Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 22, 2008
Study raises questions over Investors in People Award
Minority groups lose out on training in workplaces that have won the Investors in People training award, new research shows.

Findings suggest link between vitamin E and subsequent decline in physical function for older adults
Low serum concentration of vitamin E, an indication of poor nutrition, is associated with physical decline for older persons, according to a study in the Jan.

Researchers develop darkest manmade material
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rice University have created the darkest material ever made by man.

Johns Hopkins to participate in 1000 Genomes Project
Researchers at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins will join other national and international scientists in the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort that will involve sequencing the genomes of numerous people from around the world to create the most detailed and medically useful picture to date of human genetic variation.

Disparities among patients with extremity soft-tissue sarcomas
A new study reveals significant racial and ethnic differences in the treatment and survival of patients with soft-tissue sarcomas, a rare but dangerous cancer that begins in muscle, fat, blood vessels or other supporting tissue of the body.

Scientists look at those in evolutionary race who don't make it 'out of the gate'
In the race of evolution, scientists until now have only looked at winners and losers.

Scientists use nanomaterials to localize and control drug delivery
Using nanotechnology, scientists from UCLA and Northwestern University have developed a localized and controlled drug delivery method that is invisible to the immune system, a discovery that could provide newer and more effective treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Newly discovered active fault building new Dalmatian Islands off Croatian coast
A newly identified fault that runs under the Adriatic Sea is actively building more of the famously beautiful Dalmatian Islands and Dinaride Mountains of Croatia, according to a new research report.

Overweight patients with diabetes appear more likely to achieve remission with weight-loss surgery
Preliminary research indicates that obese patients with type 2 diabetes who had gastric banding surgery lost more weight and had a higher likelihood of diabetes remission compared to patients who used conventional methods for weight loss and diabetes control, according to a study in the Jan.

Zanzibar study paves way for mass co-delivery of 3 antiparasitic drugs
Findings from a new study in Zanzibar, published Jan. 23 in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, pave the way for the World Health Organization to recommend the mass co-delivery of three antiparasitic drugs for the first time.

Ovarian cancer risk not affected by alcohol and smoking, but reduced by caffeine
A new study has found that cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption do not have an effect on ovarian cancer risk, while caffeine intake may lower the risk, particularly in women not using hormones.

Elsevier to publish 2 journals with the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that it will publish Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia as well as Geography and Natural Resource on behalf of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, starting in January 2008.

Einstein researchers: Do national dietary guidelines do more harm than good?
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University raise questions about the benefits of federal dietary guidelines.

DNA sensors found to be an effective artificial nose
Short sequences of solid-state DNA can selectively signal their interactions with small molecules in the vapor phase.

Queen's immunologists find better way to boost the immune system
Queen's University immunologists have discovered how to manipulate the immune system to increase its power and protect the body from successive viral infections.

NSAIDs are effective for short-term relief of low-back pain
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce symptoms of low back pain that doesn't involve sciatica, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

Seasonal weight changes linked to metabolic syndrome
Seasonal changes in weight increase the risk for metabolic syndrome, a group of scientists from National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland, reports in a study published in the Jan.

Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E don't prevent pre-eclampsia
Taking vitamins C or E during pregnancy will not reduce a woman's risk of experiencing pre-eclampsia, a Cochrane Systematic Review has concluded.

Forests could benefit when fall color comes late
Autumn colors are appearing later and later, if at all.

Adaptive functional evolution of leptin in cold-adaptive pika family
Researchers at the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences have put forward the viewpoint for the first time that adaptive functional evolution may occur in the leptin protein of the pika family, a typical cold-adaptive mammal.

Motorcycle helmets keep riders alive, international review confirms
An international group of researchers has combined data from a variety of studies to determine how effective helmets really are.

Herbal remedy useful for heart failure, review finds
Adding another twist to the ongoing debate over the value of an herbal treatment for patients with heart failure, a new review of existing research suggests that hawthorn extract

Hawthorn extract can help the heart
Taking hawthorn extract can help control symptoms of chronic heart disease such as low abilities to work and walk, and also improve a range of heart-related measurements.

