Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 05, 2007
New study reports hotel guests at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning kills over 200 people every year in the United States.

The bee that would be queen
A team of researchers from Arizona State University, Purdue University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences has discovered evidence that honeybees have adopted a phylogenetically old molecular cascade -- TOR (target of rapamycin), linked to nutrient and energy sensing -- and put it to use in caste development.

Bigger horns equal better genes
According to a team of international researchers, mature, male alpine ibex demonstrate a correlation between horn growth and genetic diversity.

Rolls-Royce acquires license to use Iowa State discovery that improves jet engines
Rolls-Royce Corp., has acquired exclusive rights to use a coating invented by Iowa State University researchers that helps turbines stand up to the heat in jet engines.

UK scientists set their sights on cure for AMD
A groundbreaking surgical therapy capable of stabilising and restoring vision in the vast majority of patients who currently suffer blindness through Age-Related Macular Degeneration is to be taken to clinical trial by scientists and clinicians at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University of Sheffield.

Carnegie Mellon's Rob Rutenbar wins Pioneer Award
Rob Rutenbar, a professor in electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon, received the IEEE 2007 Industrial Pioneer Award at the Design Automation conference in San Diego June 5, 2007.

Fire and structural safety a hot topic for engineers -- and the nation
Earthquakes and explosions grab the headlines when structures are toppled, but often the Achilles' heel of engineering is fire.

Study identifies new regulator of fat metabolism
Over the past several years, animal studies have shown that high-fat, low-carbohydrate

Low libido in menopause linked to trouble sleeping
Women whose sexual desire diminishes during menopause are more likely to report disturbed sleep, depression symptoms, and night sweats, according to Group Health research in the June American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Born to lose: How birth weight affects adult health and success
Birth weight has significant and lasting effects, a new study finds.

A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising for crop applications
IRD researchers and their partners are examining an unusual symbiotic association, between an aquatic leguminous plant, Aeschynomene and photosynthetic bacteria of the genus Bradyrhizobium.

Stray penguins probably reached northern waters by fishing boat
Penguins have been spotted periodically in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere during the last 50 years.

QBI scientist looks at why stroke causes vision problems
A University of Queensland scientist at the Queensland Brain Institute has uncovered evidence that could help to explain why some stroke patients have trouble maintaining a stable image of their visual world when they make eye movements.

UC Irvine awarded $3.9 million to upgrade stem cell research facilities, training
UC Irvine today was awarded $3.9 million to upgrade its core embryonic stem cell research laboratory and expand a program to train young scientists on research techniques involving human embryonic stem cells.

CDC Foundation announces $1.7 million grant to improve and standardize testosterone measurements
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Foundation today announced a $1.7 million grant from Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. to improve and standardize hormone measurements, specifically testosterone, among laboratories nationwide.

Older men may not live as long if they have low testosterone
Low levels of testosterone may increase the long-term risk of death in men over 50 years old, according to researchers with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

A new understanding of crystal structure of actinide metals
Researchers have a better understanding of how the crystal structure of some metals becomes stable through magnetism.

Uncovering the molecular basis of obesity
Why does the same diet make some of us gain more weight than others?

Evolutionary relevance of retinoic acid-induced craniofacial malformations
With the manuscript,

Folic acid supplements do not appear to reduce risk of colorectal tumors
New research indicates that folic acid supplementation does not decrease the risk of benign colorectal tumors, but may possibly increase the risk for some types of colorectal tumors, according to a study in the June 6 issue of JAMA.

The insect vector always bites twice
Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria or sleeping sickness, are currently developing or spreading alarmingly in many tropical countries.

Borderline personality disorder shows improvements with intensive psychotherapy
An intensive form of talk therapy, known as transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), can help individuals affected with borderline personality disorder (BPD) by reducing symptoms and improving their social functioning, according to an article in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, a premier psychiatry journal.

Low-carb diets' effects linked to rise in newly identified 'starvation hormone'
The benefits sometimes seen in those on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet may depend on increased levels of a newly identified

Midwest transportation coalition addresses regional freight challenges
Bearing such freight as consumer goods, agricultural products and manufacturing shipments, thousands of semitrucks hurtle daily through the Midwest on the region's increasingly crowded web of highways and freeways.

FCstone carbon teams up with Argonne to quantify biofuel carbon credit reductions
FCStone Carbon LLC, a subsidiary of major commodity trader FCStone, and the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory announced that they are working together to quantify biofuel carbon credits reductions and trading in the marketplace.

Study of underground lakes in Antarctica could be critical, prof says
The discovery of interconnected lakes beneath kilometers of ice in Antarctica could be one of the most important scientific finds in recent years, but proper procedures need to be established before investigation begins, says a Texas A&M University scientist who is a leader in the research efforts.

