Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 01, 2006
Common carp sheds new light on surviving in extreme environments
The common carp has given scientists at the University of Liverpool an unusual insight into how animals can survive in environments with little or no oxygen.

SMART-1 close-up on Zucchius crater's central peaks
This image, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the central peaks of crater Zucchius.

Taking soldiers out of harm's way
Over the past three years, thousands of American soldiers in Iraq have been horribly injured or killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Nieman Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health announce 2006-2007 Global Health Fellows
Three journalists have been awarded Nieman Fellowships in Global Health Reporting for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Mild to severe heart muscle impairment linked to higher stroke risk
Mild, often symptomless, impaired heart function may predispose a person to ischemic stroke, investigators report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Rice wins $2.2M for undergrad global health program
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute today awarded Rice University $2.2 million to develop Beyond Traditional Borders, a four-course undergraduate concentration in global health that's designed to help students reach beyond traditional geographic and disciplinary boundaries to solve healthcare problems in the developing world.

Type of stress, not duration, key to heart enlargement
When judging whether or not an enlarged heart is healthy or potentially at risk for heart disease, the nature of the physiological stress that produced the enlargement is more important than the duration of the stress, according to a new study led by Duke University Medical Center investigators.

UB scientist publishes first human microbiome analysis
Researchers have completed the first analysis of the genes of a community of human microbes, an accomplishment that has far-reaching implications for clinical diagnosis and treatment of many human diseases.

HHMI awards $86.4 million for undergraduate science education
HHMI is awarding $86.4 million to 50 research universities nationwide to support programs to make undergraduate science education more engaging, accessible and interdisciplinary.

Free radical cell death switch identified
Just as humans undergo daily stress, so do our individual cells.

Rob Roy MacGregor, MD, receives two honors for distinguished career
Rob Roy MacGregor, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been recognized for his many contributions to Penn and the field of Infectious Diseases.

Public needs to heighten awareness of dangers of elevated TVs that are larger, heavier
Adults need to be better educated about television's potential harm - not content or programming, but the physical danger of falling sets, according to a recent UT Southwestern Medical Center study.

Electric fish in Africa could be example of evolution in action
Some electric fish in Africa have different communication patterns and won't mate with each other, although their DNA is the same, find Cornell scientists.

Big bang in Antarctica -- killer crater found under ice
Planetary scientists have found evidence of a meteor impact much larger and earlier than the one that killed the dinosaurs -- an impact that they believe caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history.

Worms hold clue to link between cancer and ageing in humans
A type of protein linked to cancer prevention in humans may also play a role in ageing, according to findings published in the journal Science tomorrow.

Saskatchewan Forest Centre: Minister Lunn announces renewed funding
The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources for Canada, today confirmed that the Saskatchewan Forest Centre will continue its current operations for another year, with the help of a contribution from the Government of Canada.

Pauletta and Denzel Washington to present Cedars-Sinai neuroscience scholarships June 7
Two recipients of the 2006 Pauletta and Denzel Washington Family Gifted Scholars Program in Neuroscience will receive summer research scholarship awards Wednesday, June 7 at the James A.

Immunology symposium to honor Dr. Robert Good's legacy
More than 40 of the world's top scientists in immunology, transplantation, genetics, HIV, and stem cell research will gather June 9 to 12 for the

Floating pile of rubble a pristine record of solar system's history
A small, near-Earth asteroid named Itokawa is just a pile of floating rubble, probably created from the breakup of an ancient planet, according to a University of Michigan researcher who was part of the Japanese space mission Hayabusa.

A sea otter-shaped rubble pile in space
True to its name, the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, which means

Where climate is made in a greenhouse world
New scientific results for the Late Cretaceous greenhouse indicate radically different climatic mechanisms operating about 75-90 million years ago compared to the ones that control today's climate.

Female genital mutilation affects births: Study
The first comprehensive study of the effects of female genital mutilation on women and babies during childbirth has been published by leading medical journal, The Lancet.

Concern over 'aggressive' cholesterol recommendations
New US recommendations for lowering cholesterol levels would increase the risk of harmful side effects with no overall reduction in deaths, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

Science team determines composition of asteroid Itokawa
For the first time, a group of scientists have an intimate look at a small asteroid, this one dubbed Itokawa.

Cutting-edge research focus of 4th Annual Meeting of the Androgen Excess Society June 23 in Boston
The latest advances in the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of androgen excess (excess male hormone) disorders in women will be presented at the fourth annual meeting of the Androgen Excess Society June 23 at the Hyatt Regency Boston Financial District.

Are antibiotics for suspected childhood meningitis harmful?
Should children with suspected meningitis be given antibiotics before transfer to hospital?

