Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 06, 2007
Copper damages protein that defends against Alzheimer's
Copper can damage a molecule that escorts out of the brain a substance called amyloid beta that builds up in toxic quantities in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Foods, not specific nutrients, may be key to good health
In a recent academic review, a University of Minnesota professor in the School of Public Health has concluded that food, as opposed to specific nutrients, may be key to having a healthy diet.

USDA grant to fund K-State's rural grocery store initiative
To help towns sustain their local food suppliers, the Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University has begun a Rural Grocery Store Sustainability Initiative, which recently received a $50,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office.

New study doubles survival to hospital discharge after cardiac arrest
A new seven-city study on the impact of new CPR techniques supports the widespread use of the American Heart Association's new 2005 CPR guidelines, according to the study presented at the AHA's Scientific Sessions Nov.

Climate change could diminish drinking water more than expected
As sea levels rise, coastal communities could lose up to 50 percent more of their fresh water supplies than previously thought, according to a new study from Ohio State University.

EMBASE Classic makes inroads into pharmaceutical industry
Elsevier announced today that major global healthcare company, Bayer HealthCare AG, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, has signed an agreement to purchase EMBASE Classic.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Study puts brakes on extending indications for cardiac resynchronization therapy
A randomized, controlled, multi-center trial has found that cardiac resynchronization therapy produced no improvement in peak oxygen uptake during exercise testing, the trial's primary endpoint, in patients with Class III heart failure, including mechanical problems that disrupt the heart's normal rhythm and a moderately prolonged QRS complex as demonstrated on EKG.

Lungs' pressure needn't threaten heart transplant survival
Heart surgeons at Johns Hopkins say people who need heart transplants can largely avoid transplant failure due to elevated blood pressure in their lungs with the help of proper drug treatment.

NIAID strengthens and expands Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units
NIAID has awarded eight contracts to strengthen and expand its nationwide group of institutions conducting clinical trials of candidate vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases.

Medication does not appear to improve symptoms or outcomes for patients with acute heart failure
The medication tezosentan, which was thought could be beneficial for the treatment of acute heart failure, did not improve breathlessness or reduce the risk of fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events, according to a study in the Nov.

VIB and UZ-KU Leuven join forces and bring state-of-the-art technology to Flanders
Flemish biotechnologists have a worldwide reputation for deciphering genetic code.

Researchers chart the genetic mechanisms behind the genesis of fat cells
Obesity is a well known risk factor for prostate, breast and colon cancer, but recent studies have shown that a protein responsible for generating fat cells also plays an important role in cancer.

Physicists see similarities in stream of sand grains, exotic plasma at birth of universe
Streams of granular particles bouncing off a target in a simple tabletop experiment produce liquid-like behavior also witnessed in a massive research apparatus that simulates the birth of the universe.

Why dinosaurs had fowl breath
Scientists have discovered how dinosaurs used to breathe in what provides clues to how they evolved and how they might have lived.

Genes, brain chemistry may dictate nicotine cravings, says CU-Boulder study
Individual brain chemistry and genes could be key to understanding why some people become addicted to nicotine and why the chemical compound's effects appear to diminish at night, University of Colorado at Boulder researchers say.

Scientists find high-fat diet disrupts body clock
For the first time, a Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare study has shown that overeating alters the core mechanism of the body clock, throwing off the timing of internal signals, including appetite control, critical for good health.

Human error puts online banking security at risk
Using an SMS password as an added security measure for Internet banking is no guarantee your money is safe, according to a new Queensland University of Technology study which reveals online customers are not protecting their accounts.

Ripe fruit preferred
A team led by Bernhard Kraeutler at the University of Innsbruck has determined that the breakdown of chlorophyll in ripening apples and pears produces the same decomposition products as those in brightly-colored leaves.

Mayo Clinic physician honored for work in cardiology
An interventional cardiologist-researcher received the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology's highest honor.

Unlocking the function of enzymes
Fitting a key into a lock may seem like a simple task, but researchers at Texas A&M University are using a method that involves testing thousands of keys to unlock the functions of enzymes, and their findings could open the door for new targets for drug designs.

New technique to determine the age of immigrant minors through ribs and teeth
Scientists from the University of Granada devise a more advanced system based on the analysis of chest and dental X-rays.

Key to false memories uncovered
Duke University Medical Center neuroscientists say the places a memory is processed in the brain may determine how someone can be absolutely certain of a past event that never occurred.

New drug combination shows promise for African sleeping sickness
A small clinical trial in Uganda, conducted within a long-established Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment program for African sleeping sickness, has found that a new combination treatment using the drugs nifurtimox and eflornithine holds promise and deserves further evaluation.

