Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2007
JeanMarie Houghton, MD, PhD, recognized as one of nation's top young scientists
University of Massachusetts Medical School associate professor of medicine and cancer biology JeanMarie Houghton, MD, PhD, was recognized today as one of the country's most talented rising scientific stars in a White House ceremony applauding the 2006 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Awards.

Lancet and Global Forum for Health Research essay competition winners announced
The second joint essay competition, sponsored by the Lancet and the Global Forum for Health Research and themed

Radio waves fire up nanotubes embedded in tumors, destroying liver cancer
Cancer cells treated with carbon nanotubes can be destroyed by non-invasive radio waves that heat up the nanotubes while sparing untreated tissue, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas M.

Studies attribute recent increase in multiple myeloma survival to novel therapies
Multiple myeloma is one of the most common and devastating bone marrow cancers in the US, but survival rates have risen dramatically over the past decade.

A missed shot: The failure of HPV vaccination state requirements
In an article appearing in the current issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, experts from the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics review the controversy surrounding the human papillomavirus vaccine debate, and its effects on ethical and public health issues.

Emerging therapies with a focus on Asian populations mark the AACR Centennial Conference
To mark its 100th year of advancing cancer research, the American Association for Cancer Research is holding Centennial Conferences in North America, Europe and Asia.

Rice University professor debunks National Geographic translation of Gospel of Judas
A new book by Rice University professor April DeConick debunks a stunning claim by National Geographic's translation of the Gospel of Judas.

White House honors 2 Arizona State University faculty members with PECASE award
Two young scientists at Arizona State University -- a geophysicist and an educational psychologist -- received the 2006 prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Gambling on Russian economic forecasting
The Russian economy is divided, with a thriving middle class driving consumption and growth while those living in poverty are truly poor.

US faces burning emissions issue
Severe United States wildfires can contribute as much as vehicles to carbon emissions in some US states, although the amount is highly variable.

UMass Consortium awarded $300,000 from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Iacocca Foundation
Investigators from the University of Massachusetts Medical School will investigate the causes of type 1 diabetes with dual grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Iacocca Foundation.

Sudden infant death syndrome: Collaborative approach needed
Tackling sudden infant death syndrome requires a collaborative effort that engages health professionals and policymakers, researchers, medical examiners and coroners, grief counselors and family support agencies, and most of all families and communities.

Jefferson researchers find stem cells in degenerating spinal discs, potential for repair
Orthopedic researchers have for the first time found stem cells in both degenerated adult intervertebral discs of the human spine and in discs of animals.

New NIST mini-sensor may have biomedical and security applications
A tiny sensor that can detect magnetic field changes as small as 70 femtoteslas-equivalent to the brain waves of a person daydreaming-has been demonstrated at NIST.

Flying lemurs are the closest relatives of primates
Animals that resemble furry kites as they glide on sheets of skin comprise a little-known group that is more closely related to primates -- including humans -- than to any other group of living mammals.

Increased glucose level is a strong risk factor for colorectal cancer
According to the results of a study published in Gastroenterology, patients with high levels of insulin and glucose are at increased risk of developing recurrent colorectal adenomas, or tumors, with elevated glucose providing the strongest risk factor for recurrence of these lesions.

Vessel-thwarting antibody might help starve cancerous tumors
An antibody might offer a safe and effective complement to anticancer therapies designed to starve malignant tumors by pruning the blood vessels that feed them, researchers report in the Nov.

JGIM: studies show importance of language services on disparities, quality of care
New studies published today in a special supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine examine the consequences of language barriers for patients who speak little, if any, English and the impact of the absence of language services in health care settings.

Drug-eluting stents not cost-effective in all patients
If used in all patients, drug-eluting stents are not good value for money, even if prices were to be substantially reduced.

PET scan distinguishes Alzheimer's from other dementia
A PET scan that measures uptake of sugar in the brain significantly improves the accuracy of diagnosing a type of dementia often mistaken for Alzheimer's disease, a study led by a University of Utah dementia expert has found.

Beginning scientists receive presidential awards
Twenty young scientists from among those taking part in the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Program have received an additional distinction as winners of Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers for the 2006 competition.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols highlights a method that captures cell growth and activity
This month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features a cutting-edge method that provides a snapshot of growth and activity patterns in mixed populations of cells.

