Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2007
Study reveals how some molecules inhibit growth of lung cancer cells
By mapping the interlocking structures of small molecules and mutated protein

Expert centers prove cost-effective in managing ovarian cancer
A new study finds that while

Chromium 6: A killer compound with an improbable trigger
Chromium 6, the cancer-causing compound that sparked the legal crusade by Erin Brockovich, can be toxic in tiny doses.

First Ariane 5 launch of 2007
On 11 March 2007, an Ariane 5 ECA launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two satellites into geostationary transfer orbits.

HIV in late childhood and adolescence a growing problem
Scientists have highlighted for the first time the plight of the growing number of older children and adolescents living with undiagnosed HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Framingham study shows parents who live long pass on
Researchers from the long-standing Framingham Heart Study (FHS), a program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, report that people whose parents live longer were more likely to avoid developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease in middle age than their peers whose parents died younger.

Researchers address developing countries' water and sanitation needs
Worldwide, more than one billion people lack access to an improved water source, such as a rainwater collection or dug well, and two billion still need access to basic sanitation facilities, such as a latrine.

Lack of guidelines on kidney stone attacks could put travel workers and passengers at risk
Kidney stone attacks can cause severe and debilitating pain, yet many transport companies don't have staff guidelines in place to protect their employees or the travelling public.

Health disparities in prostate cancer stem from lack of care, not lack of knowledge
Decreasing the rates of prostate cancer among black men may require improving access to routine health care, rather than increased education about the disease, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests.

Canada's new government invests in carbon capture research delivering real results on greenhouse gas
The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, along with partners from Innoventures Canada (I-CAN), today announced funding for a project related to the initial development of the I-CAN Centre for the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), at the Economic Club in Calgary.

People with psychiatric illness at disadvantage for cardiovascular care
This study, supported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, concludes that patients with psychiatric illness have an increased rate of death and decreased access to some procedures related to circulatory disease, such as heart disease and stroke.

A rarity among arachnids, whip spiders have a sociable family life
Whip spiders, considered by many to be creepy-crawly, are giving new meaning to the term touchy-feely.

NIH names Clinical Trial Units for the Microbicide Trials Network
Twelve institutions today were named by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as HIV/AIDS clinical trial units (CTUs) for the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN), a new HIV/AIDS clinical trials network established by NIAID last year.

UW launches study testing adult stem cells for heart damage repair
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is among the first medical centers in the country taking part in a novel clinical trial investigating if a subject's own stem cells can treat a form of severe coronary artery disease.

Color analysis rapidly predicts carbon content of soil
Soil color can be used as a simple, inexpensive method to predict measurements of soil organic content to assess soil quality and better understand global carbon cycles.

New panorama reveals more than a thousand black holes
By casting a wide net, astronomers have captured an image of more than a thousand supermassive black holes.

News briefs from the journal Chest, March 2007
Various studies from the journal Chest, are featured here as news briefs.

New project to analyze why Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and insulin resistance are so closely linked
Understanding the link between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and insulin resistance is the aim of a new project announced today, funded by the charity WellBeing of Women.

Canadian breast cancer guidelines do not meet their objective
The Canadian Practice Guidelines for the Care and Treatment of Breast Cancer, first published in 1998, were developed to reduce variation in the way that breast cancer was being treated.

Fortune magazine writer wins prestigious ACS journalism award
Stuart Brown, a writer for Fortune magazine, has been named the winner of the 2007 James T.

Anti-fungal drug kills TB bug
Scientists hoping to find new treatments for one of the world's most deadly infectious diseases say drugs used to treat common fungal infections may provide the answer.

Health-care inequities underscore racial disparities in prostate cancer
Improving access to and utilization of the healthcare system may benefit African-American prostate cancer patients more than educational or motivational interventions, according to a new study.

Study: Long legs are more efficient
Scientists have known for years that the energy cost of walking and running is related primarily to the work done by muscles to lift and move the limbs.

Hackers get bum rap for corporate America's digital delinquency
Three out of five data breaches involving sensitive personal information are attributable to organizational malfeasance, according to a review of compromised records over the past 26 years.

New technologies coming too fast for Indian farmers
The arrival of genetically modified crops has added another level of complexity to farming in the developing world, says a sociocultural anthropologist at Washington University in St.

G6PD deficiency is associated with significant protection against severe, life-threatening malaria
A case-control study in two populations in Mali, West Africa has shown that glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is associated with significant protection against severe, life-threatening malaria.

