Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 12, 2005
Alien woodwasp, threat to US pine trees, found in N.Y.
E. Richard Hoebeke, a Cornell University senior extension associate in entomology, has discovered the first Sirex noctilio Fabricius, an Old World woodwasp, in the Northeast.

Surprise fed policies have big impact on the market
The equities market reacts strongly to unanticipated funds rate changes--most often due to an increase in the expected excess returns.

Your heart could indicate whether you have kidney problems
Cardiovascular risk factors appear to indicate deteriorating renal function in all adults.

Gene 'archeology' gets easier using Carnegie Mellon University software
Comparing genomes of different species can tell you when new genes evolved and what they do for their respective hosts.

Atmosphere may cleanse itself better than previously thought
The Earth's atmosphere may be more effective at cleansing itself of smog and other damaging hydrocarbons than was once thought.

Older people are better at picking their battles, studies show
Older people are less likely than younger people to react aggressively when problems come up in their relationships, University of Michigan research shows.

Waggle dance controversy resolved by radar records of bee flight paths
In the 1960s, Nobel Prize winning zoologist, Karl von Frisch, proposed that honeybees use dance (the

Sabin Gold Medal awarded to vaccine developer Dr. Albert Z. Kapikian
Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, was awarded the prestigious Albert B.

Newly identified enzyme group converts protein into cellular traffic signal
An international research team has identified a new group of enzymes that may help uncover how cells direct internal traffic.

Tamoxifen-like drug suggests new ways to selectively block estrogen
The ability of an experimental drug known as GW5638 to change the shape of the estrogen receptor is helping researchers understand why drugs like tamoxifen and raloxifene behave the way they do, simulating the effects of estrogen in some tissues and blocking it in others.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities funds research to develop conductive ceramic materials
Peizhen Kathy Lu, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Virginia Tech, is doing research to add electrical conductivity to ceramic materials by incorporating carbon nanotubes.

Penn study shows liver receptor key to diet-dependent differences in blood lipid levels
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that a molecule found in liver cells is an important link in explaining the relationship among diet, lipid levels in blood, and atherosclerosis.

For young canaries learning their song, freedom in youth gives way to rules in adulthood
Rockefeller University scientists have found that young canaries can learn to accurately imitate a computer-generated song that sounds nothing like a canary.

Study reveals smog clearing properties of atmosphere
Chemists at the University of California, San Diego and Purdue University have discovered that natural chemical processes in the atmosphere may be removing smog and other damaging hydrocarbons at a faster rate than once believed.

Heart failure wall stress drops 38% with moderate thyroid hormone therapy
As heart failure approaches, it is always preceded by an unexplained change in heart cell shape, South Dakota and Florida A&M scientists found.

Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
Leading scientists say coral reefs damaged in the Asian tsunami tragedy should be allowed to recover naturally before countries launch into expensive restoration plans.

Evidence of 600-million-year old fungi-algae symbiosis discovered in marine fossils
Researchers from China and the United States have found evidence of lichen-like symbiosis in 600-million-year-old fossils from South China.

Professor criticises medicine's 'blind spot'
If modern scientific medicine is to meet the needs of today's patients, it will have to pay more attention to patients' symptoms and not just to their diseases, a University of Edinburgh Professor says in his inaugural lecture today (Thursday, 12 May).

Researchers find up to 70 percent chance of a big quake in southern California in next 30 years
The San Andreas fault is one of the most dangerous seismically active faults in the world, due to its proximity to densely populated regions of California.

International team determines geographic origin of leprosy
Leprosy likely originated in East Africa and spread to Asia and Europe before being imported into West Africa by explorers, report scientists in this week's issue of Science.

Sex differences in the human brain
The symposium

Consequences of exposure to an energy rich diet during development
There is emerging evidence that the diet that our mothers consume while we are in the womb and also when breast feeding may lead to health risks associated with obesity.

Scripps scientists describe protein used by bacteria and cancer cells to resist drugs
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have solved the structure of a protein called MsbA that is involved in resisting antibiotics and chemotherapy.

