Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 21, 2006
Cellular killer also important to memory
A protein that triggers apoptosis also plays a part in memory formation.

What it means to be human
Approximately 6 percent of human and chimp genes are unique to those species, report scientists from the University of Bristol and three other institutions.

Shotgun sequencing finds nanoorganisms
UC Berkeley scientists Jill Banfield and Brett Baker have found some of the smallest organisms known in a sample of slime from a California mine.

CHPA statement regarding 'Monitoring the Future' findings on cough medicine abuse
The following is a statement by Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, regarding today's release of the National Institute on Drug Abuse's Monitoring the Future survey, which includes data on the non-medical use of medicines containing dextromethorphan among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students.

Mechanism of black cohosh versus hot flashes revealed
The natural herb black cohosh is commonly used by women to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, but the molecular mechanisms underlying its action have eluded scientists -- until now.

Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans January 5-8, 2007
Approximately 5,000 mathematicians will attend the annual meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America at the Sheraton New Orleans and New Orleans Marriott, January 5-8.

Five new technologies that promise to transform medicine
Fat zapping to shed excess weight, miniature telescopes to restore vision, and smart nappies to detect common childhood infections -- these are some of the new technologies that promise to transform medicine, according to this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Giant Sauropod dinosaur found in Spain
Fossils of a giant Sauropod, found in Teruel Spain, reveal that Europe was home to giant dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic period -- about 150 million years ago.

Researchers make progress in studying genetic traits of India-born populations
Researchers conducting genetic analysis of India-born individuals in the US may have begun to shed light on the genetic variations of the diverse population of India.

Cellular cues identified for stroke recovery
Within weeks of a stroke, new blood vessels begin to form, and newly born neurons migrate long distances to the damaged area to aid in the regeneration process of the brain.

Recurrence of a flu pandemic similar to infamous 1918 flu could kill 62 million
A team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Queensland in Australia have re-analyzed data from 27 countries around the world to estimate both the global mortality patterns of the 1918 pandemic and, based on 2004 population data, how a similar pandemic would affect the world today.

Pain relief effectiveness down to mind-set?
Research by the Human Pain Research Group at the University of Manchester suggests that people's responses to placebo or

HYMS researchers focus on human evolution
A Hull York Medical School researcher has played a key role in a study which has cast important new light on Neanderthals.

How your brain helps you become a wine expert
You don't need to sign up for pricey wine appreciation classes to parse the subtle difference between the bouquet of a pinot noir and a cabernet.

Pandemic influenza may cause an extra 62 million deaths a year
Using mortality data from the 1918-20 influenza pandemic, researchers have predicted that 62 million people -- 96 percent from the developing world -- could die in a year if a similar pandemic were to occur today.

Mistletoe is not an anti-cancer drug, say doctors
The belief that mistletoe can help treat cancer is a myth which can cause harm, warn doctors in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Strong emotions in Shakespeare's plays lead to fits and fatalities
Shakespearean characters experiencing strong emotions are prone to fits, faints and even death, according to research published in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Gene chip discovery may lead to individualized treatment for 5 hereditary liver diseases
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed the first gene chip to use in the early diagnosis of at least five hereditary liver diseases, to detect genetic causes of jaundice in children and adults, and potentially to lead to personalized treatment options.

Why are Danes the world's happiest nation?
Earlier this year, Denmark came top in a world map of happiness (the UK ranked 41st out of 178 nations).

Scientists develop method to find genetic basis for plant variation
A new research approach that allowed scientists to rapidly identify the gene responsible for high sodium levels in certain naturally occurring plant populations could have applications for the study of a wide variety of other important plant properties.

Laser experiments reveal strange properties of superfluids
Princeton University electrical engineers are using lasers to shed light on the behavior of superfluids -- strange, frictionless liquids that are difficult to create and study.

Feinstein Institute and Cold Spring Harbor Lab join forces, seek manic depression genes
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island's two most prestigious genetics research institutions, are partnering to identify key genetic underpinnings of bipolar disorder (BPD), a mental illness that is known to run in families, in a new study that is expected to last two to three years.

Unbelted backseat passengers produce deadly results
New research shows that unbelted backseat passengers risk injury or death to themselves and the driver seated in front of them in the event of a head-on crash.

Study compares LASIK and LASEK eye surgery
A study led by a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago compares the safety, effectiveness and reliability of the two most common types of laser eye surgery, laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) in the December 2006, issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Effective medical response reduced deaths of critically injured after London bombings
Rapid deployment of trained prehospital medical teams and triage* to a specialist trauma centre is likely to have reduced deaths in those critically injured in the London bombings on July 7, 2005, according to an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Portrait of a dramatic stellar crib
A new, stunning image of the cosmic spider, the Tarantula Nebula and its surroundings, finally pays tribute to this amazing, vast and intricately sculpted web of stars and gas.

CHPA president and leading physician available to comment on NIDA 'Monitoring the Future'
Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A. president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, is available to comment on today's release of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Antarctic research within the International Polar Year IPY 2007/08
The 27th research campaign of Bremerhaven's Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research marks the beginning of the summer research season in the Antarctic.

Clinical simulation technology used to improve communication of medical teams
The Institute of Medicine estimates that medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and poor communication can be a major source of those errors.

Squirrels place winning bet in unpredictable world
In an evolutionary game of tug-of-war, red squirrels have gained the upper hand over the cunning spruce trees, says new University of Alberta research that suggests the clever animals are staying one step ahead of its food source.

Researchers identify a 'heartbeat' in Earth's climate
Analysis of ancient marine microfossils has revealed that the Earth's climate and the formation and recession of glaciation events in the Earth's history have corresponded with variations in the Earth's natural orbital patterns and carbon cycles.

Dr. Msiska, UN leader in the worldwide fight to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, to speak at Stevens
A leader in the worldwide fight to control the spread of HIV/AIDS, Dr.

Health-care delivery contributes to racial disparity in colorectal cancer
A study reveals that differences in utilization of screening tests and surgical treatment may contribute to poorer colorectal cancer survival rates in African-Americans.

Sword swallowers more likely to be injured when distracted or swallowing 'unusual' swords
Sword swallowers are more likely to sustain an injury -- such as a perforation of the oesophagus -- if they are distracted or are using multiple or unusual swords, finds a study in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Becker to deliver plenary lecture at plasma science meeting
Stevens Institute of Technology Physics Professor Kurt H. Becker has been invited to deliver the opening lecture at the 16th Symposium on Applications of Plasma Processes (SAPP XVI).

Surgeons are taller and better looking than other doctors
Surgeons are taller and more handsome than physicians, finds a study in this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ.

Africa's least-known carnivore in Tanzania
The Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society announced today that a camera-trap study in the mountains of Southern Tanzania has now recorded Africa's least-known and probably rarest carnivore -- Jackson's mongoose, known only from a few observations and museum specimens.

JCI table of contents: Dec. 21, 2006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

Science's breakthrough of the year -- The Poincaré Theorem
In 2006, researchers closed a major chapter in mathematics, reaching a consensus that the elusive Poincaré Conjecture, which deals with abstract shapes in three-dimensional space, had finally been solved.

Purification and dilution reduce risk of fish being injured by hormone-disrupting compounds
Purification and dilution reduce risk of fish being injured by hormone-disrupting compounds.

Squirrels winning at outwitting trees' survival strategy
In Science, Andrew McAdam at Michigan State outlines how red squirrels have figured out a way around the elaborate ruse trees have used to protect their crops of tasty seeds.

Long-term financial costs associated with prostate cancer treatment
A new study reveals that the cumulative cost of prostate cancer is, on average, $42,570 over five years.

New Chicago-Indiana computer network prepared to handle massive data flow
Massive quantities of data will soon begin flowing from the largest scientific instrument ever built into an international network of computer centers, including one operated jointly by the University of Chicago and Indiana University.

Genetically modified cells attack tumors
Mice with neuroblastoma tumors have been successfully treated with genetically modified cells that sought out the cancer cells and activated a chemotherapy drug directly at those sites, according to investigators at St.

Robotic crawler detects wear in power lines
An autonomous robot tested this week in New Orleans can roll along miles of high-voltage cable, performing the utilities' equivalent of a check-up.

Experience sculpts brain circuitry to build resiliency to stress
It's long been known that experiencing control over a stressor immunizes a rat from developing a depression-like syndrome when it later encounters stressors that it can't control.

Protection against cancer may begin during pregnancy
Pregnant and nursing women who eat generous amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage could help protect their children from cancer, both as infants and later in life.

St. Jude, El Salvador create research ethics committee
The establishment of research ethics committees (REC) in El Salvador will enhance the ability of that country to undertake clinical trials aimed at improving cure rates of pediatric catastrophic diseases, according to investigators from St.

Physicians enlisted in efforts to keep demented drivers off the road
The surge of baby boomers now entering their 60s means more drivers on the road who may be impaired by dementia or other cognitive impairments linked to aging.

Structure of iron regulatory protein-RNA complex solved
The surprising structure and properties of a protein responsible for regulating the transport, storage and use of iron -- as it binds its target RNA -- are described by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the December 22 issue of Science.

To catch an intermediate
A new technique for capturing the short-lived but critical

Intelligent software solutions to better understand biological processes
Transinsight GmbH enters into a three year collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden in the area of knowledge-based image analysis.

Inherited ischaemic stroke more common in women than men
More women than men inherit ischaemic stroke, irrespective of traditional vascular risk factors, according to an article published online today, Friday, Dec.

Scientists develop method to remove prion infectivity from scrapie-infected blood
Scientists have developed a device that can remove disease-causing prions from scrapie-infected animal blood.

Children's Hospital Oakland, Calif.'s new iron regulation discovery
A new study co-authored by Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute senior scientist, Elizabeth Theil, Ph.D., is the first to show that partial copies of DNA called mRNA (or messenger RNA) morph into specific three dimensional shapes when it combines with a protein regulator called IRP1.

Prediction markets accurately forecast influenza activity
Influenza experts have borrowed a page from economists, creating a futures market for influenza activity that predicted outbreaks two to four weeks in advance.

Wetzel to discuss malware at 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting
Dr. Susanne Wetzel, Assistant Professor in Stevens Institute of Technology's Computer Science department, will present at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2007 Annual Meeting, during the session, 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