Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 16, 2008
Researchers witness assembly of molecules critical to protein function
Iron-sulfur clusters are critical to life on earth. They are necessary for protein function in cellular processes, such as respiration in humans and other organisms and photosynthesis by plants.

Gladstone and Izumi Bio in partnership in regenerative medicine and cardiovascular disease
Gladstone and new start-up to collaborate on applications for iPS cell technology.

Geisinger study: Inflammatory disease causes blindness
New Geisinger research shows a link between blindness and temporal arteritis, a problem that restricts blood flow to the brain.

When the powerless rise up
When power is acquired or wielded legitimately (e.g., following a fair election or when actions are within authority), the likelihood for a successful cooperative environment is high, with the powerful leading and the powerless following.

Media registration opens for ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, Aug. 17-21
Mark your calendars for one of this year's biggest and most comprehensive scientific events -- the 236th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which will be held Aug.

IOF announces 3 orthopaedic sessions at 2008 congress
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has announced expanded opportunities for orthopaedic surgeons at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis 2008, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from December 3-7, 2008.

New study: Coffee drinkers have slightly lower death rates than people who do not drink coffee
Regular coffee drinking (up to 6 cups per day) is not associated with increased deaths in either men or women.

Red wine's resveratrol may help battle obesity
Resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, reduces the number of fat cells and may one day be used to treat or prevent obesity, according to a new study.

Novel compound may treat acute diarrhea
In a development that may lessen the epidemic of diarrhea-related deaths among children in developing countries, scientists in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered a novel compound that might lead to an inexpensive, easy-to-take treatment.

US-Israeli-Palestinian collaboration to advance Alzheimer's disease research
American, Israeli and Palestinian scientists work collaboratively to research Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Immune molecule that plays a powerful role in avoiding organ rejection identified
When a mouse's immune system is deciding whether to reject a skin graft, one powerful member of a molecular family designed to provoke such a response can effectively reduce the visibility of the mouse's own cells and help the graft survive, researchers say.

New study: Hearing impairment is common among adults with diabetes
Hearing impairment is common in adults with diabetes, and diabetes seems to be an independent risk factor for the condition.

Drink and drugs fuel Scottish suicide and homicide rates
Alcohol and drug misuse mean Scots are almost twice as likely to kill or take their own life compared to people living in England and Wales, research published today reveals.

Health varies widely across different regions of Mexico
A new study of the burden of disease and injury across Mexico has found that the south suffers the highest rates of infectious and nutritional diseases, injuries, and non-communicable diseases.

Study underway to find an alternative cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
Two research studies evaluating dietary changes and complementary medicine for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases have been launched at Rush University Medical Center.

Largest ever Canadian study on osteoporosis informs health policy
Dr. David Goltzman and his team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and McGill University -- along with colleagues from across Canada -- have issued new recommendations to public health authorities about how to best cope with osteoporosis, a bone disease which leads to increased risk of fracture, particularly in the elderly.

A single VSOP can do a 'proton' magic!
International research group led by Yasushi Okamura, a professor in Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, and Peter Larsson, a professor in Oregon Health & Science University, found that a single protein of VSOP, Voltage Sensor Only Protein/Hv1, can carry protons even without making a multimeric complex.

Modulated radiotherapy can cut treatment time for cancer of the rectum without increasing toxicity
Application of modulated radiotherapy in the treatment of bowel cancer can enhance the results obtained by means of other conventional therapies.

Racial disparities reduced in injury related mortality
When it comes to injury-related deaths, the gap between black and white American youths is narrowing, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Pharmacology of crystal meth
When smoked, crystal meth rapidly achieves high concentrations in the brain without the burdens of the intravenous route.

Developing unique brain maps to assist surgery and research
Researchers from the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne are developing new technology to create individualised brain maps that will revolutionise diagnosis of disease and enhance the accuracy of brain surgery.

LIAI researchers discover new cellular mechanism that will significantly advance vaccine development
La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology scientists have discovered one for the textbooks.

