Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 13, 2006
Inexpensive test detects H5N1 infections quickly and accurately
Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed an inexpensive

March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute announce Prematurity Prevention Initiative
The March of Dimes and Johnson & Johnson Pediatric Institute will partner with the Kentucky Department of Health and plan to collaborate with six major Kentucky hospitals to reduce the preterm birth rate.

Climate change creates dramatic decline in red-winged black bird population
Global warming strikes again. A University of Illinois researcher reports that a red-winged black bird population in Ontario, Canada has decreased by 50 percent since 1972.

Studies examine colorectal cancer screening rates
The rate of colorectal cancer screening appears to be increasing among Veterans Affairs patients, although use of colonoscopy is less common than other screening procedures, according to a report in the Nov.

Trial results will help in treatment of arthritis
Rates of heart attack, stroke or death in patients with arthritis on the COX-2 inhibitor etoricoxib are similar to those in patients on the NSAID diclofenac, according to an online article published today, Monday, Nov.

Researchers to present advances in energy, health, technology at chemical engineering conference
At the annual meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in San Francisco November 13-17, Stanford University researchers will report advances in areas such as health, clean energy, electronics and nanotechnology.

Why do insects like to eat some plants more than others?
Plant-insect ecologists typically attribute the differences to variation in the nutritional quality or defective chemistry of plant tissues.

Lewis and Clark data show narrower, more flood-prone river
A geologist at Washington University in St. Louis and his collaborator at Oxford University have interpreted data that Lewis and Clark collected during their famous expedition and found that the Missouri River has markedly narrowed and its water levels have become more variable over the past two hundred years.

AGU 2006 Fall Meeting: Preliminary press conference list
Press conferences at Fall Meeting will cover a wide range of topics, representing a small sample of the newsworthy sessions.

New guideline for the diagnostic assessment of children with continuous seizures
A new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society aims to help physicians diagnose the causes of status epilepticus, a state of continuous seizures, in children, many of whom have epilepsy.

Micro molecules contribute mightily to heart problem
Tiny bits of RNA -- a chemical cousin of DNA -- play a large role in causing enlargement of the heart, which is a major risk factor for heart failure and sudden death, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

New study on relationship between literacy and understanding of prescription labels
As part of their commitment to addressing the issue of low health literacy through evidence-based solutions, the American College of Physicians Foundation and the Institute of Medicine bring together leading researchers and other stakeholders from around the country at the Fifth Annual National Health Communication Conference.

Immune system cells linked to heart failure
A study in mice shows the immune system and, more specifically, cells recruited from it are key players in the muscle dysfunction that results in some forms of heart failure.

New study indicates Invirase results in similar levels of viral suppression to lopinavir
Promising head to head results presented today indicate that the boosted protease inhibitor (PI/r) Invirase 500/r appears to achieve similar levels of viral suppression compared to the most commonly used PI, lopinavir/r, while significantly fewer patients developed elevated lipids.

Healthier kids just the click of a remote away
Simple strategy could make a world of difference in a child's health.

A company's reputation is what gets fried when its books get cooked
A University of Washington professor contends that penalties imposed upon public companies that falsify accounting records are miniscule compared with the costs incurred when news of a company's misdeeds spreads and its reputation spoils.

Research questions use of sleep meds for patients with apnea
New research reported in the journal CHEST shows that prescription sleep aids may do little to improve the use of continuous positive airway pressure among patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Opposites do not attract
A study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, found that a female budgerigar prefers to mate with a male that sounds like her.

Enbrel first biologic with up to 9 years rheumatoid arthritis safety, sustained efficacy data
Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) announced Enbrel (R) (etanercept) is the first biologic with published data to show sustained improvements in multiple efficacy measures in rheumatoid arthritis patients completing up to nine years of therapy.

New book by University of Minnesota historian exposes Turkey's responsibility in Armenian genocide
Taner Akçam, a University of Minnesota visiting professor of history, has written the definitive book proving the intent of the Ottoman Turks in carrying out the 1915 genocide against the Armenians.

Hebrew University in leading spots in world university rankings
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has again been ranked among the leading universities in the world, according to the 2006 comprehensive listing of the world's top universities, as published by the Times Higher Education Supplement of London.

RAND study finds asthma and lung disease patients receive half of recommended medical care
Patients around the United States with obstructive lung diseases receive half of the recommended medical care, with care varying based on individual conditions, according to a RAND Corp. study issued today.

Children's Hospital and Research Center-Oakland presents a new maternal diet study
Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, Calif., scientists are the first to show that maternal diet during pregnancy can impact obesity, diabetes and cancer issues in offspring for generations.

