Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 09, 2008
Leeds research points to new therapy for hepatitis C treatment
Combination therapies similar to those used for HIV patients may be the best way of treating hepatitis C virus, say researchers from the University of Leeds.

Application quantifies carbon sequestration of urban trees
US Forest Service scientists at the Center for Urban Forest Research are providing online software that can show users how much carbon dioxide an urban tree in California has sequestered in its lifetime and the past year.

Overweight siblings of children with type 2 diabetes likely to have abnormal blood sugar levels
Overweight siblings of children with type 2 diabetes are four times more likely to have abnormal glucose levels compared to other overweight children.

Promising new drug blocks mutation in bone marrow cancers
Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute researchers have found that an experimental drug successfully blocks an enzyme that causes some bone marrow cancers.

Also in the Dec. 9 JNCI
The Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also features reports on chromatin-remodeling gene expression and resistance to glucocorticoid treatment in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, age-related crossover in breast cancer incidence rates between black and white women, the impact of DNA structure on genomic instability in mice, colorectal cancer mortality and screening in two regions of Italy, and the risk of second malignancies in survivors of retinoblastoma.

Researchers report on convergence of technology
Scientists describe how the convergence of technology and medicine is opening an unprecedented window to brain function at the most fundamental levels and blazing a trail toward achieving near pin-point accuracy in defining the cause of epilepsy and in delivering therapeutic agents to specific seizure causing regions in the brain

Genetic change extends mouse life, points to possible treatment for ALS
There are many ways to die, but amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease must be one of the worst.

Instore web 3.0 scouting
Scientists at Toshiba's Corporate Research and Development Center in Japan have developed a system that offers shoppers advice on what to buy based on the product barcode and the current weblog buzz around the gadget.

ASH presentation shows continued treatment with VIDAZA improves responses in higher-risk MDS
Celgene International Sarl reports that an analysis presented today of a phase III international clinical trial of higher-risk patients with myelodysplastic syndromes, demonstrated that continued treatment with VIDAZA can improve patient responses.

Nonhormonal treatment regimens improve survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer
Nonhormonal treatment regimens, including anthracycline-based regimens and taxanes, have improved overall survival in women with advanced (metastatic or recurrent inoperable) breast cancer over the last 35 years, according to a systematic review published Dec.

Surface-level ozone pollution set to reduce tree growth 10 percent by 2100
Modern day concentrations of ground level ozone pollution are decreasing the growth of trees in the northern and temperate mid-latitudes, as shown in a paper publishing today in Global Change Biology.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Doctors raise questions, concerns about FDA suicide warning
Among the doctors' concerns is that news reports of the FDA's analyses have confused patients and, perhaps, some physicians on the risks associated with epilepsy drugs.

Researchers focus on building telescope at South Pole
It's 40 degrees F below zero (with the wind chill) at the South Pole today.

E-learning can have positive effect on classroom learning, scholar says
Traditional classroom teaching in higher education could learn a thing or two from online teaching, otherwise known as e-learning, according to a University of Illinois professor who studies computer-mediated communication, information exchange and the Internet.

New data on ZOLINZA (vorinostat) in combination with Bortezomib
Merck initiates multinational Phase 3 and Phase 2b studies of ZOLINZA in advanced multiple myeloma.

Hepatitis C treatment reduces the virus but liver damage continues
Treating patients who have chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease with long-term pegylated interferon significantly decreased their liver enzymes, viral levels and liver inflammation, but the treatment did not slow or prevent the progression of serious liver disease, a study finds.

Echocardiography now recommended as the 'first-line' test in cardiovascular disease
The first-line test in patients with a suspicion of cardiovascular disease -- including arterial disease and heart failure -- should now be echocardiography, says professor Jose Luis Zamorano, chair of the program committee for EUROECHO 2008 and EAE president-elect.

Honey adds health benefits, is natural preservative and sweetener in salad dressings
Antioxidant-rich honey is a healthy alternative to chemical additives and refined sweeteners in commercial salad dressings, said a new University of Illinois study.

NASA scientists provide update on existing remote sensing technology programs and new projects
Representatives from NASA to present on efforts to predict and mitigate outbreaks of vector-borne diseases using satellite remote sensing technologies and models.

Lazy eye treatment times could be drastically reduced, new research shows
Treatment times for amblyopia -- more commonly known as 'lazy eye' -- could be drastically reduced thanks to research carried out at the University of Nottingham.

