Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 23, 2004
University of Alberta researchers offer physical evidence for chronic fatigue syndrome
A University of Alberta study has verified that there is physical evidence for those who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), giving new weight to the often stigmatized and misdiagnosed disorder.

Virginia Tech's Geospatial Center serves government, business
Virginia Tech structured its statewide program to allow for large cost savings, widespread availability of the full spectrum of ESRI software, and building synergistically on the expertise across Virginia so that the state and businesses can take advantage of the many uses of spatial data from flood control to making 911 operations seamless.

First clinical study of new pediatric croup vaccine shows safety, tolerability in adults
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are investigating in adults the use of a vaccine given by nose drops that might ultimately protect children against human parainfluenza virus-type 1 (hPIV-1).

Nanoscale chemical sensors
New types of chemical sensors for environmental monitoring, food safety or security applications could be based on nanotechnology.

McGill researchers develop new carbon nanotube production method
McGill University researchers have developed a new method for producing carbon nanotubes that has great commercial promise.

Why your knees and quads hurt more after running than walking: You're only human
When humans switch from walking to running, our unique posture, locomotion and gait put additional pressure on the knees.

Nevada researcher re-ignites mammal reproduction debate
One of the most debated hypotheses in evolutionary biology received new support today, thanks to a study by a scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Researchers find clues about how antibodies specialize
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have begun unraveling the mystery of how infection-fighting cells in the body are able to create many different kinds of specialized antibodies through selective gene mutations, while being protected from random mutations that could give rise to cancers.

Homeland security initiative takes Memphis' ORNL technologies to the nation
The Department of Homeland Security's recent selection of Memphis as a

Millennia still mean early days for newly identified sex chromosome
A little fish called the threespine stickleback may help scientists understand how sex chromosomes evolve.

Circadian clock genes reign in duration of fruit fly copulation
This week, researchers at Oregon State University report evidence that two genes representing key components of the circadian clock somehow also influence sexual behavior in the fruit fly Drosophila.

Testing the fitness of biological clocks
Researchers at Vanderbilt University report that the benefits of biological clocks are directly linked to environments with regular day/night cycle and totally disappear in conditions of constant illumination.

Paint absorbs corrosion-causing chemicals, kitty-litter style
Engineers at Ohio State University have incorporated clay and other chemicals into a paint that keeps metal from corroding -- and reveals when an airplane, boat, or bridge needs to be repainted.

Researchers discover new tumor-fighting ability in popular breast cancer drug
For many patients with advanced breast cancer, the cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) has offered new hope when traditional cancer drugs failed to work, shrinking tumors and sending some patients into remission.

UV light, coatings reduce bacterial adhesion up to 50 percent
The combination of ultraviolet (UV) light and certain coatings can lower -- by 15 to 50 percent -- the ability of some types of bacteria to stick to a glass surface and cause contamination or biofouling, Penn State environmental engineers have found.

Blueberry compound shows promise of lowering cholesterol as effectively as drug
A compound in blueberries shows promise in preliminary laboratory studies of lowering cholesterol as effectively as a commercial drug and has the potential for fewer side effects, says a researcher with the U.S.

Aquatic plants sequester toxins, remove contaminants from wetlands
Researchers have found that a common aquatic plant removes many persistent organic compounds that are discharged into natural waters and engineered wetlands.

Synthesized molecules studied as weapon to stop cell division in cancer cells
An enzyme called Pin1, a gatekeeper of cell division, is present at high levels in a wide variety of cancer cells.

2nd media alert - First Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia
Updated information on invite for First Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia taking place in London 6-10 September and details of news briefing 6 September.

The truth about organic food
Contoversy is expected to mark an Aug. 23 symposium on the benefits of organic foods at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia where experts will explore scientific evidence that calls into question many of the popularly held beliefs about organic foods and human health.

New discovery in preventing diabetic complications
A new study sheds light on the response to infection in people with type 2 diabetes.

