Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 09, 2008
Potential drug target identified for diabetes by studying novel gut-brain-liver circuit
Scientists at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute have discovered a novel signaling pathway between three organs -- the gut, the brain, and the liver -- which lowers blood sugar when activated.

Slow federal action to oversee nanotechnology leaves 'room at the bottom'
State and local governments often have adopted trailblazing initiatives to address environmental, health and safety concerns in advance or in lieu of federal action.

Gene variant increases risk of asthma
Variation in a gene known as CHI3L1 increases susceptibility to asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and decline in lung function.

Biochemical signals associated with atherosclerosis may damage other organs
In a finding that challenges conventional medical knowledge, researchers report that plaques formed in during atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, are associated with certain harmful chemical reactions that can contribute to damage in the lungs, liver and other organs.

Cells on path to becoming mature T-cells more flexible than commonly thought
Contrary to the currently accepted model of T-cell development, researchers have found that juvenile cells on their way to becoming mature immune cells can develop into either T-cells or other blood-cell types versus only being committed to the T-cell path.

New research for mechanical support devices in pediatrics to be released at ISHLT
New devices and research for mechanical circulatory support in pediatrics from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Pediatric Circulatory Support Program will be discussed at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation 28th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions.

Shorebird numbers crash: survey alarm
One of the world's great wildlife spectacles is under way across Australia: as many as two million migratory shorebirds of 36 species are gathering around Broome before an amazing 10,000-kilometer annual flight to their northern hemisphere breeding grounds.

Technical report explores role of lichens as bioindicators
A new report published by the Pacific Northwest Research Station outlines baseline findings from the first full cycle of lichen data collection conducted by the FIA program in Washington, Oregon and California.

The Feinstein to collaborate with Sweden's Karolinska Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research announced today that it has signed a collaborative agreement with the renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

New research shows neuroprotective effect of lovastatin
High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke.

Forecasting MDs' prescriptions' choice? Ask their patients, says Management Insights study
Physicians' choice of prescriptions are often influenced by patients, with patient experience using specific drugs playing a strong role, according to the Management Insights feature in the current issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Kidney cancer deaths show overall decrease in Europe
Male kidney cancer deaths have fallen by 13 percent across Europe since they peaked in the early 1990s and women have benefited from a 17 percent reduction.

Diabetes in mid-life linked to increased risk of Alzheimer's disease
Men who develop diabetes in mid-life appear to significantly increase their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a long-term study published in the April 9, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

No 'convincing evidence' that glitazones work better than older diabetes drugs
There is no convincing evidence that the newer class of diabetes drugs, known as glitazones, offer real advantages over other diabetes drugs, when used on their own, concludes the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Psychologist develops post-operative care for heart patients in Bermuda
A psychologist at the University of Liverpool is helping to create a potentially life-saving post-operative care service for heart patients in Bermuda.

Qualifying date rule hinders German stem cell research
A few days before the German Federal Parliament reaches a decision on the Stem Cell Act, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has reinforced its stance on amending current legislation.

Genetic test offers clues about cardiac hypertrophy in children
Some children with unexplained cardiac hypertrophy -- a thickening of the heart muscle -- harbor mutations in the same 10 genes responsible for the condition in many adults.

Symposium to honor Bob Richardson is April 12
A symposium honoring Nobel laureate Robert C. Richardson, the Floyd R.

It's neck-and-neck down the long stretch for 2 stroke-prevention procedures
Like horses running down the long stretch of a race track, two different artery-opening treatments appear to be running neck-and-neck when it comes to preventing stroke among people with clogged neck arteries and other health problems.

Carnegie Institution in top 1 percent of charities for best fiscal management
Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, has awarded the Carnegie Institution of Washington its highest rating, 4 stars, for sound fiscal management for 7 years running.

Traffic exhaust can cause asthma, allergies and impaired respiratory function in children
Children exposed to high levels of air pollution during their first year of life run a greater risk of developing asthma, pollen allergies, and impaired respiratory function.

Cancer stem cells created with technique developed at Stanford
With a bit of genetic trickery, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have turned normal skin cells into cancer stem cells, a step that will make these naturally rare cells easier to study.

