Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 24, 2007
New model for autism suggests women carry the disorder and explains age as a risk factor
A new model for understanding how autism is acquired has been developed by a team of researchers led by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Use of pulmonary artery catheter decreases substantially in US
Use of the pulmonary artery catheter decreased by 65 percent in the US between 1993 and 2004, possibly due to growing evidence that this invasive procedure does not reduce the risk of death for hospitalized patients, according to a study in the July 25 issue of JAMA.

Landmark study finds adult Delawareans with disabilities in only 'fair' to 'poor' health
One of every seven adult Delawareans has at least one disability, and the general health of these residents with disabilities is only

Barrow scientists make headlines for their research on fixational eye movements
Susana Martinez-Conde, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience, and Stephen Macknik, Ph.D., director of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology at Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Prenatal alcohol exposure alters brain activity in the frontal-striatal areas
Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure does not always lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS); sometimes it can lead to cognitive and behavioral deficits in the absence of craniofacial features needed to make an FAS diagnosis.

Outcome of prostate cancer surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon
According to a new study published online today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer patients treated by highly experienced surgeons are much more likely to be cancer-free five years after surgery than patients treated by surgeons with less experience.

Novel approach for rapid identification and development of malaria vaccines
Taking advantage of the recently sequenced parasite genome, together with bioinformatics and peptide synthesis, Dr.

Surprisingly, chemists find, some solvents can alter chemical bonds
New University at Buffalo research demonstrates that some solvents can significantly enhance certain acid-base interactions and strengthen the bonding interaction between two molecules when one is electron-deficient and one is electron-rich.

Survey of hurricane preparedness finds one-third on high risk coast will refuse evacuation order
In new survey of people in high-risk hurricane areas conducted by Harvard School of Public Health one-third (31 percent) said if told by govt. to evacuate due to a major hurricane, they would not leave.

Detecting transmissibility of avian influenza virus in human households
Authors from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have used data from a small but well-defined study of H7N7 avian influenza virus transmission in human households to estimate transmissibility in humans living in close contact.

Enzyme discovery sheds light on vitamin D
Surprising findings by Queen's University researchers have shed new light on how the

Radiation therapy combined with microsurgery shows promise for curing injured spinal cord
Research on rats with crushed spinal cords, similar to human injury, reveals that treatment soon after injury combining radiation therapy to destroy harmful cells and microsurgery to drain excess fluids significantly increases the body's ability to repair the injured cord leading to permanent recovery from injury, according to the study published in the July 18 peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE.

Name and designer logo revealed for Paolo Nespoli's Shuttle mission to the ISS
ESA and the Italian Space Agency today announced that they have chosen the name for the upcoming mission of astronaut Paolo Nespoli, a member of the STS-120 crew assigned to a shuttle launch next October.

CTRC enrolls first patients in novel phase II study for sarcoma -- living virus destroys cancer cell
The Cancer Therapy & Research Center Institute for Drug Development, in collaboration with Oncolytics Biotech Inc., a biotechnology company, has enrolled the first two patients in a new phase II clinical study for patients with various types of sarcomas that have metastasized to the lung.

Chandra catches 'piranha' black holes
Supermassive black holes have been discovered to grow more rapidly in young galaxy clusters, according to new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

University inks agreement with EDF
The University of Manchester and energy group EDF have signed a framework research and development agreement, which will pave the way for important new studies into energy networks and generation.

Scientists discover new way to study nanostructures
Physicists at Georgia Tech have discovered a phenomenon which allows measurement of the mechanical motion of nanostructures by using the AC Josephson effect.

Is nutrient loading a smaller problem than we think?
A recent journal article in Estuaries and Coasts suggests that the problems with coastal sea grass destruction may not be so much due to eutrophication, as is commonly believed, but due to the depletion of top-level consumers in coastal and estuarine ecosystems.

University of Leeds strengthens China links in membrane and neurobiology
The UK's largest academic group of membrane and neurobiologists is joining forces with leading scientists from the strongest research groups and institutions across China.

My bad! Why we feel guilt in the first place
New research suggests that although it feels bad, guilt plays a critical role in promoting prosocial behavior.

Use of hip protector does not reduce risk of hip fracture for nursing home residents
Use of an energy-absorbing hip protector did not provide a protective effect against hip fracture for nursing home residents, adding to increasing evidence that hip protectors, as currently designed, are not effective for preventing hip fractures, according to a study in the July 25 issue of JAMA.

Breast cancer and hormone therapy -- A looking-glass mirror?
A new study raises the issue of a direct link between breast cancer incidence and use of postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT).

UC Irvine scientists unveil the 'face' of a new memory
A century-old dream of neuroscientists to visualize a memory has been fulfilled, as University of California, Irvine researchers, using newly developing microscopic techniques, have captured first-time images of the changes in brain cell connections following a common form of learning.

Drinking and driving -- Immediate removal of a driver's license saves hundreds of lives per year
In this issue: Alcohol-impaired driving continues to cause thousands of deaths per year, New findings indicate that immediate suspension of a driver's license is a highly effective deterrence, and Timing appears to be even more important than the severity of the sanction: the quicker the better.

Faster-acting antidepressants closer to becoming a reality
An earlier study showed that ketamine, used experimentally, kicked depression in hours instead of weeks.

