Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 03, 2008
Academy establishes Asia Center to protect the environment
Building on nearly 15 years of biodiversity and climate change research in Mongolia, the Academy of Natural Sciences today announced formation of its Asia Center to forge international partnerships for the study, protection and sustainable use of environmental resources.

Harmful algae taking advantage of global warming
You know that green scum creeping across the surface of your local public water reservoir?

Veterinary college researchers explore function of biofilm in bovine respiratory disease
Bacteria that form a biofilm have enhanced resistance to antibiotics and host defenses.

Essential nutrient found in eggs reduces risk of breast cancer by 24 percent
Choline, an essential nutrient found in foods such as eggs, is associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study supported by a grant from the US National Institutes of Health, to be published in The FASEB Journal's print issue in June.

NSF advances Teragrid computing capacity with $65 million grant to build Kraken
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $65 million grant to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to develop Kraken, a state of the art supercomputer.

Aripiprazole has potential for treating alcohol dependence
Aripiprazole is currently approved to treat bipolar disorder as well as schizophrenia.

NC State researchers identify genes key to hormone production in plants
Researchers at North Carolina State University have pinpointed a small group of genes responsible for

Cultural biases may influence parenting studies, scientist finds
When two University of Illinois scientists set out to learn about the differences in Chinese and American parenting behaviors at mealtime, they learned something important about the reliability of cross-cultural research.

Prenatal syphilis screening rates: Are they being accurately reported?
A study led by an Indiana University School of Medicine researcher published in the April issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases reports that state Medicaid statistics, when used to determine screening rates, may seriously underestimate the number of expectant mothers being screened for syphilis.

Genetics, environment differently influence the 'pathway of risk' leading to alcohol dependence
Alcohol dependence (AD) is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors, and involves

New Wesley Research Institute study aims to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis
A new research study being conducted at The Wesley Research Institute aims to stop the progression of early active stage multiple sclerosis in its tracks.

Rare genetic syndrome may hold key to cure for heat stroke
A genetic disorder that can cause a fatal rise in body temperature in some patients undergoing general anesthesia may hold the key to a cure for heat stroke, according to research published in the April 4 edition of the journal Cell.

New test could cut unnecessary treatment for blood disorder in pregnancy
A new test for identifying a mismatch between the blood of a pregnant woman and her baby is accurate, feasible, and could substantially reduce unnecessary treatment, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

Mitosis gets harder thanks to new gene discovery
A biological process taught to every pupil studying science at high school has just become a little more complicated thanks to a new discovery published today.

Clinical trial will test new HIV/AIDS vaccine
New HIV/AIDS vaccine aims to overcome the widespread problem of preexisting immunity.

Food for thought
Millions of people tend birdfeeders in their backyards each year, often out of a desire to help the animals.

Asian waterbirds stage remarkable comeback
According to a report released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society, several species of rare waterbirds from Cambodia's famed Tonle Sap region have staged remarkable comebacks, thanks to a project involving a single team of park rangers to provide 24-hour protection to breeding colonies.

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center publishes manual for childhood cancer survivors
With more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors living in the United States, researchers have turned their attention to the effects of cancer treatment that can occur years after therapy, called late effects.

Removing barriers to the distribution of life-saving vaccines
Barriers to the distribution of life-saving vaccines in low income countries can and should be overcome, say experts in this week's issue of the BMJ.

Pioneer of paramedic model to be honored
The American Heart Association today will honor John Michael Criley, MD, the pioneer of the paramedic model in use around the country and one of the outstanding investigators at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

A little anxiety pays sometimes, study shows
Anxiety gets a lot of bad press. Dwelling on the negative can lead to chronic stress and anxiety disorders and phobias, but evolutionarily speaking, anxiety holds some functional value.

High school students get a taste of dental research
Today, 32 Dallas-area students will be participating in the American Association for Dental Research's High School Student Outreach Program.

Stem cell breakthrough offers diabetes hope
Scientists have discovered a new technique for turning embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic tissue in what could prove a significant breakthrough in the quest to find new treatments for diabetes.

Religion, other factors contribute to successful African-American marriages
A new study in the journal Family Relations reveals that unity, religion and communication are vital to the success of African-American marriages.

The voyage to America
A team of researchers led by Danish professor Eske Willerslev shows that the ancestors of the North American Indians who came from Asia were the first people in America, and that they were of neither European nor African descent.

Male partner violence severely affects women's health
Injury is one inevitable and commonly recognized consequence of violence by a male partner, but this is not the only outcome.

