Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2007
Chemotherapy with gemcitabine delays progression of operable pancreatic cancer
Giving pancreatic cancer patients the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine after surgery delays progression of the disease by about six months, according to new research by Japanese scientists.

Memory tasks require more coordinated brain blood flow for people with high blood pressure
Blood flow to the parts of the brain that support memory function differs between people with high blood pressure and those with normal blood pressure, and this difference seems to increase when high blood pressure is treated with medications, researchers reported today at the American Heart Association's 61st Annual Fall Conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research.

Experimental drug boosts survival in recurrent ovarian cancer
An experimental drug has shown promise in extending the survival period for women with recurrent ovarian cancer whose treatment options have dwindled.

DNA damage response confers a barrier for viral tumorigenesis
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have discovered that activation of the DNA damage response in the early stages of Kaposi's sarcoma development functions as an anti-cancer barrier also in virus-induced malignancies.

Clinical Trials Directive still hampering academic medical research
The Clinical Trials Directive, which came into force in May 2004 in order to create a harmonized framework for clinical drug research across Europe, is still hampering such research, according to new findings presented at the European Cancer Conference.

Study indicates pregnancy does not harm chances of survival from cancer
New research offers reassurance to women worried about whether getting pregnant after cancer treatment might worsen their prognosis.

Using nanotubes to detect and repair cracks in aircraft wings, other structures
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a simple new technique for identifying and repairing small, potentially dangerous cracks in high-performance aircraft wings and many other structures made from polymer composites.

New field-deployable biosensor detects avian influenza virus in minutes instead of days
Quick identification of avian influenza infection in poultry is critical to controlling outbreaks, but current detection methods can require several days to produce results.

If you like Dr. Seuss, you might like Chukovsky
While many of us in the US were captivated by 'The Cat in the Hat,' many Russian-speaking children were busy reading 'The Telephone.'

New national study links asthma to allergies
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that more than 50 percent of the current asthma cases in the country can be attributed to allergies, with approximately 30 percent of those cases attributed to cat allergy.

Doctors learn to control their own brains' pain responses to better treat patients
Physicians apparently learn to

Clinical trials for diabetes drugs should measure outcomes important to patients
Most clinical trials for new diabetes drugs do not consider the impact medication will have on a patient's quality of life or other outcomes that are important to patients, such as the risk of developing complications associated with diabetes, according to a Mayo Clinic commentary in the current issue of the Lancet.

'Rust' is just another way of describing how methamphetamine harms the body
Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, a Duke University pharmacology professor who left the lab bench to focus on science education, has developed a tactic for keeping students hands in the air at the end of class.

The beat goes on with AKAP18
A protein, known as AKAP18, could help the heart to beat faster in response to adrenaline or noradrenaline, according to a study published online this week in EMBO reports.

Sanofi-Aventis renews licenses for Genomatix chip analysis pipeline
Genomatix Software GmbH announced today that Sanofi-Aventis has renewed its licenses for Multi-Site access to the Genomatix Microarray Analysis Pipeline.

Interacting protein theory awaits test from new neutron analysis tools
An international collaboration directed by an Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher has performed the first-ever atomic-detail computer simulation of how proteins vibrate in a crystal.

Bird flu virus can pass through placenta to fetus and infect organs other than lungs in adults
The H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus can pass through the placenta of pregnant women to the unborn fetus, and can infect organs other than the lungs in adults.

Discovery challenges timeline of oxygen on Earth
An international team of researchers has determined there was a 'whiff' of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere about 2.5 billion years ago, the earliest time any significant amount of oxygen has been detected on Earth.

Hair untangles woolly mammoth puzzle
New research reveals that hair shafts provide an ideal source of ancient DNA -- a better source than bones and muscle for studying the genome sequences of extinct animals.

Couples more likely to divorce if spouse develops cervical or testicular cancer
In the largest and most rigorous study to date investigating how cancer influences divorce, Norwegian researchers have found that marriages are no more likely than normal to break down unless a spouse develops cervical or testicular cancer.

Nanowire generates power by harvesting energy from the environment
As the sizes of sensor networks and mobile devices shrink toward the microscale, and even nanoscale, there is a growing need for suitable power sources.

Schizophrenia candidate genes affect even healthy individuals
While many people who possess these 'risk alleles' do not end up with schizophrenia, this does not mean they are unaffected by the presence of the risk allele.

2007 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
Pictures often reveal the inner workings of science or technology in a way that is unequaled by words -- the surprisingly beautiful simple shape of seaweed, for example, or the anatomy behind the human nose or the complex elegance of a bat's flight pattern.

Tunes and talk: researchers find music and language are processed by the same brain systems
Researchers have long debated whether or not language and music depend on common processes in the mind.

New southernpeas developed by ARS, cooperators
Two new varieties of southernpeas -- WhipperSnapper and GreenPack-DG -- boast attractive colors, pleasing textures and flavors, plus nutrients like protein and folate, a B vitamin are published in HortScience.

