Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 11, 2006
Swedish massage benefits osteoarthritis patients
Massage therapy is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and improve function in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee, researchers at the Yale Prevention Research Center and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey report in the first clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of this treatment.

Fear of migraine destroys quality of life for men
The unpredictability of symptoms and apprehension associated with living with migraine is limiting mens' lives, according to research from Griffith University's Genomics Research Centre.

New instrumentation helps scientists better predict space weather
New instrumentation and observing techniques, being developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are helping scientists better understand and predict space weather.

Why we 'never forget a face'
Are you one of those people who never forgets a face?

Plant a tree and save the Earth?
Can planting a tree stop the sea level from rising, the ice caps from melting and hurricanes from intensifying?

A window on the environment from Tahoe to the ocean
Air, water, land and the living things on or in them are connected in ways obvious and subtle, but capturing those links is hard.

Climate change affecting Earth's outermost atmosphere
Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will produce a three percent reduction in the density of Earth's outermost atmosphere by 2017, scientists predict.

Radar reveals view of land beneath polar ice
In the first test of a new radar instrument, scientists have seen through more than a mile of Greenland ice to reveal an image of land that has been hidden for millions of years.

Study finds three-quarters of women are households' chief cook and food shopper
Three-quarters of women still do most of the cooking and food shopping for their partner and family, suggests British research that will help health promotion policies to be targeted more effectively.

Exercise can reduce a smoker's lung cancer risk, but quitting smoking is still most important
In a study of more than 36,000 women, researchers observed that smokers can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by being physically active.

Balance training better than tai chi at improving mobility among older adults
A new study suggests that a program focusing on increasing step length and speed is more effective at improving mobility and balance than tai chi.

Doctors' extended duration work shifts are associated with medical errors and adverse events
A study from the US of doctors in their first postgraduate year (interns) has showed that working extended shifts is associated with increased reporting by the doctors of medical errors, adverse patient events and attentional failures.

Study questions the 'biodiversity hotspot' approach to wildlife conservation
In recent years, major international conservation groups have focused their limited resources on protecting a small number of 'biodiversity hotspots'-threatened habitats that are home to many of the world's rarest plants and animals.

Memory improves after sleep apnea therapy
A new study in the December issue of the journal CHEST shows that patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may improve their memory by using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Clinical study results using Aldagen's product to isolate cord blood stem cells presented at ASH
Interim data from a clinical trial using Aldagen's product, ALDESORT to isolate stem cells from cord blood was presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology demonstrating improved safety and efficacy when using ALDESORT compared to the COBLT control group.

Satellite radar gauges water levels in Louisiana wetlands
Ohio State University researchers have demonstrated that a satellite radar system can be used to gauge water levels in vegetated wetlands.

Pollution knows no borders
Plumes of ozone-producing pollution routinely cross political boundaries, influence local regulatory efforts and impact health and the environment, according to a team of atmospheric chemists trying to trace ozone in the lower atmosphere.

Breakthrough for future exploration unrecoverable gas reserves
Huge underground gas reserves, up to 16 percent of the total reserves, remain unused.

Columbia University licenses next-generation DNA sequencing technology
Columbia University announces today that it recently executed an exclusive license agreement for a next generation DNA sequencing technology to Intelligent Bio-Systems Inc.

'Encyclopedia of Stars' aimed at anyone who enjoys astronomy
An astronomy expert looking for in-depth research about stars can consult the same new reference book that an undergraduate freshman with a limited knowledge of astronomy might use.

Springer to publish key journal in materials science
Springer has announced a new publishing partnership with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology and the Oil and Color Chemists' Association.

Butterfly wing scales provide template for complex photonic structures
By replicating the complex micron- and nanometer-scale photonic structures that help give butterfly wings their color, researchers have demonstrated a new technique that uses biotemplates for fabricating nanoscale structures that could serve as optical waveguides, optical splitters and other building blocks of photonic integrated circuits.

