Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 11, 2007
Complex carbon picture clearer
A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change.

More 'functional' DNA in genome than previously thought
Surrounding the small islands of genes within the human genome is a vast sea of mysterious DNA.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Korea Research Foundation eyes entry into ESFls EUROCORES, research networking programs
In another sign of how European Science Foundation's activities are breaking geographic barriers and exerting global influences, the Korea Research Foundation has expressed desire to participate in ESF's programs such as the European Collaborative Research Scheme and the Research Networking Programs.

3-drug combination 'extremely promising' as first-line therapy for multiple myeloma
A new combination of bortezomib (Velcade) and two other drugs is showing a very high response rate in patients newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a team headed by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

New study increases concerns about climate model reliability
A new study comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual climate data finds that the models do an unsatisfactory job of mimicking climate change in key portions of the atmosphere.

Greenland melt accelerating, according to CU-Boulder study
The 2007 melt extent on the Greenland ice sheet broke the 2005 summer melt record by 10 percent, making it the largest ever recorded there since satellite measurements began in 1979, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder climate scientist.

Elective Caesareans carry increased risk of breathing problems
Babies delivered by elective Caesarean section around term carry up to a fourfold increased risk of breathing problems compared with babies delivered vaginally or by emergency caesarean section, concludes a study from Denmark published on today.

Ames Laboratory researchers solve fuel-cell membrane structure conundrum
Researchers have struggled to explain the molecular structure of proton exchange membranes, the key component in hydrogen fuel cells.

Gene is associated with aggressive prostate cancer
A variant of a tumor suppressor gene may be associated with an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer, according to a study published online Dec.

Solving solar system quandaries is simple: Just flip-flop the position of Uranus and Neptune
The planets in our solar system weren't always in the order they are today.

Caught in the act: The dynamic dance of enzymes
In a study in Nature, Brandeis University biophysicist Dorothee Kern and collaborators pull back the curtain on the secret lives of enzymes, the ubiquitous proteins that catalyze chemical reactions in the cell.

Use of diabetes medication by older adults linked with increased risk of heart problems, death
Older patients treated with the diabetes medications known as thiazolidinediones (which include rosiglitazone) had a significantly increased risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure and death, compared with the use of other hypoglycemic drugs, according to a study in the Dec.

Making schools more successful for more students more of the time
The key findings of 30 years of worldwide School Effectiveness Research are examined in a new report funded by CfBT Education Trust.

Brain stem cells sensitive to space radiation
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists recently led a team of researchers to study potential effects of space radiation on astronauts.

Brain stem cells sensitive to space radiation
Studies in mice show identifying medications or physical shielding to protect astronauts from cosmic and solar radiation will be important for the success of human space missions beyond low Earth orbit, according to researchers from the University of Florida, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and NASA.

UGR researcher carries out the first study in Spain on museum visitors
The project studies visitors to the

Geriatric care intervention appears to provide some benefits for low-income seniors
A home-based geriatric care program for low-income seniors resulted in higher-quality medical care, improvement in quality of life and fewer emergency department visits, but did not appear to prevent decline in physical functioning, according to a study in the Dec.

Adult stem cell heart attack study updated at American Society for Hematology Meeting
Doctors are using patients' own bone marrow stem cells (progenitor cells) to treat the damage to cardiac muscle after a heart attack in a study at Emory University School of Medicine.

Neurotransmitters in biopolymers stimulate nerve regeneration
Research reported Dec. 11 in the journal Advanced Materials describes a potentially promising strategy for encouraging the regeneration of damaged central nervous system cells known as neurons.

Cancer cell line developed that is resistant to new cancer therapy
A cancer cell line that is resistant to one of the newest classes of cancer treatments has been developed by researchers who already are using it to determine what else to give patients when this happens.

New carbon calculator conserves forests
Lively videos and stunning images are featured in Conservation International's new online carbon calculator, which helps people easily calculate how much they are adding to global greenhouse gases.

Dakotas continue to yield paleontological treasures
Two hundred years ago Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery laid the groundwork for a good deal of scientific research with its descriptions of territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

Does time slow in crisis?
In The Matrix, hero Neo wins his battles when time slows in the simulated world.

