Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 26, 2006
Micro-pump is cool idea for future computer chips
Engineers at Purdue University have developed a tiny

Training on virtual 'patient' improves carotid angiography skills
Cardiologists can learn to perform risky catheter procedures such as carotid angiography on a virtual patient simulator, rather than on real patients.

April GEOSPHERE media highlights
The April issue of GEOSPHERE, published in electronic format only by the Geological Society of America, is now available online.

Stanford scientists identify protein involved in fast-spreading cancers
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found a protein that may explain why tumors in a low-oxygen environment are more deadly.

SMART-1 maps Humorum edge - where Highlands and Mare mix
This sequence of images, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows on area on the near side of the Moon, on the edge of the Mare Humorum basin.

Einstein's Susan Band Horwitz, PhD wins Bristol-Myers Squibb Cancer Research Award
Susan Band Horwitz, PhD, the Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research and the co-chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, was selected to receive the 29th Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb

Cure for cancer worth $50 trillion
A new study calculates the prospective gains that could be obtained from further progress against major diseases.

Protective action of a molecule in inflammatory processes discovered
Henar Hevia Pérez, a researcher in the area of genetic therapy and hepatology at the Applied Medicine Research Centre (CIMA) of the University of Navarra, has discovered the protective role of the methylthioadenosine (MTA) molecule in an in vivo inflammation model.

Chemists honor NSF Director, Congressmen for supporting science, competitiveness
The American Chemical Society presents its annual Public Service Award to NSF Director Arden Bement, PhD, and Congressmen Frank Wolf and Ron Kind during Capitol Hill Ceremony.

Mouse study reveals human X-SCID gene therapy poses substantial cancer risk
New animal studies conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies show that the only human gene therapy treatment to date considered to be largely successful, is, in fact, riskier than realized.

Study finds that seeing plaque buildup prompts patients to comply with medications
A new study has found that seeing the build-up of plaque in their own arteries is the incentive patients need to comply with doctor's orders.

Experimental vaccine protects nonhuman primates when given after exposure to Marburg virus
A team of US and Canadian scientists has demonstrated the effectiveness of a vaccine in preventing the development of hemorrhagic fever in an animal model after exposure to the deadly Marburg virus.

'Uniquely human' component of language found in gregarious birds
Although linguists have argued that certain patterns of language organization are the exclusive province of humans, researchers have discovered the capacity to recognize such patterns in starlings.

New discovery: Molecular variation in one gene affects the growth of natural populations
Ecologists have shown that molecular variation in one gene may affect the growth of a population in its natural habitat.

Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center marks end of sequencing effort with chromosome 3
The sequencing of human chromosome 3 announced in the current issue of the journal Nature represents a milestone for the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center - the final stage of its multi-year project to sequence the human genome.

eRHIC gets to the heart of the matter
At the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, scientists have proposed a new way of studying the structure of matter down to a level never before observed.

Neurons find their place in the developing nervous system with the help of a sticky molecule
The brain, that exquisite network of billions of communicating cells, starts to take form with the genesis of nerve cells.

MIT chemist discovers secret behind nature's medicines
MIT scientists have just learned another lesson from nature. After years of wondering how organisms managed to create self-medications, such as anti-fungal agents, chemists led by Professor Catherine Drennan have discovered the simple secret.

How should countries best respond to a flu pandemic?
Researchers have predicted how effective public health and medical interventions will prove in the event of an influenza pandemic.

Study may explain why exercise helps heart failure patients
Aerobic training is associated with a reversal of abnormal hormonal patterns that underlie many of the debilitating symptoms of heart failure, according to a new study in the May 2, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

More evidence for 'stripes' in high-temperature superconductors
An international collaboration including two physicists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has published additional evidence to support the existence of

Better model of deadly brain cancer
Researchers have created a mouse model that closely mimics human medulloblastoma, the most common type of childhood brain tumor.

Mobile government gets closer to the people
Among the many promises of the digital revolution is its potential to strengthen democracy and make governments more responsive to citizens' needs.

Novel stem cell technology develops a new cell for repairing spinal cord injuries
Researchers have identified a new way to promote recovery after spinal cord injury with an advance in stem-cell technology.

