Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 20, 2006
Rochester launches Cancer Stem Cell Research Program
The promise of cancer stem cell research has reached a critical point and the University of Rochester Medical Center is establishing itself as a leader in the field by creating a Cancer Stem Cell Research Program.

Enzyme shreds Alzheimer's protein
An enzyme found naturally in the brain snips apart the protein that forms the sludge called amyloid plaque that is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), researchers have found.

HHMI hosts international scientists at Janelia Farm Research Campus
Top biomedical scientists from 28 countries will gather at the new Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to share insights and data from their latest research on some of the world's toughest medical challenges -- such as tuberculosis, malaria, and antibiotic resistance.

University of Florida study shows leptin could combat type 2 diabetes
Using a novel gene therapy technique, University of Florida researchers were able to reverse type 2 diabetes in mice.

Are we prepared?
Kent State's CDC-funded Northeastern Ohio Consortium for Biopreparedness, one of only 52 Centers for Public Health Preparedness nationwide, will feature nationally known keynote speakers and training for first-responders at the second annual Public Health Preparedness Symposium, Oct.

Iowa State corn/soy plastics to be made into hog feeders
Richard Larock, a University professor of chemistry at Iowa State University, is developing plastics made from corn and soybean oils that will be used to build hog feeders.

'Egg on your face' may be more dangerous than you think
As the party conference season gets under way in the UK, research in Emergency Medicine Journal shows that lobbing raw eggs at people as a harmless form of protest or prank can actually result in serious eye injury.

Researchers use statistical technique to find mix of biomarkers predicting mortality
Using a technique called

Earth's most diverse marine life found off Indonesia's Papua Province
Two recent expeditions led by Conservation International (CI) to the heart of Asia's

Emotional control circuit of brain's fear response discovered
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified the neurocircuit that controls the brain's response to fear.

Squid skin reveals hidden messages
In research published today in the journal Biology Letters, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) researchers Lydia Mäthger and Roger Hanlon present evidence that the polarized aspect of the skin of the longfin inshore squid, Loligo pealeii, is maintained after passing through the pigment cells responsible for camouflage.

New research puts 'killer La Palma tsunami' at distant future
The volcanic island of La Palma in the Canaries is much more stable than is generally assumed, Dutch scientists working at the TU Delft have found.

NIH director announces 2006 Pioneer Award recipients
Recipients of the 2006 NIH Director's Pioneer Award were announced at 11:00 a.m.

How the brain keeps emotions at bay
Daily life requires that people cope with distracting emotions -- from the basketball player who must make a crucial shot amidst a screaming crowd, to a salesman under pressure delivering an important pitch to a client.

Hopkins study reveals white blood cells can both hurt and help transplanted kidneys
In an example of biological irony, the same white blood cell chemistry known to damage kidneys used for transplants may also help prevent such damage, according to a federally funded study in genetically engineered mice at Johns Hopkins.

Coronary surgery -- keeping the way clear
EUREKA project E! 3147 drug eluting stent has developed a new generation of stent -- a wire mesh tube.

Stevens' Disruptive Technologies Roundtable discusses Attila Technologies, LLC
Attila Technologies, LLC, will be the focus of the third in a series of

Obesity crisis in insects? Not a problem, says expert
Ever seen a fat insect? Probably not. Dr. Spencer Behmer may have the answer why, and that could have implications for what is billed as the current human obesity epidemic.

To be or not to be: Is it all about spinning?
Thanks to the unique possibilities offered by ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have solved a 140-year-old mystery concerning active hot stars.

Renewed dolphin slaughter prompts new campaign
As the annual dolphin drive hunts begin in the Japanese villages of Taiji and Futo, a consortium of scientists and zoo and aquarium professionals has launched a campaign to end the practices through public awareness and by appealing to the government of Japan to put an end to the hunts.

Researchers reveal how air pollutant helps pregnant women with hypertension
Nitric oxide is best known as an air pollutant produced by vehicle emissions and power plants but for pregnant women it is a crucial compound required to avoid hypertension and pre-eclampsia.

UVa receives $35.7 million grant renewal from NIH
The University of Virginia School of Medicine's Cell Migration Consortium grant has been renewed for five years.

Oldest juvenile skeleton discovered will help piece together human development
Discovery of a nearly intact 3.3 million year-old juvenile skeleton is filling an important gap in understanding the evolution of a species thought to be among the earliest direct ancestors to humans, says William Kimbel, a paleoanthropologist with ASU's Institute of Human Origins.

High hourly air pollution levels more than double stroke risk
High hourly levels of air pollution, more than double the risk of one type of stroke, suggests research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Fruit fly aggression studies have relevance to humans, animals
Researchers in the North Carolina Sate University genetics department have identified a suite of genes that affect aggression in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, pointing to new mechanisms that could contribute to abnormal aggression in humans and other animals.

Invasive sea squirts persist on Georges Bank
For the fourth consecutive year, federal and university researchers have surveyed two areas on Georges Bank where an invasive colonial sea squirt continues to thrive on the gravel bottom.

Greenland ice sheet still losing mass, says new University of Colorado study
Data gathered by a pair of NASA satellites orbiting Earth show Greenland continued to lose ice mass at a significant rate through April 2006, and that the rate of loss is accelerating, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

The weirdest Type Ia supernova yet
Scientists from the University of Toronto, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, and others with the SuperNova Legacy Survey have found startling evidence of more than one kind of Type Ia supernova, a class of exploding stars which until now has been regarded as essentially uniform in all important respects.

