Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2006
New details about Alzheimer's detection, secret transmissions over public networks, more
Frontiers in Optics 2006 -- the 90th Annual Meeting of the Optical Society of America (OSA) -- will showcase a wide range of the latest research breakthroughs in optical science and engineering.

Improving the patient experience one meal at a time
Sometimes innovation in health care takes the form of advanced imaging technology or breakthroughs in drug treatments.

NIH funding renewed for VA study of alcohol and HIV/AIDS interactions
The Veterans Aging Cohort Study has received a five-year, $13-million continuation award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to examine the impact of aging and alcohol use among those with and without chronic HIV infection.

NCI creates network of Clinical Proteomic Technology Centers for cancer research
The National Cancer Institute today announced funding for a major component of its $104 million, five-year Clinical Proteomic Technologies Initiative for Cancer.

How nature tinkers with the cellular clock
The cell cycle is regulated by several layers of control that work very differently.

Clinical trial shows islet transplantation is a promising procedure
The first international, multicenter trial of the Edmonton Protocol -- a standardized approach to the transplantation of insulin-producing islets -- demonstrates that this may be an appropriate therapy that can dramatically benefit certain patients with severe complications of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

$20 million to expand seafloor observatory
The research capacity of the University of Victoria-led NEPTUNE Canada, the world's first regional cabled ocean observatory, has received a significant boost with the announcement of an additional $20 million in funding.

Alliance aims to rethink network computing and communications
As part of a newly formed alliance of international scientists, researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be exploring advanced technologies for wireless sensor networks in urban environments.

UW researchers link deadliness of 1918 flu to severe immune system response
The H1N1 influenza strain that caused the 1918 flu pandemic causes a severe immune-system response that likely is what makes the virus so deadly to a host animal or person, according to a new study appearing in the October 5 issue of the journal Nature.

TU Delft and Shell jointly invest in sustainable mobility
On Oct. 10, eight Ph.D. candidates will start working in the joint Shell-TU Delft research program

Research could lead to dramatic improvement in scanning for serious diseases
A new £850,000 project begins next month (October) that could lead to a dramatically improved understanding of serious illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, septic shock and cancer.

Finger length ratio may predict women's sporting prowess
The difference between the lengths of a woman's index and ring fingers may indicate her sporting prowess, suggests research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Silver anomalies found in Jerusalem pottery hint at wealth during second Temple period
Scientists with the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Bar-Ilan University have discovered unusually high concentrations of silver in samples of many different types of pottery from excavations in Jerusalem of the late Second Temple period, the first century BCE (Before the Common Era) through 70 CE (Common Era).

Physics of small business success, dark matter gravitation, fibers for secret messages
The physics of finding the perfect spot for your new flower shop, dropping dark matter and fiber lasers for secure communication are articles featured in the Physical Review Journals.

Study of toxins in Houston air warrants new standards
A new report recommends immediate action to reduce the levels of four toxic air pollutants in Houston.

Bose-Einstein condensation in the solid state
New experimental research shows that half-matter, half-light quasi-particles called polaritons show compelling evidence of Bose-Einstein condensation at the relatively high temperature of 19 degrees Kelvin.

Binge-drinking teenagers at greater risk of violence
Teenagers who drink alcohol are at higher risk of becoming victims of violence, a Cardiff University study has found.

Arctic Meltdown, Global Effects: Transatlantic Research Conference
The 4th Transatlantic Research Conference (October 2-4), in Washington, focuses on the Arctic as a key observation post for global climate change.

Estate of fashion designer Geoffrey Beene donates funds to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
A gift from the estate of renowned fashion designer Geoffrey Beene will enable MSKCC to launch an ambitious research initiative to be known as the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center.

Tarantulas produce silk from their feet
Researchers have found for the first time that tarantulas can produce silk from their feet as well as their spinnerets, a discovery with profound implications for why spiders began to spin silk in the first place.

Spinal cord stimulators tested as treatment for patients with migraine headaches
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center are testing a new treatment for migraine headaches: occipital nerve stimulation, a surgical procedure in which an implanted neurostimulator delivers electrical impulses to nerves under the skin at the base of the head at the back of the neck.

