Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 29, 2007
Nephrologists summarize new renal research during public policy news briefing at Renal Week
Renal experts will summarize important new research on the topics of cardiovascular risk in chronic kidney disease, consequences of acute kidney injury, racial and ethnic disparities of kidney disease, and anemia management in kidney disease patients, being presented during the American Society of Nephrology's 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Francisco at a policy-centered news briefing on Saturday, Nov.

Social standing influences elephant movement
A study of African elephants led by UC Berkeley researchers finds that dominant elephants will trek significantly fewer miles in search of food during the dry season compared with their less dominant counterparts.

UGA researchers 1 step closer to elusive cancer vaccine
Researchers at the University of Georgia Cancer Center have synthesized a carbohydrate-based vaccine that -- in mice -- has successfully triggered a strong immune response to cancer cells.

Scientist brings 50 million year old spider 'back to life'
A 50-million-year-old fossilized spider has been brought back to life in stunning 3-D by a scientist at the University of Manchester.

Can cholesterol-lowering medicine make radiation more effective at curing prostate cancer?
Patients with prostate cancer who receive high-dose radiation treatment and also take statin drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol have a 10 percent higher chance of being cured of their cancer at 10 years after diagnosis (76 percent), compared to those who don't take these medications (66 percent), according to a study presented at a scientific session Oct.

Yale hosts summit meeting on acute aortic diseases, Nov.1-2
Yale School of Medicine's meeting on aortic diseases is dedicated to the late actor John Ritter, who died of an aortic dissection four years ago.

MIT: Human-generated ozone will damage crops
An MIT study concludes that increasing levels of ozone due to the growing use of fossil fuels will damage global vegetation, resulting in serious costs to the world's economy.

Breast cancer returns more often in black women
Contrary to previous studies, African-American women with early-stage breast cancer who have surgery to remove the cancer followed by radiation therapy have a higher chance of their cancer coming back in the breast and lymph nodes 10 years after diagnosis, compared to their Caucasian counterparts, according to the largest study of its kind, presented at a scientific session Oct.

Gene screen patent leads to 'Deal of Distinction'
UChicagoTech, the University of Chicago's Office of Technology and Intellectual Property, has received a 2007 Deal of Distinction Award from the Licensing Executives Society of U.S.A. and Canada.

Bonn astronomers simulate life and death in the universe
The question of how star clusters are created from interstellar gas clouds and why they then develop in different ways has now been answered by researchers at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn with the aid of computer simulations.

Alcohol and cancer -- recent research and prevention opportunities
Scientists working with the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer have now added breast cancer and colorectal cancer to the list of pernicious cancers where alcohol is a contributing cause.

UTSA/UT lead national nanoscience consortium
The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin are a part of a five member national consortium awarded $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation to promote nanoscience research.

10 minutes of talking has a mental payoff
Spending just 10 minutes talking to another person can help improve your memory and your performance on tests, according to a University of Michigan study to be published in the February 2008 issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Scandal of invisibility plagues countries with no civil registries
Most people in Africa and Asia are born and die without leaving a trace in any official records, giving policymakers and researchers little information on which to base public health decisions, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher and colleagues say in a paper published today (Oct.

Odd protein interaction guides development of olfactory system
Scientists have discovered a strange mechanism for the development of the fruit fly antennal lobe, an intricate structure that converts the chaotic stew of odors in the environment into discrete signals in the brain.

Mechanism of action of EGFR inhibitors
Three papers published this month in the open access general medical journal PLoS Medicine investigate how tumors respond to a an important class of drugs used in cancer chemotherapy, known as epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors.

New drug shows promise for treating kidney cancer
The new drug axitinib has shown promising activity in patients with cytokine-refractory, metastatic kidney cancer that traditionally have a poor response to drug treatment, according to an article in the November issue of The Lancet Oncology.

What's the brain got to do with education?
Quite a lot -- according to teachers in a recent survey commissioned by the Innovation Unit and carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol.

International team presents guidelines for treating, preventing blood clots in cancer patients
An international panel of researchers led by an oncologist from the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center has put together a set of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of dangerous blood clots that threaten cancer patients.

Awards recognize excellence in energy efficiency
The government of Canada today presented the 2007 ENERGY STAR Market Transformation Awards to a dozen businesses and utilities from across Canada in recognition of their exceptional work in promoting energy-efficient products.

Education in Afghanistan -- also for girls?
It is a myth that no girls went to school during the Taliban time but it is as great a myth that all girls now have returned to school.

New treatment option studied for bladder cancer
A chemotherapy regimen for patients with advanced bladder cancer who aren't eligible for standard treatment is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

Neurons in primate cortex associate numerical meaning with visual signs
Single neurons in the primate cortex associate numerical meaning with visual signs, thus providing insight into precursor mechanisms of human symbol acquisition.

1 size may not fit all
In an editorial in the October issue of the journal Gastroenterology, Thomas F.

Washington University scientists analyze solar wind samples from Genesis mission
Analyzing the mix of hydrogen, oxygen and noble gases found in the sun can answer one of the biggest questions of the universe: How did our solar system evolve?

