Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 01, 2005
Lethal needle blight epidemic may be related to climate change
Biologists present strong evidence in the September issue of BioScience that a lethal outbreak of needle blight that is killing lodgepole pines in British Columbia is caused by climate change.

Losing sleep over heartburn? Treating nighttime heartburn improves sleep and boosts quality of life
The first major multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial addressing therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) related sleep disorders is published in the September issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Pomegranate fruit shown to slow cartilage deterioration in osteoarthritis
Pomegranate fruit extracts can block enzymes that contribute to osteoarthritis according to a Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

GABA halts stem cell production in the brain
Release of the neurotransmitter GABA by adult neuronal precursor cells that develop into neurons limits stem cell proliferation.

Most chronic hepatitis C sufferers will develop cirrhosis in later life
Nearly 80 percent of chronic hepatitis C sufferers who have the disease for several decades will develop cirrhosis or end-stage liver disease later in life, according to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Survey discovers potential threat to Maine's fishing
Robin Hadlock Seeley, a Cornell University marine biologist, spearheaded an invasive species survey of Cobscook Bay, Maine, that has discovered a sea squirt there that could potentially threaten the important fishing area.

Two proteins for the diagnosis of lung diseases
Immunohistochemical analysis combined with fibronectin and tenascin enables the diagnosis of fibroproliferative lung diseases to be carried out with greater reliability.

Highlights from the September Journal of the American Dietetic Asociation
The September 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Breath of the dragon: ERS-2 and Envisat reveal impact of economic growth on China's air quality
China's spectacular economic growth during the last decade has brought many benefits - and some challenges.

System drastically cuts down botulism detection time
One of the most lethal substances in the world -- botulism -- can be detected using special systems in about 20-25 minutes.

Immune cells known as macrophages linked to growth of lymph vessels in eyes, scientists discover
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have discovered that a particular immune cell contributes to the growth of new lymph vessels, which aid in healing.

Growing lymph vessels with macrophages? Surprisingly, yes!
When the cornea is inflamed, blood and lymphatic vessels grow into this normally avascular area.

Mysterious molecules begin to yield their secrets
A team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) have discovered a way to screen hundreds and potentially thousands of

Bioinsecticide for combating a pest that affects the tomato and the green bean
The tomato fruitworm is the name given to an insect pest which, due to its polyphagous character, causes very serious damage to a number of plants, such as the tomato and the green bean.

New book explores economic sociology of capitalism
Cornell University sociologists Victor Nee and Richard Swedberg have co-edited a new book,

Dangerous tricksters: Some bacterie use immune cells to reproduce
Macrophages are effective weapons used by our immune system to absorb and digest pathogenic intruders.

Study holds promise for new way to fight HIV
Researchers have confirmed for the first time the benefit of an innate defense system present in the few patients who remain healthy after years of infection with HIV despite receiving no treatment, according to an article published in the September edition of the Journal of Virology.

Findings on plummeting salmon populations at 8th World Wilderness Congress
Close to 25 percent of all Pacific salmon species studied are at risk of extinction, according to the Atlas of the Pacific Salmon, released by State of the Salmon, a joint project between The Wild Salmon Center and Ecotrust.

Giant optical telescope in Africa comes online
Five years after breaking ground on a South African mountaintop near the edge of the Kalahari desert, astronomers today (Sept.

Coronary heart disease is under-diagnosed and under-treated in women
Coronary heart disease is under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-researched in women, says a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Super sulfur soaker material may help control diesel emissions
The mineral cryptomelane holds promise to absorb the toxic sulfur oxides that can degrade the emission control systems on diesel vehicles.

Ways to detect, thwart terrorist acts scrutinized during ACS national meeting
Detecting and identifying weapons of mass destruction is key to thwarting acts of terrorism.

Rutgers-Newark researchers link individual preferences to neuronal activity in brain
Rutgers-Newark neuroscience researchers suggest that an intricate system exists within the brain for establishing individual preference, which ultimately impacts choices.

Breast cancer risk increased for African-Americans with mitochondrial DNA variant
African-American women who carry the 10398A mitochondrial DNA allele are 60 percent more likely to develop invasive breast cancer than African-American females without that genetic marker, according to research published in the September 1 issue of

Researchers find new mechanism governing particle growth in nanocomposites
A research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Drexel University has discovered a surprising new mechanism by which polymer materials used in nanocomposites control the growth of particles.

Institutions without walls still institutions, says mental health researcher
Mental health researcher Dr Lorna Moxham continues to find that people with mental illness may be de-institutionalised but often remain under institution-like conditions.

Illinois research zeroing in on optimum soil nitrogen rates
A new study to evaluate the Illinois Soil N Test (ISNT) calls into question traditional soil fertility recommendations and promises a radical new soil-based approach that will benefit crop yields, the environment, and the bottom line for farmers.

