Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 27, 2007
Infection contributes to the high rates of oropharyngeal cancers
A review finds an increasing trend in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancers, particularly among men under 45 years old, for which HPV infection is the likely cause.

Argonne scientist to give the plenary talk at Royal Society of Chemistry meeting on nanoalloys
Julius Jellinek, a senior scientist at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, will deliver the plenary talk of the Faraday Discussion Meeting 138 on Nanoalloys: From Theory to Application, to be held Sept.

Scientists identify embryonic stem cells by appearance alone
Scientist can now identify pluripotent stem cells based solely on their physical appearance.

Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
Although some people may spend part of the Labor Day weekend complaining about their bosses or about job burnout, most Americans are satisfied with their jobs, a survey found.

Conaway Lab demonstrates mechanism by which transcription factor controls gene expression
The Conaway Lab -- led by Joan Conaway, Ph.D., and Ron Conaway, Ph.D., investigators -- has published findings that shed light on the role of the much-studied transcription factor YY1 in gene expression.

Researchers detect low-energy neutrinos, probe energy production in sun's center
In collaboration with scientists from institutions in the United States and Europe, researchers from Virginia Tech have observed tell-tale signals of neutrinos emitted by thermonuclear fusion reactions that power the sun deep in its interior.

Fireproofing homes dramatically reduces spread of forest fires, scientists find
Why do some forest fires spread rapidly over large areas, destroying and damaging many homes, while others are contained with minimal damage?

Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women
A large, prospective study confirmed strong associations between current and past cigarette smoking and malignancies of the head and neck in both genders.

New cancer fighter may help ICU patients beat infections
HSP 90 inhibitors, which are finding favor in fighting cancer, may also help battle overwhelming infection in intensive care patients, researchers say.

Human testes may multiply mutations
Study in PLOS Biology says the human testes may act as mutation multipliers, increasing the odds of passing good (and sometimes bad) mutations to offspring.

Why is Apert's syndrome so common when mutation rate is so low?
The frequency of Apert syndrome mutations is 100 to 1,000 times higher than expected from average mutation rates, and it is due to positive selection in the testis increasing the frequency of germ cells carrying the defect.

Methamphetamine study suggests increased risk for HIV transmission
New findings that one in 20 North Carolina men who have sex with men reported using crystal methamphetamine during the previous month suggests increased risk for spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Cornell team creates math model for circadian rhythm
Cornell researchers hypothesize that the accepted model of circadian rhythmicity may be missing a key link, based on a mathematical model of what happens during the sleeping/waking cycle in fruit flies.

Geron Demonstrates hESC-derived cardiomyocytes improve heart function after myocardial infarction
Geron Corporation today reported its scientists and collaborators have demonstrated that human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived cardiomyocytes improve heart function when transplanted after myocardial infarction.

Statin treatment may curb Alzheimer's brain changes
People who take statin drugs may be less likely to develop the brain changes that signal Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Aug.

UK government's early years education measures yet to make an impact
A six year comparison of almost 35,000 children in England has shown that there has been no change in developmental levels of pupils entering primary school in this period, despite the introduction of several new early years' initiatives over the past decade, new research from Durham University's Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Center reveals.

Distinctive Voices at the Beckman center announces fall lecture series
Distinctive Voices @ the Beckman center announced today its exciting fall lecture series.

New Alzheimer's findings: High stress and genetic risk factor lead to increased memory decline
High stress levels may contribute to memory loss among people at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

HIV's impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research
The impact of HIV in Zimbabwe since the early 1980s is explored in new research published this week in the journal PNAS.

New study may explain Vioxx side effects
Vioxx and related pain medications were taken off the market in 2004 because they caused dangerous heart problems in some people.

Long-term increase in rainfall seen in tropics
NASA scientists have detected the first signs that tropical rainfall is on the rise with the longest and most complete data record available.

Alcoholics with cirrhosis of the liver have more brain damage than noncirrhotic alcoholics
Cirrhosis of the liver is one of the most common and serious medical complications linked to alcoholism.

Bleeding, not inflammation, is major cause of early lung infection death
Researchers believe they have discovered why a bacterial lung infection is so lethal in the early stages, and it's not what medical authorities had thought, according to research published Aug.

Alcoholics show deficits in their ability to perceive dangerous situations
Previous brain-imaging studies have suggested cognitive deficits in alcoholic patients.

Same gene protects from 1 disease, opens door to another
Botanists at Oregon State University have discovered that a single plant gene can cause resistance to one disease at the same time it produces susceptibility to a different disease -- the first time this unusual phenomenon has ever been observed in plants.

New study finds married men do less housework than live-in boyfriends
The age-old stereotype that women do more housework than men has gotten more credibility with a George Mason University study co-written by sociologist Shannon Davis.

Sukhishvili awarded NSF grant for Materials World Network project
Svetlana Sukhishvili, Associate Professor in Stevens Institute of Technology's Chemistry and Chemical Biology department, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation.

