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Science News and Current Events for October 04, 2007


Cholesterol metabolism links early- and late-onset Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have uncovered evidence strengthening the case for another potential cause of Alzheimer's.
UCLA to lead local study center in landmark government study of child health
The UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities has been selected as one of 22 new study centers for the National Children's Study, a nationwide project designed to assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on children's health in the United States.
Web search leads to award-winning collaborative work
York University's John Goodby is project leader of the European Science Foundation SONS 2 program LC-NANOP, but it was perhaps only by chance that he and his colleagues entered into a unique Europe-wide collaboration on fundamental science.
Prime Minister views innovative health technology at Imperial College London
The benefits of applying technological know how to patient care were demonstrated by Prime Minister Gordon Brown at Imperial College London yesterday.
Scientists 'weigh' tiny galaxy halfway across universe
A tiny galaxy, nearly halfway across the universe, the smallest in size and mass known to exist at that distance, has been identified by an international team of scientists led by two from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
UF researchers test stem cell therapy for heart patients
University of Florida doctors treated the first patient in a new study to test whether a person's own stem cells can be used to restore blood flow to the heart by prompting new blood vessels to grow.
Human embryonic stem cells remain embryonic because of epigenetic factors
A human embryonic stem cell is reined in -- prevented from giving up its unique characteristics of self-renewal and pluripotency -- by the presence of a protein modification that stifles genes that would prematurely instruct the cell to develop into specialized tissue.
Negativity is contagious, study finds
Though we may not care to admit it, what other people think about something can affect what we think about it.
Hybrid approach to solar power brings rewards
SONS 2 scientist Dr. Saif Haque of Imperial College London, is to receive the Royal Society of Chemistry's Edward Harrison Memorial Prize for his research on developing solar cells based on self-organizing organic materials systems.
US launch of international consultation for new 'responsible nanocode'
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies will host the US launch of an international consultation on a new Code for responsible nanotechnology aimed principally at businesses and research organizations.
American Cancer Society awards research grants to 109 investigators at 77 institutions nationwide
The American Cancer Society, the largest nongovernment, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded 109 national research and training grants totaling more than $52.6 million in the first of two grant cycles for 2008.
$1.2M grant to further geriatric mental health nursing
A four-year $1.2 million grant has been awarded to three Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, including the center in the University of Iowa College of Nursing.
Wai Wai choose conservation economy for traditional Amazon territory
Three years after gaining formal title to their traditional territory in the northern Amazon, the Wai Wai people of Guyana have achieved another milestone when the region was declared the nation's first Community Owned Conservation Area.
When taking a long time is seen as a good thing
Consumers often use the length of time a service takes as a measure of its quality.
Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
Rsearchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research on the Cornell campus have identified how plants signal that they have been attacked in order to trigger a plantwide resistance.
The industrial space age
Writing in the October issue of Inderscience publication, International Journal of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Rasmus Karlsson, a researcher at the University of Lund, Sweden, suggests that the industrialization of space could help solve environmental problems here on earth.
ResearchChannel partners with NSF
The National Science Foundation announced today it will partner with ResearchChannel to develop programs with science themes for national and international distribution via cable television, the Internet and other media.
U-M research: New plastic is strong as steel, transparent
By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that's as strong as steel, but lighter and transparent.
Space technology harnessed to search out TB
Technology developed for the Beagle 2 and Rosetta space missions could soon be harnessed to provide a cost-effective, rapid and accurate tool for diagnosing TB.
Brown researchers make major signal transduction discovery
How cells sense and respond to chemical messages -- a process known as signal transduction -- is a fundamental force in biology, controlling key processes such as cell growth and immune response.
Lesser of two evils: When do we prefer to get rid of things?
The theory of loss aversion is used in many contexts to explain why potential loss has a greater mitigating influence on behavior than potential gain.
How pitching changes little leaguers' shoulders
While shoulder changes can allow pitches to go faster, too much of a good thing can be bad for growing kids.
Argonne researcher studies what makes quantum dots blink
In order to learn more about the origins of quantum dot blinking, researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology have developed a method to characterize it on faster time scales than have previously been accessed.
UGA study: Youth exposed to smokeless tobacco ads despite settlement
A 1998 settlement designed to limit the marketing of smokeless tobacco to youth hasn't been effective, according to a new University of Georgia study published in the early online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Men with chronic heart failure can have active sex lives
Although medication can help extend the lives of men with chronic heart failure, several factors associated with this disease can interfere with a person's ability to engage in and enjoy sexual activities.
