Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 27, 2007
Stem cells speed growth of healthy liver tissue
For the first time, researchers have used adult bone marrow stem cells to regenerate healthy human liver tissue, according to a study published in the April issue of the journal Radiology.

Why some people are more attractive than others
If good genes spread through the population, why are people so different?

New developments in 'artificial photosynthesis'
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory are trying to design catalysts inspired by photosynthesis, the process by which green plants convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates.

MIT: Pulsing light silences overactive neurons
Scientists at the MIT Media Lab have invented a way to reversibly silence brain cells using pulses of yellow light, offering the prospect of controlling the haywire neuron activity that occurs in diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

Nanoparticles for delivery of prostate cancer treatment
Alan Garen, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale has received a $100,000 award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation to expand research on the delivery of a targeted therapy for prostate cancer using nanoparticles.

2007 Amgen Biochemical Engineering Award
The 2007 Amgen Biochemical Engineering Award will be presented to Professor George Georgiou of the University of Texas at the Engineering Conferences International Biochemical Engineering XV Conference in Quebec City, Canada, July 15-19, 2007.

Building green made easier with new roadmap
Looking to build with an environmentally smart and friendly approach?

Himalayan glacier melting observed from space
The Himalayan glaciers are melting under the effect of global warming.

Giving platinum catalysts a golden boost for fuel cells
Platinum outweighs gold in the jewelry market, but as part of an ongoing effort to produce efficient and affordable fuel cells, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory are using gold atoms to enhance the value of the pricier metal.

Herbal extract extends life for heart failure patients
An herbal medicinal substance, Crataegus Extract WS1442, safely extends the lives of congestive heart failure patients already receiving pharmacological treatment for the disease, according to a study presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 56th Annual Scientific Session.

Descartes Prize goes to HESS Team
The international cooperative venture High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) has won the Descartes Prize for Research; the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, plays a leading role in H.E.S.S.

Novel anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent shows effectiveness on key endpoints in trial
Heart attacks are caused by a build-up and instability of plaque in the coronary arteries, which is often a result of chronic inflammation of the blood vessel walls.

Reliability of corruption indicators
Global corruption indicators and, on a broader front, global governance indicators, based principally on experts' perception, are currently widely used for determining the allocation of public aid for development.

Implant device effectively maintains heart function for transplant-listed patients
Whether a patient is awaiting a heart transplant or living with chronic heart failure, cardiologists are continuously looking for new therapies that address short-term and/or long-term needs of chronically impaired cardiac patients.

Radiofrequency ablation effective treatment for inoperable lung cancer
Lung cancer patients who are not candidates for surgery now have another safe and effective treatment option: radiofrequency (RF) ablation, according to a new study published in the April issue of the journal Radiology.

It's only a game of chance
Cells in the central nervous system tend to communicate with each other via a wave of electrical signals that travel along neurons.

Think herbal supplements are safe? Think again, book by Saint Louis University doctor says
A new book by a Saint Louis University doctor tells why mixing herbs, drugs and vitamins could have deadly consequences.

Higher trans fat levels in blood associated with elevated risk of heart disease
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health provides the strongest association to date between trans fat and heart disease.

Heart intervention doesn't outweigh medicine in study
In what some leading cardiologists are calling a

Polymers show promise for gene delivery, tissue scaffolds, other biomedical applications
Virginia Tech polymer scientists have developed a new family of gene vectors -- novel polymers that can ferry genetic material across the cell membrane so that it can be incorporated into the machinery of the cell.

Population data and humanitarian relief
Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises, a new report from the National Research Council, says national governments and relief organizations around the world should value this kind of information and train relevant practitioners in their own countries to successfully apply it.

Mayo Clinic study shows drug-eluting stent use in heart patients determined more by insurance type
If you want the best technology available to relieve blocked blood flow to the heart, the choice is a drug-eluting stent.

MicrobeWorld podcast wins another award
The American Society for Microbiology's MicrobeWorld Radio podcast has been named to the 2007 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership in Washington, D.C.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- March 21, 2007
This issue of the American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package (PressPac) is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations scheduled for the ACS' 233rd National Meeting in Chicago.