End of deforestation in view? Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources
An increasing number of countries and regions are transitioning from deforestation to afforestation, raising hopes for a turning point for the world as a whole, according to researchers advancing a more sophisticated approach to measuring forest cover.

ALTRAN unveils its energy efficiency concepts solutions
ALTRAN, the European leader in innovation and high technology consulting, unveiled at the EcoBuilding Performance Forum on November 8-9 in Paris, three new eco-innovative concepts, to enable the best use of energy in the building and urban environment sectors.

Flu vaccine associated with slight increase in risk of hospitalization for neurological disorder
Influenza vaccine is associated with a small but increased risk for hospitalization with the potentially debilitating neurological disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, although the absolute risk associated with the vaccine is very low, according to a report in the Nov.

Specific strategic plans ensure timely emergency care for heart attack patients
Hospitals that provide the most rapid emergency angioplasty have specific strategies to expedite the care of patients with heart attacks, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report in the November 13 New England Journal of Medicine.

Peer and family support tops needs of young adult cancer survivors
Adolescent and young adult cancer patients rank support from family, friends and other cancer survivors as high priority healthcare needs, according to a new University of Southern California study.

Depression, not antidepressants, increases mortality risks in heart failure
People who are depressed have an increased risk of dying from heart failure, and a new study by Duke University Medical Center researchers may help explain why.

Obese kidney transplant patients twice as likely to die in the first year or suffer organ failure
Six percent of obese kidney transplant patients die in the first year and 14 percent suffer transplant failures.

Two Pitt researchers make 'Scientific American 50' of leaders in science and technology
Two University of Pittsburgh researchers have been selected by the board of editors of Scientific American to its list of

Plant-derived molecules, genetic manipulation point to future chemoprevention methods
Scientists are using genetic studies and natural chemicals, such as plant-derived triterpenoids, to further our knowledge on how genetic and early molecular interactions can lead to cancer, and how those early interactions can be manipulated to stave off a variety of cancers.

Pioneer of oral rehydration therapy receives Prince Mahidol Award
HSPH faculty member, Dr. Richard Cash, has been named a joint recipient of the 2006 Prince Mahidol Award.

Higher level of certain fatty acid associated with lower dementia risk
Individuals who have higher levels of a fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid in their blood may have a significantly lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pourquié lab identifies genes involved in formation of vertebral precursors
Mary Lee Dequeant, Ph.D., a Predoctoral Researcher at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and Olivier Pourquié, Ph.D., Stowers Institute Investigator and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, are the first and last authors, respectively, on a paper that identifies a network of cyclic genes that shed light on the molecular basis of spine formation in the embryo.

NYU researchers developing molecular delivery vehicles for genetic therapies
Researchers at New York University are working to develop molecular delivery vehicles that can be used to transport nucleic acids into diverse cell types, which may lead to eventual applications in genetic therapies.

Bariatric surgery complication rates high in some hospitals, new HealthGrades ratings and study show
In-hospital bariatric surgery complication rates vary dramatically among the nation's hospitals, according to a study released today by HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company.

Higher red meat intake may increase risk for certain breast cancers
Eating more red meat may be associated with a higher risk for hormone receptor-positive breast cancers in premenopausal women, according to a report in the Nov.

Targeted cancer drugs may work by disrupting balance of cellular signals
Targeted cancer therapy drugs like Gleevec and Tarceva, which destroy tumors by interfering with specific proteins or protein pathways, may disrupt the balance between critical cellular signals in a way that leads to cell death.

Counseling for spouses keeps Alzheimer's patients out of nursing homes
Spouses of Alzheimer's disease patients are less likely to put their loved ones in a nursing home if they receive enhanced caregiver support and counseling.

Sleep apnea patients at higher risk for deadly heart disease, says new SLU research
People with sleep apnea could also be at risk for a particular kind of deadly heart arrhythmia, finds Saint Louis University researchers.

Group sets action plan to improve quality in cardiovascular imaging
A panel of national experts has developed a plan for improving the use of imaging technologies in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Sensor networks protect containers, navigate robots
Agent 007 is a mighty versatile fellow, but he would have to take backseat to agents being trained at Washington University in St.

Developing uses for sugar-cane bagasse: Biotechnology applied to the paper industry
Sugar-cane bagasse is a fibrous waste-product of the sugar refining industry, which can be recycled as a raw material for paper manufacture.

