Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 16, 2007
High-dose ibuprofen may slow cystic fibrosis lung disease -- especially in children
This updated Cochrane Review supports the intriguing suggestion that long-term high-dose ibuprofen slows the rate of decline in lung function in children with cystic fibrosis when treatment is started under the age of 13.

Gold nanorods shed light on new approach to fighting cancer
Researchers have shown how tiny 'nanorods' of gold can be triggered by a laser beam to blast holes in the membranes of tumor cells, setting in motion a complex biochemical mechanism that leads to a tumor cell's self-destruction.

Ear infection superbug discovered to be resistant to all pediatric antibiotics
Researchers have discovered a strain of bacteria resistant to all approved drugs used to fight ear infections in children, according to an article to be published tomorrow in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hubble shows 'baby' galaxy is not so young after all
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found out the true nature of a dwarf galaxy that astronomers had for a long time identified as one of the youngest galaxies in the Universe.

Springer and the New York Botanical Garden Press join forces to publish botanical journals
Springer and the New York Botanical Garden announce a partnership to publish The Botanical Review, Brittonia, and Economic Botany beginning in 2008.

Bouncing bucky balls
A team of researchers at the University of Bologna and the University of Liverpool have carried out detailed molecular dynamics simulations to understand the motion of intriguiingly ball-shaped C60 bucky balls on metal surfaces.

Farm kids have lower risk of asthma, study shows
Farm children appear to have a lower risk of asthma than their urban counterparts or even those living in a nonagricultural rural environment, according to a University of Alberta study.

Is the spleen able to prohibit tumor cell proliferation?
An interesting case of isolated splenic metastasis from colonic cancer was found by Dr.

Contrast agent trials in swine
A team led by John V. Frangioni at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., has developed a contrast agent for near infrared mammography that makes visible the microcalcifications related to malignant breast tumors.

No evidence that insoles prevent general back pain
There is strong evidence that using insoles does not prevent people from getting nonspecific back pain, and there is insufficient evidence to say whether or not they help solve existing low-back pain, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

Ecologists discover city is 'uber-forest' for big owls
Charlotte has a spooky secret: the North Carolina city is home to a robust population of very large barred owls -- a species long-believed by ornithologists to require old growth forest for survival.

Cuba at a crossroads: Can the US hospitality industry help shape a 'new Cuba'?
An analysis of the potential relationship of Cuba and United States tourism interests by Sergei Khrushchev and two co-authors, published in the November 2007 issue of the Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, suggests that the US hospitality industry can begin to help bridge the economic gap between Cuba and the United States.

Substantial costs and underreporting of dengue fever, concerns about blood supply face US
New studies reveal substantial costs and underreporting of dengue fever.

Genetic contributions to human brain morphology and intelligence
Hilleke Hulshoff Pol presents persuasive evidence how genetic factors influence the brain structure opening new insights into the reciprocal gene-environment developmental pathways.

UC-Riverside partners with Chinese university to address China's environmental problems
To address China's increasing environmental challenges, such as smog, acid rain and water pollution, scientists at the University of California, Riverside and China Agricultural University have teamed up to launch a new center: the CAU-UCR International Center for Ecology and Sustainability.

BIDMC Dyslexia Research Lab celebrates 25th anniversary
A day-long web conference, sponsored by the Dyslexia Foundation will be broadcast live from BIDMC's Dyslexia Research Laboratory, beginning at 9:30 am, Wednesday, Oct.

In-vitro fertilization improved with 3-D/4-D-guided embryo transfer and new placement target
Embryo placement is a key factor determining the success of in-vitro fertilization.

Understanding, combating foodborne pathogens E. coli 0157 and salmonella
Understanding the ecology of two dangerous foodborne pathogens and devising ways to combat them is a big job.

New research on structure of bones raises questions for treatment of osteoporosis
Researchers have discovered that the structure of human bones is vastly different than previously believed -- findings which will have implications for how some debilitating bone disorders are treated.

