Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 23, 2007
Nanotechnology offers hope for treating spinal cord injuries, diabetes and Parkinson's disease
Dr. Samuel I. Stupp, director of the Institute of BioNanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University, is one of a new breed of scientists combining nanotechnology and biology to enable the body to heal itself -- and who are achieving amazing early results.

Doubt cast on routine screening to pick up overweight and obese schoolchildren
Primary schoolchildren should not be routinely screened for obesity and overweight in the absence of effective treatment, finds research in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Sticking with guidelines for acute coronary syndromes benefits even very elderly patients
According to a study published in the May 1, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, patients age 90 and older who came to the emergency room with acute coronary syndromes were less likely than younger patients to receive recommended treatments -- but for those who did, survival was much better.

Bucky's brother -- The boron buckyball makes its debut
A new study from Rice University predicts the existence and stability of another

Obesity may be associated with disability in workers, elderly
Obese individuals appear more likely to file workers' compensation claims for injuries on the job, according to a report in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Low vitamin D levels linked to poor physical performance in older adults
Older adults who don't get enough vitamin D -- either from their diets or exposure to the sun -- may be at increased risk for poor physical performance and disability, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

A woman's age at first menstruation influences risk of obesity for her children
A new study published in PLoS Medicine suggests that the age when a woman's periods start may affect her children's growth rate during childhood, final height and risk of obesity in later life.

How much nitrogen is too much for corn?
Following a four-year study, North Carolina researchers report that a test accurately predicts nitrogen concentrations in humid soils.

Scientists discover new virus caused deaths of transplant recipients from single donor
Scientists in the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues in the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia and 454 Life Sciences have discovered a new virus that was responsible for the deaths of three transplant recipients who received organs from a single donor in Victoria, Australia.

Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member co-edits book for teens with special needs
A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member has co-edited a book that examines the transition children with special health care needs and disabilities face when they move from pediatric care to adult health care.

May Geology media highlights
Topics include: evidence that Devonian-Silurian Prototaxites, Earth's largest land organisms up to that time, were actually giant fungi; discovery of a spectacular 300-million-year-old fossil forest in an Illinois coal mine; migration of sharks into freshwater systems during the Miocene; Hawaiian hotspot track preserved in the Bering Sea; and first evidence of tidal-channel sponge biostromes in southeastern Florida.

McDonald and SNO team win Benjamin Franklin Medal
Queen's University physicist Art McDonald and his team of scientific sleuths from the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory have won another prestigious international award for their groundbreaking discoveries about the nature of matter and the structure of the universe.

Companies: Beware hazards of getting too big too fast, says study in April Management Insights
New research on companies that sprint to rapidly gain market share is revealing the danger of pursuing sudden massive growth, according to the Management Insights feature in the April issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Rescue workers in disasters suffer long-term health consequences
The long-term effects of a disaster on physical and psychological health are the focus of a new study of rescue workers who provided assistance after the explosion of a fireworks depot in the Netherlands in May 2000.

Penn historian discovers evidence documenting first European voyage up the Delaware
A University of Pennsylvania scholar has pinpointed 1616 as the year of the first European voyage up the Delaware River.

The emerging fate of the Neandertals
In an article appearing the week of April 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trinkaus, professor of anthropology at Washington University in St.

Alcoholics should avoid excessive physical and psychological stress during early abstinence
Alcoholics should avoid excessive physical and psychological stress during early abstinence.

Class of PCB's causes developmental abnormalities in rat pups
Scientists have determined that a specific class of PCB causes significant developmental abnormalities in rat pups whose mothers were exposed to the toxicant in their food during pregnancy and during the early weeks when the pups were nursing.

Envisat Symposium 2007 kicks off in Switzerland
More than 900 scientists from around the world have gathered in Montreux, Switzerland, for a five-day symposium to discuss, present and review their findings on the state of our world's land, oceans, ice and atmosphere using data from ESA Earth observation satellites, in particular Envisat -- the largest environmental satellite ever built.

Migraines associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease in men
Men with migraine headaches may be at an increased risk for major cardiovascular disease and especially heart attacks, according to a report in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study finds school environment can moderate student aggression
The culture of a school can dampen -- or exacerbate -- the violent or disruptive tendencies of aggressive young teens, new research indicates.

Wiley announces the launch of Anatomical Sciences Education
The American Association of Anatomists and global publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc. announces today a collaborative agreement to launch Anatomical Sciences Education, a new international journal covering the most exciting developments in education in the anatomical sciences.

Landmark papers on pediatric MS research and care
Nine papers have just been published by the International Pediatric MS Study Group as a peer-reviewed supplement to the journal Neurology.

