Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 22, 2007
Transparent zebrafish help researchers track breast cancer
What if doctors could peer through a patient's skin and see a cancer tumor growing?

Informing poor in India boosts public service use
Simply informing the poor about government-provided health, educational and social services they are entitled to could empower them to take greater advantage of free or low-cost public services, a study in India suggests.

Sleep-deprivation causes an emotional brain 'disconnect'
Without sleep, the emotional centers of the brain dramatically overreact to negative experiences, reveals a new brain imaging study in the Oct.

Penn researchers find emotional well-being has no influence on cancer survival
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that emotional well-being is not an independent factor affecting the prognosis of patients with head and neck cancers.

ScienceDirect maximizes research capabilities, enhances the research process
Elsevier, leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information, today announced that it has added more development-partner-tested features on its ScienceDirect platform.

Eating whole-grain breakfast cereals may be associated with a lower risk of heart failure for men
Men who consume a higher amount of whole grain breakfast cereals may have a reduced risk of heart failure, according to a report in the Oct.

North Atlantic slows on the uptake of CO2
Further evidence for the decline of the oceans' historical role as an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide is supplied by new research by environmental scientists from the University of East Anglia, who have taken measurements for a decade from merchant ships plying the North Atlantic.

More educated people who develop dementia lose their memory faster
People with more years of education lose their memory faster than those with less education in the years prior to a diagnosis of dementia, according to a study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, published in the October 23 issue of the medical journal Neurology.

Canadian Parliamentarians' attitudes toward health research
A survey of Canadian Parliamentarians reveals that most are poorly informed about health research activities, benefits and costs in Canada.

Fighting obesity may be as easy as ATP, says UH researcher
Wearing a portable instrument to monitor metabolism in the fight against obesity and its related health consequences may be on the horizon thanks to collaborative research being performed at the University of Houston and the Methodist Hospital.

ENDEAVOR IV achieves primary endpoint, demonstrates similar safety profile compared to Taxus stent
Late-breaking results from the ENDEAVOR IV trial, presented at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, show that the Endeavor zotarolimus-eluting stent met the trial's primary endpoint, demonstrating a similar overall safety profile (equivalent rates of death, heart attack, and repeat procedures) to the Taxus paclitaxel-eluting stent at 1 year.

Decisions on the second round of the Excellence Initiative announced
Funding decisions for the second round of the Excellence Initiative have been made.

MIT works toward novel therapeutic device
MIT and University of Rochester researchers report important advances toward a therapeutic device that has the potential to capture cells as they flow through the blood stream and treat them.

High numbers of men and women are overweight, obese and have abdominal fat, worldwide
A new global study revealed that 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women are overweight, while 24 percent of men and 27 percent of women are obese, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Can you feel the heat? Your cilia can
Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues have found a previously unrecognized role for tiny hair-like cell structures known as cilia: They help form our sense of touch.

Using information technologies to conduct clinical trials in low income settings
This week PLoS Medicine publishes a special collection of articles that aim to highlight the profound influence of poverty upon health, as part of the Council of Science Editors' Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development.

UCLA doctor develops new technique to treat varicose veins
Early results of a new method to treat varicose veins, called Light-Assisted Stab Phlebectomy, are published in the October issue of the journal, American Surgeon.

From terror to joy: faced with death, our minds turn to happier thoughts
Psychologists have some ideas about how we cope with existential dread.

African women with inadequate food supply are more likely to have high risk sex
This week PLoS Medicine publishes a special collection of articles that aim to highlight the profound influence of poverty upon health, as part of the Council of Science Editors' Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development.

Female plasma may not be as harmful as once thought
As the national blood banking community considers limiting the use plasma from female donors because of a rare but potentially catastrophic lung condition, researchers from Duke University Medical Center have shown that this policy change might be premature.

