Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2006
Another boost for stem cell research
Another Australian breakthrough is likely to strengthen the case for embryonic stem cell research.

Men who avoid certain risk factors in midlife may have longer, healthier life
Avoiding health risk factors in midlife such as smoking, being overweight, excessive drinking and hypertension is associated with a longer and healthier life in men, according to a study in the Nov.

Children's sleep difficulties: Reports differ from children to parents
Elementary school-aged children report that they have sleep difficulties more often than their parents report think they do.

NASA Goddard's nanotechnology comes to market
Finding affordable ways to make technology available to everyone is a common challenge.

Want fair and affordable health insurance for the uninsured? Ask the public to design it
From Massachusetts to Hawaii, states, counties and cities are working on ways to provide new health insurance options to the uninsured.

Dietary folate intake not associated with breast cancer risk
Low dietary intake of folate was not linked to breast cancer risk, according to a systematic review in the November 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Young children don't believe everything they hear
Children's ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy depends on their use of contextual cues.

University of Kentucky professor helps state garner suicide prevention grant
The Commonwealth of Kentucky recently was notified it received one of 11 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants for suicide prevention.

Travel outside of the US causing increased health risks to Americans
More than 2,000 physicians and scientists from around the world are convening at the 55th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting in Atlanta this week to discuss the latest advances in prevention and treatment of global infectious disease threats -- with one of the key topics discussed being the diseases travelers are bringing back to the United States upon returning from vacation or business trips either abroad and/or to tropical regions.

Lab-on-a-chip could speed up treatment of drug-resistant pneumonia
A new lab-on-a-chip can identify single bacterial cells for the most common cases of drug-resistant pneumonia, cutting down the wait from days to hours for identifying the particular strain and treating it.

Nearly unbreakable
Max Planck Scientists discover a novel construction principle at the nanoscale which prevents bones from breaking at excessive force.

GSA bestows Robert W. Kleemeier Award to University of Virginia's Nessleroade
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen John R. Nesselroade of the University of Virginia as the 2006 recipient of the Robert W.

Risk after colon cancer higher for the very fat and very thin
Even after successful treatment for colon cancer, the very obese are about one-third more likely to have their cancer recur and to die prematurely from cancer than those of normal weight.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue includes tips on: VGLUT2 and the thalamus; Putting LIF to work on self renewal; CCK and the nocebo effect; and SCAM analysis of the gamma-secretase catalytic domain.

Mayo Clinic research reveals 'broken heart syndrome' recurs in 1 of 10 patients
In the largest review of

Jefferson scientists find blood vessel-building protein halts blood vessels from forming in cancer
A piece of the protein cellular scaffolding involved in building blood vessels during development might have the opposite effect in tumors.

Venus Express wins Popular Science's 'Best of What's New' award
Venus Express just received an extra birthday present. In the same week as the first anniversary of the spacecraft's launch, the editors of Popular Science magazine named Venus Express as one of the top 100 technological innovations of the year.

Quality care assessment examines surgical quality for colorectal cancer patients
New research has identified indicators of surgical quality for colorectal cancer patients, according to a study published in the November 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Speak, memory: Research challenges theory of memory storage
During sleep, freshly minted memories move from the hippocampus, part of the

Mayo researchers note that stronger leg muscles can protect against knee osteoarthritis
Stronger quadriceps muscles in the legs can help protect against cartilage loss behind the kneecap, according to Mayo Clinic researchers presenting preliminary study data at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting on Nov.

GSA confers 2006 Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award to Virginia Tech's Calasanti
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Virginia Tech's Toni M.

Pattern of human Ebola outbreaks linked to wildlife and climate
A visiting biologist at the University of California, San Diego, and her colleagues in Africa and Britain have shown that there are close linkages between outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in human and wildlife populations, and that climate may influence the spread of the disease.

UCLA study reports conflict of interest policies and practices of major journals
UCLA researchers report that although the majority of medical journals have conflict of interest policies in place for study authors, less than half require such policies for editors or peer-reviewers.

Children with cerebral palsy can look forward to improved quality of life
Deakin University is taking the global lead in improving the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy.

