Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 15, 2006
Pine tree bark reduces side effects in hypertensive patients
A study published in the October journal of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis shows Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree reduced edema, a typical side effect of antihypertensive medications, by 36 percent in patients taking these medications.

Silver bullet: UGA researchers use laser, nanotechnology to rapidly detect viruses
Using nanotechnology, a team of University of Georgia researchers has developed a diagnostic test that can detect viruses as diverse as influenza, HIV and RSV in 60 seconds or less.

Forum to explore thorium as abundant source of clean energy
The forum will address the role of thorium in three key areas: the environmental benefits of thorium; the safety and national security aspects of thorium; and the economic benefits and commercial applications of thorium.

Newly identified strains of Chlamydia trachomatis could produce new diseases
Newly identified strains of Chlamydia trachomatis could produce new diseases.

Springer and the Royal Astronomical Society sign book agreement
The Royal Astronomical Society has chosen Springer to publish a series of volumes on astronomy and geophysics under the auspices of the RAS starting in 2007.

New vaccine stimulates colorectal cancer patient's immune systems to fight cancerous cells
British researchers have developed a vaccine that stimulates colorectal cancer patients' immune systems to fight cancerous cells.

New analysis shows Kadian alleviates chronic moderate-to-severe non-malignant neck pain
Data presented this week at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation meeting, demonstrated that Kadian improved sleep and overall quality of life in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic neck pain who had inadequate relief on previous analgesic regimens.

Potatoes developed for new markets
Whether they have a new, ruby red color, taste better or better resist insect attack for purposes of organic production, researchers at Oregon State University are evaluating thousands of potential selections of potatoes for possible production in the Pacific Northwest.

'Trojan Horse' agent halts bone metastasis in mice
A novel vascular targeting agent completely prevented the development of bone tumors in 50 percent of the mice tested in a preclinical study, providing early evidence that it could treat, or thwart, growth of tumors in bone, a common destination for a number of cancers when they start to spread.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor to examine Latinas' attitudes towards exercise
A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, Karen T. D'Alonzo, has been awarded a three-year $274,104 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health to conduct two studies examining young Latinas' attitudes toward physical activity.

What lies beneath: Petroleum targets unearthed by UH professor
Enhancing ways to detect petroleum targets has earned one University of Houston scientist high international honors.

Holiday season could ring in 'heartburn season'
Making merry is often synonymous with overindulging -- whether from holiday feasts or rich desserts or alcoholic beverages -- ringing in the holiday season as

Red Storm upgrade lifts Sandia supercomputer to 2nd in world, but 1st in scalability
Sandia's Red Storm computer has increased its peak speed from 41.5 to 124.4 teraflops.

Scientists find new way to manipulate DNA
Polymers, large molecules comprised of chains of repeating structures, are used in everything from the coatings on walls of ships and pipes to reduce flow drag to gene therapy.

454 Life Sciences and Max Planck publish sequence of one million base pairs
454 Life Sciences today announced that comparison of the human and chimpanzee genomes to Neandertal DNA sequences determined by 454 Sequencing reveals that modern human and Neandertal DNA sequences diverged on average about 500,000 years ago and the effective size of the ancestral population of the two groups was similar to that of modern humans.

Dartmouth researchers identify a gene that enhances muscle performance
A team of researchers, led by scientists at Dartmouth, have identified and tested a gene that dramatically alters both muscle metabolism and performance.

Enriching education throughout childhood pays big dividends for disadvanted
Researchers have previously noted that many of the advantages children receive from preschool experiences begin to wane as they continue through school.

U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization team discovers key step in flu virus replication
As public health officials around the world keep a nervous eye on the spread of avian influenza, the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization has uncovered a key step in how the influenza virus causes infection.

Regular smoking substantially increases risk of asthma in adolescents
Adolescents who smoke cigarettes regularly have a significantly increased risk of developing asthma during their teens compared to their non-smoking peers, according to the latest results from the Children's Health Study.

Low-dose aspirin reduces cardiovascular events
Taking low-dose aspirin daily reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as the risk of dying, among patients who previously have had a heart attack or stroke but whose cardiovascular disease has stabilized, according to a new analysis by Duke University Medical Center cardiologists.

AERA and SAGE announce journals publishing partnership
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and SAGE Publications are pleased to announce their new publishing partnership.

'The Last Great Wilderness'
University of Alaska Fairbanks alumnus and UAF affiliate faculty Roger Kaye chronicles the campaign to preserve the area that eventually became the Arctic National Wildlife refuge.

Video explains what science learns from avian stars of 'Happy Feet' and 'March of the Penguins'
Long before they lit up movie screens in animated feature films or enthralled documentary film audiences worldwide with the story of their endless struggle to survive and reproduce, Emperor penguins intrigued early Antarctic explorers.

New family health history projects focus on Alaska Native, Appalachian communities
As part of the effort to educate all Americans about the importance of knowing their family health histories, Acting Surgeon General Kenneth P.

Listening to gunshots may save lives and wildlands
By analyzing sound, Montana State University electrical engineering professor Rob Maher's research could lead to systems that detect snipers and provide environmental monitoring of wildlands.

Thunderbird Linux cluster ranks 6th in Top500 supercomputing race
Sandia National Laboratories' 8960-processor Thunderbird Linux cluster, developed in collaboration with Dell Inc. and Cisco, maintained its sixth position in the Top500 Supercomputers by achieving an improved overall performance of 53.0 teraflops, an 18.5 percent increase in efficiency from last year's performance.