Mice help researchers understand chlamydia
Genetically engineered mice may hold the key to helping scientists from Queensland University of Technology and Harvard hasten the development of a vaccine to protect adolescent girls against the most common sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia.

Mellon awards Carnegie Grant for Ecological Monitoring in South Africa
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a $750,000 grant to the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology for an intensive pilot study of ecosystem diversity in South Africa' Kruger National Park.

Collaboration to create pediatric research institute
In a pioneering effort, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have joined forces to launch a new institute designed to advance and strengthen the field of pediatric research.

Researchers show evidence of 'memory' in cells and molecules
Research to be reported Oct. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides evidence that some molecular interactions on cell surfaces may have a

Dead clams tell many tales
Inventories of living and dead organisms could serve as a relatively fast, simple and inexpensive preliminary means of assessing human impact on ecosystems.

Healthy planet, places and people at risk
Australians face increasingly large-scale health risks from our expanding impact on the natural environment, ranging from increases in weather extremes and dengue fever to obesity, diabetes and mental health.

Study examines ethnic differences in sleep quality and blood pressure
In this month's issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, Dr.

Efficient crowd control in bacterial colonies
In nature, bacteria often found themselves in high-density colonies. The combination of a novel microfluidic device and computational analysis reveals an unexpected self-organization behavior of tightly packed bacterial cells.

New gene may offer clues to infertility in both cows and women
A newly identified gene that controls embryo development in cows may someday offer clues into the cause of infertility in women.

Over one-third of former American football players had sexual relations with men, study says
A study of former high-school American football players has found that more than one-third said they had had sexual relations with other men.

Scientists unveil structure of molecular target of many drugs
Scientists have captured the first detailed, three-dimensional look at the beta2-adrenergic receptor -- a human G protein-coupled receptor belonging to a family of membrane proteins targeted by about half of today's pharmaceuticals.

Ecologists uncover links between fever and living fast, dying young
Fever is an effective defence against disease, but new research suggests that not all animals use it when exposed to infection.

Rhode Island Hospital lands $11.1M grant from National Institutes of Health
The National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded Rhode Island Hospital an $11.1 million grant to study the prevention and treatment of skeletal joint diseases.

Unprecedented global measurement network achieves full coverage of oceans
An array of instruments, many built at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, that allows scientists to observe the basic physical state of all world oceans simultaneously is approaching its coverage goal after eight years of deployments.

Study reveals that nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil organic carbon
The common practice of adding nitrogen fertilizer is believed to benefit the soil by building organic carbon, but four University of Illinois soil scientists dispute this view based on analyses of soil samples from the Morrow Plots that date back to before the current practice began.

SCI marks expansion into Asia with the launch of SCI INDIA
SCI is securing a foothold in South East Asia with the official launch of SCI India at the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai on Nov.

NIH grants $33 M in institutional development awards to 3 states
The National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today it has provided nearly $33 million to fund three new Institutional Development Awards.

Radiation seeds effectively cure prostate cancer in young men
Radiation seed implants are just as effective at curing prostate cancer in younger men (aged 60 and younger) as they are in older men, according to a study presented at a scientific session on Oct.

Ultrasound-guided injections help ease chronic Achilles tendon pain
Patients with chronic tendinosis of the Achilles tendon can experience a reduction in pain when injected with a small amount of a dextrose solution, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at St.

Mechanisms for sensitivity to the 'sweaty' smell of isovaleric acid
Genetic epidemiology analysis reveals a multifaceted mechanism underlying enhanced olfactory sensitivity to the sweaty odor of isovaleric acid in humans.

Algorithm for mapping mild cognitive impairment
Despite intensive use of the term

Mineral ages show Blue Mountain rocks related to Klamath, Sierra Nevadas
New evidence, based on mineral dating, suggests that rocks of the Blue Mountains, the oldest geological formation in Oregon, may have been derived from the Klamath and Sierra Nevada mountain chains, University of Oregon researchers report.

Agencies must win trust of locals to contain Marburg and Ebola outbreaks
Outbreaks of filovirus hemorrhagic fevers such as those caused by the Ebola and Marburg viruses can only be controlled if agencies have the support and trust of local communities, according to two papers just published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases as part of a special supplement on filovirusues.

UK research community gets extended access to ScienceDirect
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information and the National e-Journals Initiative 2 have agreed to a four-year license for ScienceDirect, which contains over a quarter of the world's STM information.

British Royal highlights anesthesia crisis in the developing world
Anesthesia has fallen behind other medical specialties in the developing world and this has had a major impact on mother and child deaths and overall health care says Prince Andrew.

The economic power -- and pitfalls -- of positive thinking
People who are optimistic are more likely than others to display prudent financial behaviors, according to new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Epilepsy-induced brain cell damage prevented in the laboratory
For some epilepsy patients, the condition's side effects can be as troubling as the seizures.

