Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 06, 2008
Poor recognition of 'self' found in high functioning people with autism
Contrary to popular notions, people at the high end of the autism spectrum disorder continuum suffer most from an inability to model

Impact of electronic personal health record on hypertension under study
Whether patients with an electronic handle on their health are more successful at beating one of the nation's leading chronic diseases is under study.

Raising teens: How parents can bridge societal challenges
Parenting philosophies come and go, but old-fashioned values are still the best, says Binghamton University nursing professor in two new books on raising adolescents.

New study suggests link between environmental toxins and early onset puberty in girls
Certain environmental toxins, such as the mycoestrogen zearalenone produced by the Fusarium fungus species, can be found naturally in the environment, have properties similar to the female reproductive hormone estrogen, and are also structurally similar to anabolic growth agents used in animal breeding.

Rare examination reveals adolescent reaction to Iraq War
A new University of Cincinnati study reveals the effect of warfare on Iraqi teens in Baghdad.

Citizen Science -- a celebration of partnership between academia and local people
Focus on how ordinary citizens have helped scientific research over the years.

Strike-slip fault system exposé
A new volume published by the Geological Society of America sheds light on the puzzling and ill-defined geologic processes by which rocks of Earth's middle crust are exposed during strike-slip fault motion.

Oldest Australian crayfish fossils provide missing evolutionary link
Crayfish body fossils and burrows discovered in Victoria, Australia, have provided the first physical evidence that crayfish existed on the continent as far back as the Mesozoic Era, says Emory University paleontologist Anthony Martin, who headed up a study on the finds.

Very young found to process fear memories in unique way
Very young brains process memories of fear differently than more mature ones, new research indicates.

More brain research suggests "use it or lose it"
Queensland Brain Institute scientists have found another important clue to why nerve cells die in neurodegenerative diseases, based on studies of the developing brain.

Brain circuitry that drives drug-seeking compulsion identified
In experiments with rats, researchers have identified the change in brain circuitry that drives development of a compulsion to seek drugs, even when that compulsion is self-destructive...

Scientists confirm new virus responsible for deaths of transplant recipients in Australia
In the first application of high throughput DNA sequencing technology to investigate an infectious disease outbreak, scientists from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, the Centers for Disease Control and 454 Life Sciences link the discovery of a new arenavirus to the deaths of three transplant recipients who received organs from a single donor in Victoria, Australia in April 2007.

Fertilizer research center an Australian first
Farmers throughout the world stand to benefit from a new research center -- the first of its kind in Australia -- that aims to develop more advanced fertilizers for agricultural use.

Tropical soils impede landmine detection
A recent study published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal analyzed the magnetic properties of soil for a look at how metal detectors could be adapted to be more sensitive for local soil conditions in an effort to search out landmines.

Europe's most common genetic disease is a liver disorder
The exact origin of the genetic iron overload disorder hereditary hemochromatosis has remained elusive.

Carnegie Mellon scientists develop fluorescent proteins for live cell imaging, biosensor design
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center have developed new

PET outperforms CT in characterization of lung nodules
Researchers involved in a large, multi-institutional study comparing the accuracy of positron emission tomography and computed tomography in the characterization of lung nodules found that PET was far more reliable in detecting whether or not a nodule was malignant.

SfN releases 'Best Practices for Protecting Researchers and Research'
The Society for Neuroscience today released a new document to help improve the protection of academic researchers, including, but not limited to, those who face intimidation, harassment and physical attack by fringe antianimal research extremists.

UA optical scientists add new, practical dimension to holography
Researchers are the first to create 3-D holographic displays that can be erased and rewritten in minutes.

Nationally known VCU cardiologist writes editorial in New England Journal of Medicine
George W. Vetrovec, M.D., chair of cardiology at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, known nationally for his study and treatment of coronary artery disease, says a new technique for treating blocked coronary arteries shows promise, but is best performed by experienced physicians.

Tattooing improves response to DNA vaccine
A tattoo can be more than just a fashion statement -- it has potential medical value, according to an article published in the online open access journal, Genetic Vaccines and Therapy.

Henry Ford Hospital expands research on gene and radiation therapy for prostate cancer
Henry Ford Hospital is embarking on an expanded major clinical trial involving the use of gene therapy in combination with radiation therapy, to determine if the combined treatment is more effective than radiation therapy alone for patients with intermediate risk prostate cancer.

NIH, Gates Foundation to support Riley Hospital and MoiU Program For Woman and Infant Health Researc
The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership has been selected by NIH to join the Global Network for Women's and Infant's Health Research.

Poor health literacy cause for alarm
The Healthy Communities Research Centre at UQ Ipswich is calling for a national focus on

Barnacles go to great lengths to mate
Compelled to mate, yet firmly attached to the rock, barnacles have evolved the longest penis of any animal for their size -- up to 8 times their body length -- so they can find and fertilize distant neighbors.

Treating acne: 2 different acid peels are both effective, study finds
Chemical peels using either alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid are both highly effective in treating mild to moderately severe facial acne, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found -- the first study to compare the two different types of acid peels as therapies for the skin disorder.

Want healthy gums? Hit the dairy aisle
Consumers have long known that including dairy in their diets can help maintain healthy bones and even help promote weight loss.

Immunosuppressant further linked to birth defects
A new study documents malformations seen in an infant born to a kidney transplant recipient who had taken mycophenolate mofetil, a widely used immunosuppressant available commercially as Cellcept.

