Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2005
Migraine linked to risky heart health
People who live with migraine headaches show a

Predicting the future: Mirror neurons reflect the intentions of others
In a study published in the freely-available online journal PLoS Biology, functional magnetic resonance imaging is used to explore the responses of premotor cortical areas to observing the actions of others.

Cracking the olfactory code in bees
In the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, a study shows that training thousands of bees uncovers the chemical characteristics they use to discriminate between odors and reveals how the perception of odor correlates with specific neural activity in their brain.

2005's highest engineering honors awarded
2005's highest engineering honors go to designers of spy satellite, inventor of biosensors, and innovative educators.

NJIT professor's book refines formula to create high performance school buildings
The second edition of High-Performance School Buildings Resource and Strategy Guide by architect Deane Evans, director of the Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has been released by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC).

Failing to aid Africa will lead to more terrorism
If the developed world fails to invest more in African agriculture and rural infrastructure to benefit the poor, the world will become a much more dangerous place, Cornell University economist Per Pinstrup-Andersen will report at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Individual taste receptor variations determine 'classic' PTC bitterness perception
Using a molecular approach to understanding human taste perception, researchers have made a new finding demonstrating that each individual's personal set of taste-receptor alleles, or gene variations, codes for distinct receptor proteins that determine individual differences in bitter-taste perception.

Assessing obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in snorers
An overnight sleep test is required to distinguish ordinary snorers from persons with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), according to a study in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Use of cell phone images appears feasible for visualizing leg wounds
Use of cell phones to send images via e-mail to consulting physicians at remote locations appears to be a feasible approach for visualization of chronic leg ulcerations, according to an article in the February issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

'Blinding' an insect's sense of smell may be the best repellent
Rockefeller University scientists have found that a single gene is responsible for the sense of smell in fruit flies, malaria mosquitoes, medfly and corn earworm moth.

Computer model being developed at Stanford may help surgeons better predict patient outcomes
On Feb. 21 at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., Taylor will present his latest accomplishment: factoring in the flexibility of veins and arteries to his model of the cardiovascular system.

Advocate for gender equity in the sciences honored by the Association for Women in Science
Susan Bryant, a leading international researcher in limb regeneration, has been elected a 2005 Association for Women in Science fellow, the highest recognition AWIS bestows on individuals.

The recombination gender gap
Research published in PLoS Biology, the premier open-access online journal, reveals that measuring the opportunity for natural selection on gametes provides the first empirical evidence for a theory explaining why recombination at meiosis varies between males and females.

Bird IQ test takes flight
How smart is your parakeet or that crow in the back yard?

More than half of high school seniors employed, mostly in near minimum-wage jobs
The common perception that most American teenagers go to school, engage in extracurricular activities such as sports and hang out with their friends is missing one and time-consuming element -- work.

Can routine commercial cord blood banking be scientifically and ethically justified?
Private banks offer expectant parents the option to pay a fee for the chance to store cord blood for possible future use by the child.

ESO's two observatories merge
On February 1, 2005, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has merged its two observatories, La Silla and Paranal, into one.

Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
Some genetically engineered

An evolutionary road less traveled
In a study published in the premier open-access online journal PLoS Biology, genes, language, and culture reveal that the Mlabri reverted from an agricultural to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, suggesting that hunter-gatherer groups might now always represent the preagricultural lifestyle of humans.

Resistance to chemotherapy
A specific secondary mutation in the kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor can render cells insensitive to the two kinase inhibitors, a study in the premier open-access health journal PLoS Medicine shows.

The secret to longevity in tubeworms
In a study published in the freely-available online science journal PLoS Biology, modeling the interactions between deep-sea tubeworms and bacteria/archaea at hydrocarbon seeps provides a solution to their long term energy source and could help to explain the tubeworm's extreme longevity.

Physical activity linked to protection from Parkinson's disease
In the first comprehensive examination of strenuous physical activity and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found that men who exercised regularly and vigorously early in their adult life had a lower risk for developing Parkinson's disease compared to men who did not.

