Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 04, 2006
The message in advertising is irrelevant, new research shows
Creativity and emotion are what makes advertising successful, not the message it is trying to get over, new research shows.

Consortium of international hospitals receives $11 million to conduct study of genetic brain tumors
The National Cancer Institute recently awarded the University of Texas M.

Brain's fear center likely shrinks in autism's most severely socially impaired
The brain's fear hub likely becomes abnormally small in the most severely socially impaired males with autism spectrum disorders.

New highways carry pathogens and social change in Ecuador
Logging roads have brought a higher incidence of diarrheal disease and new social problems among communities along the Ecuadorian coast, according to a new study by an international research team led by Joseph Eisenberg, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Exposures to the insecticide chlorpyrifos in pregnancy adversely affect child development
Children who were exposed prenatally to the insecticide chlorpyrifos had significantly poorer mental and motor development by three years of age and increased risk for behavior problems, according to a peer-reviewed study published today.

Hospital emergency departments vary greatly across country
A database developed by a research team based at Massachusetts General Hospital -- the first comprehensive list of emergency departments (EDs) across the country -- shows that one-third of all EDs care for less than one patient each hour, on average.

IDIBAPS validates the first prognostic DNA chip
IDIBAPS-Hospital ClĂ­nic leads a European project for the development of the IBDchip, the first diagnostic DNA chip with the aim to predict the clinical course and prognosis of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Ocean sampling yields environmental sources of coral symbionts
By sampling different ocean locations for the presence of an elusive but critical group of algae, researchers have gained new insight into the dwelling places of the symbiotic organisms that reef corals need for survival.

Research grant funds studies of climate change and reef ecosystems
Research will explore environmental conditions in the Florida Keys and South Florida.

Tearing down the fungal cell wall
Scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Duke University Medical Center have pinpointed a fungal gene that appears to play an important role in the development and virulence of Alternaria brassicicola, a destructive fungal pathogen that results in considerable leaf loss in many economically important crops worldwide, including canola, cabbage and broccoli.

Can hockey playoffs harm your hearing?
Bill Hodgetts and Richard Liu report on the possible risk of hearing loss for those who attend hockey games frequently.

Global malaria map key weapon in fight against malaria, scientists say
For the first time in almost forty years, researchers are creating a global map of malaria risk.

Invention could solve 'bottleneck' in developing pollution-free cars
Hydrogen-powered cars that do not pollute the environment are a step closer thanks to a new discovery which promises to solve the main problem holding back the technology.

Why do some queen bees eat their worker bee's eggs?
Worker bees, wasps and ants are often considered neuter. But in many species they are females with ovaries, who although unable to mate, can lay unfertilized eggs which turn into males if reared.

Gendered division of labor gave modern humans advantage over Neanderthals
Diversified social roles for men, women and children may have given Homo sapiens an advantage over Neanderthals, says a new study in the December 2006 issue of Current Anthropology.

Freshwater snails are surprisingly fast-moving invaders
A new study sheds light on some very fast snails and their success at long-distance colonization.

Indiana University researchers discover unique marker to identify breast cancer protein
Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered a way to identify a key protein in breast cancer cells, raising hopes that it will lead to a significantly better method for early detection of the disease.

Antidepressants associated with increased risk for suicide attempts, decreased risk for death
Suicidal individuals taking antidepressant medications appear to have an increased risk of additional suicide attempts, but a reduced risk of dying from suicide or any other cause, according to a large Finnish study reported in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Fishy cooperation
Videos and field data reveal that the grouper and the giant moray eel cooperate to hunt together, each taking on different roles.

New hope for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Patients treated with lenalidomide for relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia or disease that no longer responds to chemotherapy have experienced a major response to therapy, according to a phase II study conducted by Asher Chanan-Khan, M.D., Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Vanishing beetle horns have surprise function
In this month's American Naturalist (December 2006) and the November 2006 issue of Evolution, Indiana University Bloomington scientists present an entirely new function for the horns: during their development, Onthophagus horned beetles use their young horns as a sort of can opener, helping them bust out of thick larval shells.

