Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 15, 2007
Clinical studies show REMICADE reduces incidence of bowel surgeries in ulcerative colitis patients
REMICADE significantly reduces the incidence of colectomy surgeries for patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.

Consumption of raw fish raises potential health concerns for consumers
Two case studies from Japan point to a potential health problem as more Americans consume raw fish in the form of sushi.

Paradigm shift in Alzheimers's research: new treatments
Groundbreaking new discoveries have opened the door for a new and better understanding of Alzheimer's disease, as one of the most important future public health challenges.

People overestimate their self-reported sleep times compared to measures by a sleep test
Self-reports of total sleep times, both habitually and on the morning after a polysomnogram, or a sleep test, tend to be higher than objectively measured sleep times.

Depression and cardiovascular disease
Latest research is now available that helps us to understand which common biological changes are involved in the already known link between depression and life-threatening cardiovascular disease.

Suicide, coronary heart disease contribute to increased risk of death following bariatric surgery
Approximately 1 percent of Pennsylvania residents who underwent bariatric surgery between 1995 and 2004 died within one year of the surgery and nearly 6 percent died within five years, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, a theme issue on bariatric surgery.

Level of oxytocin in pregnant women predicts mother-child bond
In animals, oxytocin, dubbed 'the hormone of love and bonding,' is critically important for the development of parenting, is elicited during sexual intercourse, and is involved in maintaining close relationships.

MIT: blood may help us think
MIT scientists propose that blood may help us think, in addition to its well-known role as the conveyor of fuel and oxygen to brain cells.

Alpharma presents Phase 2 results of investigational abuse-deterrent opioid ALO-01
Alpharma Pharmaceuticals LLC, a subsidiary of Alpharma Inc., a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, presented results from a Phase 2 study that showed ALO-01, an extended-release morphine sulfate plus sequestered naltrexone, provided similar effectiveness to KADIAN (morphine sulfate extended-release) capsules in osteoarthritis patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain.

Older African-American men with HIV often have sex without condoms
Study of 130 African-American men with HIV found that 38 percent didn't use condoms during oral sex, 25 percent during vaginal sex and 22 percent during anal sex, despite good knowledge about HIV and AIDS.

New technique reveals subtle force-induced changes in biomolecule's conformation
Scientists studying biological systems at the molecular level now have a new hybrid technique to probe the dynamics of the Holliday junction.

New studies reveal that night-time acid reflux can impact sleep
Night-time acid reflux, along with some of the less typical manifestations or symptoms of GERD, is associated with significant sleep impairment.

New software advances photo search and management in online systems
Searching for digital photographs could become easier with a Penn State-developed software system that not only automatically tags images as they are uploaded, but also improves those tags by 'learning' from users' interactions with the system.

Study identifies pathway required for normal reproductive development
Massachusetts General Hospital clinical researchers, in collaboration with scientists from the University of California, Irvine have identified a new molecular pathway required for normal development of the reproductive, olfactory and circadian systems in both humans and mice.

UI researchers seek to ease children's pain during medical procedures
A new system under development by a team of researchers at the University of Iowa will help children better cope with pain during difficult medical procedures.

If corn is biofuels king, tropical maize may be emperor
When University of Illinois crop scientist Fred Below began growing tropical maize, the form of corn grown in the tropics, he was looking for novel genes for the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer and was hoping to discover information that could be useful to American corn producers.

Researchers warn that gastric bypass surgery may cause post-op nutrient deficiencies
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can emerge after gastric bypass surgery, which can impact the absorption of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, such as calcium and zinc, causing potentially serious complications.

Almost 90 percent of children reported experiencing sexual violence
Almost 90 percent of teenagers aged 12-18 claim to have been victims of some level of sexual violence, according to a study conducted jointly by the University of Haifa and Ben Gurion University.

Many in Africa don't continue HIV treatment
More than one-third of patients receiving HIV medication in Africa die or discontinue their treatment within two years, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine.

Chemistry turns killer gas into potential cure
Despite its deadly reputation, the gas carbon monoxide could actually save lives and boost health in future as a result of leading-edge UK research.

Scientists ramp up ability of poplar plants to disarm toxic pollutants
The most common contaminant at Superfund sites is the industrial solvent trichloroethylene.

A well-deserved distinction for Gerhard Ertl
The president on being awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Two-pronged intervention boosts senior driving skills
Older drivers who couple classroom courses with behind-the-wheel training can significantly improve their driving performance, according to a report published in the latest issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

UD named a regional research participant in National Children's Study
The University of Delaware has been named a regional research participant in the National Children's Study -- the largest long-term study of children's health ever conducted in the US.

