Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2005
Environmental crisis forging strange bedfellows
New partnerships bridging the boundaries between religion and science must be forged if the world is to avoid ecological collapse because of pollution and human interference, says a University of Toronto professor.

Binge drinking can impair both mood and cognitive performance
Binge drinking by young people is on the rise in several countries.

Fossil records show biodiversity comes and goes
A detailed and extensive new analysis of the fossil records of marine animals over the past 542 million years has yielded a stunning surprise.

Histamine, anxiety and alcoholism
In the brain, histamine regulates a wide variety of physiological processes, including water and food intake, sleep-wake cycles, endocrine homeostasis, locomotion, and memory and learning.

Canada lags behind in learning from 9/11 attack: Expert
When it comes to learning lessons from the September 11 terrorist attack and the war on terror, Canada still has a long way to go, says a University of Toronto security intelligence expert.

Researchers rein in regulatory RNAs
A team of scientists led by Dr. Kuniya Abe from the RIKEN BioResource Center in Japan has performed one of the most comprehensive genome-wide experimental analyses of sense-antisense transcripts to date.

Survey finds silver contamination in North Pacific waters
The highest levels of silver contamination ever observed in the open ocean turned up in samples collected during a survey of the North Pacific in 2002.

'Tree-power' could be future energy source
A wood-fueled electricity generating plant may be in your future.

Rhesus monkeys reason about perspectives of others in obtaining food
Rhesus monkeys consider whether someone can or cannot see them when trying to steal food, indicating they have the ability to reason.

Multi-center study shows direct link between residential radon exposure and lung cancer
University of Iowa researchers were part of a large multi-center study that provides direct evidence of an association between prolonged residential radon exposure and lung cancer risk.

Effects of education level on rates of obesity differ by race
There are significant racial differences in the association between education level and weight change for middle-aged women, according to an article in the March 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Simple blood test may help to predict cardiovascular risk in older women
White blood cell (WBC) count may predict cardiovascular events and risk of death in postmenopausal women who are not currently identified by traditional cardiovascular risk factors, according to an article in the March 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Teen tooth trauma prevalent in Ontario
Nearly one in five Ontario Grade 8 students shows evidence of damage to his or her front teeth, says a new University of Toronto study.

Orchestra pit no danger to hearing
While the clang of cymbals and the blare of the trombone may startle, orchestra musicians at the Canadian Opera Company needn't worry about hearing loss, say University of Toronto researchers.

Florida Tech scientist earns $1.7 million NSF grant
A National Science Foundation grant to Florida Tech of nearly $1.7 million over three years will enable the university to work with Brevard County high school science teachers to develop new learning modules.

Brain imaging reveals secrets of love, fear and betrayal
An unusual lecture highlighting the fascinating insights which brain imaging gives to the workings of the human mind is being hosted by the University of Edinburgh tomorrow (Tuesday, 15 March).

APS awards $63,000 in travel fellowships to minority scientists
Forty-two outstanding minority scientists have won travel fellowships to this year's International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) Congress.

2005 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meetings
Journalists, science writers, and editors are encouraged to attend the 2005 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meetings, which provide unparalleled opportunities for reporting on and keeping current with a wide variety of topics in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Newly discovered pathway might help in design of cancer drugs
Chemists have discovered a new way to sabotage DNA's ability to reproduce, a finding that could eventually lead to the development of new anti-cancer drugs and therapies.

Study of obese diabetics explains why low-carb diets produce fast results
When carbohydrates were restricted, study subjects spontaneously reduced their caloric intake to a level appropriate for their height, did not compensate by eating more protein or fat, and lost weight.

Anti cancer virotherapy well tolerated in first human administration, research finds
An international medical conference report that an Australian developed anti-cancer therapy based on the use of a common cold virus to control cancer cell growth has begun safety testing in human subjects.

Hey, guys, they're not girlie-man portions, they're healthy portions
Remember when advertisers asked,

Medicaid enrollment at late stages may partly explain poor outcomes for cancer
A new study concludes that the unavailability of health insurance prior to Medicaid enrollment may contribute to poor outcomes in the Medicaid-insured cancer population.

Obesity among African-American stroke survivors increases risk factors for recurrent stroke
Obesity may put African-Americans who have survived one stroke at risk for a second stroke by increasing their risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and high cholesterol, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Childhood deficits in the cerebellum may be linked to adult alcoholism
The brain's cerebellum is key to the body's coordination of movement.

