Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 05, 2007
Powerful integration of lipid metabolic profiling with gene expression analysis
A recently published research article in the Journal of Proteome Research demonstrates the synergisms and enhanced analytic power of the combination of thorough metabolic profiling with the unique and proprietary microarray analysis methods of Genomatix Software GmbH.

Marijuana-like brain chemicals work as antidepressant
American and Italian researchers have found that boosting the amounts of a marijuana-like brain transmitter called anandamide produces antidepressant effects in test rats.

Early registrations to global osteoporosis conference
The IOF WCO 2008, which will be held from Dec.

For migrating sparrows, kids have a compass, but adults have the map
Migrating adult sparrows can find their way to their winter nesting grounds even after being thrown off course by thousands of miles, adjusting their flight plan to compensate for the displacement.

Children with gene show reduced cognitive function
Children possessing a gene known to increase Alzheimer's disease risk already show signs of reduced cognitive function, an Oregon Health & Science University study has found.

Do women fare worse with some heart devices?
While ICDs -- implantable cardioverter defibrillators -- are the device of choice to manage abnormal heart rhythms, a new study led by cardiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests that women with ICDs fare less well than their male counterparts.

USA Today correspondent recognized for excellence in medical journalism
USA Today medical writer Steve Sternberg received the American Heart Association's Howard L.

Mayo Clinic identifies new risk factor for heart attack patients
If you go to the hospital within one to two hours of the onset of symptoms of a heart attack, your chances of getting proper treatment are nearly 70 percent greater than those who wait 11 to 12 hours before seeking treatment, according to results presented today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007 in Orlando, Fla.

Mayo Clinic researchers: Insulin-boosting medication does not impair ability to survive heart attack
Mayo Clinic researchers helped clarify a growing concern about the link between diabetes mellitus treatments and heart attack with the first large, population-based study showing that a group of common medications does not reduce diabetic patients' heart attack survival rates.

Author and journalist Jennet Conant to discuss WWII science and technology at Stevens, Nov. 14
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents,

Earliest birds acted more like turkeys than common cuckoos
The earliest birds acted more like turkeys than common cuckoos, according to a new report in the Nov.

Over-the-counter pain medications may reduce risk of Parkinson's disease
Over-the-counter pain medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce a person's risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Nov.

Political scientists examine voter confidence in electoral administration, make recommendations
A new study by political scientists examines voter confidence in the local administration of US elections and finds the quality of voters' experience with the voting process is key to bolstering confidence in the election system -- along with the casting a ballot on Election Day and the use of voting machines with verifiable results.

Gene governs IQ boost from breastfeeding
The known association between breast feeding and slightly higher IQ in children has been shown to relate to a particular gene in the babies, according to a report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Blood-incompatible infant heart transplants safe, may save more lives
ABO-incompatible heart transplantation (heart transplantation among noncompatible blood groups) can be safely performed in infants a year old or younger, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Oct. 31, 2007
News items in this edition:

High blood pressure, chest pains speed up progression of Alzheimer's disease
People with Alzheimer's disease who have high blood pressure, chest pains or an irregular heartbeat may lose their memories faster than others with Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Nov.

Maternal alcohol drinking during pregnancy associated with risk for childhood conduct problems
Maternal alcohol drinking during pregnancy appears to be associated with conduct problems in children, independently of other risk factors, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nationwide Children's Hospital involved in expanded access program for treatment of PKU
Nationwide Children's Hospital announced today its involvement in an expanded access program for sapropterin dihydrochloride, or sapropterin, an investigational treatment for phenylketonuria, a rare genetic metabolic disorder that, if left unmanaged in infants and children, can result in severe mental retardation.

Study examines substance abuse prevalence among teens receiving routine medical care
Approximately 15 percent of teens receiving routine outpatient medical care in a New England primary care network had positive results on a substance abuse screening test, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Non-maternal care linked to reduced physical aggression in children of mothers with less education
Among children of mothers with low education levels, those who receive regular care from other adults during preschool years may be less likely to have problems with physical aggression, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NIH grant advances dentistry school's work on psychosocial stress
UCLA School of Dentistry is among the first institutions to receive a grant from the NIH's new Genetics, Environment and Health Initiative.

Computers learn art appreciation
A new program developed in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Haifa enables computers to

Floating effective for stress and pain
Relaxation in large, sound- and light-proof tanks with high-salt water -- floating -- is an effective way to alleviate long-term stress-related pain.

Teamwork improves learning and career success
A two-year study of college students at the Pennsylvania State University proves that students learn better and develop higher-level skills by participating in cooperative activities, compared to traditional classroom teaching methods.

Mayo Clinic study finds that after heart attack most patients stop taking life-saving drugs
Recovery from heart attacks is best served by continuing to take prescribed medications.

