Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2008
'Brains R Us': Neuroscience and education town hall
As the nation grapples with issues facing its troubled educational system, can neuroscience provide insights and solutions?

Logistical information for the 2008 International Stroke Conference
Here is some logistical information about the conference. If you have any questions, please contact Bridgette McNeill, Wynette Randolph, Carrie Thacker or Julie Del Barto (broadcast).

Beavers can help ease drought
They may be considered pests, but beavers can help mitigate the effects of drought.

Report says half a million cancer deaths have been averted since death rate drop
The American Cancer Society's annual cancer statistics report finds death rates from cancer have decreased by 18.4 percent among men and by 10.5 percent among women since the early 1990s, which translates to the avoidance of more than half a million actual cancer deaths (534,500) in the United States.

ASA International Stroke Conference 2008
You are invited to cover the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008 to be held Feb.

The downside of a good idea
Indiana University cognitive scientist Robert Goldstone takes issue with the truism,

Global Biopact on biofuels can bring benefits to both rich and poor nations
A global Biopact between rich and poor nations can help alleviate poverty and global warming.

U of M researchers determine structure of protein that mutates DNA of the AIDS virus HIV-1
Understanding the structure of proteins involved in inhibiting HIV-1 infection could help in the battle against AIDS, and University of Minnesota researchers have taken a crucial step in that direction.

Study confirms cardiac surgery drug increases death rate
The largest study to date of a controversial cardiac surgery drug shows it increases death rates and damages kidney function, according Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Drinking milk may help ease the pressure
Women who drank more fat free milk and had higher intakes of calcium and vitamin D from foods, and not supplements, tended to have a lower risk for developing hypertension or high blood pressure, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension.

After successfully delivering Columbus, Atlantis is back on Earth
NASA's space shuttle Atlantis, which successfully delivered ESA's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station, has safely returned to Earth with its crew of seven.

A greener way to power cars
Cardiff University researchers are exploring how waste heat from car exhausts could provide a new greener power supply for vehicles.

Calls to doctor's office may delay stroke treatment
Calling a primary care doctor instead of 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke can delay patients from reaching an emergency room during the most critical period -- the first three hours after onset of stroke symptoms, researchers reported at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.

Television shows can affect racial judgments
A new study published in the journal Human Communication Research reveals that viewers can be influenced by exposure to racial bias in the media, even without realizing it.

ICU nurses require training to spot delirium
ICU nurses are poor at spotting delirious patients in their care according to previous research, but a simple educational program could soon remedy this serious failing.

Creating 'global virtual supercomputer' topic of lecture at UH
Researchers have a growing need for very large computing power to solve problems that range from minimizing global warming to finding cures for genetic diseases.

In the race to the top, zigzagging is more efficient than a straight line
A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it isn't necessarily the fastest or easiest path to follow.

Study identifies another strategy for normalizing tumor blood supply
Manipulating levels of nitric oxide, a gas involved in many biological processes, may improve the disorganized network of blood vessels supplying tumors, potentially improving the effectiveness of radiation and chemotherapy.

Total, genetically-based recall
There are several human characteristics considered to be genetically predetermined and evolutionarily innate, such as immune system strength, physical adaptations and even sex differences.

AMD discovery: New hope for treatment of vision loss
Scientists have won a major battle in the fight against age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, a blinding eye disease that affects millions of people.

Amazing minaturized 'SIDECAR' drives Webb telescope's signal
Many technologies have become so advanced that they've been miniaturized to take up less space and weigh less.

Gene newly linked to inherited ALS may also play role in common dementia
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have linked a mutation in a gene known as TDP-43 to an inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative condition often called Lou Gehrig's disease.

Deaths higher in stroke patients who enter hospital at night, weekends
Stroke patients who enter the hospital at night and on weekends are more likely to die in the hospital than those treated during regular business hours and on weekdays, according to two studies presented at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.

Unique Martian formation reproduced, reveals brief bursts of water
Researchers from the United States and the Netherlands report that several formations on Mars indicate incidents of rapid release of water from the planet's interior.

Stanford researcher receives top honors, 3 others recognized at stroke conference
A pioneer in stroke and central nervous system injury will receive the American Stroke Association's highest honor -- the Thomas Willis Award -- at the International Stroke Conference 2008.

US cancer deaths down but far too few Americans screened for colon cancer
New data revealing decreasing trends in cancer deaths in the United States overall, and in colorectal cancer deaths in particular, highlight the remarkable benefits of colorectal cancer screening tests, but the lifesaving potential of these tests is unrealized for many Americans, according to experts from the American College of Gastroenterology.

