Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 09, 2007
Study evaluates brain lesions of older patients
Lesions commonly seen on MRI in the brains of older patients may be a sign of potentially more extensive injury to the brain tissue, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.

Neutral evolution has helped shape our genome
Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that one of the major architectural markers of the human genome, DNA repeat elements that make up over 40 percent of our genome, rose to prominence without offering any benefits to the organism it inhabits.

Can an apple a day keep asthma away?
Teenagers who forego a healthy and balanced diet may have a harder time catching their breath.

Many nursing home residents may not get regular eye examinations
In a study of Alabama nursing home residents, more than half were visually impaired yet two-thirds had no record of or reference to an eye examination in their medical charts, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Internal clock, external light regulate plant growth
Most plants and animals show changes in activity over a 24-hour cycle.

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that (modern) swing
When it's time to mate, female white-crowned sparrows are looking for a male who sings the latest version of the love song, not some 1979 relic.

Global community listens to TAU genetic researcher at EU Conference on Hearing Loss
Is hearing loss just one of those things that happens as we get older?

Heart attack death rates appear lower at 'America's best hospitals'
Individuals admitted for heart attack to a hospital ranked as one of

Delays in cancer diagnosis for children remain poorly understood
Though delays in the diagnosis of cancer in children are short and attributable to clinical presentation and healthcare system complexity, the impact of such delays on prognosis remains unclear, according to a new study.

Scientists identify 2 distinct Parkinson's networks
Parkinson's that causes tremors, rigidity and slowed movements also targets another brain network that regulates cognitive thought and the ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Safety of new microbicide for HIV prevention to be tested in young women in US trial
In an effort to help stem the tide of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly in women, researchers have launched a clinical safety trial of a topical vaginal microbicide with a unique molecular structure that holds promise for preventing the sexual transmission of HIV.

Loss of hemlocks will affect water dynamics in southern Appalachian forests
Forest Service research has provided the first estimates on the impact the loss of eastern hemlock will have on the water dynamics of the southern Appalachian mountains.

'Less is more' online
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found that less is more when it comes to online content.

Gene therapy eradicates pancreatic cancer in preclinical trial
A molecularly engineered therapy selectively embeds a gene in pancreatic cancer that shrinks or eradicates tumors, inhibits metastasis, and prolongs survival with virtually no toxicity, researchers from The University of Texas M.

Average major league baseball career 5.6 years, says new study
The average career of a Major League Baseball player is 5.6 years, according to a new study by a University of Colorado at Boulder research team.

Jefferson oncologists show breast cancers to be more aggressive in African-American women
A study of more than 2,200 women shows that African-Americans have more advanced breast cancer at the time of diagnosis than Caucasians.

Smoking associated with lower Parkinson's disease risk
A pooled analysis of data from previous studies suggests that cigarette smoking appears to be associated with a reduced risk for developing Parkinson's disease, with long-term and current smokers at the lowest risk, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

VIB scientist receives major research grant
On July 10, Thierry VandenDriessche, a researcher at VIB and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, is to receive the Hemophilia Research Award for his research on hemophilia.

UCSB researchers show how to make polymeric micro- and nanoparticles
Researchers in the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara have discovered how to make polymeric micro- and nanoparticles in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes using commonly-available lab chemicals and equipment.

Invisible gases form most organic haze in urban, rural areas
A new study involving the University of Colorado at Boulder shows that invisible, reactive gases hovering over Earth's surface, not direct emissions of particulates, form the bulk of organic haze in both urban and rural areas around the world.

Ancient Americans liked it hot -- Smithsonian study traces Mexican cuisine roots to 1,500 years ago
One of the world's tastiest and most popular cuisines, Mexican food also may be one of the oldest.

Fat horses face health problems
A team of researchers in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech has determined that horses face serious health risks because of obesity.

Study identifies characteristics of clinicians likely to order inappropriate prostate screenings
Prostate-specific antigen tests to screen for prostate cancer are frequently performed among patients for whom the PSA test is not shown to be beneficial, and clinicians with certain characteristics are more likely to order such inappropriate screening tests, according to a report in the July 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Japanese professors to receive prestigious physics prize in Manchester
The prestigious European Physical Society High Energy and Particle Physics Prize will be awarded to two Japanese academics at a major conference at the University of Manchester.

