Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 16, 2008
Roman York skeleton could be early TB victim
The skeleton of a man discovered by archaeologists in a shallow grave on the site of the University of York's campus expansion could be that of one of Britain's earliest victims of tuberculosis.

New results help predict treatment response in colorectal cancer
Gene marker indicates doubling of survival time in advanced colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab.

Children who are concerned about parents arguing are prone to school problems
A new study charted how children's concerns about their parents' relationship may increase their vulnerability to later adjustment problems.

Merck's odanacatib increased BMD over 2 years at key fracture sites in Phase IIB study
Two-year data from a Phase IIB study of Merck's odanacatib, an investigational, selective cathepsin-K inhibitor in development for the treatment of osteoporosis, demonstrated dose-dependent increases in bone mineral density at the total hip, lumbar spine and femoral neck fracture sites, and decreased indices of bone resorption compared to placebo in postmenopausal women with low BMD.

Simulations help explain fast water transport in nanotubes
By discovering the physical mechanism behind the rapid transport of water in carbon nanotubes, scientists at the University of Illinois have moved a step closer to ultra-efficient, next-generation nanofluidic devices for drug delivery, water purification and nanomanufacturing.

Exposure to family violence especially harmful to previously abused children
Researchers conducted a study with a racially diverse sample of 2,925 children ages 5 to 16 years that found that the types of violence that abused children were later re-exposed to lead to specific types of psychological problems.

Carrots and sticks to promote a healthy lifestyle?
When it comes to deciding whether paying people to make healthier lifestyle changes is a good thing, it seems patient opinion is split right down the middle.

SAGE-Hindawi launch Journal of Dental Biomechanics
SAGE-Hindawi today announced the launch of the Journal of Dental Biomechanics, the second open access title to be launched in the joint collaboration between SAGE and the Hindawi Publishing Corp.

The fastest flights in nature: High-speed spore discharge mechanisms among fungi
Microscopic coprophilous (dung-loving fungi) make our planet habitable by degrading the billions of tons of feces produced by herbivores.

UT Southwestern cardiologists find physical exams just as good for assessing heart failure
Patient history and physical examination, traditionally the cornerstone diagnostic tool for medical care, may still be among the most accurate and cost-efficient methods to assess patients with congestive heart failure, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Expert urges FDA to take action to reduce BPA exposure
In a JAMA editorial, Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri scientist, urges the US Food and Drug Administration to follow recent action by Canadian regulatory agencies, which have taken significant steps to limit human and environmental exposures to BPA.

A healthy lifestyle halves the risk of premature death in women
Over half of deaths in women from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease could be avoided if they never smoke, keep their weight in check, take exercise and eat a healthy diet low in red meat and trans-fats, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

Mayo Clinic team takes on the health disparities challenge
As part of its mission to train the next generation of physicians and scientists, the Mayo Clinic Center for Translational Science Activities offers the Health Disparities Field Experience, a unique course through Mayo Graduate School.

NC State engineers discover nanoparticles can break on through
In a finding that could speed the use of sensors or barcodes at the nanoscale, North Carolina State University engineers have shown that certain types of tiny organic particles, when heated to the proper temperature, bob to the surface of a layer of a thin polymer film and then can reversibly recede below the surface when heated a second time.

Older problem gamblers may face greater suicide risk than younger counterparts, study finds
Compared to their younger counterparts, older problem gamblers who ask casinos to bar them from returning are three to four times more likely to do so because they fear they will kill themselves if they don't stop betting, according to a new study.

Incontinence affects a substantial proportion of women; prevalence increases with age
Nearly one-quarter of women surveyed, and more than one-third of older women, report at least one pelvic floor disorder, which includes urinary and fecal incontinence and the shifting of a pelvic organ, according to a study in the Sept.

Pores open the door to death
Scientists settle the question as to how our immune defenses enter and attack its own cells when they fall prey to viruses and tumor cells.

WEHI's Kylie Mason is a Young Tall Poppy
Dr. Kylie Mason from WEHI has been honored with a coveted Young Tall Poppy award.

Kopernikus, observing our planet for a safer world
The new name of the European GMES Program has been unveiled: Kopernikus.

Research could reveal the extent of stroke damage
A Hunter stroke researcher has received national recognition for his research exploring changes in brain circulation in the first few hours after stroke.

Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research at Weill Cornell Medical College
Hosted by Weill Cornell Medical College, the Ansary Symposium on Stem Cell Research is bringing together a group of leading figures in the field, including internationally known scientists, physicians and ethicists, to discuss recent scientific advances and ethical issues in stem cell research.

Pazopanib shrinks lung cancers before surgery
Pazopanib, a new oral angiogenesis inhibitor, has demonstrated interesting activity in difficult to treat non-small-cell lung cancer, US researchers report.

Move over mean girls -- boys can be socially aggressive, too
A new analysis contradicts the notion that

Early parenting plays key role in infants' physiological response to stress
physiological response to stress (measured by heart rate) when they were temporarily separated from their mothers.

