Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 13, 2007
Tiny dust particles from Asian deserts common over western United States
Dust from the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts in China and Mongolia is routinely present in the air over the western United States during spring months, a University of Washington researcher has found.

Collaboration yields 'the right glasses' for observing mystery behavior in electrons
An international team of researchers has, for the first time, viewed on a nanoscale the formation of mysterious metallic puddles that facilitate the transition of an electrically insulating material into an electrically conducting one.

New UIC center to study end-of-life transition
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has received a federal grant to create a center to study people as they transition to the end of life.

Luftman's research published in MIS Quarterly Executive
Stevens Institute of Technology Professor Dr. Jerry Luftman has published the article,

New clinical data shows chromium picolinate improves cognitive function
Nutrition 21 Inc., a leading developer and marketer of chromium-based and omega-3 fish oil-based nutritional supplements, today announced the results of a clinical study that showed daily supplementation with 1000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate improved cognitive function in older adults experiencing early memory decline.

Patients given sunitinib need close monitoring for cardiac problems
Sunitinib -- a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor used to extend survival in patients with renal-cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors -- has cardiotoxic effects.

Green tea may protect brain cells against Parkinson's disease
Does the consumption of green tea, widely touted to have beneficial effects on health, also protect brain cells?

Study uncovers clues to cystic fibrosis gene dysfunction and gastrointestinal disease
Researchers discover a new regulatory element in a region of the cystic fibrosis gene that can control the gene's expression in the gastrointestinal tract, offering new insight into it's role in the development of digestive diseases.

Adapting to pregnancy played key role in human evolution, study shows
The human spine evolved differently in males and females in order to alleviate back pressure from the weight of carrying a baby, according to research spearheaded at the University of Texas at Austin.

Profound immune system discovery opens door to halting destruction of lupus
A researcher funded by the Lupus Research Institute has discovered an entirely new and powerful molecular switch that controls the inflammatory response of the immune system.

Springer editor Alexander Guz wins prestigious award
Alexander Nikolaevich Guz has been awarded the 2007 Blaise Pascal Medal in Materials Science for

Adjuvant chemotherapy could benefit patients with localized colorectal cancer (quasar trial)
Chemotherapy with fluorouracil and folinic acid could improve survival of patients with stage II colorectal cancer compared with observation alone, although the absolute improvements are small.

Wild chimpanzees appear not to regularly experience menopause
A pioneering study of wild chimpanzees has found that these close human relatives do not routinely experience menopause, rebutting previous studies of captive individuals which had postulated that female chimpanzees reach reproductive senescence at 35 to 40 years of age.

Dr. Nicholas Schiff receives research award for Innovation in Neuroscience
A leading authority on neurological disorders of consciousness, Dr. Nicholas Schiff of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City has received a prestigious Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience, the world's largest organization of physicians and scientists who study the brain and nervous system.

Molecular 'trip switch' shuts down inflammatory response
Like a circuit breaker that prevents electrical wiring from overheating and bringing down the house, a tiny family of three molecules stops the immune system from mounting an out-of-control, destructive inflammatory response against invading pathogens, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found.

New study suggests why vaccines directed against cancer, HIV don't work
Researchers from the University of Missouri and Imperial College London have found evidence suggesting why vaccines directed against the virus that causes AIDS and many cancers do not work.

Unlike humans, chimpanzees don't go through menopause
Researchers have found no evidence that chimpanzees in the wild undergo menopause in the way that women do, according to a new report published online on Dec.

Moss is a super model for feeding the hungry
Scientists from the University of Leeds, with colleagues from Germany, Japan and the USA, have sequenced the genome for Physcomitrella -- the first nonflowering or

Stunning survey unveils new secrets of Caistor Roman town
On the morning of Friday July 20, 1928, the crew of an RAF aircraft took photographs over the site of the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St.

Evolution with a restricted number of genes
In the current issue of Science the groups of Professor Dirk Eick and Dr.

UCR researcher awarded $2.1M stem cell grant to study Alzheimer's disease
Douglas Ethell, an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded a $2.1 million five-year grant by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Doctors call on UK government to proceed with folic acid fortification of flour
A group of UK doctors have called on the UK government to proceed with folic acid fortification of flour to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancies, and not to be delayed by two papers which they say do not prove any connection between folic acid and colorectal cancer.

New technique reveals insights into lung disease
Doctors at the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester are collaborating in the use of a magnetic resonance technique to image and quantify the air spaces inside the lungs -- and the results of their research may lead to a link between childhood disease and later degenerative lung disease.

