Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 10, 2006
Region of DNA strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease
An international team of researchers, led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Morning grogginess more debilitating than sleep deprivation, according to CU-Boulder study
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows that people who awaken after eight hours of sound sleep have more impaired thinking and memory skills than they do after being deprived of sleep for more than 24 hours.

Hedgehog protein blocks fat production, produces more bone
A protein that guides the early development of creatures as diverse as fruit flies and humans also plays a role in regulating fat and bone formation in adult organisms, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

Insects and mammals share common fat-building pathway, study suggests
When it comes to gaining fat, insects and mammals may have something in common, researchers report in the Jan.

Viral 'fitness' explains different resistance patterns to aids drugs
Some HIV medications lead to the development of drug-resistant HIV when patients take as few as two percent of their medications.

Yale study explains complex infection fighting mechanism
Study explains how infection fighting mechanisms in the body can distinguish between a virus and the healthy body, shedding new light on auto immune disorders.

Carnegie Mellon U. scientist receives NSF funding to build innovative mass spectrometer
Carnegie Mellon University's Mark Bier has received a $546,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Instrument Development for Biological Research program to build a heavy-ion mass spectrometer.

No stars in the clouds
A team of astronomers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Universitäts-Sternwarte München in Munich, Germany, announced today in a paper presented at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C., that their search for dwarf galaxies in fast-moving clouds of gas has yielded no results, leading them to suggest alternative avenues of research to find the supposedly

Mapping Orion's winds
For the past few months, Bob O'Dell has been mapping the winds blowing in the Orion Nebula, the closest stellar nursery similar to the one in which the Sun was born.

Virtual microscope allows public to search for dust grains in Stardust detectors
Astronomy buffs who jumped at the chance to use their home computers in the SETI@home search for intelligent life in the universe will soon be able to join an Internet-based search for dust grains originating from stars millions of light years away.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
A review of tips from the Journal of Neuroscience include:

Scientists find black hole's 'point of no return'
A team from MIT and Harvard has found that a certain type of X-ray explosion common on neutron stars is never seen around their black hole cousins, as if the gas that fuels these explosions has vanished into a void.

MIT: Spinning black hole leaves dent in space-time
MIT scientists and colleagues have found a black hole that has chiseled a remarkably stable indentation in the fabric of space and time, like a dimple in one's favorite spot on the sofa.

Anthroposophic lifestyle reduces risk of allergic disease in children
Certain features of the anthroposophic lifestyle, such as restrictive use of antibiotics and fever antipyretics, reduce the risk of allergic disease in children, according to a new study in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Component in soy products causes reproductive problems in laboratory mice
Genistein, a major component of soy, was found to disrupt the development of the ovaries in newborn female mice that were given the product.

Mental stress may lead to heart disease
New research finds the missing link between our hearts and our heads.

Medication plus beta-blocker helps prevent shocks from implantable cardioverter defibrillator
Use of the medication amiodarone in combination with a beta-blocker is effective in preventing shocks that can occur from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, according to a study in the January 11 issue of JAMA.

U of S researchers develop new vaccine candidate against hepatitis C
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization have developed a vaccine candidate for hepatitis C, leading to hope in the fight against a disease for which no vaccines are yet available.

New technique for detecting ability of flu viruses to infect humans
Scientists may now have an early warning system for detecting deadly flu strains.

A closer look at oral controlled release
The AAPS 41st Annual Pharmaceutical Technologies Arden Conference on Oral Controlled Release Development and Technology will focus on the breaking research and development of oral controlled release pharmaceutical products.

Monster black holes grow after galactic mergers
An analysis of the Hubble Space Telescope's deepest view of the universe offers compelling evidence that monster black holes in the centers of galaxies were not born big but grew over time through repeated galactic mergers.

Any way you splice it: FGF8 in development
A new paper in the January 15th issue of G&D provides the structural basis by which FGF8 splice isoforms (FGF8a and FGF8b) differ in their ability to pattern embryonic brain.

Experts debate whether certain research should be restricted
Arizona State University's College Law Center for the Study of Law, Science & Technology will host the Forbidding Science?

Polymer materials suited for use as high temperature insulation
From the most technologically aware city dwellers to remote jungle tribes, almost the entire population of the earth know polymeric materials as plastics.

