Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 15, 2008
HIV shifting from most to least educated in sub-Saharan Africa
HIV infections appear to be concentrating among the least educated people in Africa, reversing previous patterns which saw higher levels of infection among the most educated, according to a study published today in the journal AIDS.

Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
University of Pennsylvania engineers and physicians have developed a carbon nanopipette thousands of times thinner than a human hair that measures electric current and delivers fluids into cells.

Nature and nurture are both to blame for depression, study says
Depression is one of the most common forms of psychopathology.

When being a model minority is good...and bad
Asian-Americans have been labeled the

Wiley-Blackwell and the Cochrane Collaboration extend publishing partnership
Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley and Sons, Inc., today announced that the Cochrane Collaboration, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health care decision-making globally, renewed their partnership to publish the Cochrane Library.

Monkey malaria widespread in humans and potentially fatal
A potentially fatal species of malaria is being commonly misdiagnosed as a more benign form of the disease, thereby putting lives at risk, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the University Malaysia Sarawak.

Climate influence on deep sea populations
In an article published in the Jan. 16 issue of PLoS ONE, Joan B.

Molecules might identify high-risk acute-leukemia patients
New research suggests that certain microRNAs might help doctors identify adult acute-leukemia patients who are likely to respond poorly to therapy.

Alaska glacier speed-up tied to internal plumbing issues, says CU-Boulder study
A University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates meltwater periodically overwhelms the interior drainpipes of Alaska's Kennicott Glacier and causes it to lurch forward, similar to processes that may help explain the acceleration of glaciers observed recently on the Greenland ice sheet that are contributing to global sea rise.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center Ophthalmology gets grant for vision-threatening conditions
The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University has been awarded $110,000 in unrestricted funds by Research to Prevent Blindness, the world's leading voluntary organization supporting eye research.

Popular osteoporosis drugs triple risk of bone necrosis
A University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute study has found that a popular class of osteoporosis drugs nearly triples the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain.

Starfish strike at coral kingdom
Outbreaks of the notorious crown of thorns starfish now threaten the

Record warm summers cause extreme ice melt in Greenland
An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Edward Hanna at the University of Sheffield, has demonstrated that recent warm summers have caused the most extreme Greenland ice melting in 50 years.

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

Cell death suppression increases efficacy of M2 vaccines
Scientists from Cure Lab, Inc. in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine published new findings indicating that unmodified M2 may have a negative effect on anti-influenza vaccination.

Mongolian paleontologists with a dream come to Montana State University
Jack Horner has flown to Mongolia the past three summers to search for dinosaur bones.

Mothers' stress may increase children's asthma
Children whose mothers are chronically stressed during their early years have a higher asthma rate than their peers, regardless of their income, gender or other known asthma risk factors.

Montana State University researcher finds renewed interest in turning algae into fuel
The same brown algae that cover rocks and cause anglers to slip while fly fishing contain oil that can be turned into diesel fuel, says a Montana State University microbiologist.

Smoking belies milder disease but worse prognosis for IPF patients
Smokers and ex-smokers with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an untreatable progressive lung disease that usually leads to death within a few years of diagnosis, have a worse prognosis than nonsmokers, according to research from London.

Lack of training for children's medicines prescribing may increase risk of error
Current training and assessment in curbing common pitfalls in medicines prescribing for children is inadequate, suggests research published ahead of print in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Groundbreaking environmental agreement reached to protect the no. 1 cruise destination in the world
Conservation International, Cozumel's Department of Tourism and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association today witnessed the culmination of their 12-month partnership with the signing of a groundbreaking conservation agreement by cruise industry leaders.

Researchers find association between food insecurity and developmental risk in children
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers from Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, have found that children living in households with food insecurity, are more likely to be at developmental risk during their first three years of life, compared to similar households that are not food insecure.

NSF awards Carnegie Mellon's Jacobo Bielak
Carnegie Mellon University's Jacobo Bielak was awarded $1.6 million over the next four years to develop computer simulations that play a role in reducing seismic risk for large coastal cities.

New Argonne study may shed light on protein-drug interactions
Proteins, the biological molecules involved in virtually every action of every organism, may themselves move in surprising ways, according to a recent study from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory that may shed new light on how proteins interact with drugs and other small molecules.

MIT: Why men are more prone to liver cancer
A fundamental difference in the way males and females respond to chronic liver disease at the genetic level helps explain why men are more prone to liver cancer, according to MIT researchers.

Arizona space industry generates over $250M annually, creates 3,300 jobs
A new study by researchers at the UA's Eller College of Management indicates that astronomy, planetary and space sciences research also has a significant impact on the state's economy.

