Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 15, 2005
Media advisory 2: AGU Fall Meeting
Book hotel rooms now at preferential rates; Update on planning for the earthquake centennial field trip; Press Room information; New News Media registration procedure; News Media Registration Form, online or mail/fax; Who's coming (list of preregistered journalists and PIOs).

Study charts origins of fear
University of Toronto study has charted how and where a painful event becomes permanently etched in the brain.

Purdue scientists see biochemistry's future - with quantum physics
Using powerful supercomputers, a team of physicists has found that the quantum property of electrons called

'Quasicrystal' metal computer model could aid ultra-low-friction machine parts
Duke University materials scientists have developed a computer model of how a

Staying alert during class: Self-applied acupressure may reduce sleepiness
Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have found that students who were taught to self-administer acupressure treatments to stimulation points on their legs, feet, hands and heads were more alert and less fatigued during class.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This press release contains information for the following articles: Combined testing methods may rapidly detect hepatitis A in strawberry and green onion rinses; Antimicrobial peptides from amphibian skin may inhibit transmission of HIV; New method for simultaneously detecting staphylococcal and botulinum toxins in food.

Research focus on aspirin
No other medicine is as common, inexpensive, and yet powerful in so many ways as aspirin; yet despite a century of experience with the drug, researchers are still learning important new lessons, while raising new questions, according to several studies covered in seven special articles.

UCI neurobiologists find treatment to block memory-related drug cravings
A novel chemical compound that blocks memory-related drug cravings has the potential to be the basis of new therapies to aid drug-addiction recovery efforts, UC Irvine neurobiologists have found.

American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for September 2005 (second issue)
Newsworthy journal articles feature studies showing that: low doses of the antibiotic azithromycin halted and reversed lung function decline in most of 20 lung transplant patients who suffered from the deadly, previously untreatable condition Brochiolitis Obliterans Syndrome; and, during a study at 13 hospitals of 1,288 patients with community-acquired pneumonia, treatment failure and mortality rates were much higher when physicians failed to follow the latest consensus antibiotic treatment guidelines.

Water management in cells
Water management is the key to regulating cell volume says Dutch researcher Bas Tomassen.

Acid water in East Java threatens biodiversity and local welfare
She went to investigate the local ecology. Yet during her field work on East Java, Dutch biologist Ansje Löhr became increasingly involved with the local residents, whose harvests failed and whose health was deteriorating due to extremely acidified and polluted river water.

Breast cancer advance
A new family of genes could hold the key to winning the battle against breast cancer, according to new research at the University of East Anglia.

Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables block lung cancer progression
A family of compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress, blocked lung cancer progression in both animal studies and in tests with human lung cancer cells, report researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center and the Institute for Cancer Prevention.

An apple or a pear?
Eating an apple is infinitely better than looking like one, according to experts at the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Skull study sheds light on dinosaur diversity
With their long necks and tails, sauropod dinosaurs -- famous as the Sinclair gasoline logo and Fred Flintstone's gravel pit tractor -- are easy to recognize, in part because they all seem to look alike.

UCF researchers studying storm surge effects of hurricanes on Florida cities
Scott Hagen, an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate students plan to study the potential effects of storm surges on Florida's east coast, particularly Miami and Jacksonville.

Genetic testing helps physicians zero in on eye disease
Rapid genetic testing for eye disease is becoming a reality, thanks to a new technology.

Stressed cells spark DNA repair missteps and speed evolution
When Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, first published her finding that the mutation rate increased in bacteria stressed by starvation, sometimes resulting in a rare change that benefited the bacteria, it was controversial.

University of Kentucky professor receives Young Investigators Award
University of Kentucky chemistry professor is the 2006 recipient of the Michael and Kate Bárány Award for Young Investigators from the Biophysical Society.

Mental declines can be reversed - report shows
As we get beyond retirement age, most of us will not be as mentally sharp as we once were.

Hurricanes are getting stronger, study says
A joint study shows the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s.

Hidden sponges determine coral reef's nutrient cycle
Marine organisms hidden in caves, such as sponges, play an extremely important role in the nutrient cycle of coral reefs.

Rensselaer researchers awarded NSF grant to study nano springs, rods, beams
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are exploring the potential of nanomechanical systems by making and testing springs, rods, and beams on the nanoscale.

Researchers create DNA-based sensors for nano-tongues and nano-noses
University of Pennsylvania researchers have created nano-sized sensors from carbon tubes coated with strands of DNA that could be tuned to detect specific odors and tastes.

Popular kids more likely to smoke than less popular classmates
Warning: Popularity may be hazardous to pre-teens' health. According to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, popular students in 16 Southern California middle schools were more likely to become smokers than their less popular peers.

UCL study shows beans beat cancer
Scientists have discovered a new and potent anti-cancer compound in everyday food.

Scientists identify two key genes linked to aggressive breast cancers
Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children and Princess Margaret Hospital have shown that two genes called Notch1 and Jagged1 are linked to more aggressive breast cancers and that patients are less likely to survive the disease when these two genes are highly expressed.

How the Internet influenced Indonesian politics
How does the Internet influence public opinion about political movements?

Bullies who are bullied are not a special type of person
Prison bullying is not a one-way process, according to new research funded by the ESRC.

FDA expands Neulasta label
Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN), the world's largest biotechnology company, today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an update to the Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim) prescribing information to include data from a landmark Phase 3 study demonstrating the white blood cell booster helps protect patients with most types of cancer undergoing moderately myelosuppressive chemotherapy from infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia (low white blood cell count with fever), one of the most serious side effects of chemotherapy.