Overweight people more likely to have bad breath, TAU study finds
Tel Aviv University researchers have published a study that finds a direct link between obesity and bad breath: the more overweight you are, the more likely your breath will smell unpleasant to those around you.

Immune system may target some brain synapses, Stanford researchers find
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have found that the immune system may target some brain synapses.

Blind humans lacking rods and cones retain normal responses to nonvisual effects of light
In addition to allowing us to see, the mammalian eye also detects light for a number of

Gliese 581: 1 planet might indeed be habitable
In April, a European team of astronomers announced in Astronomy & Astrophysics the discovery of two possibly habitable Earth-like planets.

Cancer research giants collaborate to present the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
The Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the American Association for Cancer Research announced today a collaboration for the future of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Boston University Medical Center researcher honored
Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D., was recently awarded the 2007 Eli Lilly Lecturer Award from the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Penn researchers shine the light of venus to learn how the herpes virus invades cells
University of Pennsylvania researchers have uncovered an important step in how herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, uses cooperating proteins found on its outer coat to gain entry into healthy cells and infect them.

JDRF awards University of Copenhagen professor with grant to conduct innovative diabetes research
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world's largest charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, awarded Professor Jens Høiriis Nielsen, from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, a research grant for $495,000 to study beta cell regeneration and expansion during pregnancy with the objective of discovering new approaches for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Sperm's immune-protection properties could provide link to how cancers spread
Sugar-based markers on human sperm cells which may prevent them from being attacked by the female immune system could provide a vital clue to how some cancers spread in the human body, according to new research published on Dec.

Message to the elderly: It's never too late to prevent illness
A new study by a NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center physician-scientist has an important message for the elderly: It's not too late to improve your health through diet and exercise, even if you've had an unhealthy lifestyle in the past.

Reversible data transfers from light to sound
As a step towards designing tomorrow's super-fast optical communications networks, a Duke University-led research team has demonstrated a way to transfer encoded information from a laser beam to sound waves and then back to light waves again.

Strong link between obesity and colorectal cancer
A clear, direct link between obesity and colorectal cancer, the second most common form of cancer in Australia with more than 12,000 new cases each year, has been shown in a new analysis by the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia.

University of Pennsylvania researchers zero in on the tiniest members in the war on cancer
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University have uncovered another reason why one of the most commonly activated proteins in cancer is so dangerous.

Semen ingredient 'drastically' enhances HIV infection
A plentiful ingredient found in human semen drastically enhances the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus to cause infection, according to a report in the Dec.

Threatened bird species finds home at Western
A swift decision by some winged tenants has landed the University of Western Ontario a special recognition from one of Canada's oldest naturalists clubs.

Moss genome shows how plants invaded the land and learned to survive heat and drought
A dainty yet ephemeral moss is the latest organism to have its genome sequenced, providing scientists with keys to the genetic changes that allowed aquatic plants to venture onto land.

Fish farms drive wild salmon populations toward extinction
A study appearing in the Dec. 14 issue of the journal Science shows, for the first time, that parasitic sea lice infestations caused by salmon farms are driving nearby populations of wild salmon toward extinction.

Breakthrough technology observes synapse in real time, supporting theory of vesicular recycling
For the first time, scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City have observed in real time a cellular mechanism that's crucial to how brain cells communicate.

Losses of long-established genes contribute to human evolution
While it is well understood that the evolution of new genes leads to adaptations that help species survive, gene loss may also afford a selective advantage.

Slimming surgery increases fivefold in 5 years, and is lowering mortality
The worldwide obesity epidemic has increased the number of bariatric (slimming) surgical procedures more than fivefold within five years in most developed countries; there is also mounting evidence that the surgery reduces mortality in morbidly obese patients.

Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
A novel method has been developed for attaching small molecules, such as neurotransmitters, to surfaces, which then are used to capture large biomolecules.

Experiments reveal unexpected activity of fuel cell catalysts
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have unveiled important details about a class of catalysts that could help improve the performance of fuel cells.

Immediate action needed to save corals from climate change
The journal Science has published a paper today that is the most comprehensive review to date of the effects rising ocean temperatures are having on the world's coral reefs.

Early treatment stops epilepsy in its tracks
It is possible to suppress the development of epilepsy in genetically predisposed animals, which could open the door to treating epilepsy as a preventable disease.

Air quality forecasts see future in space
Weather broadcasts have long been a staple for people planning their day.

