Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 25, 2007
Pneumonia leads list of causes of hospital re-admissions after stroke
More hospital re-admissions after stroke are for pneumonia or for heart disease than for another stroke, according to a study published in the June 2007 issue of the journal Stroke.

Further legitimization of fibromyalgia as a true medical condition
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, widespread pain in muscles and soft tissues accompanied by fatigue.

Study finds estrogen therapy gives aging brain cells a boost
Cyclical, long-term estrogen injections protected brain cells from age-related deterioration, according to a new study conducted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Personal disclosures by physicians are common, may disrupt patient care
In a study involving unannounced visits by actors portraying new patients, primary care physicians shared personal information about one-third of the time, according to a report in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MIT researchers reverse symptoms in mice of leading inherited cause of mental retardation
Researchers at the Picower Institute at MIT have, for the first time, reversed symptoms of mental retardation and autism in mice.

Meditate to concentrate
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance.

Portion-control dishes may help obese diabetics lose weight
A plate and cereal bowl with markers for proper portion sizes appear to help obese patients with diabetes lose weight and decrease their use of glucose-controlling medications, according to a report in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Human-like altruism shown in chimpanzees
Experimental evidence reveals that chimpanzees will help other unrelated humans and conspecifics without a reward, showing that they share crucial aspects of altruism with humans.

The beetle's dilemma
Large-headed beetles can readily crush snail shells with their powerful jaws, but cannot insert their oversized heads into the shells.

Subsets of landmark diabetes trials investigating macrovascular outcomes presented at ADA
Multiple data subsets for landmark diabetes trials investigating macrovascular outcomes presented at the American Diabetes Association 67th Scientific Sessions.

World's first X-ray free electron laser is on course to completion
Argonne reached another milestone in the design and construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source undulator system.

Improper consumption of acidic foods could lead to destroyed enamel
Fruit, yogurt, citric and soft drinks may seem like harmless snacks and beverages, but improper consumption and overuse may lead to devastating and permanent damage to teeth.

Sex in the morning or the evening?
Male fowl are more sexually active in the evening when fertilization is more likely, but females change depending on the population.

Shoulder tapping -- Young males are most willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth
Shoulder tapping: Young males are most willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth.

Down in the mouth?
A woman's mouth has a lot to say, even when it's not talking.

Researchers achieve first signal on the Cryogenic Maldi-FTMS
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine recently achieved first signal on the Cryogenic Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-FTMS) being developed at the school's Cardiovascular Proteomics Center.

Scientists call for global push to advance research in synthetic biology
With research backgrounds ranging from materials engineering to molecular biophysics, seventeen leading scientists issued a statement today announcing that, much as the discovery of DNA and creation of the transistor revolutionized science, there is a new scientific field on the brink of revolutionizing our approach to problems ranging from eco-safe energy to outbreaks of malaria: synthetic biology.

Study finds connection between teenage violence and domestic violence
Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those who violence began in their mid teens and increased over the years are significiantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid-20s than other young adults, according to a new University of Washington study.

Bioelectronics
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried/Munich have shown that bioelectronic hybrid systems are no longer just a utopian vision by coupling a receptor to a silicon chip by means of a cell-transistor interface.

Disease outbreak detection, retinal gene therapy
In this issue: An epidemiological network model for disease outbreak detection, and Canine and human visual cortex intact and responsive despite early retinal blindness from RPE65 mutation.

Obesity associated with a lower risk of tuberculosis in older Chinese population
Obese or overweight Chinese individuals age 65 and older have a lower risk of developing tuberculosis than those at a normal weight, according to a study in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Gender may play role in recovery from pneumonia after ozone exposure
Does air pollution have a bigger effect on the immune system of females than males?

YES2 given green light for launch
After 5 years of design and development work and preparation of the flight model, the second Young Engineers Satellite (YES2) experiment has passed its Final Acceptance Review and been given the green light by ESA for launch in September.

Women's mortality rates for cardiovascular disease differ widely among hospitals
Women treated for cardiovascular disease at the nation's best-performing hospitals have a 39 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate when compared with women at the nation's poorest-performing hospitals, according to the fourth annual HealthGrades Women's Health Outcomes in US Hospitals study, released today.

Nanotechnology: consumers must be convinced benefits outweigh risks
Today, Dr. Andrew Maynard, Chief Science Advisor for the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, gave a presentation before a public meeting of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Fine particulate matter from traffic may influence birth weight
Together with colleagues from the French Institute for Health and Medical Research INSERM scientists at the GSF -- National Research Center for Environment and Health in Neuherberg near Munich showed that exposure of pregnant women to fine particulate matter from traffic may reduce their children's birth weight.

Borowski wins second prize in Acoustical Society of America's Best Student Paper competition
Brian Borowski, a graduate student in Stevens Institute of Technology's Computer Science department, has won second prize in the Best Student Paper Contest at the 153rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

What's the backscatter of your beer?
An acoustic technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory eliminates the need for laborious and costly sampling of slurries in large containers.

Personal comments by physicians distract from patient needs
In well-intentioned efforts to establish relationships, some physicians tell patients about their own family members, health problems, travel experiences and political beliefs.

Penn named newest Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Center of Excellence
Penn will receive $1.5 million annually from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke over the next five years to study Parkinson's disease, as well as enhance the care and treatment of patients and training of physicians.

New Naval S&T Strategy to be detailed at partnership conference
Annual conference promotes interaction between Naval S&T, business, and academia.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- June 20, 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.

