Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 18, 2007
From icehouse to hothouse: Melting ice and rising CO2 caused climate shift
Three hundred million years ago, Earth's climate shifted dramatically from icehouse to hothouse, with major environmental consequences.

Preliminary results of largest scan of autism DNA information
Preliminary findings from the largest genome scan ever completed in the history of autism research are being published today in Nature Genetics.

CSHL researchers show RNA splicing factor may be new target for cancer therapy
New results in the field of RNA research establish that the RNA splicing factor SF2/ASF can act as a cancer-causing protein by changing the alternative splicing of other genes critical for growth-control of cells.

Targeting the adrenal gland could be key strategy against heart failure, Jefferson scientists show
Scientists have staved off heart failure in animals by using gene therapy to shut down the adrenal gland's excessive output of fight or flight hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which forces the heart to pump too hard.

Gene chips forecast ecological impacts of climate change
The AAAS conference topic is

A helping hand for our national obsession
The notoriously dark art of forecasting the British weather is about to get much brighter -- thanks to a groundbreaking new survey of the skies over Greenland.

New bird, bat species revealed by extensive DNA barcode studies
At unprecedented levels of difficulty involving highly biodiverse and continent-sized landscapes, scientists have successfully tested their ability to identify and DNA

Humans, habitat, hurricanes and horrors
The AAAS topic is

Scientists uncover new target in cancer mutation puzzle
University of Rochester scientists, while investigating the two most frequent types of mutations in cancer, discovered a possible new route to treatment that would take advantage of the mutations instead of trying to repair them.

'Ten Commandments' could improve fisheries management
Poorly managed marine fisheries are in trouble around the world, researchers say, while ecosystem-based management is a powerful idea that in theory could help ensure sustainable catches -- but too often there's a gap in translating broad concepts into specific action.

Genome scan for familial autism finds two new genetic links
The first results from a scan of the world's largest collection of DNA samples from families affected by autism point to two new genetic links that may predispose people to the brain disorder.

Science for long-term management of the Marine Life Protection Act
The AAAS topic is

K-State National Agricultural Biosecurity Center director speaker at AAAS Biosecurity Symposium
David R. Franz, director of Kansas State University's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, gave a presentation on some of the vulnerabilities and threats to the nation's livestock industry at a symposium on agricultural biosecurity, a part of the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Feb.

Cancer that colonizes our bodies
Tomorrow AAAS Fellow, Robert C. von Borstel will talk about how cancer cell mutation and selection are metaphorically similar to the evolution of a new species.

Stanford Q&A: Largest-ever study shows possible genetic links for autism
On Feb. 18, Nature Genetics will publish the largest-ever study on the genetics of autism.

Tobacco companies obstructed science, history professor says
Stanford history Professor Robert Proctor will speak about the tobacco industry February 18 during a symposium -- ''The Sociopolitical Manufacturing of Scientific Ignorance'' -- at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.

Effective carbon control policy improves competition, climate, cost of power generation
Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jay Apt warns in a forthcoming paper f the consequences of delay in enacting effective electric sector policy.

New evidence of the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change in boreal ecosystems
New research aimed at understanding the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change in boreal systems has found clear links between both spring and fall temperature changes and carbon uptake/loss.

Clemson research improves inkjet technology
Research from Clemson University shows that producing cardiac tissue with off-the-shelf inkjet technology can be improved significantly with precise cell placement.

RNAi shows promise in gene therapy, Stanford researcher says
Three years ago Mark Kay, MD, PhD, published the first results showing that a biological phenomenon called RNA interference could be an effective gene therapy technique.

Tackling climate change will require expertise from several fields, Carnegie Mellon professor says
Policymakers can apply the principles of decision science to help the public make informed choices to address global climate change, says Baruch Fischhoff, the Howard Heinz University Professor of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

UI researcher cites need for a 'small view' of the environment
By thinking small, scientists can solve big environmental problems. That is the message University of Iowa researcher Vicki H.

Fetal heart-cell enzyme important in onset of heart failure
In almost all forms of heart failure, the heart begins to express genes that are normally only expressed in the fetal heart.

Cancer cells more likely to genetically mutate
When cells become cancerous, they also become 100 times more likely to genetically mutate than regular cells, researchers have found.

Long-lived deep-sea fishes imperiled by technology, overfishing
Many commercially prized fish from the depths of the world's oceans are severely threatened by over-fishing and the species' ability to recover is constrained by the fishes' long lifespans and low reproductive success, a panel of experts said today at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

Largest genomic search finds genes that may contribute to autism
An international team of researchers from 19 countries has identified one gene and previously unidentified region of another chromosome as the location of another gene that may contribute to a child's chances of having autism.

ASU researcher finds belief about neighbor's conservation is stealthily influential
If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? Probably not, but according to a study by Arizona State University researchers, peer influence plays a greater role in people's behavior than is generally acknowledged.

Public agrees global warming exists, but divided over seriousness of problem
A majority of Americans agree with most scientists that the Earth is getting warmer, but they are divided over the seriousness of the problem, according to surveys conducted by Jon Krosnick, professor of communication and of political science.

Panel presents Agricultural Biosecurity & Sustainability Strategies at 2007 AAAS Meeting
The world's economy and the well-being of its citizens depend on the security and sustainability of agriculture.

Scientific literacy happens -- when students think for themselves
Give college students less instruction and more freedom to think for themselves in laboratory classes, and the result may be a four-fold increase in their test scores.

AAAS releases video and first board consensus statement on climate change
The American Association for the Advancement of Science today released a new video as well as the first consensus statement of its board of directors regarding global climate change during a free public town hall meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

Protecting US crops from terrorist attack to be discussed at 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting
A sound and safe agricultural system is critical to national security, but are US crops, a cornerstone of our nation's economy, vulnerable to attack?

Largest-ever search for autism genes reveals new clues
The largest search for autism genes to date has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11.

Virtual activities: Virtuous or perilous?
Three USC experts present in Virtual Worlds Seminars on Sunday, Feb.

Green chemistry can help nanotechnology mature, Oregon professor says
The safest possible future for advancing nanotechnology in a sustainable world can be reached by using green chemistry, says James E.

Jupiter's moon Europa should be NASA's next target, says ASU researcher
As NASA develops its next

Flavanols in cocoa may offer benefits to the brain
New data, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), suggests cocoa flavanols may enhance brain blood flow and improve cognitive health.
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