Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 12, 2008
Highlights for APA's 116th Annual Convention in Boston, Aug. 14-17
Presentation highlights for APA's 116th Annual Convention and press registration information.

People who participate in clinical research generally wish to know the research results
A review of past studies examining whether people who participate in clinical research wish to know the results has found that most people do wish to be told, even if receiving the results might cause distress or anxiety.

Phantoms in the brain: Pain after amputation
Losing a limb can be a traumatic experience and, in some cases, emotional and physical pain can linger for years.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol may be associated with retinal vascular disease
High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels appear to be risk factors for retinal vein occlusion, a condition that causes vision loss, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MS can affect children's IQ, thinking skills
Multiple sclerosis typically starts in young adulthood, but about 5 percent of cases start in childhood or the teen years.

Stanford research: Chatting with your car may be useful to you -- but also to corporations
As cars become entertainment centers and data-gathering devices, the amount of information they're collecting about you is rapidly growing.

Glaucoma patients with poor health literacy may have greater disease progression
Glaucoma patients in urban areas who have poor health literacy appear to miss more appointments and to have worse disease understanding and greater disease progression than patients with adequate health literacy, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Federal government taps NC State experts to explain nanotech risks
The arm of the federal government responsible for coordinating nanotechnology research and regulations across the country has called on experts from North Carolina State University to craft a white paper that will lay out how government and industry officials should communicate potential risks associated with nanotechnology to the media and the public.

Arsenic-based therapy shown to help eradicate leukemia-initiating cells
In a paradoxical discovery, a research team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has found that a tumor suppressor protein known as PML appears to be the factor that enables leukemia initiating cells to maintain their quiescence -- the inert state that protects them from being destroyed by cancer therapies.

NIH grant to support Translational Research Center for PCOS
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine has received a competitive grant totaling nearly $6 million from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Child Health & Human Development to examine polycystic ovary syndrome, a disorder of the endocrine system that affects as many as 5 million women.

Got sugar? Skeletal muscle development responds to nutrient availability
A new study finds that restricted nutrient availability prevents muscle stem cells from growing into mature muscle cells.

Patients' expectation of getting better is crucial in recovery from whiplash
Research into whiplash published in this week's PLoS Medicine has found that an individual's expectation of getting better plays a crucial role in the likelihood of his or her recovery, even after the severity of their physical and psychological symptoms are taken into account.

Face-to-face or Facebook?
Can online networking sites help new students settle into university?

Study: Kids think eyeglasses make other kids look smart
Young children tend to think that other kids with glasses look smarter than kids who don't wear glasses, according to a new study.

2nd ESMO symposium on soft tissue carcinomas and GIST
Experts in treating a rare group of cancers that affect tissues such as muscle, fat, nerves and the gastrointestinal wall are meeting in Milan, Italy, on May 13-14 to discuss the latest information on how these diseases develop and potential new avenues for therapy.

How embryonic stem cells develop into tissue-specific cells demonstrated
While it has long been known that embryonic stem cells have the ability to develop into any kind of tissue-specific cells, the exact mechanism as to how this occurs has heretofore not been demonstrated.

Model shows how mutation tips biochemistry to cause Alzheimer's
Forms of early-onset Alzheimer's disease are known to be hereditary, caused by single point mutations.

Religion and the narrative of biological science
There exists much ethical controversy brought about by advances in biology and medicine and the relationship to religion.

Oxidation of contaminants as if they got burnt in the water itself
Reducing the level of contamination of water is the aim of the line of research being undertaken by Dr.

New clues to how proteins dissolve and crystallize
The Hofmeister series governs the strengths of ions in inducing protein unfolding and many other phenomena and remains vital to protein chemistry to this day.

Using music to explore the neural bases of emotional 'processing' in the autistic brain
UCLA researchers will use music as a tool to explore the ability of children with ASD to identify emotions in musical excerpts and facial expressions.

Homeless youth need more than treatment for substance abuse, study says
A new study of homeless youth suggests that treating substance abuse and mental health problems may not be enough to help get teens off the streets.

Risk of hospitalization from violent assault increases when local alcohol sales rise
The risk of being hospitalized from being violently assaulted increases when there is increased alcohol sales near the victim's residence, finds a new study in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Study finds economics helping to change early childhood policy debate
A new RAND Corporation study finds that a growing body of economic research suggests that public investment in early childhood programs may be able to lower public costs for social services by improving children's long-term welfare.

Ancient protein offers clues to killer condition
More than 600 million years of evolution has taken two unlikely distant cousins -- turkeys and scallops -- down very different physical paths from a common ancestor.