HIV-TB spreads in Africa, undermines control of world's 2 deadliest infectious diseases
The largely unnoticed collision of the global epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis has exploded to create a deadly co-epidemic that is rapidly spreading in sub-Saharan Africa.

Great Ape Trust awards $127,000 for international conservation efforts
Great Ape Trust of Iowa, a scientific research facility in Des Moines, will award nearly $127,000 this year to 22 international conservation efforts.

Vacation photos create 3-D models of world landmarks
Online collections of photos, such as Flickr and Google, were used to create precise 3-D models of buildings and landmarks.

US adults most likely to report medical errors and skip needed care due to costs
At a time when the US spends more than double what other countries spend for medical care -- $6,697 per capita in 2005 -- a new Commonwealth Fund seven-nation survey finds that US patients are more likely to report experiencing medical errors, to go without care because of costs, and to say that the health care system needs to be rebuilt completely.

Sweet potato shines as new promise for small enterprise and hunger relief in developing countries
Sweet potatoes, often misunderstood and underrated, are receiving new attention as a life-saving food crop in developing countries.

University of Cincinnati researcher receives 'highest' honor awarded to young scientists
University of Cincinnati physiologist Jay Hove, PhD, has been named a winner of the prestigious 2006 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

JCI table of contents: Nov. 1, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Nov.

High-fat diet makes mice susceptible to liver injury
A high-fat diet may kill regulatory T cells in the liver, allowing steatosis to develop into steatohepatitis, according to the results of a new study in the November issue of Hepatology.

Obesity common in children with heart disease
Obesity is common in children with congenital and acquired heart disease, a population already at increased risk of a shortened life expectancy.

Discovery could increase tumors' sensitivity to radiation therapy
To make tumors more sensitive to the killing power of radiation is a key aspiration for many radiation oncologists.

St. Jude finds anti-leukemia drug increases patient fatigue
The anti-leukemia drug dexamethasone contributes to a relentless fatigue and poor quality of sleep in children undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to a new study from St.

Researchers discover new way to predict survival in older women with lung cancer
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a novel mechanism to predict survival in older women with early-stage lung cancer.

'Heftier' atoms reduce friction at the nanoscale, study led by Penn researcher reveals
A research team led by a University of Pennsylvania mechanical engineer has discovered that friction between two sliding bodies can be reduced at the molecular, or nanoscale, level by changing the mass of the atoms at the surface.

UMass Medical School receives $300,000 from JDRF and Iacocca Foundation
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School will investigate the causes of type 1 diabetes with dual grants from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Iacocca Foundation.

Green roofs offer energy savings, storm-water control
An article in the November 2007 issue of BioScience describes green roofs -- roofs with a vegetated surface and substrate.

Practice parameters discuss the evaluation, treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders
Practice parameters published in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP are a guide to the appropriate assessment and treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Study shows drug effective in treating, preventing breast cancer
A new study of an estrogen-derived drug shows promise as a treatment for breast cancer and breast cancer metastases to bone.

Case Western Reserve researchers breed a mighty mouse
Case Western Reserve University researchers have bred a line of

The chemical peroxynitrite tolerates pain
The repeated use of opiates such as morphine to relieve chronic pain results in individuals having to take higher and higher doses to achieve equivalent pain relief.

The PIN codes of the immune system can be hacked
There are several reasons why the world is still plagued by diseases we cannot treat or vaccinate against, one of them being the vast complexity of the human immune system.

World's smallest radio fits in the palm of the hand...of an ant
Harnessing the electrical and mechanical properties of the carbon nanotube, a team of researchers has crafted a working radio from a single fiber of that material.

Regulation of TATA-less promoters
In their upcoming G&D paper, Dr. Robert Tjian and colleagues reveal how histone gene expression is differentially regulated during Drosophila development.

Tuberculosis breaches borders, but not public health
Immigrants from countries with high rates of tuberculosis who move to countries of low TB incidence do not pose a public health threat to native citizens, according to researchers in Norway, who analyzed the incidence and genetic origins of all known cases of TB in the country between 1993 and 2005.

SUMO wrestles SENP1 over response to hypoxia, providing possible cancer targets
Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found a protein that enables cellular survival during periods of low oxygen, or hypoxia, which also is key for development of many kinds of cancer.