Hepatitis C treatment reduces the virus but serious liver problems may progress
Patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who did not respond to previous standard therapy experienced significant decreases in their liver enzymes, viral levels, and liver inflammation following treatment with long-term pegylated interferon.

Hemoglobin uncovered
Researchers at the BSC and the IRB Barcelona unveil crucial information about the protein transporter of oxygen, which opens up the possibility to optimize its function by introducing modifications.

Research links diet to cognitive decline and dementia
Research has shown convincing evidence that dietary patterns practiced during adulthood are important contributors to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk.

Patient safety experts advance internal hospital safety rating system
In a bid to clean up misleading institutional safety comparisons and go further to fix safety problems, Johns Hopkins experts are proposing standard guidelines to be used as hospital safety rating tools.

IBM world community grid squeezes decades of cancer research into 2 years
Canadian researchers will accelerate the war on cancer using a global network of volunteered computer time to tackle some of the world's most complex problems.

When animals evolve on islands, size doesn't matter
A theory explaining the evolution of giant rodents, miniature elephants, and even miniature humans on islands has been called into question by new research published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Synchrotron radiation illuminates how babies' protective bubble bursts
Researchers at the University of Reading, School of Pharmacy have developed an important new technique to study one of the most common causes of premature birth and prenatal mortality.

Astronomers discover record 5th planet around nearby star 55 Cancri
A record-breaking fifth planet has been discovered around 55 Cancri, a yellowish star 41 lightyears from Earth and now the only known star apart from the Sun with 5 planets.

To fight disease, animals, like plants, can tolerate parasites
Animals, like plants, can build tolerance to infections at a genetic level, and these findings could provide a better understanding of the epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease, according to evolutionary biologists.

Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research
The American Association for Cancer Research hosts 6th Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, Dec.

Scientists complete genome sequence of fungus responsible for dandruff, skin disorders
Scientists from P&G Beauty announced that they successfully sequenced the complete genome for Malassezia globosa, a naturally-occurring fungus responsible for the onset of dandruff and other skin conditions in humans.

First-ever study: lack of critical lubricant causes wear in joints
For the first time, researchers have linked increased friction with early wear in the joints of animals.

Diesel exhaust associated with higher heart attack, stroke risk in men
Increased roadway pollution produced by diesel fuel in vehicles is leading to a cascade of conditions that could result in heart attack or stroke, researchers suggested in the report of a small study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

UCR researchers awarded nearly $1.7M to develop improved cowpea varieties
Providing food security, one of the greatest challenges of our time, is a critical goal especially in the developing world, where crop destruction by drought, disease and pest infestation swiftly places millions of lives at risk of hunger.

Recreational cocaine use may impair inhibitory control
In a study published Nov. 7 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, researchers at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam, led by Lorenza Colzato, employed the 'stop-signal paradigm' to measure the length of time taken by subjects to initiate and suppress a prepared reaction.

Risk of disability increasing among older obese individuals
The older obese population in the US appear to be experiencing more impairments in functional abilities related to movement, although there have been improvements in the cardiovascular health of this population, according to a study in the Nov.

Nicotine-alcohol interaction impacts learning, could have implications for addiction treatment
The interaction between nicotine and alcohol, two of the most abused and co-abused drugs, can impact a person's ability to learn and could have implications for treating addiction.

Benefits of online interaction for teens outweigh danger, professor says
Media reports warn of online predators, hate groups and other 'digital dangers' lurking in online social spaces, and those dangers are not to be taken lightly, says Brendesha Tynes, a professor of educational psychology and of African American studies at Illinois.

REMICADE becomes first anti-TNF biologic therapy to treat 1 million patients worldwide
Centocor, Inc., Schering-Plough Corporation, and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation announced today that an estimated one million patients have now been treated with REMICADE (infliximab), the leading anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha therapy worldwide.

Drug slows prostate tumor growth by keeping vitamin A active
A novel compound that blocks the breakdown of retinoic acid, derived from vitamin A, is a surprisingly effective and

Australian researchers develop treatment to treat obesity
A team of Australian researchers have developed a novel way to control the extreme weight loss, common in late-stage cancer, which often speeds death.

Penn researchers find increase in disability among older, obese adults
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report that older adults today are much more likely to suffer from disability than those 10 years ago.

Early research suggests a shot could replace blood pressure meds
A hypertension vaccine could be an important alternative to conventional drug therapy because of patients' inconsistent drug intake -- if further research supports results from a small study testing the safety and tolerability of a vaccine.

A maternal link to Alzheimer's disease
People who have a mother with Alzheimer's disease appear to be at higher risk for getting the disease than those individuals whose fathers are afflicted, according to a new study by NYU School of Medicine researchers.

