Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 10, 2010
Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells
Metastatic breast cancer patients whose blood contains circulating tumor cells before or after treatment with high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplant have shorter survival periods, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Symposium marks milestones in honey bee management, research
In 1851, Lorenzo Langstroth, a Congregational minister and young ladies' school principal based in Philadelphia, revolutionized the practice of beekeeping.

High CTC levels predicted poor outcome in metastatic breast cancer
A high level of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) -- cells that have detached from a tumor and are circulating in the body through the blood -- are an independent prognostic marker in metastatic breast cancer as first-line therapy.

Pitt study finds 'green' water treatments may not kill bacteria in large building cooling systems
A two-year study by a University of Pittsburgh team suggests that non-chemical treatment systems -- touted as environmentally conscious stand-ins for such chemicals as chlorine -- may allow dangerous bacteria to flourish in the cooling systems of hospitals, commercial offices and other water-cooled buildings.

Beyond bars
Despite threats of violence, imprisonment and death, writers around the world continue to fight to make their voices heard.

Nanyang Technological University honors esteemed scholar Eddie Kuo with emeritus status
Nanyang Technological University will confer the title of

Circulating tumor cells predicted recurrence, death in patients with early-stage breast cancer
The presence of one to four circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of early-stage breast cancer patients almost doubled patient's risk of cancer relapse and death, and five or more CTCs increased recurrence by 400 percent and death by 300 percent, according to Phase III results of the SUCCESS trial.

AIUM spearheads collaboration to develop guidelines for point-of-care ultrasound applications
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine recently hosted Ultrasound Practice Forum: Point-of-Care Use of Ultrasound on Nov.

Lowering the drinking age is unlikely to curb college binge drinking
Although presidents at some US colleges have argued that lowering the minimum legal drinking age could help curb binge drinking on campuses, a new study in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs suggests such a measure would be ineffective.

Boxing -- bad for the brain
Up to 20 percent of professional boxers develop neuropsychiatric sequelae.

New way found of monitoring volcanic ash cloud
The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull in April this year resulted in a giant ash cloud, which -- at one point covering most of Europe -- brought international aviation to a temporary standstill, resulting in travel chaos for tens of thousands.

Women & Infants participating in national research study of new fertility drug
Women & Infants Hospital is participating in a national, randomized study to investigate the efficacy of a new fertility drug.

Twin study helps scientists link relationship among ADHD, reading, math
Children with ADHD can sometimes have more difficulties on math and reading tests compared to their peers.

CTCs predict poor outcome from blood stem cell transplantation therapy for metastatic breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer patients who had circulating tumor cells in their blood before or after high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation had poor outcomes, according to researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Assessing the seismic hazard of the central eastern United States
As the US policymakers renew emphasis on the use of nuclear energy in their efforts to reduce the country's oil dependence, other factors come into play.

BMC radiologist receives 2010 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award from AAWR
Ewa Kuligowska-Noble, M.D., F.A.C.R., a radiologist at Boston Medical Center and a professor of radiology at Boston University School of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2010 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award from the American Association for Women Radiologists.

Sign languages help us understand the nature of metaphors
A recent study of the use of metaphors in spoken language and various sign languages shows that certain types of metaphors are difficult to convey in sign language.

FASEB alert generates messages urging Congress to provide billion dollar increase for NIH
As Congress wraps up its current session, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is rallying the scientific community to urge their Senators and Representatives to pass a fiscal year 2011 spending bill that includes a $1 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health.

A few steps could lead to big gains for hospitalized seniors
A new study has shown that hospitalized elderly patients who take even short walks around a hospital unit tend to leave the hospital sooner than their more sedentary peers.

Iron legacy leaves soil high in manganese
Iron furnaces that once dotted central Pennsylvania may have left a legacy of manganese enriched soils, according to Penn State geoscientists.

2 books explore the history and delights of honey, bees and beehives
Honey is the original sweetener, manufactured by honey bees long before humans discovered and appropriated it.

News tips from the Quarterly Review of Biology
The December issue of the Quarterly Review of Biology features articles on the nature of individual organisms, evolution observed in the lab, play behavior across animal species, and a criticism of intelligent design creationism.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's 2010 AGU tip sheet
PNNL scientists will present a variety of research - including studies of clouds, aerosols and carbon sequestration -- at the 2010 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Dec.

