Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 23, 2005
Unease over guidelines that label 9 out of 10 people as sick
Guidelines that set ever lower thresholds for

Arsenic - not the same for everyone
Children with a particular genetic variation metabolize arsenic from drinking water differently than adults with the same variation.

Geologist receives prestigious National Science Foundation award for research and teaching
Paul Bierman, a professor of geology at the University of Vermont, is one of seven recipients of the highest honor bestowed by the National Science Foundation for excellence in teaching and research.

High court decision in MGM vs. Grokster file-sharing case imminent
A much-anticipated Supreme Court decision in the *MGM vs. Grokster* file-sharing case is expected as soon as Thursday, 23 June, but not later than the week of 27 June.

MicroRNAs play a big part in gene regulation - and evolution
In the debut of the new open access journal PLoS Computational Biology, research reveals the most extensive microRNA target gene predictions to date, providing opportunities to test predicted biological functions of microRNAs and to explore their evolutionary significance.

Researchers discover mechanism that may enable stem cell-based treatment for eye disorders
In discovering a protein that helps organize the development of the retina, UC Irvine researchers have found a new molecular mechanism that may allow for stem cell-based therapies to treat eye disorders such as retinal degeneration.

Vaginal cancer detected more often with PET than CT scans
In patients with vaginal cancer, PET scans detected twice as many primary tumors and cancerous lymph nodes as did CT (computed tomography) scans, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Revueltosaurus skeleton unearthed at Petrified Forest upsets dinosaur tale
210 million years ago, when most of the continents were still a single landmass called Gondwanaland, the ancestors of the dinosaurs were thought to roam widely and mingle, predator versus prey.

Evacuation not automatically best for health during chemical incidents
Sheltering at home may be more appropriate than evacuation for protecting the health of local residents close to chemical air pollution incidents, says a paper in this week's BMJ.

UNC plant researchers discover proteins interact to form hair-trigger protection against invaders
Experimenting with Arabidopsis, a fast-growing cousin of the humble mustard plant, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill got a big surprise while investigating how plants respond to attacks from disease organisms such as bacteria and viruses.

BP Conservation programme marks 15th anniversary
The BP Conservation Programme awards $600,000 to teams of international conservationists and announces new $500 million initiative, the Energy and Environment Programme.

The hidden force of the ring
It is difficult to imagine modern life without plastics. Look around you, they are everywhere: pens, PCs, lenses, furniture, etc.

Chickadees' alarm calls carry information about size, threat of predators
The alarm calls of the black-capped chickadee carries a surprising amount of information about a predator's size and the threat it poses.

Look to the future: Preparing for baby boomer dementia epidemic
Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute, Inc. researchers begin to answer a question of how US health-care system and more specifically, primary care doctors - the physicians from whom older adults receive most of their care - can prepare for the huge wave of dementia patients expected to engulf US in 2010, the year the baby boomers begin to reach 65.

What's inside a comet? Brown geologist helps NASA find out
On July 4, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will witness fantastic fireworks when comet Tempel 1 slams into a space probe at 23,000 miles per hour.

Breast cancer growth regulator holds promise for more targeted treatment
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered the breast cancer growth regulator sEGFR, which may be a useful tool in monitoring a patient's responsiveness to treatment with the drug letrozole.

Thyroid-cancer test reveals recurrence early
A blood test for thyroid cancer can detect persistent or recurrent disease even before doctors can find any trace of a tumor, according to a new study.

Researchers get clearer view of Earth's atmosphere --- from the laboratory
For scientists who want to discern the complex chemistry at work in Earth's atmosphere, detecting a particular gas molecule can be as hard as finding a proverbial needle in a haystack.

Gene testing doesn't increase anxiety, depression in children of people with Alzheimer's
Adult children of people with Alzheimer's disease were satisfied and unharmed by the experience of genetic risk assessment, even when results suggested they might be at risk, according to new findings presented by Robert C.

The shifty nature of grains
In separate papers appearing in this week's Nature, researchers announce findings regarding the little-understood world of granular materials, systems of particles that can dictate the flow of avalanches, the quality of concrete and even the mixing of pharmaceuticals.

More training and supervision needed to cut meningitis deaths
Improved training and supervision of emergency medical staff is needed to reduce the number of child deaths from meningococcal disease, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Microbes found to produce miniature electrical wires
Researchers have discovered a tiny biological structure that is highly electrically conductive.

New report calls for recovery units to boost surgery survival rates
Hospitals could improve survival rates following a major surgery by streamlining their critical care units, according to a new report launched today at a London conference.

