Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 12, 2007
Pavlov's cockroach: Classical conditioning of salivation in an insect
A new study, led by Makoto Mizunami and colleagues at Tohoku University in Japan, demonstrates classical conditioning of salivation in cockroaches, for the first time in species other than dogs and humans, and its underlying neural mechanisms remain elusive because of the complexity of the mammalian brain.

Massive herds of animals found to still exist in Southern Sudan
Aerial surveys by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society confirm the existence of more than 1.2 million white-eared kob, tiang antelope and Mongalla gazelle in Southern Sudan, where wildlife was thought to have vanished as a result of decades-long conflict.

CT scan reveals ancient long-necked gliding reptile
The fossilized bones of a previously unknown, 220 million-year-old long-necked, gliding reptile may remain forever embedded in stone, but thanks to an industrial-size CT scanner at Penn State's Center for Quantitative Imaging, the bone structure and behavior of these small creatures are now known.

ESA takes steps toward quantum communications
A team of European scientists has proved within an ESA study that the weird quantum effect called entanglement remains intact over a distance of 144 kilometers.

Overcoming the limits of resolution
This year's Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to the Göttingen-based researcher Stefan Hell for his revolutionary discovery that resolutions far below the diffraction limit can be achieved in a fluorescence microscope using conventionally focused light.

Disability from long-term rheumatoid arthritis reduced with biologic treatment
New data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Enbrel (etanercept) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients over the long-term were presented today at the EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) congress (1).

Physician-researchers often less successful in obtaining NIH funding
Physician researchers with only an M.D. degree are less likely to receive NIH research grants than researchers with a Ph.D. degree or those with both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, according to a study in the June 13 issue of JAMA.

Personal drug selection: Problem-based learning in pharmacology
Irrational use of medicines is a major problem all over the world.

Scientists decode RNA mystery, will help aim drug therapies
As reported in the June 13 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, researchers led by Jonathan Dinman, assistant professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, have found the difference between two closely related components in the messenger RNA -- near-cognate and non-cognate codons -- terms that have long been used, but not understood.

Periodontal diseases are blind to age
Two new studies in the June issue of the Journal of Periodontology suggest that periodontal diseases are a threat to women of all ages due to hormonal fluctuations that occur at various stages of their lives.

Rove beetles act as warning signs for clear-cutting consequences
New research from the University of Alberta and the Canadian Forest Service has revealed the humble rove beetle may actually have a lot to tell us about the effects of harvesting on forests species.

New ORNL theory aims to explain recent temperature, climate extremes
Using an ocean of data, sophisticated mathematical models and supercomputing resources, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are putting climate models to the test with particular focus on weather extremes.

High cholesterol diets modify gene expression in atherosclerosis
Scientists from the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1 of the University of Granada have proven that a high cholesterol diet causes changes in gene expression of chicken aortic smooth muscle cells at the early stages of an experimental atherosclerosis.

British scientists create electron surf machine
Scientists at the UK's National Physical Laboratory and the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University have found a new way to control the movement of individual electrons -- they are making them ride the crests of energy waves like surfers.

Early results from Alzheimer's neuroimaging studies could speed research
Alzheimer's disease researchers may be able to reduce the time and expense associated with clinical trials, according to early results from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a public-private research partnership organized by the National Institutes of Health.

Extreme environment biology research may help solve lignocellulosic ethanol puzzle
Beneath a sulfurous cauldron in European seas lies a class of microorganisms known as extremophiles.

Australian wins prestigious prize in biodiversity informatics
The 2007 Ebbe Nielsen Prize has been awarded to Paul Flemons of the Australian Museum, Sydney.

MCA backs closure of Arctic waters
The Marine Conservation Alliance supports action today by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to close all federal waters north of the Bering Strait to commercial fishing until a management plan, including habitat protection, is fully developed.

Slow wave activity during sleep is lower in African-Americans than Caucasians
Slow wave activity, a stable trait dependent marker of the intensity of non-rapid eye movement sleep, is lower in young healthy African-Americans compared to Caucasians who were matched for age, gender and body weight.

Daddies' girls choose men just like their fathers
Women who enjoy good childhood relationships with their fathers are more likely to select partners who resemble their dads research suggests.

