Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 15, 2004
Climate change Qs & As
A free, public conference on climate change is planned for Tuesday, 15 June.

Turning bone into nerve
It is essential to find additional stem cell sources for research in treating neurodegenerative diseases given the limited number of embryonic stem cell lines.

Asian Indians at greater risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, researchers find
Asian Indian men are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, whether overweight or not, because their bodies metabolize fat like people who are obese, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Imaging the healing heart
Visualize the damaged tissue healing after a heart attack is vital for obtaining appropriate therapies.

UCI chancellor Ralph Cicerone nominated to presidency of National Academy of Sciences
Ralph J. Cicerone, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine since 1998, has been nominated as the next president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Academy has announced.

U. of Colorado to receive $20 million from NASA to study noctilucent clouds
The University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics has been selected by NASA to build two of the three instruments for a satellite that will launch in 2006 to study noctilucent clouds, the shiny, silvery-blue polar mesospheric clouds that form about 50 miles over Earth's polar regions each summer.

Fresh mesh: A new route to smaller 3-D files
A University of Southern California computer scientist has created a powerful and elegant algorithm to compress the large and ungainly files that represent 3-D shapes used in animations, video games and other computer graphics applications.

Mounting safety concerns emphasize the need for advanced solutions in Aviation Security
Confronted with the growing demand to provide citizens with greater security without imposing on their personal liberty, the U.S.

Home visiting program falls short of goal to prevent child maltreatment
A highly lauded and widely adopted program that relies on home visits by paraprofessionals to promote effective parenting in families at risk of child abuse succeeded in building trust, but neither prevented abuse nor reduced known risk factors, according to results of a study directed by researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Ralph J. Cicerone nominated to be next National Academy of Sciences president
The Council of the National Academy of Sciences has unanimously approved the nomination of Ralph J.

Espionage may have driven the evolution of bee language according to UCSD-led study in Brazil
A discovery by a University of California, San Diego biologist that some species of bees exploit chemical clues left by other bee species to guide their kin to food provides evidence that eavesdropping may be an evolutionary driving force behind some bees' ability to conceal communication inside the hive, using a form of animal language to encode food location.

Media Advisory 1 - Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting
The Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (WPGM) covers all areas of geophysical sciences.

Stanford researchers go from heaven to Earth in 'lifeguard' test
Back in 2002, Stanford University engineers Kevin Montgomery, PhD, and Carsten Mundt, PhD, found themselves bored at a conference in Las Vegas.

Tiny beads offer big hope to liver cancer patients
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the first in Illinois, and one of about 15 hospitals across the country, to offer a new radiation treatment for inoperable liver tumors.

Gray matters
Even after a century of research, the workings of brain cells remain somewhat mysterious.

Summer Institute at UH will be engineering a brighter future
A crucial engineering conference will take place at the University of Houston this month.

Researchers show Io vaporizing rock gases into atmosphere
Computer models of volcanic eruptions on Io performed by researchers at Washington University in St.

Calcium supplements associated with decreased risk of large bowel polyps
Taking calcium supplements is associated with a decreased risk of advanced colon polyps, according to a new study published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Treatment blocks progression of diabetes in mice
Researchers have identified a molecule that plays a key role in the development of type I diabetes (TID).

Leaders in cancer care meet to address patient access to quality care
The Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups and Newsweek will host a Capitol Hill forum to discuss the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) and Medicare reimbursement for cancer care.

A protein's role in progressive renal disease
Transgenic experiments in mice suggest that the human kidney disorder, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), is a result of both gain- and loss-of-function mechanisms.

First direct measurement of the mass of ultra-cool brown dwarf binary
An international team of astronomers using the world's biggest telescopes have directly measured the mass of an ultra-cool brown dwarf star and its companion dwarf star for the first time.

Cassini-Huygens looks at Phoebe's distant past
Images collected during the Cassini-Huygens close fly-by of Saturn's moon Phoebe give strong evidence that the tiny moon may be rich of ice and covered by a thin layer of darker material.

High quality AM radio
Combining the quality of disturbance-free digital radio with the range and global popularity of AM

Research discovery identifies new strategy against diabetes
UCSF scientists have identified a protein on T cells of the immune system that triggers type 1 diabetes in mice when it interacts with another protein in the pancreas.

Study finds first evidence COX-2 enzymes can regulate DNA damage
Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Cancer Pharmacology report the first evidence that cylcooxygenase-2 enzymes (known as COX-2) are not only responsible for pain and inflammation but that they are also involved in causing the DNA damage associated with cancer.

Olfactory system matures in different stages
Full development of the sense of smell in mammals is dependent on functional activity during critical periods in development.

Whole body imaging allows better understanding of the immune system
New whole body positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging techniques are allowing scientists to watch as immune system cells find and respond to tumors or infection.

Small RNA surmounts large cancer problem
Many cancer treatments are undone by the development of anticancer drug resistance.

Study probes ecosystem of tree holes
If you think your place is a dump, try living in a tree hole: a dark flooded crevice with years of accumulated decomposing leaves and bugs, infested with bacteria, other microbes, and crawling with insect larvae.

A gene that keeps species apart
Transgenic experiments show that the HMR gene has functionally diverged in Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species and causes the death of hybrid offspring in interspecific crosses.

New Yorkers' health will be affected by climate change, new study shows
New York will be hotter in the future, and some New Yorkers could be sicker as a result, according to a study to be released at an event on June 25th hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.

Global government health partners to meet in Atlanta, discuss emerging biologic threats
Just two weeks after the G-8 Summit on the Georgia coast, global government health leaders from more than 70 developed and developing nations will convene June 21-25 in Atlanta, at a forum that could almost be called the

Study helps explain island populations' susceptibility to exotic diseases
Researchers have shown that Darwin's finches on smaller islands in the Galapagos archipelago have weaker immune responses to disease and foreign pathogens---findings that could help explain why island populations worldwide are particularly susceptible to disease.

