Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2007)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2007.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2007

LIALDA (TM) demonstrates prolonged release of mesalamine
According to a study using a dynamic in vitro gastrointestinal tract system, Shire plc's ulcerative colitis drug LIALDA (mesalamine) demonstrated a delivery system where the majority of the drug's active ingredient, 5-aminosalicyclic acid, is released over a prolonged period in the simulated colon. The colon is the site of inflammation in ulcerative colitis.

Nephrologists summarize new renal research during public policy news briefing at Renal Week
Renal experts will summarize important new research on the topics of cardiovascular risk in chronic kidney disease, consequences of acute kidney injury, racial and ethnic disparities of kidney disease, and anemia management in kidney disease patients, being presented during the American Society of Nephrology's 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Francisco at a policy-centered news briefing on Saturday, Nov. 3.

Marketing study: companies benefit most from examining where customer loyalty lies
Customers determine the success of any business; whether a sense of loyalty develops often depends on one particular dynamic: a customer's relationship with the salesperson. A team of academic marketing professors, including one from the University of Missouri-Columbia, found that customer loyalty toward the salesperson -- rather than the products and services tied closely to the seller -- can inspire greater sales, but be bad for business by making the company more vulnerable.

St. Bernard study casts doubt on creationism
The St. Bernard dog -- named after the 11th century priest Bernard of Menthon -- may have ironically challenged the theory of creationism, say scientists.

Men, don't skip your prostate cancer treatment appointments!
Men with 'low risk' prostate cancer who miss more than two radiation treatments in an eight week treatment face an increased chance of their cancer recurring. That is the conclusion of a new study examining more than 15 years of data and nearly 1,800 patients treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose
The next cancer drug might come from the grocery store, according to research published in the November 2007 issue of the FASEB Journal. In the study, scientists describe how high and low doses of polyphenols have different effects. Most notably, they found that very high doses of polyphenols shut down and prevent tumors by stopping the formation of new blood vessels needed for growth. Polyphenols are found in red wine, fruits, vegetables and green tea.

Brain's 'social enforcer' centers identified
Researchers have identified brain structures that process the threat of punishment for violating social norms. They said that their findings suggest a neural basis for treating children, adolescents and even immature adults differently in the criminal justice system, since the neural circuitry for processing the threat of such punishment is not as developed in younger individuals as it is in adults. Their identification of the brain's

1st successful treatment for chronic TBI
A research team led by Dr. Paul Harch, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans and Director of the LSU Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship Program, has published findings that show hyperbaric oxygen therapy improved spatial learning and memory in a model of chronic traumatic brain injury.

In vitro models will minimize animal use in arthritis studies
It's hard to think of scientists in laboratories working toward solutions for medical problems without mice or other laboratory animals, but animals' roles in at least one major research laboratory may soon be minimal.

Initial reaction to nicotine can dictate addiction
Study finds that adolescents who felt relaxed when first exposed to nicotine from a cigarette were more likely to get hooked.

Handbook helps parents deal with childhood infections
A new book designed for parents helps them better understand the diseases their children could face and the weapons to fight them, while offering practical advice for preventing infections in their kids without going overboard.

How does the opioid system control pain, reward and addictive behavior?
Brigitte Kieffer presents at the 20th ECNP congress on Neuropsychopharmacology 2007, Vienna, Austria, exciting new methods that now allow to understand how molecules act in the brain and control behavior.

Clinical studies show REMICADE reduces incidence of bowel surgeries in ulcerative colitis patients
REMICADE significantly reduces the incidence of colectomy surgeries for patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. According to a primary analysis of long-term extension data from the Active Ulcerative Colitis 1 and 2 trials, there is a 41 percent reduction in the incidence of colectomy, the surgical removal of the colon, in patients receiving REMICADE through 54 weeks, compared to those receiving placebo.

Consumption of raw fish raises potential health concerns for consumers
Two case studies from Japan point to a potential health problem as more Americans consume raw fish in the form of sushi. Anisakiasis is a parasitic infection caused by the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood containing Anisakis larvae. The ingested larvae can lead to cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and small bowel obstruction warranting a trip to the emergency room.

Census of protein architectures offers new view of history of life
A new study appearing this month in Genome Research reveals that protein architectures -- the three-dimensional structures of specific regions within proteins -- provide an extraordinary window on the history of life. The research team compiled a global census of protein architectures, and used these relics to plot the emergence, diversification and refinement of each of the three super-kingdoms of life: archaea, bacteria and eukarya.

Genes influence people's economic choices
An international team of researchers including an MIT graduate student has demonstrated for the first time that genes exert influence on people's behavior in a very common experimental economic game.

Survival of newborns with abdominal holes differs according to hospital, Hopkins research shows
A newborn's chance for surviving a low-risk version of a condition called gastroschisis varies greatly by hospital, according to a study by Johns Hopkins surgeons.

