Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 03, 2008
'World Energy Outlook' to be presented at Rice University Dec. 9
Richard H. Jones, deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency, will present the

New criteria identify additional patients with cancer who benefit from liver transplantation
A substantial number of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who exceed the Milan criteria -- which are currently used to select transplant candidates -- could also be good candidates for successful transplantation, according to findings of a Web-based survey of 1,112 patients, which is published in an article early online and in the January edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Kidney disease patients with poor health literacy are less likely to receive kidney transplants
Kidney disease patients' ability to understand basic health information may have a significant impact on whether or not they will receive an organ transplant, according to a study appearing in the January 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

International study supports new standard of treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer
Results of a phase III, international randomized clinical trial demonstrate a new standard of care for treating advanced ovarian cancer that significantly reduces side-effects and post-operative deaths compared to the previously established treatment course.

Some 70 percent of schoolchildren don't walk to school
As part of the study, the research team consulted past investigations on children and walking.

Springer helps launch CLOCKSS archive
Springer Science+Business Media, publisher of one of the world's most comprehensive online collections of scientific, technological and medical journals, books and reference works, announces a partnership with the community-governed archive cooperative CLOCKSS to preserve Springer content in the CLOCKSS global archive.

NASA's Swift looks to comets for a cool view
NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite rocketed into space in 2004 on a mission to study some of the highest-energy events in the universe.

Potential for large earthquake off coast of Sumatra remains large, says Caltech-led team
The subduction zone that brought us the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and tsunami is ripe for yet another large event, despite a sequence of quakes that occurred in the Mentawai Islands area in 2007, according to a group of earthquake researchers led by scientists from the Tectonics Observatory at the California Institute of Technology.

Novel bioreactor enhances interleukin-12 production in genetically modified tobacco plants
In a study published in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering, a team of scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Arkansas Bioscience Institute at Arkansas State University report that they have found a way to produce significant quantities of murine interleukin-12, a naturally occurring protein essential for the proper functioning of the human immune system, from the hairy roots of genetically modified tobacco plants by growing them in a novel mist bioreactor system.

Infants participate in complex interactions with their parents
A new study in the journal Family Process shows that infants appear to be active participants in complex interactional sequences with their parents far earlier than previously thought.

Forest inventories in Oregon include more than trees
The first five-year forest inventory report for Oregon's private and public lands is now available to the public:

Motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells provide insight into ALS
Two new research studies use motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells to demonstrate that multiple toxic pathways contribute to the devastating degeneration associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and that protective therapeutics will need to oppose the disease on multiple fronts.

Genetic breakdown in Fanconi anemia may have link to HPV-associated cancer
A genetic malfunction that causes DNA instability in people with the blood disorder Fanconi anemia may put them at high risk for squamous cell carcinomas linked to human papillomavirus, according to a study posted online ahead of print by Oncogene.

Mayo Clinic identifies best treatments for long-term survival in brain tumor patients
A new Mayo Clinic study found that patients with low-grade gliomas survived longest when they underwent aggressive surgeries to successfully remove the entire tumor.

CA$2.4 million toward gene therapy for human degenerative retinal diseases
A Canadian and American research group including the team of Dr.

Cellular senescence a double-edged sword
Scientists have shown that cellular senescence, the process by which biological cells stop dividing in response to stress or damage to their DNA, triggers the secretion of proteins that cause inflammation in neighboring cells and tissue.

Expeditions reveal gulf of California's deep sea secrets, as well as human imprints
A submersible voyage was the first to study the biodiversity of the gulf's undersea mountain habitats far below the reach of scuba.

Center for Public Policy at UH to study Houston housing market, foreclosure
The University of Houston Center for Public Policy is the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to study Houston's regional housing market.

Study shows school-based program enables children and adolescents to better manage chronic disease
A new study has found that a school-based asthma education program conducted in the Oakland, Calif., school district was shown to reduce symptoms and increase the number of days that children who suffered from asthma were able to go to school.