Encouraging results from a rotavirus vaccine trial in Latin American infants
Two doses of an oral live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine are effective against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis for up to two years when given to Latin American infants during the first two years of life.

Marketing of unproven genetic tests a threat to public health
No mechanism currently exists to ensure that genetic tests are supported by adequate evidence before they go to market, or that marketing claims are truthful and not misleading, according to a policy analysis to be published April 4 in Science.

A call to infuse scientific knowledge into the human experience
In a provocative new book, distinguished geneticist and historian Elof Axel Carlson argues for a more scientific view of human nature, one that is based on our biology -- our cellular organization, genetics, life cycle and evolution.

1 large organic shade-grown coffee, please -- with extra bats
If you get a chance to sip some shade-grown Mexican organic coffee, please pause a moment to thank the bats that helped make it possible.

Computer system consistently makes most accurate NCAA picks
Three engineering professors at Georgia Tech have created a computer ranking system, called LRMC, that consistently predicts NCAA basketball rankings more accurately than polls, formulas, other computer models and even the tournament seeds themselves.

Hospital Clinic awarded by CEREBRA Foundation for its excellence in early diagnosis of brain damage
Thanks to this acknowledgment, the multidiscipline group of the Department of Mother and Child Medicine of the Catalan center, led by Dr.

Keep on running
Low levels of fitness and physical activity in childhood may be risk factors for early development of heart disease as teenagers.

Are there too many female medical graduates?
More women now graduate from medical school than men, and soon male doctors will be in the minority.

Human breast tumors' 'microenvironment' primes them for metastasis
The environment within primary breast tumors can

High-flying moths don't just go with the flow
Enormous numbers of migratory moths that fly high above our heads throughout the night aren't at the mercy of the winds that propel them toward their final destinations.

NASA expert to address Earth's vanishing polar ice, April 10, at UD
From research camps in some of the most remote regions of the planet, Waleed Abdalati, head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has witnessed remarkable changes in the Earth's ice cover.

Jeremy Jackson honored by Harvard Museum of Natural History
Jeremy Jackson, renowned marine ecologist with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, has been selected to receive the 11th annual Roger Tory Peterson Medal presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Preliminary DNA analysis completed on California wolverine
Preliminary results from DNA analysis of wolverine scat samples collected on the Tahoe National Forest do not match those of historic California wolverine populations, according to US Forest Service scientists.

The Lancet introduces 2 new partnerships in global health
Increased investment demands increased monitoring both in evaluating health programs and in producing a clearer picture of trends and patterns in global health.

Climate change -- research suggests it is not a swindle
New research has dealt a blow to the skeptics who argue that climate change is all due to cosmic rays rather than to man-made greenhouse gases.

Active living in diverse and disadvantaged communities
About 25 million US children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

China's effects on US focus of April 17 UD town hall
China's rise is influencing the course of world affairs, including economic and political developments in the United States.

Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium announces increased journal participation
The International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility announces further advances in neuroscience publishing, with wide adoption of the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium initiative.

Using teledentistry to provide orthodontic services to disadvantaged children
Socially disadvantaged children have limited access to orthodontic services. A team of scientists studied a novel approach using teleconferencing to determine the possibility of increasing access to limited orthodontic treatment for these children.

Smithsonian researchers show major role of bats in plant protection
Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute report that bats significantly reduce insect abundance and damage on plants.

Are animals stuck in time?
Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friends seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes.

Pollin Pediatric Research Prize awarded for discovery of lifesaving treatment of RDS
Dr. John A. Clements is the recipient of the 2008 Pollin Prize in recognition of his seminal contributions to our understanding of how lungs hold air, and to the development of a lifesaving treatment for respiratory distress syndrome in infants.

Researchers uncover new genetic links to psoriasis
In the first comprehensive study of the genetic basis of psoriasis, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

AGU Journalism Awards won by Margaret Munro and Dr. Richard Smith
Munro of CanWest News Service receives the David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism--News for her article on the breakup of an ice shelf, possibly from global warming.

New data show strong labor market for scientists and engineers
Science and engineering workforce availability in the United States is under serious scrutiny by observers who worry about a decline in the nation's ability to fill future demand.

Pregnant mothers' diet linked to baby's obesity
Rats eating trans-fatty acid while pregnant or breastfeeding have fatter babies.

Alcohol alters prefrontal cortex activity through ion channel disruption
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) region of the brain is involved in decision making.

Hatchery fish outnumber wild chinook salmon in troubled fall run
A recent study indicates that wild salmon may account for just 10 percent of California's fall-run chinook salmon population, while the vast majority of the fish come from hatcheries.

