Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (January 2007)

Science news and science current events archive January, 2007.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from January 2007

Stem cells cultured from human bone marrow behave like those derived from brain tissue
Stem cells taken from adult human bone marrow have been manipulated by scientists at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to generate aggregates of cells called spheres that are similar to those derived from neural stem cells of the brain.

Researchers find a common genetic risk factor for Parkinson's disease in Asians
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. and the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan have discovered what to date appears to be the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson¡'s disease worldwide.

Benefits of testosterone treatment unknown, research shows
Little research exists demonstrating that testosterone is both safe from the cardiovascular standpoint and effective to treat sexual dysfunction, reveal Mayo Clinic researchers in two new studies.

Family members with MS likely to share onset age, but not disease severity
When more than one member of a family is affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), their ages at disease onset are likely to be similar, but disease severity may not be. These new findings have important implications for counseling patients, according to a study published in the January 30, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Less television and more gathering around the dinner table prevents
Sitting down to a family meal more often and cutting down on television watching can help keep children from becoming overweight, according to a new University of Missouri-Columbia study.

Health care costs for abused women are significant
Women with a history of abuse by intimate partners have significantly higher health care costs and utilization than women with no history of such abuse, according to a study in the February 2007 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The higher costs and utilization continued long after the abuse ended, the research team from Group Health, the University of Washington, and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center found.

Renegade RNA -- Clues to cancer and normal growth
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a tiny piece of genetic code apparently goes where no bit of it has gone before, and it gets there under its own internal code.

Education does not protect against age-related memory loss, say USC researchers
Adults over 70 with higher levels of education forgot words at a greater rate than those with less education, according to a new study from the University of Southern California. The findings, published in the current issue of Research on Aging, suggest that after age 70, educated adults may begin to lose the ability to use their schooling to compensate for normal, age-related memory loss.

Drug linked to increase in brain hemorrhage cases
The rate of brain hemorrhages associated with blood thinning drugs quintupled during the 1990s, according to a study published in the January 9, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In people over age 80, the rate increased more than tenfold.

Researchers from the CIMA have discovered a possible cause of thrombosis
A team of researchers from the CIMA of the University of Navarra has discovered a possible cause of thrombosis, and has developed a new diagnostic test for this disease. The scientific project was undertaken in the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory.

Like salty food? Chances are you had low blood sodium when you were born
A new study concludes that low birthweight babies born with low sodium in their blood serum will likely consume large quantities of dietary sodium later in life. Researchers also found that newborns with the most severe cases of low sodium blood serum consumed ~1700 mg more sodium per day and weighed some 30 percent more than their peers.

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.

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.

New diabetes research: Half of Americans have gene that affects how body burns sugar
New findings by a Saint Louis University researcher shed light on the genetic risk some of us have for developing diabetes.

The secret women keep from themselves
Do women have a secret so painful that they even keep it from themselves? According to Dr. Anita H. Clayton of the University of Virginia Health System, the secret exists, and it's big. In an era when so many women are over-achievers with high expectations for almost every area of their lives, too many of them settle for mediocre sex.

Genomatix and Molecular Connections form strategic partnership
Genomatix Software GmbH in Munich, Germany and Bangalore, India based Molecular Connections Private Ltd. announced today that both companies entered into a strategic partnership. As a first result Molecular Connection's Database Netpro will be fully integrated into Genomatix biological networks and pathway knowledge base and analysis system BiblioSphere PathwayEdition (BSPE).

Study finds mercury prevalent in many western fish
A new survey by researchers at Oregon State University and the EPA of more than 600 rivers and streams in the western United States found widespread mercury concentrations in fish. Though few of the more than 2,700 fish analyzed in the study contained alarmingly high levels of mercury, the prevalence of the element throughout 12 western states caught the researchers somewhat by surprise.

The Society of Hospital Medicine and Wiley to launch InfoPOEMs for hospitalists
The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today a collaborative agreement to launch InfoPOEMs for Hospitalists in spring 2007. InfoPOEMs for Hospitalists will publish in print on a bi-monthly basis in a stand-alone publication that will mail with the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the official peer-reviewed and MEDLINE indexed journal of SHM; in addition, hospitalist physicians who are SHM members will receive syndicated POEMs by email to support them in providing general medical care for hospitalized patients.