Common drug for stopping preterm labor may be harmful for babies
A drug commonly used to halt premature labor may be associated with brain damage and intestinal issues in premature babies, according to a new analysis of studies on the issue published today in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Weight loss -- not one size fits all
There is no

Lifetime trauma may speed progression of HIV, early death
Even though effective drug cocktails have improved the outlook for many patients with HIV, disease progression, including the time from AIDS onset to death, varies widely from patient to patient.

Mayo Clinic study shows drug could effectively treat, prevent the spread of breast cancer
A Mayo Clinic study of a drug that has shown promise in treating sarcoma, lung and brain cancers, demonstrates that the drug may also be effective in treating breast cancer, in particular the spread of breast cancer.

Substance abuse practitioners ask 'what is recovery?'
Abstinence from alcohol and drugs is just the starting point in defining

Token resuscitation attempts on hopelessly ill patients prolong suffering
Lack of legal clarity and clinical guidleines can put health-care professionals in a very difficult position when it comes to resuscitating hopelessly ill patients.

Stevens' China program wins Sloan prize
Stevens Institute of Technology's China Program -- management and technical degrees delivered in collaboration with top universities in China -- has been named

Anxiety linked to sleep disturbances
People who suffer from anxiety from stressful life situations may be more likely to experience sleep disturbances for at least the first six months after the event.

Fine-tuning lasers to destroy blood-borne diseases like AIDS
Physicists in Arizona State University have designed a revolutionary laser technique which can destroy viruses and bacteria such as AIDS without damaging human cells and may also help reduce the spread of hospital infections such as MRSA.

Highlights from the November 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The November 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Brookhaven Lab physicist receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Kyle Cranmer, a former Goldhaber Distinguished Fellow and a current guest scientist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory was among 58 researchers honored in Washington, D.C., today as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

New report shows how our diet must change to cut cancer risk
A new report published this week by the World Cancer Research Fund will show how much our diet needs to change if we are to reduce the risk of cancer.

Link between a sleep-related breathing disorder and increased heart rate variability
A sleep-related breathing disorder, common in heart failure, increases one's heart rate variability.

Potential new therapeutic molecular target to fight cancer
Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have identified the enzyme sphingosine kinase 2 as a possible new therapeutic target to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy for colon and breast cancer.

Rutgers physicists show how electrons 'gain weight' in metal compounds near absolute zero
Rutgers University physicists have performed computer simulations that show how electrons become one thousand times more massive in certain metal compounds when cooled to temperatures near absolute zero.

Time to supersize control efforts for obesity
An apolitical, cross-departmental approach is required for the UK to tackle the obesity epidemic, and further inactivity will only magnify the consequences of the epidemic, states an editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Breastfed babies breathe better, except when mom has asthma
When it comes to feeding babies, the old adage

Litvinenko poisoning caused limited public concern
The fatal poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006 caused limited public concern about potential health risks, according to a study published online today.

Research sheds light on carotid artery stenting risk in elderly
Dr. Hernan Bazan, assistant professor of surgery, section of vascular surgery, at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans' School of Medicine, is the lead author of a research paper which may help physicians decide which patients with carotid artery occlusive disease should have carotid surgery or carotid stenting.

On the road to a new cancer therapy -- starving the tumor
VIB scientists connected to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in collaboration with the Flemish biotech company ThromboGenics, have been studying the anticancer action of anti-PLGF.

OHSU researchers identify master switch that regulates blood pressure
A team of Oregon Health & Science University researchers studying a rare form of hypertension has identified the mechanism by which they believe a protein complex in the kidney operates as a master switch that regulates blood pressure, a finding that has broad implications for the treatment of more common forms of hypertension.

Stressed-out skin loses its antimicrobial defense mechanism
It is well known that being stressed increases our susceptibility to infections by impairing the function of our immune system, but the molecular links between stress and diminished immune function have not been determined.

Children with Asperger syndrome more likely to have sleep problems
The first known attempt to evaluate the sleep patterns of children with Asperper syndrome, taking into account sleep architecture and the cyclic alternating pattern, finds that children with AS have a high prevalence of some sleep disorders and mainly problems related to initiating sleep and sleep restlessness together with morning problems and daytime sleepiness.

Immune cell age plays role in retinal damage in age-related macular degeneration
Studying a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older Americans, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Genes identified to protect brassicas from damaging disease
Scientists have identified a new way to breed brassicas, which include broccoli, cabbage and oilseed rape, resistant to a damaging virus.

