Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 01, 2006
The American Evaluation Association: The Consequences of Evaluation
The American Evaluation Association invites R&D evaluators from around the world to submit a proposal to present at its annual conference to be held on 1-4 November 2006 in Portland, Oregon.

Research books its place in the library of the future
In the digital age, cultural institutions face new technical and organisational challenges.

Rutgers College of Nursing hosts end-of-life conference
Julia Duane Quinlan, mother of Karen Ann Quinlan, whose legal battle to remove her daughter from a respirator changed the use of life-support for the dying, will speak at the first annual conference of the New Jersey End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium hosted by the College of Nursing Center for Professional Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Doubling of US science funding announced in State of the Union Address
Initiative announced in State of the Union Address to double funding of NSF, NIST, and DOE Office of Science, and add billions in new research funding over ten years.

Good worms can secure computers
Unleashing beneficial worms into computers could help rescue PCs invaded by a malicious worm attack.

Press registration open for ESC Congress/World Congress of Cardiology 2006 joint meeting
Members of the press are able to register early through the ESC website for the annual ESC Congress 2006 to be held jointly with the World Heart Federation's XVth World Congress of Cardiology, 2-6 September 2006 in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fira Gran Via.

K-State's Culbertson receives $530,000 National Science Foundation award
The National Science Foundation has awarded $530,000 to Kansas State University's Christopher Culbertson, assistant professor of chemistry, for his research to develop chemical analysis tools for

Genetic cause of sudden infant death in African Americans
Researchers from Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, report a 24-fold increased risk of SIDS in African American infants with a mutant heart protein known as S1103Y SCN5A.

Binary asteroid in Jupiter's orbit may be icy comets from solar system's infancy
Rocky asteroids typically congregate in the inner solar system, corralled within Jupiter's orbit, while the icy comets huddle in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune.

Study finds 60 new genes controlled by DNA snippet
As part of a nationwide effort to define ancient sections of our genetic code that may soon be as important to medical science as genes, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center scanned through the vast human DNA code to reveal for the first time 60 genes influenced by one such sequence, according to an article published today in the journal Genome Research.

Medicinal herbs popular choice for babies and kids among WIC clinic clients
Nearly half of the low income, nutritionally-vulnerable Latino children surveyed by Penn State researchers in WIC clinics were treated with herbs by their caregivers for common ills such as diaper rash, colic, teething symptoms, stomachaches, coughs and colds.

Scientists develop potential pandemic influenza vaccine in mice
US researchers have genetically engineered a vaccine that can protect mice from different human strains of the H5N1 influenza virus.

Text messaging speeds up treatment for Chlamydia infection
Text messaging the results of a Chlamydia test speeds up treatment for the infection and cuts down on staff time, suggests a six month study in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

New route to therapy for Rett syndrome?
While current treatments for Rett syndrome aim only at alleviating symptoms -- including drugs to control seizures or aid motor coordination or breathing -- a new study by Rudolf Jaenisch and colleagues raises the possibility of therapies targeting the root cause of the disease.

A fork in memory lane: UCSD research indicates hippocampus supports two aspects of recognition
Anyone who has recognized a person but then struggled with the particulars -

Asthmatic children in multi-family housing hit by indoor nitrogen dioxide
Children with asthma living in multi-family housing who are exposed to certain levels of indoor nitrogen dioxide, a poisonous pollutant byproduct of gas cooking stoves and unvented heaters, are more likely to experience wheeze, persistent cough, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

A step forward in the fight against bacterial infections
Bacterial infections can strike anyone, and they can sometimes be fatal.

IEEE-USA applauds President's American Competitiveness Initiative
IEEE-USA commends President George W. Bush for the American Competitiveness Initiative announced during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

University of Queensland and Harvard Medical International to nourish the health workforce
In an Australian first, the University of Queensland has teamed up with Harvard Medical International to deliver gold standard training to health and medical educators.

Can snoring ruin a marriage?
The Sleep Disorders Center at Rush University Medical Center is conducting a scientific sleep study to evaluate how a husband's sleep apnea impacts the wife's quality of sleep and the couple's marital satisfaction.

SNM awards $25,000 Mallinckrodt Seed Grant in Molecular Imaging/Nuclear Medicine Research
Meixang Yu, Ph.D., of Memphis, Tenn., has been named the first recipient of the SNM/Mallinckrodt Seed Grant in Molecular Imaging/Nuclear Medicine Research.

New 'planet' is larger than Pluto
Bonn astronomers measure size of recently discovered solar system object.

Brain derived neurotrophic factor alleviates disease symptoms in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome
Scientists from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Brandeis University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology report in the February 2 issue of the journal Neuron that increasing levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) alleviates symptoms in a mouse model of the childhood disorder Rett Syndrome.

