Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 06, 2007
Pain patients at risk for sleep apnea
Sleep-disordered breathing was common when chronic pain patients took prescribed opioids.

Depression worsens health more than angina, arthritis, asthma, diabetes
Depression produces the greatest decrement in health compared with the chronic diseases angina, arthritis, asthma and diabetes, conclude authors of an Article in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
Leading an international team of scientists, immunologists at the Scripps Research Institute have uncovered the first evidence that an HIV antibody is most effective when it binds not only to the virus, but also to host immune cells.

Parenting help for bipolar mums and dads
Parents with bipolar disorder are taking part in a study that will give them the chance to follow a highly successful parenting skills program.

Drug could improve pregnancy outcomes in wider range of women with insulin resistance
Women who are obese, have type 2 diabetes or a family history of type 2 diabetes could one day have more successful pregnancies because of a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Researchers develop mouse model of autism spectrum disorders
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have genetically engineered mice that harbor the same genetic mutation found in some people with autism and Asperger syndrome.

Study identifies genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus
A genetic variation has been identified that increases the risk of two chronic, autoimmune inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).

New faraway sensors warn of emerging hurricane's strength
A new study supported by NASA and the US Office of Naval Research takes forecasters one step further to improving their ability to predict just how powerful an oncoming storm may become by using highly-sensitive sensors located thousands of miles from the storm to detect lightning outbreaks within a hurricane's most dangerous area.

Researcher developing new method for hearing loss assessment
A Purdue University researcher is working on a new technique to diagnose hearing loss in a way that more accurately reflects real-world situations.

Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacteria's armor
Biomedical researchers at Boston University's College of Engineering may have discovered the path toward developing better drugs capable of defeating so-called

Screening family members could prevent 4 in 10 premature heart attacks
Screening and treating middle-aged adults with a family history of coronary heart disease could prevent more than 4 in 10 premature heart attacks, according to an article in this week's BMJ.

Novel virus detection identifies new viruses in study of respiratory infections and asthma attacks
A new study has found an unexpected number of viruses and viral subtypes in patients with respiratory tract infections.

Temple Emergency Medicine receives $1.8M to find best MRSA treatment
Temple's Department of Emergency Medicine will participate in a nationwide study to pinpoint the best treatment for community-acquired MRSA, an increasingly common, antibiotic-resistant infection.

Height or flight?
Paleontologists have long theorized that miniaturization was one of the last stages in the long series of changes required in order for dinosaurs to make the evolutionary

Heat stress influences low conception of dairy herds
Summer heat stress is a main factor related to low conception rates in high producing dairy herds in warm areas worldwide.

SIV infection of natural hosts provides new insights into HIV disease complexity
Three related papers published in the Sept. 1 edition of the Journal of Immunology provide key new insights into the complexity of HIV/AIDS.

Improved e-jet printing provides higher resolution and more versatility
By combining electrically induced fluid flow with nanoscale nozzles, researchers at the University of Illinois have established new benchmarks for precision control and resolution in jet-printing processes.

Connection between virus and Colony Collapse Disorder in bees
A team led by scientists from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Pennsylvania State University, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, University of Arizona, and 454 Life Sciences has found a significant connection between the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees.

NIH launches interdisciplinary research consortia
The National Institutes of Health Roadmap for Medical Research will fund nine interdisciplinary research consortia as a means of integrating aspects of different disciplines to address health challenges that have been resistant to traditional research approaches.

Primates expect others to act rationally
Researchers in the Department of Psychology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences have found that when understanding behavior, primates assume rationality and make inferences based on environmental restraints.

'Beyond Einstein' research should begin with mission to study dark energy
NASA and the US Department of Energy should pursue the Joint Dark Energy Mission as the first mission in the

Embryonic stem cells used to grow cartilage
Rice University bioengineers have developed a new method for growing cartilage from human embryonic stem cells -- a technique that offers a novel approach for growing replacement cartilage for the surgical repair of the knee, jaw, hip and other joints.

Computerized treatment of manuscripts
Researchers at the UAB Computer Vision Centre working on the automatic recognition of manuscript documents have designed a new system that is more efficient and reliable than currently existing ones.

Biko to Guantanamo: 30 years of medical involvement in torture
With 30 years having passed since the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in the custody of South African Police, a correspondence in this week's edition of the Lancet draws strong parallels between the Biko case and the ongoing role of US military doctors in Guantanamo Bay.

Provectus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Begins Phase 2 Clinical Trial for Metastatic Melanoma
Provectus obtains approval to begin Phase 2 clinical testing of Provecta for the treatment of Stage III and IV metastatic melanoma, the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer.

New insight into how antibiotics kill might make them deadlier
Scientists have what could be some very bad news for disease-causing bacteria.

