Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 09, 2007
MIT model helps researchers 'see' brain development
Large mammals -- humans, monkeys and even cats -- have brains with a somewhat mysterious feature: the outermost layer has a folded surface.

Plastic with changeable conductivity developed by chemical engineer
Dr. Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo at the University of Texas at Austin has modified a plastic so its ability to carry an electrical current can be altered during manufacturing to meet the needs of future electronic devices.

Minimally invasive lung cancer surgery can improve chemotherapy outcomes
Patients who undergo a minimally invasive lung cancer surgery called thoracoscopic lobectomy may derive more benefit from the chemotherapy that follows, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Veterinary scientists explore poultry virus as cancer killer
Virologists in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech are looking at how a genetically modified variant of Avian Newcastle disease virus can treat human prostate cancer.

Virginia Tech researches decontamination of chemical, biological warfare agents
The US Army Research Office has awarded Virginia Tech a $680,000 grant over two years to build an instrument that can be used to study the chemistry of gases that will decompose both chemical and biological warfare agents on surfaces.

NIDA to look at drug-impaired decision-making and HIV transmission
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, is holding a two-day meeting to explore wide-ranging issues related to drug abuse, impaired decision making and HIV/AIDS.

Malaria in pregnancy: What can the social sciences contribute?
Most malaria deaths worldwide are in children under 5 years old and pregnant women.

New guidelines to address growing obesity epidemic
The first-ever Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management and Prevention of Obesity in Adults and Children, recommend that waist circumference be measured in all Canadian adults, and that a national surveillance system be developed that incorporates this measurement along with height and weight.

Invasive grass may impede forest regeneration
The non-native invasive grass Microstegium vimineum may hinder the regeneration of woody species in southern forests.

Physicians' beliefs may influence their perception of the effects of spirituality on health
More than half of physicians believe that religion and spirituality have a significant influence on patients' health, according to a report in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

PSA doubling predicts prostate cancer recurrence
A detectable level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the first indicator of recurrent prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy.

Development of dehydration processes receives historical recognition
Research that led to the development of instant mashed potatoes at the US Department of Agriculture's Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa., will be designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark on April 18 by the American Chemical Society.

A profile of pedophilia: A comprehensive special article offers new insight and help
National attention about pedophilia has grown because of recent high-profile cases of child sexual abuse.

Innovative pulmonary & PEGylation-based therapeutic product dev. drives business strategy of Nektar
Innovative pulmonary and PEGylation-based therapeutic product development is the focus of two new business units recently created at Nektar Therapeutics, the company announced today.

Evolution of symbiosis
A recurring single-nucleotide deletion in a heat-shock transcriptional promoter in the bacterial Buchnera symbiont of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) dramatically affects host fitness in a thermal-dependent manner.

India's biotech industry emerging as world innovator, collaborator, competitor
India's health biotech firms are emerging as a major global player, with growing means and know-how to produce innovative as well as generic drugs and vaccines at costs small relative to those of giant Western firms, according to ground-breaking Canadian research being published Monday, April 9.

Smoking and caffeine may protect against Parkinson's disease
In families affected by Parkinson's disease, the people who smoked cigarettes and drank a lot of coffee were less likely to develop the disease, say researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

E-activism: Analysis of black bloggers in the blogosphere
In the first scholarly research examining the role of black bloggers, Brown University's Antoinette Pole found that bloggers of color are using this burgeoning medium to encourage political participation and activism.

1 donor cornea may treat 3 patients
One donor cornea may be divided and transplanted into multiple patients with eye disease or damage, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Drug-resistant bacterial infections serious complication after corrective eye surgery
Drug-resistant bacteria can complicate treatment after many surgical procedures. In particular, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which has been found in many healthcare settings, can be a serious post-operative complication.

New study sheds light on long-term effects of logging after wildfire
A new study on the effects of timber harvest following wildfire shows that the potential for a recently burned forest to reburn can be high with or without logging.

Mouse model advances understanding of synovial sarcoma
A mouse model for synovial sarcoma has enabled scientists to make tremendous progress toward understanding the origin and pathogenesis of this highly aggressive soft-tissue malignancy.