Society's attitudes have little impact on choice of sexual partner
A unique new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute suggests that the attitude of families and the public have little impact on if adults decide to have sex with persons of the same or the opposite sex.

Possible link between different forms of epilepsy found by Carnegie Mellon scientists
Carnegie Mellon neuroscientists have identified what may be the first known common denominator underlying inherited and sporadic epilepsy -- a disruption in an ion channel called the BK channel.

Gene therapy improves survival and quality of life of dogs with cancer
A new gene therapy has helped pet dogs with cancer live longer and could potentially improve the quality of life and survival of people with cancer, said the therapy's developers.

Abortion drug's off-label use may have led to deaths
A new study by University of Michigan scientists suggests that the immunosuppressive effect of the drug misoprostol, if given vaginally rather than orally along with RU-486 to terminate a pregnancy, is likely the reason a small number of women taking the two-drug combination have contracted a rare, fatal bacterial infection.

New study shows potential to treat or prevent viral cancers
A new study, presented at the SNM 55th Annual Meeting, shows that radioimmunotherapy targeting viral antigens offers a novel option to treat -- or even prevent -- many viral cancers by targeting cancer cells expressing viral antigens or infected cells before they convert into malignancy.

June 18: Polar Land and Life Day
On June 18, the International Polar Year 2007-8 will launch its fifth

Michigan Tech scientist models molecular switch
Physicist Ranjit Pati and his team have developed a model to explain the mechanism behind computing's elusive Holy Grail, the single molecular switch.

PET scans reveal hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial for postmenopausal women
Postmenopausal women are at an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease, yet recent research studies have sometimes resulted in conflicting data regarding how best to treat or minimize the effects of the disease.

Personalizing medicine: New research shows potential of targeted therapies for cancer
A new study, presented at the SNM 55th Annual Meeting, shows the potential to pre-target the treatment of cancer cells -- bringing personalized medicine one step closer from the laboratory to patients.

Ability to track stem cells in tumors could advance cancer treatments
Using noninvasive molecular imaging technology, a method has been developed to track the location and activity of mesenchymal stem cells in the tumors of living organisms, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

New test could aid children suffering from reflux disease
A nuclear medicine imaging test was used to confirm that children with respiratory problems may be more likely to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Queen's marine biologist investigates aliens beneath the waves
Queen's University Belfast is appealing for help from the public in looking at ways to detect and stop the spread of marine aliens.

UCSF and YouTube create novel channel to drive medical research
YouTube, the online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos, has teamed up with scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, to tap the video sharing platform to drive medical research.

Every patient is unique: Individualized therapies for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Positron emission tomography could be an important tool for identifying non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who are likely to respond well to treatment with 90 ibritumomab tiuxetan -- the first radioimmunotherapy treatment approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration, said researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Hip replacement improves function, saves money, at any age
Seniors with osteoarthritis who undergo total hip replacement are twice as likely as those who do not to show improvements in physical functioning and increased ability to care for themselves, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

TetraQ and Q-Pharm form strategic alliance
TetraQ, the integrated preclinical contract research provider based at the University of Queensland, and Q-Pharm, a leading early phase clinical trial facility in Australasia, have formed a strategic alliance.

Julia Zeitlinger named Pew Scholar
Julia Zeitlinger, Ph.D., assistant investigator, has been named a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Hormone disorder may contribute to lack of menstruation in teenage athletes
Researchers from Harvard University have found a way to predict which teenage female athletes will stop menstruating, an important risk factor for bone thinning, according to a preliminary study.

How safe are medical cannabinoids?
Wang and colleagues performed a systematic review of safety studies of medical cannabinoids published over the past 40 years and found that short-term use appeared to increase the risk of non-serious adverse events.

New intrusion tolerance software fortifies server security
In spite of increased focus and large investments in computer security, critical infrastructure systems remain vulnerable to attacks, says Arun Sood, professor of computer science at George Mason University.