Blunt smokers link dependence potential to nicotine
According to a study by researchers at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

Earth Science Week kicks off at International EarthCache Day, Washington, D.C.
Earth Science Week 2006 will begin with the first International EarthCache Day 1-2 p.m.

Health facility births key to substantially reducing maternal mortality worldwide
Making sure women throughout the world can give birth in a health facility, in the presence of a midwife, is the best strategy for substantially reducing maternal mortality worldwide, according to a landmark series of papers published by the Lancet today (Thursday September 28, 2006).

Stereotypes contribute to older men seeking, receiving depression care less frequently
A man's stereotypical self-image as the

Fire ant-attacking fly spreading rapidly in Texas
Parasitic flies introduced to control red imported fire ants have spread over four million acres in central and southeast Texas since the flies' introduction in 1999, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered using new flytraps they developed.

Study: Airbags, antilock brakes not likely to reduce accidents, injuries
Researchers have determined that airbags and antilock braking systems do not reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries because they may encourage more aggressive driving, thwarting the potential benefits of such safety features.

New scientific challenges and goals for ESA's Living Planet Program
ESA announces a new science strategy for the future direction of its Living Planet Program, addressing the continuing need to further our understanding of the Earth System and the impact that human activity is having.

Professor Heinz-Otto Peitgen awarded German Start-up Prize
Professor Heinz-Otto Peitgen received this year's Deutscher Gründerpreis (German Start-up Prize) in the category

FSU study: Abortion notification, consent laws reduce risky teen sex
Laws that require minors to notify or get the consent of one or both parents before having an abortion reduce risky sexual behavior among teens, according to a Florida State University law professor in Tallahassee, Fla.

Living close to heavy industry may increase risk of lung cancer
Living close to heavy industry may increase the risk of developing lung cancer, although the effect is relatively modest, suggests research published ahead of print in Thorax.

High risk of migraine, depression and chronic pain for IBS sufferers, large study shows
Patients with irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to suffer from conditions such as migraine or depression than other individuals.

Blood transfusion-transmitted infections: A global perspective
A commentary by Blajchman and Vamvakas written in relation to an article in the same issue of the journal concerning the transfusion-transmission of HHV-8, a virus that has the potential to cause skin tumors (Kaposi's sarcoma) in immunocompromised recipients.

Ga. Tech, BellSouth, Internet Security Systems initiate VoIP security research partnership
The Georgia Tech Information Security Center today announced it is creating a partnership with BellSouth and Internet Security Systems to explore security surrounding the emerging Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

Inheriting a tendency to brain infection
New findings from researchers in France support the controversial idea that an error in a single gene is enough to dramatically alter an individual's susceptibility to certain infections.

Study explores political disorganization among Muslims in Europe
The 15 million Muslims residing in Europe today do not pose a threat to European values or politics given the extent of their myriad divisions and internal fragmentation.

Researchers announce results of study on genetic variation in Parkinson's disease
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have completed one of the first large-scale studies of the role of common genetic variation in Parkinson's disease (PD).

Explaining the methane mystery
Scientists have explained why atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas methane have stabilized in recent years, but warn that increases could resume in the near future.

University of Virginia health system wins $5.5 million grant to help detect atherosclerosis
The NIH funds will help UVa researchers develop new contrast agents that one day may be used during simple ultrasound examinations to detect and treat people with atherosclerotic plaque.

Women given liver transplants outlive male recipients by around 4 years
Female liver transplant recipients outlive men given the same procedure by an average of 4.5 years, suggests research published ahead of print in Gut.

FDA approves Vectibix to treat patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
Amgen today announced that the FDA has approved Vectibix (panitumumab) following priority review.

NASA launches hurricane data portal for scientists, educators and application users
Scientists, college students and applications users seeking satellite data on hurricanes now have a new place to turn -- a Web portal created by NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Reconstructed 1918 influenza virus induces immune response that fails to protect
An analysis of mice infected with the reconstructed 1918 influenza virus has revealed that although the infection triggered a very strong immune system response, the response failed to protect the animals from severe lung disease and death.

