Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 08, 2008
Americans pay the most for prescription drugs and still don't take them
An international study of dialysis patients shows that although US residents have the highest out-of-pocket drug costs, even those who can afford their prescription drugs are far less likely to take them than patients in other countries.

Docetaxel given after doxorubicin reduces recurrence
Adding the drug docetaxel to anthracycline-based chemotherapy slightly improved disease-free survival in breast cancer patients, according to a randomized clinical trial published online Jan.

American women are more likely to choose overly aggressive treatments for breast cancer
Despite a 1990 consensus recommendation from the National Institutes of Health that lumpectomy plus radiation was the treatment of choice for early-stage breast cancer, the United States continues to have the highest rate of mastectomy surgery among industrialized countries.

Stimulating the appetite can lead to unrelated impulse purchases
Exposure to something that whets the appetite, such as a picture of a mouthwatering dessert, can make a person more impulsive with unrelated purchases, finds a study from the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

New insight into factors that drive muscle-building stem cells
A report in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press, provides new evidence explaining how stem cells known as satellite cells contribute to building muscles up in response to exercise.

NASA and Gemini probe mysterious explosion in the distant past
Using the powerful one-two combo of NASA's Swift satellite and the Gemini Observatory, astronomers have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion farther back in time than ever before.

First rigorous analysis defines impact of Medicare Part D
The most thorough study to date of the impact of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) found a

Protein power: Researchers trigger insulin production in diabetic mice
University of Florida researchers have coaxed liver and pancreatic cells within diabetic mice into churning out insulin by injecting the animals with a naturally occurring protein called Pdx1, opening up a new research avenue that someday could lead to safer treatments for type 1 diabetes.

Rutgers, Penn State astronomy teams discover ancestors of Milky Way-type galaxies
Rutgers and Penn State astronomers have discovered galaxies in the distant universe that are ancestors of spiral galaxies like our Milky Way.

Oatmeal's health claims strongly reaffirmed, science shows
The link between eating oatmeal and cholesterol reduction is stronger than when the FDA initially approved the health claim's appearance on food labels in 1997, a new study shows.

Marketing the South: Commercial mythmaking and reshaping of popular memories
The historical, competitive, and ideological factors that structure the practices of commercial mythmaking remain largely unexplored and undertheorized.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles will be featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Children's Hospital neurosurgeon receives grant
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery Ian F.

EPA grant to UC engineering makes for a better environment
The US Environmental Protection Agency has awarded nearly $700,000 to Dionysios Dionysiou at the University of Cincinnati to study processes used to purify drinking water.

Study proves the co-pay connection in chronic disease
As 2008 begins, millions of Americans are facing higher insurance co-pays for drugs and doctor appointments.

Breast cancer risk varies significantly among BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers
There is a broad variation in the risk of developing breast cancer among people who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation, according to a study in the Jan.

WPI receives $1.5 million NSF award for intelligent tutor for improved science education
With a five-year, $1.5 million award from the National Science Foundation, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are developing a computerized tutoring system that will teach middle school students to

Cornell patents a pink lily look-alike that blooms all summer long
Mauve Majesty is a new pink ornamental, developed by professor Mark Bridgen and patented by Cornell University, that can bloom all summer long in the cooler, northern states until the first hard freeze in the fall.

UCLA study finds brain response differences in the way women with IBS anticipate and react to pain
UCLA researchers found that women with irritable bowel syndrome cannot effectively turn-off a pain modulation mechanism in the brain, which causes them to be more sensitive to abdominal pain, compared to women without IBS.

Trying to stay on a strict diet? Focus on the details
Repetition usually makes people enjoy things less. Such satiation causes our favorites to lose their sheen, makes it hard to follow a diet, and pushes us to escalate our spending on novelty.

Genetic variant predicts antipsychotic response for schizophrenia patients by ethnicity
Schizophrenia is a developmental disorder with a large genetic component contributing to increased risk.

Federal spending bills contain 2,526 R&D earmarks, AAAS analysis finds
Congress inserted nearly $4.5 billion in federal research and development earmarks, spread over 2,526 projects, in spending bills for fiscal year 2008, according to an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

New York City death rate reaches historic low
The death rate in New York City reached an all-time low in 2006, as the number of deaths fell to 55,391 -- down from 57,068 in 2005 and 60,218 in 2001.

