Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 07, 2006
Closing in on lethal heart rhythm in young athletes
Johns Hopkins experts on the genetics of a potentially lethal heart rhythm defect that runs in families and targets young athletes report they have greatly narrowed the hunt for the specific genetic mutations that contribute to the problem.

Voice and signature for the identification of persons
Some years ago the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications at the School of Engineering in Bilbao started joint work with a number of universities in Spain in order to design a database that would provide the biometric characteristics of hundreds of people.

Siberian lakes burp 'time-bomb' greenhouse gas
Frozen bubbles in Siberian lakes are releasing methane, a greenhouse gas, at rates that appear to be

Study illuminates how the plague bacteria causes disease
The bacteria responsible for the plague and some forms of food poisoning

NIH launches Knockout Mouse Project
The National Institutes of Health today awarded a set of cooperative agreements, totaling up to $52 million over five years, to launch the Knockout Mouse Project.

US educators review Jordan's nursing programs
The dean of nursing at the University of Cincinnati (UC) is leading a quality review of the Kingdom of Jordan's 22 associate and 6 baccalaureate nursing programs.

Earth-like planets may be more common than once thought, says new U. of Colorado-Penn State study
More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside Earth's solar system may harbor Earth-like planets, many covered in deep oceans with potential for life, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder and Pennsylvania State University.

Scientist's persistence sheds light on marine science riddle
When he started compiling an online database of seashells 15 years ago, Dr.

Protein splicing upsets the DNA colinearity paradigm
Colinearity of DNA and protein sequences is thought to be a fundamental feature of the universal genetic code.

Need to pull an all-nighter?
People who must ward off sleep -- soldiers, pilots, truckers, students, doctors, parents of newborns -- might someday benefit from drugs that prevent nitric oxide gas from building up in the brain.

Improved treatment raises medulloblastoma survival rate
A team of investigators led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has announced that improvements in the treatment of the childhood brain cancer medulloblastoma have significantly increased the rate of survival of children with this disease.

Ageism endemic in health services
Ageism is endemic in health services, argues a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Climate change rocked cradles of civilization
Severe climate change was the primary driver in the development of civilisation, according to new research by the University of East Anglia.

Boston University awarded $42.5 million from NASA to study space radiation
Boston University has received an 8-year, $42.5 million contract from NASA to study Earth's radiation belts, a region which can be dangerous to astronauts and orbiting satellites.

Pediatric neurosurgeons recommend banning children from ATVs
Neurosurgeons at St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St.

JCI table of contents: September 7, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.

Knockout Mouse Project
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland is leading one of two teams in an international effort to produce thousands of genetically altered mice for a study to understand the role of individual genes in human health.

Feelings matter less to teenagers
Teenagers take less account than adults of people's feelings and, often, even fail to think about their own, according to a UCL neuroscientist.

New National Institute of Mental Health research program launches autism trials
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched 3 major clinical studies on autism at its research program on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

PNP gets a pass to enter cells
Individuals who lack purine nucleoside phosphorylase die early in life from infections, autoimmunity and cancer.

Modern humans, not Neandertals, may be evolution's 'odd man out'
New research at Washington University in St. Louis suggests that rather than the standard straight line from chimps to early humans to us with Neandertals off on a side graph, it's equally valid, perhaps more valid based on what the fossils tell us, that the straight line should be from the common ancestor to the Neandertals and the Modern Humans should be the branch off that.

Study of twins finds genetic link to fatigue
A genetic study of twins by researchers in Cardiff University's School of Medicine (Department of Psychological Medicine) found that although disabling fatigue and depression occur together, they have different genetic and environmental causes.

Amgen launches Aranesp prefilled Sureclick™ autoinjector for treatment of anemia
Amgen today announced the launch of the Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) prefilled SureClickTM autoinjector for patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia and anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States.

Physicists trap, map tiny magnetic vortex
In a research first that could lead to a new generation of hard drives capable of storing thousands of movies per square inch, physicists at Rice University have decoded the three-dimensional structure of a tornado-like magnetic vortex no larger than a red blood cell.

Researchers identify key step in cocaine-induced heart enlargement, sudden death
Cocaine, in concentrations commonly sold on the street, causes the abnormal buildup of primitive proteins in heart muscle -- a process that can ultimately lead to sudden death, a new study reports.

