Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 15, 2004
SSX, a new family of cancer vaccine targets
Scientists from the Cancer Vaccine Collaborative (CVC) have discovered that the cancer-specific protein, SSX-2, induces a spontaneous immunological reaction against cancer cells in melanoma patients, offering a new target for the development of a therapeutic melanoma vaccine.

New efforts needed to address cleanup after 'dirty bomb' attack
If the United States fell victim to a dirty bomb attack, current regulations for environmental remediation would be inadequate, hampering attempts to clean up the site and restore order, according to a study by scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, the U.S.

Shell beads from South African cave show modern human behavior 75,000 years ago
Perforated shells found at South Africa's Blombos Cave appear to have been strung as beads about 75,000 years ago-making them 30,000 years older than any previously identified personal ornaments.

Researchers receive funds to create high-tech wildfire fighting solutions
Frontline fire fighting could soon go high tech. In the not so distant future, analysts using supercomputers may be able to send real-time maps and predictions of a wildfire's next moves to wildfire management teams hundreds of miles away.

ISHLT to recognize transplant pioneer Dr. Magdi Yacoub with lifetime achievement award
ISHLT recognizes surgeon and transplant pioneer, Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub, for his clinical, research and education efforts with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the organization's Annual Meeting, April 21-24, San Francisco.

No-till farming offers a quick fix to help ward off host of global problems
Increase no-till farming practices across the planet or face serious climate, soil quality and food production problems in the next 20 to 50 years.

Like ozone hole, polar clouds take bite out of meteoric iron
Polar clouds are known to play a major role in the destruction of Earth's protective ozone layer, creating the springtime

Phytoplankton may stimulate uptake of CO2
New research has revealed that phytoplankton may be one of the main historic controls on global warming, and that fertilizing the oceans with iron results in increased phytoplankton productivity - a hypothetical way to offset the effects of global warming.

Longevity gene may also predict better outcome for breast cancer patients
A gene known to promote longevity in animals has now been discovered to encode a tumor suppressor - a protein that helps prevent cancer, according to a study by a team of scientists from The University of Texas M.

Fly with brain tumor may shed light on cancer causing genes
A study showing how the expression of genes changes when the brain tissue of fruit flies becomes cancerous is published this week in BMC Genomics.

Alcoholism risk linked to gene involved in brain chemistry
A gene that is strongly linked to an individual's risk of developing alcoholism has been indentified by a research team headed by Indiana University School of Medicine scientists.

Following complex motions
An imaging study provides new support for the hypothesis that the middle temporal visual center, which processes complex motion, evolved more than 60 million years ago, when our small, long-nosed, bewhiskered and hyperactive ancestors were breaking out of the understory role that they had occupied during the age of the dinosaurs.

DNA test shows promise for identifying patients with colorectal cancer
Testing for DNA changes in stools might provide a new, accurate, and less invasive way to screen patients for colorectal cancer, conclude the authors of a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

SAGE-acious prediction of thyroid carcinoma
Surgery is required to distinguish follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) from benign follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA).

Strategies could make for safer shift changes at hospitals
As hospitals across the United States develop policies to prevent worker fatigue and ensure patient safety, an Ohio State study has identified key strategies that might make the job easier.

Berners-Lee wins inaugural millennium technology prize
World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee today was named recipient of the first-ever Millennium Technology Prize.

HIV-positive U.S. military personnel accidentally vaccinated against smallpox
Ten U.S. military personnel were discovered to be HIV-positive after being vaccinated against smallpox, but did not experience any harmful effects from the vaccination, according to a study in the May 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Study confirms alcohol's role in increasing risk of gout
In the April 17 issue of The Lancet, researchers report the first study to conclusively show that certain alcoholic beverages can significantly increase the risk of gout.

Making sense of the brain's mind-boggling complexity
Leading scientists in integrating the explosion of information about the brain will convene at a conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Human Brain Project (HBP).

Atom-scale images give materials researchers new tool for developing advanced ceramics
New atom-scale images from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory promise to provide researchers the ability to predict and model the properties and behavior of advanced ceramic materials.

A new hypothesis about autoimmunity. Is it possible to be too clean?
A group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found a connection between poor T cell survival in the body and the development of autoimmunity.

Work on promising inorganic blood substitute to move forward with $1.5 million grant from NIH
A patient who is losing large amounts of blood presents a medical emergency, requiring proper blood-typing and immediate access to multiple units of compatible blood.

Kids heed anti-smoking messages from schools, parents
When parents tell their children not to smoke and schools teach anti-smoking lessons, teens are listening, according to a new report in the American Journal of Public Health.

UNC researchers identify virus gene involved in tumor cell growth, spread
In studying a virus that causes the skin cancer Kaposi's sarcoma, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists have identified a viral gene that switches on cellular genes involved in promoting tumor cell growth and metastasis throughout the body.

Brain areas identified that 'decode' emotions of others
Queen's psychologists have discovered that our ability to assess how other people are feeling relies on two specific areas of the brain.

Industrial biotechnology and bioprocessing meeting set for April 21-23
The first world congress on biotechnology and bioprocessing will be held April 21-23 in Orlando, Fla.

First 3-D look at diesel particles gives clues to cleaner engines
In the first use ever of a new three-dimensional technique to study diesel engine emissions, researchers at the U.S.

Florida Tech researchers win $912,700 grant for cell studies
Researchers were awarded a $912,700 National Institutes of Health grant for four years.

