Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 09, 2008
2 Hebrew University scientists awarded Wolf Prizes
Two Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers, Professor Howard Cedar and Professor Aharon Razin, have been awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Medicine for their fundamental contributions to the control of gene expression and cancer research.

Exercising judgment: The psychology of fitness
In addition to the weight loss, exercise has been linked to reduced depressive symptoms and reduced risk for heart disease.

480-million-year-old fossil sheds light on 150-year-old paleontological mystery
Discovery of an exceptional fossil specimen in southeastern Morocco that preserves evidence of the animal's soft tissues has solved a paleontological puzzle about the origins of an extinct group of bizarre slug-like animals with rows of mineralized armor plates on their backs, according to a paper in Nature.

Divorce may widen distance between teens, fathers
The typical distancing from parents by adolescents is exacerbated by divorce for fathers, but not for mothers, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Research project aims to control sunlight, extend growing season and conserve energy
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Kent State Liquid Crystal Institute team up on greenhouse research project with potential to regulate energy consumption and light, improve plant growth and develop more efficient greenhouses

NIST develops test method for key micromechanical property
Engineers and researchers designing and building new microelectromechanical systems can benefit from a new test method developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to measure a key mechanical property of such systems: elasticity.

Huntington's disease problem start early
The damaging effects of the mutated protein involved in Huntington's disease take place earlier in cell life than previously believed, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears in the current edition of the journal Neuron.

Why it pays to be choosy
Given that cooperative individuals can often be exploited, it is not immediately clear why such behaviour has evolved.

Stanford, Monterey Bay Aquarium and MBARI launch Center for Ocean Solutions
Stanford University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have joined forces to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore the world's oceans.

Rough times: NIST's new approach to surface profiling
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a novel technique for measuring the roughness of surfaces that is casting doubt on the accuracy of current procedures.

Down to earth remedies for chimps
The deliberate ingestion of soil, or

Measurement innovations add up to big savings for semiconductors
A new report from NIST shows that investment in measurement science has and will continue to dramatically effect on innovation, productivity, growth and competitiveness in and among high technology sectors.

Quakes under Pacific floor reveal unexpected circulatory system
Seismologists working under 2,500 meters of water on a mid-ocean ridge in the eastern Pacific Ocean have used tiny earthquakes to make the first images of the interior of a hydrothermal vent system, and it does not look at all the way many had assumed it would.

Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
A team of researchers, led by biologists at Dartmouth, has found potentially dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic in Lake Baiyangdian, the largest lake in the North China Plain and a source of both food and drinking water for the people who live around it.

60 percent of psychotherapy clients felt therapy didn't end on time
Sixty percent of private practice dynamically oriented psychotherapy clients felt that their therapy either lasted too long or ended too soon, according to recent research conducted by Professor David Roe of the University of Haifa.

New X-ray source in nearby galaxy spawns mystery
Astronomers studying a nearby galaxy have spied a rare type of star system -- one that contains a black hole that suddenly began glowing brightly with X-rays.

Disruptive Technologies Roundtable series to discuss trends in technologies and investments, Jan. 23
Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski, Vice President for University Research & Enterprise Development at Stevens Institute of Technology, will host the latest in a series of Disruptive Technologies Roundtables at Stevens.

Hypnosis study reveals brain's 'amnesia centers'
Brain scans of hypnotized people that are taken as they forget and are triggered to remember have revealed neural circuitry that is key to the memory suppression and recall process.

University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada have found a way to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and fatty acids that end up in the blood from food the body metabolizes, a key discovery that could lead to new drugs to treat and reverse the effects of diabetes and heart disease related to obesity.

Listen-up ladies: Don't postpone knee-replacement surgery
Is getting new knees on your list of New Year's resolutions?

Evolution of the sexes: What a fungus can tell us
Fungi don't exactly come in boy and girl varieties, but they do have sex differences.

NIST reference materials are 'gold standard' for bio-nanotech research
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued its first reference standards for nanoscale particles targeted for the biomedical research community -- literally

Astronomers find record-old cosmic explosion
Astronomers have detected a mysterious type of cosmic explosion, a short gamma ray burst, farther back in time than ever before: 7.4 billion years, more than halfway back to the Big Bang.

Radioactive 'understudy' may aid medical imaging, drug development
Broadway stars have understudies. Now, an increasingly popular radioactive isotope has its own stand-in.

Galaxy may hold hundreds of rogue black holes
If the latest simulation of what happens when black holes merge is correct, there could be hundreds of rogue black holes, each weighing several thousand times the mass of the sun, roaming around the Milky Way galaxy.

Disrupting common parasites' ability to 'talk' to each other reduces infection
One of the most common human parasites, Toxoplasma gondii, uses a hormone lifted from the plant world to decide when to increase its numbers and when to remain dormant, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Surprise -- cholesterol may actually pose benefits, study shows
Researchers at Texas A&M University have discovered that lower cholesterol levels can actually reduce muscle gain with exercising.

