Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 08, 2004
NIH panel issues State-of-the-Science statement on end-of-life care
Despite progress in end-of-life research, important aspects of this life stage remain poorly understood, according to a panel convened by the NIH.

What have scientists learned since Mount St. Helens erupted?
When Mount St. Helen's blew its top in 1980, Charlie Crisafulli was 22 years old and just beginning his career as a research ecologist.

Slip of the tongue
Why is it that we can look at something, know what it is and still call a rose by a different name?

Researchers discover direct link between agricultural runoff and massive algal blooms in the sea
Scientists have found the first direct evidence linking large-scale coastal farming to massive blooms of marine algae that are potentially harmful to ocean life and fisheries.

Draft sequence of chicken genome completed
The draft sequence of the wild chicken, Gallus gallus, will published in the Dec 9th issue of Nature (cover story).

Foreign investment in Canada declines after NAFTA: Study
Fewer U.S.-based multinational companies are investing in Canada since it formed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the U.S. and Mexico in 1994, say researchers at the University of Toronto.

Price promotions, who wins, who loses, and why?
So who makes out in the yearly blizzard of holiday price promotions for everything from high-definition, flat-screen TVs to store-brand dental floss?

Cedars-Sinai medical tipsheet for Dec. 2004
The December tipsheet from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center includes story ideas on an innovative minimally invasive spine surgery, the new Center for Reproductive Medicine, organ transplantation, holiday safety tips for kids and more.

Landmark survey reveals asthma in children remains significantly out of control in the United States
The survey results released today underscore the severity of asthma in children in the US and the significant impact the disease has on children and their families.

Microchip industry strives to perfect its timing
Time is money, especially to the semiconductor industry. A new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and International SEMATECH,* says that current timing synchronization issues in the semiconductor industry will become more important as device dimensions and tolerances continue to shrink.

Cardiff experts set world standards in micro-engineering
Micro-machining experts in Cardiff University's award-winning Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) have created a vital component so small, it was previously believed impossible to produce.

NIH provides $32.8 million to enhance biomedical informatics research network
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today it will provide $32.8 million in additional funding to the University of California San Diego Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to enhance its Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN).

Chicken genome analysis unlocks secrets of mammalian and bird evolution
An international consortium of researchers, including a geneticist at the University of California, Davis, uncovered a treasure trove of data when they analyzed the recently sequenced chicken genome, a development that will benefit research in basic biology and medicine for years to come.

New forest technologies for small-diameter timber
Wood technology researchers, industry leaders, and government agency representatives are gathering December 14-15 to explore different ways to effectively use forest resources to reduce fire risk and restore forest health.

Multi-center study finds therapy boosts kidney transplants in 'highly sensitized' patients
An immune-modulating therapy improves kidney transplantation rates, even among

Child health must become UNICEF's priority over next decade
A decade of neglect has weakened UNICEF and threatened the future of child survival.

Senators Lautenberg and Corzine secure $1 million to accelerate smart gun development at NJIT
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ), will announce tomorrow that they have secured $1 million in federal appropriations funding for 2005 to accelerate the development of a safer and more secure personalized handgun at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

New study in NEJM suggests levodopa may slow progression of Parkinson's disease
Results of a study, led by a Columbia University scientist, to resolve the long-held controversy about when Parkinson's disease patients should begin treatment with levodopa, the most powerful drug available to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's.

Stressed mice quicker to get skin cancer
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say that chronic stress may speed development of skin cancer in those at high risk for the disease.

Birds, butterflies, bacteria - same law of biology appears to apply
The connection between species richness and area occupied, recognized by biologists for more than a hundred years as a fundamental ecological relationship in plant and in animal communities, has been discerned for the first time at the microbial level.

Yale and Pfizer launch visiting professorship pilot program
Yale School of Medicine and Pfizer Global Research have launched a pilot program to enhance scientific interactions between Pfizer and Yale.

New molecular classification of breast cancer predicts response to chemotherapy
Different molecular subtypes of breast cancer respond differently to chemotherapy, a research team from The University of Texas M.

Delayed hospice care can increase depression among survivors after death of a loved one
Delayed enrollment in hospice can result in increased depression among family members after the death of their loved one, according to a study by Yale researchers published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The North of England Education Conference, Manchester 2005
The Centre for Educational Leadership at The University of Manchester is to host the North of England Education Conference (NEEC) on 5- 7 January 2005.

