Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 23, 2006
Coping with crisis on campus: Conference will focus on college mental health issues after disasters
In the past few years, college campuses across the country have been rocked by crisis, from regional disasters such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks to local incidents including accidents, fires and clusters of suicides.

Living taste cells produced outside the body
Researchers from the Monell Chemical Senses Center have succeeded in growing mature taste receptor cells outside the body and for the first time have been able to successfully keep the cells alive for a prolonged period of time.

Chemical Society Atlanta meeting March 26 - 30 covers health, environment
A compound with its roots in your backyard that could fight bird flu, the use of nanoparticles to clean up contaminated soil and a potential new treatment for life-threatening infections -- these are a few of the findings chemists will present at the 231st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Atlanta, March 26 - 30.

Defining the beginning and end of life
Experts explore how our ideas about the start of life map into our beliefs about the end.

Seasonal intermittent treatment highly effective for preventing malaria in children under five
Intermittent antimalarial treatment could be highly effective for the prevention of malaria in children under five years living in areas of seasonal transmission, according to the results of a randomised trial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Learning to love bacteria: Stanford scientist highlights bugs' benefits
Stanley Falkow, PhD, the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research at Stanford, is publishing his thoughts on the benefits of bacteria in an essay in the Feb.

Brenner Children's Hospital researcher says PSA campaign about risky sexual behaviors a success
Media campaigns that remind parents to talk with their children about sex are effective, according to a pediatric researcher at Brenner Children's Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

March Geology and GSA TODAY media highlights
Topics include: geological effects of the Sumatran tsunami on the Maldives; challenge to current understanding of mid-Cretaceous climate dynamics; possible source of atmospheric methane on Mars; new insights into San Francisco Bay-area vertical tectonics; new data on an impact structure beneath Lake El'gygytgyn in northeastern Siberia; and subsurface ice as a microbial habitat .

Venerable ultraviolet satellite returns to operations
NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer astronomy satellite is back in full operation, its aging onboard software control system rejuvenated and its mission extended by enterprising scientists and engineers after a near-death experience.

Concern over institutional care for children in Europe
Researchers in this week's BMJ express concern over the largely hidden extent of institutional care for children in Europe.

Microbes convert 'Styrofoam™' into biodegradable plastic
Bacteria could help transform a key component of disposable cups, plates and utensils into a useful eco-friendly plastic, significantly reducing the environmental impact of this ubiquitous, but difficult-to-recycle waste stream, according to a study scheduled to appear in the April 1 issue of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology. The microbes, a special strain of the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida, converted polystyrene foam -- commonly known as StyrofoamTM -- into a biodegradable plastic.

Bush record on human rights in 2005
In its third annual report on the human rights practices of United States presidential administrations, the Center on Democratic Performance (CDP) at Binghamton University, State University of New York, gives President Bush a

A blast to chase
ESO's Very Large Telescope took another amazing image, this time of Supernova 2006X inside the bright Messier 100 spiral galaxy.

When seeing is misleading: Clutter leads to high-confidence errors
Visual targets imbedded in distractors lead not only to judgment errors, but also to higher confidence about erroneous decisions.

Fighting sound with sound, new modeling technique could quiet aircraft
Newly published research by a Princeton engineer suggests that understanding how air travels across the sunroof of a car may one day make jet engines less noisy.

Blood pressure guidelines for stroke may not be relevant to many patients
Guidelines on blood pressure lowering after stroke may not be applicable to many patients under the care of their family doctor, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

Study shows relationship between oral and cardiovascular health
New research is reinforcing the longstanding belief that a connection exists between periodontal disease, or severe gum inflammation, and cardiovascular disease.

Jefferson Pancreatic Cancer Conference Feb. 24 highlights treatments, trials, vaccine research
With new imaging techniques, better early detection, and new therapies on the horizon, progress is being made against pancreatic cancer.