New stem cell center gives hope for stroke damage
Researchers within the University of Adelaide's new Center for Stem Cell Research are aiming by the end of this year to show repair in stroke-damaged brains using stem cells taken from adult teeth.

Parenting program for low-income families reduces toddlers' problem behavior
A study among 731 low-income families in the Women, Infants and Children program found less problem behaviors in toddlers whose families participated in the intervention program known as the Family Check-Up, versus families receiving services as usual.

Florida Tech autism conference, Oct. 3-4
The conference will present comprehensive, evidence-based information and feature noted autism experts speaking on a variety of related topics.

Higher urinary levels of commonly used chemical, BPA, linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes
Higher levels of urinary Bisphenol A, a chemical compound commonly used in plastic packaging for food and beverages, is associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities, according to a study in the Sept.

Sir David Lane honored with Royal Gold Medal by Royal Society of Edinburgh
David Lane, chairman of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council, has received the Royal Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution to cancer research through his discovery of p53 tumour suppressor gene.

Immediate action needed to prevent 'industrial manslaughter,' says expert
Jeanne Mager Stellman, Ph.D., professor and chair of environmental and occupational health sciences at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, told the President's Cancer Panel that government policy and a

ESF study helps stop drugs slipping through safety net
Recent advances in genetic screening will lead to safer pharmaceutical drugs, with reduced adverse side effects, if the methods are incorporated in clinical development.

Vanderbilt researchers seek to make standardized tests accessible
Standardized testing is an inescapable part of modern education; however, these tests often fail to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities.

Smart desks make sci-fi a reality in the classroom
Schools are set for a Star Trek make-over thanks to the development of the world's first interactive classroom by experts at Durham University.

Improving our ability to peek inside molecules
It's not easy to see a single molecule inside a living cell.

Looking vs. seeing
The superior colliculus has long been thought of as a rapid orienting center of the brain that allows the eyes and head to turn swiftly either toward or away from the sights and sounds in our environment.

NIEHS invests $21.25 million to find environmental causes of Parkinson's disease
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that it will award three new grants totaling $21.25 million over a five-year period to study how environmental factors contribute to the cause, prevention and treatment of Parkinson's disease and other related disorders.

NJIT talk by South Bronx leader to focus on sustainability of Newark
Miquela Craytor, executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, will speak Oct.

3-D MRI technique helps radiologists detect high-risk carotid disease
Canadian researchers have used 3-D magnetic resonance imaging to accurately detect bleeding within the walls of diseased carotid arteries, a condition that may lead to a stroke.

Scientists working to protect NI from Bird Flu
Queen's scientists are involved in two international projects aimed to protect Northern Ireland's agri-food industry from bird flu and African swine fever, a disease which kills pigs.

St. Jude study finds treatment with new drug might make tumor cells more sensitive to therapy
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have shown in that it might be possible to make tumor cells more sensitive to irradiation and some types of chemotherapy by treating them with a drug that cripples their ability to repair DNA damage caused by these therapies.

Why some primates, but not humans, can live with immunodeficiency viruses and not progress to AIDS
Some primate species, including sooty mangabeys, harbor simian immunodeficiency viruses but remain healthy, unlike rhesus macaques.

2008 World Congress on Osteoarthritis
The World Congress is the global forum for all people interested and involved in osteoarthritis research and treatment: basic scientists stemming from academia and industry, clinical investigators, radiologists, rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, allied health professionals and policy makers.

Troubled girls from poor neighborhoods more likely to have sex in early adolescence
A new study by researchers from the Université de Montréal, the University of New Brunswick and Tufts University have published a new study in the journal Child Development, which has found that girls living in poor neighborhoods were more likely to engage in sexual intercourse in early adolescence and to be doing so with older boys.

Face blindness research shows emotions are key in the study of face recognition
Recognizing faces is usually an effortless process. However, a minority of people have difficulties identifying the person they are meeting or remembering people they have met before.

Arctic sea ice reaches lowest extent in 2008, second lowest ever recorded
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since satellite record-keeping began in 1979, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC.

New carbon material shows promise of storing large quantities of renewable electrical energy
Engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have achieved a breakthrough in the use of a one-atom thick structure called

Sole use of impaired limb improves recovery in spinal cord injury
A new study finds that following minor spinal cord injury, rats that had to use impaired limbs showed full recovery due to increased growth of healthy nerve fibers and the formation of new nerve cell connections.

Blood pressure drug combination reduces heart attack deaths
Thousands of patients with high blood pressure could benefit from changing their drug treatment regimen to reduce their risk of cardiac death.

From Xbox to T-cells: Michigan Tech researchers borrow video game technology to model human biology
A team of researchers at Michigan Technological University is harnessing the computing muscle behind the leading video games to understand the most intricate of real-life systems.

Research supports correlation between finger lengths and stress hormones
If you find yourself lacking in motivation to go for a run or hit the gym, you may want to check your fingers.

Colds and flu cut by one-third in study of Canada's top cold fighter in vaccinated seniors
A winter free from colds and flu? Not yet. But a new study offers new evidence that Canada's top cold and flu-fighting product provides significant help.