Genetic study of Neanderthal DNA reveals early split between humans and Neanderthals
In the most thorough study to date of the Neanderthal genome, scientists suggest an early human-Neanderthal split.

Teens who smoke have increased risk of developing asthma
Children and teens who smoke cigarettes have nearly four times the risk of developing asthma in their teens compared to children and teens who do not smoke.

Boehlert, Gordon call for implementation of new nanotechnology report
House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) and Ranking Democrat Bart Gordon (D-TN) issued the following joint statement in response to a paper published today in the journal Nature laying out a research agenda to understand the environmental, health and safety implications of nanotechnology.

Wiley acquires HEED, the world's leading Health Economic Evaluations Database
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Health Economic Evaluations Database, an online source of health economic information and evaluations.

Edge density key to controlling gypsy moth spread
Controlling population peaks on the edges of the gypsy moth range may help to slow their invasion into virgin territory, according to a team of researchers.

Thyroid cancer discovery points to new treatments, prevention
The actions of a mutated protein in cells linked to thyroid cancer have been uncovered by researchers at Queen's University.

Brain, behavior may have changed as social insect colonies evolved
Brain and behavior relationships may have changed in a profound way as larger, more complex insect societies evolved from smaller, simpler ones, according to a new study.

Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke causes respiratory symptoms in healthy adults
Over time, inhaling environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) -- a process often called

Grid computing 'Mappa mundi' unveiled in Florida
Visitors to Supercomputing '06 in Tampa, Fla., this week will be the first to see a new interactive map that shows nine of the world's largest computing grids.

Chandra discovers relativistic pinball machine
New clues about the origins of cosmic rays, mysterious high-energy particles that bombard the Earth, have been revealed using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Dad inspired 'Jurassic Park,' son inspires 'Jurassic Poop'
A new children's book by science writer Jacob Berkowitz reveals that America not only has the world's largest heap of ancient human leavings but that the study of coprolites, or fossil feces, is literally re-writing American history, including who attended the first Thanksgiving.

Neanderthal genome sequencing yields surprising results and opens a new door to future studies
The veil of mystery surrounding our extinct hominid cousins, the Neanderthals, has been at least partially lifted to reveal surprising results.

Columbia study examines ADHD's role in smoking
Research has shown that most smoking in the US occurs among people who have psychiatric conditions, such as alcohol or drug abuse, major depression, anxiety and ADHD.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug increases liver damage in mice carrying mutant human gene
Research performed at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Blood transfusions should be used in moderation for acute coronary syndrome
In a study of more than 44,000 patients being treated for a possible heart attack, cardiologists at the Duke Clinical Research Institute found that while transfusions were associated with a benefit in some patients, they were associated with harm in others.

Different coat color may not mean different species for lemurs
Researchers have found that lemurs suspected to belong to different species because of their strikingly different coat colors, are not only genetically alike, but belong to the same species.

LSU Health Sciences Center research to improve patient safety
Sheila W. Chauvin, M.Ed., Ph.D., Director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, has been awarded a half million dollar grant to evaluate the influence of simulation on enhancing teamwork and a culture of patient safety in the operating room environment.

Lemurs' fur color may not define species
Different coat color might not correspond to different species for nocturnal lemurs.

Specter of possible harm threatens nanotech development, experts say
Society is in danger of squandering the powerful potential of nanotechnology due to a lack of clear information about its risks, conclude 14 top international scientists in a major paper published in the Nov.

ResearchChannel reveals the research environment of the future
At this year's SuperComputing 2006 conference in Tampa, Florida, held November 11-17, ResearchChannel will demonstrate the look and feel of the research environment of the future.

Antibiotics unnecessarily prescribed for acute bronchitis
Antibiotics are routinely prescribed unnecessarily for acute bronchitis, according to Virginia Commonwealth University findings published in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

U-M researchers use nanoparticles to target brain cancer
Tiny particles one-billionth of a meter in size can be loaded with high concentrations of drugs designed to kill brain cancer.

Scientists set 'Five Grand Challenges' for nanotechnology risk research
Fourteen top international scientists in the field of nanotechnology have identified

Novel regulatory mechanism identified for key tumor suppressor p53
Collaborating scientists from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and the Vienna Biocenter in Austria have identified a novel mechanism involved in normal repression of the p53 protein, perhaps the single most important molecule for the control of cancer in humans.

Scientists find mutations that let bird flu adapt to humans
By comparing influenza viruses found in birds with those of the avian virus that have also infected human hosts, researchers have identified key genetic changes required for pandemic strains of bird flu.

Poor athletic performance linked to vitamin deficiency
Active individuals lacking in B-vitamins -- including college athletes and other elite competitors -- may perform worse during high-intensity exercise and have a decreased ability to repair and build muscle than counterparts with nutrient-rich diets, a new study concludes.

RAND study finds vaccination of nursing home staff, residents, key to reducing flu outbreak
Potentially deadly influenza outbreaks in nursing homes are less likely to occur when large numbers of staff and residents get flu shots, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation.

Movies reveal that the process of insulating nerves is surprisingly dynamic
The formation of myelin sheaths during development requires a complex choreography generally considered to be one of nature's most spectacular examples of the interaction between different kinds of cells.

New genetic test predicts risk of metastasis in patients with deadly eye cancer
Doctors at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute have pioneered the first technique to biopsy tumor tissue from the living eye and test it for a genetic marker linked to aggressive metastasis.

Significant reduction in blood pressure with implantable device system
A device first implanted in the United States at the University of Rochester Medical Center as part of a clinical trial is showing a significant reduction in blood pressure in patients who suffer from severe hypertension and cannot control their condition with medications or lifestyle changes. 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