Sunday, April 29, 2007

The News
Oceans' role in climate change limited
WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- U.S. and international researchers say carbon dioxide is often recycled in the Pacific Ocean's "twilight zone" instead of sinking into the deep ocean.
Because the carbon often never reaches the deep ocean, where it can be stored and prevented from re-entering the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, the oceans may have little impact on climate change, the National Science Foundation said Friday in a release.
The study, published in the April 27 issue of the journal Science, says carbon dioxide is often consumed by animals and bacteria and recycled in the dimly lit twilight zone located 300 to 3,000 feet below the ocean surface.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The News
Science Friday NEWS BRIEF - POSTED MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007
Scientists have grown a bendable crystal. Masahiro Irie, a researcher at Osaka City University, Sugimoto in Osaka, Japan, and his colleagues grew microscopic, needle-shaped crystals from biological molecules. When zapped with ultraviolet light, the crystal bent a few degrees towards the incident light. It remained bent until it was exposed to visible light, which caused it to straighten. It bent and straightened eighty times without cracking and was even able catapult a gold ball that is ninety times heavier than itself, the researchers report in the journal Nature.
“It’s sort of a ‘gee whiz’ thing,” says J. Michael McBride, a researcher at Yale University in New Haven, CT and the author of an accompanying article in Nature.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Nature.
McBride's article.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The News
Prostate test gets high marks for detecting cancer
By Susan Brink Los Angeles Times
Article Last Updated: 04/25/2007 11:44:09 PM MDT
A new prostate cancer test that relies on measuring levels of a blood protein called EPCA-2 accurately found cancer 94 percent of the time, a significant improvement over the current PSA test, according to a study released Wednesday.
Each year, about 1.6 million men undergo biopsies because they test positive on a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test - but only about 230,000 of them have cancer.
The new EPCA-2 test not only detected prostate cancer, but also could determine if it had spread to other parts of the body, according to the study published in the journal Urology.
"It could allow us to help patients decide if they need a biopsy or if it's tame or has the ability to invade outside the prostate," said Robert Getzenberg, director of research at James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins University and a co-author of the study.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Urology.
The News
80% of doctors let drugmakers pay tab
Despite efforts to tighten ethics rules, a survey finds most physicians accept food, drug samples or fees from drug reps.
By Alicia Chang The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 04/26/2007 12:02:19 AM MDT
Four out of five doctors surveyed said they let drug- and device-makers buy them food and drinks despite recent efforts to tighten ethics rules and avoid conflicts of interest.
The national survey also found that family doctors were more likely to meet with industry sales representatives, and that cardiologists were more likely to pocket fees than other specialists.
The study is the first to document the extent of the relationships between doctors and sales reps since 2002, when a leading industry group adopted voluntary guidelines discouraging companies from giving doctors gifts or tickets. In general, researchers found hardly anything had changed.
Consumer advocates say this is proof the new rules aren't working.
"These findings are fairly disturbing. There appears to be no dialing back at all on these relationships," said Merrill Goozner of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The News
Earth-like Planet Discovered in Libra
by Nell Boyce
Morning Edition, April 25, 2007 · Scientists have discovered a new planet in the constellation Libra. The small, rocky planet is special because it appears to have mild temperatures, like Earth. Researchers believe it looks like the first planet outside of our solar system that could be home to liquid water, and maybe even life.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Astrophysics & astronomy.
Note: after you click on the above A&A link & then on the pdf link for the article, you must do a quick registration to get free access.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The News
Study a ray of hope in restoring lost sight
By Randolph E. Schmid The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 04/23/2007 11:56:43 PM MDT
Washington - Electrodes inserted in the brain may point the way to restoring sight lost to eye disease or trauma.
The research in monkeys is in very early stages but has shown some promise, Harvard Medical School researchers report in today's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
While researchers have worked on developing implants for the eye's retina, John S. Pezaris and R. Clay Reid turned their attention to a portion of the thalamus that relays signals from the retina to the visual cortex.
They were able to get the brains of the monkeys to register a point of light by sending a signal down the electrodes - even though no actual light was visible, Pezaris said. "We don't know what it looked like because we can't really ask them," he said. "But there definitely was something."