Landmark study of islet transplantation reveals potential benefits in uncontrolled type 1 diabetes
The results of the world's first multicenter clinical trial of islet transplantation, published in the September 28, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, have confirmed the technique's potential benefits in patients with difficult-to-control type 1 (or

Pitt combines tiny science, tiny tech in multidisciplinary NSF-funded course
The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded a National Science Foundation Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education grant, one of only 10 such awards in the United States and the first such grant Pitt has received.

Amgen introduces comprehensive financial assistance programs for cancer patients
Amgen today announced

Rochester researchers join federal initiative to improve drug safety
The University of Rochester Medical Center will participate in a unique research partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the U.S.

Major cancer study aims to identify protein markers for early-stage disease
A team led by Bay Area scientists is one of five nationwide to receive a major grant from the National Cancer Institute to refine and standardize the technologies for identifying biomarkers in the blood -- specific proteins and the patterns they make -- for the early detection of cancer.

Berkeley lab life scientists are leaders in team to detect cancer by studying proteins in the blood
The National Cancer Institute today announced awards totaling over $35.5 million to establish a network of teams that will investigate how to detect cancer by finding cancer-specific proteins and protein patterns in blood samples.

October GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
Topics in this issue include: Possibility that ancient Delphic oracle Pythia were breathing something other than ethylene; Magma chamber recharge at Vesuvius prior to the A.D.

'Aqueous Humor Outflow' featured in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
The proceedings from the second annual ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Research Institute conference,

Glue made from ethanol-production leftovers may be worth more than the fuel itself
Mixing up a batch of ethanol from alfalfa or switchgrass isn't nearly as efficient as creating it from corn, but that doesn't mean growing grass crops for fuel won't pay, says Paul Weimer.

Embryo tests give parents the choice
A survey of fertility clinics in the US suggests that 40 percent are allowing couples to choose the sex of their child using the testing method, preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

Hair-pulling disorder caused by faulty gene in some families
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have identified gene mutations that cause trichotillomania, a psychiatric disorder that triggers people to compulsively pull their hair.

Reforms to gun dealer sales practices reduce supply of new guns to criminals
Researchers with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Gun Policy and Research report that reforms to the sales practices of a gun store -- which prior to May 1999, sold more than half of the guns recovered from criminals in Milwaukee -- resulted in a 44 percent decrease in the flow of new guns to criminals in the city.

Edmonton Protocol clinical trial shows islet transplantation shows promising results
The Edmonton Protocol clinical trial, led by University of Alberta researcher Dr.

Solved: The mystery of flesh-eating bacteria's relentless attack
A Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar in Israel has discovered one reason why so-called

Research aims for more efficiency in harvest and handling
Kevin Shinners wants farmers to put less energy into harvesting and handling biofuel crops - less fuel, less time and less labor.

ABCB6 is key to production of heme in hemoglobin
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered that a protein called ABCB6 plays a central role in production of a molecule that is key to the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, of liver cells to break down toxins and of cells to extract energy from nutrients.

Mesh can make weight-loss surgery safer
About 25 percent of patients who have open gastric bypass surgery develop incisional hernias.

Long-term outcomes for prostate cancer show IMRT Curative: 89 percent disease-free 8 years later
Results from the largest study of men with prostate cancer treated with high-dose, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) show that the majority of patients remain alive with no evidence of disease after an average follow-up period of eight years.

Call for global action over continued huge burden of maternal deaths in poor countries
Experts will issue a stark warning today that Millennium Development Goal 5, which aims to reduce maternal deaths by 75 percent before 2015, will only be met with intensified commitment and a focus on effective strategies.

UGA scientists engineer root-knot nematode resistance
University of Georgia professor Richard Hussey has spent 20 years studying a worm-shaped parasite too small to see without a microscope.

Restricted fetal growth increases risk of irritable bowel syndrome
Babies weighing less than the standard weight seem to be at significantly greater risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Gut. 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