Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2007
Researchers find a common genetic risk factor for Parkinson's disease in Asians
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. and the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan have discovered what to date appears to be the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson¡'s disease worldwide.

The Society of Hospital Medicine and Wiley to launch InfoPOEMs for hospitalists
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today a collaborative agreement to launch InfoPOEMs for Hospitalists in spring 2007.

Big vegetarian mammals can play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, study finds
Removing large herbivorous mammals from the African savanna can cause a dramatic shift in the relative abundance of species throughout the food chain, according to scientists from Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California-Davis.

Students who attend college at early age rate experience positive, enduring
Students who entered college when they were 12 to 14 years old don't fit the stereotype of unhappy

Other highlights in the Jan. 17 JNCI
Also in the Jan. 17 JNCI are studies about calcium supplements protecting against colorectal adenomas; antioxidents not stopping gastric cancer; allergy's relationship to non-Hodgkin lymphoma; the association between gum disease and pancreatic cancer, and a new biomarker for breast cancer recurrence.

Scientists perform 'tricky' operation
A team of international scientists has decoded the genome of the parasite behind trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that each year affects about 170 million people worldwide.

Survey shows strong support for offshore wind power
Delawareans are strongly in favor of offshore wind power as a future source of energy for the state, according to a survey conducted by University of Delaware researchers.

FDA approves LIALDA™ (mesalamine)
Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY, TSX: SHQ) announced today that the U.S.

Scientists map key landmarks in human genome
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have developed a powerful method for charting the positions of key gene-regulating molecules called nucleosomes throughout the human genome.

Einstein's tea leaves inspire new blood separation technique
Scientists at Monash University in Australia have developed a process for rapidly and efficiently separating blood plasma at the microscopic level without any moving parts, potentially allowing doctors to do blood tests without sending samples to a laboratory.

Quantum biology -- Powerful computer models reveal key biological mechanism
Using powerful computers to model the intricate dance of atoms and molecules, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have revealed the mechanism behind an important biological reaction.

M. D. Anderson announces collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Mexico
Building on a relationship that spans more than three decades, the University of Texas M.

Antivirals effectively curb influenza virus
Two antiviral drugs, oseltamivir and zanamivir, are highly effective when given as a preventive measure to reduce the spread of the influenza virus.

Early explorer of Yellowstone finally gets his due
The little-known history of Gustavus Doane and his role in establishing Yellowstone National Park is the subject of a new book by Montana State University archivist Kim Allen Scott.

Dark energy may be vacuum
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen's Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute have brought us one step closer to understanding what the universe is made of.

Applied scientists create wrinkled 'skin' on polymers
Applied scientists demonstrated a new method for developing wrinkled hard skins on the surface areas of polymers using a focused ion beam.

Re-examining long-held beliefs about food safety
Old habits die hard. In the case of food handling and food safety, this adage is true, as many long-held beliefs are no longer valid in the wake of new technologies and understanding of the microbiology of food safety, according to a new book from ASM Press.

Chemotherapy appears to delay cancer recurrence following surgery for pancreatic cancer
Use of the drug gemcitabine for chemotherapy significantly delays the recurrence of cancer, compared to no chemotherapy, for patients following pancreatic cancer surgery, according to a study in the January 17 issue of JAMA.

New studies find amazing concentration of species unique to East African mountains
New studies published this month in the scientific journal Biological Conservation document an amazing concentration of over 1000 species unique -- or endemic -- to an area slightly larger than Rhode Island in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya.

There goes the neighborhood: Vascular niche nurtures brain tumor stem cells
New research published in the January 2007 issue of the journal Cancer Cell, published by Cell Press, reveals that small blood vessels associated with brain tumors orchestrate a distinct microenvironment that is critical for maintaining cancer stem cells (CSCs).

Chemical switch triggers critical cell activities
The freeze-frame image of a molecular relay race, in which one enzyme passes off a protein like a baton to another enzyme, has solved a key mystery to how cells control some vital functions, according to investigators at St.

Statistical method used influences results of observational studies
A study comparing different statistical methods used to remove the effects of selection bias in observational studies finds that results may vary and caution may be warranted when interpreting findings of studies using certain methods, according to an article in the January 17 issue of JAMA.

Long-term narcotics use for back pain may be ineffective and lead to abuse
Narcotic drugs (opioids) are commonly prescribed for short-term relief of chronic back pain, but their effectiveness long-term has been questioned in a review article by researchers at Yale School of Medicine, who also found that behaviors consistent with opioid abuse was reported in 24 percent of cases.

Link found between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer
In a new study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas.

Paleontologists to discuss 'gap' fossils that link fish and land animals
Working in rocks more than 70 million years old far above the Arctic Circle, paleontologists discovered a remarkable new fossil species that is the most compelling evidence yet of an intermediate stage between fish and early limbed animals.

Physicists discover structures of gold nanoclusters
Using different experimental techniques, two separate and independent research groups have verified the predictions of a Georgia Tech physics group regarding structure of gold nanoclusters from 11 to 24 atoms in size.

Brain tumor researchers find their 'niche'
Brain tumors appear to arise from cancer stem cells (CSCs) that live within microscopic protective

Step on the gas -- New fuel cell design adds control, reduces complexity
When Princeton University engineers want to increase the power output of their new fuel cell, they just give it a little more gas -- hydrogen gas, to be exact.