Ewwwww! UCLA anthropologist studies evolution's disgusting side
Behind everywave of disgust that overcomes you may be a biological imperative much greater than the urge to lose your lunch, according to a growing body of research by a UCLA anthropologist.

M. D. Anderson joins the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has joined the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, a collaboration designed to increase early breast cancer detection and reduce related deaths in the region through improved awareness, increased clinical resources and world-class research.

Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research recognizes Mina J. Bissell
Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2007 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research for her pioneering work on the relationship between cancer genetics and the three-dimensional structure of cells and tissues.

US EDA awards $1.5 mill to grow Rutgers incubator
Southern New Jersey's ability to promote economic growth through bioscience and technology has grown stronger, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the U.S.

SCAI leaders say courage results unlikely to change use of PCI
Results of the COURAGE trial, presented today at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session, are unlikely to alter the approach that interventional cardiologists take in treating most patients with chronic stable angina, say leaders from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, the leading professional society for interventional cardiologists in the United States.

Evolutionary Medicine Meeting will advance a new scientific discipline
Evolution has not traditionally been considered an important aspect of medicine, but recently researchers from various fields are finding connections based on evolutionary biology that lead them to new conclusions about their research.

New science of metagenomics 'will transform modern microbiology'
The emerging field of metagenomics, where the DNA of entire communities of microbes is studied simultaneously, presents the greatest opportunity -- perhaps since the invention of the microscope -- to revolutionize understanding of the microbial world, says a new report from the National Research Council.

A remedy for what ails medicine
Today men and women attend medical school in equal numbers.

AEA, UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to partner on CIRCA '07
The Convergence of International Research and Commercialization in Albany, or CIRCA '07, will be held May 21-23 at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY and at CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex in Albany, NY.

One membrane, many frequencies
Modern hearing aids, though quite sophisticated, still do not faithfully reproduce sound as it is perceived by hearing people.

Jefferson scientists find that plavix appears to be safe during and after heart bypass
Heart surgeons don't have to choose between taking a coronary-bypass patient off the popular anti-clotting drug clopidogrel (Plavix) after off-pump heart bypass surgery or having the patient bleed excessively in the days following surgery, according to a new study by researchers at Jefferson Medical College.

First step in developing heart hormone-based pill to control high blood pressure
In an era of increasing death and illness from heart and blood vessel disease -- which also can impair kidney function -- Mayo Clinic researchers have designed two promising new cardiovascular treatment approaches.

University of Leicester research reveals rice bran could reduce risk of intestinal cancer
A study by biomedical scientists at the University of Leicester has revealed for the first time that rice bran could reduce the risk of intestinal cancer.

The 'best ever' marketing strategy? Maybe not, says UGA study
In a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, a team led by UGA Terry College of Business assistant professor Vanessa Patrick finds that people take notice when they feel worse than they thought they would, but -- oddly -- not when they feel better than expected.

With cellulosic ethanol, there is no food vs. fuel debate according to MSU scientist
As more and more corn grain is diverted to make ethanol, there have been public concerns about food shortages.

Stem cell therapy shows promise for rescuing deteriorating vision
For the millions of Americans whose vision is slowly ebbing due to degenerative diseases of the eye, the lowly neural progenitor cell may be riding to the rescue.

Getting a feel for the nano world
When it comes to research at the nanoscale, vision is not necessarily an advantage.

Stem cell therapy shows promise in regenerating damaged muscle in heart attack patients
Heart attack patients who received an new intravenous adult stem cell therapy, Provacel, experienced a lower number of adverse events, such as cardiac arrhythmias, and had significant improvements in heart, lung and global function compared to those who received a placebo, according to six-month Phase I study data presented at the American College of Cardiology's Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit in New Orleans on March 25.

Biopsy may underestimate prostate cancer in obese and overweight men
Obese and overweight men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer by biopsy are more likely than healthy weight men to actually have a more aggressive case of the disease than the biopsy results would indicate, according to a study led by a Duke University Medical Center researcher.

