Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 05, 2006
Animals resistant to drunken behavior offer clues to alcoholism's roots
Animals with a remarkable ability to hold their liquor may point the way toward the genetic underpinnings of alcohol addiction, two separate research teams reported in the October 6, 2006 issue of the journal Cell.

New bird discovered on unexplored Columbian mountain
A new bird to science was recently discovered on an unexplored mountain range in northern Columbia by a team supported by the BP Conservation Programme.

Researchers discover misfolded protein clumps common to dementia, Lou Gehrig's disease
Scientists funded by the National Institute on Aging have identified a protein common to two neurodegenerative diseases -- frontotemporal dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Oil experts discuss the hunt for hydrocarbons in forum at UH
Hunting down hydrocarbons will be the focus of a forum on seismic exploration and production 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct.

New data reinforce safety profile of ENBREL® (etanercept)
There was good news for psoriasis patients today as the latest study confirming the established safety profile of ENBREL® (etanercept) for up to 2.5 years, was presented at the 15th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.

Physical exercise has little impact on obesity in young children
Physical activity is unlikely to have a significant effect in reducing levels of obesity amongst pre-school children, but could lay the foundations for a healthier future, a BMJ study reveals today.

Pitt hosts international conference on e-government Oct. 12-13
As more and more people become computer literate, countries have begun making their governmental services available online.

NASA data captures El Niño's return in the Pacific
NASA satellite data indicates El Niño has returned to the tropical Pacific Ocean, although in a relatively weak condition that may not persist and is currently much less intense than the last major El Niño episode in 1997-1998.

JCI table of contents: Oct. 5, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.

Alaska study offers strategies to mitigate climate warming
Using Interior Alaska's boreal forests as a case study, a team of scientists led by University of Alaska Fairbanks ecologist F.

Scientists find 'chemo brain' no figment of the imagination
For the first time, UCLA researchers have found that chemotherapy causes measurable changes to the brain's metabolism and blood flow that can linger at least 10 years after treatment.

Drug prevents postpartum hemorrhage in resource poor settings
The drug misoprostol provides a safe, convenient and inexpensive means to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, a major killer of women in developing countries.

EU should make vaccination against cervical cancer virus mandatory for adolescent girls
European Union member states should make vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) -- a major cause of cervical cancer -- mandatory for all girls aged 11-12 years, states an Editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Astronomers see inside a quasar for the first time
For the first time, astronomers have looked inside quasars -- the brightest objects in the universe -- and have seen evidence of black holes.

Fossils pinpoint tropics as Earth's most fruitful biodiversity spawning ground
A team of scientists has completed a study that explains why the tropics are so much richer in biodiversity than higher latitudes.

Hopkins researchers uncover critical player in cell communication
Johns Hopkins researchers have teased out the function of a protein implicated in Williams-Beuren syndrome, a rare cognitive disorder associated with overly social behavior and lack of spatial awareness.

Discovery of the first resistance gene to rice yellow mottle virus
Rice yellow mottle virus causes heavy yield losses in rice harvests in Africa.

microRNA function in neurogenesis
In the October 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Fen-Biao Gao and colleagues at UCSF report that microRNA-9a (mir-9a) regulates neural development in the fruit fly, Drosophila.

Driving diversification
In the upcoming issue of G&D, Dr. Yuh-Nung Jan and colleagues at UCSF lend surprising new insight into the regulation of dendrite morphology in the fruit fly, Drosophila.

UAF professor awarded polar science education grant
University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Larry Duffy is one of nine recipients nationwide of National Science Foundation grants to increase both students' and the public's understanding of polar science.

Child custody with abusive ex-spouse? Study shows how women decide
What influences women when they are making child custody decisions that will bring them into future contact with a violent or controlling ex-husband?

Researchers identify a key regulator for skin stem cells
By turning on a single gene, researchers can prevent skin stem cells from maturing into the three types of adult skin cells -- epidermal, sebaceous and hair cells.

A means to an end: Telomere maintenance and bone marrow failure
A new paper from Drs. Judy Wong and Kathleen Collins (UC Berkeley) in the October 15th issue of G&D reveals a molecular mechanism underlying bone marrow failure in the X-linked human disease, dyskeratosis congenita (DC).

First quantum teleportation between light and matter
Researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have succeeded in transferring a quantum state of light to a material object -- an ensemble of atoms.

DOE selects Sandia as National Laboratory Center for Solid-State Lighting Research and Development
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced today that Sandia National Laboratories is the new home of the National Laboratory Center for Solid-State Lighting Research and Development.

