Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 22, 2007
Health care costs for abused women are significant
Women with a history of abuse by intimate partners have significantly higher health care costs and utilization than women with no history of such abuse, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Elsevier selected as new publisher of Annals of Vascular Surgery
Elsevier is pleased to announce that beginning with Volume 21 (2007) it has assumed publication of the Annals of Vascular Surgery, the official publication of the French Society for Vascular Surgery, the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, and the Southern California Vascular Surgical Society.

Scripps Research study reveals new activation mechanism for pain sensing channel
A group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has identified a mechanism that enables certain compounds to activate a pain sensing protein.

Common mechanisms for viral DNA replication
Crystal structures of the SV40 large T antigen (T-ag) origin binding domain (obd) with and without DNA show how two T-ag obds orient head-to-head and engage with the major groove.

Selenium supplements may contribute to reduced HIV viral load
Taking daily selenium supplements appears to increase the level of the essential mineral in the blood and may suppress the progression of viral load in patients with HIV infection, according to an article in the Jan.

Microwave oven can sterilize sponges, scrub pads
Microwave ovens may be good for more than just zapping the leftovers; they may also help protect your family.

Cells passed from mother to child during pregnancy live on and make insulin
A Bristol team has looked for maternal cells in children with type 1 diabetes, an immune-mediated disorder, and found that around 20 percent of these children have unusually high levels of maternal DNA in their circulation.

Sandia develops next generation of screening devices
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing the next generation of screening devices that will identify hazardous and toxic materials even if concealed by clothing and packaging materials.

Bird flu -- Call for antiviral drugs to be shared
New predictions about bird flu, involving the use of a mathematical model, suggest that international cooperation to share antiviral drugs might be the best way to deal with an emerging pandemic.

Iowa State corn/soy plastics to be made into hog feeders
Richard Larock, a University Professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, is developing plastics made from corn and soybean oils that will be used to build hog feeders.

Psychosocial factors associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers
Psychosocial factors, such as cynical distrust, chronic stress and depression, may be associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers measured in the blood, which in turn are related to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a report in the Jan.

Cells passed from mother to child may be first step in developing new treatments for type 1 diabetes
For the first time, scientists have discovered that cells passed from mother to child during pregnancy can differentiate into functioning islet beta cells that produce insulin in the child.

Repeat bone mineral density scans do not appear helpful for predicting fractures in most older women
Repeating a bone mineral density (BMD) scan up to eight years after an initial BMD appears to provide little additional benefit for predicting fractures among older postmenopausal women, according to a report in the Jan.

Existing research supports metabolic syndrome link to cardiovascular disease
For years cardiologists have disagreed over the condition known as metabolic syndrome.

Transdermal vaccine effective in treating Alzheimer's disease in mouse model
A novel needle-free vaccine approach was found safe and effective in clearing brain-damaging plaques from mice bred to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists map air pollution using corn grown in US fields
Scientists at UC Irvine have mapped fossil fuel air pollution in the United States by analyzing corn collected from nearly 70 locations nationwide.

MIT releases major report on geothermal energy
A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that mining the huge amounts of heat that reside as stored thermal energy in the Earth's hard rock crust could supply a substantial portion of the electricity the United States will need in the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact.

Dental researchers test no-needle anesthesia, no-drilling cavity care
Imagine having a decayed tooth repaired, painlessly, without drilling or shots of anesthesia to numb the area.

Hypertension control appears better in US than in western Europe
Individuals with diagnosed hypertension in the United States appear to have lower blood pressure readings and better hypertension control than patients in five western European countries, according to a report in the Jan.

Human circadian clocks couple to local sun time
By assessing the daily activity patterns of thousands of individuals living in different geographical locations, researchers have found evidence that the human circadian clock becomes coupled to so-called local sun time despite the fact that people live and work according to a common

Minister Lunn speaks at the Economic Club of Toronto
On Tuesday, January 23, the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, will speak about Canada as a clean-energy superpower to the Economic Club of Toronto.

