Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 29, 2007
Ivermectin is causing genetic selection in river blindness parasite
Recent reports of patients failing to respond to ivermectin, the standard drug for treating river blindness (onchocerciasis), have suggested the emergence of drug-resistant Onchocerca volvulus (the parasite that causes river blindness).

Amber specimen captures ancient chemical battle
It appears that chemical warfare has been around a lot longer than poison arrows, mustard gas or nerve weapons -- about 100 million years, give or take a little.

Sports medicine physicians brace for the injuries of football season
Football fever is upon the nation once again. The soaring of the pigskin signals the start of the

Mistrust rises with social diversity in US
A survey in the US has shown that greater ethnic diversity creates a level of mistrust among neighbours which hurts the community spirit.

Scientist-evangelical Alaska expedition
The historic collaboration between leading scientists and Evangelicals to protect the environment, spearheaded by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and the National Association of Evangelicals continues this week with a trip to Alaska.

Collaborative cross attracting diverse genetics experiments
Mice that are part of the Collaborative Cross project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are helping scientists around the world learn more about possible causes of drug abuse, diabetes, sleep disorders, stress and pain, kidney disease and a number of other conditions that affect millions of people.

Wagner college honors rutgers college of nursing emerita faculty member Beverly Whipple
Wagner College presented its Alumni Fellows Award to Rutgers College of Nursing emerita faculty member Beverly Whipple during its alumni association luncheon on June 2.

Riding in cars with smokers: Researchers measure secondhand smoke concentrations in automobiles
It's Labor Day weekend and you have packed the family into the car for the two-hour drive to grandma's house.

Now it's not just Spiderman that can scale the Empire State Building
Professor Nicola Pugno, engineer and physicist at Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, has formulated a hierarchy of adhesive forces that will be strong enough to suspend a person's full body weight against a wall or on a ceiling, while also being easy to detach.

Transgenic maize is more susceptible to aphids
Aphids perform better on Bt maize than on the corresponding conventional varieties.

Discovery could help stop malaria at its source -- the mosquito
Mosquitoes swarming around nearly 40 percent of the world's population will continue to spread a deadly parasitic disease -- malaria.

Inhaling nitric oxide helps transplant success
Giving tranplant patients nitric oxide gas boosts post-surgical liver function.

Press arrangements for IAEA General Conference Sept. 17 - 21 2007, Austria Centre, Vienna
Senior representatives from 144 member states of the International Atomic Energy Organization will meet at the Austria Centre in Vienna on Monday, Sept.

ZIP codes and property values predict obesity rates
Neighborhood property values predict local obesity rates better than education or incomes, according to a study from the University of Washington being published online this week by the journal Social Science and Medicine.

HIV research in sub-Saharan Africa receives major boost from Wellcome Trust
The Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, based in an area of South Africa where over one in five people are HIV infected, is to receive approximately £15 million over five years, subject to a three year review, from the Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest medical research charity.

Who will recover spontaneously from hepatitis C virus infection
An eight-year study led by Dr. Sabine Mihm from from Georg-August-Universität has investigated 67 spontaneously recovered patients and found that co-infection by hepatitis B virus is associated with a higher possibility of self recovery.

Volcanoes key to Earth's oxygen atmosphere
A switch from predominantly undersea volcanoes to a mix of undersea and terrestrial ones shifted the Earth's atmosphere from devoid of oxygen to one with free oxygen, according to geologists.

Biosensors to probe the metals menace
Researchers from CRC CARE are pioneering a world-first technology to warn people if their local water or air is contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals and metal-like substances.

Gene regulation in humans is closer than expected to simple organisms
Using a novel method developed to identify reliably functional binding motifs, researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have performed a genome-wide study of functional human transcription factor binding sites that encompasses nearly ten thousand genes and four hundred known binding motifs.

U-M researchers dispute widely held ideas about stem cells
How do adult stem cells protect themselves from accumulating genetic mutations that can lead to cancer?

Center for science writings presents: Storm World, a talk by jounalist Chris Mooney, Sept. 12
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents

Cancer researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discover what makes lymphomas tick
University of Pennsylvania researchers and their colleagues at the Wistar Institute and University of Oxford have discovered the molecular process by which the PAX5 protein, necessary for lymphocyte development, promotes the growth of common lymphomas, thereby unveiling a potential new target in the fight against cancer.

Researchers identify a role for glucose-sensing neurons in type 2 diabetes
In cases of Type 2 diabetes, the body's cells fail to appropriately regulate blood glucose levels.

Writing with pictures: toward a unifying theory of consumer response to images
A new paper by researchers from Oxford University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign argues that images in contemporary consumer culture are an emergent form of writing.