BUSM, BMC adopt strict policy on interactions between clinicians and industry
Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center have adopted a new policy regulating interaction among clinicians and representatives of the pharmaceutical and device industries.

Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes find 'Lego-block' galaxies in early universe
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope have joined forces to discover nine of the smallest, faintest, most compact galaxies ever observed in the distant universe.

UCR plant cell biologist to study how plant stem cells maintain and change their identity
G. Venugopala Reddy, a plant cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside, has received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how plant stem cells maintain their identity and how they eventually get specialized into different cell types.

Springer increases publishing activities in South Korea
Springer, one of the world's leading STM publishers, has signed publishing agreements with eight South Korean scientific societies during the past half year.

Newer antidepressants led to less, not more, teen suicides
Contrary to newly mandated FDA black-box warnings, a new study finds antidepressants dramatically lower suicide attempts in youth.

The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards
The American Society of Plant Biologists is pleased to announce recipients of its 2007 awards.

JCI table of contents: Sept. 6, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.

Higher social skills are distinctly human, toddler and ape study reveals
Apes bite and try to break a tube to retrieve the food inside while children follow the experimenter's example to get inside the tube to retrieve the prize, showing that even before preschool, toddlers are more sophisticated in their social learning skills than their closest primate relatives, according to a report published in the Sept.

IBM and Imago find a crucial difficulty in semiconductor device scaling
As reported in the Sept. 7, 2007 issue of Science, IBM and Imago used atom probe tomography to observe, for the first time, distributions of individual dopant atoms at defects in semiconductor devices.

Study finds heart failure is rare among leukemia patients on imatinib
Congestive heart failure rarely occurs among leukemia patients who take imatinib, researchers at the University of Texas M.

AAAS to develop science-based teaching tools on underage alcohol use
Efforts to halt underage drinking often focus on peer pressure and the prevention of risky behaviors, but the American Association for the Advancement of Science is undertaking a new federally funded project to give middle-school children a science-based understanding of what can happen to them if they use alcohol.

UT Southwestern's obesity research receives $22 million NIH Roadmap grant
UT Southwestern Medical Center's obesity research team has received a $22 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to enhance its groundbreaking efforts to attack obesity from every angle, from studying fat cells to developing medicines.

Old developmental pathways spawn revolutionary evolutionary changes
When the larvae of the primitive social insect Polistes metricus, a paper wasp, slips into the quiet pupal stage, she doesn't know if she'll arise a worker or gyne (future queen) -- unless she consults with Arizona State University's social insect researcher Gro Amdam.

Innovation Voucher winners announced
Forty SMEs are today being announced as the first winners of a groundbreaking voucher scheme which aims to create a positive link between SMEs and the universities in the West Midlands region.

Minimally invasive heart surgery research wins NIH award
Professor Pierre Dupont of Boston University's College of Engineering, cardiac surgeon Pedro del Nido, M.D., at Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, and microdevice manufacturer Microfabrica Inc.

KAUST and American University in Cairo to collaborate on research and academic development
The partnership between King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and American University in Cairo will focus on student and faculty exchange, as well as research in marine ecology, water and energy management and nanotechnology.

Elsevier launches new journal: Stem Cell Research
The new journal will cover all aspects of stem cell research, including embryonic stem cells, tissue-specific stem cells, cancer stem cells, developmental studies, stem cell genomics and translational research.

Cervical cancer burden can be solved with current technology and modest resources
Much of the world's cervical cancer problem can be solved with existing or soon-to-be-available technology, sufficient will and modest resources, say authors of a seminar in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Schizophrenia-linked gene keeps new adult brain cells under control
A gene with reported links to schizophrenia and other mood disorders plays a broader role in the brain than scientists had previously suspected.

Progress made in research on mysteriously disappearing honeybees
454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, today announced that researchers at Columbia University have identified a virus implicated in the deaths of 2.4 million honeybee colonies -- tens of billions of bees -- using the company's Genome Sequencerâ„¢ system

NIH Roadmap grant establishes field of geroscience at Buck Institute
The Buck Institute for Age Research is launching a new scientific discipline called Geroscience, which will be focused on the interface of normal aging and age-related disease.

Global survey reveals significant gap in meeting world's mental health care needs
Mental disorders rank among the top 10 illnesses causing disability, according to the Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors published in 2006.

Concerning levels of unmet needs for treatment of anxiety, mood and substance disorders
Unmet needs for mental health treatment are pervasive and especially concerning in less-developed countries, conclude authors of an article in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Microarray provides 3 genomic guides to breast cancer treatment decisions
Three genomic tests separately predict the likelihood that a patient's breast cancer will reoccur after surgery without additional treatment, and the cancer's vulnerability to chemotherapy or hormone therapy, researchers at the University of Texas M.