Liver diagnosis breakthrough with Mayo Clinic MRI development
Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a new technique for using magnetic resonance imaging to accurately measure the hardness or elasticity of the liver.

Genome code cracked for breast and colon cancers
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have completed the first draft of the genetic code for breast and colon cancers.

Rice awarded $10million for Department of Energy computer research center
The Department of Energy has awarded Rice University a major computer science research grant for a $10 million, multi-university initiative to design and build the software that scientists need to harness the power of emerging supercomputers.

New sunscreen ingredient to heal sunburn and help prevent skin cancer
People who suffer from sunburn could soon benefit from a new sunscreen ingredient that actively repairs sunburnt skin and helps prevent the onset of skin cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Statement from the NIH on cancer genetics findings at Johns Hopkins University
Systematic, genome-wide scans of two types of cancer -- breast cancer and colorectal cancer -- have revealed important new findings about the genetic underpinnings of these diseases, a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Md., an NCI-designated Cancer Center, reports in the Sept.

Malaria treatment efficacy compromised in certain HIV-positive patients
A weakened immune response resulting from HIV infection can lead to trouble when it comes to treating malaria, according to a new study appearing in the Oct.

GlycoFi and Dartmouth report full humanization of yeast glycosylation pathway in Science
Scientists at GlycoFi, Inc. and Dartmouth have engineered yeast cells to perform fully human glycosylation of therapeutic proteins, eliminating the need for mammalian cell culture production of those drugs, while improving the performance characteristics of many therapeutic proteins.

Reconstructive surgeon aims for rejection-free limb transplantation
To date about two dozen people around the world have received hand transplants.

Genetic surprise confirms neglected 70-year-old evolutionary hypothesis
Biologists at the University of Rochester have discovered that an old and relatively unpopular theory about how a single species can split in two turns out to be accurate after all, and acting in nature.

New EMBL/CRG Research Unit for Systems Biology launched today
Today the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science (MEC) officially launch their new joint EMBL/CRG Research Unit in Systems Biology on the campus of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park.

Mayo researchers discover HIV dependence on a human protein
Mayo Clinic virologists have discovered that a specific human protein is essential for HIV to integrate into the human genome.

Meeting America's Competitive Challenge
On Sept. 13, 2006, Norman R. Augustine -- retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation, National Academy of Engineering member and chair of the committee responsible for the eye-opening Academies report Rising Above the Gathering Storm -- will present a lecture entitled Meeting America's Competitive Challenge at the National Science Foundation.

Researchers tackle problem of data storage for next-generation supercomputers
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a 5-year, $11 million grant to researchers at 3 universities and 5 national laboratories to find new ways of managing the torrent of data that will be produced by the coming generation of supercomputers.

New SSRI effective for the treatment of moderate-to-severe premature ejaculation
A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor developed specifically for the treatment of premature ejaculation is safe and effective for men severely affected by the condition, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Precision climate modeling forecast by ORNL researchers
Climate modeling of tomorrow will feature precision and scale only imagined just a few years ago, say researchers David Erickson and John Drake of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Computer Science and Mathematics Division.

Claiming diagnostic tests for diabetes genes is misleading, say experts
Claims that the discovery of a gene could help prevent diabetes may raise unrealistic expectations, warn doctors in this week's BMJ.

Plants give up answers in the war on bacteria
Back-to-back scientific papers offer a revolutionary look at the battlefield on which plant diseases are fought -- and often lost -- to bacteria.

Study suggests a second dimension to Alzheimer's disease
The genes responsible for an inherited form of Alzheimer's disease play a direct role within cells that has largely been overlooked, according to a report in the Sept.

DoD awards $10.7 million Center of Excellence Grant to Fox Chase's V. Craig Jordan
V. Craig Jordan, OBE, Ph.D., D.Sc., of Fox Chase Cancer Center has received a $10.7 million grant from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program for a Breast Cancer Center of Excellence focused on developing a new treatment model for breast cancer to reverse resistance to anti-estrogen therapy.

SMART-1 impact flash and debris: Crash scene investigation
Timing, location, detection of a flash and of ejected material, and a firework generated by the lunar impact of ESA's SMART-1, are the latest results gathered thanks to the ground observation campaign of this historical event.

