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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 04, 2010


Caution required for Gulf oil spill clean-up
A Berkeley Lab bioremediation expert says extreme caution must be used in cleaning up the fragile Gulf Coast ecosystem in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Drivers who delay license reinstatement after suspension are often high risk
Driver's license suspension is often used for individuals convicted of driving under the influence.
Viruses against cancer
Advanced gliomas regressed completely in rats after treatment with parvoviruses and the animals survived significantly longer than untreated animals.
Bugging out: NC State researchers help track wayward pests through mapping
Tracking invasive pests around the world sounds like it would make for an interesting show on the Discovery Channel.
Some patients with hepatitis B faring better after liver transplant
Treatment to reduce recurrence of hepatitis B appears to improve liver transplant outcomes for some patients, according to a Mayo Clinic study presented at the American Transplant Congress under way May 1-5 in San Diego.
Short sleep increases risk of death and over-long sleep can indicate serious illness
Research carried out by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy, has found that people who sleep for less than six hours each night were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended six to eight hours.
Close, but not too close
Dr. Danit Ein-Gar of Tel Aviv University reports that victim-centered charitable campaigns, like those that feature hungry children in distant lands, may be less effective with some potential donors than those that highlight the broader aims of the charity.
Trauma-induced changes to genes may lead to PTSD
A study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health suggests that traumatic experiences
Korea and the Philippines sow mutual benefits from 45-year partnership
Rice growers in Bohol, an island province of the Philippines, are expecting higher rice yields and income thanks to new japonica rice varieties developed in collaboration with Korea and the International Rice Research Institute.
Researchers find future temperatures could exceed livable limits
Worst-case scenarios for global warming could lead to deadly temperatures for humans in coming centuries.
Use of antibiotic by children with cystic fibrosis does not result in improved lung function
Children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis who received the antibiotic azithromycin did not experience improved lung function, compared to patients who received placebo, according to a study in the May 5 issue of JAMA.
Chemotherapy after gastric cancer surgery appears to provide survival benefit
Patients who have gastric cancer surgery followed by chemotherapy have an associated decreased risk of death and improved disease-free survival compared to patients who have surgery alone, according to an analysis of previous studies, reported in the May 5 issue of JAMA.
Save the date: American Chemical Society National Meeting in Boston, Aug. 22-26
What better venue than Boston -- with its famed hospitals and university medical schools -- for a major scientific conference with the theme
DNA barcoding exposes fake ferns in international plant trade
DNA testing of garden ferns sold at plant nurseries in North Carolina, Texas and California has found that plants marketed as American natives may actually be exotic species from other parts of the globe.
Problem gamblers provoked by 'near misses' to gamble more
The brains of problem gamblers react more intensely to
Kids with hearing loss in 1 ear fall behind in language skills
By the time they reach school age, one in 20 children have hearing loss in one ear.
Fragmented forests result in more snakes, fewer birds
Monitoring both prey and predator, researchers learned that rat snakes accounted for a high percentage of cases of nest predation.
Equitable access to influenza vaccines not in sight
In a policy forum article that continues the PLoS Medicine series on global health diplomacy, David Fidler (Indiana University School of Law) provides a case study of the negotiations to increase access to vaccines for influenza strains that suggest the goal of equitable access is far from certain.
Omni-focus video camera to revolutionize industry
University of Toronto, a world-leading research university, announces a breakthrough development in video camera design.
Dr. Carl Djerassi, inventor of 'The Pill,' to receive honorary doctorate from Rutgers University
An honorary degree from Rutgers University will be awarded to Dr.
Study shows vitamin A supplementation does not reduce maternal mortality
A trial in Ghana has shown that vitamin A supplementation does not reduce maternal mortality -- contradicting previous findings from a trial in Nepal which showed a 44 percent decrease.
Researchers find melanoma not caused by early UVA light exposure
Early life exposure to ultraviolet A light does not cause melanoma in a fish model that previously made that connection, scientists from the University of Texas M.D.
Publication of epidemiological literature concerning emerging infectious disease outbreaks
Research published in PLoS Medicine this week by Weijia Xing and colleagues examines the publication of epidemiological literature concerning the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreaks in Hong Kong and Toronto.
New culprit in muscle defects, insulin resistance that come with age
Type 2 diabetes is a widespread problem for many people these days, and our risk for insulin resistance and diabetes only grows as we age.
Study finds key protein controls T-cell proliferation
New research has identified that a key protein called PEA-15 stops T-cell proliferation by blocking the cell's ability to reproduce.
ARS scientists identify genetic resistance to rice sheath blight
Agricultural Research Service scientists have identified sources of genetic resistance to sheath blight, a major disease affecting rice production worldwide.
