Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2007
U of M discovers protein linked to elevated BMI in people of American Indian and Mexican ancestry
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered a variant of a common blood protein, apolipoprotein C1, in people of American Indian and Mexican ancestry that is linked to elevated body mass index (BMI), obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Over a century after disappearing, wild elk return to Ontario
After disappearing from Ontario due to over hunting in the 19th century, wild elk have returned to the province thanks to the efforts of the Ontario elk restoration program.

Greek Academic Libraries expand agreement with Elsevier
Elsevier announces the signing of a 2-year agreement with the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL Link), a consortium of 57 Greek educational and research institutions expanding their Elsevier access to books on ScienceDirect and Engineering Village's reference database, Referex Engineering.

Lizards 'shout' against a noisy background
Lizards that signal to rivals with a visual display

In presence of fragrant cleaning products, air purifiers that emit ozone can dirty the air
Indoor air purifiers that produce even small quantities of ozone may actually make the air dirtier when used at the same time as household cleaning products, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered.

Why are African American women more likely than whites to die from breast cancer?
Why are African American women 1.5 to 2.2 times more likely than white women to die from breast cancer, despite their lower incidence of the disease?

Boosting brain power -- with chocolate
Eating chocolate could help to sharpen up the mind and give a short-term boost to cognitive skills, a University of Nottingham expert has found.

Drug safety recommendations lack scientific evidence
During the past several years, there has been a perceived drug safety crisis in the United States.

Crime fighting potential for computerised lip-reading
Researchers at the University of East Anglia are about to embark on an innovative new project to develop computer lip-reading systems that could be used for fighting crime.

The sky through 3 giant eyes
The ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer, which allows astronomers to scrutinise objects with a precision equivalent to that of a 130-m telescope, is proving itself an unequalled success every day.

National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security partner to address nuclear threats
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) have issued a joint solicitation to encourage long-term, transformational advances in nuclear detection technology.

Birds plan for future meals
Some birds recognise the idea of 'future' and plan accordingly, researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered.

Vitamin D may reduce falls in elderly nursing home residents
New research suggests that reducing the number of falls suffered by seniors in nursing homes may be helped by taking a vitamin, along with other measures known to decrease falls.

Study finds reduced brain growth in alcoholics with family drinking history
Previous studies have shown that alcoholics have smaller brain volumes than non-alcoholics, an effect widely believed to be due to the toxic effects of ethanol.

Birds found to plan for the future
Planning and worrying about the future has always been considered an exclusively human activity, but now one species of bird has also been found to plan for tomorrow.

Unravelling the risk for schizophrenia -- Eye movement and attention focus of new study
A Binghamton University researcher has established a new framework to help determine whether individuals might be at risk for schizophrenia.

Editorial: Pay more attention to genital herpes infections in HIV-infected persons
The association between genital herpes and higher viral loads of HIV-1 in HIV-infected persons is strong enough to warrant more routine testing for the herpes virus in HIV-positive patients, as well as additional clinical studies of the co-infections, according to an editorial to be published in the Feb.

Biologically inspired sensors can augment sonar, vision system in submarines
To find prey and avoid being preyed upon, fish rely on a row of specialized sensory organs along the sides of their bodies, called the lateral line.

Unique satellite project contributes to International Polar Year
As International Polar Year (IPY) kicks off on February 26, 2007, a new European project will make a significant contribution to the IPY objective of better understanding polar regions.

A dietary supplement protects the lives of farm shrimp
The lives of shrimp have been saved by a dietary supplement which prevents infection by pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.

Lakes beneath Antarctic ice sheets found to initiate and sustain flow of ice to ocean
Geophysicists Robin Bell and Michael Studinger from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, led a team that discovered four large, subglaical lakes that for the first time the link these water bodies locked beneath miles of ice, to fast flowing ice streams in Antarctica.

Game theory in the spiritual and sacred world
If there existed a superior being who possessed the supernatural qualities of omniscience, omnipotence, immortality, and incomprehensibility, how would he/she act differently from us?

New stamping process creates metallic interconnects, nanostructures
Creating high-resolution metallic interconnects is an essential part of the fabrication of microchips and other nanoscale devices.

New device safeguards against medication errors at home
Patients suffering from chronic illness can take six-to-nine different medications a day -- oftentimes more.

Monitoring with minimum power
A new communication protocol for wireless sensor networks just released by the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute is the most efficient yet, with more than a tenfold improvement on previous versions.

Microfluidic chip helps solve cellular mating puzzle
Using a biochemical version of a computer chip they invented, a team of researchers has solved a long-standing mystery related to the mating habits of yeast cells.

Technologies to avoid friendly fire
New emerging technologies could soon help reduce the number of friendly fire incidents on the battlefield.

Common cold may send some young children to the hospital
New evidence supports the link between a cause of the common cold and more severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis.

2,000 influenza virus genomes now completed and publicly accessible
The Influenza Genome Sequencing Project, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced today that it has achieved a major milestone.

Protein identified that regulates effectiveness of Taxol chemotherapy in breast cancer
Cancer researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have taken a step towards understanding how and why a widely used chemotherapy drug works in patients with breast cancer.

'Bridge' protein spurs deadliest stages of breast cancer
A protein known for its ability to

Anti-herpes treatment reduces HIV levels in women infected with both viruses
Experts call for HSV control measures, including vaccine, to rank high on international HIV prevention and research agenda as exciting trial findings are published Treating women who are infected with both the HSV-2 and HIV viruses with anti-herpes treatment can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood and genital secretions, according to the results of a trial published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Experimental vaccine given during pregnancy reduces stillbirths from common virus
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental vaccine that reduces stillbirths among rodents born to mothers infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV) -- a common virus that can also cause mental retardation and hearing loss in newborn children who were infected in early fetal life.

A black and white look at breast cancer mortality
Researchers suggest a reason for racial disparity in breast cancer survival rates.

First astrophysical results with AMBER/VLTI
The AMBER instrument installed at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) combines the light from three 8.2 meter telescopes, making the VLT the world's largest optical telescope, with a total mirror surface larger than 150 m2 and a maximum telescope separation greater than 130 m.

Older adults may be unreliable eyewitnesses, study shows
A University of Virginia study suggests that older adults are not only more inclined than younger adults to make errors in recollecting details that have been suggested to them, but are also more likely than younger people to have a very high level of confidence in their recollections, even when wrong.

Honeydew honeys are better antioxidants than nectar honeys
A study of 36 Spanish honeys from different floral origins revealed that honeys generated by bees feeding on honeydew have greater antioxidant properties than those produced by bees feeding on nectar.

Vivid online videos demonstrate Superbot progress
In reporting to NASA significant progress in developing

Bacteria could steady buildings against earthquakes
Soil bacteria could be used to help steady buildings against earthquakes, according to researchers at UC Davis. 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