Abrupt ice retreat could produce ice-free arctic summers by 2040
New NCAR research indicates that Arctic sea ice will soon begin to retreat four times more rapidly than at any time since observations began.

Height loss in older men associated with increased risk of heart disease, death
Men who lose three centimeters or more of height as they age have an increased risk of death and of coronary heart diseases events, according to a report in the December 11/25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New evidence shows New Madrid Seismic Zone may be cold and dying
New results about the temperatures of rock deep below the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central United States shed light on the puzzling questions of why large earthquakes happened there in 1811 and 1812 and when they may happen again.

Novel brain areas associated with the recognition of gender, ethnicity and the identity of faces
Researchers in Southern California have isolated brain regions that respond selectively to the cues of gender, ethnicity and identity in faces.

Researchers study role of natural organic matter in environment
The decomposition of plant, animal and microbial material in soil and water produces a variety of complex organic molecules, collectively called natural organic matter.

Technology exists to keep E. coli out of food
In a groundbreaking study at the University of Minnesota, extension food scientist Joellen Feirtag has been experimenting since April with a water-based electrochemical activation system that disinfects, cleans food and wipes out E. coli.

TV viewing and physical inactivity independently associated with metabolic risk in children
Watching TV and level of activity in children appear to be associated independently of each other with risk factors that may influence the chance that children have of developing metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes) and cardiovascular diseases in later life.

Smokers who cut back on cigarettes may negate benefit through 'compensatory smoking'
Heavy smokers who have reduced their number of daily cigarettes still experience significantly greater exposure to toxins per cigarette than light smokers, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Minnesota.

NASA provides new perspectives on the earth's changing ice sheets
It is widely documented that climate change is causing the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to shrink.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center -- Working on the tough cases
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Iowa, today presented results of a Phase II clinical study indicating that an oral drug, tipifarnib, can stall or reverse disease progression for patients with relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

After 2 years, study shows Revlimid patients live longer and remain transfusion free
Dr. Alan List, from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, presented the final results from a pivotal Phase II trial evaluating Revlimid in patients with an incurable blood cancer known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) at this year's American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

Key to avoiding whiplash injury may lie in head restraint positioning
To avoid pain associated with whiplash injury, safety considerations in cars could go beyond seat belts and airbags to examine the position of the driver and passenger head restraints, according to research at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Newsbriefs from the journal Chest, December 2006
Newsbriefs from the December issue of the journal Chest highlight the following studies: Drawing skills linked to mortality in patients with COPD; Depression common among patients with chronic cough; and Gender and obesity key factors in habitual snoring.

New research explores limits of non-invasive coronary imaging tests
If multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) shows that a patient has plaque build-up in the artery walls, does it also mean that there is actual reduced blood flow in the artery?

The rise of a giant
European astronomy has received a tremendous boost with the decision from ESO's governing body to proceed with detailed studies for the European Extremely Large Telescope.

Regional nuclear war could devastate global climate
Even a small-scale, regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more, with environmental effects that could be devastating for everyone on Earth.

U of MN study finds children with leukemia are living longer
More than 90 percent of children and young adults who survive five years or longer after diagnosis and treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are alive 20 years later and leading productive lives, according to a University of Minnesota study.

Symptom screening advances early ovarian cancer detection
A symptom survey may provide clinicians with a rapid, cost-effective screening tool to detect early stages of ovarian cancer, according to a new study.

NASA media events at 2006 Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting
NASA researchers will present findings to the media on Earth and space science topics during the 2006 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

New technology makes clinical research more precise
VIB and AlgoNomics have joined forces to develop a technology that verifies whether certain proteins induce an immune response in humans.

Number of siblings predicts risk of brain tumors
How many brothers and sisters you have, especially younger ones, could predict your chances of developing a brain tumor, according to a study published in the December 12, 2006, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Climate experts search for answers in the oceans
By absorbing half of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, the oceans have a profound influence on climate.

Report calls for improved monoclonal antibodies against solid tumors
A new report by leading experts in monoclonal antibody research for oncology offers a conceptual framework for future research in the design of antibody therapies against solid tumors.