Male or female? In flies, some cells can't tell
An experienced fruit fly researcher can tell at a glance whether the fly she is observing is male or female; a distinct pigmentation pattern on a fly's body (a type of bristle found only on the legs of males) and differences in the genitalia are dead giveaways.
Higher rate of early follow-up for heart failure patients linked with lower rate of readmissions
Hospitals that have a higher rate of following up within one week for patients who were discharged after treatment for heart failure have a lower rate of readmission at 30 days for these patients, according to a study in the May 5 issue of JAMA.
AAPS presents therapeutic protein drug interactions workshop
This event will feature a review of pre-clinical tools, test systems, and relevant documented therapeutic-protein-drug interactions.
Investigating separate and joint effects of alcohol and tobacco on the nucleus accumbens
The brain's nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a core region of the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system.
Scientists outline strategy to limit global warming
Major greenhouse gas-emitting countries agreed in the December 2009, climate talks in Copenhagen that substantial action is required to limit the increase of the global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
New study sheds light on corals' susceptibility to temperature change
Diversity in some coral populations may significantly influence their response to extreme temperature disturbances -- such as those predicted from climate warming.
Mayo Clinic researcher details next-era advances in use of scopes for cancer detection
Just as cameras and televisions have been reinvented in the last decade with improved optics, sharpness and brightness, so have the tiny imaging scopes that physicians use to peer into the body's nooks and crannies -- its organs and digestive system.
Illinois research may help patients with intestinal failure, other malabsorptive disorders
New treatments for intestinal failure and other intestinal absorption disorders are a step closer to the patients who need them after a discovery in Kelly Tappenden's University of Illinois laboratory.
Racial disparities evident in taking sexual histories in emergency departments
Emergency department physicians are more likely to document sexual histories of black adolescent girls with symptoms potentially related to sexually transmitted infections than white teen girls with the same symptoms, according to a new study from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Faster Salmonella detection now possible with new technique
Byron Brehm-Stecher, an Iowa State University assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, wants to replace the current system of Salmonella detection with a new approach that can provide DNA sequencing-like results in hours rather than days.
First scientific study showing effects of growth hormone on athletes
Australian researchers have published the results of a study, for the first time showing a positive effect of growth hormone on athletic performance.
How Darwin's little-known work impacts current schizophrenia and autism treatment
Historical research by Peter J. Snyder, Ph.D., reveals more of Charles Darwin's thinking when he completed what may be the first example of a prospective
TCT for Surgeons course will highlight hybrid surgical and interventional techniques
TCT for Surgeons will showcase the expansion of hybrid surgical and interventional techniques in the field that are improving outcomes for patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
Diatoms reveal freshwater pollution
Researchers in India have demonstrated that microscopic aquatic creatures could be used as the ecological equivalent of a canary in a coalmine for assessing inland freshwater lakes and ponds.
Polygala balansae, a new bush to Europe, at risk of extinction in Spain
Researchers at the University of Granada have studied the natural history and conservation status in Spain of the only known population of Polygala balansae in Europe, a thorny bush that can grow up to 1.5 m high, which was previously thought to be exclusive to Morocco.
Investigators examine colorectal cancer screening methods among diverse populations
Rates of colorectal cancer screening vary by race and ethnicity as well as method, according to data being presented at Digestive Disease Week 2010.
Vancouver Island has one of the highest rates of Cryptococcus infection in the world
Cryptococcus disease is a rare but serious infection resulting from inhaling a toxic fungus often found in fir trees.
Managing the emotions behind eating
Many diet plans only look at how to change behavior to lose weight.
Pay-for-performance programs may worsen medical disparities, study finds
Rewarding primary care physicians for providing better care to patients could end up widening medical disparities experienced by poorer people and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, according to a new study.
Colorado State University biochemists study how chromosomes unravel to let genes do their jobs
CSU Biochemists have been awarded a $7.8 million NIH grant to study how chromosomes untangle to let genes do their jobs.
Physical activity reduces the effect of the obesity gene in adolescents
The FTO gene is obesity's main ally. Several studies are now attempting to reveal the factors that play a key role in fighting against it.
AGU journal highlights -- May 4, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: Satellite study verifies reductions in air pollutant emissions in China; Predicting the evolution of central Pacific El NiƱo events; Sunlight reflection confirms liquid lake on Titan; Sediment layers could provide insight into Mars's climate history; Rivers rebound as woodland replaces degraded grassland; Simplified description of atmospheric organic aerosol evolution to help climate models; New finding to improve understanding of large-scale atmospheric turbulence and climate; and Correcting model imperfections.
Only a policy of presumed consent will improve organ donation rates, say experts
The Organ Donor Taskforce is unrealistic if it thinks that it can dramatically increase donation rates without adopting a policy of presumed consent, say experts on bmj.com today.
