Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 24, 2008
Research to lead to brain tumor therapies
No therapy, other than invasive surgery aiming at a single tumor and which may not eradicate the full extent of the tumors, currently exists.

JAMA editor-in-chief comments on Pfizer lawsuit
In an editorial published early online today, JAMA Editor-in-Chief Catherine D.

Baby boys are more likely to die than baby girls
Male infants in developed nations are more likely to die than female infants, a fact that is partially responsible for men's shorter lifespans, reveals a new study by researchers from University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California.

UD receives $3.75 million in DOE grants for leading-edge solar research
The University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion will receive $3.75 million from the US Department of Energy's Solar America Initiative over the next three years to continue leading-edge research on photovoltaic-based solar cells.

Free drug samples may burden patients' pockets
Following free drug sample receipt, patients who receive these samples have significantly higher out-of-pocket prescription costs than those who don't, according to the first study to look at the out-of-pocket cost associated with free-sample use.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- March 19, 2008
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.

When should children infected with HIV start medication
In this week's press release the following two articles appear:

New SAI grant aims to shorten testing time of photovoltaic modules
The future is getting brighter for Arizona State University's Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory as it plays a growing role in testing advanced solar energy systems.

NYU dental researchers find evidence of periodontal disease leading to gestational diabetes
A study by a New York University dental research team has discovered evidence that pregnant women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop gestational diabetes mellitus than pregnant women with healthy gums.

Yang receives AFOSR grant for nanoelectronics research
Eui-HyeokYang, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, has received a grant from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research for nanoelectronics research based on carbon nanotube quantum dots.

Undergraduate bioscience research reaches new horizons
This week sees the launch of Bioscience Horizons, a unique peer-reviewed journal comprising entirely of the very best undergraduate bioscience research in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Too much information? Study shows how ignorance can be influential
USC researchers provide a challenge to the classic economic model of information manipulation, in which knowing more than anybody else is the key to influence.

New findings from Tibetan Plateau suggest uplift occurred in stages
The vast Tibetan Plateau -- the world's highest and largest plateau, bordered by the world's highest mountains -- has long challenged geologists trying to understand how and when the region rose to such spectacular heights.

Toward the ethical treatment of whole genome research participants
Interest in whole-genome research has grown substantially over the past few months.

Hospitals that participate in clinical trials may provide better patient care
Hospitals that participate in clinical trials appear to provide better care for patients with heart attacks or other acute heart events and have lower death rates than hospitals that do not participate in clinical trials, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Dieting and medication may reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension
Adults with hypertension may be able to lower their weight and their blood pressure by following a weight-loss diet or using the medication orlistat, according to a meta-analysis of previously published studies reported in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Simplifying manufacture of drugs, plastics earns UH chemist top honor
Simplifying the process for forming compounds that can be used in many everyday products, such as pharmaceuticals and plastics, earned honors for a University of Houston chemist.

BARACLUDE data show low resistance over 5 years in nucleoside-naive hepatitis B patients
New BARACLUDE (entecavir) data presented today demonstrated a continued low incidence of resistance in nucleoside-naïve patients through five years of treatment.

Corn's roots dig deeper into South America
In a paper published in the March 24 advanced online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U of C Ph.D. student Sonia Zarrillo and archaeology professor Scott Raymond report that a new technique for examining ancient cooking pots has produced the earliest directly dated examples of domesticated corn (maize) being consumed on the South American continent.

Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a higher CO2 world
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising at an alarming rate, and new research indicates that soybean plant defenses go down as CO2 goes up.

K-State researchers boost beef jerky safety
The latest spate of meat recalls due to E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella contamination might have consumers wondering about the safety of their meat products.

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History reveals ants as fungus farmers
It turns out ants, like humans, are true farmers. The difference is that ants are farming fungus.

UH report shows college students making the grade online, in class
The lives of today's college students have always included computers and the Internet.

Discovery may bring special treatment for male babies
Hunter researchers have discovered that male babies born prematurely are more vulnerable to cardiovascular complications than female babies.

Scientists uncover how superbug Staph aureus resists our natural defenses
Researchers at the University of Washington have uncovered how the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, including the notorious MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph aureus)

Need for federal protection against genetic discrimination
A policy monograph highlighting the need for federal protections against genetic discrimination in employment and insurance practices was released today by the American College of Physicians.

Risky teen behavior may not occur at home or school: but how to track?
In a paper published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine report on a pilot study which evaluated the feasibility of using global position system -- enabled cell phones to track where 14- to 16-year-old girls spent their time.

Temple and Fox Chase partner on research and education
Temple University School of Medicine and the Fox Chase Cancer Center have announced a new partnership that will enable Fox Chase scientists to join the Temple faculty and train Temple graduate students in the biomedical sciences.

