Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 04, 2006
University of Texas physicists put the squeeze on atoms
Like bakers measuring the exact same amount of flour every time they made bread, physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have used a laser trap to consistently capture and measure the same small number of atoms.

Measuring the size of a small, frost world
Observing a very rare occultation of a star by Pluto's satellite Charon from three different sites, including Paranal, home of the VLT, astronomers were able to determine with great accuracy the radius and density of the satellite to the farthest planet.

Faults in newly discovered breast stem cells may lead to tumours
Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium scientists from The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, using a mouse model, have discovered the rare stem cell that drives the formation of all breast tissue.

Loosen leash on cancer protein 'watchdog,' researchers say
A team of scientists including Purdue University's Susan M. Mendrysa has found that one of the proteins found naturally in cells has the ability to halt the progression of intestinal tumors that arise from genetic predisposition.

New technology developed at Barrow Neurological Institute enhances MRI capabilities
Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix have developed a new method that allows technicians to obtain clearer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans with less sensitivity to patient motion.

Abdominal chemo boosts survival in ovarian cancer patients
A 50-year-old method for delivering chemotherapy directly into the abdomen is making a comeback as investigators have found that it increases survival - by more than a year - in some women with advanced ovarian cancer.

Genetics plays a role in the side effects experienced by people taking painkillers
A study published in the January issue of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology found a difference in how people responded to popular painkillers and that up to 30 percent of this variability can be attributed to an individual's genetic make-up.

PlasmaSol, Stevens spin-out, acquired for $17.5 million
PlasmaSol Corporation, a Technogenesis spin-out company founded at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been acquired by Stryker Corporation in a merger that was concluded December 30, 2005.

Biomarker for age-related macular degeneration found
People who have elevated homocysteine in their blood, an amino acid that is a known biomarker for cardiovascular disease, may also be at an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

UCSD team creates model for genetic brain syndrome
Researchers at the (UCSD) School of Medicine took a step closer to understanding the basis of a severe epilepsy and mental retardation syndrome with work published in the January 5, 2006 issue of the journal Neuron.

Brookhaven lab chemists probe combustion process
Chemists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, working with colleagues at Stony Brook University, have developed a unique experimental technique to measure the flow of energy inside a molecule in the process of breaking apart.

Intraperitoneal chemotherapy administration prolongs survival for women with advanced ovarian cancer
A study featured in this month's edition of Gynecologic Oncology examines the challenges associated with the administration of intra-abdominal chemotherapy, also known as intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy.

NCI issues clinical announcement for preferred method of treatment for advanced ovarian cancer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, today issued an announcement encouraging treatment with anticancer drugs via two methods, after surgery, for women with advanced ovarian cancer.

Study: Exercise helps speed wound healing in older adults
The body's ability to heal even small skin wounds normally slows down as we age.

Man's best friend: Study shows lonely seniors prefer playtime with pooch over human interaction
Nursing home residents felt much less lonely after spending time alone with a dog than they did when they visited with a dog and other people, Saint Louis University research finds.

Underutilized treatment for advanced ovarian cancer found to significantly improve survival
According to a study published in the January 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, women with Stage III ovarian cancer given a combination of intravenous (IV) and intra-abdominal chemotherapy, following the successful surgical removal of tumors, experienced a median survival time 16 months longer than women who received IV chemotherapy alone.

Where your brain wires itself to like (name your favorite brand)
People come to prefer particular foods in large part by learning to associate that food with a predictive representation of the value of that food.

Structure of viral harpoon protein reveals how viruses enter cells
A team of researchers has solved the structure of a molecule that controls the ability of viruses of the paramyxovirus family, including the viruses that cause measles, mumps, and many human respiratory diseases, to fuse with and infect human cells.

Genes in Uniform: Don't Test, Don't Tell
Upon enlisting in the military, recruits must provide DNA samples for a master military DNA repository, and must submit to genetic tests that can be used to make decisions about eligibility for service and benefits.

University of Alberta researcher unveils world's largest drug database
Until the 1980s, most of our knowledge about drugs and drug targets could fit into a few encyclopedic books.

Scientists identify molecular structure of key viral protein
Northwestern University scientists have determined the molecular structure of a viral protein, the parainfluenza virus 5 fusion protein.

Treating gum disease may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
The Journal of Dental Research has just published the results of a study showing that treatment of gum disease may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ames lab alloy could boost next generation jet fighter
The next generation of jet fighter aircraft could fly farther and faster thanks to a new high-strength aluminum alloy prepared at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Cell stress protein linked to aggressive breast cancer
A groundbreaking study led by Northwestern University researchers has demonstrated that a protein called alphaB-crystallin, which normally protects cells from stress damage, triggers events that may cause breast cancer when overactive.

Soy diet worsens heart disease
University of Colorado researchers have shown that mice carrying a genetic mutation linked to altered heart growth and function in humans, have significantly worse heart problems if fed a soy diet, when compared to mice fed a soy-free diet.

World Trade Center identifications pushed forensic DNA technology
At the end of more than three years, New York City's Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) identified 58 percent of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack victims, thanks to innovative genetic analysis techniques, intergovernmental and family cooperation and the perseverance of dedicated forensic scientists, according to a recent book by Dr.

Gold 'glitters' in new ways at the nanoscale
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have found that gold

Semantic descriptors to help the hunt for music
You like a certain song and want to hear other tracks like it, but don't know how to find them?

