Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 24, 2005
Blackwell publishing to launch new cardiology journal
Blackwell Publishing announced plans to launch a new journal, Congenital Heart Disease: Clinical Studies from Fetus to Adulthood starting in January 2006.

Study reconciles long-standing contradiction of deep-earth dynamics
Researchers have ended a long-standing contradiction about whether there is a

More animals join the learning circle
A new study of killer whales adds to evidence that cultural learning is widespread among animals.

Seasonal weather forecasts plus workshops boost efforts of subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe
It's not enough just to let subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe know it will be a dry or wet growing season, says a team of researchers led BU geographer Anthony Patt.

Microscopic brain imaging in the palm of your hand
Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated a promising, minimally invasive optical technique that can capture micron-scale images from deep in the brains of live subjects.

Drug trials & the media
Media reports of drug trials can lack accuracy and reliability, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC International Health and Human Rights.

Snapin: A protein with therapy potential for autism
Prof Bonnie Firestein and her colleagues at Rutgers examine the role of the protein snapin in dendrite patterning and its potential as a drug target in therapies aimed at learning and memory disorders.

University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate
When a mosquito sucks blood from a human it will take in twice its body weight in blood.

UQ leads the nation in innovative e-research
The University of Queensland has topped the nation in Australian Research Council (ARC) E-Research Support grants.

Pfizer expands SUTENT® (sunitinib malate) access program to patients with kidney cancer
Today Pfizer announced that it is expanding its existing SUTENT® (sunitinib malate) Treatment Use program to include cytokine-refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma, or kidney cancer patients, who have not previously participated in a SUTENT clinical study.

'Geology' September 05 cover story: Coral reef decline - not just overfishing
Scientists widely agree that coral reefs are in declining. As featured in Geology in its September 2005 issue, a team led by Richard Aronson of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab took cores of reefs in Belize that reconstructed their history over the past several thousand years and found that they were healthy and vibrant until the 1980's when they were killed by disease and high sea temperatures.

Comparison of cocaine and methamphetamine 'highs' finds differences in onset, pattern and duration
Investigators at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA examining responses to cocaine and methamphetamine use find distinct differences in onset, pattern and duration.

TV ads market junk food to kids, new study finds
For young Americans, the

Fire fighters, managers use new software to estimate fire hazard; air pollution levels
Managers now have a new tool to assign and calculate fuel loadings and other fuelbed characteristics anywhere in the continental United States, making the job of estimating fire hazard and fire effects faster and more accurate.

New ivory-billed woodpecker recordings to be released
After analyzing more than 18,000 hours of recordings from the swampy forests of eastern Arkansas, researchers at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology have released recordings offering further evidence for the existence of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Developing the case for digital legal security
Bringing technology to the judiciary, European researchers are developing pilot applications that could speed up, clarify and provide secure access to legal procedures and a start-up company to promote the results.

Cleaning up coal's act
Pennsylvania's total mercury emissions are the second highest in the United States, behind Texas.

Spina bifida & psychology - spina bifida causes psychological distress in parents
Parents of children with spina bifida suffer from more psychological distress than parents of able-bodied children.

Brain activity in youth may presage Alzheimer's pathology
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers who used five different medical imaging techniques to study the brain activity of 764 people, including those with Alzheimer's disease, those on the brink of dementia, and healthy individuals, have found that the areas of the brain that young, healthy people use when daydreaming are the same areas that fail in people who have Alzheimer's disease.

Trauma of war hits troops years later
New Scientist has pieced together evidence showing that war veterans will be paying the price for decades to come.

U-Iowa researchers will use grant to study fetal alcohol syndrome
Researchers in the UI Carver College of Medicine who seek to reduce fetal alcohol syndrome cases have received a major grant to study how a certain pathway in the brain protects against toxic effects of alcohol.

Minister Dosanjh announces over $2.8 million for childhood obesity health research projects
The Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh, Minister of Health and Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in partnership with Sally Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, announced today an investment of more than $2.8 million to fund 13 health research projects on childhood obesity.

Study continues the debate on the nature of bisexual men
The controversy: some men who identify as bisexual do not have bisexual arousal patterns.