No high quality studies on reducing MRSA infection in nursing homes for elderly people
Nursing homes for older people provide environments where bacteria such as meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are likely to thrive.

Daily exercise dramatically lowers men's death rates
Increased exercise capacity reduces the risk of death in African-American and Caucasian men, researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Story ideas from Molecular and Cellular Proteomics
Researchers have undertaken a large-scale investigation into the molecular environment of the amyloid precursor protein, a protein centrally associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Equal level of commitment and relationship satisfaction found among gay and heterosexual couples
Same-sex couples are just as committed in their romantic relationships as heterosexual couples, say researchers who have studied the quality of adult relationships and healthy development.

Research and innovation at the intersection of physics and health sciences
Presentations on radiation, CT scanners and other medical physics devices and research will be presented at the Health Physics Society meeting in Oakland.

Academy honors 13 for major contributions to science
The National Academy of Sciences will honor 13 individuals with awards recognizing extraordinary scientific achievements in the areas of biology, chemistry, solar physics, ecology, mathematics, oceanography, paleontology, social sciences and psychology.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue: Regulation of burst duration in the superior colliculus; Synaptic plasticity in the developing cerebellum; The role of spinal neurons that express μ-opioid receptors; and Suppression of P/Q calcium currents by amyloid β.

Hospice and palliative care providers unite to discuss
The premier meeting for health care providers who care for patients with life-limiting illnesses will provide disease updates as well as sessions on the latest advances in clinical research, cultural, ethical and legal, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of care.

Clean or boiled tap water is as good as saline at cleaning acute wounds
Using drinkable tap water to clean wounds does not increase infection rates, according to the findings of a Cochrane Review.

Mothers trade child quantity for quality
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have shown that mothers are choosing to have fewer children in order to give their children the best start in life, but by doing so are going against millenia of human evolution.

Several genes that regulate the disease SLE have been identified
Swedish researchers, in collaboration with foreign colleagues, have identified a number of new genes that can be tied to the disease SLE, including a gene that hopefully might be used to treat the disease in the future by regulating the production of antibodies.

Intensive education can help patients with acute low-back pain
People with low-back pain who were given an additional individual two and a half-hour education session with a trained specialist on top of their usual care did better than those given normal care alone.

February Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: tree ring-based reconstruction of an extinct polar forest's seasonal environment; geological vs. seismological views of paleo-earthquakes; impact of Lake St.

No clear evidence that antidepressants assist in the management of chronic low back pain
Doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants for patients with low back pain for three main reasons; to relieve pain; reduce mild depression and improve a person's mood; and improve sleep.

Mercury in color!
One week ago, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft transmitted to Earth the first high-resolution image of Mercury by a spacecraft in over 30 years, since the three Mercury flybys of Mariner 10 in 1974 and 1975.

Early promising results in malaria vaccine trial in Mali
A small clinical trial conducted by an international team of researchers in Mali has found that a candidate malaria vaccine was safe and elicited strong immune responses in the 40 Malian adults who received it.

Media advisory -- 2008 Ocean Sciences Meeting
The 2008 Ocean Sciences meeting takes place March 2 to March 7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

A simplified scoring system may predict overall CVD risk, individual CVD components risk
Physicians currently evaluate a patient's risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases individually, but a new assessment tool could gauge risk of overall, or global, CVD and a range of cardiovascular diseases at one time, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cell division studies hint at future cancer therapy
When a cell's assets get divided between daughter cells, Dr.

UK Center for Tobacco Control Studies to be based in Nottingham
The University of Nottingham will spearhead UK research into tobacco control at a new £5m Center of Excellence, it was revealed today, Jan.

Debut of TEAM 0.5, the world's best microscope
TEAM 0.5, the first of two advanced microscopes developed by the Transmission Electron Aberration-Corrected Microscope Project sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Office of Science, has been installed at DOE's National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Carnegie's Stephen Shectman receives Jackson-Gwilt Medal
The Royal Astronomical Society has awarded Stephen Shectman of the Carnegie Observatories the 2008 Jackson-Gwilt Medal for his exceptional work in developing astronomical instrumentation and in constructing telescopes.

