Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 27, 2007
News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

New challenges for diagnosis of bacterial STIs
This year cases of sexually transmitted infections have risen by 2 percent in the UK, in spite of a small drop in the incidence of syphilis and gonorrhoea, according to scientists speaking today (Wednesday, Nov.

Texas A&M researchers examine Einstein's theories on the universe
Einstein's self-proclaimed

Hospital superbugs now in nursing homes and the community
Hospital superbugs that can break down antibiotics are so widespread throughout Europe that doctors increasingly have to use the few remaining drugs that they reserve for emergencies.

Online library gives readers access to 1.5 million books
The Million Book Project, an international venture led by Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, Zhejiang University in China, the Indian Institute of Science in India and the Library at Alexandria in Egypt, has completed the digitization of more than 1.5 million books, which are now available online.

Computer simulation predicts Voyager 2 will reach major milestone in space in late 2007-early 2008
Using a computer model simulation, Haruichi Washimi, a physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has predicted that the interplanetary spacecraft Voyager 2 will cross the

Infection outbreaks on teeth can cause 'alopecia areata' or localized hair loss
Alopecia areata occurs in males and females of all ages.

A young star in childhood cancer research
Petra Bachmann was recently announced this year's Open Senior Division winner in the highly respected Coast Association Tow Research Awards.

How to get a man to enjoy a chick flick
Is there any way to get a man to savour a melodramatic, so-called

Forensics go high-tech with CT autopsies
Radiologists are investigating the use of computed tomography as a tool for civilian medical examiners' autopsies in the US.

New book defines promising young field of adult neurogenesis
Studies of the birth and incorporation of neurons into the brains of mature animals promises intriguing insights into the mechanisms of normal brain function and into the causes of depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Fast way of spotting multidrug resistant bacteria could help stop outbreaks in hospitals
A type of bacterium widely found on our skin and in the environment has now become a major threat in hospitals where it can cause serious infections, such as pneumonia in severely ill patients.

Effects of progesterone on Alzheimer's disease
The first study on progesterone and Alzheimer's disease has found no clear preventive benefit for the widely prescribed hormone in an animal model.

A new computational technique predicts side-effects of a major cancer drug
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a novel computer technique to search for the side effects of major pharmaceuticals.

Discovering teenage galaxies
Staring for the equivalent of every night for two weeks at the same little patch of sky with ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has found the extremely faint light from teenage galaxies billions of light years away.

Generating hydrogen from biodiesel waste
Researchers at the University of Leeds have a potential solution to the problem of large quantities of low value by-product generated in the synthesis of biodiesel -- by turning it into high value hydrogen.

High-trauma fractures in older adults linked to osteoporosis, increased risk of another fracture
Contrary to a widely held assumption, high-trauma nonspine fractures in older women and men, such as from a car crash, are associated with low bone mineral density and an increased risk of a subsequent fracture, according to a study in the Nov.

New research to decode the genetic secrets of prolific potato pest
The full weight of a consortium of world-leading scientists -- including those who helped decode the entire human genome -- is being thrown at a parasitic worm less than 1 millimeter long.

Doctors, economist, write prescription for protecting people from themselves
Policy makers, employers and others can use the science of behavioral economics to steer people toward wiser choices -- and dramatically improve their health -- without limiting their freedom to do as they please, according to an article published in the Nov.

MIT radar technology fights breast cancer
Treating breast cancer with a type of heat therapy derived from MIT radar research can significantly increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy, according to results from the fourth clinical trial of the technique reported online Nov.

NIST measures performance of auto crash warning systems
Engineers at NIST have developed and tested a laser-based ranging system to assess the performance of automobile collision warning systems.

Climate change and life in the Southern Ocean
A 10-week expedition to the Lazarev Sea and the eastern part of the Weddell Sea opens this year's Antarctic research season of the German research vessel Polarstern.

UC Davis researchers find evidence of mature heart cell potential in embryonic stem cells
In a new study, UC Davis researchers report the first functional evidence that heart cells derived from human embryonic stem cells exhibit one of the most critical properties of mature adult heart cells, an important biological process called excitation-contraction coupling.

PET imaging significantly enhances standard imaging in lung cancer staging
Positron emission tomography is a useful diagnostic tool that supports the need for more accurate staging of lung cancer and improved treatment for patients, concludes an extensive systematic review published online today in Journal of National Cancer Institute.

UC Davis researchers identify a cellular pathway that makes prostate cancer fatal
Expanding evidence that tiny strands of RNA -- called microRNAs -- play big roles in the progress of some cancers, UC Davis researchers have identified one that helps jump start prostate cancer cell growth midway through the disease process, eventually causing it to become fatal.

