Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2007
WHO EURO region ministerial forum on TB must reach out beyond borders of Europe
The WHO EURO region's Ministerial Forum on tuberculosis on Oct.

Brightness and darkness as perceptual dimensions
The researchers' 2-D model generalizes to the chromatic dimensions of color perception, indicating that redness and greenness (blueness and yellowness) form perceptual dimensions.

2007 George Bush China-US Relations Conference
The 2007 George Bush China-US Relations Conference: Development, Energy and Security is the third in a series of forums bringing together prominent governmental, business, and academic leaders from the two nations to promote, strengthen and expand academic and business collaborations between the two countries.

Transgenics transformed
A new method of constructing artificial plant chromosomes from small rings of naturally occurring plant DNA can be used to transport multiple genes at once into embryonic plants where they are expressed, duplicated as plant cells divide, and passed on to the next generation -- a long-term goal for those interested in improving agricultural productivity.

Researchers studying how singing bats communicate
Bats are the most vocal mammals other than humans, and understanding how they communicate during their nocturnal outings could lead to better treatments for human speech disorders, say researchers at Texas A&M University.

Stress: Brain yields clues about why some succumb while others prevail
The reason some people don't get post-traumatic stress disorder or depression from chronic stress, while others do, may lie in specific molecular differences in the brain.

St. Jude identifies the specific cell that causes eye cancer, disproving long-held theory
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have identified the cell that gives rise to the eye cancer retinoblastoma, disproving a long-standing principle of nerve growth and development.

Hungry microbes share out the carbon in the roots of plants
Sugars made by plants are rapidly used by microbes living in their roots, according to new research at the University of York, creating a short cut in the carbon cycle that is vital to life on earth.

Researchers underscore limitations of genetic ancestry tests
Although many people rely on commercially available genetic tests for insights into their ancestry, the tests have significant limitations according to Deborah Bolnick, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Meeting real-world climate information needs of business, government
Can America really cope with inevitable climate change? How will different businesses -- from transportation, forestry and fisheries to insurance, construction and tourism -- be affected by climate change?

UTMB researchers to be honored at 'Oscars of invention'
Two University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers who pioneered the development of an artificial immune system that mimics that of the human body and will allow researchers to speed the development of vaccines are being honored tonight at a showcase known as 'the Oscars of invention' held by R&D Magazine at Chicago's Navy Pier.

Ability to handle stress, depression linked to variations in brain structure and function
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in mice that the ability or inability to cope with stress is linked to specific differences in the way brain cells communicate with each other.

When less is more
A new study found that, on average, European-Americans claim to be happy in general -- more happy than Asian-Americans or Koreans or Japanese -- but are more easily made less happy by negative events, and recover at a slower rate from negative events, than their counterparts in Asia or with an Asian ancestry.

First IEEE-USA Innovation Forum coming to Washington area in November
IEEE-USA will host its first Innovation Forum at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, Va., on Nov.

Science earns top honor from Spain's Crown Prince
On Oct. 26, 2007, the journal Science will receive one of the world's most prestigious awards from Spain's Crown Prince, recognizing excellence in science communications.

Genetic ancestral testing cannot deliver on its promise, study warns
For amateur genealogists and Americans searching for their roots, the prospect of tracking one's DNA to a specific country, region or tribe with a take-home kit is highly alluring.

Congressional failure to override SCHIP veto 'saddens' physicians
Internal medicine physicians and medical students today said they were deeply saddened that Congress did not override the presidential veto of the bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

West Nile virus' spread through nerve cells linked to serious complication
Scientists believe they have found an explanation for a puzzling and serious complication of West Nile virus infection.

Key found to moonlight romance
An international team of Australian and Israeli researchers has discovered what could be the aphrodisiac for the biggest moonlight sex event on Earth.

How 1 bacteria colonizes the gut and causes food poisoning
Food poisoning caused by the bacteria enterohemorrhagic Eschericia coli O157:H7A results in severe abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea.

Research for a better old age
The New Dynamics of Aging Program, a collaboration between five of the UK's research councils -- the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Medical Research Council -- has announced the second round of successful applications to be funded under the program.

European drug regulations need to change, say experts
European drug regulations need changing to ensure they meet the needs of patients and doctors, argue experts in this week's BMJ.

A$4.4 million for clever clothing
Imagine being able to use electronic devices by simply plugging them in to your clothing.

£1 million donation for burns research in Wales
A UK awarding body associated with hairdressing and beauty therapy is donating £1 million to support vital research at a major UK Centre for Burns Research based at Cardiff University and Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

Alaska graduate program in sustainability receives $3.2 million award
Graduate students and scientists of the Resilience and Adaptation Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks received a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to address questions of social-ecological resilience, adaptation and sustainability.

AIAA to present awards at Digital Avionics Systems Conference
Andrew Zeitlin, senior principal engineer at the MITRE Center for Advanced Aviation System Development in McLean, Va., will receive the AIAA 2007 Dr.

