Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 22, 2004
To understand innate immunity, silence the genome
To elucidate one arm of the innate immune system in the Drosophila fruitfly, Edan Foley and Patrick O'Farrell sequentially silenced its conserved genes (over 7,000) to study the effect on the flies ability to mount an immune response.

Laos camera traps capture tigers
A recent camera trap survey launched by the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the Department of Forestry in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) to determine the abundance of tigers has uncovered a surprisingly varied gallery of mammals in one of the country's last remaining wild areas.

Infertility treatment affects oral health
Researchers found that women undergoing ovulation induction for infertility treatment for more than three menstrual cycles experience higher gingival inflammation, bleeding and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF).

Wireless nanocrystals efficiently radiate visible light
A wireless nanodevice that functions like a fluorescent light - but potentially far more efficiently - has been developed in a joint project between the National Nuclear Security Administration's Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.

SEROQUEL: New data provides evidence for improvement in anxiety in bipolar depression
AstraZeneca announced important new data presented today at the 24th Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) meeting in Paris, which show that patients with bipolar depression who are treated with SEROQUEL (quetiapine) experience significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety associated with this stage of the disorder, from as early as the first week of treatment.

New study confirms process leading to disorder causing male characteristics in women
Ovarian stimulation of male steroids is the culprit behind polycystic ovary syndrome.

UK small firms pay lip service to green issues
Government emphasis on voluntary environmental action is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environmental practices of SMEs, according to researchers at Kingston University who will present their findings at the Environment and Human Behaviour Programme seminar at the Policy Studies Institute in London on June 23 during ESRC's Social Science Week.

Computer-assisted navigation systems helps surgeons perfect minimally invasive joint replacement
Rush University Medical Center is among the first hospitals in the country to use a computer-assisted navigation system in orthopedic joint replacement surgery.

New version of premier global climate model released
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., is unveiling a powerful new version of a supercomputer-based system to model Earth's climate and to project global temperature rise in coming decades.

Jefferson researchers develop microchip to track genetic signature of cancer and normal tissue
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), tiny pieces of genetic material that can serve as stop signs for gene expression and protein synthesis, are thought to be important in the development of cancer.

Web searchers don't tune in with radio buttons
Web searchers could more easily zero in on relevant images, audio clips and video files if consumers made use of radio buttons, a technology literally at their fingertips, a Penn State researcher has reported.

Estrogen-alone hormone therapy could increase risk of dementia in older women
Older women using estrogen-alone hormone therapy could be at a slightly greater risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), than women who do not use any menopausal hormone therapy, according to a new report by scientists with the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS).

UW Health Sports Medicine Center weighs in on body fat
Thanks to a landmark study involving the UW Health Sports Medicine Center, physicians and coaches can evaluate the effectiveness of methods widely used to measure body composition and predict the minimum weight an athlete should maintain.

Chandra turns up the heat in the Milky Way center
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed new evidence that extremely hot gas exists in a large region at the Milky Way's center.

Why white light is best for our town centres
White lighting is twice as good at letting you see the face of someone else as that from the yellow light from high pressure sodium lamps commonly used to light our streets, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC and published as part of Social Science week.

Use of estrogen does not reduce risk of dementia in older women
Contrary to findings in several previous studies, estrogen therapy does not decrease, but may increase, the risk for dementia in older, postmenopausal women, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Sunbaking to make your car body stronger
CSIRO scientists have discovered a new process which could soon lead to the production of aluminium cars and planes that get stronger the longer they are left to 'bake' in the sun.

ORNL, industry partnership could make summers more bearable
Schools, hospitals, dormitories and theaters could be a lot more comfortable during steamy summers because of a partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and industry.

Researchers induce temporary blindness to learn more about vision
By using transcranial magnetic stimulation to rapidly induce termporary blindness, researchers at Rice University found evidence that an older, primitive part of the brain helps process visual information unconsciously.

APS Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Translational Research Conference, Sept. 8-11
American Physiological Society sponsors translational research conference,

Brick chimneys can double as strong-motion sensors in earthquakes
When the Nisqually earthquake struck western Washington in 2001, hundreds of brick chimneys in a neighborhood in Seattle and one in Bremerton were seriously damaged or toppled.

Plant pathologists to discuss the future of organic farming
Organic farming is one of the fastest-growing segments of U.S.

U. of Colorado instruments approach Saturn aboard Cassini spacecraft
NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft carrying a $12.5 million University of Colorado at Boulder instrument package is expected to enter Saturn's orbit June 30, beginning a four-year mission to probe the planet, its fabulous ring system and bizarre moons.

Deep periodontal pockets increase the risk for electrocardiographic abnormalities
People with deep periodontal pockets had an increased risk for electrocardiographic abnormalities (ECG) according to a recent study printed in this month's issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Estrogen therapy does not reduce dementia risk
Estrogen therapy does not prevent dementia or even a mild decline in memory function in older women, according to a research reported by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues in two articles in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Novel camera set to produce first direct images of extrasolar planets
University of Arizona astronomers will hunt for extrasolar planets with a new camera that has already taken an extraordinary picture of Saturn's moon, Titan.