Georgia Tech and Solvay announce $3M deal for OLED research
The Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) and Belgian chemical giant Solvay announced a $3 million deal for OLED research.

Cultural approach holds the key to tackling obesity, says Yale research
Measuring obesity isn't just about tape measures and scales. Ethnicity plays a key role in how women see themselves and black women are much more likely to see obesity as a positive, attractive and sexually desirable attribute than white women.

Water and nanoelectronics will mix to create ultra-dense memory storage devices, researchers say
Your iPod Nano isn't really

Keeping amyloid - and Alzheimer's - in check
Researchers have identified a protein that reins in the rogue activity of the molecules that make amyloid-beta protein -- which may prevent normal brain function in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. McCluskey receives top honor for young taste researchers
Dr. Lynnette P. McCluskey, a Medical College of Georgia neuroscientist using taste buds as a model for studying nerve regeneration, is the 2006 recipient of the country's top honor for young taste researchers.

Hyena mothers give their cubs a helpful dose of hormones
Scientists have discovered that a dominant hyena puts her cubs on the road to success before they are born by passing on high levels of certain hormones that make her budding young leaders more aggressive and sexually advanced.

Oregon chemist Geri Richmond to receive Council for Chemical Research Diversity Award
Geri Richmond, Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, will receive the 2005-2006 Council for Chemical Research Diversity Award for her pioneering work contributing to the advancement of women in the chemical sciences through the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh).

Coral reef resilience: Better feeders survive bleaching
Global warming and other threats are killing coral reefs through a phenomenon known as bleaching.

28-site trial studying Chinese herb as Alzheimer's treatment
Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center's Memory Disorders Program are directing the first US study to determine whether huperzine A, derived from the Chinese club moss plant Huperzia serrata, improves cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Ultrasounds show mothers' drinking shrinks fetal brain
Routine ultrasounds show that heavy drinkers who continue to imbibe after learning they are pregnant may carry fetuses with reduced skull and brain growth compared to those of abstainers or quitters, says a new study.

Heart rhythm society issues draft recommendations on performance policies for pacemakers and ICDs
The Heart Rhythm Society today released the first comprehensive recommendations for the surveillance, analysis and performance reporting of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).

NASA dis-assembles and re-assembles Tropical Storm Gert
To figure out how something mechanical works, people take it apart and look at its components, then try and put it back together.

Vaccine given post-exposure protects monkeys against deadly Marburg virus
A study by a group of US and Canadian researchers has revealed that a vaccine made from an attenuated recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) and administered to five rhesus macaques 20 to 30 minutes after exposure to a high dose of Marburg virus helped all of them survive.

The birds and the b's: Challenging Chomsky, starlings learn 'human-only' syntax patterns
The European starling - long known as a virtuoso songbird and as an expert mimic too - may also soon gain a reputation as something of a

Like mother, like cubs
Among hyenas, being a supermom is less about packing lunches, and more about packing a hormonal punch that gives her cubs a powerful head start.

Sludge recycling sends antiseptic soap ingredient to agriculture
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health measured levels of an antibacterial hand soap ingredient, triclocarban, as it passed through a wastewater treatment facility.

Gene variations linked to brain aneurysms
Variations in a gene seem to be linked to brain (cerebral) aneurysms, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

New survey finds rising numbers of uninsured in moderate and middle income American families
Two of five (41 percent) working-age Americans with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000 a year were uninsured for at least part of the past year -- a dramatic and rapid increase from 2001 when just over one-quarter (28 percent) of those with moderate incomes were uninsured, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund,

APS research awards go to undergrads at Colorado State, Michigan State, Oberlin, Williams
Students from Colorado State University, Michigan State University, Oberlin College and Williams College took top honors in the third annual David S.

High polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E intake may halve motor neurone disease risk
A high dietary intake of polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E seems to halve the risk of developing motor neurone disease, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

A flying carpet to take us to Pluto
A giant flexible solar panel unfurled in space could one day provide power to space shuttles on long-haul space flights.