How sweet it isn't: Repeat episodes of low blood sugar spell diabetic disaster
For diabetics, single or repeated episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can impair the body's ability to detect and react to low blood sugar in the future, resulting in severe hypoglycemia that can be fatal.

Researchers discover how bacteria sense their environments
New Cornell research reveals that receptors assemble into a kind of cooperative lattice on a bacterium's surface to amplify infinitesimal changes in the environment and kick off processes that lead to specific responses within the cell.

Very few mothers reject childhood immunisation
The mothers of children who are unimmunised differ from those who are partially immunised in a number of ways, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Cancer worries continue long after treatment ends
The doctor may give the cancer patient a clean bill of health, but worries about recurrences, lingering effects from treatment, a second cancer and a shortened life plague the thoughts of approximately one-third of long-term, older-adult cancer survivors, according to researchers from Case Western Reserve University's Cancer Survivor Research Project.

Researchers offer new insights on arid, semiarid landscapes
A team of researchers in New Mexico has developed a multi-faceted process to study arid and semiarid landscapes that takes into account the wide range of factors influencing changes that can result in desertification.

New study calculates millions of years saved in lives of AIDS patients
This year, the US federal government will spend $21 billion for HIV/AIDS research, treatment, prevention, and related activities.

Joslin researchers pinpoint causes of adverse reactions to popular type 2 diabetes drugs
Used by several million people worldwide, rosiglitazone (RSG) is an oral agent that helps patients with type 2 diabetes to maintain good blood glucose levels by improving how their bodies use insulin.

Brain on chip
For the first time, scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich coupled living brain tissue to a chip equivalent to the chips that run computers.

Study suggests Switzerland's liberal drug policy works
Switzerland's policy of offering heroin addicts substitution treatment with methadone or buprenorphine has led to a decline in the number of new heroin users in Zurich, according to a paper published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Bone research in Space Symposium, June 2, IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis
On June 2, 2006, space explorers and earth-bound medical experts will examine the links between immobility and bone health at the Bone Research in Space Symposium, which will be held in Toronto, Canada, as part of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) World Congress on Osteoporosis.

Three million years of life saved--but routine testing needed to save more
On the 25th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States, a new article in The Journal of Infectious Diseases estimates that antiretroviral therapy has saved nearly three million years of life among people with HIV infection.

Children born after abortion ban had 'significantly better' educational achievements
In his bestselling book

Combination therapy shows promising results in patients with advanced lung cancer
An early phase study pairing an experimental targeted therapy with a common anti-inflammatory produced promising results in patients with advanced lung cancer, researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center reported.

Anthropologist looks at superstition about June 6 and '666'
The number 666 -- the

Raiders of the lost dimension
A team of scientists working at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos has uncovered an intriguing phenomenon while studying magnetic waves in barium copper silicate, a 2,500-year-old pigment known as Han purple.

A splice of the action: Translational role for WT1 isoform
In the June 15th issue of G&D, Dr. Marie-Louise Hammarskjold (UVA) and colleagues lend new insight into the function of the Wilms' Tumor 1 tumor suppressor.

Female genital mutilation harmful for mothers and babies
Pregnant women with female genital mutilation (FGM) have a higher risk of losing their baby before or soon after birth than those without, according to a paper in this week's issue of The Lancet.

UCLA biomathematician earns prestigious peer award
Dr. Marc Suchard, an assistant professor of biomathematics and human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has won the 2006 Mitchell Prize.

Diets with group support may help keep weight off longer
Commercial diets are a useful way to lose weight. And those based on group support seem to fare better at keeping the weight off in the long term, finds a study in this week's BMJ.

ISD2006: Space industry success
Europe's space players met this week in the Netherlands at ESA's Industry Space Days 2006, a major forum for those operating in the space sector.

More accurate, quicker diagnoses possible via new Elsevier product
Elsevier, the world-leading scientific, technical, and healthcare publisher, launched Path Consult a unique, comprehensive online resource that will enable pathologists to make quicker, more accurate diagnoses.

Hormone's role in insects could give insight for cancer treatment, malnutrition
New research shows that in the caterpillar of the tobacco hawkmoth, tissues called imaginal discs, which give rise to structures such as the legs and eyes, form and grow despite severe starvation unless a substance called juvenile hormone is present.

Highlights from the June 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The June 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

Early estrogen exposure leads to later prostate cancer risk
A study in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research presents the first evidence that exposure to low doses of environmental estrogens during development of the prostate gland in the male fetus may result in a predisposition to prostate cancer later in life.

USC/Duke team lets there be leisurely light
Drastically slowing light in a flexible and controlled manner raises the possibility of useful tunable photonic delay lines and even signal processors -- and a new paper reports substantial progress toward this end.

