Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 26, 2007
Revolutionizing prosthetics 2009 team delivers first DARPA limb prototype
An international team has developed a prototype of the first fully integrated prosthetic arm that can be controlled naturally and provide sensory feedback, and allows for eight degrees of freedom -- a level of control far beyond the current state of the art for prosthetic limbs.

With right lessons, non-native kindergarteners learn vocabulary faster than native English-speakers
Analyzing rates of target word acquisition and overall vocabulary development, this study finds that students learning English as a second language pick up general vocabulary more quickly and target vocabulary words at the same rate as native English-speaking kindergarteners with oral instruction, such as storytime.

Ocean's 'twilight zone' plays important role in climate change
A major study has shed new light on the dim layer of the ocean called the

Sandia decon formulation, best known as an anthrax killer, takes on household mold
Scott's Liquid Gold Mold Control 500 -- a product based on a technology originally developed at Sandia National Laboratories -- is now available on the shelves of hardware stores across the country.

Genome-wide search unearths surprising clues for diabetes and triglycerides
Scientists from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Lund University and Novartis today announced the discovery of three unsuspected regions of human DNA that contain clear genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes, and another that is associated with elevated blood triglycerides.

Oxford physiology professor earns APS' Walter B. Cannon Award
The American Physiological Society (APS) presents the Walter B. Cannon Award -- its highest award -- to Oxford University Physiology Professor Frances Ashcroft.

Cancer scientists create 'human' leukemia process to map how disease begins, progresses
Cancer researchers led by Dr. John Dick at Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI) have developed a method to convert normal human blood cells into

Female ticks have market on gluttony
Sex makes you fat. If you're a female tick, that is.

Decision making by the growing elderly population is uncharted territory
The human brain's ability to process information declines with age, but knowledge about the world through experiences tends to rise over time.

Girls born with HIV infection at higher risk for cervical problems
A generation of children born with HIV are now coming of age and reaching sexual maturity.

Researchers identify new genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes
New research, published in the online edition of the journal Science, provides most comprehensive look yet at genetic variants associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Syphilis rate on rise in US gay, bisexual men
Armed with more than a decade's worth of statistics, researchers are sounding a new alarm about growing rates of syphilis among gay and bisexual men.

Collapse of teenage clubber highlights dangers of new drug
The collapse of a teenage clubber after taking a tablet containing 1-benzylpiperazine has highlighted the dangers of this new drug of abuse which many doctors are unfamiliar with, details a case report in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Spinal manipulation in children studied
A recent study done in part by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, concludes that although serious adverse events have been identified when spinal manipulation is used to treat children, their true incidence remains unknown, and these events must be better reported.

News tips from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Story ideas from the May 4, 2007, issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry include: Cholesterol metabolism without oxygen; Compound effective against blood cancer; Preventing bacteria from talking to each other; and New insight into HIV infection.

Rush University Simulation Laboratory honored for innovation
The Rush University Simulation Laboratory has been awarded the 2007 CHEF Leadership Award for Innovation by the Chicago Health Executives Forum, one of the largest chapters of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Autopsies are crucial despite concerns
Autopsies are vital for establishing causes of death, advancing medical research and training young doctors, despite religious, social and legal issues surrounding their use, claims a review in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Double honor recognises world-class science and spin-out success
World-class pharmaceutical research undertaken at the University of Nottingham and at one of its highly successful spin-out companies has been recognised with the UK's most prestigious corporate accolade.

Doctors feel cut off from professionalism debate
Doctors are pessimistic about professionalism and feel dangerously disengaged and alienated from debates on the subject, says a comment in this week's edition of the Lancet.

How dogs don't ape
New research by Friederike Range and Ludwig Huber, of the University of Vienna, and Zsofia Viranyi, of the Eötvös University in Budapest, reveals striking similarities between humans and dogs in the way they imitate the actions of others.

Dopamine-related drugs affect reward-seeking behavior
Drugs that adjust dopamine levels in the brain greatly affect how people react to success and failure, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007.

Bringing the story of industrial physics to light is the focus of new endowment
What research-and-development milestones brought thin, large-screen televisions to electronics stores?

Florida Tech explores microalgae for biofuel
Responding to the urgent need for alternative energy, Florida Tech Professor of Biological Science, Junda Lin, has received a $430,000 contract from Aurora Biofuels for large-scale production of microalgae.

