Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 02, 2007
Almost one-third of adults report having some form of alcohol use problem during their lifetime
About 30 percent of Americans report having some form of alcohol use disorder at some point in their lifetimes, including 17.8 percent with alcohol abuse and 12.5 percent with alcohol dependence, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Medicaid recipients with mental and substance abuse disorders less likely to use community services
An analysis of Medicaid data released today from five states indicates that psychiatric and substance abuse services may be missing their mark if they are limited to community settings, such as community clinics and therapist's offices.

Reduced lung capacity linked to cardiovascular disease by inflammation
People who have a reduced lung capacity may have a greater risk of heart attack and stroke because they show evidence of inflammation, reveals a study published online ahead of print in Thorax.

New approach to pulmonary hypertension shows promise
Researchers at the University of Alberta have identified a

Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
One of the fundamental traits of a tumor -- how it avoids the immune system -- might become its greatest vulnerability, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.

The Cancer Genome Atlas awards funds for technology development
NIH awards grants to spur the development of innovative technologies for expanding understanding of cancer genomics.

Early indicator of kidney disease may also predict risk of pre-diabetes
A blood component called cystatin C, used to test for early-stage kidney impairment, also may be a very early marker for those at risk of developing a condition known as pre-diabetes, a study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Marine worm opens new window on early cell development
University of Oregon biologists studying a common ocean-dwelling worm have uncovered potentially fundamental insights into the evolutionary origin of genetic mechanisms, which when compromised in humans play a role in many forms of cancer.

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice may improve erectile dysfunction
According to a pilot study released in the International Journal of Impotence Research, drinking 8 ounces of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily was found to have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction, a disorder that affects one in 10 men worldwide.

M. D. Anderson team identifies new oncogene for brain cancer
Research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences transforms biomarker into potential target for therapy.

Inexpensive 'adaptive optics' achieved by Sandia's optical clamp
Sandia National Laboratories has received a US patent for a new tool that efficiently but inexpensively uses a single mirror to achieve some of the same effects as adaptive optics, where individually angled mirrors correct distortions in laser beams.

Difficulty identifying odors may predict cognitive decline
Older adults who have difficulty identifying common odors may have a greater risk of developing problems with thinking, learning and memory, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Draft national policy on sight-saving drugs 'unacceptable'
Restricting use of drugs for macular degeneration to patients who have already gone blind in one eye is

Bed nets for tackling malaria
Based on malaria transmission models, Gerry Killeen and colleagues suggest that, while coverage of pregnant women and children should still be prioritized, wide-scale communal use of insecticide-treated bed nets would provide considerable benefit to vulnerable groups and should be promoted and evaluated in the field.

New clue why MS affects African-Americans differently than Caucasians
Differences in immune systems have been found in African-Americans with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to Caucasians, possibly offering a clue why African-Americans experience more disability with MS than Caucasians, according to a study published in the July 3, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Teenagers from low income families at greater risk of migraine
Teenagers from low income households with no family history of migraine are more likely to suffer migraine than children from upper income families, according to a study published in the July 3, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Method to prevent hemorrhagic complications of thrombolytic therapy of blood clots is discovered
The now reported study led by Dr. Perttu J. Lindsberg from the Helsinki University Central Hospital investigated thrombolytics-related brain hemorrhage formation in an experimental stroke model in rats.

Canada lags behind the US in use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators
The use of life-saving implantable cardioverter defibrillators in Canada is rising, but it is still significantly less than that in the United States.

Most middle-school boys and many girls play violent video games
A new study by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Mental Health and Media dispels myths and uncovers surprises about young teens and violent video and computer games.

Understanding smooth eye pursuit
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shed new light on how the brain and eye team up to spot an object in motion and follow it, a classic question of human motor control.

First baby is born after oocytes were matured in the lab and frozen
The first baby to be created from an egg that had been matured in the laboratory, frozen, thawed and then fertilized, has been born in Canada.

The Gerontological Society of America announces 2007 Hartford Pre-Dissertation award winners
The Gerontological Society of America is pleased to introduce the twenty recipients of the 2007 Hartford Doctoral Fellows Pre-Dissertation Award.

