Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 07, 2008
Arizona State University research team working to decode TB
Among those trying to decipher the origins and trajectory of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria responsible for TB, are three Arizona State University researchers who are trying to establish a credible evolutionary timeline for TB.

China's policies treasure both environment and people
Two of the world's largest environmental programs in China are generally successful, although key reforms could transform them into a model for the rest of the world, according to new research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Setting the record right: species diversity less dramatic than previously believed
The new fossil data also indicate that the current pattern of distribution of life -- with low species diversity in the poles and a very high diversity in the tropics -- was established some 450 million years ago.

Smithsonian coral biodiversity survey of Panama's Pearl Islands
A comprehensive survey of coral biodiversity in Panama's Las Perlas Archipelago, published in the journal Environmental Conservation by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and their colleagues, has resulted in clear conservation recommendations for a new coastal management plan.

Springer publishes 5,000th volume of Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Springer has reached a milestone with the publication of the 5,000th volume in the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

News from Cancer: Risk factors for deadly form of lymphoma
A new study indicates that the incidence of mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is on the rise, most frequently striking men, Caucasians and older individuals.

Protein thought to promote cancer instead functions as a tumor suppressor
A protein previously thought to promote colorectal cancer instead suppresses the growth of human cancer cells in culture, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Note to pediatricians: Taper meds in kids with stable asthma
A study of how pediatricians prescribe asthma medications suggests that while most would readily increase a child's medication if needed, many are reluctant to taper off drug use when less might be best.

New ovarian stimulation technique offers more cancer patients the chance to preserve their fertility
Researchers have shown for the first time that it is possible to stimulate a woman's ovaries to produce eggs for collection during the final phase of the menstrual cycle.

Pregnancy associated with increased risk of heart attack
Although acute myocardial infarction is rare in women of child-bearing age, pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of heart attack 3- to 4-fold, according to a study published in the July 15, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Can you hear me now?
When it comes to cellular communication networks, a primitive single-celled microbe that answers to the name of Monosiga brevicollis has a leg up on animals composed of billions of cells.

Birth attendant and maternal hand-washing associated with reduced newborn death rate
Washing hands with soap and water before delivering a newborn infant is associated with a lower rate of neonatal deaths in developing countries, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Lay your eggs here
North Carolina State University scientists have figured out one reason why pregnant yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti), one of the most important disease transmitters worldwide, choose to lay their eggs in certain outdoor water containers while eschewing others.

Can recycling be used to treat cancer?
We already know that recycling benefits our planet; and now new research suggests that the cellular version might be useful for battling cancer.

NOAA report states half of US coral reefs in 'poor' or 'fair' condition
Nearly half of U.S. coral reef ecosystems are considered to be in

Baseball diamonds: the lefthander's best friend
Baseball diamonds are a left-hander's best friend. That's because the game was designed to make a lefty the

Blavatnik Family Foundation donates $5M to expand computer science at Tel Aviv University
Gift will promote cutting-edge discovery, augment faculty, and strengthen university's international impact on industry.

National Vaccine Advisory Committee recommends increased adolescent immunization
Vaccinating infants and toddlers is an almost universal practice in the United States.

Parents of twins report more mental health symptoms than parents of singletons
Mothers and fathers of twins conceived either spontaneously or with assisted reproductive technology suffer more mental health symptoms after delivery and one year later than do parents of singleton babies, according to research presented to the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona on Monday.

Guidelines for care of elderly patients ignored
Guidelines for the treatment of older patients with respiratory conditions are routinely ignored.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- July 2, 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.

Geisinger study: PTSD causes early death from heart disease
A study by noted Geisinger PTSD researcher Joseph Boscarino sheds dramatic new light on the link between PTSD and heart disease.

Whales and dolphins influence new wind turbine design
By studying the flippers, fins and tails of whales and dolphins, scientists have discovered some features of their structure that contradict long-held engineering theories.

98 percent of elective mastectomy patients would have reconstruction again, says ASPS study
Women who have breast reconstruction after an elective mastectomy are satisfied with their decision, have low complication rates and 98 percent would do it again, reports a study in July's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Process used by microges to make greenhouse gases uncovered
Researchers here now have a picture of a key molecule that lets microbes produce carbon dioxide and methane -- the two greenhouse gases associated with global warming.

K20 Center receives grant to help Oklahoma schools
More than 3,500 seventh-grade students in 36 Oklahoma middle and junior high schools will get the help they need to prepare for college, thanks to the University of Oklahoma's K20 Center and a $2.8 million GEAR UP grant from the US Department of Education.

