Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 12, 2005
Hey, now, what's that sound
The Office of Naval Research's support of basic neuroscience has led to new software and a security system that recognizes the sounds of danger.

Combination vaccine produces lower immune response than vaccines administered separately
A combination vaccine developed to reduce the number of vaccines infants receive appears to provide less immunity than the vaccines administered individually, according to a study in the April 13 issue of JAMA.

African-American women less likely to undergo genetic testing than white women
There are large racial disparities in the use of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer, according to a study in the April 13 issue of JAMA.

New strategies to reduce hospital-acquired infections
Water for drinking, bathing, showering, making ice cubes or rinsing medical equipment is increasingly being recognized as a significant source of microbes that may contribute to many life-threatening infections that patients acquire in hospitals.

Case Western Reserve University study shows promise of lowering costs for treating autism
A new research study from Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences shows promise of effective treatment for autism using interventions at far lower cost than existing treatments.

Charter activation brings space dimension to European emergency exercise
Full-scale disaster breaking out in France - in the form of a simulated accident around which a major European civil protection exercise is planned.

ARVO annual meeting features over 6,000 presentations
More than 9,000 eye and vision researchers will gather to attend the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2005 Annual Meeting to be held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 1-5, 2005.

Gladstone investigator Steve Finkbeiner wins prestigious Lieberman Award
The Hereditary Disease Foundation has named Steven Finkbeiner, MD, PhD, an assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and an assistant professor of neurology and physiology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), as the recipient of its highly esteemed Lieberman Award.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Story ideas include managing cellular stress in worm dopamine neurons.

Tips from this week's DIMACS cybersecurity conference
Industry and academic cybersecurity experts will convene Thursday and Friday (April 14-15) in Piscataway, N.J., to discuss new and as-yet-unresolved threats to safe and secure e-commerce.

Cranfield University aims to reduce sporting injury
As more of the population begin to recognise the benefits of sporting activity, there is a need for improved sports pitches which not only deliver increased access to sport, but also reduce the risk of injury.

Currents could disrupt ocean food chain
If increased precipitation and sea surface heating from global warming disrupts the Atlantic Conveyer current - as some scientists predict - the effect on the ocean food chain in the Atlantic and other oceans could be severe, according to a new study just published in Nature.

Adverse outcomes from blood clot therapy may be due to patient characteristics, not dosing errors
Even though incorrect dosing occurs in about 5 percent of patients with heart attack who receive a certain blood clot dissolving therapy, patient-related factors appear to be more responsible for adverse outcomes, not dosing errors, according to a study in the April 13 issue of JAMA.

Probable cause sequences for WTC collapses finalized
At a press briefing in New York City on April 5, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) presented its analysis of how the World Trade Center (WTC) towers collapsed after two aircraft were flown into the buildings by terrorists on Sept.

Three researchers recognized for advancing the Navy's environmental efforts
Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen presented the Vice Admiral Harold G.

Antioxidant-rich diets reduce brain damage from stroke in rats
A new study suggests antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may limit brain damage from stroke and other neurological disorders.

Traditional risk factors best predictor of CVD death in kidney patients
New study findings show that traditional heart disease risk factors are more strongly associated with risk of death from cardiovascular disease than newer, emerging risk factors in older people with chronic kidney disease.

Bad outcomes related to, but not caused by, misdosing of clotbusters in heart attack patients
The deaths or clinical complications in heart attack patients given potent drugs to re-open clogged arteries is more likely to be due to individual patient characteristics than to modest misdosing of the drugs, researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) have determined.

Mouse with designer liver has enhanced glucose tolerance and improved insulin response
A collaborative effort led by The Burnham Institute's Gen-Sheng Feng has created a mouse with improved glucose tolerance and insulin activity in the liver, and generated new findings about insulin-signaling in the liver that could prove useful in understanding the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.

