Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 08, 2008
American Pain Society's low back guideline expanded to cover interventional procedures
For low-back pain patients and their doctors, the American Pain Society said today it is expanding its evidence-based, clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and treatment of chronic low back pain to include recommendations on surgery and other interventional treatments.

Accelerating the Dissemination and Translation of Clinical Research into Practice
The National Institutes of Health is hosting a series of meetings on May 8 and 9, 2008, to discuss ways in which researchers can partner with community health care providers to translate clinical research into practice.

New report: Arthritis is a potential barrier to physical activity for adults with diabetes
People with diagnosed diabetes are nearly twice as likely to have arthritis, and the inactivity caused by arthritis hinders the successful management of both diseases, according to a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Taking the sex out of sexual health screening
Young women would accept age-based screening for the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia, but would want this test to be offered to everyone, rather than to people

Made-to-order isotopes hold promise on science's frontier
Designer labels have a lot of cachet -- a principle that's equally true in fashion and physics.

Magnet Lab researchers make observing cell functions easier
Now that the genome of humans and many other organisms have been sequenced, biologists are turning their attention to discovering how the many thousands of structural and control genes -- the

JCI online early table of contents: May 8, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, May 8, 2008, in the JCI, including: How slow growth as a fetus can cause diabetes as an adult; New gene linked to sudden irregular heartbeats; It's a fix: the protein p21Cip1 helps repair damaged blood vessels; Two receptors affecting blood pressure are inextricably linked; and others.

ASNTR awards go to Parkinson's Disease research and patient advocate at May meeting
The American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair awarded the 2008 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to neuroscientist Paul M.

New evidence from earliest known human settlement in the Americas
New evidence from the Monte Verde archaeological site in southern Chile confirms its status as the earliest known human settlement in the Americas and provides additional support for the theory that one early migration route followed the Pacific Coast more than 14,000 years ago.

New cost-effective means to reconstruct virus populations
Researchers from the United States and Switzerland have developed mathematical and statistical tools for reconstructing viral populations using pyrosequencing, a novel and effective technique for sequencing DNA.

Young people are intentionally taking drink and drugs for better sex
Teenagers and young adults across Europe drink and take drugs as part of deliberate sexual strategies.

Computer game's high score could earn the Nobel Prize in medicine
Gamers have devoted countless years of collective brainpower to idle pursuits.

Joint ESA/NASA team wins international award
The Ulysses mission operations team has won an international award in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the success and scientific productivity of the joint ESA/NASA observatory mission, now orbiting the poles of the Sun.

Scientists identify key roadblock to gene expression
For the first time, research has made possible a detailed map of how the building blocks of chromosomes, the cellular structures that contain genes, are organized in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Study affirms effectiveness of medication for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that strikes children between the ages of newborn to 16 years.

Can business save the planet?
In their new book,

Chilean volcano captured blasting ash
Chile's Chaiten Volcano is shown spewing ash and smoke (centre left of image) into the air for hundreds of km over Argentina's Patagonia Plateau in this Envisat image acquired on May 5, 2008.

Study offers novel insight into cardiac arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death
A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital provides much-needed insight into the molecular mechanisms that cause arrythmia, or irregular heartbeat, and how it triggers sudden cardiac death, one of the nation's leading killers.

NCAR installs 76-teraflop supercomputer for critical research on climate change, severe weather
Computer analyses of global climate have consistently overstated warming in Antarctica, new research concludes.

Justice in the brain: Equity and efficiency are encoded differently
Which is better, giving more food to a few hungry people or letting some food go to waste so that everyone gets a share?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announces $5M TETF investment in UTHSC-H trauma research
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced on May 6 a $5 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to launch a new trauma research center led by US Army Surgeon Col.

Bread mold may hold secret to eliminating disease-causing genes
A University of Missouri scientist, along with a collaborative research team, has examined a new mechanism in the reproductive cycle of a certain species of mold.

New technique measures ultrashort laser pulses at focus
Lasers that emit ultrashort pulses of light are used for numerous applications, but the quality of the results is limited by distortions caused by lenses and other optical components that are part of the experimental instrumentation.

There is no such thing as 'the' Indian
An increasing number of mayors in Guatemala are of Indian origin.

Newest GREET model updates environmental impacts
The newest version of the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation model from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory will provide researchers with even more tools to evaluate and compare the environmental impacts of new transportation fuels and advanced vehicle technologies.

Spinal cord research heads new $10M funding in London, Ontario
A researcher striving to help patients recover from spinal cord injuries headlines an announcement of more than $10.5 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at The University of Western Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute.

