Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 07, 2008
New guidelines issued for treating resistant hypertension
For the first time, the American Heart Association has issued guidelines to help patients and healthcare providers tackle resistant high blood pressure that seems to defy treatment.

Parents follow pediatrician advice on administering MMR vaccinations
News stories about an allegedly harmful link between the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine and the onset of autism had little effect on whether US parents immunized their children, according to a review of immunization records and news stories.

Keeping African artifacts in Africa
University of Calgary researcher Julio Mercader, along with University of Boston Ph.D. student Arianna Fogelman have established the first museum of its kind in Mozambique which will officially open in August.

Surgeons announce advance in atrial fibrillation surgery
Heart surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Your baby's brain on drugs (and alcohol and tobacco)
Over 1 million babies born annually in the United States are exposed to drugs, alcohol or tobacco while in utero.

ACP reports on how scheduled Medicare pay cuts will affect patients
Medicare patients -- many of whom have multiple chronic illnesses -- face severe difficulty in receiving healthcare if Congress does not act to avert pending cuts to Medicare payments, according to first-hand reports from physicians who specialize in internal medicine released today by the 125,000-member American College of Physicians.

Evolution on the table top
Evolution has taken another step away from being dismissed as

Interleukin-6 levels linked with coronary heart disease; estimating HIV incidence from prevalence
This week, PLoS Medicine will publish two articles, entitled:

A landmark law for open access to biomedical research
PLoS Chairman of the Board Harold Varmus applauds the newly enacted NIH public access policy as a positive step toward ensuring greater access to and better use of the scientific literature.

'Revolutionary' CO2 maps zoom in on greenhouse gas sources
A new, high-resolution, interactive map of US carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has found that the emissions aren't all where we thought.

Digestive process affects anti-cancer activity of tea in gastrointestinal cells
Increased consumption of teas rich in catechins is associated with reduced risk of stomach, colon and other gastrointestinal cancers.

Found: First lungless frog
Researchers have confirmed the first case of complete lunglessness in a frog, according to a report in the April 8 issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.

How fast can a rat smell?
Imaging the olfactory bulb of awake rats reveals that odor discrimination occurs about 100 ms after sensory input reaches the brain, sharply limiting the role that spike rate and temporal integration can play in coding odor identity.

IEEE-USA commends House members for bill aimed at foreign nationals who earn Ph.D.
IEEE-USA commends Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) for introducing the

We're surrounded! House dust is a rich source of bacteria
Bacteria in indoor dust are diverse, thanks to the people around us.

Joining efforts to tackle heart disease
A call for action encouraging European countries to develop national strategies to combat heart disease has been issued by the Joint European Societies on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.

U of M research finds teens who have TV in their bedroom are less likely to engage in healthy habits
University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have found that older adolescents who have a bedroom television are less likely to engage in healthy activities such as exercising, eating fruits or vegetables, and enjoying family meals.

An unexpected way to cause leukemia
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Italy, the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, UK, and the Universities of Harvard, USA, and Lund, Sweden, have now used genetic engineering to introduce a mutation found in human leukemia patients into mice.

Transmitting prion diseases in milk
Scrapie can be transmitted to lambs through milk, according to new research published in the online open access journal BMC Veterinary Research.

Researchers 'see' structure of open nicotinic acetylcholine ion channels
Researchers have painstakingly mapped the interior of a key component of the relay system that allows the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to get its message across.

Study suggests genetic factors associated with common fears
Genetic factors that are associated with fears appear to change as children and adolescents age, with some familial factors declining in importance over time while other genetic risk factors arise in adolescence and adulthood, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NJIT start-up company NeuroTrax named best in show
A computer software program developed at NJIT for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases has won the most coveted title at a recent New Jersey Technology Council competition.

Where college students live can impact their weight, eating and exercise habits
A new study of female freshman dorm residents adds a new perspective to the 15 pounds that female college freshman are alleged to gain during the first year of higher education, finding that those who avail themselves of school housing consume significantly higher numbers of calories and more sugar and -- unlike their off-campus counterparts -- engage in higher levels of calorie-curbing physical activity.

