Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 25, 2008
Study examines association between type of genetic characteristics and cancer
Persons with a certain type of homozygosity (having two identical copies of the same gene, one inherited from each parent), may have a greater predisposition to cancer, according to a study in the March 26 issue of JAMA.

Ant guts could pave the way for better drugs
Scientists have discovered two key proteins that guide one of the two groups of pathogenic bacteria to make their hardy outer shells -- their defense against the world.

Carcinogenicity of some aromatic amines, organic dyes and related exposures
The occupational hazards of working as a hairdresser or barber have been confirmed as probably carcinogenic.

Scientists launch human oral microbiome database
Scientists from the Forsyth Institute and Kings College, London, have released a new tool for the research community, the Human Oral Microbiome Database, which provides descriptions of the approximately 600 microbes that are most commonly found in people's mouths.

Bilateral agreement to commercialize cargo screening technology
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Geoff Garrett and Mr Zhijun Li, vice president of Chinese security-inspection-system specialist Nuctech Company Ltd., last night launched a new venture to commercialize the next generation in air cargo scanning technology.

Keeping in good shape in old age is harder for women, study finds
Women aged 65-plus find it harder than men of the same age to preserve muscle -- which probably impacts on their ability to stay as strong and fit, according to new research.

Are organic crops as productive as conventional?
Scientists investigated yield differences between organic and conventional cash grain and forage crops in the Upper Midwest to compare the productivity of the two cropping systems.

Boeing's Phantom Works arrives in Australia
CSIRO welcomes Boeing's announcement today that a branch of its advanced research and development organization, Phantom Works, which specializes in aerospace solutions, will be established in Australia.

Biosensing nanodevice to revolutionize health screenings
One day soon a biosensing nanodevice developed by Arizona State University researcher Wayne Frasch may eliminate long lines at airport security checkpoints and revolutionize health screenings for diseases like anthrax, cancer and antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

MRI's high false positive rate has little impact on women's choice of preventive mastectomy
Magnetic resonance imaging falsely detects breast cancer in five out of every six positive scans according to new research into the use of MRI for women with a high, inherited risk of developing the disease.

The Zonta Club of Essex County honors Rutgers College of Nursing's Rachel Jones
The Zonta Club of Essex County is honoring Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones as its Woman of the Year for her HIV/AIDS research at its Annual Scholarship Brunch at the Sheraton Newark Airport on April 27.

Treating SSRI-resistant depression
When your antidepressant medication does not work, should you switch to a different medication from the same class or should you try an antidepressant medication that has a different mechanism of action?

Antarctic ice shelf disintegrating as result of climate change, say scientists
Satellite imagery from the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center shows a portion of Antarctica's massive Wilkins Ice Shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of the continent.

Living upside-down shapes spiders for energy saving
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Spain and Croatia led an investigation into the peculiar lifestyle of numerous spider species, which live, feed, breed and

A link between antidepressants and type 2 diabetes
University of Alberta researcher Lauren Brown has found people with depression are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

APS names 2 minority outreach fellows
The American Physiological Society has awarded its 2008 Minority Outreach Fellowships to TanYa Gwathmey, a postdoctoral fellow in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Kesia Mathis, a third-year pre-doctoral candidate in the department of physiology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Playing numerical board games boosts number skills of low-income preschoolers
A study conducted with low-income preschoolers attending Head Start found that certain numerical board games increased early math learning.

Heart failure treated 'in the brain'
Beta-blockers heal the heart via the brain when administered during heart failure, according to a new study by UCL.

Several methods for enhancing the functioning of defibrillators in cases of heart attack
The Ph.D., defended by engineer Sofía Ruiz de Gauna Gutiérrez at the University of the Basque Country, puts forward various methods for the elimination of interference caused by compressions and ventilations of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the context of cardiac defibrillation.

Running words together: The science behind cross-linguistic psychology
While communication may be recognized as a universal phenomenon, differences between languages -- ranging from word order to semantics -- undoubtedly remain as they help to define culture and develop language.

Mother-child attachment, children's temperament play a role in terrible 2 conflicts
Attachment security was found to be related to the quality, but not frequency of conflict between mothers and their 2-year-olds.

Argonne, DOT open transportation research, computing center
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in cooperation with the US Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, has announced the opening of the Transportation Research and Analysis Computing Center in suburban Chicago.

Antarctic ice shelf 'hangs by a thread'
British Antarctic Survey has captured dramatic satellite and video images of an Antarctic ice shelf that looks set to be the latest to break out from the Antarctic Peninsula.

April Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: New evidence supporting the existence of mantle plumes; Evidence from northwest Scotland of the largest meteorite ever to hit the British Isles; Insights into California's still-active Long Valley caldera volcano; Discovery of a microtektite field (microscopic impact glass particles) from Victoria Land Transantarctic Mountains; and Long-term effects of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure on coastal Virginia.

Radiologists use special MRI to identify brain cancer early
A special type of magnetic resonance imaging can depict changes in blood volume in the brain that often precede cancerous transformation of brain tumors, according to a new study.

Youth's social problems contribute to anxiety and depression
A longitudinal study found that individuals with social problems in childhood and adolescence were at increased risk for anxiety and depression in young adulthood.

Antisocial conduct and decision making about aggressive behavior influence each other in teens
Antisocial behavior was previously thought to be unchangeable in the teenage years.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the March 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience: Chromogranins concentrate catecholamines; Brn3b specifies and suppresses retinal cell fates; Adaptation to curves affects perception of faces; and Seizures disrupt astrocytic domain structure.

Exposure to low levels of radon appears to reduce the risk of lung cancer, new study finds
Exposure to levels of radon gas typically found in 90 percent of American homes appears to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 60 percent, according to a study in the March issue of Health Physics.

Children who bully also have problems with other relationships
Children who bully were found to have conflict in relationships with their parents and friends, and also to associate with others who bully.

MRI findings help forecast prostate cancer prognosis
Magnetic resonance imaging findings in patients about to undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer can help predict the likelihood that the cancer will return and spread post-treatment, according to a new study.

VCU Massey Cancer Center to partner with Israeli biotech firm
The Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center will open a Phase I pancreatic cancer study later this year in conjunction with leading researchers from Israel, marking the first time cancer researchers at VCU have partnered with their counterparts in Israel.

New approach to measuring carbon in forests
CSIRO is collaborating in a NASA-funded project, using a CSIRO-designed instrument, to help develop new methods of measuring forest carbon stores on a large scale.

Epilepsy marked by neural 'hub' network
An increased number of neuron

Giant ocean eddy shadows Sydney
The giant ocean eddy that cooled Sydney's shores a year ago has been superseded by another 300 km diameter giant.

Logging road threatens rare peat dome, tigers
In an investigative report published today by Eyes on the Forest, evidence shows that a new logging road in Riau Province -- strongly indicated as illegally built by companies connected to Asia Pulp & Paper -- is cutting into the heart of Sumatra's largest contiguous peatland forest, a rare hydrological ecosystem that acts as one of the planet's biggest carbon stores.

An invitation to Europe's largest forum on breast cancer
The most exciting breast cancer conference in Europe, it is the only one that involves all the major players in breast cancer.

NIH awards $6.5 million grant to UT Southwestern to develop new antibiotic
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been awarded a $6.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a new anti-microbial compound to target bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

Other highlights in the March 25 JNCI
Also in the March 25 JNCI are an analysis of group-randomized trials in cancer, two papers on cervical cancer screening and treatment of precancerous lesions, and a description of a new molecular target for head and neck cancer treatment.

Review of group-based cancer trials reveals flaws in studies' design and analysis
A new study reviewing 75 group-randomized cancer trials over a five-year stretch shows that fewer than half of those studies used appropriate statistical methods to analyze the results.

GSA South-Central Section meeting in Hot Springs next week
Geoscientists will gather March 30-April 1, 2008, for the 42nd Annual Meeting of the South-Central Section of the Geological Society of America.

Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer
Rochester researchers showed for the first time that a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell's core energy source, or mitochondria, and crippling its function.

The Wistar Institute collaborates with the Coriell Institute to distribute cell lines
Cell lines developed by Wistar Institute scientist have been made available to researchers worldwide through the Coriell Institute for Medical Research.

Isotope analysis reveals foraging area dichotomy for Atlantic leatherback turtles
The beaches of French Guiana constitute a major reproduction site for leatherback turtles.

Mythbusted -- people who wear glasses aren't geeks
Latest Australian research into myopia or shortsightedness reveals that people who wear glasses are not stereotypical geeks or nerds.

Fruit fly phlebotomy holds neuroscience promise
A team of UIC neuroscientists has developed a technique for extracting useful quantities of insect blood from a single fruit fly.

Partners can help or hinder attempts at changing diet
For people trying to make a change in their diet, significant others generally play a positive and supportive role, but sometimes respond in negative ways, according to a study in the March/April Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Preterm birth associated with diminished long-term survival, reproduction
An analysis of births in Norway found that persons born preterm had an increased risk of death throughout childhood and lower rates of reproduction in adulthood, compared to persons born at term, according to a study in the March 26 issue of JAMA.

A first: scientists isolate, characterize the organism that causes Buruli ulcer
An international team of 17 researchers from four countries has for the first time isolated from the environment and fully characterized the organism that causes Buruli ulcer.

