Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 01, 2010
Molecular imaging and CT colonography team up to bring comfort to patients
A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography -- a molecular imaging technique -- combined with computer tomography (CT) colonography may provide a suitable alternative for detecting polyps and cancer in the colon.

New tool for pre-surgical detection of kidney cancers may help patients avoid unnecessary surgeries
The use of an antibody called 124I-girentuximab with PET/CT imaging can help to distinguish clear-cell renal cell carcinoma, the predominant variant of kidney cancer, from other types of benign or malignant kidney masses.

Eliminating tumor suppressor C/EBP alpha explains cancer in aging liver
Understanding how the tumor suppressor protein C/EBP alpha is eliminated in aging livers gives important clues to the mechanism by which cancer occurs in that organ and could point the way to new therapies and prevention, said Baylor College of Medicine.

Calcium consumption may cause prostate cancer in Chinese
Among Chinese men, calcium consumption -- even at relatively low levels and from nondairy food sources such as soy, grains and green vegetables -- may increase prostate cancer risk, according to results published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

No relaxing for cancer cells
Many tumor cells would not be viable due to aberrant chromosome distribution if they had not developed a special trick.

Tropical Cyclone Phet threatens the Indian and Pakistani coastlines
NASA satellite imagery confirmed that Tropical cyclone 03A has intensified quickly in the last 24 hours, and as a result, the storm has been renamed Tropical Storm Phet.

Developer preview of Kamra, the first open standards-based mobile AR browser, at ARE2010
The Georgia Institute of Technology announces the release of the developer preview of Kamra, the first mobile augmented reality browser for the KHARMA (KML/HTML Augmented Reality Mobile Architecture) development platform based on open Web standards.

Clinical trial finds azithromycin pills equal to penicillin shots for treating early syphilis
In a clinical trial involving HIV-negative volunteers with early stage syphilis, researchers have found that antibiotic pills (azithromycin) are as effective as penicillin injections in curing early stage syphilis.

One-third of young girls get HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer
Only about one in three young women has received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer, according to a new report from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Lucky break: Quit smoking after fracture surgery for better healing
Smokers who refrain from using tobacco during the six-week period following emergency surgery for an acute fracture heal more quickly and experience fewer complications.

Scripps research scientists determine structure of immune molecule that counteracts HIV strains
In findings that contribute to efforts to design an AIDS vaccine, a team led by Scripps Research Institute scientists has determined the structure of an immune system antibody molecule that effectively acts against most strains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.

Study finds cancer information on Wikipedia is accurate, but not very readable
It is a commonly held that information on Wikipedia should not be trusted, since it is written and edited by non-experts without professional oversight.

JCI online early table of contents: June 1, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 1, 2010, in the JCI:

Study identifies treatments associated with lower bleeding rates following cardiac procedures
In a study that included data from more than 1.5 million patients, use of vascular closure devices and the anticoagulant bivalirudin were associated with significantly lower bleeding rates for patients following a percutaneous coronary intervention, according to a study in the June 2 issue of JAMA.

A prognostic and predictive biomarker for nonsmall cell lung cancer
Researchers in Brazil found a protein that can be used to indicate which patients in the early stages of nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a good prognosis and which do not.

New technique reliably detects enzyme implicated in cancer and atherosclerosis
A Georgia Tech research team has developed a new technique that reliably detects and quantifies an enzyme implicated in osteoporosis, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer metastasis and other disease processes.

Researchers offer solutions to poisonous well-water crisis in southern Asia
Researchers offer solutions to poisonous well-water crisis in southern Asia.

McGill's 'Orphan Drug' research offers hope
The US Food and Drug Administration's

NASA completes critical design review of Landsat data continuity mission
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission reached a major milestone last week when it successfully completed its Mission Critical Design Review.

Intrahepatic clear cell cholangiocarcinoma
Clear cell intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a rare cancer. There is not enough information about the patients' underlying diseases, choice of treatment and prognosis.

Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
Aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia is a major side effect in breast cancer survivors, producing joint pain so severe that as many as ten percent of women discontinue their therapy prematurely while undergoing treatment with these lifesaving drugs.

Only 5 percent of cancer research funds are spent on metastases, yet it kills 90 percent of all cancer patients
On average, about 5 percent of total cancer research funding is spent on investigating metastases (the spread of cancer cells around the body) in Europe, yet metastatic disease is the direct or indirect cause of 90 percent of all cancer deaths, according to an editorial in the European Journal of Cancer.