Pregnancy complications related to low levels of anti-clotting proteins
Recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, preterm delivery and bleeding in pregnancy are influenced by low levels of the anti-clotting proteins Z and S, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the March issue of Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

New Zealand forest giant prevents landslides
The colossal kauri trees prevent landslides on landslide-prone slopes. This is the conclusion of Dutch-funded researcher Lieven Claessens, who developed a model for predicting landslides in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in New Zealand.

Inamori Foundation to establish international center for ethics and excellence at Case
A $10-million gift to Case Western Reserve University from Inamori Foundation--founded by Kazuo Inamori, international business leader and the founder of Kyocera Corp. and the telecommunications giant KDDI--will enable Case to establish the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.

Breakthrough findings by Umeå researchers link obesity to diabetes
A research team headed by Professor Helena Edlund at Umeå University, Sweden, has achieved a breakthrough in our understanding of how obesity causes increased levels of insulin, sugar, and blood fats leading to diseases like type-2 diabetes and liver degeneration.

Preeclampsia in pregnancy increases risk of future cardiovascular disease and death
In a study of mothers with a history of preeclampsia, a hypertension complication in pregnancy affecting five percent of all women, researchers at Yale have found that these women have an increased lifetime risk for cardiovascular illness and death.

Researchers show parents give unattractive children less attention
A researcher at the University of Alberta has shown that parents are more likely to give better care and pay closer attention to good-looking children compared to unattractive ones.

7th Annual AIDS Science Day at Yale April 22
The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) will host the 7th Annual AIDS Science Day on Friday, April 22 at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, 155 Temple St.

Chemical present in clear plastics can impair learning and cause disease
Low doses of the environmental contaminant bisphenol-A (BPA), widely used to make many plastics found in food storage containers, including feeding bottles for infants, can impair brain function, leading to learning disabilities and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, according to Yale researchers and colleagues.

Scientists reveal new technology that will help us compute more safely on the move
New research by University of Glasgow scientists that enables people to interact safely with mobile computers while walking, running or driving, could help to prevent users from putting themselves in danger.

Chemical library aids in developing drug system for nerve damage
Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St.

Designing vaccines by computer
Having vaccines developed by computer may sound unnerving but the increasing role of computer modelling in the development of new vaccines could bring new products onto the market quicker, benefiting patients and saving pharmaceutical companies millions of pounds.

Tops in technology: UH math professor honored for aneurysm work
Suncica Canic, a University of Houston mathematics professor, was named one of Houston's top women in technology by the Houston chapter of the Association for Women in Computing.

Protolanguage Amazon inhabitants reconstructed
Maku is a family of languages spoken by Indians in the Amazon rainforest.

Technology helps Stanford shed new light on coronary bypass surgery
The technology, called the SPY Intra-operative Imaging System, was approved in January by the U.S.

Columbia research suggests need to rethink causes of heart failure
New research from Columbia is challenging the traditional explanation for the causes of the most common type of heart failure, traditionally called diastolic heart failure.

Light scattering method reveals details under skin
A new optical method that can image subsurface structures under skin has been demonstrated by scientists at NIST and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

MusicStrands uses artificial intelligence to recommend music to site visitors
The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Research Park has a new company: a spin-off of the UAB and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

New gas sensors patterned with conducting polymer
An improved method for depositing nanoporous, conducting polymer films on miniaturized device features has been demonstrated by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute researcher receives NSF CAREER award
Iuliana Lazar, has been awarded a five-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award to examine microfluidic platform development, microchip-mass spectrometric interface development, and bioanalytical process implementation on the chip.

Cholesterol-regulating protein maintains fat-storage, fat-burning balance
A protein that regulates cholesterol levels in the body also is responsible for maintaining a healthy balance between fat storage and fat burning, according to a UT Southwestern Medical Center study that may lead to new drug targets in the fight against obesity.

