Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 16, 2006
Fires in far northern forests to have cooling, not warming, effect
Droughts and longer summers tied to global warming are causing more fires in the Earth's vast northernmost forests, a phenomenon that will spew a steadily increasing amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Nanotech tools yield DNA transcription breakthrough
Two papers in Science report new discoveries regarding transcription, significantly advancing our understanding of the molecular machine that carries out the process.

Two sides of the same coin: Money spurs changes for better and worse
Money changes everything, and that includes changing people's motivations for the better and their behavior toward others for the worse, according to a new study published in the international journal Science.

Robot, heal thyself
Joshua Bongard, at the University of Vermont, has invented robots that can self-heal.

'Tribbles' protein implicated in common and aggressive form of leukemia
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have identified a new protein associated with acute myelogenous leukemia.

Ultrasound mammography, volcano monitoring for aircraft safety
How might a new ultrasound method for breast-cancer exams reduce false positives -- and the anxiety that accompanies them?

Science study explains polio's tenacious grip in India
New research helps explain polio's persistence in India despite massive immunization efforts and offers hope for the campaign to stamp out the virus once and for all.

UCLA researchers unravel a mystery about DNA
UCLA researchers in collaboration with researchers at Rutgers University have solved longstanding mysteries surrounding DNA transcription, the first step in carrying out instructions contained in our genes.

GroPep launches new Assay kit for cancer research
Listed biopharmaceutical company GroPep Limited (ASX: GRO) today announced the release of a novel Assay kit to be used in the detection of a range of diseases, including cancer.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor to test exercise program for older individuals with CKD
The National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health awarded a two-year $154,000 grant to a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member to test the effects of a 12-week home-based exercise intervention program on older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) requiring long-term dialysis treatments.

'Moral clarity' espoused in debate over health-care reform
A new collection of essays,

New technology offers alternative to open heart surgery
A new method of treating mitral regurgitation (MR), the leaking of blood through the mitral valve into the heart chamber, provides a less-invasive alternative to open heart surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy may improve trip down memory lane
Research from the University of Michigan Health System suggests that hormone therapy might help women retain certain memory functions.

Sleep apnea treatment curbs aggression in sex offenders
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects up to 20 percent of men in Western cultures, five percent of whom experience significant physical symptoms.

Shire analysis compares stimulant to nonstimulant ADHD medications in patients aged 8 to 15 years
Shire plc announced study results that suggested that stimulant medications such as Adderall XR (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product) are significantly more effective than nonstimulant medications in the treatment of patients aged 8 to 15 years with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Mayo study examines link between rheumatoid arthritis and chronic lung diseases
For decades, researchers have suspected a connection between chronic lung diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.

U of MN researchers link early brain development to adult-onset neurodegenerative disease
Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Institute for Human Genetics have shown for the first time that the severity of an adult neurodegenerative disease is tied to how well the brain developed shortly after birth.

1 in 3 pregnancies ending in childbirth in Scotland is unintended
One in three pregnancies that end in childbirth is unintended in Scotland.

Stevens professor wins Online Learning Best Practices Award
In what is billed as the world's most prestigious distance-learning prize, the United States Distance Learning Association honored Stevens Institute of Technology's Professor Steven R.

Study shows survival benefit for anastrozole
Switching to anastrozole after 2-3 years' treatment with tamoxifen not only helps women to live longer but it also increases their chances of remaining cancer free after initial treatment of breast cancer, claim researches in the online edition of the Lancet Oncology.

JHU-led team discovers exotic relatives of protons and neutrons
A team of scientists has discovered two new subatomic particles, rare but important relatives of the familiar, commonplace proton and neutron.

UWM Center for By-Products Utilization wins EPA Award for Green Research in Concrete
The research of Tarun Naik and the UWM Center for By-Products Utilization was recently recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its investigation into alternative uses for coal combustion products, like fly ash and other waste generated by coal-burning power plants.

New study weighs benefits of exercise, diets
While exercise and dieting are equally effective ways to lose weight, exercising helps to maintain muscles, new research finds.

Repair not destruction: A new approach to treating retinopathy
Many diseases of the eye (such as diabetic retinopathy) that result in loss of vision are the result of the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leak and bleed.

Dark energy existed in infant universe
Researchers have discovered that dark energy, a mysterious repulsive force that makes the universe expand at an ever-faster rate, is not new but rather has been present in the universe for most of its 13-billion-year history.

Parkinson Research Alliance of India under development by MCG doctor
An alliance to bring more clinical trials for Parkinson's disease to India will expedite evaluations of innovative treatments in the United States and beyond, says its organizer.

Ultrasound makes central venous catheterisation safer, quicker and easier
Ultrasound-guided central venous catheterisation is easier, quicker and safer than the traditional method using landmarks, and should be the method of choice when treating critical care patients.

Let doctors fix the NHS
Clinician led management can fix the NHS, argues a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Condom promotion campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa have been successful
There has been a substantial rise in the use of condoms reported by young, sexually active, single women in sub-Saharan Africa, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Fresh use of targeted therapy advances treatment of early HER2-positive breast cancer
The news that the world's first targeted therapy, trastuzumab (Herceptin), is now available for many women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer

UCLA neurologist honored with American Heart Association's Stroke Council Award
Dr. Jeffrey L. Saver professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the UCLA Stroke Center, received the American Heart Association Stroke Council Award November 13 at the AHA Scientific Sessions Conference in Chicago.

Science Grid This Week goes international
Today the worldwide science grid community launched International Science Grid This Week, a weekly publication reporting news and information about grid computing projects and collaborations, and the scientific research that uses grid computing technology.

