Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2007
Massive project reveals shortcomings of modern genome analysis
The sequencing and comparison of 12 fruit fly genomes -- the result of a massive collaboration of hundreds of scientists from more than 100 institutions in 16 countries -- has thrust forward researchers' understanding of fruit flies, a popular animal model in science.

Comparative analyses of 12 fly genomes reveals new insights on genome evolution and regulation
Genome Research is publishing papers related to comparative analyses of 12 Drosophila (fly) genomes.

Old McDonald had a phytochemical
Forget the moo-moo here and quack-quack there. Farmers may find phytochemicals to be the barnyard bonanza.

Embargoed research to be presented at AHA Scientific Session
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center physicians and researchers are involved in more than two dozen oral and poster presentations and other events at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions taking place Nov.

Robots that know when they've hit you
Roboticist Sami Haddadin lets his robot regularly hit him in the face.

Exceptions prove rule of tropical importance in biodiversity
Even a group of shellfish that appear to violate the overarching pattern of global biodiversity actually follows the same biological rules as other marine organisms, confirming a general theory for the spread of life on Earth.

Oregon team zeroes in on RNA-binding in myotonic dystrophy
University of Oregon researchers have shed new light on the function of an RNA-regulating protein known as muscleblind, which when it misbehaves and binds to rogue RNA can lead to disease affecting roughly one in 8,000 people.

Springer and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, announce publishing partnership
Springer, one of the world's leading STM publishers, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, have signed an agreement to co-publish Kew Bulletin, the official scientific journal of the Gardens.

'Hot spots' the key to controlling European carp in Australia
The ongoing drought in Australia is having at least one positive spin-off -- fewer carp are being distributed through inland waterways.

FAIR kick-off event
Nuclear physicists from around the world are today celebrating the official launch of the particle accelerator FAIR with a gala event and a scientific symposium.

Caffeine use to regulate breathing of very preterm babies, long-term benefits
Caffeine and similar drugs have been used for more than 30 years to make the breathing of very preterm babies more regular, but without sufficient knowledge of the possible benefits and risks.

New 'Raider Amethyst' prairie verbena: conserves water, drought-tolerant
Working to create a new drought-resistant and water-saving wildflower, scientists at Texas Tech University's Department of Plant and Soil Science have introduced 'Raider Amethyst,' a new cultivar of common prairie verbena.

SNM/Nihon Medi-Physics sponsor new fellowship program for Japanese physicians
SNM, the world's largest molecular imaging and nuclear medicine society, recently announced a new, two-year $24,000 fellowship program in the US for Japanese physicians in the early stages of their career.

Indiana University research at Neuroscience 2007
Several researchers from Indiana University are participating in Neuroscience 2007 this month.

Green light for FAIR at GSI
In a joint communique signed Nov. 7, 2007, representatives of the partner countries have announced the go-ahead for construction of the international accelerator facility FAIR.

University of Iowa team discovers first moisture-sensing genes
Researchers in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A.

Roots of Fundamentalism traced to 16th-century Bible translations
The English Reformation -- heyday of religious change -- spurred a fundamentalist approach to Bible reading, according to new research by a Harvard professor.

Scientists enhance Mother Nature's carbon handling mechanism
Taking a page from Nature herself, a team of researchers developed a method to enhance removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and place it in the Earth's oceans for storage.

UCLA research shows dramatic savings for Medicaid when head start parents learn to care for kids
New UCLA research proves that a

CCNY-led team receives $330,000 from NSF to develop interface for blind computer users
A team of researchers from five institutions, led by the City College of New York, has been awarded $330,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation to develop a tactile surface that can facilitate communication between visually impaired and blind persons and computers.

Higher levels of pollutants found in fish caught near a coal-fired power plant
Emissions from coal-fired power plants may be an important source of water pollution and fish contamination, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Evolution and fly genomics
New work on fruit fly genomics suggests new ways to look at the much larger human genome, and gives insights into the role of adaptation in evolution.

Cholesterol-lowering drug linked to sleep disruptions
A cholesterol-lowering drug appears to disrupt sleep patterns of some patients, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy -- successful bids announced
The Economic and Social Research Council, Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office, the Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Government have today announced the successful bids to establish the UK's first independent, multidisciplinary and academically-based Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.

