Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 28, 2007
Technical societies call for increase to NASA budget
Leaders from 11 professional science and engineering societies called on Congress today to boost NASA's fiscal year 2008 budget or risk losing the nation's scientific and engineering primacy.

Young smokers want to quit, but don't seek proven treatment
Young adults do not take advantage of proven smoking cessation treatments that can double their chances of quitting, University of Illinois at Chicago public health researchers report.

'Modular' leukemia drug shows promise in early testing
A new type of engineered drug candidate has shown promise in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia in both test tube and early animal tests, a new study shows.

Loss of cell's 'antenna' linked to cancer's development
Most normal vertebrate cells have cilia, small hair-like structures that protrude like antennae into the surrounding environment to detect signals that control cell growth.

Scientists find that Earth and Mars are different to the core
Research comparing silicon samples from Earth, meteorites and planetary materials, published in Nature (June 28, 2007) provides new evidence that the Earth's core formed under very different conditions from those that existed on Mars.

Earliest-known evidence of peanut, cotton and squash farming found
Anthropologists working on the slopes of the Andes in northern Peru have discovered the earliest-known evidence of peanut, cotton and squash farming dating back 5,000 to 9,000 years.

It's not too late to change -- lowering cardiac risk later in life
Can adopting a healthier lifestyle later in life help -- or is it too late?

Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to use stem cells to engineer soft tissue, developing a process that should ultimately allow scientists to use a patient's own stem cells to develop tissue for facial reconstruction following disfiguring injuries from war, cancer surgery or accidents.

UCF professor finds bacterial pathogen may be key to understanding cancer development
Research team finds clues to understanding cancer development by studying Listeria monocytogenes.

SNM initiatives supported by inclusions in NAS Report on competitiveness of US chemistry research
A recent National Academy of Sciences report that examined the competitiveness of US chemical research includes statements that support government relations initiatives of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals.

New undersea images challenge prevailing ideas about the Antarctic Ice Sheet
Using echo-sounding equipment to create images and maps of areas below the ocean floor, researchers have begun to unravel a new story about the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Biovest announces interim blinded data of fast-tracked pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of BiovaxID
Biovest International Inc., a majority owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced on blinded interim data from the start of its fast-tracked pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of BiovaxID for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from September 2000 through June 2006.

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things
In the new book

Cigarette taxes do reduce smoking but can lead to bootlegging, says Mailman School of PH
Increasing cigarette taxes is an effective strategy for reducing tobacco use but there may be negative consequences especially in disadvantaged minority communities.

Tony Blair's 10 years of tobacco control
A comment published online Friday, June 29, assesses the impact of 10 years of Tony Blair's Labor Government in the UK concerning public-health measures to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco, just two days before a ban on smoking in public places is introduced in England.

Increased prevalence of HIV: Not a casualty of war
Conflict, forced displacement and wide-scale rape have not increased the prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, conclude the authors of an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Carnegie Mellon University-led team conducts most detailed cosmological simulation to date
Using a new computer model of galaxy formation, researchers have shown that growing black holes release a blast of energy that fundamentally regulates galaxy evolution and black hole growth itself.

Penn researchers develop new method for screening drug-resistant forms of HIV
Existing methods of detecting drug-resistant forms of HIV are expensive, time consuming and often fail to identify small populations of drug-resistant HIV.

Research says sugar coated proteins seal in a memory of diabetes
Researchers at the University of Warwick's Warwick Medical School have uncovered a process that locks the body's metabolism in a diabetic state after only relatively limited exposure to high glucose levels.

Curriculum focused on cognitive skills may improve child behavior
Children who were taught a curriculum that focused on self-control and awareness of their own and others' emotions were found to exhibit greater social competence and fewer behavioral and emotional problems.

Ablation procedure proves safe, effective and fast
Multiple-electrode radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective way of treating patients with liver cancer that can be completed in less time than current ablation techniques, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Injecting autologous cells could relieve urinary incontinence
Transurethral injections of autologous myoblasts and fibroblasts could relieve stress urinary incontinence in women, conclude authors of an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Agreement signed for Canada's CANMET-Materials Technology Laboratory relocation
Natural Resources Canada and McMaster University have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines further details for the relocation of the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory to Hamilton.

