Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 22, 2008
New approach to treating cystic fibrosis lung infection shows promise
Researchers at the University of Calgary have found a new method of fighting severe lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.

Study examines cost-effectiveness of HIV monitoring strategy in countries with limited resources
In a computer-based model evaluating the benefits and costs of three types of HIV disease monitoring strategies, early initiation of antiretroviral therapy and monitoring using the CD4 count, a measure of immune system function, instead of based on symptoms appear to provide health benefits in low- and middle-income countries, according to a report in the Sep.

Study confirms benefit of combination therapy for Alzheimer's disease
The first long-term study of the real-world use of Alzheimer's drugs finds that treatment can significantly slow the rate at which the disorder advances, and combination therapy with two different classes of drugs is even better at helping patients maintain their ability to perform daily activities.

NASA satellite sees oldest-ever gamma-ray burst
NASA's Swift satellite has found the most distant gamma-ray burst ever detected.

Warning over polyclinics and super-surgeries
Research carried out at the University of Leicester by Carolyn Tarrant and Tim Stokes, of the Department of Health Sciences, and Andrew Colman, of the School of Psychology, suggests that polyclinics and super-surgeries are likely to undermine trust and cooperation between patients and their GPs.

PC program may help teach new surgeons
New computer game technology can help educate otolaryngology medical students who don't have any anatomical knowledge or surgical experience, according to new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, Ill.

Inhibiting cholesterol-associated protein reduces high-risk blockages in arteries
Using the drug darapladib, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues have inhibited a cholesterol-and immune system-associated protein, thereby reducing the development of heart-disease plaques that may cause death, heart attacks, and strokes in a pig model of atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Wistar Institute researcher receives 'New Innovator' award from NIH
A Wistar Institute researcher's novel approach to understanding genetic causes of human disease has earned him an NIH Director's New Innovator Award and grant from the National Institutes of Health.

When leaves fall, more is occurring than a change of weather
University of Missouri researchers have uncovered the genetic pathway that controls abscission in the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana.

Proton therapy lowers chance of later cancers
Patients who are treated with proton therapy (a specialized type of external beam radiation therapy using protons rather than X-rays to treat cancer) decreases the risk of patients developing a secondary cancer by two-fold, compared to being treated with standard photon radiation treatment, according to a first-of-its-kind study presented Sept.

Higher morbidity levels in African Nova Scotians
A community of African Nova Scotians on Canada's east coast had higher morbidity levels of type 2 diabetes, circulatory disease and psychiatric disorders compared with white communities in the province, found a retrospective cohort study by researchers from Dalhousie University and Australia's Griffith University.

Management of sudden sensorineural hearing loss inconsistent among clinicians
Patients seeking care for sudden sensorineural hearing loss are receiving inconsistent care due to lack of established clinical practice guidelines, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, Ill.

New technology paves the way for the future of identifying proteins inside cells
A new technology which enables scientists to identify proteins by making a map of the energy flow inside the protein is revealed today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Women and South Asians with angina have worse clinical outcomes
Women and South Asian people with typical pain were more likely than those with atypical pain to receive a diagnosis of angina pectoris and to have increased mortality rates or acute coronary complications, a study by UK researchers found.

Aspirin and atherosclerosis
Researchers have uncovered the mechanism that may explain aspirin's ability to prevent arterial plaque buildup and atherosclerosis.

Radiation added to hormone therapy increases survival for men with prostate cancer
For men with locally advanced prostate cancer the addition of radiation treatment to anti-androgen hormone therapy reduces the risk of dying of prostate cancer by 50 percent compared to those who have anti-androgen hormone treatment alone, according to a randomized study presented Sept.

Yale study takes a closer look at safety gaps during patient 'sign out'
Patients may receive poor or delayed care after sign-out -- the transfer of a patient from one doctor to another during a shift change -- Yale School of Medicine researchers report in an Archives of Internal Medicine study.

American Urological Association releases best practice statement on cryosurgery
A panel of experts convened by the American Urological Association to develop a best practice statement reached a consensus that primary cryosurgery is an option for men who have clinically organ confined prostate cancer of any grade with negative metastatic evaluation.