Tumor individuality useful for guiding rational chemotherapeutic decisions
A new study describes in detail exactly how the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel induces cell death in tumor cells and how common mutations in human tumors confer drug resistance, and demonstrates that combination treatment can restore therapeutic effectiveness of the drug.

SciFinder scholar now in use at more than 1000 schools
SciFinder Scholar, the reasearch tool from CAS, has exceeded an installed user base of 1000 academic institutions, including more than 100 universities in Brazil and mainland China.

Treating depression helps slow physical decline in older adults, study shows
This is first study to report that successful treatment of depression in older adults also improves their ability to perform tasks critical to independent living such as keeping track of medications or managing money.

Reducing hostility in young coronary artery disease patients is important piece of rehabilitation
Young coronary artery disease patients have a higher prevalence of hostility than older patients with the disease, researchers explain in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

New study shows how very low-carb diets take off the pounds
A new three-week in-hospital study of 10 volunteers found that during the two-week period on a strictly controlled very-low carbohydrate diet, participants lost an average of 3.6 pounds, voluntarily reduced their calorie intake from 3,111 calories per day to 2,164 calories per day, and did not eat more of the readily available fat and protein to make up for the lost carbohydrate calories.

Short-term effects of spit tobacco suggest long-term health risks
Use of smokeless tobacco raises short-term adrenaline levels in the bloodstream by more than 50 percent and also causes the heart rate and blood pressure to surge, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic study published this week in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Bevacizumab combined with chemotherapy prolongs survival for some patients with advanced lung cancer
Preliminary results from a large, randomized clinical trial for patients with previously untreated advanced non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer show that those patients who received bevacizumab (AvastinTM) in combination with standard chemotherapy lived longer than patients who received the same chemotherapy without bevacizumab.

Light therapy may combat fungal infections, new evidence suggests
A newly discovered mechanism by which an infectious fungus perceives light also plays an important role in its virulence, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center.

Temple University researchers develop new targeted cancer therapy
Researchers have developed a new drug that halts cancer cell division, instigating tumor death.

Moving electrons at the molecular and nanometer scales
Learning how to control the movement of electrons on the molecular and nanometer scales could help scientists devise small-scale circuits for a wide variety of applications, including more efficient ways of storing and using solar energy.

Inflammatory condition doubles heart attack, stroke risk
Seniors with giant cell arteritis - a chronic inflammatory condition of medium and large arteries - are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to adults without this condition, says new University of Toronto research.

Sleeping Through the Night: Children's sleep expert advises parents
Getting a child to sleep through the night may seem like an impossible task, but it can be achieved.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for March 15, 2005
Research headlines for the 15 March issue of Annals of Internal Medicine include: 'New Study Shows How Very Low-Carb Diets Take Off the Pounds.

CAS science spotlight identifies most requested article
A nanotechnology-related paper published in the journal Chirality was the scientific article most requested by users of CAS electronic services during 2004, according to CAS's Science Spotlight web service.

New lab technique identifies high levels of pathogens in therapy pool
A research team using a novel genetic cloning and sequencing technique has identified a surprisingly high number of airborne pathogens in a Midwest therapy pool, pointing to the need for closer scrutiny of public hot pools, says a new study involving Washington University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and San Diego State University.

Face to face - in realistic 3D
Computing experts at Cardiff University, UK, are developing a super-realistic animation system that simulates the movements of a face, based on speech.

VLTI first fringes with two auxiliary telescopes at Paranal
The Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at Paranal Observatory has just seen another extension of its already impressive capabilities by combining interferometrically the light from two relocatable 1.8-m auxiliary telescopes.

A new look at the emerging earth system processes paradigm
Geoscientists and their colleagues in the natural sciences will soon discuss and debate a variety of controversies relating to earth system science as the Geological Society of America (GSA) and Geological Association of Canada (GAC) co-convene Earth System Processes 2, 8-11 August 2005, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Genetics important in age-related macular degeneration
Genes play a substantial role in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness among older individuals, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers say breast cancer in Africa may provide clues to the disease in African-Americans
A new review finds similarities between the clinical presentation and course of breast cancer in Africans and African-Americans, suggesting that genetic factors may play a significant role in the racial differences encountered in the epidemiology of breast cancer in America.

Newly patented system fights corrosion
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory made a key advance in developing a fully automated system that fights corrosion and wear and tear in even the hardest-to-reach places.

New drug shows promise as powerful anticancer agent
Research published in the March issue of the journal Cancer Cell describes a small molecule inhibitor of polo-like kinase1 (Plk1) that could lead to a new avenue for targeted cancer therapy.