Washington University Antarctic team to install seismographs
A team of seismologists from Washington University in St. Louis, like members of the starship Enterprise, will

High-tech CT scans: not a bad choice to test for clogged arteries
A study by an international team of cardiac imaging specialists, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins, concludes that sophisticated computed tomography scans of the heart and its surrounding arteries are almost as reliable and accurate as more invasive procedures to check for blockages.

Executive Lecture: 'The Rise of Asia's Global Cities,' Nov. 9
The Howe School at Stevens Institute of Technology will host the latest in its series of Executive Lectures this Friday, Nov.

Predicting survival after liver transplantation
Patients awaiting liver transplantation who also suffer from other medical problems may face poorer survival after transplantation.

Delayed angioplasty -- big bucks, no bang
In a subset of patients suffering heart attack, adding stents to clot-busting medical therapy after the optimal treatment window ends isn't justified, say researchers from Duke University Medical Center.

High blood pressure or irregular heartbeat linked to Alzheimer's disease progression
Alzheimer's disease may progress more rapidly in people with high blood pressure or a form of irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, according to results of a Johns Hopkins study published in the Nov.

Zanzibar's impressive attack on malaria
Research in Zanzibar, Tanzania has found a remarkable fall in the number of children dying from malaria.

Biomarker may be an early predictor of advanced breast cancer
Researchers have identified a molecule that may be more accurate than existing biological signposts used to predict which breast cancers will develop into advanced forms of the disease.

November-December GSA BULLETIN media highlights
Geology topics of interest include new insights into evolution of Baja California and Mount Diablo, a large, actively growing fold in Earth's crust between two major faults in the San Andreas system in the San Francisco Bay area.

HGS unveils positive QOL results from Phase 2B trial of Albuferon for hepatits C
The study demonstrated that patients in the Albuferon treatment groups reported fewer missed days of work and less impairment of health-related quality of life on treatment compared to the Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) group.

Biological warfare: What do you need to know?
Highly infectious biological agents have been used to spread death and despair for centuries.

Heart failure patients benefit from nurse-led intervention
Heart failure patients are more likely to comply with important non-medication interventions, such as fluid and salt restrictions and regular weighing, when they have intensive support from a heart failure nurse and multidisciplinary team than if they do not, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

New computer program automates chip debugging
Fixing design bugs and wrong wire connections in computer chips after they've been fabricated in silicon is a tedious, trial-and-error process that often costs companies millions of dollars and months of time-to-market.

HGS announces results of Phase 2B trial of Albuferon for chronic hepatitis C
This Phase 2b study demonstrated that, with half as many injections as Pegasys (peginterferon alfa 2a), Albuferon was just as effective in achieving sustained virologic response -- an undetectable amount of virus in the blood at 24 weeks following the end of treatment -- with comparable safety and less impairment of health-related quality of life on treatment.

Study shows fenofibrate reduces need for laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy
Treatment with fenofibrate in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus reduces the need for laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy, conclude authors of an article published early online and in a upcoming edition of The Lancet.

WCS study finds potential to double tiger numbers in South Asia
Researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society and other institutions declare that improvements in management of existing protected areas in South Asia could double the number of tigers currently existing in the region.

November GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY Media Highlights
Topics include: continental deformation and the San Andreas fault; interior heating of Mars; correlation of 200-million-year-old rocks between Britain and America; environmental stress and the end-Permian and end-Triassic mass extinctions; rock weathering in Canada's Mackenzie River basin as a CO2 source rather than sink; how stable continents split in the absence of active volcanism; and geologic evolution of Alaska and the northern Pacific Rim.

Active learning to transform Washington University undergraduate computer science education
Kenneth J. Goldman, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering, is the recipient of a $562,000 grant from the National Science Foundation that will enable his department to transform undergraduate teaching methodology.

Changing the way doctors treat high blood pressure
Scientists at Robarts Research Institute have developed a simplified and more effective method of treating high blood pressure.

John Vercoe Conference
The International Livestock Research Institute is convening a meeting in Nairobi Nov.

A sex-ratio meiotic drive system in Drosophila simulans
Autosomal genes defend faithful Mendelian segregation by suppressing sex-ratio distorters on the X chromosome.

Behavior therapy plus medication may help teens with depression and substance use disorders
The antidepressant fluoxetine combined with cognitive behavioral therapy appears as effective for treating depression among teens who also have substance use disorders as among those without substance abuse problems, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Doctors Without Borders calls for urgent TB drug development
In this week's magazine section, PLoS Medicine publishes three policy papers arising from a recent Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders symposium on the urgent need to develop new drugs for tuberculosis.

CAD plus MDCT useful in finding lung nodules
Computer-aided detection combined with MDCT improves radiologists' ability to detect solid lung nodules early enough for them to be treated without increasing interpretation time according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Hopital Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris, France.

Lost in the middle: author order matters, new paper says
With research typically being conducted by large teams of scientists, it is now commonplace for a paper to boast as many authors as a basketball team's starting lineup.

