Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2005)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2005.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2005

Life insurance: Research reveals concerns over use of health information
New ESRC-funded research has discovered that eight per cent of people are asked to pay a higher premium because of health 'ratings' - twice as many as previously thought. The study, led by Dr Paul Bennett at the University of Edinburgh and Professor Susan J. Smith at the University of Durham, says that the proportion of applicants refused cover outright is also more than generally believed, at 1.5 rather than one per cent.

Society of Nuclear Medicine announces collaborative working agreement with Bio-Imaging Technologies
The Society of Nuclear Medicine has established a collaborative working agreement with Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc., the world's largest independent, dedicated provider of medical image management for clinical trials. Together, SNM and Bio-Imaging will work in establishing multicenter clinical trial capabilities and educational programs.

Simple tests may help predict patients' pain after surgery
New research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center shows that having patients complete a series of simple tests before surgery may help predict the intensity of their post-surgical pain and how much pain medication they will need.

Forecasting the next great San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco Bay region has a 25 percent chance of a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake in the next 20 years, and a roughly 1 percent chance of such an earthquake each year, according to the

Hepatitis C complicated by morphine withdrawal
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that morphine withdrawal complicates hepatitis C by suppressing IFN-alpha-mediated immunity and enhancing virus replication. The paper by Wang et al.,

A novel model to pinpoint human androgen receptor targets developed
A novel computational model to pinpoint androgen receptor targets within the human genome was recently reported by the joint team of Genomatix Software GmbH, Munich, Germany, and Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR), Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Researchers in the collaborative team systematically tested and improved the model by experimentally verifying androgen receptor binding to predicted target sites within the prostate cancer genome.

Leading pediatricians group recommends infants sleep in cribs, not parents' beds
A Saint Louis University associate professor of pediatrics calls the American Academy of Pediatrics' revised recommendations about bed-sharing and SIDS

Radiation therapy can help spare vision in patients with melanoma of the eye
Treating a rare form of eye cancer with radiation therapy can spare patients from significant vision loss, according to new research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

UK entomology research article published in new issue of Science
The Oct. 14 issue of Science, the widely-respected journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) , features an article by University of Kentucky entomologist Stephen Dobson together with researchers Zhiyong Xi and Cynthia Khoo.

Improved blood safety measures from Pall can increase platelet availability
Availability of safe platelets is a fundamental blood transfusion challenge and can be especially problematic in times of emergency. Several studies presented at the annual AABB meeting today demonstrate new approaches to counteract platelet shortages by enhancing the safety of whole blood derived platelets, precluding the need to rely on only those obtained through apheresis.

USC neuroscientist to receive Prince of Asturias prize
USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio will accept the 2005 Prince of Asturias Award on Friday, October 21.

Gene therapy reverses genetic mutation responsible for heart failure in muscular dystrophy
University of Pittsburgh investigators have for the first time used gene therapy to successfully treat heart failure and other degenerative muscle problems in an animal model that is genetically susceptible to a human muscular dystrophy. Reporting in the Oct. 25 edition of the journal Circulation, the authors say that this is the first successful attempt to deliver a therapeutic gene throughout the body.

Geoscientists follow arsenic from chicken feed to streambeds
Organic arsenic is fed to poultry to prevent bacterial infections and improve weight gain. A little bit of arsenic is taken up by the tissue and the majority of it is excreted. Virginia Tech geoscientists are determining what happens to such feed additives when they are part of the manure applied to agricultural fields.

An 'evildoer' by any other name: How labels shape our attitudes toward violence
What difference does it make if a prosecutor describes a defendant as a

Hormone might cause dangerous pregnancy complication
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Academic Health Center have found evidence of a hormone they say is responsible for certain types of high blood pressure (hypertension), and could also cause preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that occurs during pregnancy.

Researchers offer proof-of-concept for Altered Nuclear Transfer
Scientists at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research have successfully demonstrated that a theoretical--and controversial--technique for generating embryonic stem cells is indeed possible.

Guarding giants with tiny protectors
The Office of Naval Research is supporting development of a nanofabrication process that will make possible ultrasmall sensors.

