Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 24, 2005
Hominids lose control
In the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology, a comparison of hominid and rodent lineages reveals that the gene control regions of hominids are not conserved and are accumulating mutations, suggesting widespread degradation of the hominid genome.

By age 6, children of overweight mothers are also prone to obesity
By age six, children of overweight mothers are fifteen times more likely to be obese than children of lean mothers.

Living in a disadvantaged neighborhood may increase HIV risk
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that living in a disadvantaged urban neighborhood can increase male residents' risk of contracting HIV.

Why attractive (but costly) males get the girls
In the open-access journal PLoS Biology, experiments reveal that female crickets that choose an attractive mate have lower survival, but that this can be cancelled out or even outweighed by the increased fitness of her offspring.

Vaccinating school children and high risk groups is best strategy for slowing flu transmission
The best strategy for minimizing future influenza morbidity and mortality would be to concentrate vaccinations in school children and high-risk groups, according to a new research commentary by scientists at Emory University.

Loss of sight and enhanced hearing: A neural picture
In the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, a research shows that blind individuals who localize sound better than sighted subjects recruit visual cortical areas in the process.

Want to petrify wood without waiting a few million years? Try this
Yongsoon Shin and colleagues at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have converted wood to mineral, achieving in days what it takes nature millions of years to do.

Meteorite discovery supports theory on supernova role in solar system creation
Clear evidence in a Chinese meteorite for the past presence of chlorine-36, a short-lived radioactive isotope, lends further support to the controversial concept that a nearby supernova blast was involved in the formation of our solar system, previously argued following the discovery of iron-60.

Embrace your regrets and move forward, psychologist says
Have regrets? Don't push them away. Harness them and move on as a smarter person, says Neal Roese, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in a new book for the general public.

UCI researchers create new technique for speeding development of vaccines
A new technique devised by UC Irvine researchers can greatly facilitate the development of vaccines against infectious diseases such as smallpox, malaria and tuberculosis.

Obesity may affect accuracy of prostate screening
Researchers say obesity is associated with lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men, making the screening test likely to produce unreliable results in this population.

Generation gap found in chronic pain
Adults under the age of 50 who have chronic pain may be less able to cope with their condition and more prone to associated depression than their elders, a new study suggests.

Towards targeted lung cancer treatment
In the premier open-access international medical journal PLoS Medicine, mutational analysis of the KRAS gene in lung cancer patients treated with two different kinase inhibitors suggests that tumors with KRAS mutations do not respond to these drugs.

Case definition for polyneuropathy developed to standardize research
A new case definition for distal symmetrical polyneuropathy has been developed by the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Transparent orthodontic brackets by microinjection
A new range of orthodontic brackets which have minimum visual or aesthetic impact and which are manufactured by means of microinjection techniques are being designed.

Increased physical activity not linked to ALS risk
There is no association between increased physical activity and the risk of developing ALS, according to a new study published in the January 25 issue of Neurology.

Study naming hospitals in top 5% for clinical quality released by HealthGrades
A new study naming hospitals in the top five percent in the nation in clinical quality is being released today by HealthGrades, the independent healthcare quality organization.

Early seizures after epilepsy surgery predict more seizures
According to a new study, early seizures after the most common form of epilepsy surgery signal a greatly increased likelihood that the patient will continue to have seizures.

Type of weight loss surgery more effective at reducing insulin resistance
Excessive weight can bring with it many medical problems, including insulin resistance and often type 2 diabetes.

Researchers map the sexual network of an entire high school
For the first time, sociologists have mapped the romantic and sexual relationships of an entire high school over 18 months, providing evidence that these adolescent networks may be structured differently than researchers previously thought.

Cardiovascular risk factors in midlife strongly linked to risk of dementia
High cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking have long been considered and treated as risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Get ready for next generation surround sound
Ultra-realistic surround sound is a step closer for everyone thanks to a new method that will cheaply and efficiently compute the way individuals hear things.The research could have applications in areas ranging from wearable computers to hearing aids.

Web site supplies GIS data on Sri Lanka tsunami damage
A Cornell Web site is giving researchers information and helping tsunami relief workers in Sri Lanka.

