Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2007
News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Researchers master one of the largest, most complicated mathematical structures
Ever since 1887, when Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie discovered the mathematical group called E8, researchers have been trying to understand the extraordinarily complex object described by a numerical matrix of more than 400,000 rows and columns.

Researchers uncover protection mechanism of radiation-resistant bacterium
Michael J. Daly, Ph.D., an associate professor in USU's Department of Pathology, and his colleagues have uncovered evidence pointing to the mechanism through which the extremely resilient bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans protects itself from high doses of ionizing radiation (IR).

For-profit groups effective in helping California children obtain health care
As state lawmakers consider ways to reach California's 6.5 million uninsured residents, new research from UC Irvine suggests that insurance brokers and other for-profit groups are key to helping eligible children enroll in government-funded health-care programs.

Study of leukemia survivors gives hints for better care
Results from the longest follow-up study ever done of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors show the importance of long-term monitoring of former patients to identify complications they are at risk for developing later in life and to modify current treatments to reduce those risks, according to investigators at St.

Disclosure laws provide only limited view of pharmaceutical company payments to physicians
Laws in two states requiring disclosure of pharmaceutical company payments to physicians do not provide the public with easy access to payment information and are of limited quality when accessed, according to a study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

Unsafe sex: Do feelings matter?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, adolescents and young adults currently account for fifty percent of new HIV infections on an annual basis.

Colon cancer survival linked to number of lymph nodes examined
An analysis of 17 studies from nine countries has found that the more lymph nodes that are removed and examined during surgical treatment of colon cancer, the better the outcome appears to be for patients.

LSU professor uncovers prehistoric hurricane activity
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita focused the international spotlight on the vulnerability of the US coastline.

Will the plague pathogen become resistant to antibiotics?
A small piece of DNA that helps bacteria commonly found in US meat and poultry resist several antibiotics has also been found in the plague bacillus Yersinia pestis, gene sequence researchers report.

Root beer may be 'safest' soft drink for teeth
Exposing teeth to soft drinks, even for a short period of time, causes dental erosion -- and prolonged exposure can lead to significant enamel loss.

Life cycle assessment essential to nanotech commercial development
Life cycle assessment (LCA) -- a cradle-to-grave look at the health and environmental impact of a material, chemical, or product -- is an essential tool for ensuring the safe, responsible, and sustainable commercialization of nanotechnology, US and European experts conclude in a new report issued today.

NSW Premier announces $15M for children's cancer research
Today the Honorable Morris Iemma MP, New South Wales Premier, announced a $15 million grant for Children's Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research for the construction of a new building to house the institute's research activities.

Engineers develop process to recycle unused paint by blending it into common plastics
Engineers at Rutgers University have developed a process to recycle waste latex paint -- the largest component of household hazardous waste -- by blending it with common plastics.

New technique developed for tracking cells in the body
Scientists' inability to follow the whereabouts of cells injected into the human body has long been a major drawback in developing effective medical therapies.

Springer author receives prestigious award in Beijing
China granted its State Scientific and Technological Award for 2006 to scientist Li Zhensheng for his achievements in wheat breeding.

Small molecule derived from Rb2/p130 could act as cancer therapeutic
A small molecule derived from the spacer domain of the tumor-suppressor gene Rb2/p130 has demonstrated the ability to inhibit tumor growth in vivo and could be developed into an anti-cancer therapeutic, according to researchers at Temple University's Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine.

Study details catastrophic impact of nuclear attack on US cities
A new study by researchers at the Center for Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia details the catastrophic impact a nuclear attack would have on American cities.

IceSAR campaign provides glimpse of future Sentinel-1 images over ice
It is perhaps fitting that at the beginning of the International Polar Year, an ambitious airborne campaign is now underway and realizing excellent results in the extreme north of Europe in support of ESA's Sentinel-1 mission -- which amongst other application areas will contribute to ice monitoring.

Dental insurance, caregivers' preventive dental visits determinants of underserved
Children's dental insurance and caregivers' preventive dental care visits play a significant role as determinants of underserved African-American children seeing a dentist, according to a study in this month's Journal of the American Dental Association.

