Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 19, 2006
Work stress leads to heart disease and diabetes
Stress at work is an important risk factor for the development of heart disease and diabetes, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Increased competition for pollen may lead to plant extinctions
The decline of birds, bees and other pollinators in the world's most diverse ecosystems may be putting plants in those areas at risk, according to new research.

Researchers use dirt to stay one step ahead of antibiotic resistance
Dirt may be a key to how bacteria that infect humans develop a resistance to antibiotic drugs.

Fewer fish eggs, smaller fish result from over-fishing
The practice of harvesting the largest individuals from a fish population introduces genetic changes that harm the overall fish population, a UC Riverside graduate student and colleagues have determined.

New study questions dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies
Paper examines galaxy rotation curve data without dark matter in a quest to describe modified laws of acceleration and gravity

New compound stops brain cell degeneration in Alzheimer's disease
Drug discovery researchers at Northwestern University have developed a novel orally administered compound specifically targeted to suppress brain cell inflammation and neuron loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Epidural injection does not reduce long-term pain for people with shingles
A single epidural injection of steroids and local anaesthetics is not effective for the prevention of long-term pain in shingles, according to a study published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

MPs should consider health for all when they vote on a smoking ban
Members of Parliament across all parties should consider health for all when they vote on a complete smoking ban, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Virginia Tech scientists develop process for creating biocompatible fibers
Scientists at Virginia Tech have developed a single-step process for creating nonwoven fibrous mats from a small organic molecule - creating a new nanoscale material with potential applications where biocompatible materials are required.

Patients want as much info as their GP in post-consultation letters
Over half of surveyed patients want to see the letters sent to their general practitioner following hospital consultations.

Nuclear medicine imaging allows prediction of breast cancer patients' response to hormonal treatment
Innovative use of somatostatin receptor scintigraphy (SRS), a nuclear medicine imaging technique looking at how the body functions at the molecular level, may provide near immediate selection of breast cancer patients for endocrine therapy and offers a new tool in fighting the disease, according to a study published in the January Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Growing crops to cope with climate change
Scientists at the UK's leading plant science centre have uncovered a gene that could help to develop new varieties of crop that will be able to cope with the changing world climate.

Discovering, Funding, Growing
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has launched a multimedia DVD.

Wine drinkers have healthier diets than beer drinkers
People who buy wine also buy healthier food and therefore have healthier diets than people who buy beer, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Grant for ultrafast optical communications
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded $9.5 million over three and a half years to UC Davis, MIT and commercial partners to develop new high-speed devices for ultrafast optical communications, imaging and other applications.

Two new dusty planetary disks may be astrophysical mirrors of our Kuiper Belt
In the search for planetary systems like our own, scientists are peering at nearby stars in search of dusty debris disks that presumably accompany planets.

IEEE conference awards 'best student paper' to group from Stevens
The paper,

The evolution of food plants: Genetic control of grass flower architecture
Maize as we know it only became suitable for food after the tiny, hard, inedible ears of teosinte, the ancestor of corn, evolved, with the help of the first Mexican farmers, into the large, luscious cob we now eat.

UNC, Virginia Tech create digital library curriculum
The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of over half a million dollars to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech to develop a digital library curriculum.

Obesity lawsuits - lessons learned from tobacco litigation
Obesity is a serious health issue in the United States, with costs likely to significantly exceed those resulting from tobacco-related illnesses.

Funds needed to scale up global efforts to control avian influenza
Global control efforts -- and the funds to support them -- need to be scaled up now to address the current failures in halting avian influenza, states an editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Superplastic behavior revealed in carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes used in the electronics such as cell phones might have a longer life thanks to a strengthening technique pioneered by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Boston College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

UNC Charlotte linguist restores lost language, culture for 'The New World'
Moviegoers who go see Terrence Malick's movie The New World will hear a scientifically restored

Vitamin D signals to prevent bone loss during osteoporosis
Researchers at the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Japan, show that vitamin D prevents bone loss in mice by suppressing the protein c-Fos, thereby inhibiting development of osteoclasts - cells responsible for bone breakdown in osteoporosis.