Einstein researcher receives NIH grant to explore epigenetic regulation of the human genome
A researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has been awarded a $1.5 million, three-year technology development grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Science and Galileo -- working together
Galileo is a promising tool for the scientific community, even though it is mainly intended for a set of practical services such as guiding cars, supporting safe aircraft landings or helping blind people to find their way.

Don't 'break the waters' during labor without good clinical reason, concludes Cochrane Review
A Cochrane Review concluded that amniotomy, also known as breaking the waters, should not be used routinely as part of standard labour management and care.

Elderly Medicare, Medicaid patients not receiving quality care
Using quality-of-care measurements developed by the Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders project, UCLA researchers found that vulnerable elderly patients received only 65 percent of the tests and other diagnostic evaluations and treatments recommended for a variety of illnesses and conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Apple, National Semiconductor among California companies with no women at the top
Nearly one third of the largest public companies headquartered in California have no women at the top, UC-Davis study shows

Research shows loggerhead sea turtles threatened by small-scale fishing operations
Ocean Conservancy Scientist, Wallace J. Nichols and University of California-Santa Cruz researcher Hoyt Peckham found surprising results in a recent peer-reviewed loggerhead sea turtle study that Nichols and Peckham conducted over the course of 10 years.

Hummocky and shallow Maunder crater
The High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA's Mars Express orbiter has obtained pictures of the Noachis Terra region on Mars, in particular, the striking Maunder crater.

Don't routinely use enemas during labor
Giving women enemas during labor does not shorten labor or decrease the risk of infection to mother or baby.

National study -- kids' bike injuries are major public health concern
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital concluded that bicycle-related injuries among US children may be a more significant public health concern than first thought.

No evidence that regulations on construction sites reduce fatal and nonfatal accidents
Construction workers are frequently exposed to injury-inducing hazards, and various interventions have been proposed to make the work safer.

Patients may have sweet and effective way to prepare for upper GI endoscopy: an anesthetic lollipop
Researchers at the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon have found that administering a lidocaine lollipop as a single-agent anesthetic to patients undergoing an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy procedure eliminated the need for sedation in the majority of patients.

Simple measures can reduce spread of respiratory viruses
Blocking transmission of respiratory viruses is an important part of halting spread of disease if an epidemic breaks out.

Severely mentally ill at high risk for cardiovascular disease
A psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Chinese herbal medicine may help relieve painful menstrual cramps
A team of Cochrane Researchers has found evidence that Chinese herbal medicine may provide one possible form of treatment for women with menstrual cramps.

UF researchers track genetic journey of HIV from birth to death
University of Florida researchers tracked four children born with HIV, studying blood samples taken at birth, throughout life and just after death.

LA breast cancer activist honored with Survivor Circle Award
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology is pleased to announce that Stefanie LaRue of Woodland Hills, Calif., has been selected as the 2007 Survivor Circle Award winner.

Oral antibiotics effective to treat severe urinary tract infections
Although doctors routinely use IV antibiotics to cure patients with severe urinary tract infections, a new review from suggests that oral antibiotics work just as well -- from treating acute symptoms to preventing long-term complications of UTI.

Waterpipe smoking of tobacco is increasing, but research still lags behind
With the increased use of waterpipes (also known as hookahs, hubble-bubbles, narghiles, shishas, gozas or narkeelas) in Western countries, many people believe that because the tobacco smoke is drawn through water, it is less harmful than other forms of smoking, but the evidence accumulated so far does not support that assumption, this Cochrane Systematic review has found.

Further debate needed over public engagement with science
The extent to which there is an

Computer simulator allows visually-impaired to drive
Scientists from the Universities of Granada and Murcia have created a pioneering device, known as SERBA (in Spanish, Reconfigurable Electric-Optical System for Low Vision), which improves the vision of sight-impaired patients.

A low prevalence of H pylori in HIV-positive patients
Human immunodeficiency virus infection is a challenging disease worldwide. The gastrointestinal tract has long been recognized as a major site of AIDS-related diseases, and researchers have long been seeking the characteristic causing this.

