Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 30, 2007
Statin treatment improves spatial memory in mouse models of Alzheimer's
Treatment with Simvastatin, one of the statin drugs widely used for lowering cholesterol in humans, significantly improved spatial memory -- how to navigate a water maze -- in mice genetically bred to have an Alzheimer's like disease.

Hawaiian treasure, macadamia nuts good for the heart
Incorporating macadamia nuts into a heart healthy diet can reduce cardiovascular disease risks according to Penn State researchers.

Ape gestures offer clues to the evolution of human communication
Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have found bonobos and chimpanzees use manual gestures of their hands, feet and limbs more flexibly than they do facial expressions and vocalizations, further supporting the evolution of human language began with gestures as the gestural origin hypothesis of language suggests.

Your brain and hormones may conspire to make you fat
Why do some people get fat even when they eat relatively little?

Smallpox outbreak: How long would it take for vaccines to protect people? Would it work?
In the event of a smallpox outbreak in the United States, how long would it take for a vaccine to start protecting Americans by stimulating an immune response?

Study shows children less prone to false memories, implications for eyewitness testimony
Sizeable literature has shown that as we grow into adulthood, our memory accuracy improves.

US conservation efforts bring more marine turtles to UK
US and Mexican conservation efforts may have boosted the number of marine turtles visiting UK waters, according to University of Exeter biologists.

Sensor to have applications in homeland defense, safeguarding warfighters, clinical diagnostics
A Sandia National Laboratories research team is developing a new type of electrochemical sensor that uses a unique surface chemistry to reliably and accurately detects thousands of differing biomolecules on a single platform.

Tree rings show elevated tungsten coincides with Nevada leukemia cluster
Tungsten began increasing in trees in Fallon, Nev. several years before the town's rise in childhood leukemia cases, according to a research team led by Paul R.

UCSB's Engineers Without Borders awarded the '2007 Project of the Year'
The University of California, Santa Barbara chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) was awarded the

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes similar at molecular level
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, the human version of mad cow disease, and other degenerative diseases are more closely related at the molecular level than scientists realized, a team reports this week in an advanced online publication of the journal Nature.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 25, 2007
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 35 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Largest ever grant for University of Copenhagenhagen
With a donation of DKK 600 million (approx. $110 million) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation it will be possible to build a new center for protein research at the University of Copenhagen, making Denmark's capital a global hotbed for health science research.

Significant rise in proportion of chronically ill children dying in intensive care
The proportion of chronically ill young children dying in intensive care after being admitted to other hospital wards has steadily risen year on year since the end of the 1990s, reveals a study in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

How to look at dinosaur tracks
A new study appearing in the May issue of the Journal of Geology provides fascinating insight into the factors geologists must account for when examining dinosaur tracks.

Scientists find new agent to fight genetic disorders -- Zorro-Locked Nucleic Acid
A new agent,

Cherries may help reduce metabolic syndrome and heart disease risk factors
Increasing intake of antioxidant-rich cherries may help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, suggests a new study presented today at the Experimental Biology annual meeting.

'Supermap' of avian flu yields new info on source/spread
Scientists here have designed a new, interactive map of the spread of the avian flu virus (H5N1) that for the first time incorporates genetic, geographic and evolutionary information that may help predict where the next outbreak of the virus is likely to occur.

Medicaid patients with lupus travel farther to see specialists
A new study looked at distance to primary lupus providers in a large group of patients with SLE and found that those covered by Medicaid traveled further to see an SLE physician.

'War Between the Sexes': The coevolution of genitalia in waterfowl
A team of biologists at Yale University and the University of Sheffield discovered anatomical details about the female reproductive tract in waterfowl that indicate that male and female anatomy have coevolved in a

Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project
A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters concludes that Arctic sea ice is melting faster than indicated by the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Pelosi, Alexander recognized for leadership promoting US innovation & competitiveness
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will receive the 2007 George E.

HIVMA opposes The Gambia's unproven AIDS remedy
Leading HIV experts are alarmed that the government of The Gambia is encouraging citizens living with HIV to stop taking antiretroviral medications in order to try an unproven herbal remedy.

TXNIP -- regulator of glucose homeostasis and potential diabetes drug target and more
Glucose homeostasis, the appropriate balancing of blood sugar levels, is impaired early in patients who become diabetic, causing life-threatening complications such as kidney failure and heart attacks.

Learning how to help migrating swans find forage
Migrating Bewick's swans find fuel for their long flight in the leftovers in Dutch sugarbeet fields.

Not so contoversial anymore -- panel says moderate coffee drinking reduces many risks
Although the American Society for Nutrition's popular

Washington University's Yixin Chen receives prestigious Microsoft award
Yixin Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science and engineering at Washington University in St.

Magnesium loss in patients given monoclonal antibodies
97 percent of patients with cancer treated with monoclonal antibodies -- cetuximab, matuzumab or panitumumab -- that target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have some degree of magnesium loss (hypomagnesaemia), according to a study published today in the May issue of the Lancet Oncology.