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The News
Right happy pooches
Dogs' truest emotions? Study finds they're all in the wag
By Sandra Blakeslee The New York Times
Article Last Updated: 04/24/2007 12:17:48 AM MDT

Every dog lover knows how a pooch expresses its feelings.
Ears close to the head, tense posture and tail straight out from the body mean "don't mess with me." Ears perked up, wriggly body and vigorously wagging tail mean "I am sooo happy to see you!"
But there is another, newly discovered feature of dog body language: When dogs feel fundamentally positive about something or someone, their tails wag more to the right side of their rumps. When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging goes left.
A study describing the phenomenon appeared in the March 20 issue of Current Biology. The authors are Giorgio Vallortigara, a neuroscientist at the University of Trieste in Italy, and two veterinarians, Angelo Quaranta and Marcello Siniscalchi of the University of Bari, also in Italy.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Current Biology.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The News
Study questions ethanol's clean air claims
LOS ANGELES, April 18 (UPI) -- A U.S. study concluded increased ethanol use could lead to more ground-level ozone that could pose a greater health risk than gasoline.
The study, published Wednesday in the online edition of Environmental Science and Technology, shows a high blend of ethanol "poses an equal or greater risk to public health than gasoline, which already causes significant health damage," The Los Angeles Times reported.
Study author Mark Z. Jacobson, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, said an increase in the use of a form of ethanol called E85 would lead to a 9 percent increase in ozone-related deaths in Greater Los Angeles and a 4 percent increase nationally by 2020.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The News
Hormone-use drop cited in breast cancer decline
Sharp change brings cheers, but some say link unclear
By Rob Stein The Washington Post
Article Launched: 04/19/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT
Washington - New federal statistics provide powerful evidence that the sharp drop in hormone use by menopausal women that began in 2002 caused a dramatic decline in breast cancer cases. The statistics show that the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer abruptly began falling after concerns emerged about the safety of hormone treatment and that the decrease persisted into the following year, strengthening the case that the trends are related, researchers said.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The News
Study: Chondroitin may offer little help
By The New York TimesArticle Last Updated: 04/17/2007 03:39:24 AM MDT
People looking for relief from arthritis pain often turn to the dietary supplement chondroitin, so much so that by some estimates, the market for the supplement is $1 billion a year in the United States. Despite its popularity, a study released Monday suggests that chondroitin may not offer any real benefit in advanced cases.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The News
Gene mutation leads to male infertility
GRENOBLE, France, April 16 (UPI)
French medical scientists have identified a mutation in a gene called AURKC (Aurora Kinase C) in 14 infertile men of North African descent. Pierre Ray and colleagues at University Hospital in Grenoble said while deletions of some portion of the Y chromosome have been found in infertile men, their discovery is a rare example in which a mutation in a single gene causes male infertility.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Nature Genetics.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The News
Flu vaccine's worm turns in caterpillar experiment
Shot proves useful in test, is faster than egg vaccine
By Lindsey Tanner
The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 04/10/2007 11:48:30 PM MDT
Chicago - Genetically engineered flu vaccine made from yellow-striped caterpillars instead of hen eggs has been shown for the first time to keep people from getting the flu, scientists say. The results are preliminary but suggest the insect method could be a quicker, easier alternative to the lengthy, antiquated egg-based procedure now used. It could also lead to a more rapid response to a pandemic, the study authors say.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Friday, April 6, 2007