MedImmune presents new pharmaco-economic data at AAP regarding infants at high risk for RSV
MedImmune today announced results from a recent economic analysis of Synagis (palivizumab), a monoclonal antibody that is the standard of care for prevention of severe lower respiratory tract infection due to respiratory syncytial virus in high-risk infants.

New guideline recommends when to use CT scans in ER for seizures
A guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology recommends immediate brain CT scans to screen certain emergency room patients with seizures.

The widening mortality gap between people with rheumatoid arthritis and the general population
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic conducted a sweeping comparison of mortality trends among RA subjects with those in the general population.

New study shows smoking increases risk of psoriasis
Another disease can be added to the list of smoking-related disorders -- psoriasis.

New magnetic separation technique might detect multiple pathogens at once
A magnetic separation technique developed by researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and Purdue University makes it relatively simple to sort through beads hundreds of times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.

Extra radiation dose prevents breast cancer return in young women
Women 40 years and younger with early-stage breast cancer who receive an additional high dose of radiation after undergoing breast-conserving surgery and standard radiation treatment are almost twice as likely to be free of cancer 10 years after treatment compared to those who don't receive the boost dose.

Test for visual acuity could aid detection, rehabilitation of AMD
A computer-based method for evaluating the eye's ability to distinguish object details and shape in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could provide a more accurate way to assess the effectiveness of eye surgery or vision rehabilitation interventions with devices and training, according to a Canadian study.

Sight, sound processed together and earlier than previously thought
The area of the brain that processes sounds entering the ears also appears to process stimulus entering the eyes, providing a novel explanation for why many viewers believe that ventriloquists have thrown their voices to the mouths of their dummies.

Higher doses of radiation for prostate cancer do not decrease sexual function
Recent advances in the delivery of radiation therapy for prostate cancer are fueling a new trend of providing higher radiation doses over shorter periods of time.

Molecular condom may be commercialized under Utah-India deal
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's ongoing trade delegation to India will initiate a long-term international collaboration with that country and the University of Utah.

Brain circuits that control hunger identified
Researchers at UCLA have determined the brain circuits involved in hunger that are influenced by a hormone called leptin.

Aggregation propensity, amyloid peptide toxicity and Alzheimer disease
A systematic analysis of Alzheimer disease amyloid ß peptide variants in Drosophila brain demonstrates that their predicted propensity to form protofibrillar aggregates correlates best with toxicity.

Report prioritizes programs of DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
The research and development component of the US Department of Energy's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, a program that aims to reprocess spent nuclear fuel which could then be shared with partner countries, should not go forward at its current pace, says a new report from the National Research Council.

New insights into inflammation in osteoarthritis
A new study sheds light on a potential novel mechanism for synovial inflammation in degenerative arthritis.

Tiny radioactive spheres effectively treat cancer that has spread to the liver
Placing tiny radioactive spheres directly into the liver through its blood supply halted growth of tumors that had spread to the organ in 71 percent of patients tested in a small clinical trial, researchers from Mayo Clinic Jacksonville report.

Breast cancer is more aggressive in African-American women
African-American women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and have larger tumors and more lymph node involvement.

Engineers developing new cements to heal spinal fractures
Biological cements to repair 'burst fractures' of the spine are being developed and tested in a major new collaborative project between the University of Leeds and Queen's University Belfast.

Fit to fight: $1 million grant to focus on firefighters' health
Indiana University researchers will use cutting-edge technology and a $1 million federal grant to examine the toll firefighting takes on firefighters' cardiovascular and respiratory health.

New system would use rotating magnetic field to detect pathogens
Researchers at Purdue and Duke universities have developed a technique that uses a magnetic field to selectively separate tiny magnetic particles, representing a highly sensitive method for potentially diagnosing disease by testing samples from patients.

Visual field loss primary component in risk of falls for older adults
Visual field loss (specifically peripheral visual fields) is the primary vision component that increases the risk of falls, according to a study published this month in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, a peer-reviewed monthly publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Quality of life study examines burden of epilepsy
This study assesses quality of life among adults with epilepsy.

Get in touch
When the genetic material inside a cell's nucleus starts to fall apart, a protein called ATM takes charge and orchestrates the rescue mission.

Preventing lung scarring may extend lives of lung cancer patients
Researchers have found that using a special type of drug called a pharmaceutical monoclonal antibody to block the integrin beta6-TGF-beta pathway prevents a serious side effect of radiation therapy for lung cancer patients -- pulmonary fibrosis -- thereby extending patients' lives and improving their quality of life, according to a study presented at the Plenary I session on Oct.

Food 'tricks' that combat sneaky, creepy Halloween treats
The sneakiest, creepiest surprise this Halloween may actually be in the candy dish.

Study reveals 'huffing' household chemicals connected to teen suicide
With suicide as the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States, a new University of Denver study reveals

Radiation plus chemo quadruples survival time for fatal brain cancer
Over four times as many patients with a rapidly fatal type of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, who are treated with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide and radiation therapy, can live for four years after diagnosis, compared to those who receive only radiation treatment, according to updated results of a large, international trial presented at the Plenary I session on Oct.
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