More nutritious, less toxic
Research led by Dartmouth scientists found that zooplankton fed high-quality, phosphorous-rich food end up with much lower concentrations of toxic methylmercury.

Social factors not genetics drive racial disparities in colorectal cancer survival
Correcting social, economic and health-care inequalities may have the most significant impact in reducing survival differences in colorectal cancer between African-Americans and Caucasians, according to a new study.

Arizona radiocarbon dating lab turns 25
A mini-workshop April 26 in Tucson, Ariz., celebrates 25 years of radiocarbon dating work at the University of Arizona.

Depression may trigger diabetes in older adults
Chronic depression may cause diabetes in older adults, according to Northwestern University research.

Drug reps use friendship to influence doctors, says faculty member
In a unique collaborative paper in PLoS Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center's Adriane Fugh-Berman, who studies drug marketing, and a former drug rep reveal the tactics used by drug reps to manipulate physicians into selling drugs.

FSU researcher's award will fund study into cardiovascular grafts
A Florida State University researcher in Tallahassee, Fla., who is developing methods for regenerating blood vessels damaged by secondhand tobacco smoke, has received a fellowship award that could provide as much as $450,000 over five years for her to pursue new scientific approaches.

Comparative analysis of alcohol control policies in 30 countries, and more
In a study in this week's issue of PLoS Medicine, Albert Lowenfels and colleagues used a new metric called the Alcohol Policy Index, which is designed to allow comparisons between countries of their alcohol policies.

Super-fast Internet connections with existing cable-TV networks
Demand for high-speed Internet access is forecast to grow sharply with the increasing availability of video on demand, teleworking and easier access to government services.

Update on census of wrld's most endangered cat -- female Amur leopard found dead
Following the April 18 announcement that only 25 to 34 of the Amur or Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) remain in the wild, World Wildlife Fund says the number must now be revised because a female Amur leopard was brutally killed.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 18, 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.

When are minimum-legal-drinking-age and beer-tax policies the most effective?
When are minimum-legal-drinking-age and beer-tax policies the most effective?

Did drug reps encourage doctors to prescribe gabapentin for nonapproved uses?
A new study published in PLoS Medicine suggests that so-called

Just the right chemistry earns UH professor Guggenheim Fellowship
One of only two chemists in the United States and Canada selected for a Guggenheim Fellowship this year hails from the University of Houston.

Why GNEP can't jump to the future
Study documents how the Bush administration's

Obtaining valid consent for doing large genetic studies in developing countries
Genetic research has the potential to improve global health by discovering what makes people susceptible or resistant to certain diseases, and what causes the diseases themselves, thereby guiding prevention efforts.

Spousal choices can influence the risk of developing alcoholism
Alcohol dependence (AD) is more common among partners of alcoholics than among partners of nonalcoholics.

New virus discovered
The unfortunate deaths of three organ transplant recipients in Australia this past January has led to the discovery of a new virus.

Veeco selected by SEMATECH for additional $2.4M EUV lithography tool development project
SEMATECH, the world's leading nanoelectronics consortium, and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany, home to the New York State Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, announced today that International SEMATECH North has selected Woodbury, N.Y.-based Veeco Instruments Inc.

Kenya moves toward national food and nutrition policy
Agricultural production and interrelationships of nutrition and infectious diseases such as malaria are examples of key issues addressed by the Kenyan government as they collaborate with international agencies and university researchers to develop a strategic, actionable food and nutrition policy.

AGI publishes Directory of Geosciences, 45th Edition
The latest edition of the Directory of Geoscience Departments -- the definitive source for information about college and university geoscience departments in the United States and in 45 countries -- has just been published by the American Geological Institute.

Prehistoric mystery organism verified as giant fungus
Scientists at the University of Chicago and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., have produced new evidence to finally resolve the mysterious identity of what they regard as one of the weirdest organisms that ever lived.

5 UCLA professors win 2007 Guggenheim Fellowships
Five UCLA professors have won 2007 Guggenheim fellowships and a share of the $7.6 million that will allow 189 artists, scholars and scientists in the US and Canada to spend a year working on a specific research project.

Theory predicts aging process in DVDs, plexiglas, other polymer glasses
Polymer glasses are versatile plastics widely used in applications ranging from aircraft windshields to DVDs.

UCLA study finds prostate cancer treatments impact on quality of life
A rigorous, long-term study of quality of life in patients who underwent one of the three most common treatments for prostate cancer found that each affected men's lives in different ways.

Award lectures for ASBMB's 2007 Annual Meeting
The 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will take place at the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt.