Controlling light with sound: new liquid camera lens as simple as water and vibration
New miniature image-capturing technology powered by water, sound and surface tension could lead to smarter and lighter cameras in everything from cell phones and automobiles to autonomous robots and miniature spy planes.

New research could lead to a vaccine for pneumococcus disease
New research has shown how the immune system detects and destroys the bug, pneumococcus, which could help in the development of a new vaccine against the disease.

Generation innovation: Young UC San Diego bioengineer to use NIH grant to fuel tissue engineering
At 30, Karen Christman, an assistant bioengineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, plans to help fuel the growing field of tissue engineering.

Hawaiian scientists take their test tubes surfing
Chemists have traded their white coats for swim shorts at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu -- they've shunned the lab so they can swim out to the breakers with a test-tube built into a boogie-board.

Is the salad bar safe? Produce concerns linger after summer scares
Widespread reports had most people afraid to eat tomatoes this summer and when tomatoes were vindicated, eating peppers became a fear.

Pitt research indicates new virus is culprit, not bystander, in deadly skin cancer
University of Pittsburgh scientists are uncovering more evidence that a virus they recently discovered is the cause of Merkel cell carcinoma, an aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer.

Remembrance of tussles past: paper wasps show surprisingly strong memory for previous encounters
With brains less than a millionth the size of humans', paper wasps hardly seem like mental giants.

Annual meeting of Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership to be held Oct. 28, 29
Residents of six states are invited to attend the annual meeting of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership to be held Oct.

Low neighborhood income, Medicaid linked to delays in reaching hospital after heart attack
Individuals with Medicaid insurance and those who live in neighborhoods with lower household incomes appear less likely than others to reach the hospital within two hours of having a heart attack, according to a report in the Sep.

Ocean floor geysers warm flowing sea water
An international team of earth scientists report movement of warmed sea water through the flat, Pacific Ocean floor off Costa Rica.

Study: Facebook profiles can be used to detect narcissism
A new University of Georgia study suggests that online social networking sites such as Facebook might be useful tools for detecting whether someone is a narcissist.

Whole brain radiation increases risk of learning and memory problems in cancer patients
Cancer patients who receive stereotactic radiosurgery and whole brain radiation therapy for the treatment of metastatic brain tumors have more than twice the risk of developing learning and memory problems than those treated with SRS alone, according to new research from the University of Texas M.

Statins increase risk of postoperative delirium in elderly patients
The use of statins is associated with a 28 percent increased risk of postoperative delirium in elderly patients, found University of Toronto professor Dr.

Stroke incidence may be higher and deadlier in American Indians
American Indians have a higher incidence of strokes than white or black Americans.

MIT: Preventing forest fires with tree power
MIT researchers and colleagues are working to find out whether energy from trees can power a network of sensors to prevent spreading forest fires.

Secondhand smoke linked to peripheral artery disease in women
This is the first study to link secondhand smoke to increased risk of peripheral artery disease in women.

Captive breeding introduced infectious disease to Mallorcan amphibians
A potentially deadly fungus that can kill frogs and toads was inadvertently introduced into Mallorca by a captive breeding program that was reintroducing a rare species of toad into the wild, according to a new study published in the Sept.

Julia Zeitlinger selected for NIH Director's New Innovator Award
Julia Zeitlinger, Ph.D., Stowers Institute Assistant Investigator, has been awarded a Director's New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Radiation before surgery reduces quality of life and risk of recurrence for rectal cancer patients
The use of a short one-week course of radiation before surgery for rectal cancer leads to a reduced risk of recurrence but with some impairment in quality of life for sexual and bowel function, according to an international study presented Sept.

Unlocking the secret of the Kondo Effect
A team of scientists including researchers from the London Center for Nanotechnology at UCL (University College London) and the IBM Almaden Research Center has forged a breakthrough in understanding an intriguing phenomenon in fundamental physics: the Kondo effect.

Sept. 24: International Polar Day focusing on people
On Sept. 24, 2008, the International Polar Year 2007-8 will launch its sixth

Geriatric patients receive significant benefit from cochlear implantation
Despite previous inconclusive research, geriatric patients do experience significant quality of life improvement after receiving cochlear implants for hearing loss, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, Ill.