Protein data bank archives 50,000th molecule structure
The Protein Data Bank this month reached a significant milestone in its 37-year history as the 50,000th molecule structure was released into its archive, joining other structures vital to pharmacology, bioinformatics and education.

The story of Max Perutz, a pioneering biologist with a remarkable passion for life
A new biography,

NSF to bestow Waterman Award to UCLA's 'Mozart of Math'
The National Science Foundation is proud to announce that 32-year-old Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles, will receive its 2008 Alan T.

Maintaining aerobic fitness could delay biological aging by up to 12 years
Maintaining aerobic fitness through middle age and beyond can delay biological aging by up to 12 years and prolong independence during old age, concludes an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Shattered Shangri-La: Study shows depression and anxiety widespread in young Tibetan refugees
A new study is the first to show that depression and anxiety are more prevalent in Tibetan refugees than they are in ethnic Tibetans born and raised in the comparative stability of exile communities in Northern India and Nepal.

LA BioMed to honor 3 of its legendary
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will honor three of its physician-scientists with the

How neural sludge accumulates in Alzheimer's
Researchers have identified a key mechanism by which the protein sludge that kills brain cells accumulates in Alzheimer's disease.

NEJM study demonstrates carotid stenting with embolic protection is comparable to surgery
According to a study published in NEJM, three-year data from the SAPPHIRE study in patients with severe blocked carotid arteries, the main blood vessels in the neck leading to the brain, who underwent carotid artery stenting with the PRECISE Nitinol Stent and the ANGIOGUARD Emboli Capture Guidewire were comparably protected from stroke, heart attack, death and repeat revascularization procedures as patients who underwent surgery.

Comfort C provides significantly higher absorption than other leading brand
A new study presented today at the Experimental Biology 2008 Annual Meeting by researchers for Scientific Food Solutions demonstrates that Comfort C, the only clinically validated Vitamin C with Bioperine, provides 275 percent faster absorption in the first 60 minutes.

Pitt and University of Chicago researchers uncover process behind heart muscle contraction
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago were able to control heart muscle function in a new way after discovering the previously unknown role of two enzymes in heart muscle contraction, as detailed in the April 11 cover story of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Study finds doxycycline effective against filariasis in Southeast Asia
Doxycycline alone is more effective against the most common form of filariasis in Southeast Asia than the standard treatment, with significantly fewer side effects, according to a new study published in the May 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and currently available online.

Landmark observational study aims to improve osteoporosis care standards worldwide
Global Longitudinal Registry of Osteoporosis in Women will gain insight to improve care of postmenopausal women at risk for osteoporosis.

Dietary oil may need help in avoiding any side effects of weight loss
An oil made of natural fatty acids that is sometimes used as a weight-loss supplement may need to be paired with hormones or other substances to prevent health problems that can follow rapid weight loss, a new study suggests.

Chronic kidney disease should not prevent women from taking the osteoporosis drug raloxifene
The osteoporosis drug raloxifene increases bone mineral density and reduces the risk of vertebral fractures among postmenopausal women with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, according to a study appearing in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Safer, easier system for remote explosive detection
Detecting roadside bombs may become easier, thanks to chemical sensors being developed at the University of Michigan.

Rise in institutionalized children linked to'Madonna-style' adoption
Psychologists at the University of Liverpool say that

3-time winner NJIT heads to national bridge comp following regional win
Much whooping and cheers could be heard for miles along the New Jersey waterfront as a team of NJIT civil engineering students ascended to the throne for the third consecutive year as top civil engineering students in the New York Metropolitan Region.

Heart stem cell scientist to honor pioneering woman scientist in keynote speech
Professor Christine Mummery, one of the world's leading heart stem cell experts, will later today honor the memory of Dame Anne McLaren in the keynote lecture of the inaugural UK National Stem Cell Network Science Meeting in Edinburgh.

Just 20 minutes of weekly housework boosts mental health
Just 20 minutes of any physical activity, including housework, in a week is enough to boost mental health, reveals a large study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Study sheds light on link between sleep disorder, behavior issues in kids
New study offers a closer look at the association between childhood sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and sleep apnea, and behavioral problems like hyperactivity and anxiety.

