Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 01, 2007
A new pharmaceutical drug that halts progress of metastatic kidney cancer
Research has shown the efficacy of a pharmaceutical drug known as sunitinib which halts progress of metastatic kidney cancer.

Cleaner heat without the burn, for buildings and industries worldwide
The hazardous manual cleaning of heavily clogged boiler pipes can become a thing of the past, thanks to a computer controlled pipe cleaning attachment developed by EUREKA project E!

Universal rules needed for medics responding to calls for help in public
Universal rules are needed for doctors playing the

Murder and the operations researcher
The criminal justice system, often the subject of political controversy, gains major insights from the unbiased analytical tools that operations researchers introduced beginning with the President's Crime Commission in the 1960s, according to a career retrospective by the winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Individuals and populations differ in gene activity levels, not just genes
Much like how a person's genetic code differs from other individuals, the level at which those genes are activated in the body differs from one person to another, scientists have learned.

Climate change, health & environment and more at 2007 GSA Northeastern Section Meeting
Approximately 700 geoscientists will gather March 12-14 for the 42nd annual meeting of the Northeastern Section of the Geological Society of America.

Man's best friend lends insight into human evolution
Drawing inferences about the intentions of other individuals is a basic part of everyday life that we humans take for granted.

Improved predictions of warming-induced extinctions sought
A team of researchers notes that fewer species went extinct during the past 2.5 million years than many ecological models would predict.

Study explores attitudes and beliefs about HPV
The most common sexually transmitted virus in the US is genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, with 20 million Americans currently infected and another 6.2 million becoming infected each year.

Insights into osteosarcoma in cats and dogs may improve palliative care
Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that a molecular pathway known to have a role in the progression of bone cancer in humans is also critical to the pathology of skeletal tumors in dogs and cats.

New study in the journal Sleep finds that sleepy driver near-misses may predict accident risks
A study published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep finds that sleepy near-misses may be dangerous precursors to an actual accident.

American College of Physicians commends MedPAC support for physician-directed care coordination
The American College of Physicians today commended the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee on the report it released this morning on redesigning Medicare payment policies to support physician-directed care coordination and to achieve better value for beneficiaries.

Chronic disease management quality improvement efforts yield better care delivery
A national series of interventions designed to improve the quality of care in health centers for three prevalent chronic conditions has improved processes of care for these conditions but did not improve intermediate clinical outcomes, according to results of a study collaboratively supported by the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Health Resources and Services Administration and complemented by a grant from the Commonwealth Fund.

A higher physical activity level slows lung function decline in smokers
Moderate to high levels of regular physical activity are associated with lower lung function decline among smokers and help to moderate their risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a large retrospective cohort study.

Favorable outcomes from mild invitro fertilization practices
Mild invitro fertilisation (IVF) can achieve the same chance of a pregnancy resulting in term livebirth as standard IVF, but can also reduce patients' discomfort, multiple pregnancies and costs, according to an article published in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Irish potato famine disease came from South America
Scientists at North Carolina State University have discovered that the fungus-like pathogen that caused the 1840s Irish potato famine originally came from the Andes of South America.

Steroid use fails to boost pregnancy rates in infertility treatments
There is no clear benefit from a hormone commonly prescribed to enhance the effectiveness of infertility treatments, according to a new review of studies.

Journal Sleep: OSA increasingly associated with cardiovascular disease
A study published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep finds that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at an increased risk of having cardiovascular disease.

In Iran, cheetahs collared for the first time
An international team of scientists led by the Wildlife Conservation Society working in Iran has successfully fitted two Asiatic cheetahs with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, marking the first time this highly endangered population of big cats can be tracked by conservationists.

Treating male infertility with stem cells
New research has examined the usefulness of bone marrow stem cells for treating male infertility, with promising results.

New study rewrites evolutionary history of vespid wasps
Scientists at the University of Illinois have conducted a genetic analysis of vespid wasps that revises the vespid family tree and challenges long-held views about how the wasps' social behaviors evolved.

Monochloramine treatment not as effective in protecting drinking water
The results of what may be the most extensive comparison of two common disinfectants used by municipal water systems suggest that, from a security standpoint, traditional chlorination may be more effective than treatment with monochloramine.

MIT model could aid design of nanomaterials
Researchers from MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology and Ohio State University have developed a new computer modeling approach to study how materials behave under stress at the atomic level, offering insights that could help engineers design materials with an ideal balance between strength and resistance to failure.

Goooal! New study shows goalie may influence direction of penalty kick in soccer
New study in Psychological Science finds that penalty takers are more likely to direct the football to the side with more space.

Sweat may pass on hepatitis B in contact sports
Sweat may be another way to pass on hepatitis B infection during contact sports, suggests research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Children with sleep disorders can impair parents' functioning
Parents of children with sleep problems are more likely to have sleep-related problems themselves, including more daytime sleepiness, according to a new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and Brown Medical School.