Researchers identify key step bird flu virus takes to spread readily in humans
Since it first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997, the H5N1 avian flu virus has been slowly evolving into a pathogen better equipped to infect humans.
Safer nicotine products could bring down the massive health burden of smoking
More research is needed to determine the feasibility of safer nicotine products, such as medicinal nicotine and low hazard smokeless tobacco, replacing smoking tobacco and thereby decreasing the massive burden of ill-health and early deaths caused by smoking, particularly amongst the most disadvantaged in society.
20th ECNP Congress 2007, Oct. 13-17, Vienna, Austria
The ECNP Congress represents the largest high scientific standard meeting on psychopharmacology and mental disorders in Europe.
ORNL's SensorPedia targets national security mission
SensorPedia, a writeable Web site in development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, solves a huge problem by giving emergency responders and decision-makers access to data from diverse sensor networks in near real time.
Penn State, Chevron launch energy alliance
Penn State's expanded initiative in energy sciences and engineering is launching a major research alliance with one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Chevron Energy Technology Co., to research coal conversion technologies.
Simons Foundation awards Emory scientists $3M for autism gene research
The Simons Foundation has awarded scientists at Emory University School of Medicine a three-year grant of more than $3 million to uncover genes on the X chromosome that may contribute to the development of autism.
Salmonid hatcheries cause 'stunning' loss of reproduction
The rearing of steelhead trout in hatcheries causes a dramatic and unexpectedly fast drop in their ability to reproduce in the wild, a new Oregon State University study shows, and raises serious questions about the wisdom of historic hatchery practices.
Zinc supplementation does not significantly affect child mortality in Nepal
Zinc supplementation in zinc-deficient children in Nepal has no significant effect on their overall mortality.
Simplest circadian clocks operate via orderly phosphate transfers
Researchers at Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found that a simple circadian clock found in some bacteria operates by the rhythmic addition and subtraction of phosphate groups at two key locations on a single protein.
CHF to present 2nd Roy G. Neville Prize to Michael E. Gordin
The Chemical Heritage Foundation is pleased to honor Michael Gordin's
Majority of Americans want local action on global warming, says poll
Nearly three-quarters of Americans are willing to pay more in taxes and other expenses to support local government-led initiatives designed to reduce global warming, according to a first-of-its kind survey conducted by GfK Public Affairs and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
$4 million nursing grant focuses on at-risk premature infants
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has received a $4.1 million federal grant to develop ways to improve the early growth and development of premature infants who have two or more social-environmental risks such as poverty or minority status.
UGA vet school receives $1.18 million NIH grant for rabies vaccine investigations
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine a $1.18 million grant to develop rabies virus vaccines.
Bilberry extract -- can it help prevent certain cancers?
Cancer researchers are investigating whether extracts of bilberries can aid cancer prevention.
Default options should be used to improve healthcare
Anyone who has ever tried to set up an internet account or wants to make a purchase on a website, has experienced the 'default option,' an event or condition that will be set in place if no alternative is actively chosen.
Starting university may be hazardous to your health: study
Moving away from home and adapting to a new social environment are just two of the many challenges that new students face as they enter university.
What emotional memories are made of
Both extensive psychological research and personal experiences confirm that events that happen during heightened states of emotion such as fear, anger and joy are far more memorable than less dramatic occurrences.
Deficiency of immune system 'peacekeeper' pinpointed in mice as cause of ulcerative colitis
In a series of mouse experiments, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have pinpointed a specific immune deficiency as the likely fundamental cause of ulcerative colitis, a chronic, sometimes severe inflammatory disease of the colon or large intestine that afflicts half a million Americans.
New prostate cancer research findings
The 2007 Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat will feature new studies by the world's leading researchers in prostate cancer.
Living fossils have hot sex
University of Utah scientists discovered a strange reproductive method in primitive cycad plants: The plants heat up and emit a toxic odor to drive pollen-covered insects out of male cycad cones, and then use a milder odor to draw the bugs into female cones so the plants are pollinated.
Hydrothermal vents: Hot spots of microbial diversity
Thousands of new kinds of marine microbes have been discovered at two deep-sea hydrothermal vents off the Oregon coast by scientists at the MBL and University of Washington's Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean.
Daytime and nighttime blood pressure are both vital prognostic indicators
Both daytime and nighttime blood pressure are vital prognostic indicators, with the value of each dependent on the outcome being measured.
Unveiling the structure of microcrystals
Microcrystals take the form of tiny grains resembling powder, which is extremely difficult to study.