Is ERA a first step to GLOREA (Global Research Area)?
In an acknowledgment of the European Commission's plan to revive the plan pf the European Research Area -- an effort to create a single European market for scientists and their works the European Science Foundation will schedule a science policy conference for European policy makers, researchers, science organizations' managers, the private and non-governmental sectors to interact with each other and to voice their opinions on the this much publicized plan that is set to have a far-reaching effect on European science.

Option-loaded CEOs swing for fences, but strike out more often
A new study co-authored by a professor at Penn State's Smeal College of Business finds that CEOs with stock option-heavy compensation packages tend to lead their companies to a more extreme performance, with more big losses than big gains.

Mesalamine linked to cancer protection for high risk inflammatory bowel disease patients
Mesalamine use among patients with inflammatory bowel disease was associated with a decrease in incidence of colorectal cancer when comparing cases and controls.

Study measures impact on productivity from functional gastrointestinal disorders
Those who suffer from common functional gastrointestinal disorders face work productivity losses and impairments in daily activity that amount to the loss of at least one day of work in a 40-hour workweek.

Annual report to the nation finds cancer death rate decline doubling
A new report from the nation's leading cancer organizations shows cancer death rates decreased on average 2.1 percent per year from 2002 through 2004, nearly twice the annual decrease of 1.1 percent per year from 1993 through 2002.

NYU's Center for Genomics & Systems Biology receives $4.4 million NSF grant
New York University Center for Genomics & Systems Biology has received a $4.4 million National Science Foundation grant in which NYU researchers will seek to identify genes on a genome-wide scale that underlie crop traits selected when farmers began cultivating rice 10,000 years ago.

Feminism and romance go hand in hand
Contrary to popular opinion, feminism and romance are not incompatible and feminism may actually improve the quality of heterosexual relationships, according to Laurie Rudman and Julie Phelan, from Rutgers University in the US.

Expecting an afternoon nap can reduce blood pressure
Where does the benefit lie in an afternoon nap? Is it in the nap itself -- or in the anticipation of taking a snooze?

Insomniac fish shed light on the molecular basis of sleep disorders
Zebrafish sleep and have the receptor for the wake-inducing molecule hypocretin.

BCM, Rice scientists map flu's chemical key
Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University have developed the first 3D, molecular map of the protein that allows influenza B to infect healthy cells with viral DNA.

A wheat for all seasons -- and reasons
The seeds may be lacking for perennial wheat to be grown on any significant basis in Texas, but interest is not, according to Dr.

Study: Modafinil is effective in treating excessive sleepiness
Modafinil is well-tolerated in the treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with disorders of sleep and wakefulness such as shift work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy, and does not affect cardiovascular or sleep parameters.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Oct. 16, 2007
The following papers will be in the next issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine:

UF to auction naming rights for new butterfly species online
In an apparent first for butterflies, the Florida Museum of Natural History will auction the naming rights for a newly discovered species online to raise money for butterfly research.

Some obese patients more likely to return to work following gastric bypass surgery
Obese Medicaid patients who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery may be more likely to return to work than obese Medicaid patients who do not undergo the surgery, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, a theme issue on bariatric surgery.

New tool to assess excessive daytime sleepiness in adolescents published in JCSM
A study published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine features the Cleveland Adolescent Sleepiness Questionnaire, a new self-completed instrument to measure excessive daytime sleepiness in adolescents.

Capsule endoscopy turning up undiagnosed cases of Crohn's disease
A small capsule that takes 'snapshots' of the small intestine as it moves through the digestive tract helped doctors spot cases of Crohn's disease that had gone undiagnosed for up to 15 years, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

$4 million AHRQ grant supports research to improve hospital care
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded $4 million over the next four years to a University of Chicago-based research team to establish a Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics that will focus on the emerging field of hospital medicine and economics.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac - Oct. 10, 2007
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries
Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease.

Impact of elevated homocysteine levels on vision under study
Homocysteine, an amino acid believed to contribute to heart attack, stroke and dementia, likely also is a player in retinal damage and vision loss, researchers say.

First Chinese received doctorate 100 years ago -- in physics
Shanghai's Jiao Tong University and the University of Bonn will be working closer together in future.

Testosterone turns male juncos into blustery hunks -- and bad dads
The ability to ramp up testosterone production appears to drive male dark-eyed juncos to find and win mates, but it comes with an evolutionary cost.

