Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 25, 2009
Retail clinics less likely to be located in underserved communities
Despite reports indicating that placement of retail clinics are determined by physician shortages and higher uninsured populations, these clinics appear to be located in more advantaged neighborhoods, according to a report in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Australian team reveals world-first discovery in a 'floppy baby' syndrome
In a world first, West Australian scientists have cured mice of a devastating muscle disease that causes a

Most efficient spectrograph to shoot the Southern skies
ESO's Very Large Telescope, Europe's flagship facility for ground-based astronomy, has been equipped with the first of its second generation instruments: X-shooter.

One size does not fit all
Statins, a commonly prescribed class of drugs used by millions worldwide to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels, may actually have a negative impact in multiple sclerosis patients treated with high daily dosages.

Fee capitation vs. fee-for-service primary care
Primary care physicians in Ontario, Canada, who volunteered to adopt the new capitation model for payment, compared with those who opted for an enhanced fee-for-service model, had fewer sick patients, less after-hours billing, more patients who visited the emergency department and fewer new patients, found a new study in CMAJ.

Some neural tube defects in mice linked to enzyme deficiency
Women of childbearing age can reduce the risk of having a child born with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida by eating enough folate or folic acid.

La Jolla Institute unlocks mystery of potentially fatal reaction to smallpox vaccine
Researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have pinpointed the cellular defect that increases the likelihood, among eczema sufferers, of developing eczema vaccinatum, a severe and potentially fatal reaction to the smallpox vaccine.

Necessity is the mother of invention for clever birds
Researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Queen Mary, University of London have found that rooks, a member of the crow family, are capable of using and making tools, modifying them to make them work and using two tools in a sequence.

Guidelines needed for informing patients of medical errors
National guidelines are needed for timely disclosure of medical errors and informing patients, write Toronto-based researchers in a review in CMAJ.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- May 20, 2009
The American Chemical Society Weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Heart saves muscle
A heart muscle protein can replace its missing skeletal muscle counterpart to give mice with myopathy a long and active life, show Nowak et al.

Identification of genetic variants affecting age at menopause could help improve fertility treatment
For the first time, scientists have been able to identify genetic factors that influence the age at which natural menopause occurs in women.

Nervous system may be culprit in deadly muscle disease
Long considered a

Hospice care under-used by many terminally ill patients, study finds
A study looking at 1,517 patients with metastatic lung cancer found that approximately half of these patients did not discuss hospice care with their physician within four to seven months after diagnosis.

What is the function of lymph nodes?
If we imagine our immune system to be a police force for our bodies, then previous work has suggested that the lymph nodes would be the best candidate structures within the body to act as police stations -- the regions in which the immune response is organized.

Time spent on meaningful pursuits may cut risk of physician burnout
Faculty physicians at academic medical centers may be less likely to experience burnout if they spend at least one day per week on the aspect of their work that is most meaningful to them, according to a report in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help prevent stroke recurrence
People who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins after a stroke may be less likely to have another stroke later, according to research published in the May 26, 2009, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Survey suggests higher risk of falls due to dizziness in middle-aged and older Americans
A full third of American adults, 69 million men and women over age 40, are up to 12 times more likely to have a serious fall because they have some form of inner-ear dysfunction that throws them off balance and makes them dizzy, according to Johns Hopkins experts.

MSU discoveries upend traditional thinking about how plants make certain compounds
Michigan State University plant scientists have identified two new genes and two new enzymes in tomato plants; those findings led them to discover that the plants were making monoterpenes, compounds that help give tomato leaves their distinctive smell, in a way that flies in the face of accepted thought.

Menopause transition may cause trouble learning
The largest study of its kind to date shows that women may not be able to learn as well shortly before menopause compared to other stages in life.

Computer-based programs provide help for smokers trying to quit
A new analysis led by UC Berkeley researchers suggests that Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are worthwhile additions to the arsenal in the battle to quit tobacco.

Evidence supports use of Web- and computer-based programs to help adults quit smoking
Available evidence supports the use of online or other computer-based smoking cessation programs for helping adults quit smoking, according to a meta-analysis of previously published studies appearing in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

More to Second Life than just sex
Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network's Center for Innovation in Complex Care have found that a wide array of health-related activity occurs in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life.

Brain-behavior disconnect in cocaine addiction
A new brain-imaging study at Brookhaven Lab reveals differences in cocaine users' ability to monitor their behavior and emotions in comparison to healthy control subjects.

Inner ear balance disorders common, associated with falls among older Americans
An estimated 35 percent of US adults age 40 and older have vestibular dysfunction (inner ear balance disorders), and those who do may have a higher risk of falling, according to a report in the May 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study questions whether Ontario's primary health care reforms serve the sick and poor
Ontario has invested millions of dollars into the healthcare system in response to a serious doctor shortage.

Best practices of the world's most successful 'hidden' companies
What do Tetra aquarium supplies, Elector-Nite sensors and Nissha touch panels have in common?

Smart and social?
New research from two evolutionary biologists questions the recent finding that sociality has played a key role in the evolution of larger brain size among several orders of mammals (Social Brain Hypothesis).

Racing the clock: Rapid climate change forces scientists to evaluate extreme conservation strategies
Scientists are, for the first time, objectively evaluating ways to help species adapt to rapid climate change and other environmental threats via strategies that were considered too radical for serious consideration as recently as five or 10 years ago.

Scientists find shared genetic link between the dental disease periodontitis and heart attack
The relationship between the dental disease periodontitis and coronary heart disease has been known for several years.

Immune genes adapt to parasites
Thank parasites for making some of our immune proteins into the inflammatory defenders they are today, according to a population genetics study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
The 22nd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) will be held from 12-16 September 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Growing retail clinic trend makes few inroads in poor, underserved areas
Since 2000, nearly 1,000

Research in green genetic engineering is indispensable
Science and business in Germany demand more reliable legal and political frameworks and a more open social climate in order to be able to better exploit the opportunities offered by green genetic engineering.

Groundbreaking proposals unveiled for the inclusion of climate change data in annual reports
The Climate Disclosure Standards Board today proposed a global framework to guide corporations on which climate change-related data to include in annual reports. 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