Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 21, 2008
Helping the medicine go down
Children's refusal to swallow liquid medication is an important public health problem that means longer or more serious illness for thousands of kids each year.

Young man scarred for life by steroid abuse
The case of a 21-year-old man left with hideous scarring from steroid abuse is highlighted in a clinical picture in this week's edition of the Lancet, authored by Dr.

FDA approves Vidaza label expansion
The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation is pleased to inform patients that the US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the label for Vidaza (azacitidine) to include data from the AZA-001 trial, which found that Vidaza is the only agent that extends survival in MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes) patients.

Energy secretary, IEEE-member industry leader to deliver keynote addresses during GridWeek 2008
US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Enrique Santacana, president and CEO of ABB Inc., will be the keynote speakers during GridWeek 2008 in Washington, an annual gathering of smart grid stakeholders and thought leaders.

New York Stem Cell Foundation announces third annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference
The New York Stem Cell Foundation will hold its third annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference Oct.

Coatings to help medical implants connect with neurons
Plastic coatings could someday help neural implants treat conditions as diverse as Parkinson's disease and macular degeneration.

Tahitian vanilla originated in Maya forests, says UC Riverside botanist
The origin of the Tahitian vanilla orchid has long eluded botanists.

Study shows improved quality of life for older women on HRT
New evidence published online today shows that hormone replacement therapy can improve the health related quality of life of older women.

104th APSA Annual Meeting, world's largest for the study of politics, in Boston Aug. 28-31
The 104th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association will convene from Aug.

Insomnia: changing your bedtime habits could help
Many people sleep better when they are on holiday, and wish that they could sleep as well all the time.

Kids with pets grow up to be snorers
A predisposition to adult snoring can be established very early in life.

Universities detail declines in federal R&D funding for science and engineering fields
Federal funding of academic science and engineering research and development failed to outpace inflation for the second year in a row, according to recently released fiscal year 2007 data from the National Science Foundation.

Researchers study link between E. coli and distillers' grains
Research at Kansas State University will greatly enhance understanding of the exact relationship between dietary distillers' grains and E. coli 0157:H7 in cattle, as well as provide an opportunity to look at novel ways to mitigate the potential risks of feeding this valuable co-product.

Rutgers among 4 institutions sharing $10M grant for advanced computer science research
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $10 million grant for innovative computer science and engineering research to a group of institutions that includes Rutgers University.

Stroke incidence declines among Swedish diabetics
The incidence of strokes among both diabetics and nondiabetics in Northern Sweden declined between 1985 and 2003.

Carnegie Mellon MRI technology that noninvasively locates, quantifies specific cells in the body
MRI isn't just for capturing detailed images of the body's anatomy.

Malaria researchers identify new mosquito virus
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Malaria Research Institute have identified a previously unknown virus that is infectious to Anopheles gambiae -- the mosquito primarily responsible for transmitting malaria.

FBI unveils science of anthrax investigation
Sandia researchers identified that the form of bacillus anthracis mailed in the fall of 2001 to several news media offices and to two US senators was a nonweaponized form of the spores.

Positive thinking may protect against breast cancer
Feelings of happiness and optimism play a positive role against breast cancer.

New report says dietary supplements for horses, dogs and cats need better regulation
The growing use of animal dietary supplements has raised several concerns, including the safety of specific supplements and the approaches taken to determine their safeness.

Exploding chromosomes fuel research about evolution of genetic storage
Research into single-celled, aquatic algae called dinoflagellates is showing that these and related organisms may have evolved more than one way to tightly back their DNA into chromsomes.

Consumer Product Safety Commission not ready for nanotech
The inability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to carry out its mandate with respect to simple, low-tech products such as children's jewelry and toy trains bodes poorly for its ability to oversee the safety of complex, high-tech products made using nanotechnology, according to a new report released by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

Smithsonian works with Embera community to offset carbon emissions
Thanks to a collaborative agreement signed between the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Organization for Unity and Development of the Community Ipeti-Embera, the Institute in Panama will offset its estimated carbon emissions for the next three years.

JCI table of contents: Aug. 21, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Aug.

