Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 27, 2006
University of Leicester produces the first-ever 'world map of happiness'
Adrian White, analytic social psychologist at the University of Leicester produces first-ever global projection of international differences in subjective well-being -- the 'world map of happiness.'

Joe Sodroski wins the 2006 Retrovirology Prize
Joseph Sodroski has been awarded the second annual Retrovirology Prize, it was announced today.

African water authorities receive space tool training
African researchers tackling water resource management problems have gathered at ESRIN, ESA's Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, from July 24 to 28, 2006, for a free five-day TIGER Initiative training session aimed at facilitating the integration of satellite radar data into their work.

Cerebrospinal fluid used to deliver therapeutics for Lou Gehrig's disease to brain
In a new JCI study, researchers from the University of California, San Diego have shown that instead of trying to deliver therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases across the highly impermeable blood-brain barrier via the blood, therapeutic molecules known as antisense oligonucleotides can be delivered to the brain and spinal cord through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at doses shown to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, in rats.

Special Science issue examines HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean
Science correspondent Jon Cohen, a prize-winning author and one of the world's foremost journalists covering HIV/AIDS, reports on the battle against the disease across Latin America and the Caribbean, in the journal's 28 July 2006 issue.

ACCC authorizes Medicines Australia Code of Conduct
Medicines Australia welcomes today's decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to authorize the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct.

American College of Physicians launches quality measures tool in PIER
The Physicians' Information and Education Resource (PIER) now includes the PIER Quality Measures Tool.

Penn State researchers say education, treatment key to averting child homicides
Mothers who suffer from serious bouts of postpartum depression and psychosis often don't get enough help before killing their children, but jailing them is not necessarily the answer, say two Penn State researchers who are publishing a new book:

Shoot up and cool down
Injecting sulfur into the atmosphere to slow down global warming is worthy of serious consideration, according to Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego.

Trust in real time for secure digital certificates
Every day in the global electronic marketplace millions of transactions take place.

Food labels should list all fats to help cut heart disease, say experts
Food labels should list trans fats as well as cholesterol and saturated fat to help reduce coronary heart disease, say researchers from the University of Oxford in this week's BMJ.

Promising therapy for ALS delivers antisense drug directly to nervous system
Researchers from UCSD School of Medicine, the Center for Neurologic Study and Isis Pharmaceutical Corporation have designed and tested a molecular therapy in animals that they hope will be a major development in the fight to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.

New strategy could increase number of kidney transplant matches
A new strategy to allocate kidneys from living donors could increase the number of patients that benefit from transplantation, according to a paper in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Scientists develop new, molecular approach to early cancer detection
Scientists have pioneered a new approach to detecting cancer cells, one that could eventually allow doctors to discover many malignancies earlier than currently possible.

JCI table of contents: July 27, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online July 27 in the JCI, including: Researchers reveal how long-term use of anti-inflammatory medication can cause osteoporosis; Cerebrospinal fluid used to deliver therapeutics for Lou Gehrig's disease to brain; Vaginal microbicide protects against sexually transmitted infection; Understanding the immune response to forbidden foods in celiac disease; and others.

Slippery stretching explains ocean floor formation
For the first time, scientists have found regions of the earth's crust which are stretching apart to form new sea floor; their findings are published in Nature today (July 27).

Joslin's new book demystifies nutrition and meal planning for people with diabetes
Conflicting headlines in the news media about what foods are healthy to eat can be confusing, especially when you or a loved one has diabetes.

Crash of Russian rocket destroys Montana's first satellite
Built by science and engineering students at Montana State University, the state's first satellite was lost when the Russian rocket it was riding on crashed in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, July 26.

Columbia University receives $16.9 million NIEHS award to study arsenic in ground water
A $16.9 million grant extension from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) will fund 6-year, multi-disciplinary investigations into the health effects and geochemistry of arsenic and manganese exposure, particularly in groundwater of New England and South Asia.

Chemical in many air fresheners may reduce lung function
New research shows that a chemical compound found in many air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, mothballs and other deodorizing products, may be harmful to the lungs.

Stanford snake venom study shows that certain cells may eliminate poison
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that the immune system really does side with the victim, at least in four kinds of venom that were used in their experiments.

Fingertip device helps computers read hand gestures
With the tap of a single finger, computer users soon may be drawn deeper into the virtual world using a new device developed in the University at Buffalo's Virtual Reality Lab.

Communications team erects lifeline for firefighters battling California wildfires
Early Sunday morning, July 23, an abandoned campfire in Cleveland National Forest erupted into a 7,000-acre wildfire that continues to spread.

Researchers uncover how prostate cancer cells defy death
New findings about how prostate cancer cells are able to resist hormone treatment and defy death may lead to more effective drug treatments, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Skin cancer rare -- but more deadly -- in people with darker skin
New University of Cincinnati research shows that dark-skinned people -- commonly thought to be

Top researcher-educators receive Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Today, the White House announced 20 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), one of the most prestigious awards to honor investigators in the early stages of promising research and education careers.

Surgical instruments may not be fair trade
The NHS may be buying medical equipment unethically and exploiting developing countries, it has been claimed in an article published on today.

Marine protected areas: it takes a village, study says
Coral reef marine protected areas established by local people for traditional use can be far more effective at protecting fish and wildlife than reserves set up by governments expressly for conservation purposes, according to a study by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups.

£2.5M boost for marine biology in Liverpool
Marine biology at the University of Liverpool is to benefit from a £2.5M investment in additional scientists, new research and updated facilities.

Cosmic dust in ice cores sheds light on Earth's past climate
Each year nearly 40,000 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth from outer space.

Message to older adults: embrace, don't fear the effects of sensible exercise
A Johns Hopkins study should ease the concerns held by many older adults with mild high blood pressure about the strain or harm exercise could cause their hearts.

Case Western Reserve University awarded science and technology center by National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that it will establish a prestigious multimillion-dollar research center at Case Western Reserve University, effective August 1.

Israel/Lebanon conflict should not overshadow crisis in Gaza
The international community must not forget about the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza as they turn their attentions to the escalating conflict between Israel and the militant group Hizbollah, states an Editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Drug triggers body's mechanism to reverse aging effect on memory process
A drug made to enhance memory appears to trigger a natural mechanism in the brain that fully reverses age-related memory loss, even after the drug itself has left the body, according to researchers at UC Irvine.

University of the Basque Country researchers believe methane storms on Titan
Doctors Ricardo Hueso and Agustín Sánchez Lavega from the Planetary Sciences Group of the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), have put forward an explanation in Nature magazine for the clouds and dry beds of Titan which are, in their opinion, generated by giant storms of methane.

Researchers reveal how long-term use of anti-inflammatory medication can cause osteoporosis
The steroid hormones glucocorticoids (GCs) are used to treat inflammatory and immune disorders, however they prompt bone loss and can cause osteoporosis, particularly when administered for prolonged periods.

Honey helps problem wounds
Honey helps the treatment of some wounds better than the most modern antibiotics.

Is it time to give the NHS more independence?
In April this year, BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee called for an independent NHS run by a board of governors responsible for managing health care within a set budget and a broad political framework.

In-home sensors spot dementia signs in elderly
An Oregon Health & Science University study shows motion and door sensors placed in elders' homes can help track activity patterns thought to relate to memory changes that are early signs of dementia.

COX-2 inhibitors prescribed to reduce gastrointestinal toxicity prior to the market withdrawals
A study examines the prescribing patterns of COX-2 inhibitors and other gastroprotective agents for arthritis patients with varying levels of GI risk.

University to develop new therapeutics for cancer
A team of scientists at the University of Liverpool has secured the services of the National Biomanufacturing Centre (NBC) to develop and manufacture antibodies against a novel cancer antigen.

Flick of a protein switches immune response
Depending on its chemical partner, a single protein can either suppress or boost the immune response.

Study shows good HR practices equal growth for small businesses
A four-phase study conducted by Professor Christopher Collins of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations suggests that good human resource tactics pay off big for small businesses.

Men more at risk of recurrent blood clots than women
Men have a 50 percent higher relative risk of suffering from recurrent blood clots after a first episode than women, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Purdue creates new low-cost system to detect bacteria
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new low-cost system that analyzes scattered laser light to quickly identify bacteria for applications in medicine, food processing and homeland security at one-tenth the cost of conventional technologies.

Cosmic dust in terrestrial ice
They have shown that this rare helium isotope in cosmic dust exceeds that of terrestrial dust in ice by a factor of 5,000.

ACP tells Congress: Pilot test patient-centered medical home
Medicare should pilot test a patient-centered medical home, Lynne Kirk, M.D., FACP, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), today told a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Medical steroid's baffling connection to osteoporosis becomes clearer
Scientists are closing in on the solution to a persistent medical puzzle: Why do high doses of cortisone, widely prescribed for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, weaken bones?

Navigation guides robotic future
UQ scientists will use a $3.3 million grant to build a new generation of robots that can learn about their physical spaces based on animal navigation skills.

Supertron raises $3.5 million in Series C Financing
Supertron Technologies Inc., a leading developer of next-generation solutions for high-performance preclinical and clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) coils and probes announced today successfully financing $3.5 million with Amphion Innovations PLC.

How the world watched Huygens
As Huygens parachuted to the surface of Titan in January 2005, a battery of telescopes around the world were watching or listening.

Distressed by your baby's distress? How you respond matters
A mother's attentiveness to her baby's distress, especially in the first year, is more important to his secure attachment than lots of positive feedback when he's happy and content, concludes a University of Illinois study published in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology.

Transmission congestion threatens to clog nation's power grid
Inadequate investment in the power grid transmission network remains the Achilles heel of the nation's electric system, an engineer who specializes in utility policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says.

Iowa State psychologists produce first study on violence desensitization from video games
Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence.

Nanotechnology enables low-dose treatment of atherosclerotic plaques
In laboratory tests, one very low dose of a drug was enough to show an effect on notoriously tenacious artery-clogging plaques.

'Domino' transplant program makes best use of altruistic donated kidneys
A team of Johns Hopkins researchers reporting their early experiences with

UC Riverside researchers show how the brain turns on innate behavior
A research team led by UC Riverside's Michael Adams, professor of cell biology and neuroscience and professor of entomology, has made a major leap forward in understanding how the brain programs innate behavior.

Play in early childhood helps stunted children
Psychosocial stimulation in early childhood has long term benefits for stunted children's emotional outcomes and attention, finds a 16-year study published on today.

Anemic children with cancer benefit from erythropoietin
Children with cancer who develop anemia during chemotherapy can benefit from a weekly dose of erythropoietin (EPO), according to researchers at St.

Understanding what people with arthritis believe about exercise
Understanding what motivates and enables some people with arthritis to exercise, and what prevents others, is the focus of a study featured in the August 2006 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Study suggests TV watching lowers physical activity
A study of low-income housing residents has documented that the more television people say they watched, the less active they were, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues report. 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