Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 21, 2006
Physicians rate involvement in public roles as important
About two-thirds of physicians surveyed reported being actively involved in activities such as community participation, political involvement and collective advocacy, according to a study in the Nov.

Historic volcanic eruption shrunk the mighty Nile River
Volcanic eruptions in high latitudes can greatly alter climate and distant river flows, including the Nile, according to a recent study funded in part by NASA.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience: Moving calcium from store to store; Nogo and axonal growth revisited; Timing in the substantia nigra; and Dynactin 1 dysregulation in a mouse model of SBMA.

Gene therapy for hereditary lung disease advances
A clinical trial to evaluate the safety of using a so-called gene vector to deliver a corrective gene to 12 patients with a common hereditary disorder that causes lung and liver disease is completed at the University of Florida.

The smell of money
It's not hard to recall the pungent scent of a handful of pocket change.

US signs international fusion energy agreement
Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science of the US Department of Energy, today joined counterparts from China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation to sign an agreement to build the international fusion energy project known as

Just dive in
Yi Lu and his team at the University of Illinois in Urbana has laid the foundation for a new generation of rapid diagnostic tests that are as easy to handle as a pregnancy test: just dunk them in the sample and see if a colored band appears.

Highly concentrated botulinum preparation for cosmetic injections can result in severe illness
An examination of four cases of botulism following cosmetic injections to the face indicates that the adults received a highly concentrated, unlicensed preparation that resulted in toxin levels up to 40 times the estimated human lethal dose, according to a report in the Nov.

Can we prevent type 1 diabetes by modifying infant nutrition?
Within the next 10 years an international study called TRIGR (Trial to Reduce IDDM in the Genetically at Risk) will generate a definite answer to the question whether early nutritional modification may prevent type 1 diabetes later in childhood.

Lancet to hold its 2007 Medical Forum on Cancer Management in Asia
Over 400 leading oncology experts, researchers and policymakers from around the world will convene in Singapore next year for the Lancet's Asia Medical Forum on Cancer Management in Asia in the 21st Century, April 21-22, 2007.

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative launches Southern African program
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a global public-private partnership working to accelerate the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS, announced the launch of its new Southern African program today to support expanding R&D and advocacy efforts in the region.

Proteins anchor memories in our brain
A University of Utah study suggests that memories are held in our brains because certain proteins serve as anchors, holding other proteins in place to strengthen synapses, which are connections between nerve cells.

Downstate researchers target multiple sclerosis
Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have developed a substance that inhibits the progress of multiple sclerosis in an animal model.

Autoimmune disease triggered if T cells miss a single protein early on
Scientists have discovered that autoimmunity can be triggered in the thymus, where the immune system's T cells develop, if T cells fail to recognize just one of the body's thousands of proteins as

U of MN study shows Twin Cities residents get exercise through personal lifestyle activities
Twin Cities residents are getting the majority of their physical activity through personal lifestyle activities such as yardwork, cleaning, and leisure-time physical activities -- such as walking, running or biking, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Finding a cure for cancer: The holy grail of science
To find a cure for cancer, the modern-day plague of our society -- is synonymous to finding the holy grail of science.

U of MN Center for Bioethics receives grant to study living donor lung transplantation
The University of Minnesota's Maryam Valapour, M.D., has received a $750,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study living-donor lung transplantation.

Watching TV can improve parenting and child behavior
Watching television parenting programs like ITV's

Randomized study indicates that patients with herniated disk improved with or without surgery
Patients with lumbar disk herniation who had surgery or nonoperative treatments showed similar levels of improvement in the reduction of pain over a 2-year period, according to a randomized trial in the Nov.

Icelandic volcano caused historic famine in Egypt, says Rutgers-based team
An environmental drama played out on the world stage in the late 18th century when a volcano killed 9,000 Icelanders and brought a famine to Egypt that reduced the population of the Nile valley by a sixth.

Value of exercise for seniors shown in multi-center study with Stanford
A study, which appears in the November issue of Journal of Gerontology, is the first to show that physical activity can improve a person's score on a standardized test of physical mobility.

US physicians support community activity on health-related issues
More than 90 percent of US physicians responding to a survey regard participation in health-focused community activities, political involvement and advocacy for health-related issues as important.

Patterns on tropical marine mollusk shell mirror gene expression patterns
Scientists have identified a group of genes that control the formation of shapes and color patterns on the shell of the tropical marine mollusk referred to as

Employers who perform background checks hire more black workers
A new study in the current issue of the Journal of Law and Economics finds that employers who choose to perform criminal background checks end up hiring more black workers -- especially black men.

The area of influence of earthquakes could be larger than is currently thought
Dr. Álvaro Corral, a UAB Department of Physics researcher, studies the relationships between the time and place of earthquake occurrences using statistical physics methods.

Deep brain stimulation offers new hope for dystonia treatment
Dystonia, a group of diseases that cause a patient's muscles to involuntary contract with movement, has had a relatively limited and ineffective number of treatments in the past.

World's largest superconducting magnet switches on
The largest superconducting magnet ever built has successfully been powered up to its nominal operating conditions at the first attempt. 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