American Chemical Society's Weekly Press Pac
This issue of the American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations scheduled for the ACS' 234th national meeting in Boston.

Self-collection of specimens for HPV testing
Dr. Gina Ogilvie and colleagues investigate the feasibility of self-collection of specimens for HPV testing among women who may not make full use of cytology screening programs and are thus at increased risk of cervical cancer.

New treatment effective for most severe kind of headache
A nasal spray is safe and effective at rapidly treating cluster headaches, which are considered to be the most painful kind of headache with few treatment options, according to a study published in the Aug.

Hispanic engineering organization honors two Argonne researchers
Two researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory won coveted 2007 achievement awards from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Corporation.

CU researcher engineers sorghum that grows in poisonous soils
Aluminum toxicity in acidic soils limits crop production in as much as half the world's arable land.

Survey finds elevated rates of new asthma among WTC rescue and recovery workers
Rescue and recovery workers reported new cases of asthma at 12 times the background rate when surveyed in 2003 and 2004.

UCLA study identifies 'designer estrogen' as potential MS drug
While people with multiple sclerosis have many choices for anti-inflammatory drugs to help prevent flare-ups of their physical symptoms, no medication exists to stop MS from causing degeneration of the brain and spinal cord.

Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Story ideas from the September 2007 issue of the Journal of Lipid Research include a study on how the genetic makeup of renal transplant recipients impacts fluvastatin use; the discovery of new skin-healing chemicals and a new anti-inflammatory compound; and understanding how obese people's fat cells work.

NASA: Astronomers pioneer new method for probing exotic matter
Using European and Japanese/NASA X-ray satellites, astronomers have seen Einstein's predicted distortion of space-time around three neutron stars, and in doing so they have pioneered a groundbreaking technique for determining the properties of these ultradense objects.

U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered that treating people who have early cardiovascular abnormalities, but show no symptoms of cardiovascular disease, can slow progression and even reverse damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Banishing biofilms: loosening their grip could make food supply safer
If you could see a piece of celery that's been magnified 10,000 times, you'd know what the scientists fighting foodborne pathogens are up against, said University of Illinois microbiologist Hans Blaschek.

XMM-Newton and Suzaku help pioneer method for probing exotic matter
Astronomers using XMM-Newton and Suzaku have seen Einstein's predicted distortion of space-time and pioneered a ground-breaking technique for determining the properties of neutron stars.

Pitt's School of Medicine gets $16M for HIV structural biology center
The National Institutes of Health announced today that it is awarding the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine a $16 million, five-year grant to establish the Pittsburgh Center for HIV Protein Interactions.

Alcoholism and bad neighborhoods: a 2-way street
A bad neighborhood is known to contribute to the development and maintenance of an individual's alcohol use and alcohol-related problems.

New edition of Cecil Medicine improved to provide the best answers faster
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today introduced the latest edition of the Cecil Textbook of Medicine -- which has been in continuous publication longer than any other internal medicine textbook, and is considered one of the world's most trusted medical references.

The world's oldest bacteria
A research team has for the first time ever discovered DNA from living bacteria that are more than half a million years old.

Engineers perfecting hydrogen-generating technology
Researchers at Purdue University have further developed a technology that could represent a pollution-free energy source for a range of potential applications, from golf carts to submarines and cars to emergency portable generators.

MIT probes secret to bone's strength
New research from MIT appearing in a recent issue of Nanotechnology reveals for the first time the role of bone's atomistic structure in a toughening mechanism that incorporates several previously proposed theories.

Cells united against cancer
Sheets of highly organized epithelial cells line all the cavities and free surfaces of the body, forming barriers that control the movement of liquids and cells in the body organs.

Nanowire coating for bone implants, stents
University of Arkansas researchers develop nanowire scaffolds with applications in bone replacement and stents as well as hospital settings.

Research team finds link between zinc and macular degeneration
A team of scientists, including three researchers at George Mason University, found that the mineral zinc could play a role in the development of macular degeneration.

Abstinent alcoholics can have reduced brain activation without apparent structural damage
Heavy alcohol use can lead to structural and functional changes in the brain.

Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
University of Pennsylvania researchers have designed a nanoscale system to observe and measure how individual cells react to external forces.

Stopping statins after stroke raises risk of death, dependency
People who stopped taking cholesterol-lowering drugs after being hospitalized for a stroke are at greater risk of death or dependency within three months of the stroke, according to a study published in the Aug.

European hot spots and fires identified from space
Hot spots across Southeastern Europe Aug. 21-26 have been detected with instruments aboard ESA satellites, which have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth's surface for a decade.

Iowa State University, Great Ape Trust create world's pre-eminent collaboration for primate studies
Officials from Great Ape Trust of Iowa and Iowa State University signed a memorandum of agreement today at the trust's bonobo scientific research center to establish the world's pre-eminent collaboration for primate studies.

China's 1-child policy could backfire on its elderly
A Saint Louis University geriatrician who has studied in China predicts that the country's population control program will create a new social problem -- fewer family members to care for an aging society. 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