Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 21, 2006
Montreal researchers identify defects of immune cells
Researchers at Université de Montréal and the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) have successfully identified a defective immune cell population that determines susceptibility to candidiasis, a common and often debilitating infection in individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

NASA lightning research highlights safety awareness week
Lightning is four times hotter than the sun. That statement usually gets people's attention.

Refined stem cell therapy helps paralyzed rats recover
A therapy that combines differentiated stem cells with myelin inhibitors and a motor axon tropic factor helped paralyzed rats restore functional motor units and gain some physical recovery.

The cytokine diet: The next fad in weight loss?
Might we be able to turn our immune system against another kind of foe besides infections and viruses?

Stanford doctors advance in bid to turn mice stem cells into blood vessels
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a first step toward growing blood vessels from stem cells that could eventually be transplanted into living organisms.

Nutrition a major factor in rise in twin pregnancies
The commonly held view that IVF is the only culprit in the steady increase in the numbers of twins born over the past thirty years was challenged by a scientist speaking at the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday 21 June 2006.

Scientists aim to thwart use of flu as bioweapon
Flu is already a big killer, responsible for more than 35,000 deaths in the United States alone each year.

MIT sheds light on how tumor cells form
MIT cancer researchers have discovered a process that may explain how some tumor cells form, a discovery that could one day lead to new therapies that prevent defective cells from growing and spreading.

Preventing spinal cord injury during aortic surgery
Surgery to repair aortic aneurysms often comes with a high price: neurological deficits, but new research points to a possible defense against spinal cord injury during aortic surgery.

MIT warns of dumping seafood
In its latest outreach campaign, MIT Sea Grant has developed an educational pamphlet to encourage people not to release or dump live and fresh seafood and seafood waste into the wild.

Elephants, large mammals recover from poaching in Africa's oldest national park
A recent wildlife census conducted in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) revealed that several species of large mammal are now recovering from a decade of civil war and rampant poaching, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN).

Teasing out tissue from blood
A company in America has refined the technology to produce stem cells from adult white blood cells called monocytes and turn them into many different tissue types, which can be implanted to heal damaged tissue.

Science of sniping on eBay, quantum experiment breakthrough, and tunable nanoresonators
The following tip sheet includes: Sniping is the best way to win on eBay, a quantum experiment demonstrates extreme limits of light interference, and tunable nanoresonators make flexible sensors.

UCI researcher named Pew Scholar
UC Irvine faculty member Sheryl Tsai has been named a Pew Scholar, one of only 15 researchers in the country to receive the honor this year.

Scientists find the reason behind black holes' light shows
A team of astronomers led by the University of Michigan may know how black holes are lighting up the Universe.

South Korea joins integrated ocean drilling program
The world's largest and most ambitious scientific ocean research program operating today has expanded its base of international support by welcoming the Republic of Korea as its newest member.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be prevented if the timing is right
Patients diagnosed with

Microchannels, electricity aid drug discovery, early diagnosis
A tiny fluid-filled channel on a microchip that allows single cells to be treated and analyzed could lead to advances in drug and gene screening and early disease diagnosis.

Oregon researchers show how resident bacteria shape gut development
University of Oregon researchers have shown that bacteria residing in the intestine shape gut development by means of several distinct signaling mechanisms.

Astronomer is co-winner of million-dollar Shaw Prize
Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Adam Riess and two colleagues have been awarded this year's $1 million Shaw Prize in astronomy for their discovery that an unexplained, mysterious

Long-term changes in experience cause neurons to sprout new long-lasting connections
HHMI researchers have discovered that neurons in the brains of mice sprout robust new connections when the animals are adjusting to new experiences.

The protein that makes you mad
In her study Doctor Zuberoa Marcos of the University of Navarra analysed prions; what they are, where they are found and how they become pathogenic prions.

You scream, I scream ... there's something in my ice cream!
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed a patented inspection method that uses sound waves to detect foreign objects in processing streams.

Pancreas bioengineering at the MUHC receives funding boost
A new research grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) is set to provide a significant boost to a collaborative diabetes research effort led by MUHC investigator Dr.

Semantics poses challenge for Web services
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) software design promises to populate the world's networks with many small, lightweight, reusable programs that can automatically combine to perform a vast range of services.

Tracking computer-based error reports improves patient safety, Hopkins study finds
To err is human, but asking nurses, physicians and other hospital staff to report medication errors and log them into a computer database can help improve patient safety systems as well as human error rates, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Abstinence messages not enough for HIV prevention in Zambia
Teaching young women to delay sex until marriage is a good start but is not enough to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, says Tulane international health researcher Sohail Agha.

New Lemur species named for CI President
To recognize an internationally renowned primatologist and champion of Madagascar's unique biodiversity, scientists who discovered three new species of mouse lemur on the island nation have named one in honor of Russell A.

Research expedition braves world's worst weather
The Mount McKinley Project, funded by the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has begun this year's mission to install a weather station at 18,700 feet on Mount McKinley.

Forget the label. Portion size is all in your mind
New research finds a psychological bias in determining how much is enough.

Hopkins scientists use embryonic stem cells, new cues to awaken latent motor nerve repair
In a dramatic display of stem cells' potential for healing, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists reports that they've engineered new, completed, fully-working motor neuron circuits -- neurons stretching from spinal cord to target muscles -- in paralyzed adult animals.

Improving the standard of rheumatology care in Europe
The Annual European Congress of Rheumatology commenced today with a comprehensive set of recommendations which aim to clarify treatment options for a range of debilitating rheumatic conditions.