Gulf marine reserves given new life
Two experimental marine reserves in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico, begun in June 2000 to study their potential for protecting spawning populations of grouper and other bottom-dwelling fish, will be extended to June 2010, federal fishery managers have announced.

Proven at last - alcohol consumption increases risk of gout
The first large epidemiological study to assess the age-old belief that alcohol consumption increases the risk of gout is published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Researchers awarded $2 million to create high-tech tools for fighting wildfires
A team of researchers, including a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has been awarded $2 million to develop an advanced,computer-generated, data-driven system that will send real-time maps and predictions of a wildfire's next moves to wildfire incident management teams hundreds of miles away.

Robotic floats shed new light on the iron hypothesis
Robotic Carbon Explorer floats launched by scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory during the Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) tracked a patch of iron-fertilized plankton for weeks through storm-tossed waters, gathering new evidence for the

Exercise reduces blood estrogens, risk for breast cancer in post menopausal women
Three hours of moderate exercise per week significantly reduced circulating estrogens in postmenopausal women, according to a new study published in the current issue of Cancer Research.

Satellites record weakening North Atlantic current
A North Atlantic Ocean circulation system weakened considerably in the late 1990s, compared to the 1970s and 1980s, according to a NASA study.

Satellite technology to climb Everest
A satellite-based Health Monitoring Kit developed by the Canadian company March Networks and co-funded by ESA, is being used to aid a group of climbers in their attempt to climb the world's tallest mountain.

APS awards 55 minority travel fellowships to EB 2004 (April 17-21) in Washington, DC
This year 55 students from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico received these fellowships to facilitate their participation in EB 2004, which attracts more than 11,000 scientists annually from dozens of scientific disciplines.

Researchers substitute whole chromosomes to speed the search for genes in common diseases
Most common human diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, have a large genetic component.

Prescription of opioids for back pain needs improvement
Physicians' prescriptions of opioid drugs for back pain are inconsistent, found a Duke University Medical Center study, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.

Rutgers ecologists and Brooklyn Botanic Garden botanists to plan Beijing Olympics Forest Park
Scientists from the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology (CURE), a collaboration between Rutgers and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, have been selected to design the new Forest Park for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

Vanderbilt doctors find citrus soda interacts with cyclosporine, maybe statins
Solving the case identified a new food-and-drug interaction that could be harmful for all transplant patients, and, possibly, people taking a class of anti-cholesterol drugs called statins.

How cancer neutralizes T cell attack
Investigators have found that a tumor and invaded lymph nodes are able to neutralize the cytotoxicity of CD8 T cells.

SuperWASP begins the search for thousands of new planets
On April 16, 2004, a consortium of astronomers celebrates the commissioning of the SuperWASP facility at the astronomical observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.

New hereditary gene linked to Parkinson's disease
UCL scientists have discovered a new gene implicated in the early development of Parkinson's disease.

April ACS ProSpectives conference on counterfeit drugs planned
Counterfeiting, tampering, theft and patent infringement -- these are some of the major threats to the safety and effectiveness of drugs that will be examined at an American Chemical Society ProSpectives Conference April 25-27 in Tampa, Fla.

MIT aims radar research at breast cancer
A breast cancer treatment based on MIT radar research that was originally aimed at detecting space-borne missiles is showing promise in the final phase of clinical testing.

New drug-resistant strain of salmonella identified
Researchers from Taiwan report the identification of a new form of drug-resistant salmonella bacterium in this week's issue of The Lancet.

APS announces four 2004 Young Investigators awards
The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2004 Young Investigators Awards.

U-M professor's top-selling book focuses on Toyota's methods
University of Michigan professor Jeffrey Liker's book,

Explorer Ballard to return to Titanic to assess state of the wreck
Nearly 20 years after first finding the sunken remains of the R.M.S.

Sacral-nerve stimulation could help counteract incontinence
Results of a small trial in this week's issue of The Lancet suggest that electrical stimulation of the sacral nerve could be a future treatment option for faecal incontinence.

Moss Landing researchers reveal iron as key to climate change
A major oceanographic expedition to Antarctica's Southern Ocean suggests that iron supply to this area influenced Earth's climate during ice ages.

UCLA study shows Medicaid costs can shrink
Medicaid costs for a child's trip to an emergency room or clinic can be reduced by at least $198 per family when Head Start parents are provided with easy-to-understand health-care guidance, according to a study by the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute.

Physical beauty involves more than good looks
There is more to beauty than meets the stranger's eye, according to results from three studies examining the influence of non-physical traits on people's perception of physical attractiveness.

ESA consults European science community on candidate Earth Explorer missions
On 19 and 20 April at ESA's establishment in Frascati, near Rome, the ESA Directorate of Earth Observation is holding an Earth Explorer User Consultation Meeting at which the findings of the scientific and technical evaluations of the six candidates for the next generation of Earth Explorer missions will be presented and discussed by leading scientists from the European Earth science community.

Making music could be bad for your skin
Playing a musical instrument increases your risk of suffering from a variety of skin complaints, according to a study published this week in BMC Dermatology.

Cosmic magnifying glass
Like Sherlock Holmes holding a magnifying glass to unveil hidden clues, modern day astronomers used cosmic magnifying effects to reveal a planet orbiting a distant star.

APS announces 2004 Distinguished Lecturer Awards
The American Physiological Society (APS) is pleased to announce its Award Lectures and Distinguished Lectureships for 2004.
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