Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 21, 2007
Studies assess effectiveness of serotonin and nerve stimulants on irritable bowel syndromes
Studies have shown that gastrointestinal tract function is often influenced by specific stimulants or reactors, which sometimes cause irritable bowel syndrome or constipation.

Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide
Between 2000 and 2004, worldwide CO2 emissions increased at a rate that is over three times the rate during all of the 1990s.

Cigarette use may explain asthma epidemic in children, says Mailman School of Public Health study
The rise in cigarette use by adults over the past century may explain the asthma epidemic in children.

U of MN will lead national research study on causes of bone cancer in children
Logan Spector, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota Cancer Center researcher, has received a $1.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the causes of pediatric osteosarcoma.

Carnegie Mellon professor honored for computational complexity breakthrough
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the Russian Academy of Science will share the Association for Computing Machinery's 2007 Gödel Prize for their seminal work on what many consider the most important unresolved question in theoretical computer science.

Basic research --Is it really worth it?
Basic research, or research where the primary goal is the advancement of human knowledge and theoretical understanding, has throughout its history been pressed by politicians and the public to justify its existence.

Caspase-14 protects our skin against UVB and dehydration
Ultraviolet rays can be harmful to our skin and pave the way to the onset of skin cancers.

Study identifies patients' reasons for quitting jobs after treatment for head and neck cancer
After treatment, 38.1 percent of patients with head and neck cancer who were employed at the time of cancer diagnosis reported discontinuing work because of their cancer and treatment, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Patient's own platelets may speed up skin wound healing
Treating skin wounds with a concentrated topical gel of the patient's own blood platelets may result in faster healing, says a researcher at the University of Cincinnati.

Vacuum cleaning ineffective in allergy avoidance
Conducted by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, the research found that vacuum cleaning was an ineffective allergy avoidance measure because it removed dust mite allergen from carpets in an inconsistent and incomplete manner.

Weill Cornell pharmacologist receives prestigious NIH MERIT Award
A leading authority and pioneer in the pharmacology of the signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO), Weill Cornell Medical College scientist Dr.

Geographer designs computer model to predict crowd behavior
Patterns of human behavior and movement in crowded cities -- the tipping point at which agitated crowds become anti-social mobs, the configuration of civic areas as defensible spaces that also promote free speech, the design of retail space that fosters active walking -- are at the core of an immersive 3-D computational model under development by an Arizona State University geographer.

In a first, scientists develop tiny implantable biocomputers
Researchers at Harvard University and Princeton University have made a crucial step towards building biological computers, tiny implantable devices that can monitor the activities and characteristics of human cells.

K-State attosecond research could aid Homeland Security
Building a new laser-like X-ray source powerful and quick enough to capture fast motion in the atomic world is a big job.

QUT cleans up in latest round of grants
A Queensland University of Technology research project to develop technology to purify unclean water supplies, has received a funding boost in the latest round of Australian Research Council grants announced this week.

Mice, men make livers differently
Scientists often study mice as a model for human biology and disease, because their basic biological processes are assumed to be essentially the same as those of humans.

Parkinson's protein protects neurons from stress induced cell death
Parkinson's disease, also known as shaking palsy, is one of the most frequent diseases of the nervous system.

Physicists exploit ultra-cold gases to measure ultra-small magnetic fields
UC Berkeley physicist Dan Stamper-Kurn and colleagues have captured a Bose Einstein condensate within a laser beam to made a device that maps magnetic fields more precisely than ever before.

Topical retinol helps reduce wrinkles associated with natural skin aging
Applying vitamin A to the skin appears to improve the wrinkles associated with natural aging and may help to promote the production of skin-building compounds, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Yoga and elevated brain GABA levels
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital have found that practicing yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.

'Star Trek'-type scanning may reveal genetic activity of tumors, Stanford study shows
Peering into the body and visualizing its molecular secrets, once the stuff of science fiction, is one step closer to reality with a study from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Engineered protein effective against Staphylococcus aureus toxin
A research team led by the University of Illinois has developed a treatment for exposure to enterotoxin B, a noxious substance produced by the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.

New data on the probiotic strain Bifantis shows anti-inflammatory properties
The biotechnology company Alimentary Health today announced results from two studies that demonstrate the anti-inflammatory activity of a natural probiotic bacterial strain of human origin, Bifantis (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624), in models of arthritis and Salmonella infection.

Sight specialists to shed light on vision loss at UH conference
University of Houston's College of Optometry and Prevent Blindness Texas are presenting a one-day conference focusing on vision problems associated with aging.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2007
The following stories are featured by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for May 2007: MEDICAL -- Atrial fibrillation alert; SENSORS -- Energy security; ENERGY -- Huge industrial savings.