Significantly higher success rates with artificial insemination
In future a new method could help some couples who are childless against their will.

Government of Canada awards contract for the review of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
The Government of Canada today is taking another step in the commitment it undertook last year to evaluate the management of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited by announcing that National Bank Financial Inc. has been selected to provide the outside expertise needed to complete the review.

Transparent fish to make human biology clearer
Zebrafish are genetically similar to humans and good models for human diseases.

New funding to charge energy research at UCL and the London Centre for Nanotechnology
Professors Neal Skipper and Franco Cacialli, of the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University College London, have been awarded a £200,000 laboratory refurbishment grant to help them develop alternative fuel supplies for transport and electricity generation.

Brain study suggests way to measure, treat autism
Researchers have pinpointed subtle deficits in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorder that they say could aid more precise diagnoses and perhaps improve treatment of ASD.

European Commission gives grant to investigate transatlantic oversight of nanotech
Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Chatham House, Environmental Law Institute and the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, an initiative of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Pew Charitable Trusts, have been awarded a $587,000 European Commission grant to conduct an international research project on regulating nanotechnologies in the European Union and United States.

New Rhode Island Hospital study shows inadequate diagnostic criteria for eating disorders
A new study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University suggests that the DSM-IV criteria for eating disorders have limited clinical utility.

Springer to publish book series for International Year of Planet Earth
Springer Science+Business Media, a key partner of the International Year of Planet Earth, will publish the official book series as a legacy to the Year.

Nitrogen pollution boosts plant growth in tropics by 20 percent
A study by UC Irvine ecologists finds that excess nitrogen in tropical forests boosts plant growth by an average of 20 percent, countering the belief that such forests would not respond to nitrogen pollution.

Rice scientists make breakthrough in single-molecule sensing
In a study that could lay the foundation for mass-produced single-molecule sensors, physicists and engineers at Rice University have demonstrated a means of simultaneously making optical and electronic measurements of the same molecule.

Teenage fathers are more likely to have babies affected by birth problems
Teenage fathers are at increased risk of having babies born with birth problems ranging from pre-term delivery or low birth weight, through to death in or near to the time of delivery, according to new research to be published in Human Reproduction journal.

MIT applies engineering approach to studying biological pathways
An MIT team has used an engineering approach to show that complex biological systems can be studied with simple models developed by measuring what goes into and out of the system.

Dry season brings on measles in sub-Saharan Africa
Measles epidemics in Niger fluctuate wildly from one season to another but the timing of the outbreaks always coincides with the end of the annual rainy season, according to an international team of researchers.

Gene plays 'Jekyll and Hyde' in brain cancer
Researchers have found that a particular gene is central to the brain cancer glioblastoma and will either fight the tumor or, conversely, help the tumor advance, depending on the tumor's genetic makeup.

Intensive blood sugar treatment in trial of diabetes and cardiovascular disease changed
NHLBI has stopped one treatment within the ACCORD study, a large, ongoing North American clinical trial of diabetes and cardiovascular disease 18 months early due to safety concerns after review of available data, although the study will continue.

Exploring Africa's heartbeat
Research on the origins of the continent.

Researchers discover new battleground for viruses and immune cells
Vaccines have led to many of the world's greatest public health triumphs, but many deadly viruses, such as HIV, still elude the best efforts of scientists to develop effective vaccines against them.

New hope for hepatitis C sufferers
Adelaide scientists will lead a $2 million five-year project to develop new vaccines and explore better treatment options for hepatitis C sufferers.

Dr. Inder Verma named recipient of 2008 Vilcek Prize in biomedical science
Dr. Inder Verma, an Indian-born molecular biologist working at the Salk Institute, is the recipient of the 2008 Vilcek Foundation Prize in biomedical research.

Gerontology conference's highlights to include talks on student social networking
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education will hold its 34th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference Feb.

Bonn scientists simulate dinosaur digestion in the lab
Scientists from the University of Bonn are researching which plants giant dinosaurs could have lived off more than 100 million years ago.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings contributors discuss impact of donor organ allocation system
Liver transplant is a life saving treatment option for people with end-stage liver disease.

Racing ahead at the speed of light
Imagine trying to catch up to something moving close to the speed of light - the fastest anything can move -- and sending ahead information in time to make mid-path flight corrections.

Tailoring glioblastoma therapies: 1 size does not fit all
An upcoming G&D paper from Dr. Azad Bonni and colleagues at Harvard Medical School lends new insight into how the unique genetic signature of glioblastoma tumors affects treatment efficacy -- a finding with promising hope for the therapeutic targeting of the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the young and middle-aged population.

High blood pressure pill cuts risk of Parkinson's disease
People taking a widely used group of drugs known as calcium channel blockers to treat high blood pressure also appear to be cutting their risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Feb.

Imaging study reveals rapid formation of Alzheimer's-associated plaques
The amyloid plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients may form much more rapidly than previously expected.

Gene found to play a suppressor role in skin cancer development
Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have provided genetic evidence that Activating Transcription Factor 2 plays a suppressor role in skin cancer development.

Button mushrooms contain as much anti-oxidants as expensive ones
The humble button mushroom has been found to be equal to its more expensive and exotic cousin, the maitake mushroom, for anti-oxidant power

NIH scientists detect fatal copper disorder at birth
A test developed by NIH scientists could greatly extend the survival of infants with Menkes disease, a rare, otherwise fatal disorder of copper metabolism. 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