Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 06, 2007
Chemoprevention, naturally: Findings on plant-derived cancer medicines
The next cancer-fighting therapeutic could be growing in your garden, according to research presented today, at the American Association for Cancer Research's Sixth Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, being held from Dec.

Experts from Stevens, Merck, publish joint paper, 'Biosynthetic Studies of Platensimycin'
Stevens Institute of Technology's Professor Athule B. Attygalle and his doctoral student Kithsiri B.

Revolutionary work in mathematics is awarded
Drs. Stefano Bianchini and Alberto Bressan will be honored with the SIAM Activity Group on Analysis of Partial Differential Equations Prize for their breakthrough work in the analysis of partial differential equations, supplying new and powerful analytic ideas and establishing fundamental properties of the solutions.

'Hellish' hot springs yield greenhouse gas-eating bug
New species of hardy methane-eating bacteria discovered in hot springs in New Zealand is described by a team led by University of Calgary biologist Peter Dunfield.

Bush proposal for HIV-positive visitors makes a bad rule worse
The Bush administration's proposed rule for waivers allowing some people with HIV to visit the United States is even more restrictive, burdensome, and arbitrary than the rule it is intended to replace, according to the HIV Medicine Association.

Study of African traditional medicine will begin world-first clinical trial
Sutherlandia may be unfamiliar to many North Americans, but in South Africa, where traditional medicines are used by many people, and often supplement conventional medicines, many consider it a miracle plant.

Strawberry fields ripe for the picking
A team of researchers from the University of Maryland, Utah State University, and the US Department of Agriculture compared three different strawberry production systems over a two-year period (2003-2004) to determine which system was preferred by consumers who frequented pick-your-own farms.

Ultrafast optical shutter is switched entirely by laser light
It's a rare case of all light and no heat: A new study reports that a laser can be used to switch a film of vanadium dioxide back and forth between reflective and transparent states without heating or cooling it.

Diet and cancer prevention: New evidence for the protective effects of fruits and veggies
The age-old refrain,

New direction for chance discovery?
There have been publications on the subject of chance discovery since Yukio Ohsawa proposed the concept of chance discovery in 2000, but the question arises: will the research continue in the way it is done now or shall chance discovery move towards a new direction?

Heads or tails? Scientists identify gene that regulates polarity in regenerating flatworms
The gene Smed-beta-catenin-1 has been discovered to regulate polarity in regenerating flatworms.

Traumatic brain injury in soldiers -- what kind of life follows?
The consequences of traumatic brain injury sustained by soldiers in the battlefield are explored in an editorial in this week's edition of The Lancet.

Caffeine cream tones thighs
A new study recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports on the discovery of caffeine's novel benefit in slenderizing thighs.

Miscarriage myths persist despite prevalence of medical information
More than a third of women surveyed about their beliefs surrounding miscarriage and birth defects said they thought that a pregnant woman's foul mood could negatively affect her baby.

Public health and cancer prevention: Success and future challenges in cancer policy
Medical research has revealed much about cancer prevention, but is the information reaching all Americans, and are they acting on it?

Manoochehri to co-chair ASME conference in August 2008
Dr. Souran P. Manoochehri, associate dean for research and technology at Stevens Institute of Technology's Schaefer School of Engineering and Science, will serve as general conference co-chair at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' annual conference.

Safe and effective therapy discovered for patients with protein-losing enteropathy
A study performed by the laboratory of Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., at the Burnham Institute has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, describing both the science behind protein-losing enteropathy and also a way to treat the disease that side steps some of the severe complications of current treatments.

Research on HIV-1 resistance in Old World monkeys
For his research of HIV-1 resistance in monkeys, Matt Stremlau, has been named the grand prize winner and the North American regional winner for the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.

L'Oreal-UNESCO awards honor UCSF biologist for pioneering research in DNA synthesis
Researcher who discovered telomerase's role in aging and cell mutation among five women scientists awarded in Paris.

St. Jude finds mechanism for faulty protein disposal
A discovery by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists offers new insights into how myeloma cells dispose of defective or excess proteins and could lead to new cancer treatments.

Scripps research scientists discover chemical triggers for aggression in mice
A group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has discovered specific pheromone compounds responsible for eliciting aggressive behavior in mice.

Knowing how ketamine impairs brain circuitry may lead to new therapies for schizophrenia
Scientists know that the drug ketamine -- street name

US Pharmacopeia partners with Quantros to enhance the MEDMARX patient safety reporting program
The US Pharmacopeia has formed a strategic alliance with Quantros, a health care information management technology provider, to enhance MEDMARX, USP's premier adverse drug event reporting program.