Food peptides activate bitter taste receptors
Researchers from the Monell Center and Tokyo University of Agriculture have used a novel molecular method to identify chemical compounds from common foods that activate human bitter taste receptors.

DFG remains skeptical of the cloning of human cells
According to a paper published in the journal Stem Cells, an American group has succeeded in inserting cell nuclei from human skin cells into human enucleated oocytes and to stimulate these new cells to undergo cell division in the laboratory.

By Jove, we've got it: EEG correlates of insightful problem solving
In a study published in PLoS ONE, researchers at Goldsmiths College, London, investigated brain rhythms and their dynamics while human volunteers solved verbal problems.

CCNY, Rice University researchers develop low-cost, 'green' way to make antimicrobial paints
Researchers at The City College of New York and Rice University have developed a low-cost, environmentally friendly technique for embedding antimicrobial silver nanoparticles into vegetable oil-based paints.

Unique fungal collection could hold key to future antibiotics
Scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London have joined forces with CABI to establish a facility to screen for potential new antibiotics.

Hot springs microbes hold key to dating sedimentary rocks, researchers say
Scientists studying microbial communities and the growth of sedimentary rock at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park have made a surprising discovery about the geological record of life and the environment.

Alendronate can help prevent bone fractures in many postmenopausal women
Giving 10mg per day of the bisphosphate drug alendronate to women after their menopause can help prevent loss of bone mass, reducing their risk of fractures, a Cochrane Review has found.

Few strategies exist to prevent MRSA spread in nursing homes
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is making news as a dangerous, sometimes fatal disease for hospital patients, and in recent cases, students.

QUT researcher discovers Maya mask splendor
Ancient Mayan temple builders used dazzling lustrous pigments.

Cell phone sensors detect radiation to thwart nuclear terrorism
Researchers at Purdue University are working with the state of Indiana to develop a system that would use a network of cell phones to detect and track radiation to help prevent terrorist attacks with radiological

Pharmacists believe drive-through windows contribute to delays, errors
Consumers who pick up their prescription medications at a pharmacy drive-through window might be jeopardizing their own safety in the name of convenience.

Abstinence-plus programs for HIV prevention can reduce risk behavior
Programs that aim to encourage sexual abstinence while also encouraging and teaching safer sex strategies for those who are sexually active can reduce short- and long-term HIV risk behavior among young people in high-income countries, according to the findings of a new Cochrane Review.

Combination therapy improves survival for certain prostate cancer patients
Men with localized prostate cancer who were treated with male hormone suppression therapy and radiation treatment had longer survival, but those with moderate to high levels of other illnesses did not experience this effect, according to a study in the Jan.

Thousands of crop varieties from 4 corners of the world depart for Arctic seed vault
At the end of January, more than 200,000 crop varieties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East -- drawn from vast seed collections maintained by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research -- will be shipped to a remote island near the Arctic Circle, where they will be stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility capable of preserving their vitality for thousands of years.

Study of Whitehall civil servants explains how stress at work is linked to heart disease
New research published in the European Heart Journal has produced strong evidence of how work stress is linked to the biological mechanisms involved in the onset of heart disease.

Iowa State University researcher's work on gender, temperature link in reptiles published in Nature
Research shows the temperatures at which jacky dragons were born was the best climate for each of the two genders.

Northwestern Memorial trial may wean kidney transplant patients off antirejection drugs
After transplant surgery, antirejection drugs for the organ recipient are a must.

NOAA invests $3 million for unmanned aircraft system testing
Unmanned aircraft bearing automated sensors may soon help NOAA scientists better predict a hurricane's intensity and track, how fast Arctic summer ice will melt, and whether soggy Pacific storms will flood West Coast cities.