Scientists find cultural differences among chimpanzee colonies
Socially-learned cultural behavior thought to be unique to humans is also found among chimpanzees colonies, scientists at the University of Liverpool have found.

Overweight people may not know when they've had enough
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have found new clues to why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't.

Digital Library for Geosciences moves to NCAR
The nation's most extensive collection of digital learning resources for geoscience education is now based at NCAR.

Small RNAs can prevent spread of breast cancer
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified small pieces of ribonucleic acid that suppress the spread of breast cancer to the lungs and bone.

Siberian jays can communicate about behavior of birds of prey
With the aid of various alarm calls the Siberian jay bird species tells other members of its group what their main predators-hawks-are doing.

Novel chromosome abnormality appears to increase risk of autism
A multi-institutional study has identified a chromosomal abnormality that appears to increase susceptibility to autism.

New treatment boosts bone healing and regrowth
A drug originally used to treat iron poisoning can significantly boost the body's ability to heal and regrow injured bones, according to a new study.

Life savers in the gut
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have discovered that proteins that regulate the body's iron household play a vital role in making sure enough nutrients and water are absorbed in the intestine.

Vast cloud of antimatter traced to binary stars
Four years of observations from the European Space Agency's Integral (INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory) satellite may have cleared up one of the most vexing mysteries in our Milky Way: the origin of a giant cloud of antimatter surrounding the galactic center.

Earth's moving crust may occasionally stop
The motion, formation, and recycling of Earth's crust -- commonly known as plate tectonics -- have long been thought to be continuous processes.

Treating venous leg ulcers with honey dressings unlikely to help healing
When compared with normal care, treating a leg ulcer with dressings impregnated with honey did not significantly improve the rate of healing, but did lead to a significantly increased number of reported adverse events, according to research published today in the British Journal of Surgery.

Stevens' Center for Science Writings honors environmental critics with Green Book Award
Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, whose critiques of the environmental movement have provoked widespread reconsideration of its methods and goals, have won the 2008 Green Book Award from Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Science Writings.

Study suggests new treatments for Huntington's disease
Working with fruit flies, researchers have discovered a new mechanism by which the abnormal protein in Huntington's disease causes neurodegeneration.

Molecules can block breast cancer's ability to spread
Researchers have identified a specific group of microRNA molecules that are responsible for controlling genes that cause breast cancer metastasis.

Transplant drug sirolimus shrinks tumors, improves lung function
The drug sirolimus, normally used to help transplant patients fight organ rejection, may eventually be used as a less invasive treatment for a tumor called angiomyolipomata in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex or lymphangioleiomyomatosis who would otherwise face surgery.

Working with children with autistic spectrum disorder: Psychoanalysis and neurobiology
As part of the Winter 2008 Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, psychoanalysts Susan P.

Uses of medications in psychoanalysis
As Americans increasingly seek a

Department of Energy putting power in the hands of consumers through technology
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced today the results of a year-long effort to put the power grid in the hands of consumers through technology.

Silver-rich lumps
A team from the University of Karlsruhe led by Dieter Fenske has been able to synthesize four new, particularly large and silver-rich clusters, and to determine their crystal structures.

Methadone even at therapeutic levels can kill
Methadone is a possible cause of sudden cardiac death even when it isn't overdosed but is taken at therapeutic levels primarily for relief of chronic pain or drug addiction withdrawal, a new study by Oregon Health & Science University researchers suggests.

ORNL, SuperPower Inc. sign high temperature superconducting wire agreement
The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory today announced that SuperPower Inc., a Schenectady, NY, superconducting wire manufacturer, has signed a license agreement to use an ORNL-developed technology that can lower the cost of producing superconducting wires for more efficient transmission of electricity.

Solar cells can take the heat
Michael Gr├Ątzel and his a team of researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have fabricated a solvent-free dye-sensitized solar cell based on a binary ionic liquid electrolyte.

2 unusual older stars giving birth to second wave of planets
Hundreds of millions, or billions, of years after planets would initially have formed around two unusual stars, astronomers believe a second wave of planets now appear to be forming around these stars.

'Invisibility cloaks' could break sound barriers
Contrary to earlier predictions, Duke University engineers have found that a three-dimensional sound cloak is possible, at least in theory.

United Water, in partnership with Stevens, wins Management Innovation Award
The National Association of Water Companies held its annual conference, Oct.

Ames Laboratory beefing up magnets for electric-drive cars
One of the roadblocks for electric motor technology is that as operating temperatures go up, the magnets in the motors get weaker, resulting in a drop in power.

Proton-powered pooping
Muscles usually contract when a neurotransmitter molecule is released from nerve cells onto muscle cells.

How less can be more when treating some kidney cancers
A new Mayo Clinic study suggests that removing the entire kidney from younger patients with small kidney tumors may lead to decreased overall survival compared with an operation that removes the tumor but leaves the kidney intact.
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