PNNL developing blueprint for code enforcement in China
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will develop an action plan for building energy code enforcement that can be deployed in small and medium-sized cities across China, where half of the world's new construction will occur in the next 10 years.

New 'control knobs' for stem cells identified
Natural changes in voltage that occur across the membrane of adult human stem cells act as a signal to delay or accelerate the decision of a stem cell to differentiate into a specific cell type.

Stress-related disorders affect brain's processing of memory
Researchers using functional MRI have determined that the circuitry in the area of the brain responsible for suppressing memory is dysfunctional in patients suffering from stress-related psychiatric disorders.

Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines
Women can usually keep using the same asthma drugs they were using before they got pregnant.

Study sheds light on causes of HIV dementia
A new study led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has clarified how two major variants of HIV differ in their ability to cause neurologic complications.

'Intelligent' materials to revolutionize surgical implants
A brand new process that could revolutionize the reliability and durability of surgical implants, such as hip and knee replacements, has received recognition for its medical and commercial potential by achieving one of the world's most sought after accolades.

LSUHSC's England leads development of new testing guidelines for common nerve disorder
John D. England, M.D., Professor and Chairman of Neurology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is the principal investigator of two studies recommending new testing guidelines for neuropathy -- a common degenerative nerve disorder that to this time had few evidence-based standards for evaluation and management.

Adult survivors of childhood leukemia have lower bone mineral density, study finds
Men who survived childhood leukemia treatment into adulthood were more likely to have low bone mineral density than other adults their age, putting them at risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures, according to a new study.

The International Society for Stem Cell Research releases new guidelines
Today, the International Society for Stem Cell Research, the world's leading professional organization of stem cell researchers, released new guidelines for the responsible development of safe and effective stem cell therapies for patients.

WHO tool helps target bone treatment
Better-targeted, more cost-effective osteoporosis treatment could soon be a reality worldwide.

ESA tests laser to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide
A recent ESA campaign has demonstrated how a technique using lasers could be employed to measure carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Hands-free cell phone conversations add 5 m to drivers' braking distances
Research led by Psychology researchers at the University of Warwick reveals that cell phone conversations impair drivers' visual attention to such a degree that it can add over 5 m to the braking distance of a car traveling at 60 miles and causes almost twice as many errors as drivers driving without the distraction of a hands free cell phone conversation.

New approaches to protecting transplanted organs make first steps toward patients
Methods used by the body to selectively suppress the immune response may help make organ transplants safer and more effective, according to scientists.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to host
More than 350 participants from over 40 countries are expected to participate in the largest international conference focused on the environment, which will be held at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

Henry Ford neurologist outlines drug treatment for Parkinson's disease in NEJM
Levodopa has long been proven to provide the greatest relief of all available medications in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Researchers discover new enzyme in cancer growth
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center discovered a new enzyme that not only affects the blood, but seems to play a primary role in how cancer tumors expand and spread throughout the body.

Statement from the ESC regarding the ongoing CT-scan vs. invasive angiography debate
Recent media reports based on a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine have announced that

Gene therapy corrects sickle cell disease in laboratory study
Using a harmless virus to insert a corrective gene into mouse blood cells, scientists at St.

Interferon needed for cells to 'remember' how to defeat a virus, UT Southwestern researchers report
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined that the immune-system protein interferon plays a key role in

Dogs chase efficiently, but cats skulk counterintuitively
A Duke University study suggests that evolution can behave as differently as dogs and cats.

Pediatric obesity may alter thyroid function and structure
In addition to its strong associations with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, pediatric obesity may induce alterations in thyroid function and structure, according to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Burnham and HeadNorth Foundation join forces to advance spinal cord research
HeadNorth Foundation has pledged $975,000 to Burnham Institute for Medical Research to support cutting-edge stem cell research.

New breast imaging technology targets hard-to-detect cancers
Breast-specific gamma imaging is effective in the detection of cancers not found on mammograms or by clinical exam.