Burgers, fries, diet soda: Metabolic syndrome blue-plate special
Otherwise-healthy adults who eat two or more servings of meat a day -- the equivalent of two burger patties -- increase their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 25 percent compared with those who eat meat twice a week, according to research published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

1 out of 4 children involved in a divorce undergoes Parental Alienation Syndrome
Children undergoing PAS are manipulated by their custodial parent, who tries to turn them against their father/mother, arousing in them feelings of hatred and contempt for the other parent.

CMS celebrates the lowering of its final detector element
In the early hours of the morning the final element of the Compact Muon Solenoid detector began the descent into its underground experimental cavern in preparation for the start-up of CERN's Large Hadron Collider this summer.

Regular, long-term aspirin use reduces risk of colorectal cancer
The use of regular, long-term aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduces the risk associated with colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute.

Cranberries might help prevent urinary infections in women
Evidence supports drinking cranberry juice -- a familiar home remedy --- to treat urinary tract infection, according to a new review from Scotland.

Heart and stroke death rates steadily decline; risks still too high
In an appropriate prelude to American Heart Month, which is just ahead in February, new mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, since 1999, coronary heart disease and stroke age-adjusted death rates are down by 25.8 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively.

A good fight may keep you and your marriage healthy
A good fight with your spouse may be good for your health, research suggests.

Research discovers new compounds active against tuberculosis and malaria
University of Navarra PhD in chemistry researcher, Esther Vicente, has discovered new compounds active for treating tuberculosis and malaria.

Cranberry juice may help women with recurrent urinary tract infections
There is some evidence that cranberry juice may decrease the number of occasions when people notice they have a urinary tract infection, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

OTC cough medicine: Not worthwhile for children or adults?
Alert parents know that small children should not take over-the-counter cough medications.

Drugs to bulk up muscles may make injuries more likely
Brittle tendons in mice reveal the potential downside of myostatin inhibitor drugs that are attracting interest as possible treatments for muscular dystrophy and as illicit performance-enhancing drugs for athletes.

Gene variations associated with effectiveness of blood pressure medications
Patients with hypertension and certain gene variations experienced varying results with some blood pressure medications, suggesting matching a patient's genotype with certain hypertension medications could result in more favorable outcomes, according to a study in the Jan.

Study raises questions about diagnosis, medical treatment of ADHD
A new UCLA study shows that only about half of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, exhibit the cognitive defects commonly associated with the condition and further, found that in populations where medication is rarely prescribed to treat ADHD, the prevalence and symptoms of the disorder are roughly equivalent to populations in which medication is widely used.

International consortium announces the 1000 Genomes Project
An international research consortium today announced the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort to sequence the genomes of at least 1,000 people to create the most detailed and medically useful catalogue to date of human genetic variation.

New therapeutic target for treatment of multiple sclerosis
An international research team, led by a scientist from the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, has identified new therapeutic targets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Investigating causes of asthma attacks: New sensor system monitors environmental exposure
Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute have developed a sensor system that continuously monitors the air around persons prone to asthma attacks.

Low vitamin E levels associated with physical decline in elderly
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a low concentration of vitamin E in the blood is linked with physical decline in older persons.

Stevens UV expert at Science-on-Saturday program
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's annual Science-on-Saturday program will feature Dr.

2008 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Disease Research Meeting
The American Society for Microbiology will host its 2008 Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting Feb.

Music therapy may offer hope for people with depression
A therapist may be able to use music to help some patients fight depression and improve, restore and maintain their health, states a Systematic Review from The Cochrane Library.

International consortium announces the 1000 Genomes Project
An international research consortium today announced the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort that will involve sequencing the genomes of at least a thousand people from around the world to create the most detailed and medically useful picture to date of human genetic variation.

Handwashing can reduce diarrhea episodes by about one third
Both in institutions and in communities, interventions that promote hand washing lead to significant reductions in the incidence of diarrhea.

Debate over safety of gene therapy trials focuses on issue of informed consent
Can a patient who agrees to participate in a safety study of a gene therapy protocol give truly informed consent and understand the risks involved when the consent forms are highly technical and the physician or institution seeking their consent has a stake in the study and its outcome? 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