Financial analysts' silence can speak volumes
New study finds that analysts tend to cover IPO's based on favorable prospects.

Gene silencing directs muscle-derived stem cells to become bone-forming cells
Using short interfering RNAs to turn off genes that regulate cell differentiation, University of Pittsburgh researchers have demonstrated that they can increase the propensity of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) to become bone-forming cells.

Acid rain causing decline in sugar maples, say researchers
Acid rain created by burning fossil fuels has altered soils and has caused fewer sugar maples to grow in the Northeast, according to a new study led by Cornell researchers.

Tamed 11,400 years ago, figs were likely first domesticated crop
Archaeobotanists have found evidence that the dawn of agriculture may have come with the domestication of fig trees in the Near East some 11,400 years ago, roughly a thousand years before such staples as wheat, barley, and legumes were domesticated in the region.

Worm links cancer risk to ageing
The reason why people are at greater risk of developing cancer as they get older may be explained by research published today (June 2).

Daniel Zheng wins SIAM's first prize at INTEL-ISEF
Daniel Zheng, an eleventh grader from Minnesota wins SIAM's first prize at INTEL-ISEF for his project titled

New understanding of Ewing's sarcoma suggests novel treatment strategy
Using molecular and cell-based models, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have refined the picture of how a cancer-promoting protein associated with Ewing's sarcoma functions.

Pediatrician honored for career in improving life for survivors of childhood cancer
Anna T. Meadows, MD, of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the 2006 Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at its annual meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, June 3.

Indigenous cancer patients in Australia fare worse than their non-indigenous counterparts
Indigenous cancer patients in Australia have a 30 percent higher chance of death from cancer than their non-Indigenous counterparts, according to a paper in this week's issue of The Lancet.

WHO expert to edit first international influenza title as pandemic fears grow
One of the world's leading flu experts - WHO and Australian Government advisor Alan Hampson - is to edit the first international journal dedicated to the subject.

Fatigue a lasting problem after liver transplantation
A new study on fatigue experienced by patients after undergoing liver transplantation found that it is a major problem that does not tend to improve with the passage of time.

Passive TV viewing related to children's sleeping difficulties
A recent Finnish randomized population-based study shows that TV-viewing, and particularly exposure to adult-targeted programs, such as current affairs programs, TV series and police series and movies, markedly increases the risk of sleeping difficulties in 5-6 year old children.

Proteins linked to cancer prevention in humans affect aging in worms
Buck Institute study shows checkpoint proteins, which prevent cancer in humans, also determine lifespan in nematode worms.

Study links effects of withdrawal to compulsive drug use and craving
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute; the National Institutes of Health Animal Center; and the University of Tokushima Graduate School (Japan) has provided some of the first evidence that compulsive drug use stems not from obtaining a drug's pleasurable effects, but from an aversion to drug withdrawal.

Why we could all do with a siesta
The Spaniards may have been right all along -- a siesta after a hearty lunch is natural, new research suggests.

New study re-evaluates cardiovascular risks of anti-inflammatory drugs
High doses of some traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are associated with similar cardiovascular risks as the new generation of anti-inflammatory drugs known as COX 2 inhibitors (like Vioxx ®), finds a study in this week's BMJ.

Chemists forge a new form of iron
An international team of chemists has discovered a new and unexpected form of iron, a finding that adds to the fundamental understanding of an element that is among the most abundant on Earth and that, in nature, is an essential catalyst for life.

Poaching nurses from developing world not the answer to US nursing shortage
The USA should be creating ways to develop a local workforce rather than poaching nurses from the developing world, states an Editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Raiders of the lost dimension
A team of scientists working at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has uncovered an intriguing phenomenon while studying magnetic waves in a pigment known commonly as Han purple.

Telemedicine solutions to optimise healthcare
When Dr. Javier Marco checks his patients he often uses a computer with a videoconferencing link.

Gut reaction: Researchers define the colon's genome
For the first time, scientists have defined the collective genome of the human gut, or colon.

The case of the neutron star with a wayward wake
A long observation with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed important new details of a neutron star that is spewing out a wake of high-energy particles as it races through space.

Study challenges myth that sex late in pregnancy hastens birth
A new Ohio State University Medical Center study debunks the widely held belief that engaging in sexual intercourse during the final weeks of pregnancy can hasten labor and delivery.

Study shows autism-related developmental 'red flags' identifiable at age two in children
Early detection of autism is critical for early intervention, yet autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are typically not diagnosed until after three years of age.

Landmark study on diabetic foot infection published
Study emanating from Texas A&M, Rosalind Franklin University, and University of Washington reveals strong support for the link between infections and amputations, and has promising implications for prevention strategies. 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