Encouraging results from validation study of trial of personalized treatment in breast cancer
The overall performance of the gene signature to be used in the first large-scale trial to study the role of such tumor signatures in breast cancer is encouraging and gives the green light to start the trial proper, Dr.

Scientists align billion-year-old protein with embryonic heart defects
Scientists studying a vital protein called Serum Response Factor (SRF) in mice have learned new and unexpected facts about SRF's role in early cardiovascular development, and how a defect in this gene may be an underlying cause in human miscarriages.

Stanford biologist working to restore native forests to Hawaii
A group from Stanford University's Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) is working to make restoration of native forests economically attractive.

Cell marker identifies patients who are more likely to respond to taxol
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found a potential predictor of response to the chemotherapy drug Taxol, which is commonly used before or after surgery for stage I-III breast cancers, even though only a subset of women ultimately benefit from this treatment.

The Molecular Profiling Institute named US provider of genetic breast cancer test
The Molecular Profiling Institute (MPI), today announced that it is the sole source provider in the United States for MammaPrint®.

Chicken genome will help our understanding of humans and improve agriculture
The first full DNA sequence of the chicken genome is published today in the journal Nature. UK scientists have worked closely with 170 researchers from 49 institutes worldwide, to interpret the genome of the chicken.

Study identifies key aspect of immune response against HIV
An international research team has identified immune-system genes that appear to play a key role in the body's defense against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Scientists uncover clues to the mystery of 'gene deserts'
A new roadmap to the location of DNA segments that are significant in medical, biological and evolutionary research could emerge from studies published today (Dec.

Success of new treatment halts international blood pressure drug trial
An international trial comparing blood-pressure lowering treatments has been stopped early due to the significantly better performance of one of the treatments in the trial.

Chicken genome analysis will benefit human health and agriculture
We may soon be thanking Michigan State University chicken No.

Columbia team shows how stratospheric conditions affect weather
Three members of Columbia's Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics have used a simple climate model to demonstrate how the weather systems and storms we experience may be influenced by disturbances in the earth's stratosphere, the upper layer of atmosphere between 10 and 30 miles high.

Canola study solves seed oil mystery
Scientists from Michigan State University have uncovered a previously unknown metabolic mechanism used by plants to create seed oil.

First-ever safety study of medical cannabis use in Canada launched
A first-of-its-kind study of safety issues surrounding the medical use of cannabis in chronic pain sufferers has just been launched.

Software tool finds 'needles' in data 'haystacks'
A new software tool developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology makes it possible to find chemical 'needles' in data 'haystacks' without having to know anything about the 'needle' in advance.

New approach studying protein structure could advance drug development
Structural changes in proteins can now be seen in increased detail, using a new application of an existing technique.

Singing in the brain
University of Utah scientists taught baby sparrows to sing a complete song even though the birds were exposed only to overlapping segments of the tune rather than the full melody.

Research gets to heart of advertising gender bias
Gender bias in pharmaceutical advertisements for cardiovascular disease may affect treatment, says a new University of Toronto study.

Researchers compare chicken, human genomes
An international research consortium has found that chickens and humans share more than half of their genes, but that their DNA sequences diverge in ways that may explain some of the important differences between birds and mammals.

Jefferson and Molecular Targeting Technologies, Inc. scientists create vaccine for wildlife rabies
While the raccoon that raids your trash at night may look cute and mischievous, think again.

Researchers invent energy-saving computer chip
University of Alberta researchers have designed a computer chip that uses about 100 times less energy than current state-of-the-art digital chips.

Day-long drivers at risk of cardiovascular problems as a result of traffic pollution
Exposure to fine particles and pollutants that accumulate in cars driving at varying speeds in road traffic enhances the likelihood of thrombosis, inflammation and alters the regularity of the heart rhythm.

Chicken genomic sequence yields insight into vertebrate evolution
Studies published in the journal Genome Research provide insight into vertebrate evolution using the newly released chicken genomic sequence.

NYU Child Study Center raises a record $3.4 million at Seventh Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner
On Monday, December 6, 2004 the NYU Child Study Center raised a record $3.4 million at the Seventh Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner held at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Updated adjuvant data presented at SABCS show 30 percent reduction in recurrence
Pfizer announced today that it has submitted a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) to the U.S.