New research focuses on effectiveness of noninvasive whole-heart MRI
Researchers have long sought to find a reliable way to see inside the human heart without having to insert tubes, inject dyes or expose patients to potentially dangerous radiation.

Artificial cornea offers better results for infants, some blind patients
Infants and adults who are blind due to a cloudy or damaged cornea are seeing some remarkable results thanks to a new version of an artificial implant that takes the place of the cornea, the clear covering of the eye that serves as our window on the world.

What's the difference between mice and men?
Evolutionary change in function of the dorsocentral enhancer (DCE) of scute has resulted in altered bristle formation between two species of Drosophila.

Diabetes drug may reduce cardiovascular risks
A drug commonly used to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin may slow the progression of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Unraveling where chimp and human brains diverge
Six million years ago, chimpanzees and humans diverged from a common ancestor and evolved into unique species.

Malaria poses additional risks for first-time mothers
Preeclampsia is thought to be more common in parts of the world where there is a serious malaria problem and it has often been speculated that there might be a connection.

Children's Hospital Oakland's new maternal diet study
A new study from Children's Hospital Oakland, Calif., suggests that a mother's diet during pregnancy can impact offspring for generations.

Sandia researchers discover way to see how a drug attaches to a cell
Sandia National Laboratories researchers John Shelnutt and Yujiang Song have discovered a better way to see where a drug attaches to a cell through a new process that produces novel hollow platinum nanostructures.

RAND study says renewable energy could play larger role in US energy future
Renewable resources could produce 25 percent of the electricity and motor vehicle fuels used in the United States by 2025 at little or no additional cost if fossil fuel prices remain high enough and the cost of producing renewable energy continues falling in accord with historical trends, according to a RAND Corp. study issued today.

Eye tests may predict future vision problems in preterm children
Testing the eyes of preterm children when they reach 2.5 years of age may predict vision problems at age 10, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Maximizing womens' health benefits when resources are limited
Jane Kim and colleagues (Harvard University) have developed an analytic framework to identify an optimal package of health services to offer to women attending a clinic once for their lifetime cervical cancer screen.

University of Iowa scientists explore function of 'junk DNA'
University of Iowa scientists have made a discovery that broadens understanding of a rapidly developing area of biology known as functional genomics and sheds more light on the mysterious, so-called

Younger stroke survivors have less access to medical care, medications
Stroke survivors less than 65 years old report having more difficulty accessing physicians and affording medications than stroke survivors older than 65, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the January 2007 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New findings may lead to treatment for anxiety in Rett Syndrome
The classic form of Rett Syndrome shows us a child who is the picture of anxiety: she wrings her hands, hyperventilates, trembles.

Winners of the 2006 AAAS Science Journalism Awards
Independent panels of science journalists chose the winners of the awards, which honor excellence in science reporting for print, radio, television and online categories.

Some animals won't adapt to climate change
In a fascinating study appearing in the November issue of the American Naturalist, biologists investigated the response of small animals to climate change on a remote sub-Antarctic Island.

UCSD computer scientist wins Young Investigator Award, research on snake venom proteins highlighted
Nuno Bandeira, a computer science and engineering Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering has won the 2006 Human Proteome Organization's Young Investigator Award for work on snake venom proteins.

Rensselaer scientist honored for carbon nanotube research
A materials scientist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is being honored with two distinctions for his work with carbon nanotubes.

Adolescents, risks and the pitfalls of rationality
Teenagers do not think they are immortal. But they take risks anyway.

Nanoscale microscope sheds first light on gene repair
Proteins called H2AX act as

New research strives to understand how antidepressants may be associated with suicidality
The National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding five new research projects that will shed light on antidepressant medications, notably selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and their association with suicidal thoughts and actions (suicidality).

A key antibody, IgG, links cells' capture and disposal of germs
Scientists have found a new task managed by the antibody that's the workhorse of the human immune system: Inside cells, Immunoglobulin G (IgG) helps bring together the phagosomes that corral invading pathogens and the potent lysosomes that eventually kill off the germs.

New data show ACTOS (pioglitazone HCl) halted progression of atherosclerosis as indicated by CIMT
Researchers today presented data showing that ACTOS (pioglitazone HCl) halted the progression of atherosclerosis as measured by carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Wild gorillas carriers of a SIV virus close to the AIDS virus
An article in Nature on Thursday 9/11 reports the discovery of gorillas living in the wild in Central Africa infected with an HIV-1 related virus, called SIVgor, genetically close to an HIV-1 variant called group O.

A new target for painkillers
A brand new approach to treating severe nerve pain -- by aiming drugs at a previously unrecognized molecular target -- has been discovered by University of Utah scientists who study the venoms of deadly, sea-dwelling cone snails.