Pittsburgh researchers identify source of multipotent stem cells with broad regenerative potential
In a promising finding for the field of regenerative medicine, stem cell researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have identified a source of adult stem cells found on the walls of blood vessels with the unlimited potential to differentiate into human tissues such as bone, cartilage and muscle.

$750,000 educational grant awarded for engineering diversity outreach
The Nuclear and Radiation Engineering and Thermal Fluids Systems programs in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin have been awarded $750,000 to establish an outreach program with historically black colleges and universities to introduce students and faculty to nuclear science and engineering.

UNC study: Parenting can override effect of genes in how babies respond to stress
Everyone gets stressed, even babies. Now, it appears how infants respond to stress is linked to if they have a particular form of a certain gene, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Iron-moving malfunction may underlie neurodegenerative diseases, aging
A glitch in the ability to move iron around in cells may underlie a disease known as Type IV mucolipidosis and the suite of symptoms -- mental retardation, poor vision and diminished motor abilities -- that accompany it, new research at the University of Michigan shows.

New study highlights risk of fake popup warnings for Internet users
A new study by researchers at North Carolina State University shows that most Internet users are unable to distinguish genuine popup warnings messages from false ones -- even after repeated mistakes.

Combining advanced medical and information technologies offers pathway to lower health care costs
Integrating sophisticated medical technologies for patient monitoring with advanced information systems and clinical expertise has the potential to significantly improve medical care while lowering treatment costs.

Risk of colorectal cancer extremely low 5 years after a normal colonoscopy screening
A study appearing in the Sep. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that among individuals with no colorectal neoplasia (abnormal growths) on initial screening colonoscopy, the five-year risk of colorectal cancer is extremely low.

Researchers raise uncomfortable questions by showing how GPS navigation devices can be duped
Just like flat-screen televisions, cell phones and computers, global positioning system technology is becoming something people can't imagine living without.

UC Berkeley bioengineer to receive NIH New Innovator Award
Dr. Sanjay Kumar, assistant professor of bioengineering, is one of 31 recipients of the New Innovator Award, announced Sept.

Meeting the challenges of teaching agriculture
New ways of teaching today's agriculture is the topic of a new article written by Nicholas Jordan and colleagues, featured in the 2008 Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education.

Variant of vitamin D receptor gene linked to melanoma risk
A new analysis indicates an association between a gene involved in vitamin D metabolism and skin cancer.

Immigrant children are increasingly more likely to lack health coverage
Contrary to public perceptions, foreign-born children are increasingly uninsured, rather than publicly insured, in the wake of immigration policy changes, according to a study by public health researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Duke stem cell biologist wins 3 major awards in 1 month
Chay Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology at Duke University Medical Center, has won three prestigious awards in one fell swoop.

NYU receives $7.2 million NSF grant for center to develop new materials
New York University has received a $7.2 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, where NYU scientists will develop new materials through the exploration and manipulation of molecular particles.

Physicians may miss opportunities to respond with empathy toward patients with lung cancer
In a small study of 20 audio-recorded interactions, physicians seldom responded empathetically to concerns raised by patients with lung cancer, according to a report in the Sep.

Nasal insulin does not prevent type I diabetes developing in children with genetic risk profile
Nasal administration of insulin to infants and children who are at high risk of developing type I diabetes due to their genetic profile and the presence of autoantibodies does not prevent the condition developing.

Elsevier launches Asian Journal of Psychiatry
Elsevier is pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, in collaboration with the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations, entitled Asian Journal of Psychiatry.

Captive breeding introduced infectious disease to Mallorcan amphibians
A potentially deadly fungus that can kill frogs and toads was inadvertently introduced into Mallorca by a captive breeding program that was reintroducing a rare species of toad into the wild, according to a new study published today in the journal Current Biology.

To queue or not to queue?
Long lines for service can affect a business's bottom line, a Tel Aviv University researcher suggests

PTSD endures over time in family members of ICU patients
Family members may experience post-traumatic stress as many as six months after a loved one's stay in the ICU, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco.

Family history of brain tumors linked to increased risk of brain cancer
People with a family history of cancerous brain tumors appear to be at higher risk of developing the same kind of tumors compared to people with no such family history, according to a study published in the Sept.