Study shows lead-based paint problem isn't isolated to China
A multinational team of environmental and occupational health researchers has found that consumer paints sold in Nigeria contain dangerously high levels of lead.

Cockroaches are morons in the morning, geniuses in the evening
Dramatic daily variations in the cockroach's learning ability are reported in a new study performed by Vanderbilt University biologists and published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kaiser Permanente study shows 1 in 7 women are depressed before, during or after pregnancy
New Kaiser Permanente study, the first comprehensive study of maternal depression and the largest of its kind, shows that more than one in seven women are depressed some time during the nine months before, during or after pregnancy.

Researchers detect hint of oxygen 50 to 100 million years earlier than first believed
Two multinational teams of scientists, including researchers from Arizona State University, are reporting that traces of oxygen appeared in Earth's atmosphere 50 to 100 million years before the

Scientists sequence genome of intestinal parasite that afflicts hikers and kids in daycare
Giardia lamblia is a strange-looking parasite that swims in the gut, spreads through stool, persists in contaminated water, and is responsible for more than 20,000 reported infections a year in the US.

Why don't painkillers work for people with fibromyalgia?
New research shows that people with fibromyalgia were found to have reduced binding ability of a type of receptor in the brain that is the target of opioid painkiller drugs such as morphine.

New research shows how H5N1 virus causes disease
Researchers at Beijing University, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and SUNY Downstate report in the Lancet detailed studies of human H5N1 victims that shed light on the anatomic distribution of the virus and its pathogenesis.

Contraception: progress brings hope for new methods for men
For decades, pundits have predicted new contraceptives for men within the next 5 to 10 years.

For some diabetics, burden of care rivals complications of disease
Many patients with diabetes say that the inconvenience and discomfort of constant therapeutic vigilance, particularly multiple daily insulin injections, has as much impact on the quality of their lives as an intermediate complication.

454 sequencing uncovers significant genetic variation
Previous studies of human genomic variation tended to look at changes called single nucleotide polymorphism, variations that involve just one nucleotide, commonly referred to as SNP.

Loss of gene leads to protein splicing and buildup of toxic proteins in neurons
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville have discovered how loss of a gene can lead to accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain, resulting in a common dementia, and they say this mechanism may be important in a number of age-related neurological disorders.

Americans remain pessimistic about the environment, Stanford-AP survey finds
Americans remain pessimistic about the state of the environment and want prompt action taken to improve its health, according to the second annual 'America's Report Card on the Environment' -- a national public opinion survey conducted by the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University in collaboration with the Associated Press.

454 Sequencing: Science paper describes a novel, highly efficient method of sequencing ancient DNA
The study demonstrates the efficacy of this new method by employing 454 Sequencing to sequence the entire mitochondria from 10 individual woolly mammoths.

Guidelines help patients reduce risk of cardiac event before surgery
People with heart disease should take special precautions before undergoing any kind of surgery, even noncardiac surgery, to reduce their risk of a cardiac event, according to new joint guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Professionals in bioscience, food-related industries turn to K-State
Workshops, online programs and databases are just some of the ways that Kansas State University shares knowledge about the biosciences, food safety and animal health with the professionals who help ensure the safety of our food supply.

Genes linked to suicidal thinking during antidepressant treatment
Specific variations in two genes have been linked to suicidal thinking that sometimes occurs in people taking the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants.

K-State distinguished professor selected for American Institute of Chemical Engineers award
L.T. Fan, university distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University, will receive the Particle Technology Forum Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

'US universities disturbingly over-commercialized' says new book
Universities and colleges in the US have become 'disturbingly' commercialized, according to a new analysis edited by an academic at the University of Bath, UK.

Politicians must stop pandering to populism about hospital cleanliness and listen to evidence
Politicians must stop pandering to populism about hospital cleanliness and instead listen to evidence about how to prevent hospital-acquired infections, concludes an editorial in this week's edition of The Lancet.

USP awards 6 fellowships for the 2007-2008 term
The US Pharmacopeia is pleased to announce the six awardees of its 2007-2008 fellowship program.

London School of Hygiene to play key role in global collaboration on adverse drug reactions
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is to be a key player in the first global research collaboration aimed at identifying the genetic markers related to Adverse Drug Reactions.

Arctic ice retreats into uncharted territory
On Oct. 1, the National Snow and Ice Data Center will issue a report summarizing the 2007 Arctic sea ice season, and NASA will issue a press release on a new sea ice study by NASA/JPL researchers.

Carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age
A new study contradicts the view that carbon dioxide was responsible for the meltdown that ended the last ice age.

Research cautions to catch-and-release in less than 4 minutes
Recreational fishing that involves catch-and-release may seem like just good fun, and that released fish go on to live happily ever after, but a recent study at the University of Illinois shows that improper handling techniques by anglers can increase the likelihood of released fish being caught by predators.