Take two!
All life on earth depends on photosynthesis, a process in which light energy is used to build organic substances. When the amount and proportion of light changes, a plant has to adapt; we distinguish between three different kinds of adaptation.

New studies examine the evidence on probiotics in IBS
A new study of the probiotic strain B. infantis 35624 shows promising results in normalizing frequency of bowel movements in patients suffering from constipation or diarrhea - the two ends of the spectrum in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Latest study: Scientists say no evidence exists that therapod dinosaurs evolved into birds
No good evidence exists that fossilized structures found in China and which some paleontologists claim are the earliest known rudimentary feathers were really feathers at all, a renowned ornithologist says. Instead, the fossilized patterns appear to be bits of decomposed skin and supporting tissues that just happen to resemble feathers to a modest degree.

Stevens' professors to hold relativity teach-in and science party
Have you ever wondered why E equals mc squared? And, if

Exercise in midlife could reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease
Being physically active in midlife could decrease a person's risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) later in life, concludes an article published online today (Tuesday October 4, 2005) by The Lancet Neurology.

Surviving breast cancer--Does a woman's marital status matter?
Research has shown that being single, married or divorced can influence cancer survival, but a new study shows marital status appears to have no impact on the outcome for women with breast cancer who are treated with lumpectomy and radiation.

Sight can recover quickly in amblyopia
New research findings led by Thomas Krahe and Ary S. Ramoa of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine offer two pieces of good news for treating children with amblyopia. First, the researchers have found evidence that the neural wiring in the brain's visual system is not dismantled by visual deprivation -- for example, due to a cataract -- during what is known as the

National Academies advisory: Oct. 27-29 US Frontiers of Science
Next week the National Academy of Sciences will hold its 2005 US Frontiers of Science symposium, which brings together outstanding young scientists to discuss cutting-edge research.

Retiring early is not linked to longer life
Retiring early is not linked to longer life, finds new research published online by the BMJ today. There is a widespread perception that early retirement is associated with longer life expectancy and later retirement is associated with early death. But no consensus has been reached on the effect of early retirement on survival.

Largest survey on depression suggests higher prevalence in U.S., reports Mailman school
Findings from the largest survey ever conducted on the co-occurrence of psychiatric disorders among U.S. adults indicates a sharper picture than previously reported of major depressive disorder (MDD) in specific population groups. Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) also indicate a strong relationship of MDD to alcohol use disorders, drug disorders and other mental health conditions.

A new blueprint to aid physicians in predicting risk for type 1 diabetes
Researchers have discovered a combination of tests that can more accurately predict who will develop type 1 diabetes. In the process, they've also uncovered signs of a new protein that may forecast a more rapidly developing form of the disease. Together, these findings could help researchers screen patients for clinical trials that eventually may lead to a vaccine or cure for type 1 diabetes.

Enzyme complex thought to promote cancer development can also help prevent it
In a case of basic science detective work, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have solved the puzzle of the

Liverpool psychology helps bring peace to European football
'Low impact' policing is the key to overcoming 'hooliganism' at major international football tournaments, according to ESRC-funded research. It found that while preventing known troublemakers from travelling is important, the way to foster incident-free events is a 'low profile', friendly-but-firm police presence, and dealing with fans on the basis of their behaviour not their reputation.

Go with the flow: How cells use biological flows to signal and organize
An EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) team led by professor Melody Swartz has demonstrated for the first time that the presence of very slow biological flows affects the extracellular environment in ways that are critical for tissue formation and cell migration. Their results will appear online the week of October 24 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

EBCT scans trump angiography at detecting killer heart defect
New Saint Louis University research shows electron-beam CT is more accurate than conventional catheter angiography.

Vouchers for evicted section eight tenants not a fair trade
Federal vouchers are breaking up communities in order to provide affordable housing.

Cool therapy reduces brain injury and death from oxygen loss in newborns
Infants born with oxygen loss who are given an innovative therapy that lowers their entire body temperature by four degrees within the first six hours of life, have a better chance of survival and lower incidence of brain injury, according to a report in the October 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

WiCell receives $16 million NIH grant to create national stem cell bank
The WiCell Research Institute has been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the federal government's first and only National Stem Cell Bank (NSCB), it was announced today at a news conference in Madison.