Funding source may be associated with findings regarding adverse effects in corticosteroid studies
Studies of inhaled corticosteroids, medications frequently prescribed for asthma and other respiratory problems, appear less likely to find adverse effects if they are funded by pharmaceutical companies than if they are funded by other sources, according to a report in the Oct.

Space sensors shed new light on air quality
Air pollution is becoming one of the biggest dangers for the future of the planet, causing premature deaths of humans and damaging flora and fauna.

Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children
Just three months of daily, vigorous physical activity in overweight children improves their thinking and reduces their diabetes risk, researchers say.

African women with inadequate food supply are more likely to have high-risk sex
This week PLoS Medicine publishes a special collection of articles that aim to highlight the profound influence of poverty upon health, as part of the Council of Science Editors' Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development.

Weight gain related to postmenopausal breast cancer risk
Women who gain weight throughout adulthood rather than maintaining a stable weight may have an increased risk for breast cancer, according to a report in the Oct.

Pitt professor says harmful byproducts of fossil fuels could be higher in urban areas
Nitrogen oxides, the noxious byproduct of burning fossil fuels that can return to Earth in rain and snow as harmful nitrate, could taint urban water supplies and roadside waterways more than scientists and regulators realize, according to research published Oct.

Influenza vaccine causes weaker immune response for rural children
Researchers have found that vaccination against influenza strains seems to be more effective in a semi-urban population than in a rural population of schoolchildren in Gabon, Africa, according to an article in the Dec.

Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
New insights into the cellular signal chain through which pheromones stimulate mating in yeast have been gained by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.

Journal of the American Dental Association spotlights poverty
The Journal of the American Dental Association joins 234 other international scientific journals today in publishing a global theme issue on poverty and human development, an unprecedented collaborative effort among the world's biomedical publications.

Voltaren Gel receives FDA approval as first topical prescription treatment for osteoarthritis pain
Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium topical gel) 1 percent has received US regulatory approval as the first topical prescription treatment that patients can apply directly to sites of pain associated with osteoarthritis.

200 journals join in theme issues on poverty and human development
Through an international collaboration, more than 200 medical and scientific journals are publishing theme issues this week on the relationship between poverty and human development.

More fast food means greater BMI
Americans are less willing to pay more for healthy dishes, less knowledgeable about healthy menu items, and more likely to consider healthy items bland tasting, finds a Temple University analysis.

9 SAGE journals participate in global theme issue on poverty and human development
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journal publisher, is proud to be participating in a global theme issue on poverty and human development launched today by the Council of Science Editors.

Sports medicine programs benefit from pulmonologist on staff
Despite the high prevalence of asthma among athletes, a new study finds that the majority of National Collegiate Athletic Association sports medicine programs do not have a pulmonologist on staff.

Age affects motivation for quitting smoking
A new study shows that obstacles to smoking cessation and motives for quitting smoking vary with age.

Cancer survival is not influenced by a patient's emotional status
A patient's positive or negative emotional state has no direct or indirect effect on cancer survival or disease progression, according to a large-scale new study.

XDR TB in South Africa traced to lack of drug susceptibility testing
In South Africa, the 2001 implementation of the World Health Organization's antituberculosis program may have inadvertently helped to create a new strain of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.

To determine election outcomes, study says snap judgments are sufficient
A split-second glance at two candidates' faces is often enough to determine which one will win an election, according to a Princeton University study.

Good outcomes possible for HIV-infected children in Africa enrolled in pediatric treatment programs
Care provided by nurses and other clinicians in primary health care settings in sub-Saharan Africa can result in good outcomes for children with HIV infection.

Study provides first evidence of neural link between sleep loss and psychiatric disorders
In the first neural investigation into what happens to our emotional stability when we lose sleep, researchers from UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School have found that while a good night's rest can regulate our mood and help us cope with the next day's emotional challenges, sleep deprivation excessively boosts the part of the brain most closely connected to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders.

