Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 12, 2008
Surgery improves quality of life for children with sleep apnea
For children who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can provide dramatic relief and is successful in solving sleep problems for 80 to 90 percent of children, a Saint Louis University study found.

Appropriate timing in the use of breast shields in children can further reduce MDCT radiation dose
Using breast shields during pediatric chest MDCT reduces radiation dose and minimally increases image noise, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.

Coming soon in fall 2008: People do less research on products that have already launched
When a new product is released -- say, an even slimmer laptop or the next generation iPhone -- people either find out about it beforehand through an announcement or see it after it hits stores.

MIT reveals superconducting surprise
MIT physicists have taken a step toward understanding the puzzling nature of high-temperature superconductors, materials that conduct electricity with no resistance at temperatures well above absolute zero.

VEGF neutralization can damage brain vessels, say Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists
New research by scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute may help explain why the anticancer drug Avastin, which targets a growth factor responsible for creation of new blood vessels, causes potentially fatal brain inflammation in certain patients.

Feb. 20 lecture at UTA on possibility of alien life
Princeton University Professor of Astrophysical Science and International Affairs Christopher F.

Robot rat to lead the way in touch technology
Researchers at the University of Sheffield are using the animal kingdom to help develop sophisticated touch technology for use in intelligent machines, such as robots.

What's good for the heart may be good for the prostate
Men who eat a diet low in fat and red meat but high in vegetables and lean protein and who drink alcohol in moderation may not just be doing their hearts a favor.

Lake Mead could be dry by 2021
There is a 50 percent chance Lake Mead, a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern United States, will be dry by 2021 if climate changes as expected and future water usage is not curtailed, according to a pair of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC-San Diego.

Gaps exist for adopting conflicts of interest policies among medical schools
A minority of US medical schools surveyed have adopted policies on conflicts of interest regarding financial interests held by the institutions, while at least two-thirds have policies applying to financial interests of institutional officials, according to a study in the Feb.

New findings contradict a prevailing belief about the inner ear
A healthy ear emits soft sounds in response to the sounds that travel in.

Veterinary researchers study poultry virus as human cancer treatment
A major new grant from the National Institutes of Health supports innovative work that seeks to develop a treatment for cancer from a common avian virus.

New sensor system improves detection of lead, heavy metals
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a new rapid, portable and inexpensive detection system that identifies personal exposures to toxic lead and other dangerous heavy metals.

Seeing beneath the surface: Use of ground penetrating radar in earth science research
Studying the arrangements of sediments and sedimentary rocks in Earth's near-surface layers received a recent boost from a new volume published by the Geological Society of America.

ESA astronaut Frank De Winne to spend 6 months on the ISS in 2009
With the Columbus mission well under way, the space station program has assigned crews for the next flight opportunities.

Humans inhabited New World's doorstep for 20,000 years
The human journey from Asia to the New World was interrupted by a 20,000-year layover in Beringia.

Body image is stronger predictor of health than obesity, says Mailman School of PH study
In a study to examine the impact of desired body weight on the number of unhealthy days subjects report over one month, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the desire to weigh less was a more accurate predictor of physically and mentally unhealthy days, than body mass index.

Discovery of 'overdrive' protein could broaden drug design options
New research by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows for the first time that an important family of proteins known to function at the cell surface also functions at a site within the cell.

Anxiety linked to newly diagnosed DCIS patients' overestimation of breast cancer risks
Elevated levels of anxiety may cause women with ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer, to overestimate their risk of recurrence or dying from breast cancer, suggests a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Other highlights in the Feb. 12 JNCI
Also in the Feb. 12 JNCI are a report on the causes of death among breast cancer survivors, a gene variant linked to brain cancer, a connection between two different cancer syndromes, and a commentary on the reporting of adverse cancer drug side effects.

New study examines ventilator treatment strategies for patients with severe respiratory disorders
A comparison of two treatment methods for critically ill patients with severe, rapid-onset lung disorders treated with mechanical ventilators found no significant difference in the risk of death, but did find that the newer method reduced the rates of severe persistent low oxygen levels and reduced the need for additional

Children who have an active father figure have fewer psychological and behavioral problems
Kids with active father figures are less likely to suffer psychological and behavioral problems and having a father figure around can reduce crime and enhance cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language, in low-income families.

Heat treatment process supplies stronger die cast parts
Car components with doubled mechanical strength, higher fatigue resistance and improved energy absorption are the result of a revolutionary CSIRO heat treatment process for high pressure die casting of aluminium.

KC Nicolaou explores some of the major chemical discoveries of the century
Award-winning chemist, KC Nicolaou explores some of the major chemical discoveries of the century in a popular science classic.

Chameleons and copycats: How mimicry affects interpersonal persuasion
Social scientists have long been intrigued by the human tendency to mimic the behavior of others.

Future of social networking explored in UW's computer science building
A pilot project involving dozens of volunteers the University of Washington's computer science building explores the next step in social networking, wirelessly monitoring people and things.

Hubble finds strong contender for galaxy distance record
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, with a boost from a natural

2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
Journalists are invited to attend and cover the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, to be held March 16-19, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, Ga.

Body part by body part, Sumatran tigers are being sold into extinction
Laws protecting the critically endangered Sumatran tiger have failed to prevent tiger body parts being openly sold in Indonesia, according to a TRAFFIC report launched today.

New Jefferson trial to test radiation-emitting beads against advanced liver cancer
Liver cancer specialists at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia are beginning an 18-month study of a new treatment for liver cancer.

New dinosaur from Mexico offers insights into ancient life on West America
A new species of dinosaur unearthed in Mexico is giving scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to an international research team led by scientists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.