The 'bear' necessities of aging
According to George Bernard Shaw:

Protein-dependent 'switch' regulates intracellular trafficking in epithelial cells
With findings highlighted on a recent cover of Developmental Cell, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City have shed important new light on key trafficking mechanisms within epithelial cells.

New model revises estimates of terrestrial carbon dioxide uptake
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new model of global carbon and nitrogen cycling that will fundamentally transform the understanding of how plants and soils interact with a changing atmosphere and climate.

Researchers build new model of bio-exploration
Two land-grant universities have developed a new approach to global bio-exploration, one that returns most of the fruits of discovery to the countries that provide the raw materials on which the research depends.

Study finds US middle school math teachers ill-prepared
Middle school math teachers in the United States are not as well prepared to teach this subject compared to teachers in five other countries, something that could negatively affect the US as it continues to compete on an international scale.

Natural human hormone as the next antidepressant?
Novel treatment strategies for major depression with broader treatment success or a more rapid onset of action would have immense impact on public health, a new study published in the Dec.

Software help Mars rovers find winter havens
New software is helping NASA find safe places for the Spirit rover to ride out future Martian winters -- and also plan where Spirit and its companion rover, Opportunity, will explore in the future.

Hazy red sunset on extrasolar planet
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers a fascinating new insight into the atmosphere of a planet in orbit around another star.

Early Phase II results show bosutinib safe, effective for CML
A new drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia works for patients who have developed resistance to frontline therapy and causes fewer side effects than other medications in its class, a research team led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

Kids more active when playground has balls, jump ropes, UNC study shows
Children play harder and longer when their child care centers provide portable play equipment (like balls, hoola hoops, jump ropes and riding toys), more opportunities for active play and physical activity training and education for staff and students, according to a study published in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Setting a course for the future of tissue engineering
The editors of Tissue Engineering asked 24 leaders in the field what critical steps are needed for tissue engineering to achieve broad critical success by the year 2021 and published their findings in the December 2007 issue.

UT Southwestern: Patients with mild Cushing syndrome may benefit from adrenalectomy
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that patients with a mild form of Cushing syndrome, a metabolic disorder caused by adrenal tumors, demonstrate substantial clinical improvement after adrenalectomy.

Earth's magnetic field could help protect astronauts working on the moon
The Earth's magnetic field can provide some protection from radiation for humans on the moon, new research shows.

New Tibetan ice cores missing A-bomb blast
Ice cores drilled last year from the summit of a Himalayan ice field lack the distinctive radioactive signals that mark virtually every other ice core retrieved worldwide.

UCLA study shows different areas of the brain respond to belief, disbelief and uncertainty
Using fMRI, researchers at UCLA have identified clear differences in the areas of the brain involved in belief, disbelief, and uncertainty.

Analysis of documentary photos revises history
By analyzing some lesser-known photographs, taken by world famous documentary photographers, art historian Cecelia Strandroth relates a new history of the Depression Era in the United States.

Smoking associated with increased risk of diabetes
A review of previous studies indicates that people who currently smoke have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with nonsmokers, according to an article in the Dec.

New computational technique can predict drug side effects
Early identification of adverse effects of drugs before they are tested in humans is crucial in developing new therapeutics, as unexpected effects account for a third of all drug failures during the development process.

Scientists seek to assess the microbial risks in the water we drink
Disease outbreaks sometimes originate from a source that most people in the United States and other developed countries trust unquestioningly: drinking water.

Student identifies enormous new dinosaur
The remains of one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs ever found have recently been recognized as representing a new species by a student working at the University of Bristol.

Sedative may have better outcomes than common medication for ICU patients on respirator
Intensive care unit patients on respirators who were sedated with the drug dexmedetomidine had more days alive without delirium or coma and better sedation compared to patients treated with the recommended drug lorazepam, according to a study in the Dec.

Other highlights in the Dec. 11 JNCI
Also in the Dec. 11 JNCI are a drug that may reduce breast cancer recurrence, the risk of cancer after a blood transfusion, the association between PSA testing and prostate cancer diagnoses, and cancer risk among NBN mutation carriers.