Extensive failure of 3 main HIV drugs is slow in routine clinical practice
Extensive virological failure of the three main classes of HIV antiretroviral drugs occurs slowly in routine clinical practice.

Hiring practices influenced by beauty
The attractiveness of interviewees can significantly bias outcome in hiring practices, showing a clear distinction between the attractive and average looking interviewees in terms of high and low status job packages offered.

Professor Strauf's research is Nature Photonics' cover article
Stefan Strauf, assistant professor in the department of physics and engineering physics at Stevens Institute of Technology, along with colleagues from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Leiden University, has authored the article,

Better protection for biomedial devices could result from Rutgers-Camden research
Biomedical and microelectronic devices could be better protected thanks to research underway at Rutgers University--Camden that aims to improve the coating of polymers in smoothness and uniformity, no matter how intricate the product.

Commercialization of nanotechnology
The third podcast in the Nanotechnology Victoria Series focuses on nanotechnology investment and commercialization and presents the views of six key stakeholders on the crucial issues around how nanotechnology can be taken from the laboratory and translated into successful commercial outcomes.

Hinode mission delves into solar mysteries
New, peer-reviewed results from the Hinode space mission (

Economists: Reduce fish catch now for bigger net profits later
In Science magazine this week economists report having demonstrated in four diverse fisheries that highest profits are made when fish stocks are allowed to rise beyond levels traditionally considered optimal.

PET and bioluminescent imaging aid evaluation of stem cells' potential for new ways to treat disease
Using positron emission tomography imaging with bioluminescence -- the light produced by a chemical reaction within an organism -- researchers are starting to understand the behavior of transplanted or implanted stem cells that may one day be used to develop new treatments for disease.

Anticancer drugs might be of benefit to sickle-cell patients
Although some individuals with the inherited blood disorder sickle cell disease benefit from treatment with hydroxyurea, which increases fetal hemoglobin expression, it does not work for all sickle-cell patients.

Scientists issue Bali climate change warning
More than 200 leading climate scientists have today warned the United Nations Climate Conference of the need to act immediately to cut greenhouse gas emissions, with a window of only 10-15 years for global emissions to peak and decline, and a goal of at least a 50 percent reduction by 2050.

Fresh-cut produce washing practices can minimize food-borne illness risks
Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture recently examined the safety and quality of

Like humans, monkey see, monkey plan, monkey do
How many times a day do you grab objects such as a pencil or a cup?

Subliminal smells bias perception about a person's likeability
Anyone who has bonded with a puppy madly sniffing with affection gets an idea of how scents, most not apparent to humans, are critical to a dog's appreciation of her two-legged friends.

Bereavement increases death rate from many causes including suicide
Bereavement is associated with excess risk of mortality, particularly in early weeks and months after loss.

Elsevier announces new journal partnership for 2008
Elsevier is pleased to announce that in 2008 the leading fatty-acid research journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids will become the Official Journal of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids.

EMD Serono launches easypod, new electronic growth hormone injection device
EMD Serono, Inc. announced today the availability of easypod, the first of its kind automated device in the growth hormone therapeutic area. easypod was developed for the administration of Saizen, the company's treatment for growth hormone deficiency.

UTSA and University in Mexico to collaborate in science research
The University of Texas at San Antonio and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico signed an agreement in cooperation in science that will foster collaborations with students and faculty at both institutions.

Research funding reaches £125m at University of Nottingham
Research awards made to the University of Nottingham have reached a new record level -- exceeding £125 million for the first time.

Free software brings affordability, transparency to mathematics
A UW mathematician is on a mission to replace the costly software used in education and research with a free, open-source version.

Fluoridated water for Queensland ... at last
Griffith University's School of Dentistry and Oral Health welcomes the Queensland government's decision to introduce fluoride into the public drinking water -- a measure endorsed by all major international and Australian health bodies as the best way to prevent dental decay.

Are we genetically programmed to be generous? Hebrew University scientists say yes
Are those inclined towards generosity genetically programmed to behave that way?

New, rare and threatened species discovered in Ghana
Scientists exploring one of the largest remaining blocks of tropical forest in Western Africa discovered significant populations of new, rare and threatened species underscoring the area's high biological diversity and value.

Hinode reveals new insights about the origin of solar wind
Images from NASA-funded telescopes aboard a Japanese satellite have shed new light about the sun's magnetic field and the origins of solar wind, which disrupts power grids, satellites and communications on Earth.

