Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 28, 2007
High blood pressure may heighten effects of Alzheimer's disease
Having hypertension, or high blood pressure, reduces blood flow in the brains of adults with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Breathe deep: Which patients could benefit from inhaled steroids in cystic fibrosis?
A specific variation in the glucocorticoid receptor gene is associated with lung disease progression in cystic fibrosis, research published this week in the online open access journal Respiratory Research reveals.

Investigating the failure mechanisms of fuel cells will improve their durability
Researchers in the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies believe that understanding how and why fuel cells fail is the key to both reducing cost and improving durability.

UNH scientists report first findings on key astrophysics problem
In a paper published recently in the journal Nature Physics, an international team of space scientists led by researchers from the University of New Hampshire present findings on the first experimental evidence that points in a new direction toward the solution of a longstanding, central problem of plasma astrophysics and space physics.

Organic 'building blocks' discovered in Titan's atmosphere
Scientists analysing data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft have confirmed the presence of heavy negative ions in the upper regions of Titan's atmosphere.

Foot-and-mouth disease could cost Kansas nearly a billion dollars
As much as $945 million. That's what agricultural economists at Kansas State University say could be the impact on Kansas' economy were there a large-scale foot-and-mouth outbreak in a region thick with livestock operations.

Drugs and Injustice
Society's attitudes toward different drugs and its ways of regulating them are often

New test finds diisobutyl phthalate in some cardboard food packaging -- recycling is the issue
A new test can identify take-away paper-based food containers (such as pizza boxes) that break phthalate safety rules.

Argonne bolsters efforts in security research
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has expanded its capabilities to protect US interests at home and abroad.

ONR presents Bowen Award for composite materials test method
On Nov. 27, the US Office of Naval Research honored two engineers who patented a nondestructive method for detecting flaws and anomalies in composite materials.

Sirtris unveils promising, novel SIRT1 activators for treating diseases of aging
Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging, announced today that findings in the journal Nature demonstrate that Sirtris has developed novel drug candidates that offer a promising, new approach to treating diseases of aging, including type 2 diabetes, by targeting SIRT1, a gene that controls the aging process.

Industry awards honor achievements in energy efficiency
As part of the Energy 2007 Conference, the Government of Canada presented the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation Leadership Awards to 10 organizations from across Canada in recognition of their significant and innovative contributions to energy efficiency.

More comprehensive analysis of Klamath River basin needed to aid decision makers
Two recent scientific studies attempt to better understand the Klamath River basin ecosystem.

Bernstein honored with AACR Prevention Award
Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., a research expert on the effects of hormones and physical activity on cancer risk, late effects of cancer treatment, the impact of lifestyle on cancer prognosis and quality of life after cancer, has been selected to receive the sixth annual American Association for Cancer Research-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

Up to no good at work? Software can analyze your e-mails
Beware -- software is being designed to allow companies to flag up employees who are potential saboteurs, whistle-blowers or data thieves.

Testing times: Detecting HIV in resource-limited settings
Integrating HIV testing programs into primary medical care can help achieve early diagnosis of HIV infection, even in relatively poor areas, research published in the online open access journal AIDS Research and Therapy has shown.

Chalmers first with integrated receiver for high frequency applications
As the first research group in the world, researchers at Chalmers have succeeded in combining a receiver for high frequencies with an antenna on a small chip.

Live kidney donors report high satisfaction rates and minimal health problems
Nine out of ten people who donated a kidney to a partner or family member would make the same decision again and would recommend the procedure to others.

Group selection, a theory whose time has come ... again
Sociobiology, the discipline founded on Darwin's theory of group evolution, is in theoretical disarray.

Genetic and behavioral differences add to prostate cancer disparities
African-American men face an observable disadvantage versus Caucasian men when it comes to prostate cancer survival.

Blue dye could hold the key to super processing power
A technique for controlling the magnetic properties of a commonly used blue dye could revolutionise computer processing power, according to research published recently in Advanced Materials.

