Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 14, 2005
Discovery of T-cell 'traffic control' boosts new drug promise
Scientists have begun to clarify how one of the body's molecules controls the trafficking of T cells through the blood, lymph nodes and on to tissues to fight infection -- a crucial response that sometimes goes awry, attacking the body's own tissues and causing autoimmune diseases.

Environment and genetic influences play different roles in boys' and girls' gender-role behavior
While boys' enjoyment of masculine-typical toys seems to be the effect of environmental factors, genetics seem to be more important in influencing girls' choices of feminine-typical toys.

Deadly parasites show common genetic core
Scientists have deciphered and closely compared the genomes of three parasites that threaten half a billion people, causing Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness and leishmaniasis.

Heterochromatin assembly in S. pombe
Dr. Craig Peterson and colleagues have identified an S. pombe ubiquitin ligase that is required for heterochromatin formation and gene silencing.

Industrial contaminants spread by seabirds in High Arctic, new Canadian study shows
Seabirds are the surprising culprits in delivering pollutants - through their guano - to seemingly pristine northern ecosystems, a new Canadian study shows.

NIST finds rough spot in surface measurement
In an upcoming issue of Applied Optics, NIST researchers report that roughness measurements made with white light interferometric microscopes differed by as much as 80 percent from those obtained with two other surface-profiling methods.

Learning how leukemia comes to life
Acute myeloid leukemia is frequently caused by genetic alterations that affect transcription factors, such as AML1-ETO and mutations affecting genes in signal transduction pathways, such as FLT3.

Timing of poverty in childhood critical to later outcomes
Poverty at any point in a child's early life negatively affects a child's educational and social competencies.

Environment more than genes determines child's social aggressiveness
Social aggression, inflicting emotional rather than physical pain on others, seems to be only 20 percent genetically influenced while genetics account for over half of physical aggression's appearance.

UF study finds cell mutations that lead to apoptosis may contribute to aging in mammals
A University of Florida study has found that mutations in the mitochondria caused by obesity and lack of exercise -- not oxidative stress from free radicals -- may be a key factor in the aging process.

New sub-millimetre light in the desert
The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project has just passed a major milestone by successfully commissioning its new technology 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile).

Recent developments on the genetics of alcohol use
Although researchers know that alcohol-use behavior and disorders are significantly genetic in nature, identification of the specific genes that contribute to an individual's susceptibility for alcohol dependence has been difficult.

Regulating cell shape in mycobacteria
Dr. Robert Husson and colleagues have found two serine threonine kinase genes (pknA and pknB) that regulate cell shape, and possibly cell division, in the bacterial pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

DNA meets heart drugs with resistance
In a study appearing online on July 14 in advance of print publication of the August 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dan Roden and colleagues from Vanderbilt University propose a novel mechanism of modulation of drug block of KCNA5, a heart ion channel that is becoming increasingly important as a potential drug target.

Involved parents influence how teens think about substance use and the people who use them
Although it is understood that involved parents have adolescents less likely to use substances such as alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, involved parenting actually affects a teenager's thought processes.

Cluster spacecraft reach greatest separation at fifth anniversary
The four spacecraft of ESA's Cluster fleet have reached their greatest distance from each other in the course of their mission to study Earth's magnetosphere in three dimensions.

Cigarette smoke reduces transport of hamster eggs
When eggs and the oviduct of female hamsters are exposed to cigarette smoke, the eggs are less likely to be picked up by the oviduct and delivered to the point where they can be fertilized.

New book on independent living through smart technologies available from Wiley
Offering an overview of today's assistive technology,

Genome sequences for three deadly parasites provide foundation for new drugs
An international consortium of scientists has unraveled the genomes of three deadly parasites, and these genome sequences will be published in the July 15, 2005, edition of the premier research journal Science. The sequences of these related parasites - which cause African sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis - provide a foundation for developing much-needed new drugs to combat these infectious diseases that affect millions of people around the world.

JILA study of RNA dynamics may help in drug design
Biophysicists have developed a method for studying, in real time, a nanoscale

Salk scientists overturn a dogma of nerve cell communication
Every neurobiology textbook invariably states that nerve cells communicate with each other through synapses, the specialized cell-cell contacts found at the end of the cells' threadlike extensions.

Small-bowel injury in children more common in abuse than accident cases
Small-bowel injuries are more common in abused children but can arise accidentally as a result of falls or road-traffic accidents, according to a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

After-school programs may foster academic achievement
Children who are highly engaged in after-school programs can improve their reading, academic motivation, and expectations for their own success when compared to children whose after-school care includes that of babysitters, relatives, and time alone.

AAAS concerned over House inquiry of climate scientists
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has expressed deep concern about a congressional demand for detailed documentation on the scientific work and professional history of three researchers whose studies suggest temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are warmer than they have been for a thousand years.

