Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 20, 2008
Study analyzed SYMBICORT in children with persistent asthma
A new 12-week study examined safety and efficacy measures of the maintenance combination asthma therapy, SYMBICORT Inhalation Aerosol in treating mild to moderate persistent asthma in children ages 6 to 15 years old who were previously treated with an inhaled corticosteroid.

COPD patients benefit more from pulmonary rehab in earlier stages
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are in their final years of survival do not get the same benefits from pulmonary rehabilitation as patients who have more years left to live -- regardless of their age, complicating illnesses or lung function, according to new research funded by the Veteran's Administration, which will be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

Analysis of UC time to symptom resolution data from study of Lialda presented at DDW
A post hoc analysis showing time to symptom resolution data from a study (study 302) of Shire plc's ulcerative colitis (UC) drug, Lialda, will be presented today at Digestive Disease Week.

What are the features of Chinese patients with reflux esophagitis?
A team lead by Dr. Wei Li from the department of gastroenterology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, analyzed the clinical endoscopic features of Chinese patients with reflux esophagitis.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the May 21 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

What roles does TSP-1 play in liver fibrogenesis?
A team, led by Dr Gülsüm Özlem Elpek from the University of Akdeniz, Turkey, has demonstrated that expression of Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) gradually increases with the severity of fibrosis and strongly correlates with angiogenesis during experimental liver fibrogenesis.

Scientists 'paint' viruses to track their fate in the body
Here's a new twist on the relationship between biology and art.

Grocery boost
Low-income neighborhoods that lack easy access to grocery stores could lead to a breakdown of food security for hundreds of thousands of people -- not in the developing world, but in major urban areas of the US.

Sleep deprivation affects ability to make sense of what we see
Neuroscience researchers at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore have shown for the first time what happens to the visual perceptions of healthy but sleep-deprived volunteers.

Study identifies trends of vitamin B6 status in US population sample
In an epidemiological study, Tufts University researchers identified trends of vitamin B6 status in a sample of the United States population based on measures of plasma pyridoxal 5'- phosphate levels in the bloodstream.

Mars Express mission controllers ready for NASA Phoenix landing
ESA's Mars Express mission control team are ready to monitor Phoenix's critical entry, descent and landing onto the Martian surface on May 26, 2008.

Scientists find first dinosaur tracks on Arabian Peninsula
Scientists have discovered the first dinosaur tracks on the Arabian Peninsula.

How to increase the chances of remaining virus free Pakistani patients with HCV?
A group of doctors, led by Dr. Bader Faiyaz Zuberi at Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan, working on the treatment of hepatitis C genotype-3 with standard interferon have determined that patients who clear their virus in the first four weeks have increased chances of remaining virus free after six months of therapy.

Study finds that recalled Aqua Dots did contain poisonous chemical
A new study, led by Dr. Jeffrey Suchard of the University of California, Irvine confirms these reports, finding that Aqua Dots contained no 1,5-PD at all, but had a surprisingly high level -- almost 14 percent -- of extractable 1,4-BD.

How to diagnose and treat Gardner syndrome with gastric polyposis
A team led by Dr. Shi-Lin Wang from the General Hospital of Airforce PLA has reported a case of a patient with Gardner syndrome who presented with gastric polyposis.

Unique adaptive evolution in snake proteins -- insight into vertebrate physiology
Before the advent of large sequence datasets, it was assumed that innovation and divergence at the morphological and physiological level would be explained at the molecular level.

Concomitant treatment with nebulized formoterol fumarate & tio-significant improvements -- COPD
A newly published study presents data demonstrating that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, experienced markedly improved bronchodilation and symptom control when treated with a combination of nebulized formoterol fumarate inhalation solution and tiotropium, compared to treatment with tiotropium alone.

Noninvasive oxygen therapy eases final hours, days for lung cancer patients
For patients with end-stage lung cancer, noninvasive ventilation may be more effective at reducing breathing difficulty than standard oxygen therapy, and has the added advantage of reducing patients' reliance on morphine, thus improving lucidity in their final days, according to research presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

Scientists discover a molecular scaffold that guides connections between brain cells
Brain cells known as neurons process information by joining into complex networks, transmitting signals to each other across junctions called synapses.

