Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2006
Phase diagram of water revised by Sandia researchers
Supercomputer simulations by Sandia researchers have significantly altered the theoretical diagram universally used by scientists to understand the characteristics of water at extreme temperatures and pressures.

UC Davis at forefront of national initiative to transform research to improve human health
The National Institutes of Health today named UC Davis as part of a national consortium that will transform how clinical and translational research is conducted, enabling researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients.

Treat the woman, not her age
Women age 65 years or older constitute half of new breast cancer patients each year, and the number of older women with breast cancer is forecast to double.

Double jeopardy: Obese smokers at higher risk of death
People who are both very obese and who smoke increase their risk of death by 3.5 to 5 times that of people of normal weight who never smoke, finds a new study.

Technique to arrest urinary incontinence
The University Hospital of Navarra is to carry out clinical trials for urinary incontinence using the intraurethral injection of myoblasts (adult stem cells obtained by means of a biopsy of the patient).

Rockefeller University receives $45 million from NIH for clinical and translational science
With its Clinical and Translational Science Award, Rockefeller University has established the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, which will bring together translational researchers at Rockefeller University and its affiliated and collaborating institutions.

Minister Lunn releases energy outlook
The Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources, today released

New prostate cancer marker helps identify men whose cancer is likely to spread
Prostate cancer researchers at Sydney's Garvan Institute, supported by the Cancer Institute NSW, have found a new marker for identifying aggressive prostate cancers.

Details of solar particles penetrating the Earth's environment revealed
Co-ordinated efforts by China/ESA's Double Star and ESA's Cluster spacecraft have allowed scientists to zero in on an area where energetic particles from the Sun are blasting their way through the Earth's magnetic shield.

Study unveils how West Nile virus evades immune defenses, points to vaccine development
West Nile virus evades the body's immune defenses by blocking immune signaling by a protein receptor, a finding that could pave the way for a vaccine to protect against North American strains of the virus, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

Studies identify food sources of disease and drug resistance
As the recent US outbreak of E. coli infections caused by contaminated spinach demonstrates, the safety of the food we eat cannot be taken for granted.

'Killer' B cells provide new link in the evolution of immunity
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have discovered a unique evolutionary link between the most primitive innate form of immune defense, which has survived in fish, to the more advanced, adaptive immune response present in humans and other mammals.

'From Earth to Space and Back' -- IAC Valencia
ESA is presenting current and future European space activities at the 57th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) this week in Valencia.

Humble shoelace tag carried more currency than gold on Columbus's travels
The humble device that prevents shoelaces from fraying was deemed to be worth more than gold by the indigenous Cubans who traded with Columbus's fleet, a study led by UCL (University College London) archaeologists has discovered.

Pooled data examines if SNPs add to breast cancer risk
Pooling data from numerous studies has helped scientists examine specific genetic variants related to breast cancer incidence, according to a study in the Oct.

Penn leads $98 million translational medicine collaboration
The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine $68 million over the next five years, along with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Higher levels of cells originating in bone marrow may be useful in prognosis of liver cancer
A new study found that higher levels of specialized blood cells that originate in bone marrow may potentially be used as a prognostic marker in liver cancer.

Yale School of Medicine awarded $57 million for bench-to-bedside research
As part of a major national initiative to speed research from the laboratory bench to patients in need, on Tuesday Yale School of Medicine received a $57.3 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Three molecular triggers threaten leukemia patients
The road to better treatment for the most common form of adult leukemia will require blocking multiple molecular pathways that fuel the disease, researchers at the University of Texas M.

New gene linked to bipolar disorder
A new gene linked to both depression and bipolar disorder has been identified by UCL (University College London) and Danish researchers.

Tiny Tampa Bay fish key to evolution of immune system
A tiny fish offers insight into the human immune system, according to Florida researchers.

NIH launches national consortium to transform clinical research
National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced the launch of a national consortium that will transform how clinical and translational research is conducted, ultimately enabling researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients.

Antibiotic treats lymphoma of the eye
The common antibiotic doxycycline effectively treats a type of lymphoma associated with chlamydia infection, according to a study in the Oct.

Study identifies factors correlated with cerebral palsy
Several factors, including maternal infection during pregnancy, very preterm birth and certain findings on brain MRI scans, were correlated with cerebral palsy, according to a study in the Oct.

Scientists debate the neurobiological underpinnings of amnesia
A first kiss, an exotic vacation, a sports team championship, a child's first words: All are memorable events.

Chemical found in curry may help immune system clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease
UCLA/VA researchers found that curcumin -- a chemical found in curry and tumeric -- may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease.

German researchers develop first non-invasive test to measure skin aging
Physicists and medical researchers for the first time have demonstrated a new technique that non-invasively measures in real time the level of damage to the skin from sun exposure and aging, and initial results suggest that women's skin ages faster than men's.

You can teach an old brain new tricks
New research shows that while multitasking can be a problem for the elderly, it's a skill they can relearn.

Arctic sea ice declines again in 2006, say University of Colorado researchers
While cool August temperatures prevented sea ice in the Arctic from reaching its lowest summer extent on record, 2006 continued a pattern of sharp annual decreases due to rising temperatures probably caused by greenhouse warming, according to University of Colorado at Boulder researchers.

Optics tests for early Alzheimer's diagnosis make significant advances
Providing an update on progress and new findings on his optical tests for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, Lee Goldstein of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School will describe dramatic new developments in the technology during a plenary talk at

GIOVE-A laser ranging campaign successful
Fourteen laser ranging stations participated in a campaign to track ESA's GIOVE-A satellite during the spring and summer of 2006, providing invaluable data for the characterization of the satellite's on-board clock.

