Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2006
Systolic blood pressure predicts mortality in heart failure patients
A team of academic researchers report that systolic blood pressure taken at hospital admission may be a key factor in predicting mortality risk and revealing important disease characteristics for heart failure patients.

Children show strong preference for those smiled on by fate
Children as young as five to seven years of age prefer lucky individuals over the less fortunate, according to new research by psychologists at Harvard University and Stanford University.

Two nerve cells in direct contact
For the first time, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich have been able to show how two nerve cells communicate with each other from different hemispheres in the visual center.

Patients report fewer moderate and serious side effects with IMRT than with brachytherapy
In one of the first studies to compare side effects of IMRT and permanent prostate brachytherapy (I-125) for treatment of low-risk prostate cancer, researchers say patients had fewer moderate and serious side effects when treated with IMRT.

Enzyme may hold key to new treatment of diabetic kidney disease
Northwestern University researchers have found an enzyme, called

Rockefeller Foundation will not abandon its commitments to public health
Rumors that one of the world's most prestigious private philanthropic organizations -- the Rockefeller Foundation -- is about to withdraw its commitments to health are untrue, the foundation's president has told the Lancet in an Editorial published online today (Tuesday, November 7, 2006).

Integrated approach to radiation therapy provides quality care for cancer patients
Results from a University of Pittsburgh study demonstrate that intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can be uniformly delivered in a large health care system of academic and community cancer centers through a centralized planning and treatment process.

ACP's electronic medical resource ranked no. 1 evidence-based tool by MLA's South Central Chapter
The South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association named ACP's Physician's Information and Education Resource (PIER) as the leading evidence-based medicine point-of-care tool.

Systolic blood pressure level for patients with heart failure may help predict risk of death
Patients with heart failure and low systolic blood pressure at hospital admission are more likely to have poor outcomes including higher mortality rates and increased rates of rehospitalization, despite medical treatment, according to a study in the Nov.

Spillover effect: Why we end up spending more when we think we're saving
Ever go to a store intending to buy one item, only to leave with a cartful?

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy reduces side effects for cervical cancer
Administering extended-field intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for cervical cancer resulted in significantly reduced side effects and outcomes comparable to standard radiotherapy.

Cost-benefit analysis: Combo treatment costs more, saves money later
From a health insurer's perspective, the most effective cancer treatment may also be the most cost-effective, according to a new study sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG 91-11).

Carnegie Mellon study reveals that odor discrimination is linked to the timing at which neurons fire
Timing is everything. For a mouse trying to discriminate between the scent of a tasty treat and the scent of the neighborhood cat, timing could mean life or death.

Precautionary approach suggested to protect pregnant women and children against industrial chemicals
Exposure limits for chemicals should be set at values that recognize the unique sensitivity of pregnant women and young children, and they should aim to protect brain development, according to a review this week.

Ossur repeats Popular Science 'Best of What's New' award
Ossur (ICEX: OSSR) -- the Iceland-based developer and supplier of orthopedic devices -- has launched more scientifically advanced prosthetic innovations than any other company in the field.

St. Joseph's provides tissue processing services to researchers in hopes of finding a cure
A special research program at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is providing a safe and vital research component to scientists in hopes of finding new treatments and cures for a variety of disorders.

Some factors related to heart function and linked with heart failure more common than believed
Several factors related to heart function and that play a role in heart failure are more prevalent than previously thought, according to a study in the Nov.

Gene linked with mental illness shapes brain region, researchers find
A gene variant associated with mental illness goes hand-in-hand with enlargement of a brain region that handles negative emotions, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System have found.

Individualized strategies needed for prevention of malaria in long-term travelers
Prevention of malaria for persons who travel for more than six months is complex and should be individualized, with advice from travel medicine specialists, according to a review article in the Nov.

Bones at the nanoscale
Scientists from Max Planck Institute (Germany) and the ESRF have just discovered the way deformation at the nanoscale takes place in a bone by studying it with the synchrotron X-rays.

Jefferson oncologists show less radiation just as effective in fighting brain tumor, saving hearing
Radiation oncologists have found that giving less radiation than usual is just as effective against a benign but potential devastating brain tumor called an acoustic schwannoma, and better yet, might save more of the patient's hearing.

American Thoracic Society publishes new statement on hepatotoxicity of antituberculosis therapy
The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has published a new statement on the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of liver damage caused by anti-tuberculosis (TB) medications.

Vaccine-producing 'plant-factories'
A research team at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) has discovered a new route for the transport of proteins in plant cells, a discovery that will enable the biotechnological design of plant factories.

ESA joins UN climate talks in Kenya
The United Nations annual summit on climate change this week in Nairobi, Kenya, seeks to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol strategy, which becomes obsolete in 2012, to restrict emissions of heat-trapping gases that drive climate change.

AGI announces winners of 2006 Earth Science Week contests
The American Geological Institute is pleased to announce the winners of the 2006 Earth Science Week contests.