The lucky few: FSU researcher shines light on forgotten generation
John McCain, Elvis Presley, Gloria Steinem and Martin Luther King Jr. took different paths in life, but they were all lucky.

Accumulated bits of a cell's own DNA can trigger autoimmune disease
A security system wired within every cell to detect the presence of rogue viral DNA can sometimes go awry, triggering an autoimmune response to single-stranded bits of the cell's own DNA.

Unique study shows oil, gas seismic work not affecting Gulf sperm whales
In recent years, there has been concern that man-made noise may be a cause of stress for dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, but the results of a five-year study show that noise pollution seems to have minimal effect on endangered sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico, say researchers from Texas A&M University who led the project and released their 323-page report today at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Research shows pollsters how the undecided will vote
As the American Presidential election approaches, pollsters are scrambling to predict who will win.

Air-purifying church windows early nanotechnology
Stained glass windows that are painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight, a team of Queensland University of Technology experts have discovered.

'Can you see me now?' Sign language over cell phones comes to United States
A group has demonstrated software that for the first time enables deaf and hard of hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone.

UTMB researchers test new vaccine to fight multiple influenza strains
A universal vaccine effective against several strains of influenza has passed its first phase of testing, according to Dr.

Climate change could be impetus for wars, other conflicts, expert says
Some international-security experts say that climate-change-related damage to global ecosystems and the resulting competition for natural resources may increasingly serve as triggers for wars and other conflicts in the future.

Earthquakes may endanger New York more than thought, says study
A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.

Cocaine: How addiction develops
Permanent drug seeking and relapse after renewed drug administration are typical behavioral patterns of addiction.

Cancer therapy: A role for MAPK inhibitors combined with mTORC1 inhibitors
Researchers identify a previously unrecognized problem faced by mTOR inhibitors when it comes to attacking cancers.

Rice University study: Americans need to save paycheck to paycheck
Americans are better at saving money when they set goals in the near future -- such as next month -- rather than the more distant future, according to a new study by researchers at Rice University and Old Dominion University.

Forward planning release from the BA
The BA Festival of Science will be in Liverpool Sept.

Obesity in elderly a ticking time bomb for health services
Research carried out at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England has discovered that obesity in later life does not make a substantial difference to risks of death among older people but that it is a major contributor to increased disability in later life -- creating a ticking time bomb for health services in developed countries.

Tel Aviv University's eco-architecture could produce 'grow your own' homes
Stable building structures are now being constructed from living trees.

ETH Zurich study on salmonella self-destruction
Individual cells in a population of bacteria can sacrifice their lives for others to achieve a greater common good.

U of M scholar and colleagues link tobacco industry's marketing to youth smoking
The National Cancer Institute released a report today, co-edited by University of Minnesota professor Barbara Loken, that reaches the government's strongest conclusion to date that tobacco marketing and depictions of smoking in movies promote youth smoking.

Outside the box: Professor explores why some choose not to watch TV
Shielding children from sex and violence, avoiding commercials and finding extra time for other activities are among the key reasons Americans live without television, according to a new book by Marina Krcmar, associate professor of communication at Wake Forest University.

A new biopesticide for the organic food boom
With the boom in consumption of organic foods creating a pressing need for natural insecticides and herbicides that can be used on crops certified as

Drugs to inhibit blood vessel growth show promise in rat model of deadly brain tumor
In a landmark study, Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee report that drugs used to inhibit a specific fatty acid in rat brains with glioblastoma-like tumors not only reduced new blood vessel growth and tumor size dramatically, but also prolonged survival.

Open access contract: MPS and PLoS agree upon central funding of publication fees
In accordance with its commitment to ensure public availability of its research output, the Max Planck Society has reached an agreement with the Public Library of Science for the central funding of publication fees of MPS scientists without burdening the budget of single Max Planck Institutes.

To protect against liver disease, body puts cells 'under arrest'
A stable form of cell-cycle arrest known to offer potent protection against cancer also limits liver fibrosis, a condition characterized by an excess of fibrous tissue, according to a new report.

Rapid test for pathogens developed by K-State researchers
Dangerous disease often spreads faster than it takes to diagnose it in the lab.