Herceptin backgrounder
It was the first of the new-generation targeted therapies, and, in some ways, it remains the standard bearer.

Rice's Connexions project wins $1.25M from Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has awarded a second phase $1.25 million grant to fund the continued development of Connexions, Rice University's innovative, open-source courseware and e-publishing platform.

Improving crops without genetic modification - natural variation holds the key
Dramatic improvements in crop yield (in tomatoes, in this case) can be achieved by breeding selected genetic regions from wild species into domesticated varieties.

Tip sheet for the August 24, 2004 Neurology journal
Mental decline is more severe in elderly women with diabetes and pre-diabetes; Moderate economic value equated with treatment of severe Alzheimer's disease; and other news are included in the current Neurology issue.

Well-preserved layer of material ejected from Chesapeake Bay meteor-strike discovered
Now researchers at the University of Georgia, studying a kaolin mine in Warren County, have found a layer of tiny grains, which indicate that the grains and the Georgiaites were products of a recently discovered impact that left a huge crater beneath the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

The insect police: Why social insects punish cheating comrades
Workers of social insects prevent other workers laying eggs to increase colony efficiency and not - as traditionally thought - purely because workers are more related to the queen of the colony.

Scientists meet to review Envisat results after two and a half years of operations
From 6 to 10 September in Salzburg, Austria, over 700 scientists from 50 countries worldwide will meet to review and discuss the early results of the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite mission.

Genetically-engineered 'marathon mouse' keeps on running
By enhancing the function of a single protein, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have produced a

Length of sex act in flies dictated by genetics
New research on fruit flies has revealed that genes which are part of the animal's

Genetic regional reductions of gray matter may be underlying cause of dyslexia
Researchers in Italy have observed significant reductions of gray matter volume in areas of the brain associated with language processing among people with a family history of dyslexia in comparison with controls with no reading problems.

Congress to fund Sequim-based coastal security research effort
A $4.2 million Congressional appropriation will fund a new coastal security program designed to develop advanced sensors capable of providing early warning of biological, chemical or nuclear material releases in marine and coastal environments.

No longer just for biology, RNA can now be built into 3-D arrays
Researchers have coaxed RNA to self-assemble into 3-D arrays, a potential backbone for nanotech scaffolds.

Carnegie Mellon scientists reveal ways of studying, resolving PCB contamination in US rivers
A multidisciplinary team of biologists and engineers from Carnegie Mellon University has discovered key aspects of processes that govern PCB fate in sediment and developed methods to monitor, measure, track and contain these synthetic compounds.

Engineering endurance: The future of the Olympics?
In the study by Mason et al, mice that cannot express HIF-1
OneWorld Health compiles comprehensive state of infectious diarrhea treatments, potential solutions
To most people in the developed world, diarrhea is a nuisance.

Gold quantum dots have applications in biological labeling, nanoscale optics
A new class of water-soluble quantum dots made from small numbers of gold atoms could be the basis for a new biological labeling system with narrower excitation spectra, smaller particle size and comparable fluorescence to systems based on semiconductor quantum dots.

Evidence for sympatric speciation by host shift in the sea
Using a combination of genetic, ecological, and biogeographic studies, researchers have found that a new species of reef fish might have evolved when some individuals of the ancestral population began inhabiting a novel species of coral and that this

Research reveals potential new target for prostate cancer drugs
Scientists have determined the precise molecular structure of a potential new target for treating prostate cancer, a disease driven in part by abnormal testosterone activity.

Mammography has low risk of recall for false positive findings
A new long-term study finds over 20 years, only one in five women who have mammograms every two years will have to undergo follow up evaluation for a false positive finding, and only one in 16 will have an unnecessary invasive procedure over two decades.

New imaging technique may help reduce risk of heart attacks, strokes
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School are on track one day to hand cardiologists the first means ever to pinpoint plaque deposits in the arteries of patients that appear poised to cause heart attack or stroke -- and without surgery, biopsy or other invasive procedure.

