Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 10, 2008
Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease linked
Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes and celiac disease appear to share a common genetic origin, scientists at the University of Cambridge and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry have confirmed.

Popular class of diabetes drugs doubles risk of fractures in women
New findings out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of East Anglia show that long-term use of a popular class of oral diabetic drugs doubles the risk of fractures in women with type 2 diabetes.

Car key jams teen drivers' cell phones
University of Utah researchers have developed an automobile ignition key that prevents teenagers from talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving.

Study urges dual track US nuclear weapons policy
The United States must re-establish its global leadership in nuclear arms control while continuing to update its nuclear arsenal as necessary, but it should not add any new nuclear capabilities in the process, a joint working group of scientists and policy experts says in a study meant to inform decision making by the incoming Obama administration.

Data presented at ASH illustrates that continued treatment with vidaza can benefit MDS patients
The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation announced today that a new analysis of the AZA-001 phase III clinical trial demonstrates that continued treatment with vidaza (azacitidine) can improve response rates for higher-risk MDS patients.

Influential breast cancer advocates awarded scholarships for San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
The HER2 Support Group and the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation have selected Heather Gilbert of Lakeforest, Calif., and Gayla Little of Fair Oaks, Ind., to attend the ABCF Advocate Program.

Group in lymphoma research chooses revlimid for study in disease's largest patient population
Celgene International Sarl and the Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte today announced the initiation of an international randomized, double-blind, controlled Phase III study to evaluate the therapeutic potential of revlimid as a maintenance therapy for elderly, high-risk patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who have responded to standard first line rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, oncovin and prednisolone.

Work/life balance blurred for some employees
Employees with high levels of job autonomy and control over their schedules are more likely to bring their work home with them, according to surprising new research out of the University of Toronto.

Analysis shows revlimid plus dexamethasone increases overall survival in multiple myeloma patients
Celgene International Sarl announced that data from a landmark analysis of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma found that continuous treatment with revlimid in combination with dexamethasone after achieving best response resulted in significantly longer overall survival, and increased time to disease progression compared to those who discontinued treatment after 10 months or less.

New way of viewing cells could lead to easier routes for drug manufacture
Research by a Michigan State University chemist could eventually lead to a quicker and easier way of developing protein-based drugs that are key to treating a number of diseases, including cancer, diabetes and hepatitis.

Scientists resolve to crack down on fraud
Public confidence in the honesty of scientists is being harmed by a small minority of researchers who behave badly, a conference heard last week.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis rife in China
Levels of drug-resistant tuberculosis in China are nearly twice the global average.

Lack of vitamin D causes weight gain and stunts growth in girls
Insufficient vitamin D can stunt growth and foster weight gain during puberty, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

New mobile telephony services
ESI-Tecnalia is part of the LOMS project together with fourteen other European members.

Team probes why climbers die on Mount Everest
For the first time ever, an international team of experts has probed every known death on the world's tallest mountain, shedding some light on what makes Mount Everest one of the most dangerous places on earth.

2 common diabetes drugs double the risk of fractures in women
Two common diabetes drugs -- rosiglitazone and pioglitazone -- are linked to higher fracture rates in women, according to a meta-analysis in CMAJ by a team of researchers from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom and Wake Forest University in the United States.

UC San Diego researchers use metagene 'portraits' to reveal distinct stages of kidney formation
In the art world, the most successful portraits are often those that reveal the true essence of the subject, a subject that on canvas, at least, will never age.

Irritable bowel syndrome can have genetic causes
Irritations of the bowel can have genetic causes. Researchers at the Institute of Human Genetics at Heidelberg University Hospital have discovered this correlation.

New partnership to foster healthier food habits in early childhood
A group of nutritionists from Extenso, the Universite de Montreal's human nutrition referral center, is teaming up with chefs from the Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec to provide culinary expertise to Quebec daycares and early childhood centers.

Prevalence of disordered eating behaviors in diabetics probed
Children with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing eating disorders, and researchers want to know if it's their disease or treatment that's to blame.

Snowy owl -- a marine species?
Wildlife satellite studies could lead to a radical re-thinking about how the snowy owl fits into the Northern ecosystem.

If MRI shows signs of MS, will the disease develop?
With more and more people having brain MRIs for various reasons, doctors are finding people whose scans show signs of multiple sclerosis even though they have no symptoms of the disease.

New research shows how gene function drives natural selection in important class of genetic elements
For years, researchers thought that most of DNA was passive

Digitization work is making it possible to read Charles Dickens as his earliest fans did
Charles Dickens is one of the greatest English novelists, but few people today get to experience his novels the way Victorian readers did: in serial installments.

Thin films research lands engineering professor Air Force Young Investigator Award
Magnetoelectric thin films based structures can enhance the performance of current generation communication devices.