Study: Online information may improve cancer patients' opinions about doctors
Accessing high-quality health information on the Internet may improve breast cancer patients' opinions about their doctors, according to a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research, funded by the National Cancer Institute.

30th anniversary of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize
DFG honors six young researchers for outstanding achievements.

New saliva test may help dentists test for breast cancer
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States.

Biologists produce global map of plant biodiversity
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Bonn in Germany have produced a global map of estimated plant species richness.

Atherothrombosis associated with high rates of cardiovascular events within 1 year
Patients with arterial disease have relatively high rates of experiencing a cardiovascular event (such as heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death) within one year, and these increase with the number of arterial locations afflicted, according to a large, international study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

Radiation preferred over surgery for patients with some stages of lung cancer
After an initial chemotherapy treatment, radiation may be a better choice than surgery for patients with stage IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer, according to a randomized controlled trial published in the March 21 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

UT Southwestern leaders to receive national award for medical research accomplishments
Two Nobel laureates from UT Southwestern Medical Center and their mentor, a distinguished chair of internal medicine at this institution, will receive Research!America's inaugural Builders of Science Award for their achievements in developing UT Southwestern into one of the world's premier research institutions.

Protein found to shield pancreatic cancer cells from self-destruction
An overexpressed protein protects human pancreatic cancer cells from being forced to devour themselves, removing one of the body's natural defenses against out-of-control cell growth, researchers at The University of Texas M.

First greenhouse gas animations produced using Envisat SCIAMACHY data
Based on three years of observations from the SCIAMACHY instrument aboard ESA's Envisat, scientists have produced the first movies showing the global distribution of the most important greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide and methane -- that contribute to global warming.

Feinstein researchers uncover genetic risk for schizophrenia
Psychiatric researchers at the Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have uncovered evidence of a new gene that appears to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Cutting hours for overemployed may boost well-being, job opportunities for others
If overemployed workers were encouraged by employers to cut back to their level of preference, it could well have a profound impact on employees' well-being, according to a Penn State researcher.

Rate of secondary cancers increases over years after treatment for childhood leukemia
Survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia have a significantly increased risk of secondary cancers developing over 30 years after leukemia treatment when compared to the general population, according to a study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

Other highlights from the March 21 JNCI
Also in the March 21 JNCI are a study on the link between fat intake and breast cancer risk, a plant compound that may decrease breast cancer risk, a critique of the use of progression-free survival in cancer clinical trials, and a mutation to a mismatch repair gene that is associated with colorectal cancer.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2007
The following are story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for March 2007.

Cancer researchers add spice to research against rare neuromuscular disease
Scientists have discovered a compound that shows promise against a debilitating neurodegenerative condition known as Kennedy's disease, which is caused by a mutant gene.

Severe mental retardation gene mutation identified
Researchers have identified a novel gene mutation that causes X-linked mental retardation for which there was no previously known molecular diagnosis, according to an article to be published electronically on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Triplex assay used to assay duplex genomic DNA
Direct detection of base sequence in duplex nucleic acid has long been an unfulfilled objective.

Lymph node evaluation linked to improved survival for colon cancer patients
The number of lymph nodes removed and examined for tumor cells appears to be associated with the likelihood of survival after surgery in colon cancer patients, according to a study in the March 21 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

PNNL becomes DOE flagship for incentive-based waste management practices
In recognition of its exemplary environmental compliance record, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced adoption of a new incentive-based waste management program for high performing facilities under the US.\ Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track program.

NJIT professor obtains patent to uncover trace elements of airborne pollutants
A breakthrough patent awarded to a New Jersey Institute of Technology researcher will enable manufacturers to create a device to uncover miniscule amounts of airborne pollutants.

Educational video increases knowledge but not behavior
An educational and motivational video, designed to increase emotional well-being and use of adaptive devices in low vision patients increased knowledge but did not change behavior or emotions, says Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists in a study in the March Issue of Optometry & Vision Science.
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