High BMI linked to lower chance of being discharged directly home after hospitalization for stroke
Individuals with a higher body mass index (BMI) tend are less likely to be discharged directly home after hospitalization for an ischemic stroke, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Progress toward artificial photosynthesis?
A team headed by M. Antonietti at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces has taken an important step toward artificial photosynthesis.

Patients should be alert for obesity surgery complication
It is important for obesity surgery patients to take their prescribed vitamin supplements and to be alert for symptoms such as vomiting, confusion, lack of coordination and visual changes -- signs of a serious neurological condition that can develop after the surgery.

Mental illnesses appear common among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
Almost one-third of returning veterans who received health care at Veterans Affairs facilities between 2001 and 2005 were given a mental health or psychosocial diagnosis, according to a report in the March 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What makes employees voluntarily leave -- or keep -- their jobs
Should I stay or should I go? Why employees voluntarily leave or keep their jobs, and what employers can do to retain their best workers.

World's top seismologist meet in Hawaii for SSA Annual Convention
The world's leading seismologists will gather in Hawaii to exchange their latest research findings and ideas at the 101st annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America (SSA) on April 11-13, 2007.

Women and heart disease
In a supplement to the March 13 issue of CMAJ, Dr.

Smithsonian study concludes Caribbean extinctions occurred 2M years after apparent cause
Smithsonian scientists and colleagues report a new study that may shake up the way paleontologists think about how environmental change shapes life on Earth.

Offspring whose parents have long lives appear to have lower heart risks in middle age
Individuals with one or more parents who survive to age 85 or older may have fewer risk factors for heart disease in middle age, according to a report in the March 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Race affects tobacco absorption in children
A study in the March 2007 issue of the journal Chest reveals that the color of a child's skin may determine how susceptible he/she is to toxins found in environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

Scientists develop plans for ultimate microscope
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have developed an innovative way to take images of atoms in living cells without using a lens.

UCLA study reports viagra drug may help improve exercise capacity in pulmonary fibrosis patients
Researchers have found that Viagra may help patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable disease characterized by progressive scarring in the lungs, which often leads to a lung transplant.

Sleep apnea common, but undiagnosed, among pacemaker patients
Almost 60 percent of pacemaker patients had undiagnosed sleep apnea -- possibly contributing to their heart disease -- researchers reported in a small study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Smithsonian scientists report new carbon dioxide study
Researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center report that doubling the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in a scrub oak ecosystem caused a reduction in carbon storage in the soil.

A single-photon server with just one atom
Physicists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have succeeded in turning a Rubidium atom into a single-photon server.

Obesity surgery can lead to memory loss, other problems
Weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, can lead to a vitamin deficiency that can cause memory loss and confusion, inability to coordinate movement, and other problems, according to a study published in the March 13, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Research finds music training 'tunes' human auditory system
A Northwestern University study suggests Mom was right when she insisted you continue music lessons even after it was clear that a professional music career was not in your future.

Men more likely to benefit from clot-busting stroke treatment
Men are more likely than women to benefit from the use of a clot-busting drug after stroke, according to a study published in the March 13, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Iowa State University botanists identify new species of North American bamboo
Iowa State University botanists Lynn Clark and Jimmy Triplett and their colleague at the University of North Carolina discovered a new species of North American bamboo in the hills of Appalachia.

Center for Science Writings debate: Redesigning Humanity, March 21
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents the debate

Scientists read rocks' history with unprecedented precision using custom-built Ultrachron
Assigning dates to the events in the life of a rock -- such as a collision, or a journey through the Earth's crust -- has long challenged geologists.

Rings made of little rods
Rod-shaped nanocrystals normally arrange themselves parallel to each other. Researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas now report in the journal Angewandte Chemie completely unexpected behavior of nano-objects: the spontaneous self-assembly of polymer-coated metallic nanorods into ring-shaped structures.

Tonga quake not conducive to tsunami
Seismologists at Washington University in St. Louis and their colleagues in Australia, Japan and Tonga have determined why a large earthquake in Tonga did not cause a large tsunami.

Perceived attractiveness driven by link between gender and gender-specific roles
Perceived attractiveness is the result of compatibility of biological sex and gendered cues -- masculinity and femininity as specified within the society -- according to a study by researchers at New York University and Texas A & M University.

Computer predicts wishes of incapacitated patients better than family or loved ones
When a person fails to complete an advance directive and becomes incapacitated by illness or injury, doctors typically ask the patient's loved one to predict what treatment the patient would have wanted.