Older patients reap positive benefits with high dose statins
Can older patients with stable cardiovascular disease benefit from the same cholesterol lowering drugs used by younger patients?

Europe struggles to meet the challenges posed by PGD patients travelling abroad
A new study presented Monday, July 2 to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has shown that increasing numbers of couples are travelling abroad for preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and that the main reason for this cross-border movement is the legal position in patients' countries of origin.

Time-lapse recordings reveal why IVF embryos are more likely to develop into twins
Evidence from time-lapse recordings of the formation of early embryos in the laboratory has revealed why embryos created via IVF and undergoing extended culture are more likely to develop into twins than those created via natural conception.

Scientists find endangered grey-shanked doucs in Vietnam
A team of scientists from WWF and Conservation International has discovered the world's largest known population of grey-shanked doucs (Pygathrix cinerea), increasing chances that the endangered monkey can be saved from extinction.

Key to tackling malaria may lie in bed nets for adults and older children
Protecting older children and adults with insecticide-treated bed nets may be an effective way to combat malaria, a study has shown.

New cervical cancer test increases the detection rate of abnormal cells
A new computerised screening test for cervical cancer detects more abnormalities than the traditional smear test, according to a study published online.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 3, 2007, issue
In this issue: Dietary counseling results in weight loss of approximately six percent of body weight after one year; Annals of Internal Medicine is 80!

Effective new biodiversity data access portal
A new internet tool has been launched by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

1,000-year-old Arctic ponds disappearing due to global warming
Research has uncovered alarming evidence that high Arctic ponds, many have been permanent bodies of water for thousands of years, are completely drying out during the polar summer.

Blindness in post-conflict Rwanda
A survey of 2,250 people aged 50 years or over in Rwanda, based on clusters of 50 people, found a much lower prevalence of blindness than expected.

ORNL wins six R&D 100 Awards, pushing total to 134
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won six R&D 100 Awards, given annually by R&D Magazine to the year's most technologically significant new products.

UK sports clubs failing to run comprehensive health checks on professional players
Professional sports clubs do not run regular comprehensive health checks on their players, finds research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Aboriginal people with heroin addiction are less likely to use methadone therapy
Aboriginal people who use heroin are less likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts to use methadone maintenance therapy for treatment of their addiction, according to new research from British Columbia, Canada.

Making waves: How UCL research could minimize the impact of future tsunami
A team of experts is preparing to create tsunami in a controlled environment in order to study their effects on buildings and coastlines -- ultimately paving the way for the design of new structures better able to withstand their impact.

Global warming is evaporating Arctic ponds, new study shows
High Arctic ponds -- the most common source of surface water in many polar regions -- are now beginning to evaporate due to recent climate warming, say two of Canada's leading environmental scientists.

Antidepressant warnings associated with decreased prescription rates among Tennessee children
Regulatory warnings regarding the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors appear to be associated with reductions in the number of antidepressant medication prescriptions among children and adolescents covered by Tennessee's expanded Medicaid program, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA and Archives journals.

Chronically sleep deprived? You can't make up for lost sleep
Little is known about the health consequences of chronic partial sleep loss -- losing a little bit of sleep over a period of days, months or even years.

Do people listen to heat warnings?
Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Scott Sheridan, Kent State associate professor in geography, recently conducted a study on how effectively heat warning systems have been implemented in four cities, including Dayton, Ohio, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Toronto, Ontario.

Glimmer of hope for Tahitian tree snails' survival
Despite the mass extermination of Tahiti's unique species of tree snails in recent decades, much of their original genetic diversity can still be found in remnant populations that survive on the island, researchers report in the July 3 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

End of an era at HERA
Fifteen years of scientific discovery came to an end on June 30th when the electrons and protons in the HERA accelerator made their final lap of the 6.3 km ring.

'Smart' traffic boxes could help monitor roads, save money
Ohio State University engineers are working to make the traffic control boxes that stand beside major freeways smarter.

1 in 7 organ donors concerned about life and health insurance
According to a new review in American Journal of Transplantation, people who donate their kidney or part of their liver to help someone else may themselves encounter difficulty with life and health insurance, despite insurance companies saying otherwise.