A new change in the chromosome of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Dr. Yan-Ru Qin from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University has found gains of chromosome 8q, 3q and 5p and the loss of 3p, 8p, 9q and 13q were seen in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the Linzhou population.

Tuberculosis not the only risk from new immunological drugs
A new survey cautions physicians that drugs commonly prescribed for patients suffering from immunological disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease may carry risks of serious infections other than the known risk of tuberculosis.

NIAID to advance B-cell approach to HIV vaccines
To advance underdeveloped approaches to designing a preventive HIV vaccine, NIAID is launching a new program to foster the study of B cells, immune cells that can produce antibodies with the capacity to neutralize HIV.

Joint NASA-French satellite to track trends in sea level, climate
A satellite that will help scientists better monitor and understand rises in global sea level, study the world's ocean circulation and its links to Earth's climate, and improve weather and climate forecasts is undergoing final preparations for a June 15 launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Liver diseases: striving toward better diagnosis and treatment
Researchers have made great strides in identifying the mechanisms and associations involved in liver diseases to devise better treatments.

Risk threshold of daily alcohol intake and drinking duration in liver injury?
A team led by Professor You-Ming Li from Zhejiang University has investigated the association of alcohol dose, duration of drinking and obesity with liver injury in the island population east of China.

How can we measure the emotional states of animals?
Rats housed in standard conditions show a stronger response to the loss of an expected food reward than those housed in enriched conditions, perhaps indicating a more negative emotional state, according to new research by scientists at Bristol University Veterinary School, published in this week's issue of Royal Society Biology Letters.

Incense is psychoactive: Scientists identify the biology behind the ceremony
In a new study appearing online in the FASEB Journal, an international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression.

Elsevier's Engineering Village combines GeoRef database with Google maps
Engineering Village, an Elsevier online search platform that provides database content and analysis for engineering researchers, announced today the addition of the American Geological Institute's GeoRef database to its content offerings.

What else may probiotics do in adults?
The effects of probiotics on the immune system, especially in healthy adults, have not been fully elucidated.

Which is accurate, CT or MRI?
A team led by Dr. Mi-Suk Park and Young Chul Kim from the Research Institute of Radiological Science, Yonsei University College of Medicine, has determined that the accuracy of CT and MRI were comparable for the evaluation of paraaortic nodes in patients with pancreatico-biliary cancer.

Glycemic stability may be important key to recovery from critical illness
Widely varying blood glucose levels may pose as great a threat, or possibly a greater threat, to critically ill patients as high, but steady, glycemic levels, according to researchers in Saudi Arabia, who will present their findings at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

A new indicator for esophageal varix in alcoholic disease
A team led by Dr. Satoshi Mamori from the Jikei University School of Medicine has determined that the level of type IV collagen has a high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of esophageal varices in severe alcoholic disease.

A guided broncoscope achieves biopsy of 75 percent pulmonary nodules without puncture or surgery
A broncoscope guided by means of electromagnetic navigation has managed to achieve the biopsy of 75 percent of pulmonary nodules greater than 2 cm, according to Dr.

New analysis of REMICADE for UC in patients with recent disease onset or long-standing disease
A separate retrospective analysis of US employer claims suggests a benefit of anti-tumor necrosis factor therapies on absenteeism among employees with inflammatory bowel disease.

Teen blood donors have higher risk of donation-related complications
Sixteen- and 17-year olds who donate blood are significantly more likely to experience donation-related complications such as fainting and bruising than older blood donors, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

Protein key to neuro-regeneration
Researchers have for the first time identified a protein that is key to the regeneration of damage in the peripheral nervous system and which could with further research lead to understanding diseases of our peripheral nervous systems and provide clues to methods of repairing damage in the central nervous system, according to a paper published this week in the Journal of Cell Biology.