Healthy body weight throughout adulthood may help delay disability
Maintaining a healthy body weight throughout adulthood may help prevent or delay the onset of physical disability as we age, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Data on new vaccine for prostate cancer to be presented
Data on new vaccine for prostate cancer to be presented.

A drink a day may delay dementia
In people with mild cognitive impairment, up to one drink of alcohol a day may slow their progression to dementia, according to a study published in the May 22, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Blood-thinning drugs need closer monitoring
Natalie Oake and colleagues report on a meta-analysis of studies that recorded hemorrhages and thromboembolic -- blood clot -- events in patients taking blood-thinners.

New prostate cancer clinical guidelines to be released
New prostate cancer clinical guidelines to be released during AUA Annual Scientific Meeting.

Keeping pain and fatigue on the run
Women diagnosed with breast cancer should either get exercising or keep exercising.

Breathtaking views of Deuteronilus Mensae on Mars
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express has captured breathtaking images of the Deuteronilus Mensae region on Mars.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- May 16, 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.

BioMed Central announces new interdisciplinary Biofuels Journal
BioMed Central, the world's largest publisher of open access, peer-reviewed journals, is pleased to announce the impending launch of Biotechnology for Biofuels.

Researchers investigate impact of lifestyle on GI health
According to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2007, lifestyle factors like choosing your diet regimen or ordering an appetizer for dinner may have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal (GI) system, affecting your risk for certain diseases, weight and general GI-related activity.

Cure for hepatitis C announced by VCU researcher
The use of peginterferon alone, or in combination with ribavirin, points to a cure for hepatitis C, the leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for liver transplant, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher said today.

To get blood pressure under control, combination of medicines may be best
Millions of Americans take medications for hypertension but do not achieve control of their blood pressure.

K-State biologist hopes mosquito can break viral chain
Most people do their best to avoid mosquitoes. But this summer Kansas State University Professor Rollie Clem will play the wary host to his own homegrown swarm of Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito.

Anti-inflammatory drugs interact with HRT, and more
Any cardio protective effect of hormone replacement therapy may be inhibited if women are taking a particular type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killer, report researchers led by Garret FitzGerald from University of Pennsylvania in a paper published this week in PLoS Medicine.

Chronic gum disease linked to risk of tongue cancer
Researchers at the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have shown for the first time that an association exists between long-standing periodontitis, or gum disease, and risk of tongue cancer.

Scientists reconstruct the prehistoric behavior and ecology of northern fur seals
A team of researchers has documented major changes in the behavior, ecology and geographic range of the northern fur seal over the past 1,500 years using a combination of techniques from archaeology, biochemistry and ecology.

A mighty number falls
Mathematicians and number buffs have their records. And today, an international team has broken a long-standing one in an impressive feat of calculation.

CO2 emissions increasing faster than expected
The authors of a paper printed today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have found that nearly eight billion tonnes of carbon were emitted globally into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide in 2005, compared with just six billion tonnes in 1995.

Climate change threatens wild relatives of key crops
Wild relatives of plants such as the potato and the peanut are at risk of extinction, threatening a valuable source of genes that are necessary to boost the ability of cultivated crops to resist pests and tolerate drought, according to a new study released today by scientists of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Brain research poised to dramatically advance global society
World-renowned scientists will convene at George Mason University on May 21 and 22 to call for a 10-year intellectual revolution -- the

U of M researchers find new, more effective treatment for toxic shock syndrome
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new therapeutic that neutralizes toxic shock syndrome more effectively than other treatments.

Retinol lotion reduces the fine wrinkles from natural aging of skin
Lotions containing retinol improve the appearance of skin that has become wrinkled through the normal aging process, not just skin that has been damaged by exposure to the sun, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System.

Bigelow Laboratory Scientists develop new approach to study marine microbes
In a paper published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr.

UF researchers awaken vision cells in blind mice
Scientists describe how they used a harmless virus to deliver corrective genes to mice with a genetic impairment that robs them of vision.

Inverse woodpile structure has extremely large photonic band gap
As many homeowners know, when stacking firewood, pieces should be placed close enough to permit passage of a mouse, but not of a cat chasing the mouse.

Montana State University researchers to compare Montana, Japanese copper mines
Two Montana State University historians who see similarities between former copper mines in Montana and Japan have received $306,000 from the National Science Foundation to investigate and share their findings.

Geoscience converges under pressure
Only recently have researchers been able to produce the extreme temperatures and pressures found inside our planet to understand how it is forming and evolving.

NYP/Weill Cornell Urologists present at 2007 AUA Conference
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center urologists are presenting exciting new research at the 2007 American Urological Association Conference in Anaheim, May 19-24.