People with IBD more likely to suffer from debilitating respiratory and nerve disorders
According to two studies published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology, people with inflammatory bowel disease are more prone to developing severe disorders of the respiratory and nervous systems.

Dye imaging ID's oral lesions likely to become cancer
A team of Canadian scientists may have discovered a way to use a simple dye as a litmus test to identify abnormal areas of the mouth that may become cancers.

Institute of Medicine news: Quarantine stations at ports of entry
The system for intercepting microbial threats at the nation's airports, seaports, and borders needs strategic leadership and a comprehensive plan to meet the challenges posed by emerging diseases and bioterrorist threats, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Cochlear implants' performance not affected by amount of hearing loss in the implanted ear
Hearing-impaired individuals with severe to profound hearing loss and poor speech understanding who possess some residual hearing in one ear may experience significant communication benefit from a cochlear implant even if it is placed in the worse-hearing ear, a Johns Hopkins study suggests.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September 2005 (first issue)
The following newsworthy research studies are featured this issue: children with asthma whose fathers have a history of the disease are at significantly greater risk for serious airway constriction then children whose fathers have no such history; and early atherosclerois demonstrated in severe obstructive sleep apnea.

New method rapidly detects potential bioterror agent
A new combination of analytical chemistry and mathematical data analysis techniques allows the rapid identification of the species, strain and infectious phase of the potential biological terrorism agent Coxiella burnetii.

Delaware scientists make significant advance in study of small RNAs
University of Delaware researchers have made a significant advance in the study of small ribonucleic acids (RNAs), discovering 10 times more small RNAs in the plant Arabidopsis than previously had been identified.

Competing proteins influence strength of tooth enamel
A gene critical to tooth enamel formation expresses a protein that is then cleaved into a pair of proteins with opposing functions.

Drug can reduce hot flashes for women with breast cancer
A drug called gabapentin could reduce the incidence of hot flashes in women with breast cancer by 46%, according to a randomised trial published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Southern African Large Telescope makes its debut
Rutgers University joined 10 partners worldwide to release the first full-color astronomical images made by the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in South Africa.

Mayo Clinic research shows promise for myeloma patients
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center investigators report that combination therapy with lenalidomide (RevlimidTM) and dexamethasone (combination is called Rev/Dex) looks like a breakthrough treatment for multiple myeloma.

Rapid and effective diagnosis of infectious diseases
The Ikerlan Centre for Technological Research, linked to the Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC), has been chosen to lead the European Optolab Card project the aim of which is to design and develop a device for the speedy and effective diagnosis in the treatment and consequent reduction of infectious diseases.

Coil treatment better than brain surgery for burst aneurysms
Treating burst aneurysms by blocking them with platinum coils could offer patients better long-term survival than invasive brain surgery, concludes a randomised trial published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

MIT researchers find clue to start of universe
Scientists at MIT's Haystack Observatory have made the first radio detection of deuterium, an atom that is key to understanding the beginning of the universe.

A new player in the battle against hepatitis prevents inflammation and the death of liver cells
Scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) have again achieved a breakthrough in research on hepatitis.

Fermilab and Caltech successfully use UltraScience Net
Preparing for an onslaught of data to be processed and distributed in the upcoming years, scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and at the California Institute of Technology successfully tested a new ultrafast data transfer connection developed by the Office of Science of the Department of Energy.

Simulation of mechanical systems
Assistant lecturer at the Public University of Navarra, José Javier Gil Soto, is the author of the thesis

Deep-sea exploration beneath Katrina's wake
Despite having to evade hurricane Katrina, a team of scientists from Harbor Branch and other institutions is returning to port this Sunday with new tales from the deep after completing their second annual Deep Scope expedition.

New bacterial gene provides meningitis mechanism
Bacterial meningitis is a major cause of childhood death. In the JCI, researchers uncover the mechanisms responsible for penetration of the blood-brain barrier by GBS, the bacteria that causes meningitis in newborns.

Canadian-led study shows amnioinfusion does not reduce risk of meconium aspiration syndrome
An international randomized trial, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), has revealed that amnioinfusion, the infusion of saline into the uterus, does not reduce the risk of meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), as previously believed.

New international fellowships, scholarships for biomedical engineering students
The Whitaker Foundation, which has invested more than $720 million in biomedical engineering education and research, and the Institute of International Education, a world leader in international exchange programs, are launching an international fellows and scholars program for American biomedical engineers early in their careers.

Patients treated with respect more likely to follow medical advice
Attention doctors: Want patients to follow your advice? Treat them with dignity, a Johns Hopkins study has found.

Undiagnosed high blood pressure commonly found in ER patients
Unrecognized and poorly controlled hypertension is common among emergency room patients, especially African Americans who are at higher risk of death and disability from cardiovascular diseases.

