Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 19, 2008
World first discovery -- genes from extinct Tasmanian tiger function in a mouse
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Texas, have extracted genes from the extinct Tasmanian tiger, inserted it into a mouse and observed a biological function -- this is a world first for the use of the DNA of an extinct species to induce a functional response in another living organism.

Abnormal 'editing' of gene messages may be a cause of lupus
Researchers at Wake Forest University have uncovered evidence that the abnormal

SAGE acquires 2 new medical journals
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journals publisher, today announced its continued expansion in medical publishing with the acquisition of the British Journal of Diabetes & Vascular Disease and Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System.

Softwood log exports increase
A total of 200 million board feet of softwood logs was exported from Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Alaska in the first 3 months of 2008.

Study: Doctors not always sure when to treat BP in people with diabetes
For people with diabetes, high blood pressure poses a special threat, multiplying their risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems.

JNC bases new guidelines for hypertension treatment with diuretics on UT research
A study based at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston provides added justification that a thiazide-type diuretic is the best first-choice drug for hypertensive patients.

BWF awards $11.2 million to support physician-scientists
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has announced the 2008 recipients of the Career Awards for Medical Scientists.

Oxidative stress may predict later lung trouble in young adults
Markers of oxidative stress may predict future lung trouble, according to new research to be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21.

Radiofrequency ablation is effective treatment for dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus
Interim results from a nationwide clinical trial led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher suggest that radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment for dysplasia in people with Barrett's esophagus, a condition that can lead to deadly gastrointestinal cancer.

With age comes a sense of peace and calm
Aging brings a sense of peace and calm, according to a new study from the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Research advances may help prevent and improve diagnosis of celiac disease
For those suffering from celiac disease, there may be good news on the horizon.

Silver-coated endotracheal tube dramatically reduces resistant infections
A silver-coated endotracheal tube may reduce infections with highly resistant bacteria over traditional tubes by nearly half, according to the results of a large randomized trial to be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Monday, May 19.

Study: Patients 75 years and older with brain tumors may benefit from more aggressive treatment
A new study from University Hospitals Case Medical Center finds that elderly patients -- 75 years old and older -- with malignant brain tumors are not treated as aggressively as patients between 65 and 75 years old.

Study finds technique for nasal obstruction helps patients breathe easier
Z-plasty, a minimally invasive surgical technique to treat internal nasal valve collapse, showed significant improvement in relieving nasal obstruction with less recovery time compared to more traditional open rhinoplasty, according to a research study by Rush University Medical Center.

Physicists at CCNY develop laser with bandwith spanning 2 telecom windows
A team of physicists in the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers of the Physics Department at the City College of New York have developed new near-infrared broadband laser materials with tunability ranges around triple those of earlier crystals.

New vision of climate change through Google Earth
Millions of Google Earth users around the world will be able to see how climate change could affect the planet and its people over the next century, along with viewing the loss of Antarctic ice shelves over the last 50 years, thanks to a new project launched today.

Astronomers search for orphan stars using newly upgraded telescope
Using new charge coupled device instrumentation, Case Western Reserve University astronomers can now view the night sky wider and deeper than before.

Turning back the clock for Schwann cells
Myelin-making Schwann cells have an ability every aging Hollywood star would envy: they can become young again.

Common star draws swift attention with unprecedented flare
On April 25, one of our nearest stellar neighbors, a small, faint red dwarf known as EV Lacertae, unleashed the brightest flare ever detected from a normal star outside our solar system.

Tracking influenza's every movement
Analysis of ~13,000 human influenza A viruses from six continents 2002-2007 revealed continuous circulation in east/southeast Asia via a regional network of temporally overlapping epidemics and that epidemics in the temperate regions were seeded from this network each year.

Delayed adverse effects may occur following injection with cosmetic skin fillers
Polyalkylimide implants -- injections used as cosmetic fillers primarily in Europe -- may be associated with infrequent but sometimes severe immune-related adverse effects months following the procedure, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UT Houston dermatologists link family history to shingles susceptibility
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston have identified family history as one reason why some people might be more susceptible to shingles, a severe skin condition.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 20, 2008, issue
The May 20, 2008, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine contains the following articles:

Stroke victims experiencing seizures more likely to die
Seizures may be a sign of significant brain injury, and may occur in patients that experience any type of stroke.