'Tweens' double use of diabetes drugs
Prescriptions to children with chronic health problems have increased, according to new St.

Pollution from marine vessels linked to heart and lung disease
Pollution from marine shipping causes approximately 60,000 premature cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths around the world each year, according to a report scheduled to appear in the Dec.

Deep drilling for 'black smoker' clues
A project to learn more about extracting energy from hot rocks on land should give clues about

Researchers analyze domestic violence deaths
A new report reviews the domestic violence deaths of 48 people in Hamilton County, Ohio, and holds recommendations aimed at preventing future tragedies.

From molecules to the Milky Way: dealing with the data deluge
Most people have a few gigabytes of files on their PC.

Why poor kids may make sicker adults
Scientists have known for years that people living in poverty have poorer health and shorter lifespans than the more affluent.

UVa Health System team uncovers gene's role in type 1 diabetes
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System have identified an enzyme thought to be an important instigator of the inner-body conflict that causes type 1 diabetes.

Congressional hearing on asteroid threat
UC Davis physics professor J. Anthony Tyson will testify before Congress on Thursday, Nov.

Further evidence that genetics has a role in determining sexual orientation in men
Is sexual orientation something people are born with -- like the color of their skin and eyes -- or a matter of choice?

Transformation, a symposium on innovative health-care delivery
Transformation, A Symposium on Innovative Health Care Delivery, hosted by Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine.

OHSU research suggests America may over-vaccinate
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week by OHSU researchers suggests that timelines for vaccinating and revaccinating Americans against disease should possibly be re-evaluated and adjusted.

Educational media workshop unites cancer scientists and journalists
The topic of cancer prevention is covered widely in the mainstream media and is often fraught with apparently conflicting information and complex scientific research that is not easily relatable to the lay public.

FIJI Water announces sustainable growth initiative with commitment to help mitigate climate change
FIJI Water and CI announce innovative partnership -- CI will counsel FIJI Water on their sustainability initiative and to develop an ambitious multi-benefit carbon offset plan as part of FIJI Water's new Sustainable Growth Initiative.

Obesity research boosted by watching hunger in the brain
Scientists can now measure how full or hungry a mouse feels, thanks to a new technique which uses imaging to reveal how neurons behave in the part of the brain which regulates appetite.

Mexico's expanded health insurance improves hypertension treatment
Mexico's new health insurance program, Seguro Popular, which was created to extend health insurance to the nation's 50 million uninsured by 2010, is having a positive effect on coverage of antihypertensive treatment in that country.

Energy from hot rocks
Two UC-Davis geologists are taking part in the Iceland Deep Drilling Project, an international effort to learn more about the potential of geothermal energy, or extracting heat from rocks.

Leukemia drug proves safe and effective over the long term
The drug imatinib mesylate, more commonly known as Gleevec, proves safe and effective over the long term in patients with an advanced form of chronic myeloid leukemia, according to a study prepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Cocaine abuse blunts sensitivity to monetary reward
New measurements of brain activity made at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory confirm that cocaine-addicted individuals have compromised sensitivity to monetary rewards.

Half of patients with active early rheumatoid arthritis achieved clinical remission
Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, today announced that data from a multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial of ENBREL plus methotrexate showed that 50 percent of patients with active early rheumatoid arthritis achieved clinical remission at one year.

Engineered weathering process could mitigate global warming
Researchers at Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University have invented a technology, inspired by nature, to reduce the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by human emissions.

The release of new data from the HVTN 502 HIV vaccine study
The new analyses revealed today from the STEP HIV vaccine clinical trial are both disappointing and puzzling.

Boston University Medical Center researcher's abstract selected by Society for Neuroscience
David Farb, PhD, recently had an abstract selected that was highlighted by the Society for Neuroscience.

New research to help fight widespread potato disease
Scientists have made a key discovery into the genetics of the bacteria that causes blackleg, an economically-damaging disease of potatoes, that could lead to new ways to fight the disease.

Brains of term infants with heart disease resemble those of preemies
The brains of full-term infants with congenital heart disease appear more similar to those of premature newborns than to the brains of normal-term infants, a study conducted by researchers at UCSF has found.

Enzyme regulates brain pathology induced by cocaine, stress
Researchers have uncovered a key genetic switch that chronic cocaine or stress influences to cause the brain to descend into a pathological state.