Pediatricians alerted to the developmental nature of underage drinking in special journal supplement
A special supplement to Pediatrics, edited and sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, provides physicians with comprehensive reviews and analyses of current research on biological, behavioral and environmental changes during childhood and adolescence that foster the initiation, maintenance and acceleration of illegal use of alcohol by underage youth.

New regulatory circuit identified for aggressive, malignant brain tumor
Research using a newly developed algorithm has significantly advanced understanding of the molecular events associated with the most common primary brain tumor in adults, human glioblastoma.

Carnegie Mellon's Nadine Aubry, colleague Pushpendra Singh develop new model
Carnegie Mellon University's Nadine Aubry and colleague Pushpendra Singh of the New Jersey Institute of Technology are leading a research team to develop a manufacturing strategy that could improve technologies used in tissue engineering and information technology.

Child sleep problems linked to later behavioral difficulties
Children who sleep less may be more likely to report symptoms of anxiety, depression and aggression later in life, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on children and sleep.

Reflecting on the social implications of human genetics research -- past, present and future
In 1911, the influential geneticist Charles Davenport published

Money doesn't grow on trees, but gasoline might
Researchers have made a breakthrough in the development of

Leaky blood vessels open up nerve cells to toxic assault in Lou Gehrig's disease
Leaky blood vessels that lose their ability to protect the spinal cord from toxins may play a role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, according to research published in the April issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Data-handling technique finds genes to be team players in curbing brain cancer cell growth
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have developed a new algorithm for ranking abnormal genes according to their likelihood of contributing to a cancer.

Double trouble with insecticide-resistant mosquitoes
Geneticists discover that insecticide resistance genes work together in mosquitoes, increasing their survival rate with important consequences for pest management.

Sleep problems common in children with ADHD
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder appear likely to experience sleep problems, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on children and sleep.

New book shows why US air travel system is broken, and how to fix it
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce an important new book,

Animal research suggests long-term effects of fetal cocaine exposure
Are the estimated 1 million young adults who were exposed to cocaine before birth more vulnerable to drug abuse today?

Geisinger improves care for thousands of diabetics through use of the Electronic Health Record
Using the Electronic Health Record in everyday care for diabetics leads to dramatic improvements for those patients, according to a new Geisinger report.

Less sleep, more TV leads to overweight infants and toddlers
Infants and toddlers who sleep less than 12 hours a day and who watch two or more hours of television per day are twice as likely to become overweight by age 3 than children who sleep longer.

Maltreatment during childhood associated with combination of inflammation and depression in adults
A history of neglect or abuse in childhood appears to be associated with depression and inflammation in adulthood, a combination that may increase cardiovascular risk, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Stem cell research leads to potential new therapy for rare blood disorder
A unique partnership between industry and academia has led to human clinical trials of a new drug for a rare class of blood diseases called myeloproliferative disorders, which are all driven by the same genetic mutation and can evolve into leukemia.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive CABG surgery
Dr. Robert Poston is a pioneer in the use of robotics for minimally invasive cardiac surgery.

New data on 3M's Tegaderm CHG
3M Health Care announced today that its newest member of its infection prevention platform, 3M Tegaderm CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate) IV Securement Dressing, demonstrated excellent long-term, surface antimicrobial activity against diverse microbial species with superior prevention of flora regrowth on prepped skin of healthy subjects, according to studies presented today at the 18th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

More genes for Lou Gehrig's disease identified, according to Penn researchers
In recent months a spate of mutations have been found in a disease protein called TDP-43 that is implicated in two neurodegenerative disorders: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, and certain types of frontotemporal dementia.

New study finds uncontrollable stress worsens symptoms of endometriosis
A new study investigating the relationship between stress and the painful symptoms of endometriosis is currently underway.

April 29 summit on math & science ed., US competitiveness
In their 2005 report

Ingredient found in green tea significantly inhibits breast cancer growth in female mice
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi finds that consuming EGCG, an antioxidant in green tea, significantly inhibits breast tumor growth in female mice.

Father probably caught bird flu from son
Tests on a father diagnosed with bird flu in China show he probably caught the disease from his son, raising further concerns about person-to-person transmission.

Children's sleep disturbances associated with certain parenting behaviors
Parental behaviors at bedtime when a child is age 29 to 41 months appear to be associated with sleep disturbances both earlier in childhood and later on in preschool years, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on children and sleep.