Influenza vaccine causes weaker immune response for children of rural Gabon than in semi-urban areas
Researchers have found that vaccination against influenza strains seem to be more effective in a semi-urban population than in a rural population of schoolchildren in Gabon, Africa, according to an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Physicians successfully trained to perform cataract surgery in rural China
Patients in rural China who received cataract surgery from specially trained non-ophthalmologists had improved vision 10 to 14 months following surgery, according to an article that will appear in the November 2007 print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

Healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors associated with decreased risk of heart attack in women
Women who eat a healthy diet, drink moderate amounts of alcohol, are physically active, maintain a healthy weight and do not smoke have a significantly reduced risk of heart attack, according to a report in the Oct.

High-risk individuals less likely to follow through on HIV testing plans
One-fourth of individuals at high risk for contracting HIV report planning to be tested for the virus in the next year, but fewer appear to follow through on that intention than individuals who are at lower risk, according to a report in the Oct.

Educating local physicians key to care of children with cleft deformities in Zimbabwe
A surgical team that traveled to Zimbabwe successfully treated 39 children with cleft lip or palate, and an ongoing relationship with physicians there will help meet the needs of local patients, according to an article that will appear in the November/December 2007 print issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Is a good night's sleep crucial for your health?
In spring 2005 a large European research and training network was established to investigate the causes and implications of poor sleep from a medical as well as from a social point of view.

Proximity to nephrologist and mortality among patients receiving hemodialysis
Patients on hemodialysis who live farther from their attending nephrologist are more likely to die than those who live closer.

Wiley-Blackwell journals contribute to Council of Science Editor's global theme issue
Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that 16 of its journals will participate in the Council of Science Editor's global theme issue dedicated to poverty and human development.

Journals collaborate to increase awareness of worldwide problems of poverty and human development
More than 200 medical and scientific journals from 34 developing and developed countries are simultaneously publishing articles on poverty and human development to raise awareness and disseminate research about this critically important global topic, according to two editorials in the Oct.

Are some men predisposed to pedophilia?
Height may point to a biological basis for pedophilia. A new study from CAMH found that pedophilic males were shorter on average than males without a sexual attraction to children, suggesting that pedophiles may have been exposed to pre-birth conditions that affected their physical development.

Which intervention would do the most to improve the health of the extreme poor?
For PLoS Medicine's special issue on poverty and health, the journal asked thirty commentators, including some of the world's most respected global health experts, to name the one intervention that would improve the health of those living on less than $1 a day.

Study finds genetic influence on pace of HIV/AIDS progression
Viral load -- the amount of virus in the blood of an HIV-infected person -- has long been viewed as the chief indicator of how quickly someone infected with HIV infection progresses to AIDS.

Improvements in survival after dialysis in the elderly
In this retrospective cohort study of data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, the researchers found that survival among 14,512 elderly patients who began dialysis between 1990 and 1999 improved over time, despite their increasing burden of comorbidity.

Spreading information improves delivery of health, social services in rural India
Providing a structured informational program about entitled health and social services to resource-poor rural villagers in India improved the delivery of these services to the people who may need them, according to a study in the Oct.

Carbon monoxide test helps doctors determine patients' smoking status
New research says pulse cooximeters can detect a person's smoking status.

A longer-living, healthier mouse that could hold clues to human aging
A study by scientists at UCL shows that mice lacking the insulin receptor substrate-1 are more resistant to aging than normal mice.

18 young scientists join EMBO Young Investigator network
The European Molecular Biology Organization announced today the selection of 18 of Europe's most talented young researchers as the 2007 beneficiaries of its prestigious Young Investigator Program.

NIH hosts event to launch Council of Science Editors' global theme issue
The National Institutes of Health today is hosting the launch of the Council of Science Editors' global theme issue on poverty and human development, to coincide with the publication of related research by more than 230 journals worldwide.

Successful Ariane 5 upper-stage engine re-ignition experiment
A successful re-ignition of the Ariane 5 upper stage engine performed during the most recent mission has consolidated Ariane 5's readiness for the launch of the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle.

