Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 02, 2006
Georgetown establishes leading institute for global and national health law
Georgetown University is pleased to announce the establishment of the Linda and Timothy O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.

Computer with brain connections changing quality of life of paralyzed
Fundamental theories regarding consciousness, emotion and quality of life in sufferers of paralysis from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as

Reduced body temperature extends lifespan in study from the Scripps Research Institute
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found that reducing the core body temperature of mice extends their median lifespan by up to 20 percent.

Platinum cages
John A. Shelnutt and his team at the Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque as well as the University of Georgia in Athens has developed a new technique for the production of large porous platinum nanocages with a broad spectrum of potential biomedical, catalytic and optical applications.

Leicester-Mumbai collaboration on space camera
A delegation of scientists and engineers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, is visiting the University of Leicester Space Research Centre this week (October 31 - November 3) to finalize design elements of an X-ray camera developed at Leicester for inclusion in Astrosat, India's first national astronomy satellite.

Study on sexual behavior in young people will help inform safer sex campaigns
An article in this week's issue of the Lancet reveals the social and cultural factors that shape young people's sexual behavior.

T-ray breakthrough could make detecting disease far easier
A breakthrough in the harnessing of

Mayo Clinic researchers use magnetic attraction to improve stents, reduce blood clot risk
Mayo Clinic heart researchers have devised a new strategy to improve the effectiveness and safety of heart stents, which are used to open narrowed blood vessels and have been the recent subject of clotting concerns.

US Department of Defense funds Texas Nanotechnology Consortium
The Department of Defense will use a $1.4 million appropriation secured by US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to fund the Consortium for Nanomaterials for Aerospace Commerce and Technology (CONTACT), a consortium of seven leading Texas universities created to develop and commercialize revolutionary nanomaterials for the defense aerospace industry.

New alzheimer's drug shows promise in clinical trial
The only drugs currently available for Alzheimer's patients are those that alleviate symptoms, but a team of scientists led by Paul Aisen, M.D., director of the Memory Disorders program at Georgetown University Medical Center, is testing a new class of drugs that actually target the molecule believed to cause the disease.

Study shows strong link between uric acid and hypertension in blacks
New research shows that higher levels of uric acid are strongly associated with high blood pressure in blacks, suggesting that a simple blood test could predict risk and that treatments to lower uric acid may be a novel way to reduce hypertension-related complications in this population.

Plant studies reveal how, where seeds store iron
Biologists have learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for scientists working to improve the iron content of plants.

Z machine melts diamond to puddle
Sandia's Z machine, by creating pressures more than 10 million times that of the atmosphere at sea level, has turned a diamond sheet into a pool of liquid, in an experiment to better understand the characteristics of diamond under the extreme pressure it would face when used as a capsule for a BB-sized pellet intended to fuel a nuclear fusion reaction.

First global analysis of sexual behavior
A groundbreaking study, which provides the first ever comprehensive analysis of sexual behaviour around the world, is published today in the Lancet, as part of a major series on sexual and reproductive health.

Some key laboratory breast cancer cell lines are, indeed, good models for the 'real' disease
In this era of molecular medicine, controversy among cancer researchers is increasing as to whether the laboratory cells they study -- and upon which human treatment is based -- accurately reflect the biology of

American College of Cardiology Foundation's NCDR creates network to measure patient care
The American College of Cardiology Foundation's National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) announced today that it will launch a new initiative to improve safety and outcomes for patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS).

Core principles of care for Alzheimer's disease have remained the same over the past 100 years
While the treatment of Alzheimer's disease has advanced over the past 100 years, the core principles of care have remained the same, according to a the authors of a Viewpoint in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Using an activated-carbon filtering pitcher significantly reduces chemicals in tap water
A study conducted by Université Laval researchers concludes that using an activated-carbon filtering pitcher is the most effective way to reduce disinfection by-products in tap water.

