Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2008
Burning incense increases risk of respiratory tract cancers
Long-term use of incense increases the risk of developing cancers of the respiratory tract, according to a new study.

Potential diabetes treatment selectively kills autoimmune cells from human patients
In experiments using blood cells from human patients with diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have confirmed the mechanism behind a potential new therapy for type 1 diabetes.

New evidence debunks 'stupid' Neanderthal myth
Research by UK and American scientists has struck another blow to the theory that Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) became extinct because they were less intelligent than our ancestors (Homo sapiens).

How 'secondary' sex characters can drive the origin of species
The ostentatious, sometimes bizarre qualities that improve a creature's chances of finding a mate may also drive the reproductive separation of populations and the evolution of new species, say two Indiana University Bloomington biologists.

Alcohol consumption can cause too much cell death, fetal abnormalities
The initial signs of fetal alcohol syndrome are slight but classic: facial malformations such as a flat and high upper lip, small eye openings and a short nose.

75 percent of athletes' parents let their child skip exams for a game
Three quarters of parents of young athletes let their child forgo an exam for an important game, a new study conducted at the University of Haifa has found.

Looking beyond the drug receptor for clues to drug effectiveness
Antipsychotic drugs that are widely used to treat schizophrenia and other problems may not work as scientists have assumed, according to findings from Duke University Medical Center researchers that could lead to changes in how these drugs are developed and prescribed.

Why wind turbines can mean death for bats
Power-generating wind turbines have long been recognized as a potentially life-threatening hazard for birds.

Explaining a genetic disorder's unique shift
Findings reported in this week's PLoS Biology give insight into the unique characteristics of the birth defect known as Prader-Willi Syndrome, and at the same time, may help explain the way that a certain type of gene is expressed in all humans.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Troubled children hurt peers' test scores, behavior
Troubled children hurt their classmates' math and reading scores and worsen their behavior, University of California, Davis, research shows.

Carnegie Mellon system thwarts Internet eavesdropping
The growth of shared Wi-Fi and other wireless computer networks has increased the risk of eavesdropping on Internet communications, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science and College of Engineering have devised a low-cost system that can thwart these

Newer cardiac imaging machines effective in detecting coronary artery stenosis
The first multicenter study of the accuracy of some of the latest cardiac imaging technology found it was 99 percent as effective in ruling out obstructive coronary artery stenosis -- or narrowing of these arteries -- as the more expensive and invasive coronary angiography traditionally used by physicians, according to research published online by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Study: DNA barcoding in danger of 'ringing up' wrong species
DNA barcoding is a movement to catalog all life on earth by a simple standardized genetic tag, similar to stores labeling products with unique barcodes.

Women may stop anticoagulants after blood clots
Women may safely discontinue oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) after 6 months of treatment following a first unprovoked venous blood clot (thromboembolism) if they have no or one risk factor, concludes a study of 646 participants in a multicenter prospective cohort study.

80 percent of adolescents who play sports don't smoke
A research work carried out in sample of adolescents aged between 13 and 18 from Granada, Madrid, Murcia, Santander and Zaragoza has analyzed the relationship between sport activity and tobacco consumption.

Vladimir V. Dmitriev awarded prestigious prize in low temperature physics
Springer advisory board member Vladimir V. Dmitriev, along with fellow scientists Yuriy M.

UCLA's Leonard Kleinrock to receive National Medal of Science
President George W. Bush announced Aug. 25 that UCLA Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Leonard Kleinrock has been selected to receive the prestigious National Medal of Science.

The MDS Foundation supports the FDA's decision to expand vidaza label to include survival data
The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation supports the decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to extend the label for vidaza to include data from the AZA-001 clinical trial.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor authors book to help nursing students
Robert Atkins, a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, has authored a book to help nursing students make the most of their learning opportunities in nursing school.

State's first single incision robotic kidney removal
For the first time in Michigan, a diseased kidney has been surgically removed at Henry Ford Hospital using highly sophisticated 3-D robotics through a single incision.

Listen up!
Medical school students and residents are all ears this fall as they get ready to show off their heartbeat listening skills.

