Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 04, 2007
Many medical residents appear to lack biostatistics knowledge needed to interpret clinical research
Internal medicine residents had low scores in a test of biostatistics knowledge, and about three-fourths of the residents surveyed indicated they have low confidence in understanding the statistics they encounter in medical literature, according to an article in the Sept.

Studies examine mortality among hospitalized patients following work hours reform for residents
In a national study of more than 8 million hospitalized Medicare patients, there was no increase in mortality in the first two years following duty hour reform that limited work hours for resident physicians, according to an article in the Sept.

Immunosuppressive drugs are a double-edged sword to type 1 diabetics
Type 1 diabetes occurs when immune cells destroy pancreatic insulin producing beta-cells.

UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
Engineers at the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, have received a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a key tool for exploring the environmental roots of common diseases.

Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
The National Institutes of Health has selected the first projects to be funded as part of the Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI), a unique collaboration between geneticists and environmental scientists.

The aye-ayes have it: The preservation of color vision in a creature of the night
Brian Verrelli and his ASU team have performed the first sweeping, genetic evolutionary study of color vision in the aye-aye (pronounced

Neural stem cell study reveals mechanism that may play role in cancer
In the dynamic world of the developing brain, neural stem cells give rise to neurons deep within the brain's fluid-filled ventricles.

Burning extra calories with a 'futile protein cycle'
A new study in the September issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press, points to a new method for burning off all those irresistible extra calories -- by turning on an energy-draining, but otherwise futile, cycle of protein synthesis and breakdown.

Promising drug combination may help those with ocular melanoma that has spread
A combination of two drugs shows promise in treating a rare and therapy-resistant type of melanoma that originates in the eye and spreads to other organs, according to a new study led by Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.

Nanotechnology: What's that?
Results from the poll -- as well as from two complementary focus group discussions conducted among adult men and women about nanotechnology and food -- will be released by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies on Tuesday, September 25, at 12:30 p.m. at a program and live webcast at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Laboratory at UI plays major role in diagnosing cancer
The unique laboratory of Dr. David R. Soll at the University of Iowa is making a big footprint in the field of cancer research, thanks to a new agreement between Soll and the National Cancer Institute.

A dog in the hand scares birds in the bush
New research showing that dog-walking in bushland significantly reduces bird diversity and abundance will lend support to bans against the practice in sensitive bushland and conservation areas.

Pittsburgh scientists identify human source of stem cells with potential to repair muscle
For the first time, scientists at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have discovered a unique population of adult stem cells derived from human muscle that could be used to treat muscle injuries and diseases such as heart attack and muscular dystrophy.

New NASA-NOAO partnership to open doors for cosmic discovery
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory and NASA's upcoming Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope mission have forged a partnership designed to open the door for major discoveries.

UCI and CODA Genomics collaborate to re-engineer yeast for biofuel production
Scientists from UC Irvine and CODA Genomics are partnering on new research aimed at turning a common strain of yeast used in the production of beer, wine and bread into an efficient producer of ethanol.

Ibuprofen can slow lung disease in children with cystic fibrosis, Canadian study shows
The results of a clinical trial, published in late August in the Journal of Pediatrics, indicates that, when used as part of routine therapy, high-dose ibuprofen is safe and effective in slowing down lung disease in children with cystic fibrosis (CF).

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue:

Ultraconserved elements in the genome: Are they indispensable?
Ultraconserved elements are DNA sequences, hundreds of base pairs long, that are 100-percent identical in mice, rats and humans.

NASA technology forms the basis for a new nanotechnology company
A NASA-developed innovative process is making waves in the nanotechnology field and spurring the development of new companies in the process.

Ovation further advances development pipeline with new phase III epilepsy study
Ovation Pharmaceuticals is initiating a pivotal Phase III clinical trial for clobazam, a unique 1,5 benzodiazapine with significant anticonvulsant properties, as adjunctive treatment for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, one of the most severe forms of childhood epilepsy that frequently persists into adulthood.

Tassie tiger no match for dingo
The wily dingo out competed the much larger marsupial thylacine by being better built anatomically to resist the

Doctors and medical ethicist discuss whether doctors should participate in capital punishment
Should doctors be involved in the state-ordered administration of capital punishment?

Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Until now, only the intricate machinery inside cells could take a mix of enzyme ingredients, blend them together and deliver a natural product with an elaborate chemical structure such as penicillin.

Genetic background to severe urinary tract infections
If you sit on cold boulders or forget to wear your woollen pants, you can develop a urinary tract infection.

