Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2007
X-ray images help explain limits to insect body size
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have cast new light on why the giant insects that lived millions of years ago disappeared.

MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
A study in the Lancet could lead to a change of paradigm in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?
In an attempt to find the genomic determinants underlying alcohol and tobacco use, researchers examined 120 families (approximately 900 individuals).

Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
New research from scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center underscores the importance of preventing recurring acid reflux while also uncovering tantalizing clues on how typical acid reflux can turn potentially cancerous.

Drive-by-wire and human behavior systems key to Virginia Tech's Urban Challenge vehicle
Virginia Tech's entry in DARPA's Urban Challenge is moving forward to the qualifying rounds, thanks in part to a custom-designed drive-by-wire control system and unique navigation software that makes the vehicle's driving decisions almost human.

UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
The UK's National Physical Laboratory is at the heart of a new research project that will ensure different biometric security systems can be shown to meet the needs of today's society.

New, more direct pathways from outside the cell-to-cell nuclei discovered
A team of Brooklyn College researchers has shattered a long-held belief that no direct pathway exists between material outside of a cell and the cell nucleus.

High blood pressure, low energy -- a recipe for heart failure
Many people with long-standing high blood pressure develop heart failure.

What makes Mars magnetic?
If you could pick up a rock from the surface of Mars, then the chances are it would be magnetic.

NCAR adds resources to TeraGrid
Researchers who use the TeraGrid, the nation's most comprehensive and advanced infrastructure for open scientific research, can now leverage the computing resources of a powerful, 2048-processor BlueGene/L system at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
In the first study of how weight may affect school attendance, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University have found that overweight children are absent from school on average 20 percent more than their normal-weight peers The study of more than a thousand 4th, 5th and 6th graders also determined that body mass index is as significant a factor in determining absenteeism from school as age, race, socioeconomic status and gender, formerly the four main predictors.

Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
Researchers have found that proteins known to promote cell death are also necessary for the maturation and proliferation of immune cells.

Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Researchers report for the first time that genetic variants in mitochondria -- energy-producing structures harboring DNA that are inherited only from the mother -- are directly linked to metabolic markers for type 2 diabetes.

Stellar achievement for UK physics publisher
IOP Publishing, the UK-based publishing company owned by the Institute of Physics, is celebrating winning a contract to publish the flagship research journals of the American Astronomical Society.

Test project of patient-centered medical home model endorsed by American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians this week endorsed a test project of a patient-centered medical home.

Shenhar co-authors reinventing project management
In their new book, Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, available Aug.

National Science Board approves national action plan for 21st century stem education
The National Science Board yesterday unanimously adopted a motion to release for public comment a draft action plan to address critical 21st century needs in the nation's STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education system.

Circadian clock controls plant growth hormone
The plant growth hormone auxin is controlled by circadian rhythms within the plant, UC-Davis researchers have found.

Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
Concentrated chemicals derived from green tea dramatically boosted production of a group of key detoxification enzymes in people with low levels of these beneficial proteins, according to researchers at Arizona Cancer Center.

From microscopy to nanoscopy
Stefan Hell and Mariano Bossi at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen have developed optical 3-D far-field microscopy -- with nanoscale resolution, good signal-to-noise ratio and short exposure times using special photoswitchable fluorescence dyes.

New cause of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells discovered at Lombardi
When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis her entire life may change in the blink of an eye.

Undersea mission aids development of self-test for stress and fatigue
An undersea mission simulating the space environment is providing data for development of self tests to quickly assess stress, fatigue and cognitive fitness in preparation for performing critical mission tasks.

Abnormal fat metabolism underlies heart problems in diabetic patients
Heart disease hits people with diabetes twice as often as people without diabetes.

New textbook illuminates the close links between evolutionary and molecular biology
A new book, Evolution, combines the contemporary fields of genetics and molecular biology with traditional evolutionary theories to provide an elegant, cohesive view of biology.

New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
Surgeons may have a new patient safety tool to stop moderate surgical bleeding without some of the concerns associated with the current standard blood-clotting treatment. 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