Plants spice up their sex life with defensins
Since the beginning, plants and animals have deployed various mechanisms to fight pathogens.

Doping graphene
A dopant common in building conventional electronics looks promising for making components out of carbon sheets only one atom thick.

Rare carnivorous plant on Top 10 List of Newly Discovered Species
A rare carnivorous plant named in honor of the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, who is an honorary Fellow of the Linnean Society, has been ranked number one on the Top 10 List of Newly Discovered Species.

Protecting nerve cells the job of the protein NFI-A
Researchers have now identified the gene regulatory protein NFI-A as a new molecular regulator of nerve cell protection in mice.

Uncovering the mystery of a major threat to wheat
Agricultural Research Service scientists have solved a longstanding mystery as to why a pathogen that threatens the world's wheat supply can be so adaptable, diverse and virulent.

A risk factor of gallstone formation after radical gastrectomy
The incidence of gallstones is higher in patients after radical gastrectomy than in the general population.

Treating heart attack past recommended time may significantly increase risk of death
An examination of the treatment received by patients with myocardial infarction at 80 hospitals in Quebec indicates that those who received either primary percutaneous coronary intervention or fibrinolysis beyond the times recommended in international guidelines had a significantly increased risk of death within 30 days, along with an increased risk of the combined outcome of death or readmission for heart attack or heart failure at one year, according to a study in JAMA.

Squirrels show softer side by adopting orphans, study finds
Squirrels will take in orphaned pups if the babies are closely related to the adoptive mother, according to new University of Guelph research.

Stapled transanal rectal resection is beneficial for patients with obstructed defecation
Stapled transanal rectal resection (STARR) is a new surgical technique for obstructed defecation syndrome.

NOAA selects University of Miami to lead major southeastern US cooperative institute
NOAA today announced its selection of the University of Miami to continue to lead its partnership with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies.

'Little brown balls' tie malaria and algae to common ancestor: UBC research
Inconspicuous

Aspirin recommendations changed for many younger diabetic patients
Experts are now recommending that low-dose aspirin therapy to prevent heart attacks be used somewhat more conservatively -- that men younger than 50 and women younger than 60, who have diabetes but no other major risk factors, probably not use aspirin.

Second language learners recall native language when reading
Adults fluent in English whose first language is Chinese retrieve their native language when reading in English, according to new research in the June 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

UCLA stem cell researchers uncover previously unknown patterns in DNA methylation
A previously unknown pattern in DNA methylation -- an event that affects cell function by altering gene expression -- has been uncovered for the first time by stem cell researchers at UCLA, a finding that could have implications in preventing some cancers and correcting defects in human stem cell lines.

Antidepressants linked to cataract risk -- Parkinson's drug may cause corneal damage
This month's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, includes new studies on links between eye diseases and two widely prescribed drugs: SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants and amantadine, a Parkinson's disease treatment.

Mannitol boosts effectiveness of potential cord blood treatment for cerebral palsy in lab animals
The sugar-alcohol compound mannitol improved the therapeutic effectiveness of human umbilical cord blood cells injected into neontal rat models of cerebral palsy, reports a new international study led by the University of South Florida.

NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication to host International Communication Association Conference
Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information will be hosting the annual conference of the prestigious International Communication Association, the largest association of its kind in the world, from June 22-26, 2010, at Suntec Singapore International and Convention Centre.

New automated tool 'debugs' nuclear weapon simulations
Purdue University researchers, working with high-performance computing experts at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, have created an automated program to

Mayo Clinic study identifies surgical means for improving kidney cancer survival
When kidney cancer spreads to other body parts, patients usually receive a poor prognosis.

Targeted immunotherapy shows promise for metastatic breast, pancreatic cancers
Early trials using targeted monoclonal antibodies in combination with existing therapies show promise in treating pancreatic cancer and metastatic breast cancer, according to research that will be presented by investigators from the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center at the 2010 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

ADHD linked to low maternal education, lone parents and welfare benefits
A major study of 1.16 million children has found strong links between receiving medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and limited maternal education, single parent families and welfare benefits.

Thymoquinone induced oxidative stress targets highly aggressive prostate cancers
Researchers at the Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans, have demonstrated that thymoquinone (TQ) a major component of black seed oil (Nigella sativa) can suppress the growth of several aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines, in vitro.