ESA and Argentina sign extension of Cooperation Agreement
On May 8, 2008, the Cooperation Agreement between the Argentine Republic and ESA was renewed for five years.

How does CO2 insufflation pressure affect proliferation and improve apoptosis?
A team led by Dr. Pei-Wu Yu from the Third Military Medical University in China, has performed laparoscopically assisted gastrectomy to study the effects of carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum on gastric cancer cells' biological behavior.

A research on 'craving' for tobacco establishes the bases for addiction control
The study, carried out by the department of personality, evaluation and psychological treatment of the University of Granada, has done research for the first time into the behavioural mechanisms involved in the craving process, in order to determine the brain areas responsible for this compulsive behavior.

Research tool can detect autism at 9 months of age
The ability to detect autism in children as young as 9 months of age is on the horizon, according to researchers at McMaster University.

First, do no harm: Limiting resident work hours does not harm ICU patients
Limits on the number of hours that medical residents are allowed to work in a day does not negatively affect outcomes in even the most sensitive patient population: critically ill patients in intensive care units.

Study reveals link among childhood allergies, asthma symptoms, and early life exposure to cats
A study released by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, shows that cat ownership may have a protective effect against the development of asthma symptoms in young children at age five.

New technology puts biomedical imaging in palm of hands
Georgia Tech researchers have created a new, single-exposure imaging tool that could significantly improve point-of-care medical and forensic imaging by empowering front line clinicians with no specialized training to detect and assess, in real-time, the severity of bruises and erythema, regardless of patient skin pigmentation or available lighting.

Carbon nanotubes that look like asbestos, behave like asbestos
A major study published today in Nature Nanotechnology suggests some forms of carbon nanotubes -- a poster child for the

Farm moms may help children beat allergies
Mothers exposed to farms, particularly to barns and farm milk, while pregnant confer protection from allergies on their newborns, according to a group of German researchers, who will present their findings at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21

A rare case of ischemic colitis caused by chronic venous insufficiency
A team led by Dr. Woo-Chul Chung from the Department of Radiology at St.

Virginia Tech's Shukla received Humboldt Foundation award
Sandeep Shukla, Virginia Tech associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander Humboldt Foundation of Germany.

Scientists find first dinosaur tracks on Arabian Peninsula
Scientists have discovered the first dinosaur tracks on the Arabian Peninsula.

Heterotopic gastric tissue simulating acute appendicitis
A team led by Dr. Steven Paul Schmidt from Summa Health System has reported a rare case in Ohio, in the United States.

Global Sourcing Council announces 2008 conference
The Global Sourcing Council is engaging world outsourcing and business leaders in a vibrant exchange of ideas and information on the new dynamics of global risk mitigation on June 18, 2008, in New York at the Down Town Association at 60 Pine Street.

First-born babies' higher asthma and allergy rates due to pregnancy conditions
First-born children are at higher risk of developing asthma and allergy because of different conditions they experience in the uterus, according to new research from the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom, which will be presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21.

How to save cost for esophageal varices?
Dr. Zaigham Abbas and his colleagues from the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, have demonstrated that in patients undergoing eradication of esophageal varices, instead of using a new multiband ligator for each session, reloading the ligator for the follow-up sessions is a cost effective procedure and may be recommended for developing countries.

New research identifies potential remedies to obesity and its health threats
Researchers unveiled data during this week's Digestive Disease Week outlining improved bariatric surgery options and studies that offer new insight into the related toll on the body created by obesity, which causes many individuals to develop cancers of the esophagus and pancreas.

A promising tumor gene therapeutic target: tMK
A team led by Dr. Ya-Yi Hou from Nanjing University has found that overexpressed Midkine and its truncated form (tMK) can promote BGC823 cell growth, colony formation, wound healing and tumorigenesis in nude mice injected with BGC823 cells transfected MK or tMK. tMK had a greater effect than MK and may be a more promising gene therapeutic target than MK for treatment of malignant tumors.