For children with heart disease, a risk of attention and behavior problems
Schoolchildren who required surgery as infants for congenital heart disease run a significant risk of having problems with inattention and hyperactivity, and often require remedial services in school.

Symptoms of depression do not appear to increase in early stages of Alzheimer's disease
Although individuals with depression may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, symptoms of depression do not appear to increase in the years before a diagnosis is made, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sleep, baby, sleep: parents' behavior has direct impact on children's slumber
Parents who want their babies to sleep through the night would be wise to avoid co-sleeping arrangements or feeding their children evening snacks beyond early infancy.

Modern icon was invented 'on back of envelope'
Autobiographical notes written by the Lancashire inventor of the high speed diesel engine have been recovered from a garage in Manchester after lying forgotten for 25 years.

Reprogrammed cells reduce Parkinson's symptoms in rats
This is the first demonstration that neurons derived from reprogrammed cells can integrate into an adult animal brain and improve symptoms of a neurodegenerative disease.

Testosterone replacement theraphy beneficial in men 60 and older
In one of the first clinical trials involving men 60-85 years of age, researchers' preliminary results indicate that testosterone treatment for five months has a positive effect on the bone markers of older men.

Sleeping less in infancy associated with being overweight in preschool
Infants who sleep less than 12 hours per day have an increased risk of being overweight as preschoolers than those who sleep 12 hours or more, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on children and sleep.

Faster test reported for detecting fake Tamiflu in fight against counterfeit drugs
Scientists in Georgia are reporting development of a fast new method to detect fake Tamiflu, the mainstay medication for preventing and treating bird flu.

Backpack straps can decrease blood flow in the shoulder and arm
In some professions -- such as the military, firefighting and mountain rescue -- the load of a backpack may equal as much as 60 percent of adult body weight.

Salt-tolerant gene found in simple plant nothing to sneeze at
Whether a plant withers unproductively or thrives in salty conditions may now be better understood by biologists.

Occupational therapists use Wii for Parkinson's study
Mrs. Bell is playing the Nintendo Wii as part of her occupational therapy.

New study finds anticipating a laugh reduces our stress hormones
Researchers investigating the interaction between the brain, behavior, and the immune system found in 2006 that simply anticipating a mirthful laughter experience boosted health-protecting hormones.

Geisinger study: Use of digital health records improve health of the elderly
New Geisinger research shows that using the Electronic Health Record to review patient records helps cut the amount of psychoactive medications taken by elderly patients.

Gift of $25M to support innovation in engineering education
Recognizing an international need for leaders who can harness technology to solve societal problems, innovator in education Dennis J.

New study shows Dermytol produces pronounced decrease in malignant melanoma tumor volume
A new study presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting shows that a proprietary blend extracted from canola, Dermytol, produces a pronounced reduction of malignant melanoma cell growth.

ASCRS to participate in and co-fund study on post-lasik quality of life with US FDA
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery today announced that it will participate in a post-LASIK quality of life study with the Joint LASIK Study Task Force, which includes the FDA, the National Eye Institute, ASCRS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Exercise during pregnancy leads to a healthier heart in moms- and babies-to-be
Studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on mothers-to-be, and no detrimental impact on their developing offspring.

U. Iowa study finds biological link between pain and fatigue
A recent University of Iowa study reveals a biological link between pain and fatigue and may help explain why more women than men are diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

PCST-10 international conference: key speakers and seminars announced
Scandinavian conference to highlight new science communication trends.

Regional nuclear conflict would create near-global ozone hole, says CU-Boulder study
A limited nuclear weapons exchange between Pakistan and India using their current arsenals could create a near-global ozone hole, triggering human health problems and wreaking environmental havoc for at least a decade, according to a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

When poor communication pokes you in the eye
The ocular lens belongs to the optical apparatus and focuses incidental beams of light onto the retina.

Blood pressure enzyme can have tumor-sensing role
By increasing production of a blood pressure-regulating enzyme in mice, researchers have found they can enhance the mouse immune system's ability to sense tumor growth.

New study finds adverse effects of estrogen replacement therapy are related to the dose
Recent clinical trials indicate that estrogen replacement therapy may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

GenBank celebrates 25 years of service
For a quarter century, GenBank has helped advance scientific discovery worldwide.

