Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 08, 2007
New book tells the untold secret of museum's Egyptian mummies
A new book due to be launched tonight tells the untold secrets of Manchester's answer to Tutankhamen: the

The structural basis of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is revealed
Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the leading cause of sudden death in athletes and young people, is a genetic heart disorder that is characterized by an increased thickness in tissue of the left ventricle.

Researchers identify unusual molecular switch for common form of advanced breast cancer
New evidence demonstrates that a novel molecular switch is involved in the development of a common form of advanced breast cancer, known as locally advanced breast cancer.

A molecular switch is linked to a common breast cancer
Researchers have discovered that a molecular switch in the protein-making machinery of cells is linked to one of the most common forms of lethal breast cancer worldwide.

Transient increase in cervical cancer risk in oral contraceptive users
Current users of oral contraceptives are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer, however 10 years after stopping use the risk returns to that seen for never-users.

JCI table of contents: Nov. 8, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Nov.

Adult brain cells are movers and shakers
It's a general belief that the circuitry of young brains has robust flexibility but eventually gets

Sex, sugar and metabolic disease
Overweight children and adults have low blood levels of the protein SHGB, which transports sex steroids and regulates their tissue entry.

Mitochondria send death signal to cardiac cells, study shows
Scientists have determined how cardiac cells die just as emergency treatments restore blood flow to a heart in distress, a paradox that has long puzzled doctors who are able to relieve pain in patients suffering from blocked arteries but can't stop the damage caused by the renewed rush of blood.

Multifaceted approach helps mothers with postnatal depression in low-income settings
A multifaceted approach to postnatal depression, including psychoeducational groups and treatment adherence support, helps mothers with postnatal depression in low-income settings recover more quickly than conventional care.

Team of scientists develops non-invasive method to track nerve-cell development in live human brain
A team of scientists including researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have identified and validated the first biomarker that permits neural stem and progenitor cells to be tracked, non-invasively, in the brains of living human subjects.

Which is the most talkative gender? It all depends
A Gallup poll recently confirmed that men and women both believe that it is women who are most likely to possess the gift of gab.

The world's smallest double slit experiment
Where do the realms of quantum mechanics and classical physics begin to overlap?

Government of Canada invests in Canada's largest wind energy project
The Honorable Tony Clement, minister of health and minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, was at the Prince Wind Energy Farm today to announce more than $53 million in funding, over 10 years, for the largest wind energy project in Canada.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are articles in the upcoming issue of the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

At the root of nutrient limitation, ecosystems are not as different as they seem
Anyone who has thrown a backyard barbecue knows that hot dogs are inexplicably packaged in different numbers than buns -- eight hot dogs per pack versus 10 hot dog buns.

A genetic identity card for Plasmodium populations to improve control strategies
The idea of completely eradicating malaria is becoming increasingly elusive, nevertheless the control of Plasmodium falciparum populations is a promising research avenue for limiting its spread.

New HIV vaccine target could solve mutation problem
While HERV are present in every cell, HIV may disrupt the normal constraints on HERV activity as it alters the cell to produce more HIV.

Cosmic ray mystery solved?
The most energetic particles in the universe -- ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays -- likely come from supermassive black holes in the hearts of nearby active galaxies, says a study by scientists from nearly 90 research institutions worldwide, including the University of Utah.

Researchers discover natural herbicide released by grass
Cornell University researchers have found that certain varieties of common fescue lawn grass come equipped with their own natural broad-spectrum herbicide that inhibits the growth of weeds and other plants around them.

Atrogin breaks down the side effects of statins
Statins are a popular class of drugs used to successfully combat high cholesterol.

Body-weight regulation scientists give perspective on obesity-related research
The health effects of obesity involve complex interactions between many body organs that can obscure insight into underlying mechanisms.

YES2 team claims a space tether world record
On Sept. 25, students around the world watched with bated breath as their creation, the second Young Engineers Satellite experiment, reached its dramatic conclusion.

Study finds strong demand for HIV meds after high-risk sex
People who do not have HIV but seek antiretroviral medications following high-risk sexual encounters are very likely to complete the full month-long drug regimen, according to a new UCLA AIDS Institute study.

New Actemra data shows significant benefit for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
The innovative new rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra has been shown to significantly improve the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in patients who failed to achieve an adequate response to traditional disease modifying agents.

Smile, protons, you're on camera
In a paper published this week in Physical Review Letters, an international collaboration of researchers, led by Marek Pfutzner, a physicist from Warsaw University in Poland, describe a first-ever success in peering closely at radioactive decay of a rare isotope at the edge of nuclear existence.

International Polar Year: Exploring the changing poles
The polar regions are changing faster than any other part of our planet.

Installing citywide sanitation reduces diarrhea incidence in children by 22 percent
Installation of city-wide sewerage in Salvador, Brazil, reduced diarrhea prevalence in the city's children by an estimated 22 percent.