Mice offer clues to the roots of human resilience
When faced with adversity, some people succumb to debilitating psychological diseases including posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, while others are able to remain remarkably optimistic.

Research approved for Hawaiian military training area
The Strategic Environmental Research Development Program scientific advisory board has approved a $1.7 million proposal to study ways to restore tropical dry forests where military training is conducted in Hawaii and other Pacific islands.

To maintain national security, US policies should continue to promote open exchange of research
To strengthen the essential role that science and technology play in maintaining national and economic security, the US should ensure the open exchange of unclassified research despite the small risk that it could be misused for harm by terrorists or rogue nations, says a new report by the National Research Council.

New report: private/public insurance mix is most practical way to achieve universal coverage
Health insurance reform plans that build on a mix of private and public health insurance, where costs are shared among government, employers, and enrollees would have great potential to move the system to high performance and would be the most practical to implement according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, a diverse group of leading health policy experts.

Drug combination might offer hope for patients deadly brain tumors
Brain cancer patients with the poorest prognosis -- those with a type of deadly tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme -- may survive longer with a drug that chokes off a tumor's blood supply.

Rutgers biomaterial debuts in clinical trials of new stent
A revolutionary, new biomaterial, developed at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials at Rutgers University, has moved from the lab bench to field testing in record time.

JCI table of contents: Oct. 18, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.

Toxic releases down from North American industry leaders, increasing from other facilities
The latest Taking Stock report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation reveals a continued decline in releases of toxic chemicals to the environment -- 15 percent for the US and Canada from 1998 to 2004 -- driven by a group of industrial facilities that are the largest generators of emissions.

New data on hormone therapy must lead to re-evaluation of official guidelines
On World Menopause Day, the International Menopause Society calls upon health authorities to re-evaluate the new age-related data on hormone therapy and review their recommendations accordingly, with an emphasis on women below 60, for whom the safety profile of HT is favorable and should not preclude women from using HT when appropriate.

Mayo Clinic clarifies diagnosis for serious blood vessel disease of brain and spinal cord
Mayo Clinic has clarified the methods of diagnosis and optimal management of a rare and little-understood blood vessel disease of the brain and spinal cord that often leads to stroke or death.

Effectiveness of most PTSD therapies is uncertain
While several drugs and psychotherapies are used to treat PTSD, many of the studies concerning their effectiveness have problems; as a result, they do not provide a clear picture of what works and what doesn't, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Scientists find how amber becomes death trap for watery creatures
Shiny amber jewelry and a mucky Florida swamp have given scientists a window into an ancient ecosystem that could be anywhere from 15 million to 130 million years old.

Cold colony vulnerable to environmental challenge
Owners of the Antarctic territories may be ill-prepared to face a major environmental challenge to the continent, according to an academic from Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Massive reanalysis of genome data solves case of the lethal genes
Sifting through the massive backlog of microbial genome sequences from the public databases the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute identified genes that kill the bacteria employed in the sequencing process and throw a microbial wrench in the works.

Let's talk -- new paradigms in the research of the biomolecular composition of water
Do-Coop Technologies Ltd, a privately held corporation involved in the development of water nanotechnology, is pleased to attend the upcoming Second Annual Conference on the Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Water to be held on the Oct.

Influenza spreads readily in winter conditions
The findings implicate that low relative humidities produced by indoor heating and winter temperatures favor the spread of influenza.

Neandertals, humans share key changes to 'language gene'
A new study published online on Oct. 18 in Current Biology reveals that adaptive changes in a human gene involved in speech and language were shared by our closest extinct relatives, the Neandertals.

Ultraviolet light helps to secure water supply
A major public health issue and economic problem has been addressed in experiments carried out by researchers from the University Denis Diderot in Paris, and the VEOLIA Research Center in Maisons-Laffitte.

Immune cells fighting chronic infections become progressively 'exhausted,' ineffective
A new study of immune cells battling a chronic viral infection shows that the cells, called T cells, become exhausted by the fight in specific ways, undergoing profound changes that make them progressively less effective over time.

Early intervention dramatically improves outcomes for new dialysis patients
A program of education, close medical follow-up and self-empowerment for patients with end-stage renal disease newly starting dialysis, reduces complications and improves outcomes -- including significant reductions in mortality and hospitalization rates, reports a study in the November Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Asthma symptoms reduced by interleukin inhibition treatment pitrakinra
Targeted treatment with the drug pitrakinra to inhibit interleukins-4 and -13 in the lung could substantially diminish the symptoms of asthma.

BioMed Central launches Biology Image Library
BioMed Central today announced the launch of Biology Image Library, an online resource that provides access to over 11,000 carefully selected biology-related images.

Clinical trial evaluating brain cancer vaccine is underway at NYU
A clinical trial evaluating a brain cancer vaccine in patients with newly diagnosed brain cancer has begun at NYU Medical Center.

