Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 09, 2006
New depression model advances disease frontiers
For over 30 years, scientists believed that monoamines are low in the brain during major depressive episodes.

Scientists harness diptheria toxin and interleukin 2 to help the immune system attack melanoma
Researchers investigating ways of prompting the immune system to recognize and kill tumor cells have found that a drug containing parts of the diptheria toxin appears to work well in patients with advanced melanoma, according to research presented at the 18th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics on Thursday.

'Air shower' set to cut water use by 30 percent
As Australians become increasingly alert to the importance of using water wisely in the home, CSIRO researchers have found a way to use a third less water when you shower -- by adding air.

Four WHOI researchers recognized for contributions to science and engineering
Four researchers have been recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for their contributions to ocean sciences research and engineering.

Dedicated R&D lab established to spur RFID industry in Canada
Industry-supported RFID research and development lab established by McMaster University to investigate technology, social policy, commercialization and business process in the development of new applications.

Decoded sea urchin genome shows surprising relationship to humans
The Sea Urchin Genome Sequencing Project consortium, led by the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, announced today the decoding and analysis of the genome sequence of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

Manmade protein shows promise for cancer, macular degeneration
Potentially blinding blood vessel growth in the cornea resulting from eye injury or even surgery can be reduced by more than 50 percent with a new manmade protein, researchers say.

Memories: It's all in the packaging, scientists say
Researchers at UC Irvine have found that how much detail one remembers of an event depends on whether a certain portion of the brain is activated to

RNA map provides first comprehensive understanding of alternative splicing
A new RNA map, created by a team of researchers at Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, shows for the first time how the specific location of short snippets of RNA affects the way that alternative splicing is controlled in the brain.

Systemic treatment before surgery for kidney cancer prolongs patients' survival
Preliminary results from a phase II clinical trial have provided the first evidence that treating people with kidney cancer with bevacizumab and erlotinib before surgery is safe, effective and may prolong patients' survival, the 18th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics heard on Thursday.

Mouse model underestimates the critical role of Tyk2 in human immune system
A new study identifies a human Tyk2 deficiency and definitively links this molecule with multiple cytokine signals that are critical for the human immune responses.

Conference session highlights importance of interdisciplinary approach to Earth system science
There is no doubt that humans have now become a global geophysical force, affecting the functioning of the Earth system in many ways and causing planetary-scale environmental changes.

Wetzel and Yang to present anti-phishing research at APWG's eCrime Summit
As phishing and pharming become more prevalent, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have taken steps to mitigate the risk posed by such online threats.

How to grow muscle cells in a dish
Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are a crucial component of many parts of the body, including blood vessels.

Selecting life: Scientists find new way to search for origin of life
Over the last half century, researchers have found that mineral surfaces may have played critical roles activating molecules that would become essential ingredients to life.

Climate changes are linked between Greenland and the Antarctic
Even if climate records from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores look different, climate of Artic and Antarctic are directly linked.

High blood glucose responsible for over 3 million deaths worldwide
In addition to almost one million diabetes deaths, high blood glucose is responsible for 2.2 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide, according to an article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

'Tornadoes' are transferred from light to sodium atoms
For the first time, tornado-like rotational motions have been transferred from light to atoms in a controlled way at NIST.

With BYU partner, FSU's Magnet Lab researchers deciphering flu virus
As the Northern Hemisphere braces for another flu season, researchers at Florida State University's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida are making strides toward better understanding the mechanics of the virus that causes it -- a virus that kills between one-quarter and one-half million people each year.

Growth factor signals influence balance between normal growth and cancerous growth
Too much of a signaling protein called insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) may fan the flames of cancer, while too little of the protein may cause short stature, dementia and osteoporosis.

Researchers identify cells that make relapse inevitable in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Scientists in Australia have discovered that in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) there are

Nuclear medicine patients: No-alarm holiday travel tips
Traveling during the holidays -- especially for the nearly 60,000 individuals who daily undergo a nuclear medicine treatment or test in this country -- will go smoother if medical professionals advise their patients to follow some simple tips from SNM, the leading international molecular imaging and nuclear medicine society.