UT Southwestern researchers find alterations in brain's circuitry caused by cocaine
Cocaine causes specific alterations in the brain's circuitry at a genetic level, including short-term changes that result in a high from the cocaine, as well as long-term changes seen in addiction, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Breakup of glaciers raising sea level concern
The rapid structural breakdown of some important parts of the ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica is possible, has happened in the distant past, and some

Phenotype is influenced by nature, nurture and noise
Geneticists have debated for decades the relative importance of nature versus nurture in determining how an animal looks and behaves, and now UCSD scientists report that noise could also be an important factor in determining phenotype.

Camryn Manheim speaks out about rheumatoid arthritis
The Arthritis Foundation, in partnership with Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, today announced the launch of

Metal-containing compounds show promise as HIV weapon
A molecule consisting of two

A study of the ectomychorrizal community amongst Quercus rubra L. plantations
In this study the possibilities of the North American oak (Quercus rubra L.) as an afforestation alternative in the Basque Country Autonomous Community were investigated. The aim was to expand the range of possibilities in forestry production, avoiding monospecific plantations but, at the same time, meeting the needs of the current economy on the basis of sustainable development.

Men who smoke heavily may impair sperm, fertility
Men who smoke cigarettes may experience a significant decline in their capacity to father a child, research by a reproductive medicine specialist from the University at Buffalo has shown.

Modifications render carbon nanotubes nontoxic
In follow-on work to last year's groundbreaking toxicological study of water-soluble buckyballs, nanotechnology researchers at Rice University find that water-soluble carbon nanotubes are significantly less toxic than their buckyball cousins. Moreover, the research finds that nanotubes, like buckyballs, can be rendered nontoxic with minor chemical modifications. The findings come from the first toxicological studies of water-soluble nanotubes. The study, which is available online, will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Toxicology Letters.

VGTI researchers receive $12.6 million to study West Nile virus in the elderly
Researchers at the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI) have received a $12.6 million grant from the federal government to assist in efforts to better protect the elderly against West Nile virus and related diseases. In both humans and animals, scientists will track immune system responses to West Nile. Through these studies, scientists hope to determine the specific factors that increase susceptibility to West Nile virus.

Emergency departments may often under-diagnose mental disorders in youth
Young people visiting an emergency department following an episode of deliberate self-harm are diagnosed with a mental disorder about half the time, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The answer to commuter boredom: Online acccess for buses and trains
Researchers are developing an innovative wireless network system for public transport that aims to give passengers total online access. Called Ocean (On-board Communication Entertainment and Information ), the system will allow users to check their e-mails, browse the Web, play an online game and access business applications. A research team is developing a wireless public transport network protocol which can be embedded in chips on board buses and trains. This allows the vehicles to create a communication network.

Oil spills and climate change double the mortality rate of British seabirds
New research from the University of Sheffield shows for the first time that major oil spills double the mortality rate of British sea birds, even though the pollution occurs hundred of miles from the birds' breeding grounds. The research, which is to be published in the November issue of Ecology Letters also shows a direct link between a warmer climate in the North Atlantic and a higher mortality rate among British guillemots.

Viagra's hidden help for wildlife
Chinese men are selectively switching from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction, but sticking with tradition for ailments such as arthritis, indigestion and gout, according to new research published in the journal Environmental Conservation. The finding supports a prediction made by Australian and Alaskan researchers at the advent of Viagra's commercial release in 1998 that the new impotence drug might reduce demand for several animal species that are over-harvested to treat impotence with TCMs.

Study finds protein is required for human chromosome production
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have identified an elusive protein that performs a necessary step in the production of human chromosomes.

Study finds gender differences in reported childhood sexual abuse
A new Queensland study has found a significant link between childhood sexual abuse and symptoms of sexual dysfunction in adult men and women. The study, conducted by scientists from UQ, QUT and QIMR, is published in the current edition of international journal Archives of Sex Research (Oct 2005). 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