Molecular force field helps cancer cells defend against attack
Cancer cells churn out an enzyme that bonds with a protein, creating a protective barrier that deflects damage from radiation or chemotherapy and promotes tumor cell survival.

Sexual health clinics will need to more than triple capacity to meet 48 hour access target
Sexual health clinics will need to triple their capacity to meet the 48 hour access target, scheduled for 2008, reveals research in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Reducing prices at gas pump goal of UH engineers
Developing radios no larger than a grain of sand to increase the drilling efficiency of oil wells, University of Houston engineers see promise for reducing prices at the gas pump.

International Journal of Epidemiology - obesity special
Obesity is increasingly viewed as the most important public health problem of our times.

Study of first-time mums provides reassurance for pregnant women with bladder problems
Overactive bladder problems affect more than half of first-time mums, but problems reduce considerably after childbirth, according to a survey of 344 women.

European particle physics sets course for the future
The key message from the open symposium on particle physics strategy in Europe was

Evolution mystery: Spider venom and bacteria share same toxin
Researchers find evidence for ancient transfer of a toxin between ancestors of two very dissimilar organisms -- spiders and a bacterium.

Landmark hypertension study launches extensive physician and patient education program
Researchers in the largest high blood pressure clinical trial ever conducted are launching a comprehensive outreach program to improve high blood pressure control nationwide.

Soaring UK rates of Chlamydia infection partly caused by more sensitive tests
More sensitive testing methods might account for some of the sharp increase in reported Chlamydia trachomatis infections, suggests research in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Principals' and foodservice directors' perceptions differ on food policy
Penn State researchers have found differences between high school principals' and foodservice directors' perceptions of

Workshop on telemedicine for Africa
A one-day workshop with the aim of better understanding how satellite telecommunications might be useful for improving and complementing African healthcare systems was held in Brussels on 27 January 2006.

Georgia Tech, Oak Ridge and UT-Battelle collaborate on high-performance computing
The College of Computing at Georgia Tech, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT-Battelle today announced a wide-ranging collaborative agreement to share facilities, staff and scientific resources aimed at significantly increasing the United States' capability to carry out large-scale research efforts reliant on advanced supercomputing technology.

Researchers show the 'BEST' way to reduce osteoporosis risk
A new bone health study has encouraging news for women who work out and take calcium to reduce their risk for osteoporosis.

Researchers alleviate symptoms of Rett syndrome in mice
Rett syndrome is a debilitating neurological disorder occurring primarily in girls.

Highlights from the February 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The February 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

All placebos not created alike
While researchers usually use placebos in clinical trials to test the effectiveness of a new treatment, this trial pitted one placebo against another.

Biofuels can replace about 30 percent of fuel needs with significant research and policy effort
A group of experts in science, engineering and public policy from Georgia Tech, Imperial College London and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory believe biofuels could replace about 30 percent of transportation fuel needs and have a plan to make biofuels and biomaterials a viable supplement to petroleum.

SNM provides $75,000 in 2005 grants, awards for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine researchers
The Society of Nuclear Medicine recently awarded $75,000 in grants and awards, funded by its Education and Research Foundation, for molecular imaging/nuclear medicine researchers.

Gene variation increases SIDS risk in African Americans
About five percent of deaths from SIDS in African Americans can be traced to defects in one gene.

New mouthwash helps with pain linked to head and neck cancer
Doctors in Italy are studying whether a new type of mouthwash will help alleviate pain for patients suffering from head and neck cancer who were treated with radiation therapy, according to a study published in the February 1, 2006, issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, the official journal of ASTRO, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

UCI joins international effort to model influenza outbreaks
A team led by UC Irvine evolutionary biologist Robin Bush will receive $1.5 million over the next five years to develop computer-based simulations of pandemic flu and other infectious disease outbreaks.

Biologists build better software, beat path to viral knowledge
Purdue University's Wen Jiang and his research group have created a powerful new tool for lab research that should allow scientists to obtain high-resolution images of some of the world's smallest biological entities - the viruses.

Two-drug treatment may block source of asthma and chronic bronchitis
Current treatments for asthma and chronic bronchitis aren't able to address the ultimate source of the problem -- they can only alleviate symptoms.

Are dancers genetically different than the rest of us? Yes, says Hebrew University researcher
What makes dancers different than the rest of us? Genetic variants, says a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Protein found to control tumor growth in certain breast cancers
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the Xiamen University School of Life Sciences, Fujian, People's Republic of China, have uncovered a new and potentially important function for the protein Nod1, inhibiting the growth of estrogen sensitive human breast cancer cells.

