Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2006)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2006.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2006

Common carp sheds new light on surviving in extreme environments
The common carp has given scientists at the University of Liverpool an unusual insight into how animals can survive in environments with little or no oxygen.

Preventive treatment reduces risk of malaria in infants
A new study shows that giving 3, 4, and 9-month-old infants a single dose of a common anti-malarial drug significantly lowers their risk of contracting malaria. The research appears in the August 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Highway Safety Research Center gets $1.6 million to renew bicycle, pedestrian clearinghouse
The University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center has received $1.6 million to renew the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Clearinghouse.

Proteins spur diabetic mice models to grow blood vessels, nerves
University of Utah researchers have taken a potentially powerful new therapy for treating diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other illnesses out of the test tube and into animals by demonstrating it restores nerve and blood vessel growth in mice.

Drug attacks prostate cancer in mouse model by destroying its blood supply
A medication used to treat other types of cancer strangles drug-resistant, metastatic prostate cancer by cutting off its blood supply, researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in the June 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

First comprehensive literature-derived database of yeast interactions
Researchers have built the first comprehensive manually-generated, literature-based, database of genetic and protein interactions. In a study published today in the open access journal Journal of Biology, researchers manually curated the entire literature for genetic and physical protein interactions in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an important model system for human cells. The database enabled better predictions of gene functions and protein interactions than all previous data collections combined.

Study finds racial differences in response to treatments for advanced colon cancer
African Americans, compared to Caucasians, have lower response rates to standard chemotherapy for advanced colon cancer but have significantly fewer severe side effects from the treatment. Genetic differences in metabolism may play a role. Report of findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Single copy of Parkinson's-risk gene mutation may lead to earlier symptom onset
Mutations in a gene already known to play a role in causing an inherited form of Parkinson disease may also influence the age at which symptoms of the neurological disorder appear. While inheriting two abnormal copies of the parkin gene has been associated with the development of early-onset Parkinson's, a new study from a multi-institutional team finds that even a single mutated copy of parkin reduces the age of onset of the disease.

New drug extends lung cancer survival 22 percent, UC Davis Cancer Center researchers report
Adding the new molecularly targeted agent bortezomib to a standard chemotherapy regimen of gemcitabine and carboplatin prolonged survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Results of the phase II trial, led by UC Davis Cancer Center researchers, were reported today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

From basic science to the bedside: APS conference takes stock of lung disease
Advances in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics are driving many new discoveries about lung disease such as pulmonary hypertension and asthma. Researchers and clinicians will examine the most recent discoveries and discuss ways to translate them for clinical use at The American Physiological Society conference,

Northwestern Memorial earns magnet status for nursing excellence
Northwestern Memorial Hospital has officially received Magnet status, the gold standard for nursing excellence and an honor that recognizes an organizational commitment to the best in patient care. The hospital was notified of the decision Thursday by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

New study suggests 'planemos' may spawn planets and moons
Forget our traditional ideas of where a planetary system forms -- new research led by a University of Toronto astronomer reveals that planetary nurseries can exist not only around stars but also around objects that are themselves not much heftier than Jupiter. It suggests that miniature versions of the solar system may circle objects that are some 100 times less massive than our sun.

Racism effects health of Maori in New Zealand
Racism may have a detrimental effect on the health of Maori in New Zealand, according to a paper in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Next generation of science stars: 5 female scientists receive 2006 L'Oréal USA fellowships
L'Oréal USA announced today the recipients of its esteemed 2006 Fellowships for Women In Science at an awards ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Five young women, all on the cutting-edge of scientific advances, were awarded $20,000 each to carry out research projects. Now in its third year, the highly selective L'Oréal USA Fellows program recognizes and rewards up-and-coming female scientists from across the country and disciplines.

Who are we up against? Local vs. global competition influences cooperative behavior in humans
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have shown that humans behave less cooperatively when they think they are in direct

Adult stem cell research at UB targets damaged hearts
A specialist in stem cell biology at the University at Buffalo has received a $1.98 million grant from National Institutes of Health to investigate the potential of bone marrow-derived adult stem cells to treat the serious heart malfunction known as hibernating myocardium.