Acupuncture reduces side effects of breast cancer treatment as much as conventional drug therapy
Acupuncture is as effective and longer-lasting in managing the common debilitating side effects of hot flashes, night sweats and excessive sweating (vasomotor symptoms) associated with breast cancer treatment and has no treatment side effects compared to conventional drug therapy, according to a first-of-its-kind study presented Sept.

Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering Oct. 5-6
From Oct. 5 to 6, the National Academy of Engineering will hold its annual meeting in the auditorium of the National Academy of Sciences building, 2100 C St., NW, Washington, D.C.

Model highlights benefits and risks of cervical cancer screening methods
In an analysis based on a computer model, it appears that comparing the benefits and risks of different cervical cancer prevention approaches may help women and their physicians choose appropriate screening strategies, according to a report in the Sep.

CU scientists create world's thinnest balloon -- just one atom thick
Using a lump of graphite, a piece of Scotch tape and a silicon wafer, Cornell researchers have created a balloonlike membrane that is just one atom thick -- but strong enough to contain gases under several atmospheres of pressure without popping.

1-week radiation effective breast cancer treatment
Accelerated partial breast irradiation using a type of radiation seed implants called balloon brachytherapy is as effective in keeping breast cancer from coming back as the standard external beam radiation treatment, according to a study presented Sept.

Purifying nanorods: Big success with tiny cleanup
Rice University chemists have discovered a novel method to produce ultra-pure gold nanorods -- tiny, wand-like nanoparticles that are being studied in dozens of labs worldwide for applications as broad as diagnosing disease and improving electronic viewscreens.

Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
Two species of giraffe, several rhinos and five elephant relatives, along with multitudes of rodents, bush pigs, horses, antelope and apes, once inhabited what is now northern Pakistan.

MU researcher studies effectiveness of traditional and blended learning environments
In today's online era, the concept of a classroom extends beyond a walled room with desks and chairs and into the realm of cyber space.

NIH doles out $3M in new innovator awards to 2 UC San Diego faculty
Two faculty members at the University of California, San Diego have received New Innovator Awards from the National Institutes of Health, awards intended to accelerate the translation of cutting-edge science and research to improvements in human health.

Extinct may not be forever for some species of Galapagos tortoises
Yale scientists report that genetic traces of extinct species of Galapagos tortoises exist in descendants now living in the wild, a finding that could spur breeding programs to restore the species, The report appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

NIH extends commitment to transformative research with 2008 Pioneer, New Innovator Awards
The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has increased its support of high-impact research with 2008 NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards to 47 scientists, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers.

New laboratory technique improves success in 'highly sensitized' kidney transplants
Kidney transplant specialists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have developed innovative laboratory techniques to improve opportunities and success rates for kidney transplant candidates who are at high risk of organ rejection because of previous exposure to donor antigens, according to an article in the Sept.

New tool for 'right first time' drug manufacture
A technology which provides high quality images of the crystallisation process marks the next step towards a

Sinusitis patients have pain similar to the elderly and people with arthritis
A new analysis led by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center suggests many patients with sinusitis have aches and pains similar in severity to people in their 80s and those with arthritis or depression.

Is that song sexy or just so-so?
Why is your mate's rendition of Marvin Gaye's

Indian spice reduces size of hemorrhagic stroke
You might want to make curcumin part of your daily diet.

Sexism pays: Study finds men who hold traditional views of women earn more than men who don't
When it comes to sex roles in society, what you think may affect what you earn.

Stevens team awarded $2.365 million to investigate Multi-spectrum Sensor System
An interdisciplinary team of professors from Stevens Institute of Technology has been awarded $2.365 million to conduct research for a US ARMY Research, Development and Engineering Command-Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center National Small Arms Center Task Order Sub-Agreement.

Insight into the evolution of parasitism
Molecular biologists have decoded the genome of a nematode living in beetles.

Car fronts at face value
Do people attribute certain personality traits or emotions to car fronts?

Calorie restriction does not appear to induce bone loss in overweight adults
Young adults who follow a diet that is low in calories but nutritionally sound for six months appear to lose weight and fat without significant bone loss, according to a report in the Sep.

