Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 29, 2006
Simple idea to dramatically improve dengue vaccinations
An innovative new study in the journal Vaccine explains, for the first time, the failure of previous attempts to vaccinate against the four known Dengue viruses, and it suggests a very simple solution - injecting the four vaccines simultaneously at different locations on the body.

Climate blamed for mass extictions
Most mass extinctions have been caused by climate change rather than asteroid impacts.

Ocean 'dead zones' trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat
Oxygen depletion in the world's oceans, primarily caused by agricultural run-off and pollution, could spark the development of far more male fish than female, thereby threatening some species with extinction, according to a study published today on the Web site of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology.

Hopkins genetics experts aid efforts to identify hurricane Katrina victims
Experts at Johns Hopkins are joining efforts to identify more than 70 bodies recovered after Hurricane Katrina, which struck last Aug.

Researchers identify OCD risk gene
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have identified a previously unknown gene variant that doubles an individual's risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Targeting the inflamed synovium
To further improve the delivery of both drugs and imaging agents for the treatment of RA, researchers are increasingly focusing on the inflamed tissue that leads to joint destruction¬°Xthe synovium.

Energy ambassadors: Energy efficiency pays off for students
Thirty-nine university students from across Canada have seen their future and it is green -- in more ways than one.

Better estimates for future extreme precipitation in Europe
Researchers in Switzerland report that extreme rains in Europe may grow stronger and more frequent in the near future and have significant effects on the region's infrastructure and natural systems.

Tiny water purification packet helps save lives worldwide
Chemists have developed a powerful household water purification system that puts the cleansing power of an industrial water treatment plant into a container the size of a ketchup packet.

Doctors must work together better to improve survival in teenage and young adult cancer patients
Cancer doctors across the UK and beyond need to make a concerted and coordinated effort to improve the treatment and care of young people with cancer, the UK's first Professor of Teenage and Young Adult Cancer told the 4th International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine.

Genetics experts join together to support efforts to identify remaining hurricane Katrina victims
A multi-institution team of experts, coordinated by geneticists from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is supporting efforts to identify more than 70 bodies still unidentified in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Virginia Tech research finds Swedish method of human cartilage repair shows good durability
As the population ages, arthritis will become more prevalent. It would be helpful to know more about the causes and treatments of cartilage wear.

Minimal genome should be twice the size, study shows
The simplest bacteria need almost twice as many genes to survive than scientists first believed, according to new research published in Nature (30 March 2006).

Liquid ventilation
The main problem that premature babies have is that their lungs are not well formed.

New hope for tissue regeneration and joint repair
A new study is the first to identify periosteal cells as MSCs, with multipotent properties at the single cell level and the potential to regenerate cartilage, muscle, and bone in patients with inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic diseases.

Therapy program export treats borderline personality disorder
Trade between countries usually involves products. However, one successful export from the United States to the Netherlands, Norway and several other countries is a cognitive therapy treatment program created by University of Iowa experts to help people with borderline personality disorder.

Study shows drug blocks breast cancer migration to bone
An international research team has identified what may be a critical molecule in the ability of tumours to metastasize -- or spread -- into bone.

Vitamin C and E supplements do not prevent pre-eclampsia in pregnant women at risk
Vitamin C and E supplements do not lower the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women with a high chance of developing the condition, according to the results of a randomised trial published online today (Thursday March 30, 2006) by The Lancet.

Helping autistic people communicate
A device that can pick up on people's emotions is being developed to help people with autism relate to those around them.

St. Jude develops more affordable ALL follow-up test
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have developed a relatively simple and inexpensive test that identifies children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who have responded well enough to their first round of chemotherapy that they might be successfully treated with a much less aggressive follow-up treatment.

DNA gene vaccine protects against harmful protein of Alzheimer's disease
Doses of DNA-gene-coated gold particles protect mice against a protein implicated in Alzheimer's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

SAGE partners with NCCHC to publish the Journal of Correctional Health Care
SAGE Publications is pleased to announce it's now partnering with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to publish the Journal of Correctional Health Care.

CU, Harvard researchers team up to break down causes of Alzheimer's
An enzyme previously associated with preventing the dementia of Alzheimer's disease now appears to play an even bigger role in safeguarding against the disease, bringing the promise of new targets for drug therapies.

Blood center's high-tech help for US's blood shortage
Research published in Transfusion reveals that e-mail is an effective way of both attaining new whole-blood donors and increasing donations from current participants.

Children who sleep less are three times more likely to be overweight
The less a child sleeps, the more likely he or she is to become overweight, according to researchers from Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine in an article published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Obesity.

Picking apart how neurons learn
Johns Hopkins researchers have used mouse mutants to define critical steps involved in learning basic motor skills.

Carnegie Mellon study sets benchmark properties for popular conducting plastic
Steadily increasing the length of a purified conducting polymer vastly improves its ability to conduct electricity, report researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, whose work appeared March 22 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

US, Polish researchers develop technology for creation of antiwear polymer films
An international collaboration has resulted in fundamental discoveries in surface chemistry and dozens of compounds that reduced wear in metals, advanced alloys, and ceramics.

A better way to cool computer chips receives support
A software-driven approach to microchip heat detection and control receives a National Science Foundation grant.

HIV infection rates down one-third in south India, University of Toronto study
A University of Toronto Indo-Canadian study, published online in the Lancet's March 30 issue, reports a one-third decline in new HIV infections in the worst-hit regions of India.

Researchers identify new childhood-onset epilepsy disorder and its genetic cause
Researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Clinic for Special Children (CSC) in Strasburg, PA, have described a new childhood-onset disorder characterized by severe epilepsy and autistic traits, and identified its genetic basis.