Johns Hopkins researchers suppress 'hunger hormone'
Johns Hopkins scientists report success in significantly suppressing levels of the

Adults with aortic valve disorder do not experience reduction in survival rate
Young adults with a bicuspid aortic valve, a congenital heart abnormality, experience subsequent cardiac events but do not appear to have lower survival rates compared to the general population, according to a study in the Sept.

Whale songs are heard for the first time around New York City waters
For the first time in waters surrounding New York City, the beckoning calls of endangered fin, humpback and North Atlantic right whales have been recorded, according to experts from the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Accuracy, efficacy and ethics of abstinence-only programs questioned by public health experts
Studies published in a special issue of the online journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy by the University of California Press reveal that abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education programs fail to change sexual behavior in teenagers, provide inaccurate information about condoms and violate human rights principles.

CCNY receives $5 million NSF grant to establish center for nanostructure applications
The City College of New York announced today that it has received $5 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to establish a new, interdisciplinary research center that will investigate new applications for nanostructures and nanomaterials in sensors and energy systems.

Stem cells may solve mystery of early pregnancy breast cancer protection
The answer to why an early pregnancy seems to protect against breast cancer could rest with a decrease in stem cells found after animals have given birth, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Stem Cell.

Radioactivity: Discover the lowest amounts with new methods
On the invitation of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, the German National Metrology Institute, scientists from 27 countries are meeting Sept.

Coating improves electrical stimulation therapy used for Parkinson's, depression, chronic pain
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have designed a way to improve electrical stimulation of nerves by outfitting electrodes with the latest in chemically engineered fashion: a coating of basic black, formed from carbon nanotubes.

New model predicts long-term survival of critically ill patients
The long term survival of critically ill patients may now be predicted, using a new model which has been developed by Clinical Associate Professor Ho and his co-investigators at Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia, according to a recent publication,

Multiple disease-related research gets green light from the NIH
Dr. Smiley and members of his laboratory are working to develop treatments for a number of diseases where an abnormal activation of blood coagulation pathways causes damage to the body.

Inflammatory response to infection and injury may worsen dementia
Inflammation in the brain resulting from infection or injury may accelerate the progress of dementia, research funded by the Wellcome Trust suggests.

Size and fitness levels of NHL players have improved, University of Alberta study shows
Researchers in the University of Alberta Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation looked at an NHL team over a 26-year cycle and discovered players have become bigger and fitter.

Prostate cancer genes behave like those in embryo
Gene activity in prostate cancer is reminiscent of that in the developing fetal prostate, providing further evidence that all cancers are not equal, Johns Hopkins researchers report.

Sowing a future for peas
New research from the John Innes Center and the Central Science Laboratory could help breeders to develop pea varieties able to withstand drought stress and climate change.

New drug substantially extends survival in pancreatic cancer
A new form of chemotherapy that destroys new blood vessels that grow around tumors has produced excellent results in a phase II trial of patients with inoperable pancreatic cancer, researchers report at the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Stockholm.

£17.4m for new health research center
Nottinghamshire Healthcare and the University of Nottingham, have won £17.4m in funding to establish a new research center to help improve patient care across the region.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Burnham researcher awarded $8 million grant
Burnham Institute for Medical Research announced that Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Del E.

Cutting calories could limit muscle wasting in later years
A restricted-calorie diet, when started in early adulthood, seems to stymie a mitochondrial mishap that may contribute to muscle loss in aging adults, University of Florida researchers reported recently in the journal PLoS One.

Fraternal Order of Eagles pledges to raise $25 million for UI diabetes research
Leaders of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the University of Iowa and the UI Foundation today announced a $25 million gift commitment from the Eagles that will fund diabetes research at the UI.

AGU Journal Highlights -- Sept. 16, 2008
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Child witnesses -- how to improve their performance
This study examines the ability of both children and young adults to identify faces with different racial features.

NIH EUREKA grant awarded to University of Miami scientist
University of Miami scientist awarded first-ever EUREKA award. The funding will help develop a novel approach to nerve regeneration after injury.

New manufacturing process represents next step in flexible, liquid crystal display technology
Kent Displays Inc., a Kent State University partner, yesterday took delivery of a roll-to-roll production line which enables the manufacture of flexible displays, representing a significant change in the way liquid crystals will be used in everyday products.

Joining forces against cancer
New data: pazopanib shrinks lung cancers before surgery. Chemo- and radiotherapy plus cetuximab in head and neck cancer.

Baby eyes are taking in the world, applying self-experience to other people
Twelve- and 18-month-old babies not only are observing what is going on around them but also are using their own visual self-experience to judge what other people can and cannot see.

Viral 'magic bullet' targets cancer cells with help of new compound
Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Research Institute of the Jewish General Hospital -- along with colleagues at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Health Research Institute -- report a significant breakthrough in the use of viruses to target and destroy cancer cells, a field known as oncolytic virotherapy.

Steroids not as effective in obese asthma patients
Researchers at National Jewish Health have shown that glucocorticoids, the primary controller medication for asthma, are 40 percent less effective in overweight and obese asthma patients than in those of normal weight.
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