The point of icicles
Contemplating some of nature's cool creations is always fun. Now a team of scientists from the University of Arizona in Tucson has figured out the physics of how drips of icy water can swell into the skinny spikes known as icicles.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use associated with higher gastrointestinal complications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) provide a broad range of benefits for patients who require their use, but health care providers need to carefully consider the associated risks before prescribing these drugs for their patients, according to a multi-disciplinary panel of experts convened by the AGA Institute.

Search on for treatment of slow-healing wounds
Montana State University's Center for Biofilm Engineering, in partnership with the Southwest Regional Wound Care Center in Lubbock, Texas, has won $2.9 million from the National Institutes of Health to fund four years of research into chronic wounds.

L'Oréal accepting applications for 2007 USA fellowships for Women in Science
L'Oréal is now accepting applications from researchers for its 2007 Fellowships for Women in Science.

Feinstein Institute's top scientist weighs in on mind-body medicine at conference with Dalai Lama
Because he discovered a key link between the mind and the body, Kevin J.

Walking not enough for significant exercise benefits
Walking is a popular form of exercise, but may not be enough to experience significant health benefits, a University of Alberta study shows.

Cell Press announces new partnership with the ISSCR
Cell Press, the publisher of 10 scientific journals including Cell and Neuron, is set to launch a new journal focused on the burgeoning field of stem cells.

Skeletal microdamage stable after first year
Indiana University School of Medicine study shows that the continued use of alendronate (a bisphosphonate) is not associated with continued accumulation of microdamage.

'Killer' B cells demonstrate evolutionary link between fish and mammal immune systems
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have discovered a unique evolutionary link between the immune systems of fish and mammals in the form of a primitive version of B cells, white blood cells of the immune system.

Pregnancy and lactation may affect maternal behavior and coping skills
Hormonal changes occurring in female rats after they give birth to and nurse their offspring may cause long-term endocrine and neuroendocrine changes that help produce better mothering skills with each pregnancy and reduce the mother's anxiety levels as she matures, according to scientists at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Otago Medical School.

Perfectionism and parents push young hockey players to anger, study shows
Young hockey players with unhealthy perfectionist tendencies are particularly prone to fits of anger, say researchers at the University of Alberta.

Study shows men with ED favor treatment with Vardenafil
Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine and presented at the 12th World Congress of the International Society for Sexual Medicine in Cairo, Egypt, is unique in that the data is from a head to head trial of PDE5 inhibitors used to treat patients with erectile dysfunction (ED), designed to minimize bias toward either study drug.

Hard-wiring the fruit fly's visual system
It is generally thought that the part of the brain in vertebrates that uses nerve cells to represent the outside world cannot only be genetically programmed but also requires activity by neurons or nerve cells in the brain.

NASA's TRMM satellite tracks 2006 hurricane rainfall
How can one know how much rain really falls over the path of a tropical storm or hurricane?

Fatty fish protects against cancer
If you want to avoid cancer of the kidneys, a new major study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that eating salmon or other kinds of fatty fish a few times a month would be one good way to go about it.

Study details structural changes of a key catalytic enzyme
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have detailed a new hypothesis of how a key catalytic enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase -- which is the target of several anticancer and antibiotic therapies-cycles through structural changes as it plays a critical role in promoting cell growth and proliferation.

Smokers may be at greater risk of HIV infection
Smokers may be at greater risk of HIV infection than nonsmokers, reveals an analysis of published research issued ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Hope for significant new diabetes treatment in Stanford discovery
Certain immune-suppressing drugs, such as those taken by patients who have had organ transplants, greatly increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Can Immunology Help Win the War on Cancer?
The nation's leading voices on immune-based therapies and vaccines will discuss the changing face of cancer treatment at the Dana Center on September 27.

Field Museum receives $5 million grant from the Grainger Foundation
The Grainger Foundation granted the Field Museum $5 million to enhance its scientific research capacity and public exhibition areas.

Solar-B -- a new solar mission to study the dynamic sun
A new Japanese-led solar mission with ESA participation is preparing for launch on Sept.

Prenatal vitamins may reduce risk of brain tumors in children
Women who take multivitamins early in pregnancy may reduce the risk that their child will develop some types of brain tumors.

Conservationist and actor Harrison Ford honored by Congressional Foundation
Actor and Conservation International (CI) board member Harrison Ford received the

Very low birth weight linked to reduced quality of life in pre-school children
Survey of almost 300 pre-school children found that those with low birth weights had poorer lung function, appetite and motor function than normal-birth-weight children, as well as being more anxious, less positive and less lively.

Surveys find outright hunger among Latino immigrants in North Carolina
Wake Forest University School of Medicine researchers have found high rates of hunger in surveys of immigrant Latino families in eastern and western North Carolina, southwestern Virginia and Forsyth County.

New insight into skin-tanning process suggests novel way of preventing skin cancer
Findings from a study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital Boston has rewritten science's understanding of the process of skin tanning -- an insight that has enabled them to develop a promising way of protecting fair-skinned people from skin cancer caused by exposure to sunlight.

New technology helping foster the 'democratization of cartography'
Mark Harrower, an assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is devoted to giving people powerful new tools to improve map-making.

Robot infantry ready for the battlefield
Machine-gun equipped robots were certified safe for use by the U.S. forces in June. 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