Cigarette smoking nearly doubles risk for root canal treatment
According to a new study appearing in the April issue of the Journal of Dental Research, cigarette smoking can lead to not only tooth discoloration and gum disease, but also a common dental procedure that helps to heal a diseased tooth -- the root canal.

Penn researchers awarded $1.1 million for Pulmonary Hypertension Center
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine received $1.1 million dollars from the Cardiovascular Medical Research Education Fund (CMREF) to establish the Penn Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (IPAH) Center for Cell Studies.

ICSU expresses grave concern over visa policies and practices for scientists visiting the USA
Officers from the International Council for Science (ICSU) express their grave concern at the hostile treatment which the ICSU President, Goverdhan Mehta received when he applied for a routine visa for the USA.

New insight into cause of Crohn's disease
UK scientists have found evidence that suggests Crohn's disease is caused by a weak immune response.

Origin of galactic X-rays explained
Using the most sensitive X-ray map of the Galaxy, obtained combining 10 years of data of Rossi XTE orbital observatory, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics have discovered the origin of the galactic background emission.

Early diagnosis and melanoma
Melanoma is the most common cancer amongst us. It is the cutaneous tumour with the worst prognosis and its incidence is growing.

New treatments based on human behaviour could reduce drug prescribing
New psychological treatments - behavioural medicine - could significantly reduce the need for drug treatments for some conditions, cutting health system costs says an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Disasters, death, and destruction: Accounting for recent calamities
Has loss of life and damages associated with extreme weather events actually increased in recent years?

What is the lifetime of positronium ions?
The positronium ion is the most simply built negative ion imaginable, made of just two electrons and a positron.

A better tool to study role of iron in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's
Engineers have found a way to pinpoint and identify the tiny iron oxide particles associated with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases in the brain.

SAT gauges more than collegiate success
New research shows that the SAT may go far beyond predicting college success; when taken in the early teens, it may actually foretell a person's success and life satisfaction after university.

First long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut onboard the ISS
ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter from Germany will soon become the first European to undertake a long-duration mission onboard the International Space Station (ISS) following his dispatch on the next Shuttle mission (STS-121), currently scheduled for May.

At Berkeley: Intelligently designed molecular evolution
Evolutionary paths to new therapeutic drugs, as well as a wide assortment of other enzyme products, have been created through, of all things, intelligent design.

Methotrexate treatment for rheumatoid arthritis effective the second time
A second course of methotrexate, the most commonly used drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is effective in nearly half of studied patients for whom a previous treatment with the drug was ineffective.

Inside the ozone layer
A new atmospheric model is able to quantify man-made versus naturally occurring damage to the stratosphere with an eye toward repairing the diminishing ozone layer that is located within the stratosphere.

Lee M. Silver to discuss new book, Challenging Nature, at Stevens
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents a talk by Professor Lee M.

Carnegie Mellon scientists show brain uses optimal code for sound
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered that our ears use the most efficient way to process the sounds we hear, from babbling brooks to wailing babies.

Warning over unfair terms for patients in clinical trials
Patients who volunteer to take part in clinical trials are currently being left without adequate legal protection in the event of injury, warns a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Brazil's juvenile detention centres failing to meet basic standards of health and hygiene
Many of Brazil's juvenile detention centres are decaying, filthy, and dangerously overcrowded, state the authors of an essay in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Nanostructures in 3D
It is the world's first electron microscope for simultaneously and automatically investigating in three-dimensions the phase content, crystallographic texture, and crystal interfaces of materials -- co-designed and put into service at the Department of Microstructure Physics and Metal Forming at the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Resuscitation policies in long-term care settings should be reviewed
Resuscitation policies in care homes and community hospitals should be reviewed, argue experts in this week's BMJ.

Fossil wood gives vital clues to ancient climates
New research disputes conventional wisdom regarding Earth's climate during the mid-Cretaceous period.

Two papers win the Lancet's Paper of The Year 2005
Two papers on the characterization of the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic virus have won The Lancet's Paper of the Year 2005.