Ocean seep mollusks may share evolutionary history with other deep-sea creatures
The unusual mollusks of oceanic cold seeps are on average older than the marine mollusk community as a whole, according to a new report in the Sept.

Carnegie Mellon receives NIMH/NSF grant to examine mechanisms that underlie neuronal synchronization
Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientist Nathan Urban has received a $979,000 grant as part of a joint National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) program to elucidate how cellular and molecular changes in neurons lead to their synchronized firing.

DOE announces $60 million in projects to accelerate scientific discovery through advanced computing
The Department of Energy announced awards for 30 computational science projects.

Dartmouth and GlycoFi report full humanization of therapeutic proteins from yeast
Researchers at Dartmouth and at the biotechnology firm GlycoFi, Inc.

From bubbles to capsules
Researchers from Japan have developed a clever new technique for the production of silicon dioxide nanocapsules: they start with tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide in a silicon copolymer.

Diversity training fails to boost minorities into management
A new study shows that diversity training programs have roundly failed to eliminate bias and increase the number of minorities in management, despite the fact that many corporations have spent increasing amounts of money on them since the 1990s.

New computer model could solve real-world problems on a small, porous scale
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory today was awarded a Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing, or SciDAC, grant to develop a computer model that can simulate biogeochemical processes on multiple scales.

Parents want concrete support not parenting lessons
Government plans to spend more money on advice that may not be welcomed by parents, who are more interested in concrete services than in parenting classes, according to research from the ESRC Families and Social Capital Research Group at London South Bank University.

Report: Economic freedom key to lifting poor nations out of poverty
Economic freedom has a greater impact than foreign aid in helping people in poor nations escape poverty, according to Florida State University economics professor James Gwartney in Tallahassee, Fla., the co-author of the 10th edition of the Economic Freedom of the World: 2006 Annual Report, to be released Thursday.

Drug can quickly mobilize an army of cells to repair injury
To speed healing at sites of injury -- such as heart muscle after a heart attack or brain tissue after a stroke -- doctors would like to hasten the formation of new blood vessels.

Frontline NHS staff should be trained to tackle alcohol misuse
Large amounts of money and resources would be saved if all frontline NHS staff had basic knowledge about the social and physical ill effects of alcohol misuse, say doctors in this week's BMJ.

Gamma Knife offers non-invasive treatment for vascular disorders, tumors in the brain
A week after graduating from high school, Katherine Coit had brain surgery to remove an abnormal tangle of blood vessels that were bleeding in her brain.

Seeing two figures in coordinated action helps brain pick out movements of one
A new study by UC Berkeley vision scientists finds that the human visual system is better able to discriminate the movements of a single person when his or her actions are coordinated in a meaningful way with a second individual.

Mexico's health-system reforms showing encouraging results
Julio Frenk, minister of Health of Mexico, outlines the results of the country's six-year project of health-system reform in a public health article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Oxford review of economic policy
In this issue of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Dieter Helm challenges the current red-tape debate in his assessment,

Medical education must adapt to society's changing attitudes
What are the challenges facing medical education? This question is discussed in this week's BMJ, ahead of the annual meeting of the Association for Medical Education in Europe.

Ames laboratory scientist receives 2006 IBM Faculty Award
Ames Laboratory researcher Brett Bode's has received a 2006 IBM Faculty Award for his work on developing management systems for petascale computing.

Organic semiconductors make cheap, flexible photovoltaics and LEDs
Cornell University researchers have demonstrated a new type of organic semiconductor device using ionic junctions which shows electroluminescence and acts as a photovoltaic cell.

Hot dust and moisture collide to fuel Asian summer rainy season
Who would think that something like dust in the air could trigger rain?

Fast-freeze snapshot yields new picture of nerve-muscle junction
A team of neuroscientists report on a new high-pressure flash-freeze technique that allows a more representative imaging of protein placement in and around synaptic neurotransmitter vesicles.

ORNL researchers winners of five DOE SciDAC awards
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has the lead on five projects funded through the Department of Energy's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program and has supporting roles in seven other projects.

ESA steps towards a great black hole census
Astronomers using ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral, have taken an important step towards estimating how many black holes there are in the Universe.

Unusual three-drug combo inhibits growth of aggressive tumors
An experimental anti-cancer regimen combined a diuretic, a Parkinson's disease medication and a drug ordinarily used to reverse the effect of sedatives.
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