LHC completes the circle
At a brief ceremony deep under the French countryside today, CERN Director General Robert Aymar sealed the last interconnect in the world's largest cryogenic system, the Large Hadron Collider.

Extracts of catfish caught in polluted waters cause breast cancer cells to multiply
Exposing estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells to extracts of fish caught in areas with heavy sewer and industrial waste causes the cells to multiply, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Blocking effects of viral infections may prevent asthma in young children
Babies who get severe respiratory viral infections are much more likely to suffer from asthma as they get older.

Scientists complete DNA sequencing and analysis of multiple fruit fly genomes
In one of the first large-scale comparisons of multiple animal genomes, scientists have analyzed the genomes of 12 species of the fruit fly Drosophila, 10 of which were sequenced for the first time, to reveal insights on the evolution of genes and genomes and to discern the functional elements encoded in animal DNA.

IAVI statement on new analysis of STEP large-scale AIDS vaccine trial
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative issued the following statement from its president and CEO, Dr.

Health toll of climate change seen as ethical crisis
The public health costs of global climate change are likely to be the greatest in those parts of the world that have contributed least to the problem, posing a significant ethical dilemma for the developed world, according to a new study.

Finding may eventually help tailor treatment for depression
When a treatment works for one person's depression, it does not always work for another person's.

Exercise helps repair muscle damage in heart failure patients
Exercise increased the growth of new muscle cells and blood vessels in the weakened muscles of people with heart failure, according to two studies reported today at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

Mayo Clinic study predicts cardiovascular disease risk for rheumatoid arthritis patients
People with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk for developing heart disease than the general population; however, it is difficult to identify which patients are at increased risk.

12 fly genomes published
The complete genomes of 12 related species of the fly Drosophila are published this week in the journal Nature.

Brown biologists assemble fly mtDNA for landmark genome project
As part of a major new international genome sequencing project, Brown biologists assembled the complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of seven different species of fruit fly.

St. Jude program reduces weight gain in young African-American girls
A community-based weight control program designed by investigators now at St.

Scientists compare 12 fruit fly genomes
An international research consortium of scientists, supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced publications comparing the genome sequences of 12 closely related fruit fly species, 10 of which were sequenced for the first time.

Supplements even confuse athletes
As winter approaches many of us reach for over-the-counter vitamins and herbal remedies in a bid to ward off illnesses and improve health.

Golimumab significantly reduced signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis
More than half of patients receiving monthly subcutaneous injections of golimumab 50 mg and 100 mg experienced significant and sustained improvements in the signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis, according to phase 3 study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting.

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing
All vision, including reading this sentence, depends on a constant series of infinitesimal jumps by the eyeball that centers the retina on target objects--words or phrases in the case of reading.

New standard for environmentally friendly carpet
A new standard for assessing the environmental-friendliness of carpet was announced at the 2007 Greenbuild International Conference in Chicago.

NIH awards Mayo Clinic $11M for kidney disease research
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded Mayo Clinic an $11 million, five-year grant for research designed to find new and improved ways to diagnose and treat kidney disease caused by atherosclerosis, the clogging, narrowing and hardening of arteries, specifically, one or both renal arteries.

Cough medicine fights dyskinesias in Parkinson's
A cough suppressant and a drug tested against schizophrenia curb dyskinesias, the involuntary movements that are disabling side effects of taking the Parkinson's disease medication levodopa, Portland scientists found.

When to have a child? A new approach to the decision
Women seeking to balance career, social life and family life in making the decision on when to have a child may benefit from applying formal decision-making science to this complex emotional choice.

Phase 3 data show golimumab improved psoriatic arthritis symptoms
Patients with active psoriatic arthritis receiving monthly subcutaneous injections of golimumab experienced significant and sustained improvements in the joint and skin manifestations of the disease, according to findings from the largest phase 3 biologic study ever completed in subjects with psoriatic arthritis.

Store-bought freshwater fish contain elevated levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium
White bass wild-caught and sold commercially contained significantly higher levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium than fish caught near former industrial areas, according to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Progress toward new therapies for coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of mortality in Western countries.

New technologies help Kenyan farmers break into global milk markets
As global milk prices continue to rise, Kenyan small-scale farmers are poised to become major players in the market for milk, according to researchers at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi. 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