Study of malaria parasite in patient blood finds distinct physiological states
In a groundbreaking study published Nov. 28 in the advance online edition of Nature, an international research team has for the first time measured which of the malaria parasite's genes are turned on or off during actual infection in humans, not in cell cultures, unearthing surprising behaviors and opening a window on the most critical aspects of parasite biology.

Eltrombopag studied in Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
There are estimated to be between 50,000-100,000 individuals in the US diagnosed with chronic Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura, an autoimmune disease that dramatically reduces the number of platelets in their blood -- causing bruises, nosebleeds and, sometimes, life-threatening brain hemorrhages.

2 out of 3 middle-class American families on shaky financial ground, according to new report
Fewer than one in three middle-class families in America is financially secure, and the remaining majority are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether, according to a new study published this week by Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.

Drug monitoring reduces seizures in pregnant women with epilepsy
A popular epilepsy drug taken by pregnant women with epilepsy because of its mild risk of birth defects has been linked to increased seizure activity in up to 75 percent of pregnancies.

Jefferson scientists see breast cancer gene activity from outside the body
Researchers at Jefferson Medical College and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia have used PET imaging to see hyperactive cancer genes inside breast tumors in laboratory animals, marking the first time such gene activity has been observed from outside the body.

Cancer risks for urban African-American women grow, healthy diets more difficult to maintain
Women living in the inner city have difficulty meeting dietary goals that could help prevent cancer, according to a report from Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Transporters may help delay diabetes-related retinal damage
Two transporters that deliver alternative energy sources to the eye may help delay retinal damage that can occur in diabetes, researchers say.

Simple test improves accuracy of polygraph results
A new study published in Psychophysiology finds that the use of a written test, known as Symptom Validity Testing, in conjunction with polygraph testing may improve the accuracy of results.

Student research makes the pages of top scientific journal
Leslie Hayden's research into deep Earth interactions has led to some important findings, particularly for someone so new to the field, and the scientific world is paying attention.

Use it or lose it
Research proves that maintaining physical activity in middle age leads to better basic physical abilities as we age, and that weight is not a deciding factor

Study of malaria parasites reveals new parasitic states
Although malaria parasites have undergone extensive laboratory study, relatively little is known about how they behave in humans to cause disease.

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute creates national network to study cardiovascular disease
This HMO research network -- NHLBI/ CVRN -- is the largest to date to use electronic medical records and data bases of 7 million people to understand cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, treatment and outcomes.

Sweet fuel supply
A new type of fuel cell powered with glucose derived from biomass is described in the latest issue of the Inderscience Publication International Journal of Global Energy Issues.

Genetic differences point to ethnic and racial disparities in colorectal cancer risk
Risk of developing colorectal cancer is known to differ across ethnic and racial groups, and now an analysis of 26 studies, involving over 25,000 participants shows that some of these disparities might be explained by distinct patterns of genetic inheritance.

Columbia researchers: Growth of CT scan use may lead to significant public health problem
In an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, David J.

Drug boosts platelets in hepatitis C patients
It's not a cure, but this may be some of the best news patients infected with the hepatitis C virus have heard in a long time: A new drug, eltrombopag, appears to be effective in boosting low platelet counts, one of the major reasons why patients can't endure antiviral treatments.

Manure management reduces levels of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes
In the study, funded by USDA, Colorado State University and the National Science Foundation, researchers investigated the effects of manure management on the levels of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in manures.

The hills and valleys of Earth's largest salt 'flat'
Using a new twist on standard Global Positioning System technology, a team of scientists has found that Earth's largest salt flat is rougher than expected, according to a new report led by Adrian Borsa of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and published in Geophysical Journal International.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children
An international team of experts has published the first comprehensive review of evidence on pneumococcal conjugate vaccination for children with HIV infection.

Autism focus of prize winning research
The differing rate of development of children with autism is the focus of the research of one of the 2007 Michael Young Prize winners, awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Young Foundation.

