Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 22, 2005
X-Rays signal presence of elusive intermediate-mass black hole
Peculiar outbursts of X-rays coming from a black hole have provided evidence that it has a mass of about 10,000 Suns, which would place it in a possible new class of black holes.

Emory scientists find new prostate cancer suppressor gene
A gene named ATBF1 may contribute to the development of prostate cancer through acquired mutations and/or loss of expression, according to research at Emory University School of Medicine and its Winship Cancer Institute.

Leading experts weigh-in on the interpretation of quantum theory: Lectures available on-line
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in conjunction with the University of Waterloo, is offering a technical but pedagogical lecture series on the problems associated with developing a consistent understanding of the nature of objective reality in light of quantum theory.

Specific test key to determine whether or not allergy symptoms are really allergy-related
Many people with allergy-like symptoms could get the test they need, and the right treatments for their symptoms, from their primary care physician if managed care practice guidelines encouraged the use of the test.

DNA 'packaging' linked with cancer
New laboratory findings at the University of Illinois at Chicago suggest that what lies outside cancer cells is at least as important as the genes inside in explaining a tumor's malignancy.

Naturejobs/NY Academy of Sciences Career Fair & Symposium
The New York Academy of Sciences and Naturejobs are co-sponsoring a day-long Career Fair and Symposium,

African-American women with endometrial cancer have more aggressive cancer than Caucasian women
two studies of African-American women with endometrial cancer, a group of investigators from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Cancer Institute has found that African-American women with advanced endometrial cancer have more aggressive tumors than Caucasian women, potentially leading to worse outcomes.

Plants defy Mendel's inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
Contrary to inheritance laws the scientific world has accepted for more than 100 years, some plants revert to normal traits carried by their grandparents, bypassing genetic abnormalities carried by both parents.

American Society for Microbiology to host 105th General Meeting in Atlanta
The American Society for Microbiology will hold its 105th General Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, June 5-9, 2005, at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Congressional constraints on federal judges deemed unnecessary
New study claims the Feeney Amendment - imposing harsher sentencing guidelines on federal court judges - illustrates Congressional overreaction.

Flu pandemic coming, US not prepared
Immediate action is needed to prepare the United States for a deadly pandemic of influenza, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is telling policymakers.

Abuse and HIV status linked to suicide risk
According to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, George Washington University and St.

Study finds factors linked to substance use disorder relapse among health care professionals
Having a coexisting psychiatric illness or family history of a substance use disorder or having used a major opioid are key factors that can increase the likelihood of a substance use disorder relapse among health care professionals, according to a study in the March 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Revealing a secret in plain sight: air makes liquids go splash
University of Chicago physicists have learned how to eliminate what scientists formerly regarded as the inevitable splashing that occurs after a liquid crashes onto a flat surface.

New device allows safe and fast access to Large Space Simulator
A new 'specimen access device' (SPAD) to allow safe and fast access to spacecraft being tested in the Large Space Simulator chamber is now fully operational at ESA's Test Centre.

Infant vernier acuity is comparable to that of adults
Infant vernier acuity is not as immature as previous research has indicated according to a study published in March in the Journal of Vision, an online, free access publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Monsanto fund awards $3.7 million to Washington University for school science van program
The Monsanto Fund has awarded Washington University $3.7 million to develop, build and operate two custom mobile classrooms.

Scientists identify new model Of NK cell development
Scientists here have made a major discovery that sheds new light upon the growth and development of human natural killer (NK) cells, powerful but somewhat mysterious components of the body's immune system that are the first line of defense against cancer and infectious diseases.

Study finds majority of women willing to accept cervical cancer vaccine for self and children
In a study of 200 women, a group of physicians has found that a vast majority of women would be willing to take a cervical cancer vaccine themselves and would allow it to be administered to their children.

Targeting mutant B-Raf protein reduces melanoma development
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have identified the mechanism by which the most mutated gene in melanoma, called v599EB-Raf, aids melanoma tumor development demonstrating its importance as a therapeutic target.

From gene discovery to preventing eye disease in retinitis pigmentosa
investigators from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University provide evidence for retinal injury caused by moderate light exposure in dogs with a mutation in the rhodopsin gene.

Study of genomic DNA leads to new advances in cancer diagnostics
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a method of assessing the malignant potential of cells based on the sensitivity of cellular DNA to enzyme digestion.

