Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 14, 2007
Sleepless for science: Flies show link between sleep, immune system in Stanford study
Go a few nights without enough sleep and you're more likely to get sick, but scientists have no real explanation for how sleep is related to the immune system.

Brain, size and gender surprises in latest fossil tying humans, apes and monkeys
A surprisingly complete fossil skull of an ancient relative of humans, apes and monkeys bears striking evidence that our remote ancestor was less mentally advanced than expected by about 29 million years ago.

NASA's close-up look at a hurricane's eye reveals a new 'fuel' source
In the eye of a furious hurricane, the weather is often quite calm and sunny.

MEMS student design contest winners announced by Sandia
Teams from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are winners of Sandia's third annual University Alliance competition for student microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) designs.

K-State to collaborate on research to forecast ecological consequences of environmental changes
How do climate change and other global environmental changes affect the average Kansan?

Elsevier launches Molecular Oncology
Elsevier announced today the inaugural issue of a new journal, Molecular Oncology -- a journal for discovery-driven translational cancer research, published by Elsevier on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

£3M Manchester research center to develop vital new science
The University of Manchester is establishing a £3 million research center dedicated to developing vital new science applicable to manufacturing processes, power station planning and analysis of the human body.

Cluster makes a shocking discovery
ESA's Cluster was in the right place and time to make a shocking discovery.

Grain fiber and magnesium intake associated with lower risk for diabetes
Higher dietary intake of fiber from grains and cereals and of magnesium may each be associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a report and meta-analysis in the May 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pediatricians and pathologists see traumatic brain injury differently
Confronted with the same hypothetical scenarios of traumatic brain injuries to children, pediatricians and pathologists were unable to agree half the time whether the deaths should be investigated as potential child abuse, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found.

Berkeley Lab Life Sciences division awarded NIH grants for fruit fly, nematode studies
Researchers in the Life Sciences Division of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are principal investigators on two modENCODE grants announced May 14 by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Smoking, growing private hospital care for poor and US flu vaccine policies
Bans on smoking at home may have greater influence on health status than those at work, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Urban Health, a New York Academy of Medicine publication.

Spreading viruses as we breathe
Keeping at arm's length won't protect you from catching an infectious disease, according to new research by Queensland University of Technology which reveals airborne viruses can spread far and wide.

Vertical work-stations could help obese shed 30 Kilos a year
Vertical work-stations, incorporating a treadmill, could help obese employees shed up to 30 kg in weight every year, suggests a small study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Unfair treatment boosts heart attack risk
Unfair treatment in life boosts a person's chances of having a heart attack, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Glucosamine-like supplement inhibits multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes
A glucosamine-like dietary supplement has been found to suppress the damaging autoimmune response seen in multiple sclerosis and type-1 diabetes mellitus, according to University of California, Irvine health sciences researchers.

A self-fulfilling prophecy in bleeding stroke?
Each year, tens of thousands of people receive a dreaded diagnosis: intracerebral hemorrhage, or a

Thale cress goes on the defensive
Thale cress has a complicated defence technique against insects and microorganisms that use the plant as a source of food.

Log-on to shape-up
The Internet can be an effective tool in helping inactive adults to get moving, a new study suggests.

Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies to be published by SAGE
SAGE, publisher of over 460 journals, is pleased to announce, in partnership with the Midwest Academy of Management and Baker College, that it will begin publishing the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies beginning August 2007.

Rx for heart failure: patient-centered care from a pharmacist
Heart failure patients have fewer emergency room visits and hospital stays and take their medicine more reliably when under the care of a pharmacist trained in patient-centered care.

Asexual worm quickly adapts to soil contamination
Soil contaminants lead to rapid genetic adaptations in the nematode Acrobeloides nanus.

NASA mission explores world's deepest sinkhole
A NASA-funded expedition, including researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, will begin searching for the submerged bottom of Mexico's El Zacatón sinkhole with a robotic submarine the week of May 14.

Childhood environment influences reproductive function
A study led by researchers at UCL (University College London) demonstrates that female reproductive function is influenced by childhood environment.

Elsevier partners with Rice Science
Elsevier today announced its partnership with Rice Science, a quarterly publication which is now part of the China Collection on Elsevier's ScienceDirect online platform.

100 percent of pregnant women have at least one kind of pesticide in their placenta
A doctoral thesis written at the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada reveals an average presence of eight organochlorine contaminants in the organisms of pregnant women, which are usually ingested by means of food, water and air.

Anxiety hikes risk of heart attack, death
New research shows that highly anxious patients with heart disease face nearly double the risk of heart attack or death when compared to those with a more serene outlook on life.