NTU offers new joint master's degree to train engineers for the silicon wafer fabrication industries
Nanyang Technological University has signed an agreement with Technische Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Germany and German Institute of Science and Technology Pte Ltd to offer a joint Master of Science degree program in microelectronics.

Taxol-type drugs give slight boost to survival rates in early breast cancer
The breast cancer drugs called taxanes, which include taxol and taxotere, increase survival rates when used as part of chemotherapy following surgery for cancers that have not spread, according to a new review of the research.

The genetics of MLL leukemogenesis
In the Nov. 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Michael Cleary and colleagues identify the gene Meis1 as a critical player in the establishment of leukemia stem cells, and the development of MLL leukemia.

Double Star TC-1 completes its mission
TC-1, one of the two satellites of the CNSA/ESA Double Star mission, was decommissioned on Oct.

Study shows reducing class size may be more cost-effective than most medical interventions
Reducing the number of students per classroom in US primary schools may be more cost-effective than most public health and medical interventions, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Virginia Commonwealth University.

NARSAD presents 2007 prizes for outstanding achievement in neuroscience and psychiatric research
Five of the most prestigious awards in psychiatric research will be presented to scientists of great achievement by NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research, at its annual New York gala awards dinner later this week.

Liver fibrosis will be treated by a potential target
The hepatitis is either self recovery or its development into liver fibrosis or, further, liver cirrhosis.

Stronger EPA leadership needed to improve water quality in Mississippi River
The US Environmental Protection Agency must take a more aggressive leadership role in implementing the Clean Water Act if water quality in the Mississippi River and the northern Gulf of Mexico is to improve, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Getting light to bend backwards
While developing new lenses for next-generation sensors, researchers have crafted a layered material that causes light to refract, or bend, in a manner nature never intended.

Methods for regulating wind power's variability under development by electrical engineer
As Texas' electric grid operator prepares to add power lines for carrying future wind-generated energy, an electrical engineer at the University of Texas at Austin is developing improved methods for determining the extent to which power from a wind farm can displace a conventional power plant, and how best to regulate varying wind power.

Financial relationships between industry and medical schools, teaching hospitals highly prevalent
In a national survey of department chairs at medical schools and teaching hospitals, more than half report relationships with industry, including receiving financial and in-kind support, according to a study in the Oct.

Obesity genetics
New evidence that genetics plays a key role in obesity is published today in the International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications.

Upper Midwest forests are losing diversity, complexity, ISU study finds
Forests in the nation's Upper Midwest have changed greatly since the time of the early settlers.

How schizophrenia develops: Major clues discovered
We know that something happens during brain development that contributes to schizophrenia.

Researchers measure carbon nanotube interaction
Carbon nanotubes have been employed for a variety of uses including composite materials, biosensors, nano-electronic circuits and membranes.

Clemson awarded $2M to study radiation-induced bone loss
The department of bioengineering at Clemson University has received $2 million in grants to study radiation-induced bone loss.

Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Team to study psychosocial stress
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, led by Pitt psychology professor Thomas Kamarck, are studying the effectiveness of a wrist-mounted instrument for measuring psychosocial stress exposure during the course of daily life.

Does race still play a role in capital punishment sentencing?
In an ongoing study using survey data from the Capital Jury Project, Dr.

Acid oceans warning
The world's oceans are becoming more acid, with potentially devastating consequences for corals and the marine organisms that build reefs and provide much of the Earth's breathable oxygen.

Improving science, technology in Africa is aim as G-8, African, UN experts convene in Berlin
G-8 experts and their African counterparts convene for two days in Germany, Oct.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following papers are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Symposium marks 30th anniversary of discovery of third domain of life
Thirty years ago this month, researchers at the University of Illinois published a discovery that challenged basic assumptions about the broadest classifications of life.

Bacterial strain that causes ear infections emerges; resistant to antibiotics, pneumococcal vaccine
A strain of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause ear infections in children, has been detected that is resistant to all FDA-approved antibiotics for treatment of ear infections and is not covered by the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine, according to a study in the Oct.