Ultrasonic instruments associated with improved outcomes for some surgical procedures
Using ultrasonic surgical instruments is associated with more favorable outcomes when compared with conventional instruments for some procedures, according to a meta-analysis of 51 previously published studies in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mini subs to probe odd structures in BC lake
Strange coral-like growths at the bottom of Pavilion Lake in British Columbia have been out of the reach of scientists until now with the addition of new submersible technology.

Aerobic exercise increases a blood protein that may suppress appetite
Three months of aerobic exercise decreased body fat and calorie intake in overweight and obese people, according to a new study, and the researchers believe that changes to a central nervous system factor are responsible.

Discovery will assist treatment and research into fatal brain disorder
Research using newly developed Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology could soon allow clinicians to confirm Huntington's disease before symptoms appear in people who have the gene for the fatal brain disease.

Adult stem cells aid fracture healing; UNC study lays groundwork for potential treatments
In an approach that could become a new treatment for the 10 to 20 percent of people whose broken bones fail to heal, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that transplantation of adult stem cells can improve healing of fractures.

Nanotechnology, biomolecules and light unite to 'cook' cancer cells
Researchers are testing a new way to kill cancer cells selectively by attaching cancer-seeking antibodies to tiny carbon tubes that heat up when exposed to near-infrared light.

Team finds key mechanism of DDT resistance in malarial mosquitoes
University of Illinois researchers have identified a key detoxifying protein in Anopheles mosquitoes that metabolizes DDT, a synthetic insecticide used since World War II to control the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Lou Gehrig's protein found throughout brain, suggesting effects beyond motor neurons
Two years ago researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that misfolded proteins called TDP-43 accumulated in the motor areas of the brains of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Aquatic insect 'family trees' provide clues about sensitivity to pollution
A North Carolina State University study published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that examining an insect's

First semiconductor-based PET scanner demonstrates potential to aid in early diagnosis of disease
Evaluations of the first-ever prototype positron emission tomography brain scanner that uses semiconductor detectors indicate that the scanner could advance the quality and spatial resolution of PET imaging, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Rong Li Lab identifies new role of inflammatory protein in PKD and a possible treatment
The Stowers Institute's Rong Li Lab has discovered that a protein previously shown to have a role in inflammation may also have a role in the formation of cysts in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease -- one of the most common life-threatening genetic diseases -- and has shown that a drug inhibiting the protein can slow the disease in mice.

A promising step towards more effective hydrogen storage
An international research team led by Swedish professor Rajeev Ahuja, Uppsala University, has demonstrated an atomistic mechanism of hydrogen release in magnesium nanoparticles -- a potential hydrogen storage material.

Aging and bone mineral density
Older women and men experience increasing rates of hip fracture because of the age-related acceleration in bone loss.

VaxInnate to discuss seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines during BIO 2008 this week
VaxInnate Corporation announced today that it will discuss its novel proprietary technology for producing seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines during BIO 2008 this week.

Heightened sense of taste can promote weight loss
People can lose weight by flavoring their food with calorie-free seasonings and sweeteners, which may make them feel full faster and decrease their consumption, according to a new study.

New study shows American Cancer Society program helps employers
Newly published research conducted by the American Cancer Society and the University of Washington's Health Promotion Research Center finds the Society's Workplace Solutions consulting program to be successful in guiding employers to implement cost-effective chronic disease prevention strategies.

Europe-wide investment in lipid research will help tackle disease, says new report
Leading scientists today called for Europe to invest more funds into the study of lipids -- the

Molecular imaging sheds new light on progression of Alzheimer's disease
In the past, physicians were able only to follow the progression of Alzheimer's disease through careful clinical histories, noting the often subtle changes associated with cognitive decline over a number of years.

Adult stem cells improve fracture healing
Adult stem cells improve healing of broken bones and could eventually serve as a new treatment for the 10 to 20 percent of fractures that fail to heal, according to a new study.