Device burns fuel with almost zero emissions
Georgia Tech researchers have created a new combustor (combustion chamber where fuel is burned to power an engine or gas turbine) designed to burn fuel in a wide range of devices with next to no emission of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO), two of the primary causes of air pollution.

More knowledge equals less belief in Arab stereotypes
Study shows correlation between knowledge and beliefs.

Hormones could be prescription for living longer
What's the secret to living longer? The answer to this age-old question might be found through research looking at neuroendocrine changes throughout the lifespan.

UT Southwestern biochemist wins $1 million research prize for cell death, cancer insights
Dr. Xiaodong Wang, a professor of biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center who discovered mechanisms responsible for cell death, today was awarded the $1 million Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine.

Chromosomal abnormalities in sperm higher after vasectomy reversal
Men who have had a vasectomy reversed have a very much greater rate of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm than do normal fertile men, a scientist told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday 21 June 2006.

Education improves understanding of risks of having twins -- but does this translate into action?
Parents who wish for IVF twins are often unaware of the risks involved in twin pregnancy and in giving birth to more than one child at a time, a scientist told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday 21 June 2006.

What can a magnet tell you about rain patterns? More than you would guess
In the journal Nature Physics, UCLA's Ole Peters and J.

Minister Lunn announces $2.4 million for satellite imaging: New project sharpens focus on canada
The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a five-year, $2.4-million project to provide access to new, high-quality satellite images of Canada.

Early puberty may mean anxiety, abnormal eating behaviors later
Going through puberty at a young age might foretell problems to come, report researchers who found early puberty is associated with abnormal eating behaviors and anxiety in young adults.

The structure of a virus infecting bacteria resembles a human virus
New research has revealed that the structure of a bacteriophage, a virus infecting bacteria, resembles that of certain dangerous viruses that infect people.

Studies find that 'broken heart syndrome' can result from opioid withdrawal, cocaine use
People who experience abrupt withdrawal from high-dose opioids or use cocaine increase their risk of cardiac event, according to two new studies published in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Growth hormone stimulators improve physical function in older adults
A compound that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone can help older adults improve their physical function and lower their body fat percentage, according to study results that will be presented Wednesday, June 21, at the International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Pittsburgh, by a University of Washington researcher.

Cancer drug is first to alleviate devastating scleroderma symptoms
A new nationwide study headed by UCLA found that a drug used for cancer helped alleviate the serious effects of scleroderma on breathing, lung function, quality of life, functional disability and skin thickness.

Queen's-led network looks at FAS aiming to minimize life-long learning problems
For the first time researchers are testing to see whether fetal exposure to methanol, a contaminant found in many alcoholic beverages, plays an important role in causing the life-long learning and behavioural problems associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Reduced antibiotic prescribing is associated with increased hospital admissions
A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine indicates that efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance in the USA led to a decrease in the prescribing of antibiotics by doctors yet an increase in hospitalizations for respiratory infections like pneumonia.

Education, retraining reduce catheter-associated infections in ICUs
An education and retraining program that previously reduced catheter-associated infections in ICUs at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center has been successfully exported to five other medical centers across the nation, clinicians report in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Functional food task force meets on latest nutrition research
Consumers, health professionals and educators are bombarded with research about the health benefits of certain foods.

European commission earmarks €12 million for plant growth research
Plants are invaluable sources of food, medicine, renewable materials and energy.

NASA'S Cassini spacecraft captures Saturnian moon ballet
The cold, icy orbs of the Saturn system come to life in a slew of new movie clips showing the ringed planet's moons in motion.

Why are uniforms uniform? Because color helps us track objects
If someone hadn't thought to make team uniforms the same color, we might be stuck watching World Cup soccer matches with only two players and a ref.

Social factors not hormones cause PMS, post-natal depression and menopausal stress
Women are being sold the idea that their bodies are biologically faulty and they need medication for PMS, post-natal depression and menopausal outbursts when in fact the pressures of being 'superwoman' are more likely to blame, says a leading expert.

Researchers get to heart of tropical disease
A new study found that mice lacking a gene crucial to the normal functioning of their immune systems didn't become ill when they were exposed to a pathogen that causes a horrendous infection in the liver and the spleen.

ESF sets out research strategy to push rheumatic diseases up the health agenda
Europe's experts in the field will hear the plan and discuss the recommendations at their annual meeting in Amsterdam this week.

Buckyballs boost antibody's chemotherapy payload
In the search for better ways to target anticancer drugs, researchers at Rice University and M.D.

Three million babies born using assisted reproductive technologies
More than three million babies have been born worldwide using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) since the first ART baby (Louise Brown) was born in the UK 28 years ago according to the 2002 World Report on ART presented at the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday 21 June 2006.

New Scripps study reveals San Andreas fault set for the 'Big One'
A researcher investigating several facets of the San Andreas Fault has produced a new depiction of the earthquake potential of the fault's southern, highly populated section.

Mechanism identified for promising neurological drug
Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center have identified the mechanism by which minocycline, a medication currently being studied for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, protects brain and nerve cells from damage.

Media availability: Drug found to help scleroderma patients
For the first time, a randomized clinical trial has proven that a drug can slow down deterioration of lung function in scleroderma patients.

Dopamine agonist can prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in IVF patients
A class of drug widely used in a number of gynaecological conditions can prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), an infrequent but serious complication of assisted reproduction treatments, a scientist told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic on Wednesday 21 June 2006. 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