Harvard University engineers demonstrate quantum cascade laser nanoantenna
In a major feat of nanotechnology engineering researchers from Harvard University have demonstrated a laser with a wide-range of potential applications in chemistry, biology and medicine.

Personal safety concerns could thwart exercise targets for the poor
Exercise is strongly promoted for the maintenance of good health -- particularly as regards people on lower incomes, who are generally less physically active.

Endobronchial valve significantly improves emphysema
Emphysema patients whose lungs are implanted with a pencil eraser-sized, one-way endobronchial valve experience significantly improved measures of lung function and report better quality of life, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researcher Frank C.

Hopes, Predictions and Realities: Is Biomedical Research Delivering On Its Promises?
Dr. Nurse, 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, will appear at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue for a critical examination of the latest breakthroughs in the biological sciences and their potential to transform medical treatment.

Elsevier journals participate widely in global theme issue on poverty and human development
Today, The National Institutes of Health is hosting the launch of the Council of Science Editors' global theme issue on poverty and human development, to coincide with the publication of related research by more than 230 journals worldwide.

OHSU turns innovations into commercial opportunities at record pace
By most measures of an academic medical center's success in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, fiscal year 2007 was a banner year for Oregon Health & Science University.

Mayo Clinic tests novel vaccine for aggressive brain tumors
A vaccine that has significantly increased life expectancy in early tests of patients with glioblastoma multiforme -- the most common, most aggressive form of brain cancer in adults -- is now being offered through a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

Educated people who develop dementia lose memory at faster rate
People with more years of education lose their memory faster than those with less education in the years prior to a diagnosis of dementia, according to a study published in the Oct.

Rise in atmospheric CO2 accelerates as economy grows, natural carbon sinks weaken
Human activities are releasing carbon dioxide faster than ever, while the natural processes that normally slow its buildup in the atmosphere appear to be weakening.

A roadmap for calibration and validation
The volume of data acquired by more than 50 Earth observation satellites is increasing at an exponential rate and is providing unprecedented synoptic views of our planet.

New inhibitor has potential as cancer drug
Laboratory experiments have previously shown that cancer cells overproduce an enzyme, heparanase, which splits the body's own polysaccharide heparan sulfate into shorter fragments.

Global theme issue on poverty and human development
Four Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. journals are participating in the Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development, a special worldwide publishing event on Oct.

Hopkins researchers release genome data on autism
Researchers at Johns Hopkins' McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine today are releasing newly generated genetic data to help speed autism research.

Broccoli sprout-derived extract protects against ultraviolet radiation
A team of Johns Hopkins scientists reports in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that humans can be protected against the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation -- the most abundant cancer-causing agent in our environment -- by topical application of an extract of broccoli sprouts.

Hand hygiene initiative aims to decrease healthcare-associated infection in developing countries
An open-access commentary in the December 2007 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology examines a recently launched a global initiative by the World Health Organization to combat healthcare-associated infection by improving hand hygiene in health care.

Poverty and chronic diseases in Asia
This article is from CMAJ's special issue on poverty and human development, part of a global initiative coordinated by the Council of Science Editors involving more than 200 science journals.

Global deal fuels QUT's world-changing research
Queensland University of Technology has joined forces with the world's largest agribusiness company, Syngenta, to develop technologies that will provide an economical, green fuel alternative for cars.

Spending more for lung cancer treatment did not substantially increase patients' lives
A new study finds that survival for elderly patients with lung cancer has changed little despite large increases in healthcare expenditures for lung cancer treatment.

RIT to study air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the Great Lakes region
Professors at Rochester Institute of Technology won a $60,000 grant from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute to study air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the Great Lakes region.

Unexpected growth in atmospheric CO2
A team of scientists has found that atmospheric carbon dioxide growth has increased 35 percent faster than expected since 2000.

