Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 26, 2007
USC-led study suggests exercise reduces risk of developing invasive breast cancer
Significant findings have emerged from the California Teachers Study (CTS) that suggest long-term recreational physical activity plays a protective role against invasive and in situ breast cancer.

Mellow in Europe, crazy in America
Reed canarygrass stays put in Europe where it's native, but is aggressively expanding into wetlands across North America.

Independent panel to evaluate widely used chemical, Bisphenol A
An independent panel of 15 scientists convened by the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), of the NIEHS and National Toxicology Program, will review recent scientific data and reach conclusions regarding whether or not exposure to a commonly used chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) is hazardous to human development or reproduction.

Successful Rosetta swing-by -- next stop Earth!
The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft successfully completed a swing-by of Mars in the early hours of Sunday morning Feb.

Lost cuckoo breaks its silence
A team of biologists with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have recorded for the first time the call of the extremely rare Sumatran ground cuckoo, found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Aspirin reduces esophageal-cancer risk in people with most-aggressive form of Barrett's esophagus
People with the most-aggressive form of Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition that can lead to esophageal cancer, may benefit the most from preventive therapy with aspirin and other NSAIDs.

Smoking may be a risk factor for tuberculosis
Smoking appears to increase the risk of becoming infected with tuberculosis and the risk for the development of active disease upon infection, according to an analysis of previously published research in the Feb.

Students enter competition to produce a zero-emissions snowmobile
Snowmobiles long ago replaced dogsleds for hauling people and cargo in the polar regions, particularly in remote research stations and field camps such as those on the Greenland Ice Sheet and in Antarctica.

What do we know about asthma in Africa?
A recent study published in PLoS Medicine found an increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergic diseases in children in Ghana between 1993 and 2003.

Does age affect a pilot's ability to fly?
Older pilots performed better over time than younger pilots on flight simulator tests.

Smoking increases risk of TB infection, says new study
People who smoke have a greater risk of becoming infected with tuberculosis (TB) and of having that infection turn into active TB disease, according to a new meta-analysis of 24 studies by UC Berkeley researchers.

South Pole Telescope achieves first light
Scientists aimed the South Pole Telescope at Jupiter on the evening of Feb.

Granthams to fund Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London
Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham are donating £12M to establish the Grantham Institute for Climate Change based at Imperial College London, it is announced today Monday, Feb.

Strenuous physical activity associated with lower breast cancer risk
Women who regularly engage in strenuous physical activity may have a lower risk of developing both invasive breast cancer and in situ (early-stage) breast cancer than women who do not, according to a report in the Feb.

Human factors/ergonomics research can help workers avoid carpal tunnel syndrome
A group of human factors/ergonomics researchers have conducted the first study that systematically identifies how one contributor to carpal tunnel syndrome -- carpal tunnel pressure -- can be examined in detail to establish limits on how much a wrist can be flexed before nerve damage sets in.

Children with cancer risk fragile bones
Physicians caring for children with cancer should be on the lookout for signs of bone fragility caused by disease and treatment, according to a new report.

Do Internet cafés facilitate unsafe sex?
Researchers in Peru are concerned that the Internet, which is widely available in Peru through Internet cafés (cabinas públicas), may be facilitating unsafe sex, particularly among men who have sex with men.

Stanford study drives stake through claims that garlic lowers cholesterol levels
When it comes to lowering cholesterol levels, garlic stinks, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Drug industry increasingly influences breast cancer research
Breast cancer treatment trials supported by the pharmaceutical industry are more likely to report positive results than non-sponsored studies, according to a study to be published in the April 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Diesel exposure model reduces allergy risk assessment errors
University of Cincinnati environmental health experts say their research improves prior methods of classifying exposure to diesel exhaust particulates that help minimize inaccuracies and better predict a child's risk for wheezing.

