Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 29, 2007
Family members with MS likely to share onset age, but not disease severity
When more than one member of a family is affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), their ages at disease onset are likely to be similar, but disease severity may not be.

Urban Stormwater Modeling
Urban runoff modeling is an essential tool for management of stormwater, combined sewers and urban wet-weather flows.

FSU anthropologist confirms 'Hobbit' indeed a separate species
After the skeletal remains of an 18,000-year-old, Hobbit-sized human were discovered on island of Flores in 2003, some scientists thought that the specimen must have been a human with an abnormally small skull.

NHLBI awards 12 Women's Health Initiative contracts
The Women's Health Initiative embarks on its next phase of research with 12 new contracts awarded last week by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

How does one sex grow larger than the other?
In most arthropod groups females are larger and therefore grow faster, a pattern markedly different from primates and birds, which showed differences in growth period.

Research reveals limitations of seismic data for mapping rock units in young oceanic crust
Researchers report in Nature that an approach used for years to understand the structure of Earth's oceanic crust is flawed and geoscientists will have to reconsider the correspondence between seismic data and rock units when mapping formations of young oceanic crust.

National Academies advisory: FEMA floodplain maps
Base map inputs for floodplain mapping examines whether newer technologies could improve digital floodplain mapping, particularly measurements of land surface elevation.

Genes behind animal growth discovered
Oysters could become the

National research network launched to seek better treatments for brain injury, stroke and seizures
Every 28 seconds, someone in America suffers a stroke, a massive seizure, a brain or spinal cord injury, or another emergency affecting the brain, spine or nerves.

Psychological effects of heart surgery examined
Cases of congenital heart disease (CHD), in both adolescents and adults, have been on the rise for many years.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- January 24, 2007
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.

Marshfield Clinic's electronic health record first to receive CCHIT certification
Marshfield Clinic's CattailsMD (Version 5) is the first internally developed ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) in the nation to achieve Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology certification.

Does evolution select for faster evolvers?
A January 29 study in Physical Review Letters suggests the speed of evolution has increased over time because bacteria and viruses constantly exchange transposable chunks of DNA between species, making it possible for life forms to evolve faster than they would if they relied only on sexual selection or random genetic mutation.

Endangered languages threaten to disappear, says MU researcher
Endangered animal and plant species regularly make the news, but another type of endangered species is often overlooked: human languages.

Cholera pathogen reveals how bacteria generate energy to live
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered new details about how bacteria generate energy to live.

New study is first to link romantic relationships to genes
New research suggests that choosing a mate may be partially determined by your genes.

UCF student's research with Disney giraffes may help conserve several species
University of Central Florida doctoral student Jennifer Fewster is studying giraffe poop at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Lake Buena Vista in an effort to figure out what the animals eat in the wild and to improve the nutrition of those in captivity.

IEEE-USA's new president seeks to bolster US competitiveness to preserve engineering jobs
John W. Meredith, P.E., who became IEEE-USA president on New Year's Day, said he will devote his presidency to helping U.S. engineers cope with the impact of globalization.

ESA POLinSAR 2007 -- Imaging forests in 3-D
More than 140 scientists and researchers from 22 countries have attended the weeklong POLinSAR 2007 workshop,

Presentation made in lecture at Hebrew University
The first public revelation of the earliest continuous Semitic text ever deciphered has taken place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Top scientist to be in Canada regarding CERN's LHC, big questions and more
Nima Arkani-Hamed, a noted particle theorist and Professor of Physics at Harvard University, will be in Canada on Wednesday, February 7, to provide his insights.

Imaging technique is highly accurate in diagnosing, locating pancreas defects in newborns
The noninvasive imaging technology called positron-emission tomography (PET scan) is extremely accurate in diagnosing a type of congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare but severe imbalance of insulin levels in newborns.

NIH-funded program co-directed by Mailman School of PH faculty to expedite clinical research process
Mailman School of Public Health faculty member Melissa Begg, Sc.D., has been named co-director of a new Clinical and Translational Science Award program, part of a national consortium focused on innovation, streamlining and expediting clinical research.

Embargoed Jan./Feb. Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet contains a synopsis of the studies published in the upcoming January/Feburary issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Earth-shattering proof of continents on the move
Africa is being torn apart. And as Ethiopia's rift valley grows slowly wider, an international team of scientists is taking a unique opportunity to plot the progress of continents on the move.

Central and peripheral signals set the circadian liver clock
Research on mice engineered with an inducible liver clock enabled identification of some genes with expression controlled by the local clock, and other genes (including mPer2) that maintained circadian oscillations thanks to cues from the SCN.

UCSB researchers, led by Shuji Nakamura, achieve major breakthrough in laser diode development
A team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara led by Shuji Nakamura, winner of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize, has reported a major breakthrough in laser diode development.

