Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 03, 2008
Watery pools in bone marrow key to psoriatic arthritic damage
Researchers have learned more about how a leading drug prevents certain types of arthritis from eating away at bone, according to a study published in the March edition of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The myth of runner's high revisited with brain imaging
Researchers at the Technische Universit├Ąt Muenchen and the University of Bonn succeeded to demonstrate the existence of an 'endorphin driven runner's high.' In an imaging study they were able to show, for the first time, increased release of endorphins in certain areas of the athletes' brains during a two-hour jogging session.

Toxins in cigarette smoke prevent stem cells from becoming cartilage
A toxic pollutant spread by oil spills, forest fires and car exhaust is also present in cigarette smoke, and may represent a second way in which smoking delays bone healing, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in San Francisco.

Evolution of root nodule symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Root nodule symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria provide many plants with a source of nitrogen.

Annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences
From April 26 to 29, the US National Academy of Sciences will hold its 145th annual meeting, at which new Academy members will be elected.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for March 4, 2008, issue
The following articles are in the upcoming issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine:

Head injuries result in widespread brain tissue loss one year later
In a rare, large-scale study of traumatic brain injury patients who span the full range of severity from mild to moderate and severe, Canadian researchers have found that the more severe the injury, the greater the loss of brain tissue, particularly white matter.

U-M researchers ID promising new cancer drug
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have designed a small molecule that is highly effective in cell cultures at inhibiting the interaction between the protein p53 and another protein that inactivates p53 in cancer.

140-year-old math problem solved by researcher
A problem which has defeated mathematicians for almost 140 years has been solved by a researcher at Imperial College London.

Black VLBW babies in NYC more likely to be born in hospitals with high neonatal death rates
In New York City, black babies with very low birth weights are more likely to be born in hospitals with high risk-adjusted neonatal death rates, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study in Pediatrics.

Tiny pieces of 'deep time' brought to the surface
Three-billion-year-old zircon microcrystals found in northern Ontario are proving to be a new record of the processes that form continents and their natural resources, including gold and diamonds.

Innovative archaeological survey reveals unknown aspects of China's past
For the past 13 years, archaeologists from The Field Museum and Shandong University have used a relatively unknown archaeological method called regional settlement pattern survey to find traces of archaeological sites on the surface of the ground.

IAVI and VaxDesign partner to develop a clinical trial in a test tube for AIDS vaccines
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative today announced the first award from its Innovation Fund, a new funding mechanism that will identify and advance potential breakthrough technologies and apply them in the AIDS vaccine research field.

AERA members gather in New York for 2008 Annual Meeting
The American Educational Research Association convenes the 89th Annual Meeting of the Association on March 24-28 in New York City.

Alcohol intake increases risk of high blood pressure; and more
In the next PLoS medicine are articles titled

The challenges and opportunities in China and India
Multinational firms are increasingly locating their innovation activities in China and India.

Detecting the snake in the grass
Adults and very young children apparently have an innate ability to very quickly detect the presence of a snake from among a variety of nonthreatening objects and creatures such as a caterpillar, flower or toad, according to a new study by psychologists at the University of Virginia.

Link between alcohol and blood pressure greater than previously thought
The relationship between heavy drinking and hypertension is more significant than previously thought according to a new analysis of recent studies by researchers at Bristol University, published today in PLoS Medicine.

Will global warming increase plant frost damage?
Damage to plants from a freeze that occurred across much of the Eastern United States in April 2007 was made worse because it had been preceded by two weeks of unusual warmth.

Serum fibrosis markers correlate with liver fibrosis stage in patients with advanced chronic hep C
A prospective study of patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C revealed that a 3-variable model of serum fibrosis markers, including serum HA, TIMP-1 and platelet count, could identify cirrhosis with better accuracy than other published models.

Smithsonian announces Global Forest Carbon Research Initiative
Forests contain nearly 40 percent of the world's carbon--more than the atmosphere contains -- but too little is known about forest carbon dynamics to predict whether anthropogenic global change will increase or decrease forest carbon pools.