Case Law School receives $773,000 NIH grant to develop guidelines for genetic enhancement research
A Case Western Reserve University law professor has been awarded a $773,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop guidelines for the use of human subjects in what could be the next frontier in medical technology - genetic enhancement.

Virtual 'forest' used to measure navigation skills
A new study recently published in Journal of Vision, an online, free access publication of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), shows that an individual's navigation skills can be measured by using an immersive virtual 'forest' in which peripheral visual field losses are simulated.

Geoinformation from space sharpens population density maps
In response to a growing demand for sharpened census data, GeoVille Information Systems has developed 'real-world population' maps based on Earth observation, under a contract named EO-STAT awarded by ESA, which can assist the private and public sector in fields such as geomarketing, market research, business location analysis, risk assessment and transport and urban planning.

New drug could reduce tissue damage after heart attack
A study led by UCL (University College London) scientists has designed a new drug that inhibits the adverse effects of C reactive protein (CRP), a protein that contributes to tissue damage in heart attacks and strokes.

Discover European space with a stroll around the 'International Space Village' at ILA2006
From Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 May 2006, ESA will participate in the ILA2006 International Air Show in Berlin, together with the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR (German Aerospace Centre) and the German Space Industries Association, BDLI.

Hormone found to decrease appetite and increase activity
New research shows how topping up the levels of a hormone found in the gut could help reduce the appetite and increase activity in overweight and obese people.

Marijuana-like compounds suppress the immune response
A group of Japanese scientists has discovered that cannabinoids can cause some white blood cells to lose their ability to migrate to the sites of infection and inflammation.

How does your city grow? A view of urban sprawl from outer space
Recent urban development in Los Angeles is less scattered than recent development in Boston.

Biochip for detecting illicit powders, Martian atmosphere's possible fingerprints of life
Super-fast camera for capturing electron clouds, and a record-breaking tabletop microscope are also among the highlights of the 2006 CLEO/QELS meeting.

Gene needed for butterfly transformation also key for insects like grasshoppers
New University of Washington research shows that a regulatory gene named broad, known to be necessary for development of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis, also is key for the maturation of insects that have incomplete metamorphosis.

'Banana-jawed' fossil mammal linked to rare sound-producing skill
Paleontologists at the Duke Lemur Center have assembled a new picture of a 35-million-year-old fossil mammal -- and they even have added a hint of sound.

Aspirin shows promise in combating a common, antibiotic-induced hearing loss
Around the world, inexpensive antibiotics known as aminoglycosides are commonly used but also are widely linked with irreversible hearing loss.

Medibank Private sale to boost medical research for all Australians
Research Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Christine Bennett today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to increase funding for health and medical research in the 2006-07 Federal Budget anticipated in today's joint announcement by The Minister for Health and Ageing and Minister for Finance and Administration.

American Sociological Association to present awards to illustrious sociologists
The American Sociological Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the winners of the ASA Awards for 2006.

MIT: Mini satellites rocketing to space station
A Russian rocket launched Monday, April 24, is carrying the first of three small, spherical satellites developed at MIT to the International Space Station -- a major step toward building space-based robotic telescopes and other systems.

Bioportfolio: Life-long persistence of erythrovirus DNA genomes in human tissue
The researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and the University Hospital of Bonn, Germany, have coined the novel term

Springer adds Ionics to publishing program
Springer has signed an agreement with the Institute for Ionics to publish Ionics − International Journal of Ionics: The Science and Technology of Ionic Motion.

Technique that makes brain tumours fluoresce improves surgical outcome
A new technique that causes brain tumours to fluoresce results in more complete removal of the tumour and in improved progression-free survival, report German researchers in the May issue of The Lancet Oncology.

Vaccine could be effective after exposure to Marburg virus
A vaccine has been shown to prevent haemorrhagic fever developing in an animal model after exposure to the deadly Marburg virus, with implications for use in humans, according to an article published online today (Thursday April 27, 2006) by The Lancet.

Tiny polyps gorge themselves to survive coral bleaching
Certain species of coral have surprised researchers by showing an unexpectedly successful approach towards survival when seriously bleached. 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