Call for Europe to lead in revitalizing family planning agenda in world's poorest countries
A leading population expert will today make a plea for a revitalization of the family planning agenda in the world's poorest countries, cautioning that soaring population rates are now a bigger threat to achieving the MDGs than HIV/AIDS.

National Lipid Association and Elsevier announce publishing partnership plan
Elsevier, world-leading scientific, technical and medical publisher, is pleased to announce its new partnership with the NLA -- National Lipid Association, the leading society for medical doctors and other health care professionals who work to reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality from dyslipidemia and associated disorders of lipid metabolism.

Quantum coherence possible in incommensurate electronic systems
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that quantum coherence is possible in electronic systems that are incommensurate, thereby removing one obstacle in the development of quantum devices.

Minister Lunn speaks at the New England-Canada Business Council Energy and Technology Conference
The Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources, will speak at the 14th annual New England-Canada Business Council Energy and Technology Conference on Friday, Nov.

Backache beaten by good vibrations?
University of Manchester researchers are recruiting people with backache caused by nerve root pain -- commonly known as sciatica -- in the first ever study to discover if therapeutic ultrasound can help their condition.

Multiple organ failure and malignant tumors main causes of death in ICU and hospital
Multiple organ failure is the main cause of death in intensive care units.

Low levels of neurotransmitter serotonin may perpetuate child abuse across generations
Infant abuse may be perpetuated between generations by changes in the brain induced by early experience, research shows.

Pulsating gels could power tiny robots
When Belousov-Zhabotinsky gels are put into a solution, they beat like hearts.

NASA snow data helps maintain nation's largest, oldest bison herd
NASA satellite data and computer modeling and US Department of Agriculture information are helping track the remnants of the once mighty bison herd in Yellowstone National Park as they migrate with the melting snowpack.

A walk along an interface yields its mobility
In the Oct. 27 issue of Science, researchers at Colorado School of Mines and Northeastern University report a novel computational methodology aimed at quantifying the kinetics of interfaces in diverse material systems.

Neuron cell stickiness may hold key to evolution of the human brain
The stickiness of human neurons may have been a key factor in why the human brain evolved beyond the brains of our primate relatives.

By 2048 all current fish, seafood species projected to collapse
Marine species loss is accelerating and threatening human well-being, according to a report published in the Nov.

Chemists make tiny molecular rings with big potential
Ohio State University chemists have devised a new way to create tiny molecular rings that could one day function as drug delivery devices or antibiotics.

Common antacids could help keep gingivitis at bay
Chemicals commonly used to treat heartburn also display fighting power against the oral bacteria linked with gum disease, according to researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Göteborg University in Sweden.

Link identified between age, cardiovascular disease
Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have discovered a fundamental mechanism that causes aging blood vessels to lose their elasticity -- a literal

Coordinating DNA and histone methylation
In the November 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Sriharsa Pradhan (New England Biolabs) and colleagues demonstrate that the DNA methyltransferase, DNMT1, and the histone methyltransferase, G9a, interact to coordinate DNA and histone methylation during DNA replication.

Predicting survival after liver transplant
A new model based on specific characteristics of the donor and the recipient may help predict survival after liver transplantation, according to a new study.

How fish mend a broken heart
New evidence to explain how a common tropical fish mends a broken heart may suggest methods for coaxing the damaged hearts of mammals to better heal, researchers report.

U of M researchers invent 'flashy' new process to turn soy oil, glucose into hydrogen
A University of Minnesota team has invented a

Doctors working overseas face having licenses removed
UK doctors working for charities overseas are being removed from the lists of approved practitioners in the UK because they are unable to attend face to face appraisal, warns a GP in this week's BMJ.

Heart catheters do not benefit patients
Doctors should probably stop using pulmonary artery catheters because they do not benefit patients, say doctors from Australia in this week's BMJ.

Needs of families with disabled children remain largely unmet
The social and economic needs of families with a disabled child are high, but remain largely unmet, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

USC study unravels key component in the process of myelination
A breakthrough finding on the mechanism of myelin formation by Jonah Chan, assistant professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, could have a major impact on the treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and demyelination as a result of spinal cord injuries.