Triage study challenges notions of emergency medical response to disaster
In the face of terrorism and catastrophic natural disasters, modern regional trauma systems that improve survival for critically injured patients are more vital than ever.

Minority patients prefer optical colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening
Individuals of racial/ethnic minorities strongly prefer and better tolerate optical colonoscopy vs. white patients who prefer computed tomographic colonography for the evaluation of the colon, according to a new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Patients denied admission to intensive care because of doctors' pessimism
Doctors are overly pessimistic about the chances of survival for patients with COPD related attacks and, as a result, some patients may be denied admission to hospital for vital help, according to a study published today online.

Report shows less than half of kids in California are being read to daily
A new report reveals that California ranks in the bottom half of the nation -- 42nd out of 50 states and the District of Columbia -- in the percentage of children who are read to daily by their parents.

Mice predict the effectiveness of orally taken drugs
More than half of all orally-prescribed medications are broken down in the intestine and liver by an enzyme known as CYP3A before reaching their site of action.

UK scientists working towards a redefinition of the kilogram
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory have released new research results that could affect how we measure a kilogram -- the last SI unit based on a manufactured object.

Researchers examine closest living relative to primates
Researchers at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, in collaboration with scientists representing institutions around the world, have discovered the closest living relative to primates.

Stanford researchers shed light on black box of gestational diabetes
A protein in the pancreas is giving researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine their first chance at cracking the code that determines how diabetes develops during pregnancy, a finding that could lead to new treatments for all forms of diabetes.

Breastfeeding study dispels sagging myth
For expectant mothers, the decision whether to breastfeed can be a tough one.

Using supercomputers to make safer nuclear reactors
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is leading a $3 million research project that will pair two of the world's most powerful supercomputers to boost the safety and reliability of next-generation nuclear power reactors.

New designer toxins kill Bt-resistant insect pests
A new way to combat resistant pests stems from discovering how the widely-used natural insecticide Bt kills insects.

Don't tell mother she has cancer
When family members ask physicians not to disclose bad news to ill loved ones, it can cause clinicians considerable distress as they try to balance their obligation to be truthful to the patient with the family's belief that such information would be harmful.

No racial differences seen in outcomes after liver transplantation
Minority patients do not necessarily have worse outcomes after liver transplantation.

Argonne's Blue Gene/P gets more muscle to address most challenging scientific problems
IBM and the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory announced completion of a contract for a 445-teraflops Blue Gene/P system for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.

Cannabis reclassifcation debate could distract UK government from communicating risks of use
Debating the merits of reclassification of cannabis in the UK could distract the government from the more important job of effectively communicating the risks of using the drug, say authors of correspondence in this week's edition of the Lancet.

New studies add weight to link between pre-eclampsia and heart disease
Two studies, published together online today, add further weight to the theory that pre-eclampsia and cardiovascular diseases may share common causes or mechanisms.

U of M study: Medicare lacks tools, incentives to enforce evidence-based coverage policies
According to new research at the University of Minnesota, Medicare lacks sufficient information in most cases to apply a policy and does not have the resources or incentives to acquire the information.

Weizmann Institute scientists discover: A 'risk distribution law' for evolution
Professor Naama Barkai of the Weizmann Institute will receive the Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation.

Children's friendships matter in the scramble for secondary schools
Now is the time that many parents will be choosing secondary schools for their children but with education policy mostly focused on individual success and achievement, the importance of children's school friendships is largely ignored, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The more we get, the more we need: Study shows how to prevent morphine 'tolerance'
Tolerance to the pain-relieving effects of morphine -- which builds rapidly with prolonged use -- can be prevented by blocking a substance that's formed when the drug is taken, researchers at Saint Louis University have discovered.

Overweight mothers run greater risk of having hyperactive children
If a woman is overweight when she becomes pregnant, the probability is much greater that her child will evince ADHD-like symptoms when he/she reaches school age, according to a new Nordic study.

Light humor in the workplace is a good thing, says MU business professor
It is commonly believed that kidding around at work isn't a good thing.

Delft University of Technology rotates electron spin with electric field
Researchers at the Delft University of Technology's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter have succeeded in controlling the spin of a single electron merely by using electric fields. 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