Clevidipine during heart surgery improves blood pressure control
Researchers today reported that an investigational anti-hypertensive therapy may perform better in controlling blood pressure than standard treatments for patients undergoing heart surgery, during a presentation at the American College of Cardiology's 56th Annual Scientific Session.

MRI contrast agent can detect heart attack in the making
Scientists at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center and the New York University School of Medicine have developed a new imaging technique that allows physicians to peer directly into patients' blood vessels and find dangerous cholesterol-filled plaques before they rupture and cause a heart attack.

Family members most often source of whooping cough in young infants
Infants with whooping cough were most likely infected by the people they live with, according to a multi-country study led by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

APS President-Elect Carey urges 6.7 percent increase for biomedical research
Hannah V. Carey, president-elect of the American Physiological Society and a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, urged Congress to support a 6.7 percent increase for the NIH in each of the next three fiscal years.

Blocking immune cell action increases Alzheimer's-associated protein deposits
The immune system's response against amyloid-beta, the protein that forms plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, appears to protect the brain from damage in early stages of the devastating neurological disorder.

'Smart' sunglasses and goggles let users adjust shade and color
The future looks bright for sunglasses with adjustable lenses. A low-cost, low-energy material with adjustable transparency lets wearers dial up their preferred color and shade.

Soy-based product explored as nontoxic substitute for important but toxic reactive compound
Isocyanates are important to many products we take for granted -- from paint to spandex running shorts.

Unique models help teach nanoscience to the blind
At the root of scientific study are observations made with the eyes; yet in nanoscience, our eyes fail us.

US needs integrated approach to improve foreign language skills and cultural expertise
The 14 US Department of Education programs designed to strengthen education in foreign languages and in international and area studies -- known collectively as Title VI and Fulbright-Hays -- have made some progress but lack the resources necessary to keep pace with their mission, says a new report from the National Research Council.

International risk research strategy and funding needed for nanotech safety
Today, the Council for Science and Technology -- the British government's top-level advisory body on science and technology issues -- criticized the slow progress being made in providing needed support for focused research into the potential hazards of nanotechnology.

MERLIN TIMI-36 study provides new safety and efficacy data for unique anti-anginal therapy
Chest pain due to a shortage of blood in the heart, known as angina, is a condition that affects millions of Americans.

CNS Foundation grantee Dr. Evan Snyder repays special-needs community with stem cell publication
The CNS Foundation welcomes the publication by CNS grantee Dr.

Plastic that degrades in seawater could be boon for cruise industry and others
Military, merchant and cruise ships generate large volumes of plastic waste that must be stored onboard until they reach port.

Gene test shown to measure heart function after transplant
New Columbia University Medical Center research suggests a genomic test may provide detailed information on how well a transplanted heart is performing.

U of M study identifies factors associated with successful weight loss in teens
Participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity and limiting time in front of the television are some of the keys to successful weight loss in teens, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Where's your pain? New insights into how the brain processes pain location
Is that pain in your chest a heart attack or indigestion?

Patient adherence for successful tuberculosis treatment
Existing treatment against Tuberculosis is effective but long and many patients abandon it before the end or take their doses at excessively long intervals.

Rhode Island Hospital study confirms RF ablation effective for treating inoperable lung cancer
The overall results of a study of 153 patients with inoperable lung cancer show RF ablation to be safe and linked it with promising long-term survival and local tumor progression outcomes when compared to the older treatment method of external beam radiation (EBT).

Disease management programs improve long-term outcomes
More than 30 percent of patients who suffer heart failure die within one year, but education and support programs have been shown to improve that statistic.

Lung cancer screening regimen provides opportunity for cure
Annual computed tomography (CT) screening identifies a high proportion of patients with early-stage lung cancer, according to the latest findings of the New York Early Lung Cancer Action Project published in the April issue of the journal Radiology.

Who gets heart failure? Race takes back seat to diabetes and high blood pressure
Diabetes and high blood pressure, two conditions rooted in genetics and environmental surroundings, play a much greater role than race alone in determining who is mostly likely to develop heart failure, according to the latest study from cardiologists at Johns Hopkins.