New male sling procedure helps prostate cancer survivors who suffer from urinary incontinence
Michael Yarborough, a 58-year-old business owner from Waxahachie, Texas, was fortunate.

Norwalk virus: 'Cruise ship' illness challenging and costly to hospitals, too
A review of measures taken to address a 2004 outbreak of the highly infectious Norwalk virus at the Johns Hopkins Hospital has provided the first solid documentation of expenses and efforts in the United States to stop the infection from spreading among patients, staff and visitors.

Brain's impaired ability to sense glucose might play role in type 2 diabetes
New findings from studies in mice suggest that defects in the brain's ability to respond to glucose play a role in the development of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes, and that a high-fat diet may contribute to impairing brain cells' ability to regulate glucose throughout the body.

St. Jude finds factors that accelerate resistance to targeted therapy in lymphoblastic leukemia
Results of a study by investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital provide strong evidence for why the targeted therapy drug, imatinib, or Gleevec, which has revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, is often unable to prevent relapse of a particularly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Back to School: Cramming doesn't work in the long term
Psychologists have been assessing how well various study strategies produce long-term learning, and it appears that some strategies really do work much better than others.

Images show threat the rovers face in giant Martian dust storm
The mighty Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity continue to persevere in brutal conditions, as revealed in images of the sun they are sending home.

First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old
Biologists at Harvard University have identified the ancient fossilized remains of a pollen-bearing bee as the first hint of orchids in the fossil record, a find they say suggests orchids are old enough to have co-existed with dinosaurs.

Mayo Clinic research shows estrogen protects women's brains prior to menopause
In the largest study of its kind, Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that women who had one or both ovaries removed before menopause faced an increased long-term risk of cognitive impairment or dementia, compared to women who retained their ovaries.

Report on patients' access to cancer drugs 'uses flawed methods to reached flawed conclusions'
A leading epidemiologist has attacked Swedish research that looked at inequalities in patients' access to cancer drugs across Europe and the world.

First study examines newly-licensed RN work attitudes and intentions
A study, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Nursing, provides new insight into the work experiences of newly-licensed RNs that may help reduce the turnover rate of hospital nurses.

Wiley-Blackwell announces launch of 'Microbial Biotechnology'
Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc, and the Society for Applied Microbiology announced today publication of the first articles for Microbial Biotechnology.

Media & mobility
This research seminar takes stock of media and mobility, revisiting classic questions of 'local' and 'global' communication, and raising new issues for studies of mobile and ubiquitous media.

Biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of cancer
Findings of various clinical trials and observational studies conflict over the risk of malignancy related to the use of tumor necrosis factor alpha blockers.

Rovers begin new observations on changing Martian atmosphere
Mars rover scientists have launched a new long-term study on the Martian atmosphere with the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, an instrument that was originally developed at the University of Chicago.

Is there a connection between child maltreatment and adolescent delinquency or violence?
Studies show that abused or neglected children are more likely to be arrested for delinquency and violent crimes-- both as juveniles and as adults.

You're likely to order more calories at a 'healthy' restaurant
An important new study from the Journal of Consumer Research explains the

An end to snobbery? Study finds that ordinary people have surprisingly 'good taste'
Previous studies have shown that there is a very weak correlation between experts' judgments of cultural entertainment, such as movies, and popular judgments.

'SciVees' a collaboration of SDSC and NSF, to bring science to the YouTube generation
Science is coming to the YouTube generation with the advent of

New method devised for comparing efficacy and tolerability of drugs
A new article published in Pain Practice suggests a way in which this data can be presented in an easily accessibly way, allowing experts and non-experts alike to see at a glance how different drugs compare.

New study determines when infants can think of out-of-sight objects
One of the most distinctive characteristics of humans is probably one you don't think of very often -- the capacity to learn based merely on what someone tells you.

1 in 8 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers developed post-traumatic stress disorder
One in eight rescue and recovery workers (12.4 percent) had probable post-traumatic stress disorder when they were interviewed in 2003 and 2004.

God thoughts influence your generosity: UBC study
In a study to be published in the September issue of Psychological Science journal, researchers investigated how thinking about God and notions of a higher power influenced positive social behaviour, specifically cooperation with others and generosity to strangers.

New nurses report job stress, need for better management
What keeps a newly licensed nurse on the job? Answers to that question are important to hospitals across the US, many of which are confronting serious nursing shortages.

Right-hand digits: study reveals new visual distortion effect
The amount of the discount may be less important than the numerical value of the farthest right digit, explains a new study from the Journal of Consumer Research.