First Far Eastern leopard captured in southeast Russia by international team
Just three days after catching a Siberian tiger in the Russian Far East, an international team led by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society captured another species last week that carries the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered big cat: an extremely Far Eastern leopard.

Global strategy for investigating Earth's geodynamics emerges from international collaboration
Fifty-one researchers, prominent Earth scientists representing 15 countries, gathered recently in Switzerland to forge a global strategy for advancing understanding of continental rifting and continental break-up through the use of a new array of multiple drilling platforms provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

Ludwig Fund gives $120 million for cancer research
A foundation created by American billionaire, Daniel K. Ludwig, will this year give six leading US institutions $20 million cash each, plus stock in a New York real estate holding company, to create Ludwig Centers.

Global warming increases species extinctions worldwide
Global warming has already caused extinctions in the most sensitive habitats and will continue to cause more species to go extinct over the next 50 to 100 years, confirms the most comprehensive study since 2003 on the effects of climate change on wild species worldwide by a University of Texas at Austin biologist.

New angioplasty procedure proving more effective
Over the last several years angioplasty has exceeded coronary bypass surgery as the preferred way to treat coronary artery disease.

To prevent terror attacks, strengthen airport screening of all travelers, not just suspects
The best way to prevent airborne terrorist attacks may be to improve the baseline security screening of all air travelers rather than identifying and screening high-risk passengers, according to new research by experts at MIT and Harvey Mudd College.

Wireless energy transfer can potentially recharge laptops, cell phones without cords
Recharging your laptop computer -- and also your cell phone and a variety of other gadgets -- might one day be doable in the same convenient way many people now surf the Web: wirelessly.

A medical micropump
Using material similar to bathtub caulk, University of Utah engineers invented a tiny, inexpensive

RAND study shows little public money spent on health care to undocumented immigrants
A small fraction of health care spending is used to provide publicly supported care to America's undocumented immigrants, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Drug treats 'water intoxication' faster, more effectively
Results of the two largest studies on hyponatremia found that the investigational drug tolvaptan treated hyponatremia -- water intoxication -- more effectively than available treatments.

Late angioplasty after heart attack no better than drug therapy
About one-third of heart attack patients do not receive treatment to open blocked arteries within the recommended 12-hours after a heart attack.

Firms covering large majority of nation's workers view health benefits as important recruitment tool
Despite intense health care cost pressures, firms covering more than 90 percent of the nation's workforce view health benefits as an important tool to attract and retain qualified workers, according to a national study by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and the Commonwealth Fund published in the November/December edition of Health Affairs.

GSA confers 2006 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award to UTMB's Markides
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Kyriakos S. Markides of the University of Texas Medical Branch to receive its 2006 Award for the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology.

Iowa's Maas wins GSA's 2006 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Award
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Meridean L. Maas of the University of Iowa as the recipient of the 2006 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Award.

Model can predict risk of glaucoma in patients with elevated eye pressure
Investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a model to identify patients at high risk of developing glaucoma.

Testosterone replacement therapy appears safe for prostate
Preliminary research suggests that testosterone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone levels appears to have little effect on the prostate gland, contrary to some reports that this therapy may be harmful, according to a study in the Nov.

GSA confers 2006 Nathan Shock New Investigator Award to NIA's de Cabo
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging to receive its 2006 Nathan Shock New Investigator Award.

Wielding the subtle weapons of a fungus
An international group of researchers has identified genes which enable the maize smut pathogen to live as a parasite.

Business leaders, laboratory tours highlight energy research showcase
Business and government leaders, speaking at the Energy Research Engagement Showcase at Virginia Tech on November 29 and 30, will address renewable and non-renewable energy opportunities and challenges.

Elderly, ill men get unneeded prostate cancer screenings
A study of almost 600,000 men aged 70 and older reveals that 56 percent had a routine prostate-specific antigen screening, a blood test for prostate cancer, even though no treatment guidelines recommend PSA screening for men of that age.

