Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 03, 2011
New strain of MRSA discovered
Scientists have identified a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which occurs both in human and dairy cow populations.

Helping Latinos quit smoking: Miriam Hospital studies offers new insight
Latinos looking to quit smoking are more successful when they have a significant other and partner support, say researchers from The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

Paper and computer workarounds challenge but may improve health IT
A new research study investigates the challenges that pen and paper workarounds or computerized communication breakdowns pose to the use of electronic health records.

Cancer survivors can't shake pain, fatigue, insomnia, foggy brain
When people finish treatment for cancer, they want to bounce back to their former vital selves as quickly as possible.

Combination antibody therapy shows promise in metastatic melanoma
A duo of monoclonal antibodies -- ipilimumab and bevacizumab -- each targeting a prime survival strategy of tumors, can be safely administered and are potentially more effective than either drug alone for advanced, inoperable melanomas, according to a phase 1 clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators.

Tsunami sensor detects mysterious background signal in Panama
An unusual signal detected by the seismic monitoring station at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's research facility on Barro Colorado Island results from waves in Lake Gatun, the reservoir that forms the Panama Canal channel, scientists report.

Matching targeted therapies to tumor's specific gene mutations key to personalized cancer treatment
Customizing targeted therapies to each tumor's molecular characteristics, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach by tumor type, may be more effective for some types of cancer, according to research conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

River mystery solved
The pristine state of unpolluted waterways may be their downfall, according to research results published in a paper this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Not all hospitals treat elderly the same
Hospitals that provide quality care for young people do not always provide the same quality care for the elderly, a new study has found.

Early transplants are no better than chemotherapy followed by transplant for NHL patients
Patients with a very aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma who receive a stem cell transplant after standard chemotherapy during their first remission have comparable survival rates to those who receive the same standard therapy alone and, if needed, a transplant when they relapse.

NIH scientists reactivate immune cells exhausted by chronic HIV
Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, have demonstrated why certain immune cells chronically exposed to HIV shut down, and how they can be reactivated.

Letters from home may help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder in happily married soldiers
A new study from the Journal of Traumatic Stress finds that for active-duty male soldiers in the US Army who are happily married, communicating frequently with one's spouse through letters and emails during deployment may protect against the development of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after returning home.

Moral responses change as people age
Moral responses change as people age says a new study from the University of Chicago.

University of Nevada, Reno economist refutes conventional wisdom about minimum-wage earners
In one of the most in-depth studies to date of adults who earn minimum wage, University of Nevada, Reno economist Bradley R.

USC researchers discover genetic mutation causing excessive hair growth
Researchers in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, together with scientists in Beijing, China, have discovered a chromosomal mutation responsible for a very rare condition in which people grow excess hair all over their bodies.

Study links empathy, self-esteem, and autonomy with increased sexual enjoyment
Sexual pleasure among young adults (ages 18-26) is linked to healthy psychological and social development, according to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Fast track to vascular disease
Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease, and results from chronic inflammation of arterial vessel walls.

ACSM: Weight loss success in a 3-D virtual world
Participants in two weight-loss programs -- one at a health club, the other delivered in a virtual world -- lost similar amounts of weight and body fat, but the online contingent reported significantly greater gains in behaviors that could help them live healthier and leaner lives.

Understanding cancer energetics
It's long been known that cancer cells eat a lot of sugar to stay alive.

New strategy to combat cystitis
One in three women will be faced at least once in her life with cystitis.

International research initiative on adaptation to climate change announces research awards
The International Development Research Centre together with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada today announce that five research teams have been awarded a total of $12.5 million dollars under the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change.

U of Alberta research group recognized with national chemistry awards
A one-of-a-kind Canadian research group, based in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, has now won every award handed out by the Canadian Society of Chemistry for analytical and environmental chemistry.

Study confirms long-lasting anticancer benefit of zoledronic acid for women with early-stage breast cancer
Women with early-stage hormone receptor-sensitive breast cancer given zoledronic acid, a bone strengthening drug, in addition to standard hormone therapy for 3 years following surgery are at significantly (32 percent) less risk of their cancer returning, and the effect is long lasting.