Study takes rare look at how materialism develops in the young
As Christmas approaches, many people blame advertising for stoking the desire among teenagers to own the latest and best in computers, clothes, toys, video games, jewelry, sports equipment and cosmetics.

MuseGlobal creates customized connections to the Elsevier XML Gateway
MuseGlobal Inc. and Elsevier today announced the deployment of two new Muse Source Packages to the Elsevier XML Gateway, enabling users to search more information in less time with greater efficiency.

Gas on your mind
Scientists at the University of Leicester are to gain a greater insight into the workings of the human mind ... through the study of a snail's brain.

Self-assembling nano-ice discovered at UNL -- Structure resembles DNA
UNL chemist Xiao Cheng Zeng and his team discovered double helixes of ice molecules that resemble the structure of DNA and self-assemble under high pressure inside carbon nanotubes.

World's fastest transistor approaches goal of terahertz device
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have again broken their own speed record for the world's fastest transistor.

Nonprofit hospitals, more nurses and greater availability of technology equal better patient care
Patients are more likely to receive high quality of care in not-for-profit hospitals and in hospitals with more registered nurses and advanced technology, reports a comprehensive Harvard Medical School analysis published in the Dec.

FSU professor receives grants to study teacher preparation, training
A professor in Florida State University's College of Education in Tallahassee, Fla., who is working to develop more-effective models for teacher preparation and professional training has received two grants totaling more than $600,000 from the National Science Foundation

Bank on a Cure researchers identify pathways mediating myeloma treatment side effects
Thalidomide is a widely prescribed treatment for multiple myeloma. However, an estimated 15 to 30 percent of patients suffer venous thromboembolisms (VTEs), blood clots, as a major complication.

Drivers ignore the risk of mobile phone use
A George Institute road safety study has revealed an alarmingly high rate of mobile phone use amongst Australian drivers.

MGH study examines impact of infection with both HIV and hepatitis C virus
In a report in the December issue of PLOS Medicine, a group of researchers from the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital report one of the first studies of how HIV infection impacts immune system functions involved with hepatitis C virus control.

Preventing graft-versus-host disease disease after bone marrow transplant -- without toxicity
Most patients undergoing bone-marrow transplant must receive powerful chemotherapy drugs to suppress their immune system and prevent their bodies from rejecting the donated cells.

New Year's resolution No. 1: Prevent cancer, use olive oil.
In a study to be published in the January 2007 issue of the FASEB Journal, scientists from Europe countries describe how the anti-cancer effects of olive oil may account for the significant difference in cancer rates among Northern and Southern Europeans.

Pioneers in field of functional genomics work toward gene therapy for vision defects
For millennia anglers have wondered how fish see colors, and the rainbow of lures in every bait shop reveal that we're still guessing.

Regional nuclear war could devastate large cities and disrupt the global climate
A small-scale, regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more, impacting nearly everyone on Earth, reports a team of scientists from UCLA, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Rutgers.

'Dua Anti-reflux Valve' found to improve quality of life for bile duct/pancreatic cancer patients
An anti-reflux valve developed to help esophageal cancer patients also has been shown to help those with bile duct obstruction, according to Kulwinder S.

Sustainable nuclear energy moves a step closer
In future a new generation of nuclear reactors will create energy, while producing virtually no long-lasting nuclear waste, according to research conducted by Wilfred van Rooijen, who will receive his Delft University of Technology Ph.D. degree based on this research subject on Tuesday, December 12.

Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Symposium features national healthcare leaders
A distinguished field of national healthcare leaders and biomedical scientists will offer a variety of perspectives on this new model of healthcare for the 21st century.

Fishbone deforestation pattern affecting environment, research shows
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are studying the environmental impact that unique patterns of deforestation in Rondonia, Brazil, have on the land and climate.

Regional nuclear war would trigger mass death, devastating climate change
Even a small-scale regional nuclear war could produce as many fatalities as all of World War II, disrupt the global climate for a decade or more and impact nearly every person on Earth, according to two new studies by University of Colorado at Boulder, Rutgers University and University of California, Los Angeles researchers.

