Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 18, 2008
Science, hope for adults with type 1 diabetes focus of JDRF's Annual Global Diabetes Research Forum
Research findings and innovative approaches offer the promise of new therapies and the potential for cures for adults living with type 1 diabetes, according to researchers at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Global Research Forum in Washington, D.C.

Kidney transplant patients may benefit from going off of certain immunosuppressive drugs
Withdrawing certain immunosuppressive drugs following kidney transplantation prolongs survival and saves money compared with keeping patients on these medications for life, according to a study appearing in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

New high fiber barley licensed to grow
Food manufacturers will soon have access to a new CSIRO-bred barley variety which has significant human health benefits.

LSU professor dissects patterns of violence in rural communities
Matthew Lee, professor of sociology at LSU, has taken an intense look at the phenomenon of violence in rural areas.

Bowel prep oral sodium phosphate equal to fasting before capsule endoscopy for obscure GI bleeding
According to a new study from researchers in France, bowel preparation with oral sodium phosphate for capsule endoscopy in patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding is no better at cleansing the small bowel than the standard method of preparation, which is an eight-hour fast before the procedure.

Argonne's supercomputer named world's fastest for open science, third overall
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory's IBM Blue Gene/P high-performance computing system is now the fastest supercomputer in the world for open science, according to the semiannual Top 500 List of the world's fastest computers.

The International Workshop and Conference on Network Science (NetSci'08) will be held June 23-27, 2008 at the Conference Center of the Norwich BioScience Institutes, in Norwich, UK.

Improving understanding of cell behavior in breast cancer
The invasion and spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body, known as metastasis, is a principal cause of death in patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Trap and zap: Harnessing the power of light to pattern surfaces on the nanoscale
Princeton engineers have invented an affordable technique that uses lasers and plastic beads to create the ultrasmall features that are needed for new generations of microchips.

Risk factors for sudden death for adult muscular dystrophy identified
The largest assessment of people with adult muscular dystrophy has identified risk factors that can lead to sudden death for individuals with the most common form of this disease.

Tartalo the robot is knocking on your door
A research team from the University of the Basque Country led by Basilio Sierra is devising a robot that can get around by itself.

New discoveries from Harvard and Baylor get to the heart of cardiovascular disease
Even if you eat right and exercise regularly, chances are high that you'll still die of a heart attack or stroke.

WHO director-general's quest to revitalize Alma-Ata gets unqualified and unprecedented support
In correspondence published early online on, Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, receives the unequivocal support of her six regional directors for her quest to revitalize the vision set out in the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care.

World-class environment vision to 'bring back the species'
One of Australia's leading environmentalists will spearhead a world-class project to help revegetate the Mount Lofty Ranges, to stave off the effects of climate change and halt the loss of bird, animal and plant species.

UC Davis researcher leads climate-change discovery
A team of researchers led by a first-year UC Davis faculty member has resolved a longstanding paradox in the plant world, which should lead to far more accurate predictions of global climate change.

New report looks at the state of the North American environment
In its latest state of the environment report, released today, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation examines environmental issues facing the NAFTA partners.

UF scientists to work with German firm in prostate cancer treatment research
University of Florida department of urology officials and representatives from CureVac, a German-based biopharmaceutical company, announced a research collaboration program

FDA approves NeuRx diaphragm pacing system for use in spinal cord-injured patients
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System for spinal cord-injured patients who are dependent on ventilators for breathing.

Choice of hospital impacts outcomes for inflammatory bowel disease surgery
Hospitals with higher annual volumes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease who undergo surgery have lower in-hospital mortality rates than hospitals with lower volumes of IBD patients, according to a new study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

California's wildflowers are disappearing, new book by UCR ecologist cautions
At least since the late 18th century, invasive plant species introduced by humans have devastated California's botanical heritage by destroying native flora, resulting in bad pastures and posing a fire hazard, a new book by Richard Minnich, an ecologist at the University of California, Riverside, explains.

Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Watchman Left Atrial Appendage System
Doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute were among the first in California to offer an experimental therapy for atrial fibrillation using the WATCHMAN Left Atrial Appendage System.

Stress during childhood increases the risk of allergies
Moving house or the separation of parents can significantly increase the risk of children developing allergies later on.

Black holes have simple feeding habits
The biggest black holes may feed just like the smallest ones, according to data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based telescopes.

Indiana U scientists uncover potential key to better drugs to fight toxoplasmosis parasite
Research by Indiana University School of Medicine investigators help explain how the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis transforms into a cyst form that resists drugs and the body's immune system, yet can emerge from its dormant state to strike when a patient's immune system is weakened.

