Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 20, 2007
Simple recipe turns human skin cells into embryonic stem cell-like cells
A simple recipe -- including just four ingredients -- can transform adult human skin cells into cells that resemble embryonic stem cells, researchers report in an immediate early publication of the journal Cell, a publication of Cell Press.

New microscope peers into secret lives of cells
The University of Delaware's new laser-scanning confocal microscope, based in the Bio-imaging Center at UD's Delaware Biotechnology Institute, is helping researchers explore a diversity of intriguing subjects, from plants that can decontaminate soils of toxic metal pollutants, to carbon nano-bombs for destroying cancer cells.

Shinya Yamanaka reprograms human adult cells
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., has reported that he and his Kyoto University colleagues have successfully reprogrammed human adult cells to function like pluripotent embryonic stem cells.

Top researcher argues most physicians aren't prepared to deal with obesity epidemic
The soaring obesity rates across the globe have been called the most critical challenge to public health of the 21st century.

FED-TVs with carbon nanotube technology could supersede plasma and LCD flat screens
Just as silicon is the wonder material for the computer age, carbon nanotubes will most likely be the materials responsible for the next evolutionary step in electronics and computing.

Stevens' ASEM undergraduate chapter wins Founders Award at ASEM annual meeting
Stevens Institute of Technology's American Society for Engineering Management undergraduate chapter won the Founders Award for best chapter at the ASEM's annual meeting and conference.

Asthma link to post-traumatic stress disorder, says Mailman School of Public Health study
For the first time, a study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is linking asthma with post-traumatic stress disorder among adults.

Giant fossil sea scorpion bigger than man
The discovery of a giant fossilized claw from an ancient sea scorpion indicates that when alive it would have been about two and a half meters long, much taller than the average man.

Regular exercise reduces risk of blood clots
According to a new study published in Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, regular participation in sports reduces the risk of developing blood clots by 39 percent in women and 22 percent in men.

Jefferson Lab achieves critical milestone toward construction of $310-million upgrade project
A proposed $310-million project that will double the energy of the electron beam at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) achieved a critical milestone on Nov.

3-D photonic crystals will revolutionize telecommunications
Three-dimensional photonic crystals will revolutionize telecommunications. Smaller, faster, more efficient: BASF research scientists are helping to revolutionize the future world of telecommunications -- with the aid of 3-D photonic crystals.

UK scientists lead China closer to carbon capture and storage
The British Geological Survey attended the launch of the Near Zero Emissions Coal Phase 1 study in Beijing, China today.

Post-treatment PET scans can reassure cervical cancer patients
Whole-body PET scans done three months after completion of cervical cancer therapy can ensure that patients are disease-free or warn that further interventions are needed, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Nuclear desalination
New solutions to the ancient problem of maintaining a fresh water supply is discussed in a special issue of the Inderscience publication International Journal of Nuclear Desalination.

Determining cause of death in developing countries
Determining cause of death: validation of new methods in developing countries

FDA approves ABILIFY(R) (aripiprazole) as the first medication for add-on treatment of MDD
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced that the FDA approved ABILIFY (aripiprazole) as add-on treatment to antidepressant therapy in adults with major depressive disorder.

Use of pedometer associated with increased physical activity, decreased blood pressure and weight
A review of previous studies indicates that use of a pedometer, especially with a daily step goal, is associated with significant increases in physical activity (additional walking of about a mile a day) and decreases in body mass index and blood pressure, according to an article in the Nov.

Cancer drug works by overactivating cancer gene
University of Michigan researchers have discovered that bortezomib, a promising cancer drug, is able to strike a blow against melanoma tumor cells by revving up the action of a cancer-promoting gene.

New study finds blood-spinal cord barrier compromised in mice with ALS
The blood-spinal cord barrier is functionally impaired in areas of motor neuron damage in mice modeling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, report researchers at the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair.

Government of Canada invests in clean solar energy
The Honorable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $1.1 million for demonstration projects promoting photovoltaic and solar thermal power technologies for commercial and residential use.

Adding rapid response team to children's hospital reduces risk of death, cardiac arrests
A children's hospital that added a rapid response medical team for patients not in the intensive care unit saw an 18 percent decrease in the death rate, and about a 70 percent decline in the rate of cardiac and respiratory arrests, according to a study in the Nov.

UD researchers set new chemical world record
Chemists from the University of Delaware, in collaboration with a colleague at the University of Wisconsin, have set a new world record for the shortest chemical bond ever recorded between two metals, in this case, two atoms of chromium.

Recently discovered virus associated with pediatric respiratory tract infection in Germany
Using a rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive diagnostic tool called MassTag PCR, scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health's Center for Infection and Immunity implicated a new human rhinovirus as the cause of severe pediatric respiratory tract infections in Europe.

Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference
The American College of Physicians Foundation and the Institute of Medicine bring together leading researchers and representatives from academia, medicine, large employers, pharmaceuticals, media, health insurance, patient advocacy and government to address issues in health communication and focus on successful models that improve health outcomes.

Trauma earlier in life may affect response to stress years later
Cornell researchers report that rapes, sudden deaths of loved ones, life-threatening accidents and other such traumas may result in long-term changes in the stress response in some people, even if they don't have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scientists uncover how the brain controls what the eyes see
Vase or face? When presented with the well-known optical illusion in which we see either a vase or the faces of two people, what we observe depends on the patterns of neural activity going on in our brains.

