Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 14, 2007
Breakthrough in understanding type 2 diabetes as key genes identified
The most important genes associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes have been identified, scientists report today in a new study.

Canada's new government releases list of fuel-efficient vehicles for 2007
Shopping for a new vehicle that saves money on fuel and also helps the environment just got easier.

New study may show how to forestall a fatal, virus-caused immune-system meltdown
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston believe they've found a way to spot the biochemical profile of an inappropriate immune response to viral infection -- an important step toward developing new therapies that may stop the fatal immune system meltdowns caused by such deadly pathogens as the Ebola, Marburg and Lassa fever viruses, as well as the virus strain responsible for the 1918 flu pandemic.

Disrupting brain's stress system intensifies opiate withdrawal
Avoiding the severe pain, nausea, agitation, sweats and other symptoms of opiate withdrawal are among the many reasons addicts are motivated to continue taking drugs.

Study finds Lexington economy unharmed by smoke-free law
Lexington's smoke-free law implemented in 2004 has not caused a negative economic impact in Lexington, a city located in the heart of a tobacco-producing state with higher-than-average smoking rates.

2006 AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award goes to Arizona State U. landscape ecologist
Jianguo Wu, director of the Landscape Ecology Modeling Laboratory at Arizona State, was cited for his outstanding contributions to sustainable science, including his conceptual modeling activities, his career-long involvement with landscape ecological research in China, and his great enthusiasm and energy in training advanced students and mentoring young scholars.

QUT scientists on the way to sifting out a cure for HIV
HIV may one day be able to be filtered from human blood saving the lives of millions of people, thanks to a world-first innovation by Queensland University of Technology scientists.

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology relaunched
The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG), known popularly as

Protein sensor for fatty acid buildup in mitochondria
Just as homes have smoke detectors, cells have an enzyme that responds to a buildup of fatty acids by triggering the production of a key molecule in the biochemical pathway that breaks down these fatty acids, according to investigators at St.

Better designed roadway intersections can boost older drivers' performance
Changes in roadway intersection design can keep older drivers safer, University of Florida researchers say.

FSU researchers determine a critical factor in workings of proteins
Scientists know that a better understanding of how proteins bond could lead to more effective treatments for genetic disorders and other life-threatening conditions.

Studies identify DNA regions linked to nicotine dependence
Genetic factors play an important role in cigarette addiction, suggest scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New accelerator technique doubles particle energy in just 1 meter
Imagine a car that accelerates from zero to 60 in 250 feet, and then rockets to 120 miles per hour in just one more inch.

Fatal attraction: Elephants and marula fruit
Being female can be a risky business, especially if you are a Marula tree in Africa receiving the attention of elephants.

'Gateway' gene discovered for brain cancer
Researchers have discovered that the same genetic regulator that triggers growth of stem cells during brain development also plays a central role in the development of the lethal brain cancer malignant glioma.

Authors, illustrator win AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books
Four authors and an illustrator of children's science books won the 2007 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books for recently published works that promote scientific literacy, are scientifically sound, and foster an understanding and appreciation of science in readers of all ages.

Carnegie Mellon, Tokyo University of Technology establish prize for outstanding computer scientists
Carnegie Mellon University, in cooperation with the Tokyo University of Technology, has established the Katayanagi Prizes in Computer Science.

Preventive Medicine 2007 to feature research and practice findings to improve public health
Uninsured Americans, pandemic flu, obesity, health care quality, HIV, vaccine development and public health preparedness are among the top issues and concerns preventive medicine and public health leaders will address as they gather at the American College of Preventive Medicine's annual meeting, February 21-24, at the InterContinental Miami Hotel.

Study shows poor sleep puts seniors at risk for falls
Sleep disturbances common in older people can lead to an increased risk of falling during waking hours, according to research published in the latest issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (Vol.

Cancer Patients Nationwide Can More Easily Navigate Health Care System
AstraZeneca has pledged USD$10 million to help fund 50 new American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program sites over the next five years in communities throughout the United States.

Super-thin membrane, 50 atoms thick, sorts individual molecules
A newly designed porous membrane, so thin it's invisible edge-on, may revolutionize the way doctors and scientists manipulate objects as small as a molecule.

Study shows liver an excellent target for cancer gene therapy using viral vectors
A featured paper in the Feb. 14 issue of Nature Cancer Gene Therapy demonstrates that cancer cells in the liver are excellent targets for gene therapy using adenoviral vectors, based upon a fundamental new understanding of the differences between cancerous and normal liver cells.

Get your facts straight: statistical reform in psychology
New research suggests that efforts to advocate improved statistical practices in psychological research may be paying off.

Record data transmission rates, food inspection technology, space laser communications at OFC/NFOEC
Whether it is over the Internet, landline or mobile phone, modern communication depends on optics -- the science and technology of light.

Scientists create dual-modality microbeads to improve identification of disease biomarkers
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed an easier and faster method to detect disease biomarkers in liquid samples using highly porous, micron-sized, silica beads that contain optical and magnetic nanoparticles.

New hope for regenerative medicine
In the February 15th issue of Genes & Development, Dr.

Telling the likes apart
Understanding how community patterns form and change dynamically is one of the most vital areas of today's ecological research.

Educators in Georgia and Maryland earn top 2006 Mentoring Awards from AAAS
A professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland and the head of the school of electrical and computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and have been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their diligent efforts to help underrepresented students earn doctoral degrees in the sciences.

