Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2007
Malpractice study -- Juries sympathize more with doctors
There's a common belief that juries frequently side with patients in lawsuits involving medical malpractice.

Study finds dietary fat interacts with genes
Research finds that for most adults in the Framingham Heart Study, dietary fat intake is associated with body mass index (BMI).

Little lifesavers -- Nanoparticles improve delivery of medicines and diagnostics
Tiny, biodegradable particles filled with medicine may also contain answers to some of the biggest human health problems, including cancer and tuberculosis.

Experimental flu vaccine appears promising in early tests
An influenza vaccine produced with the use of insect cells appeared safe and produced an immunogenic response in healthy adults, suggesting promise as an alternative to using embryonated eggs for the development of influenza vaccine, according to a preliminary study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

Scientists implicate gene in vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases
In a study appearing in the March 22 New England Journal of Medicine, scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases have discovered a connection between a specific gene and the inflammatory skin condition vitiligo, as well as a possible host of autoimmune diseases.

Different approach needed to protect brains of premature infants
A study of how the brain of a premature infant responds to injury has found vulnerabilities similar to those in the mature brain but also identified at least one significant difference, according to neuroscientists and neonatologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

U of T receives $2.5M for interface design
A U of T-led project that will help universities internationally provide more consistent and accessible web services to all users, including those with special needs, was recently chosen by the Andrew W.

Kent State to host financial mathematics mini-symposium
Kent State and Purdue University will host a financial mathematics mini-syposium.

Biodiversity research and education highlighted at April 16 conference
Kent State University, a leader in biodiversity and conservation research and education, will host its annual research symposium.

3 scientific societies applaud climate change report
The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America applaud the efforts of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its report, which points to the direct consequences of human-induced climate change.

Bypassing eggs, flu vaccine grown in insect cells shows promise
An experimental flu vaccine made in insect cells -- not in eggs, where flu vaccines currently available in the United States are grown -- is safe and as effective as conventional vaccines in protecting people against the flu.

ConocoPhillips establishes $22.5M biofuels research program at Iowa State
ConocoPhillips will establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University dedicated to developing technologies that produce biorenewable fuels.

Workers who focus on family given fewer career opportunities
People who let family demands interfere with work are given fewer career opportunities and have poorer relationships with their bosses, a study from McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business finds.

Presidential Recognition Awards presented at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention
Lennard D. Greenbaum, M.D., president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, announced the recipients of the 2007 Presidential Recognition Award during the Leadership Banquet at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention in New York City.

Surfing the blues -- Internet questionnaire can accurately identify depression
The Internet offers a valuable opportunity for the public to screen themselves for depression.

Lithium builds gray matter in bipolar brains, UCLA study shows
Neuroscientists at UCLA have shown that lithium, long the standard treatment for bipolar disorder, increases the amount of gray matter in the brains of patients with the illness.

The dGEMRIC index as a predictor of cartilage mechanical stiffness
Can nondestructive MRI provide a measurement of cartilage function? The delayed Gadolinium Enhanced MRI of Cartilage (dGEMRIC) index is highly correlated to mechanical stiffness, and, although not as good as a direct mechanical measurement, the index can be used as a predictive measure of stiffness.

Misusing vitamin to foil drug test may be toxic; plus, it doesn't work
Taking excessive doses of a common vitamin in an attempt to defeat drug screening tests may send the user to the hospital -- or worse.

Structural basis for photoswitching in fluorescent proteins brought into focus
University of Oregon scientists have identified molecular features that determine the light-emitting ability green fluorescent proteins, and by strategically inserting a single oxygen atom they were able to keep the lights turned off for up to 65 hours.

Study fails to verify gene variations as risk factors for certain cardiovascular problems
New research has failed to confirm findings from smaller studies that 85 gene variations are associated with an increased risk for acute coronary syndromes (ACS), which includes heart attack and a type of angina, according to a study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

AIUM announced Endowment for Education and Research grant recipients
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine announced the winners of its 2007 Endowment for Education and Research grants at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention in New York.

World's top engineers in San Antonio for system of systems conference
More than 200 engineers representing 15 countries are expected to be in San Antonio April 15-18 for the 2nd Annual Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers System of Systems International Conference.

For the first time the LHC reaches temperatures colder than outer space
The first sector of CERN's Large Hadron Collider to be cooled down has reached a temperature of 1.9 K (-271° C), colder than deep outer space.

Pump design could give heart patients new hope
A new counter-flow heart pump being developed by Queensland University of Technology has the potential to revolutionize future designs of the mechanical heart.

Mystery spiral (galaxy) arms explained?
Using a quartet of space observatories, University of Maryland astronomers may have cracked a 45-year mystery surrounding two ghostly spiral arms in the galaxy M106.

'Fusion' protein found by Johns Hopkins researchers
Working with fruit flies, scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered a protein required for two neighboring cells to fuse and become one

OHSU surgeon implants donated tissue allografts
For many orthopedic surgeons, obtaining tissue for transplant to treat people with severe joint disorders has been difficult.

Guns in homes strongly associated with higher rates of suicide
In the first nationally representative study to examine the relationship between survey measures of household firearm ownership and state level rates of suicide in the US, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that suicide rates among children, women and men of all ages are higher in states where more households have guns.

Mystery spiral arms explained?
Using a trio of space observatories, astronomers may have cracked a 45-year-old mystery surrounding two ghostly spiral arms in the galaxy M106 (NGC 4258).