Researchers detect hint of oxygen 50 to 100 million years earlier than first believed
Two teams of scientists, including UC Riverside geochemists, report in the Sept.

R rating might be unlikely to affect teens exposure to smoking in movies
Several recent research studies published in the US have determined that young adolescents who see smoking scenes in movies are more likely to smoke.

Study fuels debate over whether exercise and body size influence ovarian cancer risk
A new study adds fuel to the debate over whether being fat or inactive affects the risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The secret is in the hair
Post doc Thomas Gilbert from University of Copenhagen has developed a new and more precise DNA method in collaboration with international colleagues.

High school footballers wearing special helmets to monitor brain injuries
As they root for the home team from their bleacher seats this fall, high school gridiron fans in the small Illinois town of Tolono won't see anything out of the ordinary on the field.

Wasp genetics study suggests altruism evolved from maternal behavior
Researchers at the University of Illinois have used an innovative approach to reveal the molecular basis of altruistic behavior in wasps.

Quantum device traps, detects and manipulates the spin of single electrons
A novel device, developed by a team led by University at Buffalo engineers, simply and conveniently traps, detects and manipulates the single spin of an electron, overcoming some major obstacles that have prevented progress toward spintronics and spin-based quantum computing.

Into the chrysalis
A team of European astronomers has used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its razor-sharp eyes to discover a reservoir of dust trapped in a disc that surrounds an elderly star.

Wine, women and... spirits, beer and breast cancer risk
One of the largest individual studies of the effects of alcohol on the risk of breast cancer has concluded that it makes no difference whether a woman drinks wine, beer or spirits -- it is the alcohol itself and the quantity consumed that is likely to trigger the onset of cancer.

HortTalks, a valuable scientific resource
Are you looking for the latest horticulture research on high tunnels, grafting vegetables or water conservation practices?

Giardia genome unlocked
Giardia lamblia, one of the most common human parasites in the United States, causes more than 20,000 intestinal infections a year, often through contact with contaminated drinking or swimming water.

Environmental changes preceded first great rise in atmospheric oxygen
The history of life on Earth is closely linked to the appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere, which scientists think first occurred in significant amounts during a

Brown bat flight team wins NSF/Science Visualization Award
A multidisciplinary team of Brown faculty and students has won a first-place award in the International Science and Technology Visualization Challenge sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Science, the journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Genetic test announced for suicidal ideation in patients using antidepressant drugs
NeuroMark Inc., announced the availability of a genetic test to identify people at risk of suicidal ideation, when prescribed an antidepressant drug.

Rosiglitazone, pioglitazone increase risk of congestive heart failure but not cardiovascular death
Patients with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes are more likely to develop congestive heart failure when given rosiglitazone or pioglitazone, as compared with controls.

Individual differences caused by shuffled chunks of DNA in the human genome
A study by Yale researchers offers a new view of what causes the greatest genetic variability among individuals -- suggesting that it is due less to single point mutations than to the presence of structural changes that cause extended segments of the human genome to be missing, rearranged or present in extra copies.

The frugal cosmic ant
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its unique ability to see small details, astronomers have uncovered a flat, nearly edge-on disc of silicates in the heart of the magnificent Ant Nebula.

Kaiser Permanente study: Alcohol amount, not type -- wine, beer, liquor -- triggers breast cancer
New Kaiser Permanente study, one of largest individual studies of the effects of alcohol on the risk of breast cancer, concludes it makes no difference whether a woman drinks red wine, white wine, beer or hard liquor, it is the alcohol itself (ethyl alcohol) and the quantity consumed that triggers the onset of cancer.

Antarctic plants and animal life survived ice ages
Springtails, mites, worms and plant life could help solve the mystery of Antarctica's glacial history according to new research published in the journal Science this week.

Support program highly effective for establishing severely mentally-ill in competitive employment
The Individual Placement and Support program is around twice as effective at establishing people with severe mental illness in competitive employment as compared with vocational services, conclude authors of an article in this week's edition of The Lancet.

New night vision system reduces car accidents
The project DRIVASCO, whose participants are the University of Granada, the German company Hella & Hueck and other European research centres, aims to design intelligent cars which make driving easier and safer.

Climate may increase heat-related deaths by 2050s, says Mailman School of PH study
Overall increases in heat-related premature mortality are likely by the 2050s, according to a recent study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Improving doctor-patient communication yields significant health benefits
A UCSF research team has developed a simple tool that can improve the effectiveness of communication between doctors and patients about prescribed medications and result in dramatic improvements in health and safety.

Individuals with high fear of crime twice as likely to suffer from depression
A new UCL study has shown that people with a strong fear of crime are almost twice as likely to show symptoms of depression.

454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
The presence of workers that forgo reproduction and care for their siblings is a defining feature of eusociality and a major challenge for evolutionary theory. 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