Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2006
Scientists design potent anthrax toxin inhibitor
Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have engineered a powerful inhibitor of anthrax toxin that worked well in small-scale animal tests.

HEBE: Detection of falls and monitoring of the elderly
HEBE is an EU-funded joint research project. A mechanism that detects falls and monitors the activity of the elderly has been developed.

Joslin's C. Ronald Kahn, MD, to discuss genetics of obesity at AACE meeting
Joslin's C. Ronald Kahn, MD, is scheduled to discuss genetics of obesity at American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Meeting this week in Chicago.

Aspirin + cholesterol drugs + blood pressure drugs = Less severe strokes
Taking the

Optimising the control of wind generators by means of intelligent microsensors
The School of Engineering at Bayonne (ESTIA) is working on a research project on control optimisation for the latest-generation wind generators using intelligent microsensors.

Survey: Optimism and misperception a recipe for national confusion about food safety
Americans are confident about their ability to keep their food safe - but a new survey shows they don't trust their neighbors, and they don't have a good feel for how widespread food-borne illness is.

New research demonstrates bone-marrow derived stem cells can reverse genetic kidney disease
The discovery that bone-marrow derived stem cells can regenerate damaged renal cells in an animal model of Alport syndrome provides a potential new strategy for managing this inherited kidney disease and offers the first example of how stem cells may be useful in repairing basement membrane matrix defects and restoring organ function.

Look out! Eyeglass injuries may lead to hospital visit
Injuries related to wearing glasses sent an estimated 27,000 people to the emergency department in 2002 and 2003, a new study suggests.

OHSU joins the NIH in obtaining a 'two-of-a-kind' MRI magnet
Oregon Health & Science University's new MRI research center has taken delievery of a two-of-a-kind MRI instrument On Saturday, April 22, the OHSU received a 12Tesla (T) magnet, the centerpiece of a rare and cutting-edge MRI system.

Younger women appear to be at increased risk for depression after heart attack
Women age 60 years or younger are more likely than other patients to be depressed during hospitalization for heart attack, according to a study in the April 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Coding for arthropods - what's so special about insects and spiders?
The authors find evidence for parallel evolution of an alternate genetic code in arthropod mitochondria (AGG is translated into lysine rather than serine), and correlated co-evolution of the tRNA-Lys/Ser anticodons, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

The world's deepest dinosaur finding - 2256 metres below the seabed
The somewhat rough uncovering of Norway's first dinosaur happened in the North Sea, at an entire 2256 metres below the seabed.

Non-smokers with lung cancer respond better to treatment than smokers, study says
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lung cancer patients who have never smoked before in their life have better overall survival rates and respond better to chemotherapy than current or former smokers.

Probiotics ease gut problems caused by long term stress
Probiotics may help to reduce gut symptoms caused by long term stress, indicates research published ahead of print in the journal Gut.

NYU, Austrian researchers create non-invasive imaging method with advantages over conventional MRI
New York University's Alexej Jerschow, an assistant professor of chemistry, and Norbert Müller, a professor of chemistry at the University of Linz in Austria, have developed a completely non-invasive imaging method.

Rutgers College of Nursing Professor premieres video to reduce HIV risk
Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, Rachel Jones, will premiere her video vignettes for hand-held computers aimed at reducing young women's HIV sexual risk behavior before community members, AIDS experts and caregivers at John Cotton Dana Library on the Newark campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey April 25.

Locked door psychiatric units have more disadvantages than advantages say staff
The disadvantages of locking the front doors of psychiatric units outnumber the advantages by more than two to one, according to a mental health staff.

Low intake of milk in pregnancy associated with decreased birth weight
In this study, women whose daily consumption of milk during pregnancy was 1 cup (250 ml) or less consumed less protein and vitamin D and gave birth to smaller babies than mothers who drank more milk.