Erectile dysfunction may signal a broken heart
Erectile dysfunction is always a matter of the heart, but new research shows that more than romance is at stake.

Mapping of prostate cancer genes opens the door to new treatments
Genetic changes during the initiation and progression of prostate cancer have eluded scientists to date.

With age comes a sense of peace and calm, population research center study shows
Aging brings a sense of peace and calm, according to a new study from the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Neural cell transplants may help those with Parkinson's disease
Researchers publishing their studies in Cell Transplantation are seeking new ways to treat Parkinson's disease using cell transplantation in animal models.

Clear racial discrepancies exist among patients with CKD
Black patients have a higher risk of dying in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than whites, according to a study appearing in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Men experience domestic violence, with health impact
Domestic violence can happen to men, not only to women.

Researchers find smallpox drug may also target adenovirus
Two breakthrough findings at Saint Louis University could lead to a new weapon against a virus that causes severe upper-respiratory infections and the common cold.

First quarter softwood lumber exports increase
A total of 77 million board feet of softwood lumber was exported from Washington, Oregon and Northern California in the first 3 months of 2008.

Self-repairing aircraft could revolutionize aviation safety
A new technique that mimics healing processes found in nature could enable damaged aircraft to mend themselves automatically, even during a flight.

Study outlines tools to assess facial plastic surgery outcomes
Objective, validated measures for assessing outcomes following facial plastic surgery have become more prevalent over the past decade, according to a review of previous studies published in the May/June issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MR imaging accurately determines prostate cancer treatment failure
Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI plus diffusion weighted imaging can accurately diagnose residual or recurrent prostate cancer in patients treated with high-intensity focused ultrasonic ablation, a new study shows.

Study concludes no racial disparities in long-term outcomes in recipients of liver transplants
New research published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows long-term survival and liver rejection rates are equivalent for African-American liver transplant patients as compared with patients of other races.

Reproductive plasticity revealed: Neotropical treefrog can choose to lay eggs in water or on land
Researchers at Boston University have discovered a treefrog known to lay eggs terrestrially, also lays eggs in water both at the surface and fully submerged.

Dr. Michael Brownlee receives JDRF Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence
Michael Brownlee, M.D., the Anita and Jack Saltz Professor of Diabetes Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has been selected by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to receive the prestigious David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence.

A loving partner can save your skin
Even couples that have been together for years may be embarrassed to let a partner see their less than perfect bodies naked in bright light.

Integrating restoration and conservation within the ecosystem approach
The Society for Ecological Restoration International released its May 2008 Briefing Note on the

LA BioMed researcher finds clear racial discrepancies among patients with chronic kidney disease
Black patients are more likely to die in the early stages of chronic kidney disease than whites, a finding that may explain the lower mortality rates observed among blacks with advanced kidney disease.

Drug brings relief for many IBS patients who experience constipation
Many patients may soon find relief from the bloating, cramping, abdominal pain and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Retraining immune cells to kill tumors
Tumors escape destruction by immune cells by turning off their tumor killing functions.

By adding graphene, researchers create superior polymer
Researchers at Northwestern University and Princeton University have created a new kind of polymer that, because of its extraordinary thermal and mechanical properties, could be used in everything from airplanes to solar cells.

To swim or not to swim?
Concerns about water quality at beaches along the Great Lakes have prompted the need to better understand when waters are safe for recreation.

Majority of kidney cancers diagnosed at earliest stage
Patients in the United States today are now much more likely to be diagnosed with smaller tumors, in the earliest, most treatable stage of kidney cancer than a decade ago, leading to a slightly higher survival rate, according to the results of a national study led by a UC San Diego Medical Center researcher.

Vaccine triggers immune response, prevents Alzheimer's
A vaccine created by University of Rochester Medical Center scientists prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease-like pathology in mice without causing inflammation or significant side effects.

Genetic loci assigned for musical aptitude in Finnish families
Researchers from Finland and USA have identified one major and several potential loci associated with musical aptitude in the human genome.

New AMITIZA 8 mcg Phase III studies demonstrated overall symptom improvement in adult women
Additional Digestive Disease Week data highlight effects of AMITIZA in patients with IBS-C.

Children's gardens mushrooming
Researchers have discovered the secrets to enhancing youth participation in school- and community-based garden programs.