UD hosts conference on knowledge-based partnerships Nov. 2
Chad Holliday, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont, and Abby Joseph Cohen, partner and chief US investment strategist with Goldman Sachs & Co., will be featured speakers at a University of Delaware conference, 'Creating Knowledge-Based Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities,' to be held Friday, Nov.
Microfossils disclose geologic history of eastern California
The Bird Spring Shelf in southeastern California and basins to the west reveal a complex history of late Paleozoic sedimentation, sea-level changes and deformation along the western North American continental margin.
Scripps research scientists develop innovative dual action anthrax vaccine-antitoxin combination
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a new and highly effective agent that provides protection against anthrax by combining a fast-acting anthrax toxin inhibitor with a vaccine in a single compound.
Double cardiovascular benefit for people with chronic kidney disease
New research, published today in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology by the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, has found that lowering blood pressure protects stroke victims with chronic kidney disease from further strokes or heart attacks.
Nurses play a key role in police custody suites, complementing the traditional role of doctors
Using on-call custody nurses to assess and treat people detained by the police is taking the pressure off specially trained family doctors who carry out the duties in addition to their primary care role.
Geologists recover rocks yielding unprecedented insights into San Andreas Fault
For the first time, geologists have extracted intact rock samples from 2 miles beneath the surface of the San Andreas Fault, the infamous rupture that runs 800 miles along the length of California.
UF researchers devise way to calculate rates of evolution
Writing online this week in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, Florida and California scientists link the evolution of proteins -- the organic compounds that determine the structure and function of living things -- to a species' metabolic rate.
Media invited to '8 years of Chandra' symposium
Members of the media are invited to the
Thalidomide improves survival of elderly with multiple myeloma when added to chemotherapy regimen
The addition of thalidomide to the standard combination chemotherapy treatment of melphalan plus prednisone for elderly patients with multiple myeloma significantly improves survival.
Can thinking about shopping change the route you take?
Prior research has shown that exposure to business-related objects makes people act more competitively, even though they do not realize it.
How Candida albicans transforms from its normally benign form into life-threatening form
Singapore researchers have discovered new molecular mechanisms that provide a more detailed understanding of how the normally benign Dr.
Medimmune announces phase 2 safety data for anti-RSV antibody and national RSV surveillance results
MedImmune, Inc. today announced two important studies being presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America Annual Meeting regarding respiratory syncytial virus.
Entomological Society of America recognizes 2007 fellows and honorary members
The honorees will be recognized during the ESA Annual Meeting, which will be held from Dec.
Kids still not drinking enough milk
American children are drinking too little milk and what they are consuming is too high in fat, according to a Penn State study.
Giant Magellan telescope site selected
The Giant Magellan Telescope Consortium announces that the GMT will be constructed at Cerro Las Campanas, Chile.
How emotionally charged events leave their mark on memory
Researchers have uncovered new evidence in mice that may explain how emotionally charged situations can leave such a powerful mark on our memories.
UMass Medical School awarded National Children's Study contract
The University of Massachusetts Medical School was awarded a competitive contract to participate in the landmark National Children's Study, the largest study to be conducted in the country to assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and human health.
In birds, expecting to mate leads to higher fertilization rates
A new study shows that species learn to adapt to their surroundings in order to increase their
NIBIB invests in quantum research
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the award of more than $12 million in grants to support research and development of potentially high-impact, innovative technologies to advance health care.
50 years of space
Fifty years ago today, on the night of Oct. 4, the first
ORNL 'resilience' plan to help Tennessee, Mississippi and South Carolina communities beat disaster
A new Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiative could help avert disasters in Tennessee, Mississippi and South Carolina and also lead to more information about climate change.
Evidence of a relationship between swimming babies and infections
Scientists of the GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health found indications for an association between attendance of swimming pools in the first year of life and the frequency of infections.
Researchers identify genes that increase rheumatoid arthritis risk
Researchers in the United States and Sweden have identified a genetic region associated with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic and debilitating inflammatory disease of the joints that affects an estimated 2.1 million Americans.
Discovery offers hope of halting Amyotrophoic Lateral Sclerosis progression
Scientists have discovered a causal link between the gene for a small protein involved in the formation of blood vessels and the development of some forms of Amyotrophoic Lateral Sclerosis.
New telomere discovery could help explain why cancer cells never stop dividing
A group working at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in collaboration with the University of Pavia has discovered that telomeres, the repeated DNA-protein complexes at the end of chromosomes that progressively shorten every time a cell divides, also contain RNA.

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