Neurobehavioral function during coma, stroke rehabilitation effective for elderly
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) includes articles that focus on health management of patients during coma, development of a comprehensive stroke database, and effectiveness of rehabilitation following stroke in elderly populations.

Using molecular technique, researcher identify hospital pool bacterial pathogen
A team of researchers, led by an environmental engineer at Washington University in St.

Heart repair gets new muscle
In a study published in the premier open-access, freely-available online journal PLoS Biology, a population of primitive cells from adult murine skeletal muscle can develop into beating cardiomyocytes in vitro and can contribute to the repair of damaged heart in vivo.

AACC and The Endocrine Society partner to promote patient education
The Endocrine Society, the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization in the field of endocrinology, is the first organization to join the site's new Endorser program, which AACC launched this year in an effort to broaden support within the medical community for Lab Tests Online, the Internet's premiere public resource on laboratory testing.

Father of double helix visits UH
James Watson, known for his discovery of DNA's double helix structure, will speak at the University of Houston at 7 p.m., April 7, as part of the Farfel Distinguished Lecture Series.

HIV-1 spread through six transmission lines in the UK
Contrary to the prevailing belief that the HIV epidemic in the UK can be traced back to one source, a new study suggests that HIV spread via at least six independent virus introductions and subsequent transmission chains.

ESMO Scientific & Educational Conference (ESEC)
A unique educational conference designed to offer updates on state-of-the-art oncology for the major tumor types as well as special interactive sessions for young medical oncologists.

Asian countries gain prominence in science and technology as US loses ground
The global landscape for science and technology is changing, with increased competition for resources and recognition.

Rutgers math, physics professor honored by APS for human rights activism
Rutgers math, physics professor Joel Lebowitz to receive Nicholson Medal from American Physical Society, for helping scientists worldwide secure basic personal freedoms and to ensure their ability to openly practice their professions.

Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors at increased risk for bone fractures
Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors may be at increased risk for fractures (except for the hip) compared with other women in the same age group, according to an article in the March 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nature helps create religious adults
Environmental factors, like attending religious ceremonies with family, affect our religiousness as children, but genes most likely keep us attending and believing as we become adults.

Scottish scientists win £800,000 to boost research into fighting killer viruses
University of Glasgow scientists have received a grant of £800,000 from the Wellcome Trust to research a mechanism that blocks a critical step in the replication cycle of retroviruses.

Brain imaging studies investigate pain reduction by hypnosis
Researchers at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A.

Microbial forensics: The next great forensic challenge
Deliberately spreading disease among the enemy has been occasionally practiced over hundreds of years.

Understanding biological foundation of human behavior critical to improving laws
Laws and public policy will often miss their mark until they incorporate an understanding of why, biologically, humans behave as they do, scholars from Vanderbilt and Yale universities argue in the March issue of Columbia Law Review.

New technology for navigating without GPS
New technology for navigating without GPS A new method for navigation at sea, independent of GPS, is being put forward in a dissertation from Linköping University.

Depression may explain higher risk of heart attack associated with antidepressants
The underlying depression, rather than the effects of the drugs themselves, may explain the increased risk of heart attack associated with taking antidepressants, suggests research in Heart.

Staying positive when helping a child with homework stimulates motivation
Your child has a homework assignment, doesn't understand it and is acting helpless.

Scientists identify molecule that regulates well-known tumor suppressor
Scientists have discovered that a molecule called DJ-1 is likely to be involved in the generation of human tumors through negative regulation of the well-known tumor suppressor, PTEN.

DNA with three base pairs - A step towards expanding the genetic code
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California are reporting today at the 229th national meeting of the American Chemical Society progress toward the creation of a system for replicating a modified form of DNA containing an unnatural base pair.

New £6m biocentre to revolutionise the production of safer medicines
The University of Manchester has been awarded £6m to open a new biocentre which will revolutionise the way future medicines are produced - making them safer and more effective.

Ability to detect explosives boosted one thousand-fold by new device
New technology developed at the University of Arizona makes explosive-detection devices about 1,000 times more sensitive than the equipment currently used in airports.

Malt liquor beers, and the people who drink them, are different
A standard drink is generally calculated as a 12-ounce glass of beer, four-ounce glass of wine, or a one-ounce shot of hard liquor.

Mountain life spells longer life
Mountain dwellers live longer than people in lowland areas, finds research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Gray wolves maintain the food chain in winter
Research published in the open-access, freely-available online journal PLoS Biology reveals that reintroducing wolves can help ameliorate the negative effects of warmer winters on other species and can maintain intact food chains in the face of climate change. 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