ARVO's Cogan Award to macular degeneration scientist
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) announced today that Joshua L.

The role of titanium in hydrogen storage
As part of ongoing research to make hydrogen a mainstream source of clean, renewable energy, scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have determined how titanium atoms help hydrogen atoms attach to an aluminum surface.

Researchers identify molecular anchor that allows bacterial invasion of central nervous system
A single molecular anchor that allows bacteria to invade the nervous system may hold the key to treating many types of bacterial meningitis, a University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine study has found.

Mouse genome much more complex than expected
More than 100 scientists from Australia, Asia, Europe and the US have been probing the genome of the mouse in a joint study lasting several years.

First-light for Africa's giant eye: First color images from SALT
Five years after groundbreaking, the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) project has released its first color images, marking the achievement of 'first light' and the successful debut of SALTICAM, a $600 000 digital camera built for SALT at the South African Astronomical Observatory.

Reducing antibiotic use lowers rates of drug-resistant bacteria
Fewer antibiotic prescriptions leads to fewer

Stevens' online learning expert to speak in Beijing
Robert Ubell, Dean of Stevens Institute of Technology's School of Professional Education, will speak at a global conference on China's Public-Private Partnership in education in Beijing, Nov.

DOE JGI releases latest version of IMG
The new version, IMG 1.2, contains 270 additional public genomes and nine (four finished, five draft) new JGI genomes, bringing the total of genomes in IMG to 618 (318 bacterial, 25 archaeal, 15 eukaryotic, 260 bacterial phage), 40 of which are finished and 80 of which are draft genomes sequenced by DOE JGI.

Breast cancer gene increases risk of several cancers in men
A genetic mutation implicated in an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers also significantly increases the risk of pancreatic and prostate cancers in men, finds research in the Journal of Medical Genetics. The mutation in the BRAC2 gene may also increase the risk of bone and throat cancers, the data suggest.

Pricey new versions of old drugs fuelling huge rise in drug spending
Newly patented versions of old drugs are driving the rapid growth in expenditure on prescription drugs in most developed countries, without offering substantial improvements over existing products, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

UCSF study points to link to neurodegenerative disease target
A UCSF study has found that a specific signaling link between neurons and muscles in the fruit fly is essential for keeping the insect's nervous system stable.

Vitamin D, NSAIDS provide double whammy against prostate cancer, Stanford study finds
The growth of prostate cancer cells can be halted by combining a form of vitamin D, available only by prescription, with low doses of an over-the-counter painkiller, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

UCF, Georgia researchers project hurricane effects on oil, gas production
About 86 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and 59 percent of the natural gas output are being disrupted by Hurricane Katrina, according to a new prediction model developed by a University of Central Florida researcher and his Georgia colleague.

Prostate cancer uses Wnt signaling proteins to promote growth of bone tumors
Prostate cancer cells often metastasize, or spread, to bone where they form tumors that are extremely painful.

Researchers find drug that blocks spread of lung cancer in mice
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a compound that shows promise as a way to block the spread, or metastasis, of lung cancer.

Chemicals entering coastal waters: Freshwater and saltwater interactions in coastal groundwater
Scientists have recently recognized an imbalance in the flow of salty groundwater into the coastal ocean: considerable saltwater discharge into the ocean has been observed, but little or no return flow has been seen.

Researchers find chemotherapy, radiation better for patients with locally advanced lung cancer
While researchers have learned that combining chemotherapy with radiation is better than radiation alone for treating non-small cell lung cancer with locally advanced disease - confined to the lungs - finding the right combination of drugs - and the best timing of treatment - has been tricky.

New theory suggests that BSE may have originated from a human form of the disease
Animal feed contaminated with human remains may have caused the first cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, suggests a hypothesis published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Virginia Tech researchers creating moldable materials for fuel cell bipolar plates
About 29 percent of the cost of a fuel cell stack is the bipolar plate, and machining channels into the plates is a significant factor.

Avoid animals when visiting developing countries, warn experts
In this week's BMJ, experts warn travellers to get vaccinated and avoid animals when visiting areas such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where rabies is common.

Highlights of chemical society meeting in Washington, D.C., Aug. 28-Sept. 1
This press release features highlights of the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., Aug.

Mammalian transcriptome mapped, and it makes antisense
The FANTOM Consortium for Genome Exploration Research Group, a large international collection of scientists that includes researchers at The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus, is reporting the results of a massive multi-year project to map the mammalian

Activated vitamin D and NSAIDs form one-two punch against prostate cancer cells
Low doses of the active form of vitamin D and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, taken in combination, have been shown to act as a powerful one-two punch that knocks down the growth of prostate cancer cells.

'Nanospheres' that block pain of sensitive teeth
Nanospheres could help dentists fill the tiny holes in our teeth that make them incredibly sensitive, and that cause severe pain for millions of adults and children worldwide. 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