University of Illinois scientist helping processors keep E. coli out of meat
A University of Illinois food scientist has discovered that certain solutions used by meat processors to extend shelf life actually do double duty as antimicrobial agents, killing such virulent foodborne pathogens as E. coli 0157:H7.

Mayo Clinic researchers find evidence for traumatic cause of carpal tunnel syndrome
New Mayo Clinic research suggests that a shearing injury of the tissue that lines the tendons within the carpal tunnel may cause carpal tunnel syndrome, a debilitating condition of the wrist and hand.

Type 2 diabetes epidemic in Asia
The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes and obesity has increased throughout Asia, and the rate of increase shows no sign of slowing.

Mathematics prize goes to Springer author from India
This year's Srinivasa Ramanujan Prize has been awarded to Springer author R.

Breaking the nanometer barrier in X-ray microscopy
Argonne National Laboratory scientists in collaboration with Xradia have created a new X-ray microscope technique capable of observing molecular-scale features, measuring less than a nanometer in height.

Global Environmental Change and Human Health: New project launched at GEC Conference in Beijing
How global environmental changes affect human wellbeing, health and survival around the world, and how they are likely to do so in the future is the focus of a new research project being launched by the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).

Making robotic movement of goods more 'pallet-able'
Under a cooperative research and development agreement with Transbotics, a Charlotte, N.C., AGV manufacturer, NIST is developing advanced sensor processing and modeling algorithms to help robot forklifts verify the location and orientation of pallets laden with goods.

A buffet for early human relatives
University of Utah scientists improved a method of testing fossil teeth, and showed that early human relatives varied their diets with the seasons 1.8 million years ago, eating leaves and fruit when available in addition to seeds, roots, tubers and perhaps grazing animals.

Sustained reduction of type 2 diabetes achieved with simple lifestyle interventions
Giving people at high risk for type 2 diabetes intensive diet and exercise counselling can result in sustained lifestyle changes and a reduction in diabetes incidence, even after active counselling ceases, according to the extended follow-up of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (FDPS) published in this week's Lancet.

National Professional Society to honor WPI professor for his work on inorganic membranes
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers will honor Yi Hua Ma, Frances B.

A prickly subject: The sea urchin genome is sequenced
The sea urchin revealed a number of surprising details about its genetic makeup and its similarity to humans in a paper announcing the completed sequencing of the organism's genome in today's issue of Science.

Shopping with your heart makes sense, says Queen's business prof
Going with your

On life support: Future of science focus of lecture at UH
Former presidential adviser for science and technology policy, Neal Lane, will be at the University of Houston to address the uncertain future of science in the United States.

JCI table of contents: November 9, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, November 9, 2006, in the JCI, including: How to grow muscle cells in a dish; Multiple regulatory cell types can't keep self-destructive immune cells under control; TRPC6 is big hearted; and Chondrocytes: new contractors to help vitamin D build bones.

Portable, solar-powered tag readers could improve traffic management
As part of their ongoing effort to improve traffic management in New York state and across the country, a team of transportation researchers will be testing an array of wireless, solar-powered readers to monitor traffic flow.

Quantized heat conduction by photons observed
In a recent experiment, to be published in Nature on Nov.

Sea urchin genome is a biology boon and a computational feat
Now that the entire DNA map of the sea urchin is complete, it's clear that these spiny sea creatures are even closer genetic cousins to humans than suspected.

Decoded sea urchin genome shows surprising relationship to man
The Sea Urchin Genome Sequencing Project consortium, led by the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, announced today the decoding and analysis of the genome sequence of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.

AIUM to host Annual Convention
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) will host its 2007 Annual Convention and Preconvention Program over St.

RAND study finds most schools fail to fully adopt reform models
Schools that embrace comprehensive reform models designed to improve student achievement frequently do not fully adopt all practices recommended by the model developers, according to a RAND Corporation report issued today.