Whitefly secrets to success: how to become one of the world's top invasive species
A population of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci has become one of the world's worst invasive species -- devastating many crops in China and elsewhere in the process -- through mating behaviors that help it invade the territory of native whitefly populations, according to a new study conducted in China and Australia.

Paying peanuts for clean water
Peanut husks, one of the biggest food industry waste products, could be used to extract environmentally-damaging copper ions from waste water, according to researchers in Turkey.

Physicist's innovative technique makes atomic-level microscopy at least 100 times faster
Using an existing technique in a novel way, Cornell physicist Keith Schwab and colleagues have made scanning tunneling microscopy at least 100 times faster.

Press briefings to address longevity, mobility, brain fitness at GSA's San Francisco meeting
The Gerontological Society of America has announced a line-up of three press briefings for its 60th Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest multidisciplinary conference in the field of aging.

Auger Observatory closes in on mystery, links highest-energy cosmic rays with violent black holes
The Pierre Auger Collaboration announced that active galactic nuclei are the most likely candidate for the source of the highest-energy cosmic rays that hit Earth.

What do teens remember on Remembrance Day?
A University of Alberta researcher wanted to find out what teens remember on Remembrance Day.

Michigan Tech helps solve mystery of cosmic rays
Using data-gathering equipment designed and tested at Michigan Technological University, scientists from 17 countries have identified Active Galactic Nuclei containing massive black holes as the most likely source of the highest-energy cosmic rays.

Yellowstone rising
The Yellowstone 'supervolcano' rose at a record rate since mid-2004, likely because a Los Angeles-sized, pancake-shaped blob of molten rock was injected 6 miles beneath the slumbering giant, University of Utah scientists report in the journal Science.

Researchers' discovery may lead to hypertension treatment
Researchers at Cornell University and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research have identified a hormone from human urine that opens the door to developing novel medications to control sodium levels and treat hypertension.

'Beam of Light' is ray of hope for Israeli-Jordanian cooperation
An Israeli-Jordanian-US cooperative project aimed at measuring air quality in the area between the neighboring southern cities of Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in Israel has been launched by scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem together with scientists from the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Administration and the Desert Research Institute of Reno, Nev., in the US.

TAU scientists help discover massive stellar black hole
Sixteen times the mass of our sun, the discovery is expected to serve as a test-bed for studying astrophysics

HSPH Dean Barry R. Bloom to receive honorary doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam
Barry R. Bloom, PhD, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, will receive today an Honorary Doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Argonne chemist Joe V. Michael awarded distinction of AAAS Fellow
Joe V. Michael, a senior chemist at Argonne National Laboratory, has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow.

Elsevier celebrates World Usability Day
Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of science and health information, has announced it is participating in a series of local events in support of World Usability Day, created by the Usability Professionals' Association to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use.

Bug-Zapper: A dose of radiation may help knock out malaria
Researchers at NIST used their expertise in radiation science to help a young company create weakened, harmless versions of malaria-causing parasites that, in turn, are being used to create a new type of vaccine that shows promise of being more effective than current malaria vaccines.

Final of EPSRC's 2007 Knowledge Transfer Challenge Awards
The Final of EPSRC's 2007 Knowledge Transfer Challenge Awards is being held in London on Nov.

Study of minority New York City youth finds unequal burden of poor dental health
Hispanic youth report better dental health habits than their nonHispanic peers, according to a study of northern Manhattan adolescents by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Looming Medicare cuts will disproportionately hurt physicians in small practices
Focusing on his experience as a physician in a small medical practice in rural Virginia, Jeffrey P.

Auger Observatory links highest-energy cosmic rays with violent black holes
Scientists of the Pierre Auger Collaboration, which includes New York University physics professor Glennys R.

A new mathematical formula for cancer progression
Tumor progression can now be mapped less to mathematical standards and more to individual patients according to a new study by researchers at Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities.

National physician organization supports Capps-Rogers Bill at today's congressional briefing
Representing the interests of pain patients in light of federal pain management policy reform, leading pain expert and former President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine will brief congress today on the National Pain Care Policy Act of 2007.

Telemedicine publication expands coverage
Telemedicine and e-Health, a publication available in print and online by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers will greatly expand its content and frequency beginning in 2008; a new section, MEDICAL CONNECTIVITY, will make its debut in the March issue.

Rosetta closes in on Earth -- a second time
ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, is on its way to its second close encounter with Earth on Nov.

Micro microwave does pinpoint cooking for miniaturized labs
Researchers at NIST and George Mason University have demonstrated what is probably the world's smallest microwave oven, a tiny mechanism that can heat a pinhead-sized drop of liquid inside a container slightly shorter than an ant and half as wide as a single hair.

International team compares 12 fruit fly genomes
Cornell University researchers have played a major role in an international scientific team that has compared the complete set of genes of 12 closely related fruit fly species.

UC-San Diego Engineering Honor Society wins most outstanding chapter award
Flip through the 133-page record of the 2006-2007 activities of UCSD's engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and you'll see why they recently took home the

NIST posts online database of cryogenic materials properties
In response to numerous inquiries from academia, industry and other government labs, NIST recently published a new online database on the properties of solid materials at temperatures ranging from cryogenic to room temperature.

