Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2010)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2010.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2010

Dr. Mitola and cognitive radio are featured on Computing Now
Dr. Joseph Mitola III, vice president for the research enterprise at Stevens Institute of Technology, is the subject of a recent article on Computing Now which details the benefits and development of cognitive radio, the intelligent wireless technology coined by Dr. Mitola in 1999.

Whitfield to receive GSA's 2010 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Keith Whitfield, Ph.D., of Duke University as the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award.

Apple juice improves behavior but not cognition in Alzheimer's patients
Apple juice can be a useful supplement for calming the declining moods that are part of the normal progression of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease, according to a study in American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, published by SAGE.

Exercise trumps creatine in cardiac rehab
Athletes have been enjoying the benefits of creatine supplements to gain stronger muscles since the 1990s, and the supplement has also proven beneficial among other groups. Could it help cardiac patients regain strength to help with their heart-training workouts as part of rehabilitation? The evidence at this stage suggests not -- exercise alone proved a far more powerful tonic for patients in a study out today. The results appear in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, published by SAGE.

Carbon dioxide is the missing link to past global climate changes
Carbon dioxide is the missing ingredient in explaining the advent of Ice Ages in the Northern Hemisphere and why those cold epochs have caused changes in the tropics for the past 2.7 million years. In a paper in Science, Brown University geologist Timothy Herbert and others analyzed ocean sediment cores and found a definitive link between the Ice Ages and ocean surface temperatures in the tropics. They believe carbon dioxide explains the link.

Study evaluates association of genetic factors and brain imaging findings in Alzheimer's disease
By investigating the association between genetic loci related to Alzheimer's disease and neuroimaging measures related to disease risk, researchers may have uncovered additional evidence that several previously studied genetic variants are associated with the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease and also may have identified new genetic risk factors for further study, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Fresh findings about chickenpox could lead to better blood tests
Fresh understanding of the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles could lead to improved vaccines and diagnostic tests, a study suggests.

New analysis on problems between archaeology and pharaonic chronology, based on radiocarbon dating
A Science magazine article reports that, for the first time, it is possible to relate the Minoan Santorini eruption with Egyptian Historical Chronology solely on the basis of radiocarbon dates. Thus, it appears that the eruption preceded the 18th Dynasty and occurred during the Hyksos Period. Moreover, conventional association of Egyptian history with archaeological phases at Tell el-Dab'a, the ancient capital of the Hyksos, located in the northeastern region of the Nile delta, do not fit in terms of radiocarbon dating.

A good CHAP reduces rates of heart disease and stroke in communities
A community-based health promotion program delivered by peer volunteers is the recipient of the Canadian Stroke Congress Co-Chairs' Award for Impact. Program significantly reduces heart disease and stroke in seniors and points to importance of blood pressure reduction measures.

Birds reduce their heating bills in cold climates
The evolution of bird bills is related to climate, according to latest research by the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Brock University, Canada.

IAS urges donors to maintain commitment to global HIV response ahead of the G8 Summit
In 2005 the international community made an historic commitment to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care by 2010 at the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. Despite important progress, the world is not yet on track to achieve this commitment, and there are troubling signs that donors and implementing countries are capping or shrinking funding for the HIV response.

System 92L's chances for development are waning
Satellite imagery captured a visible look at System 92L earlier today, and it seems to be running into an environmental road block: upper level winds that are lessening its chances for development into a tropical cyclone.

Molecular imaging and CT colonography team up to bring comfort to patients
A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography -- a molecular imaging technique -- combined with computer tomography (CT) colonography may provide a suitable alternative for detecting polyps and cancer in the colon.

AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting begins Sunday
AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting, June 27-29 in Boston, convenes more than 2,300 researchers, policymakers and practitioners to discuss research addressing the critical challenges confronting the nation's health care delivery system, including the ways health services research can inform current efforts to improve health care quality, reduce rising costs and expand access.

Study finds why some women are sub-fertile with a poor response to ovarian stimulating hormones
Researchers have discovered that some women carry a genetic variation that makes them sub-fertile and less likely to respond to ovarian stimulating hormones during fertility treatment. The discovery opens the way to identifying these women and devising personalized fertility treatments that could bypass the problem caused by the genetic abnormality.

Obesity, weight gain in middle age associated with increased risk of diabetes among older adults
For individuals 65 years of age and older, obesity, excess body fat around the waist and gaining weight after the age of 50 are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of JAMA.

'2 dogs 2,000 miles' trek promotes dog DNA for cancer research
A man and his two dogs on a 2,000-mile walk to raise awareness about cancer in dogs is helping a new $5.3 million canine cancer project recently launched by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Van Andel Research Institute.