Despite conflicting studies on obesity, most Americans think the problem remains serious
The past year has seen scientific studies that have varied in their estimates of the seriousness of obesity and overweight and their impact on premature death.[1] A new opinion poll by the Harvard School of Public Health finds that most Americans have not changed their minds about the seriousness of the obesity problem and do not believe that scientific experts are overestimating the health risks of obesity.

Joslin-chaired study shows new compound may decrease vision loss in diabetes
A multicenter international study chaired by a Joslin Diabetes Center investigator and reported in the July issue of the American Diabetes Association's journal Diabetes brings hopeful news to the 18 million people in the United States -- and millions more worldwide -- with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Queensland to be hub of Australasian kidney network
The growing problem of kidney disease will be tackled head on with the formation of a new Queensland-based research network.

Identifying the 'signatures' of protons in water
Free protons from acids associate with 1, 2 or 3 molecules of water and the structures can be identified by unique infrared laser spectrum signatures, according to a report in Science by Yale professor of chemistry Mark A.

Trypanosome genomes may reveal new drug, vaccine targets
A team of international scientists has sequenced the genomes of three species of parasites responsible for causing diseases that kill or cripple millions, primarily in tropical and sub-tropical countries.

Better temperature control improves NIST X-ray detector
NIST researchers have developed an improved experimental X-ray detector that could pave the way to a new generation of wide-range, high-resolution trace chemical analysis instruments.

Preventing muscle atrophy
Dr. Stephen Burden and colleagues demonstrate that the DNA-binding protein, Runx1 (AML1), directs the expression of 29 genes involved in the prevention of skeletal muscle wasting.

Rice earns three invites to coveted engineering symposium
Three of Rice University's top young engineering faculty have been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) upcoming 11th annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium this September.

Brain size may depend upon how neural cells are cleaved
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered a novel way in which the brain size of developing mammals may be regulated.

Creating a new questionnaire to assess alcohol problems among college students
There are currently three major self-report measures used to assess alcohol problems among college students.

Ethical guidelines suggested for research that would put human stem cells in primates
Before conducting research that involves putting human stem cells into the brains of nonhuman primates such as monkeys or apes, scientists and oversight committees should consider a series of ethical criteria, according to a policy paper released in the July 15 issue of Science.

Parasite genome sequences offer hope for new drugs and vaccines, Science studies say
Scientists have sequenced and compared the genomes of three of the parasites responsible for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, three devastating diseases of the developing world.

Getting the measure of public services performance: UK takes a lead
Government is taking an increasing interest in measuring performance in the public services sector to get value for money and raise standards.

New book from Wiley examines the power of grid computing
Incorporating a strong business focus,

Alcohol abuse: Early diagnosis is key to treatment success
The successful treatment of most diseases relies heavily upon an early diagnosis.

Poor sleep not a normal part of aging
Researchers outline five basic steps to help doctors identify and treat insomnia in elderly patients.

The bad breath cure
More than 90 million Americans can sigh comfortably because of new relief for their bad breath.

Undersea data: Canada and Denmark agree on joint survey
Canada and Denmark have agreed to team up on an undersea data collection project that will help both countries fulfill international commitments.

Experts discuss use of human stem cells in ape and monkey brains
An expert panel of stem cell scientists, primatologists, philosophers and lawyers has concluded that experiments implanting, or grafting, human stem cells into non-human primate brains could unintentionally shift the moral ground between humans and other primates.

Elderly mice yield clues to the process of growing old
Delving deep into the molecular subtleties of a strain of mice engineered to age rapidly, scientists have found that an accumulation of genetic mutations prompts a cascade of programmed cell death that seems to underpin the aging process.

Acetaldehyde may be the culprit behind hangovers
Alcohol consumption is an integral part of the Japanese business culture.

Comet Tempel 1 went back to sleep
Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1, astronomers are back from more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory, having collected a large amount of invaluable data on this comet.

The synapse is a shotgun
HHMI researchers have constructed a new detailed map of the three-dimensional terrain of a synapse.

UCSB among team awarded $12.5 million to develop nanoscale systems for early diagnosis
A partnership of scientists from the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Washington University in St.

Breast-conserving surgery underused in Asian American and Pacific Island women
Asian American and Pacific Island women, particularly those born abroad, are less likely to receive breast-conserving surgery for early-stage breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women, according to a study published in the online Journal of General Internal Medicine.

UCSB chosen for two NIH Program of Excellence (PEN) in nanotechnology grants
The University of California, Santa Barbara has been chosen to participate in two interdisciplinary, multi-univerfsity research efforts as a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology (PEN).

To know what your teenager is doing, get to know your teen
How do parents find out what their teenagers are doing?

