Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 09, 2004
Self-assembling designer molecules that mimic nature could lead to nano-device advances
By combining concepts from block co-polymers and dendrimers, Cornell University researchers jhave created new class of synthesized molecules capable of self-assembly into orderly structures, offering a way to build nanodevices smaller than is possible with lithography.

The search for a kinder, gentler chemotherapy
Scientists use nanoparticles in the lab to selectively target cancer cells in an effort to bypass the harmful side effects of traditional chemotherapy.

Sleeping problems could be a barrier to space exploration
Space travel could significantly disrupt the human body clock, affecting the health of astronauts and creating a further barrier to space exploration, warn scientists.

Endangered species list more bleak than originally thought
The global extinction crisis ignores thousands of affiliated species that are also at risk of being wiped out, making the list of endangered species much larger and more serious than originally thought, says a study produced in part at the University of Alberta.

Major milestone for detecting life on Mars
To detect life on Mars, researchers have to devise instruments to recognize it and design them in such a way to get them to the planet most efficiently.

National Academies advisory: genome data and bioterrorism
The complete genome sequences of dozens of microbial pathogens, including smallpox, anthrax, and the plague, are publicly available in databases accessible by the Internet.

Newborns have ear preferences, too
Two scientists who performed hearing tests on thousands of newborns were startled to discover that infants have stimulus-related ear differences from birth.

NJIT professor receives Presidential Award for breakthrough research with adult stem cells
A young female African-American professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was recognized today by President Bush for research showing that adult stem cells could help patients suffering from spinal cord injuries, bone and cartilage damage and related diseases.

Researchers illuminate cause of crippling genetic disease
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are closer to correcting an abnormal gene which causes one of the crippling muscle wasting diseases known collectively as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease.

Engineers model effects of hurricane force winds on structures
A multi-university research consortium has formed to calculate wind loads and structural capacities of low-rise buildings and to incorporate the findings into regional and national codes.

Disruption of protein-folding causes neurodegeneration, mental retardation
Excess accumulation in brain cells of a fat molecule called GM1-ganglioside (GM1) disrupts the folding of newly assembled proteins into their proper shapes, triggering nerve degeneration and mental retardation in children.

Zoonotic diseases - European scientists unite to fight diseases
300 of Europe's top scientists in 16 Institutes/Organisations in 10 European countries come together to form

Novel IBD therapeutic approaches reported from Washington Univ., Barcelona, LSU at APS meeting
Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis are for the most part incurable and their causes unknown.

Federal policy has failed to prepare nation for possibility of bioterrorism
Three years after the 9-11 attacks on the United States, federal policy has failed to prepare the nation for the possibility of bioterrorism through the deliberate spread of the smallpox virus, says a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nanotechnology leads to discovery of super superconductors
University of California scientists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory with a researcher from the University of Cambridge have demonstrated a simple and industrially scaleable method for improving the current densities of superconducting coated conductors in magnetic field environments.

Transplant candidates may wait longer for available kidneys
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University found that one of the new programs to increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation has disadvantages for candidates with blood type O who are waiting for an organ from a deceased donor.

Envisat Symposium report day 3: Satellites supporting Kyoto - our future is in our forests
The greatest single strength of Earth Observation is its wideness of view: the 10 instruments aboard ESA's Envisat spacecraft allow scientists simultaneous looks across large expanses of our planet.

Origin and Development of the Vertebrate Traits
This symposium will cover subjects relating to vertebrate evolutionary developmental biology, with special focuses on the evolution of morphogenesis (Day 1), the neural crest, sensory systems and the brain (Day 2), and the genetic and cellular bases for the chordate body plan (Day 3).

IBD (Crohn's/ulcerative colitis) conference adds 18 speakers; APS meeting starts Thursday
APS conference comprehensively deals with IBD -- Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis -- incurable diseases whose causes are unknown.