Blood cells linked to heart attacks, other inflammatory diseases
Two human blood cells that help fight blood loss, infection and inflammation are responsible as well for starting a series of molecular events that results in overproduction of Cox-2, an enzyme involved in heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.

Carnegie's endowment achieves 16.2 percent return
The Carnegie Institution of Washington announced today that its endowment earned a 16.2 percent return in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

Drug can reduce severe bleeding in mothers who have just given birth
Oral misoprostol, a drug used to prevent stomach ulcers, has been shown to substantially reduce haemorrhage in women who have just given birth in rural, developing communities.

Human brain region functions like digital computer, says CU-Boulder professor
A region of the human brain that scientists believe is critical to human intellectual abilities surprisingly functions much like a digital computer, understand the functioning of human intelligence.

Brain cell and face perception research wins Eppendorf/Science Prize
Dr. Doris Tsao has been awarded the 2006 International Prize in Neurobiology by the journal Science and Eppendorf AG.

Infants targeted in the fight against skin disease
Residents and researchers in the Top End are fighting back against skin disease by targeting the prevention and treatment of scabies, tinea and skin sores in infants living in remote indigenous communities.

Julio Frenk should be the front-runner in elections for Director-General of the WHO
Based on his experience, skills, and vision for WHO, Julio Frenk must surely be the objective front-runner in the elections for a new Director-General of the organization, states Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet, in a comment in this week's issue.

Tropics source of much of world's biodiversity
Since the 19th century, naturalists and explorers have marveled at the much greater abundance of species in the tropics versus higher latitudes, such as North America, Europe and the Arctic.

Researchers develop technologies to devour food pathogens
Purdue researchers are developing two inexpensive technologies that may be able to prevent future food-borne illness, such as the recent outbreak of E. coli in contaminated spinach.

Rutgers-led group lands $2.55 million to advance high school biology and math
NSF has awarded a $2.55 million grant to Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, and two partner institutions to advance high school instruction of biology and mathematics by emphasizing the mathematical methods that underlie modern biology.

Novel workflow language tackles climate change computing challenge
A computing challenge encountered by the BBC Climate Change Experiment has led to an award-winning solution.

Emotionally ambivalent workers are more creative, innovative
People who have mixed emotions -- feeling sad and happy at the same time -- are more creative than people who are feeling just happy, sad or have no emotions at all, according to a new study by the University of Washington.

Natural anti-viral enzyme helps keep cancer cells alive, researchers find
A molecule that cells normally use to fight viruses is also involved in keeping cancer cells alive, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

Coral reef conservation by means of the global network of Marine Protected Areas
Worldwide, the biodiversity of coral reefs is threatened and the existing Marine Protected Areas are not sufficient to ensure their conservation.

Study: Nation's air-transportation system must become more 'agile'
Researchers at Purdue University have created a mathematical simulation that could be used in a new national strategy to ease airport congestion and improve the overall transportation system.

Raytheon engineer wins USC software honor
A Texan who made key contributions to the creation of tools now widely used to accurately estimate costs and time required for software development is the second recipient of the USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.

Drug company reports should be read with caution, warn doctors
A study published on bmj.com today has found that reviews of drugs which are supported by the pharmaceutical industry are less transparent, and are more likely to reach favorable conclusion on drugs, than independent reviews.

Use, as well as 'meth mouth,' on the rise
It's cheap, addictive and can harm your smile for life.

Hubble finds 16 candidate extrasolar planets far across our Galaxy
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates that are orbiting a variety of distant stars.

Tabletop experiment yields bubbly surprise
University of Chicago physicists have discovered a new class of behavior in air bubbles rising from an underwater nozzle.

Women worldwide more at risk of violence from an intimate partner than from other people
Worldwide, women, unlike men, are at most risk of violence from an intimate partner than from other perpetrators, according to an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

USC researchers discover breast cancer stem cells in bone marrow
Tumor cells found in bone marrow of early stage breast cancer patients appear to be breast cancer stem cells.

Through Saturn's atmosphere
Saturn is famous for its rings. Nevertheless, it does have other, characteristic if not unique, features -- its atmosphere, for example.

Images develop clinical applications for new DESI technology
Purdue University researchers have created the first two-dimensional images of biological samples using a new mass spectrometry technique that furthers the technology's potential applications for the detection of diseases such as cancer.

Leveling the field for babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension
If he can figure out which babies will be born unable to breathe properly, Dr.

Latest influenza science and recommendations presented in new release
A new publication offers some of the most current and definitive information on pandemic and seasonal influenza, from antivirals and vaccines to public health resources and animal health.

Tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath
Bad breath is a common problem for many people, given the wide variety of substances traveling through our mouths daily.

