Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2007
ValleyCare and UCSF work to enhance health services in tri-valley region
ValleyCare Health System and UCSF have signed a letter of intent to enhance health-care services for women and children in the tri-valley region of the East Bay.

Scleroderma outlook improves as survival increases
Individuals with scleroderma are living significantly longer today, compared with 30 years ago, and the physicians who treat this rare disease of connective tissue hope the newer drugs now on the market may extend lives even further.

Americans trail Chinese in understanding another person's perspective
People from Western cultures such as the United States are particularly challenged in their ability to understand someone else's point of view because they are part of a culture that encourages individualism, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

Fragmented structure of seafloor faults may dampen effects
Many earthquakes in the deep ocean are much smaller in magnitude than expected.

New lens device will shrink huge light waves to pinpoints
Manipulating light waves, or electromagnetic radiation, has led to many technologies, from cameras to lasers to medical imaging machines that can see inside the human body.

The MUHC is out on the playing field with an innovative study on soccer headgears
From small scrapes to hospital emergencies, playing soccer can be painful, and even dangerous.

One man's junk may be a genomic treasure
Scientists have only recently begun to speculate that what's referred to as

Higher efficiency organic solar cell created by UCSB Nobel Laureate and research team
Using plastics to harvest the energy of the sun just got a significant boost in efficiency thanks to a discovery made at UC Santa Barbara.

ASTRO announces 2007 Fellows
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology is pleased to announce its 2007 class of ASTRO Fellows.

Mental health: Neglected in the UK
Many mental health wards in the UK are at best counter-therapeutic and at worst unsafe, says an editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Safer shipping by predicting sand wave behavior
Dutch researcher Joris van den Berg has developed a mathematical model to predict the movement of sand waves.

Laser used to help fight root canal bacteria: ADA Journal
High-tech dental lasers used mainly to prepare cavities for restoration now can help eliminate bacteria in root canals, according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Groin injuries averted by preseason injury prevention
Groin injury accounts for a large amount of lost playing time, especially in soccer players.

ACMG recognizes progress made in newborn screening
In support of the latest March of Dimes Newborn Screening Report Card, the American College of Medical Genetics urges every state to require complete testing of all newborns for a

JCI table of contents: July 12, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 12, 2007, in the JCI, including:

Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
When an invasive bacteria ravaged the male embryos of the Blue Moon butterfly, it left populations that were nearly entirely female.

Cancer cures could work for canines and humans
One of the major issues associated with longer life expectancy in man and his best friend is an increase in the incidence of cancer.

Penn researchers find a new target for muscular dystrophy drug therapy
Researchers report how the gene for utrophin, which codes for a protein very similar to dystrophin, the defective protein in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, puts the brakes on its own expression in muscle cells, thereby suggesting a new target for treatment.

Unraveling the physics of DNA's double helix
Researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering have uncovered a missing link in scientists' understanding of the physical forces that give DNA its famous double helix shape.

Domestic violence, psychological distress are recipe for higher unemployment
The scars created by domestic violence persist long after the bruises have healed, leaving some adolescent mothers psychologically distressed and increasing their chances of being unemployed, according to a new study.

Focus: Ensuring appropriate prescribing to and avoidance of drug interactions in elderly people
More clinical studies are needed to address the challenges of appropriate prescribing of drugs to, and avoidance of drug interactions in elderly people.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
In this issue: Energy -- Power forward, Enviornment -- Award-winning recipe, Homeland Security -- Bio watchdog, and Biology -- Eucalyptus sequencing.

Simulated crop provides answer to irrigation issues
South Asia's agricultural performance continues to be impressive, but evidence suggests that it's coming at a cost: their groundwater use for irrigation is becoming increasingly dangerous to the environment.

Adding folic acid to flour significantly reduces congenital malformations
Dr. Philippe De Wals of Université Laval today publishes a study clearly indicating that the addition of folic acid to flours has led to a 46 percent drop in the incidence of congenital neural tube deformation (mainly anencephaly and spina bifida) in Canada.

Investment in infrastructure gets Uganda up and running
Investment by the Ugandan government in physical infrastructure will pay itself back says Dutch-sponsored researcher Aldret Albert Musisi.

Major breakthrough in understanding how HIV interferes with infected cell division
Dr. Éric A. Cohen, a researcher at the IRCM, and his team, will publish on Friday, July 13, in PLoS Pathogens a discovery that could lead to the development of a new class of drugs to combat HIV.

High blood pressure medication strategy proves effective in Hispanic women
Researchers studied 22,500 patients enrolled in the landmark International Verapamil SR-Trandolapril study, known as INVEST, and tracked a subgroup of 5,017 Hispanic and 4,710 non-Hispanic white women who were randomly assigned to a drug strategy containing either a sustained release form of the calcium antagonist verapamil or the beta-blocker atenolol.

The truth about aging
For centuries people have been puzzled by the inevitability of human aging.

Aggressive efforts needed to curb maternal obesity
Most women get it -- smoking and drinking don't mix with pregnancy, but not so with excess weight before and during pregnancy.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals submits supplemental new drug application for Lubiprostone to treat IBS-C
Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that it has submitted a supplemental New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration to seek market approval of a lower strength of lubiprostone to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

Emigration of unskilled workers increases child labor
A provocative new study appearing in the July issue of the Journal of Labor Economics finds that emigration of unskilled adult workers from poor countries to rich countries increases the incidence of child labor.