Carrot cake study on sugar in type 2 diabetes
Patients with type 2 diabetes are often advised to limit sucrose (table sugar) intake.

An 'attractive' man-machine interface
For the first time, magnetism has been used to trigger cellular reactions normally induced by drugs or hormones.

Research sheds light on the mechanics of gene transcription
The molecular machinery behind gene transcription isn't stationed in special

Stanford builds a better virtual world, 1 tree (or millions) at a time
The inability of casual computer users to build 3-D objects is an anchor holding back the promise of virtual worlds, such as Second Life or World of Warcraft.

New nanostructured thin film shows promise for efficient solar energy conversion
Combining two nanotech methods for engineering solar cell materials appears to yield better results than either one alone does, according to UC-Santa Cruz chemist Jin Zhang.

Multiple skin cancer risk behaviors are common among US adults
Sunlight's ultraviolet rays can damage your skin year-round. Yet a new study by behavioral researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center shows that most American adults engage in multiple behaviors that boost their risk of skin cancer by increasing their exposure to UV rays.

BERT tells ERNI it's time to grow a brain
UCL scientists have discovered how two proteins called BERT and ERNI interact in embryos to control when different organ systems in the body start to form, deepening our understanding of the development of the brain and nervous system and stem cell behaviour.

When shorter waits increase stress
People hate to wait, says common customer service insight. Marketers will hype their earnest attempts to shorten waiting times or at least promise to provide customers with information or distractions to make the waiting time more palatable.

Create a database of scientific journals as an alternative to Thomson Scientific products
The ranking includes data for countries and journals and can be filtered according to large knowledge areas, thematic categories, country/journal and years.

UT Southwestern researchers uncover mechanisms of common inherited mental retardation
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are uncovering how brain cells are affected in Fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and the most common genetic cause of autism.

Children's Hospital physicians publish review of transplant issues in patients with biliary atresia
The most common indication worldwide for pediatric transplantation, biliary atresia is also the most common cause of chronic liver disease in newborns.

Freeze-dried tendon implants prove effective in early studies
Donated, freeze-dried tendon grafts loaded with gene therapy may soon offer effective repair of injured tendons, a goal that has eluded surgeons to date.

U of M research finds disordered eating less common among teen girls who regularly eat family meals
Adolescent girls who frequently eat meals with their families appear less likely to use diet pills, laxatives, or other extreme measures to control their weight five years later, according to research led by Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, lead investigator of Project Eating Among Teens at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

True story? Men prefer 'chick flicks' when they are explicitly fictionalized
Characterized by a heart-tugging plot, emotional melodrama fosters deep emotional reactions on the part of the consumer.

Other highlights in the Jan. 8 JNCI
Also in the Jan. 8 JNCI are an association between statin use and reduced cancer risk, a potential colon cancer drug target, a mouse model for studying kidney cancer, and a review of how tumor viruses regulate telomeres.

American Association for Cancer Research hosts 2008 annual meeting
The AACR Annual Meeting features the latest cutting-edge findings in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

New research confirms connection between job loss and poor health
Employees who lose their jobs because of their health suffer more significant depression and detrimental health outcomes than people who lose their jobs for non-health reasons, new research shows.

New treatment mechanisms for schizophrenia
The field of schizophrenia research has come alive with many exciting new potential approaches to treatment.

Leading researchers and experts gather to discuss latest advancements in drug discovery
More than 2,500 researchers and professionals in the area of biomolecular science and drug discovery are expected to attend the 14th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Society for Biomolecular Sciences to discuss advances in biotechnology, challenges and automation solutions in the field.

Hope Diamond's phosphorescence key to fingerprinting
Shine a white light on the Hope Diamond and it will dazzle you with the brilliance of an amazing blue diamond.

University alliance to increase robotics education, research at historically black universities
Carnegie Mellon University and six other research universities have joined forces with eight historically black colleges and universities in a collaborative project to promote robotics and computer science education for African-American students.

Breast cancer risk varies among women who are carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
Breast cancer risk varies widely among women who are carriers of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to a new study published in the Jan.

Scientists unravel the molecular basis of monarch butterfly migration
In two papers published in Jan. 8 journals of the Public Library of Science, Dr.

Experimental weight-loss drug cuts appetite, burns more energy
The first clinical studies of an experimental drug have revealed that obese people who take it for 12 weeks lose weight, even at very low doses.