New sub-millimetre light in the desert
The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) project has just passed another major milestone by successfully commissioning its new technology 12-m telescope, located on the 5100m high Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert (Chile).

Experts report dental X-rays effectively identify stroke risk factors
General dentists from across the United States exchanged vital information today showing that dental X-rays, known as panoramic radiographs, used for oral health examinations, are effective in detecting some cases of clinically significant carotid artery stenosis, or blockages in the carotid artery, which can potentially lead to stroke.

Sandia researcher shares European physics prize for work; observations transformed Z-pinch field
For the remarkable achievements of the multi-filament Z-pinch development in the recent years,

Opposition to a politician creates stronger opinions
Opinions framed negatively are tougher to change, according to a study published in the August issue of Political Psychology.

Landmark comparative genomics study highlights the importance of 'junk' DNA in higher eukaryotes
A landmark comparative genomics study appears online today in the journal Genome Research. Led by Adam Siepel, a graduate student in Dr.

Why IL-2 works in HIV
Administration of IL-2 to HIV-infected people boosts CD4 cell number, but the mechanisms underlying this were not clear.

Kentucky Geological Survey involved in global climate change research
Kentucky geological studies are identifying large point sources of carbon emissions, assessing terrestrial and geologic opportunities for carbon storage, examining transportation issues, and evaluating public health and safety

NIAID funds Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI)
NIAID today announced funding to establish the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI).

Researchers at UGA provide first look at protein expression in Chagas disease-causing parasites
The first-ever global survey of protein expression in the four lifecycle stages of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, could help lead to vaccine discovery and new drug targets, according to Dr.

Handwashing with soap key to reducing burden of childhood disease
Handwashing with soap could halve the incidence of diarrhoea and lower respiratory infections in children in developing countries, concludes a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Common protein found to be novel pro-inflammatory factor
Biglycan, a component of the extracellular matrix, is a protein found in many tissues but its biological function was unknown.

AGI becomes founding partner of the International Year of Planet Earth
As the first US organization to become a founding partner of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) initiative, the American Geological Institute (AGI) is looking forward to enhancing the breadth of participation and perspective to the development of this important effort to enhance the global standing of the geosciences.

U of MN researchers reverse memory loss in mice
Researchers at the University of Minnesota were able to reverse memory loss in mice with significant brain degeneration for the first time, a breakthrough that offers hope to the estimated 4 million people living with Alzheimer's disease.

Study reveals better drug option for emergency treatment of seizures in children
Administering a drug called midazolam via the mouth cavity is more effective than rectal diazepam for the emergency treatment of seizures in children, concludes a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Distant prayer does not improve clinical outcome for patients undergoing coronary procedures
Praying for patients undergoing heart procedures off-site or giving them bedside therapy involving music, imagery, and touch (MIT) does not measurably improve their clinical outcome, suggests a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Recurrent miscarriage project update
GroPep Limited announced today that ethics committee approval has been received to conduct a clinical research study as part of the ongoing development of its Recurrent Miscarriage project.

Teaching adults effective parenting skills best tool to treat children with serious conduct problems
Training adults to have more effective parenting skills is the most potent tool available and should remain the standard of care in treating preadolescent children with serious behavior problems.

Car carrying vessels' fast turnaround takes its toll on the crew
Millions of vehicles produced each year are transported by purpose-built car carrying ships that can be turned around quickly.

Three deadly parasite genomes sequenced
An international group of researchers working in more than 20 laboratories around the globe have determined genetic blueprints for the parasites that cause three deadly insect-borne diseases: African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

New infrared tool measures silicon wafer thickness
A new instrument under development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) uses infrared laser light to precisely measure the thickness of 300 millimeter silicon wafers.

New book provides a roadmap to consistent, high-quality service for any organization
Offering a comprehensive guide to consistent, high-quality service for any organization,

Lab bits
A media tip sheet from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Predicting the lifetime of extreme ultraviolet optics
In an effort to develop metrology and calibration services for the

Augmented reality technology may improve communication in poultry plants
Technology that transfers computer-generated information onto the physical world is being tested for use in poultry plants to improve communication between computers and workers.

Alternating rise and fall of SCF - NIPA levels act as switch regulating cell division
Cells control mitosis (cell division) by assembling a biochemical switch to block it or by disassembling the switch to trigger it, according to investigators at St.

Essential genes for embryogenesis uncovered in major mouse mutagenesis project
A team of scientists led by Cornell University's Dr. John Schimenti reports today that an extraordinary number of genes are required for prenatal mammalian development.

Parental involvement, social understanding, protect teens from violence
Parental involvement and social understanding (thinking about social interactions in a non-hostile way) can create resilient teenagers who avoid violent behavior despite living in a dangerous neighborhood. 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