Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 20, 2004
Next generation solar cells may someday power NASA's robotic explorers
NASA recently awarded Rochester Institute of Technology and its research partners at the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University and the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center at the University of Houston $6 million as part of the Human and Robotic Technology program to study nanomaterials and nanostructure for space photovoltaics.

Boston University biomedical engineer among 100 young innovators to be honored by Technology Review
Timothy S. Gardner, research associate and assistant professor of biomedical engineering in Boston University's College of Engineering, has been selected as one of the world's 100

Half of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are under-treated
Approximately half of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) fail to receive the recommended dose and schedule of chemotherapy, reducing their chances for remission or cure.

Targeting stress response proteins on breast, prostate tumor cells shows promise
Stress response proteins present on the outside of cancer cells offer a promising target for a novel drug

Study finds fibromyalgia prohibits sufferers from breast-feeding
New mothers with fibromyalgia (FM) face multiple barriers to breast-feeding their babies, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.

Research suggests new avenue for stopping, preventing colon cancer
Researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) have provided the first evidence that blocking a cellular receptor can inhibit the development of pre-cancerous colon polyps in mice.

Green, leafy spinach may soon power cellphones and laptops
MIT researchers have incorporated a plant's ability to convert sunlight to energy into a solid-state electronic

Emotional intelligence used as skill to build relationships
Emotional intelligence should be seen as a skill that can be developed to improve one's interpersonal relationships rather than as a measuring tool for evaluating success in life, argues a University of Toronto expert on emotion research.

Talking to your dying child
A major study in which parents of children who died of cancer were given the opportunity to talk about their experiences, is recently presented in Sweden.

'Fossil genes' reveal how life sheds form and function
Reading the fossil record, a paleontologist can peer into evolutionary history and see the surface features that plants and animals and, occasionally, microbes have left behind.

Fractures mean broken lives in developing world: Study
Broken bones often mean lifelong disability in the developing world, due to a lack of access to simple, inexpensive initial treatment, says the director of the University of Toronto's international surgery program.

Amyloid fibers sprout one step at a time
Researchers have combined sophisticated biochemical and imaging techniques to get a glimpse of the stepwise assembly of amyloid fibers in a yeast prion protein.

Economy of movement
Economists use the concept of a utility function, which increases with increasing desirability of the outcome, to characterize human decision making.

Long-term eradication of brain tumor in lab model holds promise for treatment in humans
The eradication of brain tumors in mice following treatment with a novel drug suggests that certain cancers might one day be cured without the use of toxic chemotherapy and radiation.

Binocular rivalry: Fulfilling visual expectations
It is common to say

Key stimulator of colorectal cancer identified
A new research study identifies a molecule that promotes one of the most deadly cancers in humans and reveals the molecular mechanisms underlying the protective effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) against the disease.

Prion propagation: Avoiding the toxic oligomer
Polymerization of the amyloidogenic yeast prion protein Sup35 occurs by monomer addition in a reaction distinct from formation of potentially toxic oligomeric intermediates.

More frequent monitoring advised for people with diabetes
A Johns Hopkins study suggests that people with type I and type II diabetes would be well advised to monitor their blood sugar levels more than the usual twice daily to make sure that levels are not elevated over 150 milligrams per deciliter for sustained periods.

Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
The genome sequence of a methane-breathing bacterium, Methylococcus capsulatus, has revealed a surprising flexibility -- a full toolkit of metabolic pathways that suggest that the bacterium is capable of responding to changes in its environment by functioning through different chemical pathways for using methane.

Double dealing receptor protein on tumors promotes cancer development in cell nucleus
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center now have evidence that receptors found on tumors that were believed to function only on the surface of cells can actually switch on genes inside a cell's nucleus, thus promoting cancer development in two distinct ways.

Earth Institute supports accelerated expansion of health system for Ethiopia
In the summer of 2004 professor Awash Teklehaimanot, a health expert with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and member of the Center for Global Health and Economic Development, launched the Center for National Health Development in Ethiopia, a project of the Earth Institute in support of accelerated expansion of primary health care facilities in Ethiopia.

Economics experts weigh seven innovative ideas to finance millennium development goals
Global economics experts have launched an analysis of seven ideas, including environmental taxes, a global lottery and a tax on currency flows, advanced as potential ways to cover the estimated $50 billion cost of the world's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Vanilla may have a future in sickle cell treatment
In addition to its popular role in flavoring ice cream, fudge and cake frosting, vanilla may have a future use as a medicine.

Technology Review magazine names chemistone of world's top young innovators
Rustem Ismagilov, Assistant Professor in Chemistry at the University of Chicago, has been named to the 2004 list of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's Magazine of Innovation.

RIT's NanoPower lab wins $1.2 million to build tiny power supplies for military
Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology's NanoPower Research Laboratories (NPRL) won $1.2 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S.

DuPont introduces in-home personal protection from dangers of hurricanes
By integrating advanced science with 200-plus years of safety knowledge, DuPont is introducing its latest safety innovation - a residential storm shelter made with DuPontTM Kevlar® that is engineered to help provide residents protection from the dangers of hurricanes.

Stimulating the production of utrophin protects muscular dystrophy mice from muscle wasting
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report a novel strategy for stimulating the production of utrophin - an important muscle protein in young mice - for muscular dystrophy therapy.