Tick-related disease thrives on cholesterol, study suggests
People who have high cholesterol levels may be much more susceptible to a particular disease transmitted by the bites of ticks, a new study in mice suggests.

A debate on smokeless tobacco
In a debate in this week's PLoS Medicine, public health researchers discuss whether or not the public should be informed that using oral, smokeless tobacco (Swedish snus) is less hazardous to health than smoking tobacco.

Human antibodies that block human and animal SARS viruses identified
An international team of investigators has identified the first human antibodies that can neutralize different strains of virus responsible for outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Epilepsy means 3 times higher risk of committing suicide
People with epilepsy are three times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, conclude authors of an article published early online and in the August edition of the Lancet Neurology.

CU researchers solve mystery of how DNA strands separate
Cornell researchers have answered a fundamental question about how two strands of DNA separate to start a process called replication, in which genes copy themselves.

First-ever study looks at impact of family income on prevalence of migraine in adolescents
Adolescents from low-income families are much more likely to suffer from migraine headaches than teens from wealthier households, according to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Pre-kindergarten TB testing not cost effective, study finds
The health care system in California could save nearly $1.3 million a year with few adverse public health effects if it discontinued universal tuberculosis skin testing of children entering kindergarten, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- June 27/July 3, 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.

Generalized reciprocity in rats
Empirical evidence from rats supports the theory of generalized reciprocity, in which individuals are more likely to cooperate with an unknown individual if they have received help in the past.

MRI plus X-ray mammography doubles breast cancer detection in women at high risk
For women at high risk of breast cancer, use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plus X-ray mammography for screening will detect more breast cancers than mammography alone, a new technology assessment has found.

Case study: cross-cultural bioethics training program helps fight African 'brain drain'
When African professionals migrate to the United States or Europe, it's often called brain drain.

Media bid farewell to Jules Verne
Last week, members of the international press visited the clean rooms at ESTEC, ESA's research and technology centre, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to view the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for the very last time in Europe.

Satellite images reveal link between urban growth and changing rainfall patterns
For the first time, scientists have used satellite images to demonstrate a link between rapid city growth and rainfall patterns, as well as to assess compliance with an international treaty to protect wetlands.

Tough tubes -- Carbon nanotubes endure heavy wear and tear
The ability of carbon nanotubes to withstand repeated stress yet retain their structural and mechanical integrity is similar to the behavior of soft tissue, according to a new study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Anti-obesity drug may prevent and treat obesity-related liver disease
A new study on the effect of the anti-obesity drug rimonabant on liver function in obese rats found that it reduced markers of liver damage, decreased levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, and improved lipid profiles.

Bioinformatics-related methods are featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
This month's release of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols highlights two articles that discuss the principles and applications of cutting-edge bioinformatics software programs.

More swimmers means more pathogens in the water
The levels of potentially harmful waterborne microorganisms in rivers, lakes and other recreational waterways may be highest when the water is most crowded with swimmers.

Antibody linked to MS significantly higher in spinal fluid of blacks
An antibody frequently used as a diagnostic marker for multiple sclerosis is present at greater levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of blacks with MS than Caucasians with the disease.

Mother-of-pearl -- Classic beauty and remarkable strength
While the shiny material of pearls and abalone shells has long been prized for its iridescence and aesthetic value in jewelry and decorations, scientists admire mother-of-pearl for other physical properties as well.

Study examines video game play among adolescents
On school days, teen boys who play video games appear to spend less time reading and teen girls who play video games appear to spend less time doing homework than those who do not play video games, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The first heat transistor, remote controlled nanomachines, and more from APS Physics
Highlights in this issue: the world's first heat transistor, remote controlled nanomachines, high performance energy storage, and the physics of crash landing on sand.

Personalized approach to ovarian stimulation achieves high ART pregnancy rates
International fertility specialists have developed an easy-to-use mathematical formula that allows a personalized approach to ovarian stimulation therapy for women seeking fertility treatment.