A researcher of UPV/EHU has designed nanomagnets for industry
The PhD, defended by chemist Sonia Moralejo GarcĂ­a at the University of the Basque Country, achieved a well-defined line for the manufacture of nanomagnets and other magnetic devices of wide industrial application.

Singing in the rainforest: Public vs. private signaling by a tropical rainforest bird
According to the Chinese proverb, a bird sings because it has a song, not because it has an answer.

Expenditures rising for back and neck problems, but health outcomes do not appear to be improving
Although expenses related to back and neck problems have increased substantially in the last decade, outcomes such as functional disability and work limitations do not appear to be improving, according to a study in the Feb.

A sense of scarcity: Why it seems like all the good ones are taken
Singles' bars, classified personals and dating websites are a reflection, not only of the common human desire to find a mate, but of the sense of scarcity that seems to surround the hunt.

Unique infrared technique finds applications in nanoscience
The Springer journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry has chosen the Austrian chemist Thomas Lummerstorfer as the recipient of its Best Paper Award 2007.

News tips from The Journal of Neuroscience
Appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience are

Patients with larger social networks may fare better after an operation
A new study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that patients with a large support network of family and friends report feeling less pain and anxiety prior to having a surgical procedure, which can have a substantially positive impact on their postoperative recovery.

Neuromusic showtime
From June 25 to 28, physicians, researchers, and psychologists focusing on the new perspectives emerging from the combined study of neurosciences and music, will gather in Montreal at the McGill University for the international conference:

Yale test detects early stage ovarian cancer with 99 percent accuracy
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have developed a blood test with enough sensitivity and specificity to detect early stage ovarian cancer with 99 percent accuracy.

UCLA-Dutch team uncovers Egypt's earliest agricultural settlement
Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have found the earliest evidence ever discovered of an ancient Egyptian agricultural settlement, including farmed grains, remains of domesticated animals, pits for cooking and even floors for what appear to be dwellings, the National Geographic Society announced Feb 12.

Old dogs: Prior knowledge affects how consumers accept new information
Over time, consumers develop a set of cues that we then use to make inferences about products, such as

Sheffield engineers have big ideas for the latest in medical scanners
Engineers at the University of Sheffield and STFC Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories have developed one of the world's largest imagers that could form the heart of future medical scanners.

DCIS patients overestimate breast cancer risks
Many women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ have inaccurate perceptions of their breast cancer risks, according to a study published online Feb.

Poverty and the Brain
Dr. Martha Farah, director of Penn's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, will present Poverty and Brain Development: Correlations, Mechanisms and Societal Implications at the 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting.

Scientists expand understanding of how river carbon impacts the Arctic Ocean
Arctic rivers transport huge quantities of dissolved organic carbon to the Arctic Ocean.

Marketplace drama: The 7-year war on downloading in 4 acts
As a record producer during Napster's emergence in the late '90s, Markus Giesler (York University) had first hand experience dealing with several issues: How does market evolution change price-value relationships for music?

Aircraft noise raises blood pressure even whilst people are sleeping, says study
Night-time noise from aircraft or traffic can increase a person's blood pressure even if it does not wake them, according to a new study published today in the European Heart Journal.

Oil palm research in context: Identifying the need for biodiversity assessment
Oil palm cultivation has expanded dramatically in recent decades and is frequently cited as a major threat to tropical biodiversity.

Breakthrough in pre-eclampsia test
A team at the University of Leeds has discovered a way of diagnosing pre-eclampsia, a condition which affects almost one in ten pregnant women and accounts for up to 15 percent of all premature deliveries.

Are you feeling lucky? How superstition impacts consumer choice
Despite their strong impact on the marketplace, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the how superstitious beliefs impact decision making.

Sept. 11 terrorism continues to impact mental health of Americans
Long after Sept. 11, 2001, Americans' terrorism-related thoughts and fears are associated with increased depression, anxiety, hostility, post-traumatic stress and drinking, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found.

A functional immune system can be derived from embryonic stem cells, preliminary study finds
A new study demonstrates for the first time that embryonic stem cells can be used to create functional immune system blood cells, a finding which is an important step in the utilization of embryonic stem cells as an alternative source of cells for bone marrow transplantation.

HPV-positive head and neck cancer patients fare better than HPV-negative patients
Head and neck cancer patients with HPV-positive tumors tend to survive longer and are more responsive to treatment compared with patients with HPV-negative tumors, according to a study published online Feb.

Stevens' survey finds global companies lack strong leadership
Stevens' survey finds global companies lack strong leadership.

Human deaths from shark attacks hit 20-year low last year
Fatal shark attacks worldwide dipped to their lowest levels in two decades in 2007 with the sole casualty involving a swimmer vacationing in the South Pacific, according to the latest statistics from the University of Florida.

More attention needed to conflicts presented by institutional relationships
A new study indicates that many US medical schools do not have policies that govern conflicts of interest related to financial interests the institutions have with public or private companies.

Study garners unique mating photos of wild gorillas
Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have released the first known photographs of gorillas performing face-to-face copulation in the wild.

Gene chips used to distinguish ventilator-associated pneumonia from underlying critical illness
Critically ill patients who need a ventilator to breathe face a high risk of pneumonia.

Young voters influenced by negative political ads, says study
An important field study of registered voters aged 18-23 reveals that negative

'Lab on a chip' mimics brain chemistry
Johns Hopkins researchers from the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine have devised a micro-scale tool -- a lab on a chip -- designed to mimic the chemical complexities of the brain.

New findings show additional similarity between opiate and nicotine addiction
New research published in the Feb. 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that the effects of nicotine and opiates on the brain's reward system are equally strong in a key pleasure-sensing areas of the brain -- the nucleus accumbens.
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