Research elucidates mechanism by which gene expression may be altered in drug addiction
Dr. Judith A. Potashkin, Ph.D., and colleagues at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science recently completed a study investigating one of the changes in gene expression that occurs when individuals take addictive drugs.

Overweight toddlers and those not in day care at risk for iron deficiency
A study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has found that overweight toddlers and those not enrolled in day care are at high risk for iron deficiency.

Low level of neuronal receptor linked to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease
Results of a new study indicate a strong link between the loss of the neuronal receptor LR11and onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a harbinger of Alzheimer's disease.

Practice-based intervention has sustained benefits for children and families
The Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, which added behavior and development services to pediatric practices, continued to benefit families more than two years after the intervention ended.

Study finds primary care depression treatment often does not follow quality guidelines
Most patients with depression who are treated by primary care physicians do not receive care consistent with quality standards, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Open access to health research publications
Today, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research unveiled a new policy to promote public access to the results of research it has funded.

Teens need to see their doctors more often
Despite recommendations for annual preventive exams for adolescents, only 10 percent of teens have enough visits within 12 months to receive the recommended three shots needed for HPV vaccine.

Selection on genes underlying schizophrenia during human evolution
Several genes with strong associations to schizophrenia have evolved rapidly due to selection during human evolution, according to new research in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Wednesday, September 5, 2007).

Study reveals an ancient gene for lean
Researchers have revealed an antiobesity gene that has apparently been keeping critters lean during times of plenty since ancient times.

Exercise and yoga improves quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer
Two studies report that exercise and yoga can help maintain and in some cases improve quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer.

Parents' perceptions can hamper kids' asthma care, study finds
University of Rochester researchers have new insight into why only half of all prescribed preventive asthma medications are actually taken daily as directed and so many kids needlessly suffer symptoms.

It's a knock out: eIF4E-specific anti-sense oligonucleotides knock down cancer
A new study in the September issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Jeremy Graff and colleagues from Eli Lilly and Company demonstrates the anti-cancer effect of a new therapeutic (eIF4E-specific anti-sense oligonucleotides) in a mouse model of human tumors and has spawned clinical trials to test the ability of this therapeutic to treat human cancers.

Tropical crab invades Georgia oyster reefs -- but the long-term impact can't be predicted
A dime-sized tropical crab that has invaded coastal waters in the Southeast United States is having both positive and negative effects on oyster reefs, leaving researchers unable to predict what the creature's long-term impact will be.

Quick microchip test for dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria
Researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Surrey have developed microchips capable of quickly and cheaply identifying dangerous and drug resistant bacteria in clinical samples, scientists announced today, Sept.

Physicians with low communication scores on exams more likely to receive complaints from patients
Canadian physicians who score poorly on the patient-physician communication portion of the national licensing examination receive more complaints to regulatory authorities on issues such as communication or quality-of-care problems, according to an article in the Sept.

Avocados may help prevent oral cancer, OSU study shows
Nutrients taken from avocados are able to thwart oral cancer cells, killing some and preventing pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers, according to researchers at Ohio State University.

Novel insecticidal toxins from bacteria
A light-emitting strain of bacteria and a nematode worm, which work together to prey on soil-dwelling insects, use insecticidal toxins to kill their insect hosts.

Purdue researchers develop technology to detect cancer by scanning surface veins
Researchers have developed technology to detect tumor cells within the human body.

'Skinny gene' does exist, UT Southwestern researchers find
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that a single gene might control whether or not individuals tend to pile on fat, a discovery that may point to new ways to fight obesity and diabetes.

Inquiring minds want to know about cotton fleahoppers
Inquiring minds want to know. The supermarket headlines tell us so.

Laser blasts viruses in blood
A father-son research team working from separate laboratory benches across the country has discovered a new use for lasers -- zapping viruses out of blood.

Widely held beliefs about early Cherokee settlement patterns likely incorrect
Two new studies from the University of Georgia show for the first time that long-held assumptions about Cherokee settlement patterns may have been incomplete at best.

Upgraded IMG 2.3 Data Management System released by DOE JGI to eager user community
A powerful set of computational tools established to ease the visualization and exploration of genomes flooding the public domain is now available in IMG Version 2.3 -- the Integrated Microbial Genomes data management system hosted by the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute.

A classic method for modeling skin cancer is featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
This month's release of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols includes free access to a protocol for generating mice with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), one of the most common types of skin cancer.

Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
Immunology researchers have shown how a type of bat rabies infection can be prevented in mice -- even after the virus reaches the brain, when it is most lethal.

JCI table of contents: Sept. 4, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Sept.

