Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 19, 2007
Combination therapy spares some head and neck patients from surgery
Giving patients with head and neck cancer a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy controls the cancer and allows many patients to avoid additional surgery to the neck, according to a study presented at the plenary session today at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium in Rancho Mirage, Calif., co-sponsored by the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Head and Neck Society.

New international study to test exercise in heart failure patients
Cardiologists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are helping to lead a large international study involving 83 other sites that will test 3,000 patients in an effort to determine whether exercise really is good for heart failure patients.

Referral management schemes damage patients' interests
Referral management schemes pose a serious threat to patients' interests, argues Peter Lapsley, Chief Executive of the Skin Care Campaign, in this week's BMJ.

A healthier start to a pig's life
Participants in EUREKA project E! 2654 Healthy Weaning have been working on a cost-effective solution for farmers.

Improved nanodots could be key to future data storage
The massive global challenge of storing digital data -- storage needs reportedly double every year -- may be met with a tiny yet powerful solution: magnetic particles just a few billionths of a meter across.

The hitchhiker's guide to altruism -- Study explains how costly traits evolve
Darwin explained how beneficial traits accumulate in natural populations, but how do costly traits evolve?

Lessons from Vioxx case -- New approach needed to restore faith in pharmaceutical industry
The pharmaceutical industry, academia and government agencies need to work together to restore faith in drug development, say doctors in this weeks' BMJ.

Countries share good times using gps and the Internet
International time coordination is improving thanks to a low-cost system relying on Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and the Internet, which enables much faster time comparisons and gives small countries the opportunity to easily evaluate their measurements in relation to others and to world standards.

NIST 'Standard Bullet' fights gang violence
Researchers at NIST have developed a copper bullet designed to help end criminal sprees without once being fired.

Informing partners can help cut sexually transmitted infections
Doctors should encourage patients with sexually transmitted infections to tell their partners to seek treatment and, in some cases, provide home testing kits or drugs to help reduce infection rates, says a new study in BMJ.

The new form of trypanosomiasis discovered in India stems from a deficiency in apolipoproteinL-1
In December 2004, the first case of human Trypanosoma evansi -- induced trypanosomiasis was formally identified in India.

MIT: Nanocomposities yield strong, stretchy fibers
Creating artificial substances that are both stretchy and strong has long been an elusive engineering goal.

UCLA's J. Fraser Stoddart wins the 2007 King Faisal Prize for Science
UCLA professor Fraser Stoddart, director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), who holds UCLA's Fred Kavli Chair in Nanosystems Sciences, has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science.

Tears reveal some of their deepest secrets to researchers
It's no secret why we shed tears. But exactly what our tears are made of has remained a mystery to scientists.

Model language unveiled to help clinical researchers disclose financial conflicts
There is near-universal agreement about the need for clinical researchers to disclose financial interests to research participants, but until now there has been little guidance available on exactly how to do it.

New screening process helps better diagnose oral cancers
Patients with early stage oral cancer may benefit from a more advanced screening process allowing for a more accurate diagnosis, according to a study presented at the plenary session today at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium in Rancho Mirage, Calif., co-sponsored by the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Head and Neck Society.

Lifestyle changes effective in protecting against Type II diabetes
Changing to a healthier lifestyle appears to be at least as effective as taking prescription drugs in reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says a new BMJ study.

New quartz references for workplace safety
Chemists at NIST have developed a new set of reference materials that could contribute to significant improvements in workplace safety through more accurate measurement of the amount of quartz dust in the air.

Algae toxin identification unravels fish-kill mystery
A team of researchers from the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., has uncovered a subtle chemical pathway by which a normally inoffensive algae can suddenly start producing a lethal toxin.

Right counter height can improve fingerprint capture
Once a tool primarily used by law enforcement, biometric technologies such as fingerprint readers increasingly are being used by governments and private industry for a personal ID that can't easily be forged or stolen.

Treatment for homeless youth pays off in long run, study finds
One of the few studies examining methods to help homeless youth found that a comprehensive intervention program can indeed dramatically improve their life situation.

Male fish turn to cannibalism when uncertain of paternity
A study from the February issue of the American Naturalist is the first to demonstrate that male fish are more likely to eat their offspring when they have been cuckolded during the act of spawning.

Zooming to Pluto, APL-built New Horizons spacecraft approaches Jupiter
Just a year after it was dispatched on the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, the APL-built New Horizons spacecraft is on the doorstep of the solar system's largest planet -- about to swing past Jupiter and pick up even more speed on its voyage toward the unexplored regions of the planetary frontier.

The great cometary show
Comet McNaught, the Great Comet of 2007, is no more visible for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

New miniaturized device for lab-on-a-chip separations
Researchers at NIST have developed an elegantly simple, miniaturized technique for rapidly separating minute samples of proteins, amino acids and other chemical mixtures.

Cypress replanting unsuccessful without dual cultivation with lavender or mycorrhizal fungi
In the forests of the High Atlas, reforestation with cypress is one of the priorities of the Moroccan government's environmental management strategy.

Researchers create new class of compounds
Researchers have synthesized new aluminum-hydrogen compounds with a unique chemistry that could lead to the development of more powerful solid rocket fuel and may also, in time, be useful for hydrogen-powered vehicles or other energy applications.

Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) model goes operational
The Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurements (GAIM) model went operational at the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA), located at Offutt Air Force Base, on December 20, 2006.

Study finds differences between blood pressure medicines and newly-diagnosed diabetes
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center analyzed the data from 22 randomized clinical trials, and have found significant differences between antihypertensive drugs.

Yale's Micalizio receives Eli Lilly Award for Organic Chemistry
Yale Assistant Professor Glenn Micalizio has been named an Eli Lilly Grantee for Organic Chemistry, an award that comes with a two-year unrestricted grant of $100,000 that will be used to continue his research on ways to simplify the synthesis of complex biologically active organic molecules making collections of complex molecules easier to synthesize.

A Cross-Disciplinary Look at Scientific Truth: What's the Law to Do?
Since the Supreme Court's decision in Daubert v. Dow Merrill Pharmaceuticals Corp., complex questions have been raised concerning the law's treatment of scientific evidence.

Billions of dollars saved in US by polio vaccination
A new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds that polio vaccination in the United States has resulted in a net savings of over $180 billion, even without including the large, intangible benefits associated with avoided fear and suffering.

Researchers observe superradiance in a free electron laser
A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has generated extremely short light pulses using a new technique that could be used in the next generation of light sources.

Aspirin saves lives of cancer patients suffering heart attacks, despite fears of bleeding
Many cancer patients who have heart attacks often are not treated with life saving aspirin given the belief in the medical community that they could experience lethal bleeding.

Pittsburgh ear study finds that fluid in the ear does not impair development in children
Early insertion of ear tubes in otherwise healthy infants and young children with persistent fluid in the middle ear does not improve developmental outcomes up to nine to 11 years of age, according to results of an important study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC led by otitis media researcher Jack Paradise, MD.

JOULE II rockets launch with success
From Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks, four NASA rockets launched into an aurora display over northern Alaska, starting at 3:29 a.m.
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