CU-Boulder supercomputer simulation of universe may help in search for missing matter
Much of the gaseous mass of the universe is bound up in a tangled web of cosmic filaments that stretch for hundreds of millions of light-years, according to a new supercomputer study by a team led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

NASA schedules American Geophysical Union Meeting media events
NASA researchers will present new findings to the media on a wide range of Earth and space science topics during the 2007 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Protein protects brain against compound in lead poisoning, liver disease
Scientists have discovered that a protein known as PEPT2 protects the brains of mice from a naturally occurring but potentially toxic compound present in lead poisoning and in a class of liver diseases that can cause serious neurological complications.

Southern Alaska: Tectonic collisions and crustal growth
Earthquake-prone southern Alaska, where Earth's Pacific plate moves northward at a rate of about two inches per year and is being subducted beneath the North American plate, is considered a classic illustration of tectonic collisions producing growth of continental margins.

More babies born prematurely, new report shows
The preterm birth rate, the percentage of babies born at less than 37 weeks gestation, is continuing its relentless rise, with more than 525,000 babies, or 12.7 percent, born prematurely in 2005.

Can shopping behavior indicate personality type?
In his current research, Dr. Paul Albanese, Kent State University associate professor of marketing and author of The Personality Continuum and Consumer Behavior, examined shopping behavior and four levels of personality development.

Dam the Red Sea and release gigawatts
Damming the Red Sea could solve the growing energy demands of millions of people in the Middle East and alleviate some of the region's tensions pertaining to oil supplies through hydroelectric power.

Tiny pest-eating insect fights fruit flies
Farmers and vineyard owners have a new weapon in their pest management arsenal.

Possible genetic predictor for response to lithium augmentation in depressed patients
As in most fields of medicine, psychiatry researchers are working to identify specific types of patients, through their individual genetic variations, that may better benefit from particular drugs or combinations of drugs than other patients.

Participation in organized high school activities lowers risk of smoking 3 years after graduation
Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania reported today that students who participate in high school sports or individual physical activity are less likely to smoke than their classmates.

MIT creates new oil-repelling material
MIT engineers have designed the first simple process for manufacturing materials that strongly repel oils.

A new approach to study flu drug resistance
Researchers have created a new approach for studying resistance to Neuraminidase Inhibitors in influenza.

Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
A new UCLA study has found that elementary schools can significantly increase the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income students by providing a lunch salad bar.

UC Davis bird-flu expert calls for changes in early-warning system
The international science community is not doing enough to track the many avian influenza viruses that might cause the next pandemic, a UC Davis researcher says in today's issue of the journal Nature.

Baclofen promotes alcohol abstinence in alcoholics with liver cirrhosis
The drug baclofen is effective at promoting alcohol abstinence in alcohol-dependent patients with liver cirrhosis, and could have an important role in treatment of these individuals.

Reprogrammed adult cells treat sickle-cell anemia in mice
This is the first proof of principle for using adult cells reprogrammed to an embryonic-stem-cell-like state, combined with gene and cell therapy, for successful disease treatment in mice.

New software to aid early detection of infectious disease outbreaks
A newly released software program will let health authorities at the site of an infectious disease outbreak quickly analyze data, speeding the detection of new cases and the implementation of effective interventions.

Testing time for instrument on Hubble's successor
A significant milestone for the Hubble Space Telescope successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is on course to be reached before Christmas with the testing of the verification model of the Mid-InfraRed Instrument at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.

JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 6, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

A novel finding in how chikungunya virus has spread to new vectors and locations
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have discovered how a key protein switch allows chikungunya virus to spread to new vectors.

Patients need to know that nuclear medicine procedures can trigger radiation alarms
Twenty million nuclear medicine procedures that detect and evaluate heart disease, brain disorders and cancer -- and that use radiopharmaceuticals to treat overactive thyroids and some cancers -- are performed each year.

Finding the right words: Provider-patient discussions can help domestic violence victims speak up
Researchers at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and other sites have found that doctors and other health care providers can better their chances of identifying and helping victims of domestic violence by changing the way they ask patients questions.

Making emergency artery repair safer
Catheters outfitted with balloons, lasers, and miniature drills have made the treatment of blocked arteries virtually routine.

Doctors failing to diagnose HIV early in UK Africans
Doctors are missing valuable opportunities to diagnose HIV in Africans living in the UK, with serious consequences for their long term health, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust. 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