Scientists demonstrate method for integrating nanowire devices directly onto silicon
Applied scientists at Harvard University in collaboration with researchers from the German universities of Jena, Gottingen, and Bremen, have developed a new technique for fabricating nanowire photonic and electronic integrated circuits that may one day be suitable for high-volume commercial production.

Berkeley researchers identify photosynthetic dimmer switch
The pigment-binding protein CP29, one of the

Combating counterfeit drugs
This weeK's lead editorial in the Lancet discusses the growing problem of counterfeit drugs, highlighting a possible counterfeiting case in America in which a contaminant found in batches of heparin is believed to have killed at least 81 patients.

Improving anxiety treatment through the help of brain imaging: A potential future treatment strategy
Wouldn't it be nice if our doctors could predict accurately whether we would respond to a particular medication?

Modern ceramics help advance technology
Many important electronic devices used by people today would be impossible without the use of ceramics.

PNNL, WSU to advance biomass research in new facility
Washington State University and the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory today dedicated a new building for the advancement of biomass research.

Racial discrimination has different mental health effects on Asians, study shows
The first national study of Asians living in the United States shows that for some individuals, strong ties to their ethnicity can guard against the negative effects of racism.

Do antidepressants enhance immune function?
Infection with human immunodeficiency virus, which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is an epidemic of global concern.

Having a carotid bruit increases risk of cardiovascular death and heart attack
The presence of a carotid bruit -- a

Federal polar bear research critically flawed, says study in INFORMS journal
Research done by the US Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

How slow growth as a fetus can cause diabetes as an adult
Intrauterine growth retardation results in a baby having a low birth weight and has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Surprising discovery: Multicellular response is 'all for one'
It has been widely assumed that, in single-celled organisms, each cell perceives its environment -- and responds to stress conditions -- individually.

Study identifies molecular response of cartilage to injury
Explanation on why injury to joint cartilage escalates the risk of developing of osteoarthritis.

Model successfully predicts large river system fish diversity
While scientists have developed methods to predict aspects of fish diversity in specific river locations, a model to understand what factors may drive a comprehensive suite of fish biodiversity patterns in a large and complex system of rivers has been elusive.

New gas sensors for monitoring carbon dioxide sinks
A novel gas sensor system makes it possible to monitor large areas cost-effectively the first time.

New drug class to treat painful periods, brain hemorrhage, psychotic disorders, water retention
A new drug class -- the vaptans -- has been developed that could be used to treat a wide range of conditions including painful periods, brain haemorrhage, psychotic disorders, and glaucoma among others.

Antiretroviral treatment has reduced adult mortality in Malawi
Introduction of free antiretroviral therapy for HIV patients in Malawi has reduced adult mortality enough for the effect to be detectable at the population level, conclude authors of a study published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

ACP says Medicare cuts will hurt physicians in small practices
Noting that many physicians across the country who lead small practices are at a business breaking point, David M.

Keeping yields, profits and water quality high
Researchers investigated whether yield, weed suppression, and profit characteristics of low-external-input farming systems could match or exceed those of conventional farming systems.

Risks for painkiller abuse do not outweigh benefits in chronic pain
As controversy swirls about proper clinical use of opioids and other potent pain medications, research reported at the American Pain Society annual meeting shows that, contrary to widespread beliefs, less than 3 percent of patients with no history of drug abuse who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain will show signs of possible drug abuse or dependence.

New cancer gene found
Researchers at the OU Cancer Institute have identified a new gene that causes cancer.

Microbiologists receive top Canadian recognition
Two microbiologists from The University of Western Ontario have received national recognition for their work on infectious diseases from the Canadian Society of Microbiologists.

Feedstock makes a difference in feeding distiller's grains
When it comes to using distiller's grains in finishing rations of High Plains cattle, a Texas AgriLife Research scientist says the type of grain used makes all the difference.

Phase III pivotal results presented of VYVANSE to treat ADHD in adults
Shire today presented the results of a phase III pivotal study in which VYVANSE demonstrated significant improvements in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms in adults and met all safety and efficacy endpoints.

Programmed death boosts business
As credits crunch, recession bites and business struggle to stay primed, researchers in Spain suggest that a more surgical approach to management and business practice is needed if a company is to survive.

Minority medical students receive support to increase diversity in hematology
The American Society of Hematology is proud to announce the selection of 15 participants for its 2008 Minority Medical Student Award Program, which encourages minority medical students to purse an interest in hematology research.

Stroke survivors walk better after human-assisted rehab
Therapist-assisted walking rehabilitation showed greater improvements in walking ability in ambulatory stroke survivors compared to robotic-assisted therapy.

