Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 05, 2007
Snowmelt monitored in the Baltic Sea watershed region in near real time
As spring melt of winter snow is underway in the Baltic Sea watershed region, satellites are monitoring and mapping the snow melting process to help local authorities manage water supplies and predict and prepare for floods.

New research in Psychological Science
Be the first to read this innovative research in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science, published by the Association for Psychological Science.

New drug shows promise for treating epileptic seizures
A new study appearing in the latest issue of Epilepsia shows that a new drug called Eslicarbazepine (ESL) shows promise as a treatment for epilepsy patients whose symptoms remain uncontrolled with existing medications.

Researchers identify gene involved in dog size
An international team led by researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified a genetic variant that is a major contributor to small size in dogs.

Scientists must improve communication tactics, Science article proclaims
Seed Washington Correspondent Chris Mooney and American University professor and ScienceBlogs contributor Dr.

Childhood immunization against pneumonia cuts hospital admissions by almost 40 percent
Routine infant immunization with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) has caused a 39 percent fall in all-cause pneumonia hospital admission rates for American children aged under 2 years, according to an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Improving SME participation in Europe's space business
More than 100 professionals from European small- and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes and space industry organizations met in Italy last week at the 4th SineQuaNet Workshop to discuss how the SineQuaNet project can increase the participation of SMEs in the European space business.

Need oxygen? Cells know how to spend and save
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered how cells fine-tune their oxygen use to make do with whatever amount is available at the moment.

Study demonstrates remarkable power of social norms
Psychologist Wesley Schultz of California State University, San Marcos, believes that despite the fact that we want to be normal, most people are very bad at estimating what normal human behavior really looks like.

Treatment-induced growth factor causes cancer progression
A research team at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, led by Carlos Arteaga, M.D., reports in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation that radiation and chemotherapy increase circulating levels of the growth factor TGF-beta, circulating cancer cells, and tumor metastases in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer.

New studies link the environment to Parkinson's disease
The Parkinson's Institute announced new findings concerning the role of environmental factors in the developement of Parkinson's disease as part of the Collaborative Centers for Parkinson's Disease Environmental Research.

Delayed breeding is not necessarily costly to lifetime reproductive success
Using 24 years of data from the longest-running study of a cooperative bird species on the African continent, researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Cape Town have cast doubt on one of the biggest assumptions in behavioral ecology: that a delayed start to breeding is necessarily costly to reproductive success.

Fascinating spider silk
Spider silk would be an ideal material for a large variety of medical and technical applications, and researchers are thus interested in learning the spiders' secrets and imitating their technique.

Researchers identify gene that plays key role in size of dogs
An international team of scientists, including researchers from Cornell University, have found a mutation in a single gene that plays a key role in determining body-size differences within and among dog breeds and probably is important in determining the size of humans as well.

Survey off San Diego reveals details of sand movements
An underwater survey off San Diego has revealed geological details of how sand builds up along Southern California's continental shelf and could help resource managers to locate deposits to rebuild beaches, according to a report by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Penn researchers show how nanocylinders deliver medicine better than nanospheres
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a better way to deliver drugs to tumors.

New standards could cut number of malnourished children on feeding programs
The introduction of new standards to assess nutrition in children could lead to confusion and a cut in the numbers of malnourished children eligible for emergency feeding programs, warn researchers in this week's BMJ.

Tumors stopped from spreading to new sites
For several types of cancer, persistently high levels of the soluble factor TGF-beta in the blood after surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy correlate with increased risk of early metastasis and a poor prognosis.

Why small dogs are small
Soon after humans began domesticating dogs 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, they started breeding small canines.

Weak immune response critical to disease that causes most infant hospitalizations
For the past four decades, medical science thought it knew how severe RSV infections arose.

Statins linked to lower risk of infection
Researchers at Johns Hopkins may have discovered an unintended benefit in the drugs millions of Americans take to lower their cholesterol: The medications, all statins, seem to lower the risk of a potentially lethal blood infection known as sepsis in patients on kidney dialysis.

Ibuprofen puts high risk cardiac patients at risk
Doctors who treat the painful condition of osteoarthritis in patients with increased cardiovascular risk need to be cautious.

UGA study finds physical, emotional burden of breast cancer lingers for older survivors
A new study led by a researcher at the University of Georgia College of Public Health finds that even five years after completing treatment, older breast cancer survivors consistently score lower in measures of well-being such as life satisfaction when compared to a control group of women matched for age and socioeconomic status.

Jefferson immunology researchers show blood-brain barrier damage could affect MS severity
Immunology researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson studying a multiple sclerosis (MS)-like disease in mice have shown that the amount of

New role for sugars: Research shows connections between sugar modifications in cells and cancer
In a ground-breaking study published in the top journal, Cell, Dr.

Cambridge to host first city-wide wireless sensor network
Harvard University, BBN Technologies and the city of Cambridge have begun a four-year project to install 100 wireless sensors atop streetlights in Cambridge, Mass., creating the world's first city-wide network of wireless sensors.

AIBS honors outstanding contributions to the biological sciences
The AIBS Board of Directors and the AIBS Awards Committee are pleased to announce the 2007 recipients of AIBS's highest awards, to be presented May 14, in Washington D.C., at the AIBS Annual Meeting Evolutionary Biology and Human Health.

Heart attack death rates not higher at Iowa's rural hospitals
Contrary to some previous studies, rural hospitals in Iowa do provide quality care for patients with heart attacks and do not have higher death rates when compared to urban hospitals, researchers report.