Simple system accurately predicts weight-loss surgery risk
A simple scoring system based on five medical factors accurately predicts which patients being considered for gastric bypass surgery would be at highest risk of dying.

Landmark study highlights complex genetic risk factors behind type 2 diabetes
A UK collaboration of scientists has identified three new genes that predispose individuals to develop type 2 diabetes, bringing scientists a step closer towards understanding what causes this complex disease.

Many couples choose to donate surplus embryos for stem cell research
Nearly 50 percent of couples who were interviewed at least three years after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) chose to donate their surplus, stored embryos for stem cell research, according to a report by the Spanish Stem Cell Bank in an April 26, 2007, advanced online publication of Cell Stem Cell, a new publication of Cell Press in affiliation with the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

$7.5 million NIH grant to Yale for Autism Center of Excellence
The Yale Child Study Center has been awarded the Autism Center of Excellence status by the National Institutes of Health.

The French National Library acquires Elsevier's journal collection
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) have signed an agreement that enables BnF visitors to access Elsevier's journal portfolio including the respective backfiles, some of which date back as far as 1823.

Health gap between social groups widens in later life
The health divide between the most affluent and the worst off in society increases in later life, finds a study published online in BMJ today.

Food cue-related brain activity linked to obesity?
A unique pattern of gene expression observed in rats may be linked to a conditioned desire for food and excessive food intake, an article published today in BMC Biology suggests.

Climate catastrophes in the solar system
Earth sits between two worlds that have been devastated by climate catastrophes.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Articles in this issue include:

Drug therapy can reduce preterm births and decrease lifetime medical costs
Researchers from MetroHealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH found that treating expectant mothers who have had previous spontaneous preterm births with 17 Alpha Hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) and reducing the incidence of another preterm birth would consequently reduce both short-term and lifetime medical costs in offspring by $2 billion per year.

WHO guidelines for treatment of pneumonia infected children under 1 need revision
The World Health Organization's guidelines for treatment of pneumonia in children under one year in Africa are inadequate and need revision, conclude authors of an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Protein found that slows hepatitis C growth in liver cells
Biomedical researchers have identified a cellular protein that interferes with hepatitis C virus replication, a finding that ultimately may help scientists develop new drugs to fight the virus.

Outdated policies are impediment for Americans with disabilities
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped increase awareness of barriers faced by people with disabilities, and advances in science and engineering have led to better assistive technologies that make it easier for individuals to lead productive, independent lives, outdated regulations too often impede access to health care coverage and assistive devices for many who need them, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

Tracking genes for self-pollination in arabidopsis
Cornell researchers are zeroing in on genes that turn a plant's ability to self-pollinate on and off, a key to creating hybrid seed.

Wanting ahead -- Birds plan for future desires
For a long time, it had been argued that only humans can draw on past experiences to plan for the future, whereas animals were considered

Pioneering research on sleeping sickness wins MERIAL Award for Parasitology
Stefan Magez, a VIB researcher connected to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has won this year's MERIAL Award for Parasitology.

Minuscule molecules pack a powerful punch
A role for a microRNA in the immune system has been shown by study of one of the world's first microRNA knockout mouse, reported Friday, April 27, in Science.

Smithsonian hosts Polar Science Symposium to celebrate International Polar Year 2007-2008
The Smithsonian Institution will host a polar science symposium as one of the inaugural US contributions to celebrate the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Terahertz imaging goes the distance
At the upcoming CLEO/QELS meeting in Baltimore, an MIT-Sandia team will demonstrate the first real-time THz imaging system that obtains images from 25 meters away.

EU policy inside out
How is Europe faring in the research and innovation arena?

Better risk management could cut MRSA infection rates
The larger -- and busier -- an NHS hospital is, the higher the MRSA infection rate, research from the Nottingham University Business School has revealed.

Körber Prize to ETH Zurich Professor Seeberger
ETH Zurich Professor Peter Seeberger has received the 2007 Körber Prize for Science.

Breast cancer milieu -- Progression, tamoxifen sensitivity, and DNA reversion
This month The American Journal of Pathology highlights the influence of the cellular microenvironment on breast cancer by promoting three articles from the current issue.