Obesity in middle age linked to higher risk of hospitalization and death in older age
Middle-age individuals without high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels but who are obese have an increased risk in older age for hospitalization or death from coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, compared to individuals of normal weight, according to a study in the January 11 issue of JAMA.

Astronomers shed surprising light on our galaxy's black hole
In the most comprehensive study of Sagittarius A*, the enigmatic supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers led by Northwestern University's Farhad Yusef-Zadeh -- using nine ground and space-based telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope -- have discovered that Sagittarius A* produces rapid flares close to the innermost region of the black hole in many different wavelengths and that these emissions go up and down together.

Astronomers report mysterious giant star clusters
An international team of astronomers reported evidence for the formation of mysterious

Atherothrombosis patients world-wide often have undertreated, undercontrolled risk factors
A large international study demonstrates that patients world-wide with atherothrombosis (coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease) often have cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and hypertension that are undertreated and undercontrolled, according to a report in the January 11 issue of JAMA.

Stanford/Packard scientist's data-mining technique strikes genetic gold
A new method to mine existing scientific data may provide a wealth of information about the interactions among genes, the environment and biological processes, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Taking a taxi could increase your exposure to pollution
Researchers have discovered that your level of exposure to pollution can vary according to what method of transport you use, with travelling by taxis resulting in the highest levels of exposure and walking the least.

New insights into massive black hole: UCLA astronomy
UCLA astronomers can determine, for the first time, orbits of massive young stars located a few light months from the enormous black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy - stars that hold an imprint of how they were born.

Oncogenic role for Bcl-3
In an upcoming G&D paper, Dr. Albert Baldwin and colleagues (UNC School of Medicine) lend new insight into an alternate mechanism of p53 inactivation in tumor cells.

NASA'S Chandra finds black holes stirring up galaxies
Black holes are creating havoc in unsuspected places, according to a new study of images of elliptical galaxies made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Brain plays key role in diabetes therapy
The brain plays a major role in the ability of insulin therapy to lower blood sugar in animals with diabetes, according to a new study in the January 11, 2006, Cell Metabolism.

El Nino events affect whale breeding
New research shows that global climate processes are affecting southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in the South Atlantic.

ICS most effective for persistent asthma in children
While both inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRA) have been proven to help control mild-to-moderate persistent asthma in school-age children, a new study in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology shows ICS may be the more effective treatment.

Magnetism flicks switch on 'dark excitons'
Nanoscientists and electrical engineers at Rice University have placed carbon nanotubes inside a strong magnetic field, flipping the switch on 'dark excitons' -- odd quantum pairings of electrons and electron 'holes' that are forbidden by quantum rules from giving off light.

Study shows increasing nursing staff improves safety and quality in hospitals
A study in the January/February 2006 issue of the journal Health Affairs concludes that increasing the number of registered nurses and hours of nursing care per patient would save 6,700 lives and 4 million days of patient care in hospitals each year.

BiovaxID™ produces long term clinical remission and 95 percent overall survival
BiovaxID, personalized anti-cancer vaccine from Biovest International, produces long term clinical remission and 95 percent overall survival in patients with follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in phase 2 clinical trials.

Barrow researcher receives $965,000 grant to study nicotine and smoking cessation
Ronald J. Lukas, Ph.D., a scientist for Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Obesity in middle age raises heart disease, diabetes risk in older age
Obesity in middle age - even without established cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels - greatly increases risk of hospitalization for and death from heart disease and diabetes in older age, according to a study in the Jan.

Report shows deforestation threatens Brazil's Pantanal
Deforestation from increased grazing and agriculture has destroyed 17 percent of the native vegetation in Brazil's Pantanal, considered the world's largest wetland.

Report highlights DOE Joint Genome Institute achievements
The Department of Energy's investment in large-scale genome sequencing is paying dividends with powerful implications for the nation's energy and environmental clean-up needs, according to a report just released by the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI).

Researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center uncover clue to explain invasive brain tumors
Researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center have uncovered a clue to explain the invasive nature of an aggressive kind of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, or gliomas, and their findings are published in this week's online edition of the journal Oncogene. 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