Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 17, 2007
MU study looks at social structure of prison communities
In community settings, there's always at least one person or perhaps a group of individuals who are most highly respected.

New mechanical insights into wound healing and scar tissue formation
New research published today in the Journal of Cell Biology illuminates the mechanical factors that play a critical role in the differentiation and function of fibroblasts, connective tissue cells that play a role in wound healing and scar tissue formation.

Antibiotic treatment targets difficult asthma
Hunter researchers have shown that a commonly available antibiotic can improve the quality of life of patients with difficult asthma, and may also generate significant health care savings.

Study examines factors associated with survival in advanced laryngeal cancer
Type of treatment, sex, race and insurance status are associated with survival rates among patients with advanced laryngeal cancer, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System to study airway bypass treatment for emphysema
Researchers at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System today announced the start of the EASE trial, an international, multi-center clinical trial to explore an investigational treatment that may offer a significant new, minimally-invasive option for those suffering with advanced widespread emphysema.

Monkeys can perform mental addition
Researchers at Duke University have demonstrated that monkeys have the ability to perform mental addition.

New report finds great potential for Swedish medical technology
Medical technology is an industry for the future in Sweden.

New report estimates 12 million cancer cases worldwide
A new American Cancer Society report estimates that there will be over 12 million new cancer cases and 7.6 million cancer deaths (about 20,000 cancer deaths a day) worldwide in 2007.

Champion of blinded soldiers, Congressman Murtha, is Man of Vision
Schepens Eye Research Institute has named Congressman John P. Murtha, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, this year's Man of Vision for his advocacy on behalf of veterans blinded by war and for research to restore their vision.

Classifying indoor tanning behaviors can help physicians tailor prevention messages
Identifying indoor tanning behavior patterns can help physicians tailor prevention messages, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UCLA-industry partnership to develop, commercialize new nanotechnology
The California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and NanoPacific Holdings Inc., announce a partnership to commercialize a mechanized nanoparticle-based technology that could mean prolonged lives of enhanced quality for millions of cancer sufferers.

Hot spot on Enceladus causes plumes
Enceladus, the tiny satellite of Saturn, is colder than ice, but data gathered by the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan has detected a hot spot that could mean there is life in the old moon after all.

Robotic device appears useful for surgical removal of cancer involving the tonsils
A new robotic surgery technique appears promising for the removal of cancer involving the tonsil region, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Managing nuclear wastes for the millennia
On Jan. 7-8, a symposium titled

Constipation most common cause of children's abdominal pain
Acute and chronic constipation together accounted for nearly half of all cases of acute abdominal pain in children treated at one hospital.

Older antibiotic gains new respect as potent treatment for tuberculosis
It has no current market, not even a prescription price.

Agent orange chemical, dioxin, attacks the mitochondria to cause cancer, says Penn research team
Researchers with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated the process by which the cancer-causing chemical dioxin attacks the cellular machinery, disrupts normal cellular function and ultimately promotes tumor progression.

Teachers play critical role in adolescent health promotion efforts
Teachers are among the most important influences in the lives of school-aged children, yet relatively little emphasis has been placed on examining the potential role general academic teachers may play in facilitating adolescent health promotion efforts, according to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Pain treatment in the field: Good for soldiers' comfort and better for rebuilding troop strength
Noncombat-related acute and recurrent chronic pain are the leading causes of soldier attrition in modern war, with the return-to-duty rate as low as 2 percent when these soldiers are treated outside the theaters of operation.

Fundamental discovery by Einstein researchers reveals how fat is stored in cells
In discovering the genes responsible for storing fat in cells, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have answered one of biology's most fundamental questions.

'The Diabetes Educator' publishes systematic reviews for diabetes management
Medical researchers have studied many aspects of diabetes to provide self-management recommendations, but how do doctors and patients know what works and what doesn't?

Videoconferencing can help surgeons make their rounds from a distance
Using robotic teleconferencing to monitor patients after urologic surgery appears to result in similar patient outcomes and satisfaction as traditional bedside rounds, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Tip sheet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Dec. 18, 2007, issue
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of Annals of Internal Medicine:

Study links success of invasive Argentine ants to diet shifts
The ability of Argentine ants to change from carnivorous insect eaters to plant sap-loving creatures has helped these invasive social insects rapidly spread throughout coastal California, according to a new study, displacing many native insects and creating ant infestations familiar to most coastal residents.

Overexcited neurons not good for cell health
A Northwestern University study reports that a mutation in a transcription factor that controls a neurotransmitter in the nematode C. elegans causes an imbalance in neuronal signaling that results in protein damage in target cells.

Tolerate, accommodate, innovate -- how doctors deal with the risk embedded in the medical system
Risk is an inherent element of the hospital system and the resulting dangers are often normalized by medical staff to allow them to do their job, according to research by a University of Nottingham academic.

Monkeys perform arithmetic as well as college students
Monkeys have an ability to represent numerical values even though they lack linguistic abilities.

The blood-brain barrier: A misunderstood key to finding life-saving cures to brain disease
A team of international scientists, including a Saint Louis University researcher, demystifies the blood-brain barrier in an article in the Lancet Neurology.

Study shows urban sprawl continues to gobble up land
Despite reports to the contrary, urban sprawl has continued to grow significantly for the past several decades, new research suggests.

Intracellular bacterial communities in cystitis; rifapentine cures TB in mouse model; and more
In this week's press release, the following articles are highlighted:

Moderate exercise cuts rate of metabolic syndrome
Research from Duke University Medical Center shows that even a modest amount of brisk walking weekly is enough to trim waistlines and cut the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), an increasingly frequent condition linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

Z-shaped incision enhances minimally invasive surgery
A novel surgical technique allowing doctors to operate on patients by making a Z-shaped incision inside the stomach could potentially replace certain types of conventional surgery in humans, according to Penn State medical researchers who have successfully demonstrated the procedure in pigs.

