Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 25, 2007
The new source of islet cells
Islets transplantation is one promising approach to type 1 diabetes treatment, but it is limited by the shortage of islet cells.

Provost Korfiatis honored with NDIA Firepower Award
The Board of Directors of the Picatinny Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association has announced that Stevens Institute of Technology Provost & University Vice President George P.

Seismologists see Earth's interior as interplay between temperature, pressure and chemistry
Seismologists in recent years have recast their understanding of the inner workings of Earth from a relatively benign homogeneous environment to one that is highly dynamic and chemically diverse.

Possible cosmic defect may be a window into the early universe
An unusual cold spot in the oldest radiation in the universe, the cosmic microwave background, may be caused by a cosmic defect created just after the Big Bang, a Spanish and UK research team has found.

JDRF Partners with Osiris to evaluate an immunomodulatory cell therapy product for type 1 diabetes
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation announced today a partnership with Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. to support a Phase II clinical trial using Prochymal, an immunomodulatory cell therapy product, to preserve and regenerate insulin-producing cells in patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Stanford researchers get precise picture of cell target for drugs
More than half of all drugs given to patients work by targeting a particular type of

Women still face cancer risk 25 years after treatment
Women are still at risk of developing invasive cancer of the cervix or vagina 25 years after being treated for precancerous lesions, according to a study published today online.

Drug that lowers blood pressure might help prevent Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that is the most common form of dementia.

Microfluidics and optical trapping integrated for the first time in new lab-on-a-chip research
Researchers at Cornell University for the first time have integrated optical functions with microfluidic ones, enabling the sorting of particles by light.

Acute pancreatitis and cholangitis: a complication caused by a migrated gastrostomy tube
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is generally considered to be safe with a low rate of serious complications.

Government invests in information exchange initiative to improve emergency preparedness and response
Speaking at the 2007 International Pipeline Security Forum, the Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of natural resources, announced that the government of Canada will invest $150,000 to fund a project that will facilitate the online exchange of information about Canada's critical infrastructure in support of emergency preparedness and response.

Imaging shows structural changes in mild traumatic brain injury
Researchers report that diffusion tensor imaging can identify structural changes in the white matter of the brain that correlates to cognitive deficits even in patients with mild traumatic brain injury.

Why do autumn leaves bother to turn red?
Soils may dictate the array of fall colors as much as the trees rooted in them, according to a forest survey out of North Carolina.

Food restriction increases dopamine receptor levels in obese rats
A brain-imaging study of genetically obese rats conducted at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provides more evidence that dopamine -- a brain chemical associated with reward, pleasure, movement, and motivation -- plays a role in obesity.

Decision-makers seek internal balance, not balanced alternatives
A researcher at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that psychiatrists may need to approach the treatment of psychiatric patients from a new direction -- by understanding that such individuals' behavior and decision-making are based on an attempt to reach an inner equilibrium.

Medical College of Wisconsin receives FDA grant
The Food and Drug Administration has awarded the Medical College of Wisconsin a three-year, $1 million Orphan Products Development grant to study infantile hemangiomas -- a vascular tumor of the skin or internal organs, an emerging health issue for US infants and babies.

Yale affiliates named AAAS fellows for distinction in Science
Ten renowned scientists and educators at Yale have been named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed upon members of the organization by their peers.

New center to lead international muscular dystrophy research effort
The University of Rochester Medical Center announced today that it has received a $7.1 million gift from New York developer and philanthropist Richard T.

AACR to host first-ever meeting on the science of cancer health disparities
The American Association for Cancer Research to host first-ever meeting on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, Nov.

Like it or not, uncertainty and climate change go hand-in-hand
Despite decades of research, it appears the more likely it is that conditions will cause climate to warm the more uncertainty exists about how much warming will actually take place, according to two University of Washington scientists.

EpiVax receives JDRF program funding to develop diabetes drug using natural 'regulatory' T-cells
EpiVax, Inc, a leader in the field of computational immunology, announced today that it has received funding from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, to develop 'Epi-13,' a novel therapeutic for the prevention and treatment of type 1 diabetes, a devastating and chronic autoimmune disease that affects up to three million Americans today.

AAAS and Brandeis University announce 2007 Fellows
Michael Rosbash, PhD, of Brandeis University has been awarded the distinction of Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Scientists discover possible cosmic defect, remnant from Big Bang
Scientists from the Institute of Physics of Cantabria and the University of Cambridge may have discovered an example of a cosmic defect, a remnant from the Big Bang called a texture.

A new chemotherapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma
Many of hepatocellular carcinomas with scattered tumors cannot be operated on and therefore, in such patients, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization is performed as an important alternative treatment.

Argonne's Walter Henning receives award from German president
Noted physicist Walter F. Henning of the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has received a prestigious award from the president of Germany in recognition of his contributions to physics research in that country.

'Knocking out' cell receptor may help block fat deposits in tissues, prevent weight gain
University of Cincinnati pathologists have identified a new molecular target that one day may help scientists develop drugs to reduce fat transport to adipocytes in the body and prevent obesity and related disorders, like diabetes.

