Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 22, 2007
New Mayo Clinic MRI technology enables noninvasive liver diagnoses
Two recent Mayo Clinic studies have found that magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), a new imaging technique invented at Mayo Clinic, is an accurate tool for non-invasive diagnosis of liver diseases.

Data showed improved quality of life and patient satisfaction with SYMBICORT
New data demonstrated that the combination asthma therapy, SYMBICORT(budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate), led to significant improvements in health-related quality of life and greater patient-reported satisfaction with asthma treatment, versus its monocomponents (budesonide or formoterol) or placebo.

When lava flows and glaciers recede, predicting how species take over
When fire, clearcutting, lava or receding glaciers create empty habitat, species arrive to form a new ecological community.

Cassini 'CAT Scan' maps clumps in Saturn's rings, says UCF researcher, team
Saturn's largest and most densely packed ring is composed of dense clumps of particles separated by nearly empty gaps, according to new findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Predicting catastrophic transitions
Complex systems, such as the earth's climate, coral reefs, oceans and socioeconomic systems, seem to respond little to gradual change until a critical tipping point is reached, after which the system may collapse completely.

Biting discovery: MU entomologist finds host of new aquatic insect species in Thailand
While in Thailand, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher found a treasure-trove of previously unknown information about aquatic insects in the country.

Cannibalism of the young allows individual fish to specialize
Whitefish, Arctic char, threespine stickleback and some sunfishes display quite discrete groups living in the same lakes but utilizing different food resources in order to survive.

UVa researcher studying disease that cripples newborns
Each year, the parents of an estimated one in 20,000 newborns are shocked to learn their child has type 1 congenital myotonic dystrophy (CDM1), a progressive and crippling genetic disorder.

DNA clues to inform conservation in Africa
Tracing the evolutionary history of wildlife could improve global habitat conservation, a major Cardiff University study has found.

Nearly half of children in Kenya with common type of severe malaria affected neurologically
Richard Idro, M.M.E.D., of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya and colleagues conducted a study to determine the incidence and neurological involvement of African children with acute falciparum malaria (a severe type of malaria).

Tropical birds have slow pace of life compared to northern species, study finds
In the steamy tropics, even the birds find the pace of life a bit more relaxed, research shows.

Stem cells provide clues to cancer spread
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how cancers spread in what could lead to new ways of beating the disease.

Finger length helps predict elementary exam results, study shows
The results of numeracy and literacy tests for seven-year-old children can be predicted by measuring the length of their fingers, shows new research.

Salt increases ulcer-bug virulence
Scientists have identified yet another risk from a high-salt diet.

Malaria 2007 -- Progressing research, persisting challenges
In an editorial in this week's JAMA, Gianna Zuccotti, M.D., Contributing Editor, and Catherine D.

UW study to clarify safety, effectiveness of hormone therapy during menopause
When is the best time in a woman's reproductive history to start hormone therapy?

Efficacy and safety of Aripiprazole as adjunctive therapy in major depressive disorder
A study presented today at the 160th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association showed that, in adults with major depressive disorder, adding ABILIFY(R)(aripiprazole) to antidepressant therapy resulted in significant improvement in the primary endpoint, the MADRS Total Score.

Hydrogen breakthrough could open the road to carbon-free cars
A new breakthrough in hydrogen storage technology could remove a key barrier to widespread uptake of non-polluting cars that produce no carbon dioxide emissions.

Inhaled steroids may not be enough for some children with asthma
Some children may not be able to keep their asthma under control even if they consistently report using inhaled corticosteroids, a mainstay of asthma treatment, suggests a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Wednesday, May 23.

Texas A&M researchers attempt deepest effort recovery in gulf
A team of Texas A&M University researchers will soon be recovering artifacts from a 200-year-old shipwreck that lies more than 4,000 feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico, making it the deepest such recovery effort ever attempted in the gulf.

System to pinpoint airline passengers who contaminate cabins
Researchers developing a system that uses mathematical models and sensors to locate passengers releasing hazardous materials or pathogens inside airline cabins have shown that the technique can track a substance to an area the size of a single seat.

Antifolate therapies found effective against certain type of malaria
Toby Leslie, M.Sc., of HealthNet TPO Malaria and Leishmaniasis Control Programme, Peshawar, Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan, and colleagues tested the relative efficacy and safety of two antifolate drugs (sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and chlorproguanil-dapsone) against P vivax malaria and compared each with chloroquine.

Article outlines current recommendations for treating malaria in the US
Kevin S. Griffith, M.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a review of medical literature from 1966 to 2006 to provide clinicians with recommendations for diagnosing and treating malaria in the US.

Mother birds 'engineer' their offspring
Bird species that have relatively long incubation periods and short nestling periods for their body size have higher concentration of androstenedione than those species whose developmental time is shifted towards relatively longer stays in the nest than in the egg.