Researchers identify cell group key to Lyme disease arthritis
A research team led by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Albany Medical College has illuminated the important role of natural killer T cells in Lyme disease, demonstrating that the once little understood white blood cells are central to clearing the bacterial infection and reducing the intensity and duration of arthritis associated with Lyme disease.

MIT: New insights on fusion power
Research carried out at MIT's Alcator C-Mod fusion reactor may have brought the promise of fusion as a future power source a bit closer to reality, though scientists caution that a practical fusion powerplant is still decades away.

3-D laser scanning: A new soil quality measurement
Bulk density is an important measurement for soil researches to obtain when determining a soil's quality, and a new 3-D laser scanning technique has shown to be an effective alternative to traditional methods, which are often difficult for researchers to perform properly.

Venus comes to life at wavelengths invisible to human eyes
A pale yellow-green dot to the human eye, Earth's twin planet comes to life in the ultraviolet and the infrared.

Genes determine whether sugar pills work
It is a well-known fact in drug trials that individuals can respond just as well to placebos, sugar pills, as to the active drug.

Vietnamese agricultural leader awarded prestigious rice research honor
A veteran Vietnamese plant breeder has won the Senadhira Rice Research Award for 2008 for his outstanding contributions to the development of many popular rice varieties in Vietnam.

Uncovering the real dirt on granular flow
A handful of sand contains countless grains, which interact with each other via friction and impact forces as they slip through your fingers.

EPA's risk assessment process bogged down by unprecedented challenges;
The US Environmental Protection Agency's process of generating risk assessments -- which estimate the potential adverse effects posed by harmful chemicals found in the environment in order to protect public health.

New HIV film tackles stigma faced by teachers in Africa
Addressing the discrimination against HIV-positive teachers in Africa is a key aim of a new documentary and accompanying book being launched in Senegal today by the Partnership for Child Development based at Imperial College London.

Calcium and vitamin D may not be the only protection against bone loss
Diets that are high in protein and cereal grains produce an excess of acid in the body which may increase calcium excretion and weaken bones, according to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

When 'just say no' isn't enough: Try science
Teens are fascinated by their brains, the way they work, change, and even

How to destroy an asteroid
Tel Aviv University studies the makeup of asteroids to save earth from sci-fi disaster.

Robotic technology improves stroke rehabilitation
Research scientists using a novel, hand-operated robotic device and functional MRI have found that chronic stroke patients can be rehabilitated.

NSF awards Brown researchers $2.6 million for computer vision in archaeology
The National Science Foundation has awarded $2.6 million to a Brown University archaeologist and a team of engineers to develop innovative techniques for archaeological excavation, reconstruction, and interpretation using computer vision and pattern recognition.

Novel basis identified for tamoxifen failure
Tamoxifen may worsen breast cancer in a small subset of patients.

2nd Vaccine Global Congress -- also virtual
This most authoritative vaccine congress will be held Dec. 7-9 2008, in Boston, Mass.

Rooted plants move mysteriously down greenways, scientists say
The wild pea pod is big and heavy, with seemingly little prayer of escaping the shade of its parent plant.

What's good for the mouse is good for the monkey: Skin cells reprogrammed into stem cells
Scientists have successfully created the first induced pluripotent stem cell lines from adult monkey skin cells.

UCLA scientists prove endothelial cells give rise to blood stem cells
Stem cell researchers at UCLA have proven definitively that blood stem cells are made during mid-gestational embryonic development by endothelial cells, the cells that line the inside of blood vessels.

Managing carbon loss
The push for alternative energy has created a large demand for corn stover, a popular feedstock used to produce cellulosic ethanol, but utilizing these materials, rather than using it as compost, means a loss of soil organic carbon.

RIT professor recommends tougher computer security measures to beat hackers
Hackers beware. A Rochester Institute of Technology professor knows how to thwart sophisticated and determined intruders from stealing personal and corporate information.

A spoonful of sugar?
The widespread problem of children failing to take their medication for a range of life-threatening illnesses is to be tackled as part of a new university research project.