Insulin regulates the secretion of the antiaging hormome Klotho
Dr. Carmela Abraham, a professor of biochemistry and medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, reports this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences new findings on Klotho, an antiaging gene that is associated with life span extension in rodents and humans.

'High Q' NIST nanowires may be practical oscillators
Nanowires grown at NIST have a mechanical

PET imaging may improve lung cancer diagnosis
Tumor imaging with positron emission tomography may improve the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of lung cancer patients, according to a review published online Nov.

MRSA in the community: A new threat to children's health?
Although hospital superbugs like MRSA -- methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- are now a widespread and recognised problem, new MRSA strains that have emerged and are spreading amongst the wider public in the USA may pose a bigger threat, according to Exeter researchers speaking today (Wednesday, Nov.

Drinking and smoking don't boost HPV-related cancer risk
New Brown University research shows that alcohol and tobacco use doesn't increase the risk of cancers of the mouth and throat for people infected with human papillo-mavirus 16 (HPV16), a common sexually transmitted virus in the US.

Fear is stronger than hope for worriers trying to get fit, says research
Fear of looking unattractive can be a stronger motivation for keeping people going to the gym than the hope of looking good, a study says.

Studies suggest HIV subtype more deadly than others
Two studies led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people infected with HIV in Thailand die from the disease significantly sooner than those with HIV living in other parts of the world.

CT scans to determine heart disease in the emergency room
In the future, patients who arrive at a hospital emergency department complaining of chest pain may be diagnosed with a sophisticated CT scan.

NASA-conceived map of Antarctica lays ground for new discoveries
A team of researchers from NASA, the US Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation and the British Antarctic Survey unveiled a newly completed map of Antarctica today that is expected to revolutionize research of the continent's frozen landscape.

Biotech Co. founded by UCLA Scientists to be acquired by Astellas, Pharma Inc.
In 1996, a unique collaboration of leading UCLA scientists led by Dr.

New automated system IDs victims of mass disasters in minutes
A new, high-tech identification system developed in Japan will improve accuracy and significantly reduce the time it takes to identify victims of mass disasters, according to a new study.

Catalyst-free chemistry makes self-healing materials more practical
A new catalyst-free, self-healing material system developed by researchers at the University of Illinois offers a far less expensive and far more practical way to repair composite materials used in structural applications ranging from airplane fuselages to wind-farm propeller blades.

New model predicts breast cancer risk in African-American women
Researchers have developed a new risk prediction model that more accurately estimates the breast cancer risk of African American women, according to a study published online Nov.

PET/CT brings new hope to patients with deadly form of breast cancer
Researchers are improving the chances of women faced with an aggressive and difficult to diagnose form of breast cancer.

University awarded £5M to investigate how cells communicate
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been awarded £5 million to investigate how cells respond to stimuli such as stress and UV radiation.

Elsevier announces launch of 2collab, new research 2.0 platform
Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of science, technology and medical information, today announced the official launch of 2collab, a free online platform for scientific collaboration.

MIT: Stem-cell therapies for brain more complicated than thought
An MIT research team's latest finding suggests that stem cell therapies for the brain could be much more complicated than previously thought.

Blood-vessel blocker aids cancer-killing virus
Cancer-killing viruses are a promising therapy for incurable brain tumors, but their effectiveness has been limited in part because immune cells rapidly eliminate them.

Job-related stress: NIST demonstrates fatigue effects in silicon
Researchers at NIST have demonstrated a mechanical fatigue process that eventually leads to cracks and breakdown in bulk silicon crystals -- a phenomenon that's particularly interesting because it long has been thought not to exist.

UC Davis researchers discover novel pathway to increased inflammation in diabetes patients
Researchers at UC Davis Health System have discovered a novel pathway that results in increased inflammation of blood vessels in patients with type 1 diabetes.

NIST announces first observation of 'persistent flow' in a gas
Using laser light to stir an ultracold gas of atoms, researchers at NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute have demonstrated the first

World AIDS Day: Seeking leadership from the Bush Administration
This World AIDS Day, the HIV Medicine Association is celebrating the good news from the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS that the global case count is lower than previous estimates.

Europe to tackle brain disorder research by linking industry, academia
Attempts to cure brain-related disorders have proved less successful than therapies for other major conditions such as heart cancer, even though just as many people suffer from them.

