Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 19, 2007
New clue into how diet and exercise enhance longevity
The traditional prescriptions for a healthy life-sensible diet, exercise and weight control -- extend life by reducing signaling through a specific pathway in the brain, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers, who discovered the connection while studying long-lived mice.

Charting ever-changing genomes
Instead of immutable proprietary software, any species' genetic information resembles open source code that is constantly tweaked and optimized to meet the users' specific needs.

Genetic diversity in honeybee colonies boosts productivity
Honeybee queens tend to be promiscuous to produce genetically diverse colonies, report two Cornell researchers in the July 20 issue of Science.

Expert to provide update after 'worst tomato virus' hits California
Robert Gilbertson, plant pathology professor at the University of California, Davis, will provide the update on the status of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) after it was found for the first time in California.

Scientists solve checkers
Game over. Computer scientists at the University of Alberta have solved checkers, the popular board game with a history that dates back to 3,000 B.C.

San Diego Supercomputing Center stands ready to respond to emergencies with OnDemand research
The National Science Foundation-funded Supercomputing Center at the University of California San Diego will soon support on-demand, event-driven, scientific research.

Home health care devices focus of FDA Conference at UH
With patients leaving hospitals quicker, continuing treatment and recovery at home, the government and home care industry must work toward providing a safe environment for using medical devices in the home.

UC Santa Barbara scientists clarify molecular basis of interferon action
Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have made a significant discovery relating to viral infections in humans.

Rise of dinosaurs in Late Triassic more gradual than once thought
The ancestors of dinosaurs seemed to disappear before the dinosaurs took over the Earth 200 million years ago, suggesting to many that dinosaurs were so successful that they rapidly out-competed their ancestors and drove them extinct.

Molecular detectors may refine cancer treatment
University of Florida scientists used short, single strands of genetic material called aptamers to bind to cells and molecules associated with leukemia, finding evidence that slight molecular differences can exist in patient samples.

Glaciers and ice caps to dominate sea level rise this century, says CU-Boulder study
Ice loss from glaciers and ice caps is expected to cause more global sea rise during this century than the massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Protein pulling -- Learning how proteins fold by pulling them apart
Rice University physicists have unveiled an innovative way to learn how proteins get their shape based on how they unfold when pulled apart.

Rural communities revived by energy
A study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, of community renewable energy projects in Britain has found that so far, projects are largely based in the countryside, some quite remote.

Computer scientist plans Bach over broadband
A singing computer scientist wants to use cutting-edge technology to create Europe's first successful Internet choir.

Genomic analysis uncovers new targets for HIV vaccine
An international team of researchers has identified three gene variants in the DNA of 486 people infected with HIV that appear to have helped some of the patients fight off the virus and delay the onset of full-blown AIDS.

UGA study explains why anti-smoking ads backfire or succeed
Hye-Jin Paek, assistant professor at the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, found that anti-smoking ads are most effective when they convince youth that their friends are listening to the ads.

Multigigabit wireless research could soon make wired computers and peripherals obsolete
New research at the Georgia Institute of Technology could soon make that tangle of wires under desks and in data centers a thing of the past.

Pediatric ritalin use may affect developing brain, new study suggests
Use of the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Ritalin by young children may cause long-term changes in the developing brain, suggests a new study of very young rats by a research team at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

NASA researchers find satellite data can warn of famine
A NASA researcher has developed a new method to anticipate food shortages brought on by drought.

Reducing insulin signaling in the brain can prolong lifespan
A study from Children's Hospital Boston finds that reducing insulin levels in the brain boosts longevity.

MIT IDs link between brain tumor proteins
MIT researchers have identified a critical link between two proteins found in brain tumors, a discovery that could eventually help treat a form of brain cancer that kills 99 percent of patients.

Advice, devices ineffective in preventing worker back pain
Employers and regulators have pushed training programs to teach specific lifting methods, and some recommend or require the use of assistive devices such as hoists for hospital workers.

Probing biology's dark matter
Microbiologists have coaxed less than one percent of the bacterial species that inhabit natural environments into growing in culture.

Measuring the unseeable: Penn researchers probe proteins' dark energy
Penn investigators are the first to observe and measure the internal motion inside proteins, revealing how this affects their function.

Restless legs genetics on the move
Scientists from the Munich GSF Research Center for Environment and Health, the Technical University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry have finally identified sequence variants in the genome, which are more frequent in RLS patients than in the normal population.

Elsevier partners with National Natural Science Foundation of China
Elsevier today announced its partnership with the National Natural Science Foundation to publish Progress in Natural Science, a multidisciplinary academic journal co-sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Computers pass dosage test for thrombosis drugs
The largest ever study into the administration of blood thinning drugs like Warfarin has concluded that dosages calculated by computer are at least as safe and reliable as those provided by trained medical professionals.

A new method of adult stem cell growth efficacious in treatment of disorders of the cornea
A new method of adult stem cell growth, designed in the Area of Cellular Therapy of the University Clinic (University of Navarra), has demonstrated its efficacy for its capacity to grow cornea stem cells.