Rong Li Lab reports protein interactions of MAP kinase signaling pathway
The Stowers Institute's Rong Li Lab, in collaboration with the Institute's Imaging Center, has achieved a quantitative in vivo measurement of the dynamic protein-protein interactions in the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade signaling pathway, which is critical to growth and differentiation decisions in all eukaryotic cells.

WUSTL researchers spearhead key genome initiative
The complete genome of a moss has been sequenced, providing scientists an important evolutionary link between single-celled algae and flowering plants, suggests a study published in the journal Science.

NASA awards $9.3M to Dartmouth researcher for radiation study using balloons
Robyn Millan, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth, will lead a NASA project to launch more than 40 high altitude balloons from Antarctica to study the Earth's Van Allen Belts.

Springer publishes La Chirurgia degli Organi de Movimento
Springer, one of the leading STM publishers, will begin publishing La Chirurgia degli Organi de Movimento: Musculoskeletal Surgery in December 2007.

JCI table of contents: Dec. 13, 2007
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

Effective new treatment for schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating of the major psychiatric disorders, and is also one of the most difficult to treat.

New research alters concept of how circadian clock functions
Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified a molecule that may govern how the circadian clock in plants responds to environmental changes.

DOE JGI Community Sequencing Program delivers first moss genome
Messages from nearly a half-billion years ago, conveyed via the inventory of genes sequenced from a present-day moss, provide clues about the earliest colonization of dry land by plants.

A researcher from the UGR created a system which makes robots see and interact with people
This study, conducted in the department of computer science and artificial intelligence has made it possible to develop a series of perception-motor skills which noticeably improve natural interaction between androids and humans.

Return to Europa: A closer look is possible
New research brings scientists closer to exploring the ice-covered ocean of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons.

Drug study for brain cancer shows promising results
A clinical study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital on the use of a drug to extend the survival of patients with the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer, has yielded results that were significantly better than expected.

The 2008 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
Each year more than 250,000 people are diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers and 136,000 die of these diseases.

Another warm year as Bali conference ends
Preliminary global temperature figures, released today by the University of East Anglia and the Met Office's Hadley Center, show that the top 11 warmest years have all occurred in the last 13 years.

Treatment with SN reduces injury to the brain following stroke
Stroke is the term used to describe deteriorating brain function due to either the leaking of blood vessels (hemorrhage) or oxygen deprivation (ischemia) in the brain.

MicroRNA regulates cancer stem cells
Researchers have discovered a key molecular switch that regulates cancer stem cells.

Another 'smart' cancer drug can have toxic effects on the heart
Another FDA-approved targeted cancer drug, sunitinib, may be associated with cardiac toxicity, report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston) and Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia).

Promising results for pilot trial of wearable hemodialysis device
A pilot trial of a wearable hemodialysis device to improve the quality of life for patients with kidney failure has delivered promising results.

Putting risk in perspective: Do people make better decisions when they understand average risk?
If there were a pill that would cut your risk of breast cancer in half, would you take it?

It's official: The carbon crisis is lethal for coral reefs
Major new research indicates that coral reefs won't survive the rapid increases in global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 forecast by the IPCC.

Predicting post-traumatic stress disorders in deployed veterans
Canada's peacekeepers suffer similar rates of post-traumatic stress disorders as combat, war-zone soldiers, according to research out of London, Canada.

New overview of continental crust formation incorporates fourth dimension
A new volume published by the Geological Society of America brings together 29 landmark papers on the formation of continental crust.

High-dose chemo and stem cell transplant shows little or no survival benefit for breast cancer
High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, the controversial, arduous, yet once-popular combination treatment that fell out of favor as a therapy for breast cancer, has proven not to be beneficial as an adjuvant therapy for women with node-positive disease, according to an expansive analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Texas M.

Same genetic machinery generates skin color evolution in fish and humans
New research shows that despite the vast evolutionary gulf between humans and the three-spined stickleback fish, the two species have adopted a common genetic strategy to acquire the skin pigmentation that helps each species thrive in new environments.

As waters clear, scientists seek to end a muddy debate
Geologists have long thought muds will only settle when waters are quiet, but new research by Indiana University Bloomington and Massachusetts Institute of Technology geologists shows muds will accumulate even when currents move swiftly.

Top physics laboratories sign up to open access with PhysMath Central
Open Access gains further momentum with commitments from CERN and DESY to cover article-processing charges. 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