UC-Riverside hydrologist to study ecological impact of climate change on mountain lakes
How does climate change affect the rate of atmospheric deposition of nutrients into mountain lakes?

Influence of sex and handedness on brain is similar in capuchin monkeys and humans
A recently published paper by associate professor of psychology and biology Kimberley A.

Genetics of imatinib resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
In the Sept. 15 issue of Genes & Development, scientists lend new insights into how an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia develops, and how sensitivity to the targeted chemotherapeutic drug, imatinib, can be diminished through interactions between tumor cells and the host microenvironment.

Greece suffers more fires in 2007 than in last decade, satellites reveal
Greece has experienced more wildfire activity this August than other European countries have over the last decade, according to data from ESA satellites.

Smoking turns on genes -- permanently
Smoking tobacco is no longer considered sexy, but it may prove a permanent turn on for some genes.

Center for Science Writings presents: The Search for Meaning in a Material World, Oct. 17
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents

Central targets may hinder wider waste management objectives
Government priorities can drive local waste partnerships towards the achievement of central targets and efficiency savings rather than wider sustainable waste management objectives, a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council shows.

NASA study will help stop stowaways to Mars
NASA clean rooms, where scientists and engineers assemble spacecraft, have joined hot springs, ice caves, and deep mines as unlikely places where scientists have discovered ultra-hardy organisms collectively known as 'extremophiles'.

Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
Scientists have found that fruit flies detect and are attracted to the taste of carbonated water, such as water found on rotting fruits containing yeast.

Flies prefer fizzy drinks
Fruit flies like a splash of soda water in their drinks, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of sexually active New York City teens use condoms, compared to 63 percent nationwide, according to a new survey of public high school students.

Researchers aim to make Internet bandwidth a global currency
Computer scientists at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues from the Netherlands, are using a novel peer-to-peer video sharing application to explore a next-generation model for safe and legal e-commerce that uses Internet bandwidth as a global currency.

Brown study finds link between depression and household mold
A groundbreaking public health study, led by Brown University epidemiologist Edmond Shenassa, has found a connection between damp, moldy homes and depression.

Supersonic 'rain' falls on newborn star
Astronomers at the University of Rochester have discovered five Earth-oceans' worth of water that has recently fallen into the planet-forming region around an extremely young, developing star.

Device helps patients survive, regain function til transplant
A new generation of implanted heart-assisting pump does very well at helping severely ill heart-failure patients survive, and thrive, until they receive a heart transplant, a new study shows.

Discovery may pave the way for a new class of diabetes drugs
A multidisciplinary team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego has determined the structure of a protein found in cells that shows potential as a target for the development of new drugs to treat diabetes.

Cannibalistic signals help mammalian embryos develop normally
A cannibalistic process called autophagy spurs dying embryonic stem cells to send

Cocaine use related to level of education achieved
According to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the decreased use of cocaine in the United States over the last 20 years mostly occurred among the highly educated, while cocaine use among non-high school graduates remained constant.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center receives $10M from the Annenberg Foundation
A $10 million gift from the Annenberg Foundation has been awarded to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which will feature the most advanced medical technology in the world.

Elsevier partners with Tissue Viability Society
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services is pleased to announce the formation of a publishing partnership with the Tissue Viability Society, an organization representing more than 1000 wound care specialists in the UK.

SNM: vital medical imaging needs to be protected
Urging House of Representatives Democrats that access to vital medical imaging needs to be protected, SNM signed a letter opposing certain provisions of Section 309 of the Children's Health and Medicare Protection Act, which was passed by the House on Aug.

NASA satellites eye coastal water quality
Researchers armed with data from two NASA satellites have invented a way to map the fleeting changes in coastal water quality from space.

The next generation: nanomagnets could replace semiconductors
Just as compact discs all but wiped out vinyl records, semiconductors could be on their way out, too.

Flaxseed shows potential to reduce hot flashes
Data from a new Mayo Clinic study suggest that dietary therapy using flaxseed can decrease hot flashes in postmenopausal women who do not take estrogen.

Neurotransmitter current not flowing through ion channels
In studying how neurotransmitters travel between cells, Cornell researchers have discovered that an electrical current thought to be present during that process does not, in fact, exist.

Removing ovaries before menopause leads to memory and movement problems
Women who have their ovaries removed before menopause are at an increased risk of developing memory problems or dementia and movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, according to two studies published Aug.

Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
With antibiotic resistance on the rise, LA BioMed researchers report in the September issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology on new clues they have uncovered in immune system molecules that defend against infection and hold hope of helping develop new anti-infectives. 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