Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2008
Climate change may boost Middle East rainfall
The prospect of climate change sparking food and water shortages in the Middle East is less likely than previously thought, with new research by an Australian climate scientist suggesting that rainfall will be significantly higher in key parts of the region.

Scientists team up in Houston to tackle global challenges
More than 10,000 international scientists, professionals, educators and students will gather at the George R.

Why an exciting book is just as thrilling as a hair-raising movie
Sharing of emotions in movies has been shown to depend on the fact that the same brain regions are activated in the observers when they feel an emotion and when they see someone else experience a similar emotion.

The pandemic potential of H9N2 avian influenza viruses
Since their introduction into land-based birds in 1988, H9N2 avian influenza A viruses have caused multiple human infections and become endemic in domestic poultry in Eurasia.

Images for 3-D video games without high price tags or stretch marks from UC San Diego
The images of rocks, clouds, marble and other textures that serve as background images and details for 3-D video games are often hand painted and thus costly to generate.

Temple, Fox Chase and Geisinger create Keystone Institute for Translational Medicine
Temple University School of Medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Geisinger Health System today announced a research collaboration that will speed the translation of medical and health-related discoveries into significant advances in patient care.

Nature or nurture -- Are you who your brain chemistry says you are?
Researchers using positron emission tomography (PET) have validated a long-held theory that individual personality traits -- particularly reward dependency -- are connected to brain chemistry, a finding that has implications for better understanding and treating substance abuse and other addictive behaviors.

UC solar house serves as a summer laboratory for alternative-energy technologies
UC's solar house is now a summer class room where students experiment with alternative-energy technologies.

Targeted radiation therapy can control limited cancer spread
Precisely targeted radiation therapy can eradicate all evidence of disease in selected patients with cancer that has spread to only a few sites, suggests the first published report from an ongoing clinical trial.

AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 12, 2008
In this issue: Fast rise of scorching days predicted; Northeast US lake yields 1000-year hurricane record; Australian marine climate zones shift south; A new approach to hydrological prediction; Gauging a volcanic gas in the stratosphere; and Ice melt speeds mountain temperature rise.

Case Western Reserve University study finds caregivers of spouses with dementia enjoy life less
Spouses of husbands and wives with dementia pay an emotional toll as they care for their ailing spouse.

August LabBits: A media tip sheet from the MBL in Woods Hole
Research news on a comb jelly invasion; The relationship between vision and zinc; and Regulation of the conch fishery in Massachusetts.

Prostatectomy improves outcome of some men with prostate cancer over watchful waiting
Men with early prostate cancer who undergo radical prostatectomy have a lower rate of death due to prostate cancer than men who are followed without treatment, known as watchful waiting, according to a randomized controlled trial published in the August 12 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer patients still have risk of relapse after 5 years of systemic therapy
Breast cancer survivors continue to have a substantial risk of disease recurrence after five years of systemic therapy, according to a study published in the August 12 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists use old enemy to K.O. cancer
Chemists are pulling cancer onto a sucker punch by getting infected cells to drop their guard -- according to research published today.

Contraceptive pill influences partner choice
The contraceptive pill may disrupt women's natural ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to themselves, research at the University of Liverpool has found.

Factors which cause post-menopausal early stage breast cancer patients to have joint symptoms
Previous use of hormone replacement therapy, hormone-receptor positivity, previous chemotherapy, obesity and treatment with anastrozole versus tamoxifen are all risk factors for joint symptoms (e.g., arthralgia and arthritis) in postmenopausal women with breast cancer on endocrine treatment, according to a retrospective exploratory analysis of patients enrolled in the ATAC trial*, published early online and in the Sept. edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Dying frogs sign of a biodiversity crisis
Devastating declines of amphibian species around the world are a sign of a biodiversity disaster larger than just frogs, salamanders and their ilk, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley.

Halting retrieval of drug-associated memories may prevent addiction relapse
Disrupting the brain's retrieval of drug-associated memories may prevent relapse in drug addiction, according to new research in the Aug.

Hurricanes and climate change: A sharper view
In a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, Drs.

3 researchers to receive prestigious awards from the American Society of Hematology
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional society of blood specialists, will honor three scientists who have made significant contributions to the understanding of hematologic diseases.

In the long run, exertion regulation wins the day for marathon runners
Reporting in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Jonathan Esteve-Lanao and Alejandro Lucia at the European University of Madrid and colleagues at the VU University-Amsterdam and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse describe their investigation of the physiological methods employed by well-trained runners in order to regulate the great physical strain and effort that are needed in order to complete and perform well in marathons and other endurance challenges.

Poor coordination in childhood is linked to obesity in later life
Poor physical control and coordination in childhood are linked to an increased risk of obesity in later life, suggests a study published on BMJ.com today.

Towards zero training for brain-computer interfacing
While invasive electrode recordings in humans show long-term promise, noninvasive techniques can also provide effective brain-computer interfacing and localization of motor activity in the brain for paralyzed patients with significantly reduced risks and costs as well as novel applications for healthy users.

Also in the August 12 JNCI
The August 12 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also includes an analysis of hepatitis B genotypes associated with liver cancer; a systematic review of drugs used to treat cancer-related fatigue; evidence that doxorubicin followed by zelodronic acid reduces tumors in the absence of bone disease in mice; and a study showing that adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is increasing in both white men and white women.

Green roofs differ in building cooling, water handling capabilities
The first study to compare the performance of different types of green roofs has been completed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and suggests that buyers shouldn't assume these roofs are created equal.

Study: Massaging muscles facilitates recovery after exercise
Researchers testing the long-held theory that therapeutic massage can speed recovery after a sports injury have found early scientific evidence of the healing effects of massage.