Friendly young people in particular drink under pressure
Men, extrovert people and those with positive expectations regarding alcohol use drink more than others, says Dutch psychologist Sander Bot.

Speed bumps less important than potholes for graphene
Researchers from NIST and Georgia Tech have created detailed maps of electron interference patterns in graphene to understand how defects in the two-dimensional carbon crystal affect charge flow through the material.

Rebel with a cause: Why certain products are used as markers of difference
Teens want to distinguish themselves from their parents. Rich Brits stopped buying Burberry once it became the brand of choice for soccer hooligans and Shanghai urbanites avoid the Volkswagen model that is preferred by the suburban nouveau riche.

AGU Journal Highlights -- July 12, 2007
Articles featured in the upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters include

Cells take risks with their identities
Contrary to textbook models, many genes that should be

Trial examines diaphragm use in preventing HIV in women
A clinical trial involving 5,045 women in South Africa and Zimbabwe found no statistical difference in the rate of new HIV infections in the two study arms: those who received a diaphragm plus lubricant along with male condoms for their partners, and those who only received male condoms.

How plants learned to respond to changing environments
A team of John Innes Center scientists lead by Professor Nick Harberd have discovered how plants evolved the ability to adapt to changes in climate and environment.

Automated tailgating cuts pollution
An automated way of allowing cars to drive much closer to each other in heavy moving traffic, so-called platooning, could cut congestion, save fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to research published today in Inderscience's International Journal of the Environment and Pollution.

Brown and Paris VI launch collaborative degree programs in math
Following on a long history of informal collaboration and exchange, the math departments at Brown University and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) are launching a formal academic affiliation.

Context affects opinion about novel energy sources
Opinions people have about innovations are influenced by the context in which they form their opinion.

Liverpool amongst first in UK to install unique DNA sequencing technology
Unique technology, that uses the enzymes of fireflies to read the genetic code of DNA, has been installed at the University of Liverpool.

Study shows an electronic medical records system can pay for itself within 16 months
A new study to be published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that one academic medical center recouped its investment in electronic health records within 16 months.

Neoprene sleeve equal to knee brace during recovery from ACL surgery
Approximately 100,000 ACL reconstructions are performed each year. After surgery, patients who return to sport often wear a hard brace or neoprene sleeve to protect the knee.

IAVI Satellite Symposium -- Accelerating development of replicating viral vectors for AIDS vaccines
Top vaccine experts and epidemiologists review critical approaches to a breaking new field -- using replicating vectors to develop AIDS vaccines.

Children with Tourette's quicker at certain mental grammar skills
Children with Tourette's syndrome may have to put up with some unwanted movement and verbal tics, but neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, have found that they are much quicker at processing certain mental grammar skills than are children without the disorder.

A walking robot goes mountaineering
Scientists around Florentin Wörgötter, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of Göttingen, have simulated the neuronal principles that form the basis of this adaptivity in a walking robot.

Robots at your bedside, coupled with traditional surgeon visits, may get you home faster
New research published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that robotic telerounding may significantly reduce the length-of-stay of patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery if used to supplement standard postoperative visits, or

Semiconductor membrane mimics biological behavior of ion channels
A semiconductor membrane designed by researchers at the University of Illinois could offer more flexibility and better electrical performance than biological membranes.

Economical and cleaner cars with lean-burn catalytic converter
Dutch researcher Karen Scholz has taken a careful look at the properties of a new type of catalytic converter found in cars.

Bak protein sets stressed cells on suicide path, researchers show
When a cell is seriously stressed, say by a heart attack, stroke or cancer, a protein called Bak just may set it up for suicide, researchers have found.

Threats to hope -- Desperation affects reasoning about product information
When our hopes are threatened, we often turn to the marketplace for help.

EPA foregoes opportunity to improve nanotechnology oversight
In a new document released by the US Environmental Protection Agency, TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances-General Approach, the EPA states that it will maintain its practice of determining whether nanoscale substances qualify as new chemicals under TSCA on a case-by-case basis.

'Shoulda, woulda, coulda ...'
If you're like most people, you've probably experienced a shoulda-woulda-coulda moment.

Sequential and combination chemotherapy equally effective in treating advanced colorectal cancer
Many patients with incurable advanced colorectal cancer could be offered a more gentle treatment strategy starting with a single chemotherapy drug, as an alternative to current standard initial combination chemotherapy, without compromising their survival.

New treatment model for HIV
In this study, clinical responses to antiretroviral drug therapy are simulated for the first time, and the model is then applied to IM therapy.

Src inhibitors may prove beneficial in breast cancer therapy
Estrogen, which binds estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha), is a risk factor for breast cancer development.

Evidence underlying repeated courses of steroids for preterm birth is unsound
Researchers in this week's BMJ question whether giving repeated courses of steroid drugs to mothers at risk of preterm delivery is based on sound evidence.

Emotional memories can be suppressed with practice, new CU-Boulder study says
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows people have the ability to suppress emotional memories with practice, which has implications for those suffering from conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression.

Use of diaphragm plus condoms for HIV prevention no more effective than condoms alone
The use of diaphragms and lubricant gel in addition to condoms for HIV prevention in sexually active African women is no more effective than condoms alone.
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