Antioxidants: New kid on the block for pain relief?
Antioxidant-based pain killers may one day become a viable alternative to addictive medications such as morphine.

An old discovery could boost ethanol production from plant fiber
A discovery some 40 years ago is showing promise as a chemical pre-treatment that breaks down plant fiber.

Research shows brain injury may occur within one millisecond after head hits car windshield
Center neurologist shows that brain injury may occur within one millisecond after a human head is thrust into a windshield in a car accident.

Common cause of heart disease, diabetes may be treatable with malaria drug
Studies of a rare genetic condition that increases cancer risk have unveiled a potential treatment for metabolic syndrome, a common disorder that afflicts as many as one in every four American adults and puts them at sharply increased risk of type 2 diabetes and clogged arteries.

Barrow receives a $515,227 grant from NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Scientists use gene therapy to improve memory and learning in animals
Stanford University neuroscientists have designed a gene that enhances memory and learning ability in animals under stress.

When Gleevec is not enough
Researchers at the Jackson Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology, discovered is that imatinib does not inactivate all BCR-ABL signaling pathways in the cascade.

Happy people are healthier, Carnegie Mellon psychologist says
Happiness and other positive emotions play an even more important role in health than previously thought, according to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine by Carnegie Mellon University psychology Professor Sheldon Cohen.

Cut from different cloth
A large survey, made with ESO's VLT, has shed light on our galaxy's ancestry.

Male contraception: One door opens, another closes
Researchers have announced a breakthrough on a non-hormonal compound known as Adjudin.

Cold War caper revisted
Two Michigan State University researchers are the first to unlock the secrets of the invisible ink used by East Germany's secret police force, the Stasi, and in the process have mixed a batch of chemistry, history and mystery to teach students.

Internists take home several national awards at AAMC Annual Meeting
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) awarded eight individuals, including five internists who are members of the American College of Physicians (ACP), for their outstanding contributions to academic medicine at the AAMC's 117th annual meeting last week in Seattle, Washington.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue includes tips titled: Intersubunit anesthetic binding on GABA-A receptors, Transcranial imaging of visual cortical plasticity, Probing cerebellar granule cell function in vivo, and Altered AMPA receptor trafficking and ALS.

UCR researchers win Entomological Society of America Awards
Michael E. Adams, a professor of entomology and neuroscience at UC Riverside, has won the Entomological Society of America's Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry & Toxicology.

Most Canadian med school grads lack basic surgical skills
Many medical school graduates in Canada have not received adequate training in basic surgical skills, such as suturing and tube placements, says a new study published recently in the Canadian Journal of Surgery.

Younger African American women at significantly higher risk for breast cancer
Despite recent overall declines in invasive breast cancer in the United States, African American women, particularly younger ones, have not seen a significant decline in their rates.

Malaria drug may treat metabolic syndrome's many symptoms
A drug used for decades to treat and prevent malaria might also fight the many symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a potentially disabling condition that is estimated to affect as many as a quarter of American adults.

Focus on opticians shows chain store pricing policies can save independents
Big chain stores setting their prices on a national rather than local basis can help independent retailers survive, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Researchers develop novel method for treatment of sickle cell disease
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have developed a unique anti-sickling agent that may one day be effective in treating sickle cell disease, a painful and debilitating genetic blood disorder that affects approximately 80,000 Americans.

A silent pandemic: Industrial chemicals are impairing the brain development of children worldwide
Researchers found that 202 industrial chemicals have the capacity to damage the human brain, and they conclude that chemical pollution may have harmed the brains of millions of children worldwide.

Intravenous gene therapy protects normal tissue of mice during whole-body radiation
Gene therapy administered intravenously could be used as an agent to protect vital organs and tissues from the effects of ionizing radiation in the event of large-scale exposure from a radiological or nuclear bomb.

Heart failure: Mayo Clinic reveals abnormality in filling of the heart is frequent culprit
Difficulties in the heart's ability to fill with blood are common causes of heart failure -- and appear to be as significant in placing a heart patient at risk of death as are deficiencies in the heart's ability to pump blood, new research from Mayo Clinic shows.

Why exercising muscles tire when needed most
Fleeing animals, human athletes and non-athletes alike have experienced skeletal muscles giving out during those intense efforts when they are needed most, whether running for survival, the finish line or the bus.

NIH scientists honored for FDA-approved cervical cancer vaccine breakthrough
The Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Samuel Waxman Foundation will honor Douglas Lowy, M.D., and John Schiller, Ph.D., for research contributions which led to the clinical development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer.

Common ancestry of bacterium and plants could be key to an effective new treatment for chlamydia
Rutgers researchers have discovered that the chlamydia bacterium, which causes a sexually transmitted disease (STD), shares an evolutionary heritage with plants.

Would you see 'James Bond 21'? How about 'Die Another Day'?
A new study is the first to conceptualize sequels as the movie equivalent of brand extensions. 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