Major shift in HIV prevention priorities needed
According to a new policy analysis led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of California, Berkeley, the most common HIV prevention strategies -- condom promotion, HIV testing, treatment of other sexually transmitted infections, vaccine and microbicide research, and abstinence -- are having a limited impact on the predominantly heterosexual epidemics found in Africa.

Dying bats in the Northeast remain a mystery
Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has killed thousands of bats since March 2008.

When statins aren't enough: New trial drug points to better management of coronary heart disease
Despite widespread use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, a significant number of cardiac patients continue to suffer heart attacks and stroke.

Tomato stands firm in face of fungus
Scientists at the University of Amsterdam have discovered how to keep one's tomatoes from wilting -- the answer lies at the molecular level.

Training influential school students in anti-smoking messages lowers smoking rates among peers
Smoking rates among teenagers can be reduced by training influential students within secondary schools to promote antismoking messages in their everyday conversations with their friends and peer group.

TU Delft demonstrates for the first time how light squeezes through small holes
How does light pass through a tiny hole? For the first time, Dr.

NIH awards LIAI major grant to test safety of new smallpox treatment
The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology has received a $7.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund safety and effectiveness testing of an antibody treatment that quickly fights the smallpox virus.

CSHL scientists are part of consortium that sequences platypus genome
By any account, the platypus is an odd creature. It's got a broad, rubbery bill that brings to mind a duck...but it swims more like a beaver...yet it lays eggs and can inject poisonous venom, like a reptile.

Everything's coming up corals
Two University of Miami students have received prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the NSF for their doctoral work on coral reefs.

What's bugging locusts?
Since ancient times, locust plagues have been viewed as one of the most spectacular events in nature.

KAUST announces inaugural Global Research Partnership center grants
Research proposals from four universities selected for global significance and potential economic impact in the areas of applied mathematics, molecular photovoltaics, nanomaterials and computational science.

Stroke study wins $20.8 million grant renewal to explore disparities
The nation's largest study aimed at exploring regional and racial differences in stroke illness and stroke death has earned a $20.8 million grant renewal.

Keck Futures Initiative awards $1M for 15 research projects
The National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE announced today the recipients of its 2007 FUTURES grants, each awarded to support interdisciplinary research on aging and healthspan -- the period of life that is free from serious or chronic illness.

Nursing professor leads the way for 'telepsychiatry' by nurses to treat postpartum depression
Women suffering with postpartum depression may in future be able to receive psychotherapy from a specially trained nurse over the phone, eliminating barriers to treatment such as distance, time, or the availability of a psychologist or psychiatrist.

New study shows how genes control blood proteins important to health
A new study shows how genes control levels of many blood proteins implicated in disease.

Cane use may reduce risk of knee osteoarthritis progression
A common, incurable joint disease, osteoarthritis is the leading cause of disability in elderly people.

Virus mimics human protein to hijack cell division machinery
Viruses are masters of deception, duping their host's cells into helping them grow and spread.

Study finds link between birth order and asthma symptoms
Among four year-olds attending Head Start programs in New York City, those who had older siblings were more likely to experience respiratory symptoms including an episode of wheezing in the past year than those who were oldest or only children.

Previously unseen switch regulates breast cancer response to estrogen
A tiny modification called methylation on estrogen receptors prolongs the life of these growth-driving molecules in breast cancer cells.

Skin flaps deliver cancer-fighting therapy, ASPS study reveals
Using gene therapy, plastic surgeons have delivered cancer fighting proteins through skin flaps placed on cancerous tumors on rats with a 79 percent reduction in tumor volume, according to a study in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

6-month follow-up diagnostic mammograms recommended for women with probably benign lesions
Radiologists can, with confidence, recommend a six-month follow-up diagnostic mammogram rather than an immediate biopsy for patients with

Warming up for magnetic resonance imaging
A new method of magnetic resonance imaging, much faster, more selective -- able to distinguish even among different target molecular species -- and many thousands of times more sensitive, has been developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.

Egyptian elite tombs accessible for all
A number of elite tombs from Ancient Egypt are now accessible to all thanks to the launch of the Mastabase.

Obese patients face increased risks for infection and dislocation following revision hip surgery
Obesity is a leading risk factor for osteoarthritis, a painful and disabling joint disease.

OCAST funds OSU projects with commercial viability
Three OSU researchers received grants totaling more than $240,000 last week from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology under its Oklahoma Applied Research Support program.

Hopkins researchers discover new link to schizophrenia
Neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered that mice lacking an enzyme that contributes to Alzheimer disease exhibit a number of schizophrenia-like behaviors. 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