Gene therapy completely suppresses ovarian cancer growth in animal model
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have used gene therapy to either completely abolish or significantly inhibit tumor progression in a mouse model of ovarian cancer. The researchers, therefore, believe gene therapy may significantly improve the prognosis for ovarian cancer patients.

Challenge is in the eye of the beholder: A heavy burden can slant our world
New research finds that our physical capabilities affect how we view our environment.

Urine collected and purified separately
From an environmental and cost perspective, it is a good idea to collect and purify urine separately, rather than simply allowing it to flow into the sewer, according to Delft University of Technology researcher Jac Wilsenach. Wilsenach estimates that substantial savings on energy costs can be achieved and moreover that raw materials can be reclaimed. Applying this research can lead to revolutionary changes in waste water management.

Study shows that genetic quality of sperm deteriorates as men age
New research indicates that the genetic quality of sperm worsens as men get older, increasing a man's risk of being infertile, fathering unsuccessful pregnancies and passing along dwarfism and possibly other genetic diseases to his children.

New combination treatment induces regression of prostate cancer
A new treatment for prostate cancer may provide a distinct advantage over other conventional protocols and induce actual regression of the disease -- not just relief from bone pain or a limited control of the disease, according to a study by Italian researchers released at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

Radiation therapy shown to increase survival in certain lung cancer patients
Treating certain lung cancer patients with surgery followed by radiation therapy can improve their chances of long-term survival, according to a study of more than 7,000 patients. The results, which suggest the need to reconsider radiation therapy's role in treatment, are reported today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Montreal researchers identify defects of immune cells
Researchers at Université de Montréal and the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) have successfully identified a defective immune cell population that determines susceptibility to candidiasis, a common and often debilitating infection in individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These findings, revealed using a model of candidiasis in transgenic mice expressing HIV developed by the same research group, represents a milestone in developing a treatment for the infection and, eventually, preventing it.

A boost for European Life Sciences as ESF launch EuroBioFund
The European Science Foundation will today launch a new initiative to help promote and coordinate direct interaction among European life sciences researchers and funders: EuroBioFund.

Two projects share Lillehammer Award 2006
For the fourth time, the EUREKA Lillehammer Award 2006 is being shared by two projects, both of which have developed technologies with outstanding environmental benefits. This is the fourth time such a double award has been made -- a clear indication of the exceptional standard of the competing projects.

U of T researchers find glycemic index effective in composite meals
University of Toronto research proves the glycemic index (GI), the table that lists the quality of carbohydrates in more than 750 common foods, works just as predictably whether subjects consume a single portion of one item, or a normal meal.

FDG PET takes its place as a valuable tool in diagnosing fevers of unknown origin
By providing early diagnosis of fevers of unknown origin in patients, positron emission tomography (PET) -- with the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) -- eliminates the need for additional exhaustive and invasive tests, say researchers from university and community hospitals in the Netherlands. Their findings were presented during SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3-7 in San Diego.

Bacteria have their own immune system protecting against outside DNA
Bacteria have a complicated immune system that helps them recognize and isolate foreign DNA trying to invade their cell membrane, according to a University of Washington-led study in the June 8 issue of Science Express. The research could have major implications for understanding the evolution of disease-causing bacteria, and may also affect the biotech industry, where bacteria are used to produce recombinant human proteins for medical treatments and research.

Americans' circle of friends is shrinking, new study shows
Americans' circle of close confidants has shrunk dramatically in the past two decades and the number of people who say they have no one with whom to discuss important matters has more than doubled, according to a new study by sociologists at Duke University and the University of Arizona.

Tocilizumab study offers new hope for children with arthritis
A new study has confirmed significant improvements after treatment with tocilizumab amongst children with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), who do not tolerate or have an inadequate response to conventional therapies. Professor Shumpei Yokota presented the encouraging results of the first double-blind, placebo controlled trial for tocilizumab at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Amsterdam today (Thursday 22 June).

SMART-1 close-up on Zucchius crater's central peaks
This image, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the central peaks of crater Zucchius.

To profit or explore -- it seems that is the question
People are constantly pulled between profiting from the things they know will reap rewards and exploring new options - but it is exploration that uses high-level regions of the brain, according to a study by UCL (University College London) scientists published in Nature on 15th June.

