Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 2005)

Science news and science current events archive April, 2005.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 2005

Egyptian sea vessel artifacts discovered at pharaonic port of Mersa Gawasis along Red Sea coast
In December, an archaeology team led by Kathryn Bard of Boston University and Rudolfo Fattovich of the University of Naples

Christmas week snowstorm in Ohio River valley broke all records
Even though spring and warm-weather thoughts are here, a chilling, soon-to-be published report says that December's immense Midwest snowstorm was one to remember. The Dec. 22-23 storm broke all records for storm intensity, size, and damages, garnered national attention, and dumped record snowfall.

National Academies news: Spent nuclear fuel storage
Spent nuclear fuel stored in pools at some of the nation's 103 operating commercial nuclear reactors may be at risk from terrorist attacks, says a new report from a committee of the National Academies' Board on Radioactive Waste Management.

Obesity common among Chinese adults
Around 18 million adults in China are obese, 137 million are overweight, and 64 million have metabolic syndrome -- a condition where a number of risk factors for heart disease are present, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

New study shows simple actions wipe out huge higher heart risks for Asian diabetics
New research to be revealed on Tuesday 26th of April at the launch of the University of Warwick Medical School's new Clinical Sciences Research Institute at the University Hospital campus at Walsgrave in Coventry, has shown that very simple interventions to target the health care of UK Asian diabetics can almost wipe out the 40% higher risks of heart disease linked to diabetes in that community.

Gene regions beyond protein instructions important in disease
Gene hunters at Johns Hopkins have discovered a common genetic mutation that increases the risk of inheriting a particular birth defect not by the usual route of disrupting the gene's protein-making instructions, but by altering a regulatory region of the gene. Although the condition, called Hirschsprung disease, is rare, its complex genetics mimics that of more common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Fourth European Conference on space debris to address key issues
The European Space Agency hosts the 4th European Conference on Space Debris, 18-20 April, at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

Statins, other cholesterol depletors, may disrupt hypertension development: UCSD study
Cholesterol-lowering agents, such as statins, and cholesterol-blocking agents may prove to be novel therapeutic agents to modify cellular calcium that contributes to the development of pulmonary hypertension. The UCSD team found a previously unappreciated cellular and molecular mechanism for the disease process that may be amenable to treatment with current and future therapies and might provide more substantial, long-term benefit to those with hypertension.

People can learn motor skills by watching
It's widely accepted that people watching an expert golfer or carpenter can learn the procedural steps to a better golf swing or building a deck. However, researchers Andrew A.G. Mattar (presently at McGill University) and Paul L. Gribble of the University of Western Ontario have developed startling evidence that people can unconsciously learn complex motor behaviors by watching such performances.

Observational study suggests use of statins lowers risk of advanced prostate cancer
Use of such cholesterol-lowering drugs as statins may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to research that followed 34,428 U.S. men for more than a decade.

Two are better than one
Cancer patients may one day benefit from treatment with mixtures of customized antibodies. In a study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a team of Weizmann Institute scientists have demonstrated how the right combination might form a web that destroys the cancer cell's communication network, ultimately demobilizing the cell.

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, April 5, 2005
The current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine includes: ACP guidelines to treat obesity cover diet, exercise, drugs and surgery; Platelet function normalizes by 24 hours after last dose of ibuprofen; ACP publishes fifth edition of Ethics Manual.

Unlocking genetic mysteries focus of UH symposium
Biologists and computer scientists are coming together at the University of Houston to explore the mysteries of genetic material and its potential for leading to advances in evolutionary biology and human health. Free and open to the public, Computational Molecular Biology: The Future will address these 'new' collaborations in a daylong symposium Monday, April 4. Researchers will collaborate to create custom-designed computer programs and algorithms to analyze different portions of genomes - an organism's genetic material.

Green light for Lazio-Sirad
Lazio-Sirad is ready to gather data. The experiment is installed on the International Space Station and its aim is to trace the slight variations of the so-called Van Allen belts that seem to occur before earthquakes. At the same time the experiment will gather data that will make possible the development of techniques of protection from radiation for astronauts. The astronaut Roberto Vittori will carry out measures.

