Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 03, 2007
The elderberry way to perfect skin
Forget expensive moisturisers and cosmetic surgery, a compound found in the humble elderberry could give a natural boost to skin.

New study in the journal Sleep finds that chronic insomnia can lead to anxiety and depression
According to a study published in the July 1 issue of the journal Sleep, chronic insomnia can increase one's chances for developing anxiety disorders and depression.

A simple magnet can control the color of a liquid, making new technologies possible
University of California, Riverside, nanotechnologists have succeeded in controlling the color of very small particles of iron oxide suspended in water simply by applying an external magnetic field to the solution.

New study shows half of children with autism can be accurately diagnosed at close to 1 year of age
In a study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md., found that autism can be diagnosed at close to 1 year of age, which is the earliest the disorder has ever been diagnosed.

New medical implants should react with the body, not seek to be inert
A world leader in medical implants calls for a rethink in our approach to building medical implants.

UT study reveals inaccuracies in cardiac PET-CT imaging, finds fixes
A study by K. Lance Gould, M.D., professor in the Division of Cardiology at the UT Medical School at Houston -- published today on the cover page of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine -- says PET-CT scanners with standard commercial software designed to provide images of the heart are falsely indicating coronary artery disease in as many as 40 percent of patients.

Inhaling from just 1 cigarette can lead to nicotine addiction
A study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows that 10 percent of youth who become hooked on cigarettes are addicted within two days of first inhaling from a cigarette, and 25 percent are addicted within a month.

Acrux announces positive clinical trial resultswith combination contraceptive sprays
Acrux, the Australian drug delivery company, today announced positive results from its Phase 1 clinical studies using two unique contraceptive skin sprays, each containing a progestin and an estrogen.

Cardiac surgery in patients with liver cirrhosis
A new study on the outcome of cardiac surgery in patients with liver cirrhosis found that the surgery can safely be performed in patients with milder disease, while those with more severe cirrhosis are less likely to survive.

Skin rash actually signifies better outcomes for pancreatic and lung cancer patients
The appearance of a rash in cancer patients treated with erlotinib (Tarceva) is strongly associated with longer survival, according to researchers from the drug's developer, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Color is in the eye of the beholder
The unique makeup of the cells in our retina, as well as the specific physical properties of substances themselves, explain why we occasionally see things change color before our very eyes!

Smart suit doesn't miss a beat
Imagine wearing a smart T-shirt or a suit embedded with tiny electronics that can monitor your heart or respiratory function wirelessly.

Getting old is a costly business
Independent research, involving over 3 million Italians, conducted by Henley Management College and the University of Milan has concluded that the prescription costs for men over the age of 65 is significantly higher than it is for women.

Increase in prescription drug cost sharing associated with lower rates of drug treatment, adherence
A review of previous studies indicates that an increase in prescription drug cost sharing is associated with a decrease in drug spending and use of pharmacies; and for some chronic conditions, higher cost sharing is associated with greater use of expensive medical services, according to an article in the July 4 issue of JAMA.

Many insomniacs turn to valerian and melatonin to help them sleep
A study published in the July 1 issue of the journal Sleeop finds that large segments of the US population use valerian or melatonin to treat their insomnia.

Blood clotting protein may inhibit spinal cord regeneration
Fibrinogen, a blood-clotting protein found in circulating blood, has been found to inhibit the growth of central nervous system neuronal cells, a process that is necessary for the regeneration of the spinal cord after traumatic injury.

Stellar fireworks through Hubble's eyes
Nearly 12.5 million light-years away, in the dwarf galaxy NGC 4449, stellar fireworks on display have been captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Damping the odds that fireworks will spark seizures
Bright light that flickers frequently or rapidly, like a strobe light, can trigger seizures in some people -- a phenomenon documented in nearly 700 children who were hospitalized in Japan 10 years ago after watching a Pokemon cartoon.

Studies show antidepressants not linked to birth defects
Taking SSRIs, anti-depression drugs, during pregnancy did not significantly increase the overall risk for most birth defects.

An opportunity for patients to learn and talk about cancer
People affected by cancer in Switzerland and northern Italy have an opportunity during the ESMO Congress Lugano to talk about the latest in cancer research and share their knowledge and personal experiences, at the 6th ESMO Patient Seminar.

'Sundried tide' -- silent, natural disaster
In a paper published in scientific journal Marine Biology, Dr.

If it wiggles, it must be jellyfish swimming -- or atoms moving in glass
The Lehigh University materials scientist, in winning the Otto Schott Research Award, is commended for

QUT conference shines spotlight on China's media
The changing face of China's creative industries will be the focus of the 2007 China Media Center Conference to be hosted by Queensland University of Technology this week (July 5-6).

Gene variations directly link inflammation to an increased risk for lung cancer
Variations in two genes related to inflammation may be a major risk factor for developing lung cancer, according to a team of scientists from the National Cancer Institute and the University of Texas M.

Narcoleptics have a high frequency of REM sleep without atonia
Persons with narcolepsy have a high frequency of REM sleep without atonia and of elevated EMG phasic density, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

Risk-taking in infertility treatment correlates with women's negative moods
A study of women's moods during IVF has found a strong relationship between negative mood and multiple embryo transfer, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference heard (Tuesday, July 3).

Consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate associated with reduction in blood pressure
Eating about 30 calories a day of dark chocolate was associated with a lowering of blood pressure, without weight gain or other adverse effects, according to a study in the July 4 issue of JAMA.

Faulty cell membrane repair causes heart disease
During vigorous exercise, heart muscle cells take a beating. In fact, some of those cells rupture and without an efficient repair process those cells would die and cause heart damage (cardiomyopathy).

Weeds survive the wild better than natives
Weeds are winning the battle when it comes to surviving in the wild with foliage eating insects preferring the taste of native plants, according to a study by Queensland University of Technology.

From clinical cancer research: rethinking therapeutic cancer vaccine trials
Ongoing therapeutic cancer vaccine trials have yet to show evidence of vaccines spurring a patient's immune system to shrink tumors -- yet patients who receive these vaccines in trials tend to live longer and respond better to subsequent treatment.

Waging war on the deadliest superbug
It infiltrates hospitals as microscopic spores. Its defenses are so strong it can resist most antibiotics.

Male or female factor infertility -- men suffer just the same
Although most psychosocial research into infertility is centered round the unhappiness it causes women, men suffer just as much, a scientist will tell the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology Wednesday, July 4.

Stellar fireworks are ablaze in galaxy NGC 4449
Nearly 12.5 million light-years away in the dwarf galaxy NGC 4449 a veritable stellar

Wolves of Alaska became extinct 12,000 years ago, scientists report
The ancient gray wolves of Alaska became extinct some 12,000 years ago, and the wolves in Alaska today are not their descendents but a different subspecies, an international team of scientists reports.

Alzheimer's prevention role discovered for prions
A role for prion proteins, the much debated agents of mad cow disease and vCJD, has been identified.

New research holds promise for protecting cancer patients against infertility
A promising new therapy for protecting the fertility of women with cancer and auto-immune diseases such as lupus was revealed at the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (Tuesday, July 3 2007).

Penn State study suggests ways to improve US rail safety
A new study conducted by two Penn State faculty members highlights the potential threats to America's railroad system, examines the response of government and the rail industry to the post-9/11 security responsibilities, and suggests ways in which public policy and rail operations can be better directed to meet the challenges of security in an age of terrorist activity.

Cloning the male genome may help infertile men
Artificially replicating the male genome could help men with very low sperm counts become fathers, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology was told (Tuesday, July 3).

Periodontal bacteria found in amniotic fluid
A study appearing in the July issue of the Journal of Periodontology found bacteria commonly found in the mouth and associated with periodontal diseases in the amniotic fluid of some pregnant women.

Scientific American launches innovative new version of magazine
Scientific American, America's first science magazine, has launched an updated version of the publication.

LSUHSC awarded designation resulting in improved patient safety and outcomes
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has been awarded designation by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 Comprehensive Education Institute.

Study examines cause of hearing loss for patients with certain genetic disease
Patients with the genetic disorder von Hippel-Lindau disease may suddenly experience hearing loss because of a tumor-associated hemorrhage in the inner ear, according to a study in the July 4 issue of JAMA.

Catastrophic head injury three times greater in high school vs. collegiate football players
New research reveals that high school football players are three times more likely to experience catastrophic head injury (death, permanent neurologic damage or serious injuries with full recovery) than those on the college gridiron.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue: Transporting components to the active zone; Rats on Ritalin; MAPK signaling in the PVH; and NO, peroxynitrite and ischemic tolerance.

Today's waste, tomorrow's fuel
A Cardiff University research collaboration is working to recycle precious metals from road dusts and vehicle exhausts to create greener energy.

War trauma set to increase in the UK
The number of UK veterans suffering the debilitating effects of war trauma is set to increase, according to a University of Nottingham academic.

Fat kills cancer
Researchers in Slovakia have been able to derive mesenchymal stem cells from human adipose, or fat, tissue and engineer them into

UCL scientist develops a measure of distraction
A scientific indicator of how easily distracted you are has been designed by a UCL (University College London) psychologist.

Stem cell procedure successfully treats amyloidosis patients
Researchers from the Stem Cell Transplant Program and the Amyloid Treatment and Research Program at Boston University Medical Center have found that tandem cycles of high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation can help treat patients with immunoglobulin-light chain (AL) Amyloidosis who did not respond to initial treatment with this method.

Harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer
Teaching a body's own immune system to seek out and destroy cancerous tumors represents a promising way to fight a disease that kills more than 70,000 Canadians a year.

SAGE to publish British Journal of Infection Control
SAGE is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Infection Control Nurses Association to publish the British Journal of Infection Control from September 2007.

Reap what your ancestors sowed
Freeloaders can live on the fruits of the cooperation of others, but their selfishness can have long-term consequences, reports an evolutionary biologist from the University of Texas at Austin in a new study.

Reducing the cost of sleep disorders
Griffith University has been working with Queensland Health and the University of Southern Queensland to reduce the cost of sleep disorders.

July-August GSA Bulletin media highlights
Geology topics of interest include new insights into Permian-Triassic boundary events and unraveling the mystery of North America's sheet sandstones. 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