IEEE-USA seeks to prevent copyright infringement, preserve technological innovation in file sharing
In a friend-of-the-court filing today with the U.S. Supreme Court, IEEE-USA proposed an approach to prevent copyright infringement while preserving technological innovation.

Scientists find missing link between whale and its closest relative, the hippo
For those not yet convinced that hippos and whales are first cousins, a UC Berkeley researcher has the definitive proof: a now extinct group of mammals that is the missing fossil link between these two disparate beasts.

Fat quality more important than fat quantity in reducing risk of cardiovascular deaths in men
The type of dietary fats consumed by middle-aged men, especially polyunsaturated fats and linoleic acids, may be more important than total fat intake in reducing the risk of cardiovascular deaths, according to a study in the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study finds no evidence of a 'cancer personality'
There is no association between two specific personality traits - neuroticism and extroversion - and cancer, according to a new study, one of the largest prospective twin studies to examine this issue.

Study discovers serious deficiencies in 'apparently normal' heart valves
Surprising findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology show the basic biochemical composition of heart valves in patients with congestive heart failure are markedly different than those with healthy hearts.

Study estimates number of excess cases of coronary heart disease caused by Vioxx
The arthritis drug Vioxx could have caused an estimated 88,000-140,000 excess cases of serious coronary heart disease in the USA since its launch in 1999, concludes a study published online by the Lancet.

Following nature's lead, scientists seek better catalysts
Those seeking to design more efficient catalysts for the production of hydrogen and the control of air pollutants might do well to take a closer look at how chemistry works in nature, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory say.

Lack of potential mates has lead to 'sloppy' gene control and risk of disease for humans
Our evolutionary ancestors' lack of choice in the mating game has left modern humans exposed to disease, according to new research published in the journal PLOS Biology tomorrow (Tuesday 25 January 2005).

Plant protein mimics hormone that mitigates diabetes and obesity
A common protein that protects plants from fungal infection mimics the activity of a hormone in mammals that is linked to weight loss and is believed to play a role in mitigating heart disease, obesity and diabetes, according to a team of researchers at Purdue University and several collaborating institutions.

NIAID begins enrolling volunteers for novel HIV vaccine study
A large clinical trial of a novel HIV vaccine has begun enrolling volunteers at sites in North America, South America, the Caribbean and Australia.

Focus on our magnetic planet
Mission controllers cross their fingers whenever the Sun is stormy and their spacecraft have to fly over the South Atlantic.

Lack of enzyme turns fat cells into fat burners
Lack of the enzyme, acetyl CoA carboxylase 2 or ACC2, appears to turn the adipose or fat cells of mice into fat burners, explaining in part why the animals can eat more and weigh less than their normal counterparts, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers.

New, automated tool successfully classifies and relates proteins in unprecedented way
For the first time, researchers have automatically grouped fluorescently tagged proteins from high-resolution images of cells.

A global treatment for iron deficiency
Over 750 million children have iron-deficiency anemia. An article published in the premier open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine reveals that a simple powdered sachet may be the key to addressing this global problem.

Communication between primary-care physicians and patients can reduce medication-related problems
Primary-care physicians who encourage their patients to let them know about bothersome side effects of prescribed medications -- and who address such problems promptly -- can reduce the chances that patients will be harmed by the medications, according to a new study by researchers in Boston.

Baked or broiled fish may help reduce the risk of stroke
The consumption of tuna or other broiled or baked fish is associated with a lower risk of stroke in the elderly, while eating fried fish or fish sandwiches is linked to a higher risk, according to an article in the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Math equals prizes: UH hosts contest with high stakes
A math competition at the University of Houston will equal scholarship chances for high school students.

New leukemia drug shows promise in overriding all Gleevec resistance
Temple University researchers have developed a new drug that could potentially treat all forms of Gleevec-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

More studies on risks and benefits of COX-2 inhibitors published in Archives of Internal Medicine
A group of studies published in the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine add to the growing body of medical literature about the cardiovascular risks that may be associated with the class of pain-relieving drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. 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