Being born in the USA may not be good for Hispanic health
Mexican-Americans born and raised in the United States are less healthy than those who emigrate from Mexico, according to a new study from the University of Southern California.

Gene's activity points to more lethal subtype of AML
A new study shows that the activity of a particular gene can identify people who have a more lethal form of acute myeloid leukemia, singling out those patients who should receive more intense therapy.

Satellite survey links tropical park fires with poverty and corruption
According to the first global assessment of forest fire control effectiveness in tropical parks, poverty and corruption correlate closely with lack of fire protection in tropical moist forests.

Penn researchers discover how microRNAs control protein synthesis
While most RNAs work to create, package and transfer proteins as determined by the cell's immediate needs, miniature pieces of RNA, called microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression.

Significant new method developed for characterizing density wave features
In a paper published in the Astronomical Journal, Dr. Xiaolei Zhang, of the Naval Research Laboratory, and Dr.

Environmental inequality study finds no direct links to segregation, income
A new study examining two possible factors leading to

New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found
Putting bacteria on birth control could stop the spread of drug-resistant microbes, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found a way to do just that.

Uncooked fish linked with liver cancer in Asia -- Graft-versus-host disease
The link between eating uncooked fish and liver cancer in South East Asia -- Graft-versus-host disease: a surge of developments.

New perspectives for the geosciences and climate research
DFG funds unique high-performance accelerator mass spectrometer.

UT Southwestern physician wins prestigious award from American Urological Association
Dr. John McConnell, professor of urology and executive vice president for health system affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has received the American Urological Association's 2007 Eugene Fuller Triennial Prostate Award, becoming only the 11th recipient in the award's 30-year history.

New gene mutation identified in common type of dementia
Researchers have identified a new gene mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia, according to a study published in the July 10, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

From rags to riches, or how undergarments improved medieval literacy
Thought the invention of the printing press led to an upsurge in literacy rates in the later Middle Ages?

A mandate to reduce drug costs
Drug costs cut in Norway following new rule on prescribing.

Selenium supplements linked with increased risk for diabetes in 8-year study
A new analysis of data from a large national study found that people who took a 200 microgram selenium supplement each day for almost eight years had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who took a placebo or dummy pill.

Maynard Olson receives $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize
Maynard Olson, professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, will receive the 2007 Gruber Prize for Genetics.

Arctic Observing Network as a tool for understanding Arctic change
A three-day symposium in Washington, D.C., from July 10-12, 2007, titled

Viagra boosts heart performance and may save lives
Researchers at the University of Alberta have shown that Viagra, the popular drug prescribed for erectile dysfunction, can improve heart function and potentially save the lives of people with specific heart problems.

Polish journalist scoops first prize in prestigious European award
Pawel Walewski, health editor with Poland's biggest selling weekly magazine Polityka, has been awarded the European School of Oncology's Best Cancer Reporter Award for 2007.

Scientists follow familiar TRAIL to new cancer therapy
A new study identifies a combination therapy that may sensitize human cancer cells to a promising treatment currently being used in clinical trials.

Fossilized midges provide clues to future climate change
Fossilized midges have helped scientists at the University of Liverpool identify two episodes of abrupt climate change that suggest the UK climate is not as stable as previously thought.

Multinationals snuffing out some of Britain's most promising new companies
New research from economists at the University of Nottingham's Globalization and Economic Policy Center reveals that multinationals are killing some of Britain's most promising start-ups.

A spoonful of sugar helps your waistline go down
A new study challenges conventional thinking that a high carbohydrate, low fat slimming plan should contain little or no added sugar.

Tiny tweezers and yeast help St. Jude show how cancer drug works
The annoying bulges of an over-wound telephone cord that shorten its reach and limit a caller's motion help to explain why drugs called camptothecins are so effective in killing cancer cells, according to investigators at St.

What's in your microcapsule? Tattoo ink -- and more
Brown University and Freedom-2, a New York City company developing inks to make safe, permanent removable tattoos, have reached a licensing agreement that gives Freedom-2 the rights to use the microencapsulation process perfected in the laboratory of Edith Mathiowitz for the purposes of making tattoo ink.