Rising to the challenge of managing bandwidth
Emerging mobile services are demanding an ever-increasing amount of bandwidth, but the radio spectrum for third generation (3G) and beyond systems is in short supply.

New research identifies specific teenage and young adult cancers and points to possible causes
An analysis of new data by a leading cancer researcher has revealed specific cancers that are most likely to affect teenagers and young adults, and it points to infections, adolescent growth spurts, and hormones as being among the possible causes.

More evidence chicxulub was too early
A careful geochemical fingerprinting of glass spherules found in multiple layers of sediments from northeast Mexico, Texas, Guatemala, Belize, and Haiti all point back to Chicxulub as their source.

World congress explores research, multi-disciplinary science of soils
The scientific program for the World Congress of Soil Science, July 9-15, 2006 in Philadelphia will focus on multi-disciplinary soil science advances.

RSVP for embargoed STEP Study Teleconference
On Tuesday, April 4, the American Heart Journal will publish the results of the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest study to examine the effects of intercessory prayer--prayer provided by others.

Wetland banking yields low return on urban interests
A federal policy that allows developers to compensate for damaging or destroying wetlands by buying wetlands elsewhere has environmental consequences that can be especially harmful to urban areas, according to a Florida State University law professor in Tallahassee, Fla.

Cellular scale drug delivery from the inside out
Using tiny silica particles call mesoporous nanospheres to carry drugs inside living cells, Ames Laboratory chemist Victor Lin is studying different methods to control whether or not the particle delivers its pharmaceutical payload

Lack of specialist training for nurses is failing adolescent cancer patients
Teenagers and young adults with cancer are not always cared for appropriately because a lack of specialist training for nurses means that staff are not necessarily equipped to recognise and meet the unique needs of this age group, a nurse manager told the 4th International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine in London.

Pain killer fights breast cancer by targeting key enzyme
A pain-killing medication appears to halt the production of an enzyme that is key to a common form of breast cancer, a new study using tissue cultures suggests.

Fighting inflammation with targeted liposomal therapy
The results of a recent study indicate the promise of targeted liposomal therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Bionostra Group collaborate to develop avian flu vaccine
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine announced today it will collaborate with the prestigious Bionostra Group of Spain to develop an avian flu vaccine.

First clinical trial of gene therapy for muscular dystrophy now under way
The first gene therapy human trial in the United States for a form of muscular dystrophy is under way.

Embryos tell story of Earth's earliest animals
Much of what scientists learn about the evolution of Earth's first animals will have to be gleaned from spherical embryos fossilized under very specific conditions, according to a new study by Indiana University Bloomington and University of Bristol researchers in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Treatment reduces gastric ulcers in at-risk patients using long-term NSAIDS
Results from two clinical trials, to be published in the April 2006 edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, indicate that esomeprazole magnesium can reduce the incidence of gastric (stomach) ulcers in patients at risk of developing gastric ulcers and who regularly take either non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2-selective NSAIDs.

Looking to understand why Sun's corona shines hotter than the Sun itself
Chair of the International Astronomical Union's Working Group on Eclipses, Pasachoff led an expedition of dozens of scientists and students to record images from the rare, three-minute event.

Research shows certain metabolites responsible for initiating breast and prostate cancer
Cancer researchers have discovered that metabolites of natural estrogens can react with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to cause specific damage that initiates the series of events leading to breast, prostate and other human cancers.

Duke engineers building 'erasible' detectors, 'nanobrushes' and DNA 'highrises'
A Duke University engineering group is doing pioneering work at very diminutive dimensions.

New insight into joint lubrication that keeps osteoarthritis at bay
New evidence to explain how the body's natural joint lubricant prevents the wear and tear that can lead to osteoarthritis has been uncovered by researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.

Satellite data reveals the beginnings of the universe
A Cornell University astronomer is using new data on cosmic microwave background radiation to visualize what happened in the first two-trillionths of a second after the big bang and to try to explain the 'dark energy' that is making the universe expand faster than expected.

Cortex matures faster in youth with highest IQ
Youth with superior IQ are distinguished by how fast the thinking part of their brains thickens and thins as they grow up.

Liver cancer linked to cellular repair pathway
The unchecked activity of a cell signaling pathway crucial in embryonic development and the liver's response to injury leads to liver cancer, researchers from Duke University Medical Center and John Hopkins University School of Medicine have found.

Scientists discover new gene responsible for spread of cancer
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have identified a new gene that causes the spread of cancer.

Sweetgum tree could help lessen shortage of bird flu drug
Chemists have found that the seeds of the sweetgum fruit -- also called

Astronomers discover evidence of moonlets in Saturn's rings
New observations of propeller-shaped disturbances in Saturn's A ring indicate the presence of four small, embedded moons -- and possibly millions more, report Cornell University astronomers.

Bird-flu vaccine works at high doses; Focus turns to ways to stretch vaccine supply
An experimental vaccine against bird flu is safe and spurs the immune response considered necessary to protect against the deadly illness, at a dose several times larger than the traditional flu shot and in slightly more than half of people who received the largest dose.

New approach removes sulfur from military-grade fuel; Syngas powers the process
Researchers at PNNL have developed a compact and rugged microchannel distillation unit to create a light fraction of JP-8, the standard military fuel.

HIV-1 prevalence decreasing in southern India
HIV-1 prevalence has decreased by more than a third in southern India, according to an article published online today (Thursday March 30, 2006) by The Lancet.

H5N1 avian flu virus vaccine induces immune responses in healthy adults
Results from a clinical trial demonstrate that high doses of an experimental H5N1 avian influenza vaccine can induce immune responses in healthy adults. 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