Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2007
High insulin levels impair intestinal metabolic function
Nutritional scientists at the University of Alberta are the first to establish a connection between high insulin levels and dysfunction of intestinal lipid metabolism in an animal model.

Study shows food preparation may play a bigger role in chronic disease than was previously thought
How your food is cooked may be as important to your health as the food itself.

Stanford scientists make major breakthrough in regenerative medicine
Findings described in a new study by Stanford scientists may be the first step toward a major revolution in human regenerative medicine -- a future where advanced organ damage can be repaired by the body itself.

Hubble's 17th anniversary -- extreme star birth in the Carina Nebula
One of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras has been released to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Pharmacists' workload contributes to errors
High workloads for pharmacists increase the potential for medication errors, says a new study by University of Arizona College of Pharmacy researchers published in the May issue of the journal Medical Care.

Anti-anginal drug safe but not effective in reducing major cardiac events in ACS patients
The anti-anginal medication ranolazine was shown to be safe in regard to certain outcomes but did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as death, heart attack or recurrent ischemia following acute coronary syndromes, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

PFOA and PFOS detected in newborns
An analysis of nearly 300 umbilical cord blood samples shows that newborn babies are exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) while in the womb.

Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet
Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50 percent larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water.

Humans aren't the only ones with obesity problems
Horses are inheritably couch potatoes. An overeating, slothful horse leads to an obese horse.

Sleep strengthens your memory
Sleep not only protects memories from outside interferences, but also helps strengthen them, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007.

Stretching DNA to the limit
A group of researchers at Duke University have developed a method to measure changes in the mechanical properties of DNA upon irradiation with UV light.

Eduardo Slatopolsky honored with 2007 ISN Amgen International Prize
The International Society of Nephrology today announced Eduardo Slatopolsky, Joseph Friedman Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine as the 2007 winner of the ISN Amgen International Prize for Therapeutic Advancement in Nephrology.

Meeting the ethanol challenge: Scientists use supercomputer to target cellulose bottleneck
Termites and fungi already know how to digest cellulose, but the human process of producing ethanol from cellulose remains slow and expensive.

HIV infection appears to increases the risk of heart attack
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have found that infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is also associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction or heart attack.

Richard Lifton awarded at WCN 2007
In recognition of his outstanding basic research within the nephrology field, the International Society of Nephrology presented Richard P.

Replacement warhead program poses challenges for weapons complex
An independent study group, convened by AAAS's Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, has issued a report on the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead and its role in the future US nuclear weapons program.

New model describes avalanche behavior of superfluid helium
By utilizing ideas developed in disparate fields, from earthquake dynamics to random-field magnets, researchers at the University of Illinois have constructed a model that describes the avalanche-like, phase-slip cascades in the superflow of helium.

Stem cell identity in culture may strongly depend on the cellular microenvironment
Identification, isolation and large scale culture of stem cells for potential medical applications is a major challenge in cell biology.

Satellites offer sunny outlook on understanding polar climate, with help of cloudy skies
A team of researchers recently completed a project to confirm what NASA satellites are telling us about how changes in clouds can affect climate in the coldest regions on Earth.

4 universities collaborate to synthesize new materials, nanoscale devices
The Army Research Office has awarded a potentially $7.5 million Multi-University Research Initiative grant to scientists from Virginia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, and Drexel University to develop electromechanical devices and high-performance membranes using ionic liquids.

Calhoun to deliver intellectual property lectures in Denmark
Professor George Calhoun has been invited to give two presentations to the Annual IP Conference of the Danish Patent & Trademark Office as part of World Intellectual Property Day.

You don't have to be smart to be rich, study finds
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make a lot of money, according to new research.

Sea snails break the law
Lizards gave rise to legless snakes. Cave fishes don't have eyeballs.

Autism conference to look at link to mercury poisoning, mirror neurons, genetics
More than 900 scientists, parents and activists from around the world who are focused on understanding the causes of autism and finding treatments for the developmental disorder will gather in Seattle, May 3-5, to share the latest research findings at the sixth International Meeting for Autism Research.

NIDCD director to be named first recipient of Distinguished Service Award
James F. Battey, Jr.,M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one of the National Institutes of Health, will be the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, an international body of scientists that advances understanding of the senses of taste and smell.

What will the next 50 years bring in robotics research?
Would a conscious robot need the same rights as a human being?

Springer ecology book wins award for excellence
The Springer book Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruption of Mount St.

Key found to kill cystic fibrosis superbug
Researchers from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario, working with a group from Edinburgh, have discovered a way to kill the cystic fibrosis superbug, Burkholderia cenocepacia.

U of M professor awarded the Gold Medal Award 2007
University of Minnesota Medical School professor Eli Coleman received the Gold Medal Award 2007 at the XVIII World Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health.

Moonlighting enzyme linked to neurodegenerative disease
Friedreich's ataxia is one of those diseases few have heard of unless you know someone with the condition.

U of M researchers find ceiling height can affect how a person thinks, feels and acts
For years contractors, real estate agents and event planners have said that whether building, buying or planning an event, a higher or vaulted ceiling is always better.

TV food adverts increase obese children's appetite by 134 percent
Obese and overweight children increase their food intake by more than 100 percent after watching food advertisements on television; a study by the University of Liverpool psychologists has shown.

Scientists unravel clue in cortisol production
Georgia Tech biologists have discovered an important step in the production of the hormone cortisol production.

Good news for rural stroke patients -- telephone treatment works
Stroke patients in rural hospitals can get safe, effective treatment with the use of a clot-busting drug when a doctor from a larger hospital is on the telephone guiding the treatment.