Making enough red blood cells
Two small molecules ensure enough red blood cells are produced, scientists at EMBL Monterotondo and EMBL-EBI found in a study published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Agatha drenches Guatemala and El Salvador, remnants now in Caribbean
Tropical Storm Agatha was the first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, and took an inland route, drenching El Salvador and Guatemala this past weekend.

TU Delft and MI Labs merge PET and SPECT biomedical imaging techniques and increase resolution
TU Delft and Molecular Imaging Labs (MI Labs) have succeeded in combining two forms of medical imaging techniques (microPET and microSPECT) into one piece of equipment.

Research: Electric fields make ceramic production quicker, cheaper, better
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that applying a small electric field results in faster formation of ceramic products during manufacture at lower temperatures, and enhances the strength of the ceramic itself.

Nottingham research leads to blood test for early detection of cancer
The University of Nottingham spin-out company, Oncimmune Ltd., has developed a groundbreaking blood test which will aid the detection of cancer as much as five years earlier than current testing methods such as mammography and CT scans.

Microbe power as a green means to hydrogen production
Scientists have been hard at work harnessing the power of microbes as an attractive source of clean energy.

Proton therapy carries precise, potent punch against children's cancers
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announces the availability of proton therapy, a precise form of cancer radiation that offers potentially life-changing benefits to children with brain tumors and other solid tumors.

Jumping genes provide extensive 'raw material' for evolution, Penn study finds
Using high-throughput sequencing to map the locations of a common type of jumping gene within a person's entire genome, researchers found extensive variation in these locations among the individuals they studied, further underscoring the role of these errant genes in maintaining genetic diversity.

Research in which the University of Navarra participated provides new clues to causes of leukemia
The University of Navarra, together with the University of Oxford and three other European centers, are taking part in a project to discover the origin of myelodysplasia, an ailment with a predisposition to develop into leukemia.

Revolutionary crane technology may be in Navy's future
If employed in the future fleet, the LVI Lo/Lo crane will facilitate the flow of

Pivotal data for the investigational treatment PSD502 for primary premature ejaculation
Data summarizing the results of two pivotal studies of the investigational new drug, PSD502, a topical metered dose spray being developed for the treatment of primary premature ejaculation.

New cancer guidelines: Exercise during and after treatment is now encouraged
Cancer patients who've been told to rest and avoid exercise can -- and should -- find ways to be physically active both during and after treatment, according to new national guidelines.

Use of local anesthetics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease of the intestines and no definitive medical treatment has been defined yet.

Despite efforts, not all Latino immigrants accepted as 'white'
While some Latino immigrants to the United States may be accepted as

Race for new hips
A recent study at the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in Pittsburgh suggests that patient treatment preferences play an important role in racial disparities in total joint replacement utilization observed in the US.

Scientists design a more efficient democratic voting system
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed a relatively simple democratic voting system which improves the efficiency of the usual common plurality voting system, and that protects minorities better and takes them more into consideration.

FSU scientists use unique model to predict active 2010 hurricane season
Florida State University scientists who have developed a unique computer model with a knack for predicting hurricanes with unprecedented accuracy are forecasting an unusually active season this year.

Concealed patterns beneath life's variety
Although it is well known that there are more species in the tropics than in higher latitudes, it is hard to study how the species in a sampling change in time and across large distances.

MIT chemists design new way to fluorescently label proteins
MIT researchers have now come up with a new way to overcome the disadvantages of GFP, by tagging proteins with a much smaller probe.

Copper nanowires enable bendable displays and solar cells
A team of Duke University chemists has perfected a simple way to make tiny copper nanowires in quantity.

The Reaxys Ph.D. Prize awards innovative research in organic, organometallic and inorganic chemistry
Elsevier Properties SA announces the winners of the Reaxys Ph.D.

Hat-trick for University of Montreal scientists
The University of Montreal has excelled at the 2010 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Awards.

Link established between erectile dysfunction and calcified coronary arteries
In the largest study to date evaluating erectile dysfunction and coronary artery calcification, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have determined that men with ED are at a significantly increased risk of high coronary artery calcification scores, a known predictor of future cardiovascular events.

How New York City is preparing for climate change
New York City is establishing itself as a global leader in forming a proactive response to climate change, reveals a new report detailing the city's plans to adapt to the challenges and opportunities the changing climate presents.