The News
Gene tied to size identified in dogs
By Donald G. McNeil Jr. The New York Times
Article Launched: 04/06/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT
If it weren't for IGF-1, Paris Hilton's life would be a lot less elegant. She'd be lugging around an Irish wolfhound in her purse.
Scientists have just discovered which gene fragment controls the size of dogs, the mammal with the greatest range in size.
No other species produces adults with 100-fold differences, like that between a 2-pound Chihuahua and a 200-pound Newfoundland.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The News
Study shows Arctic ice still disappearing
BOULDER, Colo., April 5 (UPI) -- A team of U.S. scientists has determined the maximum extent of Arctic sea ice the past winter was the second lowest on satellite record.
The University of Colorado-Boulder researchers said the extent of the Arctic ocean covered by at least 15 percent ice was 5.7 million square miles in March, slightly higher than the record low of 5.6 million square miles measured in March 2006.
The declining sea ice has been blamed on higher winter temperatures in the Arctic, which are believed to be a result of increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and strong natural variability in the ice, said researcher Walt Meier of CU-Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Science.
The News
Technology flunks at mammograms
By Denise Gellene Los Angeles Times
Article Launched: 04/05/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT
An increasingly popular technology that uses computers to scan mammograms actually produces worse results than human reviewers using their eyes and experience, according to a new study.
Radiologists using computer-assisted detection software were more likely to interpret a benign growth as potentially cancerous, researchers said in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The false-positive readings led to additional scans and needless biopsies, adding $550 million to the annual cost of breast cancer screening in the United States, researchers said.
In addition, the computerized detection system, known as CAD, did not help radiologists find more real cancers, according to the report.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The News
Hints of drug resistance in type B flu boost concerns over avian variety
By Carla K. Johnson The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 04/03/2007 10:19:07 PM MDT
Chicago - A less common strain of flu has shown hints of resistance to two flu drugs among patients in a small study in Japan, a country known for prescribing the drugs more frequently than anywhere else in the world.
Signs of resistance to the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza turned up among a few patients who had type B influenza, normally a milder flu causing smaller outbreaks than the more common type A.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The News
Flocks of birds may have taken wing with dinos
By Katy Human Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/04/2007 02:19:00 AM MDT

Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado at Denver holds some of the bird tracks believed to be 125 million years old. The tracks show a toe formation seen in today's roadrunners, owls, parrots and woodpeckers.
Roadrunner-like birds skittered around under the feet of dinosaurs 125 million years ago, according to ancient tracks found in fossilized Chinese mud two years ago.
Denver paleontologist Martin Lockley has now officially described the tracks, and experts say the discovery means there were many more types of birds flitting around dinosaurs than once thought.
"This is remarkable, because there are zero fossil footprints of this pattern in the entire fossil record," Lockley said. "Zero."
Lockley, a researcher at the Dinosaur Track Museum at the University of Colorado at Denver, has been working with Chinese researchers for years.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the journal Naturwissenschaften.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The News
Amphetamine, Cocaine Usage Increase Risk Of Stroke Among Young Adults
Science Daily
— Increasing rates of amphetamine and cocaine usage by young adults significantly boost their risk of stroke, with amphetamine abuse associated with the greatest risk, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report.
Dr. Arthur Westover led a study that found elevated rates in young adults of amphetamine and cocaine usage significantly boost their risk of stroke, with amphetamine abuse associated with the greatest risk. (Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center)
In the study, available online in the Archives of General Psychiatry, UT Southwestern physicians examined more than 8,300 stroke patients — ranging in age from 18 to 44 — at more than 500 Texas hospitals in the years 2000 through 2003.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in Archives of General Psychiatry.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The News
Pregnancy weight guides questioned
By Malcolm Ritter The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 04/01/2007 11:29:47 PM MDT
New York - The standard advice for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy may need to change, concludes a rigorous and provocative study suggesting that even accepted weight gains may raise the risk of having an overweight toddler.
Women in the study who gained the recommended amount of weight ran four times the risk of having a child who was overweight at age 3, compared with women who gained less than the advised amount.
The outcome was about the same for women who gained more than the advisable amount.
So what's a pregnant woman to do? Clearly, she shouldn't gain more weight than recommended, said the study's lead author, Dr. Emily Oken of Harvard Medical School.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The News
Vitamins still no magic pill
By The Denver Post Editorial Board
Article Last Updated: 03/29/2007 09:21:00 PM MDT
News last month that vitamins designed to ward off disease and the effects of aging actually raise the risk of death were troubling indeed. Antioxidant vitamins are seen by many as an antidote for an imperfect lifestyle. One too many veggie-free beer and burger outings? Eat a multivitamin and don't worry about it. Now comes the news they can ... kill you? Well, as is the case with many accounts of vitamin use and effectiveness, perhaps not exactly.

The Research
Read the research behind this story in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).