Satellites take sustainability to new heights
Shell Canada has incorporated Earth Observation data into its Sustainable Development Report, demonstrating the potential of satellites to provide a global and cost-effective way to measure objectively the sustainability of business activities.

Hormone replacement therapy increases breast cancer recurrence
Hormone replacement therapy for peri- and postmenopausal symptoms increases disease recurrence in breast cancer survivors, according to an article published online March 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Spit tests may soon replace many blood tests
One day soon patients may spit in a cup, instead of bracing for a needle prick, when being tested for cancer, heart disease or diabetes.

Discovery about fertilization points way to possible malaria vaccine
International investigations of an organism that one UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher calls a

Sewer-gas-induced suspended animation is rapid and reversible
Low doses of the toxic gas responsible for the unpleasant odor of rotten eggs can safely and reversibly depress both metabolism and aspects of cardiovascular function in mice, producing a suspended-animation-like state.

Seeing may be believing -- but is it the same as looking?
If you see something, it's because you're looking at it, right?

Satellites help map soil carbon flux
Scientists have recently integrated remote sensing products with a national carbon accounting framework to quantify soil carbon fluxes over large regions.

New study examines traffic congestion on a university campus
In a recent study published in Planning for Higher Education, Dr.

Multi-institutional study identifies new form of inherited risk of cancer
Like the subtext of a novel, the human genome sequence harbors more information than appears just in its

Hospitality tops list of industries with highest rates of alcohol problems
According to a new report by Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems at the George Washington University Medical Center, alcohol-related problems are disproportionately represented in American business, with employees in the hospitality, construction and wholesale industries significantly more likely to be dependent on or abuse alcohol.

Popular apple variety harbors unusual cell growth
A scientist has discovered callus hair growth while imaging Fuji apples.

Defining gene's role may lead to prevention of dangerous corn toxin
Discovery that a specific gene is integral to both fungal invasion of corn and development of a potentially deadly toxin in the kernels may lead to ways to control the pathogen and the poison.

The conflict of reward in depression
In Love and Death, Woody Allen wrote:

Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development
On April 3 and 4, the National Academy of Sciences will hold a meeting to identify and promote practical interventions that could better link knowledge with action in pursuit of sustainable development.

Tackling global challenge of ensuring food security in a changing climate
Climate change may limit global agricultural productivity and economic development by placing crops under stress due to rising temperatures and increased demand for water.

Bear spray a viable alternative to guns for deterring bears, BYU study shows
Concerned about hikers' and campers' persistent doubts that a small can of liquid pepper spray could stop half a ton of claws, muscle and teeth, BYU bear biologist Thomas S.

Uneven use of less-invasive breast cancer staging test reported
The use of sentinel lymph node biopsy during breast cancer surgery increased substantially from 1998 through 2005, according to an article published online March 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Artificial photosynthesis moves a step closer
Jülich scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis.

NYU scientists set stage for understanding how color vision is processed
New York University biologists have mapped the medulla circuitry in fruit flies, setting the stage for subsequent research on how color vision is processed.

Fear that freezes the blood in your veins
If you are

Preterm birth linked to lifelong health issues
The health care implications of being born premature are much broader and reach further into adulthood than previously thought, according to a long-term study of more than a million men and women by Duke University and Norwegian researchers.

Stevens, IIT Delhi and University of Alabama host US-India Day, June 16
Stevens Institute of Technology, IIT Delhi and the University of Alabama will jointly host US-India Day as part of a three-day conference on flexible enterprises.

The beetle's genome sequenced for the first time
An international research consortium with the participation of a research team led by Professor Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen from the department of biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has sequenced the genome from the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum.

Tropical disease experts call for a 'Global Fund to Fight Neglected Tropical Diseases'
An international team of tropical disease control experts has urged the global health and development community, and particularly the G8 leaders, to establish a new financing mechanism to combat the neglected tropical diseases of poverty.

Living fossil still calls Australia home
A new study in the journal PLoS ONE has confirmed that Djarthia, a primitive mouse-like creature that lived 55 million years ago, is also a primitive relative of the small marsupial known as the Monito del Monte -- or

Common aquatic animals show extreme resistance to radiation
Scientists at Harvard University have found that a common class of freshwater invertebrate animals called bdelloid rotifers are extraordinarily resistant to ionizing radiation, surviving and continuing to reproduce after doses of gamma radiation much greater than that tolerated by any other animal species studied to date.

Family wealth may explain differences in test scores in school-age children
A new study using new methods to examine the dynamics of wealth found that family wealth might partly explain differences in test scores of school-age children, and examined how wealth affects children's cognitive achievement at different stages of childhood.
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