Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 24, 2006
Studying water quality in Colorado River Delta's Cienega de Santa Clara
A project to monitor water quality in the largest wetland in the Colorado River Delta, the Cienega de Santa Clara in Mexico, will begin in August.

Elephants avoid costly mountaineering
Using global-positioning system data corresponding to the movements of elephants across the African savannah, researchers have found that elephants exhibit strong tendencies to avoid significantly sloped terrain, and that such land features likely represent a key influence on elephant movements and land use.

It's all in the genes
Scientists from two continents have found that the genes of one organism not only control the characteristics of that individual but also dictate the behavior of thousands of other organisms in a community.

Ice sheets drive atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, inverting previous ice-age theory
New study provides a novel explanation for the rhythms of the ice ages, inverting established theory.

Sawing the ZZZZZs: getting old needn't keep you awake, Saint Louis University geriatricians say
While changes to sleep requirements and patterns occur throughout life, sleep problems are not a normal consequence of aging, according to a review article by Saint Louis University geriatricians.

National trial gives 'unprecedented' support for steroid withdrawal in kidney transplants
Preliminary results of a study led by University of Cincinnati scientists suggest that reducing corticosteroid treatment in kidney transplant patients significantly lowers the toxic side effects of anti-rejection drugs without affecting survival rates.

Culturally appropriate materials increase cancer screening rates
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates can be significantly improved using a dedicated health educator empowered with culturally appropriate educational tools, according to a new study.

Models show one nearby star system could host Earth-like planet
Researchers running computer simulations for four nearby systems that contain giant planets about the size of Jupiter have found one that could have formed an Earth-like planet with the right conditions to support life.

'Friend' protein keeps nerve signals in check
A neuroscience research team reports the protein tomosyn appears to play a key role in regulating the release of neurotransmitters in the synapse, suggesting a role in learning and memory.

Stevens, N.J. Sea Grant to host coastal management workshop
Stevens Institute of Technology and N.J. Sea Grant Cooperative Extension in Coastal Processes will host a N.J.

Alcoholics' deficits in smell are linked to frontal lobe dysfunction
Prior research has shown that chronic alcoholism is associated with numerous olfactory deficits in odor judgment, odor identification, odor sensitivity, and the ability to qualitatively discriminate between odors.

Fulbright awards Senior Specialist grant to Carnegie's Marilyn Fogel
As part of its international scientific exchange effort, the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program has awarded Carnegie scientist Marilyn Fogel a grant to share the most up-to-date findings in the fields of astrobiology and biogeochemistry with staff and students at the Physics of Geological Processes, University of Oslo, Norway.

AGU journal highlights -- 24 July 2006
In this issue: Simulating the horizontal wind velocity variance in the upper troposphere; Glaciers in Europe's Alps may disappear by 2100; Quantifying the variation in motion of the Earth's rotation pole on weekly scales; Observations of aurorae validate current theories of wave dispersion in magnetic fields; Forecasting hurricane intensity using supercomputers and data from Hurricane Katrina; and New insight into transporting coastal waters offshore.

Computational model simulates AZT metabolism in mitochondria
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have developed a computational model that allows scientists to better understand the metabolism and toxicity of the HIV/AIDS drug zidovudine (azidothymidine, AZT).

Pine plantations may be one culprit in increasing carbon dioxide levels
The increasing number of pine plantations in the southern United States could contribute to a rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, a new study reports.

Study pinpoints protein's role in cancer spread
Edinburgh scientists have identified the way a specific cell protein can trigger the spread of cancer.

Matrilin-3 gene discovered to prevent onset of osteoarthritis
Researchers discover that a particular gene prevents the onset of osteoarthritis.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- July 19, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from the 34 major journals.

Researchers develop novel mouse model to witness immune system attack on chlamydia
Using a novel mouse model that allows scientists to study how the immune system's fighter cells respond to invaders in the genital tract during the initial stage of infection, Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers have found a way to track immunity against Chlamydia trachomatis.

Springer joins with the two largest materials societies in the world
Springer has announced a new partnership with The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) and ASM International, The Materials Information Society, the two largest materials societies in the world.

Under certain genetic circumstances, naltrexone may increase the urge to drink
Naltrexone (NTX) is an opioid antagonist medication used for the treatment of alcoholism.

New paradigm will help identify leads for drug discovery
A new screening approach can profile compounds in large chemical libraries more accurately and precisely than standard methods, speeding the production of data that can be used to probe biological activities and identify leads for drug discovery, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Chemical Genomics Center, part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research's Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative, reported today.

High estrogen levels associated with dementia in older men
A prospective population-based study has found that higher estrogen levels in older men are associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Low-glycemic index diet promotes weight loss, cardiovascular risk reduction
A diet high in carbohydrates but low on the glycemic index, which measures the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels, may help promote weight loss, decrease body fat and reduce cardiovascular disease risk, according to a report in the July 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Estrogen plus testosterone therapy may increase risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women
Women who take a combination of estrogen and testosterone to treat the symptoms of menopause may have an increased risk of breast cancer, according to an article in the July 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Healthcare providers react more positively to men than women who reveal they're gay
Study of 2,269 people shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience mixed reactions when they disclose their sexuality to healthcare providers.

