Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 21, 2006
CIESE awarded three-year, $1.2 million National Science Foundation ITEST grant
The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology has been awarded a three-year, $1.2 million Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant from the National Science Foundation, to implement pre-engineering and information-technology experiences in courses and summer programs with teachers and students from schools throughout New Jersey.

Clinton Foundation joins efforts in the fight against AIDS in Ukraine
Clinton Foundation joins efforts in the fight against AIDS in Ukraine, with Elena Franchuk and Victor Pinchuk.

Cydonia -- the face on Mars
ESA's Mars Express has obtained images of the Cydonia region, site of the famous

Rutgers College of Nursing professor to be inducted into RAAA Hall of Fame
Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Robert Atkins will be inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA) Hall of Fame on September 30 at the Busch Campus Faculty Dining Room in Piscataway, N.J.

Georgetown leads effort to study safety of 'alternative' tobacco products
A nationwide consortium of researchers, led by Georgetown University Medical Center, has been awarded a five-year, $17 million grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to determine if alternative tobacco products reduce health risks as they either overtly claim to or subtly imply.

'Imported' pollution tied to poor air quality in Texas in 2004
Scientists using NASA satellites and other data including computer models and ground sensors have demonstrated that pollutants traveling even thousands of miles can impact air quality.

Stabbings are increasing
Serious knife injuries are increasing, say trauma experts at the Royal London Hospital in a letter to this week's BMJ.

New target for cancer therapy identified
A new target for cancer therapy has been identified by Monash University scientists investigating the cell signalling pathways that turn on a gene involved in cancer development.

'Meth mouth' can leave users toothless
Methamphetamine is a powerfully addictive drug that can seriously damage oral health, destroying a person's smile and natural ability to chew, according to the American Dental Association.

2006 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
Sometimes the best way to express a scientific idea is through an image that grabs the eye and invites viewers to wonder what they're seeing.

New research detects human-induced climate change at a regional scale
Canadian and British climate scientists have clearly detected human-induced climate change at a regional scale in Canada, southern Europe and China.

Like a snail through the intestinal canal
The medical device currently used for intestinal research, the colonsope, causes patients great discomfort.

Field Museum gives Parker/Gentry Award to missionary turned biologist, José 'Pepe' Alvarez
The Field Museum gives its 11th annual Parker/Gentry Award to José 'Pepe' Alvarez, a missionary turned conservationist.

Handling HPV vaccines and screening: The views of 100 authors
Elsevier is delighted to announce the publication of a unique supplement to the journal Vaccine: HPV Vaccines and Screening in the Prevention of Cervical Cancer.

Scientists find popular acne drug leads to depression-related behavior in mice
A drug commonly used to treat severe acne can lead to depression-related behavior in mice, according to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology by scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Bath.

A world first in the treatment of a young patient with a completely blocked yet vital heart artery
The Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and the Montreal Heart Institute proudly announce the achievement of a world first in the treatment of a young pediatric patient's coronary arteries.

JCI table of contents: September 21, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, September 21, 2006, in the JCI, including: Calcineurin helps newborns breathe easy; Lymph nodes and lymph node-like structures: not as similar as they seem; Modeling the intimate bond between mother and developing fetus; MITF finds a new job in the heart; Platelets do the two-step to activate COX2; and Brucipain gives parasite open access to the brain.

Meet the earliest baby girl ever discovered
The find of an australopithecus afarensis child will help to answer important questions concerning human evolution.

Hubble finds hundreds of young galaxies in the early universe
Astronomers analyzing two of the deepest views of the cosmos made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered a gold mine of galaxies, more than 500 that existed less than a billion years after the Big Bang.

Blacks with bladder cancer have more aggressive tumors, worse survival, U-M study finds
Black patients with bladder cancer are 35 percent more likely to die of the disease than white patients, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dixie Chicks and CI partner to offset climate footprint of band's 2006 world tour
Concerned about global warming and the health of the planet, the Dixie Chicks announced today that they will partner with Conservation International to help offset the carbon footprint associated with their 2006 Accidents and Accusations concert tour.

Building trust among communities will be key in eradicating polio
Building trust among poor people, through sustained education efforts about the benefits of polio vaccination, will be crucial to eradicating the disease, states an editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

A new understanding of how cells defend themselves against bacterial pore-forming toxins
Biologists at the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) have unveiled a new twist in a metabolic pathway that cells use to defend themselves against toxins made by disease-causing bacteria.

Video games: Medicine for the body
Immune Attack is a new generation video game that engages students and teaches complex biology and immunology topics in a manner different from the traditional classroom approach.

One protein, two channels: Scientists explain mechanism in aquaporins
Using computer simulations and experimental results, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Arizona have identified a key component of the gating mechanism in aquaporins that controls both the passage of water and the conduction of ions.

Lucky find off Galapagos
During a research expedition off South America, scientists discover widespread ethane and propane produced by microorganisms in deeply-buried sediments.

