Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2008)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2008.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2008

Disturbed rest, activity linked to mortality in older men
It appears that disrupted rest and activity rhythms are associated with increased mortality rates among older men, according to new University of Minnesota research.

Researchers witness assembly of molecules critical to protein function
Iron-sulfur clusters are critical to life on earth. They are necessary for protein function in cellular processes, such as respiration in humans and other organisms and photosynthesis by plants. A Virginia Tech research group has isolated proteins responsible for the iron-sulfur cluster assembly process and witnessed the necessary protein interactions in vivo -- within a cell.

Science, hope for adults with type 1 diabetes focus of JDRF's Annual Global Diabetes Research Forum
Research findings and innovative approaches offer the promise of new therapies and the potential for cures for adults living with type 1 diabetes, according to researchers at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Global Research Forum in Washington, D.C.

Symptom screening plus a simple blood test improves early detection of ovarian cancer
Women's reports of persistent, recent-onset symptoms linked to ovarian cancer -- abdominal or pelvic pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and abdominal bloating -- when combined with the CA125 blood test may improve the early detection of ovarian cancer by 20 percent.

New research offers insight into oral cancer, chronic pediatric ear infections, and hearing health
Three new studies published in the June 2008 edition of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery focus on what role gender plays in the prognosis of oral tongue cancer, chronic ear infections in children, and the success rates of hearing aid implants in the elderly.

UBC physicists develop 'impossible' technique to study and develop superconductors
A team of University of British Columbia researchers has developed a technique that controls the number of electrons on the surface of high-temperature superconductors, a procedure considered impossible for the past two decades.

ASTRO announces recipients of 2008 awards, grants
The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's Research Evaluation Committee has announced the recipients of several awards and grants that are funded by the Radiation Oncology Institute (formerly the ASTRO Education and Development Fund) and distributed each year as part of the organization's overall effort to prevent, treat and cure malignancies.

CV risk management should be mandatory in RA and other types of inflammatory rheumatic disease
Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis patients should undergo compulsory cardiovascular risk management and existing CV risk calculators should be adapted to the increased CV risk in inflammatory rheumatic disease patients, the EULAR Task Force on

Gladstone and Izumi Bio in partnership in regenerative medicine and cardiovascular disease
Gladstone and new start-up to collaborate on applications for iPS cell technology.

A bright future for plastics -- robot 'skin,' flexible laptops and electric posters
July's edition of Physics World includes an in-depth feature by three Israeli researchers, Marianna Khorzov and David Andelman, from the school of physics and astronomy at Tel Aviv University, and Rafi Shikler, from the electrical and computer engineering department at Ben Gurion University, about exciting developments in plastic electronics engineering.

Helicopters with fuel cells
In the future, an unmanned helicopter will search for people trapped in fallen buildings or investigate contaminated terrain. The mini-helicopter will be powered by a very light fuel cell that weighs only 30 grams and has an output of 12 watts.

Leukemia drug could save lives of stroke patients
Published today in Nature Medicine, investigators from the Stockholm Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and University of Michigan Medical School show that toxicity associated with tPA, the most effective treatment currently available to stroke patients, might be overcome if combined with the leukemia drug, imatinib. Imatinib greatly reduced tPA-associated bleeding in mice, and extended the critical window in which tPA can be administered after the stroke had begun by two hours.

New discoveries, new labs highlight international Canadian Light Source meeting
Discoveries by some of Canada's brightest researchers will be the focus of the Canadian Light Source 11th Annual Users' Meeting. The meeting is part of a joint conference that also includes the 5th International Workshop on Mechanical Engineering Design of Synchrotron Radiation Equipment and Instrumentation and the 15th Pan-American Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation conference in Saskatoon from June 9-13 at Place.

Researchers study hidden homicide trend
Gun-related homicide among young men rose sharply in the United States in recent years even though the nation's overall homicide rate remained flat, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Between 1999 and 2005, homicide involving firearms increased 31 percent among black men ages 25 to 44 and 12 percent among white men of the same age.

ONR offers up to $1M for innovative science and technology ideas
Office of Naval Research announces 2008

Exploited fish make rapid comeback in world's largest no-take marine reserve network
No-take marine reserves, in which fishing is completely banned, can lead to very rapid comebacks of the fish species most prized by commercial and recreational fisheries, reveals a new study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef published in the June 24 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Blue light used to harden tooth fillings stunts tumor growth
A blue curing light used to harden dental fillings also may stunt tumor growth, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Geisinger study: Inflammatory disease causes blindness
New Geisinger research shows a link between blindness and temporal arteritis, a problem that restricts blood flow to the brain. The research finds that giant cells play a key role in the disease, as well as another inflammatory problem that causes aches and stiffness in the arms, thighs and neck.

