Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 15, 2007
Obesity increases risk of injury on the job
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Injury Research and Policy report that having a body mass index in the overweight or obese range increases the risk of traumatic workplace injury.

Getting to the core of an emergent public health threat
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 was a loud wake-up call for researchers studying infectious diseases.

Conference to focus on transfer of knowledge from research to practice in emergency medicine
The translation of important results of clinical research into consistent benefits for patients is of special interest to Emergency Medicine and will be the subject of the 2007 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference.

Gene thought to assist chemo may help cancer thrive
A gene thought to be essential in helping chemotherapy kill cancer cells, may actually help them thrive.

New tool to shed light on, improve teen mental health services
Can you imagine an archer trying to improve her accuracy by practicing blindfolded, never seeing how close she was to hitting her target?

Do fruit flies have free will?
Free will and true spontaneity exist ... in fruit flies.

CSHL selected for odENCODE Data Coordination Center
CSHL researcher Lincoln Stein, M.D., Ph.D., has been selected to lead the National Human Genome Research Institute's data coordination efforts in a $57 million initiative to identify all functional elements in the genomes of the fruit fly and roundworm.

Researchers develop way to calculate speed of bacterial sex
By building upon previous studies of bacteria, UC-Davis researchers have created a formula that quantifies bacterial gene transfer under natural conditions.

Brazil demonstrating that reducing tropical deforestation is key win-win global warming solution
Recent studies by Woods Hole Research Center scientists demonstrate that during years of severe drought, tropical rainforest fires can double emissions from tropical forests.

UCLA molecular biologists convert protein sequences into classical music
UCLA molecular biologists have turned protein sequences into original compositions of classical music.

Saliva clue to chronic bullying
Hormones in children's saliva may be a biological indicator of the trauma kids undergo when they are chronically bullied by peers, according to researchers who say biological markers can aid in the early recognition and intervention of long-term psychological effects on youth.

New update of international health system comparisons: US continues to lag on most measures
The US health care system ranks last compared with five other nations on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity and outcomes, in the third edition of a Commonwealth Fund report analyzing international health policy surveys.

Heavy multivitamin use may be linked to advanced prostate cancer
While regular multivitamin use is not linked with early or localized prostate cancer, taking too many multivitamins may be associated with an increased risk for advanced or fatal prostate cancers, according to a study in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Vitamin D supplements may offer cheap and effective immune system boost against TB
Scientists have shown that a single 2.5 mg dose of vitamin D may be enough to boost the immune system to fight against tuberculosis and similar bacteria for at least six weeks.

Congressman David Hobson and Orbital Sciences Corporation's David Thompson receive AIAA Awards
AIAA has awarded Congressman David L. Hobson (R-OH) the AIAA Public Service Award, and David W.

Johns Hopkins team finds ring of dark matter
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered a ghostly ring of dark matter that formed long ago during a titanic collision between two massive galaxy clusters.

Hubble finds ring of dark matter
An international team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a ghostly ring of dark matter that was formed long ago during a titanic collision between two massive galaxy clusters.

Walk like an Egyptian -- or a Roman -- experience what the past really looked like
Computer scientists and cultural heritage researchers are assessing whether today's increasingly sophisticated 3-D computer technology can be combined with the most recent historical evidence to produce significantly improved visual reconstructions of churches, palaces and other ancient sites.

Study shows dramatic increase in Caesarean sections
A new study has found that the rate of caesarean sections in Western Australia has almost doubled in a 20 year period to 2003.

Exercise may lead to improvement in patients with Parkinson's
Treadmill exercises may benefit patients with Parkinson's disease and those with similar movement disorders.

Youth justice -- Stereotype or evidence based?
New research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council calls into question previous assumptions that youth justice practice is evidence based and that young people's views are taken into account.

Biodiversity loss linked to economic inequality worldwide
An interdisciplinary team of McGill researchers has uncovered a connection between growing economic inequality and an increase in the number of plant and animal species that are threatened with extinction.

Dinosaur hearing, listening to muscle noise, quieter cubicles
How did the hearing of dinosaurs compare to that of present-day animal species?

Other highlights in the May 16 JNCI
Also in the May 16 JNCI is a study linking moderate drinking and renal cell cancer, second cancers in childhood leukemia and lymphoma survivors, a study that finds no connection between clodronate and prostate cancer survival, and a protein that may prevent cancer cells from dying.

Neglected epidemic of chronic lung disease; childhood conditions affect adult progesterone levels
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a major and increasing global health epidemic that has received insufficient attention from the health-care profession, governments and the pharmaceutical industry, argues Professor Peter Barnes, one of the world's leading experts on lung disease.

Spud origin controversy solved
For years, researchers have debated the birthplace of the European potato.

'Nondanger' signal lowers immune reactions
Rheumatology researchers have discovered that a well-known cell receptor sends a signal to dampen the immune system.

Web-based program could ease treatment decisions for prostate cancer patients
A Web-based program that provides prostate cancer patients with information about different treatment approaches may make deciding which path to follow a little easier, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

NASA, U of Colorado study shows regions of Antarctica melted in recent past
A team of NASA and University of Colorado at Boulder scientists has found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures, the most significant melt there observed using satellites during the past three decades.

Smokeless cannabis delivery device efficient and less toxic
A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same levels of THC, the active therapeutic chemical, with the same biological effects as smoking cannabis without the harmful toxins created by burning cannabis, according to UCSF researchers.

Pioneering study maps attention, memory and language links in the human brain
A University of Arizona scientist who has specialized in studying how fireflies and other creatures communicate has won a million-dollar grant to conduct a pioneering five-year study on the roles that attention and memory play when the human brain hears and processes spoken language.