'Red tide toxins' leave beachgoers breathless
A new study in the January 2007 issue of the journal CHEST shows that the ecological phenomenon, known as Florida red tide, can be harmful for people with asthma.

2nd annual Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research awarded to Webster K. Cavenee
The National Foundation for Cancer Research announced today that Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D., has been awarded the 2nd annual Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. Dr. Cavenee, director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego, won the prize for his groundbreaking discoveries regarding the genetic mechanisms of predisposition to human cancer.

Flu experts call for mandatory shots for health care workers
The top professional society of infectious diseases experts is insisting that all physicians, nurses, and other health workers caring for patients be vaccinated against influenza each year or decline in writing. It is the strongest call yet to plug a critical weakness in the nation's flu preparations.

Elsevier selected as new publisher of Annals of Vascular Surgery
Elsevier is pleased to announce that beginning with Volume 21 (2007) it has assumed publication of the Annals of Vascular Surgery, the official publication of the French Society for Vascular Surgery, the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, and the Southern California Vascular Surgical Society.

Topical anaesthetic spray delays ejaculation by five times as long says new study
Fifty-four couples took part in a study to test a new spray for premature ejaculation. The treatment group reported that penetration to ejaculation time increased from an average of one to five minutes with the spray. The placebo group reported an increase of 40 seconds.

Big vegetarian mammals can play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, study finds
Removing large herbivorous mammals from the African savanna can cause a dramatic shift in the relative abundance of species throughout the food chain, according to scientists from Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of California-Davis.

Poniard Pharmaceuticals and the Scripps Research Institute broaden research collaboration
Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on oncology, and the Scripps Research Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research organization, today announced an expansion of their research agreement, which was executed on Aug. 4, 2005.

Nanotechnology in China: Ambitions and realities
Is China poised to become the world's nanotech superpower, or is this prediction hyperbole? What is China's comparative advantage in the high-tech sector, and how is it exploiting this advantage in nanotechnology? These questions are the topic of an event and live webcast at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 in the 5th Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Canadian researchers first to complete the human metabolome
Researchers at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, have announced the completion of the first draft of the human metabolome, the chemical equivalent of the human genome.

'Marathon mice' elucidate little-known muscle type
Researchers report in the January issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press, the discovery of a genetic

Students who attend college at early age rate experience positive, enduring
Students who entered college when they were 12 to 14 years old don't fit the stereotype of unhappy

U of MN adult stem cell research shows promise for transplant therapies
University of Minnesota stem cell researchers, together with collaborators at Stanford University, have successfully used adult stem cells to replace the immune system and bone marrow of mice, offering the promise of new therapies for people in the future.

Tuberculosis intervention program improves patient outcomes
Patients with tuberculosis in the West African country of Senegal who participated in an intervention program that included improved communication with health personnel and community involvement had higher cure and treatment completion rates, according to a study in the January 24/31 issue of JAMA.

Dual enzymatic activity of RECQ1 explained by different quaternary structures
RecQ helicases can either unwind or anneal strands of DNA. This dual functionality is explained by electron microscopy studies; higher-order oligomers appear responsible for annealing, whereas lower-order oligomers control DNA unwinding.

Scripps Research study reveals new activation mechanism for pain sensing channel
A group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has identified a mechanism that enables certain compounds to activate a pain sensing protein. The findings could lead to the development of potential new therapies for managing acute and chronic pain.

Proposed FDA claim recognizes role of key nutrients in dairy in reducing osteoporosis risk
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed an amended health claim that would communicate to consumers the value of foods high in calcium and vitamin D for reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The National Dairy Council acknowledges and supports the body of scientific evidence that backs the proposed claim, which indicates that a lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, and physical activity, helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Scientists crack the genome of the parasite causing trichomoniasis
Scientists have finally deciphered the genome of the parasite causing trichomoniasis, a feat that is already providing new approaches to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this sexually transmitted disease. According to the World Health Organization trichomoniasis affects an estimated 170 million people a year and is an under-diagnosed global health problem.