New bee checklist lets scientists link important information about all bee species
In time for National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, biologists have completed an online world checklist of bees.

Caesarean sections associated with risk of asthma
Babies born by Caesarean section have a 50 percent increased risk of developing asthma compared to babies born naturally.

Effective health messages may yield vaccine compliance among ER workers
Temple University researchers are looking into the minds of ER workers to see what prevents them from getting vaccinated.

Pourquié Lab uncovers mechanism contributing to appropriate formation of the spine
The Stowers Institute's Pourquié Lab has shed light on the mechanism causing animals to develop the appropriate number of vertebrae. vertebrae are formed from their embryonic precursors, called somites.

New study: Pine bark significantly reduces menstrual pain
A new study reveals dysmenorrhea, a condition that causes extremely painful menstrual periods affecting millions of women each year, can be reduced naturally by taking Pycnogenol, pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree.

Euroscience Open Forum 2008: 1 month to go
The mission of the Euroscience Open Forum is to provide both the European and the international science and business communities with an open platform for debate and communication.

Failure to take seizure drugs linked to increased risk of death
People with epilepsy who fail to take their seizure medication regularly could be as much as three times more likely to die, according to a study published in the June 18, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Computers as safe as medical experts in prescribing blood thinning drugs
The largest ever study into the administration of blood thinning drugs, principally warfarin, has concluded that dosages calculated by computer are at least as safe and reliable as those provided by expert medical professionals.

Space science simulation at UNH now better, faster, cheaper
Cashing in on the underlying technology that seamlessly renders graphics for state-of-the-art video games, space scientists at the University of New Hampshire have bundled together 40 PlayStation3 consoles to affordably simulate one of the

NIST/NIH micromagnets show promise as colorful 'smart tags' for magnetic resonance imaging
Customized microscopic magnets that might one day be injected into the body could add color to magnetic resonance imaging, while also potentially enhancing sensitivity and the amount of information provided by images, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Institutes of Health report.

High hormone levels in seabird chicks prepare them to kill their siblings
The Nazca booby, a Galápagos Island seabird, emerges from its shell ready to kill its brother or sister.

Genome sequence of small marine creature sheds light on vertebrate origins
Genome Research is publishing several papers related to analyses of the amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae) genome sequence.

Patient's own infection-fighting T cells put late-stage melanoma into long-term remission
Researchers describe the first successful use of a human patient's cloned infection-fighting T cells as the sole therapy to put an advanced solid-tumor cancer into long-term remission.

First gene therapy for heart failure offered at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
Could injecting a gene into a patient with severe heart failure reverse their disabling and life-threatening condition?

Failure to bridle inflammation spurs atherosclerosis
When a person develops a sore or a boil, it erupts, drawing to it immune system cells that fight the infection.

Known genetic risk for Alzheimer's in whites also places blacks at risk
A commonly recognized gene that places one at risk for Alzheimer's disease does not discriminate between blacks and whites, according to new research led by Florida State University.

Queen's University launches UK's first Center of Excellence for Public Health
The UK's first Center of Excellence for Public Health Research will be launched at Queen's University Belfast today, with a focus on nutrition and lifestyle.

Evalve MitraClip: Clinical trial of nonsurgical repair for severe mitral valve regurgitation
The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is the lead enroller in the world for the Everest II Clinical Trial -- a study comparing nonsurgical repair for severe mitral valve regurgitation with conventional surgery.

Study finds Children's Hospital patient safety program improves caregiver/family communications
Condition Help, a patient safety program launched more than two years ago at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has significantly improved communication between caregivers and patients and improved patient and family satisfaction, a review of the program has found.

Tuna populations at risk
A historic meeting next week may decide the fate of tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, one of the world's most important marine resources.

Researchers explain nitrogen paradox in forests
Nitrogen is essential to all life on Earth, and the processes by which it cycles through the environment may determine how ecosystems respond to global warming.

Birds communicate reproductive success in song
Some migratory songbirds figure out the best place to live by eavesdropping on the singing of others that successfully have had baby birds -- a communication and behavioral trait so strong that researchers playing recorded songs induced them to nest in places they otherwise would have avoided.

Carnegie Mellon system estimates geographic location of photos
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have devised the first computerized method that can analyze a single photograph and determine where in the world the image likely was taken.

Ocean temperatures and sea level increases 50 percent higher than previously estimated
New research suggests that ocean temperature and associated sea level increases between 1961 and 2003 were 50 percent larger than estimated in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Clinical trial of nonsurgical intervention for aortic valve stenosis
On Nov. 26, 2007, doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute performed the first

Worm-like marine animal providing
Research on the genome of a marine creature led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is shedding new light on a key area of the tree of life.