Flow technique could simplify targeting cancer therapy
A quick and simple technique to characterize breast cancer cells may expedite and improve treatment decisions, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago report in the journal of Experimental and Molecular Pathology.

Scientists discover genetic profile of an often-misdiagnosed chronic allergic disease of children
Though many parents may never have heard of it, a severe and chronic condition called eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) is recognized by doctors as an emerging health problem for children.

Forum to address global shortage of health professionals
Leading health workforce experts, employers, and policymakers will gather in Washington, February 8, to address the global shortage of health professionals Topics include:

Report lists top 20 most-vulnerable African carnivores
It may still be

Hydrocortisone supplementation improves ventilator weaning
Intensive care unit physicians can increase the success of mechanical ventilation weaning and shorten the weaning period by identifying critically il patients who have adrenal insufficiency and treating them with the hormone hydrocortisone (cortisol).

Vital ocean prey play active role in environment
A new model stresses the role of ocean currents in keeping separate larvae, juveniles, gravid females, and other adults.

The little beam that could
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno, Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Germany, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany, have developed a new method for using a laser beam to accelerate ions.

Increased role for PET imaging could improve cancer care
PET imaging can provide an early and accurate assessment of a tumor's response to a particular therapy allowing physicians to better tailor a patient's treatment.

Gene discovery linked to increasingly diagnosed gastrointestinal disease
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have discovered the first gene associated with eosinophilic esophagitis, one of a number of eosinophil-related diseases in which the body produces abnormally large amounts of white blood cells that can lead to allergy related illnesses.

Researchers discover link between high levels of HtrA1 protein
Mayo Clinic researchers have found an association between abnormally high levels of a protein named HtrA1 and preeclampsia, a sudden and dangerous rise in blood pressure that can result in premature delivery, disability or death for mother and fetus.

New licensing agreement to maximize AIDS drug development
Longtime collaborators CONRAD and the Biosyn Division of Cellegy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement to research and develop Biosyn-patented microbicides for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Mathematics and statistics combat epidemics & bioterror
A Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care-led research team was today awarded one of four new national Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health.

18 million hours of supercomputing time awarded to 15 teams for large-scale scientific computing
The US Department of Engergy's Office of Science has awarded a total of 18.2 million hours of computing time on some of the world's most powerful supercomputers to help researchers in government labs, universities, and industry working on projects ranging from designing more efficient engines to better understanding Parkinson's disease.

Finding life on Mars and outer space begins by examining Earth's inner space
Clues to finding current or past life on Mars now or at some point in the past begins with an examination of Earth's most extreme environments and the adaptable microscopic life that thrives there, according to a group of researchers on an international broadcast science expedition January 30 through February 4 with The JASON Project.

Preventive treatment helps avoid Hepatitis B relapse during chemotherapy
A new study on treating hepatitis B patients who have cancer with an antiviral drug at the same time as they undergo chemotherapy found that the treatment helped prevent relapse of hepatitis B.

OHSU scientists dispel late-night eating/weight gain myth
Scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University believe they have helped dispel the myth that late-night eating causes weight gain.

SeaSAR 2006: Satellite radar reveals ever-changing face of the ocean
Radar satellites such as ESA's Envisat and ERS-2 maintain constant watch on the Earth's surface, their signals able to cut through clouds, rain or darkness.

Researchers study multi-purpose drug
Researchers have launched a study to determine whether an experimental drug, rimonabant, can slow atherosclerosis, the fatty build-up in arteries that creates heart attack risk.

Omega-6 fats cause prostate tumors to grow twice as fast
Omega-6 fatty acids -- such as those found in corn oil -- caused human prostate tumors in cell culture to grow twice as quickly as tumors to which omega-6 fats had not been added, according to a study conducted at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Unraveling the viral mechanism
Using powerful computer tools and cryo-electron microscopes, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine unmasked the secrets of a virus that infects bacteria, opening the door to better understanding of viruses as a whole.

48 hour access target for UK sexual health clinics impossible
The 48 hour access target for all sexual health clinics will be impossible to meet on the basis of current evidence, claims an editorial in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

New teams join network to model pandemic flu, other infectious outbreaks
Four new scientific teams joined an international research network developing computer-based simulations of pandemic flu and other infectious disease outbreaks.

UW-Madison business professor launches corporate reporting study
Lori Holder-Webb, an assistant professor of accounting and information systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, is part of a four-person research team recently awarded a grant to research corporate reporting.

Malaria early-warning system shows promise in tackling epidemics
While endemic in several regions of the world, malaria is most acute in Africa, home to an estimated 90 percent of all cases. 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