Gene therapy shows promise as treatment for diseased limbs
New research suggests that gene therapy is a safe treatment method to explore in patients whose lower limbs are at risk for amputation because of poor circulation caused by blocked blood vessels.

New UD technology removes viruses from drinking water
University of Delaware researchers have developed an inexpensive, nonchlorine-based technology that can remove harmful microorganisms, including viruses, from drinking water.

Landmark completion of South Pole Telescope to help scientists learn
Just days before nations around the world were set to begin a coordinated global research campaign called the International Polar Year (IPY), scientists at the South Pole aimed a massive new telescope at Jupiter and successfully collected the instrument's first test observations.

How T lymphocytes attack
French CNRS researchers with a group of scientists from Institut Curie and INSERM have used two-photon microscopy to demonstrate, for the first time in vivo and real-time, how T lymphocytes infiltrate a solid tumour in order to fight it.

Is most published research really false?
In 2005, PLoS Medicine published an essay by John Ioannidis, called

How do marine turtles return to the same beach to lay their eggs?
French scientists from CNRS and other groups shows that the marine turtles use a relatively simple navigation system involving the earth's magnetic field, and this allows them to return to the same egg-laying site without having the ability to correct for the deflection of ocean currents.

Civic engagement keeps aging Americans mentally healthy after physical decline
People who continuously participate in community groups are often spared losses in psychological well-being after developing functional limitations, according to an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

New imaging technique tracks traffic patterns of white blood cells
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have just developed an advanced imaging technique to capture the movement of the microdomains of leukocytes or white blood cells.

Research physiologists convene for 120th Annual Meeting
The American Physiological Society (APS) convenes its 120th annual meeting April 28-May 2, 2007 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Study of atomic movement may influence design of pharmaceuticals
Chemists at the University of Liverpool have designed a unique structure to capture the movement of atoms which may impact on future designs of pharmaceuticals.

Usefulness of cardiovascular disease test questioned
Dartmouth/VA researchers show that adding CRP testing to routine assessments would increase the number of Americans eligible for cholesterol-lowering treatment by about two million if used judiciously, and by over 25 million if used broadly -- with most of these people being at low risk for heart attacks or heart disease.

Garlic does not appear to lower cholesterol levels
Three forms of garlic -- including raw garlic and two types of commercial garlic supplements -- did not significantly reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL or

Takeda and Tap to promote Sucampo's Amitiza in the United States
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. (

Northwestern surgeon invents teaching technology for scary patient exams
Pelvic and prostate exams provoke jitters for medical students. Carla Pugh, an assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University, invented and patented a sensor technology in exam simulators to show students whether they have the right touch in these sensitive exams without a patient ever having to yell

A first glimpse of the influenza replication machine
Specific mutations in a viral protein, the polymerase, contribute to the ability of the bird influenza virus to jump the species barrier to humans.

Genes and genius: Researchers confirm association between gene and intelligence
A team of scientists, led by psychiatric geneticists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Creating new life forms that may help eradicate cancer affecting women
Dr. Vafa Shahabi and her research team at Advaxis have designed several new strains of the Listeria bacteria that are programmed to kill off specific cancers.

The cost of keeping eggs fresh for mother cockroaches
Tiny multiple sperm can be long lived, while large

Virtual duck bills demonstrate species coexistence
How do species coexist rather than outcompete? The classical explanation is that each species has evolved morphological traits that allow it to exploit different resources more efficiently, but direct evidence is rare.

Exploring polar regions, understanding climate
When more than 50,000 scientists, working in the remotest areas of the world unite, it is an important event, that demands attention all over the world.

Opening windows effective way of preventing transmission of TB
A study has shown that opening windows can be more effective than using mechanical ventilation at reducing the risk of transmission of airborne diseases such as TB.

New insights into high-temperature superconductors
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory in collaboration with a physicist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have discovered that two different physical parameters -- pressure and the substitution of different isotopes of oxygen -- have a similar effect on electronic properties of mysterious materials called high-temperature superconductors.

