Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 07, 2006
Malaria may fuel spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa
Malaria may be fueling the spread of HIV in areas of sub-Saharan Africa where there is a substantial overlap between the two diseases, while HIV may be playing a role in boosting adult malaria-infection rates in some parts of the region, according to a new study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.

Friendship Clinic
About half of all children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have difficulty making friends.

Hajj pilgrims should get flu jab to avoid pandemic
Flu vaccination should be mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to minimise the risk of a global pandemic, say doctors in this week's BMJ.

Jury still out on net benefit of screening younger women for breast cancer
Whether the benefits of routine annual breast screening for women aged 40-49 years outweigh the harms and costs is still unclear, according to an Article published in this week's issue of the Lancet.

A new approach to growing heart muscle
It looks, contracts and responds almost like natural heart muscle -- even though it was grown in the lab.

Protecting Information
Mathematician Susan Loepp and physicist William K. Wootters share the secrets of cryptography, cryptanalysis and error correction in their textbook.

Health benefits, risks weighed for mammography in 40-something women
Conducting routine screening mammograms for women in their 40s is appropriate when the women and their doctors consider the benefits and the risks, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center breast oncologist.

Importance of personal health records draws support of American College of Physicians
The importance of personal health records (PHRs) and other technologies that can help patients and physicians improve health care was underscored today by the American College of Physicians.

Smoking worsens knee osteoarthritis
New findings from a study led by a Mayo Clinic rheumatologist indicate that men with knee osteoarthritis who smoke experience greater cartilage loss and more severe pain than men who do not smoke.

Alaska graduate receives nation's top dissertation honor
University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate Katey Walter will receive the nation's most prestigious honor for doctoral dissertations by the Council of Graduate Schools today, December 7, 2006, at the organization's 46th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

AASM position statement: Treating insomnia with over-the-counter sleep aids, herbal supplements
The following position statement for the public is the first developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Acoustic noise contains valuable geophysical information
The proper processing of acoustic noise can provide a wealth of geophysical information.

American scientist's research of life's first cells
For her research of life's first cells, Irene Chen, a regional winner from North America and the Grand Prize winner, today was named to receive the $25,000 GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists supported by GE Healthcare and the journal Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit society.

Rocket man reasoning
Now anyone can think like a rocket scientist. A professor of aeronautics and astronautics shows how, illustrating the methods in

Pro-vitamin E shown to be active against breast cancer cells
A precursor of vitamin E has been shown to be effective against breast cancer cell lines which over-express human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2).

Hospital palliative care programs continue rapid growth
Hospitals continue to implement palliative care programs at a rapid pace, according to a Center to Advance Palliative Care analysis of the latest data released in the 2006 American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals.

JCI table of contents: December 7, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, December 7, 2006, in the JCI, including: T-beta-RIII joins the fight against breast cancer; and The protein RB could help clinicians decide what breast cancer therapy is best.

Elsevier launches new journal with the National Institute of Polar Research
Elsevier, in partnership with the National Institute of Polar Research, proudly announce the 2007 launch of a new international peer-reviewed publication called Polar Science.

Spacecraft fleet zeroing in on Martian water reserves
The discovery of bright deposits on Mars, announced today by NASA, could indicate that liquid water has recently flowed on a few locations on the planet.

Liverpool launches £20 million project to develop medicines for children
A £20 million Department of Health program to develop medicines specifically for use in children will be launched jointly by the University of Liverpool and the Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust (Alder Hey) tomorrow (Thursday, December 7).

Patients unaware of risks and purpose of research even after informed consent
As many as two-thirds of critically ill patients who consented to take part in a clinical trial do not remember the purpose and risks of the research shortly after.

New biomarker predicts effectiveness of breast cancer drugs
University of Cincinnati researchers have identified a new way to predict when anti-estrogen drug therapies are inappropriate for patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer.

New poinsettia for the nontraditionalist
U of I plant scientist Daniel Warnock hopes that one day soon a uniquely marbled pink poinsettia will be available to consumers who like decorating for the holidays with a flare for the unusual.

SCAI president testifies before FDA on safety of drug-eluting stents
In testimony before the Food and Drug Administration, Gregory J.

Sea urchin genome suprisingly similar to man and may hold key to cures
Sea urchins are small and spiny. They have no eyes or ears and yet their genome is very similar to humans' and my hold the key to preventing and curing diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinsons.

Nanotechnology: The story behind the headlines
Little science is big news, or is it? Does the media tend to hype nanotechnology, or neglect it?

Women need not wait to conceive after breast cancer
Young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer need not wait the recommended two years after treatment before attempting to conceive, says a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Global warming of the future is projected by ancient carbon emissions
Global warming 55 million years ago suggests a high climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, according to research led by Mark Pagani, associate professor of geology and geophysics at Yale and published in the December 8 issue of Science.

Calhoun to discuss business models at London conference
George M. Calhoun, Executive-in-Residence at Stevens Institute of Technology's Wesley J.

Medical text takes on an Aussie style
Authored by two Queensland University of Technology academics, Australia's first medical terminology textbook was launched this week and aims to advance the understanding of medical terms.

Detailed 3-D image catches a key regulator of neural stem cell differentiation in action
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, San Diego took a high resolution

T-beta-RIII joins the fight against breast cancer
Although the soluble factor TGF-beta suppresses tumor cell growth in early breast cancer, high TGF-beta levels later in disease are associated with a poor outcome.

Supercomputing equipment to advance the frontiers of computational biology
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will continue to advance the frontiers of computational science with the help of IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer.