Panic and outpatient status explain high emergency care levels among poor urban asthmatic kids
Inner-city children from poor families are much more likely to seek emergency care for asthma than their more affluent peers, finds research published ahead of print in Thorax.

Surge in senior HIV survivors prompts new treatment studies
Many patients diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s and 1990s have survived and now are entering their golden years.

Study calls virtual colonoscopy most cost-effective colon cancer screening test
A new study says targeting smaller lesions does little to significantly reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer and, in fact, results in extremely high financial costs and a large proportion of adverse events.

Antioxidant found in many foods and red wine is potent and selective killer of leukemia cells
A naturally occurring compound found in many fruits and vegetables as well as red wine, selectively kills leukemia cells in culture while showing no discernible toxicity against healthy cells, according to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Can a taste for poison drive speciation?
Hybrids of Drosophila melanogaster mutants and D. sechellia reveal genes involved in the behavioral difference that makes sechellia specialized to its host plant, with implications for understanding plant-herbivore interactions and speciation.

Does execution by lethal injection involve conscious asphyxiation?
Execution by lethal injection may cause death by asphyxiation, and prisoners being executed may be conscious and may experience pain, claim the authors of a new study published this week in PLoS Medicine.

Obesity increases workers' compensation costs
Gaining too much weight can be as bad for an employer's bottom line as it is for a person's waistline.

Damaged motor neurons in ALS contribute to their own death
Researchers from the Ludwig Institute and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine have discovered that when motor neurons damaged by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, inappropriately send the wrong signal, immune cells react by killing the messenger.

Cortex area thinner in youth with Alzheimer's-related gene
A part of the brain first affected by Alzheimer's disease is thinner in youth with a risk gene for the disorder, a brain imaging study has found.

A new study links a stomach microbe to asthma prevention
The stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach cancer and peptic ulcers, may not be all bad.

Drug reps use friendship to influence doctors
In a unique collaborative paper in PLoS Medicine, a former drug rep and a physician who researches drug marketing reveal the tactics used by drug reps to manipulate physicians into selling drugs.

Deactivating protein may protect nerve fibers in MS
Oregon Health & Science University neuroscientists are eyeing a protein as a potential therapeutic target for multiple sclerosis because de-activating it protects nerve fibers from damage.

Clemson bioengineer gets national boost
A Clemson University researcher will use a $1.6 million NIH and NINDS grant to pursue an innovative way to ease the disability and pain experienced by 200,000 Americans with spinal cord injuries.

Are higher doses of cholesterol drugs worth the extra money? Only sometimes, study says
When it comes to cholesterol-lowering drugs, more is better. At least, that's what heart doctors and patients have been hearing recently -- leading to widespread use of higher doses of drugs called statins.

Earth's first rainforest unearthed
A spectacular fossilized forest has transformed our understanding of the ecology of the Earth's first rainforests.

NIH awards $7.39 million to Burnham neurobiologists
A team of researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (

Female alcoholics can develop cognitive problems more rapidly than male alcoholics
Female alcoholics can develop cognitive problems more rapidly than male alcoholics.

Livestock interventions can protect lives, livelihoods
Livestock are often a crucial livelihoods asset for communities in Africa, but livestock are vulnerable to drought.

New credential for co-occurring disorders will pressure addiction professionals
Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly reports on the new credentials needed by addicition professionals to help co-occurring patients.

New genes identified in childhood fever-related seizures
Researchers have localized two new genes that are associated with fever-related seizures that occur in infancy and childhood, according to a study published in the April 24, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Journal operations research introduces new 'OR forum,' spotlight on leading new research
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences today announced that its flagship journal Operations Research is introducing a new bi-monthly feature.

Hebrew University research shows developmental problems for siblings of autistic children
Younger siblings of children with autism are at risk to suffer from delayed verbal, cognitive and motor development in their early childhood years.

Does migraine protect your memory?
Women with a lifetime history of migraine showed less of a performance decline over time on cognitive tests than women who didn't have migraines.

Lean for life
Infant formula and other baby foods that provide permanent protection from obesity and diabetes into adulthood could be on shop shelves soon, reports Lisa Melton in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

New report explores nanotechnology's future
Controlling the properties and behavior of matter at the smallest scale -- in effect,

Researchers find level of special protein is critical to proper formation of muscles
Proper formation of the proteins that power heart and skeletal muscle seems to rely on a precise concentration of a

Ireland Cancer Center researchers advance lung cancer treatment
Researchers at the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center have developed methods for treating lung cancer cells that have become resistant to new anti-cancer agents, such as Tarceva (erlotinib).