Team probes mysteries of oceanic bacteria
Microbes living in the oceans play a critical role in regulating Earth's environment, but very little is known about their activities and how they work together to help control natural cycles of water, carbon and energy.

New test for joint infection could spare some patients an unnecessary procedure
A potential diagnostic test that could help surgeons confirm or rule out the presence of infection-causing bacteria in prosthetic joints that require surgical revision has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

March 12: IPY Day focusing on changing Earth
On March 12, 2008, the International Polar Year will launch its third 'International Polar Day', focusing on our Changing Earth; with a specific focus on Earth history as discovered through paleoclimate records that study the long term history of the Earth by analyzing ice sheets and sediments below polar lakes and oceans.

In early childhood, continuous care by 1 doctor improves delivery of health screenings
Children examined by the same doctor during their first six months of life are more likely to receive appropriate preventive health screenings -- for lead poisoning, anemia and tuberculosis -- by age two.

UD's Appelbaum wins NSF Career Award for research on silicon spintronics
Ian Appelbaum, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his pioneering research in the exciting next evolution of electronics known as spintronics.

How the drug isotretinoin zaps acne
The most potent drug available for treating acne is 13-cis RA (also known as isotretinoin); however, little is known about its mechanism of action.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features high-throughput methods for analyzing gene activity
This month's issue of

Misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
Recent research suggests general practitioners are lacking the skills to correctly diagnose rheumatoid arthritis -- a chronic disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints -- and failing to refer patients to rheumatologists.

'Innocent bystanders' can be the cause of tumor development
Tumor growth has commonly been viewed as a result of mutations in a given cell that will therefore proliferate uncontrollably.

Surface dislocation nucleation: Strength is but skin deep at the nanoscale, Penn engineers discover
Penn engineers have developed a model that shows while metals tend to be stronger at nanoscale volumes, their strengths saturate at around 10-50 nanometers diameter, at which point they also become more sensitive to temperature and strain rate.

Gene variants may increase risk of anxiety disorders
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers -- in collaboration with scientists at the University of California at San Diego and Yale University -- have discovered perhaps the strongest evidence yet linking variation in a particular gene with anxiety-related traits.

Elevated liver enzymes associated with higher future mortality
A new population-based epidemiological study has found that elevated liver enzymes discovered during routine medical care are associated with higher future mortality.

Researchers describe mechanisms by which capon gene causes heart rhythm disturbances
A research team from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Johns Hopkins University and China Medical University and Hospital in Taiwan have described for the first time the mechanisms by which variants of a specific gene, CAPON or NOS1AP, can disrupt normal heart rhythm.

Researchers identify new genetic marker for breast cancer
An international group of investigators led by scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute has identified a new genetic marker of risk for breast cancer.

Biological electron transfer captured in real time
Two research teams led by Dr. Michael Verkhovsky and Prof.

Jules Verne ATV launch rescheduled to March 9
Arianespace and the European Space Agency confirm today that the launch of Jules Verne, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle, is delayed 24 hours due to a technical concern about the ATV/Ariane 5 launcher separation system.

ETH Zurich researchers develop antibody test
A person's immune system can form antibodies against sugar molecules on the malaria pathogen, which protect against serious illness.

Restricting kids' video time reduces obesity, randomized trial shows
Entrenched sedentary behavior such as watching television and playing computer video games has been the bane for years of parents of overweight children and physicians trying to help those children lose pounds.

Study: Media perpetuates unsubstantiated chemical imbalance theory of depression
The theory that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is often presented in the media as fact even though there is little scientific evidence to support it, according to a new study co-authored by a Florida State University visiting lecturer.

Long-term cycles in American national electoral politics occur more rapidly than previously believed
American electoral politics have been characterized by frequent and regular cycles of support for the Republican and Democratic parties.

'Lazy eye' treatment shows promise in adults
Researchers from the US and China announce positive results from a study and a pilot clinical trial of a treatment for amblyopia, or

U of Minnesota researchers discover key for converting waste to electricity
Researchers at the University of Minnesota studying bacteria capable of generating electricity have discovered that riboflavin (commonly known as vitamin B-2) is responsible for much of the energy produced by these organisms.