BIDMC's Terry Strom, M.D., honored by American Society of Nephrology
Terry B. Strom, M.D., director of the Division of Immunology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and scientific director of BIDMC's Transplant Center, received the 2006 Homer W.

Ray Charles really did have that swing
Ray Charles was really good at snapping, says musical acoustician Kenneth Lindsay of Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

Restrictive provincial drug policies may have benefits
Mamdani and co-authors report on their comparison of changes over time in NSAID use and upper GI bleeding rates in British Columbia, which restricts the use of these drugs, and in Ontario, which has a less restrictive drug coverage policy.

Transplanted brain cells hold promise for Parkinson's disease
Transplanted neural stem cells hold promise for reducing the destruction of dopaminergic cells that occurs in Parkinson's disease and for replacing cells lost to the disease, scientists say.

APS names UC Davis professor 'Bodil Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist'
Barbara A. Horwitz, distinguished professor of physiology and vice provost at the University of California, Davis, has been selected the 2007 recipient of the Bodil M.

Regulatory pathway in brain development possible basis for malformations
Researchers at UCSD School of Medicine have identified a genetic regulator of brain development that sheds new light on how immature neural cells choose between proliferation and differentiation.

Genetic archaeology offers clues to backstory of male pregnancy
A bit of genetic archaeology is giving clues to one of the greatest gender bending mysteries in the world of fish: How did a family of fish come to embrace male pregnancy?

Ongoing collapse of coral reef shark populations
Investigators have revealed that coral reef shark populations are in the midst of rapid decline, and that

CGIAR climate change research
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, in consultation with the global environmental change science community, is refining a comprehensive climate change agenda that is already generating climate-resilient innovations, including crops bred to withstand heat, salt, waterlogging and drought, and more efficient farming techniques to help poor farmers better use increasingly scarce water and fragile soil.

Intensified research effort yields climate-resilient agriculture to blunt impact of global warming
In reporting new forecasts of the devastating impact of climate change on food production in some of the globe's poorest regions, the world's largest alliance of international agricultural research centers today announced it is embarking on a new effort to intensify and streamline research to reduce developing countries' vulnerability to climate change caused by global warming.

NIH selects Purdue to use phi29 DNA packaging motor for National Nanomedicine Development Center
A multidisciplinary Purdue research team will lead one of eight national nanomedicine development centers.

Enhanced depression care may be cost-effective for employers
Offering additional depression screening and care may save employers about $3,000 per 1,000 workers over five years, according to a cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis reported in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

ResearchChannel awards matching funds for video production
ResearchChannel awarded matching funds to five institutions today as part of its first-ever Matching Funds Production Awards Program which encourages the creation of productions that further public awareness of research addressing important and wide-ranging issues.

Scientists develop a new way to target Alzheimer's disease
A group of scientists at NYU School of Medicine have devised a way to reduce amyloid beta deposition by interfering with the deadly embrace of these proteins.

Global malaria map key weapon in fight against malaria, scientists say
Information on the global burden of malaria remains the subject of

Case Western Reserve University physicists
Can mathematics explain the art of Jackson Pollock? Can it be used to authenticate paintings of uncertain provenance?

HIV-1 kills immune cells in the gut that may never bounce back
Two new studies from Rockefeller University and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) show that the immune cells in other body tissues may never rebound after HIV infection, suggesting the need for additional ways to monitor immune system health, and the need for hypervigilance as HIV-positive patients live into their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond.

Why do males and females of some species look so different?
Why and how do males and females of the same species often look so different?

New research suggests oxytocin's potential for treatment of two core autism symptom domains
Preliminary new research discussed today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's Annual Meeting finds that oxytocin, when administered using intravenous fluid and nasal technology may have significant positive effects on adult autism patients.

CU-Boulder space station experiments to involve K-12 students around the globe
A high-flying K-12 education effort by the University of Colorado at Boulder will feature two science investigations launching on a NASA space shuttle this week and continuing on for extended stays aboard the International Space Station.

Can the Stanley Cup playoffs harm your hearing?
During last year's NHL playoffs, Edmonton Oilers' fans tried to earn the title of loudest arena in the game, but new University of Alberta research shows that even a few hours of exposure to that level of noise can be harmful.