A unique experiment with chlorine -- and a new way of teaching
Imagine turning up to an undergraduate class, being given a dissertation by one of your student predecessors and told to improve on it. This was the experience of successive cohorts of undergraduates at UCL's Department of Science and Technology Studies between 2000 and 2005. The result of this innovative approach to teaching is a full-blown academic monograph published this month by the British Society for the History of Science.

WHO EURO region ministerial forum on TB must reach out beyond borders of Europe
The WHO EURO region's Ministerial Forum on tuberculosis on Oct. 22, 2007, in Berlin, must take account of the threat of TB both outside as well as inside Europe if it is to be tackled adequately. These are the conclusions of authors of a comment published in this week's edition of The Lancet.

New technique improves purity of medicines
Dutch researcher Roelof Mol has investigated possibilities for more accurately determining the composition of medicines. He came up with a combination of two techniques that were previously considered to be incompatible: the separation technique electrokinetic chromatography and the detection technique mass spectroscopy.

Combination targets: some drugs may work best when they work together
While some targeted therapies -- drugs developed to attack specific molecules in the critical chemical pathways occurring within cancer cells -- work well by themselves, increasingly researchers are finding that they work better when teamed with other targeted and conventional therapies.

Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems
A study by an Indiana University environmental science professor and several colleagues suggests a widely planted variety of genetically engineered corn has the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems. The study is being published online this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.

Paving the way for future pan-European clinical trials
Pan-European collaboration is important for many clinical trials and essential for trials that are investigating treatments for rare diseases. That was the message delivered today by the European Medical Research Councils, the membership organization for medical research councils across Europe based at the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, which is coordinating two trials in rare diseases, and about to launch a review of how best to implement clinical trials that are initiated by investigators.

Intra-arterial combination chemotherapy induces long-term survival for hepatocellular carcinoma
The prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma accompanied by portal vein tumor thrombus is generally poor. Ten such patients treated by intra-arterial infusion of etoposide, carboplatin, epirubicin and pharmacokinetic modulating chemotherapy by 5-FU and tegafur/uracil are survival for 457.2 days, an one year survival rate was 70 percent. This combination chemotherapy may induce long-term survival and is an effective treatment in patients for HCC with PVTT.

IZA Prize in Labor Economics 2007 to Richard Freeman
The IZA Prize in Labor Economics 2007, awarded by the German Institute for the Study of Labor, goes to the US economist Richard B. Freeman (Harvard University and London School of Economics). Carrying a cash award of 50,000 euros, the IZA Prize is the most important scientific award in international labor economics. It honors Freeman's groundbreaking work on the sustainability of the welfare statee and the role of trade unions in the labor market.

Interleukin-8, key marker for colorectal cancer treatment
Colorectal cancer constitutes one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. A German research group has shown that the expression of Interleukin-8, a multifunctional cytokine, correlates not only with CRC onset, but also with tumor progression and the development of colorectal liver metastases. The expression level of IL-8 might thus be a useful tool to evaluate the prognosis of patients with CRC with a high likelihood of impact on future treatment strategies.

NAS report offers new tools to assess health risks from chemicals
Determining how thousands of chemicals found in the environment may be interacting with the genes in your body to cause disease is becoming easier because of a new field of science called toxicogenomics. A new report issued today by the National Academies of Sciences recognizes the importance of toxicogenomics in predicting effects on human health and recommends the integration of toxicogenomics into regulatory decision making.

Cholesterol metabolism links early- and late-onset Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have uncovered evidence strengthening the case for another potential cause of Alzheimer's. The finding also represents the first time scientists have found a connection between early- and late-onset Alzheimer's.

New findings solve human origins mystery
New research from Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology and from the Cedars Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders reveals evidence of the emergence of the upright human body plan over 15 million years earlier than most experts have believed. More dramatically, the study confirms preliminary evidence that many early hominoid apes were most likely upright bipedal walkers sharing the basic body form of modern humans. The study appears in PLoS ONE on Oct. 10.

Evil genes made me do it
Have you ever heard of a person who left you wondering,

A nation divided over health care? Not so fast
According to results of the American College of Surgeons' new

The new source of islet cells
Islets transplantation is one promising approach to type 1 diabetes treatment, but it is limited by the shortage of islet cells. Dr Liu et al. found a new approach which can produce more islet cells.

New data shows benefits of MitraClip for patients with mitral regurgitation
The vast majority of patients who had a successful result with the percutaneous MitraClip device did not need mitral valve surgery three years after their procedure, and many benefited from significantly improved function of the left ventricle (commonly known as reverse remodeling), according to data presented this week at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation's nineteenth annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium in Washington, D.C.

Provost Korfiatis honored with NDIA Firepower Award
The Board of Directors of the Picatinny Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association has announced that Stevens Institute of Technology Provost & University Vice President George P. Korfiatis has been selected for a Firepower Award, created by the NDIA to recognize outstanding contributions for the defense of our country.