Results of drug trials must be open to public scrutiny
The results of all clinical trials - for new drugs and procedures - must be released publicly if people are to get the full facts about their medical treatment, says a letter in this week's BMJ.

Researchers illuminate cause of crippling genetic disease
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are closer to correcting an abnormal gene which causes one of the crippling muscle wasting diseases known collectively as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease.

New analysis cites economic impact of ADHD
A new analysis of a large-scale survey released today estimates yearly household income losses due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) within the U.S. at $77 billion, according to Harvard researcher, Joseph Biederman, M.D., co-author of the study, speaking at an American Medical Association media briefing on ADHD in New York City.

Women's meetings could cut neonatal mortality in developing countries
Community-based women's groups that address issues surrounding childbirth and care could reduce neonatal mortality in poor rural areas by 30%, say investigators in this week's issue of The Lancet.

New treatment for fibromyalgia
In a recent clinical trial conducted for the treatment of fibromyalgia--one of the largest ever--duloxetine was shown to reduce pain and improve a range of disease symptoms, significantly and safely.

K-State's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center receives $1.3 Million from Department of Defense
A new project will develop content and software to help the nation's emergency management personnel respond more effectively to an agricultural or zoonotic bioterrorist event.

Cell's gatekeeper for ammonia revealed in unprecedented detail
Bacteria thrive on it, red blood cells carry it in high concentration, yet the human brain can't tolerate it.

Postmenopausal women at high risk for breast cancer needed for new prevention study
Healthy, post-menopausal women at high risk for breast cancer may be eligible to participate in a major new international study to determine whether the drug exemestane can prevent the disease.

Breaking new ground in germ cell guidance
Kazuko Hanyu-Nakamura and colleagues in the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology Laboratory for Germline Development describe an intriguing new model of germ cell migration involving a pair of guidance molecules, Wunen and Wunen2, and their discrete activities in germ and somatic cells

Further evidence refuting link between MMR vaccine and autism
A UK study published in this week's issue of The Lancet provides further evidence that measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunisation is not associated with the development of autism or other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) in children.

Dying star creates fantasy-like sculpture of gas and dust
A new study of a large number of planetary nebulae has revealed that rings, such as those seen here around the Cat's Eye Nebula, are much more common that thought so far and have been found in at least one third of all planetary nebulae.

Largest window for space completed
A ceremony to mark development phase completion of Cupola was held in Turin, Italy, on Monday 6 September.

Primary-care research is not a lost cause
A Viewpoint in this week's issue of The Lancet addresses the state of primary-care research worldwide.

Recreational gambling appears to be associated with good health in older adults
There appears to be an association between recreational gambling and good health among elderly persons, unlike younger recreational gamblers, according to a Yale study.

Shaping health-systems research for the developing world
The Ministerial Summit on Health Research (November 16-20, 2004, Mexico City), convened by WHO, will focus on health-policy development, health-systems research, knowledge dissemination, and promoting the use of findings by decision makers.

Terror attack manual specific to civic leaders gains widespread popularity
As civic leaders wrestle with the new challenges presented to them in a post Sept.

National Alzheimer's disease experts forecast future impact of the disease
New projections showing the impact of Alzheimer's disease locally and nationally, as well as how simple lifestyle changes could lower disease incidence will be presented at the first Annual Aging Forecast at UCLA.

Snakehead in your inbox? Welcome to the nonindigenous Aquatic Species Alert System
Want to know how many new species have been found in your state in the past six months, or where the latest sighting of snakeheads occurred?

British farmer is building the world's first oilseed rape powered electricity generating station
Pioneering British farmer Clifford Spencer is building the world's first oilseed rape powered electricity generating station.

Modeling ocean behavior: The key to understanding our future climate
Scientists have long recognized the importance of oceans in our climate.

OutFoxed! New research may redefine late-stage cardiac development
According to the American Heart Association, congenital cardiovascular defects are present in about one percent of live births and are the most common malformations in newborns.