Significant fall in serious violence in England and Wales
There has been a significant fall in serious violence in England (13%) and Wales (20%) over the last five years, according to a major study into trends in serious violence by Cardiff University.

Hey, now, what's that sound
The Office of Naval Research's support of basic neuroscience has led to new software and a security system that recognizes the sounds of danger.

An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish
Dealing a new blow to the dominant evolutionary paradigm, Luiz Rocha and colleagues from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Harvard University the University of Florida and the University of Hawaii, report coral reef fish from neighboring habitats may differ more from one another than from fish thousands of miles away. An ecological speciation model for coral reef organisms may spur the development of a more synthetic treatment of speciation on land and sea.

Research reveals emotional trauma parents face when a child is diagnosed with diabetes
Discovering a child has diabetes can be a traumatic and life-changing event for parents - and researchers doubt whether many of them ever come to terms with it.

Research team recreates ancient underwater concrete technology
A University of Colorado at Boulder professor and his colleagues have taken a page from the writings of an ancient Roman architect and built an underwater concrete pier in the manner of those set in the Mediterranean Sea 2,000 years ago.

Special issue links genetics and environment in aging studies
A recently released special issue of The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences asserts that social environments can have a greater effect on genetics than was previously thought. The volume, titled

New online portal merges vast data on Gulf of Maine ecosystem
A new online portal consolidates decades of rich marine data, much of it available for the first time, enabling resource managers and scientific researchers to combine and analyze information in unprecedented ways, creating new insights into the Gulf of Maine's ecology.

Imperial College London and Imperial Innovations raise over £20m from City deal
Imperial College London and its technology commercialisation company Imperial Innovations, have jointly raised over £20m from a private placement to institutional investors, it was announced today.

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois wins American Chemical Society Award
Sen. Richard (Dick) Durbin (D-Ill.), Democratic Whip and a member of the Appropriation and Judiciary Committees, will receive the American Chemical Society Public Service Award during ceremonies April 5 at the U.S. Capitol Building in the LBJ Room.

Carnegie Mellon, Pitt researchers report chemistry textbooks lack connection to real chemistry
Stories of exciting chemistry discoveries in Scientific American and The New York Times paint a better picture of chemistry as it is practiced than do some widely used high school textbooks, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The findings signal that introductory textbooks could be shortchanging students, denying them exposure to the creativity of chemistry and omitting context they need to be scientifically literate citizens.

Moderate aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular and nervous system function in HIV+
First study to demonstrate the profound effects of aerobic fitness on pre-clinical manifestations of cardiovascular and autonomic dysfunction in HIV was conducted at Teachers College/ Columbia University, and Coler Goldwater Specialty Hospital, New York. Moderate exercise was 10 weeks, three times a week, 45 minutes/session. Cardiovascular and autonomic profiles of the fit HIV+ subjects were significantly improved compared to a similar group that didn't exercise -- regardless if they had HIV or not.

New miniaturised chip dramatically reduces time taken for DNA analysis
A team of researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has developed new miniature sensors for analysing DNA. The sensors have the same size and thickness as a fingernail and reduce the time needed to identify DNA chains to several minutes or a few hours, depending on each chain. These sensors can be applied to many different tasks, ranging from paternity tests and identifying people to detecting genetically modified food, identifying bacterial strains in foodborne illnesses and testing genetic toxicity in new drugs.

World-leading scientific databases now accessible via handhelds
CAS has announced access to chemical literature and substance databases via BlackBerry® and other handheld devices, to be available to SciFinder® and STN® users in the near future.

Post-traumatic stress disorder common among refugees in western countries
Refugees settled in western countries could be about ten times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder than general populations in those countries, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Washington University chosen as NIH Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology
Washington University in St. Louis has been chosen as a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology (PEN) by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Karen Wooley, Ph.D., Washington University professor of chemistry in Arts & Sciences, is principal investigator of the Program, which NHLBI is funding at $12.5 million for five years.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Newsworthy topics include an article about mouse glial tauopathy, published by the Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers determine two arthritis medications are safe and effective for children
An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Earl Silverman of The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids), has found that two arthritis medications (methotrexate and leflunomide) commonly used in adults are safe and effective in children. This research is reported in the April 21, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers find new giant amphibian fossils in Africa
Two new 250 million year-old species of large, meat-eating amphibians have been discovered by researchers, including investigators from McGill University.