Study recommends universal newborn screening for cystic fibrosis
Newborn screening for cystic fibrosis saves on treatment costs and would offset the actual costs of the screening program.

Disease can be our ally, not just our enemy, says new book by UCR evolutionary biologist
In a time when we worry about bird flu and contaminated spinach, Marlene Zuk, an evolutionary biologist at UC Riverside, offers a fresh perspective on disease and the role it plays in our lives.

Washington University surgeon develops treatment for foot deformity
Children born with a foot deformity that causes them to have a rigid flatfoot once faced extensive surgery to fully correct the problem.

X-ray satellites catch magnetar in gigantic stellar 'hiccup'
Astronomers using data from several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar -- the remnant of a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field -- in a sort of giant cosmic blench.

Slick and springy: Brown research reveals protein's role in joints
Experiments led by Brown University physician and engineer Gregory Jay, M.D., show a new role that the protein lubricin plays in synovial fluid -- the slimy stuff jammed in joints.

Apple consumption during pregnancy reduces risk for childhood wheezing and asthma
Compelling new research has concluded that mothers who eat apples during pregnancy may protect their children from developing asthma and wheezing later in life.

Cardiff Business School proves history is bunk about Henry Ford
A new study from Cardiff University suggests that Edward Budd of Philadelphia was the true pioneer of automated car production, rather than Henry Ford.

Mutation improves memory, may lead to memory-enhancing pill
A mind-altering mutation in mice results in an enhanced long-term memory, researchers report in the April 6, 2007, issue of the journal Cell, published by Cell Press.

The plague as a weapon?
The possibility of bubonic plague and pneumonic plague being used as bioterrorism agents is discussed in an article published this week in the Lancet.

Leanest teens are biggest energy users and consumers
Teens who are most physically active and consume the most calories are the leanest, researchers say.

Biofuels: More than just ethanol
As the United States looks to alternate fuel sources, ethanol has become one of the front runners.

Good behavior, religiousness may be genetic
A new study in Journal of Personality shows that selfless and social behavior is not purely a product of environment, specifically religious environment.

UC Davis study finds high arsenic levels in herbal kelp supplements
A study of herbal kelp supplements led by UC Davis public health expert Marc Schenker concludes that its medicinal use may cause inadvertent arsenic poisoning and health dangers for consumers, especially when overused.

Scientists decode genome of oral pathogen
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have decoded the genome of a bacteria normally present in the healthy human mouth that can cause a deadly heart infection if it enters the bloodstream.

Networking around the clock
A Brandeis University study published in Cell this week shows for the first time experimentally that the circadian cells in fruit flies function as a network that enables the insects to adapt their behavior according to seasonal changes.

Better together: Bacterial endosymbionts are essential for the reproduction of a fungus
Endosymbiotic relationships -- in which one organism lives within another -- are striking examples of mutualism, and can often significantly shape the biology of the participant species.

$13.8M e-science effort will try to tame data torrents
A growing number of scientific fields suffer from a stifling embarassment of riches: Data pile up much faster than they can be analyzed.

More flight than fancy?
Scientists from the universities of Exeter and Cambridge have turned a textbook example of sexual selection on its head and shown that females may be more astute at choosing a mate than previously thought.

Moved by the state -- the reality of modern day human migration in the northern polar regions
Seasonal nomadism, migration and resettlement have always been important for the people living in the northern polar regions as these movements are key for their survival.

Study shows isolation of stem cells may lead to a treatment for hearing loss
Members of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine research team, Dr.

Nanogenerator provides continuous power by harvesting energy from the environment
Researchers have demonstrated a prototype nanometer-scale generator that produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow.

Row over study puts Korea's scientific community under scrutiny again
This week's BMJ investigates a bitter row over a scientific paper that is putting Korea's scientific community under scrutiny once again.

Females do best if they wait a while
Starting to breed late in life is a bad idea if you want to maximize the number of offspring that you produce -- or so the theory goes.

Penn study finds ICD devices offer heart patients life-saving benefits
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine have discovered that implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) -- electric monitoring devices that deliver a lifesaving shock in the event of a cardiac arrest -- help patients with heart problems live longer more active lives.

RAND panel identifies key components of public health emergency preparedness
A panel of experts convened by the RAND Corp., has recommended actions that communities around the United States should take to be better prepared to deal with bioterrorist attacks, pandemic flu outbreak and other large-scale public health emergencies.

JCI table of contents -- April 5, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 5, 2006, in the JCI, including: Tumors stopped from spreading to new sites; Leptin gives itself some negative feedback; Role for STARS in heart failure illuminated; Learning the normal functions of EWS; and To inhibit or not to inhibit Gi proteins in asthma?

Dog DNA study yields clues to diverse size of breeds
A new study published in tomorrow's edition of the research journal Science reveals a genetic marker that may determine whether dogs are big or small, and helps answer a burning question in genetics -- how could dogs as a species have such a tremendous variation in size?

Scripps research scientists identify new regulatory mechanism for critical protein signaling domain
In a study with far-reaching implications, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions have for the first time identified a new in vivo regulatory mechanism for the PH Domain, a component of many proteins that allows them to move from a cell's interior to the cell membrane in response to stimulation of cell surface receptors.

Opportunistic chlamydia screening 'not underpinned by sound evidence'
The value of opportunistic chlamydia screening is called into question in this week's BMJ.
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