Treated fabric kills anthrax spores
Military textile fabric treated with an antimicrobial compound can kill dormant anthrax spores and could provide the basis for enhancing military protection in the event of a biological attack.

Research says your happiness makes your partner happy - but only if you are married
New research by University of Warwick researcher Nick Powdthavee reveals that a married man or woman is significantly more satisfied with their life when their partner is satisfied with life.

ESC releases the first European Guidelines on Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI)
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) releases the first European Guidelines on Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI), pre-published and accessible on the ESC Web Site(1).

Extreme exertion, emotion can spark repeat heart attacks
Compelling evidence indicates that in people with a history of heart disease, physical exertion and emotional stress can trigger heart attacks, some of them fatal.

Tiny scaffolding allows stem cells to become working fat cells
Researchers here have used a new microscopic, three-dimensional scaffolding to coax mouse stem cells to transform themselves into fat cells, and then to function identical to how fat cells naturally do in the body.

Young and exotic stellar zoo
Using telescopes from the European Southern Observatory, astronomers have found that the cluster Westerlund 1, hidden behind a large cloud of dust and gas, is the most massive compact young cluster yet identified in the Milky Way Galaxy.

UW research shows risk factors for relapse among health care professionals who abuse drugs
Three factors are most closely associated with the increased risk of relapse after health-care professionals are treated for drug use, according to new research conducted at the University of Washington.

Joslin Diabetes Center scientists find genetic defects
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have found genetic regions that, when defective, allow the immune system to attack the pancreas -- the first in a series of mis-steps that lead to type 1 diabetes.

UNH launches 2nd spinout company with NIH grants
A UNH physics professor's innovations enabling magnetic resonance imaging to better see inside the lungs form the core of the university's second spinout company, backed by three new grants from the National Institutes of Health.

NJIT Presidential Award winner takes stem cell research another step
Treena Arinzeh, a young professor who last year won a Presidential Award, the nation's highest scientific honor, is bringing the promise of stem cell research one step closer to reality.

Aussie ingenuity helps NASA search for new planets
CSIRO Industrial Physics has mastered the manufacturing technique for the retro-reflector, called a cube corner, at its Lindfield laboratories.

Sudan surveys show high rates of death and malnutrition among displaced population
An assessment of the people living in three communities in South Darfur, Sudan found a high number of deaths from violence and disease, according to a brief report in the March 23/30 issue of JAMA.

White blood cell 'waste disposal' system plays critical regulatory role
A new research study identifies a critical inhibitory step that is a key component of the feedback circuit regulating the balance between neutrophil production and destruction.

Antibodies from plants protect against anthrax
Scientists have produced, in tobacco plants, human antibodies that could be used to treat anthrax exposure.

Definition of persistent vegetative state available from American Academy of Neurology
The AAN practice parameter about the assessment and management of patients in the persistent vegetative state is accessible at the homepage
Three-year cervical cancer screening recommendations may be applicable for certain women with HIV
Women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who have normal cervical cancer screening results and negative tests for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that is associated with cervical cancer, may be able to have Papanicolaou (Pap) smears every three years, the same interval as HIV-negative women, according to a study in the March 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Depression linked to insomnia in HIV patients
Depression appears to be a major cause of insomnia in people with HIV, according to a new systematic review of 29 studies on the topic.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Low levels of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been reported in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), as has evidence for an AD protective effect of increased marine fish consumption, a main source of DHA.

Kandel pays tribute to Hubel's and Wiesel's 25-year partnership and work in neurobiology & vision
Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel will pay tribute to the 25-year partnership of Torsten Wiesel and David H.

HIV and ID doctors oppose ideologically driven STI prevention policies
HIV and infectious disease experts are urging the federal government to stop funding unproven strategies, like abstinence-only sexual health education, to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STI).

Chronic fatigue patients show lower response to placebos
Contrary to conventional wisdom, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome respond to placebos at a lower rate than people with many other illnesses, according to the first systematic review of the topic.

Membraneless fuel cell is tiny, versatile
A fuel cell designed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can operate without a solid membrane separating fuel and oxidant, and functions with alkaline chemistry in addition to the more common acidic chemistry.

Researchers at U. Va. discover how body regulates most abundant type of white blood cell
Every day, the human body manufactures and destroys about 100 billion neutrophils- the most common type of white blood cell and one of the most highly-produced cells.
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