From hot springs to rice farms, scientists reveal new insights into the secret lives of archaea
In the world of microbes, as in politics, some groups just can't seem to shake the label ''extremist.'' So it is with archaea, bacteria-like microorganisms whose unique genetics and chemical structure separate them from all other living things.

The UK's third case of vCJD associated with blood transfusion
Researchers report the details of the UK's third case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) associated with blood transfusion in an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Engineered yeast speeds ethanol production
Scientists from Whitehead Institute and MIT have engineered yeast that can improve the speed and efficiency of ethanol production, a key component to making biofuels a significant part of the US energy supply.

ORNL aids diesel parts manufacturers
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Temperature Materials Laboratory are helping diesel engine and parts manufacturers develop technologies to meet tough new emissions regulations that go into effect in 2007.

'Erectile dysfunction' drugs heighten natural anti-cancer activity
Sildenafil and other

Young infants should not be left unattended to sleep in car safety seats
Young infants should not be left unattended to sleep in standard car safety seats, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

New 'GreeneChip' identifies multiple pathogens rapidly and accurately
An international group of researchers has recently developed a new technology for pinpointing pathogens.

Aggressive stem cells might improve transplant outcome
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have demonstrated in mice a way that might reduce the time it takes for a bone marrow transplant to rebuild a child's immune system, and so reduce the risk of potentially fatal virus infections that can occur during this time.

Hormonal contraception does not appear to increase HIV risk
Using hormonal contraception does not appear to increase women's overall risk of infection with the AIDS virus, report the authors of a large study commissioned by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

From a lowly yeast, researchers divine a clue to human disease
Working with a common form of brewer's yeast, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have uncovered novel functions of a key protein that allow it to act as a master regulatory switch -- a control that determines gene activity and that, when malfunctioning in humans, may contribute to serious neurological disorders.

Ancient climate change may portend toasty future
Scientists, including Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, have found that the Earth's global warming, 55 million years ago, may have resulted from the climate's high sensitivity to a long-term release of carbon.

UW-Madison researchers clear way to stronger glass
Look at your window -- not out it, but at it.

Ancient ape ruled out of man's ancestral line
Ancient remains, once thought to be a key link in the evolution of mankind, have now been shown to be 400,000 years too young to be a part of man's family tree.

Blood pressure drugs could help halt pancreatic cancer spread, Jefferson researchers find
Common blood pressure medications might help block the spread of pancreatic cancer, researchers have found.

Consumer-driven health plans slow to catch on, 2nd annual survey finds
Americans have not yet warmed to consumer-driven health plans, a relatively new kind of coverage that offers reduced premiums but carries higher annual deductibles.

NASA images, White Sands features support a wetter Mars
NASA's announcement yesterday of evidence that water still flows on Mars, at least in brief spurts, demonstrates that the view of Mars as a very dry planet should be re-evaluated, says Dawn Sumner, professor of geology at UC Davis.

Study highlights new and cheaper way to treat heroin addiction
Costly methadone treatment for heroin addicts could be replaced by a substitute painkiller that is half the price, safer and less toxic.

Climate change, Earth and oceans focus of UNC-Chapel Hill at AGU
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will present findings on a variety of earth science topics at the 2006 Annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Not ready to quit? Try cutting back
According to a qualitative review of 19 studies on smoking reduction in individuals who did not want to quit, this method, typically coupled with the use of nicotine replacement products, led to an increase in quitting in 16 of the studies.

Global strategies to improve health in developing countries need truly global discussions
The World Health Organization needs to ensure developing countries are involved in the production of a global strategy to boost research into diseases that predominantly affect them, according to an editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

RAND study shows solitary drug, alcohol and cigarette use puts adolescents at higher risk
Adolescents who use alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana while alone are more likely to have health and behavioral problems as young adults than their peers who consume the substances only in social settings, according to a RAND Corp. study issued today.

Study: University quality key to saving cutting-edge corporate R&D from offshoring
Although corporate research and development operations are increasingly moving to emerging countries like India and China, companies continue to keep the majority of their cutting-edge research and development in developed nations, according to a new study published in the Dec.

Natural protein stops deadly human brain cancer in mice
Scientists from Johns Hopkins and from the University of Milan have effectively proven that they can inhibit lethal human brain cancers in mice using a protein that selectively induces positive changes in the activity of cells that behave like cancer stem cells.

Does too much protein in the diet increase cancer risk?
A great deal of research connects nutrition with cancer risk.

NYU chemists create 'nanorobotic' arm to operate within DNA sequence
New York University chemistry professor Nadrian C. Seeman and his graduate student Baoquan Ding have developed a DNA cassette through which a nanomechanical device can be inserted and function within a DNA array, allowing for the motion of a nanorobotic arm.

Infectious disease researchers develop basis for experimental melanoma treatment
While investigating a fungus known to cause an infection in people with AIDS, two grantees of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, unexpectedly discovered a potential strategy for treating metastatic melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.

MIT: Engineered yeast speeds ethanol production
MIT scientists have engineered yeast that can improve the speed and efficiency of ethanol production, a key component to making biofuels a significant part of the US energy supply.

Bioprospecting not biopiracy
By training professionals in high-biodiversity regions to advance the drug discovery process in-country, a novel program drives drug discovery costs down as it promotes tropical biodiversity conservation.

Mixed prairie grasses are better biofuel source, U of M study says
Highly diverse mixtures of native prairie plant species have emerged as a leader in the quest to identify the best source of biomass for producing sustainable, bio-based fuel to replace petroleum.

Electronic Health Record-based programs triples osteoporosis screening rate, study finds
A team of Geisinger Health System researchers in central Pennsylvania recently discovered that use of the Electronic Health Record in care programs significantly increases the screening rate of women who are at risk for osteoporosis. 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