A novel human stem cell-based model of ALS opens doors for rapid drug screening
Long thought of as mere bystanders, astrocytes are crucial for the survival and well-being of motor neurons, which control voluntary muscle movements.

Livermore Lab and American Shale Oil team to study carbon sequestration
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and American Shale Oil, LLC, a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, announced today that they have entered into a technical cooperation agreement to develop carbon sequestration technologies for in ground shale oil production processes.

Radiologists diagnose and treat self-embedding disorder in teens
Minimally invasive, image-guided treatment is a safe and precise method for removal of self-inflicted foreign objects from the body, according to the first report on

PNNL researchers earn top honors at Supercomputing conference
The amount of DNA sequence data to be analyzed is piling up.

Have numbness, pain or muscle weakness? Guidelines identify best tests for neuropathy
New guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology find a combination of blood tests and other specialized assessments appear to be the most helpful tests for finding the cause of neuropathy.

Researchers examine role of soil patterns in dam restoration
Looking at the site today, it's easy to forget that a dam and pond stood for 43 years on the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Franbrook Farm Research Station in southwestern Wisconsin.

Golf course: Playing fields, wildlife sanctuaries or both
Semlitsch and Mark Mackey, a graduate student at MU, are examining the effect of golf courses on salamander populations.

Sleeping in school
Up to 10 percent of children starting school suffer from sleep disturbances and these may lead to poor performance or behavioral difficulties.

Monetary aggregates play little role in the conduct of monetary policy
The analysis finds that none of the arguments provides a compelling reason to assign a prominent role to monetary aggregates.

Forest inventories in California include more than trees
The first five-year forest inventory report for California's private and public lands is now available to the public:

Treatment for advanced hepatitis C doesn't work, researchers find
In an NIH funded study, researchers found that low-dose peginterferon was not an effective form of treatment for advanced hepatitis C patients.

Scientists film inner workings of the immune system
Forget what's number one at the box office this week.

Study shows how shift workers can improve job performance and implement a realistic sleep schedule
This study is the first to attempt to balance phase delaying and phase advancing light and dark exposure to achieve a specific circadian phase position that improves alertness and performance for night-shift workers.

Treating sleep apnea in Alzheimer's patients helps cognition
Continuous positive airway pressure treatment seems to improve cognitive functioning in patients with Alzheimer's disease who also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, according to the results of a randomized clinical trial conducted at the University of California, San Diego.

Brown dwarfs do form like stars
Astronomers have uncovered strong evidence that brown dwarfs form like stars.

Cutting the cord to determine babies' health risk from toxic exposure
Despite the well-known dangers of first- and second-hand smoke, an estimated 10 percent of pregnant women in the US are smokers.

Synthetic biology: Is ethics a showstopper?
Synthetic biology promises to enable cheap, lifesaving new drugs to treat the 350-500 million people who suffer from malaria and to create innovative biofuels that can help solve the world's energy problems.

ESC launches a new release of HeartScore
A new release of HeartScore the interactive tool designed to predict and help manage the risk of heart attack and stroke in Europe created by the European Society of Cardiology was launched on Tues., Nov.

ESA satellites flying in formation
Based on the outstanding success of the first tandem mission between ERS-2 and Envisat last year, ESA has paired the two satellites together again to help improve our understanding of the planet.

Juries not as racially diverse as the communities from which they are drawn
Results reveal that there is a wide range of factors that conspire to prevent juries from being as racially diverse as the communities they represent.

U-M scientists probe limits of 'cancer stem-cell model'
One of the most promising new ideas about the causes of cancer, known as the cancer stem-cell model, must be reassessed because it is based largely on evidence from a laboratory test that is surprisingly flawed when applied to some cancers, University of Michigan researchers have concluded.

Stereotypes, bias and personnel decisions
An examination of research is believed to demonstrate that stereotypes about social groups bias personnel decisions.

Prostate cancer drug reduces testosterone levels in as little as 3 days
Men who took degarelix for prostate cancer saw their testosterone and PSA levels drop in as little as three days.
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