Googling brain proteins with 3-D goggles
The Allen Brain Atlas, a genome-wide map of the mouse brain on the Internet, has been hailed as

Study of diabetes and race reveals the imperfect science of defining ethnic groups
While previous biomedical research studies have found that genetics and race increase risk for some diseases, a new look into how researchers study genetic triggers of type 2 diabetes suggests that defining race remains an inexact science, with social and historic facts mixing with biology throughout the research process.

2006 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize awarded
Charles M. Vest, president emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been awarded the 2006 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize for his outstanding contributions to public policy, education and university research.

HEX2 a success: 4-rocket aurora experiment launches from Poker Flat
An experiment called HEX2 that consisted of four NASA suborbital sounding rockets, launched from Poker Flat Research Range during an aurora display over northern Alaska this morning.

What prevents doctors from counseling their patients to lose weight, exercise and quit smoking?
This study examined the reasons why, although 99 percent of physicians think it is important to counsel their patients to live a healthier lifestyle, very few actually do it.

National Academies Advisory: International Polar Year Event, Feb. 26
International Polar Year is a global research effort to better understand the polar regions and their climatic effect on the Earth.

US teenage drinkers face alcohol test
A high school in New Jersey is to start using a controversial alcohol test to detect if students have been drinking up to a week before.

Call for further study on meningococcal vaccine
An ANU specialist has called for more research into the effect of the routine meningococcal vaccine on other throat and nasal infections found in the community, like sore throats, ear infections, tonsillitis and pneumonia.

Innovative trial design could reduce time to market
Ventracor today reported progress in its US Clinical Trial program, and revealed details of its innovative US clinical trial strategy.

Living in poor neighborhoods raises risks for heart disease and stroke
According to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the incidence of heart disease and associated fatalities are higher for people who live in poor neighborhoods verses those who live in more affluent areas.

Gene expression test reveals ER and HER-2 status of breast tumors
Two critical characteristics of breast cancer that are important to treatment can be identified by measuring gene expression in the tumor, a research team led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

Out of Africa -- bacteria, as well
Homo sapiens and Helicobacter pylori jointly spread across the globe.

Mummy's amazing American maize
The far-reaching influence of Spanish and Portuguese colonizers appears not to have extended to South American agriculture, scientists studying a 1,400-year-old Andean mummy have found.

Illuminating the dark side of plants
Plant poisoning is a significant problem around the world. In the United States, exposures to plant toxins account for approximately ten percent of the annual calls to the nation's Poison Control Centers.

Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic join forces to develop cancer vaccine
Two major research organizations in the Phoenix area have announced they will collaborate on an ambitious goal: Creating a vaccine to prevent the development of cancer.

Scientists elucidate the origin of the darkest galaxies in the universe
Stelios Kazantzidis, a researcher at Stanford University's Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), and collaborators have developed an elegant explanation for how galaxies come to be dominated by dark matter.

New accelerator technique doubles particle energy in just 1 meter
New research shows that acceleration using plasma, or ionized gas, can dramatically boost the energy of particles in a short distance.

AAAS honors defenders of evolution with Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, and nine science teachers who have been on the front lines of the battle to prevent introduction of

Physicist S. James Gates, Jr. receives AAAS award
AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, today named physicist S.

Public health and pandemic flu preparedness to headline Preventive Medicine 2007
Several of the nation's top experts in pandemic, bioterrorism, and disaster readiness will be on hand next week at the premier annual gathering of preventive medicine and public health leaders to discuss public health preparedness and response efforts at the national, state, and local levels.

MU newspaper study: Investing in the newsroom is good for business
In recent years, the newspaper industry has experienced a variety of changes.

Grizzly bears feast on diverse diet
There's no such thing as picky grizzly bears -- they'll eat almost anything they can find.

LSU professor resolves Einstein's twin paradox
Subhash Kak, Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at LSU, recently resolved the twin paradox, known as one of the most enduring puzzles of modern-day physics.

MIT graduate student wins $30,000 Lemelson-MIT student prize for life-saving inventions
Nathan Ball, a 23-year-old graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the 2007 winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

Global study concludes 'attack rate' of flu in kids is 55 percent lower with nasal spray vaccine
A new flu vaccine study led by a Saint Louis University researcher appears today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Low-pitch treatment alleviates ringing sound of tinnitus
For those who pumped up the volume one too many times, UC Irvine researchers may have found a treatment for the hearing damage loud music can cause.

The colorful demise of a Sun-like star
A brand new image taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 shows the planetary nebula NGC 2440 -- the chaotic structure of the demise of a star.

Iowa State researchers improve soy processing by boosting protein and sugar yields
In Iowa State University laboratory tests, adding ultrasonic treatment to soy processing has increased the release of soy proteins by 46 percent.

Disposable sensor uses DNA to detect hazardous uranium ions
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, disposable sensor for detecting hazardous uranium ions, with sensitivity that rivals the performance of much more sophisticated laboratory instruments.

Scientists unveil piece of HIV protein that may be key to AIDS vaccine development
In a finding that could have profound implications for AIDS vaccine design, researchers led by a team at the NIAID have generated an atomic-level picture of a key portion of an HIV surface protein as it looks when bound to an infection-fighting antibody.

NIH funds innovative alzheimer's research initiated at UCSB
A completely new approach to the study of Alzheimer's disease, initiated by a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, may solve a critical piece in the puzzle of the disease. 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