Female-led infanticide in wild chimpanzees
Researchers observing wild chimpanzees in Uganda have discovered repeated instances of a mysterious and poorly understood behavior: female-led infanticide.

UCI launches effort to develop patient-specific stem cell lines
UC Irvine neurobiologist Hans Keirstead and his research team today launched a project to develop stem cell lines that genetically match human patients.

ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- May 9, 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.

History of migraines associated with increased risk of retinopathy
Middle-aged men and women with a history of migraine and other headaches are more likely to have retinopathy, damage to the retina of the eye which can lead to severe vision problems or blindness, than those without a history of headaches, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Woods Hole Research Center scientists using remote sensing tools to predict bird species richness
Woods Hole Research Center scientists have taken a novel approach to studying biological diversity by making use of laser remote sensing (lidar).

Molecular architect to collect 3 awards this year
Career achievements in exploring the world of designer molecules this year has earned University of Chicago chemist Hisashi Yamamoto three awards from across the globe.

DNA-damage test could aid drug development
Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Whitehead Institute have developed a cell culture test for assessing a compound's genetic toxicity that may prove dramatically cheaper than existing animal tests.

Psychosocial support for cancer survivors needs strengthening
While one in four cancer survivors participates in a support group after diagnosis, use of support groups varies considerably by cancer type, and few survivors receive referrals to such programs from their physicians, according to a new study.

Drought sensitivity shapes species distribution patterns in tropical forests
Looking at a rainforest it's easy to see that there are hundreds of different tropical plant species that inhabit the forest.

RAND study finds women with heart disease and diabetes less likely to receive proper care
Women with heart disease and diabetes are less likely to receive several types of routine outpatient medical care than men who have similar health problems, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Minister Lunn to attend International Energy Agency Meeting
The Honorable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, will represent the Government of Canada at the International Energy Agency Ministerial Meeting on May 14-15, in Paris, France.

Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet for May 15, 2007
In this issue:

US Naval Academy-built satellite to carry NASA experiments
A partnership between NASA and the US Naval Academy is offering students real-world experience.

Christian Paradis announces $4 million for renewable energies
Transforming garbage into renewable energy to grow tomatoes -- now that's a sustainable solution.

Parasites' impact goes beyond host to affect ecosystem
New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests that parasites can not only substantially affect their hosts -- altering their growth, behavior, nutritional status, reproductive abilities and even their mortality -- but also the hosts' entire ecosystem.

Weill Cornell researchers use 'Virtual Iraq' simulation to study post-traumatic stress disorder
Weill Cornell Medical College researchers are using a virtual reality simulation called

Build parks to climate proof our cities
Scientists looking at the effect global warming will have on our major cities say a modest increase in the number of urban parks and street trees could offset decades of predicted temperature rises.

Russian readers learn to read more accurately and faster
Children whose mother tongue is Russian and who acquired literacy in their home language before entering first grade received higher grades on reading skills tests than their peers who speak only Hebrew or those who speak Russian but have not learned how to read it.

Medical research scientists make ethical value judgments in research
Weill Cornell Medical College study published in the current issue of European Journal of Epidemiology, the paper finds that the framing of the research question, identification of the problem, as well as the design and methodology of the study are all subject to value judgments by investigators.

Fatty acid catabolism higher due to polyphenol intake
Polyphenols, dietary substances from vegetables, fruits and green tea, bring about a change in the energy metabolism.

Berkeley nanotechnology pioneer to receive $500,000 Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has chosen Peidong Yang, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, to receive the 2007 Alan T.

Marine reserves could save coral reefs
Marine reserves have already proved to be a successful way of protecting marine life against commercial fishing.

Treatment of kidney condition requires an individualized approach
Good patient information is essential for choosing the best treatment for the kidney disease lupus nephritis.

Researchers attach genes to minichromosomes in maize
A team of scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia has discovered a way to create engineered minichromosomes in maize and attach genes to those minichromosomes.

UC San Diego electrical engineering grad student racks up awards
As LEDs, photovoltaics, biological and chemical sensors, nano-pipes for optical communications, and other applications, nanowires -- crystalline fibers about one thousandth the width of a human hair -- hold great promise.

Tropical farmer still has a lot to learn
Food producers in developing countries still need to make many improvements before they can compete effectively on the world market.

Calcium plus vitamin D supplements may help prevent weight gain in postmenopausal women
Postmenopausal women who take calcium and vitamin D supplements may gain less weight than those who do not, although the overall effect is small, according to a report in the May 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

State spending keeps childless seniors out of nursing homes
Older Americans without children have a much lower risk of being admitted to a nursing home if they live in a state that spends more on home- and community-based services (HCBS), according to an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (Vol.