Progress against sarcoma
University of Utah geneticists have engineered mice that can develop synovial sarcoma -- a significant early step toward developing new treatments for the aggressive, deadly cancer that most often kills teenagers and young adults.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 4, 2007
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 35 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Pitt study notes decline in male births in the US and Japan
A study published in this week's online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives reports that during the past 30 years, the number of male births has decreased each year in the US and Japan.

Eating with our eyes: Why people eat less at unbused tables
People who saw how much they had already eaten -- e.g., leftover chicken-wing bones -- ate 27 percent less than people who had no such environmental cues, finds a study by Cornell's Brian Wansink.

Pitt alumnus and professor put a face on Internet communication with personalized icon software
An alumnus and a professor from the University of Pittsburgh have chiseled away at the notorious impersonal nature of electronic communication by developing software that allows individuals to better express their emotions with icons that are actual pictures of themselves.

Mouse FH knockout resembles human renal cell cancer
A new mouse model is providing valuable insight into the biochemical pathways that are associated with development of renal cysts and renal cell cancer.

How do the rules of immunity change during chronic infections?
After an acute viral infection, some T cells generated to kill virus-infected cells remain on guard to establish long-term immunity.

RNA splicing factor implicated in ovarian tumor cell growth
An RNA-binding protein that is overproduced in ovarian cancer may present a new target for diagnosis or treatment of ovarian and other cancers, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Many women undertreated for ovarian cancer
One in three ovarian cancer patients in the US fails to receive the recommended comprehensive surgical treatment.

Study examines calorie restriction and glycemic load
The first phase of a caloric restriction study found that two diets, both designed to restrict calories by 30 percent but varying in glycemic load, resulted in comparable long-term weight loss.

Protecting electronic information from theft, abuse research goal
The major goal of Patrick Schaumont's National Science Foundation CAREER project is to develop a methodology to create secure embedded system designs to protect information in cell phones, RFIDs and other portable systems, and to protect copyrighted materials, such as songs and movies in portable players, and embedded software.

Tropical forests -- Earth's air conditioner
Planting and protecting trees -- which trap and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow -- can help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Scripps research study shows humans and plants share common regulatory pathway
In findings that some might find reminiscent of science fiction, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have shown for the first time that humans and plants share a common pathogen recognition pathway as part of their innate immune systems.

Cocoa, but not tea, may lower blood pressure
Foods rich in cocoa appear to reduce blood pressure but drinking tea may not, according to an analysis of previously published research in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Learning from both ends of the stethoscope
Good doctor-patient communication makes a difference not only in patient satisfaction but in patient outcomes including resolution of chronic headaches, changes in emotional states, lower blood sugar values in diabetics, improved blood pressure readings in hypertensives, and other important health indicators.

RAND study finds people who are severly overweight grow faster than other obese Americans
The proportion of Americans who are severely obese -- about 100 pounds or more overweight -- increased by 50 percent from 2000 to 2005, twice as fast as the growth seen in moderate obesity, according to a RAND Corp. study issued today.

News Briefs from the journal Chest, April 2007
News Briefs from the journal Chest, April 2007.

Researchers question validity of many research meta-analyses
New research by Drs. John Ioannidis and Thomas Trikalinos indicates that statistical conditions are often not met for employing asymmetry tests.

Lavery and Armstrong receive major NIH grant for podiatry
Dr. Lawrence Lavery and Dr. David Armstrong have been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for their work in improving health outcomes for diabetics with foot ulcers.

Diabetes may be associated with increased risk of mild cognitive impairment
Individuals with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition that involves difficulties with thinking and learning and may be an intermediate step toward Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mayo Clinic and IBM score significant advance in real-time medical imaging
Collaborators from Mayo Clinic and IBM have exploited parallel computer architecture and memory bandwidth to dramatically speed the processing of 3-D medical images.

Marine scientists monitor longest mammal migration
Marine scientists recently published a research paper in the science journal, Biology Letters, that found humpback whales migrate over 5,100 miles from Central America to their feeding grounds off Antarctica; a record distance undertaken by any mammal.