Drizzly mornings on Xanadu
Noted for its bizarre hydrocarbon lakes and frozen methane clouds, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, also appears to have widespread drizzles of methane. New near-infrared images from ESO's VLT and Keck show for the first time a nearly global cloud cover at high elevations and, dreary as it may seem, a widespread and persistent morning drizzle of methane over the western foothills of Titan's major continent, Xanadu.

Seismologists see Earth's interior as interplay between temperature, pressure and chemistry
Seismologists in recent years have recast their understanding of the inner workings of Earth from a relatively benign homogeneous environment to one that is highly dynamic and chemically diverse. This new view of Earth's inner workings depicts the planet as a living organism where events that happen deep inside can affect what happens at its surface, like the rub and slip of tectonic plates and the rumble of the occasional volcano.

Medication shows promise as a treatment for alcohol dependence
Alcohol-dependent patients who received the medication topiramate had fewer heavy drinking days, fewer drinks per day and more days of continuous abstinence than those who received placebo, according to a study in the Oct. 10 issue of JAMA.

Transcutaneous cervical esophageal ultrasound can not substitute for 24-h pH monitoring or manometry
Gastroesophageal reflux arises from increased exposure and/or sensitivity of the esophageal mucosa to gastric contents, and affects 5-40 percent of the population. Esophageal ultrasound studies in GER have mainly focused on the evaluation of the gastroesophageal junction and esophageal motility performed by transabdominal or endoluminal routes. Visualizing refluxate in transcutaneous cervical esophageal ultrasound was found to be useful as a pre-diagnostic tool for estimating GER and/or manometric pathology in 71.1 percent of adults.

Obesity boosts gullet cancer risk 6-fold
Obese people are six times as likely to develop gullet (esophageal) cancer as people of

Paradigm shift in Alzheimers's research: new treatments
Groundbreaking new discoveries have opened the door for a new and better understanding of Alzheimer's disease, as one of the most important future public health challenges. This work presented by Thomas Bayer carries the promise of developing new treatments.

High-dose ibuprofen may slow cystic fibrosis lung disease -- especially in children
This updated Cochrane Review supports the intriguing suggestion that long-term high-dose ibuprofen slows the rate of decline in lung function in children with cystic fibrosis when treatment is started under the age of 13.

Cigarette smoking may accelerate disability in those with MS
Persons with multiple sclerosis who smoke risk increasing the amount of brain tissue shrinkage, a consequence of MS, and the subsequent severity of their disease, new research conducted at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Gold nanorods shed light on new approach to fighting cancer
Researchers have shown how tiny 'nanorods' of gold can be triggered by a laser beam to blast holes in the membranes of tumor cells, setting in motion a complex biochemical mechanism that leads to a tumor cell's self-destruction.

UCLA to lead local study center in landmark government study of child health
The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities has been selected as one of 22 new study centers for the National Children's Study, a nationwide project designed to assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on children's health in the United States.

Great Plains' historical stability vulnerable to future changes
A survey of long-term trends in population, farm income and crop production in the agricultural Great Plains finds that technological advances, such as improved crop varieties, irrigation and fertilizer use, have greatly increased production of major crops and allowed rural populations to remain stable over the past 50 years even as metropolitan populations have soared. Yet substantial environmental impacts have resulted, including loss of soil carbon and high nitrate runoff, especially in irrigated areas.

A computer for your mouse!
A new international consortium aimed at linking together the world's databases of mouse genetics -- the field of research which saw the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to Mario R. Capecchi, Martin J. Evans and Oliver Smithies -- was launched this week.

Uneven progress in maternal health worldwide but some countries setting good example
Progress in maternal health has been uneven, inequitable and unsatisfactory, but successes in several countries show that change is possible. These are the conclusions of the authors of a review in this week's Women Deliver Special Edition of the Lancet.

CAST rolls out biofuel commentaries in New Orleans
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology will roll-out two new commentaries on biofuel byproducts and ethanol production in New Orleans on Nov. 5 at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings.

US Department of Defense confence held at UH
From defusing bombs to treating post trauma, the US armed forces face challenges on multiple fronts. The University of Houston will host a US Department of Defense research conference to address such issues Nov. 1 and 2. A main goal of the conference is to give attendees an opportunity to connect with DoD services and representatives. A range of academic disciplines and key local industries will be represented at the conference.

Couples attending counseling sessions together better prepared to ease children's concerns
When women with children attend a counseling session before undergoing genetic testing for breast cancer, they are far more likely than their partners to be up front with their kids about the tests and the potential for cancers being inherited. However, researchers also found that when the co-parent attended the genetic counseling session with the woman, they were more informed about genetic testing and had much more interaction and communication with their children than those who did not attend.

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