Bright future for nuclear medicine technologists
The future looks bright for nuclear medicine technologists. Technologists enjoy their jobs, find their salaries near the top of the scale for professions with similar educational requirements, are well educated and remain poised for continuing growth and change.

Obesity an advantage in MHD patients
Despite significant improvements in dialysis treatments, currently over 20 percent of the 350,000 maintenance hemodialysis patients in the United States die each year.

New test may identify cardiovascular disease earlier
By analyzing the

GSA confers 2006 M. Powell Lawton Award to University of Washington's Teri
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen the University of Washington's Linda Teri to receive its 2006 M.

Stanford's Carstensen to receive GSA's 2006 Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Laura L. Carstensen of Stanford University to receive its 2006 Award for the Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology.

Styles of conflict between parents have different implications for children and families
New research has added to our understanding of how conflict with parents affects children.

Adolescent arrest history influences risk of acquiring HIV
Adolescents with a history of arrest are at greater risk for HIV infection than adolescents with no arrest history, according to a new study published in the November issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Scientists use pixels to ease amputees' pain
Scientists at the University of Manchester are using 3-D computer graphics to combat the pain suffered by amputees.

New model to aid pancreatic cancer research
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have developed a new animal model for pancreatic cancer that exhibits a high degree of similarity to human tumors.

Taking 'chips' to the next level of gene hunting
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins' High Throughput Biology Center have invented two new gene

Scientific American names UCSB professor, alumna to list of Top 50 in Technological Leadership
A UC Santa Barbara professor and one of his former graduate students have been named to the 2006

New study finds on/off switch for septic shock
According to a new study, septic shock -- a dangerous, often deadly runaway immune response -- is controlled by a genetic on/off switch.

Ludwig Fund donates $20 million to University of Chicago for cancer research
The Virginia & D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research has donated $20 million to each of six leading cancer research institutions -- including the University of Chicago -- to create Ludwig Centers for cancer research.

Ludwig Fund gives $120 million for cancer research
A foundation created by American billionaire, Daniel K. Ludwig, will this year give six leading US institutions $20 million cash each, plus stock in a New York real estate holding company, to create Ludwig Centers.

T for two: Scientists show how immune system chooses best way to fight infection
A new study has suggested a novel way of combating diseases related to the immune system, including cancer and autoimmune diseases such as type I diabetes and arthritis.

Math model could aid study of collagen ailments
An MIT researcher's mathematical model explains for the first time the distinctive structure of collagen, a material key to healthy human bone, muscles and other tissues.

Duke researchers highlight gender differences in heart failure
Women tend to live longer with heart failure than do men, and they also tend to have a less severe form of the disease, which is characterized by reduced performance of the heart muscle, according to a study by Duke University Medical Center cardiologists.

Exercise, aspirin consumption and childbirth may alter cancer risk
Personal choices, such as smoking and consumption of fatty foods, have long been linked to increased cancer risk.

Teen girls make better health choices with intervention program
For two consecutive years, researchers examined measures of cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem in sophomore girls attending Trenton Central High School and found students are making better health choices with an intervention program.

Columbia scientists present research findings at AHA Scientific Sessions
Columbia University Medical Center research at AHA this year includes presentations on the molecular roots of atrial fibrillation, genetic influence on heart transplant rejection, the cost of end-stage heart failure and repairing heart failure damage with stem cells.

Researchers study reimbursing living organ donors for out-of-pocket expenses
In an effort to close the gap between organ supply and demand, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, the University of Michigan and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons are studying ways to reimburse living donors for some of their out-of-pocket expenses when they choose to donate an organ.

Hope for a more effective and less toxic cancer drug
Detailed evaluation conducted at WEHI into a possible new cancer drug suggests that it may prove to be more effective and less toxic than current chemotherapeutic drugs.

Sticky proteins provide new insight into drug action
How drugs such as adrenalin do primarily one thing -- in this case, increase the heart rate -- now makes more sense to scientists.

Sibling relationships reflect family dynamics
New research on sibling relationships indicates that efforts to improve relationships among siblings need to take into account how all members of the family relate to each other.

USC's Gatz wins the Gerontological Society of America's 2006 Donald P. Kent Award
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Margaret Gatz of the University of Southern California as the 2006 recipient of the Donald P.