Cloud in a chamber
Everybody knows that clouds markedly influence weather and climate, but is this influence changing with time?

Century-old rule of chemistry overturned -- major implications for drug delivery
A new study by research chemists at the University of Warwick has challenged a century old rule of pharmacology that defined how quickly key chemicals can pass across cell walls.

Animals adapt their vocal signals to social situations
A special August issue of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, presents a host of studies that investigate the way that animals adapt their calls, chirps, barks and whistles to their social situation.

TVA fertilizer technology used worldwide -- but few new products since 1970s
Most fertilizers used worldwide today were developed from 1950 to 1970 by the Tennessee Valley Authority based in Muscle Shoals.

Yerkes researchers find monkeys enjoy giving to others
Researchers have shown capuchin monkeys, just like humans, find giving to be a satisfying experience.

How does bluetongue virus survive through the winter?
In 2006, Bluetongue virus -- which infects livestock -- reached Northern Europe for the first time.

Low cholesterol associated with cancer in diabetics
Low levels of LDL cholesterol as well as high levels are associated with cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes, found a prospective cohort study published in CMAJ.

UC project puts Midwest mounds back on the map
Mammoth-sized earthworks built over three millennia by Native American peoples in the Midwest are now back on the map thanks to a University of Cincinnati project.

The impact of computing on scientific advancement
A new report from the National Research Council,

Drug/radiation combo may help shrink established tumors
Researchers may be closer to understanding why anti-cancer drugs such as Ipilimumab, which boost the tumor-killing power of immune cells, haven't fared well in clinical trials.

Providing surgical services worldwide should be a global public health priority
In an editorial in this week's PLoS Medicine, the journal's editors outline five key reasons why providing basic surgical services universally should be considered a global public health priority.

Building a stronger roof over your head: '3 little pigs' project begins first tests
This week, inaugural tests at the University of Western Ontario's

Study reveals how blood flow force prevents clogged arteries
Machines on cell surfaces, mechanical and lifeless as bed springs, protect blood vessels by responding to blood flow force, according to research published today in the Journal of Cell Biology.

New joint Israeli-American study sheds light on impact of terrorism on adolescent depression
In a study on adolescent depression following terror attacks, Professor Golan Shahar of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and Professor Christopher Henrich of Georgia State University, report that social support experienced by these adolescents seems to protect against depression.

New hope for stroke patients
If a stroke patient doesn't get treatment within three hours, there's not much doctors can do to limit damage.

Trends in prescription medication sharing among reproductive-aged women
Borrowing and sharing of prescription medications is a serious medical and public health concern.

Breastfeeding, other factors may affect risk of breast cancer type
Factors such as age at menopause as well as a woman's breastfeeding practices can influence her risk of developing certain types of breast cancer.

How to get a college roommate you can live with
Anxious college freshmen can relax. No matter who will be sharing their dorm room, they have the power to make the relationship better, University of Michigan research suggests.

CU-Boulder, biotech firm team up on python project in search for human cardiac therapeutics
The University of Colorado at Boulder is teaming up with a Boulder biotechnology company to use pythons, which dramatically increase their heart size for a short time after swallowing prey, as models for new therapeutics to treat cardiac diseases.

Infections linked to premature births more common than thought, Stanford study finds
Previously unrecognized and unidentified infections of amniotic fluid may be a significant cause of premature birth, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Heavy metal link to mutations, low growth and fertility among crustaceans in Sydney Harbor tributary
Heavy metal pollutants are linked to genetic mutations, stunted growth and declining fertility among small crustaceans in the Parramatta River, the main tributary of Sydney Harbor, new research shows.

New analysis of earthquake zone raises questions
Oregon State University scientists have completed a new analysis of an earthquake fault line that extends some 200 miles off the southern and central Oregon coast that they say is more active than the San Andreas Fault in California.

Scientists aim for green production of medications via cell engineering
Bringing medications to the marketplace faster and at lower prices is the goal of an environmentally friendly production process being developed at Rice University.