Gender differences in language appear biological
Researchers have long agreed girls have superior language abilities to boys, but haven't clearly provided a biological basis to account for their differences.

Unfavorable ocean conditions likely cause of low 2007 salmon returns along West Coast
NOAA scientists are reviewing unusual environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean as the likely culprit for the dramatically low returns of Chinook and coho salmon to rivers and streams along the West Coast of the United States in 2007.

4th International Malaria Research Conference
The Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute is hosting its Fourth International Research Conference at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md., March 17-18.

Northern right whales head south to give birth, leave genetic 'fingerprints' with NOAA researchers
Like many northerners who head south to warmer climates for the winter, many Northern right whales also head south in November and stay into April.

NIA uses Genomatix in stem cell research, suggests novel transcription factors for stemness
A group at the NIH/NIA showcases an integrated approach employing SAGE, qRT-PCR, ChIP and Genomatix in-silico methods for the identification of frameworks of multiple cis-elements being implicated in stemness and the control of embryonic stem cell-restricted gene promoters.

Psychological distress, not depression, linked to increased risk of stroke
Psychological distress, but not depression, may increase the risk of stroke, according to a study published in the March 4, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Case Western Reserve University psychologist finds gender differences in forgiving
Forgiveness can be a powerful means to healing, but it does not come naturally for both sexes.

March-April GSA Bulletin media highlights
Geology topics of interest include: landscape evolution of California's Sierra Nevada; Nevada's northwestern Basin and Range and its remarkable record of Cenozoic magmatism; turbidity currents and topography of Earth's submarine channels; sediment dynamics of the lower Mississippi River; microorganisms' catalytic effect on limestone formation; high-resolution topographic survey of offshore California's Eel Canyon; and impact of scoria-cone eruptions on nearby communities.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2008
This month's Oak Ridge National Laboratory news tips include items covering the topics of bioscience, homeland security, industry and neutron science.

Penn scientists find a protein that inhibits Ebola from reaching out to infect neighboring cells
Penn veterinary researchers have identified a protein, ISG15, that inhibits the Ebola virus from budding, the process by which viruses escape from cells and spread to infect neighboring cells.

New target for cancer therapy may improve treatment for solid tumors
Targeting and killing the non-malignant cells that surround and support a cancer can stop tumor growth in mice.

Physicists discover gold can be magnetic on the nanoscale
Physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have made important findings regarding gold on the nanoscale.

Depression linked to subsequent pregnancy in black teens
African American adolescent mothers who have symptoms of depression may be more likely to have a subsequent pregnancy within two years of giving birth, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Tamoxifen may help treat mania in patients with bipolar disorder
A small, three-week trial of tamoxifen, a drug typically used to treat breast cancer, indicates that it also may decrease symptoms of mania in patients with bipolar disorder, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New material can find a needle in a nuclear waste haystack
Nuclear power has advantages, but, if this method of making power is to be viable long term, discovering new solutions to radioactive waste disposal and other problems are critical.

Dementia diagnosis brings relief, not depression
When it comes to a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, what you don't know may not kill you, but knowing the truth as soon as possible appears to be the better approach -- one that may improve the emotional well-being of both patients and their caregivers, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

NIDDK releases new awareness and prevention series for community health events
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases today announced the release of new health information to raise awareness about diabetes, digestive diseases and kidney and urologic diseases among people not yet diagnosed with these illnesses.

'Power napping' in pigeons
Pigeons prevented from taking naps in the afternoon sleep more intensely at night.

Clinical depression raises risk of death for heart attack patients years after attack
Depressed heart attack patients have a higher risk for sudden death in the months following a heart attack.

Scientists discover who is likely to get dry eye syndrome after LASIK surgery
Scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute have found that people with a certain low level of tear production are more likely to develop chronic dry eye syndrome after LASIK, laser refractive surgery to correct near- and far-sightedness than those with more plentiful tears.