HIV is spread most by people with medium levels of HIV in blood, says study
People with medium levels of HIV in their blood are likely to contribute most to the spread of the virus, according to new research published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Common virus may help doctors treat deadly brain tumors
A common human virus may prove useful in attacking the deadliest form of brain tumors, according to a study by researchers at Duke's Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

Nutritional and environmental interventions can help decrease child deaths worldwide
Interventions that improve nutrition and environmental conditions can also provide substantial gains toward the goal of reducing child mortality, especially when the interventions prioritize the poor, according to a study in the Oct.

Improvement still needed in HIV testing in high-risk groups
Since 2000, the rates of HIV testing have remained relatively low and constant in the US, with about one third of Americans ever having had an HIV test, and less than a quarter of the people considered at high risk for contracting the virus that causes AIDS report having been tested in the past year.

Fight against HIV needs local scientists, say researchers
Scientists from developing countries are vitally important in the fight against HIV and they must be given the proper resources to conduct their work, according to a new commentary published today in the journal Nature Immunology.

6 Sigma decreases mortality in hospitalized patients
Although Six Sigma practices are widely used in the manufacturing industry, the performance improvement system also may provide significant benefits for hospitals, medical professionals and patients.

Study explains how exercise lowers cardiovascular risk
It's well-known that physical activity can improve cardiovascular health. But it's the impact exercise has on specific known risk factors that accounts for about 60 percent of that improvement, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Epstein-Barr: a virtual look at a vexing virus
Researchers have created a computer model called Pathogen Simulation to study the sometimes deadly Epstein-Barr virus, which infects greater than 90 percent of the world's population.

Pall launches new products to increase supply of safe blood
Pall Corporation is launching the new AcrodoseTM PLus System to ensure patients receive the safest possible platelet transfusion -- no matter what type of system blood centers use to collect donated blood.

Kaiser Permanente study shows electronic medical records and outreach improve osteoporosis care
New Kaiser Permanente study in Journal of the American Geriatrics Association is largest study to show electronic medical records and outreach programs of e-mails, letters and phone calls to patients and primary care providers after a bone fracture dramatically improve the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis.

Autism Consortium releases data on genes involved in autism to researchers worldwide
The Autism Consortium, a group of researchers, clinicians and families dedicated to accelerating research and enhancing clinical care for autism, announced today that it has completed the first genome scan for Autism Spectrum Disorders through its Autism Gene Discovery Project and released the reference data set to a database that autism researchers around the world can use.

Scientists discover how gold eases pain of arthritis
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center may have solved the mystery surrounding the healing properties of gold -- a discovery they say may renew interest in gold salts as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Clues to ensuring anti-HIV drugs are taken in Africa
HIV-infected patients in the African country of Tanzania were more likely to stop taking their medications and to fail treatment if they had to pay for the drugs themselves.

Hypnosis for smoking cessation sees strong results
Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods.

Which intervention would do the most to improve the health of the extreme poor?
This week PLoS Medicine publishes a special collection of articles that aim to highlight the profound influence of poverty upon health, as part of the Council of Science Editors' Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development.

Chewing gum may help reduce cravings and control appetite
A research study to be presented at the 2007 Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society, found that chewing gum before an afternoon snack helped reduce hunger, diminish cravings and promote fullness among individuals who limit their overall calorie intake.

An eye for an eye: using stem cells to treat damaged eyes and a rare skin disorder
Doctors and scientists in Italy have shown how stem cells can be used to treat damaged eyes and, in combination with gene therapy, a rare and debilitating skin disease.

Sequella receives US and EU orphan drug status for SQ109 for the treatment of TB
Sequella, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing products to treat diseases of epidemic potential, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency independently reviewed Sequella lead drug compound, SQ109, and both agencies granted SQ109 orphan drug status for the treatment of tuberculosis.

Zinc may reduce pneumonia risk in nursing home elderly
Tufts University researchers report that maintaining normal serum zinc concentration in the blood may help reduce the risk of pneumonia development in elderly nursing home residents.
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