Many employers do not implement programs to improve quality and value of health benefits
A new survey indicates that among large employers, many have not examined data on physician quality or shared health plan or physician data with employees that could help improve the value and quality of health benefits, according to a study in the Nov.

Reprogramming the debate: stem-cell finding alters ethical controversy
When University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers succeeded in reprogramming skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, they also began to redefine the political and ethical dynamics of the stem-cell debate, a leading bioethicist says.

Scientists decode genomes of diverse TB isolates
Collaboration led by US and South Africa researchers announced the first genome sequence of an extensively drug-resistant strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis linked to more than 50 deaths in a recent TB outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Obesity-linked high blood volumes render PSA prostate cancer test less effective, study suggests
The extra blood volume produced in the obese may so dilute levels of a telltale protein produced by prostates that the popular PSA test may be essentially useless for diagnosing prostate cancer in men carrying extra pounds, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests.

UW-Madison scientists guide human skin cells to embryonic state
In a paper to be published Nov. 22 in the online edition of the journal Science, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers reports the genetic reprogramming of human skin cells to create cells indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells.

Selfish DNA and the Genetic Control of Vector-Borne Diseases
Insect vectors, such as mosquitoes, are responsible for the transmission of devastating diseases like malaria and dengue.

Stockpiling influenza vaccine in Hong Kong
In light of the importance of virus monitoring for pandemic influenza preparedness and response, Indonesia's refusal to share samples of avian flu virus with the WHO for most of 2007 is

Study suggests adjusting PSA scores for obese men or cancers may be missed
Doctors may be missing cancers in obese men because the telltale blood marker used to detect the disease can be falsely interpreted as low in this population, according to a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers.

Obesity associated with lower PSA levels in men with prostate cancer
Higher body mass index is associated with higher plasma volume, which may be related to lower prostate-specific antigen levels among obese men, according to a study in the Nov.

Penn researchers find monkeys able to fend off AIDS-like symptoms with enhanced HIV vaccine
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that using an immune system gene to enhance a vaccine used to study HIV in macaque monkeys provides the animals with greater protection against simian HIV than an unmodified vaccine.

Evolutionary comparison finds new human genes
Using supercomputers to compare the human genome with those of other mammals, researchers at Cornell have discovered some 300 previously unidentified human genes.

Carnivorous plants use pitchers of 'slimy saliva' to catch their prey
Carnivorous plants supplement the meager diet available from the nutrient-poor soils in which they grow by trapping and digesting insects and other small arthropods.

Pedometers help people take a step to get active, Stanford study finds
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that the use of a pedometer is associated with significant increases in physical activity and weight loss and improvements in blood pressure.

Carnegie Mellon students win contest
Carnegie Mellon University graduate students Shahzeen Attari, Ines Margarida Lima de Azevedo, Benjamin Flath and Constantine Samaras win a letter-writing contest about energy and sustainability issues.

SAGE and Hindawi announce landmark open access agreement
SAGE and the Hindawi Publishing Corp. have today entered into an agreement to jointly launch and publish a suite of fully Open Access journals.

Rapid response teams save children's lives at pediatric hospital, Stanford/Packard study shows
Deploying the hospital's

Researchers discover surface orbital 'roughness' in manganites
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown that in a class of materials called manganites, the electronic behavior at the surface is considerably different from that found in the bulk.

In search of wine, ancients become earliest chocoholics
The human love affair with chocolate is at least 3,000 years old -- and it began at least 500 years earlier than previously thought, according to new analyses of pottery shards from the Ulua Valley region of northern Honduras.

Scientists develop a fast system to detect metal concentrations in iron and steel industry workers
This method will analyze the levels of chromium, manganese and nickel in the employee's organism to determine possible work-related poisoning.

Even minute levels of lead cause brain damage in children
Even amounts of lead in the blood well below current federal standard are linked to reduced IQ scores in children, finds a new six-year Cornell study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Skin injuries to patients can be avoided when radiation dose is monitored
Maximum radiation skin dose during coronary angioplasty can be accurately determined by monitoring the total entrance skin radiation dose as the patient is being examined and dividing that number in half according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.

ILR report connects disabilities, employment and poverty
The Third Annual Disability Status Report, published by the ILR School at Cornell University, reveals that almost 38 percent of people with disabilities are employed, compared with almost 80 percent of people without disabilities.

Monsanto expands sponsorship for Peking-Yale Joint Agrobiotechnology Center
A joint Yale-Peking University center that aims to improve crop production by furthering understanding of plant biology will receive five years of continued and expanded support from the Monsanto Co., a leading provider of agricultural technology.

Rural patients' colon and lung cancers diagnosed earlier, Dartmouth research says
A new study by Dartmouth researchers suggests that urban patients with colorectal and lung cancer are more likely than their rural counterparts to

Most college students wish they were thinner, study shows
Almost 90 percent of normal-weight women in a Cornell study of 310 college students yearn to be thinner.

During biggest travel weekend, beware of states that don't enforce seat belt laws
Thanksgiving marks the heaviest travel weekend of the year and that means large increases in the number of fatal car crashes, particularly in rural areas.

Is the beauty of a sculpture in the brain of the beholder?
Is there an objective biological basis for the experience of beauty in art?

Digging biblical history, or the end of the world
TAU archaeologists study Tel Megiddo, the New Testament location of

MIT: Thermoelectric materials are 1 key to energy savings
Breathing new life into an old idea, MIT Institute Professor Mildred S.

Secrets in rare cartography
Quietly housed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1978 is a collection of more than a million items acquired by the American Geographical Society since its inception in 1851. 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