Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 25, 2005
Choosing where to look - and changing your mind
Where we choose to look is fundamental to our interactions with other human beings.

Scientists identify brain regions that decide where we look
Scientists have found the brain regions that decide where we look, and where to direct our eyes when we're faced with a difficult choice, such as looking someone straight in the eye or looking away.

Immune cells become potent cancer killers after genetic redirection
Scientists have made significant progress towards understanding how the immune system can be more specifically and efficiently targeted against cancer cells.

Sunken tanker may help cleanup in future accidents
A model of the leak dynamics of the oil tanker, Prestige, that sunk off the coast of Spain in 2002, may help assess recovery and cleanup methods for future tanker accidents, according to an international team of researchers.

Thinking of prepositions turns brain 'on' in different ways
Parts of the human brain think about the same word differently, at least when it comes to prepositions, according to new language research in stroke patients conducted by scientists at Purdue University and the University of Iowa.

Reviparin effective in reducing risk of death after heart attack
The drug reviparin (a low molecular weight heparin anticoagulant), when administered to patients with a heart attack, is effective in reducing the risk of death and the risk of a subsequent heart attack, according to a study in the January 26 issue of JAMA.

UI researchers advance understanding of sexual evolution
University of Iowa researchers have uncovered evidence of sexual reproduction in a single-celled organism long thought to reproduce asexually, according to a paper published in the January 26, 2005 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Study in Royal Society journal on sense of fairness in chimpanzees
Royal Society journals release including studies on sense of fairness in chimpanzees and the bioeconomics of bushmeat hunting.

New measure helps determine how much risk investors can tolerate
An Ohio State University researcher has helped develop a new measure that he says is a better way to calculate how much risk people are willing to take in their investments.

Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
Microbes living in the brilliantly colored hot springs of Yellowstone National Park use primarily hydrogen for fuel, a discovery University of Colorado at Boulder researchers say bodes well for life in extreme environments on other planets and could add to understanding of bacteria inside the human body.

Interaction between stem cells and their niches key to differentiation
Duke University Medical Center cell biologists have defined a signaling system between stem cells and the specialized

Engineers improving programs needed for nuclear reactor safety
Researchers from Purdue University, government and the nuclear power industry are improving three computer programs that are critical to preventing disasters such as the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

Novel technology detects human DNA mutations
The February 2005 (Volume 33, Number 2), issue of Nucleic Acids Research reports that Nanosphere's nanoparticle-based technology allows detection of a SNP in an unknown genotype with a greater than 99 percent confidence threshold and can be used with human DNA obtained from samples as small as a drop of blood.

Foot-eye coordination: Visual signals trigger rapid step adjustments without falls
By measuring how people respond when a stepping stone suddenly shifts its position mid-step, researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London have shown that a powerful visual process controls the stepping foot - a process similar to that used for manual reaching, in which the hand is rapidly and automatically driven by visual information.

Whole-body CT screening costs overshadow benefits
Whole-body CT screening may lead to an estimated average increase in life expectancy of only six days, at a cost of $151,000 per life-year gained.

Study dissects the racial gap in violence
Racial disparities in violent behavior can be largely explained by three factors: the types of neighborhoods where young people live, the marital status of their parents, and whether they are first- or second-generation immigrants, according to a study published in the current (February 2005) issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Double protection for wood
The European Union have recently approved a new proposal from CIDEMCO technological centre in the field of protection treatment for wood:

NYU biologists find new function for pacemaker neurons
A study by New York University researchers reveals a new function for the nerve cells that regulate circadian rhythms of behavior in fruit flies.

Health initiatives can help peace building in the Middle East
An article published online by The Lancet today (Tuesday January 25, 2005) describes how health initiatives have led to Arab and Israeli cooperation in the Middle East.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover new kind of heart failure gene
A Mayo Clinic research team has discovered that a genetic defect previously shown to cause heart rhythm abnormalities also can cause heart failure, according to findings published this week in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Theory on evolution of essential genes is overturned by new finding
A gene passed on by fathers that plays a vital role in helping fertilised eggs to develop into adults has helped scientists overturn the idea that essential genes have always been part of the genetic makeup of a species.

First view of a world without fire
The natural vegetation covering the globe looks like it does because of the climate, doesn't it?

Report assesses health implications of perchlorate ingestion
A new report by the National Academies' National Research Council on the health effects of perchlorate, a chemical that in high doses can decrease thyroid function in humans and that is present in many public drinking-water supplies, says daily ingestion of up to 0.0007 milligrams per kilogram of body weight can occur without adversely affecting the health of even the most sensitive populations.

Parents' attitudes to sperm donation - still some concerns about being open
A UK study and a Dutch study to be published tomorrow (Thursday 27 January) in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Reproduction indicate that despite a move to less secrecy about sperm donation, there are still concerns among parents about revealing the truth to their children.

Arid Australian interior linked to landscape burning by ancient humans
Landscape burning by ancient hunters and gatherers may have triggered the failure of the annual Australian Monsoon some 12,000 years ago, resulting in the desertification of the country's interior that is evident today, according to a new study.

Climate change and the future of air travel
Researchers are investigating how air travel can be adapted to ease its impact on the environment.