A picture of radioactivity from the inner part of our galaxy
An international team of researchers has been using ESA's INTEGRAL satellite to determine that gamma rays from radioactive aluminium (26Al) originate from the central regions of the Galaxy.

Cancer researchers describe gene that halts spread of aggressive childhood cancer
Researchers report that they now have the roadmap they need to stop metastasis in one of the most aggressive and deadly pediatric cancers, neuroblastoma, and possibly other cancer types.

International research reveals proven ways to reduce drug costs
A study of drug costs around the world revealed proven methods that could be used to reduce costs in the United States, according to a researcher from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

UCSD laser technique sheds light on strokes
A technique developed at the University of California, San Diego that precisely creates and images blood clots in the brain in real time could make it possible to understand the small strokes implicated in many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

Not so different after all: Mysterious eye cells adapt to light
Unlike their cousins, rods and cones, newly discovered retinal cells don't aid sight in a traditional sense.

ASU researchers find link between social behavior, maternal traits in bees
One of the puzzling questions in the evolution of bees is how some species developed social behaviors.

Tercica launches Increlex in the US
Tercica, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRCA) today announced the US commercial launch of Increlex(TM) (mecasermin (rDNA origin) injection), the only recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 (rhIGF-1) replacement therapy indicated for the long-term treatment of growth failure in children with severe Primary IGFD.

Where 'jumping genes' fear to tread
Scientists from the University of Queensland report in the journal Genome Research that large segments of the human genome are conspicuously devoid of ubiquitous mobile DNA elements called transposons.

Clinical performance measures raise bar in heart attack care
Heart attack strikes some 865,000 Americans each year. Treating patients with scientifically proven therapies both in the hospital and at home can markedly increase the chances of survival and a return to an active life.

Tandem transcripts team together
In the January issue of the journal Genome Research, two teams of scientists describe a widespread phenomenon in the human genome called transcription-induced chimerism (TIC), where two adjacent genes produce a single, fused RNA transcript.

Breast cancer-causing gene predicts shorter survival
In a study appearing in the January 4, 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vincent Cryns and colleagues at Northwestern University report how the protein alpha-basic-crystallin, which is commonly expressed in a subtype of breast cancer tumors, is predictive of poor survival in breast cancer patients, independently of other prognostic markers, and also how this protein triggers tumor development.

Gold nanoparticles, radiation combo may slow Alzheimer's
Chemists in Chile and Spain have identified a new approach for the possible treatment of Alzheimer's disease that they say has the potential to destroy beta-amyloid fibrils and plaque -- hypothesized to contribute to the mental decline of Alzheimer's patients.

Recycling of aeronautics components
INASMET-Tecnalia research project arises the principal aim being to perfect a recycling technique that enables, on the one hand, the obtaining of carbon fibre from waste components and, on the other, the study and evaluation of the possibilities of its reuse as an element of reinforcement in new applications.

Brain's own cannabis compound protects against inflammation
Some clinical studies have indicated that marijuana or its active cannabinoid ingredient alleviates symptoms of the inflammatory disease multiple sclerosis (MS).

Soy diet worsens heart disease in mice, says University of Colorado at Boulder study
A University of Colorado at Boulder study has shown the health of mice carrying a genetic mutation for a disease that is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in people under 30 worsened considerably when the animals were fed a soy-based diet.

Tiny crystals promise big benefits for solar technologies
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have discovered that a phenomenon called carrier multiplication, in which semiconductor nanocrystals respond to photons by producing multiple electrons, is applicable to a broader array of materials that previously thought.

Measuring Charon
Being in the right place at the right time gave a group of Massachusetts research astronomers a unique opportunity to study Pluto's largest moon Charon.

Turn down that radio! Years of loud noise may lead to tumor
New research suggests that years of repeated exposure to loud noise increases the risk of developing a non-cancerous tumor that could cause hearing loss.

Research adds to concerns about surgeons performing occasional breast cancer operations
A leading cancer expert has expressed concern about the link between hospitals carrying out low numbers of breast cancer operations and disproportionately high readmission rates.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
One article discusses the relationship between feeding and mating. A second article profiles reseearch that reveals the onset of puberty.

SUVs no safer than passenger cars for children, new study finds
New research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia shows that children riding in SUVs have similar injury risks to children who ride in passenger cars.

Chemical signaling helps regulate sensory map formation in the brain
Chicago researchers have uncovered the mechanism used by the developing brain to pattern the nerve connections that relay visual signals.

GlaxoSmithKline's rotavirus vaccine candidate shown effective
Data from one of the largest infant vaccine trials ever conducted, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed GlaxoSmithKline's rotavirus vaccine candidate as effective against rotavirus disease (rotavirus gastroenteritis) in the first year of life.

Global warming can trigger extreme ocean, climate changes, Scripps-led study reveals
New research produced by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, helps illustrate how global warming caused by greenhouse gases can quickly disrupt ocean processes and lead to drastic climatological, biological and other important changes around the world.

New vaccine for condition that kills 500,000 children a year
In a study of more than 68,000 infants published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, the investigational vaccine Rotateq demonstrated that it can safely prevent 98 percent of severe cases of viral diarrhea and vomiting that account for 2 million hospital visits and 500,000 pediatric deaths each year worldwide.
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