Erectile dysfunction -- the canary in the mineshaft?
New research into urologic conditions -- such as erectile dysfunction -- indicate that these disorders could be associated with or precursors to more serious conditions, and suggest a need for practitioners to view these diseases in the greater context of total health.

Transplanting human gut bugs into mice helps understanding of metabolic system
Bugs found in the guts of humans, which play an important part in people's metabolic makeup, have been transplanted into mice to further understanding of the human and animal metabolic system, reveals a new study in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.

HIV's effect on white blood cells questioned by new research
Scientists have refuted a longstanding theory of how HIV slowly depletes the body's capacity to fight infection, in new research published today.

Research highlights from Thoracic Society Conference
National Jewishm Medical and Research Center faculty present research on asthma and obesity -- asthma, perception vs. reality -- salmeterol -- asthma and air pollution -- cleaning up allergens.

Developments in tissue engineering offer new sources for stem cell treatments
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine offer future patients greater options for treatment and cure of a wide array of urologic conditions, and controversies surrounding the sources of stem cells as well as their use have fueled increased research.

Some vitamin supplements don't protect against lung cancer
A study of more than 75,000 adults found that taking supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C and E and folate do not decrease the risk of lung cancer.

MIT reports key pathway in synaptic plasticity
Scientists are keenly studying how neurons form synapses -- the physical and chemical connections between neurons -- and the

FSU engineering professor growing bone in a lab
A Florida State University engineering professor is looking to develop new technologies that could replace bone mass lost to the disease, as well as treat traumatic bone injuries such as those suffered in automobile accidents or combat.

Ancient wooden anchor discovered
The world's oldest wooden anchor was discovered during excavations in the Turkish port city of Urla, the ancient site of Liman Tepe -- the Greek 1st Millennium BCE colony of Klazomenai, by researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa.

HIV in breast milk killed by flash-heating, new study finds
Research led by UC Berkeley and UC Davis scientists has found that breast milk naturally infected with HIV can be treated with a simple method of flash-heating, providing hope that HIV-positive mothers in developing countries will soon be able to more safely feed their babies.

Gel derived from a patient's own blood may help promote wound healing
A preliminary study suggests that topical application of a gel made from platelets in healthy individuals' own blood may help wounds heal more quickly and completely, according to a report in the May/June issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Top scientific honour for York biologist
Professor Ottoline Leyser of York's Department of Biology, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the premier honour for scientists of Britain and the Commonwealth.

Decoding gene expression in cancer tumors using noninvasive imaging
By correlating images of cancerous liver tissue with gene expression patterns, a research team led by a radiologist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has developed tools that may some day allow physicians to view a CT image of a cancer tumor and discern its genetic activity.

How does day length affect aggression in mice? It's in the genes
Imagine if a naturally occurring chemical in your body could help make you feel more calm and relaxed -- but it would only work during the long days of summer.

Study: Chain-owned nursing homes hurt by too much standardization
Standard marketing and strategic planning practices can hurt patient care throughout a nursing home chain, but only if too much emphasis is placed on such administrative standards to the detriment of clinical and facility standards, a new study indicates.

Marijuana worsens COPD symptoms in current cigarette smokers
Marijuana worsens breathing problems in current smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Tuesday, May 22.

A drug's brand name skews patient treatment choices
The brand name of a drug can strongly influence treatment decisions by patients, according to a randomized trial of decision aids by researchers from McMaster University.

3 wishes for a future Internet? Geni Project will soon be at your command
If the proverbial genie gave Internet users three wishes for an improved network, what would they ask for?

Improving communication with families of dying patients reduces stress, anxiety and depression
Hospitals that use a simple strategy of enhancing communication with family members of patients dying in the intensive care unit can greatly reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression after their loved one dies, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco on Monday, May 21.

Chronic gum disease associated with tongue cancer
Men with chronic gum disease may have an increased risk of tongue cancer, regardless of whether they smoke, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Studies show role of age, gender, race and weight on cancer risk and treatment
While cancer has been studied extensively to determine the major contributing factors for risk and ultimate outcome, many variables still remain and doctors are puzzled by new cases that do not fit

Fibers are center stage at international conference
Cotton may be getting even more breathable. A new wave of fiber research debuts with an international science and technology conference.

Drug treatment slows decline in lung function in COPD patients, TORCH study finds
Treatment with a commonly used drug slows the decline in lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to results from the TORCH (TOwards a Revolution in COPD Health) study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Tuesday, May 22.

New study demonstrates that Lubiprostone may improve symptom relief rates in adults with IBS-C
A new study demonstrated that the active ingredient in AMITIZA (lubiprostone), given 8 mcg twice a day, may improve symptom relief rates in adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C).