Fewer delays on the railways thanks to automatic advice system
By using an automatic system to advise rail traffic managers, it is possible to limit the consequences of disruptions on the railways.

Elsevier launches new journal: Aeolian Research
Elsevier announced today the launch of a new journal, Aeolian Research.

Expert foresees 10 more years of R&D to make solar energy competitive
Despite oil prices that hover around $100 a barrel, it may take at least 10 or more years of intensive research to reduce the cost of solar energy to levels competitive with petroleum, according to a leading expert on the topic.

Elsevier partners with the Geologists' Association
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services is pleased to announce the formation of a publishing partnership with the Geologists' Association, an UK based organization representing more than 1200 members, mainly in the UK.

First diagnostic test for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease on the horizon
A new blood test that can give an early diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and distinguish between Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease could be launched this summer, reports Marina Murphy in SCI's Chemistry & Industry magazine.

Treatment with an anti-psychotic drug found to cause changes in metabolism earlier than expected
Schizophrenia is a complex type of psychotic mental illness characterized by thoughts that are uncoupled from reality.

Malfunctioning kidneys may raise risk of sudden death in women
Women whose kidneys are poor at filtering impurities from the blood are at heightened risk of sudden cardiac death, according to a report published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Genetic variants of USF1 are associated with the increased risk for cardiovascular disease
USF1 gene seems to have an important role in the etiology of cardiovascular diseases, suggests the Finnish study.

Depression increases risk of Alzheimer's disease
People who have had depression are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than people who have never had depression, according to a study published in the April 8, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Changing school environment curbs weight gain in children
Small changes in schools lead to big results when it comes to preventing childhood obesity, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

The not-so-digital future of digital signal processing
Sotirios Tsaftaris and Aggelos Katsaggelos describe experiments that perform signal processing with novel materials while stirring the engineering community towards

Depression is a risk factor rather than early sign of Alzheimer's disease
A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center supports the idea that depression is truly a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease rather than a subtle early sign of its underlying pathology.

For some who have lost their sense of smell, a once popular asthma drug could help
Some seven percent of Americans have lost their sense of smell and with it their ability to enjoy the fragrance of flowers, foods and beverages.

Cosmic engines surprise XMM-Newton
XMM-Newton has been surprised by a rare type of galaxy, from which it has detected a higher number of X-rays than thought possible.

Special journal section explores geriatric assessment
The latest issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (Vol.

At ACS' national meeting, global initiative set to tackle water issues
The Global Innovation Imperatives project swung into motion Sunday with experts gathering for their first session at the American Chemical Society's 235th national meeting in New Orleans.

Early neglect predicts aggressive behavior in children
Children who are neglected before their second birthday display higher levels of aggressive behavior between ages 4 and 8, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study, published today in the journal Pediatrics.

NASA selects 3 research fellows for GLAST mission
After a nationwide search for junior science researchers on NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope mission, three people have been chosen for these prestigious post-doctoral positions.

Caffeine prevents multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice
Mice given caffeine equivalent to a human drinking six to eight cups of coffee a day were protected from developing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model for the human disease multiple sclerosis, according to researchers at Cornell University.

Physicists saved from drowning in complexities of wetting theory
The relationship between a thin liquid film or drop of liquid and the shape of the surface that it wets is explained with a new simplified mathematical formula published this week in Physical Review Letters.

NOAA aircraft to probe arctic pollution
NOAA scientists are now flying through springtime Arctic pollution to find out why the region is warming -- and summertime sea ice is melting -- faster than predicted.

Asthma and smoker's lung: dry airways play a key role
Dry airways may not only play a central role in the development of the inherited lung disease cystic fibrosis, but also in acquired chronic lung diseases like asthma and smoker's lung, the cigarette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

ACS president will host special symposium on energy, April 7, in New Orleans
Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., President of the American Chemical Society, will host a special half-day symposium titled

Memory in artificial atoms
Nanophysicists have made a discovery that can change the way we store data on our computers.

Yale University's Strobel recognized for work on RNA
Yale University's Scott A. Strobel, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, has been awarded the prestigious Schering-Plough Research Institute Award. 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