Marine researcher wins prestigious chemistry prize
The Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society of America has awarded the 'Treibs Medal 2005' to Prof.

Life's origins were easier than was thought
An international team of scientists, leaded by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researchers, has discovered that RNA early molecules were much more resistant than was thought until now.

Learning how SARS spikes its quarry
Researchers have determined the first detailed molecular images of a piece of the spike-shaped protein that the SARS virus uses to grab host cells and initiate the first stages of infection.

Professor receives prestigious award in nuclear chemistry
University of Kentucky chemistry professor has been selected as the 2006 recipient of the prestigous Glenn T.

Delaying having children risks heartbreak, say experts
Delaying having children defies nature and risks heartbreak, say experts in this week's BMJ.

Satellites spot mighty Mississippi - in the Atlantic
Scientists using satellite imagery found that at least 23 percent of the water released from the mouth of the Mississippi River from July through September 2004 traveled quite a distance - into the Gulf of Mexico, around the Florida Keys, and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Computers close in on protein structure prediction
Computers can predict the detailed structure of small proteins nearly as well as experimental methods, at least some of the time, according to new studies by HHMI researchers.

Hurricanes are getting stronger, study says
The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes has dropped since the 1990s, according to a study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Tobacco industry weakened pesticide regulations, UCSF study shows
The tobacco industry coordinated cross-industry campaigns to delay and weaken federal and international regulations on pesticide use, according to new findings by UCSF researchers.

Both mother's and father's genes can trigger pre-eclampsia
Genes from both the mother and father can trigger pre-eclampsia, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Researchers discover how compounds prevent viruses from entering cells
Compounds called defensins -- known to prevent viruses from entering cells -- appear to do so by preventing the virus from merging to cells' outer membrane, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

What causes psoriasis?
Scientists at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna have developed the first true animal model for psoriasis and have been able to address the initial steps and possible causes of the disease.

JCI table of contents October 1, 2005
This press release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the newsworthy papers to be published online September 15th in the JCI.

Black hole without a home
The detection of a super-massive black hole without a massive 'host' galaxy is the surprising result from a large Hubble and VLT study of quasars.

Ethnicity and culture shape but do not define entrepreneurship
Ethnicity is a contributing, but not over-riding, factor in an entrepreneur's approach to business.

The mechanics of foot travel
Despite having the bones and muscles to perform a variety of gaits, human beings have developed an overwhelming preference for just two: walking and running.

Solution to 'legionella'
As a result of the joint working between teams of experts from the Iberia Ashland Chemical, S.A. company and the INASMET-Tecnalia Technological Centre, a solution has been found to prevent the serious disease caused by the bacteria known as

AGU journal highlights - 15 September 2005
In this issue: Climate model predicts declining air quality in Texas, western US; Satellite takes the temperature of Earth's ring current; Earth pulsates as the Amazon ebbs and flows; Seismic noise may offer a glimpse inside other planets; Two distinct source regions found for the 2004 Sumatra tsunami; Slow slide for a subduction zone off New Zealand coast.

Prevent prostate cancer with antioxidants? Gene pathway may reveal more clues
Scientists from Maryland and New Jersey have identified a molecular pathway in mice that makes prostate cells vulnerable to cancer-causing oxygen damage.

Scans may help pin down tricky diagnosis
A type of scintigraphy scan may help clinicians properly diagnose and then treat two forms of cardiac amyloidosis, a rare type of heart failure caused by abnormal protein deposition in the heart, according to a new study.

High-vegetable diet linked to protection against pancreatic cancer
In one of the largest studies of its kind, UCSF researchers have found that eating lots of fruits and vegetables -- particularly vegetables -- is associated with about a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Food devours energy
Over the past thirty years, the European food industry has failed to make significant improvements in energy efficiency, says Dutch-sponsored researcher Andrea Ramírez.

National study shows black immigrants' health erodes the longer they live in US
Black immigrants from Africa arrive healthier than those from Europe, and their health erodes the longer they live in the US.

Computer modeling reveals hidden conversations within cells
UCSD biochemists have developed a computer program that helps explain a long-standing mystery: how the same proteins can play different roles in a wide range of cellular processes, including those leading to immune responses and cancer.

Link suggested between regions on two chromosomes and bipolar disorder
An international team of 53 researchers led by HSPH scientists has offered the most convincing evidence so far linking bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, to two chromosomal regions in the human genome.

Perth researchers receive national suicide prevention awards
Suicide prevention researcher Kate Miller has been recognised for her innovative work in developing safe, effective online resources for young people.

CD32a and CD32b: A balancing act to generate immunity or tolerance
Polymorphisms in CD32 influence the response to antibody therapy in cancer.

Mutation rate in a gene on the X chromosome holds promise for testing cancer risk
A new study to detect an elevated rate of mutations in a gene on the X chromosome holds promise for developing a test that could identify individuals at risk for developing cancer.

Gaps in intestinal barrier could cause Crohn's disease
Scientists at the University of Liverpool believe gaps in the intestinal barrier could be a cause of inflammatory diseases of the gut such as Crohn's disease.

Timing of women's labor may determine effectiveness of pain medication
Natural daily body rhythms may influence the effectiveness of spinal-epidural pain medication for women in labor, according to new research from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. 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