Purdue engineers solve chaos mystery in use of high-tech microscope
Mechanical engineers at Purdue University have proven that the same sort of

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Articles in the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology include: Honeybees may transmit viruses to offspring, Slugs may spread E. coli to vegetables and Epstein-Barr virus found in breast cancer tissue may affect treatment.

'Reverse' tanning process could revolutionize leather industry
A new 'greener' and cleaner chemical process could revolutionize the leather-tanning industry, according to a report in the Feb.

Martian snow source of tropical glaciers, research team reports
Recent images beamed from Mars reveal intriguing evidence of glacial deposits in the tropics of the Red Planet.

It's tough at the top for high-flying British women
Women in Britain are happier with 'non-traditional' domestic arrangements, according to new Economic and Social Research Council funded research at City University.

PC report on health workforce deserves close attention
The worrying shortage of health professionals across Australia demands the close consideration of more preventative action to reduce the burden on hospitals and doctors, Medicines Australia said today.

Commonly used antidepressants may also affect human immune system
Drugs that treat depression by manipulating the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain may also affect the user's immune system.

Mobile phone use not linked to increased risk of glioma brain tumours
Mobile phones are not associated with an increased risk of the most common type of brain tumour, finds the first UK study of the relationship between mobile phone use and risk of glioma.

JCI table of contents: January 19, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online on January 19 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, including: Vitamin D signals to prevent bone loss during osteoporosis; Making new blood vessels: keeping the lines of sight open; TLR2 both triggers and tames the immune response; Mouse study suggests a risk of serious side effects with peptide vaccines; Clues to rare immunodeficiency disorder identified.

Low-level heat wrap therapy safely reduces low back pain and improves mobility in the workplace
The use of continuous low-level heat wrap therapy (CLHT) significantly reduces acute low back pain and related disability and improves occupational performance of employees in physically demanding jobs suffering from acute low back pain, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the December 2005 issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Stopping the clock: Genetics of tumor latency in skin cancer
Dr. Anthony E. Oro and colleagues (Stanford University) have identified two key Gli protein degradation signals that directly affect tumor latency in a mouse model of human skin cancer.

The Curitiba Virtual Biodiversity Conference
The purpose of the Virtual Curitiba Biodiversity Conference (
Current interpretation of data protection law hampers medical research
Overly strict interpretation of the data protection law is hampering epidemiological research (the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations), argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

New theory explains electronic and thermal behavior of nanotubes
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have made an important theoretical breakthrough in the understanding of energy dissipation and thermal breakdown in metallic carbon nanotubes.

Heart-healthy compound in chocolate identified
In a multifaceted study involving the Kuna Indians of Panama, an international team of scientists has pinpointed a chemical compound that is, in part, responsible, for the heart-healthy benefits of certain cocoas and some chocolate products.

Working memory retains visual details despite distractions
The ability to retain memory about the details of a natural scene is unaffected by the distraction of another activity and this information is retained in

Indigenous Amazonians display core understanding of geometry
Researchers in France and at Harvard University have found that isolated indigenous peoples deep in the Amazon readily grasp basic concepts of geometry such as points, lines, parallelism and right angles, and can use distance, angle and other relationships in maps to locate hidden objects.

Mayo Clinic collaboration discovers protein amplifies DNA injury signals
A Mayo Clinic-led research collaboration has discovered that the protein MDC1 amplifies weak DNA injury signals so genetic repair can begin.

Toward a quantum computer, one dot at a time
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a way to create semiconductor islands smaller than 10 nanometers in scale, known as quantum dots.

Pitt researchers develop less risky treatment for depression, seizures
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, with the help of a team of Pittsburgh high school science teachers, have developed a wireless device that is implanted in the neck to fight depression and epileptic seizures.
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