Dynamin drug discovery team win prestigious international epilepsy grant
A drug discovery and development collaboration between leading Australian institutions, the Children's Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, University of Melbourne and Bio-Link Partners Ltd., has been announced as the Epilepsy Therapy Project June 2008 New Therapy Grant winners.

Thinking ahead: Bacteria anticipate coming changes in their environment
A new study by Princeton University researchers shows for the first time that bacteria don't just react to changes in their surroundings -- they anticipate and prepare for them.

Exciton-based circuits eliminate a 'speed trap' between computing and communication signals
Particles called excitons that emit a flash of light as they decay could be used for a new form of computing better suited to fast communication, physicists at UC San Diego have demonstrated.

Biotechnology key to developing sustainable industries says international panel
Interest is growing in using biotechnology to create industries that respond to environmental concerns and are more sustainable over the long term, resulting in applications as diverse as new sources of energy, innovative materials for industrial, construction and consumer uses, high quality agricultural products with better production economics, and new more sustainable manufacturing methods.

Walk your way to a healthier lifestyle
A new study from the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., shows that a variety of interventions designed to promote walking can effectively motivate individuals to initiate walking behaviors.

Newly born identical twin stars show surprising differences
The analysis of the youngest pair of identical twin stars yet discovered has revealed surprising differences in brightness, surface temperature and possibly even in size, suggesting that the stars formed at significantly different times rather than simultaneously as generally assumed.

Premiere for Europe: Jules Verne refuels the ISS
ESA's Jules Verne ATV was used for the first time yesterday to transfer in one step 811 kg of refuelling propellant to the International Space Station while the two vehicles orbited Earth at 28 000 km/h.

Toxic to aliens -- but key to health of planet
Scientists at the University of Leicester are using an ingredient found in common shampoos to investigate how the oxygen content of the oceans has changed over geologically recent time.

Best code for disease detection, bar none
Malaria and dengue fever will be the early targets of new trans-Pacific research using minuscule

When the spirit moves into the hospital
Despite changes over the last 15 years in national accreditation guidelines making the religious and spiritual care of hospitalized patients a right, there is no evidence yet that this protection has had any effect on the number of hospitals with chaplains.

Scientists discover that protons partner with neutrons more often than with other protons
Fast-moving protons are much more likely to pair up with fast-moving neutrons than with other protons in the nuclei of atoms, according to a recent experiment.

Neuroscientists show insulin receptor signaling regulates structure of brain circuits
A team of neuroscientists at CSHL has demonstrated for the first time in living animals that insulin receptors in the brain can initiate signaling that regulates both the structure and function of neural circuits.

U of Minnesota professor provides in-depth analysis of Six Sigma phenomenon
Roger Schroeder, the Frank Donaldson Chair in Operations Management at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, examines what makes Six Sigma different.

Psychosocial issues affect HIV/AIDS treatment outcomes: UNC researcher
Psychosocial influences such as stress, depression and trauma have been neglected in biomedical and treatment studies involving people infected with HIV, yet they are now known to have significant health impacts on such individuals and the spread of AIDS, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientist.

Genome sequence of lancelet shows how genes quadrupled during vertebrate evolution
The ancestor of all chordates, a group that includes humans and other vertebrates, probably looked like a sand-dwelling invertebrate called the lancelet or amphioxus.

Newly-born twin stars are far from identical
Two stars, each with the same mass and in orbit around each other, are twins that one would expect to be identical.

Minimally invasive weight loss surgery improves health and morbidly obese teens
Teenagers' obesity-related medical complications improve just six months after laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, according to outcomes data presented this week.

Study finds quality of California preschools falls short
California children who have the most to gain from preschool frequently are those least likely to participate in the programs, according to a new study.

New cancer treatment targets both tumor cells and blood vessels
It takes more than one punch to fight tumors. Often, tumors have more than one way of surviving, and attacking the tumor alone is not enough.

New test makes cheating with drugs in sports easier to detect
A new mass spectrometry test can help sports anti-drug doping officials to detect whether an athlete has used drugs that boost naturally occurring steroid levels.

Great apes think ahead
Apes can plan for their future needs just as we humans can -- by using self-control and imagining future events.

Study links vitamin D to colon cancer survival
Patients diagnosed with colon cancer who had abundant vitamin D in their blood were less likely to die during a follow-up period than those who were deficient in the vitamin, according to a new study by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 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