Bacterial roundabouts determine cell shape
Max Planck scientists decipher important mechanisms of bacterial cell wall synthesis.

How muscle develops: A dance of cellular skeletons
Revealing another part of the story of muscle development, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown how the cytoskeleton from one muscle cell builds finger-like projections that invade into another muscle cell's territory, eventually forcing the cells to combine.

BUSM study finds older men more likely to lose the ability to orgasm due to gabapentin
Boston University School of Medicine researchers have found that gabapentin, (trade name Neurontin) a medication commonly used to treat neuropathic pain, seizures and bipolar disease in older and elderly patients, seems to have a higher incidence of anorgasmia, or failure to experience orgasm, than previously reported.

Vaccine first to show improved survival rates for metastatic melanoma
For patients with advanced melanoma, which is the most lethal type of skin cancer, the results of a large clinical trial show that a vaccine combined with the immune-boosting drug Interleukin-2 can improve response rate and progression-free survival.

Benefit of targeted lung cancer therapy confirmed
A drug that targets a specific type of lung cancer shows a dramatic response in more than half of the people who take it.

Emergency department physicians growing weary of frequent users
Emergency department physicians are frustrated and burned out from treating patients who frequent the ED for their care, according to a Henry Ford Hospital survey of physicians from across the country.

NASA watching 2 areas in the Caribbean, 1 is a rainmaker
There are two low pressure areas in the Caribbean Sea for future development into tropical cyclones, although the chances are near zero for one, and minimal for the other.

Mayo Clinic, NCCTG find no tie between PTEN and response to breast cancer drug
Contrary to what many oncologists had thought, a tumor suppressor protein known as PTEN does not reduce the effectiveness of the breast cancer drug Herceptin, according to a study by Mayo Clinic and North Central Cancer Research Group investigators.

FSU scientist leads research on AIDS-related cancer
In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, a once-rare form of cancer known as Kaposi's sarcoma emerged as a frequent harbinger of HIV.

Helping the aged during natural disasters
When earthquake, tsunami, tornado or flood strike, among the most vulnerable group are the elderly.

Mayo Clinic: Raoul Tibes, M.D., Ph.D., to receive Career Development Award
Rauol Tibes, M.D., Ph.D., the associate director of the Acute and Chronic Leukemias Program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, will receive a Career Development Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (formerly known as the ASCO Cancer Foundation) at the annual ASCO meeting this weekend in Chicago.

Unexpected results show no benefit from the addition of cetuximab to standard chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, but reveal that a large group of patients could benefit from treatment breaks (COIN trial)
The targeted therapy cetuximab does not improve progression-free survival or overall survival when added to standard chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for advanced colorectal cancer, according to the largest trial to date in advanced bowel cancer.

AAAS Pacific Division to convene joint session with world mummy scholars in San Diego
The AAAS Pacific Division will convene in San Diego from June 12-16 for an annual meeting that will range broadly across the sciences and arts -- including, this year, a focus on mummies.

Novel experimental agent is highly active in CLL patients, interim study shows
An interim analysis of a phase II clinical trial indicates that a novel experimental agent for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is highly active and well tolerated both in patients who are undergoing treatment for the first time and those who have relapsed and are resistant to other therapy.

Oded Galor: Economic growth process over 100,000 years
Brown University economist Oded Galor founded the field of unified growth theory, which examines the economic growth process over the entire history of the human species.

Experts to speak about growth of NYC and implications for transportation policy and infrastructure
New York City's metropolitan region faces the prospect of significant growth in population and employment over the next two decades.

Study finds vaccine extends recurrent GBM survival rates by 2 to 3 times
In data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, cancer researchers found that the brain tumor vaccine HSPPC-96 for treating recurrent gliobastoma (GBM) has a favorable safety profile and extends survival by two to three times more than the current median survival rate.

Novel geothermal technology packs a one-two punch against climate change
Two University of Minnesota Department of Earth Sciences researchers have developed an innovative approach to tapping heat beneath the Earth's surface.

Microstructure-induced biomechanical responses of dragonfly wing veins
A dragonfly wing is usually considered to be composed of membranes and the veins which are distinguished by longitudinal veins and cross veins.
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