Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 23, 2007
St. Bernard study casts doubt on creationism
The St. Bernard dog -- named after the 11th century priest Bernard of Menthon -- may have ironically challenged the theory of creationism, say scientists.

2007 Michael Young Prize winners announced
Elizabeth Pellicano and Asi Sharabi have today been announced as the joint winners of the 2007 Michael Young Prize, sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Young Foundation.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
In this issue:

Solar telescope reaches 120,000 feet on jumbo-jet-sized balloon
NCAR and its research partners have successfully launched a solar telescope to an altitude of 120,000 feet, borne by a balloon larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

Orexigen: Laboratory studies show Contrave acts on specific brain pathways to reduce food intake
Laboratory studies show the combination of bupropion and naltrexone (the components of Contrave) acts in a part of the brain where food reward pathways are located and resulted in a 95 percent reduction in food intake in obese mice.

ERS-2 data vital for maritime security
Data from ERS-2, ESA's veteran spacecraft, is experiencing an increasing demand as the 12-year-old mission's products and services are playing a vital role in the initial activities for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, such as the MARitime Security Service project which addresses the European concern of illegal marine trafficking.

Improving Europe's image
The European Science Foundation calls for greater collaboration across Europe on research in medical imaging.

Infrared imaging for sleep apnea diagnosis shows promise
New research shows that remote infrared imaging can monitor airflow and accurately detect abnormalities during sleep, without ever coming in contact with the patient.

MSU researcher helps develop computer game for Ugandan children recovering from cerebral malaria
The computer program Captain's Log ­- originally used with individuals diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain injuries or learning disabilities -- is being adapted to rehabilitate Ugandan children who are survivors of cerebral malaria.

Age increases chance of success as two-timer
The coal tit is among the top ten two-timers worldwide.

Massive California fires consistent with climate change
The catastrophic fires that are sweeping Southern California are consistent with what climate change models have been predicting for years, experts say, and they may be just a prelude to many more such events in the future -- as vegetation grows heavier than usual and then ignites during prolonged drought periods.

Baylor College of Medicine increases fleet of Roche Genome Sequencer FLX Systems to 10 instruments
The Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine boosted its sequencing capabilities with an agreement to acquire seven additional Genome Sequencer FLX Systems from 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company.

Advances in drug screening: building a better haystack for the needles of tomorrow
With the discovery of suitable molecular targets -- cellular molecules along pathways crucial for sustaining the life of cancer cells -- comes the perplexing dilemma of where to find the next therapeutics that will bind to and disable those targets.

NIAID funds $51M contract to create comprehensive model of immune responses
A team of scientists is expanding efforts to develop a detailed picture of immune system function with a new $51 million, five-year contract from NIAID, part of NIH.

Yale chemist receives NIH Young Investigator Award for antibody targeting
David Spiegel, assistant professor of organic chemistry at Yale, has received a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award that will support his work designing a

From GM farm animals to embryonic stem cell research
'Genomics and Society: Today's Answers, Tomorrow's Questions' -- taking place in London on Oct.

Launch countdown for Discovery
The countdown to launch of Space Shuttle Discovery continues at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Stellar forensics with striking new image from Chandra
A spectacular new image shows how complex a star's afterlife can be.

Study: cannabis a double-edged sword
A new neurobiological study conducted by McGill University researchers has found that a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is an effective anti-depressant at low doses.

Cancer care providers need to proactively address patients' psychological and social needs
Cancer care that focuses solely on eradicating tumors without addressing the patient's general well-being can increase patients' suffering, may compromise their ability to follow through on treatment, and falls short of achieving quality care, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Optical scientist honored for understanding and improving vision
David R. Williams, William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and director of the University of Rochester's Center for Visual Science, has won the 2007 Alfred W.

Rutgers College of Nursing conference speaker to discuss ebola and Marburg viruses Nov. 15
Jerry P. Jaax, associate president for research compliance, Kansas State University, will speak about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases: ebola and Marburg viruses at the Fourth Annual Conference On Emerging Infectious Diseases sponsored by the Nursing Center for Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness in collaboration with the Center for Professional Development at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

New ETH Zurich article published in scientific journal 'Nature'
Could the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rise more drastically than hitherto assumed?

QUT company toasts successful stock market float
Queensland University of Technology's medical device start-up company, ImpediMed Limited, has listed on the Australian Securities Exchange with one of the most successful technology stock market floats this year.