Blood-clotting protein modified for people with hard-to-treat hemophilia
Pathologists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have developed a chemically modified protein that may help people with a hard-to-treat form of a genetic bleeding disorder known as hemophilia A.

Fear of crime or anxiety about a rapidly changing society?
Do we really fear crime or are we just anxious about neighbourhood breakdown and the speed of change in society?

Superconductors get a boost from pressure
Superconductors can convey more than 150 times more electricity than copper wires because they don't restrict electron movement, the essence of electricity.

Widespread airbag use could result in dramatic cost savings for US trauma centers
According to research published in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the new generation of airbags not only helps protect motor vehicle collision victims from injury and death, but also are associated with dramatic cost saving to trauma centers.

Food for thought
Pioneering research from the University of Nottingham recommends a full government environmental audit of British restaurants.

The mouse that roared: pipsqueak star unleashes monster flare
On April 25, NASA's Swift satellite picked up the brightest flare ever seen from a normal star other than our sun.

Blood test for lung cancer may be possible
A simple blood test may be able to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages with unprecedented accuracy, according to new research to be presented at American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

Will lung cancer recur? A genetic test may provide the answer
The goal of developing reliable genetic tests to guide lung cancer treatment has taken a step forward.

Making sense of the data in a controversial trial of a 'clot-busting drug' for treating stroke
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Dr. Robert Dachs and colleagues document their efforts to access and decipher the NINDS rt-PA Stroke Trial dataset.

Medication may prevent depression in patients with head and neck cancer
Taking the antidepressant citalopram before beginning treatment for head and neck cancer may help prevent depression during therapy, according to results of a pilot study published in the May issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The photonic beetle
Researchers have been unable to build an ideal

ESA astronaut recruitment now open
ESA has today opened applications for talented individuals wishing to become an astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps.

Black men appear less likely to undergo elective aneurysm repair than white men
Black men are less likely than white men to undergo elective surgery to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms, even after accounting for racial differences in rates of developing the disease, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Phase 3 GATTEX results presented at DDW highlight potential new treatment in short bowel syndrome
NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. today reported the presentation of Phase 3 data at the annual Digestive Disease Week Congress on GATTEX (teduglutide), a novel investigational compound that may reduce dependence upon parenteral nutrition in patients with intestinal failure associated with short bowel syndrome.

NIH launches undiagnosed diseases program
The National Institutes of Health today announced a new clinical research program that will aim to provide answers to patients with mysterious conditions that have long eluded diagnosis.

Robots moving closer to humans
Robots! Robots on Mars and in oceans, in hospitals and homes, in factories and schools; robots fighting fires, making goods and products, saving time and lives.

JAMA publication features study on depression and head and neck cancer
A new study shows that antidepressants can significantly reduce the risk of depression for head and neck cancer patients.

Greener offices make happier employees
How can employers make office environments more conducive to productivity and employee happiness?

Engagement in culture events key to mental wellbeing
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that the city's Capital of Culture projects have had a positive impact on the mental well-being of local people.

Advances in colorectal cancer detection and sedation procedures
New developments in polyp detection, colonoscopy preparation and sedation techniques that will increase the effectiveness of colonoscopy and ease patient concerns about the procedure will be presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2008.

Rutgers College of Nursing's Linda Flynn to receive N.J. Governor's Nursing Merit Award
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services will present its 2008 Governor's Nursing Merit Award for excellence in the

Researchers bring new meaning to the term 'computer bug'
US researchers have created 'living computers' by genetically altering bacteria.

Old antibiotic may find new life as a stroke treatment
An old intravenous antibiotic may have new life as a stroke treatment, researchers say.

Clue to mystery crustacean in parasite form
First identified in 1899, y-larvae have been one of the greatest zoological mysteries for over a century.

Long-term cognitive decline in bypass patients not due to surgery
A new study finds no evidence that bypass patients have a greater risk of long-term cognitive decline than patients not undergoing surgery.

Software designers strut their talent at cost of profit, says Management Insights study
Many software designers intentionally create unnecessarily complex products that do less to serve their companies and customers than to advance their careers, 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.

Surgeon operates to rescue chimp with rare deformity
An orthopedic surgeon at the University of Liverpool has performed a groundbreaking operation on a chimp in Cameroon to correct a deformity more commonly seen in dogs.

