Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 19, 2006
Women's math performance affected by theories on sex differences: UBC researchers
Women perform differently on math tests depending on whether they believe math-related gender differences are determined by genetic or social differences, according to University of British Columbia researchers.

Drug-induced labor increases risk of rare but serious delivery complication
Women who have their births drug-induced have nearly a two-fold increased risk of an amniotic-fluid embolism -- a rare but serious delivery complication, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Professor scoops top prize for remarkable scientific discovery
A University of Manchester researcher, who led a team that discovered an amazing new type of ultra-thin material, has been given a prestigious prize for his

JCI table of contents: October 19, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, October 19, 2006, in the JCI, including: Double trouble for RA patients: PLC-gamma-2 regulates osteoclastogenesis and B cell differentiation; Role for NF-kappa-B in endothelial cell function; CYLD puts a damper on inflammation; Triggering TLR4 can raise resistance to insulin; TLR4 performs a balancing act in the lungs; and Hyperactive osteoclasts cause osteoporosis in neurofibromatosis type 1 patients.

Lack of equipment and skilled doctors costing civilian lives in Iraq
Doctors working in Iraq admit that more than half of the civilians killed could have been saved if better medical equipment and more experienced staff and were available.

Over 700,000 children die needlessly every year in the Eastern Mediterranean
Over 700,000 babies and children could be saved every year in the Eastern Mediterranean region if countries adopted some simple low cost health measures, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

Expect a warmer, wetter world this century, computer models agree
Recent heat waves, long dry spells and heavy bursts of rain and snow hint at longer-term changes to come, according to a new study based on several advanced climate models.

Bone research strengthened in lead up to World Osteoporosis Day
As many as 100,000 Australians could be carrying a genetic mutation that predisposes them to low bone density and a higher risk of bone fractures.

Folate supplement interacts with malaria treatment in pregnant women
Most health authorities worldwide have recommendations that pregnant women supplement their diet with folate, a B vitamin, in order to protect against neural tube defects in the baby and possibly reduce the likelihood of anemia in mothers.

NASA and NOAA announce Antarctic ozone hole is a double record breaker
NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists report this year's ozone hole in the polar region of the Southern Hemisphere has broken records for area and depth.

Beaked whales perform extreme dives to hunt deepwater prey
A study of 10 beaked whales of two poorly understood species shows their foraging dives are deeper and longer than those reported for any other air-breathing species.

Temperament linked to onset of cancer and early death in female rats
Female rats that are apprehensive of new experiences as infants maintain that temperament and die earlier from mammary and pituitary tumors than do their more adventuresome sisters, according to new research by a team based at the University of Chicago.

The star, the dwarf and the planet
Astronomers have detected a new faint companion to the star HD 3651, already known to host a planet.

Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston establishes first affiliate in Canada
Joslin Diabetes Center partners with Acadie-Bathurst Health Authority in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, which marks the first Canadian affiliate for global leader in diabetes treatment.

Double trouble for RA patients: PLC-gamma-2 regulates osteoclastogenesis and B cell differentiation
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is caused by the immune system inappropriately attacking the joints.

Scientists identify switch for brain's natural anti-oxidant defense
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report they have found how the brain turns on a system designed to protect its nerve cells from toxic

Physiotherapists and pharmacists can help reduce knee pain and reliance on painkillers
Older people with knee pain who receive their main care from physiotherapists and pharmacists are more likely to experience improvements in pain levels and knee function, and are less likely to need NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; e.g., asprin and ibuprofen), according to a BMJ study.

Critical hearing gene helps send auditory messages to brain
By studying a gene earlier linked to deafness in humans, researchers now have new insight into the molecular process by which components of the inner ear send messages to the brain.

New experiment to investigate cosmic connection to clouds
A novel experiment, known as CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets), begins taking its first data today (19th October 2006) with a prototype detector in a particle beam at CERN, the world's largest laboratory for particle physics.

UK government needs to show support for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence
The UK government needs to show vocal support for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) as the best mechanism to ensure equity in the country's health system, states an editorial in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Greenland ice sheet on a downward slide
For the first time NASA scientists have analyzed data from direct, detailed satellite measurements to show that ice losses now far surpass ice gains in the shrinking Greenland ice sheet.