Emerging infectious diseases on the rise: Next target 'hotspot' predicted
Providing the first-ever definitive proof, a new study published in the journal Nature has shown that emerging infectious diseases such as HIV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, West Nile virus and Ebola are indeed on the rise.

U-M researchers release most detailed global study of genetic variation
University of Michigan scientists and their colleagues at the National Institute on Aging have produced the largest and most detailed worldwide study of human genetic variation.

Genetic and environmental hormonal response to stress in children depends on family context
A study conducted on 346 19-month-old twins by an international team led by Universite Laval professor of psychology Michel Boivin reveals that the genetic and environmental bases of hormonal response to stress depend on the context in which a child grows up.

Another way to grow blood vessels
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found a previously unknown molecular pathway in mice that spurs the growth of new blood vessels when body parts are jeopardized by poor circulation.

Scientists discover 'giant fossil frog from hell'
A team of researchers, led by Stony Brook University paleontologist David Krause, has discovered the remains in Madagascar of what may be the largest frog ever to exist.

Haagen-Dazs gift to support Penn State honeybee research
Haagen-Dazs has announced a gift of $150,000 toward honeybee-related programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Newly discovered role of thyroid hormone during pregnancy
Thyroid hormone deficiencies in early pregnancy can cause locomotor underdevelopment in the child, according to research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet.

Who's slowing you down?
Solitary workers may be faster workers, according to research by neuroscience investigator Dr.

Kari Dalnoki-Veress receives 2008 John H. Dillon Medal
Springer editor Kari Dalnoki-Veress has been chosen as the 2008 John H.

Doctors should watch for depression in arthritis patients
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are twice as likely to experience depression but are unlikely to talk to a doctor about it, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Standard test for blood sugar control not accurate in diabetic dialysis patients
The standard test for measuring blood sugar control in people with diabetes is not accurate in those on kidney hemodialysis, according to new research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Greenland's rising air temperatures drive ice loss at surface and beyond
A new NASA study confirms that the surface temperature of Greenland's massive ice sheet has been rising, stoked by warming air temperatures, and fueling loss of the island's ice at the surface and throughout the mass beneath.

Researcher of the University of Navarra discovered potential antidepressant compounds
Luis Berrade, a researcher with the Drug R&D Unit of the University of Navarra, has discovered new compounds with the potential for antidepressant activity.

Migration from Africa left mark on European genetic diversity
A Cornell-led study compared more than 10,000 sequenced genes from 15 African-Americans and 20 European-Americans.

Scientists make first map of emerging-disease hotspots
An international research team has provided the first scientific evidence that deadly emerging diseases have risen steeply across the world, and has mapped the outbreaks' main sources.

Genetic pathway critical to disease, aging found
The same chemical reaction that causes iron to rust plays a similarly corrosive role in our bodies.

Obesity linked to stroke increase among middle-aged women
Middle-aged women's waists aren't the only thing that increased in the last decade.

Memory loss and other cognitive impairment becoming less common in older Americans, study finds
Although it's too soon to sound the death knell for the

Boston College chemist Torsten Fiebig honored by Sloan Foundation
Boston College chemist Torsten Fiebig has been awarded an Alfred P.

Grant to study if early BPA exposure leads to late prostate cancer
A five-year, $2.6 million grant to a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher seeks to answer whether exposure of baby boys -- in utero or in infancy -- to bisphenol A, a man-made chemical which mimics natural estrogens, can predispose them to prostate cancer later in life.

Warning: Expert at UH adds obesity to side effects of lead exposure
Scientists know exposure to low levels of lead can result in learning disabilities, hearing loss, language impairments and vision loss, but a newly discovered side effect may be adult-onset obesity in men.

Reducing kids' salt intake may lower soft drink consumption
Children who eat less salt drink fewer sugar-sweetened soft drinks and may significantly lower their risks for obesity, elevated blood pressure and later-in-life heart attack and stroke, researchers reported in the print and online issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Cleaner water through nanotechnology
Tiny particles of pure silica coated with an active material could be used to remove toxic chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and other hazardous materials from water much more effectively and at lower cost than conventional water purification methods, according to researchers writing in the current issue of Inderscience's International Journal of Nanotechnology.

Study shows effects of vitamin D and skin's physiology
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that previtamin D3 production varies depending on several factors including skin type and weather conditions.
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