Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 16, 2007
First of its kind report on how children with brain tumors perform at school
While children who have had brain tumors perform worse in school than healthy kids, grades in foreign language are the most affected and girls have a harder time than boys in getting good grades, according to a study published in the July 17, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Nano propellers pump with proper chemistry
Chemists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have created a theoretical blueprint for assembling a nanoscale propeller with molecule-sized blades.

Acrux delivers on male testosterone lotion
Acrux has taken a significant step forward towards becoming a world leader in the simple and effective delivery of male testosterone replacement therapy, following the success of a clinical trial with its innovative testosterone under-arm lotion.

Scientists take next step in understanding potential target for ovarian cancer treatment
A traffic cop protein in the cell may have an even more important role: transporting a messenger protein that tells components in the nucleus to stop cell growth.

Lower mortality rates associated with hospitals that rank highest on quality of care indicators
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that patients who go to hospitals ranked higher according to specific quality measures, have a lower chance of dying than patients treated at lower-ranked hospitals.

ASTRO names leading head and neck surgeon honorary member
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology is pleased to announce that Randal S.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
In this issue: Combined immunization methods may offer long-term protection against H. pylori infection, New ferret model may measure pandemic potential of H5N1 influenza viruses in humans, and Defense mechanism found in infected ticks may protect against harmful parasite.

Surgical technique helps to reanimate paralyzed faces
A surgical technique known as temporalis tendon transfer, in conjunction with intense physical therapy before and after surgery, may help reanimate the features of those with facial paralysis, according to a report in the July/August issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What determines the speed at which birds fly?
Measurement of flight speeds of 138 species of bird reveals that mass and wing loading do not scale according to aerodynamic theory but vary significantly depending on phylogeny.

The origin of human bipedalism
While no one has an authoritative answer, anthropologists have long theorized that early humans began walking on two legs as a way to reduce locomotor energy costs.

Microscopic jets, diamonds unlikely on Uranus, and amazing mosquito legs
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of Physical Review Journals: Physicists add jet propulsion to microscopic styrene balls; There may be rings around Uranus but no diamonds to go with them; Mosquito legs are a marvel of nano engineering, making the insects some of nature's best water walkers.

ACMG Foundation announces 2007-2008 Luminex/ACMGF award recipient
The American College of Medical Genetics Foundation recently awarded Stuart Schwartz, Ph.D., F.A.C.M.G., of the University of Chicago the 2007-2008 Luminex Molecular Diagnostics/ACMGF Award at the ACMG 2007 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Crystal structure enables tailoring of pharmaceuticals against asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to elucidate the crystal structure of a human membrane protein -- LTC4 synthase -- which has a major influence on the development of asthma.

Poor sleep associated with cognitive decline in elderly women
Women who experienced cognitive decline over a 13 to 15 year period after age 65 were more likely to sleep poorly than women whose cognition did not decline, according to a study led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Study finds COPD patients taking inhaled steroids are at greater risk for severe pneumonia
Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are increasingly being prescribed inhaled corticosteroids to control exacerbations of the disease, but a new study finds that the anti-inflammatory drugs increase the chances that these patients will be hospitalized for pneumonia.

Poor ventilation and crowding in Nunavut homes associated with lung infections in Inuit children
Inadequate ventilation and overcrowding may contribute to the high incidence of lower respiratory tract lung infections in young Inuit children.

Report finds forest enterprises stifled by red tape, putting forests, incomes at risk
A new study reports that community forest enterprises represent an invisible investment of $2.5 billion in management and conservation in some of the planet's richest forest habitats.

Patients not complying with treatment a universal problem
Patients not complying with their dermatologic treatment is a universal problem that doctors need to address, according to Steven Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in an editorial published in the current issue of Archives of Dermatology.

Certain type of colitis now more common, severe among hospitalized patients
The rate of cases of colitis (colon inflammation) caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile more than doubled among patients hospitalized in the United States between 1993 and 2003, and the illness was more severe and associated with an increased mortality rate, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Stem cell specialists face questioning
A top panel of experts will face questions of public and scientific concern on stem cell research, during an international conference being held at the University of Manchester this week.



New research provides hope for childhood cancer sufferers
Scientists investigating drug therapies for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia have presented new data demonstrating for the very first time that a small molecule called ABT-737 can increase the effectiveness of standard therapies.

Evidence found for novel brain cell communication
An article published today, July 16, 2007, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides strong evidence for a novel type of communication between nerve cells in the brain.

Pediatricians say advice to obese kids and families falls on deaf ears
Doctors feel their conversations with obese children and their families about losing weight don't make a difference because it's so difficult to change eating and exercise habits.

Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma on the rise, VA/Brown research shows
A rare skin cancer is becoming increasingly common in the United States, according to new research from the Providence VA Medical Center and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Wobbly polarity is key to preventing magnetic avalanches on disk drives
New research brings models of magnetic avalanches much closer to reality, helping physicists understand both why they happen and why they don't run out of control, wiping disk drives clean.

Vaccine trials inject hope into koala's future
The first Australian trials of a vaccine developed by Queensland University of Technology that could save Australia's iconic koala from contracting chlamydia are planned to begin later this year.

Accident-prone? Scientists link brain function to knee injuries
A torn anterior cruciate ligament is among an athlete's most-dreaded injuries, often requiring surgery and months of rehab.

Jaydeep Bardhan receives prestigious Howes Scholar Award in computational science
Dr. Jaydeep Bardhan of the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has been named a Frederick A.