Researchers reveal structure of protein altered in autism
As a result of mapping the structure of the protein complex implicated in autism spectrum disorders, a research team led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has discovered how particular genetic mutations affect this complex and contribute to the developmental abnormalities found in children with autism.

Advocates ask fashion industry to support braille clothing tags; talking Web site
Two women from RIT are forming the nonprofit White Cane Label to give the blind and visually impaired community more independence in choosing their wardrobe and more confidence when dressing for success.

University of Southern California School of Pharmacy receives 2007 Pinnacle Award
USC School of Pharmacy recognized by national organization for its work with Los Angeles-area safety-net clinics.

Sleep disorders highly prevalent among police officers
A sampling of police officers shows a high incidence of sleep disorders among the members of this profession.

Elsevier launches Artery Research
Elsevier announced today that it is launching a new journal, in collaboration with the Association for Research into Arterial Structure and Physiology, entitled Artery Research.

Lung and bladder cancer deaths continue decades after arsenic exposure
Arsenic exposure appears to continue causing lung and bladder cancer deaths years after exposure ends, according to a study published online June 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

NIH awards nearly $21 million to fund cutting-edge research equipment
The National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today it will provide $20.65 million for 14 High-End Instrumentation grants that will fund cutting-edge equipment required to advance biomedical research.

A fly lamin gene is both like and unlike human genes
Mitch Dushay and colleagues at Uppsala University in Sweden report the publication of their paper,

Cutting greenhouse gases: wood chips in, alcohol out
A new research effort involving three University of California campuses and West Biofuels LLC, will develop a prototype research reactor that will use steam, sand and catalysts to efficiently convert forest, urban, and agricultural

Genomatix expands operations in North America
Genomatix Software GmbH announced today that is has expanded its operations in the North American market by forming a subsidiary company there.

BRCA2 carriers at increased risk for deadly form of prostate cancer
Carriers of a BRCA2 variation specific to Iceland are more likely to develop aggressive and lethal prostate cancer than noncarriers, according to a study published online June 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Study helps preserve Arctic whale, Eskimo subsistence hunt
Research on one of the oldest-living mammals -- the bowhead whale -- has helped preserve a primary food source for Eskimos in the far reaches of Alaska, and also may provide a useful tool for studying genetic variation in other migratory animals.

Evacuation software finds best way to route millions of vehicles
University of Arizona professor Yi-Chang Chiu wants to move people efficiently -- lots of people, millions of people -- in response to a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Children's brain responses predict impact of sleep loss on attention
The brain responses of those children who don't get enough sleep can accurately predict the impact sleep loss has on their ability to pay attention during the course of a day.

Canada's new government honours Canada's top young researchers in science and engineering
Dr. Suzanne Fortier, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, today honoured six young Canadians who have won the Council's top prizes for research at the graduate student and postdoctoral levels.

Patients treated for OSA at an AASM accredited sleep center more likely to adhere to CPAP
Access to specialized services with a structured management protocol for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and close follow-up in a sleep center accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine improves CPAP compliance and is a model for development in sleep centers.

First buoy to monitor ocean acidification launched
The first buoy to monitor ocean acidification has been launched in the Gulf of Alaska.

NASA satellites watch as China constructs giant dam
NASA's Landsat satellites have provided detailed, vivid views of China's Three Gorges Dam since construction began in 1994.

Pre-operative high or low red blood cell count linked with poorer outcomes in older patients
Older patients with mild degrees of pre-operative anemia -- low red blood cell count -- or those with a very high red blood cell count have a higher risk of post-operative death or cardiac events following major noncardiac surgery, according to a study in the June 13 issue of JAMA.

Rochester brain expert recognized for lifetime contributions
An internationally known expert on the brain and the diseases that affect it has been recognized by his peers for his contributions to the field of neuropathology.

Physicist cracks women's random but always lucky choice of X chromosome
A University of Warwick physicist has uncovered how female cells are able to choose randomly between their two X chromosomes and why that choice is always lucky.

Red cells count: Study shows pre-op levels affect post-op outcomes
Elderly men with even slightly abnormal red blood cell counts have a higher risk of dying or having a serious cardiac event after major surgery, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Other highlights in JNCI, June 12
Also in the June 12 JNCI are a reduction in AIDS-related cancers, an oncogene associated with aggressive glioma, and an antitumor compound that blocks a heat shock protein.