Baby poop gives Stanford researchers inside scoop on development of gut microbes
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine are as interested in a baby's poop as doting parents are, and for good reason.

Scientists identify first gene linked to scoliosis
Physicians have recognized scoliosis, the abnormal curvature of the spine, since the time of Hippocrates, but its causes have remained a mystery -- until now.

Nanotechnology, medicine and bioethics
Dr. Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, and Dr.

Virginia Tech researchers to study poplar tree as model biomass crop
Virginia Tech researchers have received $1.2 million to study protein -- protein interactions associated with biomass production in poplar wood.

Demonic possession and miraculous healing
Latest research into health in medieval Europe -- taking in everything from demonic possession to miracles of healing -- is to be revealed at the University of Nottingham.

Commonly prescribed antidepressants associated with lower bone density in older men and women
The class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be associated with an increased rate of bone loss in older men and women, according to two articles in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Whites underestmate the costs of being black, study finds
How much do white Americans think it

AstraZeneca announces SYMBICORT is now available in the US
AstraZeneca announced today that SYMBICORT (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) is now available in the United States for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in patients 12 years of age and older.

Intensive-care patients with alcohol problems are more likely to require mechanical ventilation
More than 300,000 patients receive mechanical ventilation during intensive care per year in the United States, even though the hospital mortality rate for ventilated patients can approach 50 percent.

Ground gas gizmo boosts brownfield building
An invention from a University spin-out company that monitors dangerous methane gas lingering underground could lead to greater development of brownfield sites.

Which came first: Primates' ability to see colorful food or see colorful sex?
Primates have a unique ability to distinguish red from green, but the reason why has been debated: Was it first to see ripe red fruit against green leaves or was it first the mating systems that communicate through red in skin and hair?

SARS survivors recover from physical illness, but may experience mental health decline
Most patients who survived severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) had good physical recovery, but they or their caregivers often reported a decline in mental health one year later, according to a study in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

U. of Colorado study shows desert droughts lead to earlier annual mountain snow loss
A new study spearheaded by the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center indicates wind-blown dust from drought-stricken and disturbed lands in the Southwest can shorten the duration of mountain snow cover hundreds of miles away in the Colorado mountains by roughly a month.

OHSU scientists find antidepressant, bone loss link
Two new studies suggest older men and women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, are prone to increased bone loss.

New adjuvant treatments for breast cancer prove cost-effective
New adjuvant treatments for breast cancer are cost-effective at improving survival, according to two new studies.

Can you hear me now? Stem cells enhance hearing recovery
Researchers have shown that bone marrow stem cells injected into a damaged inner ear can speed hearing recovery after partial hearing loss.

HIV in prisons, road deaths in Africa
In this issue: HIV care can be successfully delivered to Thai prisoners, and Road traffic injury is an escalating burden in Africa.

March of the giant penguins
Two heretofore undiscovered penguin species -- one of which was over 5 feet tall -- reached equatorial regions tens of millions of years earlier than expected and during a period when the earth was much warmer than it is now.

Gut check: Tracking the ecosystem within us
By applying sophisticated genetic analysis to samples of a year's worth baby poop, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have developed a detailed picture of how an astonishing number of bacteria come and go in the intestinal tract during a child's first year of life.

Early-morning Friday classes may prevent students from getting sloppy on 'thirsty Thursdays'
Early-morning Friday classes may prevent students from getting sloppy on

Poverty and environment -- billions could be wasted
Out-of-date policies are undermining unprecedented opportunities for recent aid commitments to improve the environment and combat poverty, according to scientists at a new global research center launched today.

Scripps research study links chronic methamphetamine abuse and cardiovascular disease
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found that chronic abuse of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine may be an unrecognized risk factor in the development of a number of potentially serious cardiovascular disorders frequently reported by methamphetamine abusers.

Substance in tree bark could lead to new lung-cancer treatment
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined how a substance derived from the bark of the South American lapacho tree kills certain kinds of cancer cells, findings that also suggest a novel treatment for the most common type of lung cancer.

Shoulder tapping -- U of M study finds young men more willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth
Nearly 20 percent of young males are willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth when approached outside of an alcohol establishment, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Smoking may interfere with alcoholics' neurocognitive recovery during abstinence
Smoking may interfere with alcoholics' neurocognitive recovery during abstinence.

Monkey studies parallel WHI findings, point to importance
Studies in female monkeys helped raise important questions about hormone therapy that were addressed in a Women's Health Initiative study reported last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New genetic marker characterizes aggressiveness of cancer cells
Levels of a small noncoding RNA molecule appear to define different stages of cancer better than some of the

DOE Joint Genome Institute secures long-term lease on production genomics facility
The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute has secured a five-year extension on its lease with an option for an additional five years.

A new technique for building nanodevices in the lab
Physicists at the University of Pennsylvania are using transmission electron beam ablation lithography, or TEBAL, to craft some of the tiniest metal nanostructures ever created, none larger than 10 nanometers, or 10,000 times smaller than the width of a single human hair.

Takeda's investigational DPP-4 inhibitor demonstrated efficacy
Data on Alogliptin, a highly selective dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-4) inhibitor under investigation for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, was announced at the 67th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association meeting in Chicago.

Penn researchers report that gene therapy awakens the brain despite blindness from birth
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that gene therapy used to restore retinal activity to the blind also restores function to the brain's visual center, a critical component of seeing.
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