Technology that allows businesses to protect and secure enterprise knowledge to be developed further
Aksaas Pte Ltd. and EADS Innovation Works Singapore, the local research unit of Europe's EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.), agreed to further develop patented Secure Enterprise Document Management technology for use in EADS' integrated vision of office of future.

Credit crunch hits cash-strapped homeowners
Homeowners have drawn on their biggest asset, the roof over their heads, not to fund

One in three UK adults will be obese by 2012
One in three UK adults -- or 13 million people -- will be obese by 2012, finds research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

UBC researchers discover gene mutation that causes eye cancer
A University of British Columbia geneticist has discovered a gene mutation that can cause the most common eye cancer -- uveal melanoma.

Experienced pilots may be at risk of DNA damage from ionizing radiation
Airline pilots who have flown for many years may be at risk of DNA damage from prolonged exposure to cosmic ionizing radiation, suggests a study published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Studies on imaging and tracking transplanted cells
Three studies on imaging and tracking transplanted cells assessed three imaging techniques to evaluate the degree to which they afford clinicians usable data.

Wind, water and sun beat biofuels, nuclear and coal for clean energy, Stanford researcher says
Biofuels, nuclear energy and coal are the worst choices for energy alternatives to petroleum products and wind, solar, geothermal, tides and waves are the best, according to results from the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions that assesses not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability.

Panel blasts federal nanotech risk research strategy
A National Research Council committee today issued a highly critical report describing serious shortfalls in the Bush administration's strategy to better understand the environment, health and safety risks of nanotechnology and to effectively manage those potential risks.

Neurotic? Psychotic? What kind of holiday shopper are you?
The holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year.

Examination of widely used antimicrobial compound reveals new strategies to fight malaria
Scientists working on a common antimicrobial compound with antimalarial activity have discovered a range of new therapeutic strategies to combat malaria.

Women who are perceived as confident in job interviews also seen as lacking social skills
A new study in Psychology of Women Quarterly finds that women who present themselves as confident and ambitious in job interviews are viewed as highly competent but also lacking social skills.

Scans show immune cells intercepting parasites
Researchers may have identified one of the body's earliest responses to a group of parasites that causes illness in developing nations and are now infecting US soldiers on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan.

UQ research targets West Nile virus and dengue fever
Research conducted at the University of Queensland could contribute to the development of a vaccine and cure for West Nile virus and Dengue fever.

Medical pioneer, civic volunteer honored at UAB commencement Dec. 13
Basil I. Hirschowitz, M.D., Ph.D., the medical pioneer who invented the first fiberoptic endoscope that became the standard for visualizing and treating virtually every cavity in the body, will receive the President's Medal during commencement.

Poor sleep quality linked to postpartum depression
Postpartum depression can lead to poor sleep quality, recent research shows.

Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age
Given the high incidence and prevalence of cancer in older adults and the anticipated growth of this population over the next few decades, oncologists, geriatricians and primary care providers will be challenged to provide timely and appropriate post-treatment care to older cancer survivors.

Determining responsibility and assigning punishment governed by different brain systems
A new study reveals that humans use different neural mechanisms for determining criminal responsibility and assigning an appropriate punishment.

Incentive pay for GPs to be explored by researchers
The possibility that health care quality could improve if doctors were paid incentive payments will be examined as part of the new round of funding from the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, based at ANU.

Springer and the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes announce partnership
Starting in Jan. 2009, Springer will publish the European Transport Research Review, the official journal of the non-profit association European Conference of Transport Research Institutes.

Waste coffee grounds offer new source of biodiesel fuel
Researchers in Nevada are reporting that waste coffee grounds can provide a cheap, abundant, and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering automobiles and industries.

The American Ceramic Society releases new ACerS-NIST phase equilibria diagrams CD-ROM database
The American Ceramic Society and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have released Phase Equilibria Diagrams CD-ROM Database containing more than 21,000 diagrams of oxides, salts, carbides, nitrides, boride, compound semiconductors and chalco¬genides.

Long-term use of diabetes drugs by women significantly increases risk of fractures
A group of drugs commonly used to treat diabetes can double the risk of bone fractures in women, according to a new study by the University of East Anglia in the UK and Wake Forest University in the US.

Experiences of rape unique to Rwandan women survivors of genocide
During the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, Hutu leaders ordered their troops to rape Tutsi women as part of their genocidal campaign.

Decreased levels of binding gene affect memory and behavior
Reducing the activity of a gene called FKBP12 in the brains of mice affected neuron-to-neuron communication (synapse) and increased both fearful memory and obsessive behavior, indicating the gene could provide a target for drugs to treat diseases such as autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disease and others, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

CSHL researchers map changing epigenetic modifications that enable transposons to run amok
Changes in gene activity allow cells to cope with environmental changes but leave genes prone to mis-regulation by transposons -- bits of DNA that jump around the genome, often disrupting normal gene function.