Birth of an enzyme
A team of scientists from the University of Washington, Seattle, and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, has succeeded in creating a new type of enzyme for a reaction for which no naturally occurring enzyme has evolved, by using a combination of novel computational methodologies and molecular in vitro evolution.

Finely tuned WspRs help bacteria beat body by building biofilm
We present a model for the regulation of a conserved diguanyate cyclase from Pseudomonas that is responsible for cyclic di-GMP production and biofilm formation, providing insight into the molecular mechanism controlling cell signaling and virulence.

Social contacts and mixing patterns
This week's edition of PLoS Medicine features the following research articles:

Model offers new understanding of cell signaling
A new mathematical model gives scientists a smarter way to learn which cellular processes are key in many diseases and thus find the most effective drug targets.

It pays to be honest when it comes to tax
The moral compass of women, older people and churchgoers points firmly in the direction of tax compliance, according to a leading Queensland University of Technology tax researcher.

MRI: A window to genetic properties of brain tumors
Researchers at UCSD School of Medicine have shown that Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology has the potential to noninvasively characterize tumors and determine which of them may be responsive to specific forms of treatment

Honeybee researcher to unravel properties governing lifespan with support from Norway
Gro Amdam, associate professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, has been awarded two grants totaling the US equivalent of about $1.4 million from the Norwegian Research Council to investigate biochemical factors and social life history properties that can influence aging and longevity in honeybees.

'Digital skills divide' along SES lines, according to study from Tufts University
The Internet allows parents to have easy access to information about childrearing, but a new study from Tufts University shows that as the digital divide narrows, a digital skills divide is now emerging across socioeconomic lines.

Targeting aggressive breast cancers by putting them to sleep
It is well established that Id1, a gene normally produced only in embryonic development, is reactivated in many

Parents' high blood pressure associated with increased risk of hypertension throughout life in men
Individuals who have one or two parents with hypertension appear to have a significantly increased risk of developing elevated blood pressure throughout their adult lives, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

St. Jude study offers new hope for children with kidney tumors deemed inoperable
Physicians at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have demonstrated that children with bilateral Wilms tumor, a cancer of the kidneys, can retain normal function in both kidneys by undergoing a procedure called bilateral nephron-sparing surgery, even when preoperative scans suggest that the tumors are inoperable.

Study: Dramatic rise in hepatitis C-related deaths in the United States
Hepatitis C-related deaths in the United States increased by 123 percent from 1995 through 2004, the most recent year for which data are available.

Evolution of new species slows down as number of competitors increases
Molecular evidence provides strong evidence that speciation rates slow down through time.

Strengthening the tumor-fighting ability of T cells
Researchers may have found a new way to promote immune cell attack on tumors.

A giant of astronomy and a quantum of solace
Cerro Paranal, the 2600m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert that hosts ESO's Very Large Telescope, will be the stage for scenes in the next James Bond movie,

Cancer treatments in phase 3 trials successful up to half of the time
About one-fourth to one-half of new cancer treatments that reach assessment in phase 3 randomized clinical trials are eventually proven successful, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

FSU researcher's 'mutant' proteins could lead to new treatment for heart disease
Heart damage due to blocked arteries remains the leading cause of disease and death in the Western world, but a Florida State University College of Medicine researcher is helping to open new pathways toward treating the problem.

Longer flu season and unexpected strains make prevention plan key
Millions of Americans took the advice to get a flu shot this season, but many are still becoming infected with the flu.

'Superdense' coding gets denser
The record for the most amount of information sent by a single photon has been broken by researchers at the University of Illinois.

African Americans less likely than whites to get colonoscopy despite family history of colon cancer
African Americans who have multiple first-degree relatives with colon cancer are less likely than whites with affected relatives to undergo recommended screening procedures, according to a report in the March 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

A fly's tiny brain may hold huge human benefits
A University of Missouri researcher has found, through the study of Drosophila (a type of fruit fly), that by manipulating levels of certain compounds associated with the

Online magazine for elementary teachers brings polar issues into classrooms nationwide
To fill a national void in the elementary school curriculum and capitalize on student interest in the polar regions, Ohio State University and the National Science Digital Library have launched a new online magazine for teachers in the early grades.

The surprising power of the pill
Tel Aviv University research can ease the stress of trying to get pregnant.

Study finds certain liver disease related to cardiovascular fitness
Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have suboptimal levels of cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, body composition and physical fitness, according to a new study.

Obesity may keep some women from getting screened for breast, cervical cancer
A review of cancer screening studies shows that white women who are obese are less likely than healthy weight women to get the recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

OHSU Cancer Institute researchers identify new approach to help control drug resistance in leukemia
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers have found that an experimental drug known as SGX393 is effective against Gleevec-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia. 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