Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 02, 2007
Vicente Fox Center and RAND launch joint program to find policies to combat poverty
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox and RAND Corp. Executive Vice President Michael Rich today signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint research program that will study ways to fight poverty and aid vulnerable groups in Mexico and Latin America.

Zinc lozenges an ineffective treatment for colds
Despite 20 years of research, the benefits of zinc lozenges as a therapy for the common cold have not been proven.

Study cautions use of cardiac CTA in children
Cardiac-gated CTA radiation doses can vary and be as high as 28.4 mSv (10 times the annual natural background radiation) in children, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. and Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calf.

ASU researchers partner with UOP to make biofuel for military jets a reality
Arizona State University researchers are part of a team led by UOP, LLC., a Honeywell company, that is looking at alternative sources of oil that could be used to produce Jet Propellant 8 or military jet fuel.

UK government unlikely to meet MRSA targets
The UK government is unlikely to meet its target of reducing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus rates by 50 percent by 2008, says an editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Overstretched armed forces leading to mental health problems
Prolonged periods of deployment among Britain's armed forces is associated with mental health problems, finds a study published online today.

Cognitive impairment link found in popular medications
Long-term use of histamine2 receptor antagonists, one class of drugs that blocks stomach acid, may be associated with cognitive impairment in older African-American adults.

Simple screening technique for cervical cancer can reduce incidence in poor countries
Visual inspection using acetic acid is an effective method of screening for cervical cancer in developing countries, and could make women in these countries up to 35 percent less likely to die from the disease, conclude authors of an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Molecule with a split personality
Polish researchers made a porphyrin-like ring that can do something its paper analogue can't: the new molecule can switch back and forth between the one-sided Möbius topology and a

Geisinger named 2007 Computerworld Honors Laureate
Geisinger Health System, a national innovator in information technology in health care, recently was named a prestigious 2007 Computerworld Honors Laureate.

Universe's stringy birth revealed by young Czech scientist in EURYI winning project
The dream of theoretical physics is to unite behind a common theory that explains everything, but that goal has remained highly elusive.

Should patients be paid to take medicines?
Last week, it was announced that drug addicts in England are to be given shopping vouchers for complying with treatment programs.

Planet orbiting a giant red star discovered with Hobby-Eberly telescope
A planet orbiting a giant red star has been discovered by an astronomy team led by Penn State's Alex Wolszczan, who in 1992 discovered the first planets ever found outside our solar system.

Heat-related deaths in middle, high school football players spikes in 2006
Every year, Fred Mueller compiles a sports list, but unlike popular preseason picks or a glamorous hot-recruit sheet, nobody envies him this task.

Early treatment with interferon beta-1b can delay progression of multiple sclerosis
Early treatment of multiple sclerosis patients with interferon beta-1b can prevent the disabling development of the condition, conclude authors of an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Gastroenterologist-directed sedation safe and effective for endoscopic procedures
The use of an evidence-based sedation protocol for endoscopic procedures improves the quality of practice and reduces the incidence of sedation-related adverse events, according to an

Porphyrin electron-transfer reactions observed at the molecular level
Researchers at Temple University have observed and documented electron-transfer reactions on an electrode surface at the single molecule level for the first time, a discovery which could have future relevance to areas such as molecular electronics, electrochemistry, biology, catalysis, information storage and solar energy conversion.

Exposure to war crimes may stymie efforts to achieve peace
People who have been traumatized by exposure to war crimes have a tendency to choose violent means and reject nonviolent means to achieve peace, says a joint Tulane University/University of California-Berkeley study in the Aug.

Immune mechanism could help explain transient immune suppression often seen in acute infections
Scientists have discovered that at the same time the immune system is vigorously attacking invading viruses or bacteria, it is unexpectedly reducing its production of a particular type of factor that directs the movement of immune cells.

Forecasting system provides flood warnings to vulnerable residents of Bangladesh
As catastrophic floods worsen in Bangladesh a pilot forecasting program that was developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Georgia Institute of Technology is being used to warn thousands of vulnerable residents in selected flood-prone regions.

Engineers develop way of detecting problems with artificial hip joints
A more efficient way of detecting loosened artificial hip implants, which affect thousands of people every year, has been developed.

Unlocking proteins from their cellular shell
Applying physical stress to cells, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that everyday forces can alter the structure of proteins tucked within cells, unfold them and expose new targets in the fight against disease.

Aging adults have choices when confronting perceived mental declines
Aging adults may joke about memory lapses and

Screening improves detection of major stroke risk factor
Actively screening people aged 65 or over in the community improves the detection of atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm), a major risk factor for stroke, finds a study published online today.

Iraqi attitudes continue to shift toward secular values
The political values of Iraqis are increasingly secular and nationalistic, according to a series of surveys of nationally representative samples of the population from December 2004 to March 2007.

2006 tectonic plate motion reversal near Acapulco puzzles earthquake scientists
A reversal of tectonic plate motion between Acapulco and Mexico City in the last half of 2006 probably didn't ease seismic strain in the region or the specter of a major earthquake anticipated there in the coming decades, says a University of Colorado at Boulder professor.

Local campaigns are building transnational movements, but global citizenship remains a challenge
A new booklet entitled

Predicting outcomes before and after liver transplants
Two studies examine whether sodium levels can be used to predict mortality while waiting for and following transplant

Ceramic tubes could cut greenhouse gas emissions from power stations
Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generating stations could be cut to almost zero by controlling the combustion process with an advanced ceramic material, claim engineers.