M. D. Anderson reports first drug activity in T315I-Positive CML, ALL and JAK-2-Positive MPD
Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center reported today that MK-0457 (VX-680), a novel multi-kinase inhibitor, is clinically active against multiple target mutations in two types of leukemia and myeloproliferative disorders, and produces few side effects for patients.

First familial pancreatic cancer gene identified
At least 10 percent of pancreatic cancers are thought to be familial, i.e., caused by inherited genetic mutations.

Major visual disorders in people over 40 may be costing the US economy billions
Major visual disorders in Americans older than 40 years may cost the US economy an estimated $35.4 billion a year, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New technique studies how plastic solar cells turn sunlight into electricity
A new analytical technique, featured on the cover of this week's issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry B, could lead to the development of cheaper, more efficient solar cells.

With computers, astronomers show predicted present day distribution of elusive first stars
With the help of enormous computer simulations, astronomers have now shown that the first generation of stars -- which have never been observed by scientists -- should be distributed evenly throughout our galaxy, deepening the long-standing mystery about these missing stellar ancestors.

Iowa State researchers developing machinery to harvest corn stalks and leaves
Iowa State University researchers are developing front and rear attachments that allow a conventional combine to harvest corn stover (the stalks, cobs and leaves) as well as grain.

Less help at home -- Female support for new Moms on the decline
How is motherhood different than it was a century ago?

Star on a Hubble diet
High-resolution observations from Hubble have shed light on the real mass of a star previously believed to be amongst the heaviest known in our Milky Way.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- December 6, 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.

Recurrence of silent brain lesions after initial stroke may predict subsequent stroke
Asymptomatic brain lesions that recur on brain scans within three months of a patient's initial stroke may predict subsequent stroke, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research upsetting some notions about honey bees
Genetic research, based on information from the recently released honey bee genome, has toppled some long-held beliefs about the honey bee that colonized Europe and the US According to research published recently in Science, an international professional journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the four most common subspecies of honey bee originated in Africa and entered Europe in two separate migrations.

Volcanic blast likely killed and preserved juvenile fossil plesiosaur found in Antarctica
Amid 70-mile-an-hour winds and freezing Antarctic conditions, an American-Argentine research team has recovered the well-preserved fossil skeleton of a juvenile plesiosaur -- a marine reptile that swam the waters of the Southern ocean roughly 70 million years ago.

Gene discovered by UNC researchers tied to pancreatic cancer
A gene discovered by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has been associated with two forms of pancreatic cancer, according to a study by an international group of researchers.

NASA diagnoses Tropical Storm Gert's growth spurt
Scientists present findings from a 2005 field campaign during which they flew over Tropical Storm Gert to look at the storm inside and out to determine how Gert evolved.

Mileage from megawatts
A new study finds that

Study reveals noisy Christmas toys can damage hearing
Many toys available this Christmas could damage your child's hearing according to the UK-based charity Deafness Research UK.

Weight loss through calorie restriction, but not exercise, may lead to bone loss
Men and women who lose weight by cutting calories also may be losing bone density, but weight loss through exercise does not seem to produce the same effect, according to a report in the December 11/25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Glaciers adding more to global sea rise than ice sheets, says University of Colorado study
Despite growing public alarm over the shrinking Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, it is small glaciers and ice caps that have been contributing the most to rising sea levels in recent years, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Midges send undeniable message -- planet is warming
Small insects that inhabit some of the most remote parts of the United States are sending a strong message about climate change.

Stem cells found in adult hair follicles may provide alternative to embryonic stem cells
A team from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has applied for a patent on their work to isolate, grow and identify a new and readily-available type of adult stem cell that is found in the bulge of hair follicles, and appears to have a potential for diversification similar to that of embryonic stem cells.

Experimental Biology 2007 meets in Washington, D.C., April 28-May 2
More than 12,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for Experimental Biology 2007.

