Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2006
UQ researchers help lead the way in bird flu research
University of Queensland researchers will lead two projects announced today as part of the Commonwealth Government's $6.5 million bird flu research program.

Wildlife researchers identify impacts of contamination in amphibians
Researchers from different insititutions working together at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and in the field have demonstrated that amphibians are exposed to contaminants through maternal transfer, as has been proven for other vertebrates.

NIH seeks strategies to preserve brain health
The National Institutes of Health is intensifying the search for strategies to preserve brain health as people grow older.

NJTC to hold wireless evolution expo at Stevens' Babbio Center
The New Jersey Technology Council will present the

Tiny devices to feed advances in food safety and quality
Laboratory testing of agricultural produce in the wake of the food scares of the 1990s has made the food on European dinner tables safer than ever before.

Seven UCR entomologists honored by professional society
Six faculty members and one graduate student in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside will be honored for their research and contributions to the field of entomology at the 2006 meeting of the Entomological Society of America Pacific Branch, scheduled for March 5-8 in Hawaii.

Deep-spied fish
For centuries scientists have thought of deep-sea pelagic fish as nomadic wanderers.

New gallium nitride film method beats the heat
A team of Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a method for growing crystalline gallium nitride films at lower temperatures than industry standards.

New rotavirus vaccine joins routine infant immunization schedule
The federal agency that oversees childhood vaccinations today recommended a new vaccine for routine use against rotavirus infection, a common childhood illness that is the single largest infectious disease killer of infants and young children worldwide.

Researchers to develop technology to extend benefits of National Science Digital Library
Virginia Tech and Villanova University researchers are developing technology that will allow college students and professors to conduct flexible and customized information searches of the National Science Foundation's free, online library directly from course Web sites.

China partners with international expertise to improve road safety
National and international members of the China Seatbelt Intervention Steering Committee will meet today in Beijing to discuss the progress of a leading project in the province of Guangzhou, which addresses the low usage of seatbelt wearing rates among drivers and front seat passengers in China.

Genetic links among men who share surnames
By comparing the DNA of 150 pairs of men who share British surnames, researchers have shown that about a quarter of pairs are linked genetically.

A rare alliance forged to protect Wisconsin waters
Conservation groups, regulatory agencies, farmers and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have banded together in an unprecedented effort to preserve the health of Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and streams.

Evidence lacking for 'inflatable-pants' heart failure therapy
A new review of studies supports the government's opinion that too little evidence exists to support a device that uses balloon-like pants as a treatment for heart failure.

Comparison of drug-releasing coronary stents show similar effectiveness
Use of coronary stents that release the drugs sirolimus or paclitaxel produced similar results in patients with new coronary artery lesions, according to a study in the February 22 issue of JAMA.

Ebola DNA vaccine produces immune responses in all fully vaccinated volunteers in Phase 1 trial
The first ebola vaccine, which was developed using Vical's DNA vaccine technology, was shown in an NIH study of healthy human volunteers to produce encouraging immune responses.

Levee modeling study to provide technical data for rebuilding New Orleans
To provide essential data for the rebuilding of the ravaged levees in New Orleans, engineers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be studying small-scale models of sections of the flood-protection system.

Obesity is a significant predictor of periodontal disease
People have a new reason to stick to their New Year's resolution to lose excess weight besides fitting into the latest fashion trends.

Northwestern researchers launch Avastin trial for pancreatic tumors
A Phase II clinical trial is under way at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to determine if bevacizumab (also referred to as Avastin®, an anti-angiogenesis drug that is designed to inhibit the growth of blood vessels in tumors) in combination with abdominal radiation therapy and chemotherapy can reduce localized pancreatic tumors that have not metastasized or spread to other systems or organs in the body.

A link is found between morphine addiction and the tendency to explore
A team of researchers from the UAB has found experimental evidence in rats showing a link between addiction to morphine and the tendency to explore perseveringly.

Rivers, water and sediments
Important rivers usually have a number of tributary streams which have their sources in the mountains.

Faculty member earns $360,000 grant for high energy physics research
Dr. Marc Baarmand, Florida Tech professor of physics and space sciences, has received a $360,000 grant from the US Department of Energy for research aimed at discovering the origin of mass.

Horseshoe crab decline threatens shorebird species
Researchers from Virginia Tech and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife have documented a reduction in the number of red knot birds throughout the Delaware Bay tied to a decline in horseshoe crabs.

High-status monkeys ignore the interests of riff-raff
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center now demonstrate that social status strongly determines how monkeys deploy their attention to others: high-status monkeys are slower and more selective about whose gaze they follow than are low-status monkeys.

Accomplishments at UH earn spot in French Academy of Sciences for professor
One of the world's leading researchers in applied mathematics and scientific computing, University of Houston Professor Roland Glowinski, was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

Great (taste) expectations: Study shows brain anticipates taste, shifts gears
A UW-Madison research team tested the ability of the human brain to mitigate foul taste through a ruse of anticipation.

Science class experiment reveals vitamin B12 secret
For decades, scientists have wondered how living organisms manufacture the essential vitamin B12.

Male gene may explain higher incidence of Parkinson's in men
Scientists at Prince Henry's Institute, Melbourne, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have discovered that SRY, the male protein that forms the testes is also produced in the brain region affected in Parkinson's disease.