NYU dental researchers find link between C-section delivery and higher risk of cavities in newborns
New NYU College of Dentistry research suggests babies delivered by Caesarean-section are at potentially higher risk of developing caries.

Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have created a detailed computer simulation showing Earth's climate at the time of the greatest mass extinction in history.

'Switchable' solvents make chemical manufacturing more environmentally-friendly
Researchers from Queen's University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a new environmentally-friendly way to make chemicals for pharmaceutical and other industries, such as plastics, pesticides, dyes and fragrances.

Deep magmatic plumbing of mid-ocean ridges revealed
Seismic reflection images taken of the Earth's crust and Moho transition zone reveal that the mid-crust is formed from multiple magma sources, rather than a single source as the upper crust is.

Immigrant children misdiagnosed as language-impaired
Immigrant children still mastering the English language risk being shuffled into special education services they don't need, because of errors in assessment for speech problems, according to a new University of Alberta study.

VCU study shows hormone-like molecule kills cells that cause inflammation in allergic disease
Virginia Commonwealth University immunologists studying mast cells, known to play a central role in asthma and allergic disease, have identified a hormone-like molecule that can kill these cells by programming them to die in studies with mice.

Mayo Clinic study finds acupuncture relieves symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia patients treated with six sessions of acupuncture experienced significant symptomatic improvement compared to a group given simulated acupuncture sessions according to a new Mayo Clinic study.

Study finds rapid heroin detox procedure under anesthesia does not work, can result in death
An increasingly common method of heroin detoxification under general anesthesia is ineffective and unsafe, according to a study by psychiatrists at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

Georgia Tech chemical discovery could revolutionize polymer fuel cells
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have pinpointed a chemical that could allow polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells to operate at a much higher temperature without moisture, potentially meaning that polymer fuel cells could be made much more cheaply than ever before and finally run at temperatures high enough to make them practical for use in cars and small electronics.

New look at DNA hints at origin of ultraviolet damage
Chemists at Ohio State University have gained new insight into how sunlight affects DNA.

IT sourcing: 'Workforce trends and skills development'
Current trends indicate declining university IT enrollments in the US and informal reports show that US client-organizations are devaluing basic IT skills and capabilities because of the ease of purchasing them through sourcing.

New research shows no link between stress and chances of IVF success
New research from Sweden in Human Reproduction has shown that psychological stress does not appear to influence the outcome of IVF - good news for women who fear that the understandable anxiety that they suffer during fertility treatment might damage their chances of conceiving.

Virginia Tech research, graduate program focus on interfaces
A Virginia Tech team of scientists and engineers is exploring interfaces among minerals, water, air, and microorganisms, and the complex interfaces among people who make up interdisciplinary teams.

New type of rejection blocker protects kidneys after transplant
In an international clinical trial, a new drug that selectively blocks immune responses has proved as effective in preventing acute kidney transplant rejection as cyclosporine, the standard anti-rejection treatment.

Sandia researchers to study techniques for arsenic removal from drinking water
Over the next several months a team of researchers from the National Nuclear Security Administration's Sandia National Laboratories will be studying different methods of arsenic removal at the Desert Sands Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (MDWCA) in Anthony in southern New Mexico.

Experimental immunusuppressant drug preserves transplanted kidneys, avoids toxic side effects
An international team of transplant physicians has shown that the investigational drug belatacept (LEA29Y) preserves transplanted kidney function as effectively as cyclosporine, the drug most commonly used to prevent the immune system from rejecting transplanted organs.

Dec. 12 meeting on lateral gene transfer
As part of its Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium series, the National Academy of Sciences will bring together leading researchers in comparative genomics to discuss lateral gene transfer, its implications for our understanding of evolution, and its significance to humans.

Brain plays key role in regulating bone density
The brain plays an important role in the maintenance of proper bone density, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have revealed.

Spiders help scientists discover how muscles relax
Using muscle tissue from tarantulas, a HHMI international research scholar and colleagues have figured out the detailed structure and arrangement of the miniature molecular motors that control movement. 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