Ocean tides once spread massive icebergs: Study
Labrador Sea ocean tides dislodged huge Arctic icebergs thousands of years ago, carrying gigantic ice-rafted debris across the ocean and contributing to the ice age's deep freeze, say an international team of university researchers.

NC State gets $1.59M grant to map genome of parasitic worm
North Carolina State University scientists have received a two-year, $1.59 million grant from the National Science Foundation/U.S.

Aromatase inhibitors should be first-line treatment for certain type of breast cancer
Women with the type of breast cancer normally treated with tamoxifen could instead benefit from a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, conclude authors of a fast-track study published online by The Lancet.

First analysis of chicken genome offers many new insights
The first detailed analysis of the chicken genome has identified a chicken counterpart to an important human immune system protein, revised scientists' assessment of the chicken's sense of smell, and suggested that the chicken, long used to study gene activity in the earliest stages of life, may provide a good model for studying changes in DNA linked to aging and death.

Elderly with advanced chronic diseases burdened with symptoms
In a study to determine the prevalence of a range of symptoms among older persons living independently with advanced chronic diseases, researchers at Yale have found that the majority experienced multiple moderate or severe symptoms.

International team finds gene variants that affect response to HIV infection
A team of researchers based partly in South Africa has identified a key set of immune system molecules that helps determine how effectively a person resists infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Scientists discover how rate of tectonic plate separation controls geologic processes
A new study has revealed a mechanism that counters established thinking on how the rate at which tectonic plates separate along mid-ocean ridges controls processes such as heat transfer in geologic materials, energy circulation and even biological production.

New breast cancer study shows hormonal therapy not enough
Many postmenopausal women with hormone-dependent breast cancer (requires estrogen and/or progesterone to grow) may be undertreated if they do not receive chemotherapy in addition to hormonal therapy after surgery, according to a Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill., study.

INEEL and NASA launch UAVS to evaluate Earthbound missions
INEEL's tests of remotely-operated unmanned aerial vehicles has caught the interest of NASA scientists and U.S.

UCSD researchers derive lessons about human evolution from chicken genome
UC San Diego experts in bioinformatics have co-authored with other scientists the first large-scale comparison of mammal and bird genomes, published in the December 9 edition of Nature. The journal's cover story includes a draft sequence of the chicken genome assembled and analyzed by members of the International Chicken Genome Sequencing Consortium.

Voluntary health organizations, publishers announce major information initiative
Scientific publishers and the nation's leading voluntary health organizations have announced a groundbreaking initiative to help patients and caregivers close a critical information gap.

Brain activity reflects complexity of responses to other-race faces
Psychologists have found that a region of the brain associated with the detection and learning of emotional responses is associated with unconscious race bias, and that the perception of race happens even more readily when a black or white face is seen subliminally.

US researchers warn of possible fertility risk to men using laptop computers on their laps
US fertility experts (Thursday 9 December) warned in Human Reproduction that teenage boys and young men to consider limiting the time that they use laptop computers positioned on their laps, as long-term use may affect their fertility.

Wolves gone, western ecosystems suffer
Research about wolves that began in Yellowstone National Park has been replicated in an adjacent area, and a growing body of evidence leads scientists to conclude that this historic predator may have an ecological impact far more important than realized in the American West.

Carbon sink or carbon source? Aerosols play role in shifts
Researchers at North Carolina State University have shown that the amount of aerosols - dust particles, soot from automobile emissions and factories, and other airborne particles - in the atmosphere has a significant impact on whether the surface area below either absorbs or emits more carbon dioxide (CO2).

Scientists stalk PPAR-gamma, find novel cancer connection
In laboratory tests on multiple myeloma cells, researchers found that this type of cancer expresses a protein that makes it an easy target for an existing class of diabetes drugs.

Novel p53 gene-based therapy boosts immune system and reduces tumor size
Use of a novel gene-based therapy before breast cancer surgery reduced tumor size by nearly 80 percent on average, researchers from The University of Texas M.

Book celebrates centenary of city's advances in public health
A new book charting the health of Edinburgh residents in the past century is launched today Wednesday (8 December) at the University of Edinburgh.

Identifying top quality CD and DVD media for archiving
As part of a long-term project* with the Library of Congress, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology tested how well recordable optical disks made with different manufacturing processes held up when exposed to high temperatures, humidity, and light levels. 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