Stevens, IIT Delhi and University of Alabama host US-India Day, June 16
Stevens Institute of Technology, IIT Delhi and the University of Alabama will jointly host US-India Day as part of a three-day conference on flexible enterprises that will run from June 14-16, 2008 at Stevens.

Bypass not to blame for heart patients' mental decline
Heart patients often experience lasting problems with memory, language and other cognitive skills after bypass surgery.

Some like it hot! Structure of receptor for hot chili pepper and pain revealed
You can now not only feel the spicy kick of a jalapeno pepper, you can also see it in full 3-D, thanks to researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Cancer drug may help patients with heart-lung disease
A drug developed to fight cancer is showing early promise as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- May 14, 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.

Study examines long-term results of laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery
Patients undergoing laparoscopic fundoplication (anti-reflux surgery) by experienced surgeons appear to be satisfied with their decision to undergo surgery and have low re-operation rates, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Homeland Security recognizes Florida Tech professor's research with $589,000 continuation grant
The Department of Homeland Security Domestic Nuclear Detection Office has approved second-year funding of $589,000 to Marcus Hohlmann, associate professor of physics and space sciences, to continue investigating the use of subatomic particles for detecting hidden nuclear materials in cargo.

TAK-390MR Phase 3 data presented at Digestive Disease Week
TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. today reported results from three pivotal Phase 3 studies evaluating investigational new drug TAK-390MR, the first proton pump inhibitor with an innovative dual delayed release technology, in healing patients with erosive esophagitis and in maintenance of healed EE.

Plant flavonoid found to reduce inflammatory response in the brain
Researchers at the University of Illinois report this week that a plant compound found in abundance in celery and green peppers can disrupt a key component of the inflammatory response in the brain.

Engineers demonstrate first room-temperature semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz radiation
Engineers and applied physicists from Harvard University have demonstrated the first room-temperature electrically-pumped semiconductor source of coherent Terahertz radiation, also known as T-rays.

Monitoring whether patients take medicines can help anticipate HIV treatment failure in Africa
Information on how reliably people take their anti-HIV medicines can help identify those whose treatment will succeed or fail.

New free booklet explains climate change
The National Academies have released the 2008 edition of

Pulmonary rehab on call: TELEHEALTH offers dial-up help for the rural and remote
A program that delivers pulmonary rehabilitation via video-conferencing technology, the internet and other emerging technologies to patients who live too far from respiratory therapy centers to make the twice-weekly trip improves their clinical condition, outcome and quality of life in just eight weeks, according to a study to be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

New mid-infrared lasers show doubled efficiency
Researchers at the Center for Quantum Devices at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University have recently doubled the efficiency of infrared lasers under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Efficient Mid-wave Infrared Lasers program.

Teaching evolution: Legal victories aren't enough
In recent years, US courts have consistently ruled that teaching explicitly religious alternatives to evolution in public schools is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Dosage of fertilizer helps to enhance quality of wheat
Breaking up the dosage of fertilizer into three phases of application enhances the quality of wheat and limits its negative effects on the environment.

Medical researchers' obligations to human research participants in low-income countries
Wherever medical resources are scarce and access to medical care is limited, as in most of the developing world, medical researchers face difficult issues about providing medical care beyond the purview of their research (this type of care is called

Study results: new recommendations for grape growers
Recently, researchers at Washington State University's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center completed a study that should provide vineyard managers new techniques for producing healthy and long-lasting grape crops.

Broadband access opens doors to networking, economic development for rural areas
Proactive policies are needed to facilitate broadband Internet access and adoption in rural areas so that rural hospitals, schools and businesses can drive social and economic development and better position themselves to compete, say Penn State researchers in a recently released report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.

MGH study confirms benefit of surgery for gastroesophageal reflux
Despite the growing availability of prescription and over-the-counter medications for gastroesophageal reflux disease, surgical treatment remains a viable alternative for patients whose symptoms persist.

UF researchers develop improved gene therapy agent
University of Florida geneticists have developed a new version of the adeno-associated virus gene transfer vector.

Family history may be associated with susceptibility to shingles
Individuals with herpes zoster, or shingles, are more likely to report a family history of the condition, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

'Blood-free' monitoring as good as blood tests in predicting the course of AIDS
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have shown that monitoring treatment adherence to AIDS therapy is a simple blood-free way to monitor risk of disease progression. 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