Receiving vaccine for pneumonia by men not associated with reduced risk of heart attack, stroke
Men 45 years or older who received pneumococcal vaccine were not less likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to men who did not receive the vaccine, according to a study in the May 5 issue of JAMA.
Noncardiac surgery too soon after stenting raises risk of heart problems
Noncardiac surgery performed in patients who had coronary stents implanted within the previous six weeks is associated with an increased risk of heart complications and death.
Mayo Clinic discovers new genetic candidates for irritable bowel syndrome
Most people associate serotonin with brain neurology, but over 95 percent of the body's serotonin occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, which has a complex neuronal circuit that has been called
New drug treatments hold promise for Crohn's disease and hepatitis C patients
Research being presented at Digestive Disease Week shows that using telaprevir in the treatment regimen for hepatitis C virus is highly effective, particularly in difficult-to-treat cases.
Natural selection for moderate testosterone surprises scientists
A field study of the relationship between testosterone and natural selection in an American songbird, the dark-eyed junco, has defied some expectations and confirmed others.
The art of mindreading -- empathy or rational inference?
The ability to infer what another person is thinking is an essential tool for social interaction and is known by neuroscientists as
News briefs from the May issue of Chest
New studies from Chest suggest that heart attack risk may double after COPD exacerbation; snoring incidence may triple in obese children; and simulation training may improve bronchoscopy skills.
UAB's Whitley named distinguished physician by Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
The award recognizes a pediatrician whose career signifies excellence in infectious diseases research, education, patient care, prevention and public health.
Heart drug effective for treating symptom of muscular dystrophy
A medication most often used to treat heart arrhythmias also reduces a central symptom of myotonic dystrophy, the most common type of muscular dystrophy in adults.
Study shows trend of increasing obesity in pregnant moms contributing to higher body fat in newborns
A new study has found for the first time that as Americans are gaining more body fat, so are their babies.
Pneumonia vaccine does not protect against heart attacks or strokes
The pneumococcal vaccination is not associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks or strokes, according to a Kaiser Permanente study in JAMA that followed 84,170 men aged 45 to 69.
Stool DNA testing could play expanded role in colon cancer prevention
Research teams led by Mayo Clinic have demonstrated for the first time that two types of colorectal pre-cancers can be detected through noninvasive stool DNA testing.
New Stanford-led program aims to produce insights into brain injury, recovery
With $14.9 million of federal funding, the four-university research team will seek to develop new technology and lay the basic research foundation for improved therapies for brain trauma.
Study examines incidence of gastric cancer
The incidence of a certain type of gastric cancer has declined in the last 30 years for all age groups and races, except for whites 25 to 39 years of age, according to a study in the May 5 issue of JAMA.
Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years
A two-year evaluation at Group Health Cooperative showed transforming primary care into a
Gold nanoparticles enrich everyday products
A new technique for dispersing nanoparticles through polymers opens a world of new properties for diverse products.
Zegerid OTC provides greater and faster acid control than Prevacid 24HR according to head-to-head clinical study
Merck Consumer Care today announced results of a head-to-head clinical study showing that Zegerid OTC offers greater and faster acid control than Prevacid 24HR.
Popular diabetes drug works differently than thought
The popular diabetes medication metformin works in different fashion than the current widely accepted view.
Survey: Hiding risks can hurt public support for nanotechnology
A new national survey on public attitudes toward medical applications and physical enhancements that rely on nanotechnology shows that support for the technology increases when the public is informed of the technology's risks as well as its benefits -- at least among those people who have heard of nanotechnology.
H1N1 influenza hits older children
Children hospitalized with pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 were older and more likely to have underlying medical conditions than children hospitalized with seasonal influenza during prior flu seasons.
New study ranks countries on environment impact
A new study led by the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute has ranked most of the world's countries for their environmental impact.
Maya plumbing, first pressurized water feature found in New World
A water feature found in the Maya city of Palenque, Mexico, is the earliest known example of engineered water pressure in the New World, according to a collaboration between two Penn State researchers, an archaeologist and a hydrologist.
Georgia Tech Savannah professor named as 2010 Young Investigator Award recipient
Dr. Fumin Zhang, assistant electrical and computer engineering professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology Savannah campus, has been named a recipient of the 2010 Young Investigator Award given by the US Office of Naval Research.
Fishing fleet working 17 times harder than in 1880s to make same catch
New study by University of York and Marine Conservation Society examines UK fish catch data since 1889 taking into account changes in sophistication of the UK trawl fishing fleet.
Declining social security benefits keep older men in workforce
The decline in the generosity of Social Security benefits for workers who recently reached their 60s has been the leading cause of the trend toward delayed retirement of older men, a new national study suggests.
Policemen, thieves and ordinary people apply different logic when making decisions
A study conducted at the University of Granada and the University of Cambridge reveals that police officers and criminals are more consistent in their judgments than ordinary people.