Symptoms of depression associated with development of diabetes in older adults
Older adults who have had symptoms of depression -- whether those symptoms occurred once, increased or remained steady over a 10-year period -- may be more likely to develop diabetes than those without depressive symptoms, according to a report in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences
From April 28 to May 1 the National Academy of Sciences will hold its 144th annual meeting, at which new Academy members will be elected.

'Junk' DNA now looks like powerful regulator, Stanford researcher finds
Large swaths of garbled human DNA once dismissed as junk appear to contain some valuable sections, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

SCHIP has been successful overall, should be expanded says new health care opinion leaders survey
As the debate over reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) heats up in Washington, a new survey of leaders in health policy and health care finds that large majorities feel the program has been successful in increasing access to health care for low income children (71 percent) and in reducing the rate of uninsured, low-income children (65 percent).

Highlighted sessions of ASBMB's 2007 Annual Meeting
The 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will take place in Washington, D.C., from April 28 to May 2.

Inflammatory bowel disease linked to nerve damage
People with inflammatory bowel disease may also be at risk for developing nerve damage and other neurological problems, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007.

An award for the 'geologist moonwalker'
On April 10, Harrison Schmitt received the inaugural Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award.

Biodiesel won't drive down global warming
EU legislation to promote the uptake of biodiesel could increase rather than decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

A steady, high-fat diet is bad, but the news gets worse
Sure, one cheeseburger isn't going to kill you, but researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada have found that even the occasional high-fat meal may contribute to cardiovascular problems down the road.

Drug company sales visits influenced doctors, study finds
Almost half of sales visits by pharmaceutical company representatives advocating the use of the drug gabapentin led to doctors stating that they intended to increase their prescription of the drug or recommend it to colleagues, according to an analysis of a survey completed by the doctors shortly after the visits.

Neither abortion nor miscarriage associated with breast cancer risk
Neither induced abortion nor spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) appears to be associated with breast cancer risk in premenopausal women, according to a report in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Adjustable chairs reduce shoulder and neck pain in garment workers
Adjustable-height chairs with ergonomically curved seats can significantly reduce neck and shoulder pain in garment workers, according to a new study in the April 20 issue of Spine.

How to manage forests in hurricane impact zones
Forest Service researchers have developed an adaptive strategy to help natural resource managers in the southeastern United States both prepare for and respond to disturbance from major hurricanes.

A relative of anti-aging gene Klotho also influences metabolic activity, obesity
A relative of the anti-aging gene Klotho helps activate a hormone that can lower blood glucose levels in fat cells of mice, making it a novel target for developing drugs to treat human obesity and diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Overcrowded hospitals may risk adverse events on busiest days
Hospitals that operate at or over their capacity may be at increased risk of adverse events that injure patients, according to a study led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Woman's Hospital.

Mt. Baker, new geologic fault and more on geoscience agenda next week in Bellingham
Approximately 600 geoscientists will gather May 4-6 for the 103rd annual meetings of the Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America.

Chronically ill people used Qigong to cope with anxiety and discrimination during SARS outbreak
The Oriental Art of Qigong helped chronically ill people to cope with the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, by combining gentle exercise with breathing techniques, meditation and visualization.

Performance league tables linked to lower death rates after heart surgery
Performance league tables are linked to lower death rates after major heart surgery, reveals research published ahead of print in the journal Heart.

Buried, residual oil is still affecting wildlife decades after a spill
Nearly four decades after a fuel oil spill polluted the beaches of Cape Cod, researchers have found the first compelling evidence for lingering, chronic biological effects on a marsh that otherwise appears to have recovered.

Everything starts with recognition
Scientists track at the atomic scale how individual molecules recognise each other.

Exercise may lower risk for Parkinson's disease
The risk of developing Parkinson's disease may be reduced with moderate to vigorous exercise or other recreational activities, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007.

Mosquito genes explain response to climate change
University of Oregon researchers studying mosquitoes have produced the first chromosomal map that shows regions of chromosomes that activate -- and are apparently evolving -- in animals in response to climate change.

Cataract surgery: Wait times and quality of life
Dr. William Hodge and colleagues report on their systematic review of studies that assessed the relation between wait times for cataract surgery and patient outcomes.

Gene analysis might explain ethnic differences in sensitivity to chemotherapy in lung cancer
Analysis of three genetic mechanisms that cause nonsmall cell lung cancer might explain why East Asians respond better than other ethnic groups to a certain type of chemotherapy, a team led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has found.

New understanding of schizophrenia could lead to new treatment approaches
New research helps bridge an important gap in understanding schizophrenia, providing the best evidence to date that defects in the brain's white matter are a key contributor to the disease, which affects about 1 percent of people worldwide. 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