Computer savvy canines
Like us, our canine friends are able to form abstract concepts.

New perspectives on health disparities in breast cancer research
Breast cancer is a disease with a number of known genetic and behavioral risk factors, but scientists have seen that these risks are often compounded by social and racial inequalities.

Cold treatment opens doors for citrus exports to Japan
Cold storage at temperatures of 2° or 3°C can effectively kill Queensland Fruit Fly in citrus stored for 14 to 16 days.

Exercise may play role in reducing inflammation in damaged skin tissue
A new study points to yet another reason for people to remain physically active as they age: A link between moderate exercise and decreased inflammation of damaged skin tissue.

Massive Canadian oilfield could be exploited using new UK system
A new method developed in Britain over the past 17 years for extracting oil is now at the forefront of plans to exploit a massive heavy oilfield in Canada.

Chandra discovers cosmic cannonball
One of the fastest moving stars ever seen has been discovered with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Natural ingredient preserves meat quality in pre-cooked supermarket offerings
Grape-seed extract is a viable natural alternative to synthetic ingredients that preserve meat quality in pre-cooked, frozen and refrigerated ready-to-eat meals, such as individual diet entrees or family-sized trays of frozen lasagna, according to a new University of Illinois study published in the Journal of Food Science.

Minimally invasive treatment reduces shoulder pain from tendonitis
Radiologists are using a new minimally invasive procedure to treat tendonitis in the shoulder.

Monitoring of a common epilepsy drug during pregnancy reduces seizure risk
Research at Emory University shows that monitoring the level of an epilepsy drug, called lamotrigine, in the blood helps reduce increased seizure activity and improve the overall health of pregnant women and their fetuses.

System of simplified, standardized dosing instructions for prescription drug labels proposed
At today's Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference co-sponsored by the American College of Physicians Foundation and the Institute of Medicine, Alastair J.J.

Nanotechnology and the media: The inside story
Is media coverage of nanotechnology's potential risks growing? If so, who or what is driving articles in national newspapers and newswires -- environmental and consumer organizations, scientists, law makers, or industrial and financial groups?

A powerful literature and pathway mining system released to the public for free access
Genomatix Software GmbH of Munich, Germany announced today the release of LitInspector.

New population of faint protogalaxies discovered
Carnegie astronomers have found a new population of faint protogalaxies by taking the most sensitive spectroscopic survey ever of a time when the universe was only 15 percent of its present age.

High-trauma fractures in older men and women linked to osteoporosis
Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute are challenging a widely held belief that fractures resulting from major trauma, such as automobile accidents, are not related to osteoporosis, the common disease that makes bones weak and prone to fracture.

'Stereo' mammography takes breast imaging to a new dimension
Stereoscopic digital mammography, a new diagnostic technique capable of producing 3-D, in-depth views of breast tissue, could significantly reduce the number of women who are recalled for additional tests following routine screening mammography.

New mammography technology improves cancer detection
A new radiological diagnostic tool called stereo mammography allows clinicians to detect more lesions and could significantly reduce the number of women who are recalled for additional tests following routine screening mammography.

National Institutes of Health grant to fund drug abuse research at UH
A center dedicated to building the multidisciplinary drug abuse research capacity of the University of Houston is the focus of a five-year, $2.3 million grant awarded to the Graduate College of Social Work's Office of Drug and Social Policy Research.

Pedophilia may be the result of faulty brain wiring
Pedophilia might be the result of faulty connections in the brain.

Limited biofuel feedstock supply?
Authors in Agronomy Journal state that we need to develop the potential of all crops for biomass production while providing a sustainable supply of cellulosic feedstock without reducing soil organic matter.

A molecular map for aging in mice
Researchers at the National Institute of Aging and Stanford University have used gene arrays to identify genes whose activity changes with age in 16 different mouse tissues.

Novel imaging technique shows gray matter increase in brains of autistic children
Using a novel imaging technique to study autistic children, researchers have found increased gray matter in the brain areas that govern social processing and learning by observation. 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