Insulin's brain impact links drugs and diabetes
Insulin, long known as an important regulator of blood glucose levels, now has a newly appreciated role in brain systems linked to drug addiction and neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a new report by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

UCSB researchers discover the dawn of animal vision
By peering deep into evolutionary history, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have discovered the origins of photosensitivity in animals.

Science casts doubt on famous British murder case
Ninety-seven years after an American was hanged in London in one of the most notorious and famous murder cases in British history, forensic science at Michigan State University is producing evidence that his execution was a mistake.

Antifibrinolytic drugs reduce blood loss during cardiac surgery
The amount of blood loss that occurs during major complex surgery is limited by the body's ability to form blood clots.

Novel gate dielectric materials: perfection is not enough
For the first time theoretical modeling has provided a glimpse into how promising dielectric materials are able to trap charges, something which may affect the performance of advanced electronic devices.

Stretching out does not prevent soreness after exercise
Studies show that stretching before or after exercise has little or no effect on muscle soreness between half a day and three days later, a team of Cochrane Researchers has found.

President's panel to improve import safety convenes Thursday at Texas A&M
A Presidential panel looking at how to prevent import safety problems such as the recent product quality issues involving pet food ingredients, apparel, toys and seafood, will gather for a one-day conference on the Texas A&M University campus on Oct.

Study shows some athletic men may risk low bone density
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects more than 2 million men in the United States and nearly 12 million more have osteopenia -- clinically significant low bone density that is less severe than osteoporosis.

Reunion with patient inspires follow-up study on treatment for DiGeorge syndrome
UCLA researchers found that survival with bone marrow transplant was greater than 75 percent, similar to thymic transplantation, for treatment of complete DiGeorge syndrome.

A new baseline of invasive plants in Isabela
Charles Darwin Foundation botanists have published a list of all the introduced plants growing in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, the third largest town in Galapagos.

IOM advisory: improving cancer patients' psychosocial care
CANCER CARE FOR THE WHOLE PATIENT: MEETING PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH NEEDS, a new report from the Institute of Medicine, outlines an action plan to ensure that patients and their families receive the psychosocial health services they need.

Darwin Symposium at Field Museum offers broad overview of his science and its impact
World-class experts from the US and Great Britain will speak at The Field Museum for a one-of-a-kind symposium on Charles Darwin and evolution, which continues to excite the world and direct scientific research 125 years after Darwin's death.

Acupuncture reduces pain, need for opioids after surgery
Using acupuncture before and during surgery significantly reduces the level of pain and the amount of potent painkillers needed by patients after the surgery is over, according to Duke University Medical Center anesthesiologists who combined data from 15 small randomized acupuncture clinical trials.

Why are we losing Louisiana?
The Mississippi Delta region was losing land long before Hurricane Katrina came ashore.

Small-scale fishing in Mexico rivals industrial fisheries in accidental turtle deaths
New research shows that a small-scale Mexican fishery -- operated by hand from small open boats -- can kill as many critically endangered loggerhead sea turtles as all of the industrial fishing fleets in the North Pacific Ocean put together.

Argonne National Lab acquires first SiCortex SC5832
SiCortex, the first company to engineer a Linux cluster from the silicon up, today announced that the first production model of an SC5832, its flagship 5.8 teraflop system, will be installed at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Medical school departments, department heads often have industry relationships
A study led by members of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Policy has found that institutional academic-industry relationships -- financial relationships companies have with medical schools or teaching hospitals rather than with individual physicians or scientists -- are as common and pervasive as individual relationships.

Aswan Obelisk Quarry more than meets the eye
The unfinished Obelisk Quarry in Aswan, Egypt, has a canal that may have connected to the Nile and allowed the large stone monuments to float to their permanent locations, according to an international team of researchers.

UCSD findings could lead to new therapy for spinal cord injury-induced spasticity and rigidity
Research led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has identified a target with potential as an effective new therapy for chronic spasticity and rigidity, a painful condition that often results from spinal cord injury.

Drug-resistant staph infection appears more widespread than previously thought
Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus appears to be more prevalent than previously believed, affecting certain populations disproportionately and is being found more often outside of health care settings, according to a study in the Oct. 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