Study investigates breast cancer resistance to tamoxifen and possible way to reverse it
A new study has found a possible mechanism for tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer and provides evidence that another cancer drug--gefitinib (Iressa)--may be able to restore tamoxifen's anticancer activity.

Ecology drives the worldwide distribution of human diseases
Comparative analyses reveal that human pathogens increase towards the equator and that the relationship is linked to climate - this has important implications for global biodiversity, public health and environmental epidemiology.

Latest report shows prevalence of overweight among children and obesity among adults not decreasing
The high levels of overweight among children and obesity among adults remain a major public health concern, according to a report in the June 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In-person driver's license renewal associated with lower death rate among elderly drivers
States with in-person license renewal policies had a 17 percent lower fatality rate among drivers 85 years and older than states without, according to a study in the June 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Manipulating master molecule shown to disrupt vascular environment for tumors in animal models
Targeting a master molecule that helps cancer cells survive when blood oxygen levels are low may offer a potentially powerful strategy for blocking tumor growth, say researchers at The University of Texas M.

Lean teens more likely to compensate for overeating fast food than overweight peers
Adolescents are more likely to overeat when served fast food, but lean adolescents tend to compensate for the over-consumption by eating less at other meals, which is not something their overweight counterparts are likely to do, according to a study in the June 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Pulsed dye laser therapy does not improve acne, U-M study finds
A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Health System has found pulsed dye laser therapy, a treatment currently being used by dermatologists to treat acne, was not effective.

Cheaper wastewater-fueled device produces more electricity
Penn State environmental engineers have removed and replaced one of the most expensive parts of their prototype microbial fuel cell and the device now costs two-thirds less and produces nearly six times more electricity from domestic wastewater.

UNC scientists uncover crucial mechanism for blood vessel development
New research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides insights into the fundamental mechanisms controlling blood vessel formation and may have implications for therapies such as non-surgical restoration of circulation.

Gala to benefit research, early detection and treatment of women's reproductive cancers
A gala event to raise awareness about reproductive cancers in women and to highlight new research initiatives at Yale will take place on June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Inn at Long Shore in Westport, Conn., 260 Compo Road South.

Surgery far from top choice for doctors-in-training, says Stanford researcher
Who wants to be a surgeon? Not nearly as many people as there once were.

Initiative launched to tackle future of communications
The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) is today (Tuesday 15 June 2004) launching a new initiative to promote the progress of the entire communications industry and usher in a new era of innovation.

Weakened immune system allows harmless virus to turn lethal
When a major branch of the mouse immune system is disabled, a normally harmless virus can rapidly mutate into a lethal one, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New technique developed for deciphering brain recordings can capture thinking as it happens
A team led by University of California San Diego neurobiologists has developed a new approach to interpreting brain electroencephalograms, or EEGs, that provides an unprecedented view of thought in action and has the potential to advance our understanding of disorders like epilepsy and autism.

Other highlights in the June 16 JNCI
Other highlights in the June 16 JNCI include a study that investigates the relationship between common mutations in genes that regulate estrogen metabolism and breast cancer risk, a study that identifies a possible target for the treatment of gastric cancer, and a study of the role of bone sialoprotein in cancer cell invasion.

Secondhand smoke found in 94 percent of public places in Latin America
Carcinogenic second-hand smoke has been found in a significant number of public places throughout Latin America by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Pan American Health Organization and other institutions.

Conflicting views on embryonic and adult stem cells complicate research in stem cell therapeutics
Though there has been considerable biological and political debate over the use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) vs. adult stem cells (ASCs) as therapies for tissue engineering and organ transplants, inherent benefits and drawbacks in both techniques compel them to coexist and complement each other.

'Space and major disasters' - Charter members strengthen ties with UN
On 18 June, during a colloquium at UNESCO, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), represented by its Director, Mr Sergio Camacho, will announce that the United Nations intends to remain a 'cooperating body' supporting the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

Geologists map Cartwright country
Remember the burning Ponderosa map at the beginning of the long-running TV show

Calcium supplements can lower risk of advanced colon polyps
While taking calcium supplements can decrease the risk of all types of colorectal polyps, research led by Dartmouth Medical School shows calcium had the greatest effect on advanced colorectal adenomas, considered to be most strongly associated with invasive colorectal cancer.

Ancient maps and corn help track the migrations of indigenous people
Maps are tools to show you where you are going, but they can also show you where you came from.

Professor and student among tops in technology at UH
The Association for Women in Computing honored two women from the University of Houston's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Use of laser therapy does not significantly improve acne
Additional research is needed before laser therapy can be recommended as a treatment for acne, according to a study in the June 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

NAS requests nominations for outstanding scientists
The National Academy of Sciences presents several awards to recognize outstanding achievements in science.

Teachers conduct space research this summer at New UCF Institute
Eleven high school and middle school teachers are researching topics such as rocket fuels, nanotechnology and cooling techniques for engines with help from UCF professors and graduate students.

Weighing ultra-cool stars
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and a suite of ground- and space-based telescopes in a four-year long study, an international team of astronomers has measured for the first time the mass of an ultra-cool star and its companion brown dwarf.

Monkey business: Studies show tiny callimicos have unusual characteristics
New findings indicate that the endangered South American callimicos are not a missing link between small and large New World monkeys, but the tiny primates have a unique set of anatomical, reproductive and behavioral characteristics.

Statins not as effective for individuals with certain genetic variations
Persons with certain genetic variations who take statins to lower their cholesterol will not realize the same benefit as other individuals, according to a study in the June 16 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
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