1 in 5 bariatric surgery candidates not psychologically cleared for surgery
A new study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University researchers reported that 18 percent of 500 candidates for bariatric surgery did not receive the initial psychiatry clearance for the surgery.

UC San Diego researchers improve accuracy of breast cancer prognoses
One of the many unknowns facing women who are diagnosed with breast cancer is predicting the likelihood that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body -- metastasize.

Simple eye scan opens window to multiple sclerosis
A five-minute eye exam might prove to be an inexpensive and effective way to gauge and track the debilitating neurological disease multiple sclerosis, potentially complementing costly magnetic resonance imaging to detect brain shrinkage -- a characteristic of the disease's progression.

LSU professor studies army-ant-following birds
In the jungles of Central and South America, a group of birds has evolved a unique way of finding food -- by following hordes of army ants and letting them do all the work.

Study suggests existing drugs may be useful in treating brain tumors
Scientists have shown how developing brain tumors can turn an encounter with a signaling molecule from a fatal experience for the tumor cells into a cue for their own growth and multiplication.

2 studies highlight the risks and significant health-care costs of NSAIDs injury
New studies highlight the risks and significant health care costs of GI injury and bleeding from the use of NSAIDs.

Studies highlight little known, but potentially serious, manifestations of acid reflux
Acid reflux into the esophagus can present as other symptoms such as chronic cough or chest pain.

Editorial says primary care system must change how it approaches dementia
In an editorial in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, geriatrics researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. say that primary care doctors, the physicians seen by most older adults, cannot meet the needs of the growing number of older adults with dementia without changing how the primary care system approaches dementia.

Genetic approach provides new insight into trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer
A new study provides important insight into the mechanisms involved in resistance to treatment of breast cancer patients with trastuzumab (Herceptin).

Obesity strongest risk factor for colorectal cancer among women; greater than smoking
A study of women's risk of colorectal cancer found obesity is the strongest risk factor for colorectal neoplasia, an even stronger association than smoking.

Satellites help ensure efficient use of pesticides
A new service, developed in the framework of an ESA-supported project, is using satellite images to compare agricultural crop sites across Europe in order to ensure the more efficient use of pesticides.

Mortality rates 71 percent lower at top-rated hospitals: HealthGrades 2008 hospital-quality study
Patients have on average a 71 percent lower chance of dying at the nation's top-rated hospitals compared with the lowest-rated hospitals across 18 procedures and conditions analyzed in the 10th annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, issued today by HealthGrades, the health-care ratings company.

Tonsillectomy associated with improved sleep and behavior in children with breathing disorders
Children diagnosed with sleep-disordered breathing appear to sleep better and have improved behavior following removal of their tonsils and adenoids, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Dermatologists advance science of wound healing, care
Cosmetic, medical and surgical dermatologists all play a role in the treatment and management of wounds, according to an editorial in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, a theme issue on wound healing.

Leukocyte reduction seen as significant advance in transfusion medicine
Experts called on government and medical organizations involved in blood transfusion to

JCSM: CPAP therapy improves symptoms of depression in OSA patients
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea who also suffer from depression often find that continued use of continuous positive airway pressure relieves them of symptoms of depression.

Colorectal cancer screening remains essential for elderly Americans
Two new studies support continued colorectal cancer screening among elderly Americans.

Iowa State engineers hope to build better roads by using ethanol co-products
An Iowa State University research team will do lab tests to determine whether lignin, a co-product of ethanol produced from plant fiber, could be mixed with soil to improve soil strength in roadbeds.

After drought, ponds keep up with the Joneses
Jonathan M. Chase, Ph.D., an ecologist at Washington University in St.

Structure of influenza B virus protein gives clues to next pandemic
Determining the structure of a protein called hemagglutinin on the surface of influenza B is giving researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University in Houston clues as to what kinds of mutations could spark the next flu pandemic.

Horizons AMI trial data to be presented at TCT 2007
The study is designed to examine the safety and effectiveness of stents and anticoagulants in heart attack patients undergoing angioplasty.

New Analyses of long-term LIALDA (mesalamine) data presented at ACG
Post-hoc and other analyses of secondary endpoints of a long-term safety and tolerability study of Shire plc's ulcerative colitis drug LIALDA (mesalamine) provide further data on LIALDA in patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

Stanford analysis shows little difference in risk rates for angioplasty, bypass procedures
Patients with heart disease who undergo coronary angioplasty have an equivalent risk of death and heart attack as patients who undergo coronary bypass surgery, according to Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Insulin signaling and amphetamines
After the striatum is exposed to amphetamines, insulin signaling regulates dopamine via downstream phosphotidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase B targets.