Supplementation with vitamin E or selenium does not reduce risk of prostate cancer
In perhaps the largest cancer chemoprevention trial ever conducted, researchers have found that supplementation with vitamin E or selenium, alone or in combination, was not associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer or other cancers.

SMU chemist wins NSF early career award
Chemist Brent Sumerlin is that rare combination of teacher and scholar who is able to explain the most complicated theory in language a non-scientist can understand.

Reforms needed in health care services for adolescents
Current health services for adolescents are fragmented and poorly designed to meet the health needs of all of the nation's adolescents, says a new report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Structured warm-up exercises may prevent up to half of severe sports injuries
A warm-up program that focuses on improving strength, balance, core stability and muscular awareness cuts injury in female footballers by a third and severe injuries by almost a half, according to research published on bmj.com today.

Plastic as a conductor
Plastic that conducts electricity and metal that weighs no more than a feather?

People in the US and the UK show strong similarities in their attitudes toward nanotechnologies
The results of a new US-UK study published in this week's journal Nature Nanotechnology show that ordinary people in both countries hold very positive views of nanotechnologies and what the future of these technologies might bring.

Study finds selenium, vitamin E do not prevent prostate cancer
Findings from one of the largest cancer chemoprevention trials ever conducted have concluded that selenium and vitamin E taken alone or in combination for an average of five and a half years did not prevent prostate cancer, according to a team of researchers coordinated by the Southwest Oncology Group and led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

Keeping track
Aircrafts and fueling vehicles move around, cleaning brigades come and go.

U of I study: Fructose metabolism more complicated than was thought
A new University of Illinois study suggests that we may pay a price for ingesting too much fructose.

Vidaza study reports unprecedented survival benefit in higher-risk MDS extends to AML patients
Celgene International Sarl today announced results from a subset analysis of the international phase III trial demonstrating that the overall survival benefit observed in higher-risk MDS patients extended to patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Penn research probes genetic underpinnings of nicotine addiction
A new study from the Abramson Cancer Center and Department of Psychiatry in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows that smokers who carry a particular version of a gene for an enzyme that regulates dopamine in the brain may suffer from concentration problems and other cognitive deficits when abstaining from nicotine -- a problem that puts them at risk for relapse during attempts to quit smoking.

When it's more than the 'terrible twos'
Could those toddler tantrums be a sign of a more serious developmental problem?

UK kidney cancer patients face toxic, out-dated treatments with little hope of change
The body that advises the UK Department of Health is likely to rule out four kidney cancer drugs on cost grounds, despite the fact that they represent the biggest breakthrough in treatment of the disease in the last 25 years.

More than 2,000 children die every day from unintentional injury; at least half could be saved
More than 2,000 children die every day as a result of an unintentional, or accidental injury, and every year tens of millions more worldwide are taken to hospitals with injuries that often leave them with lifelong disabilities.

New Keppra XR data highlight its role for patients with partial-onset seizures
UCB today announced findings from new studies of the once-daily anti-epileptic drug Keppra XRTM (levetiracetam) extended-release tablets comparing tolerability vs. levetiracetam immediate release and reporting on additional dosing schedules.

Predicted planet seen -- first since Neptune 162 years ago
In 2006, astronomer Alice Quillen of the University of Rochester predicted that a planet of a particular size and orbit must lie within the dust of a nearby star.

Launch of the Lancet report on right to health
Health systems should have the right-to-health features identified in a special report published online today -- human rights day and the 60 year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- in the Lancet.

New book covers full spectrum of neuro-AIDS disorders
In the decade-plus since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for HIV infection, doctors have come to understand that the brain can serve as a reservoir for resistant virus, where it causes a whole different set of symptoms scientists call neuro-AIDS.

Genetic markers identified for alcohol response in UCSF Gallo study
Researchers at the UCSF Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center have identified a region on the human genome that appears to determine how strongly drinkers feel the effects of alcohol and thus how prone they are to alcohol abuse.

The clear future of electronics
A group of scientists at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has fabricated a working computer chip that is almost completely clear -- the first of its kind.

Financial incentives appear effective for short-term weight loss
A preliminary study suggests that economic incentives appear to be effective for achieving short-term weight loss, according to a report in the Dec.