Study finds multiple neglected tropical diseases effectively treated with drugs
The neglected tropical diseases are a group of 13 infectious diseases, including elephantiasis, hookworm, African sleeping sickness and trachoma, which affect more than one billion people worldwide, most of whom live in extreme poverty.

Obesity risks increase after menopause
Postmenopausal women are at an age when the incidence and exacerbation of the chronic health conditions associated with obesity become more prevalent.

Long-term 12-month safety data on ADHD patch DAYTRANA
Shire plc announced that DAYTRANA (methylphenidate transdermal system), the ADHD patch, provided significant ADHD tolerability and symptom control improvement in children aged 6 to 12 years, according to data from a 12-month study presented today at a major scientific and educational meeting of child and adolescent psychiatrists.

K-State's Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan and Barbara Valent named AAAS Fellows
Two more Kansas State University faculty have been designated fellows by the world's largest general scientific society.

U-M to lead disaster aftermath research center
The University of Michigan is the lead research institution in a $3.89 million grant to fund a consortium to study the health consequences on victims in disasters.

VYVANSE trial in adult ADHD demonstrated significant efficacy within 1 week of daily treatment
Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announced that a phase 3 study demonstrated adults experienced significant improvements in ADHD symptom control within one week of treatment with once-daily VYVANSE, the first prodrug stimulant.

U of I scientist does nutritional detective work in Botswana
Many Americans have a soft spot for Botswana, developed while reading the best-selling No.

Study shows blood markers can help choose best dose for antiangiogenic drugs
Scientists at Sunnybrook have new information that may help to improve the use of anti-cancer drugs designed to block the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, a process called angiogenesis that is critical to tumor growth.

Contribution of cholesterol transporter to vascular disease
Low-density lipoprotein, a transporter of cholesterol, may also contribute to vascular diseases by a previously unidentified mechanism, according to a report published online this week in EMBO reports.

Primates in peril
Mankind's closest living relatives -- the world's apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates -- are under unprecedented threat from destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bushmeat hunting, with 29 percent of all species in danger of going extinct, according to a new report by the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN's Species Survival Commission and the International Primatological Society, in collaboration with Conservation International.

K-State sociologists use Department of Energy grant
Scientists and economists are no strangers to discussions about alternative fuels, but a recently-announced research grant means that some sociologists at Kansas State University are joining the conversation.

HIV patients sicker when seeking care than in the past
It was hoped that as HIV treatment improved and as HIV-related public health initiatives encouraged people to be tested for the disease and seek care, that HIV-infected patients would seek care quickly.

Drugstore in the dirt
French clay that kills several kinds of disease-causing bacteria is at the forefront of new research into age-old, nearly forgotten, but surprisingly potent cures.

Psychiatrists, parents significantly differ in ADHD, psychiatric comorbidities perceptions
Psychiatrists and parents significantly differ in perceptions of the importance of pediatric ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities, particularly regarding the patients' most concerning behavior, according to a small-scale, observational study that used accepted sociolinguistic methods to evaluate tone, content and structure of in-office visits and presented at the annual US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress.

New insights into how lasers cut flesh
Lasers are at the cutting edge of surgery. However, there is still a lot that scientists do not know about the ways in which laser light interacts with living tissue.

Public not so sure 'personalized medicine'
Ordinary people worry about the extra, and often burdensome, responsibilities which could come with scientists' promises of 'personalized medicine,' according to evidence to be presented at a major two-day showcase of groundbreaking social science research into the whole field of genomics, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Scientists alter sexual orientation in worms
University of Utah biologists genetically manipulated nematode worms so the animals were attracted to worms of the same sex -- part of a study that shows sexual orientation is wired in the creatures' brains.

Agricultural soil erosion not contributing to global warming, study shows
Agricultural soil erosion is not a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to research published online today in Science.

Infliximab scheduled treatment has proven to be an effective strategy in IBD patients
Although many drugs have been used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, none have yet been shown to modify the natural history of the diseases or to maintain a stable remission over time.

Cow infections could provide clue to preventing infertility in women
Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College, London, have made a significant breakthrough in their understanding of how infection of the uterus damages fertility in cows.

Mapping the fruit-fly's 'smell' circuit wins Eppendorf/Science Prize
Dr. Rachel Wilson has been awarded the 2007 International Grand Prize in Neurobiology by the journal Science and Eppendorf AG.

How to design a cancer-killing virus
One new way to treat individuals with cancer that is being developed is the use of viruses that infect and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Mars with ice, shaken, not stirred
Mars, like Earth, is a climate-fickle water planet. The main difference is that water on the frigid red planet is rarely liquid, preferring to spend almost all of its time traveling the world as a gas or churning up the surface as ice.

Romantic fiction shows medical romance flourishes in emergency settings
Many romantic novels show the apparent inevitability of uncontrolled passions in the context of emergency medicine, writes a psychiatrist in the correspondence section of this week's edition of the Lancet.