Lonesome George is not alone among Galápagos tortoises
Among flagship species for conservation, Lonesome George is perhaps the most renowned.

Researchers create interactive map with Google technology to track avian flu spread
An interactive

Biofeedback on abnormal mechanics lowers risk for stress fractures, pain under kneecap
More than seven out of 10 runners will sustain an injury over the course of a year, many of these injuries preventable without any adverse effects on running distance or performance, according to Dr.

Study suggests antithrombotics cause more intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke deaths in 'over-75s'
A study suggests that the number of pensioners over 75 dying from intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke has increased in the last 25 years due to use of antithrombotic drugs.

Corals -- More complex than you?
The humble coral may possess as many genes -- and possibly even more -- than humans do.

Tip sheet for Annals of Internal Medicine -- May 1, 2007, issue
Two studies in the May 1, 2007, Annals of Internal Medicine find that infliximab, a widely used anti-tumor necrosis drug, has no benefit in patients receiving standard corticosteroid treatment for giant-cell arteritis or polymyalgia rheumatica.

Was Bristol Channel hit by a tsunami?
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Britain's largest natural disaster, the author of 2001's prophetic book

Early exposure to indoor fungus molecules may protect infants against future allergies
Environmental health scientists at the University of Cincinnati say they have confirmed what other scientists have only suspected: early-life exposure to certain indoor fungal components (molecules) can help build stronger immune systems, and may protect against future allergies.

Leslie R. Brunell receives ASCE Educator of the Year Award
Dr. Leslie R. Brunell, a lecturer in civil engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and a Stevens alumna, has been named Educator of the Year 2007 by the North New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Estrogen fluctuation affects epileptic seizures
A Northwestern University scientist reports that understanding how estrogen contributes to seizure activity could lead to novel and needed therapeutic targets for anti-epileptic drugs.

Drama can help educate and motivate, research shows
Drama certainly has the power to entertain, but can it also change behavior?

Children play key role in forging close communities
Contrary to popular opinion, children play a key role in strengthening local communities and making people feel safe in their neighborhoods, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset
After completing a two-year pilot phase, Woods Hole Research Center scientists are expanding the scope of the

No increased risk of certain cancers from electromagnetic fields among energy workers
Electromagnetic fields do not pose a health hazard to workers in the electrical energy supply industry, suggests a large study of 28,000 people, published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

When cookies catch the cooties
Companies selling food products may need to worry about their goods catching

Pistachios may calm acute stress reaction
Eating pistachios may reduce your body's response to the stresses of everyday life, according to a Penn State study.

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes similar at molecular level
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, the human version of mad cow disease and other degenerative diseases are more closely related at the molecular level than many scientists realized, an international team of chemists and molecular biologists reported April 29 in the online version of the journal Nature.

Pharmaceutical compounds found in nation's fresh water
According to a study in the May/June 2007 issue of the journal Ground Water, pharmaceuticals are being found in septic tanks and, consequentially, ground water due to incomplete human metabolism and excretion into the waste stream or by disposal of unused medications in the toilet or down the sink.

Review finds ways of helping children of drug and alcohol misusers
A new review suggests how children whose parents have drug or alcohol problems can be protected from the consequences usually associated with parental substance misuse.

A cherry on top: Tart cherries may alter heart/diabetes factors
Tart cherries may be good for more than just making pie, according to new animal data.

Mice with a migraine show signs of brain damage
Migraines may be doing more than causing people skull-splitting pain.

Study puts us one step closer to understanding the function of sleep
Sleep remains one of the big mysteries in biology. All animals sleep, and people who are deprived of sleep suffer physically, emotionally and intellectually.

Teens with migraine at greater risk of suicide
Teens who have chronic daily headache, especially those with migraine headaches, are at greater risk for suicide than teens who don't have migraines, according to a study published in the May 1, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Older, lower income patients least likely to see a specialist for lupus
A new study found older patients and those with lower incomes were less likely to see a specialist for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

1 in 3 HIV positive gay men report unprotected sex
More than one in three HIV positive gay men say they have unprotected sex, reveals a community survey, published ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Beijing restrictions offer case study in emissions of key atmospheric gases
The Chinese government's restrictions on Beijing motorists during a three-day conference last November -- widely viewed as a dress rehearsal for efforts to slash smog and airborne pollutants during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing -- succeeded in cutting the city's emissions of one important class of atmospheric gases by an impressive 40 percent.

Exercise can cut coronary artery disease risk for some with MS
Results of a new study suggest that people with mild to moderate MS are capable of improving their aerobic fitness levels similar to their non-MS counterparts.

Simple screening can help decrease teen risk behaviors
Research shows that adolescents who engage in one form of risky behavior, like drug or alcohol use, are likely to engage in other risky behaviors like self-harm, or having unprotected sex, but often these behaviors are not discussed during a medical or mental health exam.