Random drug testing not reliable in keeping teen athletes from using
Random drug and alcohol testing does not reliably keep student-athletes from using.

Internists endorse 2007-08 adult immunization schedule and publish in Annals of Internal Medicine
The American College of Physicians endorses the US Centers for Disease Control's adult immunization schedule for 2007-2008 and publishes the recommendations on the Web site of its flagship journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, on Oct.

Enzyme synergy shown to perpetuate sleeping sickness
The pathogenesis of the parasite African trypanosome (T. brucei) has been linked to a key protein switch, detailed in a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Iowa City, led by Dr.

Elephants tell human friends from foes by scent and clothing color
Elephants are remarkably perceptive when it comes to recognizing specific ethnic groups of people that vary in the degree of danger they are likely to pose, reveals a new study published online on Oct.

Sidestepping cancer's chaperone
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have defined a method to target and kill cancer's 'chaperone' -- a protein that promotes tumor cell stability and survival -- without damaging healthy cells nearby.

Services for patients with BPD need to be improved say psychiatric nurses
Eighty percent of psychiatirc nurses believe people with borderline personality disorder -- a serious mental health illness that affects 1 in 50 adults -- receive inadequate care.

Are women at greater risk from angioplasty?
Research will be reported at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, that demonstrates that early intervention saves lives in women who have a heart attack or unstable chest pain.

What's been causing your knee to ache? Smurfs!
A new clinical trial seeks to predict who is most likely to experience osteoarthritis, and to test whether an experimental treatment can prevent it altogether.

The politics of the playground: lack of athletic skill often means loneliness and peer rejection
A new Canadian study looking at the connections between athletic skill and social acceptance among school children has found that kids place a great deal of value on athletic ability, and youngsters deemed unskilled by their peers often experience sadness, isolation and social rejection at school.

Help at hand for people frightened by new technology
A project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council on a South London housing estate has developed ways of teaching people the skills they need to make the most of today's information technology.

Exposure to sunlight may decrease risk of advanced breast cancer by half
A research team from the Northern California Cancer Center, the University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University School of Medicine has found that increased exposure to sunlight -- which increases levels of vitamin D in the body -- may decrease the risk of advanced breast cancer.

Sticky mussels inspire biomedical engineer yet again
Mussels are well known for sticking to virtually all inorganic and organic surfaces and doing so with amazing tenacity.

New treatment option for anemia may improve quality of life for severe kidney disease patients
The use of an anti-anemia drug as infrequently as once a month to boost haemoglobin concentrations among people with severe kidney disease could result in improved quality of life and simplified anemia management compared with conventional therapy for treating anaemia, conclude authors of a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Immune cells promote blood vessel formation in mouse endometriosis
New research in vascular biology may point the way to treating endometriosis nonsurgically -- by inhibiting angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) so that lesions remain small and harmless.

Schools not sustaining mental health aid to children displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Despite strong initial efforts to support the mental health needs of students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a new study finds many schools have not been able to fulfill students' mental health needs over the long term.

Cross-species transplant in rhesus macaques is step toward diabetes cure for humans
With an eye on curing diabetes, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Consumer demand flavors food import safety issues
An ever-changing US consumer who enjoys the convenience of ready-to-eat produce and seasonable fruits during the dead of winter has brought new challenges to food import safety, experts said Oct.

What next for the NHS?
Improving the fairness, responsiveness, safety, and effectiveness of the care provided by the UK National Health Service in England is a continuous process with no quick fix, concludes Lord Ara Darzi, author of a comment in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Computer solution to delivery problem
With the gift-giving season almost upon us and increasing concerns about the environmental effects of all those deliveries and pickups, it is timely that researchers should turn their attention to the so-called 'Traveling Salesman Problem.' Writing in a forthcoming issue of the Inderscience publication the International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, researchers suggest a new approach to cutting journey times of courier services everywhere.

Fears about complications shouldn't drive antibiotic prescribing
Antibiotics are not justified to reduce the risk of complications after upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, or ear infection, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

Spinal cord injury expert to be honored by research foundation
Dr. Wise Young, the Richard H. Shindell Professor of Neuroscience at Rutgers University and founding director of Rutgers' W.M.

Focus on vision: Pioneer in 'chaos theory' to talk at UH about human, animal eyes
What can we learn from the way animals see? Quite a bit, according to mathematical physicist and chaos theory pioneer Mitchell J.

Evidence of same-sex mating in nature: the story of Cryptococcus neoformans
The study provides the first evidence of naturally occurring same-sex mating, and sheds light on the genetic and environmental factors that play important roles in the evolution of the current population structure of this pathogenic fungus.

Brain measurements could lead to better devices to move injured or artificial limbs
Neuroscientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a novel approach for measuring and deciphering brain activity that holds out promise of providing improved movements of natural or artificial limbs by those who have been injured or paralyzed.

New links in the cystic fibrosis chain uncover potential therapeutics
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by mutations in the CFTR gene.
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