The increasing number of adults with high blood pressure
A new analysis* of the prevalence of high blood pressure in the US shows a striking increase over the last 10 years in the number of adults with this condition.

Another example of tangled proteins in neurodegenerative diseases
Tangled strands of proteins called amyloid are found in the brain tissues of patients with a variety of neurodegenerative disorders.One such protein is tau, now known to participate in tangle formation in Alzheimer's patients.

Protein promotes spread of prostate cancer by disrupting tissue organization
Scientists have discovered that a molecule called hepsin promotes the deadly progression of prostate cancer.

Viruses on the attack
Using a combination of imaging techniques, researchers have determined the mechanics that allow some viruses to invade cells by piercing their outer membranes and digesting their cell walls.

Navy researchers test polymers to help fuel tanks 'heal' when shot
Materials chemists and engineers with the U.S. Navy hope to improve the odds that military planes and helicopters will survive hits by anti-aircraft fire and shrapnel.

Novel imaging technique shows lymph nodes, metastases in breast cancer without surgery
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have developed a new imaging technique that could be a boon for breast cancer patients.

UCSD biologists develop 'super-endurance' strain of mice
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have transformed ordinary laboratory mice into the rodent equivalent of Olympic endurance athletes by deleting a gene that allows mammalian muscles to switch from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism when oxygen levels in the muscle run low.

That stinks: People with rare obesity syndrome can't sense odors
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that many people with Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), a rare, complex condition marked by an array of seemingly unconnected symptoms, including obesity, learning difficulties, eye problems and asthma, also have another, previously unreported problem: many of them can't detect odors.

Low-cost fibers remove trace atrazine from drinking water
A new generation of high surface-area porous materials for removing atrazine from water supplies has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Carnegie Mellon researcher tests tools for protecting Anacostia River ecosystem from PCBs
A sediment-capping mat developed by Carnegie Mellon engineers and CETCO (Arlington Heights, IL) soaks up dangerous PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and could prevent their long-term release into waterways, according to the researchers, who are evaluating it in field trials in Washington D.C.'s contaminated Anacostia River.

New way to make nanoscale circuits is discovered
Cornell researcher David Muller discovers it is possible to precisely control the electronic properties of a complex oxide material - a possible replacement for silicon insulators in transistors - at the atomic level.

Scientists establish database of genes associated with cancer drug resistance
Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, have created a database of information about a group of genes associated with multidrug resistance in cancerous tumors.

Decreasing toxins in brains of Alzheimer's patients keep cognitive deficits at bay
The ever-slowing capacity to clear the build-up of such toxins as isoprostanes and misfolded proteins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients causes the death of cells involved in memory and language.

Spacecraft return televised at University of Utah
The University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall will open its doors Wed.

Race a factor in breast reconstruction after mastectomy
African-American women are less likely to be treated with breast reconstruction after mastectomy than women of other races, independent of age and clinical and socioeconomic factors.

Powerful predictor of resistance may change management of therapy for breast cancer
Scientists have identified a new mechanism of action for the anticancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) that can be used to accurately predict whether or not a breast cancer patient will be resistant to treatment.

Researchers identify disease mechanism underlying rheumatoid arthritis
LA BioMed researchers have identified a novel disease mechanism underlying rheumatoid arthritis.

New PVC additives can make vinyl more fire-retardant without toxic heavy metals
One of the most widely used plastics in the world -- PVC -- could be on the verge of becoming more fire retardant and environmentally friendly.

Anticancer drug zebularine specifically targets tumor cells
A novel anticancer drug that inhibits a process known as DNA methylation is preferentially taken up by tumor cells as compared to normal cells, according to a group of researchers led by scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Study links nutritional supplement, creatine, to increased metabolic energy
A Temple University researcher seeking physiological evidence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has found a link between creatine and metabolic energy.
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