Your arteries may be suffering insulin resistance, too
In people with insulin resistance or full-blown diabetes, an inability to keep blood sugar levels under control isn't the only problem by far.
Why is late-life depression harder to treat?
Older adults with major depression show an impaired ability to read other people's emotional expressions.
Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new control mechanism in our immune system.
US terror concentrated in New York City; bombs weapon of choice
Terrorist attacks in the United States, over the past four decades, have centered on New York City, the vast majority of them involving bombs or explosives, says a new report from the University of Maryland-based National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
Glaucoma's unique protein expression could enhance diagnosis and treatment
An eye under pressure appears to express a unique set of proteins that physicians hope will one day help them better diagnose and treat glaucoma.
Flaxseed-fed chickens shed light on ovarian cancer
In the race to find answers about ovarian cancer, researchers now have something to cluck about.
Study finds cutting colonoscopy preparation from 2 days to 1 day just as effective
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have found that colonoscopy preparation drugs administered the same day as the procedure are equally effective to those given the night before and the morning of the procedure, but result in less complaints of side effects such as abdominal pain, sleep loss and workday interference.
Hormonal contraceptives associated with higher risk of female sexual dysfunction
Women taking non-oral and oral hormonal contraceptives were at highest risk of female sexual dysfunction (FSD), according to a study of female German medical students published today in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
By 2030, cardiovascular disease and death rates will surge in China
By 2030, researchers project that aging and increases in risk factors will raise annual heart disease and stroke rates in China by up to 73 percent.
Definitive diabetes indicator deceptively high in African-American children
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans researchers found there is a major difference in the hemoglobin A1c response to blood glucose between African-American and Caucasian children with diabetes.
Virginiamycin may reduce feed costs for swine producers
University of Illinois researchers have found one more way swine producers may be able to save money on feed costs this year.
Vaccination linked with early onset of seizures in Dravet syndrome but clinical outlook unaffected
Childhood vaccination is linked with earlier onset of the neurological disorder Dravet syndrome, finds a retrospective study.
Parents need to be convinced their daughters should receive HPV vaccine
Even when financial and health care barriers are removed, some parents remain hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine.
Bees that nest in petals
A rare species of solitary bees found in the Middle East, Osima avoseta, constructs its nests from petals, creating chambers of pink, yellow, blue, and purple for its larvae.
Exposure to prenatal smoking may lead to psychiatric problems
New research shows that prenatal smoking can lead to psychiatric problems and increase the need for psychotropic medications in childhood and young adulthood.
High doses of antioxidant supplements induce stem cell genetic abnormalities
High doses of antioxidant nutritional supplements, such as vitamins C and E, can increase genetic abnormalities in cells, which may predispose supplement-takers to developing cancer, according to a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.
Bionic coating could help ships to economize on fuel
The hairs on the surface of water ferns could allow ships to have a 10 percent decrease in fuel consumption.
Fear of pandemic influenza clogs EDs even when disease is not present
A study of emergency department (ED) activity before and during the H1N1 influenza pandemic highlights the role public fear can play in unnecessarily straining medical facilities and will aid in ongoing preparations for public health emergencies.
Less sleep may add up to more pounds in adolescents
Adolescents who don't get enough sleep may gain more than some extra time to play video games or text their friends.
A new biological explanation for sadness in early postpartum
Greater levels of a brain protein called monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) -- may explain why postpartum blues and clinical depression are so common after childbirth according to an important study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Groundbreaking space technology project will save lives during emergencies and disasters
The European GEO-PICTURES project combines state-of-the-art satellite communication, navigation and Earth observation for saving lives in great disasters.
Most patients lack early follow-up care after heart failure hospitalization
Early follow-up care following hospital discharge reduces readmission rates for heart failure patients, but most hospitals have no formal follow-up procedures in place, according to a new study by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
Key mechanism identified in metastatic breast cancer
Researchers at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center have found that the SNAG domain of Snail1 acts as a molecular hook for recruiting LSD1 to repress gene expression in metastasis.
Genetic differences that make you sleepy when you drink can also protect against alcohol dependence
Genetic differences in alcohol-metabolizing enzymes can affect a person's risk for alcohol dependence (AD).
Hospital interventions for medical inpatients with unhealthy drinking behaviors
Medical inpatients often demonstrate unhealthy drinking practices. A new study on the effectiveness of hospital interventions has found that focusing on alcohol-attributable illnesses may serve as the strongest catalyst for changing drinking habits.
UF engineering researcher: Cell phones could double as night vision devices
Call it Nitelite: The newest app for cell phones might be night vision.
Latest breakthroughs in technology expand options for diagnosing and treating disease
Endoscopic radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment in eliminating Barrett's esophagus, an electronic

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