Blocking immune inhibitor improves response to HIV-like virus, prolongs survival in monkeys
PD-1 is an immune system receptor that hampers the ability of anti-viral killer cells to fight against chronic viral infections, including HIV, HCV and TB.

High phosphorus linked to coronary calcification in chronic kidney disease
For patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD), higher levels of phosphorus in the blood are associated with increased calcification of the major arteries and heart valves, which may contribute to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD, reports a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Federal research plan inadequate to shed light on health and environmental risks posed by nanomaterials
A new report from the National Research Council finds serious weaknesses in the government's plan for research on the potential health and environmental risks posed by nanomaterials, which are increasingly being used in consumer goods and industry.

Diabetes drug shows potential for treating one cause of chronic kidney disease
The antidiabetes drug rosiglitazone may have the potential to protect kidney function in patients with a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, according to a study appearing in the Jan.

Study of revlimid and vidaza in higher-risk MDS is well-tolerated and has high activity
Celgene International Sarl reported that results of a phase I study presented today combining revlimid and vidaza in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes found that the combination of these two therapies is well tolerated and has high activity.

Our DNA may set AIDS time bomb ticking
How quickly HIV progresses into AIDS could depend on an individual's DNA.

Parents be aware this holiday season: Magnets in children's toys pose significant health risk
A Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study shows that a growing number of adults know about the potential risk of swallowing magnets, but medical complications from magnets continue to be extensive worldwide and throughout childhood.

First-ever socioeconomic study on coral reefs points to challenges of coastal resource management
A first of its kind study,

Oregon theory may help design tomorrow's sustainable polymer
Tomorrow's specialty plastics may be produced more precisely and cheaply thanks to the apparently tight merger of a theory by a University of Oregon chemist and years of unexplained data from real world experiments involving polymers in Europe.

Data presented demonstrate prolonged overall survival for patients with acute myeloid leukemia
The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation announced today that data presented at this year's American Society of Hematology Meeting in San Francisco demonstrate that patients with acute myeloid leukemia who were treated with vidaza (azacitidine) had significantly increased overall survival compared to those treated with conventional care regimens.

Cellular 'brakes' may slow memory process in aging brains
When diseases or even old age threaten brain cells, some neurons survive while neurons no farther than a millimeter away die.

Promising results from 2 trials highlighting pomalidomide presented at ASH
Celgene International Sarl today announced that its next IMiDs compound, pomalidomide, has shown promising activity with manageable safety and tolerability for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and myelofibrosis.

The dark chocolate version of Father Christmas is most filling
New research at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen shows that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk chocolate, lessening our craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

Time running out on coral reefs as climate change becomes increasing threat
Increasing pressures from climate change will reach a tipping point in less than a decade, triggering a significant decline in the health of the planet's coral reef ecosystems according to the findings in an international report issued today.

NASA scientists report on new technology to help protect US troops from infectious diseases
NASA scientists report today about an enhanced computerized system designed to assess environmental and health concerns for deployed US forces.

Hot drinks help fight cold and flu
A hot drink may help reduce the symptoms of common colds and flu, according to new research by Cardiff University's Common Cold Center.

Great Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 set off tremors in San Andreas fault
New research shows that the great Indian Ocean earthquake that struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on the day after Christmas in 2004 set off tremors nearly 9,000 miles away in the San Andreas fault at Parkfield, Calif.

Advanced imaging technology used at Mayo Clinic improves spinal surgery outcome
Using a three-dimensional image-guided system to help place screws in the spines of patients results in safe and accurate surgery with a decrease in the number of misplaced screws, and subsequent injuries, seen in more traditional operations, say neurosurgeons at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Hebrew SeniorLife study on under-reported dementia deaths questions accuracy of mortality statistics
Deaths due to dementia and Alzheimer's disease are underreported on death certificates, according to a study conducted by Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research, raising concerns about the accuracy of mortality statistics based on these documents.

Transplanted fat cells restore function after spinal cord injury
Fat cells, plentiful and easily obtained from adipose tissues without discomfort and grown under culture conditions as de-differentiated fat cells (DFAT), have been for the first time shown to successfully differentiate into neuronal cells in in vivo tests.

Chemist tames longstanding electron computation problem
For 50 years, theoretical chemists have puzzled over the problem of predicting many-electron chemistry with only two electrons, which many thought intractable and perhaps impossible to solve.

Government survey shows 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use complementary and alternative medicine
Approximately 38 percent of adults in the United States aged 18 years and over and nearly 12 percent of U.S. children aged 17 years and under use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, according to a new nationwide government survey.

Living in multigenerational households triples women's heart disease risk
Living in a household with several generations of relatives triples a woman's risk of serious heart disease, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Heart.