Hurricane can form new eyewall and change intensity rapidly
Data collected in 2005 from Hurricane Rita is providing the first documented evidence that rapid intensity changes can be caused by clouds outside the wall of a hurricane's eye coming together to form a new eyewall.

Green tea and COX-2 inhibitors combine to slow growth of prostate cancer
Drinking a nice warm cup of green tea has long been touted for its healthful benefits, both real and anecdotal.

Scientists rehearse for Foton mission
Over 60 scientists and technicians have taken up temporary residence in ESA's brand new microgravity science laboratory, where, for the coming days, they will rehearse procedures to prepare experiments for the Foton M3 mission later this year.

Scientists expand microbe 'gene language'
An international group of scientists has expanded the universal language for the genes of both disease-causing and beneficial microbes and their hosts.

Addiction breakthrough may lead to new treatments
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered why some individuals may be predisposed to drug addiction and believe it may lead to better treatments for this brain disorder.

Gypsies' and travellers' health much worse than other vulnerable groups
The health of Gypsies and Travellers is significantly worse than that of other vulnerable groups, reveals research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Food Quality Magazine presents 6th annual award
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that Hormel Foods Corporation is the winner of the 6th Annual Food Quality Award.

Chandra examines Jupiter during new horizons approach
On Feb. 28, 2007, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter on its ultimate journey to Pluto.

Highlights from the March 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The March 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Peruvian citadel is site of earliest ancient solar observatory in the Americas
Archeologists from Yale and the University of Leicester have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru, as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year, according to an article in the March 2 issue of Science.

Improving quality of life for patients with cirrhosis
A study on patients with cirrhosis who had minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE), a condition in which behavioral, psychological and neurological changes are associated with advanced liver disease, found that cognitive function and health related quality-of-life improved when they took lactulose.

Why do birds migrate?
Contrary to the textbooks, birds don't go south just for the tropical fruit and balmy weather.

Howe School research colloquium: exploring team conflict, March 5
Stevens Institute of Technology's Wesley J. Howe School will hold a research colloquium,

NASA data link Indonesian wildfire flare-up to recent El Nino
Scientists using NASA satellite and rainfall data have linked the recent El Nino to the greatest rise in wildfire activity in Indonesia since the record-breaking 1997-98 El Nino.

Cells in the lung clear the air to prevent lung damage
Air pollution and tobacco smoke contain oxidants that when inhaled can cause damage to the lungs and contribute to diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Joslin study reveals how a specific fat type can protect against weight gain and diabetes
A new study from Joslin Diabetes Center may shed light on why some people can eat excessive amounts of food and not gain weight or develop type 2 diabetes, while others are more likely to develop obesity and this most common form of diabetes on any diet.

Risk of birth complications varies between racial groups
Babies born to South Asian women are at a higher risk of perinatal mortality (death before, during or shortly after birth) than babies born to black or white women, concludes a study published online by the BMJ today.

Brazilian-born senior researcher chosen as IEEE/IEEE-USA's 'New Face of Engineering'
Dr. Carlos Cordeiro, a senior researcher and project leader with Philips Research North America in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., is the IEEE/IEEE-USA's 2007

Pella Corp. earns distinguished energy efficiency recognition
The US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy have named Pella Corp., as a 2007 Energy Star Partner of the Year award winner for the Product Manufacturer--Windows category for Pella's outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing and educating consumers about energy-efficient products.

Lessons in wood formation from Arabidopsis
In two separate studies published in The Plant Cell, researchers identify key transcription factors that control the expression of genes related to secondary wall formation in the model herbaceous plant Arabidopsis.

Residents in disaster areas face medication adherence dilemmas
Many New Orleans residents had problems with prescription drugs for high blood pressure after Hurricane Katrina.

Making daughters different -- how immune cells take divergent paths when fighting infections
How do immune cells decide to respond to invading microbes by either fighting to the death or becoming the body's memory for future infections?

New study in the journal Sleep finds that treating insomnia is far less costly than ignoring it
A study published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep finds that, as opposed to treating insomnia, failure to treat it is much more costly.

Journal Sleep: Sleep deprivation affects moral judgment
A study published in the March 1 issue of the journal Sleep finds that sleep deprivation impairs the ability to integrate emotion and cognition to guide moral judgments.

New details in schizophrenia treatment trial emerge
Two new studies from the CATIE trial provide more insights into comparing treatment options, and to what extent antipsychotic medications help people with schizophrenia learn social, interpersonal and psychosocial skills.

Researchers wake up viruses inside tumors to image and then destroy cancers
Researchers have found a way to activate Epstein-Barr viruses inside tumors as a way to identify patients whose infection can then be manipulated to destroy their tumors.

Model for predicting survival in liver patients has many applications but could be refined further
A review of the studies on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease found that it is an accurate predictor of survival of patients with a variety of liver diseases, is particularly useful in allocating organs for liver transplants, and can also be used to help determine the course of treatment in certain cases.