'Preconditioning' helps protect brain's blood vessels from stroke
Challenging brain tissue with a small noxious stimulus beforehand gives it a resilience that can lessen damage to blood vessels during a stroke, report researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

A new report, 'Where Does the Nano Go? End-of-Life Regulation of Nanotechnologies'
Please join us on July 26, 2007, for the release of the report,

Scientists a step closer to understanding how anaesthetics work in the brain
An important clue to how anaesthetics work on the human body has been provided by the discovery of a molecular feature common to both the human brain and the great pond snail nervous system, scientists say today.

Antibody-altering protein found in developing B cells
AID is an antibody-altering protein, originally thought to be made only by mature B cells and in the developing B cells of transgenic mice.

Coaching for doctor office visits helps patients ask right questions
A new review of 33 studies found that giving patients question checklists or providing in-office coaching can help them ask more questions of their health care provider and get more information that is useful -- often extending the length of the consultation as well.

U of M study identifies medication that helps people with obsessive-compulsive disorder
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that a drug originally developed to fight tuberculosis may help people with obsessive-compulsive disorder make more progress in therapy sessions.

New combination treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia increases progression-free survival
The combination treatment of fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) greatly increases progression-free survival and response rates, compared with single treatment with either fludarabine or chlorambucil alone.

Obesity found to be a risk factor for multiple myeloma
An obese person is more likely than a lean person to develop multiple myeloma, according to researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health.

New role for protein in fat cells may improve understanding of obesity and diabetes
Scientists have shown for the first time that a protein involved in the transfer of fat in the blood may also influence how fat cells store fat.

Coming soon -- Protein synthesis without amino acids?
In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Chinese researchers report convenient method that is similar to olefin polymerization and uses inexpensive imines and CO as starting materials instead of amino acids.

New study challenges NICE guidelines on adolescent depression
Should adolescents with depression be prescribed antidepressants, and if so, should they be given only with a psychological therapy, as advocated by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)?

Tiny brain, normal life
The unusual case of a man with a tiny brain caused by massive ventricular enlargement, who has led a normal life, is studied in a case report in this week's edition of the Lancet.

ESA's Earth Explorer gravity satellite on show
GOCE, ESA's first satellite dedicated to measuring the Earth's gravity field, has been presented to the press today in Turin, Italy, before being shipped to ESTEC -- the space agency's research and technology center in the Netherlands -- for final testing.

Alternative farming cleans up water
In light of growing concern over agricultural pollution, producers are looking for ways to improve their farming practices without sacrificing crop production.

Self-injury found to be common in high-school students
Nonsuicidal Self-Injury -- the deliberate, direct destruction of body tissue without conscious suicidal intent -- is a relatively common occurrence for adolescents in high school, a new study suggests.

Survey determines impact of false-positive cancer tests
According to a new study in Value in Health, women coping with the strain of being mistakenly diagnosed with breast cancer have not been adequately studied in the past.

New proteomics research promises to revolutionize biomedical discovery
In a research article that will be published in the July 20 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, a research team led by Dr.

Number of published science and engineering articles flattens, but US influence remains strong
A new National Science Foundation report finds the number of US science and engineering articles in major peer-reviewed journals flattened in the 1990s, after more than two decades of growth, but US influence in world science and technology remains strong.

Mathematical model identifies genes which battle hepatitis C
A cooperative research project between the University of Haifa and Indiana University yielded the discovery of a mathematical model which identifies genes which battle viruses.

Protein protects anti-cancer gene from chemical shutdown
A protein that is largely absent in one type of skin cancer protects an important gene in a cell's defense against harmful mutations from being silenced, researchers at the University of Texas M.

First genome-wide study of infectious disease opens new avenues for HIV treatment, vaccines
The first genome-wide association study of an infectious disease, conducted by an international group of researchers through the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology, has yielded a new understanding of why some people can suppress virus levels following HIV infection.

New treatment protocol increases survival of very young infants with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
A new treatment protocol for infants under one-year with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) has shown increased survival compared to conventional regimens.

New analysis puts cot death under scrutiny once again
An analysis published in this week's BMJ is set to re-open the debate over sudden unexpected infant death (cot death).

2 drugs better than 1 in lowering blood pressure
The combination of aliskiren and valsartan at maximum recommended doses provides significantly greater reductions in blood pressure than does monotherapy with either agent.

Prostate drug doesn't limit sexual function in most men
Men taking finasteride reported on average a slight decrease in sexual function that diminished during a seven-year study with 17,000 participants.

Study links manic depression with brain tissue loss
People with bipolar disorder suffer from accelerated brain tissue loss, which is associated with progressive decline in some areas of mental ability.

Save our reef, save our heritage
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef from the impacts of climate change, natural disasters and rising human pressures will be a key test of Australia's ability to keep our natural environment healthy and resilient.

Removing predators could offset seabird 'bycatch' losses
Removing invasive predators from island breeding colonies could save more seabirds for less cost than reductions in fishing, a study of Australia's Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) has found.

Ice Age survivors in Iceland
Scientists have discovered two species of groundwater amphipods that are found solely in Iceland.

Mucins stand guard against gut infections
Mucins are large proteins that are secreted on the surface of the gut, and while long regarded as having a role as a barrier to mucosal infection, data to support this theory have been lacking.

New book guides boomers through retirement maze
A new book co-authored by a professor at the University of Arizona guides baby boomers and their families through the often overwhelming legal and financial issues facing new retirees.

JCI table of contents: July 19, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 19, 2007, in the JCI, including:
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