Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2007
Do you hear what I see?
New research pinpoints specific areas in sound processing centers in the brains of macaque monkeys that shows enhanced activity when the animals watch a video.

Springer Science+Business Media acquires complete journal program from Transaction Publishers
In a move that will significantly expand its social sciences offering, Springer Science+Business Media (Springer) has acquired twenty-nine journals from Transaction Publishers in an asset deal.

Newborns with respiratory distress potentially have rare genetic disease
Newborns with respiratory distress should be evaluated for primary ciliary dyskinesia, a rare genetic disease that has features similar to cystic fibrosis, says Thomas Ferkol from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Gene hunters close in on Lou Gehrig's disease
In the first genome-wide search for the genetic roots of the most common form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Johns Hopkins scientists have newly identified 34 unique variations in the human genetic code among 276 unrelated subjects with ALS.

Negative grief emotions decline about 6 months after the loss of a loved one
After the death of a loved one from natural causes, the normal responses from most people are acceptance and yearning for the deceased, according to a new study in the Feb.

'Off-pump' CABG surgery appears to have no benefit on cognitive or cardiac outcomes at 5 years
Even though coronary artery bypass graft surgery with use of cardiopulmonary bypass (on-pump CABG) is associated with cognitive decline, avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass (off-pump CABG) had no effect on cognitive or cardiac outcomes at five years in low-risk patients, according to a study in the February 21 issue of JAMA.

Under pressure, vanadium won't turn down the volume
Scientists at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory have discovered a new type of phase transition -- a change from one form to another -- in vanadium, a metal that is commonly added to steel to make it harder and more durable.

The Biology and Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster
A compilation and synthesis of information on the slipper lobster.

Novel test identifies lymphoma patients likely to respond to new therapy
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered a genetic signature identifying cases of lymphoma that are uniquely susceptible to a newly developed molecular targeted therapy.

New research finds that a natural family planning method is as effective as the contraceptive pill
Researchers have found that a method of natural family planning that uses two indicators to identify the fertile phase in a woman's menstrual cycle is as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies if used correctly, according to a report published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Case Western Reserve University study looks at mental and physical health of caregivers
Having positive cultural beliefs about caring for elders and strong religious beliefs can ward off depression and other mental health difficulties for female caregivers of spouses and parents with dementia, but sustained elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, puts these women at risk for physical health problems.

Photo software creates 3-D world
The Photo Tourism experimental software is one part photo album and one part video game.

MU researchers track personality traits to learn more about alcoholism
A long-term research project at the University of Missouri-Columbia is producing valuable information about alcoholism and individuals who are affected by a family history of the disease.

Pollution control technology wins Royal Society award
A new technology that could drastically reduce the amount of pollution emitted by a range of industrial processes has received a prestigious award from the Royal Society.

Nanotech leaders explore paths from research lab to marketplace
Scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs working on the leading edge of nanotechnology will gather at Arizona State University for the international Nano and Giga Challenges Symposium, March 14 to 16, 2007.

UCLA scientists garner 7 grants to fund leading-edge embryonic stem cell research
UCLA scientists received seven of 72 seed grants awarded today by the state to fund stem cell research, the first money distributed for work on human embryonic stem cells since California voters approved Proposition 71 in November 2004.

Researchers identify cell pathway in colon cancer
Researchers have identified a cell pathway which plays a critical role in the development of colon cancer.

Integral expands our view of the gamma-ray sky
Integral's latest survey of the gamma-ray universe continues to change the way astronomers think of the high-energy cosmos.

Researchers find predictor of mortality in cardiac patients
Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn have determined that low levels of a protein in the blood is a predictor of cardiac death in patients with coronary artery disease.

Childhood cancer survivors at increased risk of sarcoma
Survivors of childhood cancers have a ninefold increased risk of developing a secondary sarcoma -- a cancer of connective or supportive tissue such as bone, fat, or muscle -- compared with the general population, according to a study in the February 21 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Pulse pressure identified as important risk factor for atrial fibrillation
Increased pulse pressure (the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure) appears to be an important predictor of the risk for new onset atrial fibrillation, according to a study in the February 21 issue of JAMA.

Other highlights in the Feb. 21 JNCI
Also in the February 21 JNCI are a new screening method for those at risk for a hereditary colorectal cancer, a mouse study of low-dose bisphosphonates' antitumor effects, and research on a protein that is active in metastasis suppression.

A chemotherapy drug packs a one-two punch
How cancer cells are killed could turn out to be an important element in activating a patient's immune system.

Local interventions have little effect on metapopulation stability
Sutirth Dey and Amitabh Joshi of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India used laboratory metapopulations of fruitflies in the first experimental test of whether a constant localized perturbation can stabilize a real biological metapopulation.

Deep in the ocean, a clam that acts like a plant
How does life survive in the black depths of the ocean?

Cancer drug can extend survival in patients with deadly brain tumors
Avastin, a relatively new type of drug that shrinks cancerous tumors by cutting off their blood supply, can slow the growth of the most common and deadly form of brain cancer, a pilot study conducted at Duke University Medical Center has found.