Rand study examines the effect of policy on entrepreneurship and small businesses
An improved understanding of the effects of regulation on small businesses will help lawmakers develop policy designed to advance entrepreneurship, according to a new RAND Corp. report.

Building blocks of life formed on Mars
Organic compounds contain carbon and hydrogen and form the building blocks of all life on Earth.

Diagnostic mammogram readings vary extensively by radiologist
Radiologists' interpretation of diagnostic mammograms varies widely and could not be explained by differences in patient populations, according to a study published online Dec.

3rd European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research in September 2008
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services is pleased to announce that it will hold the Third European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research on Sept.

Dilemmas in media coverage of war and terrorism discussed
Media coverage of war and terrorism continues to raise ethical dilemmas for journalists and news producers.

Accuracy of diagnostic mammograms varies by radiologist
For women with breast symptoms such as lumps, the ability of diagnostic mammograms to detect breast cancer accurately depends strongly on which radiologist reads them, according to a Group Health study published online on December 11 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Exercise testing may help predict seriousness of mitral regurgitation
A new study finds that monitoring the capacity of these patients to exercise on a treadmill -- an evaluation called exercise tolerance testing -- may be useful in predicting the condition's progression and whether the patient will need surgery.

Fuel cells help make noisy, hot generators a thing of the past
Two core technologies developed at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory -- a fuel desulfurization system and a fuel reforming system -- were instrumental in the demonstration of an electric power system operating on JP-8, a fuel commonly used in military operations.

NASA spacecraft make new discoveries about Northern Lights
A fleet of NASA spacecraft, launched less than eight months ago, has made three important discoveries about spectacular eruptions of Northern Lights called

IBM reports milestone in silicon nanophotonics
Several extraordinary recent achievements place the field of microresonators at the frontier of modern photonics.

Aging with GRACE: Improving health care for older adults
A JAMA study reports success by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers in both improving quality of care and health-related quality of life measures while reducing emergency department use for low income seniors.

Obesity reduces chances of spontaneous pregnancy in women who are subfertile but ovulating normally
A new study of obesity and the probability of pregnancy has shown that a woman's chances of a spontaneous pregnancy steadily decrease the fatter she is.

Scat sniffing dogs detecting rare California carnivores
Scientists at the US Forest Service Redwood Sciences Lab and University of Vermont found scat sniffing dogs might be the best way to confirm the presence of rare carnivores in forested areas like the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Global climate change: The impact of El Niño on Galápagos marine iguanas
A before-and-after study led by Yale biologists, of the effects of 1997 El Niño on the genetic diversity of marine iguanas on the Galápagos Islands, emphasizes the importance of studying populations over time and the need to determine which environmental and biological factors make specific populations more vulnerable than others.

Study finds gene linked to aggressive prostate cancer
Results from two genome-wide association studies have identified a genetic variant of the DAB2IP gene that is associated with the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

RAND study outlines passenger-rail systems which cost-effectively prevent terrorist attacks
A RAND Corporation study issued today gives rail security planners and policymakers a framework to develop cost-effective plans to secure their rail systems from terrorist attacks.

16th Annual Congress on Women's Health, March 28-30
A prestigious group of physicians, nurses, and allied healthcare providers will gather in Williamsburg, Va., on March 28-30, 2008 at the Williamsburg Lodge to learn practical, clinical information on cutting-edge therapeutic protocols, novel diagnostic procedures, and innovative research advances that impact patient care.

Georg Olah, winner of the Nobel Prize, explores the chemistry of superelectrophiles
Superelectrophiles have the potential to revolutionise the processes in synthetic chemistry.

Rising CO2 signals wetter storms for Northern Hemisphere, says CU-Boulder study
While two new studies by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences predict wetter storms for the Arctic and for the Northern Hemisphere because of global warming, whether or not this means more net precipitation depends on the latitude.

USC researchers explore genetic causes for male infertility
Researchers at the University of Southern California suggest epigenetics, or the way DNA is processed and expressed, may be the underlying cause for male infertility. 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