Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 17, 2005
UVic unveils world's most advanced seafloor observatory
VENUS (the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea) will be the world's most advanced, cabled seafloor observatory and pioneers a new approach to studying the oceans.

Astrophysicists quash alternative theory of star formation
Through a series of theoretical calculations and supercomputer simulations, astrophysicists have determined that new stars form by gravitational collapse rather than the widely held belief that they come from the buildup of unbound gas.

Preparing our medical frontline for the future
The medical workforce of the future will not be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow's disease burden unless drastic changes are made to introduce flexible work patterns and multidisciplinary teamwork, according to a health policy expert.

Innovative RF-magnetron sputtering process creates homogenous BaTiO3 films for high-tech electronics
The electronic and optical characteristics of barium titanate (BT) ferroelectric ceramics are of great interest for industrial uses and when grown as thin films they can easily be integrated into modern circuitry.

Governments need to act transparently to stem public anxiety about a human influenza pandemic
If governments are to avert widespread panic about a human influenza pandemic they must admit to uncertainty, act transparently, and issue guidance on disease protection as quickly as possible, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Asthma patients report better asthma control when seeing an allergist
Compared to patients receiving care from primary care physicians, asthma patients who are under the care of an allergist report fewer asthma control problems and less severe asthma symptoms, according to new research in the December 2005 Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (JACI).

Kidney-damaging protein offers clue to new treatment
New discovery could led to identification and preventive treatment for those at higher risk of acute kidney failure.

Early Earth likely had continents, was habitable, according to new study
A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the Western Australia, thought to be among the oldest planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans.

Gene controls whether fear is a factor
In the Nov. 18 issue of Cell, researchers report the discovery of a gene that controls the ability to react with appropriate fear to impending danger.

Some foods and beverages could hold clues for future diabetes treatment
Some recent studies reveal food compounds found in tea, cinnamon, buckwheat and cherries that may hold clues for the treatment of diabetes.

Scientists observe how a close bond activates the immune system
In a new study scientists at New York University School of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley, report that they have observed the exchange of information between immune cells that is required to spark a body wide response to infection.

Genetic defenders protect crops from fungal disease
A handful of genetic defenders cooperate to protect Arabidopsis cells against powdery mildew disease, according to a new study from the Carnegie Institution and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding.

Information & communications technologies key to sustainable development in Africa: UNU
Innovative use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) will help Africa to quickly achieve decades of progress in the transition to sustainable development and bridge a widening gap between its prosperity and that of other regions, United Nations University experts say.

New study finds malaria could play key role in mother-to-child transmission of HIV in pregnancy
Malaria infections boost production of a substance that might significantly increase HIV replication in the placenta.

Nanoparticles, nanoshells, nanotubes: How tiny specks may provide powerful tools against cancer
They're but a tiny speck, existing in a variety of forms: particles, tubes, shells, even a soccerball-like shape.

Mailman School of Public Health receives grant for homelessness prevention studies
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have been awarded a $5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to establish the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies.

New gene silencing therapy for cervical cancer
Researchers at The University of Queensland's (UQ) Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research (CICR), based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, have pioneered a new approach for the treatment of cervical cancer.

Senate hearing focuses on repairing levees in New Orleans
It is clear that there were multiple causes for the levee failures in New Orleans, but researchers need to gather more data to better understand what they were and how to rebuild properly after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, according to testimony today before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Actemra monotherapy significantly slows down damage to joints in patients with early aggressive RA
Roche today announced the results of the first Phase III study in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) conducted by Chugai in Japan which are being presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, USA.

Pregnant women with abnormal placentas may have an increased risk of early cardiovascular disease
Women who have a maternal placental syndrome during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease than those who do not, according to an article published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Scientists evaluate impact of preemptive malaria treatment for infants
Administering malaria medicines preemptively to infants in malaria endemic regions has emerged as a potentially effective way to protect young children from the ravages of the disease.

From young workers to older workers: Reflections on work in the life process
As older workers approach 65 and the official retirement age, many say that they want the Government and employers to be more flexible over retirement age so that they can continue working if they desire.

Liftoff for Ariane 5 ECA
Late last evening local time an Ariane 5 ECA launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.

Jefferson and Delaware researchers combine tiny nanotubes and antibodies to detect cancer
By coating the surfaces of tiny carbon nanotubes with monoclonal antibodies, biochemists and engineers at Jefferson Medical College and the University of Delaware have teamed up to detect cancer cells in a tiny drop of water.

Early start on college possible in 50 states, but results unclear
College is becoming a requirement for more and more jobs.

Additives may save energy for cooling big buildings
A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researcher has come up with a method designed to improve the energy efficiency of water chillers that cool the nation's large commercial buildings.

Young cancer researchers honored
The Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research goes to three investigators who have made important contributions to the understanding of disease.

Morals often sacrificed for the good of the country
Even the most steadfast government officials may have to turn on their own beliefs to benefit country.

Plants have a double line of defence
Plants are exposed to many different pathogens in the environment.

Indians suffer poor health services while private sector expands for foreigners
Public health services in India are suffering while the private sector is rapidly expanding to cater for foreigners and richer citizens, says an editorial in this week's BMJ.

NJIT engineers use new technology to help children with cerebral palsy
Biomedical engineers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will use new technology to help children with cerebral palsy improve their movements, reduce stiffness in their joints and live fuller and more independent lives.

Largest-ever international study finds immigrant youth benefit from ties to ethnic culture
Immigrant youth are better able to handle discrimination and get along better in school when they remain attached to their own ethnic culture, a Queen's-led international study shows.