Study first to show potential of light-activated gene therapy for knee injuries
An early study has demonstrated for the first time that laser light can target gene therapy right up to the edge of damaged cartilage, while leaving nearby healthy tissue untouched, according to an article published in the April edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Penn School of Medicine awarded nearly $1 million for African AIDS program
Physicians from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine have been awarded a one-year, $933,551 grant from the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to support clinical and educational activities in Botswana, Africa.

Washington University's Sarah Elgin is re-funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Sarah C. R. Elgin, PhD, a professor of biology at Washington University in St.

Happy sweet sixteen, Hubble Space Telescope
To celebrate the NASA-ESA Hubble Space Telescope's 16 years of success, the two space agencies are releasing this mosaic image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82).

NASA's Chandra finds black holes are 'green'
Black holes are the most fuel efficient engines in the universe, according to a new study using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Celgene founder Sol J. Barer to receive 2006 Winthrop-Sears Award
The Chemists' Club of New York has announced that Sol J.

Nano machine switches between biological and silicon worlds
Scientists have created a molecular switch that could play a key role in thousands of nanotech applications.

Researchers develop detailed design rules for nanoimprint lithography processing
Using a combination of experimental data and simulations, researchers have identified key parameters that predict the outcome of nanoimprint lithography, a fabrication technique that offers an alternative to traditional lithography in patterning integrated circuits and other small-scale structures into polymers.

Calcium supplements may prevent fractures in elderly women who take them regularly
Calcium supplements may be an ineffective way of preventing bone fractures among the population of elderly women because of poor long-term compliance with the therapy, but appear to be effective for women who take the supplements regularly, according to a study in the April 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Male rivalry increases when females at most fertile, say researchers
Men become more jealous of dominant males when their female partner is near ovulation, researchers at the University of Liverpool have found.

NASA data combined to improve hurricane landfall forecasts
Data gathered from last year's NASA hurricane research mission and a NASA satellite have improved tropical storm landfall and storm strength forecasts in computer models.

New truck stop electrification station maps help truckers reduce idling
A new internet-based mapping program is helping truckers find truck stops with idle reduction facilities -- on-site systems that can substantially cut fuel use while reducing air emissions.

Clues to breast cancer hidden inside stem cells
In the human breast, up to 20 per cent of all tumours are now suspected to originate in stem cells.

International Society of Nephrology's World Congress of Nephrology 2007
Following the legacy of its predecessors, the 2007 World Congress of Nephrology represents an unparalleled opportunity to share and debate the very latest advance in research, prevention, and treatment of renal and related diseases.

Charlotte Visualization Center celebrates opening with Visionary Symposium
On May 1 and 2, a group of some of the world's most prominent visualization researchers will gather at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to present visionary views on future of the field.

When the cause is right, politics and surgery sometimes mix
When problems in the health care system threaten doctors' ability to practice medicine and patients' access to needed treatments, surgeons can play an important role as advocates for political solutions, according to a series of special articles in the April issue of Surgery (Volume 139, Number 4, April 2006) published by Elsevier.

Chemotherapy gel may fight breast cancer and reduce breast deformity
University of Pittsburgh researchers have developed a polymer-based therapy for breast cancer that could serve as an artificial tissue filler after surgery and a clinically effective therapy.

DNA conclusive yet still controversial, Carnegie Mellon professor says
Although the odds that DNA evidence found at a crime scene will match by chance the DNA of a person who was not there are infinitesimal, controversy continues about DNA identification and its use in criminal investigations, says Carnegie Mellon University Statistics Professor Kathryn Roeder.

Low folate levels may cut bowel cancer risk
Low levels of folate, a B vitamin found in fruits and leafy green vegetables, may cut the risk of bowel cancer, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Gut.

Delft mathematician enhances protectiveness of military uniform
Until now, little was known about the physiochemical processes that determine the protective qualities of military uniforms (for example, for protection against poisonous gases).