Glowing dye improves cancer removal in kidney
A new way to provide clear images of cancerous tumors in the kidney during surgery promises to help physicians preserve as much kidney function as possible while still removing all the malignant tissue -- a significant advance as doctors discover that saving as much healthy kidney tissue as possible is crucial for the future health of cancer patients.

DFG approves 11 new Collaborative Research Centers
Changes to the program simplify the funding of independent junior research groups.

Meningitis: effectiveness of preventive vaccination demonstrated
In Senegal, the context of the the Niakhar region enabled scientists from the institute to compare the impact of two vaccination campaigns, conducted respectively in 1996 and 1999, on the number of meningitis cases that arose in young people under 20 years of age during three epidemics.

Pre-treatment blood test could guide lung cancer therapy
A multi-center team, led by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators, has developed a new pre-treatment blood test that predicts which non-small-cell lung cancer patients will live longer when they are treated with certain targeted cancer therapies (Iressa, Tarceva).

The roots of grammar: New study shows children innately prepared to learn language
A new study shows that by the age of seven months, human infants are able to learn abstract grammar-like rules from sequences of syllables -- and that they know the best place to look for such abstractions is in human speech.

Understanding what causes rain
Weather models are not good at predicting rain. Particularly in hilly terrain, this can lead to great damage arising from late warnings of floods, or even none at all.

Sediment dredging has fallen short of achieving cleanup goals at many contaminated sites
At many projects to dredge contaminated sediments from US rivers and other bodies of water, it has not been demonstrated that dredging has reduced the long-term risks the sediments pose to people and wildlife, says a new report from the National Research Council.

New screening method to help find better biofuel crops
In the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices, ethanol has become a hot commodity along with the corn used to make it.

Finding protection from tumor growth in unexpected places
Researchers have discovered that an enzyme commonly involved in regulating blood pressure also provides protection from tumor growth when strongly expressed in immune cells.

Cisplatin is more effective than carboplatin for treating nonsmall cell lung cancer
Some patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer have slightly higher survival rates when treated with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin than another platinum-based drug, carboplatin, according to a study in the June 6 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Better chemistry through living models
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive $1.98 million from the US Department of Energy over the next three years to emulate nature's use of enzymes to convert chemicals to energy, PNNL announced Wednesday (June 6).

Performance-related financial incentives for hospitals not linked with improved quality of care
A pay-for-performance program at hospitals was not associated with significant improvement in processes of care or outcomes for heart attack patients, according to a study in the June 6 issue of JAMA.

Origins of nervous system found in genes of sea sponge, report scientists at UC Santa Barbara
Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have discovered significant clues to the evolutionary origins of the nervous system by studying the genome of a sea sponge, a member of a group considered to be among the most ancient of all animals.

Simulations unravel outer membrane transport mechanism
Using X-ray data and advanced computer simulation and visualization software, researchers at the University of Illinois have painstakingly modeled a critical part of a mechanism by which bacteria take up large molecules.

Washington University in St. Louis to invest $55 million for renewable energy research
Washington University in St. Louis is creating a new International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability to encourage and coordinate university-wide and external collaborative research in the areas of renewable energy and sustainability -- including biofuels, CO2 mitigation and coal-related issues.

Abilify sNDA for pediatric patients with schizophrenia accepted for priority FDA review
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co Ltd., and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced that the US FDA accepted for priority review the supplemental New Drug Application of the atypical antipsychotic Abilify (aripiprazole) for the treatment of pediatric patients (13-17 years) with schizophrenia.

Works of mathematical power, beauty yield Clay Research Prize
Clay Research Prize recipient Alex Eskin has produced the numerical equivalent of a stirring poem or a melodic symphony.

Advances in understanding bipolar disorder topics of press briefings June 7, 8
New clues to the causes of bipolar disorder, the latest advances in neuroimaging, and medical comorbities are the focus of press briefings at the 7th International Conference on Bipolar Disorder, June 7 and 8.

HiRISE releases 1,200 images, launches viewer tool on Web site
Anyone connected by Internet can now see planet Mars better than at any time in history, through the eye of HiRISE, the most powerful camera ever to orbit another planet.

USC researchers show that molecular markers predict tumor recurrence
Researchers at the University of Southern California have identified specific molecular markers that may help to predict tumor recurrence in stage II and III colon cancer patients.

Origins of nervous system found in genes of sea sponge
Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have discovered significant clues to the evolutionary origins of the nervous system by studying the genome of a sea sponge, a member of a group considered to be among the most ancient of all animals.

Cancer drug enhances long-term memory
A drug used to treat cancer has been shown to enhance long-term memory and strengthen neural connections in the brain, according to a new study by UC Irvine scientists.

Economic impact of hunger affects all Americans
While 35 million Americans feel the physical effects of hunger each day, every household and individual in our nation feels the economic effects, says a new study released today by the Sodexho Foundation and researchers affiliated with Harvard University School of Public Health, Brandeis University and Loyola University.

