Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 20, 2006
Acquired susceptibility is an important factor of disease
Acquired susceptibility is an important, but until now often ignored, potential cause of disease.

Bubbles go high-tech to fight tumors
Bubbles: You've bathed in them, popped them, endured bad song lyrics about them.

Road to AC voltage standard leads to important junction
After 10 years of research, NIST has unveiled the world's first precision instrument for directly measuring alternating current (AC) voltages.

One-third in high-risk hurricane areas say they may ignore evacuation order
A new survey of high-risk hurricane areas in eight states -- Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas -- shows that 33 percent of residents said if government officials said they had to evacuate due to a major hurricane this season, they would not or are unsure if they would leave.

Springer editor and author Koki Horikoshi to receive 2006 Japan Academy Prize
Koki Horikoshi (73), professor emeritus at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Director General of Extremobiosphere Research Center JAMSTEC, has been honored with this year's Japan Academy Prize.

JCI table of contents: July 20, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online 7/20/06 in the JCI, including: Nicotine promotes growth of tumors already established by tobacco carcinogens; Tackling tumor-associated macrophages beats breast and other cancers in mice; Too old, too soon: potential treatment for progeria; and Pseudomonas needs neuraminidase for pulmonary infection.

Migration trends -- new booklet gives insights into migrant population
Current and future migration trends in the U.K. are examined in a booklet published today by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Magnetism and mimicry of nature hold hope for better medicine, environmental safety
Critical advances in medicine and environmental protection promise to emerge from a new method for biochemical analysis of fluids developed by an international science team led in part by Arizona State University researchers.

Seeing the serpent
The ability to spot venomous snakes may have played a major role in the evolution of monkeys, apes and humans.

Burnham Institute for Medical Research & UC San Diego establish Joint Center for Molecular Modeling
A team of researchers, led by Dr. Adam Godzik at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, is designing tools to accelerate the interpretation, and potential use of, information gleaned from the human genome project.

Doctors highlight the dangers of unregulated Chinese herbal therapy
A case report in this week's issue of The Lancet highlights the dangers of unregulated herbal therapy.

Nicotine promotes growth of tumors already established by tobacco carcinogens
While nicotine by itself is not carcinogenic, researchers now show that nicotine promotes cell proliferation and the progression of tumors already initiated by tobacco carcinogens.

Early fetal gender test demands rapid ethical policymaking
This alert highlights the research published this week in a special issue of Prenatal Diagnosis entitled, Fetal Sexing: Global Perspectives on Practices, Ethics and Policy.

Rice scientists unveil 'nanoegg'
Researchers at Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) have unveiled the

Driving nanoscale microelectronics production
MEDEA+ partners are involved in the development of the basic fabrication techniques required for integrated circuits (ICs) to meet the demands for ever smaller electronic systems -- from domestic multimedia equipment and effective automotive electronics, through improved medical diagnostic devices to digital cameras and mobile phones.

NIH funds seven science education programs
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced it will grant $8.5 million in Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) for projects that will engage the public in medical research, stimulate interest in science, and encourage the next generation of health professionals.

Novel nano-etched cavity makes leds 7 times brighter
Researchers at NIST have made semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) more than seven times brighter by etching nanoscale grooves in a surrounding cavity to guide scattered light in one direction.

Doctors treating pain from circumcision more seriously
One of the first things most little boys in the U.S. experience is something they'll never remember -- circumcision -- but that doesn't mean it isn't a painful experience.

Rutgers-Newark researcher discovers new motor protein mechanism linked to heart disease and strokes
In a paper published in the July issue of the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, a Rutgers-Newark researcher and his coworkers reveal that they have identified a possible mechanism used by an important motor protein which acts as a catalyst that enables bacteria to travel through the blood stream and infect the heart.

Add nanotubes and stir -- with the right force
Polymer scientists at NIST have shown how the amount of force applied while mixing carbon nanotube suspensions influences the way the tiny cylinders ultimately disperse and orient themselves, which largely dictates the properties of the resultant materials.

Seminal RNAi innovation is cleared for patenting in Australia
The Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Massachusetts Medical School announced today that opposition in Australia to the grant of the institutions' patent application related to the discovery of RNAi has been withdrawn.

Community hospital care as cost-effective as regular hospital care for older people
A community hospital is as cost effective as a district general hospital for post-acute care of older people, according to a study published on today.

Doctors must embrace regulation changes
Doctors should accept the main proposals to change regulation of the medical profession as the best way of restoring public confidence, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ by a leading member of the GMC.

SNM honors outstanding contributors
SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting, the premier conference for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, brought together 4,000 professional attendees and nearly 6,500 total participants during five days of high-level interaction in San Diego.

Making hair realistic in computer animation
Cornell researchers have developed a new and much quicker method for rendering hair in computer graphics that promises to make blond (and other light-colored) hair more realistic.

U of M researchers discover genetic key to treating deadly fungal infections
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered how a prevalent fungal pathogen that causes 10,000 deaths per year in the United States overcomes the effects of antifungal drugs by duplicating a section of one of its chromosomes.