Low folate diets found to increase risk of colorectal cancer
A new study by scientists at the MUHC has revealed that a diet low in folate may increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Accelerating loss of ocean species threatens human well-being
In a study published in the November 3 issue of the journal, Science, an international group of ecologists and economists show that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean's ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants and rebound from stresses such as over fishing and climate change.

Doctors launch new effort to treat stroke more effectively
Just a small fraction of patients who have a stroke receive the only drug -- TPA -- available to treat the condition.

Which is more annoying, spam or direct mail? UGA study reveals answer
According to a new University of Georgia study, most people find spam more intrusive and irritating than direct mail.

Iraq war has distorted the global balance of power, experts warn
The emergence of the United States as the sole superpower after the end of the Cold War distorted the structural balance in the UN scheme, according to the editors of a book published this month

Agronomy, crop, soils research presented in Indianapolis
More than 3,000 scientists from around the world will meet at the Indiana Convention Center Nov.

Key to zebrafish heart regeneration uncovered
When a portion of a zebrafish's heart is removed, the dynamic interplay between a mass of stem cells that forms in the wound and the protective cell layer that covers the wound spurs the regeneration of functional new heart tissue, Duke University Medical Center scientists have found.

Funnel in the eye: Signal focusing increases photosensitivity
In poor light the eyes of mice react like some digital cameras: they reduce their resolution while at the same time increasing their sensitivity.

Scientists: New phylum sheds light on ancestor of animals, humans
Genetic analysis of an obscure, worm-like creature retrieved from the depths of the North Atlantic has led to the discovery of a new phylum, a rare event in an era when most organisms have already been grouped into major evolutionary categories.

Intact tonsils triple risk of recurrent strep throat
Children with recurrent strep throat whose tonsils have not been removed are over three times more likely to develop subsequent episodes of strep throat than children who undergo tonsillectomy, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the Nov.

More human-Neandertal mixing evidence uncovered
A reexamination of ancient human bones from Romania reveals more evidence that humans and Neandertals interbred.

Scientists identify a septic shock susceptibility gene
In the November 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Robert Schneider and colleagues at NYU School of Medicine report that the AUF1 gene underlies susceptibility to septic shock.

Dartmouth study contributes to research addressing malnutrition and iron deficiency
Dartmouth biologists are leading a research team that has learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for scientists working to improve the iron content of plants.

Iraqi people likely to suffer psychological damage
Exposure to violence is putting the people of Iraq at risk of serious psychological damage, says a doctor in this week's BMJ.

Is the world ready for a 'green revolution' in Africa?
United Nations Hunger Task Force leader Dr. Pedro Sanchez is one of several speakers who will report on a five-component approach for Africa as part of the Millennium Development Project at the symposium

Major breakthrough in the mechanism of myelin formation
The group of Dr. Michel Cayouette, researcher at Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), and Dr.

World Health Organization Director-General elections dogged by misconceived allegations
In an editorial in this week's issue, the Lancet calls on the executive board of the World Health Organization to dismiss the misconceived allegations that have been made against a number of candidates running for the position of next Director-General.

$1.4 million grant gives UH students hands-on training for petroleum industry
Future geoscientists from the University of Houston are getting their hands on new software that will expand their research capabilities and career horizons in the petroleum industry.

Tiny worm provides model for the genetics of nicotine dependence
The unassuming C. elegans nematode worm, a 1-millimeter workhorse of the genetics lab, is quite similar to human beings in its genetic susceptibility to nicotine dependence, according to University of Michigan researchers.

Teenagers know about condoms ... so why don't they use them?
A review of research has revealed striking similarities in the influences on young people's sexual behavior across the world.

Dopamine used to prompt nerve tissue to regrow
Georgia Tech/Emory researchers have integrated dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter, into a polymer to stimulate nerve tissues to send out new connections. 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