Invasive methods unnecessary for prostate cancer radiation therapy treatment planning
Modern 3-D computed tomography is an effective method for locating the prostatic apex for radiation therapy treatment planning in prostate cancer patients because it eliminates the need for an invasive procedure and the related side effects, according to a study in the May 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology-Biology-Physics.

Data re-analysis shows drug finasteride reduces risk for most prostate cancers
A re-analysis of data from the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial finds that finasteride reduces the risk for prostate cancer without boosting the odds of aggressive tumors.

New research improves early detection and survival for pancreatic cancer
New research will be presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2008 to showcase innovative methods to better understand the risk factors for and improve earlier detection of pancreatic cancer.

New process could cause titanium price to tumble
Whether for stopping cars or bullets, titanium is the material of choice, but it has always been too expensive for all but the most specialized applications.

Is extra-corporal liver support with prometheus safe in patients with end-stage liver disease?
A team led by Dr. Fin Stolze Larsen from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has tested the value of extra-corporal liver support with Prometheus in patients with end-stage liver disease, and determined that such treatment is not associated with any hemodynamic complications.

Concomitant use of Perforomist & tiotropium -- significant improvements -- COPD
Data presented today at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society demonstrate that concomitant therapy with Perforomist Inhalation Solution, delivered by nebulization, and Spiriva is significantly more effective than treatment with tiotropium alone.

Intensive care units' prevention of pneumonia in critically ill patients generally strong
Mayo Clinic researchers found that the frequency with which critically ill patients developed ventilator-associated pneumonia is approximately the same at a multidisciplinary medical center such as Mayo Clinic compared to the average VAP-risk rate for 211 hospitals in the National Healthcare Safety Network.

EULAR 2008 -- June 11-14 -- Abstracts now available to help you plan your coverage
EULAR is one of the foremost international medical meetings in rheumatology, with an attendance of over 12,000 delegates and 300 members of the press each year.

Scripps Research Institute awarded patent for remarkable chemical technology
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded US Patent No.

Jefferson receives $11.6M NIH grant to study novel mechanisms of heart failure
Scientists at Jefferson Medical College have received a five-year, $11.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study molecular mechanisms of cardiac injury that lead to heart failure and potential repair processes that occur in the adult failing heart.

New pharmacological effect of Jianpi Huoxue Decoction
A team led by Professor Yi-Yang Hu has determined that Chinese herbs, Jianpi Huoxue decoction, which have been shown to suppress alcoholic liver and intestinal injury, can inhibit cytokine expression induced by lipopolysaccharide in the liver.

Overweight in adolescence gives increased mortality rate
People who were already overweight in adolescence (14-19 years old) have an increased mortality rate from a range of chronic diseases as adults; endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, colon cancer and respiratory diseases.

Perforomist-comparable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile to DPI formulation
Data presented today at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society demonstrate that Perforomist Inhalation Solution (formoterol fumarate inhalation solution; FFIS) has a pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profile that is comparable to the dry powder inhaler formulation of formoterol fumarate, Foradil Aerolizer 12 μg.

How are pancreatic stellate cells activated?
A team led by Dr. Xing-Peng Wang has determined there are complex interactions between pancreatic cancer cells and pancreatic stellate cells.

Sepsis guideline compliance improves, rate of death declines after educational effort
A national educational effort in Spain to promote appropriate care for severe sepsis and septic shock was associated with a lower rate of sepsis deaths in hospitals and improved guideline adherence, although the improvement in compliance with some resuscitation procedures diminished after one year, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

How does sodium phosphate combined with bisacodyl affect small intestine?
A team, led by Dr. Andreas Franke from University Hospital of Heidelberg at Mannheim, has determined the effect of bisacodyl and sodium phosphate on small bowel transit time and quality of capsule endoscopy (CE).

Gene mutations in mice mimic human-like sleep disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
Mutations in two genes that control electrical excitability in a portion of the brain involved in sleep create a human-like insomnia disorder in mice, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Economist labors over employment relationships
When it comes to satisfaction at work, workers in different countries find it in different ways, according to studies by UWM labor economist John Heywood.