Older adults watch more TV than younger people, enjoy it less
We usually scold our children and teenagers for watching too much TV. It turns out that their grandmas and grandpas spend even more of their time watching TV, and it is not good for them either, according to researchers at the Stein Institute for Research on Aging and Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Researchers use X-ray diffraction microscope to reveal 3-D internal structure of whole cell
3-D imaging is dramatically expanding our ability to examine biological specimens enabling a peek into internal structures. Recent advance in X-ray diffraction method has greatly extended the limit of this approach. Method can be applied to organelles, viruses and cells and could impact treatment of human diseases.

Diabetes patients admitted for acute exacerbations of COPD have longer hospital stay
A new study in the journal Respirology reveals that patients with diabetes who are hospitalized with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease experience longer time in the hospital and are also at an increased risk of death, compared to those without diabetes.

Country economy is a stronger predictor of therapy initiation
There is significant disparity between

Geometry affects drift and diffusion across entropic barriers
Understanding particle diffusion in the presence of constrictions is essential in fields as diverse as drug delivery, cellular biology, nanotechnology, materials engineering, and spread of pollutants in the soil. When a driving force is applied, displacement of particles occurs as well as diffusion. A paper in the Journal of Chemical Physics, published by the American Institute of Physics, quantifies the effects of periodic constrictions on drift and diffusion in systems experiencing a driving force.

Despite the guidelines, lower blood pressure might be unhealthy for kidney patients
Recent guidelines by the National Kidney Foundation Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI) call for lower target blood pressure levels in patients with chronic kidney disease. But in the absence of high-quality scientific evidence, there's a chance this recommendation could do more harm than good, according to a special article appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Natural energy to help power exploration of the universe
The federal government has announced today that the CSIRO will receive $47.3 million for the development of solar and geothermal energy technologies to power a radio-astronomy observatory and its supporting computer center. The Sustainable Energy for SKA facility will be funded through the Sustainability Round of the Government's Education Investment Fund.

Apologies may fuel settlement of legal disputes, study says
Apologies can potentially help resolve legal disputes ranging from injury cases to wrongful firings, giving wounded parties a sense of justice and satisfaction that promotes settlements and trims demands for damages, a study found.

R Coronae Australis: A cosmic watercolor
This magnificent view of the region around the star R Coronae Australis was created from images taken with the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. R Coronae Australis lies at the heart of a nearby star-forming region and is surrounded by a delicate bluish reflection nebula embedded in a huge dust cloud. The image reveals surprising new details in this dramatic area of sky.

Japanese gourmet mushroom found in Sweden
In Japan, the hon-shimeji mushroom is a delicacy costing up to $985 per kilo. Now, a student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has discovered that this tasty fungus also grows wild in Sweden.

Why do certain diseases go into remission during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, many women experience remission of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and uveitis. Now, scientists at the University of Michigan and the NIH have undentified a biological mechanism responsible for changes in the immune system that helps to explain the phenomenon.

Study is first to show that highly variable sleep schedules predict elevated suicide risk
In actively suicidal young adults, highly variable sleep schedules predicted an elevated risk for suicide at one week and three weeks independent of depression. Time of mean sleep onset varied by three hours, and time of sleep offset varied by 2.8 hours. Sleep irregularity also was the only sleep-related variable to predict greater mood lability, which in turn predicted elevated suicidal symptoms. Participants were 49 actively suicidal undergraduate students from 19-23 years old.

Flower power: Marking winners and losers
A new study reveals how conflict resolution works on the microscopic scale -- a protein called Flower marks the weaker cells for elimination in favor of their fitter neighbors. The research, published by Cell Press in the June 15 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, furthers our understanding of a developmental process of

A cause of death after 700 years: Santa Rosa mummy may have died from a cardiac embolism
A clinical picture published online first and in an upcoming Lancet details a radiographic examination of the heart of Santa Rosa -- a well-preserved mummy dating back to 13th century B.C., and concludes her cause of death could well have been a embolism that began in the heart. The Clinical Picture is by Professor Ruggero D'Anastasio, Department of Human Movement Sciences, State University

3rd annual Ft. Defiance Cancer Awareness Conference set for June 5
A cancer conference dedicated to increased awareness about cancer among the Navajo people is helping bridge Western and Native American approaches to disease and treatments.

Elsevier announces new access to Reaxys for chemists at Sapienza University of Rome
Elsevier and Sapienza University of Rome today announced a new agreement, providing researchers at the university with access to Reaxys, Elsevier's work-flow solution for research chemists.

GPS not just for driving but can be tool for crowd management
Drivers around the world use the global positioning system to figure out how to get from point A to point B. But a young Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher has shown that GPS can also be applied commercially to better deal with crowd or shopper management and even to evaluating patient recovery following surgery.