New technique multiplies life span in simple organisms
A study in the Nov. 18 edition of Cell disputes the notion that the SIR2 gene has anti-aging properties.

Envisat radar surveillance protects endangered prehistoric fish
A satellite surveillance zone within the southern Indian Ocean is helping to protect the endangered Patagonian toothfish from pirate fishing vessels.

Photorefractive polymer advancements show promise for holography, optics and data storage
Photoconducting polymers doped with nonlinear optical chromophores have emerged as efficient and inexpensive photorefractive (PR) materials.

Do increased levels of testosterone play a role in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?
Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of unexpected death in infants ages one week to one year old.

The Origin, Evolution, and Future of Life on Earth
How did life begin? What were its earliest forms? Where did it originate?

Building a better hydrogen trap
Using building blocks that make up ordinary plastics, but putting them together in a whole new way, University of Michigan researchers have created a class of lightweight, rigid polymers they predict will be useful for storing hydrogen fuel.

Scientists move forward understanding of schizophrenia
A Scots-led medical research team has identified a new gene linked to major mental illness that links back to a previously discovered gene known to increase the risk of schizophrenia and depression.

Pain that brings us to our knees -- a great debate on a bone of contention
Pain caused by the kneecap, medically known as the patella, is a challenge to treat with the best treatment approach still to be identified.

UK e-Science project wins top supercomputing award
A UK e-Science project has won a top award at SC05, the world's premier supercomputing conference in Seattle this week.

Atlantic Energy Roundtable sets the stage for offshore energy investment
The Atlantic Energy Roundtable met in Ottawa to renew its commitment to building a strong, sustainable and environmentally sound future for the offshore oil and gas industry in Atlantic Canada.

World-first test of sun-damaged skin launched
A world-first test that assesses the damage people have done to their skin through sun exposure - damage which could eventually lead to skin cancer - is being launched to the public at clinics throughout the UK.

Stem cell microenvironment reverses malignant melanoma
Northwestern University researchers have demonstrated how the microenvironments of two human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines (federally approved) induced metastatic melanoma cells to revert to a normal, skin cell-like type with the ability to form colonies similar to hESCs.

Researchers find pathways linking caloric restriction to aging process
Researchers at the University of Washington have found a genetic pathway linking nutrient response and the aging process, they report in the Nov.

NIST seeking cure for electronics-killing whiskers
Environmental groups around the world have been campaigning for years to replace lead-containing solders and protective layers on electronic components with non-hazardous metals and alloys.

9/11 panel makes recommendations for DNA-based identification after mass disasters
Only days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) convened a panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other institutions, asking them to serve as an advisory panel to develop a process to identify victims using DNA collected at the site of the tragedy.

HIV drug resistance increasing in UK and among highest in the world
Those infected with HIV in the UK have one of the highest rates of resistance to anti-HIV drugs of anywhere in the world, prompting fears of a second wave epidemic of resistant virus, a new study claims in this week's BMJ.

Copper ridges nearly double X-ray sensor performance
A series of copper ridges nearly doubles the resolution of experimental X-ray sensors, enabling more precise identification of the X-ray

Over one third of cancer deaths worldwide are caused by nine modifiable risk factors
Of the 7 million deaths from cancer worldwide in 2001, 2.43 million were caused by nine potentially modifiable risk factors, concludes an article published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

New collaboration on rice DNA variation study
Perlegen Sciences, Inc., and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) announced today that they will collaborate to identify DNA variation in fifteen rice strains.

Scientists create new way to study T cell signaling
Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created unique synthetic membranes that, for the first time ever, enabled them to directly control signaling activity in living T cells from the immune system.

International multi-center study confirms value of blood test to diagnose heart failure
A large-scale international study has demonstrated the usefulness of a blood test to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of acute heart failure in emergency room patients and shows that the test also can identify patients at a higher risk for death.

Researchers uncover new genes that control longevity
In an effort to understand the molecular mechanisms that control aging, Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers and their colleagues have now uncovered 10 new genes that regulate longevity in yeast.

Air in Fallon, Nev. has elevated levels of tungsten and cobalt
The air in Fallon, Nev. has significantly higher levels of tungsten and cobalt than does the air in neighboring towns, according to a new research report.

New labelling on foods still not clear enough for allergy sufferers
Safety for people with food allergies will be boosted later this month when new European laws will force manufacturers to label their food more accurately, but the laws do not offer full protection, says an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Three New York high school students to attend Nobel festivities in Stockholm, Sweden
On December 6, 2005, three New York City high school students will leave for Sweden for a week-long, all-expense paid trip to attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, the world-famous Nobel Banquet and related activities.

Mars Express radar data analysis is on the move
The Mars Express radar, MARSIS, has now been deployed for more than four months.

Women still at risk of cervical cancer despite treatment removing pre-cancerous cells
Women who have had pre-cancerous cells removed remain at higher than average risk of developing cervical cancer in the 20 years following treatment, says research in this week's BMJ.

Gene at heart of bad outcomes in high blood pressure patients
UF researchers studied about 5,700 patients ages 50 and older who were participating in a National Institutes of Health-funded substudy of the International Verapamil SR-Trandolapril study, or INVEST-GENES.

Elsevier partners with Diabetes India
Elsevier, the world-leading scientific and medical publisher, has announced a new publishing partnership with Diabetes India (DI) and the launch of a new journal, Diabetes Research & Metabolic Syndrome in June 2006.

Rutgers researcher uncovers new gene for fear factor
Rutgers geneticist Gleb Shumyatsky has discovered a gene that controls both innate and learned forms of fear.

NSF awards support for DNA analysis instrumentation lab at Williams College
Williams College has been awarded a $145,924 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project
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