OHSU findings may improve how people with chronic heartburn, precancer of the esophagus are screened
Researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University Digestive Health Center are first to report that screening people with chronic heartburn or pre-cancer of the esophagus in an office setting using a

New research predicts US entry of H5N1 avian influenza
Scientists at the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo predict that bird flu will most likely be introduced to countries in the Western Hemisphere through infected poultry trade rather than from migrating birds from eastern Siberia, as previously thought.

Technology can't replace doctors' judgment in reading mammograms
Radiologists should not become too dependent on the use of computer-assisted detection (CAD) technology when reading screening mammograms because the doctors can see lesions that CAD sometimes misses.

Researchers suggest new direction for development of psychotropic drugs
A panel of academic, industry and government representatives, presenting at the ACNP Annual Meeting, concluded that several factors have impeded the development of novel treatments for mental illness, including: incomplete understanding of the impact of mental illness on the brain; continued skepticism of results from animal models for certain disorders, and an outdated paradigm of treatment and the industry preference toward so-called

International scientists present the latest advances in RNAi and its clinical impact
On December 11-13, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) will welcome more than sixty scientists to its site at the Barcelona Science Park to discuss the latests advances regarding the mechanisms of gene regulation mediated by ribonucleic acid molecules.

Radical innovation needed for more sustainable consumption and production
Outcomes from the Economic and Social Research Council's Sustainable Technologies Program, which investigates the development and adoption of sustainable technologies, will be presented at a conference today at London Canal Museum.

Survey of Marine Corps military recruits reveals risk factors for alcohol disorders in young adults
Young men age 18 to 20 are significantly more likely to be risky drinkers if they start drinking alcohol at a young age, according to a large survey of male Marine Corps recruits, the results of which are published in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Hair-growth drug artificially lowers PSA levels in prostate cancer screening, study finds
The popular hair-growth drug finasteride, taken by millions of balding men, artificially lowers the results of the prostate-specific antigen test, the standard screening test for prostate cancer, a multicenter study has found.

High-resolution imaging with contrast agent shows promise in osteoarthritis research
An innovative combination of existing technologies shows promise for noninvasive, high-resolution imaging of cartilage in research on the progression and treatment of the common degenerative disease osteoarthritis.

Scientists uncover speedometer for crystal growth controlled by biomolecule properties
Researchers at Virginia Tech, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia report that the chemistry of organic molecules control the rate of crystal growth.

Weighty viruses
A team led by Huan-Cheng Chang (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) has developed a new concept to determine the masses of viruses within one percent.

How to herd atoms
Max Planck researchers in Halle observe self-organization of atoms in circular atomic pens.

Dartmouth researchers find that low doses of arsenic have broad impact on hormone activity
Dartmouth researchers report that three different steroid hormones all show similar responses to arsenic, suggesting a broader effect and a common mechanism of arsenic on how these hormones function.

A life's research for equilibrium
Prof. Joel Lebowitz, head of the Center for Mathematical Sciences Research at Rutgers University, New Jersey, is to receive next year's Max Planck Medal, the highest honor awarded by the German Physical Society (DPG).

'The Strangest Song' -- The story of the link between a rare genetic disorder and musical talent
By weaving science into in a compelling story of one family,

Cities change the songs of birds
By studying the songs of a bird species that has succeeded in adapting to urban life, researchers have gained insight into the kinds of environmental pressures that influence where particular songbirds thrive, and the specific attributes of city birds that allow them to adjust to noisy urban environments.

Timely treatment of heart attacks: Results from the AMI-QUEBEC Study
Huynh and co-authors report the findings of the AMI-QUEBEC Study, which looked at delays in providing reperfusion therapy to patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) who were admitted to 17 hospitals in Quebec in 2003.

Monitoring devices for security and economy
EUREKA project E! 2711 ARTSAFE is taking modern tagging technologies to a new level, developing an innovative system for

Rise in California temperatures likely to affect crops
Increasing temperatures in California during the next 45 years could negatively affect the amount of almonds, walnuts, oranges, avocados and table grapes that Americans put on their tables.