People should be paid for donating an organ
A legalized and regulated system for paying people to donate organs should be created to help answer the large demand for transplants and prevent exploitation of poor people, says an article in this week's BMJ.

Nearly $2 million granted to Geophysical Institute for tsunami education
Alaska is prone to tsunamis because of two factors -- our enormous amount of coastline and our tendency for large earthquakes.

Study identifies possible mechanism for brain damage in Huntington's disease
Researchers from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease have identified a possible mechanism underlying how the gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease leads to the degeneration and death of brain cells.

RELM-beta: A new link in the chain between bacteria and inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is caused by an inappropriate immune response to bacteria living naturally in the gut, but how bacteria trigger this is not known.

Penn researchers find Lou Gehrig's, FTD disease protein
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered the major disease protein for two neurodegenerative disorders: a type of frontotemporal dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Oral lesions are commonly associated with the disease
Across the globe, the presence of HIV is widespread. At the end of 2004, the United Nations HIV/AIDS program estimated that 2.5 million children under the age of 15 were affected worldwide.

MetOp to be launched on 17 October
EUMETSAT confirms Tuesday 17 October as the new launch date for MetOp, Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite.

Springer author Alan Hastings wins Robert H. MacArthur Award
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has given the Robert H.

Fruit fly study identifies gene mutation that regulates sensitivity to alcohol
In the October 6, 2006 issue of Cell, researchers report identifying a gene mutation in fruit flies that alters sensitivity to alcohol and describe the key molecular pathways and gene interactions affected.

Fruit juice intake among preschool children not associated with weight
Consumption of 100 percent fruit juices is not linked with preschoolers being overweight, finds a new research study published this week in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Moffitt research on myelodysplastic syndromes appears in New England Journal of Medicine
After two years, study shows patients treated with REVLIMID are living longer and remain transfusion independent.

Louisiana Tech receives $400,000 grant to purchase research equipment
Louisiana Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing has received a $400,000 grant and plans to use the funds to purchase a state-of-the-art system for nanotechnology research.

FUZEON with investigational HIV drug results in remarkable number of patients achieving undetectable
Exciting new clinical data demonstrate that 90 to 95 percent of treatment-experienced HIV patients who initiate therapy with FUZEON® (enfuvirtide) and the investigational integrase inhibitor MK-0518 can achieve undetectable levels of HIV (less than 400 copies per mL of blood)1.

Male contraceptive study expands to 4 US cities
Because of strong initial interest, a new male contraceptive will now be available at three additional study sites.

Study finds plenty of carbon dioxide storage capacity underground in Kentucky
A Kentucky Geological Survey geologist finds Devonian black shale in Kentucky could provide a potentially large geologic storage reservoir for captured carbon dioxide.

Fortress America?
Five years and $44 billion later Americans are as vulnerable to a biological attack as they were when envelopes containing anthrax spores turned up in government and media mail rooms.

New technique boosts size of proteins that can be analyzed
Cornell researchers have extended a powerful technique to increase by fourfold the size of a protein that can be analyzed, to those containing more than 2,000 amino acids, up from about 500.

Researchers lift a corner of the veil of depression
About 1 in 10 Europeans has to contend with some form of depression during his or her life.

Chandra reviews black hole musical: Epic but off-key
A gigantic sonic boom generated by a supermassive black hole has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, along with evidence for a cacophony of deep sound.

Secondhand smoke in cars may lead to dangerous levels of contaminants for children
In the first study to measure secondhand smoke (SHS) in cars in real driving conditions, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers have shown that smoking in cars can produce unsafe levels of SHS.

Novel pathway regulates timing of brain cell development
Brain formation involves the carefully timed production of different types of nerve cells -- making too much of one type and too little of another at a given time could lead to brain malformations.

Child-proof: Brain mapping safer for children than previously thought, Hopkins study shows
Dispelling a stubborn myth, researchers at Johns Hopkins have shown that children with strokes, brain tumors and other cerebrovascular diseases can safely undergo a potentially life-saving brain-mapping test that many doctors have long shunned over concerns for side effects.

A tumor suppressor that promotes cancer cell growth?
Researchers have shown that the tumor suppressor gene H-REV107-1 may actually stimulate tumor progression in some nonsmall-cell lung carcinomas.

Vega upper composite passes tests at ESTEC
The upper composite of ESA's new small launcher has passed its vibration tests at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) with flying colours.

Sperm banks unpopular with patients - MUHC researchers investigate why
Sperm banks are unpopular, even with patients suffering from cancer and facing treatments that may make them infertile.

How to promote interaction between science and policy?
What measures should be taken to improve the dialogue between both environmental researchers and the bodies responsibile for practical environmental policy?
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