Kansas State flower receives scientific attention
To scientists, such as Mark Ungerer, assistant professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University, the sunflower is a prime example of the unique adaptability of plants.

Personality disorders cause emotional reactions in staff
A study published today in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry suggests that the way in which professional care workers respond emotionally to substance abuse patients with personality disorders depends on the type of disorder.

Association between low birth weight, excessive weight gain and heart problems in later life
Researchers who have followed 5,840 people from before birth to the age of 31 have found evidence suggesting that small size at birth and excessive weight gain during adolescence and young adulthood may lead to low grade inflammation, which, in turn, is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Study: Health 'shocks' diminish wealth more later in life
A new study underscores the need for seniors to maintain their health -- in order to maintain their wealth.

Methamphetamine use in pregnancy changes learning ability of the offspring
Using a guinea pig model that can assess neural changes in offspring born to mothers given methamphetamine during an otherwise normal pregnancy, researchers provide new evidence for the cognitive damage of these drugs.

Geneticist Francis Collins named first recipient of Inamori Ethics Prize at Case Western Reserve
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-geneticist and leader of the Human Genome Project, has been named recipient of the inaugural Inamori Ethics Prize from the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University.

£7.5m to transform patient care
Patients suffering from respiratory disease and hearing problems are to benefit from an injection of £7.5m to fund groundbreaking new treatments in Nottingham.

How fast you'll age is written in the bones, TAU research finds
But intervention programs can slow the aging process.

The future of solar-powered houses is clear
The future of solar-powered houses is clearPeople could live in glass houses and look at the world through rose-tinted windows while reducing their carbon emissions by 50 percent thanks to QUT Institute of Sustainable Resources research.

Method to deliver molecules within embryonic stem cells improves differentiation
New research shows that delivering molecules within aggregates of embryonic stem cells via biodegradable microspheres enhances the efficiency and purity of differentiation.

Wellmune WGP supplementation alleviates
Wellmune WGP, a natural immune-enhancing ingredient from Biothera, reduced the incidence of fever and eliminated the need for study subjects to miss work or school due to the cold-like symptoms, researchers reported today at the 2008 Experimental Biology annual meeting.

UD researchers discover novel 'gene toggles' in world's top food crop
University of Delaware researchers, in collaboration with US and international colleagues, have found a new type of molecule -- a kind of

Power of molecular imaging reveals secrets of the heart
The extraordinary action of a new cellular therapy came to light as a result of powerful PET and SPECT imaging in a recent study reported in the April issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

New pan-European collaboration launched into the diagnosis and control of coeliac disease
12 million Euros, equivalent to nearly 9.5 million British pounds, has been invested by the European Commission into a new pan-European partnership which will design an advanced diagnostic tool for the detection and control of coeliac disease, the most under-diagnosed common chronic condition in the UK today.

Joslin study identifies gene involved in blood stem cell replication, movement
Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have identified a gene that is responsible for the division and movement of marrow-derived, blood-forming stem cells, a finding that could have major implications for the future of bone marrow and blood cell transplantation.

Secrets of cellular signaling shed light on new cancer stem cell therapies
By revealing the inner workings of a common cell-to-cell signaling system, University of Michigan biologists have uncovered new clues about mysterious and contentious creatures called cancer stem cells.

How sweet it is: 'Revolutionary' process points to sugar-fueled cars
Sugar-powered cars may be in your future. Chemists report development of a

Researchers close in on origins of main ingredient of Alzheimer's plaques
The ability of brain cells to communicate and to take in substances from their surface is essential to the production of a key ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques, neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference
The American Society for Horticultural Science will convene its 105th Annual Conference July 21-24, 2008, in Orlando, Fla.

People with diabetes may have all natural citrus supplement
Two new studies presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting suggest that an all-natural dietary supplement made from citrus may help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood glucose numbers after a meal and their LDL-cholesterol levels.

Your neighborhood can affect your health
Research carried out at the Peninsula Medical School, South West England, has found strong links between neighborhood deprivation and the physical and intellectual health of older people.