To keep fit in space, train like an athlete
To keep astronauts healthy on long missions, researchers with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute are developing an integrated exercise program that addresses a number of the physical changes caused by microgravity.

Women well informed about breast cancer, yet lacking knowledge about current treatments
According to a new GfK Roper Public Affairs survey sponsored by CancerCare, a national nonprofit cancer support organization, while 76 percent of women surveyed said they know at least a fair amount about breast cancer, many remain unaware of the important recent progress made in treatment

European Heart Health Charter crosses borders to fight CVD
Recognizing that cardiovascular disease kills almost half of the population of Europe and costs the EU €169 billion annually, the European Heart Health Charter was launched today at the European Parliament in Brussels.

UCR biologists unravel the genetic secrets of black widow spider silk
Biologists at the University of California, Riverside have identified the genes, and determined the DNA sequences, for two key proteins in the

Argonne wins federal laboratory consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer
A computer software program that helps developers of alternative vehicles, developed at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, has won a national award for technology development.

Advanced cancer patients prone to poor sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, Emory study shows
Patients with advanced-stage cancer experience very poor sleep quality and often have troubling staying awake, says Emory University researcher Kathy Parker, PhD, RN.

Researchers discover link between common sleep disorder and high blood pressure
An international team of researchers has found evidence that people suffering from moderate to severe cases of restless legs syndrome are at significantly increased risk for developing hypertension.

Catastrophic events can affect a person's sleep
Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina are more likely to affect the quality and the quantity of a person's sleep.

Cancer death rates remain high decades after exposure to arsenic
A new study by researchers at UC Berkeley and in Chile has found that death rates from lung and bladder cancer remained high decades after residents in northern Chile were exposed to high levels of arsenic in their drinking water.

U-M Health and Retirement Study scientists practice what their research shows most Americans want
When Bob Willis thought about retiring, he knew just how he wanted to do it.

Sleep restriction affects children's speech
Sleep restriction can alter children's initial stages of speech perception, which could contribute to disruptions in cognitive and linguistic functioning -- skills necessary for reading and language development and comprehension.

Study shows lizard moms dress their children for success
Mothers know best when it comes to dressing their children, at least among side-blotched lizards, a common species in the western United States.

Neural stem cells reduce Parkinson's symptoms in monkeys
Primates with severe Parkinson's disease were able to walk, move, and eat better, and had diminished tremors after being injected with human neural stem cells.

Sleep deprivation can lead to smoking, drinking
Sleep loss or disturbed sleep can heighten the risk for adolescents to take up smoking and drinking, two habits that may prove to be detrimental to their health.

Black patients less likely to receive certain coronary procedures following heart attack
A large study has found that black Medicare patients are less likely than white patients to receive blood vessel opening procedures such as angioplasty following a heart attack, whether they are admitted to hospitals that provide or do not provide these procedures, but also experience higher mortality rates at 1 year, according to a study in the June 13 issue of JAMA.

Report calls for new directions, innovative approaches in testing chemicals for toxicity to humans
Recent advances in systems biology, testing in cells and tissues, and related scientific fields offer the potential to fundamentally change the way chemicals are tested for risks they may pose to humans, says a new report from the National Research Council.

When it comes to delinquency boys are exposed to more risk, less protection
Researchers trying to understand why high school-age boys are involved in serious delinquency more often than girls have found that males are exposed to higher levels of risk factors and lower amounts of protective factors.

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

MCA applauds council action to protect Northern Bering Sea habitat
Action to close over 130,000 square miles of the Northern Bering Sea to bottom trawling is an important step for the health of Alaska's oceans ecosystem and the seafood industry, MCA executive director David Benton said today.

ESA satellite guides polar explorers across disintegrating sea ice
Two Belgian explorers currently nearing the end of a staggering 2,000 kilometer trek across the Arctic Ocean were recently guided through hazardous conditions using observations from Envisat, as sea ice in the Lincoln Sea began to break up unexpectedly.

Matter flashed at ultra speed
Using a robotic telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, astronomers have for the first time measured the velocity of the explosions known as gamma-ray bursts.

3 new drugs mark new era in rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Three new drugs for rheumatoid arthritis have ushered in a new era of treatment for this difficult and debilitating condition.
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