Lasers, software and the Devil's Slide
Running for more than 1,000 kilometers along picturesque coastline, California's Highway 1 is easy prey for many of the natural hazards plaguing the region, including landslides.

3rd international conference examines interactions between music and the brain
The effects of musical experience in young children and the role of music in the rehabilitation of stroke patients will be among the many topics on the agenda as experts from around the world gather in Montreal, Canada, for the international conference

Poor and uninsured patients more likely to experience racial discrimination
A new study examines the impact of poor, uninsured patients' race in terms of reporting racism in their health care.

Premier Brumby announces plans to build largest life sciences supercomputer facility
$100 Million Supercomputer Will Aid Breakthrough in Disease Discovery in Australia and Beyond

Subtle nervous system abnormalities appear to predict risk of death in older individuals
Subtle but clinically detectable neurological abnormalities, such as reduced reflexes and an unstable posture, may be associated with the risk of death and stroke in otherwise healthy older adults, according to a report in the June 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers seek children for a study of antibiotics for a urinary tract disorder
Researchers conducting a study to learn if children with a urinary tract disorder known as vesicoureteral reflux should be treated with an antibiotic for an extended period of time are seeking to enroll more participants. The study, known as the

Study further defines potential role of fish-based fatty acids in resolving, preventing asthma
In an ongoing effort to determine the anti-inflammatory value of diets rich in some types of fish, scientists studying asthma and allergic reactions have found that a molecule produced by the body from omega-3 fatty acids helps resolve and prevent respiratory distress in laboratory mice. The research, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, was led by a research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Schistosomes, hookworm and trichuris infections synergize to increase the risk of anemia
New research published June 4 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases provides evidence that the risk of anemia is amplified in children simultaneously infected with hookworm and schistosomes or hookworm and trichuris, when compared to the sum of risks for children with singular infections.

Scientists find how neural activity spurs blood flow in the brain
New research from Harvard University neuroscientists has pinpointed exactly how neural activity boosts blood flow to the brain. The finding has important implications for our understanding of common brain imaging techniques such as fMRI, which uses blood flow in the brain as a proxy for neural activity.

Invention to prevent surgical adhesions wins Kaye Award
A material designed to prevent adhesions following surgery has won for Hebrew University Prof. Daniel Cohn of the Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry first prize in this year's Kaye Awards for Innovation. The awards were presented during the recent 71st meeting of the Hebrew University Board of Governors.

UC researchers find new ways to regulate genes, reduce heart damage
Keith Jones, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of pharmacology and cell biophysics at the University of Cincinnati, and colleagues are trying to reduce post-heart attack damage by studying the way cells die in the heart -- a process controlled by transcription factors.

Programs succeed in reducing risky sex among HIV-positive minority men
Research has shown that HIV-positive African-American and Hispanic men who were sexually abused as children are particularly vulnerable to engaging in high-risk sex and experiencing depressive symptoms. Yet few HIV intervention programs exist to help them. Now, a new study finds that interventions that address the life experiences of these men can contribute significantly toward preventing high-risk behavior and reducing depression rates. This is largely due to the social support found within these programs.

GLAST ready to go!
In a final meeting of scientists, engineers, technicians and officials, NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope received the final

Stillbirths, infant deaths lead to anxiety, guilt and stress among obstetricians
Nearly one in 10 obstetricians in a new study has considered giving up obstetric practice because of the emotional toll of stillbirths and infant deaths. Three-quarters of the 804 obstetricians who responded to a survey by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System reported that the experience took a large emotional toll on them personally.

Hox genes control the path of neurons responsible for development of the nervous system
In a new paper published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, authors Filippo Rijli and colleagues demonstrate that pontine neuron migration in mice is controlled by specific Hox genes. They show that by knocking out the expression of the Hoxa2 gene the path of the neurons changes, causing them to end up in the wrong part of the brain.