Stem cells train heart following heart attack
Injecting adult stem cells into a heart following a heart attack (infarction) improves the heart function and strengthens the heart wall.

Where does stored nuclear waste go?
The November issue of Vadose Zone Journal features a series of papers addressing the mysteries beneath the Hanaford site where millions of gallons of hazardous nuclear waste are stored.

Dementia screening in primary care: Is it time?
Primary care physicians should focus on

Cancer-resistant mouse discovered
A mouse resistant to cancer, even highly-aggressive types, has been created by researchers at the University of Kentucky.

Tobacco marketers targeting teens near schools
Joe Camel may be long gone, but that doesn't mean tobacco marketers have abandoned their efforts to get young people hooked on smoking.

Fourth Annual International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Diseases
The Cardiovascular Research Foundation brings experts to New York City from around the world for the Fourth Annual International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Diseases.

Treating your periodontal pockets may benefit your pocket book
A new study in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology found that prevention of periodontal diseases may lead to savings on not only dental costs, but also medical care costs.

MSU food safety experts say Chinese imports need to improve
Over recent months, a long list of consumer goods from China -- everything from seafood to toothpaste to toys -- have been the objects of recalls.

Research suggests new direction for ALS treatment
A research team from Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the first to show that injections of a protein normally found in human cells can increase lifespan and delay the onset of symptoms in mice with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Other Highlights in the Nov. 27 JNCI
Also in the Nov. 27 JNCI are risk estimates for breast cancer in men with BRCA mutations, refined carbohydrates and their association with prostate tumor growth, the relationship between HPV, smoking and drinking in head and neck cancer patients, and drugs that can boost the power of cancer-killing viruses.

ANDRILL's 2nd Antarctic drilling season exceeds all expectations
A second season in Antarctica for the Antarctic Geological Drilling Program has exceeded all expectations, according to the co-chief scientists of the program's Southern McMurdo Sound Project.

Carnegie's Vera Rubin to receive Richtmyer Award
The American Association of Physics Teachers announced today that renowned astrophysicist Vera Rubin, who confirmed the existence of dark matter, has been selected to receive the 2008 Richtmyer Memorial Award.

Tree named in honor of Virginia Tech chemist David G.I. Kingston
A new yew species that grows in India, China and Taiwan has been named for David G.I.

Another complication for gastric bypass patients
Obese patients who suffer complications after gastric bypass surgery may face further health risks because their weight exceeds the limits of diagnostic imaging equipment.

UK Politics and International Studies rated as world class
UK Politics and International Studies research has been shown to world leading according to a new report by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Political Studies Association and the British International Studies Association.

Violent TV, games pack a powerful public health threat
Watching media violence significantly increases the risk that a viewer or video game player will behave aggressively in both the short and long term, according to a University of Michigan study published today in a special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Certain infusion therapy after heart attack does not appear to be beneficial, may cause harm
Infusion of a combination therapy consisting of glucose, insulin and potassium, which was thought could be a beneficial treatment immediately following a heart attack, may increase the risk of heart failure and death in the first three days for patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, according to a study in the Nov.

Scientists identify gene responsible for statin-induced muscle pain
Statins, the popular class of drugs used to lower cholesterol, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in developed countries.

Is the West still the best?
Contrary to many predictions of its demise, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has survived the end of the Cold War and taken on new members and task.

Radiation exposure of pregnant women more than doubles in 10 years
The past decade has seen an unprecedented increase in the use of radiologic exams on pregnant women, according to a new study.

Biodiesel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions
A CSIRO report released today confirms that using pure biodiesel or blending biodiesel with standard fuel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.

Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
Much of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Bali will focus on monitoring tropical deforestation and the critical role of remote sensing systems in REDD mechanism development.

Freezing bone cancer tumors reduces pain, Mayo Clinic study shows
Cryoablation, a procedure most commonly associated with destroying kidney and prostate tumors by freezing them, has been shown to offer durable pain relief of cancer that has spread to bone.

Factors identified to help predict risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women
A clinical model that includes 11 factors has been developed to help predict the 5-year risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women, according to a study in the Nov.

Wiley-Blackwell to relaunch InfoPOEMs with InfoRetriever
Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons Inc., today announced the relaunch in January 2008 of an enhanced version of its evidence-based medicine content resource InfoPOEMs with InfoRetriever under the new name Essential Evidence Plus.

Improving detection of nuclear smuggling goal of computer model of mechanical engineer
A professor at the University of Texas at Austin has received $1.9 million to expand a computer model that is already helping guide national decisions about placement of devices to detect nuclear smuggling attempts. 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