Floods policy is more than a knee-jerk response to crisis
One billion people, a sixth of the world's population, currently live in the path of potential major flood disasters, according to a recent report from the UN University in Tokyo.

Weight loss, lifestyle changes associated with improved sexual function in obese men with E.D.
Obese men with erectile dysfunction may be able to improve their sexual function with exercise and weight loss, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Targeted therapy for lung cancer patients shows promise in extending lives
Oncologists at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, are studying what they believe may be the wave of the future for treating patients with advanced stage lung cancer: individualized targeted therapy--easier than chemotherapy, more specialized and less toxic.

The space simulator -- modeling the universe on a budget
For the past several years, a team of University of California astrophysicists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been using a cluster of roughly 300 computer processors to model some of the most intriguing aspects of the Universe.

Rapid urbanization in China warming region's climate faster than other areas
Rapid urbanization in southeastern China in the past 25 years is responsible for an estimated warming rate much larger than previous estimates for other periods and locations, according to a new study funded by NASA.

Controlling ADHD
Not all children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder respond to stimulant drugs such as Ritalin.

Study: Cities may need to regulate yard signs as they become more common, potentially troublesome
While many communities regulate the signs that businesses use, few have laws controlling signs people place in their own yards.

Many US women who have had a hysterectomy are unnecessarily screened for cervical cancer
Many women in the United States who have had a hysterectomy are undergoing Papanicolaou (PAP) smear screening even though they are not at risk of cervical cancer, according to a report in the June 23/30 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

European Commission approves Herceptin + Taxotere as 1st-line therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer
Roche announced today that the European Commission has approved the use of Herceptin® (trastuzumab) in combination with Taxotere® (docetaxel) in the European Union as a first-line therapy in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients who have not yet received chemotherapy for their disease.

Origin of West Indian insect eater much older than previously thought
Researcher Mark Springer, a professor of biology at the University of California, Riverside, is part of a team that has traced the origins of the shrew-like Caribbean creatures, known as solenodons, to the Mesozoic era, making them contemporaries with the dinosaurs.

Frogs muscle-in on 'wasting' process
Scientific studies of a unique Australian frog could lead to the development of new ways to improve livestock production levels and boost the prospects of maintaining human muscle strength into old age.

Gestational diabetes not found to alter the metabolic processes in obese pregnant women
An increase in fat oxidation may be related to increased maternal serum leptin.

Next best thing: wood chip bedding for cattle
Recently, the lumber industry has been promoting the use of wood chips as an alternative bedding material to traditional cereal straw.

RIT launches partnership with fuel cell industry targeting life-cycle strategies
The potential use of fuel cell technology as a mainstream energy source takes a significant step forward with word today of a new fuel cell industry partnership spearheaded by Rochester Institute of Technology.

Health benefits of snuffing out workplace smoking detailed by Stanford researcher
Stubbing out smoking in all American workplaces would prevent hundreds of deaths - primarily among those exposed to secondhand smoke - and save tens of millions of dollars in health-care costs each year, a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher has found in a new study.

The protection of human subjects in gene transfer research explored at conference in July
The protection of human subjects as research volunteers in gene transfer clinical trials is the topic of a conference July 8-10, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, and sponsored by Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

Inadequate vaccines can help breed more vicious malaria strains
Vaccination programmes could create conditions which promote the evolution of virulent strains of malaria, according to a laboratory-based study of the malarial parasite Plasmodium in mice.

The Valles Marineris canyon
On 2 May 2004, the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft obtained images from the central area of the Mars canyon called Valles Marineris.

Seafloor surface geometry may determine volcanic activity
Scientists from Columbia University discovered that the height and width of underwater mountains are highly correlated to the direction that the ridge and connecting plates move across the surface of the planet.

Device that rapidly detects nerve agents named one of 'greatest army inventions' for 2003
An invention based on the research performed by a University of Pittsburgh professor is named one of the 10

Common 'signature' found for different cancers
Researchers at the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins and the Institute of Bioinformatics in India have discovered a gene-expression

Energy conservation targets hit by notions of 'comfort'
Design professionals, their clients and end users have wide-ranging and ever-changing views of what constitutes a comfortable indoor environment, according to research funded by the ESRC at Lancaster University.

Greece to sign agreement on accession to ESA Convention
On Monday 28 June, Mr Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, and Mr Dimitris Sioufas, Minister for Development, will sign the Agreement on Greece's accession to the ESA Convention, at the Agency's Paris Headquarters.

PET provides non-invasive index of carotid plaque inflammation
Plaque in the carotid artery is a major risk factor for stroke within five years, and yet surgical treatment to remove the plaque carries a smaller but still significant risk of causing immediate stroke.

As stem-cell debate heats up, public still uninformed and undecided
Public opinion about stem-cell research appears to be very volatile, and could be swayed in either direction, according to a researcher who recently studied poll results on the issue. 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