NASA sees into the eye of a monster storm on Saturn
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has seen something never before seen on another planet -- a hurricane-like storm at Saturn's south pole with a well-developed eye, ringed by towering clouds.

To slow AIDS in Russia, treat HIV-positive addicts, Stanford study says
The key to combating AIDS in Russia may be to treat HIV-infected drug users.

Carnegie Mellon scientist plays key role in unveiling sea urchin genome
Carnegie Mellon University has played a key role in an international, multi-institutional collaboration to sequence the sea urchin genome.

Nature's process for nitrogen fixation caught in action
A research team from Utah State University, Virginia Tech and Northwestern University asked whether the biological process for nitrogen fixation, carried out by microbes that contain the enzyme nitrogenase, follows the same pathway as recently reported chemical methods.

Happy birthday, Venus Express!
One year after its launch on November 9, 2005, and a few months into its science phase, ESA's Venus Express keeps working well and continues to gather lots of data about the hot and noxious atmosphere of the planet.

Nonminority medical students more satisfied than minority students, study finds
Minorities account for 30 percent of the US population, but only eight percent of the physician workforce, and experience less personal satisfaction during medical school than nonminority students, finds a Mayo Clinic study published in the November issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

'Nanorust' cleans arsenic from drinking water
The discovery of unexpected magnetic interactions between nanoparticles of rust is leading to a revolutionary, low-cost technology for cleaning arsenic from drinking water.

1st international study group for new 'movement' discipline
Movement ecology is on the move, with the world's first international research group on this topic having begun its work this fall at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute for Advanced Studies.

Negative press gives asylum seekers a bad name
The negative portrayal of asylum seekers in the press has a direct and immediate adverse impact on readers' assumptions about asylum seekers in general.

Dr. George Karpati honored with a Prix du Qu├ębec
Dr. George Karpati, senior neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, has been awarded the Prix Wilder Penfield, a prize that honors a researcher for their outstanding contribution in the field of biomedical science.

Novel audio telescope heeds call of the wild ... birds
Researchers at NIST, Intelligent Automation Inc. (Rockville, Md.), and the University of Missouri-Columbia have modified a NIST-designed microphone array to make an

Insight into evolution of adaptive immunity boosted by sea urchin genome sequencing
The latest genome project, sequencing the complete genetic composition of the sea urchin, may reveal important aspects of how our innate and adaptive immune systems interact, a companion paper in the journal Science notes.

Varied diet of early hominid casts doubt on extinction theory, says Colorado U study
An upright hominid that lived side by side with direct ancestors of modern humans more than a million years ago had a far more diverse diet than once believed, clouding the notion that it was driven to extinction by its picky eating habits as the African continent dried, says a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Studies look at how genes affect antipsychotic drug response
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy are attempting to discover how genes determine how well an antipsychotic medication works in adults and children and the side effects it will cause.

Next generation imaging detectors could enhance space missions
A new generation of imaging detectors with low-noise and high-speed capabilities may transform imaging applications on NASA space missions, impact biomedical imaging and aid in homeland defense.

Seven-point system gauges seriousness of heart failure in elderly
A simple points system may soon help guide treatment of elderly heart failure patients.

Federal grant at FSU to help science teachers foster 'inquiry learning'
Three Florida State University programs in Tallahassee, Fla., have joined forces to research how to better prepare teachers to combat science illiteracy in the United States -- and they are receiving a helping hand from the National Science Foundation through a $2.4-million award.

New measurement guide worth 'poring over'
Tiny pores -- usually smaller than 50 nanometers in diameter -- create complex internal and external surface features that strongly influence the performance of catalysts, filters, brake pads, pigments, ceramics, time-release capsules and many other engineered materials.

Research finds antioxidant therapies do not interfere with radiation treatment
Researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America found that antioxidant therapies such as green tea extract, melatonin, high-potency multivitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E do not interfere with radiation treatment.

Examining the impact of renewable energy on the electric power grid
With a $1.23 million grant, researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be creating a distributed power
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