For sleep-deprived memory loss, look to the visual system
When an air traffic controller at the end of a double shift forgets the location of an aircraft that had recently appeared on his screen, it may be that he did not properly take in the visual information.

Study identifying alteration in gene associated with uterine cancer
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute today announced the discovery of previously unrecognized alterations in a gene called FGFR2 in a subset of endometrial cancers, the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States.

Scientists concerned about effects of global warming on infectious diseases
As the Earth's temperatures continue to rise, we can expect a signficant change in infectious disease patterns around the globe.

Primary enforcement law, educational campaign needed to increase Missouri teen seatbelt use
Researchers at University of Missouri-Columbia's Institute of Public Policy recently conducted a study on seatbelt use among Missouri teens.

Passengers, not just mobile phones, contribute to road accidents
New research by Australian scientists, soon to be published in the international Accident Analysis and Prevention journal, has shown that drivers carrying two or more passengers are twice as likely to crash as unaccompanied drivers.

National awards for 2 University of York scientists
Two University of York academics, Professor Ottoline Leyser and Professor John Goodby, have received national awards for their contributions to science.

Minimally invasive device shows promise in treating female urinary incontinence
A minimally invasive device for treating recurrent stress urinary incontinence in women has been shown to be safe and effective in early clinical trials and is now under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says Emory University School of Medicine urologist and trial co-principal investigator Niall Galloway, MD.

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

Certain combination therapy found more effective for treating malaria in African children
Ugandan children who received the combination therapy of artemether-lumefantrine experienced a lower rate of treatment failure compared to other combination therapies, according to a study in the May 23/30 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on malaria.

Circumcision reduces HIV infection risk
Leading researcher to present information on circumcision and HIV transmission during AUA Annual Scientific Meeting.

Financial rewards for nanotech science authors and peer reviewers
The AZo Journal of Nanotechnology Online, residing on has recently notified all authors and peer reviewers of their revenue share earnings for the last 12 month period.

Study focuses on only carnivore with 'fingerprints'
A new study in the May issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management reports that scientists from the New York State Museum, Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups have teamed up with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice to developed a new technique that uses fingerprints to track the fisher -- an elusive member of the weasel family, and the only carnivore species known to have unique fingerprints.

Cassini 'CAT scan' maps particle clumps in Saturn's rings
Saturn's largest and most dense ring is composed of tightly packed clumps of particles separated by nearly empty gaps, according to new findings from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Personality more important than job satisfaction in determining job performance success
Job satisfaction has traditionally been thought of by most business managers to be key in determining job performance.

Medical, high-energy physicists collaborate to improve PET scans
Physicists are developing new electronics for identifying subatomic particles in high-energy accelerators that may also enable radiologists to detect cancer at an earlier, more curable stage.

Einstein researchers' discover 'radiation-eating' fungi
Scientists have long assumed that fungi exist mainly to decompose matter into chemicals that other organisms can then use.

Endoscopic procedures advance physician knowledge and patient care
Research presented today at Digestive Disease Week® 2007 (DDW®) examines a new endoscopic suturing method for the treatment of gastrointestinal perforations and other types of transgastric surgery, as well as the use of wireless capsule endoscopy in young children, to better understand the pathology of the small intestine.

Woomera designated AIAA Historic Aerospace Site
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will designate on May 22 the Woomera Test Facility in Australia as an Historic Aerospace Site.

New approach to treating precancerous esophagus condition
The use of concentrated radio waves appears to be a safe and effective way to

Number of insecticide-treated nets available to African households needs to be increased
John M. Miller, M.P.H., of the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH, Lusaka, Zambia, and colleagues conducted a study to estimate how many insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are available in African households that are at risk of malaria and how many ITNs are needed to reach targets for use by children younger than 5 years and pregnant women.

Genome Canada, Génome Québec and Université de Montréal launch P3G Consortium and CARTaGENE Project
The government of Canada, government of Quebec, Genome Canada, Genome Quebec and Université de Montréal today announced $34.5 million in funding for the International Consortium known as the Public Population Project in Genomics, which includes the Quebec-based CARTaGENE project.

UQ researchers honored with leading fellowships
A scientist who helped discover the gene that determines sex in mammals is one of three University of Queensland researchers who have received one of the highest academic accolades in Australia.

Scientific breakthrough for naprapathy
Naprapathy works better on back and neck trouble than recommended and proven effective advice from doctors, according to a new study from Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet.

Missouri School of Journalism announces winners of 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards
The Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia announced winners of the 2007 Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards.

Exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle
Exercise is now the first scientifically proven

Jet lag: It's all about chemical reactions in cells
New research by Cornell and Dartmouth researchers explains the biological mechanism behind how circadian clocks sense light through a process that transfers energy from light to chemical reactions in cells.