Military bases can benefit by addressing sprawl issues and biodiversity
The Defense Department's program to provide land buffers near its bases has been effective in relieving military training and testing operations from encroachment pressures, but the program's funding and activities should be accelerated before land development hinders future buffering opportunities, according to a RAND Corporation report issued today.

Stem cell therapy to prevent heart attacks
The use of stem cell therapy to prevent heart attacks is explored in a comment published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Tectonic signatures at Aeolis Mensae
The High Resolution Stereo Camera on board Mars Express has provided snapshots of the Aeolis Mensae region.

Are parking garages safe during hurricanes?
Recently, Dr. Thomas Schmidlin, meteorologist and professor of geography at Kent State University, completed research determining the safety of using parking garages for the general public as a

Family-related issues top list of reasons for migration of immigrant scientists and engineers
The latest statistics from the National Science Foundation reveal that more than one-third of immigrant scientists and engineers report that the most important reason they came to the United States was for family-related reasons (37 percent).

Common hip condition may not always cause osteoarthritis in some racial groups
Recognizing that the Asian lifestyle requires a larger range of hip motion than the Western lifestyle, a new study examined FAI in Japanese patients with normal hips.

New cancer treatment adds to survival rates in lung cancer patients
Patients with inoperable nonsmall cell lung cancer who receive an initial high dose of chemotherapy before their treatment begins can expect an increase in overall survival, according to a study in the July 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Branding matters -- even when searching
Web searchers who evaluated identical search-engine results overwhelmingly favored Yahoo!

Children with cerebral palsy have similar quality of life to other children
Most children aged 8-12 years with cerebral palsy will have similar quality of life to other children.

'Megafishes' project featured in Science magazine
Zeb Hogan, an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, is part of one of the most concerted efforts ever launched to save the world's largest freshwater fish

Bend it like NIST -- Dust mite-sized soccer debuts July 7-8 at RoboCup in Atlanta
Imagine a mechanical Pelé or David Beckham six times smaller than an amoeba playing with a

Researchers identify alcoholism subtypes
Analyses of a national sample of individuals with alcohol dependence (alcoholism) reveal five distinct subtypes of the disease, according to a new study by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Natural signal holds promise for psoriasis, age-related skin damage
The body may hold a secret to normalizing skin cell growth that is over zealous in psoriasis and non-melanoma skin cancers and too slow in aging and sun-damaged skin, researchers say.

New research on secondhand smoke discovers nonsmoking workers immediately absorb potent carcinogen
Offering alarming new evidence on the dangers of permitting smoking in the workplace, scientists have found that nonsmoking restaurant and bar employees absorb a potent carcinogen -- not considered safe at any level -- while working in places where they had to breathe tobacco smoke from customers and co-workers.

New regulations needed for patients receiving animal tissue donation
A new article in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics calls for a change in the regulations surrounding xenotransplantation, the transplanting of animal cells, tissues or organs into humans.

Sperm abnormalities seen in male lupus patients
A new study examined gonad function in male SLE patients and found that they have a high frequency of sperm abnormalities associated with reduced testicular volume.

New study shows Rescue Remedy is an effective all-natural stress, anxiety reliever
A just published scientific study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami School of Nursing in conjunction with the Sirkin Creative Living Center has found that Rescue Remedy, an all-natural remedy created from flower essences, is an effective over-the-counter stress reliever with a comparable effect to traditional pharmaceutical drugs yet without any of the known adverse side effects, including addiction.

Breast cancer prognosis runs in the family
The chances of developing breast cancer are to some extent inherited, but important new findings suggest survival also runs in the family.

New, invisible nano-fibers conduct electricity, repel dirt
Tiny plastic fibers could be the key to some diverse technologies in the future -- including self-cleaning surfaces, transparent electronics, and biomedical tools that manipulate strands of DNA.