Allocating antiretrovirals
In the premier open-access health journal PLoS Medicine, a study reveals a mathematical model that allows to determine a strategy for distribution of limited medical resources (in this case, antiretrovirals) such that each individual in need will have an equal chance of receiving treatment.

Life on Mars? New data reveal places to search
Data freshly gathered by the Mars Express mission and analyzed by a team of scientists, including Brown University professor John Mustard, offer new insight into the mineral composition of Mars.

UCLA neuroscientists pinpoint new function for mirror neurons
A study by UCLA neuroscientists featuring functional magnetic resonance imaging and a well-stocked tea service suggests for the first time that mirror neurons help people understand the intentions of others -- a key component to social interaction.

The courage to change the rules: A Proposal for an essential health R&D treaty
The medical needs of many of the world's population go unmet.

UAlbany CNSE enters NanoBio alliance with Albert Einstein College of Medicine
The UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine announced a new partnership to advance understanding of nanoscale principles and their application to disease identification and treatment.

Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target
In the battle against insect pests, new research indicates that it may all come down to the sense of smell.

Why some lung cancers stop responding to Tarceva and Iressa
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found an explanation for why some lung cancers stop responding to the drugs erlotinib (TarcevaTM) and gefitinib (Iressa®).

New methods of solving 'hard' computer problems
Researchers at Cornell University have developed tools to solve many so-called intractable computer problems, at least in certain practical situations, by using methods that avoid searching the lengthy paths that occur in

Jefferson scientists uncover potential trigger of diabetic kidney disease
Scientists at Jefferson Medical College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a protein that plays a leading part in triggering kidney disease in diabetic patients, a condition known as diabetic nephropathy and the leading cause of kidney failure worldwide.

Diagnosis of prions in patients should utilize novel strategy, team says
A technique for detecting prions in tissue, developed in recent years by UCSF scientists, is significantly more sensitive than the diagnostic procedures currently used to detect the lethal particles in samples of brain tissue from patients, according to a study performed by a UCSF team.

New collaborations offer hope for HIV/AIDS vaccine
Prospects for a safe, effective AIDS vaccine are improving as researchers from the public and private sectors begin to collaborate in new and creative ways, researchers said today at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

New species from old data
Researchers have discovered three previously unknown species of a bacterium by scanning a publicly available data bank, reveals a study published today in the journal Genome Biology.

Similar results found in both older and younger patients undergoing weight-loss surgery
Elderly patients can safely undergo gastric bypass surgery and can be expected to experience similar benefits from the operation as younger patients, according to an article in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mayo Clinic researcher calls for improved newborn screening
A Mayo Clinic physician and researcher today reported that a combination of the latest technology and double-tiered analysis could improve genetic screening for newborns as much as forty-fold, while testing for dozens more diseases than is now performed in some states.

Ecological destruction fuels emerging diseases
The destruction of habitat by human activity and the extinction of species around the world is more than a looming environmental catastrophe, warns a Canadian zoologist.

Individual differences in taste perception directly related to genetic variation in taste receptors
A study by researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and collaborating institutions confirms the influential role of genetics in determining the wide range of human sensitivity to taste, ultimately impacting how we each perceive the world in a slightly different way.

Ariane 5 technology turns the lights on
Soon we may be able to fill the bath, turn the lights on and play our favourite CD without moving from our chair or pressing a button.

Antimicrobials to prevent infection in major surgery are used properly only about half the time
Antimicrobial medications intended to prevent surgical site infections are appropriately administered to patients (within one hour before incision) only 55.7 percent of the time, according to a study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

SARS surveillance via mass spectometry
In a study published in the freely-available international medical journal PLoS Medicine, mass spectrometry-based sequence analysis provides a sensitive and accurate method to characterize genetic variation of the SARS coronavirus in clinical samples.

Top experts and scientists at BioFinland 05 Congress
The international biotechnology congress BioFinland 05 will focus on genomic drug discovery.

Inflammatory molecules released by pollen trigger allergies
How do pollen particles provoke allergic reactions? A new study in the February 21 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine puts some of the blame on bioactive molecules that are released from pollen. 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