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

USC and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles both receive grants for stem cell facilities
University of Southern California and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles among those receiving grant funds from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for stem cell facilities.

Smokers given more help to quit since GP performance pay introduced
Smokers have been getting more support for quitting, and the numbers of smokers have reduced, since the introduction of performance-related incentives for UK general practitioners, according to new research published on June 4 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

CIRM awards $3.79 million to Burnham Institute
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine announced today the award of $3.79 million to the Burnham Institute for Medical Research for development of a collaborative shared laboratory and expansion of the Institute's training courses in stem cell research.

Extra pay does not improve hospital performance
Paying hospitals extra money does not appear to significantly improve the way they treat heart attack patients or how well those patients do.

Nitrate in Lake Superior: On the rise
Nitrate levels in Lake Superior, which have been rising steadily over the past century, are about 2.7 percent of the way toward making the lake's water unsafe to drink, according to a study by University of Minnesota researchers.

The fisherman is a predator like any other
IRD scientists and their partners of the Peruvian Institute of the Sea have analyzed these data obtained from commercial fishing vessels using mathematical trajectory models in order to elucidate the spatial interactions between fishermen and fish.

It's safe for obese moms-to-be to lose weight during pregnancy, new SLU research finds
New Saint Louis University research finds doctors should encourage most overweight women to diet and exercise during pregnancy.

An enduring incentive for young scientists and researchers
The DFG celebrates 30 years of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize.

Industry leaders honored at AIAA aerospace spotlight awards gala
AIAA presented its highest awards at the Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala May 15, 2007, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of Antarctic Peninsula glaciers accelerating as climate warms
Hundreds of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are flowing faster, further adding to sea level rise according to new research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Ports could hasten freight traffic by doubling up on crane trips
Ports could use their cranes to move goods more quickly without investing in any new equipment.

Hormone helps mice 'hibernate,' survive starvation
A key hormone enables starving mice to alter their metabolism and

UGA study finds that violence costs nation $70 billion annually
The most comprehensive study of its kind has found that violence costs the United States $70 billion annually, a figure that rivals federal education spending and the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Breakthrough for treatment of fatal heart condition
Researchers at the University of Leeds (UK) have found a mechanism to prevent a potentially fatal heart condition that can strike without warning.

Archaeologists reconstruct life in the Bronze Age at a site of Southern Spain
Researchers from the University of Granada, Spain, excavated for the first time -- in a scientific and systematic way -- a site of these characteristics, where they found the first water well of the Iberian Peninsula.

Miniature robot for precise positioning and targeting in neurosurgery wins award for HU researcher
While recent advances in neurosurgery have made it possible to precisely target areas in the brain with minimum invasiveness -- using a small hole to insert a probe, needle or catheter -- there remains a disadvantage.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory teams with NASA Gamma-Ray Satellite
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is teaming with NASA's upcoming Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope to allow astronomers to use both the orbiting facility and ground-based radio telescopes to maximize their scientific payoff.

Delft University of Technology research might prevent asphalt damage
Repairing asphalt damage caused by water infiltration costs a great deal of money and produces extra traffic delays.

GSK announces launch of largest ever Phase III trial in lung cancer treatment
GlaxoSmithKline today announced final results of a Phase II clinical trial of its investigational Antigen-Specific Cancer Immunotherapeutic MAGE-A3 in non small cell lung cancer.

Cedars-Sinai researchers present new endocrine findings at 2 international conferences
Shlomo Melmed, M.D. and other researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will be presenting data at the annual meetings of the Endocrine Society and the International Pituitary Congress, and are available to discuss their findings and progress to better understand and treat pituitary disorders.

Other highlights from the June 6 JNCI
Also in the June 6 JNCI is an association between aspirin use and decreased risk of cancer, a protein that suppresses tumor growth and cell migration, the incidence of a rare cancer in Denmark, and a protein that is not associated with inflammation, but not breast cancer.

Viable tiger populations, tiger trade incompatible
In the cover story of this month's BioScience journal, leading tiger experts warn that if tigers are to survive, governments must stop all trade in tiger products from wild and captive-bred sources, as well as ramp up efforts to conserve the species and their habitats.

New algorithms classify outcomes of nonsmall cell lung cancer patients
Two research teams have developed models for classifying the clinical outcomes of patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer using mass spectrometry techniques.

UK and other European countries should introduce universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination
Children in the UK and seven other European countries should be universally vaccinated against hepatitis B to eliminate the major public-health impact of this disease, concludes a Review published in the June issue of the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Dartmouth's alternative breast imaging techniques sort abnormal from normal tissue
Dartmouth physicians and engineers have published a study that finds the new methods of electromagnetic imaging offer a high contrast and the ability to distinguish between healthy breast tissue and abnormal tissue.
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