More on mate tea: lower cholesterol and an international agreement
When a study in her lab showed that mate tea drinkers saw a significant increase in the activity of an enzyme that raises HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol, University of Illinois scientist Elvira de Mejia headed for Argentina where mate tea has been used medicinally for centuries.

Nuclear power worldwide: status and outlook
Nuclear power's prominence as a major energy source will continue over the next several decades, according to new projections made by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has just published a new report,

Critically endangered Amur leopard captured
A rare Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), one of only an estimated 30 left in the wild has been captured and health-checked by experts from a consortium of conservation organizations, before being released.

Yale climate scientist honored by Packard Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation recently awarded Alexey Fedorov, Yale assistant professor of geology and geophysics, a 2007 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering for his research on large-scale interactions between tropical oceans and the atmosphere.

Clinical studies in the pipeline: the therapies of tomorrow in trials today
Studies presented at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics demonstrate the flexibility of targeted therapy techniques, where new drugs can be developed and tested in human trials more quickly and safely than ever before.

Religion and healthcare should mix, MU study says
Research shows that religion and spirituality are linked to positive physical and mental health; however, most studies have focused on people with life-threatening diseases.

First-of-its-kind grant fosters research partnership between US and Korea
A polymer chemist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to support a partnership between American and Korean researchers.

An accurate method for preoperative diagnosis of pancreatic solid pseudopapillary tumor
Solid pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas is a very rare pancreatic tumor with a reported frequency of less than 1 percent of all pancreatic diseases.

Mayo Clinic reports possible new therapy for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer
Mayo Clinic today reported promising interim results from a Phase II trial of a new combination therapy for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer that is resistant to platinum therapy.

Experimental cancer pharmaceuticals under trial
Advances in drug development have enabled scientists to attack new and unconventional cancer targets, leading to better treatments for cancer patients with fewer unwanted side effects.

Physical therapy in ICU can reduce hospital stays
The results of the first study to show the effectiveness of early physical therapy in a medical intensive care unit are being presented today (Oct.

3 out of 4 hospital patients suffer from malnutrition regardless of their pathology
A study conducted in the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology at the University of Granada has found that, although hospitals have resources to prevent malnutrition, the pathology itself and the inappropriate use of hospital resources cause patients to be undernourished.

European Commission joins government networks to promote new privacy technologies
Push for technology industry to give users more control over use of their data.

ESA Astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Node 2 module head for the ISS
Paolo Nespoli set off on his way to the International Space Station earlier this evening on board NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery.

Platinum-rich shell, platinum-poor core
At the University of Houston, Texas, USA, a team led by Peter Strasser has developed a new class of electrocatalyst that could help to improve the capacity of fuel cells.

Exercise and psychological counseling could ease cancer-related fatigue
Cancer patients suffering from symptoms of fatigue might find some relief through regular exercise and psychological counseling to deal with stress, according to a new review.

'Twinkle after effect' can help retinal patients detect vision loss quickly and cheaply
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have discovered a simple and inexpensive way for patients with retinal and other eye disease to keep track of changes in their vision loss.

Firing clay in unvented kilns may be a source of exposure to dioxins
Firing clay in unvented kilns could be a significant source of dioxins in people exposed regularly and over long periods, a new study suggests.

ASU researchers improve memory devices using nanotech
Arizona State University's Center for Applied Nanoionics has a new take on old memory, one that promises to boost the performance, capacity and battery life of consumer electronics from digital cameras to laptops.

Is there any alternative to control multisteps of ulcers?
Ulcers are a worldwide challenging disease, and researchers have long been seeking effective antiulcer alternatives.

Penn researchers pinpoint the brain waves that distinguish false memories from real ones
For the first time, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are able to pinpoint brain waves that distinguish true from false memories, providing a better understanding of how memory works and creating a new strategy to help epilepsy patients retain cognitive function.

New population of Iberian lynx raises hope, says World Wildlife Fund
Spanish authorities have announced they have discovered a previously unknown population of Iberian lynx, triggering hope for one of the world's most endangered cat species, said World Wildlife Fund today.

Bus scheduling algorithm picks up the slack
A prizewinning paper by a USC Viterbi School engineer elegantly solves a basic transit scheduling problem, potentially meaning shorter waits and faster trips for riders.

2 carotid artery stenting studies show results comparable to AHA guidelines
Two carotid stenting trials examining patient outcomes demonstrated results that are comparable to guidelines established by the American Heart Association for patients treated with carotid artery surgery.

Legionnaire's bacterial proteins work together to survive
Proteins in the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease work together to survive.