Early Europeans unable to stomach milk
The first direct evidence that early Europeans were unable to digest milk has been found by scientists at UCL (University College London) and Mainz University.

Cholesterol in stroke patients exceeds national guidelines
Many stroke patients have cholesterol higher than national guidelines recommend that, if managed, may have prevented the stroke from happening, according to a study published in the Feb.

MGH research award helps women establish scientific careers
A program that provides modest research funding to women initiating careers in medical research has produced significant results in helping recipients both stay in academic research and establish groundwork for securing future research funding.

Opening windows may be the best way of preventing transmission of airborne infection
Opening windows may be the best way of preventing transmission of airborne infection.

CSIRO imagery shows Outer Great Barrier Reef at risk from river plumes
A stunning series of satellite imagery of Australia's Great Barrier Reef released by the CSIRO shows for the first time visual confirmation of the theory that sediment plumes travel to the outer reef and beyond.

Australian medical researchers join top-ranking European research groups
Internationally renowned Australian researchers working in the areas of malaria, gene mapping, musculoskeletal disorders and microbiology have been awarded $1.8 million by the National Health and Medical Research Council to join forces with leading research teams from the European Union.

Research suggests a significant circadian rhythm in swim performance lasting 2-4 minutes
A new study adds further confirmation that circadian rhythm exists in athletic performance.

NSAIDs modulate biomarker panel for esophageal adenocarcinoma
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may give some protection against esophageal adenocarcinoma developing from its premalignant state, Barrett's esophagus.

New therapeutic target for Alzheimer's could lead to drugs without side effects
New research from Rockefeller University, published in the Feb. 26 online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has identified a therapeutic target, called casein kinase 1, that may be the key to halting the course of the disease.

Patients with type 1 diabetes don't wake in response to hypoglycemia
A study of 16 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and 16 normal individuals shows that only one of the 16 T1DM patients, as compared to ten healthy control participants, awakened upon hypoglycemia.

Carnegie Mellon researchers study harmful particulates
Reducing barnyard emissions is one way to help reduce the harmful effects of tiny atmospheric air particles that can cause severe asthma in children, and lung cancer and heart attacks in some adults.

Discovery of chemical profiles for infectious diarrhea
Academics have found, for the first time, smells from healthy feces and people with infectious diarrhea differ significantly in their chemical composition and could be used to diagnose quickly diseases such as Clostridium difficile (C.

Fruit flies may pave way to new treatments for age-related heart disease
The tiny Drosophila fruit fly may pave the way to new methods for studying and finding treatments for heart disease, the leading cause of death in industrialized countries, according to a collaborative study by the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, UC San Diego (UCSD) and the University of Michigan.

Early sex may lead teens to delinquency, study shows
Teens who start having sex significantly earlier than their peers also show higher rates of delinquency in later years, new research shows.

JDRF awards Emory $2.5 million to develop islet transplant technology
Using a $2.5 million, three-year grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Emory transplant researchers plan to develop pig islets as an alternative to human islets for transplant into patients with Type 1 diabetes.

AHA statement recommends doctors change approach
Many doctors should change the way they prescribe pain relievers for chronic pain in patients with or at risk for heart disease based on accumulated evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with the exception of aspirin, increase risk for heart attack and stroke, according to an American Heart Association statement published today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Weizmann Institute scientists discover genes that can slow cell division and may fight cancer
When cells begin to divide, they also activate a

Sox17 required for steps from embryonic to heart muscle cell
The gene Sox17 is discovered to play a central role in the complicated dance of signals, enzymes and proteins that transform embryonic stem cells into a beating heart muscle cell.

CIHR-funded research: Antidepressants help men decrease alcohol consumption, but not women
A CIHR-funded study explored the relationship between use of antidepressants and level of alcohol consumption, examining whether using antidepressants affected the link between depression and level of alcohol consumption.