New MRI technique developed at UT Southwestern detects subtle but serious brain injury
A new technique for analyzing magnetic resonance imaging data, developed by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, can reveal serious brain injury missed by current tests and help predict a patient's degree of recovery.

Sweeping analysis of research reinforces strong media influence on women's body image
In a sweeping analysis of 77 previous studies involving more than 15,000 subjects, UW-Madison researchers found that exposure to media depicting ultra-thin actresses and models significantly increased women's concerns about their bodies, including how dissatisfied they felt and their likelihood of engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors, such as excessive dieting.

A molecular thermometer for the distant universe
For the first time, astronomers have detected in the ultraviolet the carbon monoxide molecule in a galaxy located almost 11 billion light-years away, a feat that had remained elusive for 25 years.

Think before you drink, says university research
People are being urged to think before they drink as part of a research project aimed at changing people's binge drinking habits.

Medical research should include more women participants and examine the role of gender in disease
Are the health needs of women adequately addressed by medical research as it is currently conducted?

ASU researchers synthesize molecule with self-control
Plants have an ambivalent relationship with light. They need it to live, but too much light leads to the increased production of high-energy chemical intermediates that can injure or kill the plant.

St. Jude study shows how T cell's machinery dials down autoimmunity
A St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study shows that T cells, the body's master immune regulators, do not use simple on/off switches to govern the cellular machinery that regulates their development and function.

Children more likely to use fruit tuck shops when schools ban unhealthy snacks
Children who attend schools that run fruit tuck shops are much more likely to eat more fruit if they and their friends are also banned from bringing unhealthy snacks on to the school premises, according to research published online ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Human vision inadequate for research on bird vision
The most attractive male birds attract more females and as a result are most successful in terms of reproduction.

Hot climate could shut down plate tectonics
A new study of possible links between climate and geophysics finds that a much hotter climate could shut down the Earth's plate tectonics.

RevGenUK, a 'single-stop' shop for use in functional genomics
A new project is being launched at the John Innes Center in Norwich, UK, to help geneticists understand how plants grow.

May/June 2008 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Highlights from the May/June 2008 issue of Annals of Family Medicine, featuring articles that take a look inside the doctor-patient relationship from the patient's, as well as the physician's point of view.

ISU researcher performs first veterinary corneal implant procedure in US
The patient's sight was restored through a two-step surgical procedure that involves cutting into the eye to take out the cloudy cornea and inserting a permanent, plastic cornea.

Can feces save the species?
It's a tough job, but somebody, or at least some dogs, have to do it.

HPV linked to better survival in tonsil, tongue cancer, U-M study finds
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found a series of markers that indicate which patients are more likely to survive cancers of the base of the tongue and tonsils.

Children better prepared for school if their parents read aloud to them
Young children whose parents read aloud to them have better language and literacy skills when they go to school, according to a review published online ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Women who breastfeed for more than a year halve their risk of rheumatoid arthritis
Women who breast feed for longer have a smaller chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis, suggests a study published online ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Are anxiety disorders all in the mind?
Using single-photon emission computed tomography, researchers in the Netherlands were able to detect biochemical differences in the brains of individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder, providing evidence of a long-suspected biological cause for the dysfunction.

Seeing Alzheimer's amyloids
In an important step toward demystifying the role protein clumps play in the development of neurodegenerative disease, researchers have created a stunning three-dimensional picture of an Alzheimer's peptide aggregate using electron microscopy.

Research shows timing improves cleft palate surgery
Research by Dr. Damir Matic, a scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, is changing the way cleft palate surgeries are performed throughout North America and around the world.

Study documents obesity and its association with heart risk
Obesity rates appear high in most but not all ethnic groups in the United States, and extra weight is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and markers of sub-clinical heart disease, according to a report in the May 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Glypican-3 gene function in regulating body size helps inform novel cancer treatments
In a leading study that has implications for the development of novel therapies for a number of breast, lung and ovarian cancers that have lost the expression of a gene called glypican-3, Sunnybrook researchers have discovered how the loss of the GPC3 gene induces overgrowth through certain growth factors such as Sonic Hedgehog which stimulate cancer growth.

Prism glasses expand the view for patients with hemianopia
Innovative prism glasses can significantly improve the vision and the daily lives of patients with hemianopia, a condition that blinds half the visual field in both eyes.

NOAA reports coastal waters show decline in contaminants
NOAA scientists today released a 20-year study showing that environmental laws enacted in the 1970s are having a positive effect on reducing overall contaminant levels in coastal waters of the US.

