Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2007
Survey reveals misperceptions about Alzheimer's among African-American and Hispanic caregivers
African-American and Hispanic caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease are significantly more likely than caregivers of other races to consider the disease a normal part of the aging process and dismiss its symptoms as part of getting older, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's second ICAN: Investigating Caregivers' Attitudes and Needs survey.

National experts and nonprofit organizations call to end FDA user fees and to improve drug safety
Opposition to current drug safety legislation is growing, as a group of 22 experts on drug safety and regulation and a coalition of 12 patient, consumer, science, and public health organizations issue two separate open letters to lawmakers.

Accolades for York's commitment to women in science
The University of York's commitment to women in science has been recognized by three national accolades.

Researchers find heart disease in a marathon runner -- is too much exercise a bad thing?
Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were puzzled when a 51-year-old physician colleague who looked the picture of health -- no cardiovascular risks, a marathon runner who had exercised vigorously each day for 30 years -- had flunked a calcium screening scan of his heart.

Special chiropractic adjustment lowers blood pressure
A Chicago-area study of 50 individuals with a misaligned Atlas vertebra (located high in the neck) and high blood pressure showed that after a one-time specialized chiropractic adjustment, blood pressure decreased significantly.

Scientists explain source of mysterious tremors emanating from fault zones
Tiny tremors and temblors recently discovered in fault zones from California to Japan are generated by slow-moving earthquakes that may foreshadow catastrophic seismic events, according to scientists at Stanford University and the University of Tokyo.

Making memories that last a lifetime
Neurobiologists have discovered a mechanism by which the constantly changing brain retains memories -- from that dog bite to that first kiss.

Report reveals human face of Pennsylvania's Medicaid program
The non-partisan Pennsylvania Medicaid Policy Center (PMPC) released the Faces of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program report today.

Have researchers found a new state of matter?
A 25-year old experiment is turning everything we know about matter upside down, and may even have demonstrated an example of an entirely new state of matter.

New species declared: Clouded leopard on Borneo and Sumatra
Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopard found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra is an entirely new species of cat.

Physicists wipe away complexity for a clearer view of heavy nuclei
In a March 16 Physical Review Letters article, researchers from Michigan State and Central Michigan universities report dramatic success in slashing computational time associated with standard nuclear theory calculations from days or weeks to minutes or hours.

500,000 years of climate history stored year by year
The mud at the bottom of Turkey's Lake Van stores information about the climate of the last 500,000 years.

Study suggests wearing no-line bifocals slows myopia progression in some children
Certain children who wear a special kind of no-line bifocal lenses show signs of slower progression of myopia than those who wear more conventional lenses according to a new study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS).

New research casts doubt over heart disease treatments
Some treatments for high blood pressure could be increasing the risk of heart attacks and causing more people to need cardiac pacemakers, according to new research findings published today.

Toward a test for detecting in childhood the risk of developing bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
A team from Centre de recherche Université Laval Robert-Giffard (CRULRG) has made significant progress toward finding a way to determine whether a child is likely to one day suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Phthalates now linked to fat, related health risks
Exposure to phthalates, a common chemical found in everything from plastics to soaps, already has been connected to reproductive problems and now, for the first time, is linked to abdominal obesity and insulin resistance in adult males, according to a study by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Study challenges idea that schizophrenia is distinct in developing and developed regions
Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that the course and symptomatic expression of schizophrenia is relatively more benign in developing societies.

Ultrasound could help couples undergoing IVF
Ultrasound-based tests allowing women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to count their chickens before they've hatched may provide alternatives to the hormone-based tests used today.

Paleontologists discover new mammal from Mesozoic Era
An international team of American and Chinese paleontologists has discovered a new species of mammal that lived 125 million years ago during the Mesozoic Era, in what is now the Hebei Province in China.

First ozone and nitrogen dioxide measurements from MetOp-A
The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) on board MetOp-A launched in October 2006 and currently undergoing commissioning has delivered the first geophysical products for monitoring the Earth's ozone layer, and European and global air quality.

New Cell titles further ScienceDirect offering
This year, Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information, is adding two new, groundbreaking Cell Press titles -- Cell Host & Microbe and Cell Stem Cell -- to its platform, ScienceDirect.

New biofuels process promises to meet all US transportation needs
Purdue University chemical engineers have proposed a new environmentally friendly process for producing liquid fuels from plant matter - or biomass - potentially available from agricultural and forest waste, providing all of the fuel needed for

Chemical cues turn embryonic stem cells into cerebellar neurons
Rockefeller University scientists show that embryonic stem cells implanted in the brain appear to develop into fully differentiated granule neurons, the most plentiful neuron in the cerebellum.

Gene therapy for blindness clears hurdle in mice
University of Florida Genetics Institute researchers were able to use interfering RNA in experiments with mice to quiet a gene that plays a crucial role in a leading cause of inherited blindness.

A case of mistaken identity for the ivory-billed woodpecker?
Video evidence that an extinct woodpecker is alive and well in Arkansas may prove to be a case of mistaken identity.

Anti-epileptic drugs may help prevent and treat noise-induced hearing loss
On the battlefield, a soldier's hearing can be permanently damaged in an instant by the boom of an explosion, and thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq have some permanent hearing loss.

Using brain scans, researchers find evidence for a 2-stage model of human perceptual learning
Using advanced brain imaging techniques, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have watched how humans use both lower and higher brain processes to learn novel tasks, an advance they say may help speed up the teaching of new skills as well as offer strategies to retrain people with perceptual deficits due to autism.

