery and chemotherapy live twice as long as patients who do not receive radiation after surgery, according to a study presented at the plenary session November 6, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection: Which drugs should be tested?
Giving anti-HIV drugs to HIV-negative people who are at high risk of HIV infection (pre-exposure prophylaxis or

Many weather factors needed for accurate climate change predictions
Current climate change impact models that consider only one weather variable, such as increasing temperature, sometimes spawn unsubstantiated doomsday predictions, according to researchers at Purdue and North Carolina universities.

Eye-opening research provides important diagnostic tool for major childhood killer
The eye can provide a very reliable way of diagnosing cerebral malaria, researchers in Malawi have shown.

Incontinence in women: No need to keep silent
Incontinence (involuntary loss of urine) is a common problem in women, ultimately affecting up to two-thirds of all women.

'LouseBuster' instrument shown to kill head lice
Biologists have invented a chemical-free, hairdryer-like device -- the LouseBuster -- and conducted a study showing it eradicates head lice infestations on children by exterminating the eggs, or

Chronic jet-lag conditions hasten death in aged mice
Researchers have found that aged mice undergoing weekly light-cycle shifts -- similar to those that humans experience with jet lag or rotating shift work -- experienced significantly higher death rates than did old mice kept on a normal daylight schedule over the same eight-week period.

Which type of whooping cough vaccine should be used?
Vickers and colleagues analyzed the incidence of pertussis reported to the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority in Saskatchewan between January 1, 1995, and September 30, 2005.

Leading scientists elected to EMBO ranks
EMBO announces the election of 49 top researchers to its membership.

The LouseBuster kills
University of Utah biologists invented a chemical-free, hairdryer-like device -- the LouseBuster -- and conducted a study showing it eradicates head lice infestations on children by exterminating the eggs or

Prostate cancer less likely to spread when treated with higher dose of radiation
New research suggests that men with prostate cancer who choose radiation therapy should seek treatment centers that will offer high-dose radiation.

The effects of smoking on fractures and ligament injuries
Two new studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Football League Charities, examined the effects of smoking on fractures and ligament healing in mice and found that healing of both types of injury was delayed.

Hecht honored with AACR-Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation Award
Stephen S. Hecht, an internationally recognized expert on cancer-causing agents in tobacco and the pathways by which they cause cancer, has been selected to receive the fifth annual American Association for Cancer Research-Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

Cancer screening program reduces death rates in NT Indigenous women
The very high incidence of cervical cancer in Northern Territory Indigenous women has fallen by half since the early 1990s, partly as a result of increased participation in Pap Test screening, according to new research published by the Menzies School of Health Research (MSHR) and the NT Department of Health and Community Services (DHCS).

Team moves toward silent, eco-friendly plane
MIT and Cambridge University researchers will unveil the conceptual design for a silent, environmentally friendly passenger plane at a press conference Monday, Nov.

Yerkes researchers pave the way for earlier diagnosis and treatment of retinal degenerative diseases
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University and the Atlanta VA Hospital have used magnetic resonance imaging to produce images of the eyeÕs retinal layers.

Why do we stick to our bad habits?
Why do we ignore public warnings and advertisements about the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating, stressing out and otherwise persist in habits and behaviours that we know aren't good for us?

Natural compounds block autoimmune response in diabetes, arthritis
Natural compounds derived from a sea anemone extract and a shrub plant have been found to block the autoimmune disease response in type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, according to University of California, Irvine researchers.

New radiation technique can greatly reduce painful skin burns in women with breast cancer
Breast cancer patients who undergo a new radiation technique called intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) after surgery are three times less likely to have severe skin reactions from the treatment compared to standard radiation therapy, according to a study presented at the plenary session November 6, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Kennedy Krieger awarded $9 million to study learning disabilities in growing ranks of adolescents
The substantial number of today's adolescents struggling with weak literacy skills presents an urgent national concern, yet very little is known about reading disabilities beyond the early elementary grades. 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