Electrode re-implantation helps some Parkinson's disease patients
A study of seven patients with Parkinson's disease suggests that those who have poor results following implantation of electrodes to stimulate the brain may benefit from additional surgery to correct the electrode placement, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Borrowers who complete homeownership education programs make better refinancing decisions
In light of the subprime mortgage crisis that has resulted in extraordinarily high default rates on home mortgages, one might wonder what the government can do to better educate new potential homeowners.

3 million pound investment for future of science and mathematics education
Ever increasingly, the future of the UK relies on a knowledge-based economy with career opportunities in new technologies and innovative businesses rapidly replacing our more traditional industries.

Why did the EPA fire a respected toxicologist?
Why did the EPA dismiss a highly respected neurotoxicologist as chair of its external review panel on the fire retardant deca?

New approach to protect the hearts of patients with muscular dystrophy
A team of researchers has recently shown that the administration of sildenafil protects the heart in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Anti-inflammatory drugs do not improve cognitive function in older adults
The anti-inflammatory drugs naproxen and celecoxib do not appear to improve cognitive function in older adults with a family history of Alzheimer's disease, and naproxen may have a slightly detrimental effect, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the July 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Air pollution, smoking affect latent tuberculosis
Study shows for the first time how carbon monoxide triggers Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, to shift from active infection to a drug-resistant dormant state.

When following the leader can lead into the jaws of death
International study of animal behavior has important implications for human decision-making.

Memory lane: Older persons with more schooling spend fewer years with cognitive loss
Those with at least a high school education spend more of their older years without cognitive loss -- including the effects of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia -- but die sooner after the loss becomes apparent, reveals a new study appearing in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Aging and Health.

Higher risk of death and stroke in patients given a-blockers after noncardiac surgery
A randomized trial has shown that patients given a-blockers after noncardiac surgery have a higher risk of death or stroke than those given placebo.

Risky rainy days who plans for their financial future?
Does planning ahead all depend on how much money you have -- the rich can afford it and the poor can't?

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- May 7, 2008
The American Chemical Society's News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Vision therapy appears to improve visual function in macular disease
A low-vision therapy program that includes a home visit, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and assignments to practice using them appears to significantly improve vision in veterans with diseases of the macula, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Air pollution may be associated with blood clots in deep leg veins
Long-term exposure to air pollution appears to be associated with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, blood clots in the thigh or legs, according to a report in the May 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Beyond nutrition -- plants deliver
The need for a renewable and affordable source of carbon that can sustain future economic development without negatively impacting the environment is now widely recognized.

End-stage dementia patients deserve the same access to palliative care as people with cancer
Researchers have come up with eight key recommendations to improve care for end-stage dementia patients after reviewing 29 studies from the USA, UK, Canada, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland.

Carnegie Mellon engineering researchers automate analysis of protein patterns
Carnegie Mellon University's Justin Y. Newberg and Robert F. Murphy have developed software toolbox that is intended to help bioscience researchers characterize protein patterns in human tissues.

What's the difference between a human and a fruit fly?
Fruit flies are dramatically different from humans not in their number of genes, but in the number of protein interactions in their bodies, according to scientists who have developed a new way of estimating the total number of interactions between proteins in any organism.

Metoprolol around the time of surgery increases the risk of death and stroke: POISE trial
POISE is the world's largest randomized trial addressing perioperative cardiac complications.

Affordable vaccines, screening vital to stop rise of cervical cancer deaths in Latin America
The findings are being presented in Mexico City at a conference convened by the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, the Albert B.

Physical activity more likely to prevent breast cancer in certain groups
Physically active women are 25 percent less likely to get breast cancer, but certain groups are more likely to see these benefits than others, finds a review of research published online ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Texting costs are 'out of this world'
University of Leicester space scientist says texting is at least four times more expensive than receiving scientific data from space.

New agreement works to balance Belize's cruise ship tourism and conservation
Members of Belize's cruise tourism industry today signed a Declaration of Commitment, in which key industry stakeholders commit to create sustainable cruise tourism practices, such as protecting coral reefs.

Both boys and girls negatively affected by sexual harassment
A new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly explored the outcomes of sexual harassment on both boys and girls.

Researchers find natural section favors parasite fitness over host health
A team of scientists has uncovered evidence that natural selection selects for harmful parasites by maximizing parasite fitness.

Maths plus 'geeky' images equals deterred students
Images of maths 'geeks' stop people from studying mathematics or using it in later life, shows research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Women, minorities more prone to filing grievances
Many employees often do not file grievances even when presented with the opportunity to do so. 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