Relearning process not always a 'free lunch'
Researchers at Sheffield University and the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom, have helped determine why relearning a few pieces of information may or may not easily cause a recollection of other associated, previously learned information.

Why a common treatment for prostate cancer ultimately fails
Some of the drugs given to many men during their fight against prostate cancer can actually spur some cancer cells to grow, researchers have found.

RV Polarstern on its way to East Siberian Sea
German research vessel Polarstern, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, transits the Northwest Passage for the first time.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 20, 2008
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

2 face transplants, 1 after bear attack and 1 for large facial tumor, show promising results
A face transplant given to a man two years ago after he had part of his face torn off in a bear attack has shown promising results.

New virus threatens High Plains wheat crop
Triticum mosaic virus poses a new threat to Texas wheat, according to Texas AgriLife Research scientists in Amarillo.

September Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Geology topics reach deep into Earth and far into space -- from magma and plate tectonics to cosmic dust and asteroids -- and touch on the intricate details of our planet, including a 1,200-year record of corals and coral reef health and the wealth of climate change information found in both bat guano and Chinese loess.

New clues to air circulation in the atmosphere
Air circulates above the Earth in four distinct cells, with two either side of the equator, says new research out today in Science.

Genetics reveals big fish that almost got away
Researchers from the University of Hawaii, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Marine Fisheries Service and Projecto Meros do Brazil discovered a new species of fish -- a grouper that reaches more than six feet in length and can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds.

Anti-tumor effects are enhanced by inhibiting 2 pathways rather than 1
Two independent research groups have found that simultaneous inhibition of two signaling pathways -- mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways -- results in substantially enhanced antitumor effects when compared with inhibition of either pathway alone in mouse models of prostate and breast cancer.

Genome of simplest animal reveals ancient lineage, confounding array of complex capabilities
The genome of the simple and primitive animal, Trichoplax adhaerens, appears to harbor a far more complex suite of capabilities than meets the eye.

Major study shows significant quality-of-life benefits from HRT
A major international study of the effects of HRT use on quality of life has shown that HRT use can significantly improve well-being in women with menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.

Virginia Tech researcher converts biodiesel byproduct into omega-3 fatty acids
The typical American diet often lacks omega-3 fatty acids despite clinical research that shows their potential human health benefits.

Manes, trains and antlers explained
For Charles Darwin, the problem of the peacock's tail, in light of his theory of natural selection, was vexing in the extreme.

Hormone replacement therapy improves sleep, sexuality and joint pain in older women
One of the world's longest and largest trials of hormone replacement therapy has found that post-menopausal women on HRT gain significant improvements in quality of life.

UT Southwestern researchers uncover molecule that keeps pathogens like salmonella in check
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a potential new way to stop the bacteria that cause gastroenteritis, tularemia and severe diarrhea from making people sick.

Measuring the auditory dynamics of selective attention
In complex scenes such as noisy parties or crowded restaurants, it is more difficult to follow a conversation involving many people, than to focus on one talker at one location.

Department of Defense awards $35M to support local brain injury research
Of the more than 1.5 million people who suffer a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States, as many as 75 percent sustain a concussion, a brain injury that is classified as mild yet can lead to long-term or permanent impairments and disabilities.

Carnegie Mellon's Greg Ganger receives Innovation Research Award
Carnegie Mellon University was selected as one of 34 universities worldwide to receive the 2008 HP Innovation Research Award.

MIT zeroes in on Alzheimer's structures
MIT engineers report a new approach to identifying protein structures key to Alzheimer's disease, an important step toward the development of new drugs that could prevent such structures from forming.

Senescence in liver cells is found by CSHL scientists to help limit acute tissue damage
Although post-reproductive life in humans is often associated with decline and a loss of powers, an analogous state in certain cells -- called senescence -- is proving to be one of ironic potency.

Killer carbs -- Monash scientist finds the key to overeating as we age
A Monash University scientist has discovered key appetite control cells in the human brain degenerate over time, causing increased hunger and, potentially, weight gain as we grow older.

Mellon grants benefit Academy specimen collection
The Academy of Natural Sciences today announced the receipt of two grants from The Andrew W.
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