Smoke-filled cars: New fodder for the next clean air fight
New research from investigators at Harvard University measured secondhand tobacco smoke in cars and found pollution levels that are likely hazardous to children.

Promising antiobesity drug fails to produce clinically meaningful weight loss
A drug designed to target a powerful hunger-stimulating factor that has long been considered a prime target for antiobesity therapy failed to produce clinically meaningful weight loss in obese people in a long-term clinical trial.

Pine tree bark reduces diabetic microangiopathy
Diabetic microangiopathy is responsible for major diabetic health complications, such as leg ulcers, kidney failure and retinopathy.

Food or its expectation sparks brain's hunger centers
The concept of whetting the appetite by serving hors d'oeuvres before a meal may have a solid scientific basis, according to a new report in the October issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press.

Screening program yields decline in sudden cardiac deaths in young athletes
The annual incidence of sudden cardiovascular deaths among young athletes has declined significantly since the start of a pre-participation cardiovascular screening program in northeast Italy, according to a study in the Oct.

Other highlights in the Oct. 4 Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Other highlights in the Oct. 4 JNCI include a study linking breast cancer diagnosis to higher suicide rates, a study suggesting that hormone therapies can raise ovarian cancer risk, a study that connects sex hormones to premenopausal breast cancer risk, a study suggesting parts of a cell's cytoskeleton are involved in resistance to leukemia drugs and a study of a protein that can identify patients at high risk of developing prostate cancer.

CSH Protocols publishes cutting-edge methods for analyzing complex molecular interactions
With the genomes of hundreds of organisms now catalogued, one of the next major challenges is to identify proteins and their interactions.

UVA studies potential target for skin cancer treatment
When normal skin cells become a melanoma tumor, they sometimes turn on genes not usually found in the skin.

NASA satellite data helps assess the health of Florida's coral reef
NASA satellite data was used to help monitor the health of Florida's coral reef as part of a field research effort completed this August and September.

$83.5 million NIH grant to Pitt establishes Clinical and Translational Research Institute
The University of Pittsburgh is among the first institutions selected by the National Institutes of Health to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award, joining 11 other academic health centers in a new consortium that aims to transform how clinical and translational research is conducted so that promising treatments are more readily available to patients.

Williams Syndrome, the brain and music
Children with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, just love music and will spend hours listening to or making music.

Clemson researchers develop nanotechnology
Clemson University chemist Ya-Ping Sun and his research team have developed a countermeasure strategy to weaponized anthrax, a biological agent used by a terrorist or terrorists that killed five Americans in 2001.

Researchers seek to design first treatment for neuroAIDS
Experimental drugs are showing promise against neuroAIDS, the nerve damage caused by HIV infection that lessens many patients' ability to think and move.

World's biggest whoopee cushion helps kids understand the science of sound
A giant whoopee cushion, a barber's shop quartet transformed by technology into a rock band, and 4,500 schoolchildren encouraged to be noisy -- these are just some of the surprises being served up Thursday, the 5th of October in a groundbreaking science lecture at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Effectiveness of certain antidepressants may be influenced by gene variations of individuals
Whether specific types of antidepressants are effective for patients with late-life major depression may depend if they have certain genetic variations, according to a study in the Oct.

Stephen Hawking tours the future of particle physics at CERN
Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Cambridge University and best-selling author of

Fisheries linked to decline in galapagos waved albatross population
Fishermen caught and killed about 1 percent of the world's waved albatrosses in a year, according to a new study by Wake Forest University biologists.

Uncovering DNA's 'sweet' secret
How nature arrived at the final structure of DNA has been a long-standing mystery.

Long-term effects of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
A new study found that patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had a significant risk of developing end-stage liver disease and a lower chance of survival if they had non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a form of NAFLD that can lead to cirrhosis.

Ghengis Khan wonder berry could conquer heart disease
Berries from the sea buckthorn plant, used in traditional Mongolian and Tibetan medicine have shown cholesterol lowering properties.

NJIT math professor uses model to predict Yanks and Twins to advance to league championship
NJIT math professor uses mathematical model to predict Yankees and Twins to advance to league championship, Dodgers and Padres to advance in National League.

Genome archaeology illuminates the genetic engineering debate
Genome Research's cover story for October 2 tells a tale of

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
This issue includes: PSD-95 and dendriti branching in vitro; Rho GTPases and myelin formation; Waking up to histamine neurons; and Phox2b, central chemoreceptors, and Hypoventilation.

Berkeley Lab's George Smoot wins Nobel Prize in physics
George Smoot of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley has won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with John Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,

Repealing 'Blue Laws' on Sunday alcohol sales increased alcohol-related crashes and crash fatalities
The first study to look at the public health impact of lifting a statewide ban on Sunday packaged alcohol sales found a substantial increase in alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities, according to an article published today in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health.

UCSF set to transform itself into engine of translational research
Signaling a watershed moment in the evolution of UCSF, the National Insitutes of Health today announced that the university has received funding for a major new venture designed to accelerate the pace at which scientific discovery is translated into patient care.

Triple threat: World fin trade may harvest up to 73 million sharks per year
The first real-data study of sharks harvested for their valuable fins estimates as few as 26 million and as many as 73 million sharks are killed each year worldwide -- three times higher than was reported originally by the United Nations, according to a paper published as the cover story in the October 2006 edition of Ecology Letters.

Friends have greater sway on college students' beliefs on drinking behavior
College students' friends have a greater influence on the students' drinking behavior or beliefs about campus drinking than social norms campaigns, according to a Penn State study.

Report challenges common ecological hypothesis about species abundance
A new report finds little empirical evidence to support a widely held ecological assumption that species are most abundant near the centers of their geographic ranges and decline in abundance near the ranges' edges. 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