Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2007
Archaeologists rescue clues to ancient kingdom from the rising Nile
Archaeologists from the University of Chicago have discovered a gold processing center along the middle Nile, an installation that produced the precious metal sometime between 2,000 and 1,500 B.C.

Children of smokers have more than 5 times higher levels of a nicotine toxin
Children who have at least one parent who smokes have 5.5 times higher levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, in their urine, according to a study by researchers from Warwick Medical School at the the University of Warwick, and the University of Leicester, published online ahead of print in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Ossur's PROPRIO FOOT takes the Gold 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award
Ossur, a trusted and global developer of more scientifically advanced prosthetic innovations than any other company in the field, is pleased to announce that its PROPRIO FOOT is the winner of the Gold 2007 Medical Design Excellence Award, in the category of rehabilitation and assistive technology products.

Children of smokers have 5 times higher levels of a nicotine toxin
Children who have at least one parent who smokes have 5.5 times higher levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, in their urine, according to a study published online ahead of print in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Coffee drinking protects against an eyelid spasm
People who drink coffee are less likely to develop an involuntary eye spasm called primary late onset blepharospasm, which makes them blink uncontrollably and can leave them effectively

Link between obesity and enlarged heart discovered by University of Arizona researchers
Excessive body weight is associated with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle in the left ventricle, the heart's pumping chamber.

Dietary calcium is better than supplements at protecting bone health
Women who get most of their daily calcium from food have healthier bones than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplemental tablets, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Brain's voluntary chain-of-command ruled by not 1 but 2 captains
A probe of the upper echelons of the human brain's chain-of-command has found strong evidence that there are not one but two complementary commanders in charge of the brain, according to neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Severe human bite wounds are 12 times more common in men
Men are 12 times more likely than women to sustain severe human bite injuries for which surgery may be necessary, according to a study published in the July issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.

Medicare Part D plans vary, but most appear to cover common medications at low co-payments
An examination of Medicare Part D plans in California and Hawaii reveals wide variations in drug formularies, but indicates that for many classes of drugs, it is possible to find at least one or more drug that is covered by nearly all Part D plans, according to a study in the June 20 issue of JAMA.

Study identifies 5 genetic themes key to keeping stem cells in a primitive, flexible state
A team of Canadian scientists has identified 1,155 genes under the control of a gene called Oct4 considered to be the master regulator of the stem cell state.

Nobel scientists Craig Mello and John Mather to speak on origins of life and universe
A free and public event,

UF geographer -- New tools to forecast hurricane rainfall inland
All eyes are on where hurricanes make landfall, but the massive storms actually cause the most deaths inland, where severe flooding often surprises residents.

First EURIPIDES Forum taking place in Versailles
June 28 and 29, 2007, have been confirmed as the dates for the first EURIPIDES Forum, taking place at the Palais des Congrès in Versailles.

Medical standards in 21 states based on local rule, not national standards
Although most patients don't know it, 21 US states follow some form of an 1880 ruling that says the standard of care physicians must meet by law depends on where the doctor practices, even if, in some cases, it is a small town with only two doctors.

Contract signed for building of GMES Sentinel-1 satellite
ESA and Thales Alenia Space have signed a €229 million contract for the design and development of Sentinel-1, the first Earth observation satellite to be built for Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program.

1 in 100 11-year-olds use drugs to enhance performance in sport
More than 1 percent of 11-year-olds admit using performance enhancing drugs to do better in sports reports a study published online ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
In this issue: Needle-free Vaccine May Protect Against C. Difficile Infection, Respiratory Tract Immunization May Protect Against Ebola Virus, and Bullfrogs May Serve as Hosts for E. coli O157:H7.

OSU's Catlos reaps rewards of research
It's been an amazing year for Elizabeth Catlos, assistant geology professor, at Oklahoma State University.

Obese heart attack patients are more likely to survive after treatment than normal-weight patients
Obese and very obese patients have a lower risk of dying after they have been treated for heart attacks than do normal weight patients, according to research published in the European Heart Journal.

Bee researcher at Arizona State University is 1 of 20 new Pew Scholars in the biomedical sciences
Gro Amdam, an assistant professor in Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences who heads social insect studies in laboratories at both ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences' Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, is one of only 20 researchers chosen this year to enter The Pew Charitable Trusts' exclusive rolls as a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences.

How enzymes work: UB chemists publish a major discovery
In a publication selected as a

U of M professor awarded the 2007 Gold Medal Award
University of Minnesota Medical School professor Michael Garwood, Ph.D., received the 2007 Gold Medal Award at the Joint Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and the European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology.

1-step breast cancer treatment combines radiation, surgery
Princess Margaret Hospital breast cancer specialists are using a new way to treat patients by delivering a one-time dose of radiation during surgery.

Scientists ponder plant life on extrasolar Earthlike planets
Scientists seeking clues to life on extrasolar planets are studying various biosignatures found in light leaking out to Earth to speculate on what kind of photosynthesis might occur up there asnd waht plants might look like.