Obesity and insomnia linked by excitability of brain cells
A possible link between lack of sleep (insomnia) and obesity has been traced to hypocretin/orexin cells in the hypothalamus region of the brain that are easily excited and sensitive to stress, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the April issue of Cell Metabolism.

Winners of AIBS Media Awards announced
Tom Meersman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Diane Toomey, formerly of NPR's Living On Earth, won the AIBS Media Award for outstanding reporting on biology, in the print and broadcast categories, respectively.

Rats with migraines provide Jefferson scientists insights to improved drug strategy
When Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D., gives his rats a headache, he has good reason.

Secret loves, hidden lives?
The mental, emotional and sexual health of people with learning difficulties who are gay, lesbian and bisexual is being jeopardised by the failure of many services to give the support needed in this area.

AAAS 'respectfully declines' invitation to controversial Kansas evolution hearing
AAAS on Monday declined an invitation from the Kansas Board of Education to appear at a May hearing on teaching evolution in public schools after concluding that the event is likely to sow confusion rather than understanding among the public.

Ancient enzyme guides healthy eating in mammals
An ancient enzyme in the brains of mammals acts as an innate nutritionist of sorts, guiding them to make healthy choices about what to eat, according to new work published in the April issue of Cell Metabolism.

Mental retardation cause may include cell miscommunication
Scientists have long known that babies born with PKU lack or are deficient in the enzyme that converts the amino acid phenylalanine into a usable form.

Institute of Medicine advisory: Cord blood stem cells
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are used to treat a number of diseases, but the current system for collecting, storing, and allocating donated cord blood is fragmented and less efficient than it could be.

Wearable captioning system to make public venues accessible to people with hearing problems
For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the voices of actors, teachers, sports announcers and clergy are often silenced.

Late-breaking science presented at 57th AAN Annual Meeting
Three late-breaking scientific abstracts will be presented during the American Academy of Neurology 57th Annual Meeting: Rufinamide Reduces Seizures in Treatment-Resistant Lennox-Gastaut Epilepsy; New Gene for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Involved in Cell Transport; New Parkinson's Disease Gene Mutation is Very Common in North Africa.

Unconventional brain circuits offer clues to insomnia-obesity connection
Unconventional wiring of the brain circuits that govern sleep and waking might explain the prevalence of insomnia and the condition's association with obesity, according to new work published in the April issue of Cell Metabolism.

Revised asteroid scale aids understanding of impact risk
Astronomers led by an MIT professor have revised the scale used to assess the threat of asteroids and comets colliding with Earth to better communicate those risks with the public.

Experts on iron-sulfur proteins to meet in Madison, Wisconsin
Approximately 150 researchers from around the world will gather at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a four-day symposium on a unique class of proteins known as the Iron-Sulfur (Fe-S) Proteins.

'Audioclouds' that will help us compute more safely on the move
New research by UK scientists that enables people to interact safely with mobile computers while walking, running or driving, could help to prevent users from putting themselves in danger.

Study shows statin use before or after stroke improves recovery
The use of statins before or after a stroke helps improve patient recovery after an ischemic stroke, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 57th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, April 9 - 16, 2005.

Schizophrenic antifungal bacteria
Dutch researcher Daniël van den Broek investigated bacteria which fight fungal infections in plants.

Virtual reality, real ingenuity
Marines at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, looking for training options, used a blowtorch to modify a virtual reality trainer to suit their needs.

Even babies can have optical illusions
At the tender age of five months babies can be fooled by complex information about distances in drawings involving perspective, psychologists from the University of Bonn have shown.

NIST to host public forum on robot standards
Urban search and rescue robots capable of locating victims at disaster sites are entering the marketplace.

Evaluating virtual reality therapy for treating acute post traumatic stress disorder
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding three projects to evaluate virtual reality therapy for treatment of acute post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

University of Kentucky physician publishes fibromyalgia study in Arthritis & Rheumatism journal
A study of a drug that reduces the pain of fibromyalgia and improves sleep is being published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
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