Seekers of knowledge in a cosmic neighborhood
In an overview of

Mayo Clinic study finds heart transplant patients benefit from new approach to immunosuppression
A new immunosuppression regimen for heart transplant patients can improve kidney function and prevent transplant coronary artery disease, according to two new Mayo Clinic studies.

A revolution in the monitoring of unborn babies
New technology, the size of a mobile phone, which could save the life of an unborn child, has been developed by scientists from The University of Nottingham.

Vaccine hope for sufferers of potentially fatal stomach bug
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have been awarded over £366,000 to help unravel the mystery of a stomach bug which causes gastric ulcers and cancer.

Depression among retired NFL players: Rates mirror the general public, but pain compounds symptoms
A study from the University of Michigan Health System has found that retired professional football players experience levels of depressive symptoms similar to those of the general population, but the impact of these symptoms is compounded by high levels of chronic pain.

New blood test can diagnose and monitor treatment of Parkinson's disease
A simple test to diagnose Parkinson's disease before symptoms appear by measuring the levels of a protein in blood is being developed by researchers from the Howard Florey Institute, the University of Melbourne and the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria.

Research finds that male athletes prefer female team physicians
Many studies in coaching literature have found that male athletes tend to prefer a male coach.

Low dose aspirin does not protect women against cognitive decline
Taking low dose aspirin does not protect older women against cognitive decline, finds a large study published online in the BMJ today.

New mechanism identified for resistance to targeted lung cancer drugs
An international research team, led by investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, has found a new way that some lung tumors become resistant to treatment with targeted therapy drugs like Iressa and Tarceva.

Increasing survival of organ transplant patients by reducing time interval for transported organs
Preservation of an organ intended for transplant during transport from donor to recipient is of primary concern in ensuring a successful transplant.

Low-energy LED lighting project is streets ahead
Technology that first appeared in digital watches and calculators back in the 1970s is being used to develop durable and community-friendly low energy street lighting.

Volcanic eruptions, ancient global warming linked
A team of scientists announced today confirmation of a link between massive volcanic eruptions along the east coast of Greenland and in the western British Isles about 55 million years ago and a period of global warming that raised sea surface temperatures by 5 degrees (Celsius) in the tropics and more than 6 degrees in the Arctic.

Scientists identify key to integrating transplanted nerve cells into injured tissue
Scientists at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, have identified a key mechanism for successfully transplanting tissue into the adult central nervous system.

Nanotechnology provides 'green' path to environmentally sustainable economy
As products made with nanometer-scale materials and devices spread to more industries and markets, there is a growing opportunity and responsibility to leverage nanotechnology to reduce pollution, conserve resources and, ultimately, build a

Teens can perform CPR as well as adults and should be taught from an early age
Thirteen-year-olds can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as adults, finds a study published online in BMJ today.

A step closer to a European Space Policy
Space is a strategic asset which Europe must exploit more effectively.

XDx presents success with AlloMap molecular expression testing to international transplant community
XDx, a molecular diagnostics company, today announced its AlloMap molecular expression test will be the subject of presentations and discussions at the 27th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) at the Hilton San Francisco.

IDSA urges Congress to support Hatch amendments
The Infectious Diseases Society of American is calling on members of Congress to support the

A thesis of the UGR analyses more than 20-million-year-old vegetation to study climatic evolution
The research work is based on the study of samples obtained in sedimentary bowls from the south of Spain to Turkey.

U of M-led study identifies new genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Ten genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes, a disease which impacts more than 170 million people worldwide, have been identified or confirmed by a US-Finnish team led by scientists at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Biology in the 21st century
James Collins, National Science Foundation assistant director for biological sciences, will present a talk titled,

Researchers 'look into' plant cells to increase ethanol yields
Tiny pores within plant cells may hold promise for green fuels.

No data to support leaving small colon polyps in place
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute is eager to increase the number of patients who receive screening for colon cancer.

Vaccine to cope with viral diversity in HIV
The ability of HIV-1 to develop high levels of genetic diversity and acquire mutations to escape immune pressures contributes to our difficulties in producing a vaccine.

Scientists link volcanic eruptions that formed North Atlantic Ocean to ancient global warming
Scientists examining a spike in worldwide ocean temperatures 55 million years ago have linked it to massive volcanic eruptions that pushed Greenland and northwest Europe apart to create the North Atlantic Ocean.

Over time, more women are developing MS than men
Over time, more women are developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than men, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28-May 5, 2007. 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