Climate change hastens extinction in Madagascar's reptiles and amphibians
New research provides the first detailed study showing that global warming forces species to move up tropical mountains as their habitats shift upward. Herpetologist Christopher Raxworthy predicts that at least three species of amphibians and reptiles found in Madagascar's mountainous north could go extinct between 2050 and 2100 because of habitat loss associated with rising global temperatures. These species are moving upslope to compensate for habitat loss at lower and warmer altitudes.

A histone methyltransferase modulates antigenic variation in African trypanosomes
In this week's issue of PLoS Biology, George Cross and colleagues show that the chromatin modifying enzyme DOT1B helps to epigenetically regulate the number of VSGs each trypanosome parasite can have at a time and how fast each parasite can switch from one coat to another.

Strong associations between disturbed rest/activity rhythms and mortality rates in older men
A research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, is the first to report strong associations between disturbed rest/activity rhythms and mortality rates in older, community-dwelling (noninstitutionalized) men.

Poor sleep quality and insomnia associated with suicidal symptoms among college students
Poor sleep quality and insomnia are significantly associated with suicidal symptoms among college undergraduates.

Caloric intake negatively influences healthy adults' sleep patterns
Caloric intake negatively influences sleep patterns in healthy adults.

Nasal spray using body's immune system provides hope of cure for common cold
A nasal spray that mimics our own natural defense system may be the answer to beating the common cold, according to a report in the latest issue of the Society of Chemical Industry's magazine, Chemistry & Industry, published today.

New grants will support research in the sustainable built environment
The Woods Institute for the Environment has awarded planning grants to 17 Stanford faculty members to develop a campus-wide research agenda for the sustainable built environment, an emerging field that promotes the sustainable development of buildings and urban areas.

Researchers observe spontaneous 'ratcheting' of single ribosome molecules
Researchers report this week that they are the first to observe the dynamic, ratchet-like movements of single ribosomal molecules in the act of building proteins from genetic blueprints.

Freshwater runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet will more than double by the end of the century
The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting faster than previously calculated according to a recently released scientific paper by University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Sebastian H. Mernild.

Microscopic 'clutch' puts flagellum in neutral
A tiny but powerful engine that propels the bacterium Bacillus subtilis through liquids is disengaged from the corkscrew-like flagellum by a protein clutch, Indiana University Bloomington and Harvard University scientists have learned. Their report appears in this week's Science. Scientists have long known what drives the flagellum to spin, but what causes the flagellum to stop spinning -- temporarily or permanently -- was unknown.

Treatment improves walking ability of Parkinson's patients
The use of electrical impulses to stimulate weak or paralyzed muscles, called functional electrical stimulation, is often used to help stroke or multiple sclerosis patients to walk.

Syntermed licenses Emory imaging technology for improved evaluation of heart failure patients
New imaging software that will allow physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat heart failure patients has been licensed by Emory University to Syntermed, an Atlanta-based nuclear medicine imaging and informatics software company. The software uses multiharmonic phase analysis, a technology developed by Emory medical scientists Ernest Garcia, PhD, and Jing Chen, PhD.

Target support for young scientists, says panel/Mote
A white paper issued by an American Academy of Arts and Sciences panel urges the strategic targeting of research dollars to support early-career scientists. University of Maryland President C.D. Mote, Jr., is a member of the panel that wrote ARISE.

New MRI to debut in African nation of Malawi; will save lives, advance malaria research
Michigan State University physician Terrie Taylor studies cerebral malaria in Malawi where the vast majority of malaria patients are children. And, in order to get a closer look at the damage malaria does to a child, Taylor and colleagues study the child's brain, something that, up until now, could only be done in an autopsy. However, that will change this summer when a new magnetic resonance imaging unit -- the first MRI machine ever to come to Malawi -- will be put into operation.

Evolution of fruit size in tomato
In general, domesticated food plants have larger fruits, heads of grain, tubers, etc., because this is one of the characteristics that early hunter-gatherers chose when foraging for food. In addition to size, tomatoes have been bred for shape, texture, flavor, shelf-life and nutrient composition, but it has been difficult to study these traits in tomatoes because many of them are the result of many genes acting together.

Wealth of genomic hotspots discovered in embryonic stem cells
Singapore scientists unveil an atlas showing the location of

Cardiac devices and advanced heart failure: Are we selecting the wrong patients?
Patients with advanced heart failure may be receiving implantable cardiac devices that do not help them because they are too ill to benefit from the treatment -- a practice that is not only costly, but puts patients through unnecessary suffering. 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