Alternative approaches to marine management prove successful in reef conservation
By performing simultaneous studies of reef conservation and socioeconomic charateristics of a set of reef management systems, researchers have gained new insight into the factors that can contribute to effective marine conservation strategies.

The more alcoholic relatives a person has, the more they need to drink to feel alcohol's effects
Genes contribute between 50 and 60 percent to the heritability of alcoholism.

University of Leeds receives Gates Foundation grant for material approach to malaria prevention
Every year there are more than 350 million new cases of malaria, but a revolutionary mosquito net being developed by Leeds textile experts with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation could offer better and more sustainable protection from the disease.

Velvet worm brains reveal secret sisterhood with spiders
Velvet worms, living fossils that look like a child's rendition of caterpillars, are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to butterflies, according to new research.

Stevens' Davidson Laboratory acquires new research vessel
Stevens Institute of Technology's Davidson Laboratory has acquired a new research vessel, R/V Savitsky, named after Dr.

Complementary and alternative therapies show little benefit in treating menopause symptoms
Insufficient evidence exists to support the use of complementary and alternative therapies to relieve menopause-related symptoms, according to a review article in the July 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

SOPHE journals examine new research & practice solutions
SAGE Publications' publishing partner, The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has released special issues of its two journals, Health Promotion Practice (HPP) and Health Education & Behavior (HEB), that feature innovative approaches to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.

Kathryn Abel honored with the ASEE's Merl Baker Award
Kathryn Abel, director of the Engineering Management Program at Stevens Institute of Technology, was honored with the Merl Baker Award at the 2006 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference and Exposition.

The $100 laptop is coming
The $100 laptop, which is on track to be shipped next spring, has the potential to transform education in the world's poorest countries.

When biology gets 'Quirky,' scientists turn to math
Ohio State University researchers who are trying to solve a longstanding mystery in chemistry and biology are getting answers from a seemingly unusual source: mathematics.

Celestial beauties
This is the story of a journey through space and time revealed by a telescope called Hubble.

UCLA researchers transform stem cells found in human fat into smooth muscle cells
UCLA researchers have transformed adult stem cells taken from human adipose -- or fat tissue -- into smooth muscle cells, which help the normal function of a multitude of organs like the intestine, bladder and arteries.

UK record heatwave and rising pollution observed by eyes in the sky: Images reveal hotspots
As the U.K. bakes during this summer's heatwave, sensors in space have been recording dramatic increases in both U.K. land temperature and in air pollution, particularly in major cities.

Men with multiple sclerosis pass disease to offspring more often than women
According to a new study, men transmit multiple sclerosis (MS) to their children 2.2 times more often than women in families where the father or mother and a child have multiple sclerosis.

Smoking reduces alcohol's effects, likely encouraging more drinking
Smoking and drinking often go hand in hand. New findings indicate that nicotine may actually reduce blood alcohol concentrations.

Turning on the rural broadband tap...
Broadband is the water and electricity of the information economy yet millions of Europeans in rural areas remain cut off from this vital supply.

Slowing Alzheimer's disease by keeping mind and body active
Researchers have uncovered the pathways behind the protection offered by environmental stimulation in Alzheimer's disease, further confirming that enhanced mental and physical activity slows neurological decline.

Nano probe may open new window into cell behavior
Georgia Tech researchers have created a nanoscale probe that can capture both the biochemical makeup and topography of complex biological objects in their normal environment -- leading to better disease diagnosis and drug design on the cellular level.

Tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention does not benefit most women
Most women at high risk for breast cancer do not increase their life expectancy by taking the drug tamoxifen, according to a new study.

For-profit research ethics committees: How are they performing?
A provocative

Research simplifies diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Hereditary Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease strikes 1 in 2500 people. Researchers from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) connected to the University of Antwerp are now demonstrating that mutations in mitofusin 2 are the major cause of CMT2, a specific type of the disease.

DOE JGI sequences, releases genome of symbiotic tree fungus
The DNA sequence of Laccaria bicolor, a fungus that forms a beneficial symbiosis with trees and inhabits one of the most ecologically and commercially important microbial niches in North American and Eurasian forests, has been determined by the U.S.

Breast cancer prevention drug has little impact on mortality
Tamoxifen as a breast cancer prevention drug has little impact on overall mortality rates for most

European airborne campaign simulates Sentinel imagery over land
Designing a new satellite mission is always a challenging prospect.

Light to moderate drinking reduces risk of cardiac events, death
Older adults who consume one to seven alcoholic beverages a week may live longer and have a reduced risk for cardiac events than those who do not drink -- an association that appears independent of the anti-inflammatory effects of alcohol, according to a report in the July 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Guideline helps predict outcome in comatose survivors after CPR
Certain tests can predict with great accuracy whether a person in a coma after CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) will have a poor outcome, according to new guideline developed by the American Academy of Neurology. 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