San Francisco VA researcher receives top Veterans Affairs award
Michael Weiner, M.D., a pioneering brain imaging researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, is a recipient of the 2006 William S.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue: Mapping the tectum onto the hindbrain in zebrafish; Aggrecan and perineuronal nets in barrel cortex; Dendritic spines take shape during LTP; and Parkinsonian mice on treadmills.

NMR advance relies on microscopic detector
Detecting the molecular structure of a tiny protein using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) currently requires two things: a million-dollar machine the size of a massive SUV, and a large sample of the protein under study.

NASA-funded robotic sub makes final dive to reach bottom of Earth's deepest sinkhole
Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences and other institutions begin the final leg of a five-year, NASA-funded mission to reach the bottom of Cenote Zacatón in Mexico, the world's deepest known sinkhole, hoping to learn about Zacatón's geology, geothermal vents and forms of life.

Genetic markers in surrounding tissues linked to breast cancer tumor grade, presence of metastases
Researchers have identified genetic markers on several chromosomes in the tissue surrounding tumor cells that are associated with breast cancer tumor grade and the presence of lymph node metastases, according to a study in the May 16 issue of JAMA.

Simple equations track Listeria trails
A simple and robust mathematical description of the movement of Listeria monocytogenes yields insights into the mechanisms that drive this pathogenic bacterium.

U of M researchers find that 2 plus 2 may not always equal 4
People deal with percentages every day: the performance of a stock portfolio, a sale at the department store, or the performance of a new hybrid car, are all often expressed as percent changes.

Reproductive speed protects large animals from being hunted to extinction
The slower their reproductive cycle, the higher the risk of extinction for large grazing animals such as deer and antelope that are hunted by humans, a new study has found.

Alzheimer's weight gain initiative also improved patients' intellectual abilities
Swedish researchers have discovered that simple steps like changing the way food is served and how staff are dressed can improve weight gain in Alzheimer's patients.

Powered by sound -- revolutionary stove could help reduce poverty
It's a cooker, a fridge and a generator in one -- and it could have a huge impact on the lives of people in the world's poorest communities.

Tobacco and alcohol use independently increase risk of head and neck cancer
Cigarette smoking is more strongly associated with head and neck cancers than drinking alcohol, according to a study in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors when discontinuing hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can reduce many cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, but many women have stopped using HRT due to reports that HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

Full-term, low-birth-weight babies at significantly greater risk for early respiratory symptoms
Through age 5, children born at full term with low birth weight show significantly greater risk for developing respiratory symptoms, including wheezing, coughing and pulmonary infections, according to a large longitudinal study on birth weight and development.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following articles are featured in the current issue of the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Low-glycemic load diet may be more effective for dieters with certain insulin response patterns
Overweight individuals who secrete insulin at a higher level may experience greater weight loss by selecting a low-glycemic load diet, compared to a low-fat diet, according to a study in the May 16 issue of JAMA.

World-leading innovation in child-allergy detection
In the past decade, food allergies have become a major point of concern for paediatricians, especially those treating very young children.

JDRF announces 2007 Scholar Award recipients
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, today announced the recipients of its second annual Scholar Awards.

Peanut allergies overstated, study finds
Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales and Sydney Children's Hospital has found.

Study finds women less likely than men to have their cholesterol controlled
Women are significantly less likely than men to have their LDL cholesterol controlled to recommended levels, according to a new study by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Research says boiling broccoli ruins its anti-cancer properties
Researchers at the University of Warwick have found that the standard British cooking habit of boiling vegetables severely damages the anticancer properties of many Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and green cabbage.

Atypical pathogen treatment vital in hospitalized CAP patients
Hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia who received treatment regimens against atyical disease-causing pathogens reached clinical stability quicker, had fewer days of hospitalization and had lower mortality rates as a result of their disease, according to a large new study.

Carnegie Mellon psychologist's 'dependency paradox' captures academic prize from Britain's Mind Gym
A study published by Brooke Feeney, an associate professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, has earned her first prize at the inaugural Mind Gym Academic Awards in London.

Maxwell Technologies collaborates with Argonne on ultracapacitor/lithium-ion battery for hybrids
Maxwell Technologies Inc. announced today that it will supply ultracapacitor cells and integration kits to the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory for a collaborative research project to assemble and evaluate an integrated ultracapacitor/lithium-ion battery energy storage system for hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Screening men over 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysms could save lives
Between 5 and 10 percent of men aged 65 to 79 have abdominal aortic aneurysms, but don't know it.

Low physical activity can improve fitness levels for sedentary, overweight postmenopausal women
New research indicates that even small amounts of physical activity, approximately 75 minutes a week, can help improve the fitness levels for postmenopausal women who are sedentary and overweight or obese, according to a study in the May 16 issue of JAMA.

Sandia invention to make parabolic trough solar collector systems more energy efficient
A mirror alignment measurement device invented by a Sandia National Laboratories researcher may soon make one of the most popular solar collector systems, parabolic troughs, more affordable and energy efficient.

Chemical maps hint at drug's effects on schizophrenia
Antipsychotic drugs do most of their work in the brain, but they also leave behind in the bloodstream a trail of hundreds of chemicals that may be used in the future to direct better treatment for schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions, say Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Food and drink, and what it says about us
What did the Vikings eat for supper? How good were the grocers in Roman Pompeii?

Palau's coral reefs show differential habitat recovery following the 1998 bleaching event
Coral reef bleaching, believed to be one of the detrimental effects of climate change, may receive a welcomed
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