Modified bone marrow cells can help recovery in an animal model of multiple sclerosis
A new study published in PLoS Medicine has shown that modified bone marrow cells can help recovery in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Treatment of asthma: Stepping up treatment and also stepping it down
Asthma symptoms vary greatly among individuals and vary at times with each individual.

Jefferson scientists identify protein key to breast cancer spread, potential new drug target
Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have identified a protein that they say is key to helping a quarter of all breast cancers spread.

UCSD researchers discover variants of natural tumor suppressor
Building on their 2005 discovery of an enzyme that is a natural tumor suppressor, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have now identified two variants of that enzyme which could provide new targets for therapies to treat diabetes, heart and neurological disease.

More aggressive breast cancer in Hispanics independent of health care utilization
A new study provides evidence that racial differences in the clinical presentation of breast cancer may be due more to biological factors rather than differences in access to health care alone.

CT imaging with use of novel contrast agent may predict heart attack in waiting
A new imaging technology may hold the key to not only stopping heart attacks in their tracks but also preventing them for ever occurring.

FSU leads botanical research into 21st century: Deep South Plant Specimen Imaging Project
Here in the East Gulf Coastal Plain, one of North America's premier and most imperiled regions for botanical biodiversity, Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., is leading an ambitious project that will create high-resolution digital images of 100,000 plant specimens, then make them available to scientists and students everywhere via the World Wide Web.

Trees to offset the carbon footprint?
How effective are new trees in offsetting the carbon footprint?

Chance of hysterectomy predicted by multi-year study
A woman's chance of undergoing a hysterectomy can now be accurately predicted, according to new UCSF study findings.

Doctors aggressively treat early heart attacks, research shows
An international study involving 467 hospitals in 12 countries found that doctors do a good job of aggressively treating the early stages of heart attacks -- even before laboratory tests confirm the diagnosis.

Arsenic in chicken feed may pose health risks to humans, C&EN reports
Pets may not be the only organisms endangered by some food additives.

Canadian-educated physicians need to practice in Canada, not the US
Phillips and colleagues report that, in 2006, one in 12 Canadian-educated physicians were practicing in the US.

4th International Conference on Ethical Issues in Biomedical Engineering
Bioengineers, research scientists, physicians, lawyers, ethicists, philosophers and students will convene for the 4th Internationl Conference on Ethical Issues in Biomedical Engineering, co-sponsored by SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Polytechnic University.

The sturdier sex? -- Study by Pittsburgh scientists finds female stem cells work better
Female stem cells derived from muscle have a greater ability to regenerate skeletal muscle tissue than male cells, according to a study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Epilepsy drug with new method of action is safe, effective
A drug for epilepsy with a new mechanism of action is safe and effective, according to a study published in the April 10, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Managing and preventing obesity in Canadian adults and children
Dr. David Lau, chair of the Obesity Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee and professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, provides a synopsis of the 2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in adults and children.

UCLA mathematics department receives award
The American Mathematical Society announced today that it has chosen the Mathematics Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, as the recipient of the 2007 Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department.

Restless legs syndrome increases risk of heart disease
People with restless legs syndrome (RLS), especially the elderly, may be at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the April 10, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

'Combination' Lyme disease vaccine proteins patented
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators at Stony Brook University have received US Patent Number 7,179,448 for developing chimeric, or

Nanotextured implant materials: blending in, not fighting back
Texture turns out to be nearly as important as chemistry when designing materials for use in the human body.

FSU anthropologist finds earliest evidence of maize farming in Mexico
A Florida State University anthropologist from Tallahassee, Fla., has new evidence that ancient farmers in Mexico were cultivating an early form of maize, the forerunner of modern corn, about 7,300 years ago -- 1,200 years earlier than scholars previously thought.

Parents part of solution, not part of problem in teen bulimia treatment
Common practice in the treatment of adolescent eating disorder patients has been to exclude the parents.

Smoking and caffeine inversely associated with Parkinson's disease
Individuals with Parkinson's disease are less likely to smoke or consume high doses of caffeine than their family members who do not have the disease, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. 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