Low oxygen likely made 'Great Dying' worse, greatly delayed recovery
New research by two University of Washington scientists suggests that a sharp decline in atmospheric oxygen levels was likely a major reason for elevated extinction rates and a very slow species recovery during the

Establishing trust online is critical for online communication say NJIT experts
Establishing trust quickly is the key to effective Internet communication, especially when it comes to teaching online, according to researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Rockefeller University researchers are changing the face of drug addiction treatment
For a great many addicts, they may only become drug and alcohol free after many attempts at recovery, if they get there at all. Research published by Rockefeller University scientists Scott Kellogg and Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, in collaboration with The New York Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and Johns Hopkins University, brings hope that a treatment called contingency management may help addicts get and stay clean.

World quasicrystal focus on Ames
More than 150 researchers from 22 countries will be Ames next month for the 9th International Conference on Quasicrystals. The event is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory May 22-26 at the Scheman Building on the ISU campus.

Combination of Lipitor® and Celecoxib
Combinations of Lipitor® and Celebrex® (celecoxib) at lower doses proved more effective at limiting colon cancer than higher doses of the drugs when given alone, according to research reported at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research here today.

New research on mulitple vs single births may offer new approaches for infertility
The multiple

PNAS highlights for the week of April 4 - 8
This week's highlights include research on ancient Maya salt-making, Toll-like receptors and nerve pain, air pollution and wheat disease, microarray analysis of skin cancer, and cognition and serotonin.

Research news from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
A recent study of students in college found that a startling 27% were overweight, 6% were pre-diabetic, and 10% had either high total cholesterol or low HDL (

Combination vaccine produces lower immune response than vaccines administered separately
A combination vaccine developed to reduce the number of vaccines infants receive appears to provide less immunity than the vaccines administered individually, according to a study in the April 13 issue of JAMA.

UCF, US Geological Survey to conduct water research in joint facility
The U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Central Florida will build a joint facility to study Central Florida's water and how it is affected by stresses including urban growth and hurricanes.

Spice it up or just veg out, either way you may be helping to defend against cancer
Two new studies suggest that broccoli and red chili pepper may slow or prevent the growth of cancerous tumor cells. The findings, being presented by the University of Pittsburgh at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting, April 16 to 20, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Ca., looked at the effect of these dietary agents on ovarian and pancreatic cancers and found that both were effective inhibitors of the cancer process.

Women with heart attacks benefit from stenting
Female heart attack patients undergoing angioplasty have a higher risk of death than men, but stenting may improve their outcomes, according to a study reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Program for abdominal and pelvic health offered at Rush University Medical Center
Unique to the Chicago area, the Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health at Rush University Medical Center offers a multi-specialty approach to diagnosing and treating a wide range of abdominal and pelvic conditions in women as well as men of all ages.

Human kidney protein found that regulates heart contraction and blood pressure
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven identified a novel human kidney protein called renalase that regulates both heart contraction and blood pressure; it is a strong candidate for easily administered treatment of advanced kidney and cardiovascular disease.

Economic consequences of a radiological or nuclear attack
Loss of lives, injuries and property destroyed during a nuclear or radiological attack have significant economic as well as personal consequences.

Oceanographers collect 1.5 million year record of climate change in Africa
Oceanographers have probed the ancient sediments beneath Lake Malawi in East Africa and recovered sediment samples that provide up to 1.5 million years of information about how climate in Africa has changed - the longest continuous record of such data ever collected from that continent.

New grants to Georgetown to help build national cancer biomedical informatics grid
NCI has awarded Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center more than $800,000 to develop

NJIT math professor helps navy detect subs; Explains global warming
The world's oceans, and mathematics, have a lot to say to Eliza Michalopoulou, PhD, associate professor in the department of mathematics at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Her work illustrates another of the many ways in which mathematics defends the nation. 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