Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2005
Insulin sensitivity gets a kick out of SOCS-7
Insulin resistance is a fundamental factor in non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Proteins of the SOCS family have been implicated in the negative regulation of insulin signaling but the function for SOCS-7 was unclear.

The link between fasting and acute attacks of porphyria
A team of researchers has discovered a molecular missing link that helps explain why fasting brings on acute attacks of the disease hepatic porphyria, the possible culprit behind the

Duke researchers uncover genetic link to stroke after heart surgery
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered that patients who have two specific gene variants are more than three times as likely to suffer a stroke after heart surgery.

Scientists confirm super-rotation of Earth's inner core
Data from pairs of nearly identical earthquakes years apart prove Earth's inner core is rotating faster than the rest of the planet.

High blood lactate levels may indicate poor prognosis in liver failure
A new study on fulminant hepatic failure (FHF), a sudden and severe shutdown of the liver, examined ways of determining early on whether patients would benefit from a transplant as opposed to responding to other medical treatment.

Found! First gene associated with myeloproliferative diseases
Myelodysplastic / myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPD) are blood stem cell disorders.

New role for gene that counteracts formation of tumors
Scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) achieved a breakthrough in cancer research.

Of friction and 'The Da Vinci Code'
Half a millenium ago Leonardo Da Vinci made fundamental discoveries about the role of geometric profiles in the strength of friction between materials.

A double punch for female survival
Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have made a breakthrough in understanding how cells control the

Attacks of King George III's madness linked to key metabolism molecule
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers say they have uncovered a molecular explanation for the episodic attacks of irrational and demented behavior in porphyria, the disease believed to have afflicted

Caterpillar and Carnegie Mellon strengthen team support to win 2005 Grand Challenge
Caterpillar Inc., is strengthening its support of Carnegie Mellon University's Red Team to help them win the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Recent earth and space science PhDs finding employment
The American Geological Institute (AGI), in conjunction with the American Geophysical Union (AGU), released an analysis of employment patterns and demographics of 2003 PhD recipients in the earth and space sciences.

September Geology and GSA Today media highlights
The September issue of Geology includes: evidence linking northern California's Lovejoy basalt to Yellowstone hotspot lava outpouring; ecological history of coral reefs in Belize and implications for saving coral reefs worldwide; evidence dating the Chicxulub impact to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary; comprehensive climate simulation of the end-Permian and implications for mass extinction; and fossil packrat middens reveal a Younger Dryas cold period in the Grand Canyon.

Gene expands malaria's invasion options
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum uses different pathways to invade red blood cells, evading the body's immune system and complicating efforts to create effective vaccines against the disease.

Compound might defeat African sleeping sickness, clinical trial beginning this month
One of the most devastating diseases in sub-Saharan Africa almost disappeared in the late 1950s.

Neurotransmitter orexin associated with pleasure and reward pathways in the brain
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that the recently identified neurotransmitter orexin (also known as hypocretin) influences reward processing by activating neurons in the lateral hypothalamus region of the brain.

Rate of cellular energy production lower in persons at risk for type 2 diabetes
The rate of insulin-stimulated energy production is significantly reduced in the muscles of lean, healthy young adults who have already developed insulin resistance and are at increased risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Antibiotics may not be enough to stop recurrent gastric lymphoma caused by Helicobacter pylori
Research led by Dr. Anne Mueller at Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrates that successful eradication of Helicobacter may not prevent future aggressive gastric lymphoma since resting B cells are left behind.

Video analysis adds evidence for ivory-billed woodpecker
Skeptics have claimed that video evidence of an ivory-billed woodpecker is really a pileated woodpecker, but Cornell University researchers offered a frame-by-frame analysis of a video showing why they stand by their claim.

University of Oregon scientists reveal how coral reefs got the blues
Research by a member of the University of Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology reveals the crystal structures of amFP486, a cyan fluorescent protein from Anemonia majano.

Stem cells with heart bypass surgery trial to begin at University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been granted approval by the U.S.

NFCR - Prostate Cancer Foundation unite with Burnham Institute to expedite cancer drug discovery
The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) has aligned with The Prostate Cancer Foundation to grant $200,000 in seed funding to The Burnham Institute's NCI-designated Cancer Center to develop three-dimensional experimental culture systems that simulate a tumor's micro-environment.

Inaugural meeting of Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society highlights RNAi & antisense
The inaugural meeting of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society on September 15-18 (sponsored by OTS and the New York Academy of Sciences) will highlight the promise of Antisense, RNAi and other Oligonucleotide Therapeutics for drug development.