Protein tyrosine phosphatases to be topic of ASBMB-Merck Award lecture
Jack E. Dixon, Professor and Dean of Scientific Affairs at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2005 ASBMB-Merck Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to research in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Rice scientist recognized as pioneer in tissue engineering
Rice University bioengineer Antonios Mikos has been awarded the prestigious Marshall R.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Blackwell Publishing announce partnership
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and Blackwell Publishing are pleased to announce a new publishing partnership.

Supermarket bakery workers risk developing asthma
Supermarket bakery workers are at considerable risk of developing work related asthma according to researchers from Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital.

Adults who had higher exposure to infant siblings have decreased risk for MS
Adults who report having had higher exposure to infant siblings during their first 6 years of life have a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study in the January 26 issue of JAMA.

University of Arizona receives IBM grant for massive virtual storage system for life sciences data
The Arizona Research Laboratories (ARL) at the University of Arizona today announced it was awarded a new IBM Shared University Research (SUR) grant of a storage infrastructure that will give researchers efficient access and ability to manage vast amounts of biological data.

Calcium boost to youths' bones could reduce osteoporosis risk
New research on calcium and bone development suggests that efforts to prevent osteoporosis, generally considered a geriatric disease among women, could actually start before puberty.

Study says 43% of US adults at risk of heart disease are not utilizing aspirin therapy
Preliminary survey results released today by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) found that 43% of U.S. adults aged 40 and older who are at increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events - and therefore potential candidates for doctor-recommended aspirin therapy based on current American Heart Association guidelines - are not utilizing aspirin therapy to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke.

Clemson helps soldiers in Iraq dress for survival
U.S. soldiers in Iraq will be better dressed for battle, thanks to Clemson Apparel Research center.

Communication during a terrorist attack; Workshop in Austin, Texas
The workshop is designed to educate participants on the challenges and importance of getting accurate and timely information to the public during a crisis.

CT venography increases detection of dangerous blood clots
Each year, more than 600,000 people in the U.S. suffer from pulmonary embolism, and 60,000 cases are fatal.

Potentially harmful fluoride levels found in some instant teas
Instant tea, one of the most popular drinks in the United States, may be a source of harmful levels of fluoride, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Exercise helps reduce symptoms of depression, UT Southwestern researchers find
Jumping on that treadmill or bike is not only good for one's health, but also can help significantly reduce depression, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Activity not out of the question for people with chronic pain
Many people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions fear that activity will make their pain worse.

Beliefs may hinder HIV prevention among African-Americans
A new study suggests that a number of African Americans are distrustful of the government's role in the origin and treatment of HIV/AIDS - and that African American men who have such beliefs also have more negative attitudes toward condoms and use them less consistently.

How do cells travel through our bodies?
One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues.

Chimpanzees show quality of relationship drives sense of fairness
The evolution of the sense of fairness may have involved the quality of relationships.

Hearing aid signal not clear? Then switch frequency to FM, finds UCI study
There's a reason why we listen to music on the FM dial of our radios - it just sounds better than it does on AM.

Stem cells given in minimally invasive procedure improve heart function
Patients with severe congestive heart failure who had exhausted all other treatment options showed markedly improved heart function following a procedure in which their own stem cells were deployed directly into the heart by way of four tiny incisions in the chest wall, according to results of a trial led by a University of Pittsburgh researcher.

Obesity and weight gain increase risk for kidney stones
Obesity and weight gain are associated with increased risk for developing kidney stones, according to a study in the January 26 issue of JAMA.

It came from the sea: 'Monster' crabs evolve a bug's nose
New results show that land-living crabs, descended from marine ancestors, have re-invented key aspects of the insect nose through evolution in order to solve the problem of olfaction in their air-filled terrestrial environment.

January/February Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Highlights from the January/February 2005 issue of Annals of Family Medicine research journal.

Researchers find local environment directly influences adult stem cell reservoirs
Using the common fruit fly, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that an intricate set of signals released by stem cells' surroundings governs their maintenance.

Study links racial and ethnic gap in youth violence to social factors
Racial and ethnic disparities in youths' violent behavior can be largely explained by three factors -- the types of neighborhoods where young people live, the marital status of their parents, and whether they are first- or second-generation immigrants -- according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Study provides insights on why some prostate cancer becomes resistant to hormone withdrawl therapy
A new study by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center provides insight into why some men develop aggressive prostate cancer that becomes resistant to hormone-withdrawal therapy, a common form of treatment.

Enzyme, lost in most mammals, is shown to protect against UV-induced skin cancer
In a finding that broadens our insight into the cause of certain kinds of UV-induced skin cancer, researchers at Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) have employed an evolutionarily ancient enzyme-repair system to identify the principal type of DNA damage responsible for the onset of skin-tumor development.

Columbia research lifts major hurdle to gene therapy for cancer
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered a way to overcome one of the major hurdles in gene therapy for cancer: its tendency to kill normal cells in the process of eradicating cancer cells.

Hidden sex life of an early eukaryote revealed
By looking for genes necessary for sexual reproduction, researchers have uncovered evidence that eukaryotic cells have been capable of sex for a very long time.
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