A quick fix for queues
Queuing, standing in line ... it's what we do well, but complain about the most.

Health-care economics and policy: It's a perfect storm
Health-care reform -- and the many options for fixing a broken system -- have appeared in the news headlines for months.

Rochester advances understanding of deadly form of malaria
Scientists are making strides against cerebral malaria, a fatal form of malaria in children that can ravage the brain and is extremely difficult to treat.

What are the most effective strategies for secondary suicide prevention?
Attempts to reduce suicide in a population do not always focus enough on high-risk patients, argues an essay in PLoS Medicine this week that discusses different interventions for

NSERC honors McGill pair
Two McGill researchers, Prof. Brenda Milner and Prof. Guy Moore, have been recognized for their exceptional contributions to science from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic sign research pact with Karolinska
The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic, under the mantle of the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, have formed a strategic research relationship with the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden, the top-rated medical research university in Europe.

TV food advertisements promote imbalanced diets
Making food choices based on television advertising results in a very imbalanced diet according to a new study comparing the nutritional content of food choices influenced by television to nutritional guidelines published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Body's own proteins may lead the way in global fight against tuberculosis
Scientists hope to counter the re-emerging threat of tuberculosis with help from proteins within our bodies.

$400,000 NRC grant to develop nuclear engineering faculty at Clemson
The environmental engineering and Earth sciences department at Clemson University has received a three-year, $400,000 faculty-development grant from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to help recruit and retain younger faculty in nuclear science.

How reliable is prognostic research? A case study of C-reactive protein in coronary artery disease
Prognostic markers provide tools for discriminating between groups of patients who are at different risks of a particular outcome, and therefore should help clinicians to manage disease.

Calcium supplements: too much of a good thing?
Negative health effects linked to taking too much supplemental calcium are on the rise, according to a commentary appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Excess oxygen in blood after cardiac resuscitation may increase risk of in-hospital death
Patients who have excessive oxygen levels in arterial blood (hyperoxia) following resuscitation from cardiac arrest have a higher rate of death in the hospital than similar patients without arterial hyperoxia, according to a study in the June 2 issue of JAMA.

After the oil spill: New research sheds light on coral susceptibility to environmental stress
Much attention has been paid to the fate of wildlife living on and above the Gulf of Mexico's surface.

Blocking DNA repair protein could lead to targeted, safer cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the School of Medicine have discovered that inhibiting a key molecule in a DNA repair pathway could provide the means to make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy while protecting healthy cells.

NYSCF awards fellowships to 8 innovative stem cell scientists
The New York Stem Cell Foundation today announced the award of eight new NYSCF-Druckenmiller Fellows.

Immune system helps transplanted stem cells navigate in central nervous system
By discovering how adult neural stem cells navigate to injury sites in the central nervous system, UC Irvine researchers have helped solve a puzzle in the creation of stem cell-based treatments: How do these cells know where to go?

Count your chickens (and robins and pigeons ...), urge researchers working to protect birds
People could help to prevent species of birds from becoming extinct by recording sightings of all kinds of birds online, including common species, according to a new study published today in PLoS Biology.

NTU, Fraunhofer set up research center to boost Singapore's IDM industry
NTU and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will set up the Fraunhofer IDM Centre at NTU with strong support from Media Development Authority.

Sluggish cell division may help explain genital defects
Researchers say a gene memorably named Sonic the Hedgehog controls genital development by regulating a process known as the cell cycle -- a biological event that regulates when, and how fast, cells divide to form hearts, brains, limbs and all the other complex structures needed to build an individual.

Electrophoresis of RNA, avian imaging featured in June's Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
Articles describing the electrophoresis of RNA and avian imaging are featured in June's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols.

Lasers help researchers predict birds' preferred habitat
A team of NASA-funded researchers has completed an experiment to remotely sense and predict where certain birds are most likely to live and breed.

For heart failure patients, risk of in-hospital death has decreased; readmission rate has increased
An analysis of Medicare data from 1993 through 2006 for older patients hospitalized for heart failure indicates that along with a decrease in hospital length of stay, the rate of in-hospital and 30-day mortality has decreased, while the rate of hospital readmission and discharge to skilled nursing facilities has increased, according to a study in the June 2 issue of JAMA.