News briefs from the journal Chest, July 2007
These selected studies have been highlighted from the July issue of the journal Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Researcher -- Electronic health records didn't improve quality of outpatient care
A new study led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that electronic records were not associated with improved quality of outpatient health care in 2003 and 2004.

A compound from olive-pomace oil gets 80 percent slowing down of HIV spread
Researchers from the University of Granada and Hospital Carlos III in Madrid, verified that maslinic acid -- found in wax from olive skin -- inhibits serin-protease, the enzyme used by HIV to release itself from the infected cell into the extracellular environment.

Nanocrystals key to better fuel cells
A new way to make cubic zirconia with very small crystal sizes could be key to making hydrogen fuel cells more reliable and cost-effective.

Scientists gain important insights into acute promyelocytic leukemia
Results from two new studies provide key mechanistic insights into the complex molecular events that cause a deadly type of leukemia.

Racial differences in severity of breast cancer presentation confirmed
African-American women are diagnosed with more advanced breast cancer than Caucasians, according to a new, single hospital study.

Tomorrow's green nanofactories
A new podcast explores how nanotechnology researcher Angela Belcher, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is working with viruses to make them do good things.

Low vitamin D levels may be common in otherwise healthy children
Many otherwise healthy children and adolescents have low vitamin D levels, which may put them at risk for bone diseases such as rickets.

More muscle for the argument to give up smoking
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have got more bad news for smokers.

ACP commends proposed changes to payments for physician work at nursing facilities
The American College of Physicians commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on its recent decision to increase the work relative value units for codes used in the nursing home setting.

Visual impairment associated with increased mortality risk
Individuals age 49 and older with cataract and those age 49 to 74 years with age-related macular degeneration appear to have higher mortality rates over an 11-year period than those without such visual impairments, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Global villain or strategic genius? Neither, asserts new book on Henry Kissinger
While many books have examined the statesman's broad policy impact, the new book

Japan's DNAVEC and IAVI partner on novel AIDS vaccine strategy
The New York-based International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and DNAVEC Corporation today announced a collaboration to jointly develop an AIDS vaccine using DNAVEC's Sendai virus vector technology.

Cosmetic surgery techniques can enhance thyroid surgery results
Cosmetic surgery techniques, such as having a patient sit or stand while incision sites are marked so they blend into natural lines of the body, can improve the aesthetic result of thyroid surgery as well, researchers say.

Depression often untreated in Parkinson's disease patients
While depression appears to be common in early Parkinson's disease (PD), it is often not treated or diagnosed, according to newly released research.

Global warring
Climate change, and the resulting shortage of ecological resources, could be to blame for armed conflicts in the future, according to David Zhang from the University of Hong Kong and colleagues.

World's first Carbon Management MBA launched
The University of East Anglia is launching the world's first MBA targeted at leading the business world into the low carbon economy.

People with early Parkinson's report hallucinations, sleepiness
People with early Parkinson's disease report a higher than anticipated development or worsening of hallucinations, sleepiness, and swelling.

MIT, BU team builds viruses to combat harmful 'biofilms'
In one of the first potential applications of synthetic biology, an emerging field that aims to design and build useful biomolecular systems, researchers from MIT and Boston University are engineering viruses to attack and destroy the surface

NYC syphilis cases double in first quarter of 2007
After leveling off for more than two years, and declining in 2006, new syphilis cases spiked in New York City during the first three months of 2007.

'Virtual' mouse brains now available online
A multi-institutional consortium including Duke University has created startlingly crisp 3-D microscopic views of tiny mouse brains -- unveiled layer by layer -- by extending the capabilities of conventional magnetic resonance imaging.

Patients with soft tissue sarcomas should be treated at high volume centers
Soft tissue sarcomas -- rare tumors of the connective tissue -- should be treated at the few centers which see most cases, in order to give patients the best chance of good outcomes, concludes an analysis of sarcoma management in Florida, published in the Annals of Surgery last month.

Size and positioning of floral anthers facilitates pollen collection by bees
In their work, Dr. Peter Endress and his colleagues found that the sizes and positioning of the anthers facilitates pollen collection by buzz-pollinating bees.

Deakin University study finds no magic pill will solve all erectile problems
Medications are not quite a magic pill to improve the sex lives of men with erectile problems, a Deakin University study has found. 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