Secret of worm's poison pill box protein could produce new natural insecticide
Researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered how a protein from a bacterium acts like a cunningly designed poison pill box that could now be used as a basis of a new range of natural insecticides.

Study questions 'cancer stem cell' hypothesis in breast cancer
A Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study challenges the hypothesis that

Pig study forces rethink of Pacific colonisation
A survey of wild and domestic pigs, published in PNAS, has caused archaeologists to reconsider both the origins of the first Pacific colonists and the migration routes humans travelled to reach the remote Pacific.

Weather modeling symposium to address long-term forecasting, climate change
The Great Alaska Weather Symposium will kick off March 13 with a mid-morning panel discussion on the future impact of climate change to be chaired by Greg Newby, acting chief scientist at the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

US adults now discovering the secrets of probiotics
Probiotic supplements have been used around the world for at least half a century, but almost half (49 percent) of Americans indicate that they have never heard of them, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Florastor.

Measuring lung motion leads to better radiation treatment for lung cancer
Tumors that move, such as those in the lung -- which can change position during each breath -- are a special problem for radiation oncologists.

CSHL shows correcting RNA splicing may help treat spinal muscular atrophy
RNA Splicing antisense technology studied at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory effectively corrected an mRNA splicing defect found in spinal muscular atrophy patients.

Many Americans at high risk of vision loss do not have access to eye care
Data from a national survey suggest that an estimated 60 million American adults are at high risk of vision loss, according to a report published in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Clinical Trials Units selected for newly restructured HIV/AIDS research networks
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced 60 U.S. and international institutions selected as HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) in a newly restructured system of six HIV/AIDS clinical research networks.

Pacifier use may lower risk of SIDS
The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the third leading cause of infant death, may be lowered through the use of a pacifier.

Good health slips further out of reach
The gap in health standards of Australia's rich and poor will continue to widen if healthy-living programs aren't directed at the poor, new research shows.

Lung cancer-derived EGFR mutants exhibit intrinsic differences in inhibitor sensitivity
A new study sheds light on how some small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, including two that are currently being used clinically to treat cancer, interact with wild-type and mutated forms of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

Study confirms imaging compound identifies amyloid-beta in human brain
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has confirmed that the imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) binds to the protein in amyloid plaques that characterize Alzheimer's disease in the human brain.

Disease opened door to invading species in California
Plant and animal diseases can play a major and poorly appreciated role in allowing the invasion of exotic species, which in turn often threatens biodiversity, ecological function and the world economy, researchers say in a new report.

Study aims to find which breast cancer patients need chemotherapy
Most postmenopausal women with small breast tumors don't need chemotherapy to reduce their recurrence risk after lumpectomy.

Eighteen percent of young women experience sexual victimization
Sexual victimization can mean several things -- verbal coercion to have sex with an intimate partner, rape by a stranger, a woman fondled in a bar or forced intercourse when a woman is too intoxicated to consent or object.

Malaria: The right vaccine in the right place?
A new study on a malaria vaccine used at a testing site in Mali calls into question whether the best vaccine was chosen to be tested at this particular site.

Molecular differences between early and advanced melanomas could provide new drug targets
The cell-signaling molecule Akt is a primary trigger that leads malignant melanomas on the skin's surface to begin growing vertically beneath the skin and turn into deadly invasive cancers, scientists have found.

Lifting Chinese tiger trade ban a death sentence for wild tigers say WWF and TRAFFIC
Any easing of the current Chinese ban on trading products made from tigers is likely a death sentence for the endangered cats, according to a new TRAFFIC report released today by World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC -- the wildlife trade monitoring program of WWF and IUCN.

Sheffield scientists light up bacteria
Researchers from the University of Sheffield have received joint funding from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) to develop an innovative sensor to detect bacteria.

CryoSat-2 on the road to recovery
Building a satellite in just three years is without doubt an ambitious undertaking.

Genetic pathways to curable and incurable forms of pancreatic cancer identified
The genetic sequence has been discovered that leads to a rare form of pancreatic ductal adenocarinoma.

Anxiety disorders surprisingly common yet often untreated
Researchers led by Kurt Kroenke, M.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. report that nearly 20 percent of patients seen by primary care physicians have at least one anxiety disorder.

Cluster opens a new window on 'magnetic reconnection' in the near-Earth space
Plasma physicists have made an unprecedented measurement in their study of the Earth's magnetic field.

Caves of St. Louis County: A tale of loss
Caves are in trouble, says Robert Criss, Ph.D., professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St.
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