Study shows value of HIV screening in virtually all health settings
Voluntary screening for HIV should be a routine part of the medical care of all adults, not just those at high risk, according to a study by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for December 5, 2006
This Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet, December 5, 2006, issue includes: Organization of physician group impacts quality of care; and Screening all adults for HIV -- not just those at risk -- is cost effective.

Increasing numbers of California teens abuse over-the-counter cold medicine
The number of reported cases of dextromethorphan abuse in California increased 10-fold between 1999 and 2004, an increase that parallels national trends, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Gene-bender proteins may sway to DNA
Using a technique called laser temperature-jump, biophysicist Anjum Ansari and her colleagues have made the first direct observation of DNA bending when bound to a DNA-bending protein.

Reducing air pollution could increase rice harvests in India
An analysis by researchers at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego found that the combined effects of atmospheric brown clouds and greenhouse gases negatively affected growing conditions for rice in India.

Who's afraid of the big bad boss? Plenty of us, new FSU study shows
The abusive boss has been well-documented in movies (

Sandia researchers develop better sensor detection system
By integrating readily available generic sensors with a more sophisticated sensor, researchers at Sandia have developed a detection system that promises to make it easier to catch perpetrators trying to infiltrate prohibited areas.

New anti-psychotic drugs no better than older, cheaper ones
A study led by the University of Manchester's Division of Psychiatry has found that schizophrenia patients respond just as well -- and perhaps even better -- to older psychiatric drugs as newer, costlier alternatives.

New clues to how sex evolves
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have found clues to part of the complex question of how sex evolves, through ongoing studies of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

Molecular 'marker' on stem cells aids research, perhaps therapies
A sugar molecule present on embryonic stem cells also has been found on the surface of a type of adult stem cell, a discovery that may help researchers isolate and purify adult stem cells for use in therapies aimed at bone healing, tendon repair and cartilage regeneration, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- Nov. 29, 2006
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 35 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Teens who take multivitamins have healthier lifestyles
Teenagers who take a daily multivitamin supplement have a healthier diet and lifestyle than those who don't take vitamins, reports a study in the December Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Efforts for whites to appear colorblind may backfire
New research shows that whites often avoid using race to describe other people, particularly in interactions with blacks.

Peering into the shadow world of RNA
The popular view is that DNA and genes control everything of importance in biology.

No 'smoking' gun -- Research indicates teen marijuana use does not predict drug, alcohol abuse
Marijuana is not a

Study uncovers mutation responsible for Noonan Syndrome
Scientists have discovered that mutations in a gene known as SOS1 account for many cases of Noonan syndrome (NS), a common childhood genetic disorder which occurs in one in 1,000-2,500 live births.

Early HIV treatment fails to restore memory T cells
Most of the body's memory T cells vanish within weeks after a person is infected with the HIV virus.

Benefits to employers outweigh enhanced depression-care costs
It may be in society's and employers' best interests to offer programs that actively seek out and treat depression in the workforce, suggests a simulation based on dozens of studies.

Controlling confusion -- Researchers make insight into memory, forgetting
Why do we forget? Do memories decay on their own, or are they harmed by interference from similar memories?

UCF researcher's 3-D Digital Storage System could hold a library on 1 disc
UCF Professor Kevin Belfield's team figured out a way to use lasers and different wavelengths of light to compact massive amounts of information onto a DVD while maintaining excellent quality.

Pediatric specialists often far from home
Taking your child to a pediatric subspecialist may mean a big-time travel commitment, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health have found.

The power of one: A simpler, cheaper method for cell fusion
It's not easy to make one plus one equal one.

Mapping the wake of a pending quake
Research into ancient earthquakes by scientists at USC and Caltech shows that within the next few decades another tsunami from another giant earthquake is likely to flood densely populated sections of western coastal Sumatra, south of those that devastated by the tsunami of Dec.

City kids with asthma lose out on preventive treatment
A new study by specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and elsewhere suggests that only one in five inner-city children with chronic asthma gets enough medicine to control dangerous flare-ups of the disease.
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