Device prevents potential errors in children's medications
A device designed to eliminate mistakes made while mixing compounds at a hospital pharmacy was 100 percent accurate in identifying the proper formulations of seven intravenous drugs.

Rural patients less likely to receive organ transplants
Patients in small towns and isolated rural areas have lower organ transplant rates and are less likely to be wait-listed than patients in urban areas, according to a study in the Jan.

Diabetes medication and lifestyle changes can help treat weight gain induced by antipsychotic drugs
Lifestyle intervention and the drug metformin are both effective against antipsychotic-induced weight gain, and treatment is most effective when the two therapies are combined, according to a study in the Jan.

NASA announces details of Hubble servicing mission
NASA scientists and a space shuttle astronaut today outlined details of a challenging mission that will repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008.

Scientists detect lowest frequency radar echo from the moon
A team of scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory's Research Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and the University of New Mexico has detected the lowest frequency radar echo from the moon ever seen with earth-based receivers.

NASA announces AAS events and news conferences
NASA researchers will present new findings to the media on a wide range of space science topics during the 211th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Hubble finds that 'blue blobs' in space are orphaned clusters of stars
Hubble has revealed that mysterious

Staying active and drinking moderately is the key to a long life
People who drink moderate amounts of alcohol and are physically active have a lower risk of death from heart disease and other causes than people who don't drink at all, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal.

Higher Medicare spending yields mixed bag for patients
A large-scale study of over 55,000 colorectal cancer patients found that Medicare beneficiaries in

US ranks last among other industrialized nations on preventable deaths
The United States places last among 19 countries when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, according to new research supported by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs.

New statistical technique shows more informative picture of survival
Researchers have developed a new method for presenting clinical trial survival data that includes data from all trial participants unlike the standard method, according to a commentary published online Jan.

Children's doctor honored by president of Colombia for contributions to pediatric cardiac care
Colombia's Minister of Social Protection, Diego Palacio Betancourt, presented Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC's Heart Center Chief of the Division of Cardiac Intensive Care Ricardo A.

Humans have caused profound changes in Caribbean coral reefs
Coral reefs in the Caribbean have suffered significant changes due to the proximal effects of a growing human population, according to a study published the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

A healthy smile may promote a healthy heart
Each year, cardiovascular disease kills more Americans than cancer. And while most people are aware that lifestyle choices such as eating right, getting enough exercise and quitting smoking can help prevent cardiovascular disease, they may not know that by just brushing and flossing their teeth each day, they might also be avoiding this potentially lethal condition.

Eating out can have both positive and negative impact on obesity
Eating out instead of cooking at home continues to increase as a factor impacting the American diet.

NIAID experts see dengue as potential threat to US public health
A disease most Americans have never heard of could soon become more prevalent if dengue, a flu-like illness that can turn deadly, continues to expand into temperate climates and increase in severity, according to a new commentary by Anthony S.

Newer meningitis vaccine appears safe and effective for infants
A vaccine not yet licensed in the United States produces immunity against four strains of meningococcal disease and is well tolerated when administered to infants, according to a study in the Jan.

Sub-Saharan Africa: the population emergency
With the aim of assessing the significance of relations between population trends and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Centre Population et Développement has undertook a wide-ranging survey and produce a review of the demographic situation and dynamics in this vast region.

New book reveals an evolutionary journey of the human body
Paleontologist Neil Shubin unites the discoveries of fossils and the sciences of paleontology and genetics with his experience of teaching human anatomy into a written voyage of evolution, titled

Smithsonian researcher probes Hope Diamond's fiery red glow
A study released in the January 2008 edition of the journal Geology proves that a blue diamond's rare appeal goes far beyond its beauty.

Carlos Kenig receives 2008 Bocher Prize in mathematics
University of Chicago mathematician Carlos Kenig has been named a co-recipient of the 2008 Maxime Bocher Memorial Prize from the American Mathematical Society for his work in the field of analysis.

Understanding the have-knots: The role of stress in just about everything
A study now reveals that stress causes deterioration in everything from your gums to your heart and can make you more susceptible to everything from the common cold to cancer.

New study: US ranks last among other industrialized nations on preventable deaths
The United States places last among 19 countries when it comes to deaths that could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care, according to new research supported by the Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs. 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