Recent studies confirm significant underuse of colorectal cancer screening
Two recently released studies confirm an alarming reality, that a majority of Americans who should be getting screened for colorectal cancer are not.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Dec. 12, 2007
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Elderly at risk for physical disabilities exercise, improve physical function
Elderly adults at risk for physical disabilities are able to adhere to a regular program of moderate exercise for one year, a recent study of 213 men and women suggests.

Cat fleas' journey into the vacuum is a 'one-way trip'
Homeowners dogged by household fleas need look no farther than the broom closet to solve their problem.

UVA reports surprising findings related to myotonic muscular dystrophy
New research from the University of Virginia Health System shows that, in cases of type 1 myotonic muscular dystrophy, a well known heart protein does several surprising things.

Prescription for an electronic revolution?
Patients could be saved millions of trips to their GP under a new scheme that has the potential to revolutionize the system of prescribing medicines.

OHSU researchers reveal the science of shivering
OHSU researchers have uncovered the system that tells the body when to perform one of its most basic defenses against the cold: shivering.

$1.4 million grant awarded to study 2 little-understood neurological disorders
The Leon Levy Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million in grants to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City in support of collaborative research into two little-understood neurological disorders: chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction in adult cancer patients and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, also known as

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funds KP study of electronic records for heart disease
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded $600,000 for a Kaiser Permanente study to use electronic medical records to examine heart disease prevention and management in 175,000 adults to improve quality of cardiovascular care nationwide.

CSHL scientists identify and repress breast cancer stem cells in mouse tissue
By manipulating highly specific gene-regulating molecules called microRNAs, scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory report that they have succeeded in singling out and repressing stem-like cells in mouse breast tissue -- cells that are widely thought to give rise to cancer.

Biochip mimics the body to reveal toxicity of industrial compounds
A new biochip technology could eliminate animal testing in the chemicals and cosmetics industries, and drastically curtail its use in the development of new pharmaceuticals, according to new findings from a team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of California at Berkeley, and Solidus Biosciences Inc.

New property found in ancient mineral lodestone
Using the latest nanofabrication methods, a team of Rice University physicists has discovered a surprising new electronic property in one of the earliest-known and most-studied magnetic minerals on Earth -- lodestone.

Cheaper drugs now closer to realization with new DropArray technology
A standard laboratory tool for measuring pharmacological activity of biological substances and performing other related tests may soon be replaced by a new miniaturized bioassay that will be faster, cheaper and more efficient for scientists to use.

The precise role of seminal proteins in sustaining post-mating responses in fruit flies
Successful reproduction is critical to pass genes to the next generation.

Adult ADHD significantly impacts on social, financial and personal aspects of life
Two observational studies have documented that adults with ADHD, when compared to a control group, were more likely to use certain illicit drugs, engage in certain antisocial behaviors, have financial problems and engage in risky sexual behavior.

Poultry workers at increased risk of carrying antibiotic-resistant E. coli
Poultry workers in the United States are 32 times more likely to carry E. coli bacteria resistant to the commonly used antibiotic, gentamicin, than others outside the poultry industry, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

MCG selected as RNA laboratory for worldwide diabetes study
The Medical College of Georgia Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine has been selected to isolate RNA and DNA from the blood of thousands of children involved in a worldwide study of the causes of type 1 diabetes.

New strategy to cut heart attack risk is effective in initial test
The first clinical trial of a new kind of drug to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease has been found safe and effective at dropping levels of

Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections invade bladder cells
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found definitive proof that some of the bacteria that plague women with urinary tract infections are entrenched inside human bladder cells.

Brain malfunction explains dehydration in elderly
As Australia faces another hot, dry summer, scientists from Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute have warned that elderly people are at risk of becoming dehydrated because their brains underestimate how much water they need to drink to rehydrate.

OHSU research suggests new strategy for protecting aging Americans against infectious disease
OHSU researchers have uncovered new information about the body's immune system in a study that suggests new strategies may be in order for protecting the country's aging population against disease.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell spine surgeon first to use AxiaLIF spine surgery in Manhattan
Each year, 40 to 60 percent of American adults suffer from chronic back pain.

Severe psoriasis associated with increased risk of death
Patients with severe psoriasis appear to have an increased risk of death compared with patients without the skin condition, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MIT works toward engineered blood vessels
MIT scientists have found a way to induce cells to form parallel tube-like structures that could one day serve as tiny engineered blood vessels.

For babies with heart defects, death risk is far lower at most experienced hospitals
Though the odds for infants with heart defects are much better now than they were even 10 years ago, a new study suggests a way to give them a better chance at survival: get them to hospitals that are the most experienced at handling such cases.

Where vets served affects frequency of ER visits but not hospital stays
Five years post-conflict, individuals who served in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War were 25 percent more likely to visit an emergency department than veterans of the same era who were not deployed, but were no more likely to have a hospital stay or an outpatient visit, according to a study in December 2007 issue of American Journal of Public Health.

Creative work has health advantages, Population Research Center study shows
Employees who have more control over their daily activities and do challenging work they enjoy are likely to be in better health, according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin published in this month's Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Massage may help ease pain and anxiety after surgery
A 20-minute evening back massage may help relieve pain and reduce anxiety following major surgery when given in addition to pain medications, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

A 'gizmo' that saves lives
When Javier Rodriguez Molina visited the Atocha Train Station Memorial in Madrid last summer, the Barcelona native felt a great sadness for the victims of the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombings.

ASU researchers use NASA satellites to improve pollution modeling
Detecting pollution, like catching criminals, requires evidence and witnesses; but on the scale of countries, continents and oceans, having enough detectors is easier said than done. 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