UCSB's College of Engineering to present 'Engineering Insights' Oct. 17 and 18, 2006
The College of Engineering at UC-Santa Barbara is holding a two-day symposium designed to bring industry leaders to the College of Engineering for research updates and discussions.

Political commitment and strong health systems needed to control tropical worm disease
Many middle-income countries have made great progress in the control of the tropical worm disease schistosomiasis, but political commitment and strong health systems are now needed to help countries with fewer resources, state the authors of a seminar in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Nanocar inventor named top nanotech innovator
Rice University chemist and nanocar inventor James Tour has been selected Innovator of the Year in Small Times magazine's Best of Small Tech Research Award competition.

Lighting up the heart
For the first time ever, researchers at the University of Bristol have been able to directly measure energy levels inside living heart cells, in real time, using the chemical that causes fireflies to light up.

Can high schoolers solve climate change problems?
High school students across the U.S. will be partnering with peers in Korea, China and India to find solutions in the fight against climate change.

Virtual reality simulator lands at McMaster University
McMaster University has unveiled the first interactive motion simulator in Canada to be used for teaching undergraduate students how to develop software for simulated flight, driving, real-time game design, medical research, virtual reality systems and a host of other applications.

Calcineurin helps newborns breathe easy
Many premature babies suffer from the potentially life threatening respiratory distress syndrome because their lungs have not completed the final stages of development when they are born.

The Starr Foundation launches multi-institutional cancer consortium
The Starr Foundation today announced that it has made a $100 million grant to create a wide-ranging cancer consortium to coordinate the efforts of five internationally renowned research institutions in the fight against cancer.

Marc Levine, M.D., of Penn, wins Eminent Scientist of the Year award from the IRPC
Marc Levine, M.D., professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has received an Eminent Scientist of the Year 2006 award from the International Research Promotion Council in India.

Better training needed to reduce emergency caesareans
Many emergency caesareans could be prevented by the attendance of a more skilled obstetrician, say senior doctors in this week's BMJ.

Pregnant prehistoric fossil offers clues to past
University of Alberta scientists have named a new species of ancient marine reptile, fondly called the Ping Pong Ichthyosaur for the spot the prehistoric creature called home for the last 25 years.

Doctors must debate hospital closures
Doctors must debate the issue of hospital closures, says an article in this week's BMJ.

Fires in Alaska and Canada caused sharp increase in Houston's ozone level
Forest fires that ravaged parts of Alaska and western Canada in 2004 exacerbated the already-high levels of ozone pollution in Houston, Texas, some 5,000 kilometers away.

Wild bees make honeybees better pollinators
Up to a third of our food supply depends on pollination by domesticated honeybees, but the insects are up to five times more efficient when wild bees buzz the same fields.

Self-aligning liquid crystal technique could simplify manufacture of display devices
A new technique for creating vertical alignment among liquid crystal molecules could allow development of less costly flexible displays and lead to a better understanding of the factors that govern operation of the popular liquid crystal display systems.

Watching DNA repair in real time
Direct observations of DNA are giving new insights into how genetic material is copied and repaired.

Is psychiatry racist?
Psychiatry services in England and Wales have been accused of being institutionally racist, but are these accusations justified?

Research looks at how open source software gets written
Computer software systems are now among the most complex, expensive artifacts ever created by humans.

Insulin receptor stops progression of Alzheimer's disease
A study from Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School shows that you can treat Alzheimer's in its early stages and almost completely halt neurodegeneration.

The New England Journal of Medicine reports data on eculizumab for the treatment of PNH
A study led by Dr. Peter Hillmen of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, relating to an uncommon and severe haemolytic anaemia known as paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH), was published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

NASA study: Alaskan fires affected Houston air quality in 2004
An innovative new NASA-funded study based on a combination of satellite data, computer models and weather balloon readings finds that smoke from Alaskan and Canadian forest fires as much as doubled ground-level ozone in Houston during a two-day period in July 2004.

Jefferson scientists find boosting protein levels staves off heart failure
Boosting levels of a protein might help protect against the development of heart failure, particularly in those who have had heart attacks.

Gene offers new lead in cleft lip and palate research
Researchers report that a much-studied gene called SUMO1, when under expressed, can cause cleft lip and palate, one of the world's most common birth defects.

A better diet through online shopping?
A randomized trial, offering participants using an internet shopping system the chance to receive either general dietary advice or tailored advice which prompted shoppers to replace items with alternatives lower in saturated fat, is to be published in PLoS Clinical Trials.

NSET releases document: EHS research needs for engineered nanoscale materials
The Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology has released a document identifying environmental, health, and safety research and information needs related to understanding and management of potential risks of engineered nanoscale materials.

Lower income means higher risk for heart disease
Low-income adults are more likely to have very high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a risk factor for heart disease, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Southern California.
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