U of MN doctors uncover treatment for advanced ALD patients
Continuing with more than a decade of research, doctors at the University of Minnesota have discovered a treatment to help patients with advanced cases of adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare disorder affecting the nerves.

Penn researchers find that chronic dizziness may be caused by psychiatric and neurologic illnesses
According to a paper that appears in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that chronic subjective dizziness (CSD) may have several common causes, including anxiety disorders, migraine, mild traumatic brain injuries, and neurally mediated dysautonomias -- disorders in the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary actions.

Smoking produces changes in human brain like those in animals using illicit drugs
New research shows for the first time that smoking produces long-lasting biochemical changes in the human brain similar to those changes previously seen in the brains of animals that used cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs.

Researchers begin 'Project 3000,' a recipe for hope through genetic research
University of Iowa physicians and engineers have begun

From farm waste to fuel tanks
Using corncob waste as a starting material, researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at an unprecedented density of 180 times their own volume and at one seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks.

Don't advertise during sexy programs -- the viewer won't remember
People are less able to recall the brand of products advertised during programmes with a lot of sexual content, than if the advert is placed in similar programme that has no sexual content.

Batten down the hatches against HIV
A promising approach to gene therapy involves short DNA fragments (interfering RNA) that bind to specific genes and block their

Environment and exercise may affect research results, UA study shows
In the study, Knockout Mice: Is it Just Genetics? Effects of Enriched Housing on Fibulin-4+/- Mice, lead researcher Ann Baldwin, PhD, suggests that environmental factors may play a large part in research findings that investigators assume are due simply to genetic differences.

Universities collaborate to look at offshore wind power
What is the viability of wind power in the southeastern United States off the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas?

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles will be featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Protein key to organ growth
When amounts of a small protein called TCTP (translationally controlled tumor protein) are reduced in the cells of fruit flies, they are smaller than normal, indicating that the protein plays a major role in the growth and proliferation of cells.

Stevens' Center for Science Writings honors Edward O. Wilson with Green Book Award
Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Research Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University, is the recipient of the first Green Book Award from Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Science Writings.

BC biologists identify alternative brain cancer treatment
Boston College biologists have identified an alternative, diet-based method of treating brain cancer that does not involve administering toxic chemicals, radiation or invasive surgery.

Living in densely populated areas linked to lower body mass
New York City dwellers who reside in densely populated, pedestrian-friendly areas have significantly lower body mass index levels compared to other New Yorkers, according to a new study by the Mailman School of Public Health.

Pregnancy hormone key to repairing nerve cell damage
The mystery of why multiple sclerosis (MS) tends to go into remission while women are pregnant may be the secret to overcoming the devastating neurodegenerative disease, according to University of Calgary researchers who have shown that the pregnancy-related hormone prolactin is responsible for rebuilding the protective coating around nerve cells.

Tamoxifen yields long-term reduction in breast cancer risk
Tamoxifen offers long-term benefits for breast cancer prevention among women at high risk of the disease, according to two randomized, blinded clinical trials in the February 21 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Nonprofit publishers oppose government mandates for scientific publishing
A coalition of 75 nonprofit publishers opposes any legislation that would abruptly end a publishing system that has nurtured independent scientific inquiry for generations.

PNAS announces 2006 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has awarded the Cozzarelli Prize to six outstanding PNAS papers published in 2006.

USP 30-NF 25 in English and Spanish now available
The USP-NF is a book of public quality standards for drug substances, drug products, excipients, medical devices, and dietary supplements.

New research finds people and pigeons see eye to eye
Pigeons and humans use similar visual cues to identify objects, a finding that could have promising implications in the development of novel technologies, according to new research conducted by a University of New Hampshire professor.

Economic future of Afghanistan grounded in copper
A British Geological Survey project funded by the UK Department for International Development has been assisting the Afghanistan Geological Survey over the past two years with scanning, digitising and re-interpreting data from the Aynak Cooper Deposit.

New research may overturn conventional wisdom on drug-resistant tuberculosis
A newly released study suggests that the majority of cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) among patients undergoing treatment for the disease may be due to new infections, not acquired resistance.

Bacteria research offers hope for new vaccine against meningococci
Blood poisoning and meningitis are acute life-threatening infections that are often caused by meningococcus bacteria.

Gene profiling predicts resistance to breast cancer drug Herceptin
Using gene chips to profile tumors before treatment, researchers at Harvard and Yale Universities found markers that identified breast cancer subtypes resistant to Herceptin, the primary treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer.

Winners of 2007 Engineering Awards to be honored at gala dinner
The National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies will award the engineering profession's highest honors for 2007 at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on February 20.

Pregnancy hormone increases nerve cells' insulation, restores damage
A hormone produced during pregnancy spontaneously increases myelin, which enhances signaling within the nervous system, and helps repair damage in the brain and spinal cord, according to new animal research.

USP signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council
USP and PHARMEXCIL have created work groups to improve the quality of medicines, dietary supplements, and herbal ingredients. 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