Curbing the obesity epidemic
In June 20 issue of PLoS ONE, a Swedish study reports a protocol that detects with high precision 30 percent of all obese pre-adolescent children already at age 5 using only weight and height data.

Giant magnetocaloric materials could have large impact on the environment
Materials that change temperature in magnetic fields could lead to new refrigeration technologies that reduce the use of greenhouse gases, thanks to new research at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Ames National Laboratory.

Studies identify more effective treatment for malaria control during pregnancy in Africa
A review of previous studies indicates that two doses of a malaria preventive therapy during pregnancy provides substantial benefit to HIV-negative women in Africa, with more frequent dosing apparently necessary for HIV-positive women, according to an article in the June 20 issue of JAMA.

Learning a sense of community online
Children and their teachers are already benefiting from online learning communities such as the Oracle Education Foundation's Think.com, but there is a real opportunity for richer learning with such systems that is yet to be tapped.

Weizmann Institute scientists develop a general 'control switch' for protein activity
Since malfunctioning proteins can cause disease, the study of protein structure and function can lead to the development of drugs and treatments for numerous disorders.

Family structure size could affect breast cancer risk prediction accuracy for BRCA gene testing
Researchers have found that the probability of the breast cancer gene mutation BRCA among women with a history of breast cancer is greater when the number of older, female relatives in the family is smaller, according to a study in the June 20 issue of JAMA.

HSPH's Lin wins prestigious MERIT Award from NIH
Xihong Lin, Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, has been named a recipient of a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) Award from the National Institutes of Health.

The current debate on the linkage between global warming and hurricanes
Global warming and increased hurricane activity...a case of natural influences or human intervention?

Scots more likely than English to reach university, though background still counts
Whilst young people in Britain increasingly value education and stay on at school, the proportion gaining qualifications and going to college and university over the past 20 years has been

Back on track
Observing the image of a faint object that lies close to a star is a demanding task as the object is generally hidden in the glare of the star.

FISH on a chip offers quicker, less costly cancer diagnosis
For the first time an important diagnostic test for cancer has been miniaturized and automated onto a microfluidic chip by a team of University of Alberta researchers.

ESA and NASA sign agreement on James Webb Space Telescope and LISA Pathfinder
At a ceremony that took place today at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and NASA Administrator Michael Griffin signed the official agreements that define the terms of the cooperation on the James Webb Space Telescope and on the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna Pathfinder mission.

Turn-ons and turn-offs for neurons
In the June 20 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Dr.

NJIT professor says certain home shapes and roofs hold up best in hurricane
Certain home shapes and roof types can better resist high winds and hurricanes, according to a researcher at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Race, not space, key to lower black male employment rate
A new study finds that in areas where low-skilled jobs are predominantly held by whites, black men who live nearby are less likely to get hired.

U of M study finds that Americans couch feelings about race in the 'happy talk' of diversity-speak
According to a new study by researchers in the University of Minnesota's sociology department, Americans are generally positive -- even optimistic -- about the word

St. Jude shows gene test not needed if cancer drug given in low doses
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have shown that when the cancer drug irinotecan is given in low doses for multiple days, it eliminates the need to delay treatment to perform costly genetic testing that determines if the patient is at risk for serious treatment side effects, such as neutropenia.

Chinese and White immigrants highest homeowners
In both Canada and the US, Chinese and White immigrants have the highest adjusted homeownership rates of all groups, at times even exceeding comparably positioned native-born households, according to a University of Alberta sociologist who compared rates by skin colour and across countries.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue: A look BAC at GLAST and GLT-1; Slit/robo signaling and axonal branching; The noise in eye movements; and The NF1 protein and long-term memory in the fly.

Another sexual attraction is possible ...
In a study published in the June 20 issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, researchers from the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and from the University of Toulouse show that, while pheromones are probably used for meeting in the case of the European corn borer, they may not be used for mating per se.

Key finding by UC-San Diego scientist may improve treatment of anemia
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have determined a key mechanism by which the body regulates iron metabolism, a discovery that may provide new approaches for the treatment of anemia.

Computer models suggest planetary and extrasolar planet atmospheres
The world is abuzz with the discovery of an extrasolar, Earthlike planet around the star Gliese 581 that is relatively close to our Earth at 20 light years away in the constellation Libra.

Researchers track snakes to study populations, behavior
A researcher for Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues at the Saint Louis Zoo and Saint Louis University are tracking timber rattlesnakes in west St.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center receives 'outstanding' rating
The National Cancer Institute, a major component of the National Institutes of Health, has reaffirmed the formal designation of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center as an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In 'spontaneous' liver cancer, Lombardi researcher sees a cure
Adding more good news to last week's announcement that Nexavar (sorafenib) may be the first effective treatment for advanced liver cancer, researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University have uncovered a new molecular mechanism that may

Dividing up your holidays into several periods can help prevent post-holiday syndrome
Psychologists estimate that 35 percent of Spanish workers between 25 and 40 will have to face the syndrome this year.
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