Medicines derived from cannabis: a review of adverse events
Researchers at the McGill University Health Center, McGill University and the University of British Columbia determined that medical use of cannabinoids do not cause an increase in serious adverse events, but are associated with an increase in some nonserious adverse events.

Children learn smart behaviors without knowing what they know
Young children show evidence of smart and flexible behavior early in life -- even though they don't really know what they're doing, new research suggests.

New therapy shows promise for fighting treatment-resistant cancer cells
A gene radiotherapy system that detects and treats cancer cells that are resistant to traditional forms of chemotherapy and radiation showed success in the laboratory and could eventually prove beneficial for cancer patients, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Test of bacteria toxin delivery system could pave way for new antibiotic drugs
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have achieved a breakthrough in monitoring the toxin-delivery system of highly pathogenic bacteria -- an accomplishment that could help pave the way for new drugs that will be capable of neutralizing those germs.

Study examines normal hair loss in men without evidence of baldness
Performing a standardized 60-second hair count appears to be a reliable method for the assessment of hair shedding, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

PET/CT scan could be valuable noninvasive tool for determining stages of ovarian cancer
Combined positron emission tomography and computed tomography scanning of patients in the early stages of ovarian cancer can enable physicians to determine whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes without having to perform surgery, according to researchers at the SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

American Heart Association's 3rd new journal -- Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging
The American Heart Association has named the editor of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

HIV screening found cost-effective in older adults
Recent studies suggest that large numbers of Americans remain sexually active well into their 60's, 70's and even 80's.

PET imaging detects early, 'silent heart' stage of disease in asymptomatic diabetic patients
As many as 50 percent of all cardiac deaths due to disease in the heart's vessels occur in individuals with no prior history or symptoms of heart disease.

Only 1 in 5 women in developing world receive effective cervical cancer screening
Few women in the developing world are screened effectively for cervical cancer and those at highest risk of developing the disease are among the least likely to be screened, accordingly an analysis published in PLoS Medicine.

Project succeeding to relocate Caspian terns
A major initiative to create alternative nesting sites for the largest colony of Caspian terns in the world -- and to help protect juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River -- is finding early success.

Availability of 2 options for repair of ruptured aneurysm associated with reduced mortality
Having two options available for the repair of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms, including an open surgery and a less invasive procedure, is associated with improvement in overall survival after surgery, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Diabetes drug slows early-onset puberty in girls
In young girls at risk of early puberty and insulin resistance, the diabetes drug metformin delayed the onset of menstruation and decreased the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

March of Dimes announces Prematurity Campaign expansion at Surgeon General's conference
The March of Dimes has extended its Prematurity Campaign by 10 years to 2020 and will work to address preterm birth globally, it was announced at the Surgeon General's Conference on Prevention of Preterm Birth, as part of the national action plan being created to address the growing crisis of preterm birth.

Florida researchers receive JDRF 'Excellence in Clinical Research Award'
Florida Researchers Receive JDRF

SNM image of the year: Molecular imaging, from head to toe
This year, two images were jointly selected as the 2008 SNM Image of the Year.

Technique used in human ankle injuries modified to treat dogs' knees
Each year, more than one million dogs suffer from cranial cruciate ligament deficiency, which is comparable to the anterior cruciate ligament injury in humans.

Type and severity of combat wounds in Iraq war have changed over time
The transition in Iraq from maneuver warfare to insurgency warfare is associated with changes in the type and severity of injuries treated by surgical units of the US Marine Corps, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Protein linked to Alzheimer's disease also has role in HIV progression
A protein related to heart disease and Alzheimer's is found to be a factor in HIV.

The APCs of nerve cell function
Best known for its role in colorectal cancer, the protein adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) has recently been found to play an essential role in the nervous system.

Complex changes in the brain's vascular system occur after menopause
Many women experience menopausal changes in their body including hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, but the changes they don't notice can be more dangerous.