New paper on oxytocin reveals why we are generous
Neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak of Claremont Graduate University has new research, and a paper,

Study examines association between weight amount and cause of death
The association between weight and causes of death can vary considerably, with obesity associated with a significantly increased mortality from cardiovascular disease, underweight associated with increased mortality from primarily non-cancer, non-CVD causes, and overweight associated with increased mortality from diabetes and kidney disease combined, but with reduced mortality from other non-cancer non-CVD causes of death, according to a study in the Nov.

Chronic kidney disease in the US appears to be increasing
The estimated prevalence of chronic kidney disease among adults in the US has increased to 13 percent, in part because of the increase in diabetes and hypertension, according to a study in the Nov.

People who skip meals: are they better off?
Foregoing food for a day each month stood out among other religious practices in members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who have lower rates of heart disease than other Americans, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Rutgers scientist's research reveals critical knowledge about the nervous system
Uncover the neural communication links involved in myelination, the process of protecting a nerve's axon, and it may become possible to reverse the breakdown of the nervous system's electrical transmissions in such disorders as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and diabetes.

Chronic kidney disease common in the United States
According to a study lead by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, there is a high prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States, which has risen over the past decade.

Blood pressure drug curbs brain damage from PTSD
A drug used to treat high blood pressure and enlargement of the prostate may protect the brain from damage caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, depression and schizophrenia.

D-cycloserine reduces cocaine-seeking behavior in 'addicted' mice
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provide further evidence that a drug known as D-cycloserine could play a role in helping to extinguish the craving behaviors associated with drug addiction.

$6.37 million from National Institutes of Health to find new ways to treat psoriasis
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Skin Diseases, a research center at the National Institutes of Health, has awarded Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center a $6.37 million award to establish a Center of Research Translation for the skin disease psoriasis.

Low dose of serotonin-acting chemical improves blood sugar tolerance
An appetite-suppressing chemical also improves glucose tolerance and lowers insulin levels in obese and diabetic mice, researchers report in the November issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

Cold Spring Harbor scientists devise novel, low-cost method of sifting genome's high-value regions
Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have developed a new means of extracting and interpreting data from the human genome that is more powerful and more economical than methods currently employed.

MU research team makes progress toward 'printing' organs
For the past four years, Gabor Forgacs, the George H.

Energy drinks may pose risks for people with high blood pressure, heart disease
Downing an 'energy drink' may boost blood pressure as well as energy, researchers said in a small study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Tenofovir/emtricitabine lowers HIV resistance in women given nevirapine
Single-dose tenofovir and emtricitabine at delivery reduces HIV-viral resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor drugs in women given intrapartum nevirapine for perinatal HIV prevention.

A 'grape' future for Alzheimer's disease research
Research with grape polyphenols presented today at Neuroscience 2007 in San Diego shows promise for maintaining long-term cognitive health.

ESA to provide essential launch control services to EUMETSAT
ESA and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, agreed today that ESA will provide essential launch control services for the last two Meteosat Second Generation satellites, MSG-3 and MSG-4.

Parasitic tropical diseases in the Americas, a legacy of slavery, can be eliminated
Although it has been speculated for more than a century that the slave trade was responsible for bringing many tropical diseases to the Americas, only recently has convincing evidence shown that lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and onchocerciasis originated in this way.

High-fat diet throws off the body's internal clock
Diets that are high in fat can shift the timing of the body's internal clock, researchers report in the November issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

NASA technology helps predict and prevent future pandemic outbreaks
NASA satellite technology is being used to track and prevent pandemic outbreaks around the world.

Gene expression profiling of dengue virus infection in cell lines and patients
Researchers at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases and the Genome Institute of Singapore have identified new host genes associated with dengue virus infection, which may open new avenues to developing a drug to treat the disease.

Highlights of upcoming acoustics meeting in New Orleans
The Acoustical Society of America will meet Nov. 27 -Dec.

Research team finds link between asthma and depressive disorders
Young people with asthma are about twice as likely to suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders than are children without asthma, according to a study by a research team in Seattle.

Is fear of gaining weight keeping many women from trying to quit smoking?
Is a fear of getting fatter partly to blame for the fact that nearly one in five American women still smokes, and many don't try to quit?

Fat cells send message that aids insulin secretion
The body's fat cells help the pancreas do its job of secreting insulin, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Overweight and obesity cause 6,000 cancers a year in UK women
Following last week's report by the World Cancer Research Fund, evidence of the relevance of obesity to the risk of a wide range of cancers in UK women is published online by the BMJ today.

UCSD researchers discover inflammation, not obesity, cause of insulin resistance
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that inflammation provoked by immune cells called macrophages leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

US FDA approves ABILIFY for adolescent patients with schizophrenia
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration approved the supplemental New Drug Application for the atypical antipsychotic ABILIFY (aripiprazole) for the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13-17 years. 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