Anger, depression much higher among jailed teen girls than boys
A new study reveals that girls in juvenile detention centers face surprisingly different psychological issues than average teen girls and, in some ways, more severe problems than incarcerated boys.

Other highlights in the July 24 JNCI
Also in the July 24 JNCI are studies on the effects of hormone therapy and mammography use on breast cancer, the roles of sex hormones and breast density in developing breast cancer, and the link between broccoli and aggressive prostate cancer.

Baltimore inner-city homes unsafe for young children, Hopkins study finds
Infants and young children living in Baltimore's inner-city homes are at risk for serious perils, including fires, falls and poisoning, according to a small but revealing study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

From UF and IBM, a blueprint for 'smart' health care
What people have come to expect in cell phones and personal communicators, may soon become common in health-care devices, products at home and in medical offices.

Picky eating potentially perilous for bats
Working in the Department of Ecology and Organismal Biology, Justin Boyles and Jonathan Storm examined the possibility of a link between dietary specialization and the risk of extinction for bats in Australia, Europe and North America.

In a bug-eat-bug world, researchers are using a unique Chinese import to battle soybean aphids
The days of soybean aphids feasting on soybean fields may be numbered, thanks to a unique import from China.

Researchers produce firsts with bursts of light
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have generated extremely short pulses of light that are the strongest of their type ever produced and could prove invaluable in probing the ultra-fast motion of atoms and electrons.

Seeing colors -- New study sheds light on sensory system quirk
In the psychological phenomenon known as

Eat fish -- especially if you drink high levels of alcohol
In this issue: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are a necessary part of an individual's healthy diet; New findings indicate that binge-drinking men have lower intakes of n-3 fats, one type of EFA; and This low intake exacerbates the already very low EFA levels.

How to structure a complex body plan
In a study published in the July 25 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, a group of scientists led by Dr.

First issue of International Commerce Review now available
Springer has just published the first issue of the new International Commerce Review, the official publication of the International Commerce Institute.

NCRR launches national network to connect investigators based at minority institutions
The National Center for Research Resources launched a Translational Research Network that will increase the opportunity for multisite clinical and translational research among minority and other collaborating institutions throughout the nation.

Additional mammogram readers improve breast cancer detection
Mammogram readings by both radiologists and nonphysician technologists improve breast cancer detection rates, according to a study in the July 24 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New diabetes report documents devastating effects in New York City
The diabetes epidemic is taking a large and growing toll on New York City, a new Health Department report shows, as death rates, debilitating complications, and hospitalization costs soar.

Switchable adhesive
How geckos, insects and other animals can switch off and on adhesion is not yet understood in detail.

Monell researchers find metabolic defect in liver that can lead to obesity
Researchers at the Monell Center have identified a genetically transmitted metabolic defect that can lead to obesity.

Report highlights progress toward ecosystem sustainability in fish management
A new report says the key to success in moving toward ecosystem management of our marine fisheries is to build on existing programs in a deliberate fashion and with increased scientific research necessary to support sound decisions.

Renewable energy wrecks environment
Renewable does not mean green. That is the claim of Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University in New York.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue: Activating transcription factor 3 and regeneration, Making synapse with new spines takes time, Recognizing human bodies, Upright and inverted, and A case for cytosolic dopamine neurotoxicity.

Older is better -- Top-10 comparison of diabetes drugs give metformin top grade
Type 2 diabetes drug taken orally and in widespread use for more than a decade has been found to have distinct advantages over nine other, mostly newer medications used to control the chronic disease, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Brief motivational interviews work best long term for college students sent to alcohol counseling
Students who break university rules on alcohol and drug use in residence halls are often sent to counseling or educational programs.

Study finds contaminated water reaching Florida's offshore keys
A new University of Georgia study finds that sewage-contaminated groundwater is reaching the offshore reefs of the Upper Florida Keys, possibly threatening corals and human health.

Top researchers criticize new meditation and health study
Top researchers in the US and abroad are highly critical of a recent government-funded report that claims meditation does not improve health.

Families with autistic children connect with researchers, health care professionals
Starting out in 1998 with 300 attendees, the National Autism Conference at Penn State is one of the largest conferences of its kind -- not just in the nation, but globally, attracting a diverse audience, including educational and behavioral health professionals, as well as those on the autistic spectrum (AS) and their family members.

Immediate license suspension for DWI saves 800 lives each year
State laws that require immediate suspension of the driver's license for failing an alcohol breath test have had a deterrent effect on drunk driving and saved 800 lives from fatal crashes each year, new research shows.

Drug protects brain cells in Huntington's disease model, researchers find
A drug used in some countries to treat the symptoms of Huntington's disease prevents death of brain cells in mice genetically engineered to mimic the hereditary condition, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Success rates for prostate cancer depend on experience of surgeon
Surgeons performing operations to remove patients' prostate glands -- the primary treatment for prostate cancer -- go through a steep learning curve, according to a study published online July 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

ICDs effective in helping to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients with certain heart disorder
High-risk patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appear to have reduced risk of sudden cardiac death with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that terminates dangerous heart rhythm disorders, according to a study in the July 25 issue of JAMA.

Camera-shy deer caught for first time
A little-known species of deer called a large-antlered muntjac has been photographed for the first time in the wild, according to a survey team from the Nam Theun 2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
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