Developing world could suffer if drug safety is not properly assessed
Millions of people could be put at risk because progress in getting the best medicines to the developing world is not being matched by an appropriate monitoring program say the writers in today's BMJ.

Secular, nationalist surge in Iraq continues, new survey shows
With the Bush Administration's progress report on Iraq due by Sept.

Pregnancy may increase the risk of developing binge eating disorder
Pregnancy may open a window of vulnerability for developing binge eating disorder, especially for women from lower socioeconomic situations, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers and colleagues in Norway.

A balanced memory network
Roudi and Latham from University College London show that for realistic networks of spiking neurons, the number of memories is not proportional to the number of neurons, it's proportional to the number of connections per neurons.

Virological evidence cannot prove transmission in HIV criminal cases
Virological evidence cannot prove transmission in HIV criminal cases, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

Scientists harvest answers from genome of grain fungus
Evil forces thrive in an unstable environment. At least, that's the picture being painted in the first waves of data being reaped from the genome sequence of the fungal plant pathogen, Fusarium graminearum.

Elsevier announces new journal on inflammatory bowel diseases
Elsevier in partnership with the European Crohn's and Colitis Organization is set to launch the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, a new international journal on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Australia and China partner for a low-emission energy future
Australia and China today signed a partnership agreement that will pave the way for the installation of low-emission coal energy technology in Beijing next year.

Vocal cord dysfunction may be caused by work
Researchers from the UAB and the Vall d'Hebron Hospital have diagnosed two patients affected with vocal cord dysfunction, which causes coughing and difficulty in breathing due to irritating agents that are breathed in at the workplace.

Researchers develop liquid crystal pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other diseases
A partnership between Kent State University, Summa Health System and IC-MedTech Inc. has yielded an innovative liquid crystal technology that offers the promise of new drugs which may more effectively manage cancer and other diseases.

Soy isoflavone may inhibit common gastrointestinal illness in infants
The soy isoflavone genistin -- at concentrations present in soy infant formula -- may reduce a baby's susceptibility to rotavirus infections by as much as 74 percent, according to a University of Illinois study published in September's Journal of Nutrition.

13 percent of women stop taking breast cancer drug because of side effects, U-M study finds
More than 10 percent of women with breast cancer stopped taking a commonly prescribed drug because of joint and muscle pain, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

UGA researchers discover how human body fights off African parasite
A team of researchers led by biochemists at the University of Georgia propose that T. b. brucei actually does infect humans but that the infection triggers release of hemoglobin from red blood cells.

Bee researchers close in on Colony Collapse Disorder
Across the nation, beekeepers have seen hive after hive succumb to Colony Collapse Disorder.

Drug's potential adverse side effect explained
Drugs that are agonists of the receptor PPAR-gamma are used to treat individuals with diabetes.

New system helps aircraft avoid turbulence
A new turbulence detection system, now being tested, is successfully alerting pilots to patches of rough air as they fly through clouds.

Seattle Children's Hospital leads $23.7 million NIH grant to study gene repair
Seattle Children's Hospital will receive the largest research grant in its 100-year history for a new five-year, eleven-part grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health to study gene repair.

Don't just save her life, save her fertility
Northwestern University has been awarded a $21 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a landmark national research, clinical and education program that targets fertility threats posed to women by cancer treatment.

Preventing variceal bleeding
Beta blockers should be the first line of prevention against variceal bleeding in patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

Malinovskaya to speak at the 2007 International Conference on Computational Methods
Svetlana Malinovskaya, Ph.D., associate professor for the physics and engineering physics department at Stevens Institute of Technology, and member of Stevens' Center for Control of Quantum Systems, will speak at the 5th annual International Conference on Computational Methods in Science and Engineering.

The genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis identified
The human genome has now been thoroughly screened in the hunt for the genetic causes of rheumatoid arthritis.

Virus named as possible factor in honey bee disorder
A comparison of healthy and unhealthy bee colonies points to a virus contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), according to a report being published by the journal Science, within the Science Express Web site on Sept.

Skin as a living coloring book
The pigment melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color in mammals, is produced in specialized cells called melanocytes and then distributed to other cells.

Hunger hormone fights aging in the thymus
Immune function deteriorates with age because, in part, the thymus involutes, dramatically decreasing its immune cell output.

Access to patient record databases invaluable for medical research, say leading funders
Better use should be made of electronic databases and patient records to help scientists understand patterns of health and disease in the population, say leading UK funders.

Evolution of genomic imprinting
How we come to express the genes of one parent over the other is now better understood and it doesn't seem to have originated in association with sex chromosomes. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to