First biomarker for human sleepiness identified in fruit flies
Scientists have identified the first biochemical marker linked to sleep loss, an enzyme in saliva known as amylase, which increases in activity when sleep deprivation is prolonged.

SCAI issues recommendations to prevent kidney damage after imaging procedures
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions has released recommendations for the prevention of contrast induced nephropathy -- potentially fatal kidney damage that can occur when a special dye is injected during certain cardiovascular procedures.

AVN944 inhibits IMPDH and induces apoptosis-related biomarkers in patients with hematologic cancers
IMPDH is highly upregulated in most hematological cancers and solid tumors -- an essential role in cancer cell synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Researchers identify driver for near-Earth space weather
New findings indicate that the aurora and other near-Earth space weather are driven by the rate at which the Earth's and sun's magnetic fields connect, or merge, and not by the solar wind's electric field as was previously assumed.

Successful lung cancer surgery not enough to break nicotine dependence in many smokers
A new study has found that close to half of 154 smokers who had surgery to remove early stage lung cancer picked up a cigarette again within 12 months of their potentially curative operation, and more than one-third were smoking at the one year mark.

Snottites, other biofilms hasten cave formation
Biofilms, which are complex layered communities of sulfur-consuming microbes, increase the rate of cave formation, but may also shed light on other biofilms, including those that grow on teeth and those that corrode steel ships hulls, according to a team of geologists.

A molecular condom against AIDS
University of Utah scientists designed a

Innovative satellite system proves worth with better weather forecasts, climate data
Preliminary findings from a revolutionary satellite system launched earlier this year show that the system can boost the accuracy of forecasts of hurricane behavior, significantly improve long-range weather forecasts, and monitor climate change with unprecedented accuracy.

New research shows big improvement in survival after stroke
A new research report by The George Institute for International Health, in collaboration with Auckland City Hospital and the University of Auckland, has revealed a 40 percent decline in the number of deaths after stroke in the total population of Auckland, New Zealand, over the past 25 years.

Alcohol and health: Those 2 glasses a day that lengthen your life
A study performed by the Research Laboratories of the Catholic University of Campobasso (Italy), published on Archives of Internal Medicine, confirms the beneficial effects of moderate consumption of alcohol.

Invitrogen features new scientific online resources at ASCB Meeting
Invitrogen Corp. today introduced the newest member of its free online scientific resource collection, iGene, a platform that allows researchers to conveniently search for experimental reagents by gene or protein.

Carbon dioxide emissions predicted to reduce density of Earth's outermost atmosphere by 2017
Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will produce a 3 percent reduction in the density of Earth's outermost atmosphere by 2017, according to a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Pennsylvania State University.

LSU professor discovers new species
Chris Austin, assistant curator of herpetology at LSU's Museum of Natural Science, or LSUMNS, and adjunct professor in biological sciences, recently discovered a new species of lizard while conducting field research in Borneo.

Antibody extends life of mice with breast cancer
A monoclonal antibody developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo has been shown to extend significantly the survival of mice with human breast-cancer tumors and to inhibit the cancer's spread to the lungs in the animals by more than 50 percent.

Climate scientists to discuss the chilling consequences of nuclear war
Beyond the immediate devastation of a large-scale nuclear war, a growing number of scientists are concerned about the aftermath of

NASA aircraft captures windy details in hurricane's ups and downs
Researchers employing some of the world's most sophisticated weather research equipment recently captured details on winds and other conditions in a rapidly intensifying hurricane.

Brain images show hysteria not an imaginary disorder
In what's being called a novel finding, researchers using brain scans have uncovered evidence of cerebral dysfunction in women with sensory conversion disorder, better known as hysteria.

Project to intensify agricultural production in Great Lakes -- Africa's most impoverished region
The CATALIST Project will serve farmers in Africa's most densely populated region.

Higher physical activity associated with reduced risk of breast cancer
Women with higher levels of physical activity may have a reduced risk of breast cancer after menopause, according to a report in the December 11/25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. 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