Yale receives $8.4 million to study DNA repair in cancer cells
Yale receives $8.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to study how cancer cells mend thier own chromosomes and DNA.

HIV's path out of Africa: Haiti, the US then the world
The AIDS virus entered the United States via Haiti, probably arriving in just one person in about 1969, earlier than previously believed, according to new research.

Targets on the horizon: Emerging therapies and novel targets
What are the cancer drugs of tomorrow and how will they be developed?

Staying sharp in San Diego
Brain function and health will be the focus of the Staying Sharp session on Nov.

Recognizing someone's name but forgetting how you met them is all in your head
New research from the University of Western Ontario suggests the sometimes eerie feeling experience when recognizing someone, yet failing to remember how or why, reveals important insight into how memory is wired in the human brain.

'Nervous' birds take more risks
Scientists have shown that birds with higher stress levels adopt bolder behavior than their normally more relaxed peers in stressful situations.

Study shows housing development on the rise near national forests
Americans are moving farther and farther away from city centers and closer and closer to national forests.

Study reveals lakes a major source of prehistoric methane
A team of scientists led by a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has identified a new likely source of a spike in atmospheric methane coming out of the North during the end of the last ice age.

Research sheds new light on how diseases jump across species
Researchers at the University of Leeds have made a breakthrough in understanding a virus which poses one of the greatest global disease threats to wild carnivores including lions, African wild dogs and several types of seal.

Hold your horses
A new study illuminates some of the brain's decision-making process and how a popular treatment for Parkinson's can have unintended consequences.

Combining existing strategies could prevent nearly half of new XDR tuberculosis cases
A synergistic combination of available nosocomial infection control strategies could prevent nearly half of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis cases, even in resource-limited settings.

New study uncovers secrets behind butterfly wing patterns
The genes that make a fruit fly's eyes red also produce red wing patterns in the Heliconius butterfly found in South and Central America, finds a new study by a UC-Irvine entomologist.

Penn wins $5M to start center for ethical, legal and social implications research
The Penn Center for the Integration of Genetic Healthcare Technology will receive over $5 million over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health to study the certainty or uncertainty of results from genetic testing.

Frog study takes leaf out of nature's book
A brightly-colored tropical frog under threat of extinction is the focus of a new research project hoping to better understand how environment and diet influence its development and behavior.

Researchers posit new ideas about human migration from Asia to Americas
Questions about human migration from Asia to the Americas have perplexed anthropologists for decades.

Dr. Yu Yamaguchi named recipient of the Humanitarian Scientific Achievement Award
Burnham Institute for Medical Research Professor Yu Yamaguchi, MD, PhD, was recently awarded The Humanitarian Scientific Achievement Award by the MHE Research Foundation.

Ancient DNA reveals that some Neanderthals were redheads
Ancient DNA retrieved from the bones of two Neanderthals suggests that at least some of them had red hair and pale skin, scientists report this week in the journal Science.

Scientists discover tiny RNAs play a big role in controlling genes
PiRNAs, a recently discovered class of tiny RNAs, play an important role in controlling gene function.

ANP reduces infarct size and reperfusion injury and increases ejection fraction post heart-attack
Patients given human atrial natriuretic peptide post heart-attack have lower infarct size, fewer reperfusion injuries and better outcomes than those in a control group.

Anti-hypertensive drugs may help prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease
A new study has identified commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of hypertension may be capable of preventing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive deterioration.

Chilean authors, publishing in Science, discover drug-craving brain region in rats
Chilean researchers have identified a region of the brain -- the insular cortex -- that plays a role in drug craving in amphetamine-addicted rats, according to a report published in the Oct.

Hysterectomy more than doubles risk of requiring stress-urinary-incontinence surgery
Hysterectomy for benign indications, irrespective of surgical technique, more than doubles the risk of requiring subsequent stress-urinary-incontinence surgery.

New study shows that therapeutic gene expression can be sustainable for 1 year
Researchers at the Board of Governors Gene Therapeutics Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have shown for the first time that it is possible to sustain therapeutic gene expression in the central nervous system for up to a year, even in the presence of an anti-viral immune response mechanism that is normally present in humans.

IAEA and NFCR join forces to fight cancer in developing world
IAEA Director General and Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei will join more than 100 leading public figures, philanthropists and cancer experts at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Oct.

Hubble spies shells of sparkling stars around quasar
New images taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope -- part of a research project led by astrophysicist Gabriela Canalizo at the University of California, Riverside -- have revealed the wild side of an elliptical galaxy, nearly two billion light-years away, that previously had been considered mild-mannered.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope gets 'SpaceWired'
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use a new advanced technology network interface called 'SpaceWire' that enables the components on the telescope to work more efficiently and more reliably with each other.

Agricultural soil erosion is not adding to global warming
Agricultural soil erosion is not a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, according to research published online today (Oct.

JCI table of contents: Oct. 25, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, 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