Reserve, National Guard at higher risk of alcohol-related problems after returning from combat
Younger service members and Reserve and National Guard combat personnel returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are at increased risk of new-onset heavy drinking, binge drinking and other alcohol-related problems, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Overweight Hispanic children at significant risk for pre-diabetes, according to new USC study
A study by researchers at the University of Southern California found that overweight Hispanic children are at significant risk for pre-diabetes, a condition marked by higher than normal blood glucose levels that are not yet high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Public health clinic study links 'Americanization' and depression
A study of 439 US and Mexican-born Latinas seeking pregnancy and postpartum services at public health clinics in San Antonio uncovered elevated levels of depression among the more

Former child soldiers of Nepal at increased risk for range of mental health problems
In Nepal, former child soldiers display greater severity of mental health problems, such as symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, compared with children who were not forced into military service, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Yale's Spielman wins Gödel Prize for showing how computer algorithms solve problems
Daniel A. Spielman, professor of applied mathematics and computer science at Yale, has been awarded the prestigious Gödel Prize for developing a technique, known as Smoothed Analysis, that helps predict the success of problem-solving with real data and computers.

Study reveals surprising details of the evolution of protein translation
A new study of transfer RNA, a molecule that delivers amino acids to the protein-building machinery of the cell, challenges long-held ideas about the evolutionary history of protein synthesis.

HIV risk higher among Indian women who are abused by husbands
Married women in India who experience physical and sexual violence from their husbands have an increased risk of HIV infection, compared with women who are not abused by their husbands, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Risk assessment plays key role in long-term treatment of breast cancer
Breast cancer patients and their physicians may make more informed, long-term treatment decisions using risk assessment strategies to help determine probability of recurrence, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas M.

Liberian fighters exposed to sexual violence have more mental health disorders after war
Men and women who experienced sexual violence while fighting in Liberian civil wars report higher rates of symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and thoughts of suicide than noncombatants or other former combatants who were not exposed to sexual violence, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Oil and gas projects in western Amazon threaten biodiversity and indigenous peoples
According to a new study, over 180 oil and gas

New research suggests Burmese pythons will find little suitable habitat outside South Florida
Burmese Pythons may have chosen Florida as a vacation destination, but are unlikely to expand further, according to a study released by researchers at the City University of New York.

Adverse reactions to antibiotics send thousands of patients to the ER
Adverse events from antibiotics cause an estimated 142,000 emergency department visits per year in the United States, according to a study published in the Sept.

Long-term care workers struggle with elderly population boom
As America's aging population increases, so does its need for long-term care.

Tiny molecule helps control blood-vessel development, UT Southwestern researchers find
The development and repair of heart tissue and blood vessels is intimately tied to a tiny piece of ribonucleic acid that is found nowhere else in the body, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Nano vaccine for hepatitis B shows promise for third world
A new needle-less vaccine is highly effective and can be stored without refrigeration, University of Michigan studies in animals show.

Experimental chemotherapy regimen shows promise in treating advanced lung cancer
A combination of chemotherapy agents that have been tested in other tumor types appears to be a promising alternative to standard treatment for advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer, according to a report in the Aug.

X-rays use diamonds as a window to the center of the Earth
Diamonds from Brazil have provided the answers to a question that Earth scientists have been trying to understand for many years: How is oceanic crust that has been subducted deep into the Earth recycled back into volcanic rocks?

Strange molecule in the sky cleans acid rain, scientists discover
Researchers have discovered an unusual molecule that is essential to the atmosphere's ability to break down pollutants, especially the compounds that cause acid rain.

Changes in work force, not pay, narrowing the gender wage gap
Are working women treated more fairly in today's labor market than they were 30 years ago?

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Mental health intervention at school reduces PTSD among indonesian children affected by violence
A school-based intervention for children in communities affected by political violence in Indonesia reduced post-traumatic stress symptoms and helped maintain hope, but did not reduce traumatic stress-related symptoms, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms or functional impairment, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Women in India abused by husbands at far greater risk for HIV infection
In a new study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that married Indian women who experienced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their husbands were approximately four times more likely to become infected with HIV than married women who were not abused.

Researchers examine safety of Internet prescriber service providing erectile dysfunction medications
In the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers from Utah and several colleagues compare the relative safety of two systems -- an online prescribing service versus traditional physician consultation -- for patients seeking medication to treat erectile dysfunction.

Losing weight soon after type 2 diabetes diagnosis doubles positive outcomes
A four-year study at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research looked at 2,574 adults and found that people who lost weight in the 18 months after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis were up to twice as likely to have better control of their blood pressure and blood sugar, and were more likely to maintain that control even if they later regained their weight.

ASTRO announce 2008 fellows
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology is pleased to announce its 2008 class of ASTRO Fellows.

Rare case explains why some infected with HIV remain symptom free without antiretroviral drugs
AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins say they have compelling evidence that some people with HIV who for years and even decades show extremely low levels of the virus in their blood never progress to full-blown AIDS and remain symptom free even without treatment, probably do so because of the strength of their immune systems, not any defects in the strain of HIV that infected them in the first place.

Physical therapists offer low-cost solution to high-cost expenditures for acute low back pain
The American Physical Therapy Association concurs with findings from a recent study published in Spine (Vol.

Antarctic climate: Short-term spikes, long-term warming linked to tropical Pacific
Dramatic year-to-year temperature swings and a century-long warming trend across West Antarctica are linked to conditions in the tropical Pacific, according to an analysis of ice cores.

Cancer cells with a long breath: seeking the origin of brain tumors in children
Medulloblastomas are common and aggressive brain tumors that occur mostly in children and teenagers.
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