Gene variation may be why some don't respond to cholesterol-lowering drugs
A variation in the way a gene is processed may explain varied individual responses to cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Better treatments for malaria in pregnancy are needed
Malaria in pregnancy threatens the life of both mother and child, and yet there has been very little research on how best to treat it, say a team of malaria experts in this week's PLoS Medicine.

PET imaging focuses on medication's purported ability to improve mental performance
Concerned by the growing numbers of people using stimulant medications such as methylphenidate -- either legally or illegally -- to improve attention and focus, researchers used positron emission tomography imaging with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose to assess the effects of the drug on brain function in the normal human brain.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac: June 11, 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.

Computer predicts anti-cancer molecules
A new computer-based method of analyzing cellular activity has correctly predicted the anti-tumor activity of several molecules.

Team discovers new inhibitors of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells
Researchers have discovered a new family of agents that inhibit the growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells.

INACSL and Elsevier partner to publish Clinical Simulation in Nursing
Elsevier announced today a new partnership with the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning to publish its official online journal, Clinical Simulation in Nursing beginning with Volume 4:2.

New molecular imaging techniques may lead to advances in disease treatment
A promising new technique has been developed that will enable more accurate noninvasive positron emission tomography imaging of new cells injected into the body, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Gesture interface device developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Researchers at BGU in Israel have developed a new hand gesture recognition system, tested at a Washington, D.C., hospital, that enables doctors to manipulate digital images during medical procedures by motioning instead of touching a screen, which compromises sterility and could spread infection, according to the June article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

A trio of super-Earths
European astronomers made a breakthrough in the field of extra-solar planets.

Researchers are a quick study when assessing drugs for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers are actively cutting the time and cost it normally takes to develop radiopharmaceuticals by taking advantage of

Age at puberty linked to mother's prenatal diet
A high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing may lead to the child having an early onset of puberty and subsequent adulthood obesity, according to a new animal study.

Plasmodium vivax -- challenging the dogma of being 'benign'
Plasmodium vivax can cause severe malaria associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, show two studies published in PLoS Medicine this week.

Perfecting a solar cell by adding imperfections
Nanotechnology is paving the way toward improved solar cells. New research shows that a film of carbon nanotubes may be able to replace two of the layers normally used in a solar cell, with improved performance at a lower cost.

Lower Midwest braces for floods
Residents of the central and southern Midwest are crossing their fingers, saying their prayers, planning evacuations, and in some cases filling sandbags in preparation for the excessive water ravishing communities in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Fair trade
A team headed by Bert M. Weckhuysen at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) has now found an interesting new approach that may lead to effective recycling of CCl4, an unwanted byproduct of chlorinated hydrocarbon production.

Hot flashes underreported and linked to forgetfulness
Women in midlife underreport the number of hot flashes that they experience by more than 40 percent, and these hot flashes are linked to poor verbal memory, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Blood pressure levels in childhood track into adulthood
High blood pressure in childhood is associated with higher blood pressure or hypertension in adulthood, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Olfactory bulb size may change as sense of smell changes
The olfactory bulb in the brain appears to change in size in a way that corresponds to individual alterations in sense of smell, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New possibilities for breast cancer treatment on the horizon
The first patient scans from a custom-built scanner combining positron emission tomography and computed tomography technologies indicate that these scans could significantly improve breast cancer imaging capabilities and lead to more targeted treatment options, according to researchers at SNM's 55th Annual Meeting.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 17, 2008, issue
Highlighted articles include

Future hope for patients with breast cancers resistant to tamoxifen
Researchers have found a new family of therapeutic agents that interferes with the ability of estrogen to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.

3M Health Care and Materials Management Microsystems form partnership
3M Health Care and Materials Management Microsystems today announce plans to establish connectivity between Microsystems' SPM sterile processing information system and 3M Attest Auto-readers and 3M Steri-Vac EO Sterilization Systems.

Hearing loss is common in people with diabetes
Hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes compared to those who do not have the disease, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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