African-Americans report less trust in health care providers than whites
A national survey suggests that African-Americans may have lower levels of trust in physicians, nurses and other health care providers than whites, especially if they regularly receive care in a facility other than a physician's office, according to an article in the April 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Testes to incubate stem cells
Men may cringe at the idea, but sperm-producing stem cells found in testicles could be extracted, grown in the lab, and frozen for future use.

Nanotechnology may find disease before it starts
Nanotechnology may one day help physicians detect the very earliest stages of serious diseases like cancer, a new study suggests.

Environmental effects on genetic adaptation and population dynamics
Researchers observe a link between the genetic composition of the Pgi locus (an enzyme linked with flight metabolic performance) and local population growth within a metapopulation of butterflies, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

FRSQ and its partners invest over $1.2 million in Quebec consortium for research on C. difficile
The Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) and its partners are investing $1,230,000 (plus a service contribution valued at $260,000) to set up a Quebec consortium for research on C. difficile in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the factors related to recent outbreaks in Quebec and find solutions to this major problem.

End-of-life treatment preferences may change as health declines
A study of older adults with advanced chronic illnesses indicates that as a patient's health declines, that individual may be more likely to accept treatments that would result in mild to severe functional disability, according to an article in the April 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The World Bank accused of deception and medical malpractice in malaria treatment
In a Viewpoint published online by The Lancet on Africa Malaria Day (April 25), a group of public health experts claim that the World Bank has published false financial and statistical accounts and wasted money on ineffective medicines in malaria treatment.

Alejandro Zaffaroni to receive 2006 Biotechnology Heritage Award
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will present the 8th Annual Biotechnology Heritage Award to Alejandro Zaffaroni, an outstanding pioneer of the biotechnology revolution and legendary entrepreneur with considerable scientific and business skills.

A satirical look at how to navigate technology organizations
Addressing the specific problems facing organizations that deal with modern technology,

Stroke-associated damage to brain structure may lead to heart attack
Researchers using a new method of analyzing brain images have identified an area of the brain that, when affected by a stroke, may also cause damage to the heart muscle.

Oregon chemist Geri Richmond elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Geri Richmond, Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Discovery prospects at the Large Hadron Collider
Will scientists ever find the elusive Higgs particle? Are there undiscovered particles

Blocking key protein reduces inflammatory markers in metabolic syndrome
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have shown, for the first time, that blocking the action of a critical protein can improve multiple inflammatory pathways in patients with the metabolic syndrome - a cluster of symptoms associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Many breast cancer survivors not getting recommended mammograms
A new study finds use of annual mammography among breast cancer survivors, who are at increased risk of a recurrence or a new malignancy in the other breast, dropped off after a few years.

Vulnerability to measles among nursery school children risen sharply
Vulnerability to measles infection has risen sharply among nursery school children in Scotland since 1998, despite recent increases in MMR uptake, reveals research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Springer and the Society of General Internal Medicine announce partnership
The Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) has chosen Springer as the publisher of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM).

IU scientists devise means to test for phony technical papers
Authors of bogus technical articles beware. The Inauthentic Paper Detector uses compression to determine whether technical texts are generated by man or machine.

CHF to hold 6th Annual LISE Conference, 26-27 April 2006
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) will hold its sixth Leadership Initiative in Science Education (LISE) conference on 26-27 April 2006.

Doctors learn more about diagnosing rare form of cancer
Their experience treating a rare type of abdominal cancer has helped physicians at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center make a new discovery that may change the way it is diagnosed.

Immune culprit in malaria-associated anemia
Scientists have found that a protein produced by immune cells during malaria infection triggers severe anemia, a lethal complication of the disease.

Evidence mounts for sun's companion star
The Binary Research Institute (BRI) has found that orbital characteristics of the recently discovered planetoid,

Natural selection at single gene demonstrated
Wealth of genomic data makes it possible to identify mutations that cannot be attributed to chance.

NIH awards $13.3 million to Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have received a five-year, $13.3 million grant from the NIH to establish a National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways, headquartered at Carnegie Mellon. 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