Book discusses communication in aftermath of 9-11
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, created a new political landscape and a new era of warfare.

Knight Center seminar on 'The Human Brain'
The Knight Center offers fellowships to journalists for this seminar on brain science and health.

Berkeley Lab soil scientist Margaret Torn receives Presidential Early Career Award
Margaret Torn, a soil scientist in the Earth Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for the year 2003.

Two Virginia Tech energy-related inventions win R&D 100 awards
Sensors invented by researchers with the Center for Photonics Technology will make oil wells more productive.

Bacteria use 'molecular lasso' to cop copper
The bacteria that destroy about one-third of the potent greenhouse gas methan use a small organic compound as a

Joslin Diabetes Center adds first affiliate in California at Irvine Medical Center
Joslin Diabetes Center adds affiliate at University of California, Irvine Medical Center.

Managing lupus with prasterone
Prasterone was recently shown to be safe and effective for stabilizing the activity and alleviating the symptoms of lupus in women.

Breathing and mental health problems widespread among Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers
Preliminary data from screenings conducted at The Mount Sinai Medical Center show that both upper and lower respiratory problems and mental health difficulties are widespread among rescue and recovery workers who dug through the ruins of the World Trade Center in the days following its destruction in the attack of September 11, 2001.

Removing tonsils has little benefit
Surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids (adenotonsillectomy) in children with mild symptoms of throat infections or enlarged tonsils and adenoids has no major benefits over watchful waiting, finds a new study published on
Missing genes may help explain why plague bacteria are so deadly
What makes the germ that causes plague so fearsomely lethal, while a close relative only produces digestive disorders and is rarely fatal?

Serotonin metabolites in mollusks suggest pathways for human therapies
From mollusks to mammals, newly discovered chemical pathways of serotonin in the nervous system are paving a path toward future pharmaceutical treatments for depression and other disorders.

Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer
Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor gene have been found to cause 85 percent of colon cancers.

White House to honor UNC School of Medicine scientist for 'early career' achievement
Dr. Brian Strahl, assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, will attend a White House ceremony Thursday (Sept.

New research suggests early diet may play key role in protecting against childhood leukaemia
New U.S. research shows diet in early childhood may protect against childhood leukaemia, London conference hears (Thursday 9 September).

Left and right ears not created equal as newborns process sound, finds UCLA/UA research
Challenging decades of scientific belief that the decoding of sound originates from a preferred side of the brain, UCLA and University of Arizona scientists have demonstrated that right-left differences for the auditory processing of sound start at the ear.

Physicists create artificial molecule on a chip
Using integrated circuit fabrication techniques, a team of researchers from Yale University has bound a single photon to a superconducting device engineered to behave like a single atom, forming an artificial molecule.

Seniors dispel myths about sedentary lives
Despite reports that herald seniors as weak, frail burdens to society, our aging population is breaking those stereotypes, says a University of Alberta researcher in a new Statistics Canada study that finds most older Canadians to be active, happy contributors to society.

ORNL's Shen receives Presidential Early Career Award
Jian Shen of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a Department of Energy recipient of the latest Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), presented today in a White House ceremony.

Israeli scientists reveal the plan of a key cellular machine
A team of scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has revealed the structure of a cellular editor that

Hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation
Hepatitis C recurs with severity more often in individuals who receive liver transplants from living donors compared with those who get transplants from cadavers, according to a new study published in the September 2004 issue of Hepatology.

Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
A team of scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science has revealed the structure of a cellular editor that

'Secrecy and silence' clouds truth of AIDS related deaths among doctors in South Africa
A culture of 'secrecy and silence' clouds the true picture of AIDS related deaths among doctors in South Africa, says Dr Dan Ncayiyana, editor of the South African Medical Journal, in this week's BMJ.

The impact of genetic variations on the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis
In a recent study, researchers set out to examine whether specific genetic variations could predict the response to treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis.
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