Fragile X, Down syndromes linked to faulty brain communication
The two most prevalent forms of genetic mental retardation, Fragile X and Down syndromes, may share a common cause, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Report reveals estimated high prevalence and heavy cost of type 2 diabetes complications
A first-of-its-kind report looking at the prevalence and cost of type 2 diabetes complications shows that an estimated three out of five people (57.9 percent) with type 2 diabetes have at least one of the other serious health problems commonly associated with the disease, and that these health problems are taking a heavy financial toll on the United States.

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

University of Colorado instruments to launch on NASA cloud mission April 25
A satellite carrying two University of Colorado at Boulder instruments to study silvery-blue clouds that mysteriously form 50 miles above Earth's polar regions every year is slated to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on April 25.

Ossur's Proprio Foot walks away with 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award
Ossur, a trusted and global developer of more scientifically advanced prosthetic innovations than any other company in the field, is pleased to announce that its Proprio Foot is the winner of a 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award.

Eye diseases gave great painters different vision of their work, Stanford ophthalmologist says
After writing two books on the topic of artists and eye disease, the Stanford University School of Medicine ophthalmologist decided to go one step further and create images that would show how artists with eye disease actually saw their world and their canvases.

Drugs for Parkinson's disease may ease stroke-related disability
Scientists have untangled two similar disabilities that often afflict stroke patients, in the process revealing that one may be treatable with drugs for Parkinson's disease.

Fellowships aim to cultivate young theoretical physicists
The Large Hadron Collider Theory Initiative, a US-based consortium, has awarded its first graduate fellowships designed to cultivate new young talent in anticipation of the opening of the Large Hadron Collider later this year.

Professors named Fulbright scholars
Two Kent State Professors have been awarded Fulbright grants for 2007-2008.

Carnegie Mellon professors question advice for nuclear attacks
In the current Fox television adventure series,

Carnegie Mellon P2P system promises faster music, movie downloads
Transferring large data files, such as movies and music, over the Internet could be sped up significantly if peer-to-peer file-sharing services were configured to share not only identical files, but also similar files.

New study zeroes in on genetic roots of Alzheimer's
Scientists have long known that individuals with a certain gene are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Do we need a paradigm change? Disputing coevolution in herbivorous insects
It is commonly accepted that phytophagous beetles and their host plants (mainly the likewise speciose angiosperms or flowering plants) have radiated in concert since the origin of both groups in the early Cretaceous.

Milk beats soy for post-weighlifting muscle gain
A new study from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has found that milk protein is significantly better than soy at building muscle mass.

New OHSU senior care program gets $2.5M boost
A $2.5 million grant to Oregon Health & Science University from the John A.

Ancient coral reef tells the history of Kenya's soil erosion
Coral reefs, like tree rings, are natural archives of climate change.

ESRC launches new online resource for public services
The Economic and Social Research Council has today launched the Public Services Zone, a brand new online resource for public service managers and policymakers.

NASA data show earthquakes may quickly boost regional volcanoes
Scientists using NASA satellite data have found strong evidence that a major earthquake can lead to a nearly immediate increase in regional volcanic activity.

Louisiana Tech company involved in breakthrough research
Moisture in natural gas may not be an issue in the near future due to research conducted at Louisiana Tech University.

Antibiotic stress, genetic response and altered permeability of E. coli
The manner by which multi-drug resistance develops has become an area of intense research and the recent investigations conducted by an international group consisting of American, Portuguese and French scientists have identified the genetic sequence of events that lead to mdr phenotypes of Gram-negative bacteria.

Researchers find gene mutation that causes infertility in male mice
Cornell University researchers have identified a mutation in a gene that causes male infertility in mice.

New investigators tie for award at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine announced the winner of the 2007 New Investigator Award at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

New partnership has UC flying high with the top guns in command and control technology
The agreement with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base invites UC psychology researchers into the most prestigious lab of its kind in the country.

Stress may help cancer cells resist treatment, research shows
Scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine are the first to report that the stress hormone epinephrine causes changes in prostate and breast cancer cells that may make them resistant to cell death.

AACR Annual Meeting showcases significant developments in understanding and targeting cancers
Data demonstrating genetic differences in individuals' susceptibility to certain cancers as well as differences in how people respond to specific cancer treatments will take center stage when more than 17,000 scientists from around the world gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center April 14-18 for the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Afghans favor and understand democracy, survey shows
An overwhelming majority of Afghans favor democratic government and demonstrate a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of democracy, according to a new analysis by UC Irvine political scientist Russell Dalton.

News tips from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Story ideas from the April 13, 2007, issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry include new insight into viral infection; heart stem cells and acute heart failure; new chemical against Parkinson's disease; and how mitochondria divide during cell division.

Use of hydrocortisone reduces incidence of atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery
Patients who receive corticosteroids after cardiac surgery have a significantly lower risk of atrial fibrillation in the days following the surgery, according to a study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

Study suggests use of stem cell transplantation is beneficial treatment of type 1 diabetes
A therapy that includes stem cell transplantation induced extended insulin independence in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to a preliminary study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

Measuring calcium intake can help to identify osteoporosis in men with prostate cancer
Study of 372 men with prostate cancer shows higher than average link with osteoporosis, regardless of whether hormone therapy or surgery is used.
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