Biophysical Society announces winners of 2007 International Travel Awards
The Biophysical Society has announced the winners of its international travel grants to attend the Society's 51st annual meeting in Baltimore, Md., March 3-7, 2007. The purpose of these awards is to foster and initiate further interaction between American biophysicists and scientists working in countries experiencing financial difficulties. Recipients of this competitive award are chosen based on scientific merit and their proposed presentation at the meeting. They will be honored at a reception on March 3, 2007.

NASA helps space telescope camera 'squint' for a better view of galaxies
NASA engineers and scientists have created something that will give better information about far away galaxies. This new creation, which will be in a future space telescope, is so tiny that it's the width of a few hairs.

Common mechanisms for viral DNA replication
Crystal structures of the SV40 large T antigen (T-ag) origin binding domain (obd) with and without DNA show how two T-ag obds orient head-to-head and engage with the major groove.

Selenium supplements may contribute to reduced HIV viral load
Taking daily selenium supplements appears to increase the level of the essential mineral in the blood and may suppress the progression of viral load in patients with HIV infection, according to an article in the Jan. 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UK government is failing sex workers
The UK government is failing sex workers by continuing to promote discriminatory laws and practices, argue experts in this week's BMJ. Professor Michael Goodyear and Dr. Linda Cusick call on the prime minister to protect women by decriminalizing all aspects of sex work now.

Urban Stormwater Modeling
Urban runoff modeling is an essential tool for management of stormwater, combined sewers and urban wet-weather flows. This conference will assemble leading model users/ developers and stormwater managers to review approaches for

OHSU studies of technology for healthy aging get boost
Oregon Health & Science University, with help from Intel Corp., is moving into the next phase of a research program developing new technologies to address the challenge of aging successfully. Worth $1 million over the next year for OHSU's Oregon Center for Aging & Technology, the alliance will initiated and accelerate research into behavioral markers of disease, such as changes in walking and performance on computer games, that eventually translate into health-related products and services.

AERA and SAGE announce journals publishing partnership
The American Educational Research Association and SAGE Publications are pleased to announce their new publishing partnership. On behalf of the AERA, SAGE will begin publishing the following six peer-reviewed journals, effective January 2007: American Educational Research Journal; Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis; Educational Researcher; Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics; Review of Educational Research; and Review of Research in Education.

Researchers warn milk eliminates cardiovascular health benefits of tea
Tests on volunteers showed that black tea significantly improves the ability of the arteries to relax and expand, but adding milk completely blunts the effect. Supporting tests on rat aortas (aortic rings) and endothelial (lining) cells showed that tea relaxed the aortic rings by producing nitric oxide, which promotes dilation of blood vessels. But, again, adding milk blocked the effect.

FSU anthropologist confirms 'Hobbit' indeed a separate species
After the skeletal remains of an 18,000-year-old, Hobbit-sized human were discovered on island of Flores in 2003, some scientists thought that the specimen must have been a human with an abnormally small skull. Not so, said Dean Falk, a world-renowned paleoneurologist and chair of Florida State University's anthropology department, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Theoretical physicists develop test for string theory
For decades, many scientists have criticized string theory, pointing out that it does not make predictions by which it can be tested. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Texas at Austin have developed a test of string theory. Their test, described in the January 26 Physical Review Letters, involves measurements of how elusive high-energy particles scatter during particle collisions.

Wiley acquires publications from Carpe Diem Communications
John Wiley & Sons Inc., announced today that it has acquired three controlled-circulation publications from Carpe Diem Communications Inc., of Yardley, Pa. The acquisition expands Wiley's global controlled-circulation portfolio of life and physical science offerings.

Should Muslims have faith-based health services?
At a time when many government and public bodies are recognizing the importance of engaging with faith communities, in this week's BMJ two experts consider the case for faith-based health services for Muslims.

Drug improves tremors, involuntary movements in Parkinson patients
A drug used to treat epilepsy has been found to significantly improve tremors, motor fluctuations and other involuntary movements, or dyskinesias, in patients with Parkinson disease, according to a study published in the Jan. 2, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Research removes major obstacle from mass production of tiny circuits
As they eliminate tiny air bubbles that form when liquid droplets are molded into intricate circuits, a Princeton-led team is dissolving a sizable obstacle to the mass production of smaller, cheaper microchips. 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