Production line for artificial skin
A fully automated process is set to improve the production of artificial tissue: medical scientists can perform transplants with skin produced in the laboratory.

Dissertation work on leading wave power
A technology that is adapted to the special conditions for wave energy places the wave energy technology from Uppsala on the absolute cutting edge in the world.

Medication used to reduce nausea following tonsillectomies linked with increased risk of bleeding
Use of the steroid medication dexamethasone is effective in reducing nausea and vomiting after tonsillectomies for children, but also is associated with an increased risk of postoperative bleeding, according to a study in the Dec.

MU researcher helps people see beyond the 'typical' divorce
According to a University of Missouri family researcher, there is no

People who want access to the NHS should behave more responsibly, says expert
Patients should recognize they have to take responsibility for their own health if they want access to free healthcare, says a leading academic.

Genetic test for spinal muscular atrophy should be offered to all couples, says the ACMG
Carrier screening for SMA -- a serious genetic disease affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 infants that causes progressive muscle weakness and death -- should be made available to all families, according to a new guideline issued by the American College of Medical Genetics.

Intense chemotherapy wards off recurrence in half of mantle cell lymphoma patients after seven years
More than half of younger mantle cell lymphoma patients who received an intensive regimen of chemotherapy as front-line treatment remain in remission seven years later, researchers at the University of Texas M.

Thinking like a president: How power affects complex decision making
Presidential scholars have written volumes trying to understand the presidential mind.

New classification of spinal deformity defines range of normalcy
A University of Cincinnati neurosurgeon who has spent his career helping people with severe spine problems stand up straight has spearheaded the creation of a new spinal deformity classification system.

Georgia Tech and CDC work to improve safety of blood supply
The Georgia Tech College of Computing, working in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has developed a Web-based tool for tracking blood safety.

First 3-D images obtained of core component of molecular machinery used for cell reproduction
For the first time, structural biologists have managed to obtain the detailed three-dimensional structure of one of the proteins that form the core of the complex molecular machine, called the replisome, that plant and animal cells assemble to copy their DNA as the first step in cell reproduction.

NPL research shows there could be no end in sight for Moore's Law
The fast pace of growing computing power could be sustained for many years to come thanks to new research from the UK's National Physical Laboratory that is applying advanced techniques to magnetic semiconductors.

Computation and genomics data drive bacterial research into new golden age
A potent combination of powerful new analysis methods and abundant data from genomics projects is carrying microbiology forward into a new era.

Fear of nuts creating hysteria of epidemic proportions
Measures imposed to reduce exposure to nuts are often based on irrational fears of nut allergies and are becoming increasingly sensationalist, according to a doctor on bmj.com today.

Conscious vs. unconscious thought in making complicated decisions
It may be surprising to learn that recent studies have suggested that the best way to deal with complex decisions is to not think about them at all -- that unconscious thought will help us make the best choices.

Springer partners with Botanical Society of Korea
Starting in February 2009, Springer will publish the Journal of Plant Biology, the official journal of the Botanical Society of Korea.

Statin warning for pregnant women
Pregnant women or those hoping to start or extend a family should avoid using the cholesterol-lowering drugs statins, say scientists.

When 2 + 2 = major anxiety: Math performance in stressful situations
New research indicates that working memory is a key component of math anxiety.

Pine bark reduces inflammatory marker CRP in osteoarthritis
A study published in the current issue of the journal Redox Report, reveals Pycnogenol's anti-inflammatory potency further to improving OA symptoms and pain was able to significantly lower plasma levels of C-reactive protein.

New polymer coatings prevent corrosion, even when scratched
Imagine tiny cracks in your patio table healing by themselves, or the first small scratch on your new car disappearing by itself.

Asthma: Commonly used medication shows no clear benefits in children
There are no clear benefits to using long-acting beta2-agonists for treatment of asthma in children, a new study concludes.

Siblings of mentally disabled face own lifelong challenges, according to researchers
People who have a sibling with a mental illness are more likely to suffer episodes of depression at some point in their lives, say researchers who analyzed four decades of data.

Potential breakthrough for T-Cell lymphoma patients with drug that mimics folic acid
Preliminary results of a pivotal Phase 2 clinical trial of pralatrexate, a drug that partially works by mimicking folic acid, showed a complete or partial response in 27 percent of patients with recurrent or resistant peripheral T-cell lymphoma.