Famed Writer Carlos Fuentes to speak at UC San Diego April 24
One of the globe's leading contemporary intellectuals and Mexico's greatest novelist, Carlos Fuentes, will at speak at UC San Diego April 24 addressing the topic

A place in the sun
Those spindly plants that desperately try to reach for a break in the canopy formed by larger plants all suffer from the same affliction: Shade avoidance syndrome or SAS.

Accucoms and IOS Press cooperation to provide better service to North American market
As of the beginning of this year, Accucoms, a leading provider of sales and marketing services to scholarly and society publishers, and IOS Press have started working together to better service the North American library market.

Children's Hospital leads projects to develop nation's first heart assist devices for young children
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC -- a national leader in the use of lifesaving ventricular assist devices for children in heart failure -- is part of a collaboration that recently has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an external heart pump designed specifically for small children.

AGI releases geoscience enrollment data
The American Geological Institute Workforce Program has announced the 2007 enrollment and degrees granted in the geosciences statistics in the latest Geoscience Currents.

Hospital follow-up services not necessary for all child cancer survivors
Many child cancer patients will benefit from ongoing follow-up, but others should be allowed to move on and put the experience of cancer behind them, say experts in this week's issue of the BMJ.

Europe's automated ship docks to the ISS
ATV Jules Verne, the European Space Agency's first resupply and reboost vehicle, has successfully performed a fully automated docking with the International Space Station.

Hybrid computer materials may lead to faster, cheaper technology
A modern computer contains two different types of components: magnetic components, which perform memory functions, and semiconductor components, which perform logic operations.

Possible link found between earthquakes along the Cascadia and San Andreas faults
Seismic activity on the southern Cascadia Subduction fault may have triggered major earthquakes along the northern San Andreas Fault, according to new research published by the Bulletin of Seismological Society of America.

Enzyme complex could be key to new cancer treatments
Penn State scientists are the first to observe in living cells a key step in the creation of adenine and guanine, two of the four building blocks that comprise DNA.

Healthcare providers who discuss intimate piercings earn patients' trust
Patients with genital and nipple piercings, also known as

Entrepreneurial strategies have different implications for different actions
A new study published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal illustrates the important implications that both Discovery Theory and Creation Theory have on the effectiveness of a variety of entrepreneurial actions within different contexts.

Continuous oral contraceptives better at easing pain, bleeding
Continuous oral contraceptives may be more effective than the standard 28-day birth control pills in suppressing the ovary, according to researchers.

Chesapeake Bay ecosystem health remains poor, but slightly improved in 2007
An independent scientific analysis led by University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science researchers gives the Chesapeake Bay a C-minus in 2007, indicating that Bay ecological conditions were slightly better than the previous year, but far below what is needed for a healthy bay.

LSU spotlights strong African American marriages
Loren Marks, assistant professor of human ecology at LSU, along with several colleagues, published one of the only studies hallmarking positive, long-lasting African American marriages.

Answer to troublesome question of why some genetic assoc. studies have failed replication attempts
A team of researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and elsewhere have described a possible reason why some studies have been unable to replicate associations between genes and traits -- namely that the strength of a gene/trait association might vary with age and that current study designs typically fail to take that into account.

Graphene gazing gives glimpse of foundations of universe
Researchers at the University of Manchester have used graphene to measure an important and mysterious fundamental constant -- and glimpse the foundations of the universe.

Proximity to a flood zone lowers property values
A study appearing in the March 2008 issue of The Journal of Risk and Insurance reveals that proximity to a flood zone lowers property values.

Unlocking mysteries of brain cancer, stroke
New studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia, will delve into some of the crucial issues surrounding death by brain tumors and stroke.

RING finger protein 5 may guide treatment for muscle disease in older adults
Researchers at the Burnham Institute have discovered a new player in the development of Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis, a muscle disease that affects predominantly older men, causing muscles to gradually weaken and waste away.

Binge drinkers are responsible for most alcohol-impaired driving on American roads
Self-reported alcohol-impaired (AI) driving has increased in the United States during the last decade.

Researchers learn how signaling molecule orchestrates breast cancer's spread
A study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has uncovered how breast tumors use a particular type of molecule to promote metastasis -- the spread of cancer cells.

Researchers, led by UO archaeologist, find pre-Clovis human DNA
DNA from dried human excrement recovered from Oregon's Paisley Caves is the oldest found yet in the New World -- dating to 14,300 years ago, some 1,200 years before Clovis culture -- and provides apparent genetic ties to Siberia or Asia, according to an international team of 13 scientists.

Researchers uncover new genetic links to psoriasis
In a comprehensive study of the genetic basis of psoriasis, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
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