Columbus launch puts space law to the test
Whose law will apply when Europe's Columbus space laboratory joins the US-led International Space Station in December?

Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain
Buttery popcorn or fresh green vegetables? Your answer tells a lot about you.

Medication plus counseling may help teens kick the smoking habit
The medication bupropion plus counseling appears to help adolescents quit cigarette smoking in the short term, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Heart disease risk established at early age
The earlier in life children reach their lowest body mass index signals potential heart disease risk factors and may become evident as early as age 7, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Relationship between statins and cognitive decline more complex than thought
Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

Breastfeeding boost IQ in infants with 'helpful' genetic variant
Breastfeeding boosts IQ in infants who have a genetic variant that enhances their metabolism of breast milk.

Urban kids with asthma need more frequent check-ups, Hopkins study suggests
Because even mild asthma among young inner-city children appears to be more unpredictable than ever, four or more check-ups a year after diagnosis is a wise move as a hedge against dangerous flare-ups of wheezing and trips to the emergency room, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Relationship between environmental stress and cancer elucidated
One way environmental stress causes cancer is by reducing the activity level of an enzyme that causes cell death, researchers say.

How sweet is it?
To assist corn producers and the agricultural industry with meeting consumer demand for this sweet, nutritrious vegetable, researchers have developed a new tool, or

Scientists warn that species extinction could reduce productivity of plants on Earth by half
An international team of scientists has published a new analysis showing that as plant species around the world go extinct, natural habitats become less productive and contain fewer total plants -- a situation that could ultimately compromise important benefits that humans get from nature.

Rheumatologists win $1.2M for arthritis research
Three University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have been awarded a combined $1.2 million to study the underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis and to help find a cure.

Breaking a sweat helps control weight gain over 20 years
A consistently high level of physical activity from young adulthood into middle age increases the odds of maintaining a stable weight and lessens the amount of weight gained over time, according to a new analysis from Northwestern University.

Results of definitive study are in: lives are saved when defibrillators are placed in public spaces
Heart experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have evidence that at least 522 lives can be saved annually in the United States and Canada by the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators, the paddle-fitted, electrical devices used to shock and revive people whose hearts have suddenly stopped beating.

Survey identifies characteristics of teens who smoke marijuana but not tobacco
A Swiss study suggests that teens who use only cannabis appear to function better than those who also use tobacco, and are more socially driven and have no more psychosocial problems than those who abstain from both substances, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Congress called on to replace 'devastating' cuts in Medicare reimbursements by ACP
The American College of Physicians today renewed its call on Congress to replace the 10.1 percent devastating cuts in Medicare reimbursements set to take effect Jan.

'You're not a victim of domestic violence, are you?'
Doctors who ask the right questions in the right way can successfully encourage abused women to reveal that they are victims of domestic violence, even in a hectic emergency department.

Breastfeeding babies offers them long-term heart-health benefits
Breastfed babies are less likely to have certain cardiovascular disease risk factors in adulthood than their bottle-fed counterparts, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Breast cancer research and inkjet tissue printing get NSF boost
The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million to the Center for Biological Interfaces of Engineering at Clemson University for the development of engineered tissues that will be used to study the causes, progression and treatment of breast cancer.

Council to honor NJIT SmartPin
A liquid dispensing system useful for identifying medical woes ranging from cancer to bird flu will garner an award for two NJ inventors this week.

Genes play important role in risk for dependence on illicit and licit drugs
The genes that play a role in illegal drug abuse are not entirely the same as those involved in dependence on legal substances like alcohol and nicotine, and caffeine addiction appears to be genetically independent of all the others, according to a study led by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Modest gain in visceral fat causes dysfunction of blood vessel lining in lean, healthy humans
When lean, healthy young adults gained about nine pounds, the functioning of their blood vessel lining became impaired -- but shedding the weight restored proper functioning, according to a Mayo Clinic research report.

Large VA study finds seasonal differences in blood pressure
Fewer people treated for high blood pressure return to normal pressure levels in the winter compared to those treated in the summer, Veterans Affairs researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Setting stars reveal planetary secrets
Watching the stars set from the surface of the Earth may be a romantic pastime but when a spacecraft does it from orbit, it can reveal hidden details about a planet's atmosphere.

'TRAP' preserves genetic properties of popular geranium
Reseachers at the Ohio State University have demonstrated that Target Region Amplification Polymorphism, or TRAP, is an effective method for preserving the important genetic diversity of ornamental flower collections.

Bystander-delivered defibrillation improves survival after cardiac arrest
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation combined with bystander use of an automated external defibrillator more than doubled the chances of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest compared with using CPR alone, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Rapid communication networks less likely to shape individual's behavior
As our world becomes smaller, and information moves more quickly from one individual to another, the social networks that reinforce changes in behavior become weaker, according to new research from Harvard University and Cornell University. 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