Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2009)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2009.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2009

CWRU receives $5 million from Ohio Third Frontier Commission
The Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, comprised of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Athersys Inc., has received $5 million from Ohio's Third Frontier Commission under the Research Commercialization Program. The funding will help support new and innovative stem cell technologies including two commercial, four emerging and three pilot projects. This funding will be matched by each of the projects to create a $10 million grant benefiting stem cell and regenerative medicine in Ohio.

New technique developed to evaluate basketball players
A team of Spanish and American researchers has developed a method to evaluate basketball players that will, they say, better meet the requirements of the sport's trainers and experts. The technique uses mathematical models designed to measure productivity.

More than just the tailpipe
Trains, planes, buses and automobiles do not only effect the environment via their exhaust pipes. There is a full lifecycle of processes associated with getting from A to B that we rarely acknowledge. Published today in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters, researchers from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California -- Berkeley, have created a framework to help us calculate the true environmental cost of travel.

GARP makes the difference
Scientists from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany and the Medical School Hannover, Germany have succeeded in treating immune cells in a way that enables them to inhibit unwanted immune reactions such as organ rejection. Their results have now been published in the current issue of the scientific journal Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Hormone therapy plus physical activity reduce belly fat, body fat percentage after menopause
Older women who take hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms may get the added benefit of reduced body fat if they are physically active, according to a new study. The results were presented at the Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for chronic insomnia
A majority of people experiencing chronic insomnia can experience a normalization of sleep parameters through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Tuesday, June 9, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Tummy troubles -- gastrin key in bacterial-induced stomach cancer
Current research suggests that levels of gastrin play a key role in the development of Helicobacter-induced stomach cancer. The related report by Takaishi et al.,

On malaria struggle, baboons and humans have similar stories to tell
Evolutionarily speaking, baboons may be our more distant cousins among primates. But when it comes to our experiences with malaria over the course of time, it seems the stories of our two species have followed very similar plots.

They are young and need the job: A second chance for dangerous T cells
Any of the immune system's T cells that could attack the body's own tissue are either driven to cell death or reeducated to become a kind of law enforcer that could actually be used in therapies. Which of these alternatives occurs may depend on the age of the cells, as researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now shown.

Preliminary report on antidepressants published
The IQWiG has presented the preliminary results of its benefit assessment of the agents reboxetine, mirtazapine and bupropion XL in the treatment of adult patients with depression. According to this report, the benefit of bupropion is proven. However, this does not apply to reboxetine, as a large amount of study data is not accessible. Interested parties and institutions may submit written comments on the preliminary report up until July 9.

Protein linked to change in tissue that surround and support breast tumors
A protein known to be overly active in breast cancer can exist in a form that seems to change the structural composition of mammary tissue, potentially making it more conducive to tumor progression, say researchers from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Loyola fellow receives Amgen grant to study treatments for older leukemia patients
Dr. Aileen Go of Loyola University Health System, who is studying treatment options for older leukemia and lymphoma patients, has won a prestigious Amgen Foundation Fellowship grant.

AIAA names top 10 emerging aerospace technologies of 2009
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has released its first annual list of top emerging aerospace technologies.

Wildlife faces cancer threat
While cancer touches the lives of many humans, it is also a major threat to wild animal populations as well, according to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society. A newly published paper in the July edition of Nature Reviews Cancer compiles information on cancer in wildlife and suggests that cancer poses a conservation threat to certain species.

Antibiotics, antimicrobials and antifungals in waterways
Antibiotics, antimicrobials and antifungals are seeping into the waterways of North America, Europe and East Asia, according to an investigation published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Authored by Universite de Montreal and Environment Canada researchers, the review found that consumption of anti-infectives for human and agriculture use contributes to their release into the environment and even into drinking water.

A potential treatment for gastric motility disorders
Gastric dysrhythmia and delayed gastric emptying has been observed in many gastric motility disorders. Treatment options for these disorders are very limited in the US, such as medical therapy, surgical therapy and nutritional support. The results of this study show that two-channel Gastric electrical stimulation with trains of pulses accelerates gastric emptying in healthy dogs and may have a therapeutic potential for the treatment of gastric motility disorders.