New pathway provides more clues about BRCA1 role in breast cancer
A breast cancer gene's newly discovered role in repairing damaged DNA may help explain why women who inherit a mutated copy of the gene are at increased risk for developing both breast and ovarian cancer.

Findings point to molecular 'Achilles heel' for half of breast cancer tumors
Researchers at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center have shown why a protein known as cyclin D1 may be the Achilles heel for breast tumors that are estrogen receptor positive -- which is the most common type of breast cancer.

Health care reform and 2008 elections: New reports examine candidates' plans, public's views
Eighty-one percent of Americans believe that in order to help reach the goal of health insurance for all, employers should either provide health insurance to their workers or contribute to the cost of their coverage, according to survey data released today by The Commonwealth Fund.

Combined HRT increases risk of lobular breast cancer fourfold after just 3 years of use
Postmenopausal women who take combined estrogen/progestin hormone-replacement therapy for three years or more face a fourfold increased risk of developing various forms of lobular breast cancer, according to new findings by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Should children be permitted to get genetic testing for BRCA 1/2 mutations?
It's an ethical dilemma with serious implications. Should children be tested for gene mutations that predispose them to developing breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer later in life?

Advanced Energy Consortium will develop micro and nanosensors to boost energy production
The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin announces the Advanced Energy Consortium, a multimillion-dollar research consortium for development of micro and nanotechnology applications to increase oil and gas production.

Type 1 diabetes triggered by 'lazy' regulatory T-cells: McGill researchers
A research team led by Dr. Ciriaco A. Piccirillo of McGill University's Department of Microbiology and Immunology has discovered that in some individuals, the specialized immunoregulatory T-cells that regulate the body's autoimmune reactions may lose their effectiveness and become

Technique enhances digital television viewing for visually-impaired
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have found that people with low vision can improve their ability to see and enjoy television with a new technique that allows them to enhance the contrast of images of people and objects of interest on their digital televisions.

Exploration of lake hidden beneath Antarctica's ice sheet begins
A four-man science team led by British Antarctic Survey's Dr Andy Smith has begun exploring an ancient lake hidden deep beneath Antarctica's ice sheet.

Cancer study finds adolescents don't get same access to latest treatments as younger patients
The overall survival rate from cancer now is lower in older adolescents and young adults with cancer than in younger children, in part because of a lack of access to clinical trials nationally for the older age group, according to a study by pediatric oncologists at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Japanese and German researchers meet to discuss climate change
Young researchers take part in the first round table meeting of the DFG and the JSPS to discuss new approaches in the fight against global warming.

Scientists to gather in Houston in October to celebrate international year of planet Earth
More than 10,000 scientists, professionals, and students will gather in Houston on Oct.

Biomass production -- careful planning can bring many benefits
One way of supplying energy is to grow plant material and burn it.

Mayo Clinic study unveils unprecedented method to predict ALS, Parkinson's disease
A new Mayo Clinic study details an unprecedented method to predict brain aging disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

Probiotics affect metabolism, says new study
Probiotics, such as yoghurt drinks containing live bacteria, have a tangible effect on the metabolism, according to the results of a new study published today.

MIT, Eni announce energy research partnership
MIT and Italian energy company Eni today announced a major energy research partnership.

Hormonal dietary supplements might promote prostate cancer progression
Hormonal components in over-the-counter dietary supplements may promote the progression of prostate cancer and decrease the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered.

Scientists study the link between children's nutrition and adult diseases
The University of Granada, in collaboration with the firm Ordesa, is the only Spanish institution taking part in the EARNEST project, in which 38 multidisciplinary groups from all over Europe are involved.

Proteomic profiling shown more accurate than traditional biomarkers in identifying liver cancer
A study appearing in the Jan. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research demonstrates that a novel mass-spectrometry based form of proteomic profiling is more accurate than traditional biomarkers in distinguishing liver cancer patients from patients with hepatitis C liver cirrhosis, particularly with regard to identifying patients with small, curable tumors.

Iowa State researchers look for smaller, cheaper, 1-dose vaccines
An Iowa State team of researchers is hoping to find a way to produce vaccines that work better, use smaller doses and require only one trip to the doctor's office.

Rwanda's Gishwati Forest selected as site for historic conservation project
The Rwandan government, Great Ape Trust of Iowa and Earthpark have announced that the Gishwati Forest Reserve is the future site of the Rwanda National Conservation Park, setting into motion one of Africa's most ambitious forest restoration and ecological research efforts ever.

New techniques create butanol
A team of researchers headed by an environmental engineer at Washington University in St.

Scientists to study high-risk plant pathogen using small, unmanned aircraft
A Virginia Tech plant pathologist is using unmanned aerial vehicles to detect, monitor, and forecast the spread of a fungus-like organism responsible for the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s and 1850s.
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