Observation policy appropriate for most children with middle ear infection
According to an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet, antibiotics for middle ear infection (otitis media) are only beneficial in children under the age of two with both ears infected.

Canadian study demonstrates medical induction of labor increases risk of amniotic-fluid embolism
A Canadian population-based cohort study has revealed that medical induction of labor increases the risk of amniotic-fluid embolism.

Researchers discover new gene responsible for brittle bone disease
A team of researchers has identified a new genetic mutation responsible for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a condition that makes bones much more likely to break, according to a study published today in the journal Cell.

New study shows how genetic repair mechanism helps seal DNA breaks
A new study by researchers from the Scripps Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland has provided a clearer picture of the final steps of a critical DNA repair process.

Why the best things come to those who wait
Pushing to the front of the queue is not the best ploy for males who want to propagate their genes according to scientists from the University of Exeter.

2006 National Soybean Rust Symposium deadlines approaching
Deadlines for early registration, hotel reservations and poster abstract submission are quickly approaching for the 2006 National Soybean Rust Symposium.

New gene linked to macular degeneration risk
Researchers at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah have identified a gene called HTRA1 that contributes to a major risk of age related macular degeneration, the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world.

Grant to UA makes Kartchner Caverns a Microbial Observatory
University of Arizona researchers will investigate the lives of Kartchner Caverns State Park's tiniest inhabitants with the help of a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Fusion in the fast lane
Max Planck scientists develop new methods for the controlled initiation of membrane fusion and its observation with high temporal resolution in the microsecond regime.

Making the connection between a sound and a reward changes brain and behavior
If you've ever wondered how you recognize your mother's voice without seeing her face or how you discern your cell phone's ring in a crowded room, researchers may have another piece of the answer.

In early embryos, cilia get the message across
How a perfectly symmetrical embryo settles on what's right and what's left has fascinated developmental biologists for a long time.

USGS presents a world of science at GSA in Philadelphia
Geology and human health, disasters, science and public policy, climate change and future energy and water resources are among the topics that scientists of the U.S.

UT Southwestern tests new asthma medicine targeting vulnerable inner-city children
UT Southwestern Medical Center is one of a handful of top research institutions evaluating a promising new medication researchers hope can reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks in inner-city children, a population known to have a high prevalence of severe asthma.

Research team identifies human 'memory gene'
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced the discovery of a gene that plays a significant role in memory performance in humans.

A road is more than a road
To have the next generation of engineers

First demonstration of a working invisibility cloak
A team led by scientists at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering has demonstrated the first working

American College of Physicians publishes 'Internal Medicine Essentials for Clerkship Students'
All medical students will go through a clerkship period exploring different specialties, including internal medicine, the specialty of adult medical care.

Protein important in blood clotting may also play a role in fertility
A protein known to play a role in blood clotting and other cell functions is also critical for proper sperm formation in mice, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Genetic mutation explains form of brittle bone disease
A newly identified gene mutation helps explain a subset of cases of osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, whose origin had until now remained mysterious.

Optimizing business in a data-driven world subject of INFORMS keynote by IBM's Pulleyblank
Dr. William Pulleyblank, Vice President of IBM's Center for Business Optimization, will present a Keynote Address titled

'Drunk' fruit flies could shed light on genetic basis of human alcohol abuse
Fruit flies get

HYPER-CEST MRI breaks new ground in molecular imaging
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new technique for Magnetic Resonance Imaging that allows detection of signals from molecules present at 10,000 times lower concentrations than conventional MRI techniques.

Decoding Mars's cryptic region
Mars Express's OMEGA instrument has given planetary scientists outstanding new clues to help solve the mystery of Mars's so-called

Immune system discovery could aid fight against TB
A key aspect of how the body kicks the immune system into action against tuberculosis is revealed in research published today.

Affymetrix 500K array used to identify memory gene
Affymetrix Inc., announced today that researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., have used the Affymetrix 500K Array to discover a gene -- called Kibra -- associated with memory performance in humans.