Burroughs Wellcome fund awards $8.25 million in grants to physician-scientists
BWF has named 11 physician-scientists as the 2007 recipients of its Clinical Scientist Awards in Translational Research.

Chicago Medical School honored for excellence in strategic planning
The Chicago Medical School of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science recently received the prestigious Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award for 2006-2007, from the Association for Strategic Planning.

A closer look inside our lungs -- Penn researchers develop 2 novel imaging techniques
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are harnessing two new, non-invasive techniques to look more closely inside the working lungs -- leading to early detection of diseases, like emphysema, before it becomes evident in other modes of imaging.

New program aims to overhaul the Internet
The Internet is enough of a marvel that most people would never ask, ''Is this really how we would build it if we could design it all today?'' But asking that very question is the job of a broad-based team of Stanford researchers.

Does God answer prayer? ASU research says 'yes'
Does God or some other type of transcendent entity answer prayer?

Proteochemometrics achieves better retardants for HIV/Aids
A new method for analysis of retroviral proteins gives new opportunities to the development of novel retardants for HIV/Aids.

Tracing broken wiring in stroke patients
Researchers have used a technique to trace the functional disruption in brain circuitry that causes stroke patients to show a lack of awareness or response to the side of the body opposite to the side of the stroke lesion in the brain.

Research project could help create computers that run on light
An £820,000 research project begins soon which could be an important step in bringing the dream of photonic computers -- devices run using light rather than electronics -- onto the desktop.

Obesity at time of prostate-cancer diagnosis dramatically increases risk of dying from the disease
Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have more than two-and-a-half times the risk of dying from the disease as compared to men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis.

Genes may determine success of hip replacement surgery
The success of long term hip replacement surgery may lie in the genes, suggests research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Canada's new government invests in renewable energy for new homes
Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin- Middlesex-London, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, announced today that the Government will provide funding of $40,000 over two years for a pilot project to incorporate renewable energy in new homes.

Aga Khan University team discover which patients keep on taking their medicine
Aga Khan University (AKU) is proud to share a peer-reviewed article,

Stroke damage keeps brain regions from 'talking' to each other
Neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have linked a common post-stroke disability to impaired communication between brain regions.

Suicide statistics stable but still too many lives cut short
Suicide rates in Queensland have been relatively stable over recent years according to the latest available data but more than 500 deaths each year is no comfort to the many families and friends left behind.

UH-led alliance finalist for DOE's new Wind Turbine Research Center
The UH-led Lone Star Wind Alliance has been named one of two finalists for the Department of Energy's new large-scale wind turbine research and development facility.

THEMIS weighs in on the Northern Lights
Instruments known as solid-state telescopes (SSTs), built with detectors fabricated at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and carried aboard the recently launched THEMIS mission, have delivered their first data on how charged particles in the solar wind interact with Earth's magnetic field to shape the planet's magnetosphere.

Harvard chemist wins national award for lifetime achievements in chemistry
Harvard chemist George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., has been chosen to receive the 2007 Priestley Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society, for his distinguished service to the field of chemistry.

UBC researchers reveal dwarf aquatic plants' hidden ancestry
A team of University of British Columbia researchers has re-classified an ancient line of aquatic plants previously thought to be related to grasses and rushes.

Headache-related work absences have a considerable socio-economic effect
Headaches are most common in people's forties and can have a profound effect on their working and personal lives, as a specialist study just published reveals.

Quite a story to tell: The remarkable world of women athletes
There has been a spectacular transformation in women's athletics in the United States over the past century, particularly in the 33 years since the passage of Title IX.

Recycling for kids featured in interactive chemistry program March 24 in Chicago
Kids in the Chicagoland area will get the answers to recycling and environmental questions at a special hands-on Kids & Chemistry American Chemical Society Presidential event --

Obesity high among Baltimore's homeless, Johns Hopkins researchers say
A small but telling study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center reveals an ominous trend: more than expected, obesity shadows Baltimore's homeless children and their caregivers, putting them at high risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions.

Researchers identify molecular basis of inflammatory bowel disease
Researchers from the Universities of Cologne and Mainz in Germany, the Mouse Biology Unit of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Italy and their collaborators, have now deciphered a molecular signal that triggers chronic intestinal inflammation.

Wide UK variation in use of adult heart drug given to children
The amount and formulation of an adult heart drug given to children with congenital heart failure varies widely across the UK, reveals a survey published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Transported black carbon a significant player in Pacific Ocean climate
More than three-quarters of the particulate pollution known as black carbon transported at high altitudes over the West Coast during spring is from Asian sources, according to a research team led by Professor V.

No carrier necessary: This drug delivers itself
The problem of efficiently delivering drugs, especially those that are hydrophobic or water-repellant, to tumors or other disease sites has long challenged scientists to develop innovative delivery systems that keep these drugs intact until reaching their targets.

Homing pigeons get their bearings from their beaks
It has long been recognized that birds possess the ability to use the Earth's magnetic field for their navigation, although just how this is done has not yet been clarified.

Nanotechnology oversight requires thinking outside the box
With hundreds of nanotechnology-enabled products already on the market and many more in the commercial pipeline, a new report by a former senior Environmental Protection Agency official urges policymakers to give greater attention to the challenges of crafting an oversight system that can effectively address health and safety issues particular to nanoscale materials and devices.
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