Breastfeeding duration rates for infants born in an inner-city WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly hospital
A new study in the May issue of the Journal of Human Lactation reports that being born in a Baby-Friendly hospital gives babies the best possible chance of breastfeeding to 6 months.

Mammography rates declining in the United States
Since 2000 mammography rates have declined significantly in the United States, according to a new study.

Heart-failure patients benefit from pharmacist care
Heart-failure patients take their medicine more reliably when under the care of a pharmacist, resulting in fewer emergency-room visits and hospital stays as well as lower health-care costs, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy.

Higher intake of fish and vitamin D levels linked to lower risk of age-related macular disease
Individuals who have higher dietary intake of foods with omega-3 fatty acids and higher fish consumption have a reduced risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration, while those with higher serum levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of the early stages of the disease, according to two reports in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Testosterone may help men with multiple sclerosis
A pilot study at UCLA has found that a testosterone gel for men with MS reduced symptoms, slowed brain degeneration and increased muscle mass.

NYU's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics part of $57 million MOD-ENCODE consortium
New York University biologist Fabio Piano, an associate professor at NYU's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, was selected by National Human Genome Research Institute to lead one of the teams charged with decoding the genome.

DOE JGI sets 'gold standard' for metagenomic data analysis
The field of metagenomics is still in its infancy -- the equivalent of the early days of the California Gold Rush, with labs vying to stake their claim.

Fly and worm models to teach researchers about human biology and medicine
In an effort to understand every part of the genome needed for organisms to develop and thrive, the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the first grants in a four-year, $57 million scientific mission to identify all functional elements in the genomes of the fruit fly and round worm.

1 month post launch, Interactive Autism Network reports 13,000 participants
The Interactive Autism Network -- the first national online autism registry spearheaded by the Kennedy Krieger Institute -- has registered an unprecedented number of individuals and families living with autism.

The yin and the yang of B-cell development
A new paper in the May 15 issue of Genes & Development reveals how a protein called Yin Yang 1 regulates early B cell development.

Counting down to RoboCup 2007 Atlanta
The countdown begins for RoboCup 2007 Atlanta. The world's most renowned competition for research robotics, RoboCup 2007 Atlanta, will be held at Georgia Tech, July 3-10.

Drugs users are increasingly more cautious with needles
Even though HIV can be well treated these days, drug users are still more cautious about using needles than they used to be.

Springer adds philosophy journal Sophia to publishing program
Springer has added Sophia -- International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysical Theology and Ethics to its extensive collection of journals.

Older patients with major depression live longer with appropriate treatment, Penn study shows
Older patients with major depression whose primary care physicians team with depression care managers are 45 percent less likely to die within a five-year time period than older adults with major depression who receive their care in primary care practices where there are no depression care managers.

Mailman School of Public Health researchers analyze air quality and weather changes by 2050
In a first of its kind study, researchers at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health found that changes in urban sprawl and climate that are projected for the New York City metropolitan area by the 2050s could significantly affect air quality and health in the region.

Coenzyme Q10 does not improve Parkinson's disease symptoms
Small doses of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 appear to increase blood levels of this naturally occurring compound in patients with Parkinson's disease, but does not improve Parkinson's disease symptoms, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the July 2007 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Subtle signs can help predict Huntington's disease early
Subtle signs can help doctors predict that a person will develop Huntington's disease in the next few years, according to a study published in the May 15, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Mediterranean diet halves risk of progressive lung disease
A Mediterranean diet halves the chances of developing progressive inflammatory lung disease (COPD), reveals a large study, published ahead of print in Thorax.

Testosterone may help men with multiple sclerosis
A small pilot study suggests that testosterone treatment is safe, well-tolerated and may reduce symptoms, slow brain degeneration and increase muscle mass in men with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

AGA Institute takes leadership role in exploring obesity and its complications
Due to the gastrointestinal tract's role in body weight regulation, gastroenterologists should work closely with other medical disciplines to oversee and coordinate the care of obese individuals, according to an American Gastroenterological Association Institute Obesity Task Force Report.

Mid-life headaches may increase risk of vision problems
Middle-aged men and women with a history of migraine and other headaches are more likely to have retinopathy, damage to the retina of the eye which can lead to severe vision problems or blindness, than those without a history of headaches, according to a study published in the May 15, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Students devise oral quick-dissolve strips for rotavirus vaccine
A thin strip that dissolves in the mouth like a popular breath-freshener could someday provide life-saving rotavirus vaccine to infants in impoverished areas.

The 'driving' force behind electric vehicles
Cultural differences between countries run right to the heart of government, thereby influencing technological innovation. 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