RAND study finds mental health courts have the potential to save taxpayers money
Special courts that sentence people with mental illness who are convicted of misdemeanors and low-level felonies to treatment instead of jail have the potential to save taxpayers money, according to a RAND Corp., study conducted for the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

Mysteries of the Atlantic
Cardiff University scientists will shortly set sail (March 5) to investigate a startling discovery in the depths of the Atlantic.

NJIT opens Women's History Month hosting female engineering conference
A weekend conference drawing East Coast female engineers and students headlines the upcoming month-long events set for Women's History Month at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Insulating houses improves health and well-being
Insulating houses can significantly improve health and reduce days off work and school, according to a new study in this week's BMJ.

Size of brain areas does matter -- but bigger isn't necessarily better
The ability to hit a baseball or play a piano well is part practice and part innate talent.

International Conference on Modern Bamboo Structures Oct. 11-17
An open forum for experts around the world to exchange information and to thoroughly discuss topics related to design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, construction of modern bamboo structures.

Early life growth spurts protect against 'bad' cholesterol
Tall toddlers and rapidly growing teens are likely to find themselves with lower cholesterol, particularly the

'Finger rafting:' Ice sheets that mesh when they meet
A study reported in Physical Review Letters demonstrates how ice sheets sometimes interlace when they meet, rather than riding over or under each other, and discusses the implications for other phenomena from plate tectonics of the Earth's surface to the design of self-assembling nanostructures.

Rensselaer researchers create world's first ideal anti-reflection coating
A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created the world's first material that reflects virtually no light.

Few primary care practitioners offer HIV tests to Hispanic patients in Los Angeles
Even as the AIDS epidemic in Los Angeles County has shifted largely to Hispanics, primary-care practitioners serving this segment of the population often fail to offer either HIV testing or safer sex advice to their patients, according to a new UCLA AIDS Institute study

ESA contribution to International Polar Year 2007-2008
Today marks the official start of International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a large worldwide science program focused on the Arctic and Antarctic.

Primary graft dysfunction is risk factor for a later serious lung transplant problem
Primary graft dysfunction, a common compliction that affects up to 25 percent of lung transplant patients shortly after surgery, constitutes a significant risk factor for later deadly bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS).

UCLA study uncovers clues for why Graves' disease attacks the eyes
UCLA researchers have uncovered new clues that may explain why Graves' disease attacks the muscle tissue behind the eyes, often causing them to bulge painfully from their sockets.

Using morphine to hasten death is a myth, says doctor
Using morphine to end a person's life is a myth, argues a senior doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

JCI table of contents -- March 1, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published March 1, 2007, in the JCI, including: Cells in the lung clear the air to prevent lung damage; What makes good cholesterol so

Transcendental meditation reduces congestive heart failure, new study shows
A widely practiced, stress-reducing meditation technique significantly decreases the severity of congestive heart failure, according to a first-of-its-kind randomized study published in Ethnicity & Disease (Winter 2007).

Cost control measures limit patient and physician choice in psychotropic medications
A new Brandeis University study published online in Clinical Therapeutics suggests that private health plans increasingly rely on escalating copayments to manage drug costs, as opposed to administrative controls.

Leukemia drug turns mini-molecules up, cancer genes down
New research shows that a form of vitamin A used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia induces changes in an unusual class of small molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) in the leukemic cells.

Rare mutation causes early heart disease and metabolic syndrome
Yale School of Medicine researchers have identified a rare defect in a single gene that poses a substantial risk for metabolic syndrome and early heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.

Diabetes will be a bigger burden than predicted
By 2005, prevalence of diabetes in Ontario, Canada, had already exceeded the global rate that was predicted for 2030, according to an article published in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Prioritizing women's health
Sustainable solutions to the world's economic, health, political and social problems will not be solved until the rights and full potential of women are achieved states an editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Study sheds light on risks of being a second twin
A nine-year study published online today has concluded that being a second born twin confers a small increased risk of suffering fatal complications during birth.

Pain specialists investigate impact and treatment of landmine injury
In Iraq and other war-torn regions of the world, landmines cause widespread and devastating injury to combatants and civilians alike.

Single genetic defect causes early heart disease
A team of researchers from the United States and Iran has identified a genetic mutation that causes early onset coronary artery disease in members of a large Iranian family.

A frenzy of fruit fly methods featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
For researchers who conduct studies in fruit flies, the logistics of housing and feeding the hundreds or thousands of flies needed for experiments can be daunting.

Sediment wedge key to glacial environmental stability
A wedge of sediment, pushed up by glacial movement, may be a buffer against moderate sea level rise, pointing to ocean temperature rise as the key factor in glacial retreat, according to two papers published today (March 1) in Science Express.

United States launches new International Polar Year
The United States marked the start of International Polar Year (IPY) on Feb. 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