Pregnancy alone is not associated with increased risk for mental disorders
Pregnancy alone does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of the most prevalent mental disorders, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Review article provides tools for the Rosaceae genomics community
A recent paper published in the journal Plant Physiology provides a comprehensive overview of the genomics tools and resources available for the rapidly growing Rosaceae scientific community.

Relationship violence appears common among college students
Violence between partners, friends and acquaintances appears prevalent both during and before college, according to results of a survey of students at three urban college campuses published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Fertility treatment in developing countries; a cycle of IVF for less than $200
After 30 years of IVF, the rewards of treatment are still largely confined to industrialized countries and those who can afford it.

Lowering blood pressure could reduce dementia in very elderly
New results from the 'Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial' suggest that reducing blood pressure might reduce the risk of dementia in those aged 80 and over, according to research published early online today and in the August issue of Lancet Neurology.

Child care factors associated with weight gain in infancy
Nine-month-old infants regularly cared for by someone other than a parent appear to have higher rates of unfavorable feeding practices and to weigh more than infants cared for only by parents, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NYC first: Complex aneurysm treated using new fenestrated endograft stent
In a New York City metro-area first, a 93-year-old Bronx man underwent implantation of a new stent graft at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the only center on the Eastern Seaboard with access to this investigational device.

Researchers identify cancer preventive properties in common vitamin supplement
Early laboratory research has shown that resveratrol, a common dietary supplement, suppresses the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer, suggesting a potential role for the agent in breast cancer prevention.

Finding suggests novel ways to boost vaccination or natural defenses
Our bodies rely on the production of potent, or 'high affinity,' antibodies to fight infection.

Political borders, health-care issues complicate pandemic planning
Panic, staffing issues and geographic boundaries are some of the challenges that public health experts need to address as they plan for a possible influenza pandemic, according to a new report from Purdue University.

Incentives for carbon sequestration may not protect species
Paying rural landowners in Oregon's Willamette Basin to protect at-risk animals won't necessarily mean that their newly conserved trees and plants will absorb more carbon from the atmosphere and vice versa, a new study has found.

Crawling the Internet to track infectious disease outbreaks
Could Internet discussion forums, listservs and online news outlets be an informative source of information on disease outbreaks?

Early-life nutrition may be associated with adult intellectual functioning
Adults who had improved nutrition in early childhood may score better on intellectual tests, regardless of the number of years they attended school, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Some antidepressants associated with gastrointestinal bleeding
A class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors appear to be associated with bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Jefferson researchers show antibody to breast cancer-secreted protein blocks metastasis
Scientists have made a key discovery about the mechanism of breast cancer metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads.

European league-tables for antibiotic resistance revealed
Tests of antibiotic resistance in cattle have revealed stark variation across thirteen European countries.

Birds migrate together at night in dispersed flocks, new study indicates
A new analysis indicates that birds don't fly alone when migrating at night.

Scientists integrate data in three dimensions to study climate effects on young fish
From the surface, the two areas of ocean off the coasts of northern New Jersey and Long Island, New York look the same.

New insight to demineralization
Researchers explain the dissolution behavior of silica glasses manufactured by different processes, a natural biologically produced silica and a synthetic, dispersed or colloidal silica.

The good, the bad and the smelly: USGS at the 2008 Coral Reef Symposium
Research blurbs on USGS presentations at the 2008 Coral Reef Symposium.

Children born after donor insemination should be told as soon as possible about their conception
It is better for children conceived by donor insemination to be told of their origins at an early age, according to the first large-scale study of people who are aware of their donor conception.

Stanford researchers find molecule that kills kidney cancer cells
Kidney cancer patients generally have one option for beating their disease: surgery to remove the organ.

Reading for pleasure is crucial, say leading authors at UKLA
Teaching children to enjoy reading rather than just to read is vital in improving literacy, according to two leading authors appearing at the United Kingdom Literacy Association international conference in Liverpool this week.

Study: perception of hole size influenced by performance
Golfers who play well are more likely to see the hole as larger than their poor-playing counterparts, according to a Purdue University researcher.

A baby's smile is a natural high
The baby's smile that gladdens a mother's heart also lights up the reward centers of her brain, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in the journal Pediatrics today.

Creating a new approach to archiving human genetic information
How a genomic code is deciphered is traditionally left to professional annotators who use information from a number of sources (for instance, knowledge about similar genes in other organisms) to work out where a gene starts, stops and what it does.

Surprisingly rapid changes in the Earth's core discovered
In a recent paper published in Nature Geoscience, the geophysicist Mioara Mandea from the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam and her Danish colleague Nils Olsen from the National Space Institute/DTU Copenhagen, have shown that motions in the fluid in the Earth's core are changing surprisingly fast, and that this, in turn, effects the magnetic field of our planet.