New anti-inflammatory strategy for cancer therapy identified by UCSD researchers
A new strategy for cancer therapy, which converts the tumor-promoting effect of the immune system's inflammatory response into a cancer-killing outcome, is suggested in research findings by investigators at UCSD School of Medicine.

Androgen Therapy for Women: A Critical Look at the Data and the Issues
The audio conference, which will be led by several recognized experts, will cover existing research on women's sexual disorders and will evaluate emerging therapeutic options, including safety and efficacy as well as risks and benefits.

Researchers eliminate leukemia in mice, demonstrating potential new approach to cancer drug therapy
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have corrected a flaw in cancer cells that lets them evade the normal cell-death process, and as a result they eliminated leukemia cells from mice.

Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
The highly evolved pathogen Burkholderia mallei - which causes the horse disease glanders and has been used as a biowarfare agent - shows a highly regulated set of virulence genes and an unstable genome that may explain the bacterium's ability to thwart the immune responses of its host animals.

T.P. Ma receives the 2005 IEEE Andrew S. Grove Award
Tso-Ping (T.P.) Ma, Raymond John Wean Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Applied Physics at Yale University will receive the 2005 Andrew S.

Study reveals why eyes in some paintings seem to follow viewers
You've seen it in horror movies, or even in real-life at the local museum: a painting in which the eyes of the person portrayed seem to follow you around the room, no matter where you go.

ORNL's Delmau joins Technology Review's list of top young innovators
Laetitia Delmau of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been named by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top young innovators.

Obese trauma patients more likely to die of their injuries
Critically injured obese trauma patients have higher rates of death than nonobese trauma patients, according to an article in the September issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mayo Clinic first in the United States to scan with new computed tomography (CT) system
Mayo Clinic is the first medical institution in the United States to use a new computed tomography (CT) system that produces images with greater speed and anatomic detail than current scanners.

Environmental decontamination, greenhouse gases, and the genome of a methane-loving bacterium
Methanotrophs are bacteria that use methane as a sole carbon source.

HIV dementia mechanism discovered
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a key mechanism in the brains of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) dementia.

Wastewater could treat itself, power city
The energy stored in Toronto's municipal wastewater could be harnessed to run water treatment facilities and contribute power to the city grid, says new U of T research.

Proinflammatory mononuclear cells in obese found to contribute to diabetes, heart disease
Endocrinologists from the University at Buffalo are providing one more link in the growing chain of evidence pointing to chronic cellular inflammation as the precursor of heart disease and diabetes.

The terms 'plastic surgery' and 'cosmetic surgery' are perceived differently
Cosmetic surgery is perceived as less risky with a shorter recovery time and less pain than plastic or reconstructive surgery, according to an article in the September issue of The Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute forms center for environmental oncology
Devra Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H., author of the bestseller, When Smoke Ran Like Water, has been recruited by the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to direct one of the country's first centers for environmental oncology.

Water and methane maps overlap on Mars: A new clue?
Recent analyses of ESA's Mars Express data reveal that concentrations of water vapour and methane in the atmosphere of Mars significantly overlap.

Yale digital diagnostic technology is basis of new company, HistoRx Inc.
HistoRx, Inc., a bioscience company offering novel digital technologies for in situ diagnostics developed at Yale School of Medicine, located its operations at 25 Science Park in New Haven.

Combination laser and ointment therapy effective in treating vitiligo
Patients with vitiligo, a skin disorder characterized by patches of white, or de-pigmented skin, had better repigmentation of these patches when they were treated with a combination of laser therapy and tacrolimus ointment than patients treated with laser therapy alone, according to an article in the September issue of The Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Strep bacteria uses a sword and shield to win battle against immune system
A single gene called cylE within the important bacterial pathogen Group B Streptococcus (GBS), controls two factors that act together as a

Intravenous line placement for minor ear surgery in children appears to offer no added benefit
Children who had intravenous (IV) access for ear tube placement surgery spent more time in the operating room and in the hospital and required more pain medication than children who underwent the same procedure without IV access, according to an article in the September issue of The Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Martin Saunders to receive the James Flack Norris Award
The Northeastern section of the American Chemical Society recently announced Professor Martin Saunders, of the Department of Chemistry at Yale University as the 2005 recipient of the James Flack Norris Award for physical organic chemistry.

Nanotechnology may give plastic solar cells a boost
RIT will work wth BP Solar to develop plastic solar cells using nanomaterials.

Targeted therapy knocks out pediatric brain cancer in mice
Scientists have identified what may be the first nontoxic treatment for a subset of medulloblastoma, the most common type of malignant pediatric brain tumor.

Immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy does not delay chemotherapy
Although there is an increased risk of wound complications in patients who underwent breast reconstruction directly after mastectomy, the procedure did not delay the initiation of postsurgical chemotherapy, according to an article in the September issue of The Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Sept. 21, 2004
The upcoming issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes: Chronically elevated blood sugar levels associated with heart disease and heart outcomes improved after discharge with new hospital form.

Loss of the neuronal adhesion protein d-catenin leads to severe cognitive dysfunction
By specifically deleting the adhesion protein d-catenin, which is found exclusively in the brain, researchers have found evidence that loss of d-catenin produces severe cognitive and synaptic dysfunction.
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