Physicists shine a light, produce startling liquid jet
It is possible to manipulate small quantities of liquid using only the force of light, report University of Chicago and French scientists in the March 30 issue of Physical Review Letters.

Providence physician receives nation's top award in academic internal medicine
Charles C.J. Carpenter, M.D., founder of the Immunology Center at the Miriam Hospital and professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, was recently honored for more than 50 years of excellence in internal medicine as the recipient of the Robert H.

Fourth Annual Rutgers Stevens Workshop on Optimization of Stochastic Systems
The Fourth Annual Rutgers Stevens Workshop on Optimization of Stochastic Systems will be held at Stevens Institute of Technology, March 30-31, 2007.

Fruit fly gene research may shed light on human disease processes
Those small fruit flies buzzing around your bananas are more than pests -- they may be allies in a fruitful search for clues to human diseases caused when genes malfunction.

New modeling study forecasts disappearance of existing climate zones
A new climate modeling study forecasts the complete disappearance of several existing climates in tropical highlands and regions near the poles, while large swaths of the tropics and subtropics may develop new climates unlike any seen today.

Children's Hospital Boston presents at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions
Is prenatal cardiac intervention safe? Can children with heart transplants regain enough heart function to safely exercise?

Doubly safe activation
Interferons are the body's first line of defense against viral attack.

Engineering the heart piece by piece
Some day, heart attack survivors might have a patch of laboratory-grown muscle placed in their heart, and children born with defective heart valves might get new ones that can grow in place.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles will be featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Magnetic fields get reconnected in turbulent plasma too, Cluster reveals
Using measurements of the four ESA's Cluster satellites, a study published this week in Nature Physics shows pioneering experimental evidence of magnetic reconnection also in turbulent

Tequila raw ingredient being developed into drug-carrier that targets colon diseases
Compounds derived from the blue agave, a fruit used to make tequila, show promise as a natural, more effective way to deliver drugs to the colon than conventional drug-carriers, according to chemists at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico.

Treatment of in-hospital cardiac patients is focus of Jefferson University presentations
The following summaries are based on presentations by Thomas Jefferson University researchers at the American College of Cardiology's 56th Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Link between beef consumption during pregnancy and reduced sperm quality in sons
New research has shown that women who ate a lot of beef while pregnant had sons who were more likely to suffer from poor sperm quality as adults, and it suggests that the growth promoters used in cattle may play a role in these men's reduced fertility.

Toward improved forms of a time-tested cholesterol-fighter
New discoveries offer promise for developing drugs that improve on the therapeutic profile of niacin, the inexpensive, time-tested B-vitamin that boosts levels of HDL cholesterol -- the

Study finds coronary procedure adds no benefit over 'optimal medical therapy' alone
Percutaneous coronary intervention plus optimal medical therapy does not improve outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease, compared with optimal medical therapy alone, according to study results presented yesterday at the 56th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans, and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

LSTM to lead multimillion dollar fight against filariasis
The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has received a $23 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help victims of human filariasis -- a worm infection which causes some of the world's most debilitating and distressing diseases.

Navigating legal minefields of drug industry addressed at UH talk
With the rise in lawsuits, people who work in the pharmaceutical industry may sometimes wish they had law degrees.

The purple rose of Virgo
Until now NGC 5584 was just one galaxy among many others, located to the West of the Virgo Cluster.

Maternal beef diet could impact sperm counts, UR study suggests
A mother's high beef consumption while pregnant was associated with lower sperm counts in her son, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Rochester.

EVEREST data on use of tolvaptan published in JAMA and featured at ACC
Once-daily dosing with Otsuka's investigational oral medication tolvaptan, a vasopressin receptor antagonist, was associated with improvements in signs and symptoms of acutely decompensated heart failure in hospitalized patients receiving conventional care, without an adverse effect on their long-term survival versus placebo.

Breaking down bone is a tough job; however, our bones undergo remodeling every day.

Light-activated therapy targets DNA components
Chemists and biologists at Virginia Tech continuing to design light-activated molecular systems to attack cancer cells have introduced a DNA targeting component. 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