Largest ever Alzheimer's gene study underway
The genetics underlying late-onset Alzheimer's disease could soon be revealed thanks to a collaboration of leading UK experts.

Social stress + darkness = increased anxiety
Just in time for Halloween, researchers are releasing new data that show darkness increases the impact of social stress, in an article scheduled for publication in the Nov.

Video game shown to cut cortisol
A video game designed by McGill University researchers to help train people to change their perception of social threats and boost their self-confidence has now been shown to reduce the production of the stress-related hormone cortisol.

Getting fathers involved in children's ADHD treatment programs
While working with parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at the University at Buffalo, Gregory A.

Watching funny shows helps children tolerate pain longer, study finds
Watching comedy shows helps children tolerate pain for longer periods of time, according to a study by UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the nonprofit organization Rx Laughter.

New research about asthma
The following news briefs are embargoed until the date/time listed below each title.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings article explores possible link between obesity and viral infections
Experts don't dispute the important role that diet and activity play in maintaining a healthy weight.

Financial incentives may hold key to cutting child malaria deaths
Giving small financial incentives to health workers in low-income countries may hold the key to reducing the huge death toll from malaria in young children, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

MRI predicts liver fibrosis, study says
Moderate to severe chronic liver disease can be predicted with the use of diffusion-weighted MRI, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at New York University Medical Center in New York, NY.

Wide income gap linked to deaths in both rich and poor nations
A wide income gap between the most affluent and the worst off in society is closely associated with higher death rates worldwide, especially for younger adults, finds a study published on bmj.com today as part of a global theme issue on poverty and human development.

1 in 3 patients with asthma or COPD misuse inhalers
One out of three patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease use their inhalers incorrectly, a new study shows

More oil with hydrophobic gel
Older oil fields often have an increased water production that makes it increasingly difficult to pump the oil up.

Uranium isotope ratios are not invariant, researchers show
For years, the ratio of uranium's two long-lived isotopes, U-235 and U-238, has been considered invariant, despite measurements made in the mid-1970s that hinted otherwise.

Quantitative PET imaging finds early determination of effectiveness of cancer treatment
With positron emission tomography imaging, seeing is believing: evaluating a patient's response to chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma typically involves visual interpretation of scans of cancer tumors.

Percutaneous valve therapy: is it safe and effective?
Researchers at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, will present new studies evaluating a rapidly advancing field within interventional cardiology: percutaneous procedures to repair and replace defective heart valves.

What China will want: the future intentions of a rising power
Uncertainty over China's future strategic goals is pervasive in policy circles today.

Fewer adverse cardiac events at one year
Late breaking results from the SPIRIT III trial, presented at TCT 2007, the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, show that after 12 months, there were significantly fewer major adverse cardiac events such as heart attacks, deaths from cardiac causes or repeat procedures (angioplasty or surgery) to clear the original vessel blockage after using a Xience V everolimus-eluting coronary stent than a Taxus paclitaxel-eluting stent.

Study proposes new theory of how viruses may contribute to cancer
A study published in the Oct. 24 issue of PLoS ONE suggests that viruses may contribute to cancer by causing excessive death to normal cells while promoting the growth of surviving cells with cancerous traits.

The sensitive side of carbon nanotubes: Creating powerful pressure sensors
Blocks of carbon nanotubes can be used to create effective and powerful pressure sensors, according to a new study by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

AMIHOT II trial data presented at TCT
Late-breaking data presented at TCT 2007, the scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, show that an infusion of blood that is 'supersaturated' with oxygen can reduce the amount of damaged heart muscle following a heart attack.

Specialists in infectious disease and global health convene at Philadelphia meeting
Nearly 2,500 physicians and scientists from around the world will present the latest research on infectious diseases and bioterrorist health threats.

JDRF partners with Housey Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, today announced a partnership with Housey Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories to support the company's studies to identify compounds to promote the regeneration of functional pancreatic beta cells as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes.

Ideal weight varies across cultures, but body image dissatisfaction pervades
While different cultures celebrate different body types, researchers at Temple University have found that despite their background, school age children who are overweight or obese are still unhappy with their body image.

New light trap captures larval stage of new species; DNA barcode technology used
Researcher's new light trap captures larval stage of new species of goby fish; this discovery marks the first vertebrate to have its genetic barcode included in its original species description.

Increased intestinal permeability by exogenous sphingomyelinase
Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by abnormal permeability of the epithelial barrier contributing to inflammatory responses in the gut.
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