Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2007)

Science news and science current events archive 2007.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2007

US HUD secretary to deliver keynote at Rutgers-Camden
US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will deliver the second Richard C. Goodwin Lecture in Honor of Ethel Lawrence at Rutgers University-Camden at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6.

Prehistoric origins of stomach ulcers uncovered
Scientists have discovered that the ubiquitous bacteria that causes most painful stomach ulcers has been present in the human digestive system since modern man migrated from Africa over 60,000 years ago. They compared DNA sequence patterns of humans and the Helicobacter pylori bacteria now known to cause most stomach ulcers and found that the genetic differences between human populations that arose as they dispersed from Eastern Africa over thousands of years are mirrored in H.pylori.

March of Dimes commits additional $3M to prematurity research
The March of Dimes announced support for the innovative research of eight scientists with combined grant awards of $3 million. The third annual March of Dimes Prematurity Research Initiative grants, part of an ongoing effort to predict and prevent premature birth, were awarded for a three-year period. More than half of the researchers will explore the role immune and inflammatory responses to infections may play in triggering labor.

Calcium lowers cardiovascular risk in people on a weight loss program
Université Laval Faculty of Medicine researchers have discovered that taking calcium and vitamin D supplements while on a weight loss program lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

White-knuckle atmospheric science takes flight
University of Toronto Mississauga physicist Kent Moore flies head-on into hurricane-force winds off the southern tip of Greenland.

Darveau receives Periodontal Disease Research Award
Dr. Richard Darveau, professor, Department of Periodontics and Oral Biology, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, has been selected to receive the 2007 Basic Research in Periodontal Disease Award from the International Association for Dental Research, convening here today for its 85th General Session.

Researchers publish first marsupial genome sequence
An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported by the National Institutes of Health, today announced the publication of the first genome of a marsupial, belonging to a South American species of opossum.

GI concept tested in children
A new study provides encouraging evidence that a low-GI start to the day may be a good option to keep obesity at bay in the young.

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.

Why exertion leads to exhaustion
Researchers have discovered the dramatic changes that occur in our muscles when we push ourselves during exercise. We all have a sustainable level of exercise intensity, known as the

Emotional rollercoaster? Scientists examine affect across the lifespan
The Association for Psychological Science is proud to present

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.

UCSF animal care facility receives top accreditation
UCSF has received highly regarded accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

Arizona State University geophysicists detect a molten rock layer deep below the American Southwest
A sheet of molten rock roughly 10 miles thick spreads underneath much of the American Southwest, some 250 miles below Tucson, Ariz. From the surface, you can't see it, smell it or feel it. But Arizona geophysicists Daniel Toffelmier and James Tyburczy detected the molten layer with a comparatively new and overlooked technique for exploring the deep Earth that uses magnetic eruptions on the sun.

Sex-trafficked girls and women from south Asia have high prevalence of HIV infection
Nearly 40 percent of repatriated Nepalese sex-trafficked girls and women tested were positive for HIV infection, with girls trafficked before age 15 having higher rates of infection, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

MU study looks at social structure of prison communities
In community settings, there's always at least one person or perhaps a group of individuals who are most highly respected. Prison systems are no different; one's social status results from interpersonal dynamics. To better understand social structure in California prison communities, Brian Colwell, a researcher at the University of Missouri, recently examined peer relationships among inmates.

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.

Introducing the 'coolest' spacecraft in the universe
The European Space Agency's Planck mission, which will study the conditions present in our universe shortly after the Big Bang, is reaching an important milestone with the integration of instruments into the satellite at Alcatel Alenia Space in Cannes, France.

Hydrogen peroxide could cause absorbable sutures to come apart, UT Southwestern researchers report
Cleaning absorbable sutures with hydrogen peroxide dramatically decreases their tensile strength, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

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.

Insulin grown in plants relieves diabetes in mice; UCF study holds promise for humans
Professor Henry Daniell's research team genetically engineered tobacco plants with the insulin gene and then administered freeze-dried plant cells to five-week-old diabetic mice as a powder for eight weeks. By the end of the study, the diabetic mice had normal blood and urine sugar levels, and their cells were producing normal levels of insulin.

NCI/ASCO host science writers' seminar
NCI and ASCO will host an international event for journalists via the World Wide Web that will explore key issues surrounding cancer in the developing world. A panel of leading cancer experts from the United States, Africa, Asia and India will present.

Brain, size and gender surprises in latest fossil tying humans, apes and monkeys
A surprisingly complete fossil skull of an ancient relative of humans, apes and monkeys bears striking evidence that our remote ancestor was less mentally advanced than expected by about 29 million years ago.

FDA approves accelerated dosing schedule for Glaxosmithkline's Twinrix
FDA approves accelerated dosing schedule for Glaxosmithkline's Twinrix.

Cigarette use may explain asthma epidemic in children, says Mailman School of Public Health study
The rise in cigarette use by adults over the past century may explain the asthma epidemic in children. The prevalence of asthma has increased at least threefold during the past several decades

Scleroderma outlook improves as survival increases
Individuals with scleroderma are living significantly longer today, compared with 30 years ago, and the physicians who treat this rare disease of connective tissue hope the newer drugs now on the market may extend lives even further.

New guidelines address treatment of dangerous infection
The American Journal of Gastroenterology has published medical guidelines for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection, one of the most common worldwide infections and an important factor linked to the development of peptic ulcer disease, gastric malignancy and dyspeptic symptoms.