Scientists to employ Arctic ice and polar bears to protect diversity of world's crops
On an island near the North Pole, prime ministers from five Nordic countries and the Global Crop Diversity Trust laid the cornerstone today for a

'LEGO-Like' building blocks to halt cell growth wins Hebrew University prize
A method for delivery of drugs to targeted cells through the design of specific molecular structures called SIB (Small Integrated Building Blocks) has won a prestigious scientific prize for a Ph.D. student in organic chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Joslin study refutes recent report that bone marrow can replenish female oocytes
Joslin Diabetes Center study refutes recent report that bone marrow can replenish female oocytes. The study shows that circulating bone-marrow derived cells do not contribute to egg formation

US, Singapore act to simplify telecom trade
On June 2, new, streamlined regulatory approval procedures came into effect in the United States and Singapore, allowing U.S. makers of telecommunication equipment to certify their products at home and ship directly to the $1.3 billion Asian market, and eliminating the need for often-duplicative testing.

Pick your COX partners
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report that the COX enzymes - well-known for their contrasting role in cardiovascular biology - interact physically to form a previously unrecognized biochemical partnership and function in the development of blood vessels in a mouse model. These findings suggest new biological, developmental, and therapeutic roles for COX enzymes and prompt a re-evaluation of basic assumptions about the role of COX enzymes in disease.

Taking soldiers out of harm's way
Over the past three years, thousands of American soldiers in Iraq have been horribly injured or killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). At Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., one researcher is working on new technologies that could reduce the carnage. Emmanuel G. Collins envisions the creation of an unmanned ground vehicle that could patrol large areas without putting US soldiers in harm's way.

Cherry juice may prevent muscle damage pain
Study indicates cherry juice's potential for reducing exercise-induced muscle pain and damage

Earliest known 'bling' revealed
Fresh analysis of beads made from seashells by a team led by a UCL (University College London) researcher reveals that modern humans used jewellery at least 25,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Nieman Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health announce 2006-2007 Global Health Fellows
Three journalists have been awarded Nieman Fellowships in Global Health Reporting for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Coral death results from bacteria fed by algae
Bacteria and algae are combining to kill coral -- and human activities are compounding the problem. Scientists have discovered an indirect microbial mechanism whereby bacteria kill coral with the help of algae. Human activities are contributing to the growth of algae on coral reefs, setting the stage for the long-term continued decline of coral. Reporting in the June 5 on-line version of the journal Ecology Letters, the scientists described laboratory experiments on coral and algae.

Smoking, eating and thinking: New research on the brain, hormones, and behavior
Certain hormones may make it more difficult for some to quit smoking, according to results of a study presented at the 6th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Pittsburgh June 19 - 22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Other research reported includes animal research indicating what may be responsible for that yen for sweets.

Government scheme to improve health and well-being of deprived families called into question
The Government's Sure Start program, set up in 1999 to improve the health and development of socially deprived families with young children, shows some benefit for most poor families but may also be adversely affecting the worst off to some extent, says a paper in this week's BMJ.

NIH selects Pittsburgh institute as leader for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts
The University of Pittsburgh-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute is one of six institutions selected to lead HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts funded at $285 million for the first year by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Sharon L. Hillier, Ph.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, will lead the Microbicide Trials Network, which is charged with developing new drugs and drug delivery systems to prevent HIV.

Application of intelligent materials to automotive parts
The Jury of the VI Accenture Awards for the Best Thesis at the University School of Engineering in Bilbao has awarded the prize to Estibaliz Medina Ugarte.

The UK's top science stories (Newsline update -- issue 36)
Newsline is the free quarterly publication from EPSRC (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). Here are some of the stories in this latest edition.

Sticky surfaces turn slippery with the flip of a molecular light switch
Changing a surface from sticky to slippery could now be as easy as flipping a molecular light switch. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created an

Injury rates on England's roads remain high
The number of serious injuries on England's roads is much higher than Government figures suggest, says a paper published on bmj.com today.

Heat-shock protein vaccine reduces alveolar bone loss
Heat-shock protein (HSP) can be utilized as a vaccine to cross-protect against multiple pathogenic species. Investigators from Pusan National University (South Korea) today presented the findings of a study they performed to evaluate the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis heat-shock protein (HSP) 60 as a vaccine candidate to inhibit multiple bacteria-induced alveolar bone loss.

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