Once-a-day epilepsy drug is effective for partial seizures
The epilepsy drug lamotrigine is effective in controlling partial seizures when taken once a day as an added therapy, according to a study published in the Oct.

DMP1 deletion cooperates with oncogenic K-ras in lung cancer
Scientists have identified the transcription factor DMP1 as a pivotal tumor suppressor for both human and mouse lung cancers, especially in carcinomas that exhibit intact Arf-p53 pathways.

Review of probiotic research finds only Bifantis can claim efficacy vs. placebo for IBS symptoms
University of Michigan researchers analyzed trials of probiotics in IBS treatment and found only Bifantis, the sole ingredient in Align, showed significant improvement.

Racial and ethnic differences in colorectal cancer emphasize importance of screening
Minorities are at increased risk for colorectal cancer than Caucasians, but less likely to undergo life-saving screening tests.

Chloroplast f and m Thioredoxins Discovered in Nonphotosynthetic Tissues
In a report to be published in the November issue of Plant Physiology, researchers have found that the f and m type plant thioredoxins previously thought to be localized only in chloroplasts are found in other, nonphotosynthetic, tissues, where they may have multiple functions.

Weight loss before bariatric surgery linked to shorter hospital stay, faster weight loss
High-risk morbidly obese patients who lose 5 to 10 percent of their excess body weight before undergoing gastric bypass surgery appear to have shorter hospital stays and more rapid postoperative weight loss, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, a theme issue on bariatric surgery.

First colonoscopy with removal of polyps linked to reduction in colon cancer death
Using a model from the National Polyp Study data, researchers found a dramatic reduction in expected colorectal cancer deaths with screening colonoscopy that cleared the colon of precancerous polyps -- whether or not there were follow-up exams -- suggesting the initial screening with

Engineering lab helping ensure safety of Florida's minibuses
Paratransit buses, more commonly known as minibuses, are a fairly common sight on the roads of many American communities.

Brain cell growth diminishes long before old age strikes, animal study shows
Soon after marmosets reach adulthood, the rate at which new neural cells form in the hippocampus region of the animals' brains begins to decline.

Research needed to overcome bariatric surgery objections
Bariatric surgery has become more acceptable, but additional research is needed to demonstrate to insurance companies and the public that it is the best long-term treatment for obesity, according to an editorial in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Leading experts in organic solar cells say the field is being damaged by questionable reports
In the latest issue of Elsevier's Materials Today the leading magazine for researchers in areas of advanced materials science, Dr.

Mental disorders are disorders of the brain
Mental disorders are disorders of the brain: achievements and future perspectives in neuropsychopharmacology.

IASP declares the Global Year Against Pain in Women
Today, the International Association for the Study of Pain has declared 2008 the Global Year Against Pain in Women to draw attention to the significant impact of chronic pain on women and the need for more effective care.

Enhanced DNA-repair mechanism can cause breast cancer
Although defects in the

Strengthening the reporting of observational research
Two papers setting out recommendations for the reporting of epidemiological research are published in this week's PLoS Medicine, along with several other journals.

'The Myth and Reality of Project Management,' Oct. 22
In this Oct. 22 presentation, Stevens Institute of Technology Professor Aaron J.

Fred Kavli to introduce prestigious science awards at DC climate conference
Kavli will speak on the opening day of Climate Action, an Oct.

New UIC center to study drug choices, safety
The University of Illinois at Chicago has been named one of 10 new centers in the US to study how consumers and clinicians make critical treatment decisions about therapeutic products and interventions.

Fish get insomnia, eyes wide open, say Stanford sleep researchers
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have hooked a fish that suffers from insomnia in their quest to understand the genetics behind sleep disorders.

Scientists identify new gene associated with lung cancer
The first research to show the involvement of a gene known as Dmp1 in human lung cancer will hopefully lead to an increased understanding on what goes wrong at the cellular level to cause the disease, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine reporting in Cancer Cell.

K-State chemistry professor to receive Masao Horiba award
An award-winning Kansas State University chemistry professor's most recent honor comes from a Japanese company recognizing him for work on microfluidic devices.

Usage of CAM therapies high among those with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome
A high proportion of patients with obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome report previous or current use, and interest in future use, of complementary and alternative medicine therapies.

Carnegie Mellon's Adrian Perrig studies black markets
Carnegie Mellon University's Adrian Perrig and Jason Franklin, working in conjunction with Vern Paxson of the International Computer Science Institute and Stefan Savage of the University of California, San Diego designed new computer tools to thwart growth of black markets. 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