Study identifies best online learning approaches for cancer patients
Breast cancer patients who use online information services in combination with computer support groups and other interactive services are the most likely to feel they have the information they need to cope with their illness, according to new research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research.

High BMI doesn't always spell obesity, Jackson Laboratory researchers show
A study in mice by scientists at The Jackson Laboratory suggests that the body mass index or BMI is not always a good indicator of how much body fat an individual has.

Drinking can be dangerous
People who drink alcohol are up to four times more likely than non-drinkers to be hurt from physical injuries such as a fall or punch, new research shows.

Don't use antibiotics for runny noses, say researchers
Antibiotics should not be given to patients with acute purulent rhinitis (a runny nose with coloured discharge), a familiar feature of the common cold, concludes a study published on today.

'Micro-boxes' of water used to study single molecules
NIST researchers have demonstrated the use of water droplets as minuscule boxes for small numbers of biomolecules.

Top Canadian superstring theorist, Rob Myers of PI, inducted into Royal Society
Rob Myers, Faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (just outside Toronto) has been named a Royal Society of Canada Fellow.

International exercise guidelines for young people need to be changed
International guidelines need to recommend higher levels of physical activity for young people than they currently do, in order to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Jahangir Amuzegar on the situation involving Iran's nuclear power
Words from the former Finance Minister and Economic Ambassador of Iran.

Aggressive heart pacing may work best in some spinal cord patients
Patients with recurring problems with the heart slowing or stopping after a neck injury damages their cervical spinal cord may need aggressive therapy to avoid further cardiovascular problems and even death, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Atomic-resolution structure of a ribozyme yields insights into RNA catalysis and the origins of life
Scientists have obtained a near-atomic resolution image of the three-dimensional shape of the hammerhead ribozyme.

Feeling sleepy? Don't have a high sugar, low caffeine drink -- it could make things worse
An hour after consuming a high sugar, low caffeine drink you will tend to have slower reactions and experience more lapses in concentration than if you had simply drunk a decaffeinated, nil carbohydrate drink.

UT Southwestern researchers find gene mutation that leads to 'broken hearts'
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a group of fruit fly gene mutations responsible for

European Science Writers Award will be granted in Munich
The Euroscience Foundation grants three European Junior-Science Writers Awards to science journalists from Germany and Hungary.

New tiger report release: Tiger habitat down from just a decade ago
The global tiger conservation priorities report commissioned by the Save The Tiger Fund will be announced at the National Zoo 8 a.m., 20 July.

Whether in mice or men, all cells age the same, Stanford study finds
In a study to be published in the July 21 issue of Public Library of Science-Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers report finding a group of genes that are consistently less active in older animals across a variety of species.

UCI receives $2.9 million grant to start 'LifeChips' program
UC Irvine has been awarded nearly $2.9 million over five years to create a new graduate program in which students will combine the practices of engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences and medicine to produce small-scale technologies that benefit human health.

Using the courts to gain access to essential medicines should be the last resort
Going to court to get access to essential medicines may be necessary and has been successful in several cases, but it should only be used as a last resort, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Kidney donors pay the price
People who donate a kidney to help someone else often suffer financially to do so, according to a study done in part by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada

Much needed new antibiotic in fight against 'superbugs'
Tygacil (tigecycline), a new antibiotic for the treatment of a wide range of infections including those caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), 1 will be available in the UK from today.

Nuclear explosion on a dead star
A team of astronomers from the U.K. and Germany have found that a nuclear explosion on the surface of a star 5,000 light years from Earth resulted in a blast wave moving at over 1,700 km per second.

NIST can help you 'MBARK' onto better biometric systems
New software tools developed at NIST can help build improved biometric identification systems by providing

Fish virus in Northeast spreading to other fish species
Cornell researchers have found that a deadly fish virus detected in the northeastern United States for the first time in June in two species has probably spread to at least two more.

Wild bees and the flowers they pollinate are disappearing together
The diversity of bees and of the flowers they pollinate, has declined significantly in Britain and the Netherlands over the last 25 years according to research led by the University of Leeds and published in Science this Friday (21 July 2006).

Obesity experts back Abbott initiative
Two of Australia's leading obesity experts have rejected as

Researchers demonstrate potential mechanism of food allergy
Researchers have identified one of the proteins that may be responsible for causing food allergies, which could lead to the development of more accurate non-invasive tests to identify true food allergies, according to a study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology, the journal for the members of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Will FDA regulation of tobacco protect public health?
Two comments in this week's issue discuss the pros and cons of a bill that, if enacted, would give the U.S.

Doctors reluctant to testify in child protection cases
Doctors are increasingly unlikely to testify in child abuse cases because of high-profile cases in recent years, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

High school students, teachers join Pitt's 'Gene Team'
Many high school science teachers were never formally trained in the detailed topics they're now required to teach.

Women show 47 percent greater persistence with osteoporosis drugs if offered monthly tablet, support
A study of 1,076 osteoporosis patients has found that women showed 47 percent greater persistence when they took a monthly osteoporosis drug, with telephone support from trained nurses, than those who took a weekly drug. 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