UIC receives grant to find new drugs for bipolar disorder
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have been awarded a three-year $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a new drug to treat bipolar disorder.

Dogs may be responding to psychological seizures, not epilepsy seizures
Reports of dogs that can predict their owners' epilepsy seizures have been anecdotal and not objectively confirmed by doctors and researchers.

Drug resistance in an influenza pandemic
Stockpiling large amounts of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and related antiviral drugs with the intent to treat a large fraction of the population is a key part of pandemic preparedness of many countries.

Motor protein plays key role in connecting neurons
A motor protein called myosin X runs the main road of a developing neuron, delivering to its tip a receptor that enables it to communicate with other neurons, scientists say.

Bioterrorism alerts induce anxiety and may pose health risk, Einstein study finds
In the wake of September 11, 2001, the government and the media have periodically alerted the American people to potential threats of bioterrorism.

Aerosol pollution slows down winds and reduces rainfall
Near-surface winds provide a renewable source of clean energy and evaporate water, helping rain clouds to build up.

US beats Europe for hypertension treatment
By starting treatment for high blood pressure earlier and being more aggressive, physicians in the US control hypertension significantly better than their counterparts in western Europe.

New research brings initial find of Alois Alzheimer to fore once again
The two dominant proteins that determine how much blood flows through the body's arteries have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease.

Daily use of antidepressants associated with increased risk of fracture in older adults
Daily use of the antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by adults 50 years and older is associated with a doubled risk of some fractures, according to a report in the Jan.

Can epilepsy patients predict their seizures?
Some patients with epilepsy can reliably predict when they are likely to have a seizure, a finding that may lead to better seizure prevention, according to a study published in the Jan.

What are the challenges faced by research ethics committees in Africa?
International guidelines and many nations' laws mandate that research with humans requires prior approval from a research ethics committee (called an institutional review board or IRB in the US).

New software will help children design their own games and aid learning
Pioneering software that enables children to design their own computer games could significantly improve the teaching of literacy, design and ICT skills in our schools.

AGU journal highlights -- January 22, 2007
In this issue: Orbital variations and rate of change in global ice volume; Decomposing methane gas hydrates on the Arctic Shelf?; Continental deformation in Asia using GPS arrays; Rapid erosion of overridden soft sediments during glacial advance along Alaska's coast; Solar proton events may affect upper mesospheric cloud formation; Saturn's satellite Rhea: homogenous mix of rock and ice; Precipitation rates in vertically sheared tropical cyclones; and Deformation in Andaman Islands associated with 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake.

Tamoxifen discontinuation rates surprisingly high in clinical practice
A new study says early termination of the highly effective breast cancer drug tamoxifen may negatively affect treatment efficacy.

Ventracor continues to build momentum
Ventracor (ASX: VCR) today reported growing momentum in its European BRACE Study (Better Results And Cost Effectiveness) of the VentrAssist, building on the achievement of major milestones in December 2006.

The Evolution of Altruism
Although rare in animals, reciprocal altruism colors much of human emotion and social behavior.

Cincinnati partnership awarded $340,000 to inspire future math teachers
As part of a $3.5 million initiative by the Ohio Board of Regents to develop 10 regional academies, the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Miami University, Cincinnati Public Schools and the Princeton City Schools form a partnership to recruit high school students into becoming future math teachers.

Rapid flu testing is associated with decreased antibiotic use in hospitalized adults
Rapid influenza testing is associated with reductions in the use of antibiotics in hospitalized adults, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the Feb.

Detaining patients is justified to contain deadly TB strain in South Africa say experts
A team of medical ethics and public health experts say tough isolation measures, involuntary if need be, are justified to contain a deadly, contagious, drug-resistant strain of TB in South Africa and to prevent

Rapid flu tests may reduce threat of antibiotic resistance
New tests to rapidly detect the flu are allowing doctors to cut down on the number of hospital patients who receive antibiotics, helping soften the rapidly worsening threat of antibiotic resistance.