Mapping the mouse genome
A high-density SNP map based on outbred and inbred mice with male and female separation suggests a high degree of homology between mouse and human recombination.

Newsbriefs from the journal Chest, November 2006
Newsbriefs from the November issue of the journal Chest highlight studies related to the link between HIV and COPD, the use of vitamin A for emphysema and how patients stay in control of their asthma.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Nov. 8, 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.

Enbrel provides sustained clinical improvements for ankylosing spondylitis for up to 3 years
Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) announced patients with ankylosing spondylitis who received treatment with Enbrel (R) (etanercept) experienced sustained improvement in signs and symptoms, spinal mobility and physical function over 148 to 160 weeks of therapy, according to data from an ongoing open-label, multinational, phase 4 extension study presented at the American College of Rheumatology scientific meeting.

The striking deep current reversal in the tropical Pacific Ocean
In two oceanographic surveys conducted in the south-west Pacific Ocean, in October 1999 and April 2000, scientists from this IRD observed a sharp change in direction of equatorial intermediate current between these two dates.

Pharmacy care program helps elderly patients take all their medications
A pharmacy care program for elderly patients increases medication adherence, which results in improved health outcomes, according to a study posted online today by JAMA.

Remote latrine reconfirms the presence of Essene sect at Qumran
Those who make a great show of being religiously pure often lead lives that are secretly very dirty -- or at least so it was in biblical times.

Fatigue in women is reduced in stress-related cortisol study
A study of healthy women has harvested results involving fatigue and vigor that eventually may help researchers fine tune efforts to treat a multitude of illnesses and syndromes linked to low levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

New insight about the source of anxiety in Rett syndrome
A peptide known to play a role in anxiety is overly plentiful in a mouse model of the inherited neurological disorder Rett syndrome and appears to underlie the anxiety-like behavior in these mice.

Ice-breaker Polarstern to explore uncharted seafloor
Huge areas of sea floor (around 3,250 km²) have been freed up by the collapse 4 years ago of the Larsen B platform along the Antarctic Peninsula.

ICON issues survey of nanotechnology practices
The first comprehensive, international survey of workplace safety practices in the burgeoning nanotechnology industry finds that many companies are developing special programs and procedures to mitigate potential risks to workers.

Counseling Alzheimer's caregivers postpones the nursing home
A program of individual and family counseling sessions and ongoing support for people who are caring for a husband or wife with Alzheimer's disease has a major impact on how long they can keep their spouses at home with them.

Tailored treatments: Promising designer drug provides new insight into cancer biology
Scientists are making progress toward unraveling the molecular mysteries that underlie cancer progression and treatment resistance.

Adult pig stem cells show promise in repairing animals' heart attack damage
Johns Hopkins scientists have successfully grown large numbers of stem cells taken from adult pigs' healthy heart tissue and used the cells to repair some of the tissue damage done to those organs by lab-induced heart attacks.

Queen's Surveillance Project benchmarks global attitudes about being watched
Almost half of Canadians and even more Americans say they find new laws aimed at protecting national security post 9/11 intrusive.

How diet, obesity and even gum disease may affect immune system and cancer
The immune system is fickle, and easily influenced by more than just viruses and bacteria.

Many newly diagnosed breast cancer patients have unrecognized and undertreated psychological needs
Almost half of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients are found to have clinically significant emotional distress or symptoms of psychiatric disorders before treatment is begun, according to a new study.

Diabetes medication may help slow progression of artery wall thickening
A medication given to diabetics to improve their body's sensitivity to insulin also appears to slow the thickening of their artery walls, according to a study posted online today by JAMA.

Mixing exploitation and conservation: A recipe for disaster
Shellfish extraction in a marine reserve so reduced food quality for red knots that they could no longer physiologically adapt to the changes, leading to the decline of this fully protected shorebird.

A new way of classifying addictive drugs
Although addictive drugs have diverse molecular targets in the brain, they share the common initial effect of increasing the concentration of a substance called dopamine.

SimCity for real
Social policy makers and town planners will soon be able to play

Psychoanalysts to convene Winter 2007 Meeting, Jan. 17-21, 2007
The Winter 2007 Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City from Wednesday, Jan.

Novel drug-antidote combination shown safe in humans
A new combination of a potent anticoagulant and an antidote that stops its action, has proved to be safe in its first clinical trial in humans, according to the team conducting the trial.

Scientists design simple dipstick test for cocaine, other drugs
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple
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