Scripps Research Institute Scientist Bruce Beutler awarded 2007 Balzan Prize
Bruce Beutler, M.D., chair of the Genetics Department at the Scripps Research Institute, has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Balzan Prize for his work in innate immunity.

3-D fruit fly images to benefit brain research
In a paper published on September 5 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, a team led by Mary O'Connell of the MRC Human Genetics Unit describe how they have already used an imaging technique called optical projection tomography (OPT) to image individual cavities within the brain of an aging fly and see the brain deteriorate.

Rice, Nanyang Tech collaborate on sustainable nanoelectronics
Computing researchers at Houston's Rice University and electronics specialists at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University today announced the formation of the Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics.

America may learn from Quebec's prescription drug plan
A new study published in the Milbank Quarterly finds a number of similarities between Canadian drug coverage and that of the United States, despite their publicized differences.

Annual flu shot cuts need for doctors' visits, hospitalization among children
A new study finds that vaccinating only half US children against influenza could eliminate as many as 650,000 doctor's office visits and 2,250 hospitalizations in a year.

New imaging technique reveals fatty hearts in pre-diabetics
A simple imaging technique developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has revealed fat buildup in the hearts of pre-diabetic people long before symptoms of heart disease or diabetes appear.

Probiotic good bugs may control gut infections
Probiotics, the friendly bacteria beloved of yoghurt advertisers, may be an effective substitute for growth promoting antibiotics in pigs, giving us safer pork products, according to scientists speaking today, Sept.

Can brain-injured, partially-blind stroke patients regain some of their lost vision?
Is it possible to offer hope for stroke patients who've lose part of their vision?

University of Iowa professor identifies new eating disorder
A University of Iowa professor is making a case for a new eating disorder she calls purging disorder.

UCSD computer scientists take the 'why' out of WiFi
UCSD computer scientists have designed a system that automatically analyzes the behavior of all the WiFi connections in the UCSD computer science building.

Having right timing 'connections' in brain is key to overcoming dyslexia
Using new software developed to investigate how the brains of dyslexic children are organized, University of Washington researchers have found that key areas for language and working memory involved in reading are connected differently in dyslexics than in children who are good readers and spellers.

'Heart' of Herschel to be presented to media
By the end of 2007, the assembly of the ESA's Herschel far-infrared space observatory -- the latest mission to study the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies -- will be completed.

Unmasking DNA
A team of researchers at Young University propose the marriage of DNA self-assembly with standard microfabrication and lithography tools to form features such as nanochannels, nanowires and nanoscale trenches.

Bacteria inside red mites could be targeted to control poultry pests
Bacteria which live symbiotically inside the blood-sucking pests called red poultry mites could be a new and effective target to prevent the spread of Salmonella and similar pathogens in chickens, turkeys and other table birds, according to scientists speaking today, Sept.

New technique producing small things in large quantities
New fabrication technique capable of producing nanodevices to outdate LCD televisions.

Reorganization of brain area for vision after stroke: May yield new treatments for brain injury
New evidence from a patient shows that the area of the brain that processes visual inputs can reorganize after an injury caused by stroke.

MU law professor advocates full restoration of rights to ex-felons
Felon exclusion laws impact not only individuals, but also communities, according to a University of Missouri-Columbia law professor.

A type of antioxidant may not be as safe as once thought
According to new research at the University of Virginia Health System, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant commonly used in nutritional and body-building supplements, can form a red blood cell-derived molecule that makes blood vessels think they are not getting enough oxygen.

UVa researcher awarded $3.6 million grant to fight drug-resistant bacteria
Dr. Richard Guerrant, founder of UVa's Center for Global Health, plans to take a unique approach to treating the bacterium Clostridium difficile, which is growing increasingly resistant to certain antibiotics that work against bacteria of the colon.

Nicotine in breast milk disrupts infants' sleep patterns
A study from the Monell Chemical Senses Center reports that nicotine in the breast milk of lactating mothers who smoke cigarettes disrupts their infants' sleep patterns.

Income inequality associated with overnourishment and undernourishment in India
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Bristol have examined the extent to which income inequality is predictive of the double nutritional burden of undernutrition and overnutrition in India.

Better communicators make better doctors
Physicians who score poorly on patient-physician communication skills exams are far more likely to generate patient complaints to regulatory authorities, says a new study led by McGill University's Robyn Tamblyn and published in the September 5 issue of JAMA.

Study examines performance-based pay for teachers
Teacher performance pay is a frequently discussed and controversial topic among kindergarten through 12th-grade educators.

University of Alberta researchers find new cause of blindness
In a paper published in the September 5 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Drs.
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