OHSU commercial collaborations have surged
Industry research collaborations -- or sponsored research agreements -- entered into by Oregon Health & Science University produced income in fiscal year 2008 of nearly $10 million, the OHSU Office of Technology & Research Collaborations reported today.

K-State research shows consumers can predict inflation as well as professional economists
Research by a Kansas State University professor shows that household surveys predict the inflation rate fairly accurately and as well as professional economists.

California tobacco control program saved billions in medical costs
California's state tobacco control program saved $86 billion -- in 2004 dollars -- in personal healthcare costs in its first 15 years, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

New study shows health benefits of probiotic could extend to the entire body
Data from a recent study demonstrate the anti-inflammatory and pathogen protection benefits of Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 a probiotic bacterial strain of human origin.

Pitt scientists receive $3.6M to test vaccine against deadliest strain of avian flu
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research have been awarded $3.6 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to conduct animal studies of vaccines designed to protect against the most common and deadliest strain of avian flu, H5N1.

USP announces new tool to help prevent medication mix-ups due to look alike/sound alike drug names
The US Pharmacopeial Convention today announces a new drug safety tool designed to help patients, caregivers, pharmacists, physicians and others in avoiding medication errors that may occur because of drug names that look alike and/or sound alike.

Anti-psychotic drug use in the elderly increases despite drug safety warnings
Three regulatory warnings of serious adverse events slowed the growth of use of atypical antipsychotic drugs among elderly patients with dementia, but they did not reduce the overall prescription rate of these drugs, found a research analysis of prescription drug claims data in Ontario.

Exploring the function of sleep
Is sleep essential? Ask that question to a sleep-deprived new parent or a student who has just pulled an

Duke Medicine physician-scientist receives National Medal of Science
President Bush today named Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Duke University Medical Center, a recipient of the National Medal of Science for contributions to the biological sciences.

Anti-cancer flower power
Tel Aviv University researchers are combating cancer with a jasmine-based drug.

CSHL scientists identify new drug target against virulent type of breast cancer
A team of scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has published research identifying an enzyme called Brk as a target for future drugs to fight a virulent subset of cancers overexpressing a protein called ErbB2 -- also often called HER2 -- which drives tumor cells to proliferate unchecked.

Endocrinologists and surgeons join forces to fight type 2 diabetes
At the 1st World Congress for Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes, prominent endocrinologists from around the world will convene in an exchange with leading surgeons about the role of surgery and other emerging new therapies for type 2 diabetes.

UT Southwestern scientists discover leptin can also aid type 1 diabetics
Terminally ill rodents with type 1 diabetes have been restored to full health with a single injection of a substance other than insulin by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Future for clean energy lies in 'big bang' of evolution
Amid mounting agreement that future clean,

Disease Management journal changes name and expands focus to population health management
Reflecting the expanding scope of chronic disease care and the impact of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors on health care systems and practices, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance and publisher Mary Ann Liebert Inc. have renamed the peer-reviewed journal of DMAA Population Health Management.

New findings explain genetic disorder's unique shift
Findings reported in this month's PLoS Biology give insight into the unique characteristics of the birth defect Prader-Willi Syndrome, and at the same time, may help explain how a certain type of gene is expressed in all humans.

Tobacco control programs reduce health-care costs
Tobacco control programs not only reduce smoking, but reduce personal health care costs as well, says new research published in PLoS Medicine by Stanton Glantz and colleagues at the University of California San Francisco.

Discovery opens door for drugs to fight bird flu, other influenza epidemics
Researchers at Rutgers and the University of Texas at Austin have reported a discovery that could help scientists develop drugs to fight the much-feared bird flu and other virulent strains of influenza.

Normalizing tumor vessels to improve cancer therapy
Leaky, twisted blood vessels in tumors often prevent chemotherapy drugs from reaching their target.

AgriLife Research breeder develops drought-tolerant corn
At the end of the day, drought tolerance in corn has to equate to good yields and good quality, not just good looks, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

Stem cells stand up for themselves
Adult stem cells are not pampered pushovers. O'Reilly et al. 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