Population trends, practices and beliefs could have adverse effect on HIV rates
A review of research on the prevalence of HIV in the Middle East and North Africa has found that whilst cultural and religious practices may be behind a low prevalence of HIV in the region, they could potentially contribute to increasing the spread of HIV.

Malaria in the Middle East -- New study reveals worrying trend
Malaria is not usually thought of as a major disease in the Middle East, but a study from Yemen in this week's BMJ reveals worryingly high levels of severe malaria in children.

Genetic repair mechanism clears the way for sealing DNA breaks
Scientists investigating an important DNA-repair enzyme now have a better picture of the final steps of a process that glues together, or ligates, the ends of DNA strands to restore the double helix.

Methane devourer discovered in the Arctic
Novel methane consuming microorganisms discovered at the Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano in the Arctic deep sea.

Education and the gerontological imagination: GSA's annual meeting to present new research on aging
Dallas, Texas, is the location for the Gerontological Society of America's 59th annual scientific meeting, held in conjunction with the American Federation for Aging Research.

Science survey ranks top Biopharma employers
Genentech, Inc, of San Francisco, Calif., has earned top honors in a ranking of the world's most respected biopharmaceutical employers.

Bacteria that use radiated water as food
Researchers from Indiana University-Bloomington and eight collaborating institutions report in this week's Science a self-sustaining community of bacteria that live in rocks 2.8 kilometers below Earth's surface.

Asian Soybean Rust found in Virginia, but not a threat to current crop
Asian Soybean Rust was detected in a commercial soybean field in Chesapeake, Va., and in a sentinel plot Suffolk, Va., on October 14.

New research effort to translate basic science into faster bone healing
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have received a $7.8 million grant to speed the conversion of basic bone science into new treatments that prevent arthritis, improve fracture healing and save limbs.

Researchers map spread of pathogens in the human body
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a new, more accurate, method of mapping how bacteria spread within the body, a breakthrough that could lead to more effective treatments and prevention of certain bacterial infections.

NIAID scientists identify human protein that helps chickenpox and shingles virus spread
A team of scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified a human protein that helps varicella-zoster virus, the cause of chickenpox and shingles, spread from cell to cell within the body.

Carnegie Mellon awarded grant
Carnegie Mellon University has been awarded a six-year, $4.2 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Grandparents play role in driving Chinese expansion
In China, when working-age adults migrate, leaving the elderly to care for their children, it occupies a culturally sanctioned role within the family and also helps to fuel the Chinese economy.

Metabolic disorder underlies Huntington's disease
A metabolic disorder underlies the brain effects found in those with Huntington's disease, researchers report in an advance article publishing online Oct.

Scientists prove that parts of cell nuclei are not arranged at random
The nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically, says new research published today.

The neurobiology behind why eating feels so good
The need to eat is triggered by the hormone ghrelin.

2006 Canon National Parks Science Scholars announced
Eight scholarships were awarded to doctoral students from the Americas to conduct innovative research on scientific problems critical to national parks.

UCLA engineering awarded grant from the NIH to establish Nanomedicine Development Center
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UC Berkeley's College of Engineering has secured a federal grant from the National Institutes of Health aimed at improving nanomedical research.

Feds tap Rice to expand ranks of women in science and engineering
The National Science Foundation has awarded Rice University a $3.3 million, five-year ADVANCE grant for programs that aim to increase the opportunities for hiring and advancement of women faculty in science and engineering nationwide.

Targeted tumor therapy: When antagonists do the better job
Targeted tumor therapy lobs toxic payloads directly into tumors to destroy cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Boston University biologists discover amphibian eggs use defenses against water molds
Boston University scientists have discovered that several species of amphibians use defense mechanisms to protect themselves against deadly water molds found in vernal pools of New England.

Asia's odd-ball antelope gets collared
A group of scientists led by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) working in Mongolia's windswept Gobi Desert recently fitted high-tech GPS (Global Positioning System) collars on eight saiga antelope in an effort to help protect one of Asia's most bizarre-looking -- and endangered -- large mammals.

Despite popular belief, the world is not running out of oil, UW scientist says
The foremost myth about resource geology is that the world is running out of oil, a University of Washington geologist says, and he wants to dispel that and other false notions about mineral resources. 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