Pain medicine scientific research highlights
Pain medicine investigators presented preliminary research findings at poster sessions held during the 22nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, February 22 - 25, 2006.

Benefits of eating seafood outweigh risks
Though some species of fish around the world's are likely to be contaminated with mercury, PCBs and other toxins, the benefits of eating seafood continue to outweigh the risks, a panel of scientists has concluded.

Researchers describe discovery of Pluto's new moons
In the Feb. 23 Nature, a team led by Hal Weaver of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory describes its discovery of two new moons around Pluto - a finding that made the ninth planet the first Kuiper Belt object known to have multiple satellites.

Taste gene may play role in smoking
According to a genetic study just published in

MetOp launch set for June 2006
MetOp-A, planned to be launched on 30 June 2006, will be Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology.

Policy changes in poultry industry could reduce worker injuries, report suggests
A survey of Hispanic poultry workers in western North Carolina suggests that policy changes such as encouraging job rotation and creating worker safety committees could result in fewer worker injuries.

Yale early stage ovarian cancer detection technology licensed by LabCorp®
Yale University Office of Cooperative Research today announced that it has granted an exclusive license agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings for the commercialization of the university's blood testing technology for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Scientists discover Mars' atmosphere altered by solar flares
BU astronomers announced today the first clear evidence that solar flares change the upper atmosphere of Mars.

Scientists find variants of blood clotting genes increase risk of coronary disease
Rare variants of two genes that regulate blood clotting may each increase a person's risk of coronary disease by about 15 percent, according to a meta-analysis in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Broad Foundation donates $25 million to create new stem cell institute at USC
Gift of $25 million will help create new stem cell institute facility at Univ. of Southern California.

New journal article urges use of animal serum-free media for growing live cells
In the March issue of Trends in Biotechnology, scientists and doctors with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recommend using only animal serum-free media to grow live cells in the laboratory.

Drawing a crowd: How progenitor cells are recruited to tumor blood vessels from the bone marrow
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego have found that alpha4-beta1 integrin (VLA-4) on tumor and injured blood vessels promotes homing of bone marrow progenitor cells to VLA-4-binding VCAM and fibronectin on vessels.

New study evaluates impact of smoking cessation aids and mass media
A study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that television advertisements were found to be the most helpful in the quitting process, particularly those featuring smoking-related illnesses or inspirational quit tips.

Ginkgo biloba extract: More than just for memory?
Animal studies at Georgetown University Medical Center find ginkgo biloba may have preventive effects for cancerous human brain and breast tumors.

Childhood depression may encourage ecstasy use
Children with symptoms of anxiety and depression may have an increased tendency to use ecstasy in adolescence or young adulthood, finds a study published online by the BMJ today.

Rochester scientists develop fast-working biosensor
University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have demonstrated a new technology that accurately and rapidly detects the meat-spoiling and sometimes dangerous E. coli bacteria.

Prof makes case for 'precious' metals
A University of Alberta professor is calling on the world's governments to charge companies more for the right to mine metals.

New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species
A study published in the

JCI table of contents, February 23, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online on 2/23/06 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, including:

Man-made prostate created by women
In a giant step towards understanding prostate disease, Melbourne scientists have grown a human prostate from embryonic stem cells.

NIH grant to support research on new treatment for severe OCD
As part of a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers will look at whether a breakthrough therapy for Parkinson's disease can also treat the worst cases of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
News tips from the Department of Engergy include:

Man-made star shines in the southern sky
Scientists celebrate another major milestone at Cerro Paranal in Chile, home of ESO's Very Large Telescope array.

Tool helps doctors tailor infertility treatments for couples
Physicians must consider a number of variables when treating couples who cannot naturally conceive because of factors involving both the woman and man.

2006 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
Journalists are invited to attend and cover the 2006 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID), to be held March 19-22, 2006, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. 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