Japanese encephalitis virus causes 'double trouble' to brain
Recent research at the National Brain Research Center, India, published in Journal of Neurochemistry, has shown that Japanese encephalitis virus, commonly known as brain fever, damages the brain in two ways -- not only killing brain cells but also preventing the birth of new cells from neural stem/progenitor cells and depleting the NPC pool in the brain.

St. Jude study reveals a new function for an old enzyme in fatal childhood disease
The lack of a single protein usually thought of as a run-of-the-mill enzyme that helps to recycle molecules in cells causes an incurable and often fatal disease of children, according to St.

Researchers reveal types of genes necessary for brain development
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University have successfully completed a full-genome RNAi screen in neurons, showing what types of genes are necessary for brain development.

UTMB professor wins major award from Strategic Program for Asthma Research
The Strategic Program for Asthma Research has awarded University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston professor Satish Srivastava a three-year, $750,000 grant to pursue an innovative approach to asthma therapy.

Innovative program focuses on improved care for children with ADHD
An innovative program is helping busy primary care physicians improve the care they provide for school-aged children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to a study led by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and published in the July edition of Pediatrics.

Schizophrenia linked to dysfunction in molecular brain pathway activated by marijuana
Pittsburgh researchers report that alterations in a molecular brain pathway activated by marijuana, called cannabinoid 1 receptor, may contribute to the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, suggesting possible new drug targets that could help to improve functioning and memory in people with the mental illness.

From the mountains to the coast
The international archive for radiation data, the World Radiation Monitoring Center, provides climate research with high-precision meteorological series of measurements.

Should embryos with a hereditary disorder be transferred if no unaffected embryos are available?
The numbers of cycles of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or screening are rising steadily in Europe with over 2,700 reported in 2004.

Vaginal microbicides may prevent more infections in men than women
Vaginal microbicides currently in clinical trials may be the only weapon that will protect women against infection from HIV.

Biodiversity maps developed by UCSD scientists will help guide conservation measures in East Africa
Conservation biologists from UC San Diego are collaborating with scientists from the African Conservation Centre and other institutions to map patterns of biodiversity and land use in East Africa in unprecedented detail.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2008
Researchers have made the first mixed-oxide pellets from recycled spent nuclear fuel in a process that doesn't produce a separate plutonium stream.

Overweight, insulin resistant women at greater risk of advanced breast cancer diagnosis, says study
Women who have risk factors commonly associated with type 2 diabetes also have much greater odds of being diagnosed with an advanced breast cancer, according to research to be presented today.

Disruption of blood sugar levels after heart surgery is common
A study reveals today that inadequate blood sugar control in patients having heart surgery is associated with a four fold increase in post-surgery death and major complications -- and that the blood sugar disturbances occur in patients with and without diabetes.

How can we overcome the barriers to treating drug-resistant TB?
Almost 1 in 20 cases of tuberculosis worldwide is resistant to multiple drugs (known as multidrug-resistant TB or MDR-TB) and the World Health Organization has called for a massive scale up in public health efforts to tackle these cases.

Newborn vitamin A reduces infant mortality
A single, oral dose of vitamin A, given to infants shortly after birth in the developing world can reduce their risk of death by 15 percent, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation
The Minister of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, Elena Espinosa, and BBVA Foundation president Francisco González were guests of honor at today's presentation ceremony for the BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation.

CO2 increase in the atmosphere augments tolerance of barley to salinity
In future, climate change will bring an increase in salty surfaces on the Earth and in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

US firms a role model for fair hiring standards, study says
US companies are helping spread fair hiring practices across the world as they set up shop in developing nations, according to a new study of gender and age discrimination co-written by a University of Illinois labor expert.

Combination drug taken early relieves migraine symptoms
A combination drug taken within an hour after the start of a migraine is effective in relieving symptoms, according to research published in the July 8, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

HIV treatment in Africa as successful as in Europe, if started in time
The public health approach to HIV treatment, in which a limited number of drug combinations is used for all patients in South African programs, works just as well as the highly individualized approach to drug selection used in Switzerland, according to research published in PLoS Medicine.

Bacterial peptide provides new insight into common tumor suppressor
Scientists have identified a new anti-tumor drug that might prove useful in developing treatments for a multiple human cancers.

'Smart bomb' nanoparticle strategy impacts metastasis
A new treatment strategy using molecular

Low back pain recovery slow; and worse for those on compensation
Contrary to current guidelines and common belief, new research published in the British Medical Journal has shown that recovery from low back pain is much slower than previously thought and even slower again for those with a compensable injury.
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