New fossil tells how piranhas got their teeth
Previously unknown fossil fish bridges the evolutionary gap between flesh-eating piranhas and their plant-eating cousins

Desert dust alters ecology of Colorado alpine meadows
Accelerated snowmelt -- precipitated by desert dust blowing into the mountains -- changes how alpine plants respond to seasonal climate cues that regulate their life cycles, according to results of a new study reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These results indicate that global warming may have a greater influence on plants' annual growth cycles than previously thought.

Argonne, UC scientists reach milestone in study of emergent magnetism
Studying simple metallic chromium, the joint UC-Argonne team has discovered a pressure-driven quantum critical regime and has achieved the first direct measurement of a

An easy way to find a needle in a haystack by removing the haystack
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and their colleagues from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague have developed a new method to quickly and reliably detect metabolites, such as sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and other organic substances from plant or animal tissue samples. One drop of blood -- less than one micro liter -- is sufficient to identify certain blood related metabolites.

Jacob Ziv wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in information technologies
The presentation ceremony will take place on June 18. Their monetary amount and the breadth of disciplines addressed place the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards second only to the Nobel Prize.

Simple measures may prevent transmission of stomach ulcer bacteria
The stomach ulcer bacterium Helicobacter pylori is not transmitted through drinking water as previously thought, but rather through vomit and possibly feces. This is shown in a thesis at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. It is therefore possible to prevent the spread of the bacterium in developing countries through some fairly simple measures.

Was Britain 'built on the blood of slaves'?
On June , a team of historians from University College London will launch a major investigation into Britain's debt to slavery and create the first 'Encyclopedia of British slave owners'. This online database will identify every slave-owner resident in Britain in the 1830s (when slavery was abolished) and show how slave-related wealth was put to use. It will highlight the major companies, art collections and institutions which can trace their existence back to colonial slavery in the 19th century.

Endless original, copyright-free music
A group of researchers from the University of Granada has developed Inmamusys, a software program that can create music in response to emotions that arise in the listener. By using Artificial Intelligence techniques, the program means that original, copyright-free and emotion-inspiring music can be played continuously.

Engineering autism: Mice with extra chromosome region show many autistic signs
Mice who inherit a particular chromosomal duplication from their fathers show many behaviors associated with human autism, researchers report in the June 26 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press Publication. The duplicated chromosomal region in mice is the equivalent of human chromosome 15q11-13, the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality observed in autism, accounting for some five percent of all cases.

High levels of cycling training damage triathletes' sperm
Researchers from Spain have found that the high-intensity training undertaken by triathletes has a significant impact on the quality of their sperm. Those triathletes who did the most cycling training had the worst sperm morphology, and positive measures are needed to protect them from infertility, the scientists say.

Scientists find a biological 'fountain of youth' in new world bat caves
Scientists from Texas are batty over a new discovery which could lead to the single most important medical breakthrough in human history -- significantly longer lifespans. The discovery, featured on the cover of the July 2009 print issue of the FASEB Journal, shows that proper protein folding over time in long-lived bats explains why they live significantly longer than other mammals of comparable size, such as mice.

Springer to publish Journal of High Energy Physics
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2010, Springer will publish the Journal of High Energy Physics, a leading international, peer-reviewed, online-only, scientific journal owned by the International School for Advanced Studies.

Study finds autistics better at problem-solving
Autistics are up to 40 percent faster at problem-solving than non-autistics, according to a new University of Montreal and Harvard University study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping. As part of the investigation, participants were asked to complete patterns in the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices -- test that measures hypothesis-testing, problem-solving and learning skills.

LA BioMed researcher receives clinical teaching award
Darryl Y. Sue, M.D., an investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute will receive the Serge & Yvette Dadone Clinical Teaching Award for his

'Shortcuts' of the mind lead to miscalculations of weight and caloric intake, says Penn study
Psychologists have identified a cognitive shortcut they call

Roadsters embrace green racing
Green racing is now part of the American Le Mans series. It's auto racing where the prize goes to the fastest car with the smallest environmental footprint. But being green does not mean being slow; green race cars are still 200 mph+ cars. The hope is that the concept, developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, will lead to more energy-efficient cars for consumers. Green racing will be described in detail June 25 at the 13th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in College Park, Md.

