Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 05, 2006
Report warns about carbon dioxide threats to marine life
Worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide are dramatically altering ocean chemistry and threatening marine organisms, including corals.

PIMCO founder and wife donate $10 million to stem cell research at UCI
Sue J. Gross and William H. Gross have made a $10 million gift to UC Irvine to support stem cell research.

Reversing 'hibernating' heart muscle focus of UB researchers
Heart researchers at the University at Buffalo have received a $2.5 million five-year grant to develop new strategies to reverse a heart dysfunction called

U of M researchers discover compounds to shrink tumors
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed novel anti-cancer drugs to treat solid tumors.

Silent earthquakes may foreshadow destructive temblors, study finds
A team of American geoscientists is urging colleagues around the world to search for evidence of tiny earthquakes in seismically active areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, that are periodically rocked by powerful temblors of magnitude 8 and higher.

Berkeley lab wins four prestigious 2006 'R&D 100' awards for technology advances
Four of R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Awards for 2006 have gone to the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

University of Utah to build telescope in southern Utah
The Willard L. Eccles Foundation donated $600,000 so the University of Utah can build a 32-inch, research-class, optical telescope in southern Utah.

Exposure to radiation after Chornobyl increases risk of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents
In a study of thyroid cancer after the Chornobyl accident in 1986, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health report that exposure to radioactive iodine ingested through the food chain increases the risk of thyroid cancer in children and adolescents.

We're lazy but Chinese want to be just like us
Australians are lazy, scruffy and rude and speak an incomprehensible brand of English says a new survey of intending Chinese immigrants to Australia.

Cause of neuronal death in Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease could be surprisingly simple
Two papers in the July 6, 2006, Neuron, published by Cell Press, report evidence that surprisingly simple genetic abnormalities in the machinery of critical neuronal growth-regulating molecules can kill neurons in Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Illicit drug use and abuse may be genetic
Researchers have found that genetic factors may play an important role in a person's use, misuse or dependence of illicit drugs like marijuana, stimulants, opiates, cocaine and psychedelics.

Medium is the message for stem cells in search of identities
Scientists from UF's McKnight Brain Institute discover that when embryonic stem cells from mice were plated on four different surfaces in cell culture dishes, specific types of cells would arise.

Findings by Einstein scientists reveal possible strategy against obesity, diabetes and infertility
Twelve years ago, scientists discovered leptin -- the now-famous hormone that controls appetite, burns calories and performs other crucial physiological activities as well.

New study shows antibiotic may protect the heart
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studying rapamycin, an antibiotic used to boost organ survival in transplant patients, have found that the drug may protect the heart against tissue damage following acute heart attack.

Oceanic invasions across Darwin's impassable barrier
Reef fish share genetic connections across what Darwin termed an

New Down syndrome gene identified by Stanford/Packard scientists
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have identified one possible cause of mental retardation in Down syndrome.

Einstein's Dr. Michael Brownlee receives prestigious new scholar award from JDRF
Dr. Michael Brownlee, the Anita and Jack Saltz Professor of Diabetes Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, is the recipient of a 2006 Scholar Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Birds going extinct faster due to human activities
Human activities have caused some 500 bird species worldwide to go extinct over the past five centuries, and 21st-century extinction rates likely will accelerate to approximately 10 additional species per year unless societies take action to reverse the trend, according to a new report.

New technology addresses female fertility preservation
A team of scientists from Northwestern University has developed a three-dimensional culture system that encapsulates follicles and allows immature eggs to grow and mature in vitro.

Mutation in tumor suppressor gene causes pancreatic islet cells to reproduce
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that the acute loss of a protein called menin can cause the proliferation of pancreatic islet cells, which secrete insulin to regulate blood sugar.

Study looks at ways to sustain lobster fishery
In the world of the lobster fishery, less may indeed be more.

New study into Australia ageing gracefully
The factors that prevent disease, reduce ill-health and encourage positive attitudes in Australia's ageing population will be the focus of a new $2 million, five-year research project to be undertaken by the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) and the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) at ANU.

Researchers peg magnetism as key driver of high-temperature superconductivity
Writing in the July 6, 2006, issue of Nature, scientists working at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) in collaboration with physicists from the University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) report strong evidence that magnetic fluctuations are key to a universal mechanism for pairing electrons and enabling resistance-free passage of electric current in high-temperature superconductors.

Long-lived magnetic fluctuations in a crystal
German scientists measured for the first time long-lived coordinated magnetic fluctuations in a magnetic material using a new neutron beam technique.

DDT in mothers linked to developmental delays in children, UC Berkeley study finds
Scientists have long known that DDT in a woman's tissues can be transmitted to her fetus.

AGU journal highlights -- 5 July 2006
In this issue: GPS can aid tsunami warnings; Unsolved lowermost mantle problems; Sources of Florida's red tides; Jupiter's x-ray aurorae; High-energy solitary waves in the South China Sea; Meaning of ice-rafted debris in cores; Crystal packing system for perovskite; Oceanic deep water formation as sink of persistent organic pollutants; Stratospheric pollution from the tropics; Induced seismicity from deep gold mines; Monitoring the Atmospheric Boundary Layer; Antarctic Bottom Water produced and exported by Ross Sea tides.

Taking the wrinkles out of motoneuronal disease
A winner of UniQuest's 2006 Trailblazer innovation competition, Dr. Frederic Meunier, is developing a treatment for motoneuronal diseases based on modifying botox -- the popular anti-wrinkle treatment.