Probiotic drinks can help reduce diarrhoea associated with antibiotics
Drinks containing probiotic bacteria can help reduce diarrhoea among older people, which may reduce length of stay in hospital and save the NHS money, say Imperial College researchers at Hammersmith Hospital in a study published online.

Endometriosis increases the risk of certain cancers
Doctors in Sweden have shown for the first time that although endometriosis is associated with an increased risk of various cancers, this risk does not depend on the number of times women with the condition have given birth.

UK Army personnel involved in Iraqi invasion not at risk from depleted uranium
Army personnel involved in the Iraqi invasion of 2003 have not absorbed dangerous levels of depleted uranium, finds research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Iowa State chemist hopes startup company can revolutionize biodiesel production
Victor Lin, a chemistry professor at Iowa State University, has developed a catalyst that he thinks will revolutionize biodiesel production.

Papworth breathing technique cuts asthma symptoms by a third
A sequence of breathing and relaxation exercises known as the Papworth method has been shown to reduce asthma symptoms by a third by the first randomised controlled trial to investigate the technique, which is published online ahead of print in Thorax.

Manganese levels increase in scrapie-infected sheep before clinical symptoms develop
Sheep infected with scrapie and cows infected with BSE have elevated levels of manganese in their blood before clinical symptoms appear, according to new research.

Numerous factors affect success of interferon treatment for hepatitis C
A new study on predicting outcomes of standard treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection found that a number of factors impacted responses, including the form of the interferon given.

Health Physics Society
Health Physics Society Annual Meeting to be held in Portland, Ore., from July 8-12.

p53 gene mutations and inflammation trigger skin cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a form of nonmelanoma skin cancer, which is the most common type of human malignancy with over 1 million new cases in the USA each year.

Scientists describe how 1918 influenza virus sample was exhumed in Alaska
In an article in the journal Antiviral Therapy, scientists at NIAID narrate the story of how scientists discovered samples of the 1918 strain in fixed autopsy tissues and in the body of a woman buried in the Alaskan permafrost.

Blood protein offers clues to heart attack in seemingly healthy people
We've all wondered how a seemingly healthy person can actually be at high risk for heart disease or a heart attack.

Alcohol survey reveals 'lost decade' between ages of disorder onset and treatment
The summary article from NIAAA's 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions presents essential information for treatment services policy and planning, including alcohol use disorder (AUD) and comorbid psychiatric disorder prevalence; age of onset and disease course; and treatment status by treatment type.

Violence in schizophrenia patients more likely among those with childhood conduct problems
Some people with schizophrenia who become violent may do so for reasons unrelated to their current illness, according to a new study analyzing data from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness.

Death rates will rise because of global warming
Global warming will cause more deaths in summer because of higher temperatures but these will not be offset by fewer deaths in milder winters finds an analysis published online ahead of print in Occupational and Environment Medicine.

New study in Annals of Internal Medicine on the effect of dietary counseling for weight loss
A new study of published literature that reported the effect of dietary counseling for weight loss finds that, on average, dietary counseling has resulted in weight loss of approximately 6 percent of initial body weight (approximately 10-15 pounds) after one year, compared with people not involved in formal weight loss programs.

Capitol Hill forum on 'Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles -- Towards energy independence'
A forum to discuss the emerging technology of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and the role they can play in reducing our nation's gasoline usage and dependence on foreign oil.

New tool for marine conservation
Marine Ecoregions of the World, a new, biogeographic classification of regional and shelf waters, identifies 232 distinct ecoregions.

JCI Table of Contents -- July 2, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 2, 2007, in the JCI, including: p53 gene mutations and inflammation trigger skin cancer; Neutrophils stand guard against tuberculosis infection; Mending a broken heart: Dysferlin repairs cardiac cell rupture; Calcium handling and cardiac arrhythmias: how the beat goes on; Hemoglobin production gets a helping hand; Recombinant Hemojuvelin protein: a treatment option for anemia; and others.

New approaches to endometriosis treatment -- mouse experiments point the way
Possible new directions for the treatment of endometriosis, a painful condition associated with infertility that affects up to 15 percent of women of reproductive age, will be outlined in the presentation of two experimental studies at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Tuesday, July 3).
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