More research needed to involve families in psychosocial interventions
Family-oriented psychosocial interventions seem to be beneficial in improving the mental and physical well-being of both patients with chronic illness and their family members, but the results aren't as robust as researchers had hoped.

The Institute of Ecosystem Studies to host an international conference on ecology and urban design
From May 1-3, the Institute of Ecosystem Studies will be hosting an international conference focused on building bridges between current ecological thinking and the professionals that are responsible for building the cities of the future.

Puzzling plankton yield secrets to role in evolution/global photosynthesis
The analysis of DNA sequences from tiny green algae have provided new insights into the mystery of how new species of plankton evolve -- and further highlights their critical role in managing the global cycling of carbon.

Smelling for first time results from knowing abnormalities in congenital loss of smell
New discoveries about the biochemical basis of the majority of cases of the congenital inability to smell any odor, no matter how strong, have enabled their discoverer, Dr.

First genome comparison of plankton species yields surprises underlying key ocean processes
An international team of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has peered into the genetic makeup of two species of phytoplankton, the tiny plants key in global photosynthesis and carbon cycling, and come away with surprising results about evolutionary engineering and new ideas about the role that a poorly understood chemical element may play in the world's oceans.

BCM, Rice make major advance in structural biology
Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University have discovered a new way to analyze the moving parts of large proteins -- a breakthrough that will make it easier for structural biologists to classify and scrutinize the active sites of proteins implicated in cancer and other diseases.

Academy paleontologist and Alaska artist in line for natural history awards
A paleontologist who discovered a missing link and an artist with an obsession with fish each will receive a prestigious award for their achievements from the Academy of Natural Sciences at its 195th Annual Meeting on Friday, June 1.

Resistant HIV quickly hides in infants' cells
New evidence shows that drug-resistant virus passed from mother-to-child can quickly establish itself in infants' CD4+ T cells where it can hide for years, likely limiting their options for future treatment.

News tips from ACS Chemical Biology
Highlights from the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Chemical Biology, are now available on EurekAlert!.

Artificial snot enhances electronic nose
Researchers at The University of Warwick and Leicester University have used an artificial snot (nasal mucus) to significantly enhance the performance of electronic noses.

Hearts of male and female rainbow trout are different
A new study expands upon previous findings that sex differences in cardiac performance and metabolism exist in fish in general, and have now been found to occur in rainbow trout in particular.

G8-UNESCO to hold world forum on education, research and innovation
Three-day Forum to discuss connections between education, research and innovation.

Pistachios lower cholesterol, provide antioxidants
A handful of pistachios may lower cholesterol and provide the antioxidants usually found in leafy green vegetables and brightly colored fruit, according to a team of researchers.

Plants with male and bisexual flowers on the same plant are better mothers
One evolutionary enigma is the production of both male and bisexual flowers in the same plant.

Exercise science principles strengthen swallowing rehabilitation
Just thinking about swallowing makes it harder to do.

Catching cancer's spread by watching hemoglobin
In an advance that can potentially assist cancer diagnosis, a new optical technique provides high-resolution, three-dimensional images of blood vessels by taking advantage of the natural multiple-photon-absorbing properties of hemoglobin, the red-blood-cell molecule that carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream.

Widowhood's economic consequences harshest on minority women
Minority widows are at a particularly high risk of poverty in late life, according to a report published in the latest issue of the Gerontologist.

New VERITAS telescope array may help find 'dark matter'
Scientists in the Northern Hemisphere have opened a new window on the universe allowing them to explore and understand the cosmos at a much higher level of precision than was previously available.

What people say may not be what they know
What a person says is not necessarily an indication of what that person knows because speech is motivated by social circumstances and the desire to influence the listener.

Howe School lecture -- Changing the Management of Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance, May 3
The Howe School Alliance for Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology will host the lecture,

Mayo Clinic research in cardiovascular disease presented at Experimental Biology 2007
Mayo Clinic investigators will present and participate in 70 scientific presentations during the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting, April 28-May 2 in Washington, D.C.

Researchers to visit site of 2004, 2005 Indonesian quakes
Researchers from Oregon State University and an Indonesian science center are collaborating on a pioneering project to analyze the history of great earthquakes and tsunamis on the Sunda subduction zone, along the western margin of Sumatra and Java -- site of one of the most devastating tsunamis in modern history.

Iyengar yoga can promote well-being in women breast cancer survivors
A new study of breast cancer survivors practicing Iyengar yoga finds these survivors have changes in the way their immune cells respond to activation signals, which may be important for understanding how physical activity and meditative practices benefit the immune system.

Geoscientists discuss energy resources, groundwater quality and fossil finds in Utah
Approximately 300 geoscientists will gather May 7-9 for the 59th annual meetings of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America.
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