Type 2 diabetes may begin with Grandma's diet
An innovative study published online in The Journal of Physiology in Press provides the first evidence that the insulin resistance typical of type 2 diabetes can be

German Scholars Organization announces conference & career fair for US midwest region
The German Scholars Organization (GSO) announces a career development workshop, regional conference and career fair for German scientists and academics of the Midwestern region of the U.S. and Canada in Chicago June 4th-5th.

The Lancet calls for higher tax on cigarettes
Governments of high, middle, and low income countries should commit to annual price increases of 50% on cigarettes to prevent a worldwide epidemic of lung cancer, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Changes in community size affect the outcome of competition
In a study to be published in the July 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, researchers show that chance may play a role in coexistence because, although poor competitors generally lose, they may occasionally get lucky.

Cassini observations present glimpse into Titan's relationship with Earth
Observations of Titan's atmosphere offer a unique look at how Saturn's giant moon compares to Earth.

Tiny new control device improves lateral stability of airplane
The tabs, invented by an engineering professor and flying enthusiast at Lehigh University, measure a few inches in length and weight.

Tackling 10,000-foot ice cap next for UH space architecture program
With scientists preparing to increase research in the Polar Regions, University of Houston architecture students and staff are designing the facility at the Greenland Summit.

Ralph Horwitz, M.D., to receive Society of General Internal Medicine's highest honor
Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs at Case Western Reserve University, will receive the Robert J.

Black children more likely to die from traumatic injury than white children
A new study of nearly 6,000 children suggests that black youth are more than twice as likely to die from a traumatic injury as are white children.

Leprosy genome tells story of human migrations, French researchers report in Science
A French genetics study comparing strains of leprosy-causing bacteria has revealed some surprises about how the pathogen evolved and how it was spread across the continents by human migrations.

Melbourne trailblazer scoops medical research award
Leading Melbourne scientist and Howard Florey Institute Director, Professor Frederick Mendelsohn, was today awarded the 2005 Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation Medal, honouring his significant contribution to medical research.

Kennedy elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Rice University's Ken Kennedy, one of the world's foremost experts on high-performance computing, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the nation's oldest and most illustrious learned society.

Chaos is rare
In this study, to appear in the July 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, researchers used an adaptive dynamics approach to investigate the evolution of dynamics in a family of age-structured models, where fecundity was density-dependent and where there were trade-offs between survival and reproduction.

Clincal trials indicate NEXIUM® can reduce upper GI symptoms in patients using NSAIDS
Results from two clinical trials, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, demonstrate that NEXIUM® (esomeprazole magnesium) can reduce upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms - such as moderate to severe pain, burning and discomfort in the upper abdomen- associated with continuous, daily use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including selective COX-2 inhibitors.

SPARCing chemotherapy success
A number of genetic alterations are involved in chemotherapy resistance.

Unlocking mysteries of brain, grooming future med students goals of UH prof
Grooming future health care professionals is just one important contribution Costa M.

The effects of prenatal cocaine exposure
Cocaine abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent among women of childbearing age, and is associated with numerous adverse perinatal outcomes.

GMC needs to get its head out of the sand over revalidation
The General Medical Council needs to get its head out of the sand over revalidation, argues a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Active vaccine prevents mice from developing prion disease
NYU School of Medicine scientists have created the first active vaccine that can significantly delay and possibly prevent the onset of a disease in mice that is similar to mad cow disease.

Early origins of obesity: Programming the appetite regulatory system
An article in The Journal of Physiology presents important research showing that events before birth can permanently change patterns of appetite and fat deposition in child and adult life.

NIST demonstrates key step in use of quantum computers for code-breaking
A crucial step in a procedure that could enable future quantum computers to break today's most commonly used encryption codes has been demonstrated by physicists at the U.S.