Nasal cannula may be viable treatment for sufferers of sleep apnea
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that symptoms in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and hypopnea can be significantly reduced through treatment with nasal insufflation, using a nasal cannula to deliver warm, humidified air at a high flow rate.

Study finds HIV protease inhibitor drugs may adversely affect the scaffolding of the cell nucleus
UCLA scientists, along with collaborators from Purdue University, have demonstrated that HIV protease inhibitors -- crucial drugs for HIV treatment -- block a cellular enzyme important for generating the structural scaffolding for the cell nucleus.

New publication presents latest in HIV/TB treatment, research
With HIV infection driving a deadly resurgence of tuberculosis, a new publication provides up-to-date recommendations for clinicians facing the many challenges of treating patients with both of these two complex diseases.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- July 11, 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.

U of M study says good times, investor optimism encourages fraud in the corporate sector
Although it seems counterintuitive to predict increasing fraud in a healthy, booming economic market, a new theoretical paper just published in the July issue of the Review of Financial Studies explores that scenario and identifies other key factors that contribute to the probability of fraud in different market and business cycles.

Rates of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma increase over 30 years
The cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma became substantially more common in the United States between 1973 and 2002, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Philadelphia ecologist receives top Mongolia honor
The land of legendary warrior Ghengis Khan has bestowed its Friendship Medal on a veteran scientist whose climate-change studies have contributed to the growing understanding of global warming.

Combating counterfeit Rx from China
Agencies worldwide are cracking down on counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and much of the focus has been on China, where an official was recently executed for approving fake medicines.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 17, 2007
In this issue: Review finds older diabetes drugs have similar or superior effects to newer, pricier medications; Gonorrhea is becoming resistant to latest antibiotic; and Study: Low prevalence of gonorrhea, heavy incidence of chlamydia in US.

Metabolic syndrome -- don't blame the belly fat
Abdominal fat, the spare tire that many of us carry, has long been implicated as a primary suspect in causing the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes the most dangerous heart attack risk factors: prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and changes in cholesterol.

It's in their genes: Study of twins connects smoking addiction with major depression
Saint Louis University researcher finds genetic link between smoking, depression and conduct disorder.

Study shows no change in sense of taste after tonsil removal
In a small study of patients undergoing tonsillectomy, or removal of the tonsils, none reported an ongoing dysfunction in their sense of taste following the procedure, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Eye test causes severe lethargy in infants
New research suggests that an eyedrop used to diagnose a rare syndrome in infants can cause severe lethargy lasting up to 10 hours and requiring hospital admission and oxygen administration.

Would you like fries with that?
Exploiting interactions between food and drugs could dramatically lower the costs of some anti-cancer drugs -- and many other medications.

NRL scientists demonstrate efficient electrical spin injection into silicon
NRL scientists have efficiently injected a current of spin-polarized electrons from a ferromagnetic metal contact into silicon, producing a large electron spin polarization in the silicon.

Penn researchers identify new combination therapy that promotes cancer cell death
To test the ability of combined therapy, researchers administered TRAIL, a tumor necrosis factor, and sorafenib, an inhibitor currently used to treat renal cancer, to mice with colon carcinomas.

Older women with memory problems at increased risk for restless nights
Older women experiencing memory loss are more likely than women without cognitive decline to have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, according to a study published in the July 17, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Immune system 'escape hatch' gives cancer cells traction
Scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere say they have mapped out an escape route that cancers use to evade the body's immune system, allowing the disease to spread unchecked.

Diabetics experience more complications following trauma
Individuals with diabetes appear to spend more days in the intensive care unit, use more ventilator support and have more complications during hospitalization for trauma than non-diabetics, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Extreme weather monitoring boosted by space sensor
The first soil moisture maps with a spatial resolution of one km are available online for the entire southern African subcontinent.

One giant leap for space fashion -- MIT designs sleek, skintight spacesuit
In the 40 years that humans have been traveling into space, the suits they wear have changed very little.

Scientists isolate chemical in curry that may help immune system clear plaques found in Alzheimer's
Researchers isolated bisdemethoxycurcumin, the active ingredient of curcuminoids -- a natural substance found in turmeric root -- that may help boost the immune system in clearing amyloid beta, a peptide that forms the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease.

New ACS podcast debuts with science news for broad general audience
The American Chemical Society Office of Communications has launched a podcast, Science Elements, to bring news of scientific advances from ACS's prestigious journals to a broad public audience.

Kids with OSA: Marker for cardiovascular disease may also indicate severity of cognitive disability
C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that is often used to detect cardiovascular disease, may also indicate cognitive impairment in children with obstructive sleep apnea, according to a new study of children ages 5 to 7.

Clues to future evolution of HIV come from African green monkeys
Monkey viruses related to HIV may have swept across Africa more recently than previously thought, according to research from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

6 out of 10 doctors aren't frustrated that patients can't lower cholesterol
International study finds that less than half of patients meet cholesterol-lowering goals, but the majority of doctors are not worried by this low statistic.

Study identifies energy efficiency as reason for evolution of upright walking
A new study provides support for the hypothesis that walking on two legs, or bipedalism, evolved because it used less energy than quadrupedal knucklewalking.

Program announced to improve care in developing areas for patients with blood disorders
To improve the quality of medical care in developing countries, a new partnership between the American Society of Hematology and Health Volunteers Overseas aims to recruit and support physician volunteers to educate and train health-care providers in those countries on the treatment of patients with blood disorders.
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