Where is the most dangerous place to travel over the holiday?
Just in time for the most dangerous days of the year to drive -- July 3 and 4 -- the national Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota today released a list of the states where Americans are more likely to die in a traffic crash on a rural road.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine's impact grows, remains consistently high over past 5 years
The quality and influence of SNM's Journal of Nuclear Medicine climbed this past year, placing the society's flagship publication in fourth place among 85 nuclear medicine, radiology and medical imaging journals, according to results from the Thomson Institute for Scientific Information's Journal Citation Report.

RNA may play larger role in cell's gene activity, Stanford researchers find
Large, seemingly useless pieces of RNA -- a molecule originally considered only a lowly messenger for DNA -- play an important role in letting cells know where they are in the body and what they are supposed to become, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered.

Shigetada Nakanishi honored with $500,000 Gruber Prize for Neuroscience
Over the last 40 years, Shigetada Nakanishi has unraveled many of the molecular secrets that underpin the function of the brain.

New dynamic brace developed to advance clubfoot treatment
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis orthopedic surgeon Matthew Dobbs, M.D., has developed a new brace for clubfoot which allows for more mobility and helps preserve muscles in the foot.

Study reveals new, cost-efficient method for creating portable hydrogen fuel cells
A new paper published in Journal of the American Ceramic Society proposes a new method of producing hydrogen for portable fuel cells.

Critical protein prevents DNA damage from persisting through generations
A protein called ATM, long known to be involved in protecting cells from genetic damage, is also part of a system that prevents damage from being passed on when the cells divide.

Hib vaccine: A critical ally in Asia's effort to reduce child deaths
A new study shows Hib vaccine protects children from significant burden of life-threatening pneumonia and meningitis.

Patient choice and treatment alternatives for arthritis
Two new studies examined patients' decisions regarding therapy for RA and glucosamine for OA and found that most RA patients are reluctant to change their treatment as long as their condition didn't worsen, and that there are discrepancies in clinical trial results for glucosamine.

Bright future for nano-sized light source
A bio-friendly nanosized light source capable of emitting coherent light across the visible spectrum has been invented by researchers with the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California at Berkeley.

It's not all the parent's fault: Delinquency in children now linked to biology
How do sweet children turn into delinquents seemingly right before our eyes?

Rheumatologists overestimate physical disability of rheumatoid arthritis patients
Rheumatologists substantially overestimate the physical disability of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which may lead to inaccurate evaluations of patients' ability to work and need for lifestyle modifications, a new study found.

Study examines how mentally ill patients' own perceptions affect their well-being
In a recently published Social Psychology Quarterly study, Dr. Amy Kroska, Kent State associate professor of sociology, examined how the stigma of mental illness affects patients who have recently been diagnosed with a mental disorder.

LSUHSC grants fund infectious diseases research and clinical trials
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has been awarded a $3.3 million grant to establish the South Louisiana Institute for Infectious Disease Research.

Where did we come from, and how did we get to where we live today?
The rigorous genotyping and quality assurance strategies of the work done through the Genographic Project allow classification of mitochondrial lineages with unprecedented accuracy.

Now anxious people can counsel themselves
People suffering from anxiety disorders can help themselves using approaches based on cognitive behavioral therapies, according to a new book by a University of Manchester psychologist.

1 in 10 hospice patients referred 'too late,' study shows
A new study led by Brown University researchers shows that one out of every 10 families said their dying loved ones were referred

New vaccine may provide broader protection against cervical cancer
Just under 150 Perth women have contributed to major international research at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research that has proved that the new Cervarix vaccine provides broader protection against cervical cancer.

Cooperation agreement for satellite navigation in Africa
ESA and the Agency for Security of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar have signed a cooperation agreement with the objective of using satellite navigation to improve air traffic safety over the African continent.

Study shows surgery is more effective than other treatments for common back problem
When it comes to low back pain, physicians generally advise exhausting nonsurgical options before resorting to surgery.

Exercise stimulates the formation of new brain cells
Exercise has a similar effect to antidepressants on depression. This has been shown by previous research.

New study shows how often juries get it wrong
A new Northwestern University study shows that juries in criminal cases many times are getting it wrong.
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