Detecting tumors faster
To diagnose cancer reliably, doctors usually conduct a biopsy including tissue analysis -- which is a time-consuming process. A microscopic image sensor, fitted in an endoscope, is being developed for in vivo cancer diagnosis, to speed up the detection of tumors.

Stanford's Woods Institute awards new round of Environmental Venture Projects
The Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University has awarded four new Environmental Venture Projects grants for interdisciplinary research aimed at finding practical solutions promoting global sustainability.

Intervention lowered obesity rate in youth at high diabetes risk, HEALTHY study finds
An intervention in middle schools lowered the obesity rate in students at highest risk for type 2 diabetes, those who started out overweight or obese in sixth grade, an NIH-funded study has found. However, schools that implemented the program did not differ from comparison schools in the study's primary outcome -- the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined -- which had declined 4 percent in both groups of schools by the end of the three-year study.

New world Helicobacter pylori genome sequenced, dynamics of inflammation-related genes revealed
An international team of researchers led by scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have sequenced the genome of an Amerindian strain of the gastric bug Helicobacter pylori, confirming the out-of-Africa migration of this bacterial stowaway to the New World. Experiments in animals have highlighted how specific genes in the bacterial strain may be crucial to the onset of inflammation and disease.

New research questions dominance of larger charities in the charity sector
The University of Southampton has played a key role in a major new piece of research that challenges the belief that the biggest charities are becoming increasingly dominant in financial terms -- a development sometimes known as

Using bacteria in oil wells to convert oil to natural gas
Some bacteria destroy oil. Might those bacteria lead oil companies to change their methods of harvesting the energy of the oil while at the same time reducing the carbon dioxide that burning oil and gasoline discharges into the atmosphere? Steve Larter thinks that may be possible.

New tool for pre-surgical detection of kidney cancers may help patients avoid unnecessary surgeries
The use of an antibody called 124I-girentuximab with PET/CT imaging can help to distinguish clear-cell renal cell carcinoma, the predominant variant of kidney cancer, from other types of benign or malignant kidney masses.

US Frontiers of Engineering symposium
Eighty-six of the nation's brightest young engineers have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's 16th annual US Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Bees help to beat MRSA bugs
Bees could have a key role to play in urgently needed new treatments to fight the virulent MRSA bug, according to research led at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Dr. George Stark receives 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry Lectureship from ASBMB
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has announced that George R. Stark, Ph.D., the distinguished scientist of the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and emeritus professor of genetics at Case Western Reserve University, is the recipient of the society's 2011 Herbert Tabor/Journal of Biological Chemistry lectureship.

Eliminating tumor suppressor C/EBP alpha explains cancer in aging liver
Understanding how the tumor suppressor protein C/EBP alpha is eliminated in aging livers gives important clues to the mechanism by which cancer occurs in that organ and could point the way to new therapies and prevention, said Baylor College of Medicine. A variant of C/EBP alpha called the S193-ph isoform is such a powerful tumor suppressor protein that it must be eliminated before liver cancer can occur.

Research is getting closer to understanding critical nucleus in haze formation, prof says
Haze, scientifically known as atmospheric aerosols -- microscopic particles suspended in the Earth's atmosphere -- represents a major environmental problem because it degrades visibility, affects human health and influences the climate. Despite its profound impacts, how the haze is formed is not fully understood, says a Texas A&M University professor of atmospheric sciences and chemistry who has studied air chemistry for more than 20 years.

Many clinicians may be screening for cervical cancer too frequently
Clinical guidelines recommend screening low-risk women for cervical cancer every three years after age 30, but most primary care clinicians report that they would advise testing for the disease more frequently, according to a report in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Adding a test for human papillomavirus to screening protocols does not increase clinicians' reported adherence to guidelines, but may make them less likely to extend screening intervals.

Diabetic potential to create own insulin
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, working in collaboration with colleagues from Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the University of Brighton, have used a unique collection of pancreas specimens taken from patients who died soon after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes to show that they respond to the ongoing process of destruction by inducing their islet cells to proliferate.

A nutritional supplement for treating chronic hepatitis C: Viusid
A research team from Cuba investigated the efficacy of Viusid, a nutritional supplement, as an antioxidant and an immunomodulator in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Their results showed that treatment with Viusid leads to a notable improvement of oxidative stress and immunological parameters in such patients.

Study finds epigenetic similarities between Wilms tumor cells and normal kidney stem cells
A detailed analysis of the epigenetics -- factors controlling when and in what tissues genes are expressed -- of Wilms tumor reveals striking similarities to stem cells normally found in fetal kidneys. These findings by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center researchers have revealed new cellular pathways that are critical for Wilms tumor development and may also apply to other pediatric cancers. 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