Estrogen's antioxidant power may play key role in cerebral blood vessel health
Estrogen's role as an inhibitor of toxic-free radicals in cerebral blood vessels may be a key reason why premenopausal women have a lower stroke risk than men.

Cellular power plants also fend off viruses
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered a surprise lurking inside mitochondria, the power plants that are present in every cell.

Locating crucial atoms in superconductors
With an advanced imaging technique, Cornell University researchers have shown how adding charge-carrying atoms like oxygen to a superconductor can increase the material's ability to conduct electricity overall and -- paradoxically -- to decrease it in localized spots.

New understanding of human sacrifice in early Peru
A study published in the August/October issue of Current Anthropology, reports on new archaeological evidence regarding the identities of human sacrifice victims of the Moche society of Peru.

Clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects
The evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies is weak, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet. The authors conclude that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are compatible with placebo effects.

African governments unanimously adopt Abuja declaration on sustainable fisheries, aquaculture
H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria, concluded a four-day NEPAD-Fish for All Summit by announcing adoption of the Abuja Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa.

Study identifies protein's role in cell division
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a molecular protein's critical role in cell division and growth.

The right hitchhiker can save an aphid's life
Having the right bacteria can be a lifesaver for an aphid.

Pinpointing the cause of a neurodegenerative disorder
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have discovered how the abnormal repetition of a genetic sequence can have disastrous consequences that lead to the death of neurons that govern balance and motor coordination.

Yerkes to develop first transgenic nonhuman primate model for inherited neurodegenerative diseases
In the first study of its kind, researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University will develop a transgenic nonhuman primate model for inherited, neurodegenerative diseases.

New protein vital for immune response is found in surprise location
A newly discovered protein not only is vital to the immune system's ability to fight off viral infections but also has been found in an unexpected location within the cell, causing researchers to rethink previous notions about the workings of the human immune system.

Health care providers should cut out painful procedure during birth
Rates of episiotomy being practiced during childbirth are high, despite recommendations by prominent obstetric, midwifery, and nursing bodies to restrict the use of this procedure.

Nature paper: Burning asteroids may play 'more important climate role than previously recognized'
In a study to be published this week in the journal Nature, scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, the University of Western Ontario, the Aerospace Corporation, and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories found evidence that dust from an asteroid burning up as it descended through Earth's atmosphere formed a cloud of micron-sized particles significant enough to influence local weather in Antarctica.

Sleeping sickness epidemic spreading in Uganda
Current methods to curb the epidemic of sleeping sickness in eastern Uganda are failing, concludes a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

New dye could offer early test for Alzheimer's
MIT scientists have developed a new dye that could offer noninvasive early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a discovery that could aid in monitoring the progression of the disease and in studying the efficacy of new treatments to stop it.

Studies find possible drug targets for improving vascular health
The enzyme nitric oxide synthase plays a role in peripheral vascular disease, a common disease that impairs the mobility of 25 percent of people over the age of 50.

Scientists find that protein controls aging by controlling insulin
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered that a protein prolonging life in mice works by controlling insulin.

Earth's core rotates faster than its crust, scientists say
Scientists have ended a 9-year-old debate by proving that Earth's core rotates faster than its surface, by about 0.3 to 0.5 degree per year.

Innovative mapping will increase investment in Canada's north
The Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, on behalf of the Honourable Andy Scott, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced today the start of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association's aeromagnetic survey of Nunavut's South Baffin region.

Thumbs up for child trust funds, but 18-year-olds urge controls on how money is spent
The Government's new Child Trust Fund, which helps children save a tax-free cash 'nest egg' for their 18th birthday, has broad support from political parties, state departments, think tanks and pressure groups alike, according to new research sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

New research suggests heart bypass surgery increases risk of Alzheimer's disease
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers have discovered that patients who have either coronary artery bypass graft surgery or coronary angioplasty are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Protein-rich diet boosts benefit of exercise
A new study at the University of Illinois that shows exercise is much more effective when it's coupled with a protein-rich diet.

Mental health of UK hospital consultants in decline
The prevalence of poor mental health and burnout among hospital consultants in the UK increased in the period 1994 to 2002, according to a research letter in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Physicists describe a new mechanism for metallic magnetism
Predicting the magnetic behavior of metallic compounds is a surprisingly difficult problem for theoretical physicists.

UA physicists find key to long-lived nanowires
University of Arizona physicists have discovered what it takes to make metal 'nanowires' that last a long time.

Artesunate should become the treatment of choice for severe malaria
Artesunate is better than quinine for the treatment of severe malaria in adults, concludes an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Solving the mystery of mutated proteins and the brain
In some neurological diseases, too much of what is usually a good thing can be bad, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report in this week's issue of the journal Cell. Dr.
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