Omega-3 intake during last months of pregnancy boosts an infant's cognitive and motor development
A study supervised by Université Laval researchers reveals that omega-3 intake during the last months of pregnancy boosts an infant's sensory, cognitive, and motor development.

New rocky planet found in constellation Leo
Spanish and UCL scientists have discovered a possible terrestrial-type planet orbiting a star in the constellation of Leo.

Module map links embryonic stem cells and cancer stem cells
A new study suggests that a genetic fingerprint associated with normal embryonic stem cells may be important for the development and function of cancer stem cells.

Boston College biologists build a better mouse model for cancer research
Metastasis, the spread of cancer from a primary site to other tissues and organs in the body, is the leading cause of death among cancer patients.

Meth addiction mechanism discovered
Researchers have identified, for the first time, long-term changes in the brain circuitry of methamphetamine-addicted mice that can explain why the craving of addiction is so stubborn and long-lived.

Attacks against medical researchers: Time to take a stand
Biological Psychiatry, in its upcoming April 15 issue, is publishing a critically important commentary written by its editors, members of its editorial committee and its editorial board.

Repeated methamphetamine use causes long-term adaptations in brains of mice, researchers find
Repeatedly stimulating the mouse brain with methamphetamine depresses important areas of the brain, and those changes can only be undone by reintroducing the drug, according to research at the University of Washington and other institutions.

UCI study sheds new light on habits, roles of blog readers
In a first-of-its-kind study, UC-Irvine researchers have provided new insight into blog readers' online habits and experiences, as well as how they perceive their roles in blog-based communities.

High number of test match appearances linked to longer life
The more test matches a cricketer plays, the longer he is likely to live, suggests research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Manipulating the immune system like a parasite
One day it may be possible to mimic the tactics used by parasites to trick the body into accepting transplanted tissues or organs.

1 in 7 cases of bird flu could be prevented by closing schools in event of pandemic
Closing schools in the event of a flu pandemic could slow the spread of the virus and prevent up to one in seven cases, according to a new study published in Nature.

Cancer widows are often emotionally isolated
Many Swedish men have no one to turn to for emotional support other than their partners, not even in particularly traumatic situations, such as when suffering from cancer.

Vanishing polar ice talk to be Webcast live, April 10
NASA scientist Waleed Abdalati, one of the world's pre-eminent experts on the study of global climate change, will present

Leading experts investigate Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the leading cause of death from childhood maltreatment.

European Society for Medical Oncology and European CanCer Organization join forces
The European Society for Medical Oncology and the European CanCer Organization have united forces to host a co-branded biennial multidisciplinary partnership meeting that will provide the best and most updated scientific data for everyone working in cancer and will also strengthen initiatives aimed at providing all cancer patients with equal access to high-quality cancer care.

Self-help groups shape American culture, says Emory scholar
Like the civil rights movement, the self-help tradition played a major role in shaping our national psyche, becoming as American as apple pie and Oprah, says Matthew Archibald, an Emory University assistant professor of sociology.

Acute kidney injury with sepsis -- a unique pathophysiology
ICU patients with septic acute kidney injury (AKI) are generally sicker, have a higher burden of illness, a greater risk of mortality and longer stays in hospital than patients with nonseptic AKI.

Statement by the American Egg Board and Egg Nutrition Center on AJCN study on egg consumption
Response from American Egg Board and Egg Nutrition Center on study published in April 2008 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggesting an association between high egg consumption and all-cause mortality.

New studies add insights to infant feeding and obesity issue
A symposium at the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting at Experimental Biology was held on April 9, 2008, in which noted scientists discussed new infant feeding studies that used methodology such as randomized clinical trials (involving breastfeeding promotion) as well as sibling pairs analysis.

Rocket mystery explained with new imaging technique
Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered why rocket engines are occasionally destroyed by mysterious waves of sound.

First do no harm? UH prof taking opposite approach to treat asthma
One month of tough breathing may help asthma sufferers breathe easier in the long run with a UH pharmacology professor relying on a medical taboo to treat asthma. 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