New research presents reserve selection using nonlinear species distribution models
New research to be published in the June 2005 issue of The American Naturalist is among the first studies to present a computationally feasible solution for doing large-scale spatial reserve planning (a.k.a. spatial optimization) in a manner that predicted effects of landscape structure to species distributions are accounted for in a near- optimal manner.

NJIT plastics expert who develops safer explosives for soldiers gets honor
Costas G. Gogos, PhD, a research professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), received last week the highest honor -the international award--from the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Can rice bran oil melt away cholesterol?
A natural component of rice bran oil lowers cholesterol in rats, and ongoing research also shows it may have potential as an anti-cancer and anti-infection agent in humans.

Keyhole surgery set to become the new gold standard for colon cancer treatment
Keyhole surgery for colon cancer is as effective as open surgery in the short term, concludes a randomised trial published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

JCI table of contents June 1, 2005
The following press release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and author contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published in the JCI: Vaccine targets tumors where they live; SPARCing chemotherapy success; No breathing easy with C5; BMP bumps up hope for joint diseases; Gitelman's syndrome gets a clue; and Heart defects may find a cure in Gata4.

Barriers prevent many Hispanics from participating in research studies
Researchers found that many Hispanic people would be more willing to participate if the researcher spoke Spanish, if they felt like the process would have a health benefit to them, if the research had a direct benefit to the Hispanic community and if they could do their part on weekends rather than weekdays.

MMR vaccine does not increase risk of Crohn's disease
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not increase the risk of Crohn's disease (chronic inflammation of the intestine), finds a study in this week's BMJ.

High fidelity keeps human DNA assembly line humming
Turns out building cars and building life have a lot in common - it all comes down to quality control.

UK is in the grip of a nationwide mumps epidemic
The United Kingdom is in the grip of a nationwide mumps epidemic, with almost 5,000 notifications in the first month of 2005 alone, show two papers in this week's BMJ.

Molecular spies illuminate drug resistance proteins
Intricate details about a cellular protein, worked out by Vanderbilt University Medical Center scientists, may aid in the design of drugs that cells find 'irresistible.'

Scientists map the world for nature conservation
For years, experts have been calling for an improved database that would enable them to develop more effective global nature conservation strategies.

Work fatigue and working overtime are associated with weight gain
Work fatigue, working overtime, job demands and dissatisfaction in combining paid work and family life are associated with weight gain, suggests the recent study from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Novel stem cell trial in heart failure patients to begin
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is beginning a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and feasibility of a potential treatment for heart failure that involves injecting stem cells into the heart of patients receiving a heart assist device as a bridge to transplantation.

Joslin hosts conference on diabetes in American Indian/Alaska Natives, May 16-19 in Denver
Top health groups organize first national conference on cardiovascular disease and diabetes among American Indians and Alaska natives.

Many HIV patients are not diagnosed early enough
Many patients in the UK and Ireland are not having their HIV infection diagnosed until they are at a late stage of disease, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Older adults with insomnia report falling asleep faster with ramelteon
Results from a Phase 3 clinical study presented at the 2005 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society showed that bedtime administration of ramelteon, an investigational compound currently under review for the treatment of insomnia, significantly reduced time to fall asleep in older adults with chronic insomnia.

Why embryos need a good diet
A thick-coated vole and a man with cardiovascular disease have something in common: both are doing what their mothers told them.

Mice brains shrink during winter, impairing some learning and memory
The brains of one species of mouse actually shrink during the winter, causing the mice to have more difficulty with some types of learning, a new study found.

DOE JGI announces 2006 Community Sequencing Program portfolio
In the language of DNA, the common link among all living things, are lessons for interpreting the complex systems that regulate the health of planet Earth.

Understanding how bacteria communicate may help scientists prevent disease
Rahul Kulkarni, assistant professor of physics at Virginia Tech, has received support from Oak Ridge Associated Universities to continue his research on quorum sensing in bacteria.

Substantial 15-year survival gains from standard breast cancer treatments
The types of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy that have long been used to help prevent breast cancer recurrence have much greater effects on 15-year than on 5-year survival, according to a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.
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