Birds that make teeth
Gone does not necessarily mean forgotten, especially in biology. A recent finding by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and colleagues from the University of Manchester have found new evidence that the ability to form previously lost organs -- in this case, teeth -- can be maintained millions of years after the last known ancestor possessed them.

Well-dressed women get better service at clothing stores
If women want the best possible service at a clothing store, they had better be looking fashionable and well-groomed before they hit the mall.

UVa scientists hot on trail of therapies for deadly lung failure
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have identified a molecular target, or receptor, for potential drugs to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a sudden and life-threatening failure of the lung.

Food experts say public has inadequate understanding of food risk issues
A recent study shows that food safety experts have little confidence in the public's understanding of food risk issues.

Most hospitals surveyed do not initially require board certification of pediatricians
A survey of 200 hospitals found that nearly 80 percent do not require board certification of pediatricians at the time of initial granting of hospital privileges, although most hospitals do require board certification at some point in the pediatrician's tenure, according to a study in the February 22 issue of JAMA.

Detection of DNA on nanotubes offers new sensing, sequencing technologies
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who recently reported that DNA-wrapped carbon nanotubes could serve as sensors in living cells now say the tiny tubes can be used to target specific DNA sequences.

International policy workshop on nitrogen in Paris March 8 -10, 2006
A scientific assessment and policy workshop on nitrogen will be held in Paris March 8-10, 2006.

Use of statins shows improvement in erectile performance of some men
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine say preliminary results of a small study show promise in improving erectile dysfunction (ED) in men who had shown minimal reaction to Viagra.

Study finds key distinction between outbreaks that die out and epidemics
In an important study forthcoming in the March 2006 issue of the American Naturalist, biologists from Yale University, University of Florida, and Dartmouth College explore the dynamics of pathogen survival and shed new light on a longstanding mystery: why some infectious diseases are limited to small outbreaks and others become full-blown epidemics.

Sexual differences in immune response appear at puberty
The differences in the male and female immune responses, which make females more prone to autoimmune disease and males more subject to infections, are established during puberty.

Male-specific gene SRY directly controls neuronal function in the brain
New findings, reported by a team including Dr. Eric Vilain of UCLA, now reveal a new dimension to the influence of sex determination on brain function.

Physicists step closer to understanding origin of the universe
The world's largest particle detector is nearing completion following the construction of its 'endcap' at the University of Liverpool.

Approach to school affects how girls compare with boys in math
More women are pursuing higher education and doctoral degrees than ever before, but women still are rare in the math-oriented professions.

Researchers find molecule that may hold key to learning and memory
Independent research teams from Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston have identified a master protein that sheds light on one of neurobiology's biggest mysteries -- how neurons change as a result of individual experiences.

MIT thinks small to find safer metals
MIT researchers have devised a new method for shrinking the size of crystals to make safer metal alloys.

Texas A&M to participate in applied wheat genome research
A new $5 million grant to wheat breeders could shorten the time between the outbreak of diseases and the development of resistant wheat varieties, said the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station state wheat breeder.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Highlights from the current issue include: New oral vaccine may protect against pseudomonas aeruginosa in humans; New norovirus identified and associated with global outbreaks; and First international world health organization collaborative study examines HPV DNA detection.

Sexual reproduction delays aging in a mammalian species
Past research on aging and the life histories of diverse species has shown that sexual reproduction is biologically costly for individuals and tends to decrease lifespan rather than increase it.

New survey shows cardiologists aware of life-saving diet, yet failing to recommend it
A pilot survey of cardiologists reveals that most know about the life-saving potential of a truly low-fat vegetarian diet for heart patients, but fail to recommend the diet in the mistaken belief that patients will not comply.

Helmet use associated with reduced risk of head injury for skiers and snowboarders
Alpine skiers and snowboarders who wear a helmet have a reduced risk of head injury, according to a study in the February 22 issue of JAMA.

Florida Tech to host 25th Anniversary Indian River Lagoon Symposium
Participants asked three general questions during the 1981 symposium. They were: What effects will increased population pressures have on the ecology of these waters?; What is the capacity of the Indian River system to absorb ecological assault?; and What is the relationship and relative importance of individual components of the lagoon's food web?

New study says heart health and lifestyle are associated with maintaining brain health as we age
Heart health risk factors and lifestyle choices, such as exercise, learning new things and staying socially connected, are associated with maintaining brain health as we age according to a new report from a multi-institute collaboration of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published online today in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

Monitoring baleen whales with autonomous underwater vehicles
Like robots of the deep, autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs, are growing in number and use in the oceans to perform scientific missions ranging from monitoring climate change to mapping the deep sea floor and surveying ancient shipwrecks.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
Article titles in the Journal of Neuroscience include:

Hermaphroditic plants have genetic advantage in areas where extinctions are frequent
In one of the first studies to empirically compare the reproductive success of hermaphrodites and male and female populations, biologists from the University of Oxford make use of the rare and extreme sexual diversity displayed in a species of European weed to test the hypothesis that hermaphrodites have been selected in regions with frequent extinction and re-colonization.

European Union's €169 billion bill for cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease cost the European Union's economy €169 billion in 2003, according to research published on-line (Wednesday 22 February) in Europe's leading cardiology journal, European Heart Journal.

Humans ignore motion and other cues in favor of a fictional stable world
Would you notice if all the objects around you simultaneously moved farther away?

Nanoscience study shows that quantum dots 'talk'
Scientists who hope to use quantum dots as the building blocks for the next generation of computers have found a way to make these artificial atoms communicate. 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