Behavioral regulation and depression in young girls
Two professors from the University of Miami Department of Psychology will present at the 19th annual Association for Psychological Science Convention, in Washington, D.C., May 24-27, 2007.

Extremely drug resistant TB a growing problem in India
Extremely drug resistant TB, or XDR-TB, is a serious problem in India, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21.

Family favorite? Study says parents, sibs see imbalances in parents' attention differently
When parents treat their children differently, siblings and parents often have very different ideas about what's happening and why, says a University of Illinois study.

Prehistoric remains reveal a drastic shift in northern fur seal ecology
Northern fur seals have experienced major changes in their behavior, ecology, and geographic range of over the past 1,000 years, according to a new study.

New prevention, treatment methods for patients with painful bowel inflammation
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an umbrella term referring to a group of disorders that cause inflammation of the intestines, including ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease and perianal fistula.

Clinical trial data for Perforomist Inhalation Solution presented at International ATS Conference
New product recently approved by FDA for long-term maintenance treatment of COPD bronchoconstriction; data demonstrate first nebulized formoterol fumarate provides improved lung function comparable to dry powder formoterol, enhanced patient quality of life, and positive safety profile.

Chemotherapy drug shrinks brain tumors
Cancerous brain tumors appear to respond favorably to the drug temozolomide when used as primary chemotherapy after surgery, and the treatment appears to work best in people missing a certain gene, according to a study published in the May 22, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Nationwide study compares surgeries to treat urinary incontinence in women
The University of California, San Diego Medical Center along with nine other clinical research institutions across the United States has completed the largest randomized clinical trial to date comparing two commonly performed surgical procedures to treat urinary stress incontinence.

Soldiers acquired drug-resistant infections in field hospitals
An outbreak of drug-resistant wound infections among soldiers in Iraq likely came from the hospitals where they were treated, not the battlefield, according to a new study in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, currently available online.

Breast MRI may help determine surgical management of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer
Among women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast appears helpful in determining surgical treatment, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Oregon researchers involved in new Clovis-age impact theory
Two University of Oregon researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented a wide variety of animal genera, including Clovis people, across North America almost 13,000 years ago.

Scavenger cells may have role blocking obesity, Stanford study shows
Macrophages -- the scavenger cells of the body's immune system -- are known as troublemakers for the role they play in obesity, but Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have found that the cells can also be saviors when it comes to metabolism.

Novel treatments may help alleviate constipation, IBS in women
Three new therapy options, including two novel medications, showed promise in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week® 2007 (DDW®).

Persistent smokers may have higher risk to become depressed than never smokers
Based on a Finnish study, persistent smokers may have higher risk to become depressed in comparison to never smokers.

UPMC begins study of heart support device as a bridge to transplantation
Doctors at UPMC have begun a study using an investigational cardiac device, the VentrAssist Left Ventricular Assist System to see whether it can be used safely and effectively in patients with end-stage heart failure.

Italian doctors get their information on medicines from drug company sales reps
In an effort to ensure that all physicians in Italy have access to reliable, unbiased evidence on drug effectiveness and safety, the Italian Drug Agency has sponsored a program to disseminate independent information that is free of drug company influence.

Pioneering UK skin researchers achieve international quality standard
The Skin Research Centre at the University of Leeds (UK), which has led the way in the treatment of acne, eczema and other skin conditions, is the only University skin microbiology laboratory in the UK to receive the international quality standard ISO 17025.

Asthmatx completes enrollment in pivotal study of bronchial thermoplasty
Final results of the first randomized and controlled clinical study of bronchial thermoplasty, the Asthma Intervention Research Trial, were reported today at the annual scientific assembly of the American Thoracic Society.

Sling surgery is more effective than Burch for bladder control in women
In the largest and most rigorous US trial comparing two traditional operations for stress urinary incontinence in women, a team of urologists and urogynecologists supported by the National Institutes of Health has found that a sling procedure helps more women achieve dryness than the Burch technique.

Latest strategies for moving research toward a cure for diabetes explored at global scientific forum
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, will host the Global Diabetes Research Forum (GDRF) in St.

Another world-first for LCT's Xeno facilities
Living Cell Technologies Ltd has been awarded the world's first xenotransplantation lab accreditation from the International Accreditation New Zealand body, in a major step towards commencing clinical trials of DiabeCell in New Zealand this year.

Muscle stem cells effectively treat urinary incontinence long term
Women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) treated using muscle-derived stem cell injections to strengthen their sphincter muscles experience long-term improvements in their condition, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto.

UCLA imaging study reveals how pure oxygen harms the brain
A new UCLA imaging study reveals how inhaling 100 percent oxygen can harm the brain. 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