Adding radiation therapy for treatment of advanced prostate cancer may offer benefit
Treating advanced prostate cancer with radiation therapy after removal of the prostate gland reduces the risk of disease recurrence, but does not appear to significantly improve the length of survival, according to a study in the Nov.

Diet can provide protection against development of certain cancers, new studies show
With cancer, researchers don't believe

No benefit to mechanically opening arteries days after a heart attack
In the days following a heart attack, patients who have no or mild symptoms and undergo a procedure called angioplasty to mechanically open their totally blocked coronary arteries do not reduce their risk of having another heart attack, going into heart failure or dying, according to the results of a new study.

Proteins may behave differently in natural environments
When in an environment similar to that in which they exist naturally, proteins and multiprotein assemblies may demonstrate actions or dynamics different than those they exhibit when in the static form in which they are most often studied, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Structure.

Other highlights in the November 15 JNCI
Other highlights in the Nov. 15 JNCI include the impact of weight on colon cancer outcomes, a combination therapy that increases ovarian cancer survival, impact of aging on breast cancer risk and a molecule that can target the tumor vascular system.

GSA confers 2006 Joseph T. Freeman Award to University of Wisconsin's Carnes
Molly Carnes of the University of Wisconsin has been chosen by the Gerontological Society of America to receive its 2006 Joseph T.

MIT math model could aid natural gas production
IT engineers have developed a mathematical model that could help energy companies produce natural gas more efficiently and ensure a more reliable supply of this valuable fuel.

University of Western Ontario's McMullin wins GSA's 2006 Margret M. Baltes Award
The Gerontological Society of America has chosen Julie McMullin of the University of Western Ontario as the 2006 recipient of the Margret M.

No link found between erectile medications and HIV
Erectile dysfunction medications known as Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors have been used by millions of men as safe and effective management options associated with high rates of patient and partner satisfaction.

Mayo Clinic study observes normal aging process lowers breast cancer risk
Normal aging of breast tissue lessens breast cancer risk, reports a new study by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers published in the Nov.

Combination therapy appears more effective than single drug for lower urinary tract symptoms
Men with overactive bladder and lower urinary tract symptoms who received a combination therapy were more likely to report improvement in symptoms than men who received only one medication, according to a study in the Nov.

Anti-cancer drug shows early promise in pulmonary hypertension
A drug used to treat kidney cancer can prevent the development of pulmonary hypertension in rodents.

ITN America's Freund to receive GSA's 2006 Maxwell A. Pollack Award
Katherine Freund of ITN America has been chosen by the Gerontological Society of America to receive its 2006 Maxwell A.

Please exhale
Swiss researchers led by R. Zenobi have developed a mass-spectrometric method to quickly and easily obtain a proper fingerprint of breath, including the quantitative detection of large, nonvolatile compounds.

Saving space
According to a recent study, predicting the impact of climate change on organisms is more complicated than simply looking at species northern and southern range limits.

COROT and the new chapter of planetary searches
The launch of COROT on December 21, 2006, is a long awaited event in the quest to find planets beyond our Solar System.

Helping children resolve past conflicts may be beneficial
A study of conflict resolution in siblings suggests it is beneficial for children to resolve past disagreements even after the conflict is over.

The Milky Way shaped life on Earth
Frenzied star-making in the Milky Way Galaxy starting about 2,400 million years ago had extraordinary effects on life on Earth.

Leading healthcare authorities to address safety and effectiveness
Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., is organizing a national panel to study the effectiveness and safety of electronic health records.

Transforming knowledge into economic benefits -- EPSRC's First Knowledge Transfer Challenge Awards
From dealing with mine water pollution to innovative wound care, the finalists in EPSRC's first ever Knowledge Transfer Challenge reflect the huge area covered by research in engineering and the physical sciences in the UK.

UCLA cancer researchers develop quality measures for colorectal cancer surgery
A set of quality measures used to evaluate the quality of care received by patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer has been created by UCLA researchers in an effort to improve care before, during and after the surgery. 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