Sleep apnea increases risk of diabetes and hypertension in pregnant women
Sleep apnea is associated with a greatly increased incidence of pregnancy-induced diabetes and high blood pressure, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Wednesday, May 22.

More pounds equals worse asthma?
A new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference finds that obese people are significantly more likely to have persistent or severe persistent asthma than their thinner counterparts.

Does the Internet promote or prevent 'Islamophobia'?
The Internet plays both a direct and indirect role in how Islam and Muslims are represented in public discourse and the media.

Book says American Indian vote could influence 2008 presidential election
American Indian voters are poised to begin playing a much bigger role in election politics, if past trends are any indication.

GI screening: Racing time or wasting time?
Preventative medicine and technology are some of the great benefits in this ever-changing age of health-care technology.

A close-up on pancreatic disease: How do we improve the odds?
Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest of today's cancers due to limited tools for early diagnosis and few effective treatments.

New long-term data analyses for Bifeprunox show favorable effects vs. placebo
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, and Lundbeck A/S presented clinical study results on bifeprunox, an investigational treatment for adult patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, today at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Scientists find war vets' hand dexterity determines susceptibility to PTSD
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continuing, an investigator with the Geisinger Center for Health Research in Danville, Pa., has found a clear link between post-traumatic stress disorder and veterans' handedness.

A close-up on pancreatic disease: How do we improve the odds?
Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest of today's cancers due to limited tools for early diagnosis and few effective treatments.

UC environmental health chair recognized nationally for urologic research excellence
Shuk-mei Ho, Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Cincinnati's environmental health department, recently became the second person to receive the Women in Urology Award for Excellence in Urologic Research.

U of M teen sex and depression study finds most teens' mental health unaffected by nonmarital sex
For a decade, the legislative push for

News from American Psychiatric Association 2007 Annual Meeting
A new study presented today showed that ramelteon did not impair middle-of-the-night balance, mobility or memory performance in older adults with insomnia, relative to placebo.

Novel sugar-to-hydrogen technology promises transportation fuel independence
Researchers at Virginia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Georgia propose using polysaccharides, or sugary carbohydrates, from biomass to directly produce low-cost hydrogen for the new hydrogen economy.

Gamma-ray bursts active longer than thought
Using NASA's Swift satellite, astronomers have discovered that energetic flares seen after gamma-ray bursts are not just hiccups, they appear to be a continuation of the burst itself.

Revelle family endows UC San Diego chair honoring Roger Revelle
The University of California, San Diego, has established the Roger Revelle Chair in Environmental Science at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to honor Roger Revelle.

Mid Sweden University leads development of digital color x-rays
In the future doctors will be able to find more tumors at an early stage while using a smaller x-ray dose for each examination.

A new wrinkle in evolution -- man-made proteins
Nature, through the trial and error of evolution, has discovered a vast diversity of life from a primordial pool of building blocks.

Immune antibodies penetrate neurons to clear Alzheimer's-linked amyloid
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have gotten much closer to understanding how immune-based therapies can treat Alzheimer's disease -- by studying how antibodies go inside brain cells to reduce levels of Alzheimer's-linked amyloid peptides that form plaques between neurons.

Indoor smoking bans: Are they creating unhealthy outdoor zones for secondhand smoke?
With the growing number of smoking bans in restaurants and bars driving smokers outside, researchers in Athens, Ga., are hoping to find out whether secondhand smoke from smokers clustered outside these establishments is posing a health hazard of its own.

African-Americans perceive people with extreme health problems as less productive and valuable
African-Americans appear to perceive people with extreme health problems as less productive or valuable according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

Erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms
Early research has explored a possible connection between lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and erectile dysfunction (ED) and has also suggested that LUTS associated with BPH may be improved with PDE-5 inhibitors -- drugs commonly prescribed for certain types of ED.

Young meerkats learn the emotion before the message in threat calls
Human speech provides simultaneous information about a person's emotions and objects in the environment.

Diagnostic tests for malaria underused in Zambia
Despite improvements in the ability to diagnose malaria, these diagnostic tests are often underused in Zambia, and patients with negative test results are often prescribed anti-malaria medications, according to a study in the May 23/30 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on malaria.

Ulcerative colitis remission rates from long-term safety study of LIALDA presented at DDW
A long-term phase III, open-label 12-14 month extension study presented at the British Society of Gastroenterology meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, in March 2007 showed Shire plc's LIALDA is well-tolerated in mild-to-moderate UC patients.

New doctors' test kit to help prevent debilitating osteoporosis
Men and women at risk of developing osteoporosis will soon be working closely with their doctors to prevent the onset of this debilitating and often deadly disease thanks to a new Garvan research project funded by MBF Foundation.

New research advances energy efficiency, safety and performance of public transit
Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies and the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority are collaborating on a joint research project designed to implement state-of-the-art vehicle monitoring technology into public transit fleets. 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