Penn researchers receive prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer and New Innovator Awards
James Eberwine, Ph.D, has been awarded the NIH Pioneer Award, which provides $2.5 million over five years.

Journal of Informetrics wins 2008 ALPSP Award for best new journal
Elsevier is delighted to announce that the Journal of Informetrics is the winner of the 2008 Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers award for Best New Journal.

Pollution, everyday allergens, may be sources of laryngitis
Everyday exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, allergens, and air pollution may be the root of chronic cases of laryngitis, says new research presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, Ill.

Modest CO2 cutbacks may be too little, too late for coral reefs
How much carbon dioxide is too much? According to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change greenhouse gases in the atmosphere need to be stabilized at levels low enough to

Getting lost -- a newly discovered developmental brain disorder
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute recently documented the first case of a patient who, without apparent brain damage or cognitive impairment, is unable to orient within any environment.

KAUST and IBM to build one of the fastest and most powerful supercomputers
IBM and KAUST today announced a joint project to build and conduct research on the most complex, high-performance computing system in the Middle East and among academic institutions in the world.

ACS PressPac -- Sept. 17, 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.

Hidden infections crucial to understanding, controlling disease outbreaks
Scientists and news organizations typically focus on the number of dead and gravely ill during epidemics, but research at the University of Michigan suggests that less dramatic, mild infections lurking in large numbers of people are the key to understanding cycles of at least one potentially fatal infectious disease: cholera.

Sinusitis patients suffer pain similar to patients with arthritis, depression
In a paper presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Chicago, researchers revealed that the level of bodily pain in patients with chronic sinusitis is similar to that noted by individuals 65 years and older, and similar to the pain of patients with arthritis or depression.

Cancer patients experience increased risk of learning and memory problems
Cancer patients with tumors that have spread to the brain (brain metastases) who undergo stereotactic radiosurgery and whole brain radiation have more than double the risk of developing learning and memory problems, compared to those who only have stereotactic radiosurgery, according to a randomized study presented Sept.

Physicians often miss opportunities to show empathy
In consultations with patients with lung cancer, physicians rarely responded empathically to the concerns of the patients about mortality, symptoms or treatment options, according to a study led by a University of Rochester Medical Center researcher.

Healthy blood vessels may prevent fat growth
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers report that the cells lining blood vessels may perform an unsuspected task -- controlling the development of fat cells.

Patients stay with phone psychotherapy longer than office visits
The problem with psychotherapy is that nearly half the patients quit going to the therapist's office after a few sessions.

ESA trains next generation of atmospheric scientists
In a world in which human activity is beginning to alter atmospheric composition with substantial implications for climate and air quality, it is more pressing than ever that the scientists of tomorrow understand atmospheric processes and how the processes may change in order to anticipate the effects and minimize potential dangers.

3-week radiation therapy as effective as 5 weeks for early-stage breast cancer
Early-stage breast cancer patients who receive a more intensive course of radiation to their whole breast over three weeks is as effective as the standard, less intensive five-week whole breast radiation and offers patients more convenience at a lower cost, thereby providing a better quality of life, according to a randomized, long-term study presented Sept.

IU sends innovative technology to Antarctica to speed polar research
Environmental scientists studying the world's shrinking polar ice sheets will soon get a substantial boost in computing power thanks to IU's Polar Grid Project.

Half of trials supporting FDA applications go unpublished
Over half of all supporting trials for FDA-approved drugs remained unpublished 5 years after approval, says new research published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

New insights could lead to a better pneumococcal vaccine
Discovery of a previously unknown mechanism of immunity suggests that there may be a better way to protect vulnerable children and adults against pneumococcal infection, say researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard School of Public Health.

The secret ingredients behind germinated rice
A team of researchers has identified the active compounds that contribute to the health benefits of pre-germinated brown rice: a related set of sterol-like molecules known as acylated steryl-beta-glucosides.

UC Davis researchers discover new drug target for inflammatory disease
UC Davis researchers have defined a cellular process that promotes inflammation and, at the same time, found an important starting point for identifying and testing new drugs for diseases such as sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Exercise effective in helping pregnant women kick the habit
Exercise could be a useful tool in helping pregnant women to give up smoking, according to new research published today in the open access journal BMC Public Health. 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