Soil particles found to boost prion's capacity to infect
The rogue proteins that cause chronic wasting disease (CWD) exhibit a dramatic increase in their infectious nature when bound to common soil particles, according to a new study.

Why some people are more attractive than others
If good genes spread through the population, why are people so different? A group of scientists think they have solved this long-standing puzzle.

Longevity by a nose (or odorant receptor)
The fruit fly's perception of food may trigger a different metabolic state than one that exists when nutrients are limited, partially counteracting the life-lengthening effects of nutrient restriction.

Beetle dung helps forests recover from fire
Beetle droppings -- known in the scientific world as frass -- are crucial to forests recovering from fire.

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.

With right lessons, non-native kindergarteners learn vocabulary faster than native English-speakers
Analyzing rates of target word acquisition and overall vocabulary development, this study finds that students learning English as a second language pick up general vocabulary more quickly and target vocabulary words at the same rate as native English-speaking kindergarteners with oral instruction, such as storytime.

UT Southwestern urologist uses Botox to treat debilitating condition
Eight years ago, Lynette Kunz suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left her a quadriplegic and sufferer of involuntary bladder contractions. The condition constantly interfered with her daily life.

New clue into how diet and exercise enhance longevity
The traditional prescriptions for a healthy life-sensible diet, exercise and weight control -- extend life by reducing signaling through a specific pathway in the brain, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers, who discovered the connection while studying long-lived mice.

Psychologist explains the neurochemistry behind romance
The Beatles' George Harrison wondered in his famous love song about the

Sexual problems of long-term cancer survivors merit more attention
Long-term female survivors of genital-tract cancer were pleased with their cancer care but not with the emotional support and information they received about the effects of the disease and treatment on their sexuality. Three out of 5 said their physicians never brought up the effects on sexuality. Women who did report such a conversation were much less likely to have

Do you hear what I see?
New research pinpoints specific areas in sound processing centers in the brains of macaque monkeys that shows enhanced activity when the animals watch a video.

Gene variant increases risk of blindness
Researchers have found a gene variant that can more than double the risk of developing the degenerative eye disease, age-related macular degeneration.

Mellow in Europe, crazy in America
Reed canarygrass stays put in Europe where it's native, but is aggressively expanding into wetlands across North America. Using this grass as a model, University of Vermont researchers have revealed a new way that some plants become invasive: Multiple introductions of the same species from numerous regions lead to new strains which grow more aggressively than the original plants. With climate change, this kind of invader may become increasingly successful.

Scientists genetically engineer tomatoes with enhanced folate content
Leafy greens and beans aren't the only foods that pack a punch of folate, the vitamin essential for a healthy start to pregnancy.

2 French scientists win European award for communication
French cell biologists Christian Sardet and Ali Saib are joint winners of the 2007 EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences. Both recipients present science in a unique format that is both enlightening and entertaining, a key requirement in winning the award. Using different media, they have produced resources for researchers, as well as for teaching and communicating science to the broader community.

Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide
Between 2000 and 2004, worldwide CO2 emissions increased at a rate that is over three times the rate during all of the 1990s. The accelerating growth rate is largely due to the increasing energy intensity of economic activity and the carbon intensity of the energy system, with increases in population and in per-capita gross domestic product. The increases in energy and carbon intensity constitute a reversal of a long-term trend toward greater energy efficiency and reduced carbon intensities.

Stem cell transplantation procedure results in long-term survival for amyloidosis patients
Researchers from the Stem Cell Transplant Program and the Amyloid Treatment and Research Program at Boston University Medical Center have found that high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation can result in long-term survival for patients diagnosed with primary systemic light chain Amyloidosis.

How does your brain tell time?
For decades, scientists have believed that the brain possesses an internal clock that allows it to keep track of time. Now a UCLA study in the February 1 edition of Neuron proposes a new model in which a series of physical changes to the brain's cells helps the organ to monitor the passage of time -- much like counting the rings in a tree stump reveals the age of a fallen tree.

Leading prevention researchers meeting in Washington, D.C., May 30-June 1, 2007
The nation's leading prevention researchers are set to release new findings on violence, suicide, school suspension, obesity and other major topics.

Dietary vitamin B6, B12 and folate, may decrease pancreatic cancer risk among lean people
Researchers exploring the notion that certain nutrients might protect against pancreatic cancer found that lean individuals who got most of these nutrients from food were protected against developing cancer. The study also suggests this protective effect does not hold true if the nutrients come from vitamin supplements.

Participation by physicians in the voting process is unimpressive
With healthcare issues returning to the forefront of public attention, physicians might be expected to participate in elections at a relatively high rate. In the first study of physician voter turnout, to be presented at the 2007 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting, evidence suggests that physician participation in the political process has declined over the past few decades.

Myth of a cultural elite -- education, social status determine what we attend, listen to and watch
There have been a number of theories put forward to explain how our tastes in cinema, theatre, music and the fine arts relate to our position in society. New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, has concluded that there is little evidence of a

IEEE-USA promotes engineering awareness
As part of its public-awareness program to improve public understanding of engineers and engineering and to promote technological literacy, IEEE-USA participates in collaborative activities with two other nonprofit organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and Engineers Without Borders-USA. 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