Researchers identify molecules with interesting anti-clotting properties
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have discovered a new mechanism to inhibit key enzymes that play a major role in clotting disorders, which could lead to novel therapies to treat clots in the lungs and those localized deep in the body in areas such as the legs.

New insight into the link between genetics and obesity
Scientists have acquired new insight into how the 'obesity gene' triggers weight gain in some individuals.

UBC researchers discover 'instruction manual' that tells cancers how to hide from immune system
A mechanism that creates an

Locals lose out to sexy aliens
Globalization has led to an increase in invasions by new species around the world and this is costing agriculture and the environment dearly.

New study supports action to tackle poor sanitation in developing countries
Improvements in sanitation and sewerage systems can have a dramatic effect on reducing cholera and other diarrheal diseases, research has shown.

RAND paper finds diesel, hybrid vehicles can provide more societal benefits than gas-powered autos
Cars and light trucks powered by advanced diesel technology or hybrid technology can provide larger societal benefits than traditional gasoline-powered automobiles, according to a RAND Corporation working paper presented today.

The genetic basis of inbreeding avoidance in house mice
A new study appearing online on Nov. 8 in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, offers new insight into how wild house mice avoid mating with their relatives.

OncologySTAT publisher Monique Fayad to speak at scholarly publishing industry seminar
Monique Fayad, senior vice president and publisher of OncologySTAT, will speak at the Society of Scholarly Publishing's Fall Educational Seminar Wednesday, Nov.

In the laboratory, green tea proves a powerful medicine against severe sepsis
A component of green tea could prove the perfect elixir for severe sepsis.

A dynamical systems hypothesis of schizophrenia
The inconsistent expressions related to schizophrenia are newly structured in a recent study by researchers at the Universitas Pompeau Fabra and Oxford University.

Spinal manipulative therapy and/or diclofenac don't give faster recovery from acute low back pain
Patients with acute low back pain receiving recommended first line-care do not recover more quickly with the addition of diclofenac or spinal manipulative therapy.

Could vitamin D, a key milk nutrient, affect how you age?
There is a new reason for the 76 million baby boomers to grab a glass of milk.

'Runner's high' may also strengthen hearts
Endorphins and other morphine-like substances known as opioids, which are released during exercise, don't just make you feel good -- they may also protect you from heart attacks, according to University of Iowa researchers.

Developing kryptonite for Superbug
University of Idaho researchers are crossing academic and geographical bounds to develop more effective defenses against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and other deadly pathogens.

Can plant-based ethanol save us from our fossil fuel addiction?
On Nov. 14-15, over 40 scientists will convene at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, to discuss the future of biofuel production in the US.

RAND preschool studies examine school readiness, California's publicly funded programs
New studies from the RAND Corp. find that California's publicly supported system of early care and education for preschool-age children is a patchwork of programs that frequently have divergent objectives, but improving both the quality and use of the services may be one way to narrow existing academic achievement gaps.

Measurements link magma melting rate to tectonic plate subduction rate
Geologists at the University of Illinois report new measurements of rock samples from Kick'em Jenny, a submarine volcano in the Caribbean, that link the rate at which magma is produced beneath subduction zone volcanoes to the rate at which tectonic plates converge in this plate tectonic setting.

Mysterious cosmic rays linked to galactic powerhouses
The sprawling Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory in South America has produced its first major discovery while still under construction.

New scoring system protects credit card transactions
As this year's holiday season approaches, your credit card transactions may be a little more secure thanks to the Common Vulnerability Scoring System.

Imaging neural progenitor cells in the living human brain
For the first time, investigators have identified a way to detect neural progenitor cells, which can develop into neurons and other nervous system cells, in the living human brain using a type of imaging called magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Researchers uncover clues to horse herpes and neurologic disorders
Cornell microbiologists show that change in just one amino acid in a horse herpes virus can make all the difference between triggering a cold or a life-threatening neurological disorder.

Interferon does not slow or stop hepatitis C from worsening, study finds
Interferon does not slow or halt the progression of chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease in patients who haven't responded to previous attempts to eradicate the disease, a national study has found.

Emotional eaters susceptible to weight regain
Just in time for the start of the holiday eating season -- a new study finds that dieters who have the tendency to eat in response to external factors, such as at parties, have fewer problems with their weight loss than those who eat in response to emotions.

Religion and psychology
As co-editor of The Psychologies in Religion: Working with the Religious Client, Dr.

Ozone intrusions -- humankind's fault?
In this week's Nature, a study led by physics and astronomy professor Wayne Hocking of the University of Western Ontario reveals new discoveries about how ozone moves through our skies and how so-called 'ozone intrusions' can be monitored using a relatively simple radar instrument.

NIST issues call for a new 'hash' algorithm
NIST has opened a competition to develop a new cryptographic hash algorithm, a tool that converts a file, message or block of data to a short
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