Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 20, 2007
Trips to the NanoFrontier
Given the incredible promise of the fast emerging field -- and the billions in public and private investment that it has attracted -- the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies launched today a new series of NanoFrontiers newsletters and podcasts focused on progress toward exciting applications on the horizon of nanotechnology.

UD chemical engineer receives NSF career award
Thomas H. Epps III, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research and education program on block copolymers.

Physicians should be able to review performance rates before release
A policy paper and principles assuring that physicians are given the opportunity to comment on performance ratings that they believe are inaccurate were adopted this week by the American College of Physicians at its annual meeting.

Kent State University and Summa Health System receive NIH grant to study prehypertension
Summa Health System and Kent State University have received a $545,000 grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction and progressive muscle relaxation on people with prehypertension.

Democracy and peace? Historical links and implications for world order
The eighth annual Symposium on Democracy, titled

Will lemmings fall off climate change cliff?
Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not commit mass suicide by leaping off cliffs into the sea.

Monkeys' ability to reflect on their thoughts may have implications for infants, autistic children
A new study shows that monkeys have the ability to reflect about their thoughts and to assess their performance.

Safer air traffic with EGNOS
Vertical guidance by means of signals from the sky: this is what EGNOS, the first European satellite navigation service, will offer pilots during approach and landing.

Gene study shows three distinct groups of chimpanzees
The largest study to date of genetic variation among chimpanzees has found that the traditional, geography-based sorting of chimps into three populations -- western, central and eastern -- is underpinned by significant genetic differences, two to three times greater than the variation between the most different human populations.

Quality on peer review must be raised with co-operation, says ESF report
Scientists are questioning whether peer review, the internationally accepted form of scientific critique, is able to meet the challenges posed by the rapid changes in the research landscape.

Research uncovers the significant benefits of remote monitoring
Researchers from Canada and Australia have found that the use of remote monitoring for patients with chronic heart failure has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes (mortality, morbidity and quality indicators).

Jefferson researchers want to learn if heart defect 'at heart' of some migraines
Researchers of the heart and headaches at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are combining efforts to determine if a common heart defect may be the cause of some forms of migraine headaches.

The origin of the brain lies in a worm
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg now reveal that the vertebrate nervous system is probably much older than expected.

News tips from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Story ideas from the April 20, 2007 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry include new insight into how sperm cells activate eggs during fertilization; a new chemical effective against anthrax; the role of a new protein in the growth of hepatitis C virus; new findings about gene repression; and a potential new drug against African sleeping sickness.

UD scientist wins NSF career award for tissue engineering research
Xinqiao Jia, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Delaware, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award to develop strong, yet soft and flexible biomaterials that can be used to engineer damaged tissues, particularly the vocal folds.

Chronic family turmoil and other problems cause physical changes
Adolescents who are chronically exposed to family turmoil, violence, noise or other chronic risk factors show more stress-induced physiological strain on their organs than other youth.

Brain networks strengthened by closing ion channels
Yale School of Medicine and University of Crete School of Medicine researchers report in Cell April 20 the first evidence of a molecular mechanism that dynamically alters the strength of higher brain network connections.

Dental X-Rays of carotid artery not enough to estimate stroke risk
Detection of calcified tissue in the carotid artery by dental X-rays is not enough evidence to estimate a patient's stroke risk was the conclusion of a systematic literature review published in this month's Journal of the American Dental Association.

Brain networks strengthened by closing ion channels
Yale School of Medicine and University of Crete School of Medicine researchers report in Cell April 20 the first evidence of a molecular mechanism that dynamically alters the strength of higher brain network connections involved in working memory.

M. D. Anderson wins $8.3M renewal to study environmental causes of major diseases
An $8.3-million federal grant to the University of Texas M.

Scientists find one reason why bladder cancer hits more men
Scientists have discovered one of the reasons why bladder cancer is so much more prevalent in men than women: A molecular receptor or protein that is much more active in men than women plays a role in the development of the disease.

To understand the big picture, give it time -- and sleep
Memorizing a series of facts is one thing, understanding the big picture is quite another.

Knocking out survival protein could aid leukemia treatment
An effective way to fight leukemia might be to knock out a specific protein that protects cancer cells from dying, a new study shows.

XMM-Newton pinpoints intergalactic polluters
Warm gas escaping from the clutches of enormous black holes could be the key to a form of intergalactic 'pollution' that made life possible, according to new results from ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory, published today.

Uganda's mountain gorillas increase in number
The most recent census of mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- one of only two places in the world where the rare gorillas exist -- has found that the population has increased by six percent since the last census in 2002, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Max Planck Institute of Anthropology and other groups that participated in the effort.

Susceptibility to Crohn's disease -- an important new clue
Crohn's disease is a chronic relapsing inflammatory disorder of the intestinal tract that affects an estimated 0.15 percent of people in the developed world.

Crane hatching marks a first for Smithsonian's National Zoo
Smithsonian's National Zoo has announced a first in its 118-year history -- the hatching of a rare wattled crane chick.
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