Discovery of new family of pseudo-metallic chemicals
A new discovery by a University of Missouri-Columbia research team, published in Angewandte Chemie, the journal of the German Society of Chemists, allows scientists to manipulate a molecule discovered 50 years ago in such as way as to give the molecule metal-like properties, creating a new,

Corn, oats, cherries and red wine's high melatonin content can help delay aging
A study carried out by researchers from the University of Granada's Institute of Biotechnology proves that consuming melatonin neutralizes oxidative damage and delays the neurodegenerative process of ageing.

New University of Leicester study could help stroke victims
University at forefront of international research on stroke.

Ultrasound upgrade produces images that work like 3-D movies
Parents-to-be might soon don 3-D glasses in the ultrasound lab to see their developing fetuses in the womb

Elsevier extends ScienceDirect ArticleChoice to academic institutes worldwide
Following the successful launch of ScienceDirect ArticleChoice to the corporate market in 2005 and government market in August 2006, Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical (STM) information, is now offering the same flexible access option to academic customers.

Researchers find ways to reduce side effects in the treatment of damaging protein plaques
Researchers in the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia are studying the possible use of carboranes, which are clusters of boron and carbon atoms, to prevent the side effects of cyclooxygenase inhibitors, a class of drugs under investigation for the treatment of one cause of plaque build-up.

Mailman School of Public Health study shows smoking common during pregnancy
While pregnancy may be considered an effective motivator for smoking cessation, results of a new study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health indicate that pregnant US women commonly smoke, placing themselves and their unborn children at risk for health and developmental complications.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, April 2007
The following story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory include information on the following: Climate -- Thirstier trees on horizon; Energy -- Adaptable energy; and Diesel -- Clean savings.

Researcher finds negative effects of colonization on slash-and-burn farming method in western Borneo
A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia has examined the slash-and-burn farming method traditionally used by the Iban, a widespread indigenous population that lives in northwestern Borneo in Southeast Asia.

Increase seen in pneumococcal infections not covered by childhood vaccine
Alaska Native children are experiencing increased rates of serious infections caused by strains of pneumococcal bacteria that are not covered by the current childhood pneumococcal vaccine, indicating the importance of ongoing surveillance of vaccine effectiveness, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

Policy leaders gather to address global energy security
Leading policy experts from around the world will gather to address global energy security and its environmental, economic and societal implications at

FDA causes unnecessary scare about common painkillers
The US Food and Drug Administration has caused an unnecessary scare about some pain relievers by adding a warning to drugs that are safe, says Curt Furberg, M.D., Ph.D., from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Lead-'scrubbing' drug may also improve muscle function in lead-exposed children
UC environmental health researchers say a therapy commonly used to remove dangerously high levels of lead from the body may also improve muscle functions associated with postural balance and movement in lead-exposed children.

Spectacular star birth pictures on Hubble's 17th birthday
A 50 light-year-wide view of the Carina Nebula has been released to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Common genetic variants linked with progression to advanced forms of AMD
Variations of two common genes are associated with progression to more advanced forms of age-related macular degeneration, and factors such as smoking and being overweight greatly increase this risk, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

Study of planarians offers insight into germ cell development
The planarian is not as well known as other, more widely used subjects of scientific study -- model creatures such as the fruit fly, nematode or mouse.

Next-generation, high-performance processor unveiled at the University of Texas at Austin
The prototype for a revolutionary new general-purpose computer processor, which has the potential of reaching trillions of calculations per second, has been designed and built by a team of computer scientists at The University of Texas at Austin.

ESF's Governing Council meeting in Budapest gives 'go ahead' to key measures
The ESF Governing Council has taken a number of important steps aimed at advancing the European research agenda.

Study shows hibernating bears conserve more muscle strength than humans on bed rest do
A new study from the May/June 2007 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology quantifiably measures the loss of strength and endurance in black bears during long periods of hibernation.

Towards rational vaccine design
A recent study published in Immunology Letters, the official journal of the European Federation of Immunological Societies, describes strategies for selective priming of B cells using various adjuvants.

New biotech company to commercialize novel UD gene-repair technology
OrphageniX Inc., a new biotechnology company founded by University of Delaware researchers, has been established in Wilmington, Del., to develop and commercialize UD-patented technologies for repairing genes that cause rare, hereditary diseases such as sickle cell anemia and spinal muscular atrophy.

The power of speaking ladylike
Does gender make a difference in the way politicians speak and are spoken to?

Everyday life in Pompeii revealed
University of Leicester academic takes novel approach to studying Pompeii.

Carnegie Mellon hosts conference on computer science research opportunities for undergraduate women
Frances Allen, the first woman to receive the nation's top computer science honor, the A.M.

Revamped experiment could detect elusive particle, physicists say
An experiment called

Hot flashes -- Studies explore the role of genes, obesity and alcohol
Three new studies explore the role of genes, obesity and alcohol consumption in contributing to -- or lessening -- the intensity and frequency of hot flashes in midlife women.

UD receives $1.9 million for new spintronics center
The University of Delaware has been awarded $1.9 million from the US Department of Energy to establish the new Center for Spintronics and Biodetection.

Press Week for science writers, reporters and editors
Each July, science and medical journalists from all over the world come to scenic Bar Harbor, Maine, during the prestigious Short Course in Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics, cosponsored by the Jackson Laboratory and the Johns Hopkins University.

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

Turtles are loyal in feeding as well as in breeding
A research team led by the University of Exeter has discovered that, after laying their eggs, sea turtles travel hundreds of miles to feed at exactly the same sites.

Patients with rare brain tumor may have genetic predisposition
Genetic susceptability markedly increases the chances of developing the rare brain tumour
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