Simple fingertip test may identify breast cancer patients at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome
As many as half of postmenopausal women taking aromatase inhibitor drugs for breast cancer complain of bothersome musculoskeletal symptoms, including carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

Researchers establish new rule to predict risk of stroke, death from surgery that prevents it
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have now developed a clinical risk prediction rule using factors such as sex, race and health history to assess the danger the surgery poses, while a modified version will help patients make a more fully informed choice about whether to have the procedure.

Wind and water have shaped Schiaparelli on Mars
The small crater embedded in the northwestern rim of the Schiaparelli impact basin features prominently in this new image from ESA's Mars Express.

Combination therapy reduced HER2-positive breast cancers
A combination of lapatinib, trastuzumab and paclitaxel significantly improved tumor response rates than either agent alone among patients with HER2-positive breast cancers, according to data presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

New application allows scientists easy access to important government data
Computer scientists within the Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an application to help solve the problem.

UVic biomedical engineer 'outsmarts' HIV
New, groundbreaking research by University of Victoria biomedical engineer Stephanie Willerth significantly advances our understanding of HIV and how to treat it.

WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) newly released for Singapore
Today, the International Osteoporosis Foundation and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases at the University of Sheffield, UK announced the launch of a FRAX calculator for Singapore.

Pregnancy may be impetus for degenerative back disease
Researchers from Michigan State University are studying whether pregnancies, specifically cesarean-section deliveries, are linked to a degenerative back disease that affects women three to nine times more often than men.

HOXB7 gene promotes tamoxifen resistance
Many postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancers who initially respond well to tamoxifen become resistant to the drug over time and develop recurrent tumors.

SEBM European Best Poster Prize awarded at Annual Conference of the German Society for Gene Therapy
Frauke Koenig, a Ph.D. student in professor Christoph Braeuchle'd group, in the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, was awarded this year's Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine European Prize for her work on live cell imaging of EGFR receptor targeting with short synthetic peptides.

Trio of drugs may combat 'triple negative' breast cancer
Working with cell cultures and mouse models, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have tested a cocktail of three drugs that holds promise for treating so-called triple negative breast cancers.

US fails to meet key women's health goals
The United States has failed to meet most goals for women's health -- largely federal objectives drawn from the US Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 agenda -- according to a report released today on the status of women's health by the National Women's Law Center and Oregon Health and Science University.

FReD can help explain how a bee sees!
Bees can see colors but they perceive the world differently to us, including variations in hue that we cannot ourselves distinguish.

UNEP Risoe Centre signs agreement on renewable energy projects in the Caribbean
One and a half years of intensive preparatory work is now finally written down in a binding agreement with the Ministry of Housing and Environment in Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean.

EARTH: Trade imbalance, America exports emissions to China
America has made great strides in recent years to reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency and turning to other, low or non-carbon energy sources.

New research reveals details of microbe's extraordinary maintenance and repair system
Scientists have discovered how a network of repair proteins enables bacteria to prioritize the repair of the most heavily used regions of the DNA molecules that carry the instructions necessary for living cells to function.

Phase III efficacy data on bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in early breast cancer to be presented
Results of the GeparQuinto study, randomized Phase III efficacy data on the use of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy to treat women with early breast cancer will be presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

UBC launches initiative with CCFF, CDRD to combat cystic fibrosis
The University of British Columbia, in partnership with the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF) and the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), today launches the Cystic Fibrosis Technology Initiative (CFTI) to advance Canadian technologies that will help combat cystic fibrosis.

Pertuzumab and trastuzumab combination improved efficacy for women with HER2-positive breast cancer
The combination of pertuzumab and trastuzumab had superior antitumor activity in women with early HER2-positive breast cancer, according to Phase II study results of the NeoSphere neoadjuvant trial.

Phase III study compared neoadjuvant therapy with lapatinib or trastuzumab for early breast cancer
Researchers presented Phase III efficacy data from the GeparQuinto study, a head-to-head comparison of neoadjuvant lapatinib and trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy for patients with early breast cancer, at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Denosumab delayed time to first skeletal-related side effect
For patients with breast cancer and bone metastases, denosumab delayed skeletal-related side effects five months longer compared to those on zoledronic acid, according to results presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Drugs are safe, active in patients normally ineligible for clinical trial
A two-drug combination is safe and active in newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients who are usually excluded from clinical trials because they have other illnesses or poor performance status -- a measure of disease progression -- researchers reported this week at the 52nd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.
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