A better method is found for the treatment of patients with portal hypertension
A team lead by Dr. Binay K De from Medical College and Hospital, Calcutta, India, used a hemodynamic study to document for the first time that the combination of spironolactone with propranolol is not only better than propranolol alone in reducing portal pressure, but the reduction is significant enough to virtually abolish the risk of re-bleeding in a significant majority of the patients.

Determining genetic signature of lung tumors can help guide treatment
The first US clinical trial using genetic screening to identify lung tumors likely to respond to targeted therapies supports the use of those drugs as first-line treatment rather than after standard chemotherapy has failed.

Rifampin: Latent TB treatment saves time money and lives
A new way to treat patients with latent tuberculosis, who are infected with TB but without symptoms, can effectively treat it in less than half the time and at a lower cost than the current standard treatment, according to researchers who conducted a multicenter, randomized controlled trial.

Higher oxidized LDL levels associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome
Higher concentrations of low-density lipoprotein that has been modified by oxidation is associated with an increased incidence of abdominal obesity, high fasting glucose levels and high triglyceride levels and the metabolic syndrome, which includes a combination of these conditions, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

A potential route for human tumor gene therapy
A team led by Dr. Hai-Feng Liu from the General Hospital of Chinese People's Armed Police Forces has determined that the NHE1 antisense gene could significantly restrain the malignant behavior of human gastric carcinoma cells, significantly suppress cell growth and induce cell apoptosis and partially reverse malignant phenotypes of SGC-7901.

Incidental adrenal masses commonly seen on CT are usually benign; no follow-up needed
Incidental adrenal masses seen on abdominal CT scans of low-risk patients are almost always benign and do not need any imaging follow-up, according to a large study of patients.

Can pathological techniques help identify primary colorectal signet ring cell carcinoma?
A team led by Hsien Lin Sim from Alexandra Hospital has reported an unusual localization of a not so unusual disease (signet ring cell carcinoma).

Wiesel and Whitman among notable American recipients of TAU's highest honor
Eleven international luminaries were awarded honorary degrees at TAU Board of Governors meeting.

Do chemicals in the environment affect fertility?
Researchers at the University of Nottingham are set to take part in one of the first studies of the effect of environmental chemicals on female mammals.

Global menopause summit concludes HRT is safe for healthy women entering menopause
An international group of menopause experts has concluded that HRT in the early postmenopausal period is safe, and healthy women going through the first few years of the menopause who need HRT to relieve symptoms should have no fears about its use.

New prognostic markers for gastric cancer patients
In a recent study to understand the coordinated regulation of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions during malignant transformation, the researchers studied the co-expression of E-cadherin£, syndecan-1 and integrin beta3 by immunohistochemical study in gastric carcinomas.

Tool creates personalized catch-up immunization schedules for missed childhood vaccinations
A new downloadable software tool will help pediatricians, parents and other health-care professionals determine how to adjust complex childhood immunization schedules when one or more vaccine doses aren't received at the proper time.

New treatment gives hope for pulmonary fibrosis patients
Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may have a new treatment option, according to researchers in Japan.

Seeing clearly despite the clouds
Sunlight bouncing off clouds blinds satellites trying to determine how much the blue sky between is actually reflecting.

U of M study: New blood test reveals risk for metabolic syndrome
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that people with high oxidation levels of the low-density lipoprotein particle that carries cholesterol throughout the blood are much more likely to develop metabolic syndrome -- which can lead to a considerably increased risk of developing heart disease.

Sleep-deprived brains alternate between normal activity and 'power failure'
New imaging research shows that brain activity differs in sleep-deprived and well-rested people.

NASA researcher awarded 2008 Arthur S. Flemming Award
Christa Peters-Lidard of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has been awarded the 2007 Arthur S.

New patient satisfaction study with budesonide/formoterol combination therapy
A new open-label study evaluated patient satisfaction with budesonide/formoterol combination therapy and fluticasone/salmeterol combination therapy, as measured by the Asthma Treatment Satisfaction Measure.
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