Microorganisms one part of the solution to energy problem, says report
The answer to one of the world's largest problems -- the need for clean, renewable sources of energy -- might just come from some of the world's smallest inhabitants -- bacteria -- according to a new report,

New maps emphasize the human factor in wildfire management
As wildfires put more and more human lives and property at risk, people are looking to fire managers for protection.

Shire announces once-daily guanfacine extended release data in ADHD patients aged 6 to 17 years
Shire plc (Nasdaq: SHPGY, LSE: SHP, TSX: SHQ) announced that once-daily doses of the investigational medication guanfacine extended release (GXR, also referred to as SPD503), a selective alpha-2A-adrenoceptor agonist, significantly improved symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in children aged 6 to 17 years when used as a monotherapy, according to phase 3 trial results presented at the 2006 US Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress.

New agreement questions NHS relation with industry
The Department of Health's new clinical trials agreement raises questions about the NHS's relation with the drug industry, says an editorial published in BMJ Online today.

Edible food wrap kills deadly E. coli bacteria
Researchers have improved upon an edible coating for fresh fruits and vegetables by enabling it to kill deadly E. coli bacteria while also providing a flavor-boost to food.

Research suggests beta agonists may alter the immune system
New research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine suggests that certain inhaled asthma medications -- as well as similar chemicals our bodies produce during times of high stress -- may worsen diseases such as asthma, heart failure and lupus that involve inflammation.

JCI table of contents: November 16, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, November 16, 2006, in the JCI, including: Repair not destruction: A new approach to treating retinopathy; Dendritic cells help keep pathogens locked up; and Identifying new effectors of cancer using RNAi.

New HIV statistics indicate increasing toll of AIDS on African American community
The country's leading African American lawmakers, civil rights leaders and medical experts today called on the federal government to adopt and implement a new blueprint to address the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African American community.

Kentucky first state to match federal SBIR-STTR Phase 1 and Phase 2 grants
Governor Ernie Fletcher's initiative to help Kentucky's high-tech small businesses spurred the state's General Assembly to fund a program that matches federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants to those companies.

Geologists find new origins of Appalachian Mountains
Geologists have developed a new theory to explain how and when the Appalachian Mountain range was created.

ADAPT safety results now published
A paper appearing this week in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Clinical Trials presents findings from a large National Institutes of Health sponsored trial regarding the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular safety of two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, celecoxib and naproxen.

Occupational therapy improves quality of life for dementia patients and their carers
Occupational therapy can help to improve the ability of people with dementia to perform daily activities and can also reduce the pressure on their caregivers, says a BMJ study published today.

Exposure to dioxins influences male reproductive system, study of Vietnam veterans concludes
A dioxin toxin contained in the herbicide Agent Orange affects male reproductive health by limiting the growth of the prostate gland and lowering testosterone levels.

DNA repair teams' motto: 'To protect and serve'
When you dial 911 you expect rescuers to pull up at your front door, unload and get busy -- not park the truck down the street and eat donuts.

Pressured by predators, lizards see rapid shift in natural selection
Countering the widespread view of evolution as a process played out over the course of eons, evolutionary biologists have shown that natural selection can turn on a dime -- within months -- as a population's needs change.

World Health Organization in the era of Margaret Chan
An editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet discusses the challenges facing Margaret Chan, the newly elected Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Shire bioequivalence study results of SPD465, investigational drug for adults with ADHD
Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY, TSX: SHQ) announced that a single once-daily morning dose of the investigational amphetamine compound SPD465, extended release triple-bead mixed amphetamine salts, designed to reduce symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in adults for up to 16 hours, was bioequivalent to a dose of ADDERALL XR (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product) followed by a dose of mixed amphetamine salts immediate release (

Combination of personality traits increases risk for heart disease
Frequent bouts of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger are known to increase a person's risk for developing coronary heart disease, but a combination of these

Money: It's more than an incentive according to University of Minnesota researcher
Why are some people more self-sufficient than others? Why are some people more willing to volunteer or help out than others?

New computer software enables rapid response to time-critical emergencies
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago researchers demonstrated a new specialized software system at Supercomputing 2006 that provides computational resources quickly for emergency applications affecting public health, safety, and security.

Increased patient demand for prostate test has serious implications for cancer services
A survey of over 700 UK family doctor practices has shown that two-thirds provide PSA testing for prostate cancer on demand, despite lack of evidence that this approach is effective.

RAND study says US should greatly expand efforts
To defeat the global jihadist movement, the United States should move beyond the boundaries of conventional counter-terrorism and undermine support for Islamic terrorism within Muslim nations, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Vaccine for brain tumors shows promising results
A vaccine for treating a recurrent cancer of the central nervous system that occurs primarily in the brain, known as glioma, has shown promising results in preliminary data from a clinical trial at UCSF Medical Center.

Argonne National Laboratory extends advanced computing expertise
Argonne National Laboratory has been awarded approximately $25 million over the next five years for more than a dozen projects under the Department of Energy's

Scientists discover role for dueling RNAs
Researchers have found that a class of RNA molecules, previously thought to have no function, may in fact protect sex cells from self-destructing.

Tooth whiteners do not cause cancer
Common tooth whitening products, which have been used by millions of people, are found to be safe and do not increase the risk of oral cancer when used as directed.

Forest fires may lead to cooling of northern climate
Countering hypotheses that forest fires in Alaska, Canada and Siberia warm the climate, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered that cooling may occur in areas where charred trees expose more snow, which reflects sunlight into space.

Genetics influence adolescent language problems
Specific language impairment is a condition in which a child's language development is deficient despite showing normal development in all other areas.

Florida Tech professor receives grant for sensing technology and robotics
The grant continues and supports a cooperative international effort in which faculty and students are developing an interdisciplinary curriculum that directly focuses on remote sensing systems, moving robotic (mechatronics) platforms and the system risks associated with the detection of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and with humanitarian de-mining. 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