Human rights: Vital for health
The relationship between health and human rights is explored in a four-paper series beginning in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Biologists at Tufts University discover 1 reason why chromosomes break, often leading to cancer
In the past 10 years, researchers in genome stability have observed that many kinds of cancer are associated with areas where human chromosomes break.

UI researcher challenges explanations of children's 'word spurt'
Researchers have long known that at about 18 months children experience a vocabulary explosion, suddenly learning words at a much faster rate.

IEEE-USA president urges Congress to pass competitiveness legislation
IEEE-USA President John Meredith urges the US House and US Senate to pass the conference report of the

Next-generation neurotechnology possible with NIH grant
Brown University, with research partners at Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems Inc.

Scientists prove that disputed Korean stem cell line comes from an unfertilized egg and not cloning
Can a genetic signature identify the origin of a human stem cell line?

New survey documents the headaches of computerized medicine
Clinical information technology systems -- especially those known in the health-care industry as computerized provider order entry systems -- promise to improve health outcomes, reduce medical errors and increase cost efficiency, but hospitals adopting them must plan for

Coordinated care means faster treatment for rural heart attack patients
Heart attack patients as far as 150 miles away from a 24-hour emergency heart care center were able to receive treatment for blocked arteries within or faster than current recommended time frames, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cause and treatment of pediatric heart failure
Indiana University School of Medicine has received $11.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to look at cause and treatment of heart failure in children.

Where broken DNA is repaired
Intricate DNA repair mechanisms in cell nuclei are constantly working to fix damaged DNA, but for mammalian cells, exactly where the repair work happens has been an unanswered question.

Beyond Mesopotamia: A radical new view of human civilization reported in Science
A radically expanded view of the origin of civilization, extending far beyond Mesopotamia, is reported by journalist Andrew Lawler in the Aug.

Immunity in social amoeba suggests ancient beginnings
Finding an immune system in the social amoeba (Dictyostelium discoideum) is not only surprising but it also may prove a clue as to what is necessary for an organism to become multicellular, said the Baylor College of Medicine researcher who led the research that appears today in the journal Science.

Discredited Korean embryonic stem cells' true origins revealed
A report from researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute sheds new light on a now-discredited Korean embryonic stem cell line, setting the historical record straight and also establishing a much-needed set of standards for characterizing human embryonic stem cells.

Controlling stress helps fight chronic diseases such as lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease affecting more than 5 million people around the world.

Improving blood safety worldwide
Advances in blood safety and transfusion medicine are discussed in a three-part series and accompanying editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

NYUCD's Dr. Daniel Malamud awarded $6.25 million NIH grant for HIV research
NYUCD's Dr. Malamud has been awarded a five-year, $6.25 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health to head up a research collective consisting of four interrelated research projects, along with Administrative/Biostatistical and Clinical Core components.

Berkeley Lab's ultraclean combustion technology for electricity generation
An experimental gas turbine simulator equipped with an ultralow-emissions combustion technology called LSI has been tested successfully using pure hydrogen as a fuel -- a milestone that indicates a potential to help eliminate millions of tons of carbon dioxide and thousands of tons of NOx from power plants each year.

Identified mechanism in the malaria parasite to help it adapt to infected individuals
Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the most severe forms of human malaria.

Chemical imaging: potential new crime busting tool
A new fingerprinting technique could potentially detect the diet, race and sex of a suspected criminal, according to new research published in the August edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry.

Researchers learn why immune system's watch dogs howl
A class of proteins known as toll-like receptors are the guard dogs of the immune system, sniffing out bacteria or viruses then rousing the rest of the immune system for attack.

Electric fields have potential as a cancer treatment
Low-intensity electric fields can disrupt the division of cancer cells and slow the growth of brain tumors, suggest laboratory experiments and a small human trial, raising hopes that electric fields will become a new weapon for stalling the progression of cancer.

UC experts detail new standard for cleaner transportation fuels
University of California experts today released their much-anticipated blueprint for fighting global warming by reducing the amount of carbon emitted when transportation fuels are used in California.

Integrated system, rapid transfer offers lifeline for heart attack victims
Heart attack patients received lifesaving treatment quickly when hospitals and communities used an integrated, rapid transfer system to get patients to a facility equipped to perform artery-opening procedures, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

News tips from ACS Chemical Biology
Highlights from the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Chemical Biology, are now available on EurekAlert!, included is a link to the July 2007 edition.

Unknotting DNA clue to cancer syndrome
A new UC-Davis study that explains the actions of a gene mutation that causes early onset cancer provides a fundamental insight into the mechanism of DNA-break repair.

Does this child have appendicitis? Watch out for key signs
A 5-year-old with abdominal pain, nausea and fever may have appendicitis or any of a number of other problems.

Abstinence programs fail to cut risk of HIV infection
Programs that exclusively encourage abstinence from sex do not seem to affect the risk of HIV infection in high income countries, finds a review of the evidence in this week's BMJ.

Discovery of new protein could provide new understanding of male fertility
Scientists have discovered a new enzyme involved in the degradation of proteins inside cells, a process that helps eliminate or recycle proteins that are no longer needed.

'Extreme analytical chemistry' will help unravel Mars' mysteries
Sam Kounaves is spearheading the chemical analysis of Martian soil and ice for the NASA Phoenix Mars mission that will launch in early August and land on Mars next May.

New oxidation methods streamline synthesis of important compounds
One of the fundamental challenges facing organic synthesis in the 21st century is the need to significantly increase the efficiency with which carbon frameworks can be constructed and functionalized.

ESRF lightsource helps tailoring new treatments against asthma
Researchers from Sweden and France have deciphered the crystal structure of a human membrane protein which has a major influence on the development of asthma.
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