Variations in detoxifying genes linked to Lou Gehrig's disease
Genetic variations in three enzymes that detoxify insecticides and nerve gas agents as well as metabolize cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be a risk factor for developing sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), and possibly responsible for a reported twofold increased risk of ALS in Gulf War veterans.

Steroid abuse harms gingival tissues
Researchers found that prolonged use of anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) is closely associated with significant levels of gingival enlargement, according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology.

Drug dials down the energy within cells, UM researchers find
A drug effective at treating animal models of human autoimmune disorders and other diseases works by dialing down the activity of a key enzyme involved in energy production, University of Michigan researchers have found.

Land use, land cover affect human health, food security
A Kansas State University geography professor is using satellite imagery to research how land use and land cover changes affect human health and food security.

Developing countries take the lead in a global program to catalogue human mutations
International genetics leaders meeting in Melbourne Australia have agreed to work together to create the human variome project -- a global initiative that will catalogue human gene variations, which cause disease -- and make that information freely available to researchers, clinicians and patients everywhere.

Montefiore and Einstein receive $2-million grant from Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
A $2-million dollar grant has been awarded to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center to develop a program to train doctors in caring for the elderly.

'Medical Spanish' course helps physician assistants examine, communicate with Hispanic patients
Fluency in

Improving urban environments: why children's voices should be heard
The impact of involving children living in urban areas in decisions about their local community can be dramatic, according to new research from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Watching rocks grow: Theory explains landscape of geothermal springs
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully modeled the spectacular landscapes seen at geothermal hot springs.

Physical activity extends life of patients with peripheral artery disease
Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) who are physically active have death rates less than one third those in PAD patients who are inactive, according to research reported in the July issue of the journal Circulation.

Report: Canada's Yellowstone too small for wildlife
A new scientific report by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a 110-year-old science-based conservation organization, says that Northwest Territories' Nahanni National Park Reserve -- one of Canada's most beloved and storied national parks -- is too small to maintain its nearly pristine population of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

West develops taste for primates
Meat from wild primates in Africa is ending up on dinner plates in North America and western Europe.

New funding for research in primary health care
A new project to help GP's recognize and treat mental illness as a result of drug and alcohol use will be undertaken by the Centre for Mental Health Research at ANU.

Fibromyalgia increases pain and fatigue for pregnant women
Pregnant women with fibromyalgia (FM) experience significant pain, fatigue and psychological stress, symptoms that are often misdiagnosed or undertreated as a normal part of pregnancy, according to a pilot study by Karen M.

ORNL wins six R&D 100 Awards, pushing total to lab-leading 128
Researchers and engineers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won six R&D 100 Awards, presented each year by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's most significant technological innovations.

Measles Mumps Rubella and mercury-based immunizations cleared as causes of autism
Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) like autism and Asperger Syndrome have been on the rise for years.

Life cycle of operons yields new look at bacterial genetics
In a breakthrough that will immediately benefit biologists who study bacteria, a team of researchers has determined the life cycle of operons, small groups of genes with related functions that are co-transcribed in a single strand of messenger RNA.

Boost radiotherapy effective for very early breast cancer
Radiotherapy of the whole breast followed by a boost could stop the very early stages of breast cancer from returning claim researchers from the international Rare Cancer Network in paper published online today by The Lancet Oncology.

Fat-generated hormone drives energetic capacity of muscle
The fat-generated hormone adiponectin plays an important role in the energetic capacity of skeletal muscle, according to a new study in the July, 2006, Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press.

Securing Europe's future information society
As our society is rapidly adopting more information and communication technologies in services and commerce, private information is at increasing risk and security and reliability problems become prevalent.

UB diabetes researchers participate in international study
Researchers at the University at Buffalo are beginning two new studies as part of an international effort to prevent type 1 diabetes.

Full 3-D image of nanocrystals' interior created by shining X-rays through them
A vital step towards the ultimate goal of being able to take

A new life-course for an aging society
Rostock scientists show that in the face of demographic change work needs to be re-distributed over the ages of life.

Patient care threatened by workforce shortage
Patient care will suffer unless a coherent, research-based solution is found to creating a medical workforce that assists the emerging new models of care developing in Australia as a result of doctor shortages, a visiting U.S. expert has warned.

ASH Katrina Relief Program receives ASAE's 2006 Associations Advance America Award of Excellence
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Katrina Relief Program has won the Award of Excellence in the 2006 Associations Advance America Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Genes linked to daily flux in drug toxicity
New findings in the July, 2006, Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press, may help to explain daily fluctuations in the ability to detoxify chemical substances, including chemotherapy drugs and sedatives.

Saving the planet, from a mathematical perspective
Next Wednesday, July 12, 2006, from 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM, Professor Simon Levin of Princeton University will deliver the I.E.

Saturn's faint rings share some of their secrets
Dramatic Cassini images of Saturn's diaphanous G and E rings are yielding new clues about their structure and formation, namely that Enceladus' geysers are the main supply for the E ring, and that a ring arc, orbiting on the inner edge of the G ring, is of the type found orbiting the planet Neptune.

Thousands find connection and inspiration at nation's largest autism conference
When Penn State held its first autism conference in 1998, about 100 people were expected to attend, 300 showed up.

Space shield could help image Earth-like planets, says study
A gigantic, daisy-shaped space shield could be used to block out pesky starlight and allow telescope trailing thousands of miles behind it to image light from distant planets skimming by the giant petals without being swamped by light from the parent stars, said CU-Boulder Professor Webster Cash.

Earthquake engineering center changes name, expands focus
To better reflect its mission of developing solutions to improve resilience against extreme events of all sorts, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research headquartered at the University at Buffalo is shortening its name to MCEER. 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