Dangerous wheat disease jumps Red Sea
A new form of stem rust, a virulent wheat disease, has jumped from eastern Africa and is now infecting wheat in Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula.

New research says winning a Nobel Prize adds nearly two years to your lifespan
New research by the University of Warwick reveals that a Nobel Prize brings more than just cash and kudos -- it can also add nearly two years to your life.

World Health Organization's plan to monitor HIV drug resistance in Botswana likely to fail
A World Health Organization plan to track transmitted resistance to HIV drugs in Botswana could fail because the threshold the organization has set is too high, according to new UCLA research.

Napoleon's mysterious death unmasked, UT Southwestern researcher says
A new investigation into Napoleon Bonaparte's cause of death might finally put to rest nearly 200 years of lingering mysteries about the illness that killed the French emperor during his island exile, a UT Southwestern Medical Center scientist reports.

Lead with a poisonous electron shield
At a molecular level, what causes the toxic effects of lead?

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Defective movement of cell's power plants implicated in commom inherited neurological disorder
Contrary to previous thinking, the inefficient movement of cell's

Heart rhythm genes possible factors in SIDS
Nearly 10 percent of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) victims have mutations or variations in genes associated with potentially lethal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), according to two newly published studies involving Vanderbilt researchers.

Sunshine pill for prostate cancer in 2009
A drug based on vitamin D and is given to patients in the advanced stages of prostate cancer along with chemotherapy drugs could be availiable by 2009.

Alpine bird numbers on the slide due to high-altitude ski runs
High-altitude ski runs are seriously affecting Alpine birds, ecologists have found for the first time.

Getting one's protein in a bunch -- When quality control fails in cells
Over time, a relatively minor mistake in protein production at the cellular level may lead to serious neurological diseases.

New fat, same old problem with an added twist?
Last month, New York City outlawed the use of partially hydrogenated oils, known as trans fats, in restaurants, a ban now under consideration in other cities, including Boston and Chicago.

Establishing guidelines for care of chronic wounds
A uniform process for the care of patients with chronic wounds has, for years, been a desire of many clinicians and government regulators.

No benefit to increasing dose intensity of chemotherapy in osteosarcoma, study finds
A dose-intensive regimen of the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin offered no clinical benefit over standard doses of the chemotherapy drugs in patients with a bone cancer called osteosarcoma, according to results from a randomized trial in the Jan.

Patients who receive drug-eluting stents should continue antiplatelet medications
Patients who have had drug-eluting stents inserted to prop open blocked coronary arteries should continue to take medications to reduce the risk of blood clots for at least one year after the stent is inserted, a new scientific advisory recommends.

Stem cell marker identified in head and neck cancer
Researchers have found a marker on head and neck tumor cells that indicates which cells are capable of fueling the cancer's growth.

AGI to offer 'Earth from Space'
The American Geological Institute is pleased to offer as part of its catalog of geoscience resource and interest publications

New details of first major urban battle emerge
New details in the tragic end of one of the world's earliest cities as well as clues about how large scale obsidian tool manufacture may have fueld the development of urban civilization were revealed in a recent excavation in northeastern Syria that was conducted by the University of Chicago and the Syrian Department of Antiquities.

Small molecule offers big hope against cancer
Researchers at the University of Alberta have shown that a nontoxic molecule shrinks cancers tumors, including lung, breast and brain.

High rate of overweight and obesity found in children having surgery
A very high proportion of children who are having surgery are overweight or obese, and because of the excess weight have a greater chance of experiencing problems associated with the surgery, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

New angiogenesis inhibitor has promise for treating deadly brain tumor
Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center have found that AZD2171, a new angiogenesis inhibitor, can significantly reduce the size of the deadly brain tumors called glioblastomas and has the potential of improving the effectiveness of other therapeutic techniques.

Elsevier Society publishing program expands in 2006
Elsevier is pleased to announce the launch of 24 new journal publishing partnerships with leading international organizations in 2006, ensuring the continuing growth of its society journal publishing program.

South Asians have higher levels of heart attack risk factors at younger ages
People who are native to South Asia experience heart attacks at a younger age because of greater levels of heart attack risk factors such as smoking and diabetes at a younger age, according to a study in the January 17 issue of JAMA.

England football team best in world -- So say 1.3 billion Chinese
A new study of the strength of interest in international football across China by Warwick Business School shows that not only is the England team shirt the most popular football shirt across China, England is also by far Chinese football fans' most favored international team beating Brazil, Argentina and Germany.

Loyola prof. aids in discovery of first case of insect transmission of Chagas parasite in Louisiana
Loyola biology professor Patricia Dorn, Ph.D., in collaboration with Dawn Wesson, Ph.D., of Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Loyola undergraduate student Leon Perniciaro discovered the first human case of insect-transmitted Chagas parasite in Louisiana and sixth ever in the United States.

Study identifies common flaws in oncology microarray studies
A substantial percentage of microarray-based studies in oncology contain critical flaws in analysis or in their conclusions, reports a study in the Jan.

Researchers develop new method for fighting leukemia
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's Massey Cancer Center have created a new method to improve the antileukemic activity of a novel agent that triggers programmed cell death, a development that could lead to more effective strategies for fighting leukemia and other malignancies.

'Beavertail' surgery helps tongue cancer patients
A new surgical technique pioneered at the University of Alberta has given back the ability to swallow to patients with tongue cancer.

Journal studies find relationship between delirium, dementia
For the most part, dementia and delirium have been viewed as separate and distinct conditions. 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