Geologist: Fla. ridges' mystery marine fossils tied to rising land, not seas
Sea level has not been as high as the distinctive ridges that run down the length of Florida for millions of years.

Surgeon-engineer team produce training software for robot-assisted surgery
Two Buffalo scientists have paired up to create technology that has the potential to revolutionize surgical training worldwide, developing the first procedure-based, hands-on surgical training software.

Smoke exposure alters gene expression and estrogen metabolism in the lungs of mice
Lung cancer rates are increasing substantially in women, particularly in nonsmoking women, with no known reason for the increase.

Cognitive ability, not age, predicts risky decisions
Your older mother may be just as good or better than you at making quick, sound, money-making decisions, according to researchers at Duke University.

Different tonsillectomy techniques may result in fewer complications
In a review of three different surgical techniques commonly used for tonsillectomy, the microdebrider technique (where a rotary cutting tool is used to shave tissue) had the lowest overall complication rate when compared to the other two techniques.

Mount Sinai researchers discover one cause of cognitive decline in aging population
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that certain types of specializations on nerve cells called

Challenges for the next pandemic
Six public health challenges and data needs are evident, based upon lessons learned from the 2009 influenza pandemic.

Teens getting creative with Web 2.0 tools
A pilot study of teens and their use of Web 2.0 technologies confirms what most parents probably already know: Teens are really good at it.

New gecko species identified in West African rain forests
Using a new statistical method to compare the genes of 50 specimens of the West African forest gecko, two former UC Berkeley students have determined that the widely distributed species is actually four distinct species that appear to have evolved over the past 100,000 years as the rain forest fragmented with increasing aridification.

ACR task force makes recommendations for improving relationships between radiologists and hospitals
The American College of Radiology's Task Force on Relationships between Radiology Groups and Hospitals and Other Healthcare Organizations has proposed several steps that can help improve relationships between radiologists and the health care systems that they service, according to an article in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Fox Chase researchers to present at American Urological Association
Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers will present three abstracts at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Urological Association that demonstrate progress in the use of the R.E.N.A.L.

Oil spill reshapes sweeping new study of oyster reefs -- Virginia to Florida
An FSU marine biologist will lead scientists from four states in a massive, NSF-funded effort to study the health and future of the nation's natural oyster reefs in 12 estuaries spanning 1,000 miles of Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico shoreline.

Synthetic peptide may regenerate brain tissue in stroke victims
A synthetic version of a naturally occurring peptide promoted the creation of new blood vessels and repaired damaged nerve cells in lab animals, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

New 'doubly magic' research reveals role of nuclear shell
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and six collaborating universities have performed an unprecedented nuclear reaction experiment that explores the unique properties of the

The increased risk of breast cancer associated with a range of common genes is not affected by lifestyle factors
The increased risk of breast cancer associated with a range of common genes is not affected by lifestyle factors including use of hormone replacement therapy, age at birth of first child, obesity, and alcohol consumption.

Patients who refuse prostate cancer surgery have worse long-term survival
Men who refuse surgery for prostate cancer and instead opt for

More partnerships in China
Singapore's first eco-friendly bus developed by NTU and China's Tsinghua University is ready and will make its appearance during the Youth Olympics Games in August and will be used to transport athletes and officials around the Youth Olympics Village at NTU.

Risk/benefit analysis: Potential drug target has key role in the heart
Inhibitors of GSK-3 proteins are being developed as potential therapeutics for numerous conditions, including bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.

Genome of bacteria responsible for tuberculosis of olive tree sequenced
Researchers at the Public University of Navarra, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the University of Malaga, the University of Wisconsin and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research have managed to sequence the genome of the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis in the olive tree.

Study finds poker players using drugs to enhance performance
A Nova Southeastern University study recently presented at a national conference found that 80 percent of poker players around the world reported using drugs and other substances to enhance their performance in poker.

Faith-based groups can aid response to HIV in Central America, study finds
Faith-based organizations such as churches and religious relief and development groups can play an important role in the response to HIV and AIDS in Central America, a new study shows.

Flies offer insight into human metabolic disease
Galactosemia is a metabolic disease resulting from an inherited defect that prevents the proper metabolism of galactose, a sugar commonly found in dairy products, like milk.

Blood-thinning copycat enters malaria fight
New treatments for malaria are possible after Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists found that molecules similar to the blood-thinning drug heparin can stop malaria from infecting red blood cells.
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