Viruses evolve to play by host rules, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers
It appears that viruses that infect a bacterium spell their own genes in the same way the bacterium does, obeying the rules of its host and demonstrating co-evolutionary behavior.

BIO5 researcher identifies cities at risk for terrorism
University of Arizona researcher Walter W. Piegorsch rated the risk level for 132 cities based on factors including critical industries, ports, railroads, population, natural environment and other factors.

How can we develop new treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?; and more
In the next PLoS Medicine are articles titled

Researchers develop new tool to predict who will use microbicides
Using a new tool designed to measure a woman's willingness to use a microbicide (topical gels designed to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV), researchers at The Miriam Hospital and Brown University found that women who have used protective methods in the past, and those with casual sexual partners were more willing to use a microbicide compared to their peers.

Students with cell phones may take more risks, study finds
Carrying a cell phone may cause some college students -- especially women -- to take risks with their safety, a new study suggests.

Can we modify age as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease?
Age may not be the unmodifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease that it is currently believed to be.

Scientists uncover a novel mechanism that regulates carbon dioxide fixation in plants
A team of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council funded scientists at the University of Essex has discovered a new mechanism that slows the process of carbon dioxide fixation in plants.

CITES caviar export quotas remain steady for beluga sturgeon despite threat of extinction
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species announced trade quotas governing the export of wild sturgeon and their prized caviar eggs from the Caspian Sea.

Protein in embryonic stem cells controls malignant tumor cells
A protein that governs development of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) also inhibits the growth and spread of malignant melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, Northwestern University researchers have discovered.

U of M finds teens who eat breakfast daily eat healthier diets than those who skip breakfast
University of Minnesota School of Public Health Project Eating Among Teens researchers have found further evidence to support the importance of encouraging youth to eat breakfast regularly.

Ohio 'paper' vote system debuting with flaws, researchers say
The new voting system that Cleveland and its suburbs will use in tomorrow's primary election has serious flaws that risk greater voter error, say members of a research team from the Universities of Maryland, Rochester and Michigan who conducted a comprehensive analysis of the technology over the past several years.

Rare syndrome provides clues on obesity, blood pressure
Researchers have found a clue about how resistance to the hormone leptin might disrupt the brain signals that tell the body when to stop eating.

Factors that enhance autonomy of cancer patients
The PhD, defended by Ana Maria Martinez Fernandez at the University of the Basque Country, proposes a series of recommendations that contribute to improving clinical and care tasks of the professionals who treat terminal cancer patients.

Tighter tummies: A new way to combat weight gain
Two cell proteins that relax the gut and help accommodate a big meal have been identified by UCL scientists.

Are wolves the pronghorn's best friend?
As western states debate removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society cautions that doing so may result in an unintended decline in another species: the pronghorn, a uniquely North American animal that resembles an African antelope.

Cutting screen time may help reduce overweight children's BMI
Using a monitoring device to reduce television viewing and computer use time by 50 percent over a two-year period appears to reduce calorie intake, sedentary behavior and body mass index in overweight children age 4 to 7, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Non-medical use of prescription medications associated with drug abuse among college students
College students who take frequently abused medications without a prescription appear to have a higher risk for drug abuse than those who use such therapies for medical reasons, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Low testosterone levels associated with depression in older men
Older men with lower free testosterone levels in their blood appear to have higher prevalence of depression, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Invading trees put rainforests at risk
To the list of threats to tropical rainforests you can add a new one -- trees.

American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- Feb. 27, 2008
The American Chemical Society News Service weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

JCI online early table of contents: March 3, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 3, 2008, in the JCI, including: How the drug isotretinoin zaps acne;

An open source solution to manage clinical trial data; and more
In the next PLoS Medicine are articled titled

MSU research indicates testosterone could guard against eating disorders
Testosterone appears to protect people against eating disorders, providing further evidence that biological factors -- and not just social influences -- are linked to anorexia and bulimia, according to new research findings at Michigan State University.

Psychopaths: What were they like as children?
How did psychopaths develop?Were there signs of the disorder when they were children?
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