Light shines for potential early cancer diagnosis technique
A Northwestern University-led research team has developed a new optical technique that holds promise for minimally invasive screening methods for the early diagnosis of cancer.

A new class of anti-inflammatory drugs
Scientists at the Frankfurt's Goethe University have discovered a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Overweight children at increased risk of arm and leg injuries following motor vehicle crash
Children who are overweight or obese are over two and a half times more likely to suffer injuries to their upper and lower extremities following a motor vehicle crash compared with normal weight children, according to a report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy.

13 new technologies in computer graphics and interactive techniques showcased by Singapore's A*STAR
A total of 13 new technologies in computer graphics and interactive techniques, including 3-D graphics and animation, intuitive human-computer interaction technologies and neural signal processing, will be introduced by Singapore's A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) at SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) Asia 2008.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer does not appear to increase cardiac deaths
Treating prostate cancer patients with drugs that block hormonal activity does not appear to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers.

Butterflies across Europe face crisis as climate change looms
Climate change will cause Europe to lose much of its biodiversity as projected by a comprehensive study on future butterfly distribution.

Panic attacks linked to higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease, especially in younger people
People who have been diagnosed with panic attacks or panic disorder have a greater risk of subsequently developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack than the normal population, with higher rates occurring in younger people, according to research published in Europe's leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal on Thursday, Dec.

American Library Association names NJIT prof's Whale Music book a top ten
Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound by NJIT humanities professor, author and clarinetist David Rothenberg, has been named one of the ten best science and technology books for 2008 by Booklist on Line, a publication of the American Library Association.

Obesity among state's low-income teens nearly triple that of more affluent peers
In this policy brief, the authors examine why low-income teenagers are almost three times more likely to be obese than teens from more affluent households.

First functional stem-cell niche model created by Stanford scientists
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine employing a similar

Asian students top latest global math, science study, report Boston College researchers
Students from Asian countries were top performers in math and science at both the fourth and eighth grade levels, according to TIMSS 2007, the world's largest assessment of student math and science achievement, with 425,000 students surveyed across 59 countries.

Astronomers use ultra-sensitive camera to measure size of planet orbiting star
A team of astronomers led by John Johnson of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy has used a new technique to measure the precise size of a planet around a distant star.

San Diego Supercomputer Center director offers tips on data preservation in the information age
The world has gone digital in just about everything we do.

Revlimid data in multiple myeloma reports 3-year survival rates in phase III ECOG E4AO3 study
Celgene International Sarl today announced more mature data from clinical studies of revlimid (lenalidomide) in newly-diagnosed multiple myeloma were presented at a joint symposium of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology on Sunday, Dec.

'Fly guy' makes memory breakthrough
University of Alberta pediatric neuroscientist Dr. Francois Bolduc has shown that genetically disrupting a specific gene in a fruit fly's brain will wipe out its long-term memory.

Novel technique for fluorescence tomography of tumors in living animals
In the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Prof.

Climate change effects on imperiled Sierra frog examined
Climate change can have significant impacts on high-elevation lakes and imperiled Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frogs that depend upon them, according to US Forest Service and University of California, Berkeley, scientists.

UC San Diego scientists developing brain imaging methods for studying natural human behavior
The Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at UC San Diego will create a new imaging process to study human body/brain dynamics of subjects engaged in normal activity in ordinary room environments.

Team led by Purdue professor first to record key event that breaks continents apart
Researchers have captured for the first time a geological event considered key in shaping the Earth's landscape.

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

Memory study on mice offers new insights into understanding autism, NYU, Baylor scientists conclude
Researchers at New York University's Center for Neural Science and the Baylor College of Medicine have identified a protein that when removed from mice results in behaviors that are akin to those with autism and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Study first to show that RNA interference can facilitate vaccine development
Pharmaceutical companies and universities are racing to develop drugs that use the gene silencing mechanism known as RNA interference to treat a host of diseases.

Death rates in hospital highest for infants, and children without insurance
The vast majority of children who die while hospitalized are newborns, according to a new nationwide study.

Sugar can be addictive, Princeton scientist says
A Princeton University scientist will present new evidence today demonstrating that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to many drugs of abuse.

Analysis shows that vidaza prolongs survival in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes
The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation announced today that a subanalysis of the AZA-001 phase III international clinical trial shows that treatment with vidaza can extend overall survival and reduce the risk of death in elderly higher-risk MDS patients.

Brain deletion of FK506-binding protein enhances repetitive behaviors in mice
A new study reveals a link between dysregulation of a common signaling pathway and repetitive behaviors similar to those associated with multiple neurological and neurodegenerative disorders including, autism spectrum disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and Huntington's disease.

Oral cancer patients could be diagnosed earlier
Worldwide, more than 500,000 new cases of cancer of the mouth are diagnosed each year.
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