A better understanding of gene flow
Scientists will today explain at a meeting in London how their research has greatly improved our understanding of the flow of genetic material between organisms in the environment.

UC Davis researchers discover receptor pathway for C-reactive protein and its effects
For the first time, scientists have discovered how C-reactive protein, or CRP, is able to access endothelial cells.

Researchers discover stem cell 'guide' that may be key for targeting neural stem cell treatments
UC Irvine School of Medicine researchers have discovered how new neurons born from endogenous neural stem cells are sent to regions of the brain where they can replace old and dying cells, a finding that suggests how stem cell therapies can be specifically targeted to brain regions affected by neurodegenerative diseases or by stroke.

Johns Hopkins scientists use gene therapy to prevent heart arrhythmias from stem cell transplants
Heart specialists at Johns Hopkins believe they have figured a way around a persistent barrier to successful adult stem cell therapy for millions of Americans who have survived a heart attack but remain at risk of dying from chronic heart failure.

'Laser tweezers' reveal microscopic mechanical properties of blood clots
For the first time ever, using

NASA satellite data capture a big climate effect on tiny ocean life
New research found that phytoplankton population and size can change dramatically due to the physical processes associated with the climate phenomena known as El Niño and La Niña.

Online analytical toolbox for cancer and other biomedical research
A new website,
'X-factor' causes Scots to have higher heart disease rates, say scientists
Unknown factors not linked to diet, smoking or poverty may make Scots people more prone to heart disease, according to research revealed by the University of Edinburgh.

HSPH student Kevin Chan awarded Trudeau Foundation Scholarship
A Harvard School of Public Health doctoral student, Dr. Kevin Chan, has been awarded Canada's largest scholarship for doctoral studies in the social sciences and humanities.

Georgetown cancer researchers develop high throughput method
Scientists at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have devised cutting edge matrix assembly (CEMA).

New findings show persistent El Niño-like conditions during past global warming
During the most recent period in Earth's past with a climate warmer than today, the tropical Pacific was in a stable state of El Niño-like conditions, according to a new study.

Aging eye more susceptible to serious damage, scientists report
Increasing stiffness of the aging eye may make older adults more susceptible to eye damage following trauma, according to research at Wake Forest-Virginia Tech School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.

Saving six million children each year is affordable
Extra funding amounting to as little as US$1.23 per head in the 42 countries* with the highest rates of child mortality is needed to save 6 million children, concludes a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Researchers debut new X-ray resources for studying molecules
Soon scientists at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, Ill., will test-drive what many call the

Open Access journals get impressive impact factors
Impressive impact factors prove that BioMed Central's Open Access journals are high quality and widely read and cited.

Mapping neuron connections in the brain
In the debut of the new open access journal PLoS Computational Biology, a study reveals a new theoretical approach to map neuron connectivity in the brain that will hopefully provide a practical way to untangle the brain's mysteries.

NASA researchers studying tropical cyclones
NASA hurricane researchers are deploying to Costa Rica next month to investigate the birthplace of eastern Pacific tropical cyclones.

Do singlehanded general practices have a future?
Do singlehanded general practices have a future in the United Kingdom's NHS, asks a senior doctor in this week's BMJ?

Unlocking hydrogen's fuel potential
A major stumbling block for hydrogen-powered vehicles is being able to carry enough fuel on board to travel even a reasonable distance.

New magnetic techniques for microstructural characterisation of steels
There is no doubt that steel is one of the materials that has largely contributed to the technological and economical development of the twentieth century.

More women migrating to US from Mexico
The percentage of women migrating to the US from Mexico has been increasing substantially during the past two decades, according to a study of undocumented border crossings by a sociologist and a demographer at Rice University.

Groundbreaking study shows adult stem cells have same ability to self-renew as embryonic
Ground-breaking study: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh scientists discovered adult stem cells have same ability as embryonic stem cells to multiply indicating they may play important therapeutic role.

Study shows increased risk of common infections in diabetic patients
People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at higher risk of contracting respiratory, urinary tract and skin infections than people without diabetes, according to an article in the August 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Residential energy-efficiency retrofit incentives expanded
Owners of low-rise residential properties and assisted housing may now be able to receive cash incentives for making their buildings more energy-efficient.

Neurology Now, patient magazine of American Academy of Neurology, wins national award
Neurology Now, the new patient magazine from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), has won the Award of Excellence in the 2005 Associations Advance America Awards program.

Postnatal depression in fathers may affect children's behavioural development
Children, whose fathers have had postnatal depression, have an increased risk of behavioural and emotional problems in early life, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.
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