Hadim awarded grant from the Electric Power Research Institute
Professor Hamid Hadim of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology has received a grant from the Electric Power Research Institute for coursework development in nuclear power engineering.

Data evaluating clinical benefit of REVLIMID in relapsed/refractory NHL presented at ASH
Celgene International Sarl announced updated clinical data from an ongoing REVLIMID study of patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma during the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Rust-proof -- even without chromium
For a long time, chromium plating protected car bodies against rust, but this has been prohibited since 2007.

Flora not flourishing in world's hotspots
Researchers at the University of Calgary have found the biodiversity picture in the region known as the

UNH researchers track lobster migrations to improve population estimates
University of New Hampshire researchers are fitting lobsters in New Hampshire's Great Bay estuary with transmitters and tracking their migrations year-round.

Boy-girl bullying in middle grades more common than previously thought
Much more cross-gender bullying -- specifically, unpopular boys harassing popular girls -- occurs in later elementary school grades than previously thought, meaning educators should take reports of harassment from popular girls seriously, according to new research by a University of Illinois professor who studies child development.

Study reports REVLIMID activity in patients with relapsed/refractory mantle-cell lymphoma
Celgene International Sarl announced updated clinical data from the NHL-003 study, a 200 patient open label, multi-center study of patients with relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) who had received at least one prior therapy.

Research team explores causes of death on Mount Everest
An international research team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has conducted the first detailed analysis of deaths during expeditions to the summit of Mt.

Cholinesterase inhibitors reduce aggression, wandering and paranoia in Alzheimer's disease
Cholinesterase inhibitors, used to treat cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, are also a safe and effective alternative therapy for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, according to a study that appears in the Dec.

Princeton-led team finds secret ingredient for the health of tropical rainforests
A team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists has found for the first time that tropical rainforests, a vital part of the Earth's ecosystem, rely on the rare trace element molybdenum to capture the nitrogen fertilizer needed to support their wildly productive growth.

Story tips from the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dec. 2008
Stories include:

Hubble finds carbon dioxide on an extrasolar planet
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star.

Leading US cancer organizations unite against the growing global cancer burden
Despite the recent good news that cancer incidence and death rates for men and women in the United States continue to decline, cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide in the year 2010 and low- and middle-income countries will feel the impact of higher cancer incidence and death rates more sharply than industrialized countries.

Economic cost of cancer mortality is high in US, regardless of how cost is measured
The economic cost of death due to cancer is high in the United States, regardless of whether researchers estimate the economic impact in lost work productivity or in a more global measure using the value of one year of life, according to two studies published online Dec.

Neither vitamin C or E associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer, or other cancers
In a major cancer prevention study, long-term supplementation with vitamin E or C did not reduce the risk of prostate or other cancers for nearly 15,000 male physicians.

Unintentional overdose deaths associated with nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers
An examination of unintentional overdose deaths in West Virginia, a state that has experienced one of the highest increases in the rate of drug overdose deaths, finds that the majority of these were associated with the nonmedical use and diversion of pharmaceuticals, primarily pain relievers, according to a study in the Dec.

Drug combination improves or stabilizes disease for relapsed multiple myeloma patients
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that a new combination of medications designed to maximize immune functions improved or stabilized multiple myeloma for 76 percent of patients who had relapsed after previous treatment.

Study reveals effects of unconscious exposure to advertisements
Fads have been a staple of American pop culture for decades, from spandex in the 1980s to skinny jeans today.

Unprecedented 16-year-long study tracks stars orbiting Milky Way black hole
In a 16-year long study, using several of ESO's flagship telescopes, a team of German astronomers has produced the most detailed view ever of the surroundings of the monster lurking at our galaxy's heart -- a supermassive black hole.

SAGE to publish International Journal of Toxicology
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journals publisher, has partnered with the American College of Toxicology to publish its official publication, the International Journal of Toxicology, beginning in 2009.

New therapy prevents dangerous side effect for lymphoma patients
Patients respond well to a new three-drug combination for indolent B cell lymphoma that also spares them prolonged, potentially lethal, suppression of blood production in the bone marrow, researchers at the University of Texas M.

Developing countries lack means to acquire more efficient technologies
Contrary to earlier projections, few developing countries will be able to afford more efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next few decades, new research concludes.
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