Next-generation software system for flood warning and risk analysis to be developed
Researchers from King's College London and Hohai University are together developing a ground-breaking software system, the Novel Early Flood Warning System (NEWS). NEWS will be the first commercially viable multipurpose early flood warning system to take into account both climate change and corresponding hydrological effects. It will be able to perform early and reliable flood event warning for short-term (a few hours) and medium-term (a few days) as well as risk analysis, which is currently unachievable with conventional models and software.

Not 1, but 2 kinds of males found in the invasive round goby
Scientists have found the existence of two types of males of a fiercely invasive fish spreading through the Great Lakes, which may provide answers as to how they rapidly reproduce.

Finding solutions to the chronic nursing shortage
The Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at the University of Western Ontario has announced a $2 million research chair to address issues surrounding the chronic shortage of registered nurses in Canada and the United States. Dr. Heather Laschinger, Ph.D., was named the first Arthur Labatt Family Nursing Research Chair in Human Resource Optimization.

USC researchers present new strategies to prevent childhood obesity
Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California will present new findings and strategies for combating childhood obesity at the 5th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference being held June 9-12 in Los Angeles.

NIST discovers how strain at grain boundaries suppresses high-temperature superconductivity
NIST researchers have discovered that a reduction in mechanical strain at the boundaries of crystal grains can significantly improve the performance of high-temperature superconductors.

UT gets federal stimulus grant for Parkinson's disease research
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has received a $412,500 federal stimulus grant for Parkinson's disease research, the university announced today. It is the university's first federal stimulus grant.

Owning too much company stock puts workers' retirement at risk
Congress should ban employer stock from company-sponsored retirement plans to spare workers the risk of putting too much of their nest eggs in one basket, a new study by a University of Illinois legal expert says.

Magnetic tornadoes could liberate Mercury's tenuous atmosphere
Mercury is scorching hot, with daytime temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Its hard for the planet to hold on to its atmosphere, which is extremely thin, and invisible to the human eye. However, it can be seen by special instruments attached to telescopes and spacecraft like MESSENGER.

Why saints sin and sinners get saintly
A new Northwestern University study suggests that people with ample moral self-worth in one aspect of their lives can slip into immorality or opposite behavior in other areas -- their abundant self-esteem somehow pushing them to balance out all that goodness. Think, perhaps, former Gov. Eliott Spitzer. Conversely, the study shows, people who engage in immoral behavior cleanse themselves with good work to restore an ideal level of moral self-worth.

More stringent evaluation on the use of generic medications in thoracic transplantation
The current approval process for generic medication should be examined, suggests an educational advisory in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Mosquito evolution spells trouble for Galapagos wildlife
The Galapagos giant tortoise and other iconic wildlife are facing a new threat from disease, as some of the islands' mosquitoes develop a taste for reptile blood.

Television watching before bedtime can lead to sleep debt
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Monday, June 8, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, television watching may be an important determinant of bedtime, and may contribute to chronic sleep debt.

Trans fats hinder multiple steps in blood flow regulation pathways
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in processed foods contain trans fatty acids that interfere with the regulation of blood flow. A new report reveals a new way in which these

How mitochondria get their membranes bent
Underneath their smooth surface mitochondria harbor an elaborately folded inner membrane. It holds a multitude of bottleneck like invaginations, which expand into elongated cavities. Now researchers have identified two proteins linked in an antagonistic manner that are relevant for governing inner membrane structure.

Successful, even during the crisis
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's total funding hit a new record level of 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) last year. Another especially gratifying statistic: the research organization created and filled 1,400 new positions during the Fiscal Year 2008, so that as of today, it employs a total of 15,000 people.

New research program BioInterfaces launched
BioInterfaces represents an ambitious new

Bering Sea flights prove viability of university's unmanned aircraft
Researchers can chalk up another accomplishment for the University of Alaska's Unmanned Aircraft Program. Based on the seal-observing performance of the program's 40-pound ScanEagles, researchers have learned the aircraft can operate in snow and light icing conditions. This feat enhances the viability of the technology, which has proven useful flying through smoke and fog during previous scientific flights.

U-M study finds voice box can be preserved, even with the largest cancers
Some patients with large tumors on their larynx can preserve their speech by opting for chemotherapy and radiation over surgery to remove the voice box. A new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that a single round of chemotherapy could identify those patients most likely to benefit from this approach. 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