African carnage -- 1 year's seized ivory likely came from 23,000 elephants
New research shows African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory at a rate unprecedented since an international convention banning ivory trade took effect in 1989.

Three young scientists at Yale honored with Sloan Foundation Fellowships
The Sloan Foundation announced that three exceptional young scientists at Yale University will be honored as two-year research fellows, beginning Sept.

UC Davis researchers discover key to body's ability to detect subtle temperature changes
Scientists have long known the molecular mechanisms behind most of the body's sensing capabilities.

Size really matters -- new Insights for tech start-ups' survival in February Management Insights
The breadth of executives' social networks with colleagues at other firms plays a crucial role in deciding which tech start-ups will live or die, according to the Management Insights feature in the February issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The influence of the menstrual cycle on the female brain
French CNRS researcher, with NIH, has identified the influence variation in the estrogen cycle has on the female brain.

Use of common pain relievers associated with increased risk of blood pressure in men
Men who regularly take commonly available and widely used pain relievers may have an increased risk of high blood pressure compared with those who do not use these medications, according to a report in the Feb.

Is it ethical for scientists to do research abroad that would be forbidden at home?
Is it ethical for scientists to conduct or benefit from research in another country if that research would be unlawful, or not generally accepted, in their own country?

Depression increases health risks in heart failure patients
Psychological depression appears to contribute to worse medical outcomes for patients with heart failure, ranking it in importance with such risk factors as high cholesterol, hypertension, and even the ability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

A climate-change amplifying mechanism
CNRS, Universités Aix-Marseille 3 et 1, IRD and Collège de France a scientific research group known as CEREGE have highlighted a feedback mechanism of ocean circulation on the climate which reinforces this heating or cooling.

The metabolic response to colitis varies depending upon whether inflammation is chronic or acute
A new study being published by the American Physiological Society finds that the body responds differently to colitis (inflammation of the colon) based on whether the disease is acute (sharp and brief) or chronic (long-term).

Universities in San Antonio and Hawaii study safety of assisted reproductive technologies
Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Hawaii have found that assisted reproductive technologies do not increase the risk of genetic mutations in developing fetuses.

ASU embarks on innovative fuel cell project
Roller coaster gas prices and rising energy costs for the home have created uneasiness about the future of our fossil-fuel based economy.

ESA gives go-ahead to build BepiColombo
BepiColombo, ESA's mission to explore planet Mercury, has been definitively

Cosmic Vision 2015-2025: Ready to launch
Within a few weeks, ESA will invite the scientific community to propose the first missions for Cosmic Vision 2015-2025.

Positive results more likely from industry-funded breast cancer trials
Industry-funded studies of breast cancer therapies are more likely to report positive results than non-pharmaceutical funded studies, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have found.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Feb. 21, 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.

Manual dishwashing study digs up dirt on dish cleanliness
New research answers an infectious question about eating at restaurants: How clean are manually washed dishes?

Ingredient in Big Macs and sodas can stabilize
The potential of gold nanoparticles to detect and treat cancer has been hindered by the difficulty of making them in a stable, nontoxic form that can be injected into a patient.

The Natural Fat-Loss Pharmacy by Dr. Harry Preuss
A Georgetown medical professor cuts through hype surrounding weight-loss supplements with new science-based guide.

Mistaken identity? When a white marlin may not always be a white marlin
The discovery of the roundscale spearfish, which closely resembles the white marlin, may have resulted in an overestimation of the population of the threatened white marlin, a recently rejected candidate for the Endangered Species List.

Swimming 'to the left' gets bacteria upstream, and may promote infection
Yale engineers who study both flow hydrodynamics and how bacteria propel themselves report that one reason for the high incidence of infections associated with catheters in hospital patients may be that some pathogenic bacteria swim

Rotary funds new research
University of Queensland researchers have received more than $220,000 in the latest round of Australian Rotary Health Research Fund (ARHRF) grants. 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