A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go to work
There will soon be no more bitter pills to swallow, thanks to new research by University of Leeds scientists -- a spoonful of sugar will be all we need for our bodies to make their own medicine.

Adding radiation decreases breast cancer recurrence
Radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery for breast cancer reduces recurrence and prevents development of additional breast tumors in older women with early stage breast disease, according to a new study.

Canada's new Government launches $300-million ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative
The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, unveiled his Government's plan to invest approximately $300 million over four years to promote smarter energy use and reduce the amount of harmful emissions that affect the health of Canadians.

Comprehensive reforms to move toward patient-centered care released by ACP
Sweeping policy proposals to advance patient-centered primary care were released today by the American College of Physicians in its annual report on the State of the Nation's Health Care.

The floral network -- what determines who pollinates whom
The topology of plant-pollinator networks can be explained by relatively simple rules incorporating both

Families do not cause anorexia nervosa
Misstatements and ignorance claiming that families

Significant milestone for Columbus flight readiness
In December 2006, experts from ESA and partner organizations met to review Columbus launch preparations.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Jan. 17, 2007
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.

Research to spotlight carbon monoxide benefits
Scientists at the University of York have won a grant of £110,000 to investigate potential uses of carbon monoxide in treating disease.

$2 billion ecoENERGY Initiatives to help reduce smog and greenhouse gases
Today, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn highlighted how the $2 billion ecoENERGY Initiatives will reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions that affect the environment and the health of Canadians.

DOE JGI upgrades IMG/M -- the Metagenomics Data Management & Analysis System
On the one-year anniversary of the launch of the experimental metagenome data management and analysis system, IMG/M, the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has released the latest upgrade.

Linheng Li Lab documents the development of cancer stem cells
Xi He, M.D., Research Specialist II, and Linheng Li, Ph.D., associate investigator, are the first and last authors, respectively, on a new publication that clarifies how normal stem cells become cancer stem cells and how cancer stem cells can cause the formation of tumors.

New test predicts blood cancer's sensitivity to experimental cancer drug
A test developed by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists is the first to identify which malignant blood cells are highly vulnerable to a promising type of experimental drugs that unleash pent-up

Nano world off the radar for most
Sunscreens contain nano particles, carbon and titania nanotubes show promise and nano structures are the rage in engineering schools.

UTSA awarded $900,000 NSF grant to support undergraduate scholars
The University of Texas at San Antonio has been awarded a five-year $900,000 National Science Foundation grant to promote undergraduate interdisciplinary education in both mathematics and biology.

Research ethics committees in Africa report inadequate funding, staffing and training
Throughout Africa, the number of people participating in health research is on the rise, yet surprisingly little is known about how research ethics committees -- the critically important, independent review groups charged with protecting human subjects and reviewing protocols -- actually operate.

VBI research offers potential route to diabetes therapeutics
Work at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute is providing important information for researchers designing drugs for type 2 diabetics by helping researchers to identify potential targets for docking inhibitors that will slow down, but not fully eliminate, the body's overproduction of glucose.

Radiation therapy reduces cancer recurrence in older breast cancer patients
Radiation therapy after lumpectomy and five years of treatment with the drug tamoxifen can dramatically reduce the risk of both cancer recurrence and new tumors in older women with early breast cancer, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Experts urge strongest isolation for new drug-resistant tuberculosis cases appearing in South Africa
Medical ethics and other experts say tough isolation measures, involuntary if need be, are justified to contain a very deadly, highly-contagious and drug-resistant mutant strains of tuberculosis and to prevent

Regular acupressure can significantly reduce agitated behavior in dementia
Providing 15-minute treatment sessions twice a day for five days a week significantly reduced agitated behavior in older people with dementia, including physical and verbal attacks and wandering.

A system in need of change -- restructuring payment policies to support patient-centered care
A policy paper with proposals to restructure conventional American health care fee-for-service payment policies was released today by the American College of Physicians at its annual report on
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