Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 27, 2007
Dua anti-reflux stent relieves GI upper cancer distress
An anti-reflux valve developed to help esophageal cancer patients also has been shown to help those with bile duct obstruction, according to Kulwinder S.

Scientific infrastructure vital for helping the poor
The continuing need for such infrastructure was highlighted at the annual meeting of the board of trustees of the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

UCLA study shows Tai Chi may help alleviate tension headaches
Researchers found that Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese low-impact mind-body exercise, provided significant health benefits for adults suffering from tension headaches.

Many NYC pharmacies fail to translate prescription labels for patients who don't understand English
Despite widespread capacity to provide prescription medication labels in languages other than English, few New York City pharmacies do so and as a result, limited-English patients face serious risk of medication error, according to a study by The New York Academy of Medicine presented today at the annual meeting of the Society for General Internal Medicine in Toronto, Ontario.

Plants do not emit methane
A recent study in Nature suggested that terrestrial plants may be a global source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, making plants substantial contributors to the annual global methane budget.

Anti-fungal drug stops blood vessel growth
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered to their surprise that a drug commonly used to treat toenail fungus can also block angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels commonly seen in cancers.

Scientists find missing link to understand how plants make vitamin C
Vitamin C is possibly the most important small molecule whose biosynthetic pathway remained a mystery.

Costs of treating arthritis on the rise nationwide, study finds
The amount Americans spent on arthritis medications more than doubled between 1998 and 2003, due to the fast-rising number of people with the disease, increases in the number of medications they take each month and the inflation-adjusted cost per prescription, according to a new study led by a UCSF researcher.

Help comes in the mail for drinkers
Mailing a simple information pamphlet to interested drinkers in the general population reduced binge drinking by 10 percent.

Data presented at ISHLT meeting confirm RNA analysis can identify rejection in lung transplant recip
Recent data from the Lung Allograft Rejection Gene expression Observational study provides compelling evidence that profiling gene expression in peripheral blood can detect organ rejection in lung transplant patients.

Yale biophysicist Thomas Steitz receives Gairdner Award for medical research
Yale biophysicist Thomas A. Steitz has received one of the four 2007 Gairdner International Awards, among the most prestigious awards in science, for his groundbreaking work on the structure and function of the large subunit of the ribosome and the structural basis for the action of antibiotics that target the ribosome.

Optoelectronic tweezers push nanowires around
Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley have invented

Arming the fight against resistant bacteria
In 1928, Alexander Fleming opened the door to treating bacterial infections when he stumbled upon the first known antibiotic in a penicillium mold growing in a discarded experiment.

Leading toxicologist warns against new drug of abuse
An internationally recognized toxicologist at the University of Newcastle has warned of the dangers of abusing the drug benzylpiperazine.

Safer and more cost-effective control units for cleaning machines
These days, floor cleaners and scrubbing machines include more and more state-of-the-art equipment which is controlled by several engines, requiring a complex and costly construction process.

Fish growth changes enhanced by climate change
Australian researchers have found correlations between changes in wind patterns and sea temperatures in the southwest Pacific, and fish growth rates.

How plastic is your brain? UH engineer seeks answers
Working to predict the extent of recovery from brain injuries, a University of Houston professor has created a new device that more quickly and accurately reveals how

Depression may be early sign of Parkinson's disease
Depression may be an early symptom of Parkinson's disease, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007.

Gold nanoparticles help detect a toxic metal -- mercury
With gold nanoparticles, DNA and smart chemistry as their tools, scientists at Northwestern University have developed a simple

University of Alberta hosts international conference on women in the knowledge economy and society
See what happens when forward-thinking women from around the world gather in one place to swap ideas at

Sens. Harkin and Bond receive Ag Science Award
Recognized for their long-time support of the agricultural and biological sciences, US Sens.

Anti-dandruff compound may help fight epilepsy
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that the same ingredient used in dandruff shampoos to fight the burning, itching and flaking on your head also can calm overexcited nerve cells inside your head, making it a potential treatment for seizures.

Satellites shed light on global warming
As climate change continues to make headlines across the world, participants at the 2007 Envisat Symposium this week are hearing how Earth observation satellites allow scientists to better understand the parameters involved in global warming and how this is impacting the planet.

NIST measuring device aims to up hip operation success
Researchers at NIST are developing state-of-the-art measuring techniques, similar to those used in making aerospace components fit together precisely, that soon could improve success rates for hip replacement surgery.

New test helps identify hepatitis C patients at high risk of developing cirrhosis
A researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has helped confirm the reliability of a new test for liver disease that is ushering in the long-promised era of personalized medicine based on each individual's genetic makeup.

Penn leads $4 million grant to study gene-environment interactions in lung cancer
The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, in association with Pennsylvania State University Medical College and Lincoln University, has received $4.2 million to study gene-environment interactions that increase the risk of lung cancer in African-American and Caucasian smokers and nonsmokers.

Extended family ties influenced evacuation decisions during Hurricane Katrina
Previous research has shown that minorities have particularly cohesive extended family ties.

The brain is more adept at using the nose than previously realized
Brains are able to adjust automatically to the demands of distinguishing between small differences in smell, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

Aspirin may be less effective heart treatment for women than men
A new study shows that aspirin therapy for coronary artery disease is four times more likely to be ineffective in women compared to men with the same medical history.

Rheumatoid arthritis and the impact of genetic factors on mortality
To investigate the genetic risk for early death in RA, researchers in the United Kingdom targeted a likely suspect, already associated with disease susceptibility and severity: the HLA-DRB1 alleles encoding the shared epitope, a region involved in antigen recognition.

Love your heart: New NHLBI resource helps women reduce heart disease risk
A must read for women who want to show their hearts some love,

Ocean's 'twilight zone' may be a key to understanding climate change
A major study sheds new light on the role of carbon dioxide once it's transported to the oceans' depths.

2 former Congressional staffers share 2006 IEEE-USA Distinguished Public Service Award
Former congressional staff members William B. Bonvillian and David J.

NOAA announces next solar storm cycle will likely start next March
The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012 -- up to a year later than expected -- according to a forecast issued today by NOAA's Space Environment Center, in coordination with an international panel of solar experts.

Study examines representation of women-owned small businesses in federal contracting
A RAND Corporation study examining whether women-owned small businesses are underrepresented among firms contracting with the federal government finds that the results vary depending on the way the measurement is made.

Placing single nanowires: NIST makes the connection
Researchers at NIST have devised a system for manipulating and precisely positioning individual nanowires on semiconductor wafers, allowing them to fabricate sophisticated test structures to explore the properties of nanowires.

New nanocomposites may mean more durable tooth fillings
Scientists at the American Dental Association's Paffenbarger Research Center, a joint research program at NIST, have shown that nanotechnology has the potential to lessen that toll by producing tooth restorations that are both stronger than any decay-fighting fillings available today, and more effective at preventing secondary decay.

Researchers find plant protein that may aid biofuel production
In a breakthrough that could make the production of cellulosic ethanol less expensive, Cornell researchers have discovered a class of plant enzymes that potentially could allow plant materials used to make ethanol to be broken down more efficiently than is possible using current technologies.

Plasmonics book gives overview of technology that could revolutionize computing
A book which gives an overview of plasmonics, an area of physics that could revolutionize computing and telecommunications over the next two decades, has been published by a researcher at the University of Bath.

Dedication to stopping preventable blindness honored with global award
After almost three decades of fighting preventable blindness in third world countries and within Australia's indigenous population, Melbourne eye expert Professor Hugh Taylor AC will be honored with a prestigious global award by key peers from around the world in early May.

Protein may hold key to decreasing organ dysfunction rates in heart transplants
A new study, led by Felix Aigner, M.D., has identified a protein known as Lipocalin-2 as potentially responsible for regulating the body's inflammatory response during heart transplants.

Nanostructures can pose big measurement problems
While many methods exist for probing atomic structure on the nanoscale, no single technique can provide a unique structural solution for engineered nanostructures. 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