Surprising transition observed when flowing grains become too jam packed to move
Using color-shifting cylinders as substitutes for sand grains or coal lumps, a Duke University-led team of physicists has pinpointed a critical density level where granular materials suddenly cease flowing like a liquid and instead congeal into a state of rigidity.

MIT: Nanoengineered concrete could cut CO2 emissions
While government leaders argue about the practicality of reducing world emissions of carbon dioxide, researchers are seeking ways to make it happen.

Hard to tell who can best advise medical journals
In a recent survey, experienced reviewers were asked about training they had received in peer review and about other aspects of their background.

New guidelines issued for diagnosis and management of venous thromboembolism
This press release summarizes new clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of venous thromboembolism.

Human preference for other species could determine whether they survive
Human preferences probably will play a major role in determining which other species survive in a changing world, and new research shows those preferences could be governed by subtle factors.

McMaster University researchers discover zip codes for protein
Associate professor Ray Truant's lab has discovered molecular

News tips from ACS Chemical Biology
Highlights from the January 2007 edition of the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Chemical Biology, are now available.

Nicotine: The link between cigarette smoking and kidney disease progression?
The mechanisms by which cigarette smoke may accelerate some types of chronic kidney disease are currently unknown.

Simulating human metabolism to find new diets to new drugs
Bioengineers have painstakingly assembled a first-of-its-kind virtual human metabolic network that offers a new way to hunt for better treatments for hundreds of human metabolic disorders, from diabetes to high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Important mechanism identified in the formation of blood vessels
All tissues, sick and healthy alike, need a blood supply to survive and grow.

Updated rates of common US neurological disorders
In an up-to-date review of most of the common neurological disorders in the United States published in the January 30, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology, researchers reviewed studies from nearly 500 articles published between 1990 and 2005 to determine the best available data.

Africa's farmers will have room to grow
A vital research program that has already had significant impact on the lives of African farmers will accelerate its work for their benefit through the development and deployment of better drought tolerant maize.

Airborne dust causes ripple effect on climate far away
When a small pebble drops into a serene pool of water, it causes a ripple in the water in every direction, even disturbing distant still waters.

HIV dementia alarmingly high in Africa
An international study led by Johns Hopkins suggests that the rate of HIV-associated dementia is so high in sub-Saharan Africa that HIV dementia along with Alzheimer's disease and dementia from strokes may be among the most common forms of dementia in the world.

Nutrition specialist says approach to treating severe malnutrition still fails millions of children
Leading nutrition specialist says approach to treating severe malnutrition still fails millions of children.

Risk for stroke, death not higher for sickle cell children with early complications
Children with sickle cell disease who experienced major complications such as pain and lung disease early in life are at no greater risk for stroke or death during later childhood, new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center shows.

Mutant gene shatters nerves
If you bend a knee, the nerves stretch but do not break.

Prediction of graft-versus-host disease by gene-expression profiling of donors and more
Graft-versus-host disease is a complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation, which results from recognition of recipient antigens by immune T cells from the donor.

JDRF-funded researchers discover protein that causes blood vessel leakage and swelling in eyes
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, announced today that JDRF-funded researchers have identified a group of proteins that may play critical roles in causing blood vessel leakage in the eyes of people with two forms of diabetic retinopathy.

New hope for septic shock patients
Research from Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute and the Austin Hospital has resulted in a drug to treat kidney failure during septic shock, which will be trialed at the Austin Hospital from mid-2007.

Worldmapper draws attention to the world's health inequalities
Worldmapper is a collection of cartograms that rescale the size of territories in proportion to the value being mapped.

Major link in brain-obesity puzzle found
A single protein in brain cells may act as a linchpin in the body's weight-regulating system, playing a key role in the flurry of signals that govern fat storage, sugar use, energy balance and weight, researchers report.

Joslin discovers protein that causes blood vessel leakage and swelling with diabetic retinopathy
Joslin researchers discover protein that causes blood vessel leakage and swelling in eyes with diabetic retinopathy.

New approach could lower antibiotic requirements by 50 times
Antibiotic doses could be reduced by up to 50 times using a new approach based on bacteriophages.

Worldwide Parkinson's cases will double in next 25 years
The number of individuals with Parkinson's disease in 15 of the world's largest nations will double over the next generation, according to a study published in the January 30 issue of the journal Neurology.

Annual study finds top hospitals have 28 percent lower mortality rate
Patients treated at top-rated hospitals nationwide have nearly a one-third better chance of surviving, on average, than those admitted to all other hospitals, according to a study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent health-care ratings company.

In many habitats, competition is the drama, but benefactors set the stage
Coral reefs, kelp forests, marshes and other familiar habitats can harbor a diversity of life by providing shelter from both harsh conditions and predators. 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