Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2006
Light guides flight of migratory birds
Virginia Tech researchers have demonstrated that migratory birds calibrate their magnetic compass based on polarized light patterns at sunset and sunrise -- solving a 30-year puzzle.

Emory scientists develop new map of genetic variation in human genome
Scientists have identified and created a map of more than 400,000 insertions and deletions (INDELs) in the human genome that signal a little-explored type of genetic difference among individuals.

Contagious cancer in dogs confirmed; origins traced to wolves centuries ago
A new study in the August 11, 2006, issue of the journal Cell provides evidence that a form of cancer afflicting dogs has spread from one individual to another by the transmission of the tumor cells themselves.

Study shows snowfall hasn't increased over Antarctica in last 50 years
An international effort to determine the variability of recent snowfall over Antarctica shows that there has been no real increase in precipitation over the southernmost continent in the last half-century.

Arthritis drug helps debilitating inflammatory disease
Anakinra brings marked improvement in symptoms and inflammation of neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID).

Encoded metallic nanowires reveal bioweapons
American researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory led by Jeffrey Tok, in collaboration with groups at Stanford University, University of California at Davis, and Oxonica Inc (formerly Nanoplex Technologies Inc). have developed a new basis for the simultaneous detection of pathogens: they are using silver and gold

University of Pennsylvania computer scientists put social network theory to the test
For years, researchers studied the structure of social networks; a field whose implications range from disaster management to how many friends connect to your MySpace page.

Computer scientists lay out vision for a 'science of the Web'
Researchers need a clear agenda to harness the rapidly evolving potential of the World Wide Web, according to an article in the Aug.

Map sheds light on ocean floor
The first comprehensive map of Australia's known offshore mineral occurrences has been released.

Insect 'noses' the key to cybernose collaboration
A new $4 million collaboration announced today will help scientists in their efforts to produce a new generation of electronic nose, the 'cybernose'.

Drug addiction treatment sees drop in success rate
The proportion of drug users who completed treatment for drug addiction decreased between 1998 and 2002, although the overall number of drug users who entered treatment increased.

New light microscope sharpens scientists' focus
Scientists have developed a light microscope so powerful that it allows researchers to discern the precise intracellular location of nearly each individual protein they are studying.

Mayo Clinic: New recommendations for use of bisphosphonates in treatment of multiple myeloma
Mayo Clinic's multiple myeloma (MM) research team has jointly issued a consensus statement regarding the use of bisphosphonates to prevent or treat bone disease in MM.

Overall Antarctic snowfall hasn't changed in 50 years
For an animated graphic of snowfall variability across Antarctica and over time and b-roll of the U.S.

Computational analysis shows that plant hormones often go it alone
Unlike the Three Musketeers who lived by the motto

Eliminating blindness the safe way
By promoting better hygiene, health education and antibiotic use, blindness caused by trachoma could be drastically reduced, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Greenland's ice loss accelerating rapidly, gravity-measuring satellites reveal
A new analysis of data from twin satellites has revealed that the melting of Greenland's ice sheet has increased dramatically in the past few years, with much of the loss occurring primarily along one shoreline potentially affecting weather in Western Europe.

Heart failure drugs may be beneficial for patients with hardening of the arteries
Drugs currently used to treat heart failure should be considered for all patients with hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

New flood-tolerant rice offers relief for world's poorest farmers
A gene that enables rice to survive complete submergence has been identified by a team of researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and at the University of California's Davis and Riverside campuses.

Recombination protein dynamics observed with single monomer resolution
Using a sensitive, single-molecule measurement technique, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have observed the life cycle of RecA, a protein that plays a major role in repairing damaged DNA.

Researchers continue studies into aging and cognition
Learning more about the decline in learning and memory that can accompany aging is the focus of a $6.2 million grant Wake Forest University School of Medicine has been awarded from the National Institute on Aging.

Forest fires a huge cost to health
Forest fires don't just have an impact on the environment, but on human health, according to a new study from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Time of day tempers tadpoles' response to predators
To a tiny tadpole, life boils down to two basic missions: eat and avoid being eaten.

Texts to reveal 'Whodunnit'
Psychologists at the University of Leicester are to investigate texting language to provide new tools for criminal investigation.

With few factors, adult cells take on character of embryonic stem cells
With the introduction of just four factors, researchers have successfully induced differentiated cells taken from mouse embryos or adult mice to behave like embryonic stem cells.

Protein plays broader role than originally thought in neurofibromatosis
Mutation of neurofibromin, which triggers abnormal activation of the protein Ras, causes neurofibromatosis type I, characterized by abnormal cell growth in nerve tissue resulting in tumors.

Experimental RNA-based drug kills prostate cancer cells effectively and safely
Acting as a genetic Trojan horse, an experimental RNA-based drug -- the first of its kind -- tricks its way into prostate cancer cells and then springs into action to destroy them, while leaving normal cells unarmed.

Doctors warn of the dangers of Internet-bought drugs
U.K. doctors highlight the problems surrounding internet bought drugs in a Case Report in this week's Lancet.

Draft environmental impact statement prepared for USAMRIID facilities at Fort Detrick
The Department of the Army has issued a Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for construction and operation of new U.S.

NSF announces six new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials
In an ongoing effort to enhance diversity in the materials research field, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced awards for six new Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREMs).

GSA conference to address managing drought and water scarcity
Geoscientists from around the globe will gather next month to address

Contagious canine cancer
The source of a cancer that affects dogs around the world has been traced by scientists and vets at UCL (University College London) to a single wolf or dog, which probably lived in China or Siberia more than 250 years ago.

1000th sungrazing comet discovered by SOHO
Polish amateur comet hunter Arkadiusz Kubczak recently discovered his third comet in SOHO LASCO coronagraph images, but this one was special: the 1000th SOHO comet discovery in the Kreutz group of sungrazing comets.

Iowa State University food scientist is changing the way we look at pork
When he saw that Japanese export buyers always selected the darkest pork, Iowa State University food scientist Ken Prusa wanted to know why.

Breast cancer survivors change lifestyle after diagnosis
Breast cancer survivors' beliefs about what may have caused their cancer are connected to whether they make healthy lifestyle changes after a cancer diagnosis.

When pregnancies fail early, many woman choose office procedure rather than OR
Early pregnancy failure -- or EPF -- occurs in 14 to 19 percent of recognized pregnancies.

UAF hosts symposium on human-fire interactions
Fires burned 6.59 million acres in Alaska in 2004 -- the state's largest fire season on record.

Medscape review supports effectiveness and safety of new non-drug blood pressure treatment
InterCure, Ltd., today announced the publication of a peer-reviewed clinical overview of seven clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of device-guided breathing.

JCI table of contents: August 10, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, August 10, 2006, in the JCI, including: Protein plays broader role than originally thought in neurofibromatosis; Antibody binding to heart muscle cells disrupts the beating heart; Interferon gamma keeps over-aggressive immune responses in check; and The factor has two faces: dual role for FoxO1 in metabolic disease.

Mussels evolve quickly to defend against invasive crabs
Scientists at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have found that invasive crab species may precipitate evolutionary change in blue mussels in as little as 15 years.

New research examines genetics of successful aging
Scientists have identified genes related to reaching age 90 with preserved cognition, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

UCLA chemists' study of protein may provide insights into heart disease and cancer
UCLA chemists studying a protein associated with a rare genetic disease may also be gaining insights into cancer and heart disease.

Religious beliefs can protect psychological well-being during stressful experiences
According to a recent study, faith-based positive religious resources can protect psychological well-being through enhanced hope and perceived social support during stressful experiences, like undergoing cardiac surgery.

New research points toward mechanism of age-onset toxicity of Alzheimer's protein
Like most neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease usually appears late in life, raising the question of whether it is a disastrous consequence of aging or if the toxic protein aggregates that cause the disease simply take a long time to form.

New treatment model for bipolar disorder shows promise
A new model of treatment for bipolar disorder, similar to care given to diabetics and others with chronic diseases, improved patient outcomes without adding costs, according to new research funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Springer acquires BioTribune Magazine and
Effective January 2007, Springer will publish BioTribune Magazine and, both leading information sources for clinical biologists in France.

UC Riverside/JD Power team wins 2006 INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Practice Prize
The 2006 INFORMS Society for Marketing Science today announced that the winning entry in the society's Practice Prize competition is

Study finds parental time to be key in fight against childhood obesity
The fight against obesity in children just got a new weapon, thanks to a multi?year study by researchers from Texas A&M University.

Study reveals how cells destroy faulty proteins in cystic fibrosis
The cellular system that degrades faulty proteins created by the cystic fibrosis gene has been identified by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists.

Natural resources and the economy: hand in hand
Economics and the natural resources go hand in hand in the Southern Appalachians, where we have come to depend on abundant clean water, productive forests, biodiversity, and scenic beauty to sustain a wide range of businesses and industriesas well as a distinct sense of place and quality of life.

Expression of 'Blimp1' gene leads to the discovery of cells responsible for skin's sebaceous gland
New research from Rockefeller University's Elaine Fuchs examines how skin cells involved in oil production develop from a newly identified population of cells adjacent to the hair follicle.

Pressure to be more muscular may lead men to unhealthy behaviors
Women are not the only ones in American society who feel pressure to achieve the perfect body.

Herceptin effective in breast cancer cells with low HER-2 levels
Northwestern University researchers have discovered that the monoclonal antibody Herceptin (trastuzumab) used in combination with certain cancer chemotherapies effectively treats breast cancer tumors that produce low or undetectable amounts of the HER-2 oncogene but overexpress the growth factor heregulin (HRG), an activator of the HER-2 cancer oncoprotein.

Personality predictors of intelligence change from younger to older adulthood
An ability to be